XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

Started 7 months ago | Questions
roedj Junior Member • Posts: 49
XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

I am very interested in acquiring a Fuji XF-10. It satisfies, at at least according to the specs, most of my needs (I do wish it had a tiltable screen). My main concern is the auto focus. I have watched several reviews on youtube and  they're all over the place when it comes to auto focus. Some claim there's no problem and others say that it drove them crazy.

I don't understand the lack of consistency in these reviews. How can the review of the auto focus range from OK to awful? Does Fuji have a quality control issue? Even those who used the SNAPSHOT mode claim that they're not happy with the result.

Does anyone have any idea as to what's going on here? I'm having a hard time believing it's all operator error.

As always, thanks for your time and help.

Dan

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rochester21 Contributing Member • Posts: 813
An educated guess

I read that the XF10 has a hibrid AF, like the one on my Nikon 1 J1. Don't know if it applies, but on the Nikon the AF was so and so, very quick but sometimes imprecise. It didn't bother me too much, but it was there. Hibrid AF was supposed to be the best and fastest, but in reality it was just about average on the j1.

But as a rule of thumb, all modern compacts have reasonable AF speeds and precision, so unless you shoot sports and people on the move i wouldn't consider this a deal breaker.

Worst case scenario, you buy the camera and then simply return it if the AF is well below your expectations.

When it comes to AF speed and precision on compacts, it just so happens that my currently dead sony rx100 m1 was very impressive and certainly the fastest camera i have yet tried.

norman shearer Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

I have XF10 but tbh I do not use AF often. I got camera for sensor and snapshot mode for shooting street. I'm very happy with snapshot mode.  Also metering is very seldom wrong - I find myself not using exposure comp to anything like the degree I do with most other cameras. Jpegs are so good they are hard to beat with raw files.

As for AF well it seemed okay to me at first and I found face detect very useful indoors in poor light. Then on another session the af was flaky. I think it can be prone to jumping to another area if you are not careful. Lack of evf does not help I guess. When using the screen you tend to not have the same stability and glare may obscure your view of the focus point.

I got mine 2nd hand (£280) so it's great value for my purposes. I find the lens decent and the image quality can rival much more expensive cameras. Snapshot makes shooting street a piece of cake in good light. Not so good indoors or in poor light though.

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,697
This subject, in general, drives me bonkers at times...
2

Considering that the majority of photographers tend to confine themselves to general photographic scenarios - that is, scenics, architectural, some special events, and portraits, the majority of cameras on the market today, whether entry-level or medium level, are all capable of excellent AF performance.

The XF10 is no different.  Now it would be obvious (at least I think so) that cameras like the XF10 or the entry level interchangeable lens X-A series, are designed more for general photography scenarios.  Now if you're looking for a competent sports or motor-sports camera, the XF10 would not be one of your choices - yet some folks will purchase models like these and then b-i-t-c-h and moan about the AF not being able to keep up.  Folks have to keep these things in perspective.

Having said that, if you use these cameras within their designed performance parameters, you will be rewarded with some absolutely superb results.  Try to use them like a, errrrrr, ahhhhhh - a Nikon D5 or D500, or the Canon 1D series, well, you'll be absolutely disappointed.

I've seen some really great output from the XF10 - and in the end, isn't that what matters?  I personally would have gotten one, but I need IS capabilities.  That's why for me personally, I may, in the near future look at the Ricoh GR III, who knows.

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OP roedj Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: This subject, in general, drives me bonkers at times...
1

So are you saying that the inconsistency in the reviews of the XF-10's auto focus is due more to the variations in the reviewers expectations than in the variations in the camera's manufacture?

Dan

norman shearer Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: This subject, in general, drives me bonkers at times...

Well the issues I had with AF was photographing flowers/nature in between a street shoot, not exactly encroaching on D500 territory. 

It's possible the issue is restricted to a particular focus mode hence why some folks don't have any issues. I checked out manual focus and focus peaking just now and that seems to be impractical except at macro ranges. I could not figure out how to magnify the view to check focus..

