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on 28 March 2013
I was going back and forth over whether to buy the Sony RX100 or the Fuji X20 for some time, I usually shoot with a Canon 7D, but wanted a good compact camera to use as a general walk around for times when taking the 7d is a bit of a burden (snowboarding, conferences etc.). After reading plenty of reviews on various web sites (on DP review) i decided to go for the X20, for the sole reason of it being regarded as more intuitive to use for people that prefer using the camera in more manual modes.

Firstly in my opinion I really like the way the camera is styled (i got the silver/black version) the buttons/switches for changing iso, focus type, quick menu and exposure etc. are in sensible locations and i am very impressed with the build quality. Yeah it doesn't fit into jean pockets, but it is very comfortable to hold in hand and comes with a decent leather neck strap which i really like. I like the addition of the optical viewfinder and i really like the digital overlay that provides useful information such as iso, shutter speed and once the camera achieves focus it provides location of the focus point (which is a bit odd that is isn't there in the first place but i guess better late than never!).

The photos that I have got out of it so far are very nice, the colour representation is particularly good. The lens is sharp and fast at the tele end (f2.8) and the macro mode is superb. I guess the major limitation for compacts is the low light performance, i can't say i've tested this extensively, but i set a limit of iso 800 whilst out and about on a trip to London and got a good mix of outdoor and indoor/low light shooting and found the low light performance to far exceed my expectations and to be fantastic for the iso range i had preset, the fast lens definitely helps in this regard.

Conclusion
So bottom line is, if you want a camera that is a joy to use (feels like a Dslr), puts a smile on your face every time you pick it up, takes fantastic shots and can afford to spend £500 on a high end compact. Then this is definitely the camera for you. That being said, i hear nothing but good things about the sony RX100 in terms of picture quality, but for my set of needs/requirements the x20 ticks all the boxes.
Hope this helps, thanks for reading.
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on 21 July 2013
Fujifilm is a fascinating photo and imaging manufacturing company, a survivor in a world where we've witnessed the demise of such cameras as those from Minolta, Konica, Yashica, Contax, Topcon, Bronica and too many more to mention here. The company has survived largely because of good business practices and listening to the needs of photographers.

The FujiFilm X20 is a camera in which I had been highly interested since the release of this and the Fuji X100s early this year. I had looked seriously at the Fujifilm X10 last year, but there were some subjective needs that for me it didn't meet, so it was passed on. I'm glad that I waited, as the number of improvements over the X10 is quite large. There are said to be about fifty improvements that have been made, but in all fairness, I won't get into a Fuji X20 vs. X10 comparison here, as my experience with the earlier model was limited to just a few days use.

Getting right down to the subjective points, followed with a more detailed look based on personal use, here are my basic observations.

◆ Pros:

+ Excellent retro design; solid build quality coupled with good contemporary ergonomics
+ Sharp 4x optical zoom; comfortable 28mm to 112mm f/2.0- f/2.8 equivalent
+ Has a 7-blade aperture diaphragm; contributes to excellent bokeh effects
+ EXR Processor II dual CPUs; cold start-up time about ½ second
+ Highly efficient processor; super-fast sequential shooting
+ Near-instant autofocus; virtually no time lag when the shutter button is pressed
+ New 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor; 12MP, offers excellent image quality
+ Hybrid AF; autofocus instantly switches, high-speed phase detection AF and contrast AF
+ Front focus selector dial; AF-S (single autofocus), MF (manual), AF-C (continuous autofocus) modes
+ Advanced OVF; optical viewfinder offers exposure info overlay via Digital Trans Panel
+ 2.8-inch color LCD monitor; approximately 460,000 dots, 100% coverage
+ Excellent ergonomics; rational array of controls, easy to master
+ Rechargeable NP-50 Li-ion battery; averages 190 - 220 shots per charge
+ Full manual exposure plus Program, Aperture- and Shutter priority modes and more
+ Uses readily-available SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards; full support
+ RAW (RAF format) support; also offers JPEG and RAW+JPEG
+ ISO range is 100-12800 (in Auto); control available up to ISO 3200
+ Excellent ergonomics; raised grip area on the body with a thumb rest, add to handling
+ Threaded socket on shutter button; allows for threaded cable releases, soft shutter buttons
+ Made in Japan; all of Fujifilm's X-Series cameras are made in Japan
+ Built-in advanced filters; allow a choice of 8 artistic effects

◆ Cons:

