The Fujifilm X-S20 Camera Hands-On Review

Small, but mighty. Fujifilm’s latest cutting-edge X-S20 could be the most adaptable and cost-effective hybrid camera of our times.

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6.5MomentScore

This game-changing camera body, from a company acclaimed for extraordinary photography-focused cameras, is set to redefine the horizon for hybrid shooters and emerging content creators. Flaunting enviable specs in a compact and robust package, the X-S20 stands ready to empower any project. To showcase the X-S20's capabilities, join us for an epic adventure with the Moment crew. We delved into Arizona's majestic desert vistas, navigated thrilling hiking trails, captured cozy cooking moments, and even orchestrated a riveting Kickball match with the versatile X-S20. Watch the video link above or read for a more comprehensive review to witness the camera's full potential.

Photo By @gajanbalan
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It boasts phenomenal performance wrapped in an astonishingly small price tag. The Fujifilm X-S20, though an ASP-C sensor system, upholds Fujifilm's esteemed quality and even promises to outshine its popular predecessor, the X-S10.

The X-S20 embodies a perfect blend of power and portability, tailored for dynamic photographers and content creators seeking ultimate creative control. Weighing a mere 1lb, this compact powerhouse is deceptively potent. Its ergonomically friendly design, smaller than an iPhone 14 Pro, ensures comfort for all-day use, no matter your skill level.

The 26.1-megapixel sensor, employing Fujifilm's legendary color science, ensures exceptional results. Additional features include a 180° vari-angle LCD touchscreen and up to 20fps uncropped continuous shooting handles for anything you want to throw at it.

It’s as powerful as you’d expect a new Fujifilm camera to be. The X-S20 unites cutting-edge sensor and processor technologies for outstanding performance in photos and video because why not have both? The pairing of the X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 5 imaging engine, a first in the X-S series, leads to unrivaled image and video processing speeds and striking autofocus improvements. The new AF algorithm, sharing the subject detection capabilities of the top-tier X-H2S and the Auto Subject Detection AF, empowers you to shoot anything you want.

The camera's large handgrip ensures a secure hold, while the enhanced five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) now offers up to 7 stops of compensation. This one-stop gain over the X-S10's IBIS system better encourages gimbal-free videography and even stronger handheld low-light photography.

In short, if you're contemplating an upgrade from the X-S10, the X-S20 is undeniably a strong contender for photographers and filmmakers or hybrid shooters.

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The Latest “Vlog Mode”

Say hello to the latest “Vlog Mode,” Fujifilm’s latest video posterchild feature boasting automatic settings straight out of the box to make this bad boy ready to shoot when you are.

One major advantage to Vlog Mode is the touchscreen menu offering quick access to features like self-timer, image stabilization, face/eye detect, high-speed slow-motion, and two brand new features such as Product Priority Mode (this mode is perfect for unboxing/product review videos, as the autofocus will recognize the product rather than be locked onto your face/eye).

Additionally, the redefined Background Defocus Mode will defocus cluttered backgrounds for you. Insane, right? Now I don’t have to clean up my living room before I press record. Just kidding. Kind of.

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Great For Photography

It’s a damn good hybrid camera for a reason.

The XS20 boasts an impressive 26.1MP X-Trans 5 sensor, identical to the ones found in the renowned XT4 and X100V models. This ensures that the image quality you receive from this camera parallels that of higher-end models. The camera further enhances your photography experience with its film simulation aesthetics range, allowing you to bypass post-processing in Lightroom. This feature is ideal for those seeking an efficient 'shoot and upload' experience.

Moreover, the camera's built-in flash uniquely appeals to the photos, endowing them with a nostalgic, film-like quality reminiscent of the point-and-shoot era. A prime example of this can be seen in the quick photo we snapped of Natalie and Elliott in our cabin’s kitchen during sundown. It’s like a film point-and-shoot but digital and way more efficient.

But, as said before, one of its most notable features is its surprisingly lightweight design, weighing in at just 1.08 lbs. This makes it incredibly portable, easily fitting in your pocket, making it an ideal choice for travel photography. Despite its compact size, the X-S20 retains a high degree of functionality, proving to be an exceptionally capable camera.

To be honest, due to its portability and extreme quality for both photos and video — this camera is nearly 10x better than the X100V. I’m being totally serious.

Market Competitors

While Canon and Sony remain strong players in the video-making sector, Fujifilm is catching up at an impressive pace. The company has always excelled at addressing customer feedback. Even before introducing the beloved Fujifilm X-H2S, Fujifilm camera users had been eager for video-specific features to be as rich and nuanced as their photo-capturing counterparts.

The X-S20 effectively bridges the divide between professionals seeking something as feature-laden as the FX3 and content creators who are more concept-focused than quality-obsessed. It's the ideal fusion of pro-level tools for a content creator and appeals to the higher-end photographer because it's a Fujifilm camera.

