Fujifilm enters the high-end compact camera market with its premium FinePix X10, a model that makes the style and class of the company’s X-series more affordable

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Fujifilm FinePix X10

Product:

Fujifilm FinePix X10 review

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Price as reviewed:

£529.00
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Build and handling

If you didn’t knowing anything about the camera, you could easily spend some time trying to work out how to turn it on. This is because the control does not exist in button form. Instead, you have to twist the lens to its 28mm setting or beyond. I do not know why this is not commonplace in high-end cameras as it is such an instinctive way to switch the camera on. It means that start-up time is fast, because as the camera stirs into action the desired focal length can be set – and it is ready to shoot in less than 2secs.

A second benefit to this lens is that the zoom is operated manually. This makes precise adjustments so much easier than a powered zoom, and also saves battery power. Incidentally, the battery life of the X10 is not great, as it lasts for 250 shots at best when mainly using the viewfinder instead of the LCD screen. Charging the battery was a familiar experience throughout this test, so do not plan on using the camera for a whole day without opportunity and access to a charge or a spare battery.

The performance of the lens is key in a high-end compact camera. Because of the high focal-length magnification, the lens is extremely wide at 7.1-28.4mm. Consequently, there is noticeable barrel distortion at wider focal lengths, and sadly even at the most telephoto setting. That said, the cameras in direct competition with the X10 use a smaller sensor and therefore have an even greater focal-length magnification and wider lens, so they are more susceptible to distortion in uncorrected files.

A metal lens cap is provided, which matches the body very nicely. Its inner fabric liner provides a snug fit, although I would like to see it attached to the camera to reduce the risk of loss. A metal lens hood (LH-X10) is an optional extra at £59.99, and is suitable for filters with a 52mm thread, although the lens itself will not accept filters.

To complement the 2.8in, 460,000-dot LCD screen, a built-in optical viewfinder aids clear viewing in bright light. Its mechanics are linked to the manual zoom lens, and its design ensures bright viewing. The top and base of the X10 are constructed from die-cast magnesium, and its body is made from a durable synthetic leather. The shooting-mode dial and exposure-compensation dial, as well as the lens zoom ring, are also made from solid metal. The X10’s all-black textured finish is both classy and provides a firm grip.

The X10’s body has just about all the controls one needs for a day’s shooting. An FN button operates ISO as default, but offers the choice of customisation between image quality, AF mode and film simulation, among others. The dial to adjust exposure also switches between shutter speed and aperture in manual mode by pressing the dial in, which is handy considering that the control wheel operates micro-manual focus adjustments in MF mode instead of exposure control.

Handily, the drive-mode menu and timer menu are separate on the control wheel. This means a 2sec or 10sec delay can be combined with high-speed continuous shooting or any of the bracketing modes, which includes film simulation, auto exposure, ISO and dynamic range. As an aside, the tripod bush is far enough away from the battery and memory card slot to allow access while the camera is mounted to a tripod.

Fuji’s EXR processor uses two CPUs and an EXR Core processor. Not only are fast continuous captures available, but also full 1080p video recording for clip lengths in excess of 29mins. Using a High-Speed SD card, JPEG+raw capture takes 4secs to clear the buffer, but the user can take the next shot while the file is writing.

With its compact size, rangefinder style and quick response, the X10 should appeal to, and satisfy, the street photographer, among others. An optional LC-X10 leather case complements the X10 perfectly, and provides protection and quick access to the camera.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. EXR sensor
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. White balance and colour
  6. 6. Metering
  7. 7. Noise, Resolution and Sensitivity
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. LCD, Viewfinder and Video
  10. 10. Dynamic range
  11. 11. Verdict
  12. 12. Competition
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