Ken Rockwell's X10 review

Started Dec 21, 2011 | Discussions
frelwa
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Ken Rockwell's X10 review
Dec 21, 2011

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.
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Photofreak7
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Not a fair comparison to the X100 - G12's better comp (nt)
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.
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John Carson
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.

Oh? He goes to great lengths to point out that it has a smaller sensor than the X100 and correspondingly inferior image quality, but he concludes:

"The Fuji X10 is a superb point-and-shoot camera.

"I'm not swapping it for my X100 since the X100's much larger sensor works far better in the low light under which I photograph my family, but for you travelers who prefer an excellent zoom lens especially for use at low ISOs, this X10 is great."

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Stephen 06
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.

You must have read a different review. He said.....

  • The lens is superb. It's sharp even wide-open at all zoom settings.

  • Distortion is invisible at any zoom setting at reasonable distances

  • Used as fill-flash, the X10 has extraordinarily good flash exposure control, better than any other camera

  • The Fuji X10 is a solid little jewel of precision. Its zoom control brilliantly eliminates the need for that stupid power switch! Real cameras don't have power switches.

  • The LCD is high resolution; it's images are smooth and sharp.

  • Shooting JPGs, this X10 has relatively muted colors ideal for people pictures, even with its saturation set to HIGH.

  • As expected, it's the same as other small-sensor point-and-shoots

  • for you travelers who prefer an excellent zoom lens especially for use at low ISOs, this X10 is great.

I can't see anywhere where he realistically isn't impressed. When he compares it against his X100 with a DSLR sensor...yes. But that's not being realisitic, is it?

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Stephen

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lol101
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Is your link broken?
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.
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The link you provided sends to a page by a certain Ken Rockwell but his "review" is pretty positive (if you weed out the continuous reference to APS-C cameras which are not really relevant....) so I am wondering if this is the right one?

His conclusion:

"The Fuji X10 is a superb point-and-shoot camera.

I'm not swapping it for my X100 since the X100's much larger sensor works far better in the low light under which I photograph my family, but for you travelers who prefer an excellent zoom lens especially for use at low ISOs, this X10 is great."

PS: don't forget to take anything written by KR with an ample dose of salt... "Real cameras don't have power switches" is one of my favorite quotes ....

edit: I thought I was being funny but I see that I'm only the third funniest guy on this forum... damn guys you are fast!
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lefkop
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to John Carson, Dec 21, 2011

It's a nice overall personal review. I actually think the 800 iso noise handling is superb for a point and shoot, where he seemed to think it was about average. The x10 is the first point and shoot that I have had since the g10, so his experience may differ. He is also a big Canikon guy just for perspective. The G10 I sold because indoors the files at 400 ido were so noisy, they were for me unusable.

John Carson wrote:

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.

Oh? He goes to great lengths to point out that it has a smaller sensor than the X100 and correspondingly inferior image quality, but he concludes:

"The Fuji X10 is a superb point-and-shoot camera.

"I'm not swapping it for my X100 since the X100's much larger sensor works far better TTin the low light under which I photograph my family, but for you travelers who prefer an excellent zoom lens especially for use at low ISOs, this X10 is great."

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Breidablick
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

He is not? Did you read the review? Of course the X10 come short of a DSLR or the X100:s APS-C-sensor when it comes to pure IQ. But Rockwell seems to be pretty impressed to me?

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peterjaena
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.
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Ahmmmm.... try reading it again bro.

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olakiril2
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to peterjaena, Dec 21, 2011

This was just a trick so we keep reading till the end of the review!

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Brooks Lester
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I like Ken's stuff very much but he misses two very important points- AF and lens
In reply to olakiril2, Dec 21, 2011

He makes no mention of face detection and recognition focussing, which has been extremely effective for me shooting the same subject Ken speaks of when using the X100 and X10: kids.

I've been using FD/FR for several years with the LX3, 5, GF-1, and E-PL3. I find that FD/FR is functionally better and easier to use than the universally praised CAM 3500 module in my D700. FD/FR allows the photographer to concentrate on framing, lighting, and timing. For candids, these are the most important elements of the shot.

Ken also doesn't address the compositional limitations of the X100' fixed 35mm equivalent lens vs. the X10's 28-112mm lens. The X100 is only fixed at 35mm - this means you're limited to full body comps in portrait mode and half body (or wider) with lots of nose room in landscape mode. Any closer and you are going to introduce perspective distortion to your subject - their face will render balloon-like and unpleasing.

