The Fuji X10 Digital Camera Review. A look at the Baby Brother of the Fuji X100. Real world USE review.
By Steve Huff
This has been the year of the digital camera. Man oh man. 2011 has brought us some amazing new cameras and Fuji in particular seemed to make the biggest splash with their APS-C large sized sensor X100 earlier in the year. That camera is JUST NOW starting to become available as supply finally catches up with demand. But before they were able to get the X100 out into the shops they were already hard at work on the “Mini Me” version of the X100 that they eventually named the X10. We also have the newly announced Panasonic GX1, which is finally the REAL follow up to their wildly successful GF1. Funny. First Sony grew some balls, and now Panasonic is growing them as well. I think Panaosnic realized they screwed the pooch with the GF2 and GF3 (cameras I was not a fan of when compared to the lovely GF1) so they remedied it with an all new line, the X series. Hmm. Fuji X100, X10, Leica X1…and now Panasonic joins in with the GX1. Maybe “X” is the magic letter that magically creates a great camera?
Anyway, the Fuji X10 is what I am talking about at this moment though and it is VERY similar in many ways to its bigger brother the X100, but also very different. Because of the similarities in the features and handling this review will be shorter and more about the usability, quirks and image quality. My X100 review can be seen HERE.
While the X100 has a larger APS-C sized sensor, best in class high ISO performance, a nice f/2 35mm equivalent prime lens, and a hybrid EVF/OVF that is superb, the X10 has a small sensor, not so great optical viewfinder, and a semi fast f/2-2.8 zoom lens built into the camera that is actually quite good. It is more of an advanced point and shoot but the design and controls scream PHOTOGRAPHERS CAMERA!
The X10 – f/2/2 – JPEG – CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER
Like most small sensor cameras, when Fuji announced the X10 I rolled my eyes! There was just no way I was going to like a smaller sensor body because I love my full frame and APS-C sensors for their ability to shoot in lower light, give shallow depth of field, and have superior Dynamic Range (ability to capture the light and dark areas of the image without blowing or blacking out)! So many smaller sensor digital cameras give you that “small sensor look” which is usually blown out highlights, grainy images, hard looking images, and they usually always have super huge depth of field. Some prefer to have this look to their images and others just take it and accept it because these cameras are small and can be put in a pocket. Usually its about portability but the X10 is not as small as other small sensor cameras so my thinking about the X10 was that it is going to have to be really good in the usability and image quality department to have a reason to buy it.
When B&H Photo sent me the X10 to check out I obliged and decided to just go ahead review it. How could I not? I mean, I LOVED the X100 so maybe this little X10 has some of that Fuji MOJO? I told myself that if this camera was fast, enjoyable to use, and had the Fuji Colors that I may just may be a believer. In the small sensor arena we have many cameras, most of which I am not a fan of. For example, I have never been a fan of the Canon or Nikon point and shoots. Cameras like Canon G12, Nikon P7100, Canon S95 never did it for me for one reason or another. Not that they were bad cameras, just that they either didn’t feel right, or the controls lacked, or the color was off…something always made me stay away from them though I did try them. Maybe because I am an “enthusiast” and appreciate a good looking , feeling, and operating camera in addition to really great image quality. Those kind of cameras never held my attention for very long which is why I never reviewed them here. I write about what excites me and gets my creative juices flowing.
The only point and shoot type cameras that I really enjoyed have been the Panasonic LX and Leica D-Lux series as well as the Ricoh GRD series.. To me, these cameras had great quality in a nice small package. Did you read those two key words? SMALL PACKAGE. See, the Fuji X10 is NOT really small. It will NOT fit in your pocket, it will fit in a jacket pocket if it is a larger sized pocket but in reality, it is almost the same size as an X100 but not as long/wide. So if you want portability, the X10 will not be the camera you would want to go for. A Ricoh GRD III or IV is much more pocketable. A Pentax Q is much more pocketable.
Fuji X10 from the hip, using Auto Focus. JPEG – click image for larger.
So in this review I am going to talk about the Fuji X10 and basically tell you that it is a new breed of camera. It is not quite a point and shoot as it is much too advanced in the control, build, and feature dept for that. It is not a camera like the micro 4/3’s offerings as the sensor is smaller and does not give you quite the depth of field control that you would get from something like an Olympus E-P3 and decent lens. It is not equal to the X100 just due to the fact that the high ISO capability, sensor, and EVF/OVF of the X100 makes it the better camera. The X10 is kind of in a class by itself for now and at its price point of $599, it is priced JUST right IMO. About half the cost of the X100 but it can still give you the same color and feel as images shot with an X100. The same build and feel but in slick black 🙂 Those who think the X10 is overpriced, look at cameras like the Ricoh GRD’s ($499), the Olympus E-P3 ($899), Nikon V1 ($900), NEX-5n ($600). Yea, the X10 is priced right for what it is and in reality, Fuji probably could have priced it at $699 and sold a ton.
I mean, at $599 you get a great feeling body, all black finish, manual control for aperture, exposure compensation, and optical VF (though it has only 85% coverage), HD video recording, 360 Pano shooting, a fast zoom lens that goes from 28-112 at f/2-f/2.8, a nice metal lens cap, faster AF than the X100 and even a super macro feature that allows you to get SUPER close to your subject. Even the high ISO capability is decent for the smaller sensor and could easily go up to 1600 in almost any situation. There are some extended dynamic range options as well and I found the DR of the X10 to be very good for this type of camera.
So as I said, even thought it is already getting long, this review will be shorter than usual and more to the point and with plenty of samples (ALL JPGS BTW) that have that signature Fuji color. I will state the facts and tell it like it is so I hope you enjoy this real world review of what appears to be a very cool camera. My only concern with the X10 is that at $599 you could get yourself into something like a Panasonic GF1, Olympus E-PL2 or similar micro 4/3 camera. Even a Sony NEX-5n (though with a kit lens that is average). These larger sensor cameras should, in theory, give you better results. What they won’t give you though is those damn gorgeous Fuji colors, classic style, and viewfinder. In these areas, the X10 delivers the goods so it will all come down to what YOU want in a camera.
Things to ask yourself to find out what is most important to you… Portability? Image quality? Control? JPEG Quality? Build quality? Speed? Intended use? Is a VF important to you? Is shallow depth of field mandatory?
The lens on the X10 is fantastic. Sharp and with only a little distortion at the wide end that can be noticeable if shooting straight lines up close. The color…oh boy is it good!
The Features of the Fuji X10 – What can this little guy do?
The X10 has loads of cool features and below is a list of the best things about the camera:
4x manual optical zoom featuring Fujifilm’s Intelligent Digital Zoom technology that doubles telephoto capabilities and provides up to 8x zoom
Fast power start-up; the X10 is fully ready to shoot in approximately 0.8 seconds using the on/off power switch built into the lens ring (must be in Quick Start mode)
High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8″ 460K dot high contrast LCD screen that provides excellent viewing even outdoors and in bright sunlight
Diverse manual shooting modes that can be selected according to scene type (Program / Aperture Priority / Shutter Speed Priority / Manual)
Four diverse auto bracketing functions for exposure, ISO sensitivity, dynamic range and film simulation
RAW shooting and in-camera RAW processing (SilkyPix RAW conversion software supplied in-box)
Best-in-class 1080p HD movie recording capabilities
Film Simulation Modes (eight setting are available, including Velvia / PROVIA / ASTIA)
Manual pop-up flash with a range of 7 meters (approximately 23 feet)
Electronic horizon leveling gauge to ensure that the camera is being held level, and histogram display to check image gradation
Many of us are calling the Fuji X10 a point and shoot, but to me… as I used the camera I felt that it was much more than a point and shoot. The X10 can be set in full auto and used like a point and shoot. In return you will get accurate and quick Auto Focus, great colors, good exposures and even damn good dynamic range. But the X10 is more than that. Set it into Aperture Priority mode or full manual using the dial on top of the camera and you have a fully featured camera that most photographers will love. The one thing that it has going against it is that it has no real manual focus mode. Much like the X100, the MF is awful on the camera and I would highly suggest to not ever use it. If you absolutely want to use manual focus you do so using a dial much like you do with the Leica X1 (though the X1 is superior in the MF area due to the scale and info it gives you). But you can not expect a great manual focus experience on a camera like this at $599. This is meant to be a camera more for the masses who want a sexy easy to use camera that puts out amazing JPEGS and is super versatile.
The Fuji X10 has the same macro mode as the X100 but it also adds a new “Super Macro” mode much like the not so well received and lukewarm Olympus XZ-1 . The Super macro mode is pretty damn nice to have though as it allows you to get super close to your subject.
The lens quality – is the Zoom really any good?
The lens on the X10 is one that I did not want to like as I am not a fan of zoom lenses, especially those on cameras like this. But the Fuji lens intrigued me as it was still fast, even when zoomed out to it’s maximum 112mm. With an aperture that goes from f/2 to 2.8, you have a usable range for lower light. Most cameras I have seen like this end up at f/5.6 at the long end which makes them pretty unusable for indoor use (like the 10-30 zoom included with the Nikon V1). The lens on the X10 does have some barrel distortion at the wide end but you will only see this if you are shooting straight lines up close. Other than that I had no complaints about this lens. I found it quite good actually throughout its range for real-world taking photos use 🙂
Shoot straight lines at the wide end and you will see some barrel distortion but this will not really be seen in normal every day photos. For example, if you shoot images of your kids this will not be evident. But straight lines up close at 28mm? Yes.
The lens on the X10 is very good though I found myself using it between 28-40mm most of the time. I did zoom out all the way to 112 occasionally. As for shallow depth of field junkies, this is NOT your camera. With the super wide lens that is in reality a 7-28mm your depth of field will be huge, even at f/2. If you zoom out to 112mm and keep it at f/2.8 you can get some shallowness but nothing like you will get with a larger sensor camera and longer lens.
At 112mm from my car through my windshield. Had to get a shot of this little dog that escaped its yard and was sitting outside of a restaurant patiently waiting for someone to give him some food. Being a dog it must suck living right across the street from a fried Chicken place.
Just like it’s bigger brother the X10 can excel in B&W images. This one has a rich film like quality…(click to see the large version)
Fuji Blues are alway RICH and saturated, especially when in Velvia mode.
Shallow depth of field? Not too much but that is not what this camera is all about. What it will give you is super sharpness, a great looking file and JPEGS that are some of the best I have seen.
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High ISO? Can the smaller sensor deliver the low light goods?
You would expect a smaller sensor camera to lag behind in high ISO when compared to a larger sensor camera right? Well, not with the X10. First of all, the larger and more expensive Fuji X100 is one of the best low light APS-C sensor cameras to date delivering super low noise and great color even at ISO 6400. Do NOT expect this with the X10, but you can expect superb performance when compared to other smaller sensor cameras and even something like the E-P3! The X10 is REALLY good for what it is. Below are a few samples at higher ISO as well as some crops from super high ISO images with comparisons to other cameras.
ISO 1600 as my sone was inside a fake tree stump. There was not much light inside but the camera made it appear that there was. ISO 1600 looks good here.
Another at ISO 1600 but in low light indoors – using the “Super Macro” mode again at 28mm
ISO 2000 – using the Macro Mode
ISO Comparisons and 100% Crops
I decided to compare the X10 high ISO JPEG’s to other cameras I had on hand ranging from the Ricoh GRD IV to the Olympus E-P3 and Nikon V1. What surprised me the most is how the X10 and V1 killed the bigger sensor E-P3! All files were JPEGS with default in camera Noise Reduction. The X10 and V1 did much better than I imagined with the GRD and E-P3 lagging behind, especially at ISO 3200. Take a look. The Nikon V1 is looking pretty nice in the ISO test. One thing to note is that if you shoot ISO 6400 and up on the X10 then the resolution goes down to medium size. You can NOT shoot full res at ISO 6400 and up.
First the X10 ISO crops
Now a comparison at ISO 1600
Now at ISO 3200…
What about the AF or the quirks that the X100 has/had? How is the X10?
