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Reviewing the Fujifilm X-T2 – trying it out

Recently I was given an opportunity to borrow the Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless camera. I love trying out new gear and reviewing it, but with it also comes the sadness of having to give gear back at the end of the loan period.

People are always telling me how lucky I am to borrow gear, but I’m starting to think it isn’t such a great thing. I fall in love with gear that I will never be able to afford. I am wondering if I should stop doing it.

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Why mirrorless?

Mirrorless is like a whole new country for me. I know that the cameras do most of the same things that a DSLR will do, but there are also differences. I still don’t fully understand it all, but I’m getting there. I know that the four-thirds sensors are much smaller, but the full frame ones are similar.

One thing for sure is that they are smaller. They fit very nicely in your hand and make taking photos so easy. They weigh far less than most DSLRs and that makes them great. Even more so when you are taking lots of photos. I’ve watched a friend fall in love with hers. She seems to prefer the ease of it over her DSLR.

Admitting that I don’t know a lot about them, was a big step. I contacted Fujifilm Australia and they were more than happy to help me understand. I still don’t understand them completely but have a better idea now.

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Fujifilm cameras

I asked if I could borrow one that would help me to learn how they work. I wasn’t expecting anything special, but they recommended the X-T2 camera, along with the XF10-24mm F4 lens and the 56mm as well. It seems I was going to try something quite amazing.

Initially, I wanted to try it for the time lapse that I was doing. It was fantastic for that. Though, since I had it I thought I should try it out for lots of other photography as well. Of course, for me, that means long exposure photography.

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Long Exposure Photography

For most of the time I had the X-T2 I used the XF10-24mm F4 lens. It was perfect for long exposures. There were so many things that made it so much easier.

It was so good being able to see through the filters without any trouble. The electronic viewfinder was incredible. One thing I liked was how when you have the photo on the back and you put the viewfinder up to your eye it switched over. It is the same with viewing photos. You can see them on the screen, or you can look through the viewfinder and see it. That was really good, and a feature I loved.

I got some great long exposure images and was so happy. I love using it on the tripod. I had to keep checking it to see if the camera was still on it. My back was very happy, I have to say.

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Some of the features

One of the things that is quite interesting with the Fujifilm cameras is the look back to the past.

I remember using Fuji film many years ago when I was still using film to take photos. I love the Velvia film, not to mention their 800, which was fantastic for low light. You could push it to 1600 with no problems. It is good to see in the menu that you can imitate those films with your digital camera.

The Velvia setting was great for the day that I was taking photos around the local park and getting the autumn colours.

Retro feel

There is no doubt that when you first pick up the camera there is a retro feel to it. There are knobs over the top for changing settings like the ISO and shutter speed. The Aperture was changed on the actual lens. It reminded me so much of my first film camera that was all manual. Obviously, it isn’t that way, but the feel makes you feel more like there is a roll of film inside and you are taking photos.

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Reviewing the Fujifilm X-T2 – trying it out

Getting a loan of this camera was an eye-opener for me. After thinking that I would never go mirrorless, I’m starting to wonder if I should rethink that idea.

It is an idea that will have to stay on hold, the budget is not going to accommodate it right now, but maybe in a few years, you never know, I might sell the Nikon gear and go for a Fujifilm camera.

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61 Responses

  1. I’ve used my Fujifilm XT10 for around two years. After using my old and very trusty Nikon D200 since 2007 I love the Fujifilm for a lot of things, though the D200 still rocks. Now I have a Nikon F100 for nostalgia and film photography, and for digital it’s mostly Fujifilm.

  2. Hi Leanne Great images, as always.

    I didn’t have the cash to go “full pro” on a fuji system as a hobby photographer but I did buy the X-T20 which has almost the same features as as the X-T2. I was going to use it instead of my DSLR when on holiday but since picking it up I have not used the DSLR since and thats 12 months now! The colours are great on Fuji, combined with their film simulations and the ease of controls make it a great choice, certainly for me. I will only go Fuji from now on. The Jpegs produced by the camera are good quality too.

    • Thank you Stever.
      A friend of mine just bought the X-T20. I suspect that is what is happening to quite a few people. I wonder if the same thing would happen to me. Glad to hear you are very happy with it.

  3. Images are so crisp and clear – fantastic shots. I keep wondering about a mirror less camera but do not know the pros and cons

    • Thank you Diana, there only seems to be cons if you need fast autofocus, like for wildlife or sports. I think if you are doing landscape,then it is fantastic.