- Battery life could be far better
- Picky point: the X20 lacks a built-in neutral density filter

◆ First Impressions:

The X20 came well packaged in a distinctive black box, and from the moment it was opened and taken out, the feel of a solid, precision camera was quite apparent. This is truly a camera for advanced users, or pros looking for a good backup or weekend camera. It's crafted from a die-cast magnesium alloy, and the ergonomically placed mode dial and zoom ring are milled from solid aluminum. The professional feel is there, and is reminiscent of its more costly brother, the Fujifilm X100S, and along with its overall retro styling is a small engraved "Fujinon Lens System" logo on top, reminding us of some of the classic 35mm rangefinder cameras of the past. And on the rear, just to the lower right of the LCD screen, is the discretely engraved "Made in Japan" note in white letters against the black of the camera body.

Followed the directions in the printed instruction manual and charged the battery for about two hours while reading and going through the box contents. The X20 came packaged with the following:
● Rechargeable NP-50 Li-ion battery
● BC-50B battery charger with US plug attachment
● Shoulder strap with protective pads
● Triangular strap clips & attachment tool
● Lined push-on metal lens cap
● Proprietary USB cable
● CD-ROM (with MyFinepix Studio 4.2 viewer software, RAW file converter, etc.)
● 141-page owner's manual (1-Egnlish, 1-Spanish)

There's something to be said for Fujifilm's attention to detail with this camera, as they've supplied a small plastic attachment tool with the triangular strap clips. That means no more scratches on the body or broken fingernails while attaching the camera strap clips. The BC-50B battery charger indicator glows steadily when charging, and cuts off when the battery is topped up. I put the USB cable in a safe place (it's proprietary, so don't lose it), and once the battery was fully charged, inserted a Class 10 SDHC card and took the X20 out for a trial run to get a feel for it.

◆ The X20 in Use:

Following the instruction manual, I did some preliminary setups, setting the camera to its Quick Start mode from the Fuji X20's power management menu. The first thing that I noticed was the exceptionally fast start-up time, which only took about ½ second. Shutter lag is almost nonexistent while in this mode, and on top of that, the autofocus is incredibly quick, perhaps the fastest that I've ever encountered. Technically this is due to the X20's built-in phase detection and its "Intelligent Hybrid Autofocus system," but from a practical perspective of a user who could care less about specs with an eye in the viewfinder, this is exceptionally good for action photographers and street shooters.

Speaking of viewfinders, the X20 has an excellent and highly useful optical viewfinder, one that's far more functional than my older Nikon P7100 and many other similar cameras. The optical viewfinder shows 85% coverage continuously, which is fine, and there's a diopter adjustment which is good for those of us with corrective vision. But it also has a Digital Trans Panel that shows highly useful information, such as aperture, shutter speed and focus area. There's a sensor next to the optical viewfinder that automatically senses when the camera has been lifted to the eye, and it turns off the rear LCD screen when you do so. It took a few minutes to get used to this, but after awhile I found that I was using the optical viewfinder far more than I ever did with the Nikon P7100, which was a surprise. It's also good when you have a sun in the face shooting situation.

The X20 has a 460,000 dot, 2.8-inch TFT LCD screen. It's a decent screen that's bright and clear, enough so that it deals with reflections and glare fairly well. This high-contrast screen has a wide viewing-angle, and makes dealing with its excellent GUI menu system easy. That said, it's slightly disappointing that it doesn't have the +920,000 dot 3-inch LCD display found in the Nikon COOLPIX P7700 and other premium compact cameras currently on the market. It's not a show-stopper, but a subjective consideration.

As expected, the camera offers complete PSAM control along with other settings from the top mode dial near the shutter button. There's a good sized exposure compensation control to the right of the mode dial, useful when taking photos of very bright, dark or high-contrast subjects, which offers ± EV in one-third increments. On the front is the front focus selector dial, offering AF-S (single autofocus), MF (manual), AF-C (continuous autofocus) modes. There are plenty of other controls on the camera, each offering specific ways to manage various settings and options.

In regular use, I found a mild irritant in that the X20 powers down automatically after a few minutes. When this happens, you have to twist the on/off mechanism on the collar surrounding the lens barrel to turn it on again. There is a workaround: go to the menu, and find the standby mode. Setting this means that you can have the camera wake up by gently depressing the shutter button, which is quite practical if you're often in this situation.

