The enthusiast compact sector has undergone a distinct revival in recent years, with every major manufacturer now producing a model or two that offers full manual control and Raw recording, aimed as a second camera for enthusiasts who usually carry an SLR. In general these have split into two camps - small, slimline 'shirt pocket' cameras designed for portability, and larger models with more external controls, flash hot shoes, and large aperture zoom lenses. The X20 is Fujifilm's latest offering in the latter class.
At first glance, the X20 looks just like its predecessor (the X10), although it's now available in a very pretty silver-and-black finish, alongside the conventional all-black. But inside it offers a couple of very significant differences. The first is a brand-new sensor, a 2/3" type 'X-Trans CMOS' design that uses the same novel color filter array as Fujifilm's recent APS-C cameras. This sensor also has phase detect autofocus built right into it - not new to Fuji cameras, but a change from the X10. The second big change is an updated 'Advanced Optical Viewfinder' that includes a detailed information overlay, showing key exposure data and focus confirmation. This isn't the same as the hybrid viewfinder found in the company's X100/X100S and X-Pro1 models - there's no electronic viewfinder - but it's never been done before on a compact camera.