The traditional rules for using focal length to best flatter and render a human subject are 35mm for full body shots, 50mm for half body shots, and 85mm or tighter for head and shoulders and head shots. If you use a wider focal length/comp than the rules suggest, you'll get perspective distortion. Yes, I know you can disregard the rules and still get interesting images due to other aspects of the image being successful - or you may desire to intentionally distort the subject for effect. But if you want to flatter your subject, the rules are effective.

The X10 can not only make the appropriate focal lengths for full and half body comps, head and shoulders, and head shots, but due to its relatively large sensor for its size and fast aperture, it can also introduce some defocussing to the background. You can also shoot a wider environmental portrait (think vacation shot with family in the foreground and beautiful scene in the background) with the X10.

A head and shoulders comp with the X100 will create a balloon-faced person. A head and shoulders comp with the X10 will look like my regrettably oft-discussed image:

The X100 (and any other camera at the 35mm focal length) in portrait orientation has to be shot like the below image to avoid subject distortion - and there is still some distortion present in this image (her head is a little stretched in the forehead area and the siding in the background is visibly distorted). I should have stood further away. A half body comp would have been even more distorted. I actually am suspecting that the X100 has some distortion of its own beyond the perspective distortion that is evident.

Here is a half body comp in landscape mode with lots of nose room, working within the limitations of the 35mm focal length.

Because of the more effective and faster face detection/recognition focussing, and with its variable focal length lens, I would pick the X10 over the X100 in most scenarios, even given the resolution differences between the cameras. The X100 would be better for low light interiors, if the subjects aren't moving and the photographer doesn't need to shoot tights, and for a posed 35mm comp in controlled conditions in any light.

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Kim Letkeman
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huh? he's over the moon ....
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

I honestly don't know what people expect. He says positive things in every category ... and he is right about the noise. I personally don't mind processing noise away in a RAW converter, but many do.

So how could anyone say that that review equated to "not impressed" ... was it the lack of foaming and superlatives?
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Kim Letkeman
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to lefkop, Dec 21, 2011

lefkop wrote:

It's a nice overall personal review. I actually think the 800 iso noise handling is superb for a point and shoot, where he seemed to think it was about average. The x10 is the first point and shoot that I have had since the g10, so his experience may differ. He is also a big Canikon guy just for perspective. The G10 I sold because indoors the files at 400 ido were so noisy, they were for me unusable.

That's a problem we have in this forum ... lots of people coming from old dogs like the G10 and proclaiming the X10 as the greatest yada yada yada ever. I had a G10 and loved it ... right up until 400 ISO. After that it completely broke down, unless you really knew your RAW processing (and I do.)

The F550EXR / HS20 was the real breakthrough in image quality for Fuji ... tiny sensor but EXR CMOS with BSI and RAW. I get results at 1600 ISO as good as the G10 at 400 ...

So those of us already used to these new sensors see the X10 for what it is ... another EXR camera with about 1 stop better imagery. A great thing for sure, but not the increment some are proclaiming.

Ken sees it as a brilliant enthusiast camera, but he also sees the obvious limitations. Fuji did not repeal the laws of physics.

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Kim Letkeman
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Re: I like Ken's stuff very much but he misses two very important points- AF and lens
In reply to Brooks Lester, Dec 21, 2011

Brooks Lester wrote:

Because of the more effective and faster face detection/recognition focussing, and with its variable focal length lens, I would pick the X10 over the X100 in most scenarios, even given the resolution differences between the cameras. The X100 would be better for low light interiors, if the subjects aren't moving and the photographer doesn't need to shoot tights, and for a posed 35mm comp in controlled conditions in any light.

If the subjects are moving in low light, neither camera will suffice. Phase detect AF is needed.

But otherwise, I agree with your assessment. The fixed focal of the X100 is an acquired taste. For those who like the style of shooting it demands, the X100 stomps the X10 into the dust with clean 6400 ISO ... but for those who find it too limiting, no amount of low light prowess is enough ...

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Riprap
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Re: I like Ken's stuff very much but he misses two very important points- AF and lens
In reply to Brooks Lester, Dec 21, 2011

Thanks Brooks, you have saved me a lot of time by covering all the remaining points I wanted to make.

The last and for me obvious factor that Ken misses in his comparison to either the X100 or the Leica M3 which he mentions in passing, is physical size. I do not use the X10 to replace my APSC or FF cams, byt to compliment them and to use as a small, discrete travel cam. It makes many of the comparisons therefore of little utility - why compare apples and pears, sure, they are both fruit, but they are different fruit.

Finally thanks too for the original poster, my list of people on my ignore list grows by the hour.

