The off-center mind of the Fujifilm X-E3

I’ve got a long love affair with the original rangefinder cameras (Leica M4-P & M6) and the now digital rangefinder style cameras (Fujifilm X-E2, X-E2S & X-E3). I don’t know if it is due of the fact that their viewfinder is located off center (meaning not in the same optical axe of the picture taking lens). But that peculiar camera body design seems to stimulate my creativity and my motivation to brought the camera in places and at moments that I will have a tendency to ignore.

The Fujifilm X-E3 is the fourth version of a popular model design that many photographers like to bring with them as their main camera or at least as their back up camera body that happens to becoming eventually their most used. The X-E3 is using the same 24MP image sensor that the X-T2 and the X-T20 have. So the picture quality is at par of the two last mentioned models.

One of the thing which most interesting when you are using a rangefinder style digital camera is the fact that they are less noticeable, less protuberant, less intrusive in front of the subject.. This characteristic to be more discrete is always appreciated by the spontaneous photographer on the street, during a travel and even when you taking a candid portrait of a person (The camera seems to be less “serious”).

Many people were tempted to make the comparaison with the Fujifilm X100F which a compact APS-C digital camera doted with a similar fixed lens of 23mm. If you combine the Xf23mm F2.0 lens with the Fujifilm X-E3 the two cameras will give the same angle of view. But the Fujifilm X100F is more a (large) pocket camera while the Fujifilm X-E3 is an interchangeable lens model that have a more standard dimension.

Fujifilm X-E3 w/ Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Most people will talk in length about the good or the bad handling of a camera model. It is always a very personal and intuitive impression at the end. Ergonomics are designed by technicians that are biased by their own physical and cultural differences. All this has been said one thing that I have experimented with the Fujifilm X-E3 is its fine ergonomic in terms of the camera body and lens combination and I am surprise how good and easy it is still true even when you are using a larger zoom lens such as the Fujinon XF55-200 F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. As a travel or street photographer I fully appreciate this ability.

About the tiny Fujifilm EF-X8 electronic flash which is included with the furnished camera accessories I was skeptical of its practical use but I have found it very easy to bring with me and positioning on the X-E3 (You can leave it at rest on the Fujifilm X-E3 camera at its down off-position). Dont forget that the EF-X8 is using the battery pack power of your camera. As a fill-flash and as an emergency flash unit are may be the two best tasks of the EF-X8. For a more extended use of an electronic flash it is better to couple an external unit doted with its own power management.

Window back daylight

Using a fill-in flash can be one of the most rewarding thing to do with interior photography with subject that are backlighted during the daylight period. The color temperature is similar between the ambiant natural light and the electronic flash output and the only big task is to choose an interesting exposure balance between the two in preserving or not the shadows or even simply voluntarily underexposure the ambiant (effect often use in fashion photography).

Using the Fujifilm EF-X8 as a fill-flash


Small in-board camera flashes are a very handy solution but they are located usually too near the taking lens  and often interfering with the lens hood that you have to remove to prevent incomplete flash coverage. The Fujifilm EF-X8 give a more elevated flash reflector position. You just have to push it in its down position if you want to shut its power off.

Officially the Fujifilm X-E3 is a less “sporty” camera model than let’s say the X-T series models such as the X-T20 or the X-T2 or even the X-H1. The off-center viewfinder may create a small different perspective between you naked eye and the image recorded by the taking lens but if your concentrate your attention to your viewfinder it wont be noticeable. So spontaneous photography stay a strong opportunity.

As for most of the Fujifilm X-series camera models, the controls of the photo basic parameters are designed in a similar fashion way as it is used to be for the traditional analog (film) cameras. Shutter speed, lens aperture, exposure correction and focusing options including manual adjustment can be selected with direct dials or control rings. The others parameters have to be adjusted through push buttons, touch screen options or using the versatile joystick located beside the rear screen. All these functionality controls need to be learn before really be able to master them without hesitation.

