Fuji Introduces New X20 - Adds New Sensor and Fast Autofocus

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Summary of the announcement:

    Fuji is announcing the X20, an update to the X10 with the following new features:
    • New fast hybrid (phase detect and contrast detect) autofocus
    • Overall faster performance
    • New "X-Trans CMOS II" 2/3-inch 12MP back-side illuminated sensor
    • Optical viewfinder now displays shutter speed, f-number, and ISO (still 85% coverage)
    • Focus peaking


    From Fujifilm.eu:

    Fujifilm announce the NEW X20 premium compact camera

    The NEW FUJIFILM X20 reconnects style with substance, bringing the essence of photography back to life.

    FUJIFILM is proud to announce the launch of the new FUJIFILM X20 premium compact camera. Following in the footsteps of the highly acclaimed X10, the FUJIFILM X20 inherits its high-precision lens and refined design, whilst featuring substantially improved performance. With an X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and a newly-developed Advanced Optical Viewfinder, the X20 is packed full of FUJIFILM’s latest technology. The X20 is available in both all black and two-tone black and silver.

    The X20’s bright optical viewfinder features a newly-developed Digital Trans Panel. This displays the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focusing area and other shooting information perfectly clearly, even in low-light conditions. What’s more, the X20’s Advanced Optical Viewfinder synchs with the zoom lens, so that users can accurately compose shots using the viewfinder, even when the focal length is constantly changing.

    The combination of a newly-developed 12 megapixel 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II enables the X20 to capture very high quality images, with up to 20% higher resolution (*1) and 30% less noise (*2). What’s more thanks to the removal of the optical low pass filter and very powerful processor, the FUJIFILM X20 will produce clear images with minimal graininess, even at high ISO settings.

    The newly-developed X-Trans CMOS II sensor has built-in Phase Detection pixels which enable the X20 to high-speed Auto Focus (AF) in as little as 0.06 seconds (*3). Additionally, the EXR Processor II offers fast responses with a start-up time of approx. 0.5 seconds (*4), a shutter time lag of approx. 0.01 seconds and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds, providing advanced flexibility.

    Main Features

    Advanced Optical Viewfinder with real time shooting data for improved usability and a bright view

    Despite its compact size, the FUJIFILM X20 sports a bright and clear optical viewfinder with a horizontal apparent field of view of 20 degrees and coverage of 85%. It is synched to the zoom lens and comes with an eye sensor for enhanced usability.

    The X20’s viewfinder also has a newly-developed Digital Trans Panel, which is less than 1mm in depth and is highly transparent. It displays the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focusing area and other shooting information so that users can continue shooting comfortably without having to take their eye off the action. The Digital Trans Panel automatically switches the colour of information in the shooting frame according to the scene and shooting conditions. Normally displayed in black, in especially dark scenes the shooting information is automatically displayed in green for enhanced visibility; and when an error occurs, the displayed information changes to red.

    Premium image quality with edge to edge clarity and minimal noise

    The X20 features FUJIFILM’s newly-developed 12 megapixel 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor. The highly random nature of the unique colour filter array eliminates the need for an optical low-pass filter, while maintaining high resolution images with edge-to-edge clarity. Optical low-pass filters have traditionally been used in conventional sensors to reduce false colour and moiré effects, however this also means sacrificing image quality.

    The X20 uses a Lens Modulation Optimiser to reduce optical effects such as lens diffraction, which occurs when light passes through a lens. Even at an aperture of f/8, the X20 retains sharpness and texture in the fine details, drawing out the full potential of the lens.

    The sensor's excellent sensitivity is coupled with the processor's advanced signal processing capacity to reduce noise by more than 30% (*2) compared to its predecessor. Even shooting in low-light (e.g. indoors or at night) at a high ISO setting, the X20 will produce a clear image with minimal graininess.

