The fashionable Fujifilm X-S20 ($1,299.95, physique solely) mirrorless digicam places Fuji’s beloved colour science right into a mainstream physique with all of the controls creators might need. It has the identical picture sensor as its predecessor, the wonderful X-S10, however an upgraded processor boosts autofocus and video options, whereas a beefier battery considerably extends runtimes. These enhancements make the X-S20 a compelling digicam for photograph hobbyists and vloggers alike, incomes the digicam our Editors’ Selection award.
Acquainted Controls for Mainstream Attraction
The Fujifilm X-S20 is the second mannequin in its line, after the X-S10 from 2020. The brand new version follows the unique in idea; it eschews Fuji’s hallmark dial-driven publicity management in favor of a well-recognized PASM dial, facilities the viewfinder behind the lens, and features a swing-out LCD for selfies and vlogs.
The X-S20 makes use of the identical 26MP X-Trans BSI CMOS sensor as its predecessor, however pairs it with an up to date picture processor for higher autofocus (with topic recognition) and 10-bit 4K60 video. The physique is slightly bigger than earlier than, however at 3.4 by 5.0 by 2.6 inches (HWD), it stays one of the crucial compact cameras with 5-axis picture stabilization.
Its construct supplies are premium, too. Fuji sells this one in black solely, however the exterior includes a sturdy magnesium shell with a leatherette wrap. It weighs about 1.1 kilos with no lens, making it a great match for journey, although it loses some factors for skipping mud and splash safety, which opponents just like the Sony a6700 ($1,400) supply.
Fuji integrates a pop-up flash within the physique, one thing it sometimes reserves for entry or mid-level cameras. It is not adequate for lighting up a darkish room however is helpful for filling in shadows in some situations. As for lenses, Fuji has a full line of X-mount choices, a advantage of the system’s decade-plus lifespan. The corporate has performed a high quality job updating older entries with fashionable design touches, too—the XF 33mm F1.4 and XF 56mm F1.2 WR are good examples.
There are two equipment choices obtainable. You will get the X-S20 with the small XC 15-45mm energy zoom for $1,399.95, simply $100 greater than the body-only value. For $1,699.95, you may get the digicam with the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R, an older lens that also does a great job at the moment.
Sadly, there isn’t any equipment possibility for the newer XF 16-80mm F4 R OIS WR ($799.95), so that you must pay full boat for it in order for you Fuji’s finest starter zoom. The Tamron 17-70mm F2.8 is on the market for a similar value too, so do not rely it out if you happen to desire an F2.8 aperture to optical stabilization.
Essentially Sound Ergonomics
The X-S20’s physique intently resembles the unique X-S10, however a bigger grip and centered viewfinder make it simpler to make use of heavier lenses—I loved pairing the Tamron 150-500mm with the digicam, for instance. The eight-way rear focus management stick additionally makes the X-S20 a greater match for the motion and wildlife topics these lenses seize versus others on this class that omit it, notably the Sony a6700 and Nikon Z 50.
Fuji adjustments up the management scheme from digicam to digicam, so photogs have some selection in model. Cameras just like the X-T5 and X-T30 II, as an example, have discrete shutter velocity and ISO dials, much like what you get on classic cameras and retro-inspired opponents just like the Nikon Z fc. The X-S20 takes a extra mainstream method—it makes use of an in-grip entrance dial and top-mounted rear management dial for versatile publicity management, together with a PASM Mode dial to set the publicity mode. The dial contains the usual publicity choices, plus 4 customized slots so you possibly can commit your favourite settings to reminiscence, a Vlog place, and a Film mode.
This management scheme fits its hybrid billing and needs to be acquainted if you’re shifting over from different programs. And, for an fanatic digicam, the X-S20 does not overdo it with buttons. It places Report, Q menu, and ISO buttons on prime close to the shutter launch, and squeezes an extra management dial all the best way on the left. This further dial swaps between the assorted in-camera Movie Simulations by default, however you possibly can change its perform if you happen to desire.
Rear controls are fairly sparse, too. Drive/Delete and Play buttons sit on the higher left, above the LCD, with AEL and AF-ON buttons on the higher proper. Rounding out the bodily controls are Menu/OK and Disp/Again buttons on the underside proper. Fuji makes use of the house correctly; the buttons on the X-S20 are slightly bit extra distinguished and due to this fact extra comfy to function in contrast with these on the X-S10. As talked about, the eight-way focus controller enables you to simply direct the place the autofocus system ought to look in your body.