Using the Quick menu (Q) and reprogramming certains function controls can facilitate the handling of the Fujifilm X-E3. Most of the menu option presentations are easy to understand and interact but some functionalities may need more time and essaies to get the habit. There is a lot of autofocusing modes at your disposal that can tailored your shooting workflow. The all-“AUTO” option (lever next to the shutter speed dial) is a good idea for emergency snapshot without disturbing your already programed setting.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is fine detailed with all the (configurable) information you need and got an auto-rotation presentation very useful for vertical framing. In some specific situations the image on the EVF will be more contrasting making more difficult to evaluate low and highlights. For people who are wearing glasses like me the eye relief is more limit and will ask you to pay more attention to the corner of your framing composition of your subject. The back and none-orientable live screen (LVF) give you a better reviewing rendition of your picture facilitating a deeper image analysis.

The side location of the Fujifilm X-E3 electronic viewfinder may give you a better viewing confort compare to the centered viewfinders of the X-T series models. The  instant picture review is easier and the reviewing (Play) push button is located on the bottom right side of the LVF.

In all the Fujifilm X-E3 is a very convenient camera model that respond correctly to the compact size device but without sacrificing too much better handling compare to the larger DSLR model type.

If you are already an owner of other Fujifilm X-series models you will fully enjoy that the X-E3 is using the same battery packs and external electronic flashes without forgetting that it is part of the same optical lens mount system.

The Fujifilm X-E3 doesn’t have an in-(camera)body-image-stabilization system (IBIS) and will rely on your ability to set and handle the camera to avoid generating blurry from the photographer’s movement. Of course you can couple a lens with an optical image stabilization (OIS) that will help you to prevent that phenomena and further permit you to select lower shutter speed in low light situations or simply to get a smaller lens aperture (for increasing the deep of field). As a loosely rule of thumb, no stabilization is available with focal fix lenses (except for the new XF80mm F2.8 OIS Macro and the XF200mm F2 OIS) and it is the contrary with zoom lenses (with some noticeable exceptions such as the XF16-55mm F2.8 Pro). At this day the Fujifilm X-H1 is the only X-Series model equipped with an IBIS.

What I am appreciated the most of the Fujifilm X-E3 is its compactness and its very discrete status in regard of other people ressent when they are facing the camera. It is what can call not only a user-friendly camera but also a subject-friendly photo device. Combined with a short fixe focal or short zoom lens, the X-E3 appears to be part of the family. It is not perceive as an agressive intruder of our life compare to the look with the DSLRs. So the interaction between the photographer and the subject is very different and much more positive.

If you like Black & White photography you will adore to work with the Fujifilm X-E3. This lovely camera model offers you a choice of two monochrome reddition, standard Monochrome and Acros, with 3 different filtering variations, Yellow, Red or Green. So you can literally transform the X-E3 as a Monochrome camera without further expensive investment. (This remark is also good for the other Fujifilm models).

Is it sufficient to simply have a good camera device that can deliver not only nice, well exposed and focused pictures but which is also a creative tool fun to use and to bring with you? Sure there will always be more performing camera models now and in the future and that is inevitable in this race for better human crafting. But in the mean time we have not to forget that the most interesting and rewarding think is to do photography.

In a sense the Fujifilm X-E3 fulfill nicely the task of proximity photography essential in close urban situations or in interior contexts. The Fujifilm X-E3 is a compact photo companion that is not only a competent tool but is also an inspired creative device.

Un long hiver …

Pour celles et ceux qui vivent en Amérique du Nord et plus particulièrement dans sa région nord-est, l’hiver 2018-2019 est devenue une saison longue, répétitive dans sa froideur et son imposant manteau blanc dé neige très persistant cette année. Bien sûr cela peut paraître poétique pour l’observateur vivant à l’extérieur de cette région mais cela se vit très différemment à l’intérieur.

Parce que, qu’on le veille ou non, l’hiver est la saison du confinement pour la plupart de nous. Elle devient celle de l’immobilisme quant les conditions extérieures deviennent plus extrêmes. En milieu urbain, nos trottoirs disparaissent et nos rues sont sinistrées de glace, d’ornières et de congères. Certes le paysage semble féérique par sa blancheur immaculée les matins de nouvelle neige mais … la vie continue avec son cortèges d’obligations qui nous forcent à maintenir un rythme difficile à harmoniser avec la météo du moment sans fin apparente.

La photographie en hiver est peut-être un sujet stimulant pour le néophyte mais cela revet un tout autre aspect pour l’habitué. Certes le paysage revêt une plus grande simplicité et quand le soleil est au rendez-vous, l’intensité lumineuse tient plus de l’éblouissement total. D’ailleurs les posemètres de nos appareils photo ont beaucoup de difficulté à s’y faire. L’hiver fournit donc un renouvellement évident de notre contexte de prises de vues.

