Here’s the camera photographers have been eagerly waiting for, but does the Fujifilm X-T2 have what it takes to be a DSLR killer? Michael Topham puts it to the test
Fujifilm X-T2: Build & Handling
There was a lot to like about the X-T1’s build quality. It demonstrated that it was strong enough to survive heavy day-to-day use, and the same can be said of the X-T2. Pick it up and you instantly get the impression it’s built to last. And with no fewer than 63 weather seals around the body it reassures you that you can keep shooting in inclement conditions and not let the weather be the judge of when you stop. During my testing the body got a soaking in a torrential rain shower, but didn’t suffer from water ingress or any operational issues. That’s not to say you shouldn’t forget about taking precautionary measures to prevent any long-term damage of course.
Although there was nothing glaringly wrong with the X-T1’s ergonomics, changes have been made to make it an even more intuitive and enjoyable camera to operate. The new AF point toggle selector it inherits from the X-Pro2 is a prime example. It saves you shifting the AF point using the four-way controller. It’s great for nudging the AF point quickly and highlights the current position of your AF point with a single press or instantly repositions the AF point back to the centre with a double press. The buttons at the rear feel different to the X-T1’s too – they’re slightly softer when pressed and are well damped.
Those with an eye for detail will notice that the small movie-record button on the top plate has been removed. Users will now find movie mode added to the drive-mode settings beneath the ISO dial, and it’s the shutter button that’s used to commence and end a recording. This itself has changed slightly and not only does it now sit higher on the top plate like the other three dials, it’s threaded so that it can accept the screw-in type of cable release. Below the shutter speed dial are four metering modes (Multi, Spot, Average and Center Weighted), but I did find it rather difficult to get enough of my index finger to rotate it when it was set to average or spot. The same can be said for the drive-mode switch, which has the same design and could be made easier to rotate from its panorama setting.
The level of customisation on the X-T2 is sublime. Head into the setup menu and enter the button/dial settings and you will be able to assign different tasks to one of the six customizable function buttons around the body. In addition, it’s possible to assign new roles to the rear AE-L and AF-L buttons. In use, I found myself assigning AF-ON to the AE-L button at the rear of the camera for back-button focusing and set wireless communication to the Fn1 button on the top plate to initiate a faster Wi-fi connection, with my mobile devices running the Fujifilm camera remote app.
In similar fashion to the X-Pro2, the X-T2 benefits from dual card slots at the side behind a larger weather-sealed door with a catch to prevent it from opening unexpectedly. It supports the high-speed USH-II standard, and as well as being able to backup both cards simultaneously, you can set the camera to switch to the second card when the first is full, record raw files to one and JPEGs to the other, and specify which you’d prefer to use for recording movie footage. Another minor alternation involves the exposure-compensation dial that now has a ‘C’ setting. This setting gives users the opportunity to dial in up to +/-5EV using the front command dial and check what it’s set to via a small exposure scale that’s presented on the left edge of the screen/EVF. Turning the camera upside down also reveals the tripod thread is now in line with the camera’s optical axis where it was previously offset on the X-T1.
The X-T2 is fractionally larger and heavier than the X-T1, but when you shut your eyes and pick up one and then the other you really can’t tell the difference. The handgrip fits the average-sized hand very well, and most importantly, it’s a camera that’s extremely comfortable to hold over prolonged spells. While the feel of it in the hand can’t be faulted, the only thing about the camera I’d change if given the option would be the way ISO sensitivity is controlled from the top plate ISO dial.
In hindsight, had Fujifilm introduced a ‘Q’ setting or such to the ISO dial, users could, if they wanted, override the top-plate dial and access ISO via the quick menu or assign it to a function button. This would get around the issue of pulling your hand away from supporting a heavy lens, which I found rather awkward at times with large zooms such as the Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR.