Deal 8: Here it is: The most requested deal of 2014!
Described as an ‘enthusiast camera’, this one took me quite by surprise. With a new camera for review I normally take it out of its box, tap a few buttons, power up, then delve deeper.
So where was the ‘on’ button? Ain’t none.
You get the thing to come alive by manually rolling the lens barrel anti-clockwise from OFF to any of the lens settings within its 28-112mm range (as a 35 SLR equivalent). Simple huh!
As a natural successor to the well-received X100, the retro-styled, non-interchangeable lens X10 has a high degree of elegance, completely black with milled aluminium controls picked out in white; it’s easy to hold, thanks to the speed grip at right and is easy to pocket with power off (and lens closed of course!). The upper control deck and base is made from die-cast magnesium alloy. The covering is textured faux leather with a speed grip bump at right. The camera feels good in the hand.
The bare bones approach continues when you look around the rest of the camera: top deck is the mode dial, shutter button and exposure compensation plus a teeny wheeny Fn button which takes you directly to choice of image size and quality, AF mode, ISO setting etc; at rear is the usual four way jog wheel, the menu button plus AE, AF and white balance buttons; then, tucked away in the lower right hand corner is a dedicated RAW button, if you should need to instantly capture in that file format.
The lens is a 4x Fujinon f2-2.8 zoom, viewed through a top-mounted optical viewfinder (hurrah!) and a bright 7.1cm LCD screen.
Maximum image size is 4000×3000 pixels, leading to a 34x25cm print. Movies can be shot in Motion JPEG and 1920×1080 pixels.
And then you get down to the nitty gritty and why you should take the X10 very seriously.
On the mode dial are two settings: EXR and Adv.(Advanced)
In EXR mode the camera not only automatically selects the scene mode according to the subject before the lens it also detects whether it’s a ‘people’ shot, looking for movement and tricky backlighting. This mode is a step above most other auto systems.
Go to Adv. mode and you can enjoy you enjoy the Motion Panorama function that operates in similar fashion to Sony’s approach by capturing the pano sections as you pan across the scene, then stitches them together internally. How about an 11,520×1080 pixel image? In 120, 180 and 360 degree span, left to right, up or down. Simply ‘mazing!
In Adv. there’s also a Pro Focus mode that takes up to three shots with varying focus on the background.
Move to Pro-Light and you see the camera take four shots, which it then combines to make a single photograph. Similar to the HDR function found on other cameras, this will help to reduce image noise and blurr respectively in poor light or when using the zoom at the tele end.
Additionally, there is a Noise Reduction Adjustment function to set the strength of noise reduction at five different levels according to the users’ emphasis on whether to prioritise high resolution or low noise.
Both the wide and tele ends of the zoom gave a clean performance in terms of distortion. No barrels, no pincushions! The odd thing was that, in bright conditions, the camera took about a second to drop from an over- to a correctly-exposed LCD display. Very odd!
A bit sluggish, the X10 could only take its first shot 2-3 seconds after power up; subsequent shots: about a second apart.
ISO 3200: still useable.
ISO 6400: surprisingly still useable, with an amount of noise.
ISO 12,800: we’re on the edge of a cliff here, with noise visible and the image blocking up.
The images were clean right up to ISO 1600 and even then, there was only a small amount of noise visible.
Take note: ISO 6400 and 12,800 shots are reduced in size to 2816×2112 and 2048×1536 pixels respectively.
However, as you can see from the daylight street shot below, certain subjects can disguise the artefacts, especially those without large areas of a single tone. For the record, this ISO 12,800 shot was taken at f9 and 1/3373 second.
Quality: Excellent; some of the best pictures I’ve taken with a compact digicam.
Why you’d buy the X10: it feels like a ‘real’ camera; excellent menu display; the tilt indicator is a help.
Why you wouldn’t: you want a longer zoom range; you want an LCD screen that tilts.
Helluva good camera! Helluva good price!
Image Sensor: 12 million effective pixels.
Metering: Multizone, averaging, spot.
Lens: Fujinon f2-2.8/7.1-28.4mm (28-112mm 35 SLR equivalent).
Exposure Modes: Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.
Sensor: 16.9 EXR CMOS.
Shutter Speed: 30 to 1/4000 second.
Continuous Shooting: 7fps at full size.
Memory: SD/SDHC/SDXC cards plus 26MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4000×3000 to 1536×1536. Motion panoramas: up to 11,520×1080 pixels. Movies: 1280x720p, 1280×720, 640×480 at 30fps, 640×480 at 70 fps, 320×240 at 120 fps, 320×112 at 200 fps.
Viewfinder: Optical plus 7.1cm LCD screen (460,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, RAW, JPEG+RAW, Motion JPEG.
Colour Space: sRGB, Adobe RGB.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 100 to 12,800.
Interface: USB 2.0, AV, HDMI mini.
Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, DC input.
Dimensions: 117×69.6×56.8 WHDmm.
Weight: 350 g (inc battery and card).
Price: Get a price on the Fujifilm X10 at Amazon.
September 3, 2012 12:53 pm
@fvsch I second the remark of Trefor, i will be getting the Fuji x10 in the next weeks and plan to use it in a similar way as you do. Excelent images!!