  4. You know, I think you’re hooked!!! 🙂 Full-frame Nikons are better for frenetic action, especially close in, eg birds exploding into flight, the X-T2’s autofocus isn’t quite up with the Nikons’. Also full frame gives more cropping options, and slimmer depths of field. But apart from these things, I find the X-T2 wonderful, and use it for most of my stuff now. Will there be an X-T3 soon??? Adrian 🙂

    • You know Adrian, I think you are right. I don’t do a lot of cropping with my images, besides what happens with straightening the image. I don’t know if I am willing to give up the Nikon kit to get the Fujifilm gear. What happens if I sell it all to buy it and then, I wish I still had it. I don’t know. Though I suspect if I got the system I would rarely use the Nikon gear.I don’t know about the X-T3, I’ve heard something, but don’t know where I heard it.

    • Well, for the moment at least, I’m sticking with using both the Nikon and the Fuji gear – mostly the X-T2, and then sometimes the D800 where I know that I’ll need full frame and/or v slim DoF and/or very fast autofocus. In the future, mainly due to weight issues, the Nikon gear might go. A 🙂

    • I would probably want to do that as well, but will see how we go. What am I talking about, I can’t afford anything, but I’m thinking,or trying to work out what I could sell to get one. lol

    • Yes, that’s exactly it, exactly what I did – which gear is rarely used / less useful, and thus sellable? A

    • I’m going to have think about this long and hard. I wonder if I would get any money for my D800.

    • D800’s in good condition are still commanding reasonable prices.

    • Yeah, I might have to look into it. Thanks Adrian.

  5. Great review Leanne. It’ll be 2 years this coming October since I switched from Canon to Fuji. There’s absolutely noting I miss about my 5D MkIII and L lenses. The best part for me was that I was able to sell all of that Canon gear for a good enough price to be able to replace it with an X-T2 and lenses that were at least equal, if not better than the L glass I had.

    Oddly enough the Fuji gear put a lot of joy back into photography for me. Don’t get me wrong, I never stopped loving taking pictures, but I almost never took my Canon when I wasn’t going out planning to shoot because it was so damn big and heavy. The Fuji comes almost everywhere with me. I can walk around all day with something like the 23mm, or 35mm F2 lens on my X-T2(I usually take both because they are so small whichever one I’m not using fits in my pocket). That setup is so small and light I never get tired of carrying it around. This has allowed me to get images that I’d either use my iPhone for, or have to try remember to come back some other time with my “real” camera.

    I don’t feel I gave up anything “downgrading” back to an APS-C sensor camera either, except maybe a ton of weight I no longer have to carry.

    Oh, and did I mention the regular firmware updates? Fuji is always putting out firmware updates that either improve existing features, or better yet, add new ones. When was the last time Canon or Nikon added a new feature to an existing model? Fuji does this for older models too!

    All it took was a spur of the moment decision to buy a used XPro1 and 18-55, (a “kit” lens that puts all other kit lenses to shame), to take on a family vacation to Disney and I was hooked. I took my Canon and a couple of lenses, as well as the Fuji on the trip. Except for the one day I stayed late in the park and needed a tripod, the Canon stayed in the hotel room. Had I had the means to mount the Fuji to the tripod I would have never used the Canon at all. Over the course of 10 days the decision was made. When I got home I was done with Canon and I haven’t looked back.

    • That’s incredible Jeff. I have to say I have been sorely tempted to sell all my Nikon gear, but I would be worried that I would need it or want it. Would be good to have both for a few months and see if I used the Nikon at all first.
      I’m with you about the weight, I loved just walking around with it, it was fabulous. I think if I could afford one, I would get it, but it might have to wait.
      Love your spur of the moment decision, brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing your story Jeff, really has me thinking.

    • It was definitely a leap of faith, because there was literally no overlap. I ordered the X-T2, 10-24, and the 50-140 before we left Disney, and the Canon gear was sold within a few days of returning. The way I looked at it was that I was so impressed by the image quality I was getting from the XPro1, the X-T2 had to be even better. Being primarily a landscape photographer I really didn’t see any downside to the switch, other than the learning curve that came with a total brand switch.

    • That’s great Jeff, so good to hear you love it and there have been no regrets. I wonder if I would be the same, I always thought I would never consider mirrorless, but now I find I am just missing it. I might have to do some rethinking. I don’t really do the type of photography that you need that fast focusing for either.

    • I knew mirrorless was in my future, I just thought it was going to be Sony. Other than hearing a few things here and there about the X100 series Fuji wasn’t even on my radar. The thing with the Sony’s, as good as they are the body’s aren’t that much smaller, and the lenses definitely aren’t. Also, when it came to the Sony it just didn’t make financial sense to switch. It would have cost me roughly $800-$1,000 on top of what I was able to sell my 5D3 for to pick up a Sony equivalent. Their lenses, on top of being just as big and heavy as the Canon’s they would replace, were also too expensive.

