- + Excellent image quality, with lovely JPEG colours
- + Fully articulated screen is great for shooting at creative angles
- + Good range of external controls, surpassing other entry-level models
- + Small size, light weight and attractive retro design
- - Sub-par autofocus performance
- - Joystick is poorly positioned and fiddly to use
- - Unrefined and occasionally buggy operation
- - Touch Menu design is inconsistent and unintuitive
Price as Reviewed:£749.00 (with XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 lens)
Can Fujifilm’s entry-level mirrorless model replicate the addictive charm of its more advanced siblings? Andy Westlake takes an in-depth look
Fujifilm X-T200: Build and handling
Fujifilm has carefully styled the X-T200 to look a lot like its higher-end stablemates, with a large, angular housing for the viewfinder and flash, and an attractive two-tone retro design. If you’re not convinced by the black-and-silver of our review sample, it can also be bought in dark silver and champagne gold versions.
Don’t be fooled by the body shell’s metallic finish, though; it’s actually made out of plastic, which doubtless helps keep the weight down to 370g, making it the lightest in its class. One clear improvement compared to the X-T100 is the addition of a small handgrip, which adds little to the camera’s bulk but allows you to carry the camera surprisingly comfortably one-handed. I’d still recommend the additional security of a wrist-strap, at least.
However this isn’t quite a trimmed-down, lightweight version of the X-T30, as instead of using analogue dials for shutter speed and exposure compensation, it employs two small top-plate electronic dials to change exposure settings. They’re rather better positioned than those on the X-T100, with one placed around the shutter button, and the other on the back corner within easy reach of your thumb. This rear dial changes exposure compensation in the PAS modes, which means that the shooting experience isn’t all that different to the X-T30, much of the time.
As already mentioned, the dial the other side of the viewfinder is assigned to changing the film simulation mode, with a neat split-screen view showing how the current and new options compare. However, it can be reconfigured to a range of other options, and those who like to take a more hands-on approach to exposure may well prefer to set it to control the ISO sensitivity.
On the back you’ll find a smattering of small circular buttons, along with a tiny joystick for repositioning the focus area. But the widescreen LCD means that this is rather uncomfortably squashed across to the right-hand side, immediately below the thumb grip. You also lose the d-pad that was found on the X-T100, which provided a vastly better experience when navigating menus and changing settings, while also providing direct access to white balance, focus mode, and self-timer. To change these, you now have to use an onscreen quick menu, of which the X-T200 rather confusingly sports two.
Alongside Fujifilm’s familiar, and excellent Q Menu, there’s a graphical Touch Menu that previously appeared on the X-A7, with small circular touch buttons dotted around the edge of the screen. This interface is obviously designed to appeal to smartphone users, but frankly, it’s a bit of a mess. Two of the buttons call up sliders to control exposure compensation and depth (labelled ‘sharper’ and ‘blurred’), which is a great approach to giving novices creative control without having to learn about shutter speeds and apertures. But by not showing its working, it misses the opportunity to be a useful learning tool.
The other onscreen buttons operate in infuriatingly inconsistent ways. The touchscreen and focus mode buttons cycle through the available options when you tap on them, but without showing any clear indication that anything has happened. Instead you’re supposed to spot that their icons have subtly changed beneath your fingertip, which is far from obvious.
The aspect ratio button at the lower right similarly cycles through the various options, but more helpfully, displays its new setting in a small menu across the screen. However you’ll probably notice anyway, given that the preview image changes shape. There’s an onscreen help button, marked ‘?’, but it rarely tells you anything useful, preferring to remind you of a function’s name rather than explain the effect it will have on your pictures.
As a result, the X-T200 isn’t very successful in its mission to be a simple, approachable model for beginners. The interface is just too muddled, especially compared to Canon’s excellent version on the EOS M50. But the flip side is that, if you set the top-plate dial to ISO and the Fn button beside the viewfinder to call up the Q Menu, it provides probably the best control setup of any entry-level model for shooting in the PASM modes. It’s not perfect, though; for example there are two different displays for changing ISO, but both make you rotate dials in the opposite direction to what you’d expect.
Another bugbear lies with the 15-45mm kit lens, which uses a powered, rather than mechanical zoom. Like all such lenses, it’s good for controlled transitions when recording movies, but is annoying for making precise adjustments when shooting stills. Mercifully it offers a dual-speed design, with a small twist of the ring zooming slowly, and a large twist operating more rapidly. But it still takes much longer to achieve your desired composition than a normal mechanical zoom.
