Digital Cameras Guide

Fujifilm X10 review

Fujifilm X10 - A Compact with Character

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Overall rating 8.5/10
Excellent clarity & low-noise images
Beautiful design & build quality
Fast & bright f/2-2.8 lens
Slow & inaccurate auto-focus
Image distortion at wide focal lengths
Low battery life
'White orb' artifact in some images
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Most Innovative Product

Image Performance I - One Bright Lens

Image Performance I - One Bright Lens

The Fujifilm X10 currently has the largest sensor among compact cameras, larger than its closest rival the Canon PowerShot S100 (see chart below). Generally speaking, the larger the sensor size, the better the image quality, and in this regard the X10 certainly doesn't disappoint.

You'll certainly enjoy the images you get out of the X10, especially with its bright f/2 (W)-f/2.8(T) lens, which will give you the beautiful background blur you usually won't get with compact cameras. Most compact cameras today will offer at least 5x optical zoom though, so you might find the X10's 4x optical zoom wanting. But to put that into perspective, most entry-level DSLR cameras come with an 18-55mm kit lens, which is roughly 27-80mm in 35mm equivalent. The X10's focal length is the 35mm equivalent of 28-112mm, so it actually gets you a further zoom than the kit lens.

Compact Cameras with Wide Apertures
  Fujifilm X10 Canon S100 Olympus XZ-1 Samsung EX-1
Optical Zoom 4x 5x 4x 3x
Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 28-112mm 24-120mm 28-112mm 24-72mm
Aperture f/2(W)-f/2.8(T) f/2(W)- f/5.9(T) f/1.8(W)-f/2.5(T) f/1.8(W)-f/2.4(T)


Shooting with the X10's Bright Lens

The Fujifilm X10 comes with a 'bright' or 'fast' lens, which refers to its wide aperture. A wide aperture simply means that the camera lens can be opened wide. It's often called a bright or fast lens because the wider a lens can open, the more light it can capture. Thus it can shoot at a faster shutter speed, needing less time to capture the same scene, as compared to a camera with a smaller aperture opening, which needs to leave the shutter open for longer because it lets less light in.

It means that you'll get a better chance of getting a steady shot in low light as compared to cameras with slower lenses, as you'll reduce the chance of camera shake from holding the camera for too long. It also means that you'll get a pleasing background blur effect when you shoot at the widest aperture settings (the lower the number, the wider the aperture, i.e. f/2 is wider than f/8).

The X10's background blur won't compare to the background blur you'll get from a full-frame DSLR camera, but it's pleasing nonetheless, and a great option to have with a compact camera. See for yourself.