Fuji X10 : a Hate & Love affair

The FUJI X10 : “A hate and love affair”

1.GENERAL INTRODUCTION

This is the first part of my X10 review. Despite still having to familiarize myself with some of the idiosyncrasies of the camera, I decided to publish the fist part of my review on this product which has generated a lot of interest coming after the most talked-about Fuji X100. Digital cameras are now pretty sophisticated machines with a myriad of modes, customs functions (more on that later). As a rule , there is a learning curve with cameras, even more so with digital cameras. As we will see later on in this review , the learning curve of the X10 can be pretty steep in certain areas.

I need to preamble this review by saying that I am a regular user of Ricoh products for compact systems. The Ricoh user interface has acquired a solid reputation among serious photographers and I admit that this is the standard according to which I compare any “non-reflex”cameras these days.

2. ERGONOMICS AND DESIGN The X10 design and ergonomics are clearly inspired by the very successful Fuji X100. the Fuji X100 is the X10 “older brother”with a APS size sensor. The X10 features a smaller 2/3” sensor , which is a little big bigger than cameras using a 1/1.7” or 1/1.6” sensor ( think Panasonic LX, Ricoh GR, Canon G …) As a result, of the camera filiation with the X100, its interface is almost identical to the X100’s and as we will see later , this is not necessarily a good thing.

The X10 comes in a nice black finish and the front of the camera is deprived of any cheesy front engravings which make the camera more discreet and asserts its DNA of a camera intended for “ serious photography”. In this respect , the Fuji acts like an “ anti-panasonic” which is a good thing . the only engravings are on the top plate of the camera , aimed at making the X10 resemble even more the rangefinder cameras of film days . Despite its compact size , the X10 feels great in normal size men hands. The front part feature a small built in grip which is small but big enough to allow for a nice handling of the camera. TheX10 body is made from a magnesium alloy and feels very solid.

The X10 innovates by not featuring a conventional on/off switch. Instead, the switch is on the lens barrel and you activate the camera by turning the barrel counterclockwise. Some preview have expressed the concern that this is a problem as one could potentially turn off the camera when simply wanting to zoom out but I do not share this concern and feel that the “off” position is far enough from the widest position of the zoom to avoid such a risk. One thing that I noticed though is that the camera goes from wide to zoom by as counter-clockwise turn . I have used hundreds of cameras over my 25 years as a photographer and I cannot remember one where the zoom would be in that direction. A clockwise turn most would have been better in my opinion. The tripod mount is not located in the middle of the bottom plate which would be a minus for those of you who like to use tripods.

The X10 features a very good , but not exceptional 2.8”LCD with a 640 000 pixels resolution .While it does not compete with the LCD on the Ricoh GR and GXR, it is bright enough and contrasty so that it is visible in almost anything but the brightest lighting in outdoor use. The camera comes with the usual suspects . First the fuji uses a NP50 battery which is small and slim. As a result, it has a very average life expectancy. It would have been nice to have the X10 use the same NP95 battery ( which is both the battery for the Fuji X100 and the Ricoh GXR) but it would have forced Fuji to use a different compartment for the battery and the SD card which for some reason , none of the manufacturers seem willing to do. The camera battery charger is designed to be compatible with both the NP45 and NP50 , which makes the charger a little bit larger that it could have been . That being said , it remains slim and fuji has the good idea to feature the foldout prong ( at least in the markets that use 110 volts). All in all, a rather well-designed charger.

One Nice feature of the X10  is the  built-in stabilizer  IS, which is a plus allowing to shoot at lower speeds (at least for static subjects).

Another VERY GOOD news is that the Fuji X10 is a very quiet camera , which can even be turned into a completely silent camera by activating the silent mode in the menu system that also cuts the AF auxiliary light. Small drawback , once activated the silent mode is shown by a annoying yellow icon in the finder that cannot be turned off (why ?)

3. MAIN CONTROLS Let’s get right to it : to say that the X10 has some major design flaws is an understatement !! After more than a week with the camera , I sometimes feel that the team at Fuji in charge of the X10 must have received a full case of Sake the day they worked on designing and implementing the menus and controls. Contrary to Ricoh cameras( and a few other cameras) , this camera feels more like the outcome of a marketing team than a camera designed by (and for) photographers.

The camera instructions manual deserves a special mention as it is particularly lame giving you two full pages on how to attach the strap or 3 pages how to insert the battery and the card while being strangely silent on some of the cameras main features. ( like the very strange file naming logic of the X10, more on that later).

• SHOOTING MODES In addition to the now classic PSAM and full auto modes, the X10 also features two custom modes and a few special Fuji modes. The EXR mode is actually three modes in one . Of particular interest is one called “ d-range priority” and is supposed to offer extended dynamic range , a welcome feature on such a small sensor which are well-known for their limited DR and their tendency to clip highlights.Unfortunately ,this mode is only available in Jpeg ‘s .There is however a section in the menu that is supposed to extend dynamic range in other shooting modes. I have not yet tested the results of such options.