There's a Q (Quick Menu) button next to the menu controls, and it's quite handy. It displays the most frequently accessed settings on a single screen so that you can quickly navigate to each setting individually and use either scroll wheels to change the value or function of the setting. This made access of the various functions such as ISO settings, white balance, dynamic range, image size and such to be far easier than exploring the camera menus. Tried various shots accessing trying film simulation, the different metering settings and such, all as part of the learning experience. This shortcut method is far better than digging into the viewfinder menus to access the various features. Some magazine reviewers have suggested that it might be better if the X20 had a touch screen so that one didn't have to scroll around the quick menu, but I disagree. If you own a smartphone or tablet, such as a Kindle Fire, just imagine those same streaks and smudges on the screen of the camera. Simply put, the small Quick Menu button, along with the programmable Fn (Function) button on top, quickly became my allies.

◆ The Lens and More:

I've been a fan of Fujinon since my 4x5 view camera days when I owned a superb Fujinon 90mm f/8.0 SW lens, and it's good to see that the same attention to detail found then has carried through onto the X20. For the technically minded, its 4x optical zoom is made up of 11 glass elements (not plastic) in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical lens elements and 2 ED lens elements, with a proprietary HT-EBC coating applied to control flare and ghosting from appearing on images. It's also image stabilized, which helps for low light shooting without a tripod.

What this means to you and me is that we have a metal barreled lens that performs beautifully, offering sharp, clear images throughout its entire range. The zoom action is smooth, and it offers both a Macro and Super Macro mode, allowing you to get as close as 0.3" from your subject. The lens incorporates 7 diaphragm blades which enable you to create a good-looking soft 'bokeh' effect to make your subject stand out from the background perfectly, especially at the f/2.0 aperture setting. At 28mm you have a maximum aperture of f/2.0, and its f/2.8 at the 112mm telephoto end, so the lens is plenty fast.

You might find the occasional compact digital with a 4x lens that's as good as the one on the X20, but you'll be very hard pressed to find one that's better, at least not yet.

Regarding image performance, the colors produced in images are pleasingly saturated without being overdone. The standard color setting (Provia) is good for most situations, while for portraits you may want to play with the Astia color setting, which renders images with a softer look for better skin tones. The Velvia emulates a more saturated fine-grained slide film, which is the choice of many nature and landscape photographers but you should explore these film emulations to see which is best for your shooting.

The X20 has an increased sensitivity ISO range going to ISO 12,800, but for best results, you may wish to stick between ISO 100 and 800. At ISO 1,600 you'll begin to get soft details with some grain present, and beyond ISO 3,200, contrast drops and noise becomes noticeable. These are subjective observations, and your level of acceptability may be different.

A full 360° panorama can be shot, and the panoramic options can be found in the Advanced mode.

The Advanced Filters selection offer a choice of eight artistic effects, and you can preview the effect on the LCD monitor before you press the shutter button. These filters cover High Key, Low Key, Soft Focus, Toy Camera (with shaded borders), Miniature, Pop Color, Dynamic Tone, Partial Color (retain one color and change the rest of the photo to b&w), along with multiple exposure. Have not fully explored all of these filters, but the High Key and Dynamic Tone filters are surprisingly creative for in-camera work.

Video performance of the X20 was good, and resulted in sharp details and excellent colors, though I'll admit that I'm an infrequent video shooter and easily satisfied in this regard. The continuous autofocus on the X20 performs well with a gradual transition from close to infinity. You can shoot 1920 x 1080 Full HD videos, and the onboard stereo microphone also picked up ambient sounds clearly. There's a movie setting on the mode dial, but be aware that there is no dedicated video button.

There's a built-in automatic flash (referred to as the "Super intelligent Flash"), and for snapshots and the like, it works fairly well. You slide the pop-up switch on the rear of the camera, then select from a variety of modes from the selector to the right of the menu button, such as Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro and Red-eye Removal. It does a reasonably good job, and the built-in red eye works well. If you're serious though, you may want to look at a more powerful flash to mount onto the X20's hot shoe.

◆ Other Observations:

The battery life for the X20 is listed in the specs as being approximately 270 frames, but if you're a heavy user, especially if you have the camera configured for performance shooting, you may find that you get somewhere between 190 and 220 actual shots. During one session taking rapid sequence shots, the battery warning indicator came on at ~150 shots. This is not surprising for this or most other digital cameras, and luckily the Fujifilm NP-50 Lithium-Ion Battery is readily available and worth getting as a backup. Owners of other Fuji digital cameras may already have this battery, as it's the same one that came with my older Fujifilm F300EXR, which is still in service. In any case, it's highly recommended that if you go for this camera, get yourself this backup battery.

