A good camera with some user unfriendly weaknesses

Started Dec 26, 2011 | User reviews thread
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Neimo
New MemberPosts: 15
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A good camera with some user unfriendly weaknesses
Dec 26, 2011

Yes it has great image quality and low light performance even at ISO 800 or 1600. No need to rehash what most reviews already say about that.

I wish it were lighter even if that means using more plastic. It weighs between two and three times as much as a super compact point and shoot. I don't drop my cameras and I use a wrist strap. I simply don't need so much metal. I don't try to squeeze or twist my camera to test how solid it feels. I just want it strong enough, not overbuilt and weighing more.

I would trade the manual lens for a motorized one if Fuji could make it not stick out. It barely fits in one of my cargo short's pockets, but not in a different brand's. Make a more compact version that can really travel on the go without wearing it around the neck, on a hip pouch, or in a jacket pocket.

Problems:

Please note I'm keeping my X10 and like it for many reasons, but my Canon SD870 from three years ago doesn't have these issues yet cost half as much. Details like these keep this good camera from being great.

1. On the bottom of the display is a thick gray semi-transparent bar that cannot be turned off, but all the other elements like ISO, histogram, and shutter speed can. It is so dark it interferes with composing shots in 4:3 or 1:1 aspect ratios. It should be removable or the transparency adjustable.

2. Image Stabilization at max zoom needs about 1/15th of a second to get a sharp shot. A Canon point and shoot from three years ago can get usably clear shots down to 1/8th about a third of the time. The X10 at 1/8th consistently produces smeared shots. Steadier hands than mine will likely do better.

3. The Custom display view is unavailable in EXR Auto. Custom is the only view where framing aids like the histogram, grid lines, and electronic level are available. So if you want help composing or having a flat horizon, you'll have to pick another mode. X10 users often recommend turning the dial to EXR and leaving it. Within EXR are four choices; Auto, High Resolution, Low Light, and Dynamic Range. Auto is super simple because the X10 picks which of those three is appropriate. Yet that's where Custom view is missing. To get it back means manually switching between them. On a partly cloudy day with the sun coming and going that means a lot of switching to use the optimal choice. Also indoors where the light varies from strong enough in one corner to dimly lit across the room. That situation means always paying attention to switching back and forth between High Resolution and Low Light.

4. 30 second exposures are only available at ISO 100. At ISO 400 it's 8 seconds. At 800 it's 4 seconds and at 1600 it's 2. The camera I'm replacing does 15 seconds at any ISO. I was looking forward to taking high ISO shots for twenty or thirty seconds on moonlit nights but that is not possible. (If you are going to take a long exposure, all the ISO and shutter combinations let in the same limited amount of light, but as usual ISO 100 has significantly less noise, better detail and color.)

5. With ISO Bracketing the camera takes three shots with identical shutter and aperture. Only the ISO changes between the three so the brightness varies. What would be more helpful in low light is keeping the aperture fixed and adjust the shutter speed to compensate for the ISO. The three shots would have the same brightness with three opportunities to get a sharp, not blurry photo. Then keep the sharpest one that has the most detail and hopefully low ISO.

6. After taking a photo it can be reviewed for 1.5 or 3 seconds. Or it will hold for 1.5 seconds then zoom all the way in to allow for checking the focus. It would help if pressing the Zoom Out button prevents the zoom in so users can first look at the overall image. There should also be a way to freeze the review image for longer than 3 seconds until half-pressing the shutter or Back button. While the Playback button does this it causes the screen to blink black for a quarter second which is distracting. It's one of those details other cameras handle seamlessly and make their experience smoother.

7. In review/Playback mode, portrait-oriented photos don't automatically rotate to fill the screen when holding the camera vertically so the image can match the screen. The pictures are displayed small and narrow in the middle of the screen with black vertical bars. Worse, when zooming in the black bars remain. That's right. As it zooms it doesn't use the whole screen, only the middle strip that a 4:3 portrait takes up. So a 16:9 or 3:2 image starts narrower and will zoom in to fill the space of 4:3 but no further. There is a menu setting to playback portrait shots rotated ninety degrees but then they always are like that and require turning the camera vertically for them.

8a. Deleting photos requires three button presses versus two for a Canon. 1 - Delete, 2 - press Up to select OK instead of the default Cancel, 3 - OK. There should be a setting for OK to be the default so the two presses are Delete and OK. Deleting would go 50% faster.

8b. To delete multiple photos, each one must be tediously selected. There is no way to select only the first and last in a range of them such as 0022 through 0086 and then delete the range. To quickly make space and delete all photos taken on a certain date requires searching for them first.

9. Fujifilm's included software doesn't import photos with the folder date of when they were taken and doesn't preserve the date and time of when they were shot in the filename.

10. The included software doesn't auto rotate images to match orientation. That means selecting all the vertical images by hand to rotate them.

Neimo's score
3.5
Average community score
4.1
bad for good for
Kids / pets
unrated
Action / sports
unrated
Landscapes / scenery
great
Portraits
great
Low light (without flash)
excellent
Flash photography (social)
unrated
Studio / still life
unrated
= community average
Fujifilm X10
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