Mais l’hiver est une saison à faible niveau d’activité par sa nature même plus difficile pour l’être humain et toute autre vie animale et végétale. Bref la neige, le givre et les glaçons peuvent devenir assez rapidement des sujets presque monotones pour celles et ceux qui les côtoient quotidiennement. Restent les dites activités sportives et de loisir propose à l’hiver comme le ski, le patin, la raquette, le traineau et autres disciplines ou intérêts typiques de la saison. Mais avouons que plusieurs d’entre nous la motivation est inversement proportionnel à l’effort de préparation et à l’inconfort de réalisation.

Je comprend l’aspect anecdotique et foncièrement bref du vacancier d’hiver qui savoure son grog chaud en avant d’une douce et odorante chaleur d’un feu de foyer mais après quelques mois de ce régime la lassitude nous envahit à la pensée d’un printemps tardif et d’un été si ensoleillé et chaleureux pour lequel on aime bien se plaindre de sa haute température car il faut bien râler…

En hiver le photographe doit composer avec le rendement amoindri des blocs d’alimentation, le phénomène de condensation propre au passage du froid vers le chaud, aux périodes réduites d’éclairage diurne, aux conditions précaires de mobilité, etc. Et sans parler des difficultés de manipulation de l’appareil photo avec des gants si on veut conserver une certaine sensibilité à nos doigts vite engourdis et même gelés par le froid ambiant.

Ayons donc un grand respect pour toutes elles et tous ceux qui pratiquent la photographie d’hiver… et souhaitons-nous un printemps précoce! Entretemps concentrons-nous sur les projets intérieurs.Un long

Blog-propos: Et puis quoi d’autre?

Écrire un blog, ça peut paraitre plutôt banal aujourd’hui comme bien d’autres choses dans cette société  du blasé-tout azimut comme par exemple composer une symphonie originale, écrire un chef d’oeuvre littéraire, réaliser un film marquant. Plusieurs diront de façon totalement erronée d’ailleurs: “Bah je suis capable d’en faire autant si je voulais ou si j’en avais les ressources (matérielles) ou si encore je serais reconnu pour mon talent”.

Eh bien non, grosse désillusion en perspective, l’originalité du propos, l’expérience du médium et la volonté de persister n’est pas l’apanage de tous. Ça aussi fait parti de la différence et de la diversité humaine qu’il faut célébrer aujourd’hui. Mais il y  a cette fâcheuse, et faucheuse, idée tenace du nivellement par le bas qui justifie l’abaissement culturel au niveau du rire gras.

En photo le principe est le même et c’est la “pixel-isation” de l’esprit critique qui ramène tout à la maitrise stricte du rendu technique de l’image. Quant au propos, i.e. son contenu, qu’il se cantonne aux”standards” reconnus par la dite intelligentsia dictatoriale des pseudo auto-proclamés expert en art photographique.

Certes le phénomène n’est pas nouveau, nouveau mais avec l’avènement Internet, il pollue maintenant nos horizons et contribue largement à la démotivation des efforts des véritables mais souvent fragiles auteur(e)s ayant une pensée innovatrice, provocatrice et rafraîchissante.

Comme je suis abonné-participant à certains autres forums-photo et plates-formes de diffusion comme Flickr, il m’arrive de déceler des talents émergents ou encore bien expérimentés et je prie intérieurement qu’un ou une directeur(e) artistique les découvre, les présente et les encourage à offrir ce cadeau à notre humanité devenue pauvre culturellement par sa recherche matérialiste individuelle réductrice.

Aujourd’hui je rends hommage aux efforts souvent inconnus mais si essentiel à notre civilisation humaine que font tous ces créatrices et créateurs de contenu et qui réinventent parfois à leur insu ce médium qu’est la photographie.

La photographie urbaine: plus que de la “street photography”!


Il y a toujours cette image tenace que que la photographie urbaine se définit essentiellement par la street photography, un courant culturel qui remonte aussi loin que dans les années 1950 et 1960 et plus particulièrement aux États-Unis dans les mégapoles comme l’exemple connu de New-York.

