Fujifilm X-T200 w/ 15-45mm Review: The Affordable Mirrorless That Does It All

The Fujifilm X-T200 in a nutshell

The foundation of Fujifilm’s mirrorless lineup has been SLR-shaped devices ever since the company introduced the X-T1 back in 2014. It’s not difficult to understand why given how well-liked the X-T1 and its offspring have become. The X-T10, which was released in 2015, helped the company effectively reduce the price of the X-T1 while also giving birth to a popular series that included the outstanding X-T30 last year. The X-T100 made an appearance in 2018 as an even more cheap entry-level alternative targeted at beginners moving up from a smartphone, and now the X-T200 is its replacement.

In this market segment, Fujifilm’s new product faces stiff competition from products like the Canon EOS M50 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, which both provide a “small SLR” form factor and shooting experience. On paper, the X-T200 appears to be a very attractive entry-level model, though. It has a joystick for moving the focus area and no less than three top-plate control knobs for setting adjustments. It has a large 3.5-inch 16:9 fully articulated touchscreen, dual microphone input, and 4K recording at 30 frames per second for video. All of this is finished off with a stylish vintage layout.
The camera’s £749 starting price seems excessive in comparison to its more seasoned rivals, as is frequently the case with a new model, but it is expected to decline with time. Does the X-T200 fulfill its promise, then?

Fujifilm X-T200 Specifications

The X-fundamental T200’s components are one area where it varies dramatically from its more expensive X-system siblings. It uses an APS-C CMOS sensor with a traditional Bayer colour filter array rather than the company’s proprietary X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, which has a 24-million-pixel resolution. Significantly, although the company loves to highlight its quad-core X-Processor 4 in higher-end models, the X-processor T200’s is not mentioned. In reality, it is virtually the same camera as the less expensive, flat-bodied X-A7, but with an added viewfinder and a few extra features.

The X-T200, an entry-level model, features completely automated “point-and-shoot” operation and a variety of scene settings that are tailored for various subject types. Three of them—landscape, sports, and night—are readily accessible from the mode dial, while thirteen more—including options like portrait, sunset, beach, and flower—can be chosen from the position with the cryptically labeled SP.

Moreover, there is a panoramic mode and a selection of twenty image-processing filters under the Advanced position. Aperture priority, shutter priority, manual exposure, and program modes, which provide access to the whole camera’s feature set as well as raw format recording, are available for more ambitious users.

The X-T200 has a typical ISO 200–12,800 sensitivity range in PASM modes, with additional options of ISO 100, 25,600, and 51,200 accessible when shooting JPEG files. It can shoot continuously at up to 8 frames per second with an admirable 18-frame raw buffer or at 4 frames per second with live view in between with a 30-frame buffer. Strangely, at any frame rate, ISO 6400 is the limit for the greatest sensitivity.

Fujifilm cameras are known for their excellent color science, and the X-T200 is no exception, offering a selection of 11 distinct color and monochrome styles. They were inspired by the company’s early film emulsions; in addition to the Provia mode, you can choose between the punchy, saturated Velvia appearance or the more subdued Astia, which is my personal favorite. The two ProNeg choices are worth experimenting with for portrait photographers, and mono enthusiasts will also find them useful. Despite the fact that this isn’t the whole set featured in the X-T30, there are still plenty of options for experimentation, which Fujifilm supports by designating the top-left control dial for that purpose.

The X-T200 can record in 4K at up to 30 fps or Full HD at 60 fps, which is a selling factor for this type of camera that is becoming more and more significant. Also, it features a “digital gimbal” function, which is similar to an enhanced type of electronic stabilization, and can capture high dynamic range (HDR) Full HD at up to 30 frames per second.

There is a 3.5mm stereo microphone jack on board, and there are several sound recording settings available. Fujifilm is so confident in the camera’s video capabilities that it is selling a “vloggers package” for £50 extra that includes a Joby Gorillapod and a Rode VideoMic Go, two items that alone cost £39 and £65.