May 28, 2012 08:19 pm
@fvsch, I really liked your take on the x10 and particularly loved the monochrome treatment that you gave your images.
May 28, 2012 07:34 am
Overall quite a nice camera, but I do have some issues. To take a quick shot one needs to remove the lense cover and rotate the lense to switch on. As one is focusing it is to easy to switch the camera off again. My previous Canon Power Shot S5, you pressed the power button the lense cap flips off and is held on a cord. With the auto focus I was able to get a shot quicker.
Forgetting to half click down to focus before clicking fully down, results in pictures out of focus, again a relatively slow proceedure.
When reviewing photos on the screen, by clicking through or rotating the wheel it often crashes, this can only be rectified by switching off and removing the battery.
The intellegent zoom can only be viewed via the screen, as previously stated its better to take pictures with the excellent view finder. I would be happier with a bit more zoom, but this would make the camera larger and the camera size is excellent.
May 7, 2012 04:42 pm
I've owned this X10 for 6 months now and couldn't be happier. It's the best point and shoot on the planet: Larger (for a p+s) sensor, hot shoe, filter useability, a faster zoom than most SLR's, great LCD and great finder, and that 'Fuji look'. A metal camera with knobs, what a concept. The orbs have not been a problem for me, and Fuji is to be commended for fixing one that shouldn't have gotten by them, but they're certainly not alone. I won't be sending mine back, it's too good to do without !
And no, it's not an X100 or XPro, can't be in this price range. There's no substitute for sensor size. But with this fabulous, fast lens, and if I keep up my end of the bargain, it makes wonderful pictures. It has given me a happiness that I just never found with those awful plastic, back panel display-only cameras. Fuji nailed me with this 'X' design school. XS-1 next !
April 12, 2012 04:15 pm
I got my X10 and took same shots on same setting with X10 and Nikon D7000 .Variety of shots agains the sun, street lights at night and reflection from glass and polished objects and did not manage to get the "orbs". So I am happy and would recomend this camera to anyone. Price is spot on as well. Fuji can not afford not to honor the promise as in todays market they would leave themself to exposed to negative feedback and loss of future sales. And they do have new exciting product coming so I am confident that they will fix the problem for anyone affected to secure they future sales.
March 13, 2012 08:01 am
Fujifilm statement on X10 and X-S1 blooming/white disc phenomena as of March 12, 2012.
March 12, 2012
The FUJIFILM X10 and X-S1 digital cameras were made available by Fujifilm late last year, and have been generally very well received by customers, who admire the excellent picture quality, manual zoom lens and viewfinder.
However, we did receive some inquiries concerning the so-called ‘white disc’ or ‘blooming’ occurrence, where exceptional highlights in the picture can appear as strongly delineated rounded shapes. This ‘blooming’ effect can occur with all digital cameras which use CMOS sensors, to varying degrees. It can also occur with the X10 and X-S1 when shooting in certain conditions, e.g. cars with front lights shining in dark night scene. The X10 and X-S1 are fitted with a very advanced sensor, which gives excellent picture quality and low noise, but which does give a different ‘blooming’ effect from other cameras.
Fujifilm has a long-standing history of delivering top quality products to the market. In response to our customers’ comments, we have worked hard to find an improvement to reduce the ‘blooming’ effect of the X10 and X-S1. Below are the actions we have undertaken.
- In February, we announced a firmware upgrade for the X10 (version 1.03) which does reduce the white disc occurrence specifically in EXR mode. It works by identifying scenes that are likely to get ‘white disc’ blooming. When the camera recognizes such a scene, it automatically increases the ISO and optimizes DR (dynamic range). As the ISO increases, the white discs are less evident. * New firmware for the X-S1 will be available from March 21, 2012.
- We will also develop a modified sensor, which will more universally resolve the ‘white disc’ blooming effect in all modes. We are working hard to make this new sensor available from late May 2012.
We encourage any customer with an X10 and X-S1 who has experienced the ‘white disc’ phenomenon to call their local authorized Fujifilm service centre.
Fujifilm is committed to delivering the highest quality products to the photographic community, and is happy to provide this improvement.
March 13, 2012 05:56 am
I see the same haters of Fuji X10 are also in his forum. They just jump from one site to another. As far as I am concern the X10 exceeds my expectation and if i really a high quality shot i go to my proper DSLR. Yes the orb is there so does most of the compact and ultra compact cameras do. Want to get a $600 camera without an orb buy another DSLR.
March 10, 2012 12:10 am
@fvsch - read your review; like your less technical approach and minimalistic take on shooting photos. Keep up the good and inspiring work!
@Joe Fragola - Comparing X10 and X-Pro1 is not that straight forward - have both instead! They are both black. They both have an optical viewfinder. While these are things they have in common, it mainly serves to point out how differerent these cameras are. But the are both X series cameras and share same build quality and feel and as such the X-Pro1 will be a great camera, but fundamentally different due to lenses, sensor size, combined EVF and slightly better manual controls. For size comparison have a look here:
March 2, 2012 04:29 am
Hi.. have been interested in the x 10 since first hearing about it in preview... but the firmware issue... re: the globes.. when will that be resolved.. too much money not to have it resolved... what do you think or how would you compare the x 10 with the X Pro 1 ...
