My first impression of Fujfilm APSC cameras being truly pocketable (no, not cargo pants pocketable which is cheating) actually started with the Fujifilm X70 a few years ago.
Yeap, thats 18 months old Kei getting to know the X70 for scale 😂. Back then in early 2015, cramming an APSC-sized sensor into a body this small with built-in flash, tilt and touch screen capabilities proved the X70 to be a hit akin to the Ricoh GR.
3 years on, with no news of a X80, I had moved on and assumed nothing would ever come close to the X70 again in terms of APSC sized compactness… until the day I was handed this baby from Fujifilm Asia Pacific.
Introducing the Fujifilm XF10 with a 28mm F2.8 equiv lens.
To set the record straight, the XF10 is even smaller than the X70 with both sporting an APSC-sized sensor but the XF10’s a Bayer sensor vs X70’s X-Trans II sensor.
Both present similar 28mm F2.8 equivalent lenses but the XF10’s is updated to be even more compact and yes, much faster in performance down to even tracking moving subjects.
And so here my sharing of this petite wonder starts.
By now you would have noticed this is a Champagne Gold / Brown leatherette version and general reactions will probably be:
1. OMG?! Where can I get one of this beautiful camera?
Ans: Yes, similar to the X-T100, the Champagne gold shade seems to be a common staple now.
2. OMG?! Is there a black version?
Ans: yes of course 🙂
First thoughts was the designers have managed sort of a daring redesign, bringing to reality the idea of minimalism into the XF10. One notices that first off the bat, there is no hot-shoe, but the camera comes with a built in flash like the X100 series and X70.
Buttons are now mostly on the right side to enable one hand operation (the XF10’s really compact) One gets 3 dials as seen. One for PASM and direct access to some of the most commonly used SR+ (Fujifilm’s AUTO mode) modes including in-camera panorama. I am mostly a Aperture priority shooter and as such have set the middle dial to adjust Aperture and the rightmost dial to adjust Exposure compensation and that’s frankly all I need for general shooting.
The ON/OFF switch is now recessed and has a firm press to it. And together with the well-machined dials with rimmed sides, the buttons & dials are excellent to handle.
The XF10 is really light but its not flimsy. Its pretty solidly made for a camera and in my handling of it, it’s obviously not going to survive a fall from the second storey (well, my iPhone X won’t either) but it definitely tough enough for everyday’s challenges.
Turn it over and one sees a back dominated by the LCD screen (its touch AF, touch focus enabled) accompanied with that’s necessarily important – the Menu, DISP/Back, Play, Trash/Drive buttons together with the 5-way control knob that allows one instant access to changing focal points instantaneously if one prefers to not use the touch screen.
Yes, you should have noticed by now the D-pad is gone, and to be honest – it was something that disturbed me at the beginning when setting up the camera. However, when I started shooting, it was nothing that I missed much as some of the D-pad functions have also been shifted over the touch-LCD, for example the left D-pad button to access film simulations is now a soft-copy button on the screen hence there’s minimal loss of functionality and access.
The much loved Q (Quick) access button is still present, together with a customisable button on top to a function one desires.
(Disclaimer: I was testing the XF10 with very pre-production firmware and as such I am unable to share the functions one may map to this Custom button)
The XF10 otherwise does come with most if not all of the standards even for its diminutive size.
For the spec readers, here a quick summary to brighten up your day (may be updated later)
- 24.2 megapixels APSC Bayer sensor
- 18.5mm F2.8 lens (28mm equivalent)
- Minimum focusing distance: 10cm (this is super nice if you never realised it)
- 112.5mm x 64.4mm x 41.0, at 278.9g with battery inside.
(well, you need to know a GFX50S batt weighs in at 114g already in comparison)
- Digital teleconverters to 35mm and 50mm (or 1.25x and 1.8x). (i never ever recommend using this)
- 11 film simulations and 19 types of advanced filters.
- A 91-point hybrid autofocus system, 6 fps burst shooting and 4K/15p video capture
- SQUARE MODE with single flick to switch to 1: 1 format (yes, for the INSTAGRAM users)
Handling the XF10 was straightforward and Fujifilm has been excellent in making user friendly cameras. The diminutive size (that’s an iPhone 8+ as comparison below) made this a camera one which very few onlookers were wary off and one-hand operation was easy with the dials and most of the buttons within reach with one hand.
The well machined rimmed edges and the small thumb rest also adds positively to the handling experiences, giving a good old steady grip on the camera. I would love to have a tilt screen but I guess that would have added significantly to the thickness of the camera.
Firmware wise, any Fujifilm user will be happy to know that the menus are mostly the same and carried over from the other models in the family and its no big problem getting in straight to shooting.
Before we get to the sample photos, please allow me to share my standard disclaimer.
1. The XF10 was loaned from Fujifilm for 1 week and was returned at the end of the review period. I did not receive any payment in any form for this review.
2. This XF10 in the review is a pre-production model and hence the final production model will only perform better, in fact it was so pre-production it came to me with firmware separately to be installed before use.
3. All images are from in-camera JPEG and have been edited to my preferences in LR. There is no raw support yet for XF10 files in LR CC as of today.
4. I shoot my own product photos as I don’t believe in that any self-respecting reviewer cannot find time to produce his or her own shots of the product. Shooting product photos also allows one to study the camera more.
Here we go…
Parts of a whole
Just 20m more !
Hear me roar!
Yes, I can do wides too with decent dynamic range.
Where I was born.
since from when did we stop looking at each other?
Yes, we are almost done.
The beauty of light in life.
Lest we get the wrong idea, I’m not gonna make the call to ‘buy‘ or ‘not buy‘ the XF10. I had the XF10 with me for a week and I love the compactness of it and the potential of the image quality it can deliver. In a way the only competitor to the XF10 I can think of is itself with the GR II and X70 closest to it being APSC sized sensor based cameras.
That said, its kinda difficult to make a camera thats poor performing or soul-less nowadays unless a brand really works hard the wrong way and the XF10 does delivers what it was designed to do; as a street / everyday moments all in one compact camera thats easy to operate and never making it an issue for the owner.
The XF10 is a lovely camera as it is, a simple minimalist beauty that does what it should to satisfy yet barely leaving a dent on the pocket at around 30% of the price of a X-T2 body. I see this as a nice alternative to those who wants a smaller daily camera companion.
Its definitely a big step up from the tinny-whiney phone sensors for sure and will serve the user well with lots to spare for the enthusiast or the professional who wants an additional compact companion.
Thank you for reading.