You are now on page 2. Here you can read all my findings concerning the performance of the cameras (autofocus, continuous shooting) as well as information about the movie capabilities, battery life and other features.
- Page 1: design, functionality and image quality
- Page 2: autofocus, speed, stabilisation, other features and conclusion
Table of contents - Page 2
Single Autofocus, Face and Eye detection
The X-T2 features the newest version of Fujifilm’s hybrid AF system, while the X-T1 has an older version. It has more AF points, a faster processor and an updated algorithm to make it faster and more accurate. But let’s go back in time for one moment.
The X-T1 was Fujifilm’s second interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera (after the X-E2) to introduce phase detection. X-T1 users can count on 49 points, with the 9 central being phase detection areas. A major firmware update in 2015 (version 4.0) brought new settings and enhanced the capabilities of the camera.
The AF area mode available are Single point (with 5 different sizes), Zone AF and Wide/Tracking. Depending on the settings used, these 49 points are sub-divided into 77 points to give you more options concerning groups of AF points like Zone AF. More precisely you can choose between a group of 9 points (3×3), 15 points (5×3) or 25 points (5×5). Note that depending on some settings (C-AF, High burst), not all the groups are available.
The X-T2 has 91 AF areas with 49 of them being phase detection points (7×13 grid). Alternatively you can choose a grid of 325 points (13×25) where once again the AF areas are subdivided to allow you to fine-tune the AF point accurately. Note that the 325 points are only available with the Single point. With firmware 2.0, the X-T2 adds a sixth smaller single point.
In single AF the difference between the two cameras has more to do with the lenses than the AF system itself. If you use older Fujinon primes and zooms that have a slower AF motor, the X-T2 performs better: the AF locks more quickly and there is less breathing of the lens elements.
If you mount some of the latest Fuji lenses like the XF 23mm f/2 or the XF 90mm f/2, the performance is much more similar. Perhaps the X-T2 still has a small advantage but I didn’t find it too relevant in real world.
On both cameras you can choose to interlock Spot metering with the focus point (if you working in single mode). I tend to use this feature more often now and I find them reliable on both cameras.
With firmware 2.0, the X-T2 gains an interesting new option: you can separate the focus points and focus area modes used for landscape or portrait orientations. Every time you rotate the camera, it will automatically switch to the AF point and areas you last used in that position.
In backlit situations the performance can be somewhat inaccurate depending on the contrast between the subject and the main source of light but the X-T2 seems to suffer less.
In low light, both cameras decrease in speed but I found the performance more than acceptable, especially if you use some of the latest lenses like the 23mm f/2. But even prior to firmware 4 and with an older lens, I remember the X-T1 performing well during the rehearsal of a contemporary dance show where there wasn’t a lot of light available.
The X-T2 recently did very well at a Halloween “Ghost Walk” where I was shooting in the woods after sunset. It was pitch dark with only a few weak artificial lights put up for the occasion. The keeper rate isn’t as good in these situations but you can still bring back in-focus shots like the one below.
Both cameras have face and eye detection. On the X-T1 the performance less reliable because the camera only uses contrast detection. As a result face detection can often focus on the nose instead of the eyes while eye detection can be inaccurate or not activate at all in some cases without a real reason. I would say it works fifty percent of the time.
The X-T2 improves the performance of both Eye and Face detection. With the recent firmware 2.0, the camera now uses phase detection to detect faces which improves speed and accuracy. I find the mode more reliable now and I am confident using it often on the camera, even with slower lenses like the XF 35mm 1.4. Eye detection can still be inaccurate at times though.
The two cameras share other settings that I admit I rarely use but that can be useful for other people:
- AF+MF: allows you to fine-tune your focus point manually by turning the focus ring after the camera has locked the AF
- Interlock Spot AE and Focus Area: the camera will measure Spot metering where the AF point is instead of the centre of the frame
- Pre-AF: the camera tries to focus even when the shutter release button is not half pressed, which I advise you to turn off to avoid consuming too much battery life
Continuous AF, Continuous Shooting Speed and Buffer
If we analyse the C-AF performance with the same subject running towards the camera, we can see that the X-T1 isn’t far behind its successor. The four images below summarise my test: overall the X-T2 has a slightly better keeper rate but the X-T1 defends itself really well.