Fujifilm X-T200: Viewfinder and screen
As befits its mini-SLR shape, the X-T200 sports both an eye-level electronic viewfinder and a rear LCD screen for composing and reviewing your images. The EVF is very much standard Fujifilm fare, being a 2.36m-dot OLED unit with a magnification equivalent to 0.63x, much the same as we’ve seen on its lower-end models since the X-T10. It provides a perfectly decent viewing experience that’s as good as anything else at this price point, although the lack of any meaningful eyecup means that it can quite easily get overwhelmed by bright sunlight.
The EVF provides an accurate preview of exposure and colour mode, and in a neat touch, the comprehensive information display rotates in the viewfinder when you turn the camera to portrait format. If you prefer a more SLR-like viewing experience, Fujifilm’s Natural Live View mode can be engaged from the menu, delivering lower contrast and neutral colours.
Perhaps the X-T200’s most eye-catching feature, though, is its huge rear screen, which occupies most of the camera’s back. It’s a 3.5in, 2.76m-dot LCD with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio that’s perfectly matched to shooting video. Indeed as if to emphasise its sheer scale, Fujifilm also sets the X-T200 to 16:9 for stills by default. Switch to the sensor’s native 3:2 aspect ratio and full 24MP resolution, and the viewing area ends up being the same as a normal 3in display, with black spaces either side. In fact for stills, the screen size is as much a liability as an asset, given how it compromises the control layout.
One clear positive change compared to the X-T100 lies with the screen articulation, which now employs a conventional side-hinged design. This allows it to be placed at almost any angle for low or high angle shooting in both portrait or landscape format, and face forwards for selfies or vlogging. As a result, it’s more flexible than tilt-only designs like that on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. It can also be folded facing inwards to the body for protection when not in use.
Fujifilm X-T200: Autofocus
On paper, the X-T200’s AF system looks much the same as the X-T30’s. It employs a hybrid system that combines on-sensor phase- and contrast-detection, with a choice of either 117 focus points arranged in a 9 x 13 grid, or 425 points in a 17 x 25 grid, covering all but the edges of the frame. You also get notionally the same face detection and subject tracking options.
Unfortunately, though, in practice autofocus turns out to be one of the X-T200’s weak points. I tested the camera using the three lightweight, inexpensive XC-series lenses that it’s most likely to be paired up with, namely the XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ kit zoom, XC 35mm F2 prime, and XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II telephoto zoom. With the first two it usually works acceptably, but it’s not very fast, and really struggles in low light.
Unfortunately, it didn’t fare so well when paired with the 50-230mm. I found that autofocus became progressively less reliable beyond the 135mm position, where the maximum aperture drops below f/5.6, and at 230mm the camera was often unable to acquire focus at all, particularly on distant subjects. Instead, I frequently had to focus manually. Continuous AF performance with the 50-230mm really wasn’t great, either.
Face detection performance is also unremarkable. It only works well when the subject is looking almost directly into the lens; if they turn away even slightly, the camera tends to lose interest, which can lead it to shifting focus onto the background. In comparison, the Canon EOS M50 can keep track of faces across a much wider range of angles.
- Sensor : 24.2MP CMOS, 23.5mm x 15.7mm
- Output size : 6000 x 4000
- Focal length mag : 1.5x
- Lens mount : Fujifilm X
- Shutter speeds (mechanical): 30sec - 1/4000sec
- Shutter speeds (electronic): 30sec – 1/32,000sec
- Sensitivity (standard): ISO 200-12,800
- Sensitivity (extended): ISO 100-51,200
- Exposure modes : PASM, Auto, Scene, Panorama
- Metering : Multi, Spot, Average
- Exposure comp : +/-5 EV
- Continuous shooting : 8fps
- Screen : 3.5in, 2.76m-dot 16:9 touchscreen
- Viewfinder : 2.36m-dot OLED, 0.62x magnification
- AF points : 117 or 425
- Video : 4K up to 30fps; Full HD up to 60fps
- External mic : 3.5mm stereo
- Memory card : SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I)
- Power : NP-W126S Li-ion rechargeable
- Battery life : 270 shots (450 in Eco mode)
- Dimensions : 121 x 83.7 x 55.1mm
- Weight : 370g with battery and card