First impressions of the Fujifilm X10


Cactus jACK

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#1
[Sept 2011] ON the heels of the success of the Fujifilm X100, Fujifilm announces the X10 - an enthusiast compact with a fast f/2.0-2.8 Fujinon 4x manual zoom 28-112mm-equivalent lens (7.1-28.4mm), built around a 2/3" (6.6 x 8.8mm) EXR-CMOS sensor. The lens consists of 11 glass lens elements in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical glass lens elements (6 sides) and 2 extra-low dispersion lens elements. The EXR-CMOS sensor provides three optional shooting modes:

HR - High Resolution mode; SN - High Sensitivity and Low Noise; DR - Wide Dynamic Range

The X10 borrows extensively from the styling of the X100, switching the the hybrid viewfinder for a new optical zooming viewfinder, and also for the sexy all black finish.



Highlights
12 megapixel 2/3" EXR-CMOS sensor
4x manual zoom 28-112mm range (7.1-28.4 mm)
f/2.0-2.8 Fujinon lens
Optical viewfinder (85% coverage)
2.8" 460,000 dot LCD
1cm Super Macro
Motion Panorama 360
Film Simulation Mode
Full HD Movie



We only managed to secure this camera for one weekend for this review, so while I will try to be a thorough as much as I can, you would have to manage some expectations in terms of breath or depth of the review.
 

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Cactus jACK

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[Camera]
Number of effective pixels 12.0 million pixels
Image sensor 2/3-inch EXR CMOS with primary color filter
Sensitivity : Auto / Equivalent to ISO 100 / 200 / 250 / 320 / 400 / 500 / 640 / 800 / 1000 / 1250 / 1600 / 2000 / 2500 / 3200 / 4000 / 5000 / 6400 / 12800

[Lens]
Fujinon 4 x optical zoom lens
Focal length : 7.1 - 28.4 mm, equivalent to 28 - 112 mm on a 35 mm camera
Aperture range : F/2.0 - F/11(Wide) - F/2.8 - F/11 (Telephoto)
Construction : 9 groups 11 lenses (3 aspherical glass molded lenses included)
Approx. 2x digital zoom
Focus distance (from lens surface)
Normal - Wide : Approx. 50 cm to infinity, Telephoto : Approx. 80 cm to infinity
Macro - Wide : Approx. 10 cm - 3.0 m, Telephoto : Approx. 50 cm - 3.0 m
Super Macro - Approx. 1.0 cm - 1.0 m

[Modes]
Exposure control : TTL 256-zones metering, Multi / Spot / Average
Exposure mode : Programmed AE, Aperture Priority AE, Shutter Priority AE, Manual
Shooting modes
SP - Natural Light, Natural Light & Flash, Portrait, Portrait Enhancer, Landscape, Sport, Night, Night (Tripod), Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, Party, Flower, Text, Underwater
MODE DIAL - EXR, AUTO, P, S, A, M, C1, C2, Movie, SP, Adv.
Image stabilizer : Lens shift type
Face detection : Yes
Self-timer : 10 sec. / 2 sec. delay
Exposure compensation : -2.0EV - +2.0EV, 1/3EV step
Shutter speed (Auto mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000 sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec.

[File format]
Still image : JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3), RAW (RAF format), RAW + JPEG
L : (4:3) 4000 x 3000 / (3:2) 4000 x 2664 / (16:9) 4000 x 2248 / (1:1) 2992 x 2992
M : (4:3) 2816 x 2112 / (3:2) 2816 x 1864 / (16:9) 2816 x 1584 / (1:1) 2112 x 2112
S : (4:3) 2048 x 1536 / (3:2) 2048 x 1360 / (16:9) 1920 x 1080 / (1:1) 1536 x 1536

Motion Panorama :
360° Vertical 11520 x 1624 Horizontal 11520 x 1080
180° Vertical 5760 x 1624 Horizontal 5760 x 1080
120° Vertical 3840 x 1624 Horizontal 3840 x 1080

Movie : H.264 (MOV) 1920 x 1080 pixels / 1280 x 720 pixels / 640 x 480 pixels (30 frames / sec.) with stereo sound

