Image and video quality

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

Key takeaways:

  • Image quality is strong, with good detail retention, a sharp (enough) lens, good color rendition and low noise levels
  • The lens generally renders out-of-focus areas well, but out-of-focus highlights can occasionally look busy or 'smeary'
  • Video quality is quite bad

Note that though we have chosen to shoot our studio scene with the XF10, its 28mm-equivalent lens is wider than the minimum 50mm-equivalent (and we prefer 75-90 equiv) focal lengths we regularly use on interchangeable lens cameras. However, this should be able to give a reasonable point of comparison with other fixed-lens and fixed-focal-length compacts, like the X70 and X100F.


Studio scene

The added resolution from the new 24MP Bayer sensor is apparent, with plenty of detail, though thanks to the lower resolution of the X70 and its X-Trans color filter, the latter camera appears to have a bit more 'bite' to it. But we can't overstate the importance of the possibility of lens variation in this test. Though they have the same lens design, the text on the X70 appears slightly crisper, but there are other areas of the scene where the XF10 really shines in comparison. We can also clearly see differences in the lenses by looking at the corners of the scene. The Ricoh GR II holds up particularly well, regardless of where you look.

Default JPEG sharpening on the XF10 is a little heavy-handed, showing some haloing. We can see the X100F's default settings allow for better fine detail at a pixel level, but for most of the XF10's audience, this won't be a problem. Color in the default Provia film simulation remains a strong point, with all of the Fujifilms exhibiting deeper reds and more pleasing yellows than the Ricoh. The XF10 does a great job stamping out chroma noise at its highest ISO value, leaving behind grain that looks a little more 'natural' than the other options here. Detail retention at these higher ISO values shows an improvement over the X70 and GR II, and puts up a strong showing against the X100F.

The lens

Now, with a relatively wide 28mm equiv field of view and a maximum aperture of F2.8, the Fujifilm XF10 just isn't going to be a blurry background machine - but that doesn't mean that you can't get any subject separation at all with it. Here's how out-of-focus highlights look at each full aperture stop.

F2.8 F4 F5.6 F8 F11 F16

It's not the best bokeh we've ever seen, but it's far from the worst. I found myself reasonably impressed in the real world given enough distance between my subject and the background - but the transition areas from in-focus to out-of-focus can get a little weird looking.

Even at F4, you can get some subject separation with the XF10. Click through to the full image to see a bit of smeary weirdness in the highlights just in front of and behind the twig.
Out-of-camera JPEG using the Provia profile | ISO 200 | 1/1100 sec | F4

In real-world shooting, you're likely to find the XF10's images quite sharp indeed, but as mentioned previously in this review, you really need to watch your technique to get sharp images at slower shutter speeds, thanks to the lack of any image stabilization at all. Also, if you stop down enough, you'll get some nice-looking sunstars.

I'm sure I'm losing some critical sharpness at this aperture, but the sunstar isn't half bad.
Out-of-camera JPEG using the Provia profile | ISO 1250 | 1/100 sec | F11

Lastly, something we've noticed with some of Fujifilm's other lenses - particularly the XF 23mm F2 prime and the 23mm F2 pancake that's permanently mounted to the X100 series - is that they can suffer a bit when shot close-up at wider apertures. Though the XF10 appears to suffer some sharpness loss as well, it's an edge case and in terms of usability, it's nice not to have to switch to a dedicated macro mode.

The XF10's lens is overall a solid performer, especially considering its compact design.
Processed in Adobe Camera Raw using the Provia profile | ISO 200 | 1/170 sec | F4

In the end, you're not going to be blurring the background into oblivion, but that's not what this camera is really about. For the type of shooting the XF10 is geared toward - casual lifestyle and documentary snapshots - the lens is more than capable, with good sharpness overall.

Video

Now let's take a look at how the XF10's video modes look in front of our studio scene. This isn't the end-all, be-all of video tests, but it gives us a good idea of how much detail the XF10 will be capable of capturing. It isn't able to show issues with compression and moving subjects, nor will it show just how choppy the XF10's 4K/15p video capture will look.

We can see straight away that the XF10 looks to be using the very same video capture method as the X-T100, which also sports 4K/15p capture. In other words, it simply isn't very good, in addition to being what we would consider unusably choppy. On the plus side, enabling digital image stabilization does not degrade the image further.

Switching to Full HD capture and we see again, largely identical performance to the X-T100. Disappointingly, the XF10 looks worse than its predecessor in this mode as well. But again, enabling digital image stabilization does not seem to impact detail capture.