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Brooks Lester
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More info on X10 vs. X100 low light, inside, candids
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Dec 21, 2011

When light levels get really low, sure, a phase detection DSLR will do better. In terms of comparing the X10 to the X100:

The X10, both according to Fuji and most real world comparisons, focusses faster than the X100. The X10 also has face detection, which, even though it might conceivably focus slower than the X100 in Area Mode (I am not finding this in my use - in fact the X10 in Face Detection seems to focus faster in low light than the X100 in Area Mode and either Single Servo or Continuous), it still has the advantage over the X100 because once the X10 achieves lock in focus detection is will maintain focus until the shutter is pressed or it loses focus.

Most face detection modes work by actively acquiring focus once a face is detected and then tracking the face continuously until the shutter is half or fully pressed. If you allow a face detection camera like the X10 to acquire face detection focus, you can maintain your frame - or adjust it to compensate for subject movement or to optimize the comp - and wait for the "decisive moment", and then pull the trigger.

The X100 would have to be constantly AF'd by "pumping" focus and maintaining focus sensor placement on the subject by moving the camera - which can lead to blurring if the camera isn't steadied before the shutter is pressed. This can be done - of course people have manually focussed cameras for decades and still gotten keepers - but the hit rate with face detection like the X10, in my experience, is generally going to better and certainly easier.

I doubt that Fuji would state that the X10 focusses faster than the X100 if it didn't - the X10 is half the price of the X100 and I don't think Fuji would openly state that the cheaper model focusses faster than the more expensive model if it wasn't true. Yes, the two cameras are designed for different uses but they are both X models. I expect the next version of the X100 will focus as fast or faster than the X10 as it will be a newer generation.

The X100 also has the limitation of its fixed lens, which means that when shooting the usual indoor candids in homes, the photographer has a limited amount of space - they have to avoid furniture and walls - so moving around constantly to maintain a comp when shooting a prime is more of a problem that it would be outdoors. With a zoom lens, like the X10's, the photographer can zoom in or out from limited quarters to get the best comp for their given position. If your back is against a wall when shooting a prime, backing up isn't an option. If the subject moves away from you but your forward movement is blocked by a piece of furniture, you're out of luck. Sure, you can work around this with a prime but the zoom makes things easier.

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lefkop
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Dec 21, 2011

Kim Letkeman wrote:

lefkop wrote:

It's a nice overall personal review. I actually think the 800 iso noise handling is superb for a point and shoot, where he seemed to think it was about average. The x10 is the first point and shoot that I have had since the g10, so his experience may differ. He is also a big Canikon guy just for perspective. The G10 I sold because indoors the files at 400 ido were so noisy, they were for me unusable.

That's a problem we have in this forum ... lots of people coming from old dogs like the G10 and proclaiming the X10 as the greatest yada yada yada ever. I had a G10 and loved it ... right up until 400 ISO. After that it completely broke down, unless you really knew your RAW processing (and I do.)

Yup I agree with you here

The F550EXR / HS20 was the real breakthrough in image quality for Fuji ... tiny sensor but EXR CMOS with BSI and RAW. I get results at 1600 ISO as good as the G10 at 400 ...

So those of us already used to these new sensors see the X10 for what it is ... another EXR camera with about 1 stop better imagery. A great thing for sure, but not the increment some are proclaiming.

Ken sees it as a brilliant enthusiast camera, but he also sees the obvious limitations. Fuji did not repeal the laws of physics.

Correct, it is a brilliant enthusiast camera with of course it's limitations. There is no perfect camera, there are always tradeoffs.

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jeracravo
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Re: Ken Rockwell's X10 review
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.
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Do you care?

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Re: I like Ken's stuff very much but he misses two very important points- AF and lens
In reply to Brooks Lester, Dec 21, 2011

Brooks Lester wrote:

A head and shoulders comp with the X100 will create a balloon-faced person. A head and shoulders comp with the X10 will look like my regrettably oft-discussed image:

The X100 (and any other camera at the 35mm focal length) in portrait orientation has to be shot like the below image to avoid subject distortion - and there is still some distortion present in this image (her head is a little stretched in the forehead area and the siding in the background is visibly distorted). I should have stood further away. A half body comp would have been even more distorted. I actually am suspecting that the X100 has some distortion of its own beyond the perspective distortion that is evident.

You grossly exaggerate the distortion of the X100's lens. Half body shots are even MORE distorted? Maybe in your eyes, but I see nothing wrong with such images.

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KimberlyC
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Hey Kim
In reply to Kim Letkeman, Dec 21, 2011

Is that John Lodge?

Wow I am getting old. Lovely shot too.
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TheEye
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KR says: "The Fuji X10 is a superb point-and-shoot camera."
In reply to frelwa, Dec 21, 2011

frelwa wrote:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/x10.htm

He's not impressed.
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Then what is he, based on what he wrote?

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