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 at a glance:
- £749 with XC 15-45mm lens
- £799 vlogger kit including tripod and microphone
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- ISO 100-51,200
- 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder
- 3.5in, 16:9 articulated touchscreen
- 4K video recording at 30fps
Ever since Fujifilm launched the X-T1 back in 2014, SLR-shaped models have formed the backbone of its mirrorless range. It’s not hard to see why: both the X-T1 and its successors have drawn widespread adulation. The firm successfully distilled the X-T1 down to a cheaper model with the X-T10 in 2015, which likewise went on to sire a much-admired line, including last year’s superb X-T30. In 2018 the X-T100 appeared as an even more affordable entry-level option aimed at beginners stepping up from a smartphone, and now we have its successor, in the shape of the X-T200.
Fujifilm’s new baby is up against some strong competition in this sector of the market, with the likes of the Canon EOS M50 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III also providing a ‘mini SLR’ form factor and shooting experience. However, on paper the X-T200 looks extremely appealing for an entry-level model. It sports no fewer than three top-plate control dials for changing settings, along with a joystick for repositioning the focus area. For video it provides 4K recording at 30 fps, a stereo microphone input, and a huge 3.5in 16:9 fully articulated touchscreen. This is all rounded off by an appealing retro design.
As is often the case with a new model, the camera’s £749 introductory price tag looks high relative to its older competitors, but will presumably drop over time. So does the X-T200 live up to its promise?
Fujifilm X-T200: Features
One aspect where the X-T200 differs significantly from its pricier X-system siblings lies with its core components. Rather than the firm’s exclusive X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, it employs a 24-million-pixel APS-C CMOS sensor with a conventional Bayer colour filter array. Equally significantly, while the firm likes to tout its quad-core X-Processor 4 in higher-end models, no mention is made of what powers the X-T200. In fact it’s essentially the same camera as the cheaper, flat-bodied X-A7, but with a viewfinder tacked on top and some additional controls.
Being an entry-level model, the X-T200 offers fully automatic ‘point-and-shot’ operation, with a range of scene modes optimised for different kinds of subjects. Three of these – landscape, sports and night – are directly accessed from the mode dial, with thirteen more selectable from the cryptically labelled SP position, including such options as portrait, sunset, beach and flower.
In addition, a choice of twenty image-processing filters can be found under the Adv. position, and there’s a panoramic mode, too. More ambitious users can switch to the usual quartet of program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes, which give access to the full set of camera features, along with raw format recording.
In the PASM modes, the X-T200 provides a standard sensitivity range of ISO 200-12,800, with extended settings of ISO 100, 25,600 and 51,200 available when shooting JPEG files. When set to continuous shooting it can achieve up to 8 frames per second with a respectable 18-frame raw buffer, or 4 fps with live view between frames, with a 30-frame buffer. Oddly, the highest sensitivity is restricted to ISO 6400 at either frame rate.
One of the biggest attractions of Fujifilm cameras lies with the firm’s superb colour science, and the X-T200 is no exception, with a choice of 11 different colour and monochrome looks available. These have their roots in the firm’s old film emulsions: alongside the standard Provia mode, you can select the punchy, saturated look of Velvia, or the more muted Astia, which is my personal favourite. Portrait shooters may like to experiment with the two ProNeg options, while mono lovers are well served too. This isn’t the full set found in the X-T30, but it still provides plenty of choice for experimentation, which Fujifilm encourages by assigning the top-left control dial to the job.
Video capability is becoming an increasingly important selling point for this kind of camera, and the X-T200 is capable of recording in 4K at up to 30fps, or Full HD at 60fps. In addition, it can record high dynamic range (HDR) Full HD at up to 30fps, and boasts a ‘digital gimbal’ function, which is like a supercharged version of electronic stabilisation.
A 3.5mm stereo microphone socket is on board, with a broad range of sound-recording controls provided. Fujifilm is sufficiently confident of the camera’s video prowess that it’s offering a ‘vloggers kit’ that includes a Joby Gorillapod and Rode VideoMic Go; given that these cost £39 and £65 respectively, the kit’s £50 premium makes it look like a steal.
In terms of connectivity, onboard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth allow the camera to be connected to a smartphone or tablet. Using the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app for Android or iOS, you can control the camera remotely, or copy images across to your phone for sharing on social media. This all works perfectly well, but requires a lot of button-pushing just to connect the camera and phone every single time, which makes the process a lot less streamlined than for other brands, and means you can’t grab pictures off your camera when it’s packed away in a bag, in the way you now can with many others.
Fujifilm X-T200: focal points
Despite its entry-level positioning, the X-T200 provides a decent array of features, many of which should appeal to more ambitious users.
- A switch around the left-side control dial releases the tiny pop-up flash, which has a guide number of just 5m at ISO 100. The hot shoe accepts more powerful units.
- A 3.5mm stereo microphone socket is found on the camera’s left shoulder. It blocks the screen from rotating completely freely, but this isn’t a serious problem in practical use.
- Wired remote releases with 2.5mm TRS connectors can be plugged into the mic socket via a third-party 3.5mm adapter. Along with Fujifilm’s RR-100 cable release (£35), a vast range of third-party alternatives can be used (which are also compatible with Pentax and many Canon cameras, along with the most recent Olympus models).
- The X-T200 is powered by the NP-W126S Li-ion battery, as used by most of Fujifilm’s other X-series cameras. It’s rated for 270 shots per charge, or 450 in economy mode.
- In-camera battery charging is handled by a USB-C connector, as is data transfer to a computer. There’s also an HDMI output to play images back on a television.
- The two unmarked buttons beside the viewfinder and the electronic dial on the top left can all be reassigned to control your preferred settings