While shooting with the X10 I soon discovered that the auto focus was a bit FASTER than that of the more expensive X100! This was a welcome change. I also found it a but quicker to start up BUT I also found the same quirk that after you shoot and put your SD card into your computer to get the files off, and then put that card back in the X10…the start up slows down until you format the card. For example lets say you shoot 20 shots on your 16GB SD card and you are using PHOTOSHOP/BRIDGE instead of Lightroom. If you open a file from your SD card into Photoshop and then eject the card and insert it back into the camera you will get a delayed start up, unless you format the card. The Fuji cameras are the only ones that I have ever seen do this. Many times I just use photoshop as I do not save EVERY review file I shoot, so for reviews I usually use bridge and photoshop opening the files I want to keep. This is a no no when using the Fuji X10 or X100.
Other than that scenario, the start up is very fast and I have no complaints. Other quirks pop up like if you are in Aperture Priority mode and trying to shoot wide open in daylight – your max shutter speed is 1/1000 when wide open and there is NOT an ND filter on the X10 so you will have to stop down your lens or move to MANUAL mode where you can choose any shutter speed up to 1.4000. Kind of quirky and I do not understand why it tops out at 1/1000 in A mode but 1/4000 in M mode.
So the bottom line on the AF is that it is speedy, not quite as fast as the Olympus E-P3 but faster than the X100 and about equal to any other camera out there today. No complaints.
The Viewfinder on the X10 – Any good?
The viewfinder on the back of the X10 is NOT the same as the one in the X100! It is an optical finder that is nice and bright but it does not display ANY information. It is basically a window that zooms, and stays in the 4/3 format. It has 85% coverage so it will not cover the entire frame. Still, it is useful and I used it for many of the images here in this review. Just do not expect it to be accurate or an amazing experience. I used the VF for the image below. The camera focused quickly and the photo came out great. I do use the center focus point only though. I like to know what the camera is focusing on so I always focus and recompose. I did this with the VF because I knew it was using the center point only.
Compared to? What camera is the best for me?
Well, I always get asked this but can not answer this question for everyone. I have been shooting so many cameras lately and honestly, they have all been wonderful in one way or another. The X10 is no different but it is geared towards those who want a more classic looking advanced point and shoot. The smaller sensor in the X10 is fantastic, possibly the best I have ever seen, but it is still a small sensor with small sensor limitations. The X10 is NOT a pro camera. In other words, I wouldn’t be shooting weddings and portraits with it as there are other cameras that would be much better for these scenarios.
It is also bigger than most point and shoot cameras. It is not really a pocketable solution. If you want something that can slide in to your front pants pocket, look at something like a Ricoh GRD IV (though I prefer the IQ of the X10).
The X10 is also best in good light. It’s a great vacation or travel camera. It looks amazing strapped around you, it feels good in your hand, the build is wonderful and the image quality rocks. The price of $599 is great. If you look at something like a Nikon V1 (which is a more slick and polished camera) with it’s small sensor the X10 seems like a deal. I can say that of all of the small sensor cameras I have shot with, the X10 gave me the best overall IQ I have seen in regards to color, DR and detail with JPEGS. I am impressed and it keeps the feel of the X100, which many photographers adore. I’d go with an X100 before an X10 but if you are on a budget and just love the Fuji’s and X10 would do nicely.
Quick JPEG Comparisons
Below is a quick comparison of full size out of camera JPEG images shot with the X10, E-P3, Nikon V1, Ricoh GRD IV and I there in a Sony NEX-7 file just because even though the NEX-7 has a large APS-C sensor. Why JPEG? Well, 1st of all there is no real support for the RAW files of the X10, V1 or the NEX-7 and most people looking at an X10 will end up shooting JPEG (I would). These are only posted so you can get an idea of the out of camera JPEGS of these cameras. They have not been touched at all, so what you see if what you get from exposure to color, etc. BTW, all were set to VIVID color modes, all taken at the same time (well, took 2 minutes to take them all).
CLICK ON EACH IMAGE FOR THE FULL SIZE OUT OF CAMERA IMAGE. THESE WERE OPENED IN PHOTOSHOP AND SAVED AS A LEVEL 10 JPEG. The NEX file was saved as a level 8 due to file size issues.
1st – X10 – f/4 at 28mm – out of camera JPEG
The Nikon V1 and 10mm prime at f/4 – Out of camera JPEG
Olympus E-P3 and Panasonic 20 1.7 at f/4 – Out of camera JPEG
Ricoh GRD IV – Out of camera JPEG – f/4
The Sony NEX-7 with Zeiss 24 at f/4 – Out of camera JPEG
So if you look at the full size files above which do you prefer? There are three cameras with smaller sensors, one micro 4/3 sensor and one APS-C sensor. Not a scientific test by any means but hopefully will show you what you can get from each camera when shooting JPEG. One thing you can notice is that even at f/4 the E-P3 and NEX shot shows the shallow depth of field with the branch in the foreground being out of focus. On the other three it is in focus. This is due to the smaller sensor and the fact that wider lenses are really being used on these smaller sensor cameras. Wider lenses = more depth of field but wider lenses are necessary to give you the equivalent focal length due to the smaller sensor.
Other cool things about the Fuji X10
The X10 also has some other cool features. It shoots 1080 HD video, it has some cool gimmicky modes on the dial like “EXR” which lets you choose between “Resolution Priority”, “High ISO & Low Noise” or “D-Range Priority” so for those who are not really sure what they are doing Fuji makes it foolproof. The EXR DR mode is supposed to give you enhanced Dynamic Range but slimming down your file to 6 megapixels. I did shoot two images, one using the EXR DR mode and one in normal mode and you can clearly see the Dynamic Range advantage. You lose resolution (6mp vs 12mp) but gain DR.
The 1st image is using the EXR mode and if you click on the pic below you will see the full out of camera 6MP file.
and this one is shot in normal 12MP mode…click it for a resized to 6MP image
There is also a 360 Panorama mode that will shoot a complete 360 degree pano. It works much like the Sony cameras. Press the shutter button and start spinning around slowly. When you reach a complete 360 the camera will stop and stitch the files together automatically. Not sure I would ever use a 360 pano but maybe some of you would like this feature.
There is also a mode called “Pro Focus” which says it will give pin sharp focus with a soft background. Then we have “Pro Low-Light” which “enhances the clarity of still subjects in low light”. These modes are kind of gimmicks but may be useful to some. There are also a huge variety of Scene modes for beginners. Fuji made sure that the X10 can be used by beginners and advanced users alike. There is also a built in flash, a digital zoom mode (though I wouldn’t use it) and a level gauge to make sure you are shooting level if shooting a landscape.
The Pros and Cons of the Fuji X10
- Build is equal to the X100
- Black color with no writing on the front is good
- Fuji Color is here in full effect!
- Fast autofocus, metering is really good as well
- The film modes are here – Astia, Velvia, and Provia
- I love the operation and how the camera is turned on and off via the lens barrel
- Classic metal lens cap included
- Great sharp files from the lens
- High ISO very good for being a small sensor camera
- Nice controls, much like the X100 – a photographers camera
- Nice classic looks
- Out of camera JPEGS are very good
- AWB is very good, no complaints
- HD Video is decent but not the best
- Optical viewfinder is bright but only 85% coverage and not accurate
- Slow startup at times unless you format your SD card (under certain circumstances)
- No real shallow DOF control
- Not really that small, only slightly smaller than the X100
- Indoors at high ISO images can start to look a bit muddy
- Max shutter speed of 1000 at f/2 in bright light when in Aperture Priority mode (In manual you can choose up to 1/4000)
The Bottom line conclusion of the Fuji X10
This review was kept semi-short as there is not much more I can say about this camera. It is what it is. Much like its bigger brother, the Fuji X100, the X10 has the same style, the same build, the same gorgeous color output and the same feel. It is a classic looking retro camera that has point and shoot guts but due to it’s control and body style it is more of an advanced point and shoot. It is just as good shooting full auto as it is manual. The auto focus is fast, the files are beautiful for being a small sensor camera and the high ISO is pretty damn good as well for this class of camera beating out my E-P3 in the JPEG test.
The only negative of the X10 may be its viewfinder, which is just a plain old optical finder. It has no info in the VF so you will not be able to see your settings, your exposure, or even get accurate framing. The VF covers 85% of the frame and it is stuck at the 4/3 format. Shoot in any other format and you really can’t use the viewfinder. With that said, I did use it for about half of the shots in this review. I had the X10 set on the center focus point only so I knew where the AF would fire. I am a focus and recompose kind of guy instead of trusting a camera to choose where I want it to focus. So you can use the VF, and I did, so I am glad Fuji included one. I suspect if they put in the awesome hybrid EVF/OVF of the X100 then it would have been an extra $200.
The X10 is a wonderful little camera with style, function and super image quality. The colors coming out of this little guy are pure Fuji so if you are into that look, you will not be disappointed in the X10. I had no problems with the camera during my time with it and at $599 I think it is priced just right. If you buy an X10 you will get a camera that delivers nice images, especially when you are in good light. Indoors is a different story but I have yet to find a small sensor camera that gives good indoor performance without using flash.
If you want to look cool and have a camera that delivers amazing and surprisingly rich quality in an affordable package then take a good long look at the X10. It’s well worth the money.
Where to buy?
You can order the X10 from B&H Photo or Amazon. Two shops I buy from all of the time.
More images from the X10…
All of the images in this review were shot as JPEG! Here are a few more:
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I have the option of purchasing this camera, the X10 or the Olympus E-PL3 for the same price. Which one should I get? – I’m looking to get back into photography as a hobby but don’t want a camera as big and hefty as a DSLR.
E-PL3…as long as you can use a decent lens, something other than the kit lens. If not, the X10 is also great but IQ capabilities are better with the E-PL3
by kit lens, do you mean the lens it comes with?. I won’t be buying any further lenses, at least for a while. Does the Olympus take better quality images then?. i.e. more Professional
What is the size and weight comparison between the Sony NEX 7 and the Fuji X 10? Any other direct comparisons you want to note (besides the obvious price) will be appreciated.
Great review on the Fuji X10, I have just ordered one at £329. I used to have a Fuji compact years ago, and always enjoyed Fuji colours. So I am looking forward to getting the X10.
VERY INTERESTED IN THE X10 MY MAIN CONCERN IS DUST GETTING INTO THE LENS
AS STATED IN A FEW POSTS. CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN A BIT MORE ABOUT THE PROBLEM
Also what can one do to remove the dust
I received my X10 today after lusting after one for quite a while.
I’ve grown tired with interchangeable lens cameras (never seem to have the right lens on when I want it!) and compiled a list of what I wanted from a camera:
3). Fast lens
4). Useful range of focal lengths
5). Good degree of manual control
6). Decent OOC Jpegs
It seemed to fit the bill well, coupled with the fact that a Fuji refurbished model (including the new sensor and 12 month warranty) boxed as new with all accessories, complete with the Fuji leather 2 part case and strap cost me just £293 (had a code for 10% off camera and the case was 40% off when buying a refurbed camera) from Fuji’s online store.
Just waiting now for a GGS glass screen protector, slimline 40mm UV filter and a white enamel soft release button and I’ll be ready to go.
For anyone in the UK I can recommend Fuji’s own online store for refurbished cameras. Trying my best not to order an X100 too (I’d love one but my bank account wouldn’t!).
Steve is there any plan to look at an X10 with the revised sensor. Apparently it does fix the “orbs” issue but I’m wondering if it loses anything in other areas.
I’m trying to decide between this camera and a Canon G1X
Anyone have experience with an updated sensor model yet? I’m still trying to decide between this camera and the Canon G1X.
GX1 has larger sensor and more expensive than X10,
can anyone suggest more camera around this (X10) price?
Any update on resolution of the white orb issue? Supposedly there was a fix coming out in May.
