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Customer Review

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic camera, though there are problems in design and layout, 19 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Fujifilm X20 Digital Camera - Black (12MP X-Trans CMOS II With EXR Processor II, 4x Optical Zoom) 2.8 inch Premium LCD (Electronics)
This is a classically designed camera. It feels good in the hand with it's at least partly metal body. I was torn between this and the cheaper Panasonic Lumix LX7. Both are good cameras. The X20 is easy enough to use, with full auto settings but also aperture and shutter priority modes, manual, and programme. Even novices will be able to use this camera, advancing to the independent controls as their confidence and knowledge increases. It is quite a good camera to learn about photography with. I like the manual zoom ring which also acts as the on/off switch, and the dials are fine in use and don't move until you turn them. The LCD screen is bright and clear. The optical viewfinder is a nice addition, offering around 85% of the real view. If you are trying to decide between this and the LX7, then I can offer a few pointers. This camera is all inclusive. You won't need to/be able to buy an accessory electronic viewfinder, whereas the LX7 has no optical viewfinder included - it is an additional expense to buy either an optical or EVF which attaches to the hotshoe. The X20 does not have an ND (neutral density) filter included, whereas the LX7 does. This is useful if you wish, for example, to do slow shutter speed creative shots during the day, e.g. moving water. Both produce good quality j-pegs and RAW files which can easily be post-processed in Photoshop Lightroom for example, although I have found the LX7 RAW files are much more responsive and easy to work with in Lightroom. The LX7 is cheaper, which is a big plus. If you want to put a protective filter and lens-hood on the X20, you can buy an accessory kit from Fuji which costs about fifty-five pounds at the time of writing. Or you can simply buy the excellent Marumi 40mm UV Haze Filter and use that instead. No need for any filter adaptors, this filter screws right in to the lens filter thread. For the LX7, it's a filter adaptor kit and filter you need which will cost around thirty pounds in all.

The colours of the X20 are ok. Nothing to write home about and certainly I wouldn't rave about the 'Fuji colours' as certain online reviewers have. To be honest, this was a disappointment to me as the film simulation modes were a real let down.

I can't make the decision for you; both are cameras which you should consider. The Fuji lens is manual so you don't have the irritation of it motoring in and out as you do on the LX7, and it feels more durable, whereas with the LX7 I get the feeling that the lens assembly when in the ON position is rather delicate and vulnerable. Yet it is annoying in its own right. I sometimes have to think how to turn the thing on as there is no on/off button.

My advice, if you are considering both models, go for the Lumix. If, like me, you are wondering about the X20, take it from me - I tried both and much, much prefer the Lumix.

A good case for the Fuji X20 is the Lowepro Apex 100 AW Shoulder Bag for Digital Cameras/Camcorders - Black. If you don't want to use the supplied Fuji strap, then the Artisan and Artist ACAM 102 Strap for Camera - Black is very nice, although it is a bit of a pain to fit and a nightmare to remove from the camera.

A couple of things I am not so keen on pertaining to the Fuji X20 are:

1. The menu/settings - it's a bit disorganised and all over the place. This would REALLY discourage me from exploring the menus, being more inclined to leave things at factory defaults and also do less experimentation. Some of the descriptive headings used also leave you scratching your head as to what they mean and you have to enter into the heading sub-section to check what it is for. It's just overly complicated and not very user-friendly. I really have to think about everything since there are lots of settings on one side or the other of the camera rear. Lots of buttons, no simplicity. The LX7 is much more intuitive and also has a dedicated ISO button, which the X20 lacks.
2. The autofocus is not always responsive or accurate. Sometimes it struggles to find focus.
3. The rear twirl wheel with the5 buttons is sometimes a bit infuriating - it sometimes passes over the heading you wish to select from the menu and seems to have a mind of its own.
4. The camera typically over-exposes shot.
5. The colour shots often look unnaturally 'smooth' and artificial. I can't put it into words, but there is something almost 'buttery' and contrived about them. The Lumix LX7 does better at people shots - more natural, and the dynamic monochrome setting on the LX7 is superb.
6. Button layout is counter-intuitive. Although it has more buttons than the Lumix LX7, it is nowhere near as smart or intuitive. IT's like they just cast lots to see where the buttons would go and what function they would perform.
7. The twirly circular wheel around the MENU/OK and associated buttons is annoying - it moves too freely and is especially annoying when you are zooming in and out of photos when viewing them in playback, or when making changes to the settings in the menus. I often accidentally touch it when using the camera. I HATE it! I also find that it doubles up on the role played by the other rotating command wheel. When in aperture priority mode for instance, both wheels can be used to make adjustment to aperture. This is needless repetition. In the Lumix LX7, the single command wheel does what you need it to do and I got on very well without having the frantically spinning secondary command wheel.
8. The buttons are all over the place. The layout makes no sense. There are also two special effects settings on the command dial on the top of the camera. There is no reason why these shouldn't have been put in the one setting so you could scroll along to find the one you want. As it is, there are two separate settings. And then to access them is a bother as well. Not like on the Lumix LX7.
9. Did I already mention the smaller command wheel? It feels cheap and is often redundant, not like the similar wheel on the LX7. The X20 wheel has sharp edges and just feels cheap and nasty.

To get a good picture of both the Fuji X20 and the Panasonic Lumix LX7, cameras of a comparable feature set and quality, see my review on the LX7. Click on my name to visit my profile and find it from there.

I have to conclude that, for me, the Lumix LX7 is the better camera - better value for money and more fun to use with it's intelligent design and layout. It's fun whereas the Fuji is without soul.
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