La street photography qui a eu comme précurseurs d’autres grands photographes observateurs de l’activité humaine en milieu urbain comme Alfred Stieglitz ou Henry Cartier-Bresson, a inauguré une vague déferlante qu’on pourrait assimiler à la photographie exploratoire et souvent spontanée de notre environnement citadin.

Mais doit-on réduire la dimension de la photographie urbaine à la réalité de l’activité humaine seulement? Ne doit-on élargir son propos à tout ce qui relève de l’urbanité sans restriction. Ses paysages (urbanscape), son architecture, ses artéfacts, sa mobilité, etc. En ouvrant l’horizon de son champs d’étude visuel, on y constate une grande richesse de sujets et d’interprétations artistiques.

Bien sûr il ne s’agit d’exclure l’essence même de l’urbanité, i.e. l’empreinte humaine. Cette dernière reste toujours implicite de tout environnement urbain. Tout élément de son contexte comporte une histoire, un impact, une émotion. À travers ces constructions, ces assemblages, ces ensembles neufs, clinquants de presque perfection mais aussi ces lieux délaissés, défaits, désuets, il en demeure tout un trame historique antique, moderne ou contemporaine à capter et à partager.

Notre point de vue doit élargir son champs visuel au delà du microcosme individuel humain pour se projeter vers l’affirmation sociale qui le propre de notre évolution humaine. Notre regard doit embrasser tous ces horizons souvent oubliés qui sont la signature d’une civilisation ou si vous préférez d’une communauté civile devenue essentiellement urbaine.

Les pistes de la photographie urbaine recoupe toutes celles de la photographie en générale. C’est ce qui la rend si riche, si originale, si créative et si évolutive.

Once upon a time photography was hard printed!

In 1997 the world of photography was about to change drastically from its conformable analog photo era to a rather agitated digital time where experimentations were tried on a frenetic market flux. Nobody already know at that time that the change will be so radical that today we have great difficulty to remember what it was a little more than twenty years ago. In fact it represent one only generation gap if when you think of it.

The big difference is that photography was presented on a two dimensions hard support like paper or cardboard at the time. Yes there were slide shows (classed as audio-visual) but the fact was that photography was considered finalized when the image was printed.

Today the picture representation is now virtual meaning observed from screens of different dimensions and resolutions on diverse hardware supports. Yes the image is still fixed but not permanently  as it use to be in the past. And this very picture stay virtual and is memorized to digital support which access and durability can be variable and uncertain.

Back in 1997 we were in the apogee of the analog film era and during that spring I was part of a group of fellow Canadians who were invited at the Leica Akademy located at Solms in Germany not far from Wetzlar. At that time Leica was concentring its operation in maintaining its past heritage with the productions of the M6 rangefinder model and the new SLR R8 (with a controversial design). Autofocusing functionality was not part of the Leica plan but some of their own employees agreed that it was an inevitable option to offer in the future.

During the morning class sessions and the afternoon practical picture taking exercices on various beautiful locations, we were not aware that in ten or twenty years we will be seen as long outdated photographers and dinosaures. But in reality things were already changing at a very fast rate. For example it has been already for more than ten years that photocomposition was digitalized and the news photographers were scanning directly their negatives for further use during the paper editing process. The only weak point of this production chain was the analog camera by itself which was still using near obsolete film negative technology. And this why press media were hurry to adopt the first digital still cameras even if they were largely quality inferior to theirs analog cousins.

So the pressure of the photo technology change was not only a pure R&D effort but rather a complete technical push from the entire economic and industrial activities. In fact the photo industry was late instead to be at the front guard.

Paper has been abandon for communication and documentary purpose for obvious economical reasons. The debate about the ressources availability and the environnemental issues had accentued that movement. But the archival impact issue stay still a conflicting debate. The new digital storing technologies have still to demonstrate that they can equal in durability of the paper conservation for long time archival purpose. Access and durability of the digital memory supports seem to be incertain and fragile on a long term. And they are not easily convertible for most of them.

Since the past twenty years we have lost an easy access (if not entirely) to the recent photographic documentation. It is symptomatic to see a lot of photo reeditions that origin to the traditional analog era but very few from the digital recent past. It prove that the photo paper representation has not been really replaced by the actual digital supports which are clumsy to consult partly because of the overwhelming total of pictures taken without any kind of radical selection and proper classification. All these works will be or are already lost for the next generations.