I never experienced the issue but also heard they fixed it so if you buy an X10 now it is supposed to be orb free.
hi, thanks for the review, can you help me? i`m looking for a new camera (my old was nikon d300o) and now i prefer one lite more compact.
in relation price-camera i`m between the fuji x10 and the canon g x1, i know the sensor of the canon it`s better, but if really matters in relation of the camera and the quality and features that they have.
what camera you recommended me between these two models?
Hi Javiera – Have you considered stepping up into the X100 or X-Pro 1? If you’ve been shooting the D300 you will not have near the same experience with these little “happy snaps” (feliz de encaje!) cameras. The X10, while compact, fast lens, etc. is great…it is not a “fast” camera to shoot in terms of focus, controls, etc.
It is what it is…a compact camera with a small sensor. It’s almost always with me now, and it serves only that purpose. It is not a replacement approaching professional level. Consider the other Fuji’s for a balance between physical size, quality, sensor size.
Regards from Colorado!
Sorry there was a typing mistake, my camera was a nikon d3000 not d300, much more simple!, so maybe i need something not that professional.
I look the models you told me and they are more expensive than my budget so… getting back againg of the models i said, what can you told me about these two? or you have any other suggestion?
thanks so much for your answer it`s very helpful for my decision 🙂
Hi Javiara…I replied a few days ago, but it never showed up in the postings. Essentially, the X10 makes for an excellent “happy snaps” camera…its fast lens and quality high-ISO files make it a great low-light/natural-light camera.
For me, honestly, much of the appeal is the retro film-camera styling, the manual zoom lens and the way the controls are set up.
If you don’t need a fast lens for low light, I might also suggest the Canon G series. I have shot two different models of these. They’re comfortable to shoot with and produce a quality file.
It comes down to what you like!
Regards from Colorado….
Well here I am again. Last time I was on I had almost decided on the Ricoh gr digital iv, having had my budget drastically reduced by family illness expenses. Since then my budget disappeared completely, but have now retrieved my Contax S2 and 28mm and 135mm zeiss lenses from storage and am thinking about selling them and getting my first digital camera (again). Still looking at the gr digital iv, but now the Fuji X10 has come along, and the Nikon V1 and the E-P3 with a lens and viewfinder is still a bit over budget for me (and yes I still want a Leica X1 but it aint going to happen).
Thank you Steve for reviewing the X10. So I have now left hillbilly land for a day and been round the camera shops in a big city, looking at all the cameras. I go in thinking – want to see the XZ1 and the Fuji X10 and possibly a bridge camera or the e-p3. I look at everything – and you know what – I am still a bit underwhelmed by digital cameras! I know IQ is the most important thing – but useability is too. So – forget anything with an electronic viewfinder (except the Nikon V1 which had a really good one – the others were lousy – didn’t see the Olympus EVF2 though). You know, whatever the build and the look and so on, they all look very similar from the back! A screen and lots of little buttons – and not enough knobs and wheels – I want an aperture ring and a shutter speed dial – but I aint going to get them (at this point I am looking at my S2 and wanting to keep it!).
The Fuji X10 certainly looks and feels good and I can imagine really enjoying using it – I am almost sold – it is a reasonable price too, and I can go with a zoom if the pictures are that good and it’s f2 to f2.8. But what really put me off WAS the lens – it just looks so frail and plasticky. Aside from the white orb issue (which wouldn’t put me off buying it and I know will be fixed at some point anyway, even if it means having a new sensor) I also read about problems with dust getting into the zoom lens due to manual zooming – and presumably because of its plastickiness. Don’t fancy that – and suddenly I thought – I really don’t like the idea of a lens you can’t remove! I saw the Fuji X100 and fell in love with it – perfect for me – but I know I don’t like the pictures it produces – too flat for me I’m afraid – they look perfect – a bit too perfect – but flat. But maybe that depends on what you do with it.
I really liked the Nikon V1 – I liked the handling and the viewfinder and the 10mm pancake lens. I want one – but have also read your review on this Steve, and good as the camera is, I did want a bit more IQ than that. Loved the E-P3 – want one. Still don’t like the fact it looks like a bog standard compact digital camera from the back. Pentax Q – not enough lenses and a bit wee.
So now I am thinking – could I use my Zeiss lenses on the E-P3? They’re not G lenses, just SLR lenses – a 28mm f2.8 and 135mm f2.8. Both very nice lenses – not as sharp as the G lenses but excellent. Is there an adapter for these anyone? I suppose that would make them 56mm and 270mm lenses on M4/3
When I went in the shop, the guy asked me what is was I was looking for – I said – something not too big, not too small, with a viewfinder and a 28mm lens, plus knobs and manual controls – not bothered about anything else except IQ. Quite funny – he said maybe I should stick with film because that’s what he did!
The meter has packed up on the S2 so don’t suppose I’d get much for it anyway (but such a beautiful camera, small lightweight slr – it was my compromise for not having a Leica M at the time).
But – I really don’t want to go back to film – I was never that good at printing – slides mostly – liked Agfa’s black and white slide film which was brilliant – and you could get the exposure right in camera to get the perfect print.
So if I could sell the S2 for say £200 and get the Olympus EVF2 and the E-P3 and panasonic 20mm pancake on monthly credit and use the 28mm and 135mm zeiss lenses with an adapter, I’d have a system – right? Would the manual focusing rings work? Would autofocus work? (the lenses were for use on autofocus contax’s as well as manual).
PS I still like the idea of the Ricoh gr digital iv (can’t stretch to the grx and 28mm) – but surprisingly this wasn’t in either of the camera shops and both reps were dismissive of it.
Excellent review Steve! I have just purchased the x10 several days ago and I am very impressed with it (my first ‘higher end’ camera). For those concerned about the white orbs issue, I ran some tests under various conditions and I am yet to encounter the issue. Regardless however, if you are having the issue, Fujifilm will replace your sensor free of charge (or so I saw on someone else’s review site).
Great review of a very intriguing new camera. My only concern is that the on board flash may be deactivated in super macro mode. I would be using this camera for uw photography and shooting in super macro the majority of the time, hence having the on board flash is a must for me.
Best review of the X10 I’ve reviewed yet. Glad you kept mentioning that signature Fuji color — that’s a big one for me and one I wasn’t thinking about much until I read your review. Thanks!
i love my x100 so i got the x10 as a back up. but i also found it to be a great camera. i find myself leaving my 7d and 5d ii at home and taking the x100 and x10 out even when i shoot for magazines. fuji really has there stuff together. now we just have to convince fuji to make us filters that just screw on there adapters are just not awesome. at least we can put 49mm filters an backwards on the x100. but nobody makes a 40mm filter yet. i have been shooting my x10 at 6mp all the time. cant see much difference from the 22mp of my 5d ii. thanks for the good review.
Thanks for this great review. in fact I like all your reviews- not too technical but great depth and laods of sample photos and video of the cameras.
I’d like the X10 a lot….
Great review that actually helped me decide to go for the X10. Now after having used the X10 for 3 months, I have written a few words about my own experiences with the camera.
If you are interested take a look at it here: http://www.foto24.dk/?page_id=984
I was really prepared to put my money in this machine, but the Orb problems are just too big to ignore. A real shame since it seems like such a nice camera. Hopefully Fuji corrects this soon. Then I might reconsider. Or wait for the X11.
The orb issue does appear to be a significant one and the firmware update apparently doesn’t help.
I returned my X10 a couple of weeks ago because the white orb issue was really beginning to annoy me. The new firmware fix does not appear to fix the problem at all. I began to doubt the firmware could handle the issue as I believe this is a hardware/sensor issue and that any firmware update/fix might slightly lessen the problem but may also negativly impact other camera features. As it turns out, the firmware really does not fix this problem.
Follow this link for some samples with the new firmware:
Steve, I love the X10 too and have saved up to get one, but I see on many forums the issue of orbs and white discs etc. what is you view on it, on one hand I think its a bit shitty of Fuji to have a ‘faulty’ sensor in a premium compact, but doubt they launched the cam knowing its had the issue, but will probably not do anything about it now… and on the other hand one can still buy the cam and work within its limitations but from a photographic perspective (and given the X10’s premium status) I find that a hard pill to swallow, so I’m really in 2 minds here and would really appreciate to hear your thoughts, thanks
I think Fuji just released a firmware update to address the blob issue but I have not tested it as I do not own an X10. When I used the camera I found no issues or problems with the orbs – nothing showed up in my test photos, that I noticed anyway.
Thanks Steve for the great review. It had a great balance of practical and technical information.
This X10 is probably as close as I can get to the perfect travel camera for me. I find that in many situations I can no longer carry an SLR and I do need a zoom so the X100 is not for me.
As I shoot a lot in bright sunlight here in Perth, Western Australia I personally would gladly have paid your estimated extra $200 for the hybrid viewfinder from the X100, but I can undertand that for many others that is not a prority and they would sell a lot less of this style of camera at that sort of pricepoint.
Yep. I think this is the one.
I enjoyed your review of the X10 and I’m seriously thinking of getting one. I think they are lovely cameras and I have read a number of reviews which have been very positive. On one review site however, there seems to be a lot of negative comments about ‘orbs’. I have not come across this before. Could you tell me if you have encountered any problems with orbs when using the X10? I know no camera is perfect, but from what I’ve read about the X10 and trying it out a couple of shops it does seem ‘just right’ for me……I just want to put the ‘orbs’ into perspective!
Hi. Nice review of the x10.
My question is, what option do we have for the external flash? I use this a lot, esp. with the capability to swivel and tilt.
Hi Steve, which one is better the sony nex5n or the fuji x10 in terms of indoor shots, night photos and color depth. which of these two will have the same quality shots to a dslr? very confuse. hope to have your soonest reply. by the way, I have a nikon d5000 but want to have a compact digital camera for my every day use. thank you
The 5n is better as it has a much larger sensor than the X10, which is essentially a Point and Shoot camera.
Was just about to tap Amazon’s “Proceed to Checkout” button on the Fuji x10, when up pops an e-mail from same, begging me to consider the Canon G1x. The huge sensor sounds interesting. Will the Canon be just another plastic body? Should I wait?
still happy with my x10! sharp, nice color, fast AF, good iso, real fun with the manual zoon and panoramic option.
thanks to jmb for the info concerning the viewing.
could some on confirm that one can switch off the LCD only on EXR mode.
I wish it could be done in expert mode (MASP)
i go over iso 800 rarely.
video: no clicking sound like for Robert. but the focus is lost some time if the subject is moving. it looks like x10 keep the exposure from the start of the video, and don’t change after. sound is acceptable. for ZUrlocker: i think the x10 can deliver better video than those on your concert link.
some pic i can share here (i’ll delete them in a week or 2):
Mar – I think this camera is quite capable of handling your task. I am a former photojournalist (i.e. – I shoot wedding photojournalism now and have taught documentary photography). I have been putting this camera through the wringer for low-light, high-ISO, publishable quality photography.
This camera fits the bill…though honestly, you will be limited to the 6MP (M file-size) setting. The quality (of images I’ve mentioned above) don’t really hold together at the 12MP size. I’m still playing in LightRoom to see if I can reduce effects present in the 12MP sizes.
Check my blog and keyword (Fuji X10) to see some additional full-size image samples (blog.LITfoto.com).
What the X10 really has going for it is the compact size and fast lens. Oh yeah, and it looks like an old-school film rangefinder!
Regards from Colorado…
Thank you Matt!
Just visited your blog!
I loved this review but I have a question.
I am a journalist and want to start learning to make pro pictures to go with some of my articles. I always carry a camera with me and love to take pictures, but not in a pro way. I have a compact fuji, thats all.
I dont want a huge camera, I want one easy to carry everywhere, around the city and my travels. But is the X10 enough for me? I wont be taking “complicated” pictures like racing cars or sports ones with lots of movement. I am more interested in pictures of places, faces, some make up macros, products, maybe some concert ones…
Would the X10 ones have a pro quality in this case enough to be published or sold? Because I am so in love with that camera.
your high ISO comparison is not confirmed by this other studio test, where the E-P3 outperforms both X10 and V1 in terms of noise. Can anybody explain?