To put it in the context of an existing lineup — consider the X-S20 as the Sony ZV-E1's sibling but with the photography capabilities of the X-T5. It's compact, bolstered with reliable features for filmmakers, offers an interchangeable lens mount for a range of focal lengths, and maintains a sleek quality for stills. Plus, it doubles the battery life of previous Fujifilm models — a critical advantage for all-day field shoots where charging facilities are scarce.

It’s basically the X100V for filmmakers. So yeah, this camera is a big deal.

What We Rate


  • Skill Level
    • Just getting started
    • Understands manual settings
    • Shoots regularly
    • Professional

  • Photo Quality
    • Passable
    • Pretty Good
    • Really good
    • Best Out There

  • Video Quality
    • Passable
    • Pretty Good
    • Really good
    • Best Out There

  • Auto Focus
    • Always hunting
    • It Works
    • It Works Quickly
    • Quick and Locked In

  • Low Light
    • Very noisy.
    • Average
    • Clean
    • Crisp And Clean

  • Battery Life
    • Sucks
    • Not Bad
    • Good
    • Really Good

  • Rugged Ability
    • Leave it in the studio
    • Daily Carry
    • Traveler
    • Mountain Goat

  • Build Quality
    • Cheap
    • What You’d Expect
    • Solid
    • Top Of The Line
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New Fujifilm Simulation

If you're a fan of Fujifilm's simulations, you'll be thrilled to learn about the latest addition: ETERNA Bleach Bypass. This unique simulation, new to Fujifilm’s existing lineup, provides cooler highlights and a striking contrast blend perfect for capturing outdoor scenes and stunning landscapes. While this newer simulation is a bit cold in hue, it’s undoubtedly well-loved by creators who are used to Fujifilm’s consistent color science. I found it photographed better under cloudy skies in the forested trees.

2x Better Battery Life

In today's run-and-gun content creation world, the X-S20 becomes your dependable companion with a significantly improved battery life. Its robust NP-W235 cell delivers a staggering 730 frames in Normal mode — over twice the capacity of its predecessor — and an impressive 800 frames in Economy mode.

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The New 8mm F/3.5 Lens

Fujifilm also released a new 8mm focal length to the X-Mount camera lineup, and boy, it’s a riot. It effortlessly encompasses the subject and the environment without harsh vignetting like most fisheye lenses. However, it's pretty damn wide and, therefore, more niche than I'd care to admit.

With a cropped focal length of 12mm and an expansive viewing angle exceeding 120°, this lens unveils a world brimming with creative potential for vloggers and selfie-lovers. Its ultra-wide focal length lets you intimately frame your subject while including an extensive backdrop, ensuring every aspect of the scene is captured in brilliant detail.

Designed to complement the latest 40-megapixel X-Trans sensors, the XF 8mm F3.5 employs a sophisticated optical structure comprising two ED (extra-low dispersion) and three aspherical elements. This combination effectively curbs aberrations and ensures razor-sharp imagery from edge to edge. The lens's rectilinear design also mitigates frame-edge distortion, maintaining vertical lines in your shots.

Unlike the conventional bulky ultra-wide lenses with large front elements, the lens stands out for its compactness and lightness. Tipping the scales at a mere 215g (7.6oz) never weighs you down. Its compact design also facilitates the attachment of filters via the 62mm thread, enabling effortless use of NDs or polarizers for boundless creative exploration. Moreover, the lens sports a weather-resistant design, ensuring it's shielded against dust, moisture, and low temperatures — making it a reliable companion in almost any shooting situation.

While rich in clarity, the lens is fairly niche and seems intense for everyday lifestyle shooters. This lens is perfect for capturing cool fashion shots, architecture, or fast action-packed scenes for sports lovers and skaters but might be too wide for the casual capturer. You can see some test footage in the video, linked at the top of the page.

  • Ultra wide angle lens, 12mm in 35mm format
  • Great image quality, supporting 40MP
  • Lightweight and compact. Only 220g
  • Weather resistant
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Conclusion

This camera is a powerhouse for vloggers and street photographers. Fujifilm consistently dazzles creators with its superior capture tools and innovative features that advance with every model. Upgrading often seems like a dilemma, but the significant enhancements in the X-S20 make it an irresistible investment if your budget allows it.

The X-S20 is ideal for anyone transitioning from a simpler point-and-shoot to a more sophisticated setup while retaining classic manual cameras' tactile charm and ergonomics.

Although it may not be the top pick for high-end professionals or filmmakers seeking a device to accompany them to high-profile events like the Cannes Film Festival, it's a compelling choice for everyday creators that beg to satisfy videos and stills at once.

Shooting with this impressive device was a blast, and I'm confident you'll feel the same.

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