A couple months ago, I made an unnecessary purchase. I wanted a mid-size camera to keep in my work bag and take with me everywhere. The 5D is obviously too big, and the X-Pro1 doesn’t work either (I’m too protective).
Because I already own a small point and shoot, there was no pressing reason for me to buy another camera… but I went ahead and bought the Fuji X20 anyways. It’s like a baby X-Pro – small enough to fit in my bag, but still capable of producing really nice images. Some of my first shots were in ‘Dynamic’ mode – an effect similar to HDR.
I took it out for the first time on a relatively cloudy day. The sky looked pretty cool… but for once I can say that the pictures came out ‘better’ than what I was actually seeing. Both of these shots of the sky were taken in Dynamic mode.
Sometimes, the JPEGs that come out of the X20 are a bit noisy (I haven’t tried shooting RAW with it). I find that sharpness depends a lot on which mode I’m shooting in. There are many settings to choose from, all of which come in handy at different times. Overall, the camera produces some really nice photos with lots of detail.
There is flower that I discovered on a walk around my neighborhood. I had to return to point my X20 at it, and I wasn’t too disappointed with the results. It has a special mode for shooting flowers and other that work well in similar settings. Depending on what mode you’re in, the X20 shoots 2-4 shots and merges them into one.
Since my X20 is my new walkaround camera that I keep in my backpack, I’ve whipped it out a couple times on the bus. I look forward to doing so again sometime soon, whether that be in Washington… or in Miami.
The smaller the camera, the more discreet you can be. By far the most discreet camera I have is the one on my iPhone. But after my point and shoots, the X20 is next in line (even if I wish it was a little bit smaller). I love this shot of the man on the bus. I don’t think I would have been able to pull it off with any of my other cameras.
One day I was getting a cab ride home in the rain. I don’t usually take pictures at night from inside a taxi, but I the lighting was enticing and I decided to take a few shots. Although it’s nothing too special, this is one of my favorites. As the red raindrop dots clearly show, the X20 is capable of capturing some nice bokeh. No flash here (although there is a pop up).
While living in DC, I haven’t been taking the subway as often as I should. One day I was running errands with my X20 in hand. I took a few Metro shots. I don’t particularly like this one, but I do like the look on that woman’s face. Maybe she could sense the camera’s face detection in action.
I look forward to trying this camera out more in nature settings. When I was hiking in Great Falls a little while ago, I happened to come across a little snake. Luckily I didn’t step on it. But I did take a couple shots (although I regret not zooming in closer). This one was taken in ‘Toy Camera’ mode.
The X20 does a nice job outdoors. One of my biggest gripes is not being able to change the film simulation settings in all shooting modes. The standard setting is rather flat.
One of my favorite shooting modes is the one that blurs the background by merging several shots into one. It only works well under certain circumstances. Here are a couple examples of images shot in ‘Pro Focus’ mode.
The X20 really nice camera. The image quality may not be as high as a dSLR or it’s big brother the X-Pro1, but it still delivers some pretty shots. Notice the definition in this one. Maybe it’s just me,,,
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- looks good / feels good
- great overall image quality
- small enough to fit in your bag or purse
- lots of great shooting modes to choose from
- too big to fit in most pockets
- images can be a bit noisy at times
- mode selection sometimes cumbersome
- unable to switch film simulation in certain modes
CONCLUSION: Even though I didn’t really need it, I’m still happy I bought this fun camera. It’s portable, although not small enough to fit in your pockets – unless you have some really big pockets. For you ladies, it’s small enough to fit in some of those purses you use. Most importantly, it takes some very nice pictures and gives the photographer many options to choose from. There may be some similar sized cameras that take better pictures, but I haven’t used them. I’ve played around with the X20 enough to know that it’s a great piece of kit. In many ways, the X-junior is my new walkaround.
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