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Product photos by Shaminder Dulai and Brendan Nystedt

Fujifilm has debuted its enhanced midrange APS-C mirrorless model, the 26MP Fujifilm X-S20. This interchangeable lens camera has improved video features and a new vlog mode, but doesn't stray from the original very much. The X-S20 retains the deep grip, approachable design, plentiful ports, and in-body image stabilization of the X-S10 (though its grip hides a bigger battery), making for a well-rounded new camera for beginners and intermediate shooters alike.

Key specifications

  • 26MP X-Trans BSI-CMOS sensor
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization (CIPA-rated to 7 stops)
  • On-sensor phase detection
  • 3", 1.84M-dot fully articulating touchscreen
  • 2.36M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • 20 fps burst shooting (up to 30 fps with a crop)
  • DCI and UHD 4K at up to 30p with 10-bit F-Log and F-Log2 support
  • External mic and 3.5mm headphone socket
  • 750 shots per charge using LCD
  • USB power delivery support
  • Single UHS-II card slot
  • Wi-Fi + Bluetooth
  • Compatibility with FAN-001

The Fujifilm X-S20 will be available from June 29th with a recommended price of $1299 body-only. Two kit options will be available, one with the XC15-45 for $1399 and another with the XF18-55 for $1599. This is a $300 price increase from its predecessor, the X-S10.

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What's new

A bigger mode dial makes room for a Vlog mode. Larger buttons should be easier to press without looking, too.

A quick look at the spec sheet tells us that the Fujifilm X-S20 is a lot like its predecessor. It has the same 26MP X-Trans sensor, a slightly improved in-body stabilization system, and a very similar overall design. But look closer and the subtle changes start to pop out. Many buttons and dials are repositioned or larger to make them easier to press. The grip has grown a tad larger to fit a bigger battery. There's a flap for a headphone jack underneath the palm rest. And more differences start to appear once you dig into the menus and twist the mode dial.

Video upgrades

An upgraded X Processor 5 gives the biggest boost to the new model in its video capabilities. That means in-body 4K/60 4:2:2 10-bit internal is now on the table, as is open-gate (3:2 aspect) 6.2K. Fujifilm has also included its F-Log2 color profile, giving users a Fujifilm-rated additional stop of grading potential at its base ISO of 1250. If you want to use an external HDMI recorder, the camera can now output to ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW if desired.

With the right accessories, the X-S20 becomes a fully-featured video shooting machine.

If you're thinking that this is starting to seem like a mini X-H2, then you're on the right track. The X-S20 adds compatibility with that camera's cooling fan, the FAN-001, which screws onto the back of the X-S20 with ease. Also new in this model is a headphone jack, eliminating the need for a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter.

Recent Videos

Continuous record time is a bit of an issue for the camera on its own, lasting only 36 minutes in the demanding 6.2K mode when tested by Fujifilm at 25°C (77°F). With the FAN-001 attached, runtime more than doubles to 78 minutes.

A new '1080/60P LP' mode is designed to make extended recording easier on the camera. By using a 1.29x crop and thus a smaller portion of the image sensor, the processor can take a break from binning or line skipping; this mode nets you 32 minutes recording in 40°C (104°F) heat, or 78 minutes equipped with the FAN-001.

Vlog mode and UVC/UAC webcam

Conveniently located on the mode dial, Vlog mode brings a new video shooting interface to the Fujifilm system. This is designed to make typical kinds of content creator work easy and accessible. Tap the Vlog button on the touchscreen, and you get six quick-access buttons for common features like stabilization, the self-timer, eye/face detection, a product priority mode (that makes the autofocus snap onto objects held towards the lens), a high-speed recording toggle, and a background defocus mode (that opens the lens up as much as possible). The X-S20 also shows the user it's filming with a red box around the LCD preview, or a green one if high-speed footage is being captured.

If you're less of an aspiring YouTuber and more of a Twitch streamer, then the X-S20 can be used as an impressive webcam. Using the USB-C port, you can output a 4K/60p live stream from the camera. And unlike older Fujifilm models, the XWebcam software isn't necessary, since the X-S20 relies on the UVC/UAC standard.

Autofocus and subject detection improvements

Stills shooters also get some extra help thanks to the faster X Processor 5 inside the X-S20. Fujifilm claims to have added an improved autofocus algorithm, developed originally for the high-end X-H2S model, so moving subjects and smaller subjects in particular should be captured with higher reliability.