The rear contact display screen bolsters the bodily controls and helps swipe gestures (off by default) for extra features, with a full 9 pages of assignable choices obtainable. Press the Q button on prime of the digicam to open a 16-panel overlay that grants fast entry to frequent settings. You may configure the choices to fit your wants, in addition to lower the variety of settings (to 12, 8, or 4) if you happen to assume the total menu is overkill. Photograph and video menus are separate, so you possibly can choose choices that make sense for every self-discipline particularly.
The three-inch LCD swings out to the aspect and twists to tilt down, up, or ahead. It is fairly brilliant and I used to be in a position to see it with some effort on a brilliant, sunny day at default brightness regardless of some glare; it is also very straightforward to pump up its brightness. The 1.8-million-dot show is crisp sufficient to make use of for punched-in handbook focus and to overview photographs for sharpness. That is a pleasant profit over the competing Sony a6700, which makes use of a comparatively low-pixel, 1.03-million-dot show.
If there is a disappointing side of the physique, it is the EVF. The viewfinder is slightly small at 0.62x, in contrast with the a6700 and EOS R7 (each 0.70x). Like these opponents, nonetheless, it sports activities a 2.4-million-dot OLED panel that is sufficiently sharp. The X-S20 refreshes at 60fps by default however affords a 100fps Increase mode that is helpful for monitoring topics in movement. Simply remember that the latter drains the battery extra shortly.
Energy and Connectivity
The X-S20 makes use of Fuji’s glorious NP-W235 battery, which first appeared alongside the X-T4. It is one of many higher batteries in mirrorless and retains up with the Sony NP-FZ100 cell within the a6700.
You need to have the ability to get 750 footage per cost at default energy settings (with both the LCD or EVF energetic), although that estimate drops right down to 530 snaps if you happen to have interaction the 100fps EVF Increase mode. Each are phenomenal scores for the category, however it’s nonetheless value choosing up a spare battery if you happen to have a tendency to combine in video or take quite a bit of snaps. Fuji fees $64.95 for a spare, whereas third-party choices just like the SmallRig NP-W235 ($19.90) can be found for much less.
The battery fees in-camera through USB-C. The digicam helps UAC/UVC streaming too, so it may plug into a pc or Android system and work as a webcam with out the necessity for further drivers. It additionally has a micro HDMI port with help for ProRes Uncooked and Blackmagic Uncooked recorders, together with a pair of three.5mm jacks to attach a microphone and set of headphones. You additionally get a 2.5mm port for a wired distant, a scorching shoe, and a single UHS-II SDXC card slot. The micro HDMI port is probably going a sticking level for professionals—the connector is smaller and extra fragile than the full-sized one you see on TVs and pro-level cameras just like the Fuji X-H2S.
As for connectivity, the X-S20 has Bluetooth 4.2+LE and dual-band Wi-Fi. It really works with the refreshed Fuji XApp (obtainable for Android and iOS units), which replaces the dated Fuji Cam Distant app. Along with the fundamentals, like distant management and file transfers, the app helps geotagging and allows you to obtain firmware updates. It might additionally hold monitor of photographs you’ve got made with particular lenses, movie simulations, and cameras.
Autofocus Boosted by Topic Recognition
The X-S20 will get Fuji’s current-gen autofocus system, which has up to now solely been obtainable on the X-T5, X-H2, and X-H2S. It goes past face and eye detection for individuals (the extent of what the X-S10 and earlier Fujis do), with discrete topic recognition for airplanes, animals, cars, birds, bikes/bikes, and trains. Every mode works very nicely—focus snaps proper to the eyes of animals and birds in my neighborhood, and the digicam has no issues tagging and monitoring planes taking off and touchdown from a close-by airstrip.
The fundamental focus system is quick, too. It makes use of on-sensor section detection, extends practically to the sting of the body, and might sustain with shifting topics in its AF-C monitoring mode. As I famous earlier, the eight-way focus joystick makes it very straightforward to drop the main target field in your topic.
My criticism in regards to the focus system is the best way the sundry topic recognition modes work. Fuji opted to place them in a distinct financial institution of choices than face and eye detection for individuals, so it is slightly clumsy to swap between individuals and different topics. Computerized topic detection is on the market, however solely within the Auto dial setting, which forces automated publicity management. I would like Fuji to broaden automated detection to all publicity modes and higher streamline its interface. It is also odd which you could’t set the top-left dial to scroll by the topic modes—that possibility would go a protracted method to ease the ache for photographers who seize a wide range of topics.