    High-speed features and Auto Focus in as little as 0.06 seconds (*3)

    The newly-developed X-Trans CMOS II sensor has built-in Phase Detection pixels for high-speed AF in as little as 0.06 seconds (*3). Furthermore, its BSI (Back-Side Illuminated) sensor structure means the Phase Detection pixels can gather sufficient light, whatever the angle of incidence, at a large aperture, to deliver high-precision AF. The Intelligent Hybrid AF automatically switches to Contrast AF when the subject or scene demands it to ensure that the camera always auto-focuses at the highest speed and precision levels possible.

    A Focus Peak Highlight feature is available to help photographers manual focus by highlighting the area of the image currently in focus. It provides a guide for situations where it’s difficult to tell whether the subject is correctly focused; allowing users to adjust manual focus easily whilst viewing the LCD monitor.

    The EXR Processor II delivers performance speeds twice that of the previous generation processor (*5). The X20 offers super speedy response times, with a start-up time of approx. 0.5 seconds (*4), a shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds. The X20 also delivers an impressive burst rate of 12 frames per second at the full 12 megapixel resolution.

    High precision f/2.0-2.8 4x manual barrel zoom lens

    Incredible attention to detail has been paid when designing this high precision lens. It’s made up of 11 glass elements in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical lens elements and 2 extra-low dispersion lens elements. The result is an ultra bright lens with a wide-angle maximum aperture of f/2.0 and telephoto maximum aperture of f/2.8. FUJINON's proprietary HT-EBC coating is applied to the lens, it effectively controls flare and ghosting from appearing on images.

    The optical 4x manual zoom lens allows users to determine precise composition quickly and instinctively, and the use of metal for the lens barrel and its internal structures provides a really smooth zooming action. In Super Macro mode you can get as close as 1cm from your subject, for stunning close-up shots.

    The X20’s unique image stabilisation mechanism shifts 5 lens elements compensating for camera shake by up to 4 stops, it also effectively prevents motion blur while stopping vignetting and loss of image resolution that usually occurs during camera shake compensation.

    Additionally, the X20’s lens incorporates 7 diaphragm blades which enable you to create a beautiful soft ‘bokeh’ effect to make your subject stand out off the background perfectly.

    Artistic photography

    This exciting new camera features FUJIFILM's proprietary Film Simulation modes. Users can choose from ten different modes which simulate the effects of traditional Fujifilm films. Including colour reversal film effects (Velvia / PROVIA / ASTIA), professional colour negative film (PRO Neg.Std / PRO Neg.Hi), monochrome filters (MONOCHROME, Ye filter, R filter and G filter) and SEPIA.

    Also available on the X20 are the Advanced Filter functions; users can choose from 8 different artistic effects which can be previewed on the LCD screen:
    • Pop Colour - emphasises the contrast and colour saturation
    • Toy Camera - creates shaded borders as if you were taking a photo on a toy camera
    • Miniature - adds a blur to the top and bottom for a diorama or miniature effect
    • Dynamic Tone - giving dynamic gradation for a fantasy finish
    • Partial Colour – this feature selects one colour and takes the rest of the shot in black and white. Colours can be selected from red, yellow, green, blue, orange and purple
    • High Key - enhances brightness and reduces contrast to lighten tonal reproduction
    • NEW Low Key – creates uniformly dark tones with a few areas of emphasised highlights
    • NEW Soft Focus – blurs the focus of the image edges to create a softer effect

    A separate Multiple Exposure function offers users the chance to combine two separate subjects into one photo, offering great artistic expression.

    Full HD Video Shooting

    The X20 can shoot Full HD Video (1920 x 1080) at 60fps, for smooth video capture. Shooting at the high bit-rate of 36Mbps results in reduced noise and enhanced image quality that reveals every detail from individual leaves in the trees, to subtle changes in facial expression.

    Many of the features available when shooting stills are also available while recording video footage. You can take advantage of a number of the Film Simulation modes and exploit the brightness of the lens to shoot videos with a dreamy ‘bokeh’ effect. The NEW Movie Scene Recognition feature can automatically recognise six types of scene and optimise the settings for beautiful results, under a variety of shooting conditions. What’s more the Intelligent Hybrid AF feature is activated during video recording and an optional Stereo Microphone can be attached to capture sound perfectly.

