Fujifilm has been synonymous with innovation right from the silver halide days, and the EXR sensor has been their strong point in the digital segment.
With a flexible processing algorithm, this sensor has been designed to improve the dynamic range or sensitivity of the camera as the situation demands. Yet another EXR model, the Fujifilm X10 is a retro-looking compact camera packing advanced features in a compact body.
Design and Build Quality
The Fujifilm X10 bears a retro styling with a classic rangefinder look. It has an optical viewfinder and a TTL accessory shoe. The camera is constructed like a tank with an all-metal casing. The mode dial, exposure compensation dial, built-in flash, and the threaded shutter release button (threaded for a traditional cable release) sit on the top panel. A thumb rest and a hand grip completes the design. The camera features a metal tripod mount.
The 12.0 megapixel Fujifilm X10 uses a 2/3 inch Type (8.80 x 6.60 mm) EXR CMOS sensor with primary colour filter array for imaging. It features a Fujinon 28–112mm equivalent, f/2.0 – 2.8 lens featuring optical Image Stabilisation. The lens is constructed with 11 elements in 9 groups (including 3 aspherical elements). The aperture ranges from f/2.0 to f/11 at the wide-angle end and from f/2.8 to f/11 at the telephoto end. In the normal range, the lens focusses from approximately 50cm to infinity at the wide-angle end, and approximately 80cm to infinity at the telephoto end. In Macro mode, it focusses from approximately 10cm to 3m at the wide-angle end and from 50cm to 5m at the telephoto end, whereas in Super macro mode, it focusses from 1cm to 1m at the wide-angle end. The camera uses TTL Contrast Detect AF, and the focus modes are single, continuous, and manual. The focus area selection options are multi, area, and tracking. The camera uses 256-segment TTL metering with options of multi, average, and spot. The shooting modes are Program, Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority, and Manual. The X10 features Scene modes such as Natural Light, Natural and Flash, Portrait, Portrait enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night Tripod, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Underwater, Party, Flower, and Text. The shutter speed of the camera ranges from 30 to 1/4000 sec. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-stop increments. Sensitivity of the X10 ranges from ISO 100 to 3200 at the native resolution, while in small size, it can be boosted up to ISO 12800. White Balance can be set to Auto, Direct Sunlight, Shade, Daylight Fluorescent, Warm White Fluorescent, Cool White Fluorescent, Incandescent, Underwater, Colour Temperature, and Custom.
The built-in flash of the Fujifilm X10 has an effective range from 30cm to 7.0m at the wide-angle end and from 50 cm to 5.0m at the telephoto end when the sensitivity is set to Auto (800). Flash modes available are auto, forced flash, off, slow-sync, auto with red eye removal, forced flash with red-eye removal, and slow sync with red-eye removal. Still images are recorded in JPEG or RAW (RAF) format with an option to record the images in both formats simultaneously, while movies are recorded in MOV format with accompanying WAV audio tracks. The maximum size of still images is 4000 x 3000 pixels while movies are recorded in Full HD with top quality of 1920 x 1080 pixels at 30 fps.
The camera has an internal memory of approximately 26MB and accepts an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card for external storage. The X10 features an optical viewfinder along with a 2.8-inch, 460,000-dot colour LCD monitor. It is powered by an NP-50 rechargeable battery (supplied). The camera weighs approximately 350g, including battery and memory card, and has dimensions of 117.0 x 69.6 x 56.8 mm (w x h x d).
The Fujifilm X10 looks and feels like the smaller version of a manual SLR. It provides a good grip with the textured skin and a small projection at the hand grip. The LCD is bright and the images appear crisp on the screen. So much for the goodies. Talking of imperfections, the biggest surprise is the placement of the On/Off switch. The zoom lever doubles as the power switch, which is slightly inconvenient since you tend to look for the power button on the top panel all the time till you get the hang of it. The optical viewfinder is useful only to frame the shot because it neither displays any information nor does it focus along with the lens. The buttons are small and the sub-command dial inconvenient to use. I haven’t seen anyone using a threaded cable release for a long time and hence I am not sure why the company has provided threading on the shutter release button.
The Fujifilm X10 was easy to operate and focussing was fast and precise. The menu was simple and easy to navigate. The camera produced prominent darkening at the corners. Flare was observed along with chromatic aberration. Images appeared slightly soft when checked on the computer. The images were free of barrel distortion till about 85mm equivalent focal length. The camera had a tendency to overexpose the images in some situations.
The camera’s white balance performed well, especially under natural light. We observed distinct colour cast under fluorescent and incandescent light sources, but these could be easily removed in Photoshop. The native print size of images were 10 x 13.33 inches at 300 ppi. At 25 percent of the screen size, images were free of noise up to ISO 1600. At 50 percent, the images appeared noise-free up to ISO 800, while at 100 percent of the screen size, we did not observe noise up to ISO 400. The images appeared soft especially at ISO 400 and above, probably due to the noise-reduction algorithm.
Value for Money
The Fujifilm X10 retails at an MRP of Rs.44,999. At this price, the camera appears too expensive, though it has a retro styling.
+ Excellent build quality
+ Retro styling
+ Advanced features
– Mediocre performance
– Confusing controls
– No information display in OVF
Design and Build Quality 18/20
Key Features 17/20
Noise Control 3/5
Value for Money 6/10
Grand Total 74/100
The Fujifilm X10 is a retro-looking compact camera with a rugged metal exterior offering some advanced features such as priority modes and accessory shoe. But the high price and mediocre performance might prove too costly for this device.