Recently I had the opportunity to test the new Fuji X-T2.
At start, it was only possible to do some tests with natural light and mainly in the street. Although it is not the kind of environment I use to photograph, this first test had as main objective to serve only as the first contact with the equipment, so that in a second test, which I intend to do soon in concert, im already slightly familiar with the menus and buttons Of the X-T2.
This text is not meant to be a technical text, I am no expert in engineering and certainly the Fuji engineers must have their reasons for deciding to build the X-T2 as it is, in this text I will only share what I found of the X-T2 and what I felt when I photographed with it.
My intention with this test, and with the test in concert photography, is to verify if the X-T2 is a valid option to replace my Canon equipment, at least for concert photography. I like Canon and I am very used to the brand, but as Canon Portugal has decided to close the official service of the brand in Porto, thus abandoning its customers, I can not and do not want to be subject to mailing my equipment to repair In Lisbon by a repair company that I do not know …
It should be noted that Fuji has the official technical service for Portugal and Spain based in Oporto.
Appearance and quality of construction
What pops right into view is the retro look and small size, for those who are accustomed to large and heavy SLRs …
The big round buttons on the top of the body are the first thing that catch my attention, on the left side we can select the ISO, this button in addition to looking quite robust has a button in the middle to lock it, what is great to prevent it of inadvertently Change the ISO, this button also serves to choose the shooting mode.
On the right side of the body we have another large button, also with a lock, which controls the speed and the measurement mode.
Then we have the third large button that serves to control exposure compensation.
The shutter button is in the middle of these two last ones and also serves to turn the machine on and off.
Another aspect that is quickly perceived is the quality of the construction, even without picking up the X-T2 it is perceived that it is very well built, which is confirmed after picking it up for the first time, balanced, very light, which, for those who, like me, come from an SLR is a blessing. Even without checking the weight I believe I can say that the X-T2 with grip and with the lens XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR is lighter than my Canon 70-200 f2 .8L II lens.
Use and ergonomics
At first it seemed like it would be difficult to use, for someone like me who uses canon for some years it was a shock to look at the X-T2 and try to figure out where the commands were and what they were for.
However, it was quick to adapt, at least to understand the basic commands like ISO, Speed, Aperture, which are available in the buttons on the body of the machine.
When I ventured to navigate the menu everything was different from what Im used to, but also there I quickly found my way, of course I did not dominate the equipment, and to change some parameters I had to stop and think, but I was able to do what Wanted without help.
During use it is very easy to change the parameters, the buttons on the top of the body are well positioned and are very easy to use, the “dial” button is also well positioned.
The screen has good quality, at least itgood to use the menu, to view the images neither better nor worse than the one found in other equipment, for me the small screens are not the best choice to verify the quality of the images …
Using the X-T2 with the grip makes all the difference. First it allows greater autonomy, since it makes possible the use of more batteries, this is a point that can be critical, according to what I could read the autonomy of the X-T2, it will not be big, supposedly each battery lasts about 340 Shots, of course this is always relative and also depends on the use of the screen, for example, this is something that I intend to test better in the next test.
The grip also gives more ergonomics to the equipment, and has a shutter button and one “dial” just like on the body. One thing I did not liked very much was the position of the trigger button on the grip, when I use the X-T2 in the horizontal position more than once, I inadvertently triggered the grip button with the palm of the hand, even having a brake It is not very practical to have to unlock the button when we need it, but this is another situation that I will certainly see better in a concert test.
Better than talking about the images its to show some of the tests I did, but one thing I noticed when I downloaded the images to the computer was its size … the 24M sensor produces RAWs with about 48M which might Indicate that the RAW files has tons of information …
I made images under and over exposed to see where the dynamic range of the sensor is capable off …
Highlight recovery test
Shadow Recovery Test
Focus test, hand held, ISO 500, 1/250 f2.8
Real world usage: Concert photography
This time I took the X-T2 to photograph a concert.
As with the first part o this post, it’s not intended to influence anyone, it is only meant to share what I felt and the results I got with the X-T2.
First of all I would like to express my sincere thanks to Fuji Portugal for the help and loan of the equipment for me to carry out the tests.