The zoom lens is threaded for Ø40mm filters and accessories, and don't make the mistake of ordering a Ø40.5mm filter. That half a millimeter does make a difference, so if you want a UV or protective filter on the front of the lens be sure to get the 40mm size. The other option would be to go for the Fujifilm Lens Hood LH-X10, a two-piece unit that screws into the 40mm threaded end, yet allows for a vast array of commonly available Ø52mm filters... and Nikon DSLR owners probably already have a number of these.

If the Fuji LH-X10 is a bit rich for your blood (check the price), the Fujifilm compatible lens adapter and hood for Fujifilm FinePix X10 is a perfect replacement at a far lower cost, and it accepts Ø52mm filters just like the original LH-X10. I bought this and later a Hoya 52mm Pro-1 Digital UV Filter, and both are on my X20 right now.

I looked at considered a number of case options for the X20, and while there are some nice retro-look leather cases by Fuji and others, found that the Think Tank SubUrban Disguise 5 Compact Shoulder Bag was perfect for my individual needs. It holds not only my Fuji X20, but my Nikon P7700 as well, where either could be grabbed easily and quickly on a moment's notice for fast street photography or action shooting. This solves the problem of where to carry spare batteries, my Android phone and other essentials, along with protecting all against an accidental rain shower.

Speaking of retro, there's a slightly-overlooked feature, and that's with the shutter button. Look closely and you'll see that it's threaded like the old 35mm rangefinders from years ago. This means that if and when you're using the X20 on a tripod, you can employ a mechanical cable release time exposures or for macro photography. There are many different one available here. You can also use a soft shutter release button that screws into that same threaded socket for greater control. It's a nice touch.

To be honest, I did not install the MyFinePix Studio software that comes on the CD. For some it may be a decent, basic way of importing and viewing your photos to your computer, but I cannot offer an opinion. For Adobe users, Camera Raw 7.4 and DNG Converter 7.4 became available as a final release on April 2nd, 2013 as announced by Adobe's Lightroom Journal. The good news for Adobe users is that among others, this upgrade specifically impacts the Fujifilm X20 and the X100S. If you use Adobe software, you know what to do, and enough said on this.

If you want a small point-and-shoot digital camera that slips easily in a pocket, this isn't it. The X20 will fit in many large coat pockets, but is best carried in a bag, a case or around your neck, ready to shoot. The strap might be worth replacing, as its non-slip pad actually chafes the neck if you're wearing a short sleeve or t-shirt in warm weather. This became an annoyance during the first warm day of shooting this spring.

If asked to recommend a better digital camera to advanced enthusiasts, pros looking for a DSLR backup, or amateur photographers wanting to break into street photography, this would be a good choice. And if I had to personally pick one as a sole camera for weekend travel photos, this would be within the top of a very narrow list.

◆ Additional Notes:

After putting the X20 through its paces with thousands of images since it was received, I've ordered a total of three extra Fujifilm NP-50 Li-ion rechargeable batteries as noted in the link above. These have settled down to giving about 200 to 230 exposures per charge. I did order and try a lower-priced third party battery, and after three charge cycles, that battery was only giving 120 to 130 shots. Trashed that one.

Also found that the SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC 8 GB Memory Card with its 95MB/second write time proved to be perfect for sequential high-speed no-lag shooting. This size outlasts the batteries, but there are larger sizes available. Just remember to format it within the camera, and not on a PC or Mac.

◆ Summary:

The FujiFilm X20 is one of many in a growing field of advanced digital compact cameras, and the competition continues to grow. But Fuji has been good in listening to the photographers' needs, and along with the new Fujifilm X100S, we see generational cameras that are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The +50 improvements in the X20 over its predecessor back this up. The Image quality and resolution we find here push it up to class-leading levels, and few can offer a better lens and sensor-size combination. Image quality and a multitude of user options are half the reason that I personally find the X20 to be so good; superb performance and excellent ergonomics make up the rest.
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on 25 March 2013
So far is entirely living up to my hopes and expectation - wonderful quality for Jpeg,s haven't worked with the RAW files yet but can see that for much of my use I may be able to switch to using jpegs directly. Previous to getting this camera I have been torn between using the DSLR for quality and a compact for usability when I don't want to be carrying the bulk of the SLR but with major compromises in usability. This provides a great compromise, the excellent optical viewfinder meaning that it is easier to take pictures in low light... A joy to use and pictures so far have a wonderful texture and colour rendition to them.....
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 January 2015
After I got the X10 it seemed a logical upgrade to move to the X20, there are a number of obvious improvements in this model not least the "optical viewfinder" with shooting information (shutter speed, aperture, ISO) is very welcomed. But the move to the newer X-Trans CMOS sensor brings a very different type of shooting experience from the X10

