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Fujifilm X10 - Features

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Fujifilm X10

Summary

Our Score:

9

As mentioned previously the X10 uses an all-new 2/3inch EXR CMOS sensor that delivers an effective resolution of 12MP, and which is backside-illuminated for better low-light performance. As with all Fuji EXR sensors, the chip inside the X10 employs a unique pixel arrangement that allows neighbouring pixels to be combined when necessary to increase sensitivity in low-light conditions, but which can also act independently to deliver maximum resolution.

Maximum output at full resolution in the default 4:3 aspect is 4,000 x 3,000 pixels, although the camera also offers Medium (6MP) and Small (3MP) resolution settings too. It’s also possible to shoot in 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 aspects, albeit at slightly reduced overall resolutions. There are two JPEG quality settings: Fine and Normal. You can expect a regular JPEG file shot at full resolution on the Fine setting to measure around 5MP in size.

In addition to JPEG capture, the X10 can also record lossless sensor data as Raw image files (Fuji’s .RAF format, which at the time of writing is still awaiting Adobe/Apple support, but which will doubtless arrive soon). Raw files allow you to get the best from your photos by ensuring every detail of data is retained, rather than being lost through JPEG compression, but file sizes can be very large. We especially like how the X10 offers a dedicated Raw button on the back of the camera that allows you to select Raw capture on the fly as and when you think a shot merits it, without having to fiddle about in the in-camera menu.

Sensitivity ranges from a baseline ISO 100 up to ISO 12,800 in standard mode, with sensitivity rises offered incrementally (i.e. from ISO 200 to ISO 250) rather than just ‘doubling up’ (i.e. from ISO 200 to ISO 400) as is more commonplace. There’s no dedicated ISO button on the camera, although you can assign that function to the Function (Fn) button on the top-plate should you wish to.

In keeping with its advanced-compact positioning, the X10 offers a generous range of exposure modes, with the semi- and fully-manual creative quartet of Program, Aperture-priority, Shutter-priority and Manual (PASM) complimented by a fully Automatic mode, 16 individual Scene Position (SP) modes, and two user-defined Custom modes. In addition to these, the X10 also offers three Advanced shooting modes and three EXR-specific modes, all of which are worth a closer look.

The three Advanced modes are Motion Panorama, Pro Focus, and Pro Low-Light. The first of these, Motion Panorama, allows you to create 120, 160 or 360-degree panoramas by simply sweeping the camera in a predetermined direction with the shutter button held down. Once you’ve mastered the technique, the results can be very good indeed. Pro Focus, meanwhile, is a portrait-specific mode that enables you to create a shallow depth of field effect by taking multiple images and then processing added blur into the background. Lastly, Pro-Light Mode is another mode that uses multiple exposures, this time with the aim of reducing the effects of noise in low light.

The three EXR modes, meanwhile, include a High Resolution mode, a Dynamic Range Priority mode and a High ISO & Low Noise mode. As the name implies High Resolution mode prioritises resolution above all else, while Dynamic Range takes two images simultaneously and them combines them into a single (6MP) image. Lastly, High ISO & Low Noise mode takes advantage of the unique EXR pixel arrangement to combine pixels and reduce noise. Images shot in this mode are captured at 6MP, but the reduction in noise is pretty impressive.

In terms of video capture, the X10 offers a top setting of 1080p Full HD at 30fps, ably supported by 720p HD and VGA (640 x 480) capture. Furthermore, the X10 also draws upon Fuji’s expertise in high-speed video capture (something the company has been equipping its bridge cameras with for many years), with the option to record high-speed movies (that play back in slow-motion) at either 120fps at 320 x 240 (QVGA quality) or 200fps at 320 x 112 pixels. Sound is captured in stereo via two microphones on the front of the camera, but there’s no external microphone port. Movies are stored as H.264 (.MOV) files.