Note that all EXR modes imply a resolution of 6MP One VERY big plus is that the X10 feature a customized display that allows one to choose ITEM BY ITEM what indication one wants to keep in the finder. There are some strange choice of terms ( photometry?) or the fact that when the silent mode is activated the corresponding icon cannot be turned off but in the end , this is still more customization for display that the cameras that traditionnally onfer only 3 or 4 different display options.

• AUTO FOCUS & MANUAL FOCUS All digital compact cameras currently use a different way of focusing than reflexes. Traditionally AF in compacts using contrast detection has been pretty slow in previous cameras. In normal lighting conditions the X10 auto focus is relatively fast and reliable . You choose between the focus modes by turning the selector on the front of the camera Near the lens. I made a lot of OOF pictures the first day by turning inadvertently the focus mode to AFC. In practice however , one can know what AF mode is selected by just looking at the LCD. In AFC , the focus mark is of the crosshair type, while the AFS shows a small frame . Whichever of the two methods is selected , the symbol turns green when AF is obtained. In practice I found the AF pretty quick and accurate while it is somewhat fooled when aiming the AF frame on very strong source of light

Manual focus , on the other hand , seems like an afterthought and is very cumbersome in everyday use. First , you select manual focus on the front of the camera; then , you use the pad-wheel on the back to focus. If your last image was at close distance and you need to focus far , you would have to turn the wheel for several minutes before you get to it. Useless The quickest way is to use the AEL/AFL button to focus and THEN turn the wheeled dial to fine tune the MF •

DRIVE MODES The X10 features easily what is the most confusing drive mode ever . First of all , when going into the drive mode , one find STILL IMAGE and TOP denominations. Still image might led you to think that this is a photo versus video image but this is the name that Fuji came up with single image . To add to the confusion, TOP is what Fuji calls the continuous frame mode ( whatever that means ! ) Worse , using the continuous frame mode provokes a “ side-effect “ that I have NEVER seen in any digital camera that I have ever tried in the last 10 years. Two days ago, I was shooting some kind of event in the street with people wearing disguises . as it is often the case in such situations , I ended up talking to some of the people in the parade and promised to send pictures. Later on when I downloaded the images on the card , I found an entire section missing . After looking at image DSCF1437 , image 1438 next to it was taken an entire hour after ??!! I thought with horror for a few minutes that there was something wrong with the card or that I had somehow failed to record some of the images on the card.

Upon closer inspection , I found that using the continuous frame mode created another file naming conversion and that images shot in single frame start with DSCF when shooting with the continuous mode creates S files.

As a result if the images on the card are filed alphabetically , if you shoot on a single card with single and continuous frame, the images are not be listed in the order they were taken !! Who at Fuji thought this was a good idea ??? Probably , the case of sake mentioned above must have been pretty finished by the time they came with such a lousy idea. Anyone who has to file and edit its images would see how stupid an idea it is . Maybe there is way around it ( short having to manually rename all of the files shot ) or this would be addressed in a firmware update but this is really a major annoyance .

• VIDEO I am a photographer and as such I have ZERO interest in video. Therefore ,as in all my other reviews, I decided to ignore commenting on the video features of the X10 and prefer to let this aspect of the camera be explained by people more qualified in the video field

4.IMAGE QUALITY :

• RAW & SOFTWARE For this camera Fuji has decided to plague the camera with another proprietary format. There are now several cameras that offer the universal DNG raw format and Fuji should be ashamed not to have given this option To make it worse the silkpix software is not compatible with the LION operating system so mac users would have to wait until third party software recognize this format. While this is kind of expected of the two big giants (Canon and Nikon) most of smaller Companies allow, at least as an option ,to use the more universal DNG raw format. Shame on Fuji for not allowing the X10 to have DNG RAW. Speaking of RAW, fuji X10 included a RAW button like in the X100. But Fuji persists in not making that button customizable for those photographers who shoot RAW almost all the time. This is another area where it seems that Fuji did not learn anything from the photographer’s feedback on the X100.

• COLOR MODE For color settings you have the traditional choices of standard, neutral and vivid., except FUJI calls them PROVIA , Velvia and Astia. This is more a marketing idea than anything else . Back in the film days , I shot quite extensively with VELVIA and I did not really see the Velvia colors during my first shots with the velvia mode. After a week of extensively using the camera , I can say that image quality at normal isos ( 100 to 800 ISO) seems very good indeed. In the menu one can set the noise reduction to different levels from high to low but there is NO option of NO noise reduction at all so further testing would be needed. It has been my experience that most images posted on the forums are too small to be able to judge the quality of the image . In order to take into consideration size limitations , I have chosen to show a reduced size version of the total image , and then crop centers of images at full size Most of my shooting can be done between , say 100 to 800 Iso. I know that people on these forums love to discuss ad nauseam about IQ of small sensor cameras at 3200 iso or more. I may post some more image test at higher iso but I have shot enough to say that one should not expect miracles of the X10 at higher iso. The X10 is much smaller than APS or 35mm sensors and one should not expect the X10 to compare with any APS camera at higher sensitivities

IMAGES SAMPLES : for some reason , the test images I attached do not seem to appear on this article.Therefore I have created a X10 test pictures book in my galley section here on  dpr. click underneath my name to inspect those full res center crops

5.CONCLUSION

PLUSES

• 4/3 native image ratio with other format options (3:2, 16:9, 1:1)

• Well built camera which sits very well in the hands

• VERY silent camera ( despite the useless non -removable yellow icon)

* Built-in image stabilization

• High Quality lens combined with a good sensor.