I don’t use studio lighting for high ISO comparisons. I use normal indoor lighting as that is when most people will be using high ISO. I know I would never use high ISO with studio lights so not sure why it is even tested in that manner. When lights get lower most cameras fall apart at higher ISO.
Great review, Steve!
I can only agree to what you have written.
I’d just like to tip you all about a Forum for x10 owners (and potential ones) that I’ve created.
It’s at http://www.puke.se/x10
and its purpose is to share ideas and tips about this wonderful, but sometimes confusing, camera.
I dont’n know if you still can remember but i wonder what “film setting” that was used on the 4th picture from the bottom?
Sorry do not remember, wish I did.
You don’t hava to deploy the zoom for viewing only. Just push the reviewbutton a little longer. You will then see the screen light up and see your pictures. To shut the camera down, just press the button once more.
have fun with this great little camera!
got my x10, quite satisfied so far, amazing iso control. very fast real confort in zooming !
video is great too even if not the priority.
matt, did not have the prob.
i confirm, no indication at all in the ViewFinder. no possibility to swih off the screen as well.
you have to deploy the zoom (=switch on) to just vew you pictures even if you don’t want to take photo. that mean taking a risk as the lens is out…
the big inconvenience is the low duration of the battery : around 200 pic 🙁
i hope that help some one.
thanks steve for the site.
Yesterday my X10 failed. When I turn on the camera using the zoom ring it flashes orange indicating the lens is set between off and on. This is not the case. After 8 seconds, the display comes on, but it takes twice that to see the information come up.
I did a full reset and even tried both my batteries. Problem still persists.
Going to call Fuji right now. Wondering if anyone else has experienced this.
Spoke with Fuji yesterday. They have had a growing number of calls about this issue – and offered the following information and fix.
The problem IS NOT with the on/off nor the lens. It IS connected to software…Mac software specifically! Here’s the deal:
It seems that if you shoot on the internal memory and connect your camera to a Mac to download the photos, the Mac is writing something to the camera. To be clear…they are still testing this theory, but this appears to be the glitch.
They had me take out my card (Lexar 32gb, 133x), plug the camera into my Mac and download the photos. Then I unplugged and reformatted. POOF. Problem solved.
If you do experience this problem (again, it should only be Mac users), try this fix.
Regards from Colorado!
Thanks for the review. I am really looking at these small cameras. I have a DSLR and take it with me as much as possible, but I love having a small camera with me. My Canon s95 has been great, but I am also considering purchasing the Fuju x10, Sony NEX-5N, or the yet to be released Canon G1 X.
Great website, great review….but all the hardaware seems so perfect due maybe to your quality as a photographer. Perhaps…
Anyway, I have just on question in mind, how does it work with an external flash. And is there any other flash compatible than the Fuji ones….
I’ll be attempting to talk with a fuji rep today. I purchased the ridiculously-pricey $59 metal lens hood. It suited my style of shooting to not have a lens cap. My first tests with a Nikon 52mm filter showed the filter to not have an impact on focus or image quality.
However, within a short period of shooting I noticed a bunch of dirt on the filter. Actually, looking closer, I noted the dirt was INSIDE the filter. A quick look at the hood design shows why; it has slots around the back of the hood – so instead of a tight seal, there are slots allowing dirt and dust to enter behind the filter!
Whoever thought this one up deserves some wrath.
I’ll let you know what Fuji says.
From somewhere on Colorado’s Continental Divide…
i’ve had an X10 for a few weeks now
and i’ve really enjoyed using it
and even though the viewfinder doesn’t have any info, markers, or complete coverage
i find myself using it most the time, i like it.
the images, sharpness, color…..are beautiful
and i find it works quite well in low light.
a couple issues
i turn the camera on and nothing happens
then i shut it off and back on, it comes around.
this doesn’t happen all the time, but it is a concern
and i’m wondering if i need to format the sd card again
i find the shutter release to be ‘sticky’
i’ll press it after it’s been sitting a while, and there will be some resistance
and when i press it again, that goes away
but i’m not always liking the feel of the shutter release
i don’t have a lot of faith in it right now; that’s a concern
i have notice the whites dots in a couple photos
they are a concern, but the above 2 issues bother me more.
Anyone have any experience with the X10 in concert photos or video? I have been using a Canon G9 for a few years and love it, but in low light it’s not great and you get a lot of noise at high ISOs. Would love to get an opinion as to how the X10 would compare to these typical concert photos and videos:
Night time theatre stage photos
The photographer. said :
Composed through OVF
Photo Size M (6MP) & DR400 (to take advantage of EXR with control over aperture & shutter)
Does anyone know what settings (IN LIGHTROOM OR BRIDGE) if any will show more data of camera settings? I did a shot of a basic painted exterior wall in every possible combination (I could think of) hoping to compare in Bridge or LR. But when I imported, I couldn’t find detailed data of DR settings. Anyone?
Thanks for the review. So how is it when compare to D-Lux 5?
I am a big fan of yours and love and appreciate your every review. I recently purchase Fujifilm X10, and would love to use it both for my new born baby and my personal design project. I just got the box last night, and actually read quite a few bad reviews about it’s “white blue disk” problems.
I have very limited budget, and what I am asking is should I keep it? or simply return it and wait until they solve this problem.
THank you very much, and please forgive me and my unprofessional concerns.
In my testing I never came across the problem, but if it is a concern and it will bother you then why not return it and wait or get something else? Try it out and if you see a problem, send it back. Thats what I would do.
Thank you Steve. I will try it out this coming weekend, and then decide if I should keep it. Thank you so much.
Could be in camera fuji software over correcting for CA.
Fujiguys have tweeted firmware update coming sooner.
Excellent review but have one question please.
If you use the optical viewfinder is their any indication at all ( visual or aural) of when the camera has locked focus?
There is no visual indication in the OVF of AF lock, but it does beep to let you know when it has AF lock. see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkv3EummMZo
Night time theatre stage photos
The photographer. said :
Composed through OVF
Photo Size M (6MP) & DR400 (to take advantage of EXR with control over aperture & shutter)
Steve, Any thoughts on the camera’s “high speed burst mode”? Does it shoot this at a reduced frame rate? Does the AF keep up (I know depends on the subject movement…) Just curious.
10fps ice hockey match
the photographer said it was as good as using his usual canon 60d dslr
Okay all! I am really wow-ed by this little beauty! I’ve posted my own review (not near as technical – more about my thoughts on this camera, but with sample images).
I’ve only had one day to shoot the X10, so was limited to a yoga class, some pics of my Nikon F and one of my photo students working on his portfolio…and ALL of them are high-ISO using the 6 mp schemata. It was the high-ISO I was most interested in testing first! More to come!
And – THANKS AGAIN to Steve Huff for fostering this great site and dialog. Everyone give Steve a big round of applause!
Regards from Colorado!
Your blog is just how i feel about X10 (yes its only a camera, yet still …)
Like how you pushed it.
Whenever people make the size comparison they always want to compare apples to oranges: an M4/3 with pancake or a small DSLR with kit zoom. This is a fairly FAST 28-100-ish lens. Put the equivalent (if it even exists) on any of the other types and you have a substantially larger and heavier camera, and a far more expensive one also. Since the Fuji can work well up to at least ISO1600 (for the amateur), the sensor size advantage in terms of light gathering is almost moot. The X10 fits a coat pocket, cargo pants or a small messenger bag. The other types do not with equivalent glass. Big difference.
X10 smokes m4/3 for DR, high iso low noise.
X10 lens sharpness is as the m4/3 primes panny 14mm, 25mm, zuiko 45mm.
1cm macro lens would also cost in m4/3.
I still keep my Pen for shallow dof with adapter zuiko 50/1.4 is smooth.
Autumn, motos and Paris from the skies with my x10 here :
See you !
Does anyone know the lens diameter for filters? I’d really like to get a protective filter on my lens if possible.
@Hi Matt Lit,
The diameter of the filter is 49mm, but you have to buy the LH-50 lenshood with a ring to attach filters.
greetz, Ivo (the Netherlands)
Thanks for the answer…and wow…$50 or more for a simple lens hood? That’s pretty pricey…but I suppose, still WAY cheaper than a Leica…
And…so far so good on the image files I’ve shot! I’ll be posting to my blog as soon as time allows.
Regards from Colorado!
Chinese knockoff on an auctionsite JJC LH-JX10 LENS HOOD ADAPTER RING FOR FUJIFILM FINEPIX X10
Adapter allows 52mm filters.
Finally received my camera…studying manual and looking forward to putting this through its paces.
I highly recommend NOT ordering this camera from ShopFuji.com.
The shipping (UPS handing off to USPS at shipper’s request) was a klusterF.
Worse, the camera was incredibly poorly packed (no protective peanuts, bubble wrap, etc) around the camera box inside the shipping box. The box arrived severely crushed – and due to being handled by UPS and USPS neither would take responsibility. So – hoping nothing in the camera has been damaged.
1st of all. nice review. very informative.
i noticed something strange :
the longest shutter speed varies according to the iso setting.
at iso100 it is 30″. but at iso400 max shutter speed is 8″, at iso800 4″,…
is this normal? i have never heard of anything like this in a digital camera.
i suppose it has everything to do with noise becoming unmanageable.
but that was a bit of a dissapointment.
concerning shuttler lag, how did you do your test? How as the camera set, on AE and AF or was everything set to manual? Is there a quick and easy way to do focus lock? Thanks.
I have an X10 and ‘real world’ photography shows that this camera is pretty good. If you really want to debate fine detail, on those sample images look at the words ‘x-rite ColorChecker Color Rendition Chart’ and note that the S100 shots show an annoying level of chromatic aberation where the X10 doesn’t. It’s all swings and roundabouts…
I am always excited reading and looking your reviews. And much more this time when I was tempted to buy this camera. Your review quite convinced me… until I wanted to learn more about image quality and I found this other review (or more precisly a comparison with Canon S100):
I found the image quality (or resolution) of X10 quite disapointed! For example, look at the “white balance test” pictures (nothing important about white balance, just image quality):
– Canon S100 at 100 ISO: http://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/PowerShot-S100-3602/highres/canonpowershots100awbfluorescent_1320313670.jpg
– Fuji X10 at 200 ISO (I admit, not same ISO, but still low ISO): http://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/FinePix-X10-3584/highres/fujifilmfinepixx10awbfluorescentDSCF9246_1320766611.jpg
Look at the motorbike, at full scale; the black triangle just above the “SUPER” is blury with X10, with some kind of horizontal blur lines. Look also at the brown CD box (I guess), just below; with S100 the texture is there, with X10 it vanishes.
I don’t know if this is due to the type of sensor used with the X10… but it is disapointed… to my point of view.
Steve, do you have any comment regarding that? Do you also experience this kind of not so good image quality and/or resolution?
Just purchased an X10…..own a Leica D-LUX 5… The DLX5 with a grip and a viewfinder is about twice the price of the X10…..The X10 fits length wise into the Leica DLX5 leather case although it will not close because the lens is slightly longer…..The DLX5 with the grip is almost as big as the X10…. without the grip it is easier to put in your pocket or pants if that is what you really want…..with the viewfinder attached it is definitely not a pocket camera……The X10 has a nice built in grip that also includes a thumb grip on the back side….nice….everything about the X10 wreaks of quality whereas the DLX5 seems cheap in comparison….The menus and buttons on the X10 seem to be a few classes above the DLX5….I love the DLX5 but I have to say that the X10 is a classier, sexier, higher class looking and feeling camera……
Welcome Matt 🙂
New pictures from Paris with my X10 here :
See you !
Gorgeous in the mist.
Thank’s a lot !
Today this point of view was magic ! Really ! Like a movie…
I asked the differences between the two because I really like sharp pictures and bright colors on Fuji, velvia its great, I love the photos seen in this review. I’m afraid that NEX5n not get sharp pictures. I had a nex3 with 16mm and pictures were terrible soft. The video mode is realy disappointing, i see a lot of jelly wobbles in the video tests.