I did the test twice using two different lenses: the 18-135mm is a good all-purpose zoom with a fast AF motor while the 90mm f/2 is probably the fastest AF lens Fuji has ever designed thanks to its quad-linear motor.
- Normal thumbnail: subject is perfectly sharp
- Red thumbnail: subject is out of focus
- Yellow thumbnail: subject is slightly out of focus but details are still easy to detect
Now of course a basic test like this gives us a general idea of how the AF performs but we know that there are many other situations that can be helpful to completely evaluate the autofocus performance of a camera.
The major difference I found with the X-T2 is not really the improvement in speed and accuracy but the various settings and options that add precision to your work and raise your chances of success.
First we have the Zone AF mode, which is my favourite for anything involving sports, birds in flight and moving subjects. With the X-T1, when shooting in Continuous AF and High burst mode, only 15 points at the centre are available (5×3 or 3×3 grids). This means that if you fail to keep your subject at the centre of the frame, the camera will have more difficulty tracking focus.
With the X-T2, the Zone is available in 7×7, 5×5 and 3×3 which means you can use a wider area of AF points on the sensor. I found this to be beneficial especially for birds in flight or any subject that can prove challenging to track with a long telephoto lens.
Note: The “ALL” AF mode on the X-T2 allows you to switch between all focus area settings by using the Command Dial (firmware 2.10).
Second the X-T2 has more settings to control the autofocus behaviour. The most important is called AF-C Custom Settings where you find 5 presets and a sixth that can be customised. Each preset is based on 3 settings:
- Tracking sensitivity: you can set the interval of time in which the AF system continues to predict the subject movement. Set to 0, it won’t predict. Set to 4 it will predict for 1.3s which means the camera will assume for 1.3s that there is no change.
- Speed tracking sensitivity: you can tell the camera that your subject’s speed is constant or not (accelerating, decelerating). This way the AF system makes sure to search for the AF point more often according to the setting.
- Zone Area Switching: you can prioritise the centre or the front of the Zone AF area. Centre means the camera prioritises what is at the centre of the Zone AF, and Front means it prioritises the closest subject within the Zone area. The third option, Auto, searches the entire Zone area.
The X-T1 doesn’t have the three settings below and behaves automatically:
- Tracking: predicts the subject movement every 0.7s.
- Speed tracking: the camera always assumes the subject has a constant speed
- Zone Area: the camera searches the entire Zone all the time.
Can these settings make a difference? We let’s see some examples.
One of the most common problems is the presence of obstacles that enter the frame and get in between you and the subject. Often the camera will change the focus point assuming that the subject has changed. With Set 2 on the X-T2, I can “tell” the camera to ignore obstacles and continue to track subject. As you can see below, when Heather walked behind the pole, the X-T1 focused on the pole for a few frames then changed back to Heather.
With Set 2 on the X-T2, the focus point always remained on Heather. This can be helpful to avoid erratic behaviour in more confusing situations (a soccer game for example) and you can be sure that the camera will follow the subject you want.
Of course there are many other examples I could show you but you get the point. I am currently testing the C-AF settings of the X-T2 in different sports and wildlife environment and while they don’t necessarily make the AF 100% perfect, they do decrease the chance of the camera mis-focusing or being less precise.
In continuous shooting mode, both cameras have a CH and CL mode. With CH, the X-T1 can shoot up to 8fps with Continuous AF. The live view is disabled and the last picture taken is shown instead. The X-T2 can extend the speed at 11fps with the optional battery grip or up to 14fps with the electronic shutter.
In CL mode, live view is available (with blackouts): the X-T1 can shoot at 3fps maximum while the X-T2 can select between 3fps and 5fps. The increase in speed in CL mode is far more interesting in my option as you maintain a live view (with reduced blackout time in comparison to the X-T1) and it is easier to follow a subject if you don’t need a faster speed.
Talking about the shutter, the X-T2 has an improved shutter mechanism (rated for 150,000 shots) with a maximum mechanical speed of 1/8000s, which is one stop better in comparison to the 1/4000s of the X-T1.
On the X-T2 the T position of the shutter speed dial can be used for long exposures up to 15 minutes (firmware 2.0 required). On the X-T1 the T step allows you to shoot for 30 seconds maximum.
Both cameras feature an electronic shutter that provides a completely silent mode and extends the speed to 1/32000s. As usual, remember that electronic shutters can have unwanted effects such as distortion for fast moving subjects or when panning, and banding under certain artificial light sources (fluorescent, etc.).
