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Fujifilm X-T200 Review

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In the world of ever-developing smartphone photography, entry-level cameras are facing new challenges. Firstly, they have to provide image quality that persuades users to pick up the camera. A camera for beginners in 2021 also has to be easy and intuitive to use for photographers coming from cell phones.

The Fujifilm X-T200 aims to fill these gaps and give newcomer photographers a platform to extend their creativity while remaining inexpensive and easy to use. It also offers an extensive feature set for movie recording, and Fujifilm specifically recommends it for vlogging.

I’m reviewing it with the so-called ‘Vlogger Kit’. Additionally to the kit lens, this includes accessories aimed at vloggers.

Image of the Fujifilm XT-200

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Overview of the Fujifilm X-T200

The Fujifilm X-T200 is an entry-level mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. It sits towards the lower end of the manufacturer’s camera palette. It’s small and lightweight if paired with the right lenses, but it can accommodate larger, more capable optics as well.

Built around Fujifilm’s X-mount system, its heart is a 24-megapixel APS-C cropped sensor. This sensor does not feature Fuji’s well-known X-Trans colour grid. Instead, it’s in line with all the other major manufacturers in coming with a Bayer filter.

Image of the Fujifilm X-T200 mirrorless cameras from top

It also differs from most other Fuji cameras in terms of controls. Operating the X-T200 is similar to traditional digital cameras in that it doesn’t have specific dials for exposure controls. It also places emphasises on the touchscreen in basic operations.

Still, many aspects of the Fujifilm brand and approach are included in the X-T200. Its main design elements resemble those of the X-T1 and X-T10 series. The well-known JPG profiles (film simulations in Fuji language) also form a central part of photography with this camera.

This Fujifilm X-T200 review is a result of a two-week testing period, and the camera was provided by Fujifilm UK. (Editor’s note: This article wasn’t sponsored by Fujifilm.)

Lowlight street photography image shot with the Fujifilm X-T200

Vlogger Kit

I received the Fujifilm X-T200 with the Vlogger Kit. This kit is targeted to videomakers primarily filming themselves. It includes:

I also tested the XC 35mm f/2 lens separately, and some of the images in this review are taken with that. You can read my review about it here.

Image of the Fujifilm X-T200 vlogging kit

Who is the Fujifilm X-T200 For?

With the X-T200, Fujifilm targets photographers who are coming to the world of photography from smartphones and are looking for a familiar experience – but better results.

As entry-level products usually go, this is a fairly general-purpose camera. It does, however, perform really well compared to most alternatives in video features.

Its appeal is higher for those who particularly value Fujifilm’s brand and attitude. This includes shooting predominantly JPG, a slower photography process, and a stylish design.

As it is a standard mirrorless camera, it only has an electronic viewfinder. Those who prefer optical viewfinders should turn towards either DSLRs or Fujifilm’s rangefinder-inspired X100V and X-Pro series. Both of the latter are significantly higher investments, though.

Key Features

Let’s see the real strengths and weaknesses of the X-T200.

Mount and Compatibility

The X-T200 is built around Fujifilm’s X-mount developed for APS-C mirrorless cameras. This lens mount has been around for around a decade now, which has allowed it to develop into a well-versed system.

Lens offerings for the X-mount include a wide range of zooms and primes, cheap and professional, general-purpose and specific lenses made by Fujifilm and others.

Among those who manufacture native X-mount lenses are Zeiss, Viltrox, and recently Tokina. Manual-focus lenses are made by Lensbaby, 7Artisans, and others. Notably, Sigma is missing from here: their APS-C lens lineup is not (yet) available for X-mount as of December 2020.

Its flange distance is 17.7mm, among the shortest, which allows for great adaptability with older lenses. High-quality adaptors for autofocus Canon EF, Nikon F, and many manual-focus rangefinders and SLR lenses are available.

For Canon EF and Nikon F autofocus lenses, Metabones offers speed booster adaptors, enabling those lenses to retain most of their full-frame characteristics.

Image of the Fujifilm X-T200 mirrorless camera body

Sensor and Image Quality

The Fujifilm X-T200 is in many aspects different from your ordinary modern Fuji camera. This rings true for its sensor. The 24-megapixel APS-C chip has a Bayer colour filter. In each 2×2 pixel grid, there are one-one red and blue and two green pixels. This is normal for most digital cameras, but not for Fujifilm, whose cameras are usually fitted with X-Trans sensors.