The X-S20 also inherits the X-H2 family's subject detection modes. In PASM or custom modes, these can be individually selected. You can pick from Animal, Bird, Automobile, Motorcycle & Bike, Airplane, and Train modes. If you shoot in full Auto mode, the camera will attempt to recognize and apply the correct mode based on the subject in the frame.

How it compares

As the market of vlog-friendly cameras blossoms, hybrid shooters have a wide array of models to choose from at a surprising range of prices. Here we've compared the Fujifilm X-S20 to some of its APS-C competition. Though the X-S20 sits at the high end price-wise, it comes with a commensurate amount of features and seems like a good value overall.

Fujifilm X-S20 Nikon Z30 Sony a6700 Canon EOS R10
MSRP $1299 $710 $1398 $979
Pixel count 26MP 20.2MP 26MP 24MP
Sensor size APS-C APS-C APS-C APS-C
Image stabilization In-body + in-lens Lens only (+ digital in video) In-body Lens only (+ digital in video)
Max burst rate 8 fps (mech shutter)
20 fps (elec shutter)
11 fps (mech shutter) 11 fps (mech shutter)

15 fps (mech shutter)
23 fps (elec shutter)

Viewfinder res / mag 2.36M dots
/ 0.62x
N/A 2.36M dots / 0.71x 2.36M dots
/ 0.71x
Rear screen 3.0", 1.84M-dot articulating touchscreen 3.0", 1.04M-dot articulating touchscreen 3.0", 1.04M-dot articulating touchscreen 3.2", 1.04M-dot articulating touchscreen
Video capabilities Up to 6.2K/30p 3:2 (open gate), UHD/DCI/60p 4:2:2 10-bit UHD/30p Up to UHD 4K/60p 4:2:2 10-bit, 4K/120p with 1.58x crop UHD/30p full-width UHD/60p from 1.56x crop
Log video F-Log, F-Log2 N/A S-Log3 HDR PQ
Mic/ Headphone sockets? Yes / Yes Yes / No Yes / Yes Yes / No
Battery life
750 330 570 350
Card slot 1x UHS II SD 1x UHS I SD 1x UHS II SD 1x UHS II SD
Weight 491g (17.3oz) 405g (14.3oz) 493g (17.4oz) 426g (15oz)

We can see that although it's bested in a few minor specs, there's one standout area: its video capabilities (particularly the open gate 6.2K option) are beyond what most mirrorless competitors offer, which becomes doubly effective coupled with its strong battery. The Canon EOS R10, for instance, still maintains a good lead in continuous shooting, but has less than half the CIPA-rated battery life of the X-S20. The inexpensive vlog-centric Nikon Z30 might be good for those with 1080p video needs, but Fujifilm's option is in a different class altogether.

Body and handling

While the X-S20 seems a dead ringer for the X-S10, it improves on the original design in subtle ways.

The Fujifilm X-S20 is hardly a shouty camera, choosing a subdued style that focuses on functionality over visual appeal. With its compact size, DSLR-style grip, and dual control dials, it's approachable – it looks like an average camera. Appropriately, it's the functional touches that have been adjusted on the body. Compared to its predecessor, many of the controls have been enlarged, with bigger dials and more pronounced buttons, while retaining the satisfyingly clicky rear joystick. The articulated touchscreen gets a small bump in resolution, while the electronic viewfinder, with its small OLED panel, is the same as in the X-S10.

The keen-eyed among you will recognize the two holes and small plug behind the rear LCD. Cribbing from the X-H2 models, the X-S20 can accept Fujifilm's FAN-001 accessory, which adds a cooling fan to the camera. This is a pricey accessory at around $200, but it can let the X-S20 shoot video for double the default duration and provide reliability in higher temperatures.

Thanks to the addition of a real headphone jack on the grip, the USB-C port can be used to power the camera while you monitor the audio.

Fujifilm has clearly tried to bolster everything photographers liked about the X-S10, including its port selection. It has a USB-C with power delivery for charging, a micro HDMI and a 2.5mm microphone jack that also can accept a wired shutter release. On the grip, there's a brand-new 3.5mm headphone terminal. In the X-S10, users needed to use a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter, but X-S20 users can plug in directly.

The Fujifilm X-S20 has a battery that can achieve a rating of 800 shots on a single charge, in the right mode.

Apart from the upgraded processor, the biggest internal change is shifting from the smaller, 8.7Wh NP-W126 battery to the 16Wh NP-W235 battery. This almost doubles the battery capacity: the CIPA-rated shot count on a single charge goes from 325 shots all the way to 750, or as far as 800 when using the camera's Economy power setting. In order to accommodate this bigger battery, the camera's grip is slightly larger, which makes the camera a bit more comfortable to hold. As usual, it's not uncommon to achieve twice the CIPA-rated value.