Finally, let’s talk about the buffer. You may have noticed in the AF-C comparison shots seen earlier that I have more images with the X-T2 than with the X-T1: 56 vs 34 which is almost double. This is because the X-T2 has better buffer capabilities than the X-T1 (I used the same UHS-I SD card on both cameras). If I try to do a second test to see how long each camera can last, this is the result we get:
- X-T1 at 8fps with RAW: shoots at full speed for 2.5 seconds, then the speed drops to around 1.5fps
- X-T1 at 8fps with JPG: shoots at full speed for almost 4.5s, then drops to around 5fps
- X-T2 at 8fps with RAW: shoots at full speed for almost 4s, then drops to around 3fps
- X-T2 at 8fps with JPG: shoots at full speed for almost 17s, then drops to around 5fps.
Worth to note is that both slots 1 and 2 on the X-T2 are UHS-II compatible and can use SD cards with faster writing speed.
If we take into account the new AF, the larger Zone modes and the better buffer, we can safely say that the X-T2 is more reactive with very fast subjects. The performance is still not perfect but it does increase your chances of success in comparison to the X-T1.
A good example is birds in flight, where you need to raise your camera, compose and fire away very quickly. The X-T1 is often slow to react for this kind of very fast subject.
Additional note: with firmware 3.0 Fujifilm updated the AF algorithm on the X-T2 to improve tracking with smaller and faster subjects. With firmware 4.10, it has increased the minimum sensitivity to -1Ev for the phase detection points which work up to f/11 now. Further tweaks to the algorithm are said to improve speed and accuracy with birds, although I haven’t noticed a tangible difference.
Video capabilities: 4K vs Full HD
Another relevant upgrade found on the X-T2 is the movie department. The X-T2 is the first Fujifilm camera to record 4K (UHD format at 3840 x 2160) at 24, 25 and 29.97 fps. I’ve been shooting with the camera for more than three weeks now, trying to collect as much varied footage as possible and I am impressed with the quality and continuous AF. Images are sharp and crisp, handles high ISOs fairly well up 6400 ISO. It is definitely more advanced when it comes to video and the quality is finally catching up with other mirrorless competitors.
In Full HD, the camera can go up to 60fps, which is the same specification found on the X-T1. There is however a new HFR mode on the X-T2 that goes up to 120fps for better slow motion capabilities (firmware 4.10 required).
The new processor and sensor of the X-T2 delivers better quality with more sharpness, less aliasing and moiré in 1080p as well. The X-T1 is part of the older generation as far as video is concerned. Noise at high ISOs is more visible and the footage isn’t as sharp or crisp as the X-T2.
The X-T1 doesn’t have a proper movie mode: you need to start recording to see the screen change to the 16:9 aspect ratio and get a better idea of your composition. (A tip here can be to choose the 16:9 aspect ratio for JPGs). You can record stills and movies at any time without changing the shooting mode.
The X-T2 has a proper movie mode selectable with the drive dial which allows you to have a preview in the 16:9 aspect ratio with audio metering displayed on the screen. You can also choose which card slot will record videos, which is an interesting option if you want to keep stills and movie clips on two separate cards. You start recording by pressing the shutter release button. One little downgrade however is that you can’t record video unless you go in Movie mode, not even by assigning recording to a function button.
On the X-T1, you can change the aperture and shutter speed while recording but not the ISO value. The latter has been fixed on the X-T2 via firmware update (2.0). The exposure compensation is limited to ±2Ev on both.
All the film simulation modes are available with both cameras which deliver very nice colours for video too. Here as well, the X-T2 has a nicer rendering and a few advantages: shadow and highlight adjustments work when you record video so you can open shadows or save additional highlights, resulting in better dynamic range. If you want a real Log profile, only the X-T2 has one (F-Log gamma).
Concerning autofocus both cameras perform well in Continuous AF and good light. I was surprised to see how well the X-T1 was able to keep up with the X-T2, which follows my reasoning about the AF for stills seen earlier on. The X-T2 has a few settings available and you can choose between single and Multi area. The X-T1 automatically switches to Multi when you press the recording button.
With firmware 2.0, the X-T2 allows you to refocus with the shutter release button (or a function button assigned to AF-On) during video recording. You can also display a live histogram.
