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X-S20 hits right notes for content creators

Posted on Jul 5, 2023

Architect, photographer and musician Enoch Kolo, aka Noxz, details why both he and his online audience are fully in tune with Fujifilm’s newest hybrid camera, the X-S20

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What are strong foundations for success as a photographer? Inspiration, a modicum of skill and a fresh way of seeing the world, undoubtedly. But also choosing the correct camera, lenses and accessories to fulfil your vision.

Architect, musician and content creator Enoch Kolo, aka Noxz, feels he has just that in the FUJIFILM X-S20, which he upgraded to from his first ever Fujifilm camera, the X-S10. Just as he prefers the knobs and keys of analogue synthesisers over software recreations, Kolo rates the tactile control afforded by this retro-styled camera, posting the stills and videos captured on it to social media.

“The X-S20 is a huge upgrade – I was shocked when I held it for the first time,” Kolo enthuses. “A lot of that comes down to the grip, which feels seriously nice. As a musician, I have ‘piano fingers’, which means I always hold things very lightly, as if I’m carrying an egg. The X-S20 fits me like a glove – even when I’m just holding it with the tips of my fingers.

“The IBIS really helps as well,” he adds. “I went hiking in Scotland recently and tried running with it while shooting video – and ended up with pretty smooth results. The IBIS provides the equivalent of seven stops, so I’m able to get pin-sharp stills, too. Although videos provide a lot more traction on social media – and we’re in an era in which video is king – this camera can do both really well. I love that I can record in 6.2K/30p and 4K/60p 4:2:2 10-bit internally. I also still love the fact I can catch an entire emotion in a single photographic frame.

“Internally, it feels like the baby brother of the FUJIFILM X-H2S,” he continues. “Put those two together and they cover a wide spectrum of possibility. As I do lots of travelling, I’d recommend the X-S20 to those wanting to travel light.”

20/20 vision

At the core of the X-S20 is a back-side illuminated, 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, coupled with a high-speed X-Processor 5 image processing engine. The camera also boasts AI-based subject detection AF, delivering a performance equivalent to the FUJIFILM X-T5.

“The autofocus is insane, and I’ve been gobsmacked with the tracking,” Kolo marvels. “For what I do, the spec is more than enough – 26 megapixels gives me room to crop an image and still have lots of sharpness. I shoot with prime lenses rather than zooms because the restriction in terms of framing makes you approach your subject in a different way. 

“I love the focal length of the XF 50mm f/2; it feels more intimate. It’s great for social media because it makes the audience feel like they’re in the room with me. Otherwise, the XF 23mm f/1.4 is my go-to, though I’m looking at investing in the XF 18mm f/1.4 prime, since I might require a wider angle for interiors. I want to capture the full nature of my environment and occasionally isolate the subject. The articulated screen is also important, as I like to get low or do a top-down view – for that it’s very helpful.”

A new, dedicated Vlog mode is accessible via the mode dial, which alters camera settings to those best suited to self-portraiture. With the use of a USB-C cable, the X-S20 can conveniently be hooked up to a computer as a webcam, too.

“I was sceptical about the Vlog mode at first, as I’m someone who wants to control shutter speed and depth-of-field for myself. But I tried it, and if you’re someone who doesn’t know about all the technical nitty-gritty, I’d 100% recommend it.

“To conclude, the X-S20 is a great all-round camera for those looking to buy into the Fujifilm system and step up their content creation game.”

For more, head to the Fujifilm website.

Origianlly published in Issue 109 of Photography News.

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