One consequence of this is that colours from the X-T200 behave differently when shooting in RAW and look different in JPEG compared to X-Trans cameras. Capture One has lost its usual advantage in processing the RAW files from this model compared to Lightroom Classic CC and CC.

Cityscape image at night shot with the Fujifilm X-T200

Despite that, out-of-the-box image quality is excellent. It’s easier to make the X-T200 shoot polished, high-quality images than most other cameras shooting JPEGs.

However, I wasn’t so impressed by the RAW files coming out of the X-T200. In either Lightroom or Capture One, colour-editing was noticeably harder than other Fujifilm files (although I only tested X-Trans Fujis before). The RAW files are huge (over 40MB each), as there is no option for lossless compression.

London street photography image shot with the Fujifilm X-T200

Low light performance is good but not up to the latest standards in APS-C sensors. This is quite reasonable in an entry-level camera, though. Dynamic range is excellent at the base ISO (ISO 200) but quickly diminishes once you reach ISO 1600, and colours also start to really fall apart from ISO 3,200. Keep in mind that Fujifilm uses a different ISO standard than other manufacturers. ISO 200 on Fujifilm is roughly equivalent to ISO 100-125 everywhere else.

Focusing and Burst

The X-T200’s autofocus system is up to the standards, as long as the standard is modern entry-level cameras.

It’s a hybrid system that employs a sensor-based phase-detection for quick adjustments and contrast-detection for accuracy. It works surprisingly well in low-light. Even in darkness, the camera finds something to autofocus on most of the time.

It tracks subjects reasonably well, although I had to do some tweaking to make this work smoothly. In auto mode, it’s not quite as reliable. Face detection is quick but mixes up subjects with faces often, especially over complex background textures. If you enable it, you can’t override it. So, if it ends up misfocused, you either need to try again or turn it off.

In the end, I often found myself using single-point AF, as that was the most consistent.

Street photograph image shot with the Fujifilm X-T200 in London

You can select your focus using either the joystick (focus lever) or the touchscreen, although I had to turn off the latter option. Even with the eye up to the viewfinder (and the screen not displaying anything), you can move focus points using the touchscreen. But this is inconvenient. I’m left-eye dominant, so my nose was constantly bumping the focus point on the screen to somewhere unexpected. Touch to focus, when only using the screen, works well.

The Fujifilm X-T200 is capable of shooting 8 fps with continuous autofocus. Neither of my lenses has an autofocus speed capable of catching up to this camera’s burst speed. Also, the buffer fills up quickly because of the huge RAW files and slow SD card slot. However, with slowly or stationary subjects, this is a neat feature. Not long ago, 8 fps was a headline selling point.

Overall though, I feel that here we get what we expect – all modern Fujifilm cameras perform better than the X-T200. But to be fair, this performance would have warranted a much higher rating just a few years ago. It’s still a practical camera.

Night photography in low light condition shot with the Fujifilm X-T200
The Fujifilm X-T200 excels in low light conditions and with stationary subjects.

Video Features

Fujifilm targets the X-T200 to casual video shooters and vloggers, as well as general use. It does provide satisfactory video quality, although I’ve found it impractical for actual vlogging.

The camera shoots 30p 4K video in 8-bit internally, with the same options available for external recording through the micro-HDMI port. There is a 15-minute limit on 4K recording and a 30-minute limit on 1080p. The 4K footage looks really nice. It’s sharp, the colours are amazing, and although it’s 8-bit, it can be decently graded with the Eterna profile. The 1080p footage is quite disappointing— it’s relatively soft, particularly at 120p.

Image of the Fujifilm X-T200 vlogging kit with tripod and microphone

The camera has a microphone jack. With the included USB-C to jack adaptor, you can also connect headphones, which stands out among rivals.

The face detection autofocus displays the same issues as in photography mode. It’s prone to picking up trees and urban elements instead of human faces. I found the full-area tracking autofocus to be more effective.

But, for casual video shooting in 4K, the Fujifilm X-T200 is really good.

It’s not so practical for vlogging, though. There is no stabilisation built into the camera. Unless you use a stabilised lens (such as the 15-45mm kit lens) or a gimbal, it will be shaky. The microphone and the headphone jacks protrude in front of the flipped-out screen, blocking some of the views.

Auto-exposure for video has the same issue as Fujis have had for generations: it only adjusts exposure in ⅓ stops. This results in exposure transitions that are rough and bumpy. As I will also mention later, if you have a plate or handle attached to the bottom of the X-T200, you can’t swap out the card or battery.
Closeup image of the Fujifilm X-T200 with mic and tripod

Body and Handling

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a small and light, attractively designed camera. It does indeed have plenty of positives going for it. However, one of the main weaknesses of X-T200 is design and ergonomics.