Concerning audio, the X-T1 has 2.5mm input that can be used for a remote or a microphone with an adapter cable. The audio can be controlled in 4 adjustment levels only. The X-T2 has 20 steps for volume and a dedicated 3.5mm input for microphones. The optional VPB-XT2 battery grip has a headphone output.
The X-T2 has a faster flash sync of 1/250s in comparison to 1/180s on the X-T1. Both cameras comes supplied with a little unit (EF-X8) since they don’t have a built-in flash.
With the supplied flash, both cameras can work in TTL, Commander or Manual modes with the options of slow TTL, Front or Rear Sync curtain. Flash compensation is ±2Ev and you can choose between 3 Red-Eye removal options (Flash+Removal, Flash, Removal). There is also the TTL-Lock mode where you can lock TTL metering based on the last picture taken.
Both cameras are compatible with the new EF-X500 that will provide wireless shooting and HSS. Additionally the X-T2 can work in HSS and TTL with compatible third party studio flash and triggers (Profoto Air Remote for example).
You can find TTL compatible speedlights for both cameras from third party manufacturers but some options like high-speed synchronisation and wireless remote flash may only be compatible with the X-T2.
Note about the Nissin i40 and i60A: they are not compatible with the X-T2 but require a firmware update that can’t be done by the user. If you plan to buy one, make sure that the flash has the latest firmware installed first.
The extra features you can find on both cameras are mostly the same. Below I summarised what remains identical and what has changed.
- Metering: the X-T2 has a fourth option called Average in addition to Spot, Centre-Weighted and Multi. It is designed to provide consistent exposure when shooting multiple shots or working in situations where the light remains the same.
- Manual Focus assist: magnification, peaking (3 colours with two intensities each) and Digital Split Image are available on both cameras. With the X-T2, you can choose to have Digital Split Image in colour or monochrome. Firmware 2.0 on the new camera fixes an annoyance: when using magnification, you can now move the position of the enlarged area which is more useful. You also have Dual View which shows a magnified portion of your frame (where the focus point is) on the right side. On the X-T2 the smaller window remains active when half pressing the shutter release button (firmware 2.0).
- Bracketing: ISO, Film Simulation, White Balance or Dynamic Range on both cameras with 3 shots maximum but on the X-T2 you can also save a RAW version. AE bracketing is limited to ±1 Ev on the X-T1 while the X-T2 can now work up to 9 frames ±3 Ev (firmware 2.0).
- Panorama mode: JPG only, two angles available, four direction options
- Multiple exposure: 2 shots (JPG only)
- Advanced Filters: 13 filter effects each including Toy Camera, partial colour, etc. On the X-T1 you must select JPG only while with the X-T2 (firmware 2.0) you can also save a RAW file with no effects.
- Interval Timer Shooting: same settings on both cameras (max 999 shots) and you can decide to start shooting at a certain time.
- Wifi: cameras can be remotely controlled from a mobile device with the Fuji Camera Remote app (Android and iOS). You can also transfer JPG images (full size or reduced size). You can also use the Fujifilm Instax printer.
- RAW Conversion: available on both cameras
- Tethering: available on the X-T1 via specific plugins and Fujfilm X Acquire for the X-T2. Note that the later has a USB 3 port which means you can transfer files faster
- Pixel mapping: to map out dead pixels, available on the X-T2 only.
- Copyright information: you can register your name and the copyright holder’s name in the EXIF data (X-T2 only, firmware 2.0).
- Voice Memo: you can assign a voice memo of up to 30-seconds to an image in Playback mode (X-T2 only, firmware 2.0).
- Backup/Restore: with specific softwares (Tether Shooting Plug-in or Tether Shooting HS-V5 for the X-T1, Fujifilm X Acquire for the X-T1 and X-T2), you can save and restore your camera settings, as well as copy them from one body to another.
The X-T2 gains compatibility with one additional software thanks to firmware updates:
- Fujifilm X RAW Studio: you can post process RAW files and save them in JPG format using the X Processor Pro of the camera once the latter is connected via USB. It’s like using the built-in RAW Conversion but with the commodity of working with your bigger computer screen. You can also do batch processing if you want to apply the same settings to multiple images.
- Focus Bracketing: you can record up to 999 shots and vary the focus distance between each frame. Once stacked in post, you get an image with more depth of field which is useful for macro or landscape.