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steppenwolfer Senior Member • Posts: 1,039
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?
1

Just got XF10, I am charging battery as I write this. But managed to stop charging to do quick test. I set camera to A mode and AF to single point and small area. I find focus responsive and fast enough. I also set camera to high performance in menu. All in all my first impression is very positive.

When AF was set to AREA it was less snappy and in SR+ mode with AREA AF it was slowest during my quick test.

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,697
Well...

...I'm just rendering an opinion here.  Some of the finest images I've ever taken over the past 2.5 decades have been with cameras who may have received less than favorable reviews with regards to AF or other factors.  In the case of reviews, it is often the case (IMO) that reviewers tend to focus their own individual priorities on a given camera model - i.e. whether that be for video or still photography features.

It all depends on what your priorities are here.  Are you more of a still photography photographer, or are you more video oriented?  Are you more of a general photography or a speed (sports, etc) oriented person?  The answers to these will set you in the right direction for the camera (at a given price-point) that may suit your needs.

As I mentioned earlier, if the XF10 had IS, I would have gotten it already because I'm (still) looking for the ideal street camera.  The only model on the market today that has IS is the Ricoh GR III.  I love how the color renderings look that are coming from that GR III.  But damnnnnnnn, $900 for that little camera and the accessories are ridiculously priced.  I'll just have to wait and see if I wind up getting that in the future.

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norman shearer Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: Well...

Ben Herrmann wrote:

...I'm just rendering an opinion here. Some of the finest images I've ever taken over the past 2.5 decades have been with cameras who may have received less than favorable reviews with regards to AF or other factors. In the case of reviews, it is often the case (IMO) that reviewers tend to focus their own individual priorities on a given camera model - i.e. whether that be for video or still photography features.

It all depends on what your priorities are here. Are you more of a still photography photographer, or are you more video oriented? Are you more of a general photography or a speed (sports, etc) oriented person? The answers to these will set you in the right direction for the camera (at a given price-point) that may suit your needs.

As I mentioned earlier, if the XF10 had IS, I would have gotten it already because I'm (still) looking for the ideal street camera. The only model on the market today that has IS is the Ricoh GR III. I love how the color renderings look that are coming from that GR III. But damnnnnnnn, $900 for that little camera and the accessories are ridiculously priced. I'll just have to wait and see if I wind up getting that in the future.

Why do you value i.s. in a street camera Ben? Honestly just curious.

I kind of see i.s. as a means of leaving the tripod at home! I generally use it to keep iso down and get maximum dynamic range from the camera and sharpness from the lens. Great for static subjects in particular.

My Samsung EX2F has it but I've not yet determined if it helps or not tbh. I generally have the shutter at 1/320+ so assume it's not really doing much to improve my shots. I guess it might when the light gets low and I have to drop the ss even lower..

Sorry for being off topic!

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,697
Now why do you ask...

Aren't our personal preferences, errrr, ahhhh....personal (subjective?  I'm in my early 70's - not as steady as I used to be, although I'm in superb physical condition.  I've found IS capabilities invaluable, in particular, the good designs.  If you want to be spoiled, try some of the Olympus 5-6 Axis IBIS systems - uncanny really.  I used to lug around tons of gear to include either a monopod or a lighter tripod.  Now anymore - IS for me it is.  If others don't need or want IS, well good for them - as it's a world of choices that we have.

I don't know if that answered your question or not.

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norman shearer Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: Now why do you ask...

Ben Herrmann wrote:

Aren't our personal preferences, errrr, ahhhh....personal (subjective? I'm in my early 70's - not as steady as I used to be, although I'm in superb physical condition. I've found IS capabilities invaluable, in particular, the good designs. If you want to be spoiled, try some of the Olympus 5-6 Axis IBIS systems - uncanny really. I used to lug around tons of gear to include either a monopod or a lighter tripod. Now anymore - IS for me it is. If others don't need or want IS, well good for them - as it's a world of choices that we have.

I don't know if that answered your question or not.

I wasn't suggesting you're wrong wanting ibis in a street camera. I was wondering if you used it whilst on the move and whilst using a relatively fast shutter speed. See I don't really know what if any advantage there is in me using it. I'm getting a Sony A9 soon and I'm not really sure if I should use it seeing as I'm generally on the move, shooting a moving subject at 1/500s+.