As for motion, the X-S20 could be very succesful. It helps 8fps with its mechanical shutter and might push to 20fps with the absolutely digital shutter at full decision. In the event you want extra velocity, a 30fps mode is on the market with a slight crop and 20.9MP output. The digicam can hold going at excessive velocity too—it will get 60 Compressed Uncooked and greater than 300 JPGs at 20fps, plus can use both format with out limitations at 8fps. In the event you change to Lossless Compressed, you may get 79 photographs at 8fps and 39 at 20fps. Choosing Uncompressed Uncooked photographs takes that right down to 39 photographs at 8fps and 33 at 20fps. I examined the digicam with a Sony Powerful 299MBps UHS-II card and famous fast clear occasions; it solely takes about 5 seconds to commit photographs to reminiscence after a burst.
A prerelease buffer mode is on the market together with the e-shutter. Although the sensor is not a bleeding-edge Stacked CMOS chip, it nonetheless reads out quick sufficient to freeze the movement of hummingbird wings and draw vehicles driving laterally throughout the body with much less rolling shutter movement distortion than the a6700’s e-shutter. Plainly talking, you should utilize the X-S20’s e-shutter for a lot of forms of motion and revel in good outcomes.
Stabilized Imaging With X-Trans Colour
The X-S20 mounts a 26MP BSI CMOS sensor with an X-Trans colour filter array on a 5-axis stabilizer that is good for as much as 7 stops of compensation. An upgraded picture processor, the X Processor 5, boosts focus efficiency and provides the Nostalgic Detrimental Movie Simulation to the toolkit, however the image high quality is not any totally different from an X-T30 II, X-E4, and even the X-S10. That is not shocking; we have seen minimal progress in image high quality, noise management, and dynamic vary for stills because the trade moved to BSI CMOS sensors, beginning with the short-lived Samsung NX1 from 2014. As an alternative, the newer chips profit from quicker readout speeds and beefier processors that help smarter autofocus programs and extra sturdy video options.
There’s nothing dangerous about Fuji utilizing its fundamental 26MP chip for the X-S20. It supplies image high quality that is proper in step with the brisker 40MP BSI CMOS chip within the X-T5 and X-H2, plus scans extra shortly than earlier than so you possibly can freely use its digital shutter or report video of topics in movement with out rolling shutter distortion.
The X-S20 affords just a few picture format choices. It snaps 8-bit JPGs by default, like most cameras, however you possibly can swap over to 10-bit HEIF in order for you a shareable file with extra room for enhancing or work on an HDR show. In the event you’re extra critical about images, you possibly can swap over to 14-bit Uncooked in a compressed, lossless compressed, or uncompressed format. In the event you course of photographs in Fuji’s or Adobe’s software program, you continue to get entry to the entire in-camera colour profiles.
As for image high quality, the JPG/HEIF engine makes footage with little noise and crisp element from ISO 160 by ISO 1600, although distinction takes a slight hit from ISO 3200-6400. High quality element begins to degrade between ISO 12800 and 25600, and pictures at ISO 51200, the very best obtainable setting, look nearly blurry. There’s not a lot distinction in noise and element versus different present (and even previous-generation) APS-C sensor fashions. As an alternative, the benefit of utilizing JPGs with a Fuji digicam versus, say, a Canon or Sony is its Movie Simulation engines. The X-S20 helps the total vary of appears: Acros, Traditional Chrome, Traditional Detrimental, Eterna, Nostalgic Detrimental, Professional Detrimental, Customary/Provia, and Vivid/Velvia are all obtainable as beginning factors for colour, with the choice for simulated movie grain.
I evaluated lossless compressed Uncooked photographs in Lightroom Traditional, our commonplace processor for digicam opinions. I noticed stronger element at larger ISOs in Uncooked format, however that got here on the expense of extra seen luminance noise. Adobe’s default settings do an unimaginable job of knocking out splotchy colour noise, usually talking. Prolonged dynamic vary, which helps you to modify spotlight, shadow, black ranges, colour, and publicity with out compromising image high quality, is one other sturdy swimsuit. The sensor captures malleable photographs in its native vary (ISO 160-12800), although the flexibility to tune publicity suffers a bit once you make the most of its low (ISO 80) or excessive (ISO 25600-51200) prolonged modes.
The stabilized sensor is beneficial for longer shutter occasions, so you possibly can hold the ISO slightly decrease. Assuming you are taking photographs of static topics, the IBIS system is nice sufficient which you could reliably work at 1/30- or 1/15-second with out inducing blur. For panorama scenes, I had no issues getting sharp 1/2-second handheld photographs with the XF 8mm F3.5 R WR, although that was simply in regards to the restrict.