The camera may be linked to a smartphone or tablet via the integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You may operate the camera remotely or copy photographs to your phone for social media sharing using the free Fujifilm Camera Remote app for Android or iOS. All of this functions well, but it takes a lot of button-pushing each time merely to connect the camera and phone, making the procedure much less efficient than for other brands. As a result, you can’t access your camera’s photographs while it’s packed away in a bag as you can today with many others.

Fujifilm X-T200: Construction and operation

With its beautiful two-tone vintage appearance and wide, angular housing for the viewfinder and flash, Fujifilm has deliberately fashioned the X-T200 to resemble its higher-end stablemates. If the black and silver of our review sample doesn’t appeal to you, it is also available in dark silver and champagne gold.

While the body shell has a metallic look, it is really composed of plastic, which undoubtedly contributes to the 370g weight, which makes it the lightest in its class. The inclusion of a tiny handgrip, which adds nothing to the camera’s size but enables you to hold the camera remarkably easily one-handed, is one obvious enhancement over the X-T100. Nonetheless, I’d advise at least using a wrist-strap for further security.

Nevertheless, this isn’t truly a slimmed-down, lighter version of the X-T30 because it has two tiny top-plate electronic dials to adjust exposure settings rather than analogue knobs for shutter speed and exposure correction. With one set around the shutter button and the other on the back corner, they are slightly better positioned than those on the X-T100. The shooting experience is often not all that different from the X-T30 because this back dial adjusts exposure correction in the PAS modes.

As previously indicated, the dial on the other side of the viewfinder is used to choose between film emulation modes, and a useful split-screen view illustrates how the two alternatives contrast. For those who want a more manual approach to exposure, it can be set to regulate the ISO sensitivity, but it may also be adjusted to a variety of other possibilities.

A few tiny circular buttons and a tiny joystick for moving the focus area are included on the rear of the camera. Nevertheless, due to the widescreen Display, this is very awkwardly crammed over to the right-side, just below the thumb grip. The d-pad from the X-T100 is also gone, which made it much easier to navigate menus and change settings while also giving you quick access to white balance, focus mode, and the self-timer. They must now be changed via an onscreen fast menu, which the X-T200 confusingly has two of.

A graphical Touch Menu with tiny circular touch buttons scattered around the perimeter of the screen is available in addition to Fujifilm’s well-known and superb Q Menu. Despite the fact that this interface is definitely designed to appeal to smartphone users, it’s a bit of a muddle. In order to provide beginners creative freedom without having to learn about shutter speeds and apertures, two of the buttons activate sliders that modify exposure correction and depth (labeled “sharper” and “blurred” respectively). Yet because it doesn’t demonstrate how it works, it loses the chance to be an effective teaching tool.

The other buttons on the screen behave in a vexingly inconsistent manner. When you tap on the focus mode and touchscreen buttons, the various selections cycle around without any obvious sign that anything has changed. Instead, you are expected to notice subtle changes to their symbols that are hidden beneath your fingertip.

Similar to the previous button, the aspect ratio button in the bottom right shows its new setting in a little menu at the top of the screen. But, considering that the form of the preview picture varies, you’ll probably notice anyhow. There is a “?”-marked help button on the screen, but it seldom provides any helpful information, preferring to just remind you of the name of a function rather than describe how it will affect your photographs.

As a result, the X-T200 falls short of its goal of being an easy-to-use model for novices. Particularly when compared to Canon’s great UI on the EOS M50, the interface is just too clumsy. The flip side is that it offers perhaps the finest control configuration of any entry-level model for shooting in the PASM modes if you set the top-plate dial to ISO and use the Fn button next to the viewfinder to access the Q Menu. Nevertheless, it is not flawless; for instance, there are two separate displays for altering ISO, but both need you to turn knobs the other way from what you would anticipate.

