In this article I would like to take a look at a camera with you that is considered as an entry into the world of Fuji-X system cameras: The Fujifilm X-T200. Who is ist for? What can it do? What makes it different from other cameras in the series?
The Fujifilm X-T200 I write this review about has been lend to me by Fujfilm Germany for free. But just as a disclaimer in advance: I am not paid for this review, nor do I have to hold back my personal opinion.
Summary and Specifications
First of all briefly about the X-T200 in general: It was released in January 2020 and is available in silver, like this model here, in dark silver and – they call it – champagne gold. I will not go into every detail here, but a short list of specs:
- We’re talking about a camera with a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.
- In terms of video function, it offers 4K with 30 frames per second and 15 minutes recording limit as well as Full HD with 60 frames per second with 30 min. recording limit.
- The Fujifilm X-T200 has a fast autofocus with face / eye recognition, a burst mode for photos with up to 8 frames per second, a 8.9 cm or 3.5 inch, touchscreen with a 180 degree selfie flippability.
- It offers the possibility of electronic image stabilization and a so called “digital gimbal” for video recording, 20 creative filters, including clarity, and 11 film simulations.
- The X-T200 weighs 370 grams and the cheapest price in October 2020 as a kit with the 15-45mm is around € 800 in Germany. In the US the regular price is 799$, but it only costs 499$ at B&H at the moment of this review and the camera is apparently also available as a body only package, for around 450$ at the moment.
Housing and connections
The Fujifilm X-T200 is a compact camera in DSLR style, lightweight and therefore long to carry, it has a screen that can be folded out to the side and then fully turned to the front, but more on that later.
The Body is made entirely of plastic, but feels quite high-quality and, above all, doesn’t look cheap. The grip offers a decent feel, but not for my entire hand. I have pretty big hands …
The X-T200 has a completely different operating concept than the Fuji-X cameras that I usually use, but more on that later. Overall, however, everything is actually tidy and clear.
The X-T200 has no splash or dust protection (WR), but in my opinion you can really get over that when you are new to the Fuji-X world. There is a USB-C connection for charging the battery in the housing, for transferring images to the computer and for using the camera as a webcam with the Fuji webcam app. I’ve used it several times in my job and I have to say that my colleagues are always impressed with the image quality.
An adapter is included with the camera to use the USB-C port to connect headphones. Unfortunately, charging and listening are not possible at the same time, but I think that’s to be tolerated with this camera class and its compactness. For connection to an external recorder or simply to connect an external screen, the X-T200 has a micro-HDMI port on board.
In addition, there is a microphone connection on the other side with the not widely used 2.5mm jack as with all more compact cameras from Fujifilm. So you usually need an adapter here too, but at least there is a microphone connection.
The battery chamber and the SD-Card slot are localized at the bottom plate, the battery by the way is the good old NP-W126S, used for all the latest cameras except for the X-T4.
Actually, I should say: Everything I love about my Fujifilm cameras regarding the analog approach is missing on the X-T200 and the kit lens: No ISO dial, no aperture ring, no shutter speed dial. Nevertheless, with what I’m doing on a regular basis, I absolutely belong to the target group and I think the camera is really well suited for this: For vlogging.
When I flip the screen to the front and take selfies or film myself for YouTube, I can’t do anything with the beautiful, mechanical control dials I usually love so much. I can only reach them very poorly or not at all from the “other” side of the camera. The accessibility of all important functions via touch screen is very well implemented to the Fujifilm X-T200 in my opinion. The screen reacts quickly, I can even assign two “switches” on the touch screen menu. Everything I need to react to changed situations in selfie mode is very easy to reach.
The basic settings are made using a mode dial on top of the body. Here we find the usual photo modes, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, automatic program P and manual mode, but also fully automatic, panorama, advanced filter and scene modes, e.g. for portraits. In SR mode, you can select additional scenes yourself.
Additionally, there are some mechanical possibilities that allow me to create a real Fujifilm camera feeling. There is a dial on the shutter release that changes its function depending on the mode, for example the setting of the aperture in mode A, the shutter speed in mode S and shifting in mode P. The rear dial is used for exposure correction, except in mode M for manual, since the front dial sets the aperture and the rear dial sets the shutter speed.
In addition to the control dials, there are two physical buttons that can be assigned. Out of old habit I put the Q menu and the ISO setting in the back. All in all, these are of course fewer options than with most other Fujifilm-X cameras, but as I said, the focus here is clearly on the touchscreen.
There is a button at the top for quickly starting a video, which also works when I’m in photo mode and is arranged in such a way that it is also easily accessible in the selfie position. So, here again, a real advantage for vlogging.
The on / off switch is not well positioned and difficult to use with my rather large hands. I understand why it doesn’t hang on the shutter release as the dial is used differently, but maybe it should have been better attached to the back.
Another downer: I can’t save custom settings. I think that’s a shame, because I have to keep making new settings for my different scenarios. But overall, I have to say that I am very positively surprised by the operation of the camera, especially for selfies and vlogging.
