There are some great compact system or mirrorless cameras around at the moment, but with its solid build, retro SLR-like styling, traditional controls and excellent image quality the Fuji X-T1 is one of our favourites. We’re not alone in this, as it’s also proved very popular with enthusiasts and professional photographers looking for a smaller (and funkier) alternative to an SLR.
Now we have the Fuji X-T10, a slightly more compact mini-me of the X-T1 that uses the same APS-C format 16Mp X Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor, also found in the Fuji X-E2 and Fuji X100T. This sensor also houses phase-detection autofocusing points that makeup part of the camera’s hybrid AF system, which Fuji claims have a focus time of just 0.06 seconds.
Fujifilm X-T10 Price
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Being a little smaller and more affordable than the X-T1, the X-T10 naturally makes a few compromises. One of these is with the electronic viewfinder (EVF), so although the X-T10’s viewfinder has the same 2.36-million dot resolution as the X-T1’s, it’s the smaller (0.39-inch) device that’s found in the Fuji X-E2, with 0.62x magnification rather than 0.77x. The smaller size of this EVF means it’s not possible to see a dual image, with a magnified view alongside the full image, as it is with the X-T1. However, like the X-T1’s EVF, the X-T10’s has a lag time of just 0.005 seconds, rather than the 0.05 seconds of the others.
Unlike the X-E2 and X-T1, however, the 3-inch screen on the back of the X-T10 has 920,000 dots where the older cameras’ screens have 1,040,000. As on the X-T1, though, the X-T10’s screen is mounted on a tilting bracket to make it easier to see when shooting landscape images above or below head height.
One area where Fuji hasn’t compromised, however, is with the X-T10’s autofocus system, as it includes the updates that were recently announced for the X-T1. In single AF (AF-S) mode there are three options for setting the focus point: Single, Zone and Wide; and in continuous AF (C-AF) setting you can find Single, Area and Wide/Tracking options. In Wide/Tracking mode the camera selects the autofocus point automatically and in Continuous AF mode, it then tracks the subject around the frame, switching AF stage and adjusting concentrate distance since it moves.
Other specification highlights of the X-T10 include a pop-up flash in addition to a hotshoe; a native sensitivity range of ISO 200-6400 with JPEG-only expansion settings taking this to ISO 100-51,200; a UHS-I SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot (the X-T1 has a UHS-II slot); a maximum continuous shooting rate of 8fps for eight pictures; Wi-Fi connectivity; and the same electronic shutter as in the X100T and X-T1, giving shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 sec. To help less experienced photographers, there’s also a fully automatic setting.
Build and Handling
While it doesn’t have the weather-resistant build of the X-T1, like other X-series CSCs the X-T10 is still very nicely put together with a pleasantly solid, die-cast magnesium alloy construction. It looks and feels like a high-quality piece of kit and a proper member of the X-series family.
From the front and rear, the X-T10 doesn’t look much smaller than the X-T1. From above, however, it’s clear that the new camera is quite a bit slimmer. Fuji lists the X-T10’s dimensions as 118.4 x 82.8 x 40.8mm, or 4.7 x 3.3 x 1.6 inches, with a minimum depth of 31.9mm or 1.3 inches, whereas the X-T1 measurements are given as 129.0 x 89.8 x 46.7mm, or 5.0 x 3.5 x 1.8 inches, and the very least depth of 33.4mm or 1.3 inches. The X-T10 also weighs 331g/11.7oz (body only), while the X-T1 is 390g /13.7oz.
The front and rear grips are also less pronounced, but thanks in part to their super-grippy covering, they still work very well and the camera feels safe and comfortable in your hand. I carried it by the grip for a couple of hours or so with the Fujinon XF50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens mounted and it felt secure if a little front-heavy.
Like the X-T1, the X-T10 has traditional exposure controls, but there aren’t as many dials on the top of the brand new camera. On the right, there’s the publicity compensation dial with settings running from -2 to +2EV, the power switch surrounding the shutter release and the shutter speed dial with configurations running from 1 to 1/4000 sec plus Bulb, Time and Automatic.