• Good image quality at “normal iso ranges (100 to 400)

• Customizable display ( despite several oddities and glitches)

•  Pretty Decent OVF with very good built-in diopter correction

MINUSES

• Camera obviously designed by marketing team and not by photographers

• Proprietary RAW ( shame on Fuji !!)

• Manual focus poorly implemented

. EXR modes poorly implemented

• Very confusing and obscure instruction manual

• Most ridiculous file management of any “ serious” digital camera tested to date

• Metering easily fooled by contrasty situations

. Problem of white disc orbs in certain lighting conditions ( well documented on forums)

• Limited dynamic range of the sensor ( typical for sensor of that size )

• Necessity to reset ISO in EVERY shooting mode

• Average battery life ( due to size of the battery)

• AF too slow in macro mode

. Macro modes more complicate that need be

. LCD only average compared to competitors and hardly visible in the sun

• Lens hood is sold as an (expensive) optional accessory and requires a special ring adapter!!

• RAW button not customizable 

• No neutral density filter like in the X100

Now time for the ultimate question : Do I love or hate this little camera ? truth be told :both (hence the title of this review). The X10 is a well built camera, which looks good and feels well in the hands but is plagued by a very poor user interface. One can only wonder if this could have been built that way but with a Ricoh interface. Despite some fundamental differences in both the concept and the sensor size, there is no doubt that the X10 is going to be mostly compared to the latest m4/3 productions of Panasonic, chiefly the Olympus X1 , Canon G11 and G12 , and the New Nikon V1.

Fuji deserves congratulations for coming out with a new innovative camera with good performance but needs to fix ASAP whichever design flaws can be fixed by firmware updates, As some of the major quirks debuted with the more expensive X100 and have yet to be addressed by Fuji, one could worry about these issues being fixed in the near future. Fuji is supposedly working on a X100 version with interchangeable lenses. Let’s hope that they take the time to let “ real photographers” field test their prototype before bringing on the market what could indeed be an exciting product.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 57
John McMillin
By John McMillin (11 months ago)

I just found this review, years after the world moved on to other things. But somehow I can't resist a response. First, it seems odd to criticize the x10 because its menus deviate from the well-known standards set by... Ricoh? Hardly an industry standard, or a consumer favorite.

But the most glaring omission in the original review is the total lack of discussion over the optical viewfinder.You may not value that -- I do -- but it's certainly the biggest difference in the design of the x10 vs. its rivals. And it's a quality OVF, with sophisticated and costly glass innards, giving a bright, clear view that beats the few remaining Canons and Nikons with OVFs. It's also set where God and facial geometry want it, on the left side of the camera, leaving rom for the human nose.

I also own the Pansonic LX7. I give it the nod for better exposure controls and a wider lens. But when the Colorado sun is blazingly bright, I need an OVF, and I reach for the x10.

0 upvotes
Limburger
By Limburger (Jan 26, 2013)

I like it.

Set sharpening,metering AF NR IS and customize the RAW-button to AF mode and it's one button/dial experience.

The positioning of the Fn RAW and WB buttons is well done imo.

I find it very intuitive though the menu's I need to get used to.

0 upvotes
alfa
By alfa (Jan 19, 2012)

My advice if you are considering this camera is to get one in your hand, take a few pictures with it then look at the pictures others have taken on the user databases here and elsewhere. If you like it, you shouldn't be disappointed.

There's a lot of unhelpful, purblind negativity around like 'designed by marketing department'. Ridiculous. EVERYTHING is designed by a marketing department in a well run organisation where products are matched to markets and begin their lives by researching what customers want.

I've had one for a month and am very happy with it, My only big criticism is that battery life could be better but batteries are only $6.00. It's very different from my MFT and DSLR cameras but many of the differences, like the very smart shooting info served up by the two status lines on the display, are improvements.

1 upvote
Romano P
By Romano P (Jan 12, 2012)

And yes, I forgot: the slim battery is very weak. I own two of them, but don't trust them to last have a day - together...

0 upvotes
Romano P
By Romano P (Jan 12, 2012)

FUJI X10, Part 2
I wanted this little cam to be a serious instrument for street photography - this is difficult in many situations...
What I miss most is the possibility to fire the flash with less intensity (as for exmaple on G-models or rebell).
Impossible to do with the x10. The +/- control doesn't change anything.

And the orb -issues makes sunsets looking like ufos-landing.
Nevertheless I'm challenged by the idea to try the announced X1 Pro and might probably sell the little one in exchange ...

