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Does the Fujifilm X20 deliver value for its stiff price tag?

Both the X10 and X-Pro 1 had caught the public eye for not just their shooting prowess but also their design and the new X20 is a chip off that block. The faux leather body is very much there, as is the slightly box-y shape that will remind people of cameras in the ’80s. No, it is not compact enough to be pocketable but will fit into most bags with a degree of ease and while not the lightest at about 350 grams, is a lot easier to lug around than a DSLR.

And we do think that you would be tempted to carry the X-20 around. For, the X-Trans CMOS II sensor, is one of the best we have seen in terms of performance and delivered stunning photographs in different conditions and scenarios. We were, particularly, amazed at just how fast the camera focused (even in super Macro mode), and that shooting information was displayed not just on the 2.8 inch LCD but also on the optical viewfinder (itself a bit of a rarity in cameras of this size). Lag was non-existent and once we got a grip of the interface (which alas, in best Fujifilm tradition, takes some time to understand), we were able to take some very good photographs. There is no shortage of controls on the camera, shooting modes abound and the 4X optical zoom is manually controlled, so you can actually get a DSLR-like feel while taking pictures, although swapping lenses is not an option.

What might hold back a lot of people from just heading out and grabbing this extremely good (and good-looking) camera is its price. Slap a price tag of above Rs 30,000 on ANY camera and it is a fair chance that people will start comparing it to a DSLR. And while the X20 does hold its own against that particular army when it comes to image quality, it does not have their lens-swapping flexibility. But if all that you seek is a compact shooter with lots of manual control and great image quality and head-turning looks, the X20 is a very good option.

Fujifilm X20: 12 megapixel sensor, 2.8 inch LCD, 4X (28-112 mm), Optical zoom, EXR Processor II, advanced optical viewfinder
Price: R 39,999 

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