Storage media : Internal memory (approx. 26 MB) SD / SDHC / SDXC(UHS-I) memory card
 

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Cactus jACK

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#3
[Focusing & White Balance]
Mode : Single AF / Continuous AF (EXR AUTO, Movie), Manual AF (One-push AF mode included)
Type : TTL contrast AF, AF assist illuminator available
AF frame selection : Multi, Area, Tracking
White balance : Automatic scene recognition
Preset : Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, Underwater, Custom, Color temperature selection

[Bracketing]
Auto bracketing AE Bracketing : ±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV
Film Simulation Bracketing : PROVIA / STANDARD, Velvia / VIVID, ASTIA / SOFT
Dynamic Range Bracketing : 100%, 200%, 400%
ISO Sensitivity Bracketing : ±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV

[Flash]
Flash Auto flash (super intelligent flash)
Effective range : ISO AUTO (800)
Wide : Approx. 30 cm - 7.0 m
Telephoto : Approx. 50 cm - 5.0 m
Flash mode Red-eye removal OFF : Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
Flash mode Red-eye removal ON : Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
Hot shoe : Yes

[Photography Functions]
EXR mode (EXR Auto / Resolution priority / High ISO & Low noise priority / Dynamic range priority), Face recognition, Face Detection, Auto red-eye removal, Film simulation, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Best frame capture, Advanced mode (Motion panorama 360, Pro focus, Pro low light), High Speed Movie (70 / 120 / 200 frames/sec.), Electronic level, One-touch RAW, Advanced Anti Blur, Color Space

[Playback Functions]
Face Detection, Auto red-eye removal, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Protect, Crop, Resize, Slide show, Image rotate, Voice memo, Histogram display, Exposure warning, Photobook assist, Image search, Favorites, Mark for upload, Panorama, Erase selected frames, RAW conversing

[View]
LCD monitor 2.8-inch, approx. 460,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor, approx. 100% coverage
Viewfinder Optical zoom viewfinder
Approx. 85% coverage
Diopter adjustment : -3.5 - +1.5 m-1(dpt)

[Dimensions & Battery Life]
Dimensions : 117.0(W) x 69.6(H) x 56.8(D) mm
Weight Approx. 350 g (including battery and memory card), Approx. 330 g (excluding battery and memory card)
Guide to the number of available frames for battery operation
- Approx. 270 frames (LCD : ON, AUTO mode)
- Approx. 640 frames (LCD : OFF, AUTO mode)

source: fujifilm.com
 

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Cactus jACK

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#4
Fujifilm has married their new 2/3" (6.6 x 8.8mm) EXR-CMOS sensor with some the old school charm in the design of the body... the result being their new X10!! This camera no doubt will score well in looks and form factor (metal lens cap to boot!!), and coupling the Fujinon lens with the EXR sensor should be a sure winner!!

[Handling] - The Fujifilm X10 weighs about 350g, that's about 100g lighter than it's larger cousin, the X100. The form is very similar to that of the X100, the small grip at the side along with the pebbled vulcanite-like body enhances the handling. Compared to the X100, the X10 puts in a more distinct rubber thumb grip at the rear which helps in the handling of this smaller body. The feel and form of the Fujifilm X10 reminds me of the small fixed lens rangefinders, esp when you it with the optical viewfinder.



Turning it ON - The design of the "On-Off" switch is pretty innovative - incorporating it into the manual zoom ring. It takes a deliberate 1/8th turn of the ring to turn the camera on, from "OFF" to "28", with distinct clicks at "OFF" and "28" - so there is little chance of accidentally switching / turning on the camera.

If you would just like to review pictures and movies on the SD card, you can just press and hold down the play button. This will allow you to review your recorded pictures or movies without having to turn on the camera - you can press the "play" button again to switch off the reviewing.