0 upvotes
Romano P
By Romano P (Jan 12, 2012)

Hi Harold
I agree on most of the points you state in your review.
I've got my X 10 about three weeks ago.
I was waiting for it and was more than willing to LOVE it.
It has a great body and optics, sits well in the hand - but a lot is sub-optimal (nicely said).
Beeing used to MANY different digi-cams (since the VERY first logitec BW, CASIO & olympus in the past millenium etc through PANA, SAMSUNG and 5D 1 & 2) I simply don't get accustemed to the FUJI menus.
As you stated, the camera was probably mainly designed by marketing guys.
The menus are v e r y confusing, setting-changes complicated.
The camera is VERY slow, when shooting RAW, even with a SDXC-card!
I'm mostly shooting manual (M) mode, as with any camera I owned (Leica, Mamjya, Rolleiflexm MF, etcetc).
During writing you can't just change whatever setting you want (diaphragm, shutter speed, Iso) until the data (takes seconds) are written - this happens even in JPG standard formats. Even my G9 / G 10 were faster!

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Dec 3, 2011)

Now I would also rule out some of your minuses:
- UI, have no idea what you talking about? what really confused you? to me its very straight forward and my camera manual is untouched. I used many DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Fujifilm S5Pro, panasonic LX5 and many smaller compacts, and own 3 m4/3 cameras even at this time. If you are used to of Ricoh menus, its not Fuji fault.
- RAW (DNG could be good, but nothing really a big conern, maybe its also something Ricoh does?) if fuji would have given DNG, many would complain lack of performance and features. remember for as sophesticated sensor as EXR I can easily imagine many sitations where one specific format would have shown its limits. I am a softwar Engineer, so trust me on this.
- Foolish metering and limited DR, use EXR modes, thats why you spend so much for this camera.
- Battery life, buy couple of additional, these are extremely cheap, I bought 2 additional for less than 10£ here, which is less than third of nikon d5100

0 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Dec 5, 2011)

You obviously pick and choose what you want to remember in my review. as i wrote before, if some of you like the Fuji interface , I am happy for you. The fact remains that it has a lot of quirks which are not present on a Canon , Nikon , Olympus or a Ricoh

Based on all the hype from Fuji when announcing this camera and the pricing, we should get better thought out camera

yes the camera looks good but in the end what matters is how comfortable one can rely on the camera
This is by far the weakest camera I have used in many respects

unreliable metering , AF pretty fast but easily fooled , jpegs with too much noise reduction even at lowest setting , user interface full of traps ...

Harold

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Dec 3, 2011)

I am using the camera over my 3 micro four third bodies and a latest nikon dx format. for all the pluses you mentioned and additional to:
+ very fast AF operations
+ smaller than any m4/3 or Nikon 1 (combining the lens with kit lenses)
+ bigger appertures
+ better body, handeling and operations (to my liking)
+ better DOF for landscape photos (bigger appertures are still acceptable)

0 upvotes
johnbatten
By johnbatten (Dec 2, 2011)

I've been using the X10 for a month now and broadly agree with Harold's review - for which many thanks by the way and it's a pity some posters can't resist sneering.

The Manual is a pig and suffers greatly from having not been run past photographers as a Beta! The camera though is excellent, and whilst it doesn't compete with my D3X or 7000 it's not supposed to - it's a wonderful carry-around camera.

I always shoot RAW and have found the metering puzzling. In DR400 mode I get RAW files and JPEGs but the metering doesn't seem to handle contrasty scenes (e.g. sky and woodland in the same shot) at all well and I have to retrieve the shadows from the RAW file. (Lion does handle Silkypix btw). On the other hand for an identical scene shot at the same time EXR yields excellent exposures.

It is this sort of thing that one needs to get one's head round and a clearer Manual would help. A post by 'axlotl' on 19th November elsewhere in DPR is helpful here...

0 upvotes
sailorchas
By sailorchas (Nov 30, 2011)

Battery life will be greatly affected by the monitor being on all the time....as well as being more comfortable turned off while using the viewfinder. The x100 has a smart sensor that turns it off as you raise it to your eye.

The x10 doesn't have this and it seems (to me) to be very complicated to turn it off. All screen display information must be switched off before the 'monitor off' function can be accessed....or am I missing something?

Help appreciated.

0 upvotes
danchoize
By danchoize (Nov 24, 2011)

To the people complaining about the RAW format not being DNG:

Did it occur to you that DNG is a proprietary format by Adobe Inc. that require licensing fees by camera manufacturers?

I for my part am pretty glad that all manufacturers have their own format that comes with specific additional functionalities.

0 upvotes
Roy van der Woning
By Roy van der Woning (Dec 5, 2011)

What licensing fees are you referring to?

From Wikipedia: "Exploitation of the file format is royalty free; Adobe has published a license allowing anyone to exploit DNG, and has also stated that there are no known intellectual property encumbrances or license requirements for DNG."

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Nov 23, 2011)

I just got a X10, in part based on this review. The problem here (if there is one) is that the reviewer has very specific preferences that unfortunately, Fuji does not share. The video performance is not an issue. Why? Because he has no interest in video (neither do I, but something tells me there may be someone who does). The interface is poor. Why? Because he prefers Ricoh's (so do I, but most people have never even held a Ricoh so perhaps Fuji's designers weren't drunk when they decided not not to copy Ricoh). Same for DNG. My gripe is that there are simply too many features. For me, this means too many opportunities to set something wrong. Is the camera quirky? Absolutely. But to criticize the implementation of features that aren't even available on other cameras is like saying the problem with Fords is that they are not Chryslers.