Reflecting on these two different periods of my modest life (film & digital) I came to the conclusion that the hard printing may be the only way to get a final photographic representation that will be preserved, consulted and reproduced in the future. So don’t prevent ourself to select, edit and print your best or more significant pictures.

All the pictures presented in this article has been taken by the author during the Leica Akademie in May 1997. There are all scanned from the original slides (colors may have shifted over time).

You say to me affordable? The rich and the poor (i.e. us!) on stake.

Every manufacturers seem to mimic the Leica commercial strategy by concentrating their line of products to a niche market.

I cannot prevent myself to comment about all those new cameras and lenses that have launched within the last year and so. Nikon (Z), Sony, Olympus (E-M1X), Panasonic (S1, S1R), Fujifilm (GFX) are so expensive cameras that we may now considerer the Leica price availability to be on the average!

Hopefully some manufacturers are still trying to offer more accessible models such as the Fujifilm X-T100 or X-E3 but these ones are still a strong investment for the non-rich beginners like students or low rate workers.

With a price tag of $1250 (including the XF23mm F2) the Fujifilm X-E3 cannot be assimilated as we use to call an entry-level model but it is the price to pay to get an image sensor that equal the X-T2.

And all these up-of-scale pricy products seem to be intended for so-call video and photo professionals but is there so much people to sustain all this overwhelming offer of camera bodies and lenses from these manufacturers. It is at a point that I am thinking that these compagnies are more targeting the Web photo-video reviewers than the real users (at least the average ones!).


The 2016 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II was introduced with a price tag of $2500 which was consider at the time as an extravagance but we know now that the new E-M1X version has simply surpassed that limit by more than $1000!



By becoming a financial elite product we are endangering the democratization of the medium (photo and video) and more important we are creating products that will be able to generate acceptable quality result without any kind of new creativity effort from the fortunate user. Because those high priced product will be bought mainly by rich amateurs that are not very motivate to learn more about the media


The elite product presentation done in beautiful destination like Barcelona are mostly interesting for the lucky selected Web photo reviewers but don’t give much for the basic users like us… (Note: the picture has been done during a personal stay in 2011)

I know that my concern will be simply ignored by most of the blogs or vlogs over the Web planet and this is very disturbing. Are we so infatuated on ourself to ignore such consequences on the popular user photo and video communities i.e. the ones who really produce original contents of pictures and video. Because if we need a sort of elite in that cultural field it most be an artist one that derange, question, provoke and finally contribute to the advancement of the art.

I hope that at least some of the most visible Web photo & video reviewers will spend less time with the the more fortunate (but less medium productive) people or the one who are dreaming to possess these jewelry products and will reconsider the real amateurs (the one who like and use the medium) base.

BIRD SNAPSHOTS w/ Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8R LM OIS

Northern Cardinal (Female)

Yes, yes I will offend a lot of real bird photographers who spend hours and involvement to their beautiful art of illustrating birds in their habitat. But since I am only a kind of spontaneous photographer my purpose was only to demonstrate how versatile and rewarding it can be by simply using the Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8R LM OIS zoom lens.

For sure you need some kind of preparation such have a good place like my backyard and possibly install a few bird feeder to attract them. After that you need to observe the result and be prepare to take pictures in a discrete manner.

For those you this can be interesting I am located near a river on the north shore of Montreal, Canada. So here are some flying neighbors visiting my backyard:

Black-capped chickadee
Northern Cardinal (Male)
Slate-colored Junco
Hairy woodpecker (Female)
Black-capped chickadee
House sparrow (Male in breeding)


Let’s start this new blog!


Life is a world of differences, tastes, contexts and situations. And all these elements color our interpretation of our surrounding, our fellow people, subjects or objects. What is interesting in mind perception is to be able to diversify it by confronting a large spectrum of points of view. This is why I fully respect and explore the work of many reviewers over the web that can be perceived as part of the modern narrators of our era.

Today the speed of evolution has accelerated at a rate never seen before and we are now living in the instant past-present-future moment. We have adopted a planetary vision of our world and everybody is addressing everybody. And photography as a medium and an art expression has been democratized to a point never imagined even by George Eastman during his Kodak era. This small introduction of my modest thoughts regarding our « photo » world is only intended to promote and to maintain a share view for an open channel of communication between us.