X10 has in its favour compared to mirrorless
Build quality (except EP1, EP3 which are just as good)
Faster better sharper lens than mirrorless kit
Better high is low noise detail sharpness at 6MP SN compared to m4/3.
X10 has in its favour compared to other premium compacts (Ex1, Lx5, S100, Zz1, G12, P7100)
Build quality (machined aluminum body, magnesium alloy top & base plates,top dials, metal barrel lens)
OVF (comes into its own low light, bright sunnlight, tracking), no cheap tunnel ovf, no evf lag
10fps ice hockey matche http://www.flickr.com/photos/69738921@N05/sets/72157627996035585/
Focus tracing through ovf fast moving subjects (biurds, pets, cars)
Analogue look to photos
Better low noise whilst maintaining detail, sharpness at 6MP SN by quite a bit
Better DR at 6MP DRng 400% by a significant amount (other small sensors just cannot get anywhere near EXR DR).
I would like to know whats the diference in the picture quality between F10 and NEX 5n given that the objective used on the nex is 18-55mm, from what I understand is likely that Fuji to have much sharp photos?? Mention that only shoot jpeg, especially landscapes, flora, fauna, pictures in the city. What about the video’s? I know the NEX has a very fast AF in video mode and do not hunt at all, nor has the effect of jello, is x10 as good as Nex? I’m interesting in very fast af and no jello efect. Thanks for answer.
The X10 video has Jello and is not very good. Much like the X100. For video your best bet would be Sony in the mirrorless cam segment. The 5n has a MUCH larger sensor than the X10 – less noise, more DR, etc.
Nex 5n is it.
Fuji X10 just more designed for photos.
Kit 18-55mm Nex5n (& on dslrs) are not as good as the lenses on the best compacts as X10 (EX1, XZ5, LX5).
Sharpness corner to corner from wide to telephoto, wide aperture to narrow aperture, these compacts lenses better than kit 18-55mm.
X10 at F2 6MP SN at iso800, would need to use Nex 5n + 18-55 at iso1600 or 3200.
When you compare the noise characteristics at these settings (X10 6MP SN iso800 vs Nex5n 1600, 3200) they will be very similar,
even though Nex 5n has far bigger sensor (apporx 6x size) & one of the best apsc sensors (Pentax K5, Nikon D7000 has same sesnor) because of the slow kit 18-55mm
and because X10 at 6MP SN is able to handle high iso low noise as Fuji S2 pro apsc dslr.
X10 6MP D-Rng 400% jpeg or 6MP DR400% is able to handle DR as a aps-c dslr from a few years ago.
shows what X10 can do when someone utilises 6MP DR400%.
5n with its almost 6x larger sensor will give better DR at higher iso.
At base iso100-200, possibly upto iso400 X10 6MP DR 400% will match 5n + 18-55
NEX5n at 16MP on its aps-c sensor is quite a it ahead of X10 12MP on its 2/3 sensor
Look & Feel (LAF) of photos
Nex5n with its kit 18-55 can have an over digital, plastic look if used with 18-55.
If with an adapter 5n is used with old lenses from say 1950s-80s then its photos look more analogue.
X10 photos look analogue eg http://flintshire-walks.pikfu.net/set1951355/
They look as photos from the sensors in canon 1d, fuji s2 nikon d1h, olympus e1
(these dslrs from almost ten years ago had sensors which looked analogue).
Look fo the photos
Does anyone have photos of the camera with the leather case? Specifically, a shot of the back of the camera? I’m intrigued by the leather case, but haven’t seen a single photo of the back design. Wondering how the controls on the camera back are dealt with.
3rd party X10 half case.
I would say Fuji case is rather similar with the half case covering baseplate & sides,
leaving front & back fully accessible.
Then the top part of the case goes over it.
Sorry i should have said
“3rd party X100 half case.
I would say Fuji X10 case is rather similar with the half case covering baseplate & sides,
leaving front & back fully accessible.
Then the top part of the case goes over it.”
They are similar sizes X10, X100.
Id say 3rd party X100 case would fit X10 well so long as the tripod thread on the two cameras line up well
as the half case screws into the tripod thread (just as in classic camera cases of yesteryear)
“I just received my Fuji Leather Case and am sending it back. It covers about half of the Playback button and the AF, AE, and WB buttons making them very hard to use”
Maybe the slightly larger X100 3rd party half case would be better for the X10.
Thanks DGD…you have been a great help! This is exactly why I was asking! I had not seen a single photo of the back of the camera (in the case) – so I couldn’t judge how they handled all the controls.
Apparently they need to design a case with some type of custom-fitted rubbery material like you would get to put over a keyboard.
Bummer, though, I really like the way the bottom half of the case looks!
Matt in Colorado
Thanks for the review Steve! I have been shooting with the X10 now for about 2 weeks, and wow, I love it!
I was looking for a ‘smallish’ PnS for a while, never found what I was looking for, but this turn out to be perfect for me. Now, don’t compare it to micro 4/3s interchangeable lenses, bigger censor, type cameras that is just not the segment the X10 is made for. I also own X100 and prime DSLR/glass.
X10 is very quick to fire up with the on/off embedded in zoom, nice zoom range, quick enough AF, awesome glass. During day I shoot AP and no issue wrt image quality for screen size, beautiful colors also. At low light I have the custom buttons now set to EXR NS and auto ISO 1600, and all I can say, again, is wow! On top of its performance, it’s really just a beautiful looking camera, well from the front at least 🙂
Two things I don’t like: no ND filter, and they really should have take the OVF from the X100. Probably a cost-based decision.
We could be looking at for the halcyon days of sensors 2001-2004
when they looked analogue.
thanks for the review I have one on order now and will use this as a back up sort of note taking camera and still use my 5D and 24-70 2.8 a lot.
and the colour wow really looking forward to comparing shots as you do on the Mac in Aperture which is all I use to digital darkroom my stuff
Chris Prince uk
There’s a really good description of what I would consider to the recommended settings for the X10 here:
Just to clarify… shoot in M size, DR400, Auto ISO 3200 in P mode. Should be awesome in 95% of situations. Definitely how to get the best out of this camera IMHO….
i noticed one (major) downside with this auto-iso-setting.
you cannot scroll through the aperture/shutter settings anymore in P mode.
so it’s not really a P mode anymore, but more like automatic mode as you have zero control on aperture and shutterspeed. if you want normal P mode, you have to choose a fixed iso-setting. pretty lame, because i really liked this auto-iso concept.
this was the second dissapointment with this camera (see comment 79).
That really looks impressive. I did not expect it to be that good honestly and I think the price is competitive. Nice.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/69738921@N05/sets/72157627996035585/ (ice hockey 10fps)
stoked!!! mine should be here this week and excited to put it through its paces. seeing the images from Jim Radcliffe has me very impressed! (BTW Jim, beautiful images!). And the ISO 1600 hockey shots have me excited for Fuji’s well-known high-ISO capability. Since this forum has been so helpful in my decision, I’ll post images as soon as I can.
From somewhere on Colorado’s Continental Divide…
LITfoto | photographing dogs & their people
Colorado Mountain College | photography educator
X10 photos ive seen so far dont have that digital sheen of cameras from say 2007-to now (that includes M9, 1Dmk4, D3s, S5 pro, SD15, SD1 all of which have that digital sheen).
X10 analogue like output reminds me of my Fuji S1pro, S2 pro.
X10 iso 1600 6mp SN reminds me of S2 at 6mp 1600.
& its EXR DR mode 400% is as having S5 dr & highlight recovery but for small sensors.
From what I saw of yours and Steve Huff’s photos, I agree on the S2 comments. The S2 was my first digital – chosen over ANYTHING Nikon could bring to the table – due to the beauty of the 1600 files and incredible JPEG files. Remember, this was 2003/2004 so digital was – in some part – still in its infancy!
When I opened one of Steve’s 1600 files I compared it with like files from my S2 and they looked almost identical! A noise that looked more like tight, B&W film grain!
Unfortunately, my S2 experienced Newtonian laws at the hands of my assistant and is no longer repairable by the Great Green Papasan.
LITfoto | photographing dogs & their people
Colorado Mountain College | photography educator
None of those are my photos.
Im glad X10 sensor moved away from digital sheen of the last few years cameras, which even X100 has.
S2 to me was my most preferred S more so than the S1 & S3. S5 looks too digital.
I preferred my S2 to my D1H. D1H had speed in its favour and those big pixels, S2 had jpeg, res, dr. 1600 iso it was a tie. 6MP RAW from S2 were lush.
From what i have seen X10 jpegs are lush. And at 6MP RAW DR 400% & 6MP RAW SN high iso low noise it is as my S2 6MP RAW.
I’ve just bought an X10 mostly for street photography, holidays and casual snapping. I was impressed by the X100 but the price and fixed focal length made me hesitate long enough for Fuji to bring out the X10. My main camera is a Canon EOS 5D and I previously used (and still have) a Panasonic G1 for travel. The G1 is much smaller than my 5D kit but even so, it still is a little bulky – that’s the compromise made for the ability to interchange lenses and have a biggish sensor.
The X10 has absolutely amazed me. It is far far better than any other compact I have owned (and I have owned quite a few!). The lens is super sharp, the camera is fast and can be made ever so quiet for candid photography. The high ISO performance is class-leading for the size of the sensor. I am also sold on the idea of having a built-in viewfinder rather than having buy it as an accessory. That’s why I bought the G1 over a GF1 and though it has no information in it, it will be good enough for shots on the ski slopes when the LCD isn’t viewable.
Fuji have done an excellent job with this camera. So much so that I feel that my G1 will start to gather dust. Others may have different reasons for preferring other cameras over the X10 but the X10 ticks many boxes for me. Throw in the mostly well-designed controls and the metal body and you have a camera that is difficult to put down. It has what many cameras lack – the ‘feel good’ factor.
I agree. I am going to get this little gem. Yeah, smaller sensor than my NEX 5, but there is something about this camera that makes me smile.
i’m gonna buy a new camera sometime in the next few months
i’d like to buy a full frame DSLR, but i can’t afford that right now
i’ve found myself shooting with smaller cameras the past few years
i’m interested in the Fuji X10 and the X100
i like the X10 because it seems faster, and better at close focus
and i like the X100 because of the larger sensor; better image quality
but one thing that disturbs me particularly about the X100
is that apparently the lens isn’t sharp wide open
so what good is a f/2 lens if it isn’t sharp when wide open?, relatively anyway
Bill A. Gilbert
IMO, the X100 is plenty sharp wide open for most uses. It’s not as sharp wide open for up close work, which is generally not the function of most wide angle lenses.
Don’t think it’s better than Olympus XZ-1
Just tell me – in what aspect it is =)
Your thinking is flawed on this.
Thanks for writing your review. Sharing a few experiences from my x10…
I was able to take 597 shots out of the first full batter charge. That’s without the flash, but with a lot of time spent looking through all the menu options on the lcd over the course of the weekend.
Another review on this camera mentioned accidently turning off the camera while zooming. The zoom has a sturdy stop at 28 and I did not have this issue.
There was some CA (a blue outline) on a few of the portrait shots using EXR mode. Anyone experience this?
Is the accessory lens hood available anywhere yet?
3 cool things about X10 in low light
1. OVF = no evf lag. Ovf still bright sharp and shows what our naked eye sees.
2. 49 AF point selection (press AF button then use rear wheel to scroll to desired point on lcd) = no hunting for af.
3. 6mp SN in EXR mode = iso 1600 low noise, retains detail, sharpness. iso 3200 also impressive.
Up there with best of m4/3 Panny G3.
Hey Steve, Great Review. Question, do you find that the focus motor on the lens is a bit loud or the mic is too sensitive? Just got a x10 after reading your review and after testing out the video recording, I can hear the lens dialing into focus whenever I play my videos. Very faint clicking noise. Do you have this issue as well?
thanks for the great review.
concerning indoor low light capabilities of the X10
i was a bit confused
on one had you had the photo of your son in the ‘tree trunk’
shot at ISO 1600
it looked great
and then in your conclusions you say
” If you buy an X10 you will get a camera that delivers nice images, especially when you are in good light. Indoors is a different story but I have yet to find a small sensor camera that gives good indoor performance without using flash.”
is this a contradiction?
or are you just comparing it to the X100?