    Elegant design and sophisticated operating system

    Manufactured in Japan from strong, yet lightweight, die-cast magnesium alloy, the X20’s upper control deck and camera base are superbly designed and add a real sense of style and elegance to the camera. The mode dial and zoom ring have been ergonomically designed and precision-milled from solid aluminium; the exterior is finished with synthetic leather, which is durable and resilient. The two-tone version of the X20 has a specially-formulated silver finish which is applied with a coating that creates the premium feel of thick steel.

    Composing and viewing images via the LCD is a pleasure thanks to the X20’s high-contrast, 460K-dot, 2.8-inch Premium screen, with a wide viewing-angle and an enhanced GUI menu system. The X20 also features a ‘Q’ button which can call up frequently-used menu items such as ISO settings, and a ‘Fn’ (Function) button which allows users to assign features frequently used while shooting.

    The camera’s aspect ratio can be selected from 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 (square) to accommodate a wide range of photographic styles. The camera also features an Advanced SR Auto mode, which detects not only the main subject but also whether it is moving or stationary to automatically optimise the focus, exposure, ISO and other settings.

    Key Features

    • NEW Advanced Optical Viewfinder with a Digital Trans Panel
    • NEW 12 megapixel 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor
    • Intelligent Hybrid AF in 0.06 seconds (*3)
    • Improved EXR Processor II
    • High quality fast f/2.0-2.8 lens
    • 4x FUJINON manual barrel zoom lens
    • 2.8inch High Contrast LCD monitor (460K dots)
    • Pop-up Super Intelligent Flash
    • Fast start-up time of 0.5 seconds (*?), shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds
    • Super Macro mode (1cm)
    • Motion Panorama 360
    • 8 Advanced Filters
    • Q button for frequently used menu items
    • Function (Fn) button
    • NEW GUI showing the focal distance, aperture value and shutter speed in sync with the zoom ring or command dial rotation
    • Advanced SR Auto mode with 64 shooting patterns
    • Full HD video (60fps)
    • Manual focus during video recording
    • Output for Stereo Microphone (sold separately)
    • Focus Peak Highlight function on the LCD screen
    • Available in all black or two-tone black and silver
    • 4 types of shutter sounds - Lens Shutter, Focal Plane Shutter, Mirror Up and Silent Shutter

    Premium Accessory Line-up
    • Premium Leather case LC-X20 - made of genuine high quality leather.
    • Lens Hood and Protector Filter LHF-X20 - a highly transmissive protection filter, applied with the multi-layer coating technology 'Super EBC'. It is available in black or silver to match the colour of the camera body. The dedicated lens hood features slits to ensure a full angle of view for the viewfinder
    • Shoe Mount Flash - three types of FUJIFILM external flashes, capable of the proprietary high-precision TTL auto flash control: EF-20 and EF-X20 with the guide number 20, and EF-42 with the guide number 42
    • External stereo microphone MIC-ST1 - for recording real sound with impact to go with premium-quality images and full-HD video

    *1. Fujifilm research. Compared with X10 and conducted in f/8.
    *2. Compared with the X10.
    *3. FUJIFILM research based on CIPA guidelines and conducted in “High Performance” mode.
    *4. Quick start mode
    *5. Compared with the EXR Processor Pro.
    • Like Like x 4
  2. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    Hey Amin :) Do we know when these may be released? and the X100s?
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    No word on pricing or availability yet!
  4. Biro

    Biro SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I want the X100s. But I just may be able to swing this X20... especially if the added complexity of the EXR mode is gone. The X10 could give fantastic results. But one had to work just a bit too hard to get there, IMHO.
  5. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I'm confuse that there is still mention of EXR processing and they are using an X-trans sensor. I guess all will be revealed in time. Meanwhile, I need to get out and shoot with the cameras I already have that are already WAY better than I will EVER be.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    From what I've seen, the X-Trans sensors still use Fuji's EXR processors to handle the image data. Doesn't necessarily mean that EXR processors only handle EXR sensors.