Next to the battery is the upgraded UHS-II SD card slot. While you only get the one slot, and it's more or less in the same spot, the uprated interface will be a boon for burst shooting. With a fast SD card, Fujifilm says the X-S20 can shoot more than 1,000 JPEGs or compressed Raw files at 8 fps.

Image quality

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

Like we've seen in other recent 26-megapixel Fujifilm cameras, image quality is very good from the X-S20. All in all, you're basically getting image quality on par with the discontinued X-T4 – Fujifilm's still and video flagship from three years ago – which retailed for hundreds more. It's competitive with its peers, as well, showing similar image quality to the Canon EOS R10, Sony a6600, and Nikon Z fc.

Colors are typical of Fujifilm in the default profile, giving subjects just a bit of pop without looking overly garish. Reds, in particular, aren't as bright as those from Nikon or Canon. Of course, if you're buying a Fujifilm, you'll want to experiment with its signature film simulation modes, as JPEGs from the X-S20 can look very stylish if you don't want to fuss with developing Raws.

Dynamic range

Like its predecessors, the sensor in the X-S20 is somewhat of a known quantity as it's been turning out great images for a few years now. While it's of a previous generation and lacks whizzy new sensor technologies, it has plenty of dynamic range and will let you underexpose your photos to protect highlights, without sacrificing information in the shadows.


Although the sensor is old hat, the X-S20 adds faster processing which directly impacts autofocus performance and features. You can expect fairly good performance, but accuracy is very much tied to subject detection modes. If you're shooting a moving subject, definitely switch over to the camera's face detection mode to keep your subject in focus more reliably. The subject detection modes we tried worked well but is still somewhat prone to false positives, particularly in human face detection mode.

In our continuous AF test, we found that straight-line performance with face detection on or off was fairly similar, only starting to lose focus as the subject got closer to the camera. This is what we'd expect: the riding directly approaching the camera is simply meant to test the camera's ability to measure and predict subject distance, and to drive the lens to the correct focus distance.

But in a zig-zag, the subject was sometimes lost as the rider changes direction: a challenge for the camera as the rate of approach varies. The hit rate was pretty good, and the camera didn't try and refocus on the background, as some previous Fujifilm models have, but there are shots that are noticeably a bit out of focus as the X-S20 struggles to anticipate the movement. On the whole, Fujifilm's AF is still behind competitors like Sony, with its a6700 featuring far better subject tracking.


The ability to add a fan to the back of the X-S20 means you can add the ability to shoot for long periods more reliably but that stills-only shooters don't incur any expense or bulk. Having to keep the screen extended when the fan is attached is a bit awkward, though.

Video is where the Fujifilm X-S20 picks up some new tricks from the company's X-H2 cameras. Not only will this shoot great-looking 4K at a number of standard frame rates, but it also picks up a 6.2K open-gate mode, perfect for cropping later into wide-and-tall aspects for all matter of social media. The X-S20 resolves a little less detail than the Sony a6700, but not by a whole lot and should still look great once uploaded to social media.

The provision of the attractive 'Eterna' color mode also helps give a strong starting point for making attractive video.

For more advanced videographers, you have access to the Eterna and F-Log color profiles, as well as Hybrid Log Gamma. That means you'll be able to grade this footage after the fact to get the look you want.

Rolling shutter

Rolling shutter results we measured from the X-S20 were around the same as the X-T4. That means that in UHD 4K, when shooting 60p footage, you can expect 16ms, and when shooting 24p footage it's more like 20ms.

If you want to use the 3:2 aspect open-gate mode at 6.2K/24p, which uses the full height and width of the sensor, you can expect a slower response time at 24ms. That's far behind the stacked sensor of the pricier X-H2S, which clocked in at 6.2ms. This might sound worryingly bad, but if you only use a crop of the frame, there'll be less of a lag between the top and bottom of your shot (as you'd expect, a full-width 16:9 crop would take around 20ms, while a native UHD crop would take a mere 12.5ms).

All of these results are very good, and as long as you aren't shooting very fast subjects, you shouldn't see much rolling shutter "jello" effect in your video.


