Fujifilm X-T2 - 10 things I wish were done differently
When the first rumoured specs of Fujifilm X-T2 became a public knowledge, I knew I am going to get it. I need a second body. I do own X100S but with fixed 23mm focal length it is not as versatile as I would like it to be. Camera with interchangeable lens is the way to go for me. Also, 23mm (35 equivalent) is not my favourite focal length either. 35mm (or nifty-fity in full frame world) is much more preferred as far as myself concerned. I still love the X100S but if X100T successor comes out, I won't be buying it. Unless I win in lottery. I also skipped X-Pro2 although I was very intrigued by it. X-T2 would is a much better and more versatile camera for what I need. I am slowly getting into more video shooting and X-T2 video capabilities are superior to X-Pro2. No flip screen on X-Pro 2 was also a deal breaker for me. And lastly, I didn't want to pay extra for optical viewfinder. I hardly ever used it on X100S. It makes no sense to me, it doesn't fit my shooting style. If there was an X-E3, with flip screen and 4K video, that would be a whole different story altogether.
Anyway, X-T2 is here. Of course, from rumoured specs I knew what to expect. I knew some features will be missing, I knew some of the physical features are not 100% to my liking but the camera as a whole outweighs these few flaws.
I don't own the camera long enough to do a full review. Not good at those anyway. I leave it to Internet/Youtube crowds that will do much better job. What I will do is point out some features, that are missing or are not implemented to my liking. Don't get it wrong. It is a beautiful camera. One of the best mirrorless offerings out there, that's for sure. After all, I purchased one. There are great improvements that I absolutely love. To name few I am most excited about, new 24Mpix sensor. I think this resolution is a sweet spot for APS-C sensors. I love improved ISO, shutter speed dials. They are larger, more tactile and their operation is unified. Current locking mechanism is awesome. I love the focus point joystick selector. 4K video. Big leap for Fujifilm. Dual card slots is a must have for a serious camera. They fixed the flimsy doors. I am happy I finally can shoot in Acros simulation mode. Improved autofocus is great. All this together, with features that were already excellent on previous X-series cameras. I also have to mention the firmware updates that Fujifilm is known for.
But no camera is perfect. Here are the 10 things that could be different, or that would be great to get updated via firmware to make it even more compelling that it already is.
1. 4-way D-pad selector. I don't get it. This thing is nailed in X-Pro2. It was better on my old X-E1. Why, why, why not implement the same D-pad here. It has improved compared to X-T1, but it is miles away from being good. Good luck to handle this with gloves. I used SUGRU on my X-T1 buttons to raise their profile and make the camera little bit more usable. But this is not an elegant solution and it greatly hurts camera's resell value.
2. There is no touch screen. C'mon Fujifilm. It is 2016. Touchscreen is useful. Everybody uses it on smartphone. It's a second nature to us these days. I don't buy into "real photographers don't need touch screen". If someone doesn't like to use it, this functionality can be turned off. New redesigned menu is better, but mostly it concerns the look only. Functionality or usability is the same. A touch screen with menu resembling mobile phones would be much much better, faster and more natural to use.
3. Why is the rear screen not fully articulated? That third articulation axis implemented on X-T2 is so gimmicky and in this case, it can be very fragile. I am pretty sure I will be only using it as I do it on X-T1. I do not see too much use for the awkward and only 45 degree 3rd axis. At least there is still flip screen Lack of it was a deal breaker for me, when it came to consider X-Pro2. I cannot stress enough how useful it is.
4. Most of the function buttons are recessed and not very tactile. Again. They nailed them already on X-E1 or X-Pro line. Why not use that design. It works better and buttons are felt even through gloves.
5. I am glad there will be an F-log option, but it needs to be recorded also internally. 4K external recorders are big and expensive. Peeps, that use this kind of equipment are probably using more video-centric cameras anyway. External recorder makes the whole kit more expensive and by a lot. And again, from travel photographer perspective, it is another piece of gear, extra cables, batteries and it goes on and on. It is easy to reach your baggage weight limit in no time.
6. I wish the audio monitoring jack was in body, rather than grip. This is again from my perspective as travel photo/videographer to keep the bulk and weight at minimal level. I'd love to do these things without booster grip. 10 min 4k recording limitation would not hinder me too much. I was not about to shoot events and interviews anyway.
7. Full HDMI connector would be much better. Mini HDMI is very fragile and prone to break. Also I wouldn't mind if the package contained spare covers for terminal, battery grip connector, hotshoe etc. These pieces are bound to get lost and inclusion of extra pieces would not make the company go bankrupt.
8. Video aiding features like zebras, on screen histogram, highlight warnings, touch screen focusing would be welcome. Or rather necessary if Fuji really wants to take video seriously. This camera is a proof they are on the right path, so let's make it better. This, I believe can be done via firmware update (except the touch capabilities obviously).
9. Would be nice if custom picture profiles worked in video mode. Ability to decrease the saturation, sharpness and contrast help at least little bit in grading of the footage. Hope this will be added via firmware update.
10. I would love to have in body image stabilisation (IBIS). Although I didn't expect it, it is a secret wish. I know Fujifilm guys say that lens based IS if optically superior. I also heard somewhere that X-mount is not large enough to accommodate the sensor movement. My technical knowledge is not that deep, but I would still prefer IBIS. For me as a travel photographer it would mean less weight to carry as lenses could be designed much smaller. And you have IS only in body, not in every lens. Advantage of having every lens stabilised that way is huge. This one if probably least likely to be implemented in X-series in my opinion but boy, would it be just lovely.
Perhaps it feels that I am bragging about the camera a lot and giving it a hard time. On the contrary. This camera is so good, it has such a potential and I believe it is a true winner for Fujifilm. And it can be better. I know Fuji listens to it's customers as no other company does. I am pretty sure the future firmware updates will address some of these (eg. F-log internal recording, zebras)
Some of the points I mentioned here would give them an edge. Even though the number of Fuji users has risen, it is still considered to be a niche system. Exactly for this reason it would be a great idea to consider features that can be interesting for potential future users. I know big part of Fuji crowd are die hard traditional photographers, that do not care about flip screens, touch screens or video. But many other people do. Those people aslo contribute to Fujifilm's revenue. The more revenue there is, the more money can be spent on research and development. That means more features, functions and future cameras. Last but not least it will mean that X-series will keep going strong. And that is we all ultimately want.