At first glance this looks very close to the X10 body wise and it is, bar a minor change of buttons (the D pad now has the AF mode on it swapped with the drive mode a minor modification) the camera in other ways is a clone of the prior model (not a bad thing in my view)
You have the same 28-112mm F2-F2.8 lens an excellent optic and fast for a zoom lens. Fuji have re-vamped the menus breaking them into tabs, the RAW button is now the Q button (it brings up the quick menu just like the X10 did after the firmware update)

What's not to like? Well shooting with the X20 proved to be quite a lot different to the X10 and mostly in relation to the sensor.

I'll do my usual summary of good and bad points

Good stuff:
+ Handling is mostly good, with plenty of customisation and custom settings bank (2 postions here to store your camera settings)
+ Excellent build quality solid magnesium alloy case, appealing "retro" styling
+ New optical viewfinder overlay is excellent, it shows approx focus point, ISO, shutter speed and aperture very useful, eye sensor shuts down LCD when being used
+ Some new film modes (pro neg) and the option for double exposures
+ Q menu is very useful and avoids the need to dive into the main menu system
+ You can now customise the min and max auto ISO levels as well as set a min shutter speed
+ New sensor outputs at a native 12mp and is capable of good detail reproduction in some cases it resolved details a bit better than the X10's sensor
+ Phase detect AF is now on the sensor, slight speed improvement, less prone to occasional focus errors v the X10 solid performance all round
+ Good flash exposures with intelligent balancing of ambient and flash (a Fuji strong point for a while now)
+ How shoe for external flash
+ You now have an external mic input (but sadly it's not a 3.5mm standard you'll need an adapter)
+ Audio levels can be adjusted in video mode, you can also use creative filters in video mode
+ 12fps continuous shooting, you can develop jpegs from raw in camera

Weaker areas:
- The X-Trans CMOS sensor can't compete with the EXR in terms of dynamic range there was a notable difference in output between the two with the X20 struggling with shadows and highlights esp at DR 100% and in tricky harsh lighting even at DR 400% wasn't able to match the X10
- Video output is quite weak, worse than the X10 details are poor and false colours are evident odd choice of fps (60fps and full HD no 30fps option) focus still tends to hunt like the X10 despite the new AF system, bar audio levels no manual controls
- Jpeg engine has strong noise reduction/smearing even at the -2 setting, black speckles a problem with higher DR settings
- SR+ is a poor substitute for the X10's EXR mode (really just another advanced auto program)
- Battery life isn't great, I struggled to get 200 shots per charge (below the indicated CIPA rating) even with low flash use
- I noted a loss of saturation at higher ISO levels even in raw most problematic at ISO 1600 and over
- Metering tends to underexposure (by quite a bit esp low light) shadows can be plugged

On paper the X20 does just about everything right and improves on the X10 in every way (some improvements are minor, some very welcomed) The start up times are quicker, card writing is more rapid, the new phase detect does increase accuracy somewhat too, the major one though is the optical viewfinder which was just "bare" on the X10 now has a raft of useful information on exposure which really makes it a more viable option and one you might actually want to use it.

Body wise Fuji got it right ironing out the kinks with this model

**Image Quality**

In normal light the X20 is capable of good image quality with good detail retention and pleasing colour output. White balance whilst not perfect also seems better in artificial light, though somewhat cool at times in daylight.

I ran the X20 head to head with the X10 and found both cameras are very different animals and require a unique way of working. Firstly the X20 has the much heralded X-Trans CMOS sensor this has proven popular with Fuji's APS-C line of ILC X cameras, here though it doesn't seem to do as well, at least that's what I found field shooting the cameras

In harsher lighting the X20 was prone to blowing out the highlight end and crushing the blacks, not helped by the cautious metering, you do have DR 200/400% just like the X10 but there is no option to shoot at 6mp (sensor is a non bayer but the EXR has a unique layout designed for big dynamic range) this means the X20 ramps up the ISO levels (ISO 200 at DR 200% ISO 400 at DR 400%) with images degrading due to noise. At full resolution DR 400% did improve the DR quite a lot, but it was no match for the X10's EXR sensor which even at full resolution was able to pull in more shadow and highlight details. In 6mp EXR mode the X10 hands down thumped the X20 esp raw where there was quite a significant gap between the two models. In normal light DR 200% might prove adequate for dynamic range on the X20, but the option to shoot at 6mp with the EXR sensor is sorely missed.