      With the Fuji I was able to get the X-T2 and lenses (10-25, 50-140, and 35f2) that covered what I had with Canon, and still had almost $800 left over. Granted, I had the 5D3 and all L lenses, so the switch may not be as advantageous to someone with a camera and lenses lower on the food chain so to speak.

      Actually, this brings me to one thing I think of as a negative when it comes to Fuji. They don’t really have anything that fits in the “reasonably priced, entry level” category. Even their new X-T100 is more expensive for just the body than an entry level DSLR with kit lens is.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’d regret making the switch.

    • It is not something I really thought about. I know a lot of people who have gone to Sony, especially, but I just thought I would stay with the DSLR.

      That’s interesting what you are saying about the Sony, I have heard they are quite expensive and I’ve heard people saying that there is a massive range of lenses either. I’m sure that will change at some point.

      I have to say I am seriously considering it, just not sure how to sell what I have. I’ve never sold any of my gear before. I might have to look into it.

      Perhaps they aren’t worried about entry level photographers, I don’t know.

      I will definitely have to think about it. I loved using it and since I handed it back and got back to using the D850, my back has been killing me, I don’t know if it is a sign, lol, maybe.

  6. I’ve had an X-Pro1 for a while now and I would never again buy a DSLR. I am not, of course, a professional and what I like is the feel of a rangefinder so the X-T2 would not suit me; the 35mm, f/1.4 lens is amazing but I dislike the way Fuji handle manual focus so it will go. In fact I’m trying to move back into film, mostly B&W, so the X-Pro1 will be only be used now for when I want quick results, eg for a blog. Having said I prefer rangefinder I’ll often be using an SLR – Olympus or Contax – just because I have many more prime lenses for those. Having both optical and electronic viewfinders with the changeover when you put an eye to it is indeed one of the great features of the Fuji. The colour on ‘natural’ is, I think, better than Nikon (my wife who uses Nikon agrees) but I never liked the enhanced, unnatural colour of Velvia so I don’t like the simulation either.

    • I will never go back to film, hated it, and really don’t like the environmental consquences and all those chemicals. I though the X-T2 was fabulous, then again I rarely use manual focus. my philosophy is why do something that the camera can do so much better and faster than me. There you go.

  7. Interesting conversation….and intriguing ☺

  8. I got a Fujifilm X100 in 2011 and now I have full Nikon and Fuji systems. Increasingly I am taking the Fujis travelling and I may end up giving up the Nikons. Nikon autofocus is still better for wildlife and live music though Fuji is closing.

    I think it’s misleading to talk size and weight in terms of DSLR vs mirrorless, though. Nikon abandoned their DX line for many years after the D300 and failed to develop the range of compact lightweight primes that Fuji has. The main weight difference is not mirrorless vs DSLR camera bodies, it’s in the lenses due to sensor size, especially where you have a range of lenses.

    Nikon will be releasing probably more than one mirrorless camera this year but it’s going to take them some time to overcome the problem they have created for themselves with DX lenses.

    • The Fujifilm was perfect for what I was doing, it worked really well. I don’t really do wildlife or live music, so not an issue.

      You are the second person to say that about the size and weight, but it was very important for me, I liked the size of it, and the weight, compared to my D850 with lens, was great. The X-T2 is not a light camera, but was certainly easier to carry around and use than my Nikon. That is what I found.

      I’ve heard that Nikon are, but you do have to wonder, why has it taken them so long?

    • They were afraid of competing against themselves and their management has been taken over by the accountants.

    • Why aren’t I surprised?

    • While I cant speak to the size/weight difference with Nikon, I can tell you that as far as Canon full frame cameras goes theres a huge size and weight difference. My X-T2 looked and felt like a toy next to my 5D MkIII. Then there are the lenses, every single Fuji lens I own is smaller and lighter than the Canon equivalent that it replaced, while still being equal to, or better, optically.

    • After having tried the Canon 5D4, I can tell the Nikon weighs more. After using the Fujifilm for a few weeks, my back is not happy with the Nikon.
      I agree, they do seem like toys, but my kind of ones. I’m jealous you have one.
      I didn’t think there was any difference in image quality between the D850 or X-T2, not enough for it to matter at least.

    • Yes, but it’s misleading to compare a full-frame DSLR with a crop sensor mirrorless for weight. Nikon and Canon could make crop sensor primes as light and compact as Fuji. Nikon don’t, I don’t know about Fuji. The Nikon D500 weighs 350g more than an X-T2, not much if similar lenses were available to those from Fuji.

    • Does it matter Murray, I’m talking about getting the photos I want, for me they both do the job well. I get similar image sizes, the pixels on the Fujifilm are exactly the same as the Canon 5D4, so for me it is a smaller and lighter camera to work with. That’s all I care about.