- "OFF"

- "28"

Optical Viewfinder - This was part of the draw for some people. It zooms with the lens, and has about a 85% coverage, meaning if you look through the optical viewfinder, you're only seeing approx. 85% of the image that would be captured, thereby "missing" the outside 15%. The the viewfinder does have a diopter adjustment to further enhance its effeciveness. The option of the optical viewfinder can help you conserve your batt - based on specs, you can take more than double the number of frames with the LCD off (approx. 640 frames) than if you were to use the LCD (approx. 270 frames).

However, this is a pure optical viewfinder, and not the hybrid type. So you will not have any of the shooting information to read, e.g. shutter speed, aperture, mode, focus point. Being familiar with how the various modes, metering and focusing works will help you use the optical viewfinder option more effectively.

In addition to that, I do have a slight beef with the extension of the optical viewfinder at the rear of the camera. This little rubber lip can sometimes get in the way of slipping the x10 into small pockets / pouches, it also doesn't allow the x10 to lay flat... but this is not a deal breaker, by any means.
 

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marshalll

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#5
I must say it really has a good form factor, the little handgrip seems to enhance the look of the camera a lot more, waiting to hear how it performs :)
 

ndroo

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#6
The little thumb grip (is that what we call it) at the back is a bit too small and too much to the edge. A little hard to hold and I usually end up with my thumb on the LCD. Lol. Still a pretty awesome camera. Battery life ain't too 'wow' and a spare one is definitely a must.
 

hjbyeo

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#7
looks a really handsome camera.
 

aaron80

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#8
I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the review of this camera as I hope to get one for my wife before my Taiwan trip on 24 Nov if its good!
 

Cactus jACK

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#9
[Field Of View] - The Fujinon 7.1mm - 28.4mm lens gives a very useful equivalent 28mm - 112mm FOV on a 35 mm camera. The lens is a fast f/2.0 - f/2.8 at it's largest aperture through the zoom range.

- "112"

- 28mm FOV

- 112mm FOV

[Flash] - The flash is effective to about 7m. The hot-shoe allows compatible with more powerful flashes, such as the Fujifilm’s EF-20 (Guide No:20) and EF-42 (Guide No:42).

 

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Cactus jACK

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[Dial and Modes] - On the top, there are the mode selector and the EV compensation (+/- 2 at 1/3 stops) dials. The modes available are EXR, AUTO, P, S, A, M, C1, C2, Movie, SP, Adv.

EXR - EXR mode (EXR-Auto, Resolution Priority, High ISO, Low Noise, and Dynamic Range Priority - available in menu)
P - Programme mode
S - Shutter Priority mode
A - Aperture Priority mode
M - Manuel Setting mode
C1 - Custom Settings 1
C2 - Custom Settings 2
Movie - Movie Recording mode
SP - Scene Position (e.g. Natural Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night, Fireworks, Sunset, Snow, Beach, etc - available in menu)
Adv - Pano mode
AUTO - Auto mode



There are two thumb dials on either side of the rubber thumb grip, which helps you scroll through the menus and settings. In addition, there are a total of 13 feature buttons including a customizable "Fn" button at the top, which provides direct access to toggle feature settings without having to scroll through the menu.

 

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Cactus jACK

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#11
[EXR modes] - As a previous Fujifilm S2pro user, I was naturally drawn to the EXR mode. Whie the EXR-CMOS is likely different from "Super CCD" or the "SUper CCD EXR", the idea remains the same - to reconcile the irreconcilable opposites of the "high resolution" and "high sensitivity" on the same sensor!!

The EXR mode allows you to choose among HR Resolution Priority, SN High ISO, Low Noise, DR Dynamic Range Priority modes in the menu, or just leave it as EXR Auto and let the camera choose for you.



The uniqueness and beauty of the EXR sensor is in the arrangement of the photosites. Without getting into too many technical details, in low light situations, SN mode will combine data from the pairs of similarly-colored photosite, effectively averaging out the noise between two photosites. The DR mode works off the same idea in enhancing the dynamic range of the image, where one of the paired similarly-colored photosites has a "shorter exposure", while the other is "fully exposed". Mixing these information will help retaining more highlight and shadow detail. But all this nice stuff comes at a price, as the photosites works in pairs, the output is reduced from 12MP to a 6MP image in both SN and DR modes.