I appreciate there are many ways to shoot street where i.s. can be invaluable. I keep meaning to stop, compose and shoot more but I rarely do. Getting back on subject - with the XF10 having a fixed screen and no EVF shooting from the chest seems natural. Maybe I'll stick a fast 50mm on my A7S - that'll force me to use the tilt screen and focus peaking to get my shot..

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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,697
It's more like a little extra stability really comes in handy...

...as you age.  I used to be able to keep a camera rock steady - but as of late, I find that more difficult, unless I pull the camera tight in front of me (with the camera strap around my neck).  Now I do have a few cameras that do not have IS (like the Canon EOS M series with some of their primes), and do pull that camera out tight in front of me - which works to a degree.  But for anything future - in particular, for street cameras with built-in fixed lenses, I prefer IS and that's where the Ricoh GR III may come in handy.

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norman shearer Senior Member • Posts: 1,188
Re: It's more like a little extra stability really comes in handy...

Ben Herrmann wrote:

...as you age. I used to be able to keep a camera rock steady - but as of late, I find that more difficult, unless I pull the camera tight in front of me (with the camera strap around my neck). Now I do have a few cameras that do not have IS (like the Canon EOS M series with some of their primes), and do pull that camera out tight in front of me - which works to a degree. But for anything future - in particular, for street cameras with built-in fixed lenses, I prefer IS and that's where the Ricoh GR III may come in handy.

I see. I've used the tight neck strap trick myself from time to time. When I had the Nikon V1 at a horse trials event I mounted it on a monopod and rammed that down the front of my coat and stretched it out tight and panned the horses as they rode by. Got me some shots at very low shutter speed that were crisp where it counted and they looked like they were really galloping at high speed.

Were it not for me getting the XF10 I would've probably picked up a GR II. GR III price has to come down some before that's on my radar and only if I tire of the XF10.

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Smallpox
Smallpox Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?
1

roedj wrote:

I am very interested in acquiring a Fuji XF-10. It satisfies, at at least according to the specs, most of my needs (I do wish it had a tiltable screen). My main concern is the auto focus. I have watched several reviews on youtube and they're all over the place when it comes to auto focus. Some claim there's no problem and others say that it drove them crazy.

I don't understand the lack of consistency in these reviews. How can the review of the auto focus range from OK to awful? Does Fuji have a quality control issue? Even those who used the SNAPSHOT mode claim that they're not happy with the result.

Does anyone have any idea as to what's going on here? I'm having a hard time believing it's all operator error.

As always, thanks for your time and help.

Dan

It really is like a phone camera with all the limitations of such. Handling is great however. Having used it quite a lot in the meantime, in the most challenging situation, shooting through the windscreen while driving in a thunderstorm, late night social events, night street scenes.... I will limit its use to night time photography of static scenes. The rest failed miserably... In daylight there are other small cameras that offer much more possibilities such as my LX5

Of course it produces razor sharp images in good light, but you gotta work on your shutter-press technique, like in the good old days 

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roberthd12 Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?
1

Smallpox wrote:

roedj wrote:

I am very interested in acquiring a Fuji XF-10. It satisfies, at at least according to the specs, most of my needs (I do wish it had a tiltable screen). My main concern is the auto focus. I have watched several reviews on youtube and they're all over the place when it comes to auto focus. Some claim there's no problem and others say that it drove them crazy.

I don't understand the lack of consistency in these reviews. How can the review of the auto focus range from OK to awful? Does Fuji have a quality control issue? Even those who used the SNAPSHOT mode claim that they're not happy with the result.

Does anyone have any idea as to what's going on here? I'm having a hard time believing it's all operator error.

As always, thanks for your time and help.