Another issue is the powered, as opposed to mechanical, zoom used by the 15-45mm kit lens. Like many similar lenses, it is useful for smooth transitions when filming, but inconvenient for making fine changes when taking still photos. Thankfully, it features a dual-speed construction, with a tiny ring twist zooming slowly and a large ring twist zooming more quickly. But, it still takes a lot longer than a typical mechanical zoom to get the composition you want.

Viewfinder and display for the Fujifilm X-T200

The X-T200 has both an eye-level electronic viewfinder and a rear LCD screen for creating and reviewing your photographs, as befits its mini-SLR design. The EVF is fairly similar to what we’ve seen on Fujifilm’s entry-level models since the X-T10; it is a 2.36m-dot OLED display with a magnification comparable to 0.63x. The viewing experience it offers is completely adequate and on par with other options at this price point, but because it lacks a useful eyecup, intense sunlight may quickly overwhelm it.

As you turn the camera to portrait format, the complete information display rotates in the viewfinder, giving you an exact glimpse of exposure and color setting. Fujifilm’s Natural Live View mode, which offers less contrast and neutral colors, may be selected from the menu if you prefer a more SLR-like viewing experience.

The X-enormous T200’s rear screen, which takes up the whole of the camera’s back, is perhaps its most striking feature. It has a 3.5-inch LCD with 2.76 million dots and a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, making it ideal for recording video. In fact, Fujifilm also defaults the X-T200 to 16:9 for static images, as if to emphasize its immense size. The viewing area is the same as a typical 3in monitor, with black areas on each side, when the sensor’s original 3:2 aspect ratio and full 24MP resolution are used. Given how it affects the control structure, the screen size for stills is actually more of a burden than an advantage.

The screen articulation, which now uses a traditional side-hinged architecture, is one obvious improvement over the X-T100. As a result, it can be positioned practically anywhere for low or high angle filming in portrait or landscape format, as well as face forward for selfies or vlogging. In comparison to tilt-only systems, such as those on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, it is therefore more versatile. While not in use, it may also be folded with the body facing inward for protection.

X-T200 from Fujifilm: autofocus

The AF system of the X-T200 and the X-T30 appears to be quite similar on paper. With an option of either 117 focus points organized in a 9 x 13 grid or 425 points in a 17 × 25 grid, encompassing all except the frame’s edges, it uses a hybrid approach that combines on-sensor phase- and contrast-detection. The settings for face detection and topic tracking are much the same as well.

The effectiveness of face detection is similarly unimpressive. It only works when the person is virtually straight staring at the camera; if they even move their heads just a little bit, the camera tends to lose interest and may start focusing on the backdrop. The Canon EOS M50, in contrast, has a far larger range of angles across which it can follow faces.

X-T200 from Fujifilm: Performance

The X-T200 is a lovely small camera to use in many ways. It takes a moment or two to start up with the kit zoom installed, but a large portion of this is caused by the lens stretching and then zooming to its most recently used position. The camera starts up fairly instantly when using other lenses. When you need to alter settings, it is then rather responsive to both the touchscreen and the conventional controllers.

The biggest exception, which I found to be alarmingly sluggish, is using the touchscreen to select the focus area while using the viewfinder. Moreover, the focus point has the strange propensity to leap to the top of the screen when you slide your thumb from the bottom to the top, or the opposite. Although this behavior is inherited from the joystick, using a touchpad makes it entirely counterintuitive, thus it has to be addressed.

Moreover, the X-T200 has a few additional unpleasant flaws. For instance, when the camera is writing files to the card, some of the controls cease working, making it impossible to reach the Q menu or alter the focus area with the joystick or change the drive mode for a brief period of time. The touchscreen and top-plate dials, however, continue to function correctly.

It’s also important to note that the top-left control dial requires two clicks to change its function; the first click activates it. In order to change one stop instead of the customary three, you must spin it four notches if you want to utilize it as an ISO control. Lastly, if you just shoot in raw without a JPEG backup, you won’t be able to zoom in enough during playback to confirm crucial focus.