At full resolution the X20 in "some cases" was able to show better details than the X10, but the difference was not large, and in some shots the X10 seemed to do better. Either way it's not significant and didn't yield a huge step up despite the lack of AA filter on the X20

At high ISO levels the metering of the X10 worked better (it's more generous and aggressive which helps reduce noise) I had to add most times about a stop more exposure to the X20 to match the X10, whilst colour noise was less than the EXR sensor, colour fidelity and saturation took a dive (even using raw with no NR at all) The X20's sensor seems to lose vibrancy at high ISO levels more than the X10's. I would have to say that the X10's low light image quality is better than the X20's in both raw and jpeg

Jpegs:
A special note on this one, the X10 had good jpegs not perfect but an ideal balance between detail retention and noise reduction (my setting was -2 for more details) some noise but details were maintained. This has changed entirely ont the X20 at normal settings the NR is strong even at lower ISO levels, setting the camera to -2 did improve things but artefacts and speckles were noted in images, quite a lot of smoothing. Most users want a choice so it's odd even the lowest NR setting still has strong smearing of details.

**Video**

I don't shoot much video but was very surprised to see a notable downturn in video quality on the X20, whilst this isn't that important to me it's hard to be comfortable with the step backwards, whilst you can adjust sound levels and the built in mic is quite good (captures a decent frequency range in stereo), the footage lacked definition (false colours) and had a hazing when shot in low light. The choice of only 60fps for Full HD is also a strange one, there is no option for 30fps. Quality is significantly worse than the X10 video output (which itself was far from a benchmark in a premium compact)

Conclusion:

I liked the X20 in every way except the change to the new sensor, whilst I've personally used the X-Trans CMOS sensor on some of the APS-C offerings for some reason this smaller sensor just doesn't seem to benefit from the technology. The EXR sensor is in my view better suited to this size of sensor.

Had I not shot with the X10 extensively for some time I might be happy enough with the X20 in normal shooting it does quite well, but when the tables turn and you face harsher contrasty lighting, the EXR sensor just stretches it's muscles and can deliver class leading dynamic range. With the X10 you can set the camera to 6mp DR 400% and in almost all situations hold highlights and shadow details very well, in raw the latitude goes beyond what you would expect from a small sensor camera. Shooting with the X20 you will have to try to hold the highlights and pull up the shadows in post, this camera favours raw shooting over jpeg (by some margin) the jpegs themselves are not up to the usual Fuji standard either with aggressive noise reduction and smearing fine details.

Both cameras demand their own way of working, if you have used the X10 then you cannot apply the same shooting methods to the X20, you will have to be much more careful with exposures, shooting the X10 is like shooting negative film, the X20 much closer to slide the latitude is less.

Fuji have improved the X20 in almost every way over the X10, except in the most important aspect and that is the sensor. For whatever reason the X20 just doesn't manage to match the X10's impressive tonal and dynamic range, and at the end of the day this matters more than the other improvements. The X20 is a camera that if you've never shot an EXR Fuji you may get along with quite well, but the X10's ability to tame difficult exposure situations and offer a solid performance in lower light remains unchallenged.

