First Impressions: Fujifilm X-T2

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

It’s worth repeating that it’s been a while (how long?) since I’ve tested any camera from Fujifilm. It’s only worth mentioning because I sometimes get requests from readers asking, why don’t you write more about Fuji gear. One reason we added Jay Farrell to the team is so he could focus on Fuji mirrorless cameras along with recent contributions from the redoubtable Millie Alpern and new contributor Matt Staver.


Unlike Samsung, which produced an absolute killer mirrorless camera—image wise anyway—the Fujifilm XT-2 (can we drop the whole “film” thing, nobody calls’em that) is pretty close to the size of the Olympus E-M1 Mark I*. Although it could be quantaitively argued the E-M1 Mark I ($899) is lighter and qualitatively more attractive. Fuji’s XT-2 ($1,599) embraces the chunky styling that’s part of their 35mm SLR aesthetic and you can’t beat’em up about honoring their heritage, just like Olympus does.

The X-T2 uses Fuji’s randomized pixel array 24.3MP APS-C (23.6 x 15.6mm) sensor omitting an optical low-pass filter in a trend that seems to be all the rage with the kids these days. When paired with the X-Processor Pro, the sensor produces a native sensitivity range up to ISO 12,800 that can be expanded to ISO 51,200 just in case. The X-T2 offers UHD 4K video as well as an 8-bit 4:2:2 HDMI output.


The weather-sealed body sports an OLED EVF and there’s a 3.0-inch three-way LCD screen that permits shooting at odd angles, including portrait orientation. AF consists of 325 points, including phase-detection points when photographing moving subjects. These phase-detection points cover approximately 50% of the width and 75% of the height of the imaging area. The camera has a stubby joystick for adjusting and changing the selected AF point or area, something I really liked. The X-T2 has dual SD card slots for flexible storage and both card slots are compatible with UHS-II standards.

This is one beautifully crafted camera from top to bottom. It has an overall build quality I wished some of my Panasonic bodies (GX85 excepted) would have. And it’s better built than a contemporary 24.2 MP APS-C Canon like the 80D ($1,199) so it’s surprising how much more build quality and weather sealing you get for that extra $400.


Then there are the real jumping-up-and-down analog dials just like a film SLR without all the flippy mirror stuff. The top plate incorporates a series of locking dials and levers for fast, adjustment over exposure settings, including a shutter speed dial with a mechanical shutter speed range from 1 to 1/8000 sec, as well as bulb and T settings. There’s a real ISO dial and another for Exposure Compensation (one of my favorite tools) that lets you choose +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps with a command dial expanding the range to +/- 5 EV. Where is the exposure mode dial or setting? That’s a long story and will be discussed in my next post.

fuji-gripA nice looking metal hand grip MHG-XT2 ($129) is optional as is the bulkier but functional Vertical Power Booster Grip VPB-XT2 ($329.) The Vertical grip give you the ability to add the power (and weight) of two more batteries, bringing the grand total up to three batteries, so you can probably shoot all day without worrying about recharging the batteries.

More to come in my field test but I can already tell you why so many people love their Fuji mirrorless cameras.

*As I write this, the Olympus E-M1 Mark II was just announced at photokina and I don’t have any details as to how it compares size wise to the Mark I and X-T2. It may be bigger since a new battery grip (HLD-9) was announced for it, instead of making the camera compatible with the Mark I’s grip.