Fuji x10

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Fuji x10

Postby Mal » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:15 pm

I just thought I would post a couple of my thoughts about the Fuji X 10. I have only had it very briefly so far, and will be updating this as my thoughts progress.

First I thought I would explain why I chose this camera specifically, as reviews seem to be slit on it. It is quite long so you can skip to the bit about the camera itself. I don’t part with my money very easily, and I make sure I’m making the correct choice. And I spend a good amount of time deciding.

I wanted to get a camera that I could take with me anywhere. I love using my DSLR, but due to its size and weight, it would stay at home when I’m not doing something commercially related. I started to realize that I was limiting myself, and missing so many opportunities to take pictures. When I go to dinner, the park, my commute through London to work etc etc. I was limiting myself as a photographer, so I set out to get a camera that I could take with me everywhere.

The Choices?

The enthusiast market at around the £400 mark seems to be crammed full of choices. Did I want to go mirror less? How about a bridge? A high end Compact maybe?

I ruled out mirror less, as although a Panasonic GF3 with a 14mm prime is great. I didn’t want to get into a whole new camera system. Buying and then carrying different lenses and accessories around. That is what I was getting out of with a DSLR, so I ruled that out. I didn’t like the look of any of the bridge cameras, as they all seemed to compromise on something.

So I started to delve into the realm of the high end compact and quickly found myself confronted with three main choices, the Nikon p7100, Canon G12, and the Fuji X10. I went to the shop and tried all three out. A friend of mine has the G12 so I already had some experience with it.

In the back of my mind I had already ruled out the G12, simply because of my experience with it. The p7100 and x10 were the two contenders, and they both had a lot going for them.

They where both the same price, and seemed to have similar spec. To hold, the p7100 is bigger, and has a second command dial on the front. But in the end it was about which one I could see myself using all the time, and there was a draw to the X10.

It is smaller, feels better built (which it is), and looks better. The size thing is tricky, as the p7100 lens retracts all the way in, but has a bigger build face on. Performance wise they both seemed pretty equal, with the X10 having the well-documented orb problem. With both cameras in front of me though, there was a definite charm and quality about the X10, and that is the one that ended up leaving the shop with me.

The Camera Itself.

Okay, now onto the camera itself, It is very well built, having a solid metal feel to it. Being slight smaller than the p7100, it has slightly less grip, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to hold.

Fuji seem to have made a camera of two halves, on the one hand they seem to have made a camera catering to the enthusiast, but have also kept some of the options an enthusiast would like to get to, hidden within menus, as if to make it easier for the average Jo not to mess it up. The Raw quality setting is a good example. With a dedicated button on the back of the camera, pressing this makes the next shot taken be in Raw quality, but resets itself afterwards. To put the camera into Raw permanently, you would expect to go into the quality setting in the menu, but no, that just changes the JPEG compression between Fine and Normal. You have to go into page 4 of the settings, and turn Raw either of or on.

That doesn’t mean that it isn’t functional though, as once you get to grips with its peculiarities it starts to shine. Using the camera in manual mode is ever so easy, with the rear thumb dial doubling up for Aperture and Shutter speed control with a simple click.

Image quality is rather good, with the Jpeg quality being really rather surprising. All my early test shots are in JPEG due to the quirk I listed above. The focus is quite fast; although it doesn’t always seem to agree on what it thinks is the most important subject (I guess being spoilt by a DSLR doesn’t help).

The viewfinder is surprisingly big, but it doesn’t show you the whole frame, 85% I believe. The lens aperture is a nice and bright F2 to F2.8, although the small sensor gets rid of any DOF benefit.

I’ll leave this for now with some samples from today, and update it with more later, with an overall conclusion soon.

Fuji X10 test shot. by Malachi Timothy, on Flickr

Fuji X10 test Shot. by Malachi Timothy, on Flickr

Fuji X10 test shot by Malachi Timothy, on Flickr

On the whole though it is a lovely camera, not quite as special as the X100, but good nonetheless. It has a feel and a charm to it I never got from the G12, and keeps me wanting to use it.

Any other x10 users feel free to add your thoughts. And my word I never thought I could write this much about a camera :D

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