I sold the X20 and replaced it with another X10, I honestly just prefer the images from the X10. If you don't need a big dynamic range compact and are happy to shoot raw and video output isn't important the X20 is a solid enough camera, but if you want a compact that punches up with bigger sensor cameras at least with dynamic range, albeit with some warts and niggles the X10 is the one to hunt out, or look at some of the ILC models from various makers which feature bigger sensors.
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on 28 March 2013
It all depends on what kind of shots you want to make. So far i've found the colours and B&W excellent, as are the jpegs. Even the noise at higher ISOs is quite pleasing. I'm happy to use this camera up to ISO 1600 for many every day snaps, and beyond for some shots that really demand it. The focus is fast enough for me, although does not focus so easily on objects with very little contrast. The focus point can be altered across the whole field of view very easily. Quick menu is a real blessing, and the camera dynamics work well for me with a wrist strap and the black leather fuji case. The view finder is helpful and acceptable, not brilliant.The screen can be a bit laggy, but causes no problems i've noticed. I bought this camera primarily for fun and ease of use combined with good quality photos across a broad range of subjects, especially macro. I'm not disappointed. I've debated wether to do away with my DSLR and macro lens, i'm still holding on to it at the moment. The X20 is the kind of camera i can take anywhere and expect to get a good quality image that was fun to make.
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on 20 April 2014
Last time I went abroad I took a 7D and three lenses in a large and ostentatious camera bag which only just fitted the overhead locker in the aircraft. Next time I won't even be paying for hold baggage - this camera, a mini-tripod and everything else I'll need, photographic and otherwise, will be carried in an average-sized back pack in the cabin. In terms of extra charges for hold luggage this camera could pay for itself after a dozen trips or so. It's reassuringly solid to the touch without feeling weighty - I simply don't need anything smaller. Neither do I need to lug around the sort of kit which attracts thieves and puts people on their guard against long lenses. With a wrist strap, the X20 can be enclosed in the palm and fingers of one hand and is scarcely noticeable. Twisting the barrel to turn the camera on and off is certainly a novelty but is a decisive action and probably makes for less clutter on the top plate.

The X20 packs in multiple features, has functional beauty, is sturdy and versatile. Fuji has realised that many people who have previously depended on optical viewfinders still want to have that alternative in order to frame a shot - for me, holding a camera at arm's length to compose a picture in bright sunlight has never been ideal, especially when it could be steadied against the face with a clear view through a conventional OVF. It won't be an accurate DSLR view, of course, but good enough. Parallax can be checked on the LCD for nearer subjects if necessary. Results are very crisp, colours are accurate, the Q-button helps one make quick adjustments to settings, and the exposure compensation dial is in exactly the right position. You can see its effect on the LCD as you prepare a shot and it's resistant enough not to be turned in error. I haven't got round to considering all the menus, film types, arty filters or even using RAW but I'm aware that there is enough scope for technically varying shots to keep one thinking about multiple possibilities, although the absence of a ND filter is frustrating. The panoramic mode is a feature which I thought of as gimmicky before buying this camera but I've found myself using it more and more in order to convey the general location and scale of a scene before homing in on details. The two macro modes give highly detailed results, especially used with the self-timer and mini-tripod. Some functions, including erase and the self-timer,are operated via a slightly fragile-looking dial on the back, which is also needed for manual focussing. This part feels relatively breakable compared to the rest of the camera, especially as you have to turn it many times for manual focussing on the LCD.

The only accessories I've found necessary to add are the lens hood (which does obstruct the OVF view, but with minimal real effect), a UV filter and a 52mm polarizing filter (which screws, with a bit of patience, into the lens hood), as well as a spare battery - although I haven't had to use that yet. I've found a wrist-strap to be more convenient than the neck strap - a DSLR-type item I wanted to dispense with.

The bright zoom lens (f2-2.8 max) reaches a 112mm equivalent which may be too modest for some users. I've found it fine for most purposes and the lens is so sharp that images can be cropped to produce the equivalent of a higher magnification.

I went for this in preference to the far more expensive X100S because, despite its larger sensor, EVF and higher quality images, I knew I'd be frustrated eventually by the total lack of any zoom. The Sony RX100II was too small, looked a bit slippery to hold, had no optical viewfinder and I had doubts about the usefulness of its aperture range. I didn't buy a CSC because, although they're lighter, I would still be going to be carrying a load of lenses about and having to change them at awkward moments - the one time-consuming and fiddly DSLR habit I was looking to avoid.

After a few months of use the X20 so far has not let me down - the images are excellent, the shutter delay is minimal and the auto-focus is virtually instantaneous. With its sensor size I wouldn't expect it to perform like my 7D in every respect but I can say that the X20 is an pleasure to use. I won't ditch the 7D and all its lenses just yet but I do find myself using it less and less and I won't be taking it on my travels any time soon. The X20 is simply too light, convenient and versatile to leave at home. Most importantly - the results are far, far better than I expected from the compromises which must go with a sensor of this size. If, like me, you've reached an age where you dread humping a whole load of gear around in the heat or up hills - the X20 is a godsend.
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on 31 March 2013
I have a Canon 60d (15-85) which I love, I've always been looking for the ultimate convenient smaller second camera - have owned a Sony NEX5n, Canon S100, Pansonic GH2, I didn't buy the X10 when I heard about the orbs and was waiting for this camera for quite some time. - I have to say none have come close to the shots I'm getting from this camera. I have two fast moving kids, and although the camera isn't as fast as my DSLR I can safely say the shots I'm getting are great, very rich and the fuji color modes are v nice! The viewfinder overlay works extremely well too!

