I've had a Canon T3i for about a year now, getting it as an upgrade to a small Canon point-and-shoot. I mainly got the T3i for the additional shooting setting controls and the ability to change lenses. However, a year has gone by, and I find myself leaving my DSLR on my desk more often than not. I dislike carrying the camera, since it is so large and obtrusive, making taking photos day-to-day feel like a big production. I have only bought one additional lens (50mm f/1.8 prime), and I feel that the ability to swap lenses is a bit of a waste on me.

What this year with the T3i has taught me is that I enjoyed photography more when I had a smaller camera, which I could be more spontaneous with and was more willing to carry. As such, I have been considering selling my T3i and getting a Fujifilm X20, which I would feel more comfortable carrying, yet still have the same degree of control over shooting.

My question is, what is the potential for regretting the change from a DSLR to an X20?

Some additional information:

  • I do not shoot sports or other very fast subjects. (I've heard the X20 has rather quick phase-detect AF)
  • Image quality is not paramount, as I only shot JPEGs with the T3i anyway.
  • I want to be able to carry my camera comfortably and discreetly every day.
  • Lens interchangeability is not a concern.

Thank you

  • 1
    There are numerous questions about compact vs DSLR. Not sure there is anything to add - very personal decision. But I suspect all those other questions probably cover the territory pretty well – MikeW May 29 '14 at 19:46

The main issues will be of handling (where it sounds an X20 might actually be a better fit for you than the T3i), and the sensor size. The lens speed, interchangeable lenses, autofocus performance, and low-light performance differences sound like they won't matter to you.

The X20 uses a 2/3" format sensor, which is substantially smaller than an APS-C sensor (3.93x crop vs. 1.6x crop). You will have a smaller dynamic range, high-ISO performance may not be as good, and your depth of field control will be more limited. However, the degree to which this affects you may not be enough to matter, depending on what/how you shoot.

The viewfinder is another difference. While the X20's is optical, it is not a hybrid viewfinder as on the X100/X100S, and it will exhibit parallax (i.e., you're not looking through the image lens at the view, so what you see through the viewfinder is slightly offset from what the sensor sees--framing is less accurate; and focusing/framing can become more inaccurate with macro subject distances so you'll probably want to use the LCD for macro composition).

The only other place where you may be lacking is in no longer having a built-in flash master in the pop-up flash. However, as the X20 has a flash hotshoe, it's not like you can't do Strobist work with it, if you decide you want to go down that road.

I think the X20 could be a very good choice for you.

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