The tree trunk was still outdoors in daylight though he was up in the trunk. For B&W it looks great. Indoor use in low light, you will need to use flash or else you will get grain that you may not like. X100 is better in low light.
I personally think the G12 is a better camera. More manual options on top of the camera and great image quality for a compact. Like the X1 is better than the X100 as far as image quality is concerned, the G12 is slightly better than the X10. And the D-Lux 5 is also better than the X10. Sure, the X10 is new and, therefore, hot, but besides the lens and the design, it’s not a great camera. Just good.
Thinking is one thing. Testing it out is different.
When testing side by side the quality of X10 over G12, LX5 is obvious. X10 is two classes above both.
G12 vs X10 :
I tested both side by side. I realised how overpriced G12 is & how low tier G12 is compared to X10. G12 slow slow lens, slow fps, awuful tunnel ovf, horrid rocker zoom, cheap cramped plastic box.
To get upto X10 class Canon would need to address these G12 shortcomings which would add £150-£200 to G12 release price of £479.
LX5 vs X10 :
Compared to X10, LX5 felt really cheap just another plastic box. Also poor hands on control. No bright sharp ovf no manul zoom. Quite horrid in comparison to X10. Only thing to recommend is the 24mm wide end at f2.0.
Now that there is X10, Panasonic have a nerve to charge as much as they do for LX5.
LX5 should be £230 due to its cheapness since X10 can be had at £430 (for instance in amazon).
OMG, your guys are quick with your rankings. I’m sure everything is based on personal extensive experience with all these cameras. Not just some fiddling around for 10 minutes in a dim tungsten lit camera store or even worse, just surfing the web and jumping on bits and pieces confirming your preconceptions?
Wow, I think this “DGD” guy has written more in his responses in the comments section here that Steve wrote in his actual review of the camera…..
Just added a new DR comparison to this review above with EXR on and off, much more useful and the benefit is clearly seen!
On auto exr D-Rng chooses 100%- 400%.
Manually can choose up to 1600%
On this test
Was the D-Rng 100% cause theres not that much of a difference from non D-Rng.
If the same test could be done with D-Rng at 400%, 800%, 1600% would be appreciated.
EXR 6mp D-Rng
This is how it works if we did it manually (using a non EXR compact).
We would take one photo exposing for shadows, one photo exposing for highlights
then in software blend.
A fair amount of PP in software.
Even then we may not get smooth tonal gradations.
EXR D-Rng does this automatically.
Preserving smoth tonal gradations.
(This is different than dialing in -exp comensation,
since this will just darken things and not preserve shadows & highlights
& not have smooth tonal gradation).
What Fuji have done with EXR is that fuji engineers know a small sensor does not have the capability of a apsc nor full frame.
To circumvent this they have arranged their Bayer array as EXR.
100% DR http://photos.imageevent.com/boophotos/dpreview/localwalk_1513h100DR.jpg
400% DR http://photos.imageevent.com/boophotos/dpreview/localwalk_1515h400DR.jpg
100% DR http://photos.imageevent.com/boophotos/dpreview/localwalk_1513hcrop.jpg
400% DR http://photos.imageevent.com/boophotos/dpreview/localwalk_1515hcrop.jpg
D-range looks very sweet! thanx for the crops!
Is it with 200exr?
Hs20 exr (1/2″)
SOOC jpegs by user.
A handful would have benefited from 6mp EXR D-Rng (extended dynamic)
still they give a useful indicator.
ice hockey : 10fps, focus tracking, composing through ovf.
1st attempt by photographer said he will surely get better with practice & for ice sports x10 was as good as his dslr
Thanks, Steve, for your excellent review of the Fuji X10. I have been waiting for you to review this camera, and it looks like a little gem – they are certainly bringing out some interesting products, and at a decent price as well.
I am also interested in your forthcoming review of the Ricoh GRD 1V, as I was intending to upgrade from my GRD 111, but the X10 is giving me food for thought after seeing the sharpness and ooc image quality of those jpeg files – fantastic colour, which reminds me of the “Foveon” look from the Sigma DP cameras. The big advantage I see in the GRD 1V is that it is a genuine pocket camera, with great build quality, and I do like the 28mm focal length.
It seems from what I have been reading lately is that the Nikon V1 is not quite the disaster that a lot of people were predicting, and will be very interested in your opinion. I do like the design, which looks solid and functional.
Great website, Steve, and keep up the good work – I just love your enthusiasm for the craft of photography and the way you can convey it in your writing and pictures.
Best wishes to you and family.
Thanks for the review and while I want this camera so badly I am not waiting to see what the new Panasonic GX1 will be like.
I love the look… the size and the manual zoom on basically a point / shoot camera, but the DOF is the killer for me. I assumed with the lens it was going to give some decent DOF, but it looks pretty weak.
I guess my issue with any of the small cameras like the Sony NX series or more 4/3 cameras is you either have a pancake or a big lens. As far as I am concerned the need for a big lens is a deal break as the whole purpose is to have a travel camera that is highend. This why I am interested in the Panasonic GX1 and the new 14-42mm X Power Zoom lens which is pretty small. The only knock on that is it is a 3.5 – 5.6? So I would want to see how well that lens performs.
Want shallow dof : full frame or medium format 645D.
X10 is a compact, imo the best digital compact released in the last ten years.
Will never have shallow dof in a compact.
Will never have pocketability with a FF nor MF.
Two different segments.
They complement each other.
No one camera does it all.
Thats why i carry Sigma DP1 (28mm landscapes), EP1 (+ 50/1.4 & 100/2.8 shallow dof)
& hopefully X10 (1cm macro & every day & street).
Yeah form factor the x10 is great and I really like 80% of it, but looking at the Panasonic GX1 with the 14-42mm X Power Zoom lens…
Same size pretty much
Bigger 4/3 sensor
Better view finder (at additional cost)
No as cool looking
Zoom lens only 14-42mm
The GX1 comes close to doing everything except for the macro shooting.
As long as you keep the 14-42 on the GX1, you will not get any DOF advantage.
Actually, the X10 will have a small advantage if you zoom in beyond 84mm equivalent.
I’m guessing the focus will be much better, though.
the colors look very oversaturated, the highlights mostly blown – unless those 2 images in comparision EXR mode 6MP and normal mode 12 MP (where you’re saying: out of camera), where the colors are very natural. so maybe it’s just postprocessing or user error.
The saturation comes from shooting in Velvia mode for most of these images…no user error. Blown highlight? That would be due to the sensor and shooting mid day in Phx AZ.
Velvi is too rich for me.
Astia i use subtle.
The blown you talk of is because they were shot at 12mp jpegs.
6mp EXR DR (raw) will give highlight control.
Fuji S5 apsc dslr has superb highlight recovery, more so than eg full frame Nikon D700.
X10 at 6mp EXR DR (or manually choosing M file size % 400% dr) gives the same class leading highlight control & recovery.
I have used Fuji films all my life and, to me, the X10 colors are too grossly unrealistic.
Velvia is too rich.
I used Astia subtle.
I imagine the shutter speed limitations are for the same reason as the X100 – the leaf shutter. My understanding is that at f2, the maximum shutter speed is limited to 1/1000 because the shutter cannot move fast enough to not partially block the large aperture opening at greater than 1/1000. At f8 and a smaller aperture opening however the shutter can clear the aperture blades in time at faster speeds, up to the maximum 1/4000. Manually setting 1/4000 at f2 can result in oddly ‘chopped’ bokeh as at the time of capture the aperture isn’t round – it’s partially blocked by the shutter. I am probably explaining it badly but for the life of me I cannot find the first article I read that explained this better.
It’s unfortunate that the X10 doesn’t have a built-in ND filter, because using it at least gives you the option of still using f2 in daylight on the X100.
Built in ND filter would have just one strength & take away sharpness.
X10 39.5mm filter thread will soon have step up rings (just as 40.5m 14-42mm oly m4/3 had step up rings.)
Can then fit any strength ND.
N1 has max shutter speed of 1/16000 (yes, no typo, it’s from a different planet). ND filter, who cares?
I’d buy the X100 if they made it in this black finish 🙂
Thanks for the great reviews!
I had the X100 but was very disappointed with the autofocus and responsiveness of the camera. I am looking for a camera that is much smaller than my Canon 1D that I can carry with me more easily. A camera that can produce images that are higher quality than a standard point and shoot, with manual controls, but also that I can occasionally hand off to somebody who knows very little.
My biggest issue with the X100 was that when I handed the camera off to somebody else the photos would usually all be out of focus. Is there face detection in the X10 and have you tried it?
ice hockey :
focus tracking, composing through ovf.
1st attempt by photographer said he will surely get better with practice & for sports x10 was as good as his usual sports dslr Canon D20
I myself know how fast accurate X10 continuous focus focus tracking is.
Hey Steve – Thanks for an excellent review! As a professional shooter and educator, I have not pre-ordered a camera before. I was willing to take a chance on this one. Thanks for being so comprehensive in your review and the image samples were a huge help – especially the amount of images and comments about high-ISO shooting – something I do a great deal of.
BTW…is that pyramid structure up by Sedona? Seem to remember that from my time in Az…but wondering when they put all those fences around it!
Regards from Colorado!
Great review Steve. I think if anything the better than expected IQ performance of the X10 and V1 just goes to show how far sensor development has come in recent years. Considering the EP-3 sensor is a derivation of an almost four year old design, you have to wonder if Olympus made the right call by sticking with it rather than going for the newer 16MP model. Not that the EP-3 has poor image quality on its own merits, but the state of the art has moved on.
Just my 2 cents.
Nice review, Steve.
The OoC JPEGs from the X10 look great relative to regular P&S cameras.
And having all the “pro” control is a bonus too.
But when compared to upper-level cameras, it cannot really compete. The 100% scale photos lack detail, sharpness and richness when compared to the likes of the EP-3 and NEX-5N.
For $600, I’d take the NEX-5N over the X10 any day.
As for the X100 – that’s more debatable…
It still has a small sensor, and yes, at 100% view a larger sensor camera will have more depth, I agree. The X10 excels on color, higher ISO, huge depth of field, control, looks, price.
Poetry, soul X10. I think HCBresson would have liked X10.
Steve, wondeful and comprehensive real world review. It is these reviews that make your site so great. Keep it up!
Thanks for all great daily photo news Steve. I like this review as well. I was wondering.. I have (and I quote) ” the not so well received and lukewarm Olympus XZ-1 ” that I enjoy immensely. I’m a professional photographer for over 20 years now but this XZ-1 gave me so much joy. Just small enough, nice quality lens, looks good, fun pictures with enough quality. Is the X-10 experience the same you think? So I can donate the XZ-1 to my daughter 😉 thanks for the great writing and testing all the time, it is very much appreciated. Fred
Testing X10 side by side with XZ1 no contest.
X10 about two classes above XZ1.
You’d know this pretty soon after testing both.
XZ1 also know to smear detail due to over aggressive noise reduction.
XZ1 dr a couple of stops below X10 6mp exr dr mode.
I am perplexed by the same statement, Fred. Steve’s review of the XZ-1 was quite favorable, pretty much on par with the vast majority of reviews I’ve seen.
In fact, in Steve’s review of the XZ-1 he stated in closing “All I can say is, the XZ-1 is the new king of compacts.”
Typically I wouldn’t comment on such a discrepancy as I value Steve’s reviews (as well as several others). I’ve been researching for a smallish camera with good IQ. The X-10 is exceptional except in size. But, if I can’t fit the camera in my pants pocket it’s a deal breaker (to wit “the best camera is the one I have with me”). Thus, the ZX-1 seems to me to be the best compromise for my needs.
