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 : Dynamic range, resolution and noise
With the same sensor and processor combination as the X-Pro2, we expected the X-T2 to produce a comparable set of lab results to its sister rangefinder model, which it does. Making the jump to a 24-million-pixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor will benefit those who like to preserve a higher level of detail when cropping into their images, as well as those who strive for an improved performance at high ISO. Testing the sensor through its range and up to its sensitivity ceiling of ISO 51,200 reveals a near-identical noise performance to the X-Pro2. Users of the X-T2 will have no uncertainties of noise severely degrading image quality between ISO 100-6,400, and colour noise in particular is controlled superbly. As our resolution results below clearly show, the X-T2 benefits from the lack of a low-pass filter, and the level of detail the sensor manages to resolve right up to ISO 12,800 and 25,600 is worthy of recognition.
Our dynamic range tests indicate that the X-T2 exceeds 13EV when the camera is set to its lowest sensitivity setting. Rotating the ISO dial clockwise from its expanded ‘L’ (ISO 100) setting to ISO 200 sees the figure drop to 12.7EV, with the dynamic range figure staying above 10EV up to ISO 800. At higher sensitivities the figures drop to a still-respectable 9.5EV at ISO 1,600, 8.4EV at ISO 3,200 and 7.8EV at ISO 6,400. Similar results were recorded from the X-Pro2 at these sensitivities, and the X-T2 figures remain above the critical 6EV right up to ISO 25,600. It’s only when you twist the ISO dial to its ‘H’ setting and have it set to ISO 51,200 that the dynamic range figure begins to drop below 6EV.
The level of detail recorded by the new 24MP sensor is a noticeable improvement on the X-T1. It resolves a maximum of 3,400l/ph between ISO 100 and ISO 400, much like the X-Pro2, with resolution dropping ever so slightly at ISO 800 to 3,200l/ph. The way the X-T2’s sensor resolves detail at higher ISO’s is remarkably impressive, and at ISO 3,200 and 6,400 the level of detail exceeds 3,000l/ph. The detail resolved at ISO 12,800 (2,800l/ph) remains high, and the sensor even manages to resolve 2,400l/ph when shooting in the expanded ISO 51,200 setting.
A close inspection of our diorama test images displayed exceptionally clean results with barely any trace of luminance noise between ISO 100 and ISO 800. At ISO 1,600 you can just make out luminance noise starting to creep in, but it’s not a major concern and you won’t notice it unless you go searching for it at close magnification. Luminance noise starts becoming more apparent in images at ISO 3,200 and 6,400; however with a touch of noise reduction applied there’s nothing that should stop you pushing to these sensitivities if a low-light shooting opportunity presents itself. Rotating the ISO dial to ISO 12,800 introduces more luminance noise, but the level of fine detail that’s recorded remains high. I certainly wouldn’t hold back from using this setting if needed, but it would require some vigilant application of noise reduction in post. Users could turn to the expanded ISO 25,600 setting in emergencies, but ISO 51,200 should be avoided as there’s a big drop in saturation.