“Holy crap, it’s pretty.” Those are the words right out of Copy Editor Julius Motal’s mouth when I showed him the Fujifilm X10 (or Fuji X10). Indeed, as I sat in on the conference call with Fujifilm’s reps, my mind went crazy as I got all hot and sweaty thinking
about the naughty things I would do to it when I got my hands on it later on about just what the Fuji X10 might look like after talking about the specs. But underneath it all, the Fuji X10 seems to be a powerhouse on the inside.
And yes, we realize that it looks just like the Fuji X100.
The Fuji X10 is a point and shoot camera with an aluminum chasis and magnesium alloy top and bottom plates. Does more really need to be said? How many point and shoots have that or type of build quality?
All fanboy-ish praise aside, many other point and shoot cameras have plastic bodies, which is more than good enough for most users. But this camera seems specifically targeted not only to the enthusiast, but also to the professional that purchases something like the Olympus XZ-1 or Canon G12.
Hell, if someone tries to rob you, you could probably beat them over the head with this camera.
Granted, it does not have weather sealing, so don’t expect to take it out in the rain.
To be fair, I really wish that the viewfinder would show you the true depth of field as you focus. While the reps at Fujifilm did mention a prism being in the finder, they stated that it would instead be more like the X100’s. Here’s what it looks like on the X10.
Sorry for having such a small image, it came from the brochure that we got.
Fast Zoom Lens
Let’s be honest here, this isn’t the fastest zoom range. That goes to the Olympus XZ-1 with an f1.8 to f2.5 aperture range. However, f2.0 to f2.8 still isn’t bad considering the next major area of this camera’s design which we will get to in a second.
With a 28-112mm lens, one can go from shooting landscapes to close intimate portraits with the turn of a ring. It reminds me a bit of my Canon 24-105mm f4 L IS that I love so much, but this has a faster zoom range. To boot, there is optical image stabilization in the lens, that means that it will react differently with every single focal length. However, this is a point and shoot, and there are very few moving parts when the camera fires.
More interestingly, you turn the camera on by twisting the zoom lens. Like the X100, it seems that this camera is best used while autofocusing. This is evident from the way the lens is designed. However, I could be wrong.
2/3rds Sized Sensor
So how large is a 2/3rds size sensor? Well that’s bigger than the sensor in the Panasonic LX-5, Leica D-LUX 5, Canon G10, Nikon P7100, Olympus XZ-1 and Canon S95. Here’s a chart from the folks over at Photozone.de:
So while this isn’t as large as a Micro Four Thirds sensor, it still is quite large for a point and shoot camera. With that in mind, don’t expect large amounts of gorgeous creamy bokeh in your images unless you’re focusing really closely depending on your focal length. You’ll need not only a fast lens, but at least a Foveon chip to really take advantage of the lens’s fast aperture.
To be fair, that faster aperture should keep ISO levels down when shooting. Want that bokeh? Go get a Fuji X100. But if only it came in black…
By the way, the X10 only comes in black.
Portable sizes are great for many reasons. Besides being small enough to carry around everywhere with you (which is a big need for street photography) it is also discreet. So you can throw this in your day bag and go. More than that though, it also has a decent zoom range and large sensor to boot in such a small package.
That’s perfect for those that actually have started to use cameras like these as fashion accessories. And trust me, there are lots of them. With that said, this will still do a great job in a seasoned vet’s hands, and while it is targeted toward that crowd, take note of the auto scene settings on the camera dial and pray that you see less hipsters walking around with this camera.
Fujifilm has yet to announce the price, but it should be available in early November 2011.
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