2 upvotes
MarTay6
By MarTay6 (Nov 23, 2011)

I just got this camera this week, and I must admit this review feels skewed and biased. Had a difficult time setting the time & date? It was right there when you power up the camera! Need to change it? It's right there in the menu!
The menu structure is as straight-forward as one could ask for... try Olympus' M4/3 menu structures! You will not have to worry about accidently turning off the camera while zooming- the off detent is seriously stiffer going into it- and probably 25-30 degrees beyond the position it starts to stiffen. I'm very happy with the initial picture quality, I haven't yet had much chance to experiment.
Comparing this camera to a non-mainstream Ricoh product (which- to me, looks bizarre) is unfair and obviously skews the review. Remember it's a highly customizable compact with excellent build quality and a fast lens, not a high-end DSLR and you should enjoy this camera a lot.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Dec 5, 2011)

why would it be unfair to compare it to other so-called expert compacts in the same price range ? My mentioning the Ricoh is to give some background of what I am used to. that does NOT mean I am only basing my opinion on handling the Ricoh
I do not remember making an issue of setting the time and date
if the camera works for you , I am glad for you
But that does not change the comments I made on the camera

Harold

0 upvotes
Denis James Evans
By Denis James Evans (Nov 23, 2011)

However the camera is far from perfect. It took me half an hour to figure out how to set the date/time! I missed it when I fired up the camera and the manual didn't help. It seems the Fuji software doesn't work with Lion. I have searched the web and not found a solution. However Fuji software is so crappy - does it matter? iPhoto sucks up the jpegs just fine - raw is a problem. We have to wait for Adobe camera raw and Apple to update their raw receivers. I cannot understand why ALL camera manufacturers don't use Adobe DNG. In my work flow my first step is to convert raw to DNG (which then gets archived). In 20 years time no one is going to be able to read this myriad of raw formats. Have you ever tried to open a Word Perfect doc lately? I convert everything to DNG as fast as I can. The world is full of RAW madness and it will lead to the loss of valuable photos. BTW the review above is full of numerous typos and grammatical errors. I'm not sure who was drinking the sake?

0 upvotes
danaceb
By danaceb (Nov 23, 2011)

Okay, I may not be a 'real' photographer by your definition, but I have made money off of taking photos and currently own an Leica M9, Nikon D7000, Sony Nex 5n and now this X10.

I bought this camera (like most will) to have a premium point and shoot with a versatile fixed lens. After a week, I can say this camera blows the S95, G12, XZ-1 and GR Digital IV out of the water in resolution, dynamic range and low light performance. Its even significantly superior to the 1/1.6 sensor F200exr, which up until now was the high watermark in outdoor actual resolution and dynamic range of all P&S. The X10 is securely on another class of its own between EVIL and premium P&S.

About whinings over raw; thats valid if this is your only camera, but the fact that Fuji jpeg engine aint bad helps. I just leave it in manual mode with max auto ISO400 and the screen off. Its OVF and AF is so fricken good that it really is a -settings be damned, just take the picture and know it will be good- camera.

3 upvotes
Denis James Evans
By Denis James Evans (Nov 23, 2011)

I have just bought this camera. I too have owned v many cameras over 40 years. On the X10 I totally agree with this post: manual, max iso 400. The lens is awesome in a camera this cheap (I own a 5DII). Build quality matches the 5DII! So when I go hike camping this is the baby that will be with me. My last camping camera was the Sony R1.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Nov 17, 2011)

Honestly, none of this sounds that bad. I wish my D700 and 5DII put out DNG files but darned if the software doesn't convert them with a click. I would guess that with Fuji's processing and pixel schemes they are concerned that some proprietary information might be gleaned from a DNG.

I don't have this camera and have not seen the instruction manual but would be surpised if its thinner than the one I got with the LX5 (none) or less clear.

Obviously, the software will work with Lion at some point. Some posters say it does already. But there is always a penalty with being an early adopter of operating systems, especially if you are not experiencing problems with your current system. Personally, I use Leopard and am thinking of switching to Snow Leopard but being problem-free, I'm in no hurry.

I own and love several of Ricoh's terrific and underrated cameras. But to premise every comment on how a camera measures up to Ricoh seems odd since not that many people use them.

0 upvotes
akula57
By akula57 (Nov 17, 2011)

Thanks for an excellent review. It takes courage to be honest about a camera that some are emotionally invested in. And never under-estimate the power of denial.

I don't yet trust Fuji, want an articulating LCD (hard to believe there is none in almost 2012), want a good battery, am not sure about how it turns on (seems weird), has UI issues, is slower than an Oly XZ-1, is rather expensive (is selling for above retail in some places --- such as Amazon), and so on.

I really see this as a "not here/not there" camera given it's size and price (certainly no S95/S100 - I picked up anew S95 for $299) and the 4/3s out there with larger sensors, smallish form factors and interchangeable lenses. The Sony 4/3s look real nice.

The D3100 is larger but is typically $550 with kit lens. Add a 35/1.8 lens on the cheap and I wonder how they would compare.