Dan

It really is like a phone camera with all the limitations of such. Handling is great however. Having used it quite a lot in the meantime, in the most challenging situation, shooting through the windscreen while driving in a thunderstorm, late night social events, night street scenes.... I will limit its use to night time photography of static scenes. The rest failed miserably... In daylight there are other small cameras that offer much more possibilities such as my LX5

Of course it produces razor sharp images in good light, but you gotta work on your shutter-press technique, like in the good old days

While the images, when in focus, are very good, there is no reason for a camera with this crappy of an autofocus to be released by Fuji. I have used the XF10 in every possible mode, tried every possible tweak, followed every user tip, and used my own considerable experience to find out what is wrong. The bottom line is that the autofocus is horribly unreliable. The camera often provides visual and audio confirmation of focus point, and then it focuses on something else altogether. Slow focus, I can deal with. Missed focus is a whole 'nother problem, and it makes me often wonder if the great image quality is worth the time and effort. (By the way, face detection is a total joke...and switching to manual makes the whole experience slooooow.) If the missed focus happened 10-20 percent of the time, I could live with. But the frequency is way, way more.

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bill pasuquin Regular Member • Posts: 170
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

I went to a concert last week,no interchangeable cameras ,so I took sony rx100 mk1+xf10, used 1600 iso on the sony,mosty 4000-5000 on xf10,lighting was flashing all over the place,the rx100 was ok ,the focus on xf10 was not any wrost than most small cameras,i also have Coolpix A,shot a video at the end not mad,used the 50mm mode a lot

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Smallpox
Smallpox Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?
1

roberthd12 wrote:

Smallpox wrote:

roedj wrote:

I am very interested in acquiring a Fuji XF-10. It satisfies, at at least according to the specs, most of my needs (I do wish it had a tiltable screen). My main concern is the auto focus. I have watched several reviews on youtube and they're all over the place when it comes to auto focus. Some claim there's no problem and others say that it drove them crazy.

I don't understand the lack of consistency in these reviews. How can the review of the auto focus range from OK to awful? Does Fuji have a quality control issue? Even those who used the SNAPSHOT mode claim that they're not happy with the result.

Does anyone have any idea as to what's going on here? I'm having a hard time believing it's all operator error.

As always, thanks for your time and help.

Dan

It really is like a phone camera with all the limitations of such. Handling is great however. Having used it quite a lot in the meantime, in the most challenging situation, shooting through the windscreen while driving in a thunderstorm, late night social events, night street scenes.... I will limit its use to night time photography of static scenes. The rest failed miserably... In daylight there are other small cameras that offer much more possibilities such as my LX5

Of course it produces razor sharp images in good light, but you gotta work on your shutter-press technique, like in the good old days

While the images, when in focus, are very good, there is no reason for a camera with this crappy of an autofocus to be released by Fuji. I have used the XF10 in every possible mode, tried every possible tweak, followed every user tip, and used my own considerable experience to find out what is wrong. The bottom line is that the autofocus is horribly unreliable. The camera often provides visual and audio confirmation of focus point, and then it focuses on something else altogether. Slow focus, I can deal with. Missed focus is a whole 'nother problem, and it makes me often wonder if the great image quality is worth the time and effort. (By the way, face detection is a total joke...and switching to manual makes the whole experience slooooow.) If the missed focus happened 10-20 percent of the time, I could live with. But the frequency is way, way more.

Well, for my kind of shots (static) the XF10 really delivers exceptional IQ. Concerts at a given distance, street in the dark.... all no problem. No camera (of this size) can even compare.

But when I shot an event with lots of people moving around a night-time socialite gathering, it failed miserably. Maybe I should have just stuck to "snap focus" despite the iso penalty.

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Halina123 Senior Member • Posts: 1,359
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

An accurate and reliable focus is vital.  It doesn't matter how good the iq or DR is.  If the camera cannot focus on what you want when you want it.  Then it's useless.

wooders636 New Member • Posts: 13
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

I had an XF10 for around 4 months earlier this year, only sold it as I wanted to get an old X-Pro1 to replace it with.

I found the AF to be perfectly acceptable - much like the first generation of X line cameras.  For sure, it was better than I had anticipated and the snap focus mode was fun to use.

one blind eye Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: XF-10 auto focus problems - are they real?

Halina123 wrote:

An accurate and reliable focus is vital. It doesn't matter how good the iq or DR is. If the camera cannot focus on what you want when you want it. Then it's useless.

Totally agree.   Do you own a XF-10?   How is the AF?

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