The Fujifilm X-T10 Review – A small powerhouse

It’s May 2015, and today the world has seen the launch of yet another great X-series camera from FUJIFILM. The X-T10 is the newest addition to the “T” series, which started with the introduction of the X-T1. With its smaller physical footprint it might not seem like much, but don’t let the size fool you. Beneath the modest exterior there is a full spec professional X-series camera.

Thanks to FUJIFILM and its Nordic division, I was able to test out a pre-production sample camera, and really put it through its paces.

DISCLAIMER: The camera tested is a pre-production sample. Changes to firmware and specifications might still occur in the production model. Image quality might not be final either. All sample images from the X-T10 are resized to 2048px at the widest.

Aimed at the young creative students, the serious hobbyists, and as a professionals “carry-round” the X-T10 screams diversity of usage. Everything from the build to the new firmware with its brand new autofocus system just begs to be used in a multitude of situations.

I tried to take this into account when testing the camera. I placed myself in situations that would challenge the autofocus system as much as I could within the timeframe. I  really tried to treat this camera as my “carry-everyday-everywhere” camera. Meaning that I would shoot any kind of task with it. I took it out on the streets, brought it to work, at dinner, at planned shoots, used it for documentary work, took family snapshots, and yes, I even had it on my nightstand!

There are a lot of new things to this camera, so this review might end up a little longer than usual. I will be covering the design aspects, the technical aspects as well as posting a lot of sample shots. At the time of taking the photographs there was no RAW file support, so all images within this review are jpegs.

I will note metadata where relevant, but you can always download the image files and the full metadata are embedded in there. You can click all the images in this review for a larger version.

Features


 Specs

The X-T10 uses the same X-Trans II APS-C sensor and EXR II Processor as we know from the X-T1. It has Mechanical shutter up to 1/4000s and Electronic shutter up to 1/32000s

The EVF is a 2.36 Million dots OLED with a 0.62x magnification. (a bit smaller than the 0.77x of the X-T1). It has the same lag-free superfast refreshrate of 0.005 sec which makes it among, if not THE, best viewfinder available today. The display is a 920K dot tilting LCD.

It uses the UHS-I standard of SD cards, as well as the NP-W126 battery. It also has built in Wi-Fi like all newer X-series cameras, and can be remote controlled using the remote control app.

New Autofocus System

FUJIFILM announced a big firmware update for the X-T1 on may 11th. Available in june, this new firmware adds an entirely new Auto Focus system. The same firmware is already on the X-T10 from date of launch, and will of course dictate most of the features of the camera that I will talk about here.

The new autofocus system has 3 modes of focus.

  • Single Point Focus Mode
  • Zone Focus Mode
  • Wide/Tracking Mode

The Single point focus is basically the same as before. You select from the focus points, and your focus will be within that point. You can make this point bigger or smaller as you see fit. Only the center portion of the frame uses the faster Phase Detection AF, where as the outer areas of the frame use the slower Contrast detect AF. The new thing in the Single Point AF mode is that FUJIFILM now divides the focus point into 9 subareas. The camera now further analyses the focus point as to better determine the correct plane of focus. This makes it incredibly accurate!

Screen Shot 2015-05-10 at 09.44.49

The Zone focus mode lets you select a bigger area of the frame, and within this selection the X-T10 will analyse movement and select appropriate focus. This is especially great for photographing children or even doing fast paced street photography where movement isn’t continuing along a set pattern, but is often completely random. As long as movement is within “The Zone” it will be in focus.

Taken using CH mode with continuous AF in Zone Focus Mode. Classic Chrome jpeg simulation, slightly saturated in post. (click for full-size)

The Wide Tracking mode uses the entire frame. You place your focus point selection over your subject, and half press the shutter. It will then follow the subject across the entire frame. This is especially great for for fast paced cross-frame sports like motorsports, mountain biking, Horse Track sports or gymnastics.

Taken using CH mode with continuous AF with Wide/Tracking. Classic Chrome jpeg simulation. (click for full-size)

The modes all work in both Single shoot AF or as Continuous AF with either 8 fps or 3 fps. These high speed modes are easily chosen on the top plate dial to the left of the EVF.

