Andy Westlake tests Fujifilm’s X-T10, which promises the best bits of the popular X-T1 at a lower price
Build and handling
With its boxy, high-shouldered design, the X-T10 can look a bit odd from some angles, but the advantage is that it gives more space for controls and more room for your right hand to grip. Indeed, with a cleverly sculpted front grip, rear thumb hook and grippy rubberised coating, the X-T10 feels impressively secure in your hand for such a small camera. With die-cast magnesium-alloy top and base-plates and aluminium dials, build quality feels solid enough, if not quite as rugged as the weatherproof X-T1. It is noticeably nicer than the recently launched and broadly similar Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 – see here for an overview of the main differences between the X-T10 and the G7.
In use, the X-T10 behaves rather like a simplified X-T1, which of course is the whole idea. It is based around traditional analogue controls, with top-plate shutter speed, exposure compensation and drive-mode dials. Twin electronic control wheels are placed on the front and back of the body, both of which can be clicked inwards to function as buttons. They’re not entirely convincing, with a somewhat loose and imprecise action.
The shutter-speed dial has timed positions from 1-1/4,000sec + bulb in whole-stop increments, and intermediate speeds can be selected using the front electronic dial. Setting the shutter speed dial to the T position allows the entire range from 1/32,000sec-30secs to be accessed using the front electronic dial. The drive-mode dial gives access to panorama, multiple exposure and bracketing modes, alongside the more usual single and continuous shooting. Less conventionally, it’s also used to access image-processing ‘advanced filters’.
Aperture is normally set by a ring on the lens, but certain Fujinon lenses lack this control, including the XC 16-50mm, which is the cheaper of the two kit zoom options. In this case, aperture is set using the rear control dial, which works fine but doesn’t give quite such a satisfying handling experience. The XF 18-55mm zoom does have an aperture ring, along with a very useful stop-faster aperture, and would be our kit of choice for starters, although it does come at a £200 premium.
By default, clicking the rear dial engages manual-focus aids and switches between them. Alongside magnified live view, the X-T10 has a peaking display that highlights in-focus edges of the subject, along with Fujifilm’s unique digital split-image display. Clicking the front dial switches between AF area modes, but this can be changed to suit your preference. Indeed, it’s just one of seven user-customisable controls, along with the top-plate video button, the four buttons of the D-pad, and an additional rear Fn button. I assigned the D-pad to move the AF area directly around the frame, as I find this gives a particularly fluid way of shooting when using the electronic viewfinder. The directional keys themselves are noticeably easier to find and activate by touch compared to the X-T1’s notoriously recessed and spongy ones.
ISO sensitivity doesn’t have its own control, but can be assigned to a function button, or set via the onscreen Q menu that gives quick access to 16 user-selectable settings. I assigned ISO to the front control dial, meaning I could click the dial in to activate the setting, then rotate the dial to change it. This works really well, and personally I much prefer it to the X-T1’s awkwardly placed, locking ISO dial.