It is ironic to find a brand so helpful and so available to lend me equipment even though I have never spent a single euro on Fuji equipment, and on the other hand I see Canon, the brand of which I have been a customer, to abandon myself And the other customers of the North of Portugal, by closing the official technical service without even warning the customers …
When I went to get the X-T2 to Fuji headquarters, I already knew I could test it during Mariza’s concert at the Porto Coliseum. I decided to take my usual equipment, the canon, to make the first 5 or 6 songs of the concert with the security of an equipment that I already know well, so as to guarantee my usual work, and then use Fuji in the rest of the concert to to test it without pressure.
I ended up not being able to do what I had planned, when I arrived at the concert I realized that I had to register images during the whole concert, so I decided to use my usual equipment throughout the concert and Fuji at the same time, alternating between them.
This change turned out to be beneficial, because I was able to make images very similar between Canon and Fuji, which helps me to understand the differences between the two, and also made me work with Fuji in a way that is closer to reality.
Right from the start the first impact was the difference in size and weight, now with the canon 5DMkII with the 70-200 2.8 L II next to the Fuji X-T2 with the lens XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR the difference is much more noticeable.
In the first few minutes, and considering thai had a large SLR onthe other side, the impression is that the X-T2 is a fragile piece and should be treated very carefully, but over time I got the idea that, even though it is not as “tough” as an SLR, it is strong enough to withstand the “punishment” of the hardest jobs.
When the concert started, it was rather strange to move from the SLR viewfinder to the X-T2, the digital viewfinder requires, at least for me, some time to get used to it, call me old-fashioned, but I still prefer the SLR viewfinder.
A huge advantage, especially when shooting a fado concert is the silence of the X-T2, in fado I have a few moments in which I can not photograph because of the noise, but with the X-T2 I can always photograph without worrying.
At first, the main concern I had with the X-T2 was the battery life, unfortunately for this test it was not possible to use the grip and so I only used one battery, but I still chose not to take extra measures to save the battery, such as turning off the display for example, I decided to leave everything on.
At the end of the concert I was surprised that the battery indicator indicates full battery, of course I did not use the X-T2 intensely, but when the brand announces a duration of approximately 360 images per battery, it was a surprise to exceed this value and the battery still remaining full.
Speed of use
As I had noticed in the first test, the X-T2 is easy to use. During the concert I felt I had to stop and think before making any changes, it happened to forget to unlock the ISO or Speed buttons, but this Is something that is quickly overcome with frequent use, but I have not lost any image because it took me some time to change the X-T2 settings.
Focus and images
During the concert I felt the X-T2 is fast to focus, although a fado concert is not very demanding in terms of focus speed, but has some dark or backlit areas, but here too the X-T2 performed well, only in two or three extreme situations I could not focus on.
The quality of the images is good, (for me a good image is an image that when seen at 100% in the computer is well focused and sharp, an image that is only used for Internet, since reduced even a blurry image looks good , does not serve me and ends up being deleted.) But a good image may be something relative, so it is best to show some of the images.
Original image without editing (Before) and with quick editing to recover dark areas and improve white balance (After)
Fuji X-T2 | ISO:2000 | f/2.8 | 1/200 | XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR @ 72mm
Comparing Fuji and Canon
Image with Fuji(Before) and with Canon(After)
Fuji X-T2 | ISO:2500 | f/2.8 | 1/160 | XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR @ 87mm <> Canon 5DMkII | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | ISO:1600 – f/2.8 – 1/125s | @170mm
Image with Fuji(Before) and with Canon(After)
Fuji X-T2 | ISO:2500 | f/2.8 | 1/1250 | XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR @ 50mm <> Canon 5DMkII | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM | ISO:1600 – f/2.8 – 1/250s | @70mm
Same images at 100%
It’s not a fair comparison because the Canon has a 36x24mm sensor with 21 Mpx and Fuji has a 23.6×15.6mm sensor with 24.3 Mpx, and of course the most important thing about a sensor is the size of each pixel and here The Canon clearly has an advantage, and I have always used Fuji with a higher ISO than Canon.
- I really liked the X-T2, it does not disappoint and it does its job wonderfully.
- It has several advantages over an SLR like light weight and quiet operation.
- The images are good and if photographed in RAW it leaves plenty of room to recover the highlights or dark areas.
- Of course we are talking about a small sensor where they have to fit 24.3 million pixels very tight, and if for most users this is no problem, it may be for those who need a lot of detail, and great prints, however I believe that this test with a prime lens would have even better results.
- For those who are thinking about buying an X-T2. You will certainly not be disappointed, but I always advise you to try to test it under the conditions in which you will use the equipment, so that you can draw your own conclusion which is basically the only one that matters.