Taken using CH mode with continuous AF with Wide/Tracking. Classic Chrome jpeg simulation. (click for full-size)

These 3 focus modes in combination makes the X-T10 a camera that just performs amazingly well in all situations imaginable. It really adds to the versatillity of the camera.

Eye Tracking

For portrait photography the new face detection/eye tracking focussystem will actually find the face within your frame, and analyse the eyes. It will set focus to the eye (you choose left or right eye) and it will follow this eye when locked on. This is great for jittery models, or again, for child portrait photography. This mode works incredibly well even with the narrow DOF from the XF56mm f/1.2.

Taken using single point focus mode w/eye-detection feature. (click for full-size)

Lowlight performance

The light sensitivity of the phase detection has been boosted by an incredible 5x. Previously the sensitivity threshold was at 2.5EV. where now its only 0.5EV. Let me tell you right away, this makes a HUGE difference in focussing ability. In lowlight situations you have NO focus hunting anymore. The same is true for backlight situations where the lack of contrast could be very tricky. This now presents no focussing issue what so ever!

Auto Macro

The X-T10 now automatically switches into near focus mode whenever you are at the near-focus-limit of your chosen lens. No more pushing the macro button. This is now completely fluent. And the change from far- to close-focus is not even noticeable. Its perfectly seamless.

X-T10 - XF16mm - f/1.4 - 1/180
X-T10 – XF16mm – f/1.4 – 1/180 – Velvia Simulation. Single point AF at closest focus distance (click for full size)

SR+

Sr+ is the full auto mode of the X-T10. Its a complete “set-it-and-forget-it” mode that will let the average user take pictures no matter the situation. Although I’m not the core target user for this feature, I do have a wife that finds these auto modes incredibly useful. The SR+ mode is easily selected by flipping the lever on the top right to “auto”

SR+ will analyse the scene and it will apply any of the focus modes, eye detection, backlight detection etc etc to give you an automatically optimal rendering of the scene.

Design


 The X-T10 features a brand new design, while keeping it in line with the X-T1. The overall appearance is much more to the point. There are not many superflouos things on the camera. FUJIFILM made the lines of the X-T10 more pronounced, and threw away some of the beefier, softer curves of the X-T1. The result is a slimmer, and cleaner looking design.

The body is made from a magnesium alloy, and comes in either a silver or black painted version. The silver isn’t the Graphite Silver of the X-T1, but more akin the X-E1/X-E2 or X100 series. The design clearly takes cues from the old 70’s/80’s SLR cameras from Pentax, Praktika, and of course Fujica. With the X-T10 I really find a stark resemblance to the Fujica ST801. But the overall design is actually a mix of several of these old design icons.

The top plate still have 3 dials like the X-T1, but FUJIFILM decided to replace the ISO dial with the mode-dial. It retains the familiar shutter speed dial, as well as the exposure compensation dial. Beneath the mode and shutter dials there are 2 levers. The right hand side lever activates the pop-up flash which is actually completely hidden within the EVF hump. The left hand side lever switches between full auto SR+ mode and manual mode.

The pop-up flash is completely hidden
The pop-up flash is completely hidden

On the front there is a scroll wheel as well as on the back. Both of these, in addiction to scrolling, can be pressed and assigned as a function button. The movie button can now be assigned as a Fn button as well. 

The size has been slimmed down to an incredibly small footprint, measuring only 118.4 x 82.8 x 40.8mm, thats a mere 400mm³ (73% of X-T1). The weight is also reduced to only 381g (86% of X-T1).

The small size makes the X-T10 an ideal camera for use with the smaller primes eg. the XF18mm f/2R, XF27mm f/2.8, XF35mm f/1.4R. I mainly used the 35mm on mine during the test period. For the street photographer the upcoming XF35mm f/2 will be a really great addition to this compact body.

Usage


 The camera is a fantastic experience to use. It is fast, responsive and handling is superb even though it isn’t equipped with a huge grip. It rests comfortably in my hands, and I had no problems ensuring a firm grip.

I really feel that FUJIFILM made this camera for the masses. This is an incredibly versatile system that delivers amazing looking images. You can use it in full auto, or you can geek out and use full manual controls. It’s all up to the individual end user. It will fit right in with creative minded people who demands flexibillity and quality in their creative tools.

