Fujifilm X10 compact camera – stunning retro looks, but is it a LX5/XZ-1 killer?

Fujifilm X10 compact camera - stunning looks, but is it a LX5/XZ-1 killer?

Fujifilm’s X100 high end compact was a camera that we really, really wanted to love, but a variety of annoying quirks and clunky operational gotchas meant that it failed to quite live up to its spectacular promise.

The good news is that Fujifilm are back with another stunning looking camera, the 12MP X10, which comes in another beautiful form factor guaranteed to send the lust glands of photographers into overdrive.

Fujifilm X10 compact camera - stunning looks, but is it a LX5/XZ-1 killer?

Although the styling and high quality build look much the same, there’s been some big compromises to drive the price down.

Smaller sensor

The sensor is a lot smaller than the dSLR-sized one in the X100, so you can expect a fairly large dip in image quality.

The wonderful hybrid rangefinder/EVF seen on the X100 has also been shown the door, with the X10 having a simple optical viewfinger, cunningly coupled to the zoom.

Another sad loss is the shutter speed dial, although we rather like having the exposure compensation dial easily accessible on the top plate.

Fujifilm X10 compact camera - stunning looks, but is it a LX5/XZ-1 killer?

Snappy snapper

Fujifilm are claiming that the camera is a fast mover, with the X10 being ready to shoot from ‘off’ in ‘approximately 0.8 seconds’. Interestingly, the manual zoom lens ring doubles as an on/off power switch.

There’s a fast 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 zoom lens onboard (shame this couldn’t extend down to 24mm), although it does come with manual zooming, which is a lot better than fiddling about with buttons.

Backed by a new Optical Image Stabilisation system, the lens can take super macro shots as close up as 1cm, while around the back is a 2.8 inch high contrast LCD monitor sporting a handy electronic horizon levelling gauge.

Program modes

The camera comes with Program / Aperture Priority / Shutter Speed Priority / Manual shooting modes, and there’s also auto bracketing functions for exposure, ISO sensitivity, dynamic range and film simulation.

There’s also 1080p Full HD movie recording capabilities onboard.

Fujifilm X10 compact camera - stunning looks, but is it a LX5/XZ-1 killer?

Continuous shooting 

The camera can knock out up to 7 frames per second at the full 12 megapixel resolution, increasing to 10 frames per second at a reduced resolution.

High speed focussing comes courtesy of a 49-point matrix contrast AF, while a super-fast shutter-release lag of approximately 0.01 seconds should ensure the subject hasn’t wandered out of frame.

ISO speeds run from IS0 100 to IS0 12,800.

Tough competition

Looking to elbow its way into a premium compact market already dominated by the likes of the Lumix LX5, Olympus XZ-1, Canon G12 and Nikon P7100, the X10’s reported pricing of $699 certainly takes some of the shine off the deal.

That said, it is an absolutely gorgeous looking camera, and sometimes the heart can rule the head when it comes to classic cameras.

If a camera looks and feels great, then you’re more likely to take it out with you, which in turn means you may end up getting shots you’d otherwise miss.

At least, that’s our ligic when we’re trying to justify forking out for a shiny new camera!

The camera should be on sale  in November – check out the video, and the press release can be found below:


Fuji X10 Press Release
Valhalla, N.Y., September 1, 2011 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the all new premium compact FUJIFILM X10 digital camera, featuring a new larger 2/3” 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor and a bright, high-definition FUJINON1 F2.0 wide-angle to F2.8 telephoto, 4x manual zoom lens (28-112mm)2 with a proprietary Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) that produces superb image quality from edge to edge.

The sleek X10 is a sophisticated compact digital camera that follows in the footsteps of the multi-award winning FUJIFILM X100, and it now combines a trim and refined blackout design, an easy-to-use manual barrel zoom lens and a traditional optical viewfinder with a wide 20° field of view for exceptional image composition.

The X10’s stunning body is built from lightweight, yet ultra strong, die-cast magnesium alloy and has an upper control deck with mode dials and an aluminum milled, textured finish lens ring. The 4x manual zoom lens ring doubles as an on/off power switch, ensuring fast start times to capture even the most fleeting shooting scenario.

“Fujifilm is dedicated to elevating the art of digital photography, and the X10 premium compact underscores that commitment by offering first-class image quality, beautiful styling and the innovative technology that exceeds consumers’ expectations,” said Go Miyazaki, division president, Imaging and Electronic Imaging Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “The X10’s thoughtfully laid out design, large EXR CMOS sensor, bright lens and manual zoom make it an outstanding choice when image quality simply cannot be compromised.”

Exceptional Image Quality
The X10 features a newly-developed, larger 2/3″ 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor that combines Fujifilm’s proprietary EXR technology with CMOS technology to provide bright, sharp images in all shooting conditions. The intelligent EXR CMOS sensor automatically selects the optimum shooting mode from a total of 99 different variations to capture every type of scene perfectly, even in the most difficult photography situations.