Over on the left of the top-plate, where the X-T1 has a dial to set sensitivity, is a drive mode dial. In addition to providing a means of setting the camera to Single, Continuous Low (velocity) and Continuous High (speed) shooting (up to eight frames per second) this has options for accessing the bracketing, Advanced Filter (there are two settings for this), Multiple direct exposure and Panorama modes. There are two bracketing options, one for exposure bracketing and another for Film Simulation bracketing, enabling you to produce a sequence of three images with different exposures or various Film Simulation settings.
Fuji’s Quick menu system is very good, and it’s possible to customise it on the X-T10 with 27 different options being available to be assigned to any of the scene locations. It’s nice to be able to exclude features that you don’t use in preference for those that you do.
The X-T10 has the same X Trans CMOS II sensor and processing engine as the Fuji X-T1, so the quality of the images from the new camera doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It’s capable of capturing an impressive level of detail, especially for a 16Mp camera. That’s thanks in part to the sensor design, which doesn’t require an anti-aliasing filter to avoid moire interference.
Noise is also controlled well throughout the native sensitivity range, and even at the maximum setting (ISO 6,400) images retain a high level of detail. JPEG files recorded at this setting have an even texture of luminance noise visible at 100%, but they still look good and there’s enough detail present to produce nice A3 (11.7 x 16.6inch) prints. As usual, raw files have some chroma sound, but this can be controlled easily, enabling you to find a good balance between noise and detail.
The JPEGs captured at the lowest expansion setting, ISO 12,800, are pretty good, and also ISO 25,600 produces reasonable results, but I would avoid using the utmost environment unless it’s vital to get an image, as there’s noticeable softening at normal viewing or printing sizes.
Like the X-T1, the X-T10 produces very attractive images in a wide range of situations. Fuji is widely respected for its colour reproduction, and the Film Simulation modes are very popular. My favourite is Classic Chrome, which produces quite muted colours with a warm tone, but the standard option, Provia will be a good all-rounder, while Velvia is great for creating pictures with more saturation. This is backed up by an auto white balance system that performs well in most natural lighting situations, although images shot in really overcast or shaded conditions can look a little cool.
A key criticism of previous X-series compact system cameras has been the autofocus performance with moving subjects. The autofocus program improvements brought by the X-T10, and being rolled out to the X-T1 with a firmware upgrade, are designed to address the issue – and there’s a vast improvement. In Continuous Autofocus mode, it’s now possible to select points or zones around the frame and the camera will track the subject within the zone or around the framework. The greatest flexibility comes when shooting in Single-shot or Constant Low setting, but even in Continuous High mode, it’s possible to choose between nine individual factors or, as outlined in Build and Handling, move the area across 15 points.
In Continuous Wide/Tracking mode the AF does a reasonable job of locking onto a moving subject and tracking it around the frame, but busy surroundings can be a distraction, so Zone AF or Single point mode is often a better option. Provided the active zone or single point is kept over the subject the camera does a good job, delivering sharp images on most occasions even yet in subdued light. I found I was able to get consistently razor-sharp images of cyclists competing in a triathlon on a bright sunny day, and of skateboarders on an overcast day in a covered area.
It would be nice if the focusing factors could extend a little further out from the centre of the body when shooting at the X-T10’s maximum rate (8fps), but it’s not a major issue in many situations.
In Single AF mode the X-T10 snaps the topic quickly into sharp focus. It’s also helpful that, as in the new Fuji X-A2, the brand new Auto Macro function automatically activates Macro mode when close subjects are detected, so there’s no need for a macro button.
Like other Fuji X-series compact system cameras, the X-T10 tends to produce JPEG images with quite high mid-tone contrast. This makes the pictures look sharp, vibrant and film-like, but their dynamic range isn’t especially high. The general purpose Multi-area metering system is also a little prone to producing quite bright images, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the histogram to make sure brighter areas aren’t lost. Some highlight detail is usually recoverable from raw files, but you still need to take care.
Check Out: Best Fujifilm X-T1 Lenses
The X-T10 is a great camera for those wanting to get more serious about their photography, but it’s also a good choice for more experienced photographers and those looking for a backup to their X-T1. Although it is a compromise on the X-T1, it doesn’t feel like much of one, and it produces the same high-quality images. In addition, the autofocus system has taken a big step forward, making it much easier to shoot moving subjects.