As a semi-professional, I simply used this camera as my constat carry around. For street photography it is so small and inconspicuous that it hardly turns an eye (that is, unless you buy the silver version which will get a great deal of attention from curious people who adores the retro 70’s SLR look)

The superfast zone focus system makes it perfect for capturing those fleeing rapid street movements and the Eye-tracking makes it great for portrait sessions.

Image Quality is as you’d expect from the FUJIFILM X-Trans sensor. It delivers the most amazing jpegs, and you get to chose between the many film-simulations that FUJIFILM includes in their cameras. I have not had a chance to test the RAW files yet, but they should behave just like all other X-Trans II RAW files. Incredible versatillity, dynamic range and with low-noise levels.

Samples


 These samples will clearly reflect the diverse nature of my testing. I have tried to include sample shots of a lot of different situations. I did regular street photography sessions, I did a documentary from a glassmakers factory, I did a natural light model shoot with the lovely Julie, and took it to the track. I did not, however, bring the X-T10 into a studio environment with artificial lighting.

All files are jpegs which I have run through Lightroom and added slight contrast and tone curves to give them my desired look. The black and white files where taken as black and whites in camera using the B&W+Yellow with +2 shadows and +2highlights for harsh contrast. I lifted the shadows in post where I saw fit.


On the streets

X-T10 with XF16mm – XF27mm – XF35mm – XF56mm


 Glass

X-T10 with XF16mm f/1.4 & XF35mm f/1.4


 Snapshots

X-T10 with lenses and life


Conclusion

The X-T10 is a fantastic camera that takes your breath away with everything from looks to performance. It’s an incredibly high performing camera in a very discretely sized package. It begs to be used and to be taken everywhere. This truly is a creative photographers camera. Fujifilm has again managed to create an astounding piece of photographic equipment that I’m sure many will love.

jr050680

92 thoughts on “The Fujifilm X-T10 Review – A small powerhouse

  1. Great and thorough review Jonas, and lots of good images as usual! Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,
    Eivind

  2. Great review as usual, I really look forward to the firmware update for the X-T1
    Thanks for sharing!

    /P

  3. Great review and pictures Jonas! It really looks like a cute little thing. Much better in real life than on any pictures, I presume (the Apple syndrome)? By the way, which strap is that visible in the first three pictures ? Looks really sleek…

  4. Another question I forgot…..did you find the old lenses like the 35 benefitted from the new AF tracking modes/speed/accuracy or do these new features only “kick in” with the newer lenses such as the 16-55 and 50-140 etc?

    1. Hi Jan. The strap is from deadcameras.com. Its the “slim-strap” 125cm 🙂

      What I found is that that it was actually the 35mm that benefitted the most from the firmware. It it now VERY precise. No hunting in dark situations, and the focus is much much faster. With the 16 and 23 mm it was instant, but those two already focussed quite fast on my XT1 with firmware 3.0.

      Thank you for reading.

      1. Wow! That was definitively interesting information. Especially for someone pondering about buying a 35….:)

  5. It is sad to see the design lines of this camera. It looks designed by a machine, not human. It looks Olympuesque. If Fuji are abandoning the current design langage it is sad.

    Otherwise I don’t doubt about the IQ of the new t10.

    1. Hmmm….I beg to differ, Emil. If it looked anything like Olympus’ cameras, it would be angular and cubistic/futuristic/Transformers-like in expression, not rounded and classic/nostalgic. After getting used to it, I really like it. It is like they cleaned up the X-T1, which is far from perfect, although everybody (myself included) seemed to love it when it was released. Looking at it again in light of the “evolutionary” X-T10, the X-T1 looks more like a camera that hasn’t really decided how retro it wants to be (“Let’s see how many dials we can throw in!”). The X-T10 is more confident in its shell. Then again I liked what they did to the X30 too (oops, I guess that is not politically correct). Ergonomically, I can see that the X-T10 is vastly improved. A lot of the things have been tweaked for the better, such as removing weird “half dials” on the X-T1 that always seem to turn to panoramic mode or CH/CL when they are not supposed to. And don’t get me started on the front function button, that is just awkward (unless you have six fingers). I would kill to have a “click” on my X-T1’s rear dial! Too many tiny buttons to choose between on the rear ! Sugru or not, they are still too tiny. So, go Fuji, I say, you are on the right track. I expect the X-T2 and the X-Pro2 to refine this design further (and the complaints will be loud and angry, I predict). Retro for retro’s sake leads us nowhere, when form follows function and still can evoke some of that nostalgia and romanticism, then we’re talking…

      1. Exactly, keep the baby in the bathwater but no need for a tin bath. All I’d ask for is for a 5:4 ratio option and weather sealing. A great price too. Well done Fuji.