The Fujifilm X-T1 has a decent battery life if you don’t stress it too much with power-hungry settings like C-AF, high speed burst, and video. If you disable High Performance under Power Management, you can get through the day with one battery if you turn the camera off when not using it. Still, a spare battery is advised for long outings or quick trips.
The X-T2’s battery performs in a similar way but seems to last longer when shooting in continuous mode. If you start shooting 4K video, however, the battery life will drop very quickly. I had to change one after 3 hours when I shot a mix of short 4K clips and regular stills. One improvement over the X-T1 is that battery life is shown as a percentage and displays 5 bars on the battery icon instead of 3 bars only like the X-T1. The percentage indicator is very precise even when you have 10 or 5% left so it is much more useful to understand how much battery life is left.
Both cameras are compatible with Fujifilm’s new NPW-126S batteries that do improve the battery life a little.
One advantage of the X-T2 is the possibility to charge it via USB so you can even use a portable charger (I have the excellent Anker Mini which you can find on eBay).
Both cameras have the option of an original battery grip. The one for the X-T2 is more advanced and unleashes some extra performance like 11fps shooting, reduced shooting interval, shutter time lag and blackout time.
Being more than two years old, the X-T1 can naturally be found at a more attractive price, often for much less than $1000. The graphite silver version is a little more expensive. At the time of writing, Fujifilm is also doing some cash-back deals on the camera. You may find it easily second-hand as well.
The X-T2, having been just recently announced, is more expensive at almost $1600 which is basically double the price of what a brand new X-T1 costs these days.
As we’ve seen, the X-T2 offers a number of relevant improvements in comparison to the X-T1. The one I appreciated the most is definitely the build quality. While the two cameras look almost identical from the outside, the X-T2 feels more robust thanks to all the little improvements made to the dials, buttons and other parts of the camera. It is almost perfect in terms of usability and ergonomics, though people with large hands might need an extra grip.
In addition to the increased resolution and dynamic range in the highlights, the new 24MP sensor brings some added versatility such as, for example, the possibility to shoot RAW at all ISO sensitivities.
The new autofocus system is also more versatile and feels faster especially when challenged by difficult situations such as very fast-moving subjects. Otherwise, the X-T1 is almost as fast, especially if you use the latest lenses such as the XF 23mm f/2, the XF 90mm f/2 or the Pro zooms. Honestly, more than the AF speed, it is the new settings and options on the X-T2 that make a difference, as they allow you to better control the camera’s behaviour and reduce potential autofocus errors. The larger buffer capabilities, as well as the reduced lag and blackouts help as well.
Another relevant improvement is the movie section where we find excellent 4K video and more controls on the X-T2. The pleasant colour rendering is also a selling point if you have medium or advanced video needs.
The X-T2 will definitely appeal more to advanced shooters looking for a camera that performs similarly to mid-to-high end DSLRs. It sports near-perfect ergonomics, excellent image quality and is capable of handling challenging AF conditions, making it the better overall choice compared to the X-T1.
However, this isn’t to say that the X-T1 isn’t a worthwhile investment and with its more attractive price tag, there is little doubt it will continue to be a popular model. It provides very good image quality and AF performance, so as long as you aren’t shooting wildlife and sports on a regular basis and don’t require high-end video quality, there is no reason you shouldn’t consider it, especially if you’re on a tight budget. So, to summarise:
Choose the Fujifilm X-T1 if:
- You are on a budget
- You don’t need 4K video
- You don’t need the fastest performance for sports or wildlife
Choose the Fujifilm X-T2 if:
- You want a camera capable of delivering excellent stills and videos
- You need a larger buffer, faster burst speed and more control over the autofocus for wildlife or sports
- You can’t work without a Dual SD card slot
Check the price of the Fujifilm X-T1 on:
Check the price of the Fujifilm X-T2 on
Second-hand Fujifilm cameras on
Interested in other Fujifilm cameras? Then you might enjoy the following comparison!
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs X-T3 – The complete comparison
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs X-Pro2 – The complete comparison
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs X-T20 – The complete comparison
- Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-T20 – Five aspects analysed
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs Olympus OM-D E-M1 II – The complete comparison
- Fujifilm X-T2 vs Sony a6500 – The complete comparison
You are on page 2.
- Page 1: design, functionality and image quality
- Page 2: autofocus, speed, video, other features and conclusion