The X10’s EXR CMOS sensor selects the optimum shooting mode for any lighting situation:
• SN (Signal to Noise) High Sensitivity and Low Noise – produces clear and sharp high-sensitivity images while keeping noise levels low, which is ideal for capturing night scenes or indoor situations with poor lighting.
• DR (Dynamic Range) Wide Dynamic Range – delivers an increased dynamic range (up to 1600%) to deliver rich gradations and detail in both shadows and highlights.
• HR (High Resolution) – takes full advantage of the 12 megapixel resolution to reproduce the finest details in landscape and portrait scenes, perfect for use on bright clear days.

The X10’s fast EXR processor also delivers high-speed continuous shooting –
up to 7 frames per second – at the full 12 megapixel resolution (L size), and 10 frames per second at the reduced resolution M size.

Bright Optical System
The X10 features a newly-developed high-definition FUJINON 4x manual zoom lens (28-112mm) with a Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) that achieves superb image clarity from edge to edge. By treating all of the lens elements with the multilayer Super EBC, the X10 expertly reduces ghosting and lens flare and delivers an impeccably sharp image.

The lens consists of 11 glass lens elements in 9 groups, including 3 aspherical glass lens elements (6 sides) and 2 extra-low dispersion lens elements. Together with its wide-angle maximum aperture of F2.0 to a maximum telephoto aperture of F2.8, the X10 delivers beautiful, bright images with outstanding clarity.

In its spacious glass optical viewfinder, the X10 uses an arrangement of 3 aspherical lenses plus a special 2 glass prism configuration to give the photographer a composition experience that is marked by superior brightness and superb field of view with its extra wide 20° viewing angle.

X10 Premium Shooting Experience
In less than one second, photographers can be ready to shoot in almost any situation thanks to the X10’s power switch that has been aptly integrated into the manual zoom barrel. This smart and simple design feature allows faster photography response times and helps to avoid missed photo opportunities.

Once ready to shoot, the X10’s all-metal lens barrel and smooth zoom rotation helps you compose photos quickly and easily, and its remarkably quick shutter-release lag time of approximately 0.01 seconds lets you capture even the most momentary of photography scenarios.

The X10 also features a newly developed Optical Image Stabilization mechanism that all but eliminates motion blur by maximizing sensor performance, and its 49-point matrix contrast auto focus provides high-speed and high-precision focusing thanks to the fast CMOS capabilities and the advanced EXR Processor system.

The X10’s lens is capable of taking super-macro shots as close up as 1cm, and combined with its 7-blade aperture, the X10 generates a stunning soft-focus “bokeh” effect that makes it the ideal choice for shooting perfect portraits.

The X10 is proudly manufactured in Japan, and as a mark of true quality, it prominently features the words “made in Japan” along the rear of the chassis near the viewfinder.

X10 Key Features:
• 4x manual optical zoom featuring Fujifilm’s new Intelligent Digital Zoom technology that doubles telephoto capabilities and provides up to 8x zoom
• Fast power start-up; the X10 is fully ready to shoot in approximately 0.8 seconds using the on/off power switch built into the lens ring (must be in Quick Start mode)
• High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8″ 460K dot high contrast LCD screen that provides excellent viewing even outdoors and in bright sunlight
• Diverse manual shooting modes that can be selected according to scene type (Program / Aperture Priority / Shutter Speed Priority / Manual)
• Four diverse auto bracketing functions for exposure, ISO sensitivity, dynamic range and film simulation
• RAW shooting and in-camera RAW processing (SilkyPix RAW conversion software supplied in-box)
• Best-in-class3 1080p Full HD movie recording capabilities
• Film Simulation Modes (eight setting are available, including Velvia / PROVIA / ASTIA)
• Manual pop-up flash with a range of 7 meters (approximately 23 feet)
• Electronic horizon leveling gauge to ensure that the camera is being held level, and histogram display to check image gradation
• Motion Panorama 360° for seamless 360-degree panoramic shooting

Premium Accessories
To perfectly complement the look and first-class feel of the X10 camera body, the following premium accessories will be available:
• Case – a retro-style “quick shot” case with matching strap made from luxurious leather (LC-X10)
• Lens Hood – precision milled from metal, the lens hood with adapter ring is also compatible with commercially sold 52mm filters and lens caps (LH-X10)
• TTL Flash – Fujifilm External Automatic Flashes EF-20 (Guide Number:20) and EF-42 (Guide Number:42) are compatible with the X10

The X10 will be available in early November 2011.

1 High quality FUJINON lenses are used widely in the broadcasting industry worldwide. For more
information please visit: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/fujinon/
2 35mm equivalent
3 Digital cameras equipped with a 2/3″ image sensor

[Official site]