Field Test: Fujifilm X-T2

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

In the last few weeks I’ve been carrying around the Fujifilm X-T2 and while I have yet to make what would be called great looking images with the camera—I tried when Mark was in Colorado—I did manage to come up with some strong impressions about the camera. Here they are.

Things I liked:

Film Simulation function features simulations of Fuji films, now including (black and white) Acros mode shown in my original post. This mode offers smooth gradation and deep blacks to create monochrome images that are supposedly “better than a traditional Monochrome mode” that’s also included as an option. But that was not my personal experience and I found Acros mode to be bit oversharpened for my taste although you may like it. You might prefer using Monochrome mode or better yet shoot in color/RAW and convert using Silver Efex Pro later. The X-T2 also has the Grain Effect function for reproducing graininess in “Strong” and “Weak,” and can be combined with any of the Film Simulation modes.


Things I didn’t like:

Trying to find the format command is a challenge with this camera’s menus.

The 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens while beautifully built seems expensive ($699) although not as bad when purchased with the body. But, heck $1899 is still a chunk of change. And the 18mm (27mm equivalent) wide angle end of the zoom seems a trifle long when you’re out in the field shooting—especially at that price point—and has some barrel distortion. (The image above was corrected in Photoshop.)

Lack of Exposure Mode dial. You got all those analog dials but none for mode. Instead here’s what you have to do:

  • Manual: Choose a shutter speed, then set lens to manual (diaphragm icon); it’s two steps
  • Aperture Priority: Set shutter speed dial to A, then set lens to manual (diaphragm icon)
  • Shutter Priority: Choose a shutter speed from dial, then set lens to automatic.
  • Program: Set shutter speed dial to A, then set lens to Automatic.

Will somebody please tell me why I wouldn’t trade a real Exposure Mode dial for this system? I’d gladly give up the exposure compensation dial since there are many ways to do with including the one that Panasonic embraced for the Lumix G5 and G6 (a small toggle atop the body) which it then dropped because it was too useful.


Things I’m on the fence about:

The Mini Me 336-page owner’s manual is both thorough and difficult to find information in, like the summary I provided on setting Exposure modes above—that took lots of page flipping. But it was there.

JPEG’s seem oversharpened and I know some of you like that—I don’t. My advice, shoot RAW. And it seems than when writing RAW+JPEG files (I’ve talked about this before) it can be slow writing them, which brings up the question card vs camera?

There is no doubt that the Fuji X-T2 is am impressive camera that does things the way it wants and not the way you might prefer. This is something that won’t cause existing Fuji shooters to blink; they already know how to do it. And while there may be a learning curve for the rest of us, it’s not a deal breaker. The image quality while impressive doesn’t match that of the zombified Samsung I tested but it’s pretty good. Enough to make me switch brands. Let me think about that…