Pourquoi ce blog-photo personnel si ce n’est que partager une passion profonde pour ce médium comme instrument d’expression visuelle aussi intuitif qu’exigeant. Il y a un Art photographique il est vrai mais il y a encore plus une urgence de montrer ne fut-ce qu’à soi-même son interprétation d’un monde en mouvance perpétuelle. Et il y a ce désir de s’imprégner de moments choisis du passé. Et au delà de l’image produite et affichée il y a enfin cette curiosité liée à la technique et aux outils pour ce faire. Sans prétention ce blog se veut une invitation au partage d’idées et de réflexion sur la planète Photo.

The Fujifilm X-T20: Suffice to say "classical"

IMG_1872It is like old friend that you can rely every time you are coming back to him. Fujifilm have proposed very attaching digital camera models over more than a decade. Today I am still surprise how good their picture quality output has been punchy, detailed and charming. Without speaking their obsession to produce high level construction-assembly into their appealing product with a photo traditional design. And we are not speaking about their nice and reliable lens line-up.

In the past I just have loved to use their films (color, slide and B&W) on various working situations with success. Thereafter the digital age had taken the stage and Fujifilm were one of the first to offer photo devices that have delivered interesting results.

Today Fujifilm has already almost win every bit of recognition in the photo industry for their products and rightfully the Fuji line-up is very complete and comprehensive. Even a player like Nikon will never try to compete with Fujifilm which had forced them to develop a mirrorless alternative into the other so-call “full frame” sensor format (24 X 36mm).

Among the Fujifilm beautiful line-up  we can find an interesting model under the name of X-T20 (successor of the previous X-T10). Presented by many as a downscaled version of the X-T2, the Fujfilm X-T20 is a very small package designed with a centered viewfinder à la SLR. It is a compact camera smaller and lighter than the MFT format Panasonic Lumix G85 for example. In my sense this represent the very essence of mirrorless camera category (To be compact and lightweight).

I think the best way to approach the Fujifilm X-T20 is to forget all about the previous recent camera models that I have used over time and return to a very basic experience in photography. In doing so I have found that the only missing part of the X-T20 is the rapid wind lever (to advance traditional film!) just to show how this camera model seems to have intentionally or not designed as it use to be for a reflex from the film era.

In fact a more serious exam of the X-T20 proved me wrong in every aspects of it because it is indeed a very contemporary digital camera. The Fujifilm designer department have the very good ability to create that impression of a return of the past by adopting forms and fonction controls that are legendary associated with legends in photo equipment. That can be be deceptive for some people that will strongly underestimate the very modern potentialities of the X-T20. So don’t get a falsely impression at first sight.

The presentation of the basic functionalities of the X-T20 is recalling film camera especially for the shutter speed and EV correction dials. If you combine the X-T20 body with most of the XF lenses the lens aperture can be set by using the ajustement ring present on these lenses which replicate the traditional setting way of the past SLRs or rangefinders of the tradiotonal film era.  In doing so you can preset the X-T20 without actually powering it.  For sure you may have to pay attention for the exposure accuracy of your choices. Furthermore you can manually focus your lens and reproduce the entire past experience.

But The Fujifilm is also a very modern digital photo camera that is giving you access of all the contemporary automatic aids and references that help to perform without bothering with many technical constraints. So again apparences can be deceptive for the fast looker.

Ergonomic notes
Every time we are speaking about the ergonomics of a camera model we have mixed opinions regarding the pure handling of the device and the adaptability of the photographer to use it. At the end we find that confort is ultimately a very personal perception that depends of so many physical and psychological factors that is almost impossible to get a general rule that suit most of us. For myself I have compare the Fujifilm X-T20 with my previous compact 35mm SLR camera experiences. And because we want something small and lightweight it induce to let go some bigger handling exigence like the famous hand grip with sufficient finger space to hold the camera body like a glove. Instead the X-T20 will ask you to pay more attention when you hold and interact with it.

Add-on Grip Volume
Just a short note regarding the optional add-on grip available through Fujifilm official accessories (Hand Grip MHG-XT20) or its third-party clone (Meike XT20G). Some will find and adopt almost full-time the accessory although others will simply discard it when they discover that the add-on grip contradict in part the compact vocation of the X-T20. It is up to you to make your choice of convenience.
With bigger and longer Fujinon lenses the additional grip will certainly increase your confort and you will fell a higher sense of security if you carry the X-T20 with your one-hand. (I’m not fond of the big under opening for the battery/card access but it is a very useful feature for sure). 