10-Bit 4K for Vlogs and Cinema
The X-S20 is a really succesful video digicam that we anticipate most individuals will use for vlogs and self-produced video, however it’s equally appropriate for indie cinema tasks. It helps 4K recording at 24 or 30fps with the total width of the sensor and your selection of 16:9 UHD or 17:9 DCI side ratios, in addition to 4K60 with a slight 1.18x crop. The digicam additionally helps 6K24 and 6K30 open gate recording utilizing the total 3:2 sensor space, so you possibly can connect an anamorphic lens (Sirui makes just a few for Fuji X) to understand the two.35:1 CinemaScope look.
All of the movie simulations can be found for video, so you possibly can apply a inventive look to films with out spending time enhancing colour in submit. You even have the choice of swapping over to a flat F-Log or F-Log2 profile for low-contrast, desaturated footage. The flat video does not look good out-of-camera however offers you the mandatory headroom to tune colour and publicity, both manually or utilizing a customized search for desk (LUT). Fujifilm supplies LUTs for each F-Log and F-Log2 as free downloads you possibly can add to your enhancing software program. The X-S20 saves video internally with 10-bit 4:2:2 colour sampling and helps Blackmagic Uncooked and ProRes Uncooked output through micro HDMI.
The X-S20 leverages its IBIS system for video, too. The sensor steadies video by itself, plus works alongside a few digital assistants that suppress shakes and jitters. Digital stabilization crops in slightly and improves the look of video that entails topic movement—walk-and-talk vlog footage is the right instance. There’s additionally an IBIS Increase possibility which you could activate for higher outcomes with static scenes; it is like a digital tripod. In contrast with opponents, the a6700 skips the Increase mode however goes a bit additional for handheld stabilization in post-production by saving gyroscope information as a sidecar file for video. Fuji does not supply that possibility, so that you would possibly wish to add a gimbal to get the floating Steadicam look.
Fuji makes a selected attraction to vloggers with the X-S20. Whereas it is not marketed as a full-on vlog digicam just like the Sony ZV-E10 or Nikon Z 30, seeing the phrase “Vlog” printed on the Mode dial is a transparent signal that Fuji desires YouTubers to choose it up. The Vlog mode is an easier-to-use model of the devoted Film possibility and contains one-touch settings to open the aperture for blurred backgrounds and to show off eye detection for product overview movies. You need to nonetheless add a mic for the very best audio; the X-S20’s mic sounds tinny, in contrast to the higher-quality ones on made-for-vlogging cameras.
It is not all good, nonetheless. Warmth is an actual concern for video. At 4K60 or 6K30, the digicam overheats after 35 minutes of steady room-temperature recording. It might go round two hours at 4K24 or 4K30 with out breaking a sweat, nonetheless. One potential resolution is Fuji’s FAN-001 cooling accent ($199.95); it clips on the rear and permits for much longer report occasions. Nonetheless, if long-form seize is a precedence, you would possibly simply wish to get a digicam with a built-in fan—the Sony FX30, Panasonic GH6, and Panasonic S5-IIx all qualify, although they’re extra video specialists than true hybrids just like the X-S20.
So far as Fuji cameras go, the X-S20 is the very best one you may get for 4K with out stepping as much as the X-H2S, which provides a quicker Stacked CMOS sensor and inner ProRes help. The X-S20’s footage is loads for editors who do not want ProRes and avoids the rolling shutter points we see with the 8K footage from the X-T5 and X-H2.
The Greatest Fuji Digicam for the Cash
As of late, Fujifilm has been concentrating its efforts on the upper finish of its APS-C lineup; the X-T5 and each X-H2 fashions are expensive our bodies for professionals. However the X-S20 is available in at a extra palatable value for photograph lovers, influencers, and content material creators. It punches above its weight with a stabilized sensor, high-speed focus and monitoring, and a set of aesthetically pleasing inventive appears. The lengthy battery life makes it interesting for journey, whereas entry to Fuji’s full lens lineup offers you loads of inventive flexibility. We would like a bigger EVF and a weather-sealed construct, however the X-S20 does sufficient proper to earn our Editors’ Selection award for hobbyists over the Sony a6700. In the event you want a digicam for occasion work and motion images, nonetheless, do not rely out the Canon EOS R7 ($1,499), which affords twin card slots in a weather-protected physique.