$700 just doesn't seem right - P7100 price?. I suspect the Fuji X10 version 2 will be the one to consider.

0 upvotes
nicoboston
By nicoboston (Nov 16, 2011)

"To make it worse the silkpix software is not compatible with the LION operating system so mac users would have to wait until third party software recognize this format."
Interesting... You should try the version 3.2.5.0 which is on the CD ;-)
Perfectly fine with Lion.

0 upvotes
whyukon
By whyukon (Nov 15, 2011)

"I have used hundreds of cameras over my 25 years as a photographer and I cannot remember one where the zoom would be in that direction."

hmmmmmm. I wonder which "hundreds of cameras" those were. I have a Canon DSLR with a kit lens that zooms one direction, and a Tamron telephoto and a Sigma wide-angle that both zoom in the opposite direction to the Canon lens. There is no "standard" for either the focusing nor the zoom direction of rotation.

The reviewer seems to believe that the controls of all cameras should be the same as his Ricohs, and if the controls are not the same, then the camera is seriously flawed. I have not tried the Fuji X10 myself, so I cannot comment on how well the controls do or do not work, but the author does seem to have a bit of a bias, in my opinion.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Genka11
By Genka11 (Nov 15, 2011)

D-Range priority is available in RAW mode.

Thanks to fuji's "wonderful manual" it took significant amount of playing to figure out.
Fuji Please find someone to write a manual that can be used by someone trying to take pictures !

In Order to enable: Switch camera to raw mode
(Set - RAW - RAW) if you select raw + JPG settings become trickier.

now in shooting menu you can select DR
in shooting menu you can select DYNAMIC RANGE depending on selected Iso

Iso 100 -only DR100 available
Iso 200 -DR100 and DR200 available
Iso 400 or above DR400 becomes available.

Resulting in DR 200 and 400 are 6 megapixels with visibly better DR
Then again i did not do any test shots, it could be wishful thinking.

It actually seems logical since the lowest sensitivity is iso100 in order to underexpose half pixels by one stop and they are set at iso100 the rest of the pixels have to be set at iso200.
if you need 2 stops your are getting to iso400.

Woud love to see it tested

1 upvote
Genka11
By Genka11 (Nov 15, 2011)

P.S. if you select raw + JPG in (set -- RAW)
You can select image size which i assume becomes a size of jpeg image.
Size L works the same way as strictly raw

If You select size M you can shoot ISO 100 with DR400

0 upvotes
Jonamilian
By Jonamilian (Nov 15, 2011)

To get best benefit from EXR modes, You need to set the resolution to M (6MPixel). Then, DR400% can be used with ISO100 as well.
To understand the EXR technique, it is usefull to know, that in EXR mode, the X10 reads the amount of light from both 6MPixels (2 x 6MPixel) separately. In EXR-DR-Mode, the exposure time is different, not the ISO!!!
In EXR-SN-Mode, the exposure time is the same, but the noise will be reduced by averaging the pixel values of both "similar" pictures.
If You shoot with 12 MPixel EXR-SN and EXR-DR doesn't work this way. EXR-SN doesn't work as all with 12MP, EXR-DR does only work by software calculation and ISO-increasing. That's why DR200% needs ISO200, DR400% needs ISO400 in 12MPixel resolution or in case of using the flash.

0 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Nov 15, 2011)

Genka
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation. I think it is going to be helpful for a lot of us :)
Harold

1 upvote
peakin
By peakin (Nov 14, 2011)

Thanks for this review. Some of the negatives you have pointed out about this camera would drive me crazy.I was thinking of buying it but now I think I'll wait until they have put a zoom lens on the X100 . Hopefully they will have taken into account the wave of criticisms by many reviewers and change the menu, ISO settings, Raw format etc by then.

1 upvote
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Nov 14, 2011)

Peakin the so called negatives are non sense. Go get this camera and try it for yourself before basing your decision on this half assed review.

0 upvotes
vicsubs
By vicsubs (Dec 26, 2011)

Peakin, this is a crappy review. Get the camera.

0 upvotes
Model Mike
By Model Mike (Nov 14, 2011)

Thank you for an interesting and informative use- focused review! I already had my suspicions about the UI having looked at the (pretty awful) manual. Seems that the EXR modes sit rather uneasily with the usual PASM setup - it's not clear which modes work together and which are mutually exclusive. Or how EXR modes work with Raw.

I agree that having to reset ISO between modes would be irritating - most photographers will place a higher priority on ISO than shooting mode. Also not sure having a dual resolution camera will impact on my workflow.

Shame as in most other ways it's just what I'm looking for.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Denis of Whidbey Island
By Denis of Whidbey Island (Nov 14, 2011)

If you steer clear of the X10 because of this review, the reviewer has done you a disservice. Just search the web for several earlier articles about the camera that provide a more balanced view.

4 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Nov 14, 2011)

I agree with Denis. Do not base your decision on this review! Go try the cam for yourself and see how great it is!

3 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Nov 15, 2011)

it is always better to try the camera ... as long as one can do that.