This is just a quick series of shots using the vaious EXR modes...

- the models (Panasonic Lumix GF3, Lumix 20mm f/1.7, 5.3MB)

- choice of AF spot, you could use face detection AF instead.

- level gauge
 

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Cactus jACK

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#12
To me, the EXR sensor is not about "pixel peeping", despite the option of the EXR High Resolution mode, but rather about picture quality... High ISO, Low Noise, and High Dynamic Range. Recall the days of the Super CCD Fujifilm S2pro, renown for its superb "out of camera" jpegs, it was so much about crisp sharpness but more about details in the shadows and highlight.

While we are now a few generations along in sensor development, the it would appear that the idea is still the same. You can see the benefits of the EXR in sequence of shots. While the differences are subtle, the DR is probably the most prominent (compared to the image take in P mode) with more shadow details in the image, giving the image a much brighter feel to it (given the same exposure settings), while moderating the glare of the highlights.

That's not to mock the other modes, they still give you a full 12MP, through a fast Fujinon lens with lens shift image stabilization... it's almost like you can't loose either way!

All shots were at camera evaluated and shot at 1/60sec, f/2.5, iso320, JPEG fine.

- P mode (4.9MB)

- EXR-HR (Resolution Priority, 4.9MB)

- EXR-SN (High ISO, Low Noise, 2.8MB)

- EXR-DR (Dynamic Range Priority, 2.8MB)
 

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Cactus jACK

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#13
[ISO] - ISO settings can be set from ISO100 to ISO12800, in 1/3 or full stops. At ISO6400 and above, pixel-bining will reduce the file sizes. Also available are various Auto-ISO limit settings (Auto-400, Auto-800, Auto1600 and Auto-3200), which sets the maximum allowable ISO limit.

Test shots were done in Aperture Priority, JPEG fine. Click to view 100% crops are available. ISO100 - ISO200 are nice and clean, but starts to loose some contrast and some signs of noise cropping up when you increase to ISO400 - ISO800...

- full image (Fujifilm X10 brochure)

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO100

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO200

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO400

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO800
 

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Cactus jACK

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#14
- 1200x800 pixels, ISO1600

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO3200

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO6400

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO12800

... even at ISO1600, you can still see the read the text on the lens rim, but most details are already pretty smudgy, esp in the darker areas... and it only gets worst from there. As mentioned earlier, at ISO6400 pixel-binning will downsizes the files from F (4000 × 2664) to M (2816 × 1864), and ISO12800 reduces even further to S (2048 × 1360) - at this point, it's really for emergency shots.

Just for comparison, we include the High ISO, Low Noise EXR SN mode - EXR-SN, 1/35sec, f/2.5, ISO1250. Noting that it is an EXR 6MP file, the ISO1250 finish might not be able to compare the normal 12MP ISO400, but you can probably compare it to approx ISO800 in terms of the handling of the noise.

- 1200x800 pixels, ISO1250 [EXR SN]
 

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Cactus jACK

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#15
[Film Simulations] - There are 8 film simulation modes available on the Fujifilm X10 - Standard, Velvia, Astia, B&W, B&W/Yellow, B&W/Red, B&W/Green, and Sepia. Fujifilm's Velvia slides provide punchy colours, ideal for scenary, street and landscapes. While the Fujifilm's Astia film simulator is beautiful for soft portraits and weddings.

- Standard

- Velvia

- Astia

B&W, B&W/Yellow, B&W/Red, B&W/Green, and Sepia images are also available.
 

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Cactus jACK

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#16
There's a much longer list of other features that the Fujifilm X10 will offer, but these are just a couple that I would consider using from time to time...

[RAW editing] - Whilst I am now quite hardcore RAW shooter with my M9 and D700, I would take JPEG pictures with Fujifilm X10 in EXR mode, just as i did in generations past with the Fujifilm S2pro. But if you want to the additional versitility of a RAW file, with just a touch of the RAW button (located at the bottom right order of back of the X10), and you can switch to JPEG+RAW for your next image. Further, the Fujifilm X10 also has a built-in RAW converter which lets you edit various setting on your raw file, eg. exposure compensation, white balance, and film simulation.