Since I have already a previous experience with the Fujifilm X-T10, the X-T20 predecessor, I was familiar with the camera body design and functionalities which are remaining the same for most of it. Attentive viewers will denote the discret disparition of a function button located on the rear bottom far side which has been relocated on the previous video button on the right upper deck. Video is now command by the shutter release button itself through an added option available on the control dial located on the far left of the upper deck.











All control dials and push buttons are reasonably reachable after a short learning introduction to the X-T20 and few  photo sessions. I regret the left position of the reviewing button that prevent us to activate it with our right hand fingers. The shutter release button is not very large too (you can screw in an off-brand enhanced button to improve the situation but at the expense to get a more sensitive “feather” touch). Halfway pressure to activate the focus and exposure functions is easy to master. An old fashion cable release can be use with the X-T20, an option that I have always preferred to the other electronic remote but this is purely personal.

Separated exposure and focus locking push buttons are a very nice idea. To have access to the Quick menu (Q) is also a fine option. The same for the touch back screen. The front focus option dial is a good tool that allows easy and direct permutation.

The very discrete in-board flash is a small extra light unit that can be used for fill-in flash purpose. Just remember that the flash is activated by the camera battery pack. So if you are planning an extended use of an electronic flash it is better to look for an external unit with more light power, separate battery power and have the possibility of different flash head orientations (for bounce task).

I have also appreciated that the Fujifilm X-T20 is not too much crowed with numerous function buttons that generate often on others models accidental activations. The back of the camera is clean, the upper deck functional, and the front very discrete except for the company and model lettering. (“What sort of camera you are using? Fujifilm my friend! Ah???”)

“What is on the Menu?”
Almost everything is reconfigurable on the X-T20 if you are using the menu. So explorations, essaies and setting can customize the functionalities of the camera. Speaking of that there is also the possibility to register those specific setting on one of the seven Custom menus to be recall later. I leave you the “joy” of discovering all what this interface is able to do for help (or confusing you!). Menu presentation is fairly intuitive even for a past analog photographer like me 😉.

Seing your picture (Electronic Viewfinder and Live Screen).
Working without a viewfinder is more and more popular although I persist to say that it induce a far less efficient camera holding. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the Fujifilm X-T20 is a very good visual reference tool with a good reactivity. Once you have adjusted its brightness to your own taste, it give a realistic image  output of your subject with the essential infos with a very handy automatic rotation presentation. It can be customized if you need to do so. Informations are not intrusive of the picture area, a nice attention for the composition effort of the photographer.

Focus appreciation accurancy via an EVF has been always a tricky business even when you attempt to use the differents focusing aids availible through the menu. By far I would prefer the older way by using a fine grain (simulation) focusing screen that permit you to keep the entire view of your picture at any moment. The Fujifilm X-T20 can allow you a moderate rate of success in doing that way. In low light situations it performs well as long you get sufficient contrast from your main subject.

For people like me who are wearing permanent eyeglasses, you will have to really get close to the eyepiece in order to have the full view of the screen. Activation of the exposure correction is clearly illustrated by the illumination of its scale. Viewing modes include the always economical option of the electronic viewfinder use only with the eye detection activation (by far my preference in many situations).

At the end the X-T20 EVF do give an average magnification coupled with a modest eye relief distance that make the thing a bit difficult for eyeglasses wearers but it deliver a fine reproduction of your picture.

The high quality of the rear viewing screen is the other working option. The screen can be tilted for a waist level viewing position or for an “over the crowd” use. The big news is the touch screen possibilities during the picture taking sessions for the focus position, the shutter release, the menu exploration and setting and the picture reviewing. Speaking the last option mentioned the automatic last picture reviewing on screen has to be configured through the menu since it is not settle by default.

Touch screen functionalities are very nice additions included into the X-T20 model. Many users will appreciate to work during their shooting or/and their pictures reviewing as for cruising through the camera menu. Today touch screens are a feature that you are expecting to have a standard access. As usual it can be shut down if you prefer to set the camera with the more traditional fashion way.