What we like... What we don't...
  • Great image quality
  • Compact size
  • Impressive video features
  • Solid battery life
  • Good burst shooting speed
  • Approachable control setup
  • Fair price
  • Headphone and mic jacks
  • Autofocus trails competitors
  • Small electronic viewfinder
  • AF joystick inconveniently placed for some users
  • Small ∼2 sec buffer makes 20fps shooting less useful

The bottom line is that Fujifilm's X-S20 gives you a lot of value for the money. Although it's a little more expensive than (and a dead ringer for) the previous X-S10, this is a meaningful upgrade in most regards – especially if you're hoping to capture video with it. The battery life makes it a competent companion for day-long shoots without having to hassle with USB-C charging or spare batteries.

Subject detection modes can come in handy, like when shooting trains or airplanes. Auto mode can apply subject detection without user intervention.

Fujinon XF 70-300mm F4-5.6 R LM | ISO 1000 | 1/1000 sec | F5.6
Taken using a pre-production Fujifilm X-S20
Photo: Brendan Nystedt

That's not to say it's a perfect camera. Fujifilm still is behind its competitors (specifically Canon and Sony) when it comes to tracking and keeping high-speed subjects in focus. Looking at the marketplace around the X-S20's price, you absolutely need to weigh your needs when it comes to autofocus – around the same MSRP you can get competing options with far more reliable subject tracking. Oh, and that itty-bitty viewfinder is fine in a pinch, but it's in need of a replacement the next time around.

The 26-megapixel X-Trans sensor is a little older, but can still output gorgeous images with vivid colors.

Fujinon XF 23mm F1.4 R LM | ISO 160 | 1/3200 sec | F1.4
Taken using a pre-production Fujifilm X-S20
Photo: Brendan Nystedt

All of that said, if lenses are what you're after, and you're eager to pick up some unique prime lenses, Fujifilm has a leg up in that department. Between Fujifilm's appealing film simulations and the diversity of lenses available, the X-S20 will be the pick for those who like to march to the beat of their own drum but don't want to compromise on image quality.

"If you're on the hunt for your first 'real' camera, the Fujifilm X-S20 is an extremely appealing package."

If you're on the hunt for your first 'real' camera, the Fujifilm X-S20 is an extremely appealing package. Especially when paired with the superb 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 kit lens, this is a camera that gives you most of Fujifilm's best technology for not a whole lot of dough. It might not have the distilled sex appeal of the tre chic X100V, but the X-S20 packs a powerful performance punch.

The autofocus and viewfinder stop it achieving our highest award, as it undermines its appeal to the general customer, but they don't stop it being one of our favorite photographer's cameras in its class.

They may look incredibly similar, but the X-S20 is a big upgrade from the previous generation.


Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about what these numbers mean.

Fujifilm X-S20
Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The X-S20 is a surprisingly capable APS-C camera, giving you 2020 flagship-level performance for a reasonable price. It lacks the autofocus performance of its competitors, but it makes up for that by cramming in a ton of features for videos and photos alike, giving content creators room to experiment and grow. It shoots charming, high-quality images, solid 4K video and arguably has more character than its competitors.
Good for
New content creators shooting stills and video
Not so good for
High-speed action or wildlife photography
Overall score

Compared to its peers

The Fujifilm X-S20 is a better-rounded camera than either the cheaper Canon EOS R10 or the slightly more expensive, higher-performance EOS R7. While the Canon cameras have more modern autofocus, a big pitfall is the lack of lenses in the Canon EOS RF-S system. While you can get plenty of full frame lenses, smaller, optimized-for-APS-C options are few and far between – and you'll have to get them only from Canon. Fujifilm's X-mount system is focused on APS-C and has a wide array of lenses to choose from, giving you a lot of choice.

Sony's lens selection, on the other hand, is quite good, and the competing a6700 is a real tough comparison. This has a faster-readout version of the same 26MP sensor as the X-S20, but with more sophisticated autofocus supporting it for shooting fast action. Plus, Sony's lens lineup is impressive, as it has been making APS-C mirrorless cameras longer than anyone, so there are options for most types of photography. Sony's offering is the logical one to pursue, but the Fujifilm X-S20, with all its flaws, still has a certain character that sets it apart.

The cheap-and-cheerful Nikon Z30 is a tempting option for beginners. Its autofocus tracking is a little more reliable than the X-S20, though it lacks the X-S20's subject recognition, so it's a little slower to use. It's a similar story with the Z50 and Zfc but both cameras lack in-body stabilization and their video features are far behind those of the Fujifilm X-S20. The range of APS-C lenses for Nikon's Z-mount is improving, but Fujifilm still has the much better selection on the whole, giving you more room to grow as a photographer.

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Sample gallery

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Pre-production sample gallery

All images shot using a pre-production Fujifilm X-S20