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Designed for Photographers
Overall, the Fujifilm X20 is a well-built, high-quality compact camera with unique features that set it apart from all other small-chip cameras. Among the dwindling number of digicams with OVFs, it has the best finder by far. The X20 is fast, controllable, stealthy, stylish, and couples an excellent lens with an excellent sensor. It’s one of the few compact cameras that feels like it was designed for photographers with significant input by photographers.
On the downside, the X20 is a battery burner (at least one spare is mandatory), relatively expensive ($599), has a nonstandard filter size (39.5mm, although a 52mm adapter is available), is too big to be comfortably pocketable, and has a crowded control layout (though no worse than comparable digicams).
Wish list: increase the OVF’s accuracy to 95% and make the camera slightly larger. It’s not a pocket camera, so an extra inch would make handling easier and create room for an articulated LCD, which is valuable for sneaky waist-level shooting.
For family photography, lightweight travel, and street photography, the X20 is one of the best alternatives to a bulky DSLR. Even the new wave of small mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses can’t match the X20’s zoom range and lens speed in the same compact package. If phonecams ever succeed in killing off digicams, at least the cameras aren’t going down without a fight. In the analog days, 35mm film shooters would have killed for a camera like this.
Best-in-class optical finder; high-aperture manual zoom lens; fast autofocus.
Poor battery life; not very pocketable; spendy for a compact.