February 26, 2012 06:59 am
The pictures from the X10 are great. Enjoy using it. I would like to see a tiltable screen, 7X zoom, improved battery capacity and a larger sensor in the X 20.
February 25, 2012 05:09 am
I own one and it’s great. The main downside for me is the smallish sensor (it’s a compact’s sensor, much smaller than an APS-C or even a micro four-thirds sensor), which impacts the image quality especially in low light/high ISO. But if it had a bigger sensor, it would have a bigger lens, and bigger price. It’s all about compromise.
For the other issues that are mentioned sometimes:
- I haven't seen the white orb thing. I don’t doubt it’s real, but in the photographs I’ve done the conditions were simply not met for it to happen. If it does happen on a few shots in the future… well I won’t care much.
- The battery holds quite well for me. It might be because I use the viewfinder and turn off the screen when shooting. (I only use the screen to check out a few photographs and to set ISO or aperture, or when I need to use the menus.)
I have a personal (not journalistic) review of the X10 here: http://fvsch.com/notes/2012/fujifilmx10/
February 25, 2012 04:12 am
Have you found the orb?
Look between the tree and the white car in the background.
February 25, 2012 02:17 am
I have been shooting with this camera since it's release and am fully satisfied with it. Although I have read many accounts of people having orb issues...I have not experienced one orb in any of my shots. I believe the orb issue likely exists under certain shooting circumstances...but I believe it has been blown way out of proportion. I also believe that there are more than a few people doctoring images to join the orb bandwagon, just to be funny or to distort the truth of the matter. Potential buyers should search online and view actual images posted on flickr, zenfolio, etc. to arrive at their own opinion.
February 24, 2012 11:33 pm
I agree, this Fuji compact is a superb camera. I have also Canon 5d MII and Fuji X100.
Many people talk about white 'orbs', I had no problems with them. But I am quite sure you can move any camera in some situations where blooming is inevitable. Anyway : the x10 is a joy to work with. Wouldn't change it for another type.
February 24, 2012 11:00 pm
Really, no mention of the ORBS? How can ANYONE take this review seriously. This camera contains a DEFECTIVE sensor. Just try taking images at night outside. Any street light will give you giant hole punch ORBS in your image. I have this camera and have DOZENS of images with ORBS in them. Any bright light has a very high chance of producing ORBS.
This camera is overpriced by about $400.
February 24, 2012 03:25 am
I really like this camera. I took it to Disney World 2 weeks ago, and I am pretty happy. The pictures are not as good as my DSLR, but the compromise of a compact was worth it. The auto focus is kind of slow. I had to show my family the focus indicator. There is no visible distortion and if it was slow shot to shot I didn't notice it. The camera eats batteries. I had to change batteries once a day. The low light pictures are pretty good. I used SP mode on portrait for pictures with the characters and for the most part it did pretty well without a flash.
February 24, 2012 02:59 am
I have read reports/complaints on the Fuji Website. One owner said that Fuji should be sued for selling such a camera.
February 22, 2012 10:49 pm
I have tried this camera and the X100 in Jessops
The viewfinder is really annoying, as you can only really use it for subject framing...ish
Everyone wants it to be a digital rangefinder. Unfortunately it isn't.
February 22, 2012 08:10 pm
Oh gosh. "A compact digicam"? and in the comments - "we're in a new market for a point 'n shoot!"? Why don't you explain that this is NOT a compact camera and certainly not a point and shoot, but a compact system camera??
February 22, 2012 12:37 pm
Disappointed that the orb problem isn't mentioned. There has been a number of threads on dpreview about this problem:
Fuji haven't been able to fix it with firmware, so it appears to be a hardware issue with the sensor. DPreview seem to be holding off doing a full review of the X10 due to this problem.
February 22, 2012 11:12 am
Great review, but no mention of the white orbs that others are experiencing with this camera. I do however think it might not be a big deal, kinda like the hot pixels in the d7000. The camera is definitely NOT a successor to the x100, perhaps a little brother trying to capitalize on the bigger ones fame. I do love the retro look as well, more so than the look however is the material being used, actual metal vs plastic.
February 22, 2012 10:59 am
I have this camera and love it. I especially love te retro look and have added a leather camera case from eBay completing the vintage look. It's great for street photography as its so discreet but cool looking( this seems to stop people freaking out as you appear more 'arty' rather than intrusive?). My only issue is the battery life is terrible! You will certainly need to purchase spare batteries.
February 22, 2012 07:00 am
Gotta say that I'm digging the retro look of this camera. I even like the lens-twist-thingy to power it up! Thanks for the review - we're in the market for a new point 'n shoot!
February 22, 2012 06:34 am
I disagree that the X10 is a successor to the x100. I think it is more a baby brother relationship. I do love this style of camera for size yet remarkable capability. I love the x100 in particular http://www.flixelpix.com/life/x100-and-the-top-ten-of-2011/ and suspect Fuji's x-pro1 will blow us away.
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