Furthermore disappointing is battery life. Although it is advertised as having 270 photos per charge, I originally obtained much less with regular usage because the camera tends to quickly lose power if you forget to switch it off in between images. The Economical performance mode should be enabled, and the auto power off time should be set to two minutes, according to the Power Management settings. Then, the endurance is much more palatable. Also, getting an extra battery is highly advised.

The X-T200 has the significant redeeming grace of generating outstanding photos, thank goodness. Although its auto white balance occasionally meters a little too bright for my liking, the accurate exposure preview in the viewfinder makes it simple to determine whether to use exposure correction. It’s tough to imagine a competition that can regularly produce better-looking photographs when you combine this with Fujifilm’s fantastic color output.

Picture quality of the Fujifilm X-T200

The image quality of the X-T200 is one feature that just cannot be criticized. It generates files that aren’t dramatically outperformed by its more costly 26.2MP stablemates and at least equal any of its similarly priced rivals. JPEG photographers will value Fujifilm’s unmatched color science, and its Film Simulation settings offer a good selection of eye-catching appearances.

Raw photographers will benefit from incredibly low noise, more software support than for the company’s X-Trans models, and lots of room to extract more shadow detail at low ISO settings.

X-T200 from Fujifilm: Resolution

The X-T200 resolves roughly 3900 lines per picture height (l/ph) at ISO 200 in raw, which is about the maximum resolution that its 24MP sensor is capable of. Fujifilm’s JPEG processing only provides 3600 l/ph at most, rendering less information. As is customary, resolution steadily declines when sensitivity is increased; ISO 6400 produces 3400l/ph. We measure 3200 l/ph at the greatest standard sensitivity of ISO 12,800, whereas this reduces to just 2,800 l/ph at the highest extended JPEG-only setting of ISO 51,200.

Noise on a Fujifilm X-T200

The X-T200 resolves roughly 3900 lines per picture height (l/ph) at ISO 200 in raw, which is about the maximum resolution that its 24MP sensor is capable of. Fujifilm’s JPEG processing only provides 3600 l/ph at most, rendering less information. As is customary, resolution steadily declines when sensitivity is increased; ISO 6400 produces 3400l/ph. We measure 3200 l/ph at the greatest standard sensitivity of ISO 12,800, whereas this reduces to just 2,800 l/ph at the highest extended JPEG-only setting of ISO 51,200.

Fujifilm X-T200: Final Word

The X-T200 is a nice small camera in many respects. It has possibly the greatest control arrangement of any entry-level model for users who have goals beyond the simple point-and-shoot, thanks to its three top-plate knobs and focus-area joystick. The three XC lenses offer an appealing range of alternatives for first-time users on a budget, and it is also suitably compact and lightweight to tote about at all times. The best part is that it creates beautiful photographs, with its stunning JPEG color reproduction being especially appealing to new users who might not want to experiment with raw files. It’s dreadfully weak, though, which makes it extremely difficult to adore.

Although we don’t anticipate entry-level models to perform at the same level as their more expensive stablemates, the X-T200 just cannot compete with the excellent user experience provided by the X-T30. In terms of speed and smoothness of operation, it lags somewhat below less expensive rivals. Perhaps, a future firmware update will allow Fujifilm to fix some of its biggest interface flaws, such as the poorly designed Touch Menu and the confusing focus touchpad function.

I really wanted to appreciate the X-T200, but alas, it is difficult to recommend it at its £749 launch price due to its operational problems. It would, however, be a more viable rival to the Canon EOS M50 (£599 with a 15-45mm zoom) and Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III (£529 with a 14-42mm lens) if it were to dip closer to £600. Even yet, the EOS M50 is significantly more effective at attracting new users, while more seasoned photographers seeking a tiny, lightweight camera are probably better served by the E-M10 III. The X-T30 should be saved up for instead if you’re determined to invest in the Fujifilm system.

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