The big change of the Fujifilm X-T20 is its new 24MP sensor that give you a better overall definition. Transiting from the previous 16MP
version, the new sensor seem to deliver finer definition of your subject nor in final analysis the change appears to be subtil but make no mistake you will obtain an  professional image output that can be printed without restriction on A4, A3 or even A2 paper formats as long you have done a correct exposure and composition of your subject and you have used a stable support to eliminate unacceptable blur effects induced from motion of the camera. Using a top grade lens is another option to reach the maximum definition from the Fujifilm X-T20 image sensor.

Selecting Exposure mode (manual, semi-automatic, program, dedicated)
Exposure can be set in every ways, from complete programmed (including dedicated and special effect modes) to fully manual setting of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. All semi-automatic modes are present by simply disengage the shutter and aperture control dials from the “A” position. This is very efficient and straightforward although the ISO has to be selected with the aid of the EVF or the Live screen. Exposure correction factor can be set with the rotating dial or the front multifunction dial.










The exposure metering system the Fujifilm X-T20 is reliable but don’t prevent yourself to evaluate it with the EVF or the Live screen and be able in doing so to alter the final result in regard of your own taste or bias. Since the camera sensor has a good dynamic range you can exposure (and memorize) for the high lights (to prevent the super-white clipping effect) and then correct your shadow areas during the post-processing of your final picture. It works well even with the JPEG files.

Focus (Automatic, Tracking, Manual w/aids)
Another great improvement is the newest algorithm used to calculate and set the autofocus. More reactivity and better tracking are always appreciated by photographers “on the sport”.

The ISO scale of the Fujifilm X-T20 is giving you a good latitude of exposure without strong degrading quality when you are using the more sensitive part of it. I have very manageable image results from ISO 200 up to ISO 3200. B&W pictures are awesome in any cases.

Image quality (Color, B&W)
Almost all my picture are registered on JPEG files since I prefer not to post-edit them too much (except for very caricatural effects). The Fujifilm cameras are fulfilling exactly that way of producing very fine images right from the start without painful and long post processing. Colors, details, finesse are there and rewarding for the photographer.
The different film simulations recreate beautiful bias without  too fuss. The monochrome rendering is fantastic at such a high level that some people were asking Fujifilm to offer exclusive monochrome versions of their camera models “à la Leica”.
On a very personal note I find that Fujifilm APS-C sensor format picture files to be superior to what I have previously experimented into the MFT format (may be the new MFT 20MP sensor is the most similar). Provia/Standard in color and Acros in B&W are the film simulations that have my preferences by far.
A carefully compose and exposure picture with good image stability should give a high level of quality sufficient to get an very good printable result in paper format of A4, A3 and even A2.

As usual since I am not a videographer the Fujifilm X-T20 video features wont be part of this personal review.










Others details
The off-centered tripod screw hole at the bottom plate of the Fujifilm X-T20 can be bothering in specific combination with a telephoto lens and a monopod for example if you intend to do a panning of a moving subject. That can be partly addressed by using the optional grip  (MHG-XT20). Action (sport, nature, performance) photographers need to have a help when you working long hours with heavier lenses. In that sense, the add-on grip may became a full-time part of the X-T20.

The Fujifilm X-T20 is not a weather-resistant camera and precautions have to be taken when using it in adverse conditions. The X-T20 seems to be a solid device but exposing it to water, very high humidity, sandy or high winds can be hazardous even lethal for the electronics of the model. So keep a safe use of the X-T20 (Improvise a camera raincoat with a clear bag and seal the front end of the lens with a rubber band surrounding the lens hood, a protective neutral filter is also recommended).
In cold climate conditions, freeze battery pack and internal condensation are others sources of disruption to be aware. A warm extra battery pack in your pocket could solve the problem. Not exposing the camera to sudden shift of temperature from cold to warm (be progressive) will help also.  There is no reason to miss photo opportunities because a more difficult weather, just be prepared and in worst case scenarios just put the camera gear in weather seal case.



Final note
After all this small study on many aspects of the Fujifilm X-T20 the most important I retain of the experience is the pleasure of using a very creative tool with real personality.




Fujifilm is not only a designer/manufacturer/marketer of nice cameras and lenses, Fujifilm is also a trade name under which many communities of photographers of everywhere became reunited into their commun passion of doing pictures and share their joy of using a niche product like all the Fujifilm cameras and Fujinon lenses. So be aware to not becoming yourself an active member of their photo sect!