  6. well what I can see is little camera without any option like Canon,Nikon Sony,Pentax etc….. with 4 options to shoot like , I THINK is JUST FOR BEGINNERS JUST WORKS IN AUTOMATIC
    you know the standard THIS CAMERA DOESN’T HAVE THE OPTIONS BELOW
    TV SHUTTER SPEED
    AV APERTURE
    P PROGRAM
    M manual
    ALL THESE FUNCTIONS doesn’t have this camera so is only for beginners JUST ONE OPTION AUTOMATIC

    1. Hum this little boy seem to have those mode while using combination of the front wheel and the speed selector, there is also a full automatic mode using the selector, look at the picture below

    2. The Fuji’s have all the PASM modes you get on a Canon/Nikon/Pentax. You select them using the manual dials. For example, shutter and aperture on A equals Program (P). Shutter on A, manually select aperture equals Aperture Priority (AV). Aperture on A, manually select shutter equals Shutter Priority (TV). Manually select aperture and shutter equals Manual (M).
      Easy!

  7. Regarding the eye focusing…is there an option for focusing on the eye that is most near to the camera, rather than having to select the left or right eye?

      1. Ok, thanks, Any type of eye detect focusing is better than nothing, but I was hoping it would be similar to the E-M1’s eye focusing where you can select left or right or better yet, the nearest eye.

        1. You can select left or right, but there is no nearest-eye select. It will however analyze and choose the most prominent eye. At least thats what this pre-production model did.

    1. Hi Scott. Those two cameras are totally different beasts. But you can eventually break it down into two things. Do you need an optical viewfinder, or do you need the abillity to change lenses 🙂

  8. IMO, this is the BEST looking SLR like camera to date! Very minimalistic with clear lines; form meets function the best way possible. Unfortunately, jumping into the FUJI system is a very expensive trek that I cannot afford. I wish FUJI could introduce a 50% off of all their gear.

    1. Indeed, it does resemble the ST 801. I still have (and occasionally use) an old Fujica ST 701 – my first ‘real’ camera. Not sure I’ll be getting the T10, though as I don’t care for a ‘retro pentaprism’ that flicks up as a flash – a bit like a repro-gun that is actually a lighter. But Fuji is to be commended on offering such a great range of equipment to a wide spectrum of photographers.
      Great photographs, as always, Jonas!

  9. Excellent Review. What strap are you using with the Xt10? where can I purchase? I’m definitely getting this camera

  10. I would like to ask, if there is some aspects in which is x-t1 better? It seems to me that picture quality is same…

    1. Hi Radek
      The X-T1 has a weather sealed body, the viewfinder is even bigger (magnification), a flash sync port, no integrated flash and the placement of some dials is different, e.g. ISO-wheel on the left side (which does not exist on the X-T10). There are some other minor differences but these are in my opinion not important. Picture quality is indeed the same. The question is not really what is better but what is more important to you (size, splash-proof body, bigger view-finder, price!). I have a X-T10 because I don’t see the point of a weather sealed body for my use (especially if the lens isn’t), the camera is great and the price difference is quite substancial.

  11. Great review! I’m still torn between this one and the xt1. Have you tested the cameras doing nighttime shots? I’m curious how it performs capturing stars…
    Thanks!

  12. I love your review! Good thing this came out in the market. I can’t afford an XT1 since it’s too pricey 😦
    Btw I love your photos, what software did you use for editing them? Thanks! MOre Power!