Great review Steve. Thank you… ordered my x10 today after seeing your review.
Keep it coming please!
Awesome, let me know how you like it!
love reading your reviews, tests and the rest of your fanstastic site! meanwhile
i stop over your site every day. it’s fun! i’m really bored reading all the other technical
tests with resolution-charts and all the stuff! Real world articles from you are
much much better!
BTW i just ordered the X10! It’s the one compact i’ve been waiting for! I sold my LX5 last week.
First my goal was to get an E-P3. But i have a canon dslr with pretty good lenses and
i don’t want to keep two different systems.The X10 is much better in high ISO than the LX5 and
there is a manual zoom-ring!!! Fantastic! 😉
The next 1-3 years my goal is to be a Leica digital rangefinder user. Maybe the M9P. And i
tell you something Steve: You are guilty!!! 😉
Big thanks for the review and greetings from Germany
Thanks! Enjoy it!
any ideas how will the x10 fare against the leica d lux 5? im looking to purchase a p&s very soon!
Tested LX5 (Dlux5) alongside X10.
You would have to test both to realise how cheap Dlux5 is compared to X10.
Of Leica (not panasonic) could have designed a compact it would have been the X10.
On dpreview forum already those forumees with LX5 have said they are replacing it with X10.
On Leica user forum a few have said Dlux5 photos are plastic.
X10 has been mentioned in some reviews too have naturalness.
In UK X10 can be had for £430. Dlux5 for its cheapness should be £230.
thanks for your insight dgd!
Great review. Just bought my Nikon V1 today.
Enjoy and let me know how you like it!
I would like to know more about the „shutter lag” of the Fuji X10.
All the top compact cameras I tried, from the Canon G series to Nikon P7000 and P7100 had problems with it. Even Olympus Pen series did not impressed me too much ( I work with DSLRs).
I hope the X10 is really responsive.
The NEX 5n has the least shutter lag, E-P3 is good too. The X1 and X100 do not seem like the fastest but as far as shutter lag goes, I never had one problem with the latest cameras. In other words, shutter lag is so small these days it really doesn’t affect your photography unless you are shooting something that requires precision timing.
0.01 secs X10 shutter.
(Gorgeous metal threaded shutter).
I use Sigma DP1, DP2, Pana GF2, Leica M6. I’ve got X10 as well. Great one. Points are, for me: it is silent (against GFx), optics (2.0!), hi quality manual zoom, viewfinder.
BUT: no RAW (RAF) files support for Lion Macs! Software included is for PPC (!). Will wait (for X100 it’s O.K., so soon)… and: original software, even for PPC, is a piece of ****, sorry to say. I use Aperture.
excellent review Steve, your sample shot are superb
Great review and very interesting comparisons. Nice to see that high end point and shoots start to challenge older mft sensors. Time for Olympus to work on a pro mft body, the prime lenses would be there. I hope we can enjoy your V1 review soon, as I’m interested what your opinion is. I never thought I’d buy this camera, but after trying out one at B&H I left the store with a V1 and 3 lenses. I think Nikon’s N1 offer a couple of interesting new things.
I’m actually thinking about the J1/V1 as well, because I run into problems focusing with the x100 when people or things starts to move around. Looking forward to a review here 🙂
X100 and something like a N1 in the bag could actually be a great travel combo.
V1 is quick, but I can’t say that it is much, if any faster than the E-P3 with the newest lenses. The V1 is simple, responsive, brick like in build and feel and the IQ is better than I thought though still a bit flat which I assume is down to the lenses.
X10 Af speed & tracking : 10fps ice hockey http://sshawn.zenfolio.com/p671918696#h21c727fc
1st timer said he will get better with practice & X10 as fast as his usual sports dslr Canon 20D.
Same here…didnt have ANY interest in the V1 but after trying one out for review…hmmm, it’s better than I ever thought it would be.
Speaking of the X’s, you forgot the NEX!
Bah I was suppose to get this delievered today from amazon, then I got an email saying my order deliever date got bumped to dec 19????!!!!!!!! Luckily one of my local camera stores is getting it in by the end of the week and they’re gonna call me when it comes it :). Still a big disappointment, was so looking forward to having this camera in my hands today. Oh well, great review though!
And the question to Steve (drum roll)- is there any way you could see a Pentax Q having a place in a world where the X10 has been released? Is there something unique about the Q that still makes it its own proposition over the Fuji (note that this should not mean, imply or the like- that the X10 is bad).
What two key qualities- if they exist- the Q has that make it stand out vs the X10? (again this should’nt mean the X10 is bad or “worse” or the like). From a photographer perspective, not a tech head perspective.
Thanks (yes, I am still mulling one or the other).
Steve? Any thoughts? Would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
Thank you for your review. I have the X100 and don’t really use it (to slow for street photography). The X10 might be interesting as I was thinking of buying the Canon S100 as a take everywhere camera. Your high ISO test really hurt the EP-3. Somehow, this is not surprising when you think that the EP-3 has basically the same sensor as the EP-1. It is about time that a m4/3 rangefinder-like body is offered with a more modern sensor…lets hope that the GX1 will do the job. In the mean time Fuji is really proposing interesting products one after the other (can’t wait to see their pro system with interchangeable lenses in 2012).
If you are looking for a AF (emphasis on AF!) street camera, try the Nikon V1 (or J1). The fastest non dslr I ever tried, in a different zip code than anything else.
Thank you for your tip. Based on the comparison made in this review, it seems that those Nikon are pretty decent cameras, outperforming the EP-3 at high ISO.
The Nikon V1 is actually pretty damn nice…I am surprised. Much nicer than the J1 I saw at best buy.
Well, the Oly E-P3 and 12mm is actually as fast if not a tad quicker!
Street = stealth = X10
V1 is too much an obvious looking brick esp when add 10-30mm, 30-110mm.
V1 evf is nice not a patch on a bright sharp X10 ovf for tracking.
Evfs are as looking at a television & of course suffer more lag in low light.
X10 has the spirit of HCBresson.
(X10 Af speed & tracking : 10fps ice hockey http://sshawn.zenfolio.com/p671918696#h21c727fc
1st timer said he will get better with practice & X10 as fast as his usual sports dslr Canon 20D )
Looking at actual cameras side by side, the V1+10-30, and X10 are very similar in size. The X10 is slightly wider, their heights are very nearly the same (except for the V1 viewer hump). The V1 is chunkier in depth.
Neither is particularly ‘stealthy’ if that’s your thing- better to hide them in your purse and cut a hole through it for the lens, if that’s your thing.
Neither camera has the spirit of a human being, and either camera can be used for the same task.
X10 is very nice, V1 will AF and track faster.
Dare I mention the Digilux 2 in this discussion? Same sensor size, very similar zoom range and lens speed, and top notch OOC jpegs. I know you were once a big fan of the D2, Steve (your shots were some of the first I saw from it). Dare to compare?
I think it’s easy to compare those two cameras: the Leica digilux-2 is fine at iso100, the X10 can be used at much higher sensitivities.
D2 i had. That lens.
It was neither here nor there for me, too big to have it with me for everyday, sensor too small for its body size to have shallow dof (given D2 size, its sensor nowadays would be a m4/3).
Evf had poor brightness & lots of lag esp low light lag.
No image stabilisation.
Above iso 100 was poor.
X10 addressed all D2 shortcomings & added far better build.
I feel that Fuji doesn’t have a good grip on their highlight tone control anymore. The S5 had tremendous highlight headroom and recovery ability. The X100 and the X10 lacks severely in that department, blow exposure by 1/3 of a stop and you get blobs of white.
6mp EXR DR (Jpeg or RAW) or choosing manually M size file & 400% DR gives that extended highlight control.
Fuji F500 (1/2″ samller than X10 2/3″) :
-2.8EV recovery in silkypix http://g4.img-dpreview.com/7179CE06102A42B18A2ED86806CAC404.jpg
Fuji still recover highlight better than anyone in its class.
Given it is a small sensor, comparatively as good as the class leading S5.
Can you set centre weighted metering? Or is one stuck with matrix metering and lowest common denominator auto exposure?
AE button is dedicated metering button (allows choice of multi, spot, averaged metering).
Why is it called “AE button” when it, as I understand it, allows the choice of the metering options?
So what metering options are offered in Manual Exposure Mode?
Hey Steve, great job on another great, “to the point” and real world review! Your review mentions the “Fuji Colors” alot, I always thought that most amateur photographers raved over the “Olympus colors”.
Is it safe to say that, based on your writings of the X10, that you prefer the Fuji colors over Olympus? I also always thought that Olympus had the best JPEG engine of all camera brands, sounds like Fuji is also up there, would you call them equal or is one better than the other for JPEGS?
It looks to me like the camera punches above it weight class. It appears that it gives the Ep-3 a good run for the money and matches or betters the Nikon. i really like the sharpness of what was shown and the color; even if it might be a little over the top in punchiness (normal for Fuji).
Both the Olympus and Fuji colors in JPEGS are pretty darn good. Olympus seems to go more for a Kodak film look while Fuji goes after their films. Makes sense considering Olympus launched 4/3rds with a Kodak partnership.
Re bettering the Nikon, I hope we see more comparisons soon. I would be surprised if X10 raw files were better than N1 files, the latter has twice the sensor size with 20% fewer pixels, so on a per pixel size level, clear advantage for the N1.
X10 is in reality a 6mp (as my Fuji S2 apsc i had).
When i do have the X10 i hope to get the S2 to copare.
At 6mp DR & SN modes RAW : X10 with its fast sharp lens i expect to better than V1 + 10-30mm & 30-110mm RAW
for DR & High iso low noise with sharp detail.
The first time I hear this. So you believe (emphasis on believe) it has 6MP only and Fuji does the Sigma thing and sell it as a 12MP sensor camera.
Hi Steve, thanks for the fantastic review. My girlfriend will love this as she is planning to get an X10 and is waiting for good reviews to come out before taking the plunge. Your photos are great, as usual, and the colors are superb!
Also, I noticed that you already have a GRD IV. Will you be doing a review on it? I am getting a GRD by the end of the year; do you think the GRD IV is worth the extra $200 from the GRD III?
I’m not happy. First i was deciding between the NEX-5N and the EP-3. Finally decided on the EP-3 and am waiting for the EP-3 to drop in price, but now thinking this could be a good option. The colors really are terrific. What to do???
would of loved to see some raw files steve ! 🙂
Such a straight forward easy read yet useful review! Thanks Steve!
Rather than describing it as a new category of camera, you could say it’s a revival of the “bridge” cameras like the Minolta A2 which seemed to die without trace about five years ago. Sensor’s pretty much the same size.
A200, C8080, Digilux 2, F717, FZ50, S100fs bridges i have owned. Digilux2 & Sony F717 were my faves due to fast lenses.
D2 & F717 i didnt keep due to their bulk and poor performance above iso100 & slow af slow af tracking & i just didnt get on with their evf lag.
X10 addressed those shortcomings.
Great review. I actually just ordered the V1 as I have two small kids who are quite hard to track. I’m very happy with my Nex-5N, guess I’m just curious if the V1 can make my life easier.
Your V1 review still coming soon?
Like Anders mentioned Steve, Im curious if you tried the various EXR modes such as the dynamic range one ? I know you seem to have lumped these all together in what you called “gimmick modes” but the dynamic range mode sounded pretty promising I thought, using half its pixels for one exposure and then other adjoining pixels end the exposure early to save clipping the highlights. Of course then you’ve just got a 6meg file, but given most people probably are doing web resolution with this sort of camera anyways, might still work, especially if there is a stop or two of extra headroom. The mode where it uses pairs of pixels to supposedly produce lower noise high iso files as well is the other that sounded interesting.
Knowing that you don’t like to focus on things you don’t find work well, I’m curious if your skipping over these modes was on purpose and that they failed to really deliver or if just due to time in getting the review done you couldn’t test every mode and feature.
I did try this mode but wasn’t “wowed” but I will add an image using the EXR DR mode and one without in the next hour….Thanks!