I think it is also better to read several reviews. That being said , my focus was pointing out some specific points which I have not seen in other reviews or explained in the Fuji X10 manual

Harold

0 upvotes
lichtloper
By lichtloper (Nov 21, 2011)

I disagree, Denis,

I cannot just buy a camera -and a rather expensive one at that- just to find out if the reviewer is right [and my suspicions justified].

Other matters of discussion:
- degree of distortion of the lens;
- incomprehensible button text "AE" - which in photography normally means AutoExposure - while the button is for metering options;
- all 'intermediate' ISO-speeds above ISO 200 available, but oddly none so between ISO 100 and 200 - let alone any ISO speeds below ISO 100.

lichtloper

0 upvotes
Shomari
By Shomari (Nov 14, 2011)

Harold:

Thank you for your review. It was both informative and brief. It provoke a healthy discussion regarding this camera. I've was able to glean some bits of operation ideas as a result of your generosity.

Thanks All.

0 upvotes
ashesh
By ashesh (Nov 14, 2011)

very good article

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Nov 14, 2011)

LOL! Good article? Give me a break.

I think people like to nit pick. All the "minuses" listed on this "review" are in no way deal breakers. They are just personal annoyances that might bother someone or not at all. For instance, I don't shoot RAW so the file format issue is non existent. Also the stuff about manual being too confusing, AF too slow in macro mode, and file management system are laughable. Battery life is good, not everyone cares about a lens hood or customizing the RAW button. Seriously, what camera in this class can match the features of the X10?

This is a great camera and Fuji should be proud. This baby is gold!

2 upvotes
BennyBellak
By BennyBellak (Nov 14, 2011)

Can I just check, is he saying that those of us who spent £1000 on an x100 have wasted our money and that soon there will be an x100 with the current one's only fault fixed - a zoom? What do I do, I want a zoom, love my x100 but certainly can't afford another one and who would buy my second hand fixed-lense x100 when they can have a new interchangeable one?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Denis of Whidbey Island
By Denis of Whidbey Island (Nov 14, 2011)

It's unclear to me that this "review" adds anything to the body of knowledge about the X10 already published throughout the web. It also needs thorough copy editing. No ... it really should just be retracted so the author can do something other than defend it in the Fujifilm forum.

0 upvotes
Jonamilian
By Jonamilian (Nov 14, 2011)

You wrote: "Necessity to reset ISO in EVERY shooting mode"
This is a big advantage of many Fuji cams, like the F200EXR and other F-models. Because the feature, that the ISO setting is stored for each shooting program separately enables the user to pre-configure 3 or 4 shooting modes with individual ISO- or ISO-Limit settings.
So, in practice, the user has only to switch between 3 or 4 pre-configured shooting modes. Perfect!!!
Example:

P (Programm AE) (for best shooting situations)
ISO: 100
Dynamik: AUTO
Bildgröße: M 4:3
Bildqualität: FINE
Weißabgleich: AUTO
Filmsimulation: VELVIA
Flash: Off

EXR (SN-Modus) (for worse light situations without flash)
ISO: Auto (800)
Bildgröße: M 4:3
Bildqualität: FINE
Weißabgleich: AUTO
Filmsimulation: VELVIA
Flash: Off

CAM-symbol: (for worse light situations with flash
ISO: Auto (400)
Bildgröße: M 4:3
Bildqualität: FINE
Filmsimulation: VELVIA
Flash: On

2 upvotes
Shomari
By Shomari (Nov 14, 2011)

Thanks for the suggested settings. I will give them a try. You 're the first person I've come across that has provided or suggested some X10 camera settings.

Thanks

0 upvotes
Jonamilian
By Jonamilian (Nov 15, 2011)

These settings are proposals, coming from F200EXR diskussion forum. For the X10 I guess, the ISO limits can be set one or two steps higher.
But my general statement is, that it is very very usefull, that the X10 saves the ISO setting individually for each shooting mode. Harold66 however calls this usefull feature a MINUS! For me, it is a very very BIG PLUS!

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Nov 17, 2011)

I don't have a X10 but I follow what you're saying and this sounds like a terrific time saver and very smart.

1 upvote
kfox203
By kfox203 (Nov 14, 2011)

Do I understand this correctly, that the viewfinder indicates when focus is locked?
Everything I've read says there is zero information in the viewfinder.

From Harold's review:
"....You choose between the focus modes by turning the selector on the front of the camera Near the lens. I made a lot of OOF pictures the first day by turning inadvertently the focus mode to AFC. In practice however , one can know without the eye leaving the finder what AF mode is selected. In AFC , the focus mark is of the crosshair type, while the AFS shows a small frame . Whichever of the two methods is selected , the symbol turns green when AF is obtained."