Personally I find the Sony/Panasonic menus very tedious- the sheer amount of direct SLR type control on the x20 makes for a much more fun experience.

Well done Fuji!
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on 23 May 2013
don't want a camcorder... would not use it enough BUT want to take good quality video sometimes. Have DSLR(s) but often need to use a point-and-shoot... this not only ticks all the boxes, its a work of art. Glorious to use and fabulous performance. The quality of the pictures for a non-DSLR is incredible, the depth of field is superb and highly defined on the margins of the central focus. BUY.
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on 24 December 2013
I am a former professional photographer with a variety of cameras. I needed a smaller 'carry around' camera as my increasing arthritis sometimes makes my Nikon D90 too painful to use. After much searching I settled on the X20 and have been trying it out for about six weeks or so at the time of writing, only with Jpeg images so far.

It is a very well made sturdy metal bodied camera with an excellent lens (albeit with a relatively short range compared to the competition) that is a pleasure to hold and to use. Focus lock is fast and accurate, about 99% of the time, with the usual 'hunting' in extreme low light conditions. The menus are more or less intuitive, except for some of the advance functions and the manual should be your best friend at first. The Fuji leather case, albeit expensive, is indeed excellent and will last many years and I would recommend it.

Pros:
· Light and portable.
· A pleasure to use.
· Very quick start up time.
· Fast accurate focussing 99% of the time.
· Excellent macro.
· Exposure accurate 99% of the time.
· Exposure compensation dial is stiff, which is good, as you are therefore unlikely to knock it accidentally which is a real bonus if you are a reportage' 'Street Photographer'.
· A reasonable range of filters and effects, although the lack of a ND filter is in my opinion, a significant lack of foresight by Fuji.
· Having a viewfinder is useful in bright light, although the shortcomings of all such viewfinders are well known. However, the icon in the viewfinder will indicate when there is a focus lock and roughly show you the focus point, wherever you have set it, but, is not really accurate enough for focussing on small areas - use the LCD screen for this whenever possible. I would always much rather be with a viewfinder than without it though.
· Flash range reasonable, although the External Flash Hot Shoe is of course essential for more creative indoor work.

Cons:
· Command Wheel feels a little slack and I would had preferred it to be stiffer to avoid knocking into unintended functions, although I expect to get used to it.
· Built in flash ISO default is 800 which is a bit high for my liking although of course it does give increased range. I have not yet found it there is a way of altering this default setting.
· Manual focussing, even using Peak Focus at the 'High' setting, is very awkward using the Command Wheel and in practice, next to useless as it easily knocks all other Command Wheel functions. So only really useful if the X20 is on a tripod, and you have alot of time, say in a studio, although this is clearly not really a studio camera. I assess that Manual Focussing is a major shortcoming of the X20 and if you rely on manual focus alot in your outdoor photography for fast snappy results, then this is not the camera for you.
· The jpegs straight out of the camera are really quite flat. Whilst you can of course alter the camera settings to adjust this, I prefer to always use default settings and do this later with photo software (I use PSP X4 Ultimate which is cheap and most excellent for even quite advanced users) as I find this gives you more control. The jpegs do, however, provide alot of detail and therefore give you plenty of latitude to alter them later: if you cannot be bothered with this, then you will need to enjoy playing with the controls until you find settings that provide you with the sort of 'out of the camera' image that you prefer.
· Significant Noise creeps in past ISO 400, although this does not by any way make the images unusable.
· Battery life is not brilliant, so buy a spare and carry it with you if out for a full day's shooting.

Summary:
A great all rounder carry around camera that will give you great results most of the time, but do not kid yourself that it is going to replace your DSLR in image quality terms, for although they are good, they do not compare.
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on 6 September 2014
Bought for my wife as an upgrade to a Sony point and shoot. Takes great pictures but she struggles at times as it has potentially many more features to learn. Optical viewfinder is very useful on a sunny day as the screen seems particularly prone to reflections. Great retro looks and excellent build quality.
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