    It's very interesting that these two new cameras from Fuji have 1080 video at 36mbps. Still not broadcast quality (50mbps) but a darn sight better than anything Fuji have done so far. I wonder if it is 60i or a proper 60p. The bitrate of the Olympus OM-D is only about 20mbps but enough for me to use as a B-cam for online video production. I'm very much looking forward to what the video from the X100s and X20 will be like.
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I think EXR is generally thought of as the pixel binning sensor/processing used in cameras like the X10, XF1, XS1, and several earlier, smaller sensor cameras. But Fuji also uses EXR as sort of a brand name for all of their processing, even on cameras with nothing like pixel binning associated with them. The X100 and X-Pro are branded as EXR as well. Where its mostly just a branding exercise. So on the new X100s, I'm sure that's all it is. On the X20, I don't have the foggiest idea. Can you mix pixel binning and the X-Trans filter? Is a 2/3" X-Trans good enough to make pixel binning unnecessary? I'm interested to find out as details emerge.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. theoldsmithy

    theoldsmithy SC All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Herefordshire, England
    Martin Connolly
    The X20 looks like the perfect choice for me. I'm strongly drawn to the X10 but the lack of info in the viewfinder is putting me off. The price of the X20 will be interesting...I guess it will be around £400-£450 in the UK, compared to £300 as the current going rate for the X10. If the the X100s announcement means that the X100 drops in price (and it's available for £530 now) then it could be hard decision between that and the X20.
  9. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Where do I pre-order?? :)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Aargh. Must have one!!
  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Doesn't the X-Trans use randomly placed red/green/blue pixels? If EXR splits a sensor in two, and then superimposes two images, it'd be interesting to see if the two technologies can be combined.
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Man, that finder in the X20 looks like it does some pretty amazing tricks for what's essentially a dumb OVF - a lot of dynamic information on a largely transparent digital layer, including focus point, focus confirmation, parallax info, and all of the standard shooting info. No mention of pixel binning, but makes claims of 30% less noise and 130-140% more DR "than previous models" - assuming the X10 is the previous model in question is that relative to the full resolution mode or the EXR mode?

    I'm not gonna jump early on this, but if the IQ is a notable improvement at 12mp over the X10 at 6mp, I may jump soon enough.

  14. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I tried to jump the gun and place a pre-order on the B&H site: searched for Fuji X20 and was taken immediately to the EF-X20 - the flash unit for the X series. Already got one of those...

    Must be patient....
    • Like Like x 1
  15. sdovala

    sdovala SC Rookie

    Oct 23, 2011
    Boulder, Colorado
    Steve Dovala
    Oh no. I must own the X20.:smile:

    Looks like I'm selling my flawless new sensor x10!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    So after reading the DPR Previews for both of these cameras (now up) and checking out the videos, the X100S looks really impressive - a major upgrade. The X20 has three notable changes to my mind and one of them is a really open question. The focus looks like it will be quite improved with the addition of phase detect. And the viewfinder looks frankly mind-blowing - not quite the hybrid OVF/EVF in the X100 and X-Pro but a really really impressive OVF with a full helping of shooting info in a bright OVF that zooms with the lens. This looks really impressive to me. But the wild-card is the sensor and how good it is relative to the EXR mode in the X10. Clearly it will resolve more detail - presumably the lens is up to the job here. But how well it will handle low light and DR we'll just have to wait and see. DPR seemed to suggest it might not be as good but they were clearly guessing too. If its notably better than the X10 in EXR mode, I think it'll be a hit, although it will be interesting to see it up against the RX100 and the boatload of imitators sure to come down the pike over the next months or year or so. If its LESS good than the X10 in these areas, though, then I think the AF speed and viewfinder turn into so much eye-candy. I'm hopeful but mildly skeptical...

    • Like Like x 1
  18. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
  19. thekeddi

    thekeddi SC Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    South Australia
    I might get a silver one and just make out it's the X100s lol
    • Like Like x 1
  20. stanleyk

    stanleyk SC Top Veteran

    May 23, 2011
    Taylor, Texas
    Adorama now has the X100S up for pre-order.

    X20 also in black or silver- $599.