  13. Thanks this review has helped me make the decision to leave my heavy DSLR aside and choose the X-T10 as my first mirrorless camera. Excellent review

  14. First of all congratulaions on the blog, reviews and photos, they are amazing and very helpfull indeed! I am going to purchase my very first fuji next week and still cannot decide beetween the xt1 or the xt-10. I will use it for work, along with my Nikon D700, and if all goes well I will gradually sell my Nikon gear (I love it but have a back and wrist problem) and use all fuji. My work consists of coorporate events, congresses, interviews and an ocasional wedding. I know they are basicly the same camera so does it make sense to spend more for weather resistence and a bigger evf and buffer? Thanks you so much!

  15. Superbe test, j’ai investi dans le X-T10 pour une pratique de débutant/confirmé, il ne me restait plus qu’à choisir un objectif, ce sera le xf 35 mm grâce à cette review

  16. Hi,

    Thanks for the detailed review. I’m curious to know how you would compare this to Sony A6000 or any of the similarly priced mirrorless cameras. Also, in terms of lens selection, do you recommend anything else in the same price point? What I want is at least one versatile lens — the kit lens seems to be able to do the job — and a good portrait lens — something that’ll mimic 85mm 1.8 look of a Canon lens.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    1. I think that Sony a6000 has a better af funktion, better filmfunktion. Fujis lenses are made in metal and are better and more expansive than Sonys .plasic lenses but the Sony primes have ois Fuji not. Fuji has a better EVF! Fuji is more designed and in metal, Sony is not in metal! So you will see that there are many pros and cons for both of them! I forgotten…They has different sensors with more(Sony) and less (Fuji) pixels.

  17. Thanks jonas.

    Very nice commentary on XT10. Very useful tips. But can you pls tell me how to activate antishake or stabliser feature in this camera?

  18. Amazing review and gorgeous camera! I WANT IT SO BAD!!! I have been a Canon user for years but I feel like they are lacking technology and innovation here. This looks like a 70s old style camera and boy is it attractive! I think if I get it I would be getting a great deal for the price, size and function!

    1. The camera is very god in that pricepoint. but is not the best camera on the market! It has no IS and thats bad! It has a bad filmfunktion compared with Sony, Lumix, Olympus. The sensor and processor is in some way not up to date anymore and the lenses can be very expansive if you want sheaper optics from Olympus and Lumix 4/3 symtem!

  19. Thank you so much for the great review on Fuji xt-10. I just purchased this camera for a trip to India. I don’t want to take my heavy Nikon DSLR. The photos you took have made me excited about this camera.

  20. Hi! I was wondering if you can give me a suggestion on which is better? the XT-1 or XT-10?
    I’m not really into photography but I would like to try/explore if I have the talent/skill. :p Thanks.

  21. Hello Jonas,
    I love your images and reviews. You have convinced me to try out the Fuji system.
    I am already planning to get the XT10 at the end of this month since I would be traveling the next.
    Not sure if you would reply to this but I have a question.
    I am going to get an MCEX-16, would you recommend I get the 18mm F/2 or 27mm F/2.8?
    I am going for the pancake lenses cause I don’t want my gears to be too bulky when I travel.

    If you ever do reply to this, I thank you in advance!

  22. Hi! Is the 18-55 kit perfectly okay for someone who just love taking photos, like me? I normally capture random streetscape, my pet cat, and random sunset in the balcony. Thanks!

  23. Hi Jonas,

    tnx for the very useful review.

    I’m currently looking for a second body (next to a xt1) to work with at weddings. As the xpro2 is above budget, I was looking at the xt10. I can purchase it (new) at nearly the same price as a second hand xt1. What would you suggest?

  24. Great review thank you! What lens would you suggest as the most versatile? I like the features of shooting in lowlight & shooting moving subjects.

  25. Really well written rewiev. I can’t say enough about the durability of this little camera. I was rock climbing today and dropped the camera about 40ft. It took the main impact on the lens hood. Besides some scratches on the body and a slightly bent lens hood the camera still works perfectly. Always use your lens hood people.

  26. I am just looking at purchasing an upgrade to my old Sony Nex 3N and was looking at the xT10 vs Olympus OMD EM5 Mark II….can you comment on these two cameras. I am an amateur who shoots family, street, everyday happenings, travel. Thank you so much in advance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s