Fujifilm X-T10: New in Excellence

 

 

The Fujifilm X-T10 is the newest iteration of Fujifilm’s celebrated X series. Natasha Desai investigates how good the younger sibling of the X-T10 is.

When I got my hands on the X-T10, I was excited. Fujifilm’s legendary filmlike feel coupled with one of the best analogesque functionality available is always a pleasing photographic experience. The successor to the much appreciated X-T1, the X-T10 is a nod to simpler times in photography while keeping the convenience of digital photography intact.

Features

The X-T10 while being less expensive than its elder sibling comes with a few interesting differences. It retains the X-T1’s viscera of a 16MP X-Trans CMOS II APS-C sensor with an EXR Processor II in a magnesium alloy body. Unlike the X-T1, the X-T10 is not weathersealed. On the other hand, it features Fujifilm’s new zone autofocus system and for the first time offers subject tracking. It has a built in pop up flash and a hot shoe, while the X-T1 had the latter and a bundled flash. The 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder comes with a 0.62x magnification as opposed to the 0.77x offered by the X-T1. Another area of difference is the X-T10’s LCD, which is 9,20,000 dots unlike the X-T1’s 10,40,000 dots. This camera too, does not have touchscreen. The X-T10 comes with seven programmable function buttons, while the X-T1 came with six.

Differences aside, the X-T10 offers digital split image and focus highlight peaking, Full HD video recording and includes WiFi connectivity with the ability to shoot remotely via a handheld device. Its ISO ranges from 100–6400, expandable to 51,200 but in JPEG only. The X-T10 includes Fujifilm’s much appreciated film simulation modes. We tested the X-T10 with the Fujinon 18–55mm f/2.8-4 lens.

Straight out of the camera JPEGs are a delight to work with. I hardly made any tweaks to the image. Exposure: 1/1000sec at f/5 (ISO 800) . Photograph/ Natasha Desai

Handling

What is unique about the X-T10 is the ‘T’ or Time mode that allows you to completely override the shutterspeed dial with the command dial, effectively making it like an operation similar to non-analoguesque cameras. For users who are used to modern controls over the analogue dials of X-T10, this is a very handy option.

The front command dial can be used to change shutterspeed or aperture depending on the mode you’re in and additionally clicks inwards for several more customisable options. The back dial also controls shutterspeed or aperture and allows you to check your focus, which is handy when using Manual focus. Unlike the X-T1, there is no dedicated dial for ISO. The shutterspeed dial has a lever that allows the camera to go into full Auto mode.

I found the the X-T10, light enough to use when travelling and ideal for street use, as its not very obtrusive. The tilting LCD functions really well, even in bright light. While the camera is slightly lighter than the X-T1 and not as chunky, it has not compromised on grip or sturdiness. With the 18-55mm kit lens, it does become quite a bulky number, but, it fits quite comfortably in any regular bag.

The analog controls of the camera are excellent when it comes to responsiveness. With all the dials and customisation afforded by the X-T10, I had an immense amount of creative control over each scene. I personally enjoy the film simulation bracketing that allows customisisation. The in-camera RAW editing option is another one of my favourites too.

Even in the dim lighting inside the train compartment and at a high ISO, the X-T10 was able to capture an excellent amount of details in its JPEG. Exposure: 1/60sec at f/5.6 (ISO 6400). Photographs/ Natasha Desai

Performance

Fuji’s much-loved film simulations have a new addition to the menu, The Classic Chrome, which gave the images a slightly desaturated moody feel. The colours produced by Standard Provia were the most pleasing to me. The camera’s JPEG engine fares very well, although details do become very slightly smudgy in low light. RAW files had plenty of retrievable details in highlights and shadows. There is no visible purple fringing and flare is kept at a minimum. ISO performance is great too, even at high ISOs, although it is limited to 6400 in RAW.

Fuji’s inclusion of the subject tracking system is interesting as it was previously unavailable. It is, however, sluggish and tends to get confused. Its overall autofocus, on the other hand, is accurate and acquired quite easily. The EVF’s eye sensor is one of the better ones around, with no random shifting to EVF when in LCD mode but only when actually brought to eye level. The lack of a touchscreen was not a hindrance to me, as the command dials are superbly responsive. But, for someone used to touchscreens it could be a function that they would miss.

The camera would often get confused and not be able to focus on subjects like these that were moving. Exposure: 1/60sec at f/5.6 (ISO 320). Photograph/ Natasha Desai

The camera would often get confused and not be able to focus on subjects like these that were moving. Exposure: 1/60sec at f/5.6 (ISO 320). Photograph/ Natasha Desai

Conclusion

This camera is definitely not for everyone. It is more for the kind of user who knows what they want to shoot and appreciates the amount of control that the camera allows. The EVF resolution while not as much as its predecessor is still excellent at 0.62x. Battery life too, is amongst one of the better ones. It offers excellent image quality with pleasing results, and class-leading low light performance. It is not, however, featured packed and its video functionality lags far behind its competitors. The 16MP resolution may also be a problem for some. If you’re looking for a camera that does both video and stills then the new Sony a6300 would be your best bet.

Sadly, what is keeping me from being entirely happy with the X-T10 is the Indian pricing for it, which for the body only is at Rs. 74,999 and with the 18–55mm kit lens is Rs. 1,02,999. Compared to the global pricing of USD 800 the Indian consumer is looking at a significant price difference of Rs. 20,000, which does not seem too competitive for Indian markets.

If none of that is of concern to you, and your primary aim is a camera that is a pleasure to shoot with, the X-T10 is a great buy. It is less expensive than the X-T1 and one of those rare iterations of a premium camera that has kept most of the good stuff intact while bringing a significant reduction in price.

FINAL RATINGS
Features
16MP, film simulations, manual controls, tilting LCD, no touchscreen, EVF
16/20
Performance
Great colours, slow subject tracking, good battery life, poor video
32/35
Build Quality
Magnesium alloy body, sturdy, no weather sealing
22/25
Ergonomics
Manual control dials and customisable buttons
14/15
Warranty & Support
Two year warranty, limited service network        
3/5
MRP Rs. 74,999 (body only), Rs. 1,02,999 (with 18–55mm)
OVERALL 87%
VALUE FOR MONEY 2/5
Who should buy it? Travel, street photography lovers who want an unobtrusive, stills camera that gives them a lot
of control over their settings.
Why? It has premium innards in a sturdy body for a much
lesser price point.

 

Tags: april 2016, Camera review, Fujifi lm X-T10, Fujifilm, mirrorless camera, natasha desai, x series