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Nov 14, 2011)

No info is displayed in the viewfinder. You just rely on the green light. Ocne it comes on, then you have autofocus.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Shomari
By Shomari (Nov 14, 2011)

Thanks:

This is a good heads up for preventing OOF shots with this camera. I will be receiving a x10 in a few days and have been reviewing videos, online reviews and discussions regarding the cameras' operation and the camera's pros and cons. I'am learning a great deal from you other pioneering users. ;-/. I think my X10 experience will be better for it.
Thanks

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Nov 14, 2011)

I have purchased this camera and I can tell you the Fuji X10 could possibly be the best camera I have ever owned interms of performance, build, size, features, and image quality. I've owned many cams before and in terms of a complete package, this one is going to be my go to cam! (And no, I do not work for Fuji!) Sure this has little annoyances but what camera doesn't? I've been using this cam for a few days now and the image quality and noise performance is comparable to the m4/3 cameras. You don't believe me? Check this link for a comparison.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47706598@N08/6322335667/

I chose this over the NEX5. Sure it's small, but the lenses are huge. This begs the question, why not just buy a DSLR if you don't mind a big lens? The X10 is the perfect camera when you don't want to lug your DSLR around and you don't have to worry about expensive lenses or dust with it.

Bottom line: I am happy with this camera though I know my DSLR won't be. ;)

5 upvotes
Paul Mattock
By Paul Mattock (Nov 17, 2011)

I guess it's a question of ' what do I want from a camera'. I shoot a lot of stock images and all my professional work is done on a Nikon D3. But it's a pain dragging it about wherever I go. This little baby ( for all it's quirks ) is a real jem. Fits in a pocket, takes lovely pics and looks and feels like a cool camera should. 500 quid in the UK compared to the huge sums I've spent on my D3 kit. It ain't perfect, but it's the coolest little compact I've ever owned and it stays with me wherever I go.

1 upvote
Funduro
By Funduro (Nov 14, 2011)

My XZ-1 won't have to worry about parting ways over this Sake designed camera. They say don't judge a book by it's cover. It looks like the cover is great and someone just read it out loud and I hate it. Thanks for the honest assessments.

1 upvote
ybizzle
By ybizzle (Nov 14, 2011)

This review does not do the camera justice. All the stuff mentioned here are minor annoyances and do not hinder the use of this camera one bit. Go buy the camera (if you can find it), and give it a try for a week. I bet you will sell your XZ-1 (a fine camera) after using the X10.

2 upvotes
tinpusher
By tinpusher (Nov 14, 2011)

I'm not an apologist for the cameras I buy and I'll tell it like it is.
This is one of the finest cameras I've ever owned and this review seems to have been written as a personal engrandisment exercise. Perhaps the author has written provocatively for effect.

My other current kit is
A Leica X1 .. excellent image quality but can be difficult to use
A Sony A55 .. great electronics ( not GPS ) but otherwise nasty
A Lumix G3 ... nice camera up there with the X10
A Lumix LX5 .... lens not up to LX3 standard and poor colour otherwise not bad.

Lets see what DPReview makes of it.

0 upvotes
Harold66
By Harold66 (Nov 14, 2011)

Disraeli : do you mean the manual focus resume ,yes ?

again Fuji does it in a yes and No way. if you use MF in any mode but the customs modes, the MF reset by default to 0.1 meter when the camera is turned off and back on , which is the worse choice if you have turn the wheelpad
but in customs settings it seems to remember the last MF distance you set

hope this helps

Harold

0 upvotes
disraeli demon
By disraeli demon (Nov 14, 2011)

Echoing Joel Stern's thanks for an informative article on the X10 from the user's perspective, Harold.

One quick question: if you set the camera to manual focus and switch off and on. does the autofocus resume the last distance setting entered by the user or does it default to a pre-set position, such as infinity (forcing the user to re-enter the focus distance every time the camera is switched back on?) I'm interested in the X10 for street photography, where depth focussing is useful, but that can only be used reliably if the camera will remember a focussing distance through the off/on cycle (as my current compact, a Panasonic LX3 will).

0 upvotes
HeavyDuty
By HeavyDuty (Nov 14, 2011)

My X10 returns to infinity when I turn it off and then on manually. However, if the camera times out and I restart it with a shutter half-press it starts set to the last MF distance. I'm a zone focus shooter too, so it's something that is important to me - I have no problem with this behavior, the camera isn't getting turned off unless it's going back into the bag.

My only (minor) complaint with my X10 so far is that it's a bit too small for my liking, but I'll adapt. That, and I have to learn to trust in the automation - I've been shooting 100% in MF using the AEL/AFL button for spot focus when needed, I should learn how to best utilize the camera's AF.

0 upvotes
Joel Stern
By Joel Stern (Nov 13, 2011)

Harold, thank you, I have not viewed your images yet but will. This is a balanced article on the X10 from things I have read on the Fuji X10. Many are not spoiled like we are by the Ricoh UI and will not understand what this camera might have been. While I am not happy to read about this I wonder if I am going to shoot RAW most of the time in AP, how much that might really be an issue. I know that there will be things buried that I am used to having at my fingertips. Thanks for your thorough review.

1 upvote
ReflectivePizza
By ReflectivePizza (Nov 13, 2011)

Curious if anyone knows. I read a lot of complaints that the x10 doesn't use the DNG format. Would the DNG format even be able to handle the EXR modes? the dynamic range mode where every other pixel is exposed for an alternating amount of time, and or a non-bayer sensor layout?

I'm not that knowledgable about the exact format of DNG to know. And if it could, would Lightroom even be able to work with such files?

1 upvote
Total comments: 57