Even without a computer, you can later sit back in the cafe and view, edit, undo, and re-edit your RAW files to your hearts content on the Fujifilm X10...

[360° Pano] - My experience with panos is limited to the Hasselblad Xpan... but I tried it, and it's an interesting feature which is slowly cropping up in many of the compacts, a built-in algorithm to stitch multiple shots together to form a long panoramic view. So if you ever feel like 75° (28mm) is not wide enough for you, just switch to "Adv." mode and sweep your camera left to right (or up-down). Admittedly, I'm not a pano expert, esp when it comes to panning techniques, so you're pls be kind with your comments on the pano results.

- 360° Pano
 

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Cactus jACK

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#17
[Summary] - There were very high expectations on the Fujifilm X10, give the success of the X100. And while some may find themselves disappointed that it does not have a APS-C sensor, articulate touchscreen LCD screen or hybrid viewfinder, I think that Fujifilm has put together a very sexy and capable compact camera.

While many of us are already sold purely based on the design of the Fujifilm X10... can it take photos? The 12MP CMOS-EXR sensor coupled with the Fujinon f/2.0-f/2.8 lens is no shabby performer. But let's not kid ourselves, the X10's ultimately is a compact... with a 2/3" sensor, larger than that of the "larger sensor" compacts, such as the Canon S95, Nikon P7000, and the Lumix LX5 (1/1.7"), but smaller than that of the Nikon CX-sensor and the M43.

I liked the performance, handling and versatility of the Fujifilm X10. In particular, the useful manual zoom range, the availability of the EXR SN and DR modes, the Fujifilm Velvia and Astia film simulators, image stablizer, and it's ISO performance. The 4x manual zoom makes precise zooming almost instant with a twist of the zoom ring, this is a great feature given many electronic zooms are slower or are not smooth (as you jerk in and out trying to find the exact framing).

While shooting, I usual try not to adjust too many in-camera settings while on the go. But with the X10, in all my excitment, I found myself toggling between the EXR-SN and EXR-DR for indoor and outdoor scenes, respectively... where you could have of course just left it as EXR-Auto. Just sling the X10 around your neck and off you go, be your preference be using the LCD or optical viewfinder. But a word of caution in using the optical viewfinder, while it does save on battery life, no information is presented while shooting, so you need to know how your camera thinks for your given settings, notably in AF and metering. Of course, the LCD can present almost any piece of shooting information you need, including the level gauge, if you find it useful.

I do have some beefs with the camera, but the list is short, and are not really deal breakers, e.g. the extended rubber lip on the optical viewfinder, the tripod mount not aligned to the lens, and the odd filter thread - it's about 40mm (my 39mm, 40mm, and 40.5mm filters all did not fit). An alternative would be the optional hood / filter adaptor which will fit standard 52mm filters. But as you can imagine, this would make the camera "less compact". In the end, I settled for a cheap 40.5mm lens cap and gave up on the filter... that sexy Fujifilm lens cap is not the easiest thing to fiddle around with when you're in a hurry.

The face detecion AF and image stablizer are good "additions" to the Fujifilm X10, which were missing on the Fujifilm X100, and a common features in many compacts and mirrorless camera systems. Although not as common, an arguement made for a touchscreen LCD. Instinctively, the first thing I did when I was reviewing an image on the Fujifilm X10 was to try selecting, dragging and pinching items on the 2.8" 460,000 dot LCD display... of course, nothing moved. This could enhance the appeal of the camera... but sometimes, less is more... but not always.

It's not always about quantity, but quality - more megapixels is not always the best way to go, and I'm glade that Fujifilm have brought back their EXR sensor and matched it with an excellent lens and sexy all-black body to match (of course, I would prefer it in glossy black paint, maybe they have an à la carte programme)... the last time I got this excited about sensors was with the Fujifilm f31fd, when Fujifilm bet (and won) on their 6MP Super CCD sensor, while the competitors were off on their megapixel race.

I hope that you found the review useful. Cheers, CJ
 

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