We have 8 film simulations on board the Fujifilm X-T200, namely Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Pro Negative High, Pro Negative Standard, Monochrome with three different filters and Sepia. Acros, Eterna, Eterna Bleach Bypass and Classic Neg. are not on board. I can’t explain each and every one here, but you will be able to find a lot of information about them on the internet.
In addition there are also some Creative Filters available to play around with, including some very useful ones like Clarity, but also more senseless ones like the fish eye lens, which I’ve never used. I think it’s nice to have but not very remarkable.
For me personally, switching from my X-T3 or X-100V to the X-T200 would of course be a downgrade, at least in the field of photography. I like the analog operating concept of my Fuji cameras too much for that. And I miss my crucial film simulations in the X-T200: Acros, Classic Neg. and Eterna. But that’s understandable, my X-T3 and X100V cost significantly more and are also intended for a different target group.
Apart from that I can only say positive things about taking photos with the Fujifilm X-T200: The autofocus works quickly and reliably, with Provia, Classic Chrome and Pro Negative High there are three other favorites in the area of film simulations, the image quality is very good – what more could a beginner want ?
Only the kit lens is really not my cup of tea, even if the image quality is absolutely fine. Nevertheless: The 15-45mm focal length covers an interesting area from landscape or architecture to portrait photography, but the opening aperture 3.5 at 15mm or 5.6 in the telephoto range is often not fast enough for me. I would rather get by without a zoom and instead use one of the great f2 lenses from Fuji. I haven’t tested it myself yet, but if you can go without an aperture ring, you should for example look at the cheap XC 35mm f2. From the inside, this should correspond exactly to the more expensive XF 35mm f2 and this really is a super great lens, great quality, super fast autofocus and sufficiently fast with f2. And the XC version costs just under 200 €. If you have a little more in your wallet and maybe even enjoy a real aperture ring, the small WR series is a great set of focal lengths for this camera: 16mm 2.8, 23mm f2, the already mentioned 35mm f2 and 50mm f2. Maybe Fujifilm will also bring them out in XC versions. And of course you can also use all other lenses from the large selection of the Fuji-X system on this camera. But that’s another topic. To get started, the kit may be enough if you can handle the maximum aperture. The quality is always right. I’ll just show you a few pictures that I took with this camera together with the kit lens.
On the subject of video: The X-T200 is an almost perfect vlogging camera. The rotating screen with the touch operation from there is particularly positive. The microphone connection is good to have, the weight is really low, the camera can also be carried on a mini tripod for a while during recording, which can be started at any time with the recording button, which is well positioned at the front.
The face and eye autofocus works quickly and reliably, you can see this in my Youtube-Review of the camera.
With an OIS lens, like the kit lens, you have real stabilization on board. So I tested it with the kit lens only, then with the digital image stabilization and then with the so-called digital gimbal for you.
What is not so popular with video recordings are the recording limitations. 15 minutes maximum with 4k, 30 minutes with Full HD. I shoot my videos in Full HD and almost never record longer than 30 minutes at a time, but if you record in 4k the 15 minutes are in any case not so much.
The camera has no IBIS, meaning a physical IN Body Image Stabilization (like the new X-S10 for example), but it seems to work quite well digitally, but of course only with video. With photos you have to stick to the good old rules of focal length and shutter speed.
The kit lens is also not particularly fast for vlogging also, and you can only create a small amount of separation from the background if you’re shooting wide. I’m not necessarily missing recording with F-Log, but the fact that the Eterna film simulation is missing, which gives other Fujifilm-X cameras a special cinema look, is a shame.
So, let’s come to my conclusion: for whom is this camera?
Fujfifilm itself speaks of “young creatives” as the target group for the X-T200, and in my opinion that fits very well. The “smartphone” generation is addressed, who are on Instagram or Youtube a lot and want a more professional tool for creating their posts. Fujifilm offers a classic – if you want vintage – DSLR style camera for non-professional hybrid shooters, with a clear focus on fast and high-quality content creation in contrast to pure photography or videography with an analog feeling as with the other cameras of the X-series. Even if for me personally the other approach, more in the direction of “analog” feeling, has always felt right and I am therefore at home with the Fuji-X system, I still consider the implementation in the X-T200 to be absolutely successful despite some minor disadvantages. As an X-T3 owner, I can even get a little jealous of the touchscreen and have a look in the direction of the X-T4, which has a similar screen installed. I think this thing is really great for some situations.
This camera could definitely be an option for my YouTube activities, also for a vacation with my kids, where I only take photos in Provia anyway, it would be a good option due to its low weight. But maybe better with a 35mm f2 lens. If you are looking for something more semi-professional, which is more focused on photography, I recommend taking a look at the X-T30 or the X100V as an alternative. Have a look at my Battle of the Cams on Youtube.
But as a conclusion to the X-T200: For an entry into the world of Fuji-X cameras or for someone specializing in video or hybrid content creation, I can absolutely recommend the X-T200.