Steve, did you use DR400 with that image? If you used DR100 then you wouldn’t see any difference.
I dont think that image is going to show any difference because even in the 12meg HR size there doesn’t appear to be any clipped highlights.
I remember seeing some shots from the F200 something model a while back where they basically where shooting in a tunnel or under a bridge or something. That part of the image was equally exposed, but across the street a row of shops was totally blown out, but the DR image had easily 2-3 stops extra headroom.
I think to really test the HR function you need to shoot something where you easily blow out the highlights and the switch to DR mode and see if you can retain some detail in them.
As an example, an image looking out a window in your home, where you expose for the indoor ambient light, which naturally is going to blow out the sunny outdoor part viewed through the window.
With the DR mode, if it works as they suggest, the camera should be able to underexpose and combine those pixels giving you a far wider dynamic range. Im sure theres a limit to how well it can work but should be 2-3 stops from what I’ve read on past EXR sensors.
If nothing is clipping though in a test image, its just not going to show any difference in the scene because EXR mode or not, there wasn’t any need for added dynamic range
Yep 6mp renders sharper photos.
6mp EXR DR or choosing manually file size & 400% DR.
X10 is as my Fuji S2.
6mp sensor works best at 6mp (dr & high iso low noise), then interpolate if necessary to 12mp.
Steve, you are missing out on the EXR! 🙂 It can make a dramatic difference that super fuji DR. Go and shoot a scene under a bridge with light on the distance and things you want to capture inside the shadow area. Or Clouds that are super bright with ground you want in. It makes a huge difference. Make sure it’s EXR – DR priority with 400% DR.
I had a Fuji F710 sensor camera (different sensor type but roughly speaking in conceptual terms, similar idea) and the DR it had was beyond imagination in a compact.
I used to have a Fuji F200exr and the undocumented trick with the Fuji EXR sensors is to shoot them in M size with the DR at something other than 100%. DR400 always worked well for me… Although Fuji deny it, this seemed to have the effect of forcing the camera to do all it’s EXR goodness all the time, in PASM modes and without having to mess with the limited EXR modes for different situations. I got higher dynamic range at low iso, lower noise at high ISO etc etc just sticking to P mode.and essentially using the camera as a dumb point and shoot.
This, of course, has the effect of limiting your 12mp camera to 6mp images. You have to remember that THIS IS HOW THIS SENSOR IS DESIGNED TO WORK. It’s where it magic lies… The geeks who test these things were continually showing that a 6mp EXR shot from the Fuji would actually have more percieved detail when up-rezzed to 12mp than a normal sensor shot natively at 12mp would. it took better shots in every measurable way at 6mp than it did at 12mp. It’s an easy AB so check it! People were recording dynamic range of 12 to 13 stops which is kinda outrageous for a small sensor cam…
The place I noticed it most was in highlight retention. It seemed to almost never burn out unless I made it… When I was working on the jpegs it felt a little like working on raws. You can see some examples in these photos from my holidays last year
I appreciate that this is a much newer sensor than the one which was in my F200 but I think that by not doing this trick you may be missing out on a whole world of goodness…
NB. As far as I can work out this is only true for the smaller EXR sensors, the X100 being APS-C works in a different way…
It’s a gorgeous looking camera, and I really like the fact it has a OVF. I still think any camera with a small sensor (smaller than m4/3s) than cannot fit in my jeans pocket is fatally flawed. If I have to actually carry a camera seperately I’m going to carry one with a bigger sensor for better IQ. If I don’t want to carry a camera then I’ll slip my S90 into my pocket. I’m clearly a minority though as Canon seems to sell G12’s by the truck load and I’m sure Fuji will sell tons of these too 😉
f2-2.8 28-112 on say a 1″ sensor or m4/ 3 would have made X10 lens size as digilux 2 lens size & that was a bridge.
Im taken with Fuji having the courage to have the only manual zoom lens on a compact & the design decision to keep X10 compact.
““D-Range Priority” is gimmicky? really?
When fuji introduced the EXR feature in 2009 i was practically jumping up and down because it meant an extra 2-3 stop of DR which is huge!
i’m bit surprised that you werent impressed by it, i wonder, is it because the native dynamic range is so good already? that its hard to see the EXR d-range effect?
Thanx for the review!
EXR DR mode wasn’t properly tested. Many of Steves shots have blown highlights (which is a characteristic of small sensor cameras) but the impact in most has been minimised by good subject illumination. However, for some bizarre reason, Steve’s comparison shots for his DR test used one of the few shots in the review without a blown highlight, so the benefit of the DR mode wasn’t shown.
Lol, yes. I ran out yesterday to test this but was tough to find a good example. I will be re-doing this today I hope….
A Good way to test extreme DR is to shoot a window from inside the house at daylight,
hopefully the interior will be well exposed and the window wouldn’t blow out
EXR 6mp DR (JPEG or RAW gives increased dynamic range. (alternatively manually choose M size files & 400% DR).
Thanks Steve. Very good review. You don’t mention the 6 mp mode. Did you see any advantage of that or maybe you didn’t check?
Good question, I opened those two pics in sep tabs and flipped back and forth and struggled to find any real reason to use that 6mp mode.
It is a web page after all – everything looks the same online.
6mp DR JPEG or RAW gives increased dynamic range. (alternatively manually choose M size files & 400% DR)
6mp SN JPEG or RAW gives high iso low npise, RAW is sharper.
Now I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on a X10 to see if it feels and works right for me.
Interested to see that Steve also didn’t get on with the S95, a fine camera which I haven’t taken to either. At least selling mine will help go to an X10!
Thank you for that great Steve . I have the x10 and x100 and both are worth every cent. For me the best small sensor Camera after GRD I.
I’d agree – if UK prices were the same as US! To put things in perspective, here in Europe the X10 is exactly the same price … but in pounds/euros – making it a third higher – about $800+ ….
Fuji may have produced a great camera – but at two/thirds the price of the X100, it is far too highly priced for an advanced point & shoot. Apart from the zoom facility there is also little to recommend it over an X100 either at this relative price point.
It is certainly a good P&S – as Steve clearly points out, but it is clearly not a rival to FF or APS cameras. Oddly, Amateur Photographer (the leading UK photo magazine) has described this as ‘better than the X100’. How, Why? No-one knows!
I paid £800 GBP for my X100 in a deal some months ago – most UK retailers are currently asking only a little more. (X100 @ low prices and easily available in UK)
Given Steve’s honest review it will be a long time before I’ll buy an X10 when an X100 (or even an Olympus/Panasonic competitor) represents far better value.
Oh – one last thing. I love my X100 to bits, despite it’s quirks. Not sure why I’d replace it with an expensive ‘not so mini’-me!
I’m not sure about your comment. First of all, the msrp of the x100 is $1199 if you got yours cheaper then good for you, I’m sure in a few months you will also get a cheaper deal with the x10.
They are saying that it is in some way better than the x100 not in terms of IQ but because it has faster AF, faster startup (although the quirk about the card is still a bummer), zoom capability (but I take that this is subjective because for some primes are better). You might argue that the ovf doesn’t have the info like the x100 but they have to distinguish the two from each other. The x100 is still their top model in the x-series.
Say in an ideal world where you combine the best of this two cams. Like giving the x100 the faster, start up, the faster AF wouldn’t that make happier with your x100? Add to that a version with a zoom lens just to satisfy who wants this feature.
As Steve said, Fuji are creating a new breed of cameras and with that they are still testing the water which features will be most welcome. For all you know, the x10 is just a dip in the water for thing that you may find in their upcoming interchangeable x series.
Lastly, this was not meant to be a replacement for the x100, it’s simply intended for a different market with a nod to its “big brother”.
Hi Robert – I can assure you that in good ol’ England, the X100 is available for £850 ($1300 USD) from any number of retailers – BUT – note that £850 is $1300 USD … you did read the GBP (£) sign – right?
That’s actually $100 more than the US RRP!!!! The X10 is £599 RRP over here – that’s $995 USD!!!! The UK and Europe is losing out in camera pricing – not getting them cheaper!
At US price comparisons, the X100 should cost us only £750 – the X10 would be £375 (that’s GBP equivalent of $1200/$600 Fuji prices)
On the bonus side, no real lack of Fuji availability here … plus loads of near new X100 on eBay! One minter sold recently for £650 – many go for £750. At those prices, asking £600 for the mini-me X10 is gonna be a tough ask, and makes UK and European buyers think twice about a ‘luxury’ P&S camera.
No doubt X10 prices will drop, but I doubt they will ever rival the US model – the concept that the X10 would be offered at 50% of the X100 RRP in Europe seems highly unlikely.
Thanks for the clarification. I just assumed that when they first sold the x100 there, the price was 1199 in GBP price. Just as what you said that the x10 sells for 599 same as here in the US but in GBP price. This is the reason I said that after a while the x10 price will relatively adjust the same way.
@Photozopia: Do the higher UK prices mean that Fuji (or its distributors) are actually charging more there, or do they reflect VAT or other taxes included in the price?
Hi Paris – yes the prices are inclusive of UK taxes/VAT … but they are not in any way higher than average compared to world sales taxes.
Importantly – it’s not just Fuji. It’s universal – most photo industry distributors just take the stated US dollar price and convert it into pounds or euros, making prices around 33% higher in Europe.
Retailers/distributors obviously charge what they think the UK market can stand – the X100 originally priced out at around £1300 (about $2100 US) but with the euro market now apparently saturated, is retailing for £850 average ($1300).
Draw your own conclusions … fair profit margins or ‘rip-off’ trading?
just to make something clear, and NOT disputing US prices being lower than just about anywhere:
prices in Europe are shown/spoken of with VAT included, in US price shown is one BEFORE sales tax, that tax will add another 5-10% depending on where you bought it, there are still opitons to by on-line and pay no sales tax, but most states are trying to shut that up
Sorry. I didn’t mean to single out the Fuji company. I was across this summer, and noticed that ALL camera prices are 20 to 30% higher in the UK and Europe, and I’ve been wondering why.
I sort of doubt that it’s just “rip-off” trading. If it were possible, I suspect that at least one retailer would figure out that dropping his price by 30% would gain him a LOT of new business.
Just FYI, prices in the US are always advertised exclusive of sales tax, and these taxes are imposed by the states. So, if I go down the street to my local retailer, I’ll pay an additional 6%. If I buy the same item from B&H (who are not in my state), I’m supposed to voluntarily tell my state about that purchase at tax time, and pay the money. Sometimes, some people forget to do that.
Sad truth is Paris – the UK photo industry is controlled by a few large distributors and/or photo-retail chains.
Small ‘ma & pa’ camera shops went belly up many years ago – unable to compete with the UK photo cartels.
£430 approx X10 in Novatech, Lambdatek, Kikatek (due back i stock 30th nov).
Wow – amazing how ‘being out of stock’ drops the RRP to £350 at the three (computer component stores?????) you mention.
Strange that major high street/online retailers still want £500+ for (in stock) items ….
When reading the article, everything about the X10 reminds me of my old G10. It only has a very slightly larger sensor, and it’s $100 more. I also couldn’t help but think that for the same price you can get an entry level DSLR which would be much faster and have several other advantages, but be a little bigger. But once you have the camera around your neck, a few more ounces doesn’t make much difference. Just some thoughts
Thats the kind of thought process which will get you an entry level dslr & a entry level lens.
Not a f/2 – f/2.8 lens, which makes a difference. Start looking for good quality f/2.8 or wider lens and the price goes up.
A few more ounces do make differences if you carry those around altogether while babysitting a super active 2yrs old toddler! 😀
I used a 30D coupled with few primes for more than 5 yrs and finally I decide to look for something more ‘compact’ without sacrificing too much the image quality…
X10 an X20 certainly a good choice of ‘compact’ 🙂
What about the White Dot Syndrome?
Is anything we can do about it, or have to wait for filmware fix….it is very unpleasant 🙁
I don’t have the X100, but just got the X10, and am finding it to be a lovely camera.