Elsewhere, you will find that the X10 offers a very good range of customisation options and settings with which you can tinker to alter the overall look and feel of your photos. These include everything from Film Simulation controls that are named after (and mimic the look of) classic Fuji 35mm film stock, to Dynamic Range controls (from 100% to 400%). In addition, there are separate controls for Colour saturation, Sharpness, Highlight Tones, Shadow Tones and Noise Reduction too – with five levels of strength for each to choose from.

Add to this Face Detection and Face Recognition options, a good selection of bracketing options and a passable ‘intelligent digital zoom', and the X10 adds up to a very well featured camera indeed. The only contemporary ‘must-have’ feature the X10 really lacks is a set of digital filter effects; if you want to give your images a miniature model or cross-processed look you’ll need to take a regular photo and get busy in Photoshop instead.

Emin

May 20, 2012, 6:29 am

Firstly this review claims the sensor is a backlit CMOS well I'm not convinced. I have heard that a modified sensor has replaced the original which had white disc problem. However if you look at the FujiFilm X10 sensor on their website it has the sensor's silicon wafer wiring facing this is as far as I know on the top of a wafer so the light is falling on the front not the back in their photo please check your facts they make no mention to 'backlit'
This camera I have tried for a few minutes in a local camera shop as it was closing. I was able to work out how to manually focus from looking at the buttons and trying all the adjustment knobs rings etc so I would say fairly intuitive but not what is wanted such as several rings on the lens to control manual focus apature and zoom. What I didn't like was a lack of EVF - information in the view finder. If it is to resemble a film camera then my cheap Practica BX film camera shows me the Apature and suggested shutter speed and focus in the view finder I am thinking twice for the lack of these. I don't find going back to the funtionality of my Leica 1A view finder an advancement worth this price tag. Manual everything yes please retro looks and perfect size great. Would I buy one, well its the nearest thing I have seen so far as it does everything I want but to save money perhaps loosing the LCD and keeping the EVF instead would give me what I need. I don't need to review on screen and I don't need lots of menus I just want a camera that takes film like photos without the delay and cost and waste of film.

Ken Johnson

January 11, 2013, 11:43 am

This review needs updating, I have had my X-10 for over 6 months and the updated sensor has never produced "ugly white discs" that you have listed as a Con.
I have a Nikon DSLR, a Panasonic GF1 and the X-10. I choose to carry the X-10 everywhere, it is a solid, well made camera, image quality is excellent and the camera is fun to use. People always admire the retro styling too!
As far as I am concerned there are no downsides to this camera.

PC1512

May 13, 2015, 5:00 pm

You're right, it's not a backlit sensor, although arguably the special low-light abilities of the EXR arrangement make up for that.

PC1512

May 13, 2015, 5:15 pm

I picked up a used X10 a few months ago - the model is more than three years old now - and I just love this camera to bits. I have a decent Canon DSLR that takes technically much better pictures with its APS-C sensor and more reliable phase-detect autofocus, but it's nothing like as fun to use and the pictures from the Fuji have a certain quality that just elevates them. Shooting this camera at 6MP with the dynamic range mode set to DR400 gives you the same hardware-based enhanced DR as the (all automatic) EXR mode, and the results are often beautiful. It is easily the most "film like" digital camera I've ever come across, not just in looks and handling but in the images straight from the camera as well.

After this review was written, Fuji actually redesigned the sensor and fixed the "orb" problem altogether, offering a free replacement sensor to all affected cameras. My particular camera is a late serial number built after this redesign, so I've never had to worry about this issue. It's a shame that the X10 became synonymous with orbs since it's such a fantastic camera; the replacement X20 ditched the EXR sensor and its clever DR and low iso tricks altogether for a slightly more conventional x-trans design, and although its images are a touch sharper (due to ditching the AA filter) its jpegs actually aren't as good in capturing DR or dealing with ISO noise. All of which leaves the X10 as something of a classic, and a camera I'd currently choose over pretty much anything.

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