The X-T200 measures 121mm x 83.7mm x 55.1mm, and weighs about 370 grams.

The body is primarily made of plastic with some aluminium reinforcements along the bottom and top sections. Most of it is covered in black easy-to-grip plastic. It’s well put together, but the construction feels quite cheap (which it is, to be fair). There are also design flaws, some of which Fujifilm has been continuously making for years.

Most notably, the tripod mount and the combined battery/SD-card door are too close together. If there is a tripod plate attached, you can’t open the door. This is especially troubling for a camera aimed at videographers, who tend to keep things attached to the mount and also swap batteries and cards frequently.

Image of the back of Fujifilm X-T200

In terms of battery life, the Fujifilm X-T200 is an average performer. I could use it for about 250 shots or an afternoon.

It accommodates UHS-I SD cards in its single card slot. These are not fast enough to sustainably write 8 RAW files every second, as I mentioned earlier.

On top of the camera, there is a pop-up flash. It can be activated by a physical lever next to the simulation dial. In terms of controls, the camera has two customisable function buttons. There is a mode dial, a freely customizable dial and a dial for switching film simulations. This, annoyingly, can’t be customised. On the back, there is a joystick which Fujifilm calls a focus lever. This is the main controller of the camera. You can use it to switch focus points and to navigate around the menus.

A large 3.5” flip-out touchscreen occupies most of the space on the back. This gives back some of the smartphone experience Fujifilm has promised. There is a new quick menu interface specifically developed for this camera which relies heavily on touchscreen operation. Still, I felt that the lack of intuitiveness and simplicity holds the X-T200 back slightly. The main menu is not straightforward, and the two different quick menus are redundant and confusing.

Unfortunately, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) has been one of the most disappointing experiences on this camera. Its size (0.62x), refresh rate and resolution are quite low. It is possible that the target users will not use the viewfinder so much as the touchscreen.

Neither the X-T200 nor the two recommended kit lenses (15-45mm and 35mm f/2) are weather-sealed.

Long exposure street photography at night shot with the Fujifilm X-T200 mirrorless camera

Alternatives

The Canon M50 MkII is a mirrorless camera similar in size and price. It also has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor. Its video features and image quality don’t hold a candle to the Fujifilm X-T200, but the autofocus performance and ergonomics are considerably better. It is also more intuitive to use despite the lesser focus on touchscreen operation. Lens options for the Canon EF-M mount are not so diverse. However, the main kit lens (also a 15-45mm) is a better construction than Fujifilm’s.

The Olympus E-M10 MkIV is an entry-level mirrorless camera built around a 20MP Micro Four-Thirds sensor. It is the best on the market in terms of stabilisation with 4.5 stops in-body, plus many MFT lenses are themselves stabilised. It’s on par with Canon in intuitive use. This includes great touchscreen integration and clearly marked but customizable buttons. Its electronic viewfinder is also the best in the category. The MkIV has improved upon its predecessor – the E-M10 MkIII – but the difference is not stark.

For vlogging, there is the Sony ZV-1. This camera doesn’t feature interchangeable lenses, but it does have a high quality 24-70mm equivalent lens and a 20MP 1” backside-illuminated sensor. Video shooters benefit from excellent built-in stabilisation, better audio features, a 960fps video mode, and a portable size. This camera is not only marketed towards vloggers but clearly designed for them. I recommend you opt for this instead if you’re making professional videos.

The Canon SL3 (or 250D) is an entry-level DSLR. It appears here because of its small size, competitive features, and arguably the best ergonomics due to its large grip. It has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor with similar image quality to the M50. It’s built around the Canon EF mount, so lens choices are close to infinite.

Image of the Fujifilm X-T200

Conclusion

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a competent entry-level camera with excellent image quality for its class, cool design, and very competitive video features. Looking at the specifications list, this is one of the most powerful cameras on the entry-level market.

Still, I feel that this is not a fully matured design – Fujifilm has included slightly experimental, occasionally conflicting features.

Check it out here on Amazon.

Scores

Features (25)
20
Extras (25){{column-name-2}}: 17
Value For Money (20){{column-name-2}}: 17
Handling and Ergonomics (15){{column-name-2}}: 8
Construction and Durability (15){{column-name-2}}: 10
Total (100){{column-name-2}}: 72

 

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