    • I was responding to Jeff’s comment. The difference is due mainly to sensor size and designing for that, rather than DSLR vs mirrorless.. Nikon could potentially come out with a range of compact primes this year to go with mirrorless bodies that might also have their standard mount.

  9. Leanne, of course gear is important, but it does not make the owner an artist. What I see in your images shout, “this girl has the eye!”

    I think you know that I have been shoot with the XT-2 since the beginning of the year. I love it! So much so I sold all my Canon gear which provided enough cash to purchase the camera and two lenses. Fuji glass is exceptional and challenges the shooter to push their skills higher to maximise this advantage. I don’t see myself ever needing anything more in a camera body (at least that is what I tell my wife) but I do intend to invest in more glass.

    Thanks for these exceptional photos.

    • Thank you Don, such a wonderful compliment, something very good to hear right now.

      I don’t think I did know you had gone that way. I have to agree, they are fantastic. I suspect if I ever got one my Nikon would most likely sit on the shelf as well.

  10. Hi Leanne, I’m with all the above converts. Departed from my beloved Nikons for an X-T2 over a year ago and never looked back. Actually, it’s my back that thanks me. 😉 I carried both on some trips at first and the Nikon rarely made it out of the bag.
    As Joe said, the EVF is superb and the lenses are fantastic. You had a beautiful result with your trial!
    I enjoyed learning a new system and love the Film Sims and the Panoramic features – need to play with Time lapse.

    • I think my back would thank me too Jane. It has started hurting again since I had to go back to the D850. I have to admit when I had the X-T2 I never felt the need to take my Nikon with me. I was more than happy with the Fujifilm.
      The EVF is incredible. I wish I had known more about that when I had it. I will have to tell my friend who has just purchased one.
      Learning is always good, I loved it too. Great to hear from so many who love the camera as well, thank you Jane.

  11. Thanks Leanne. I’ve been thinking that mirrorless may be needed as I get older. Right now I’m able to hold the DSLR steady, but have stayed away from full-frame because of the extra weight and cost. I think I’ll start the search for the mirrorless.

    • I don’t think you are alone there Anne, seems a lot of us are thinking the same. I loved he ease of using it, which was great. You are right about full frame, my back is hating it right now.

  12. I’ve been shooting with an XT-2 for about 1 1/2 years. I love it for almost everything. I believe the lenses are superior to the Canon I shot before. My only issue is shooting wildlife in action with my 100-440 lens in low light. There it picks up a lot of noise because of high ISO needed.

    • I really didn’t try it for anything like that, it was great for long exposures. Good to hear you love it for everything else. It is an amazing camera. Thank you.

  13. Joe

    Gorgeous images 🙂

    I’m glad to see that you gave the Fuji X-T2 a spin Leanne. Like every new camera from a different manufacturer it’s always a little bit of a learning curve. I was a Nikon user for nearly 40 years. I loved the cameras and the images that I got with them. Once I picked up a Fuji X100s about 5 years ago everything changed for me. The camera controls were very similar to the older Nikon manual focus cameras that I first learned on. Controlling the cameras the old school way was more natural for me, I’m really not a “push a button while I spin a wheel type of person”. Now I own a Fuji X100F, X-T1, X-T2 and a slew of lenses. I think the biggest advantage to the Fuji mirrorless is thier gorgeous electronic viewfinders. It’s so nice to look through the viewfinder and be able to dial the exposure down and see what the image is going to look like before you press the shutter button. I find that my keeper rate is a lot higher with the Fuji’s and my post processing time is less.

    • Thank you Joe.
      It was a real eye opener for me. You are right there is a learning curve, but I didn’t find it too hard, it was good. I didn’t know that about the viewfinder, but what I did see I loved, there was a lot to like. Maybe in another life I will get one, but right now I will have to stick with my Nikon gear.

    • Joe

      I understand you must have a lot of money invested in Nikon. I was lucky enough to sell my entire Nikon system to one person for a good price instead of selling bits and pieces 🙂

    • That’s true, I do have quite a bit there. It would be a lot to sell.

  14. Hi Leanne. I switched from Nikon to Fuji. The X-T2 is a great camera which I use for all my work now. Love the various film simulation that are built in too. Just one point thought, it’s not a full frame sensor. Great photos too,
    Over the results you got with the camera.

    • Thank you Paul, I fixed that bit, the images are huge, the files I mean, I was really surprised. I don’t think I could sell me Nikon gear and get enough money to get one, but maybe one day, in the future, you never know.

  15. Fantastic photos, Leanne! I have been curious about the mirrorless cameras but it’s a matter of cash flow. I hope and yours are well. 😎

  16. Wow! I love the way these photos came out! Mirrorless cameras, how interesting!
    Dwight

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