Once again, Fujifilm has brought us back to the analog days with its retro-looking X-series. The new X10 is a less full-featured version of the X100 (which while impressive, bordered on overwhelming). The new iteration is far more consumer-friendly — both in terms of price and handling. Of course, that means it’s also a step backward, with some downgraded specs. But with the similar superior image quality and extensive focus on manual shooting, the X10 finds a better balance than its predecessor.
Features and design
Like the Fujifilm Finepix X100, the X10 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to style and design. It has the vintage look of its predecessor without quite as much bulk, making it a far friendlier fit in your hands. Still, this is by no means you’re average point-and-shoot (which should be obvious from the get-go): Its magnesium alloy and aluminum body make it much heavier than pretty much anything in this category. That said, we found the X10 much easier to carry and cart around than the X100.
This means the backside of the X10 is somewhat more crowded than the X100, but that’s a sacrifice we’re more than willing to make, and isn’t noticeable until compared side by side. While part of that is the camera’s smaller size, it’s also in thanks to an added thumb grip on the back panel.
The dial and button system are set up similar to the X100. You have your display and dedicated RAW controls on the back, as well as your standard control mode dial to navigate in-camera settings. Two features showcase the major deviations between the two cameras: The X10 does not include the X100’s groundbreaking hybrid viewfinder and but does have a manual pop-up flash, which the first generation camera did not.
The rest of the controls are to be expected: shutter, mode dial, function button, exposure dial, and hot shoe. Nearly every button and control is on the back of the camera, leaving the front to be its eye-catching self.
One mind-boggling feature we originally hated and then found really fun is the power switch. The camera powers on and off via the lens, which powers on when you turn it one stop past the 28mm mark.
But back to the pure aesthetics of the X10. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more beautiful cameras than Fujifilm’s X-series, and personally we like the X10’s black-on-black body better than the X100.
One feature that may have propelled the X10 into all new territory for the series would have been a 3-inch display. That size has become the new standard for digital cameras, but the X10 opts for a 2.8-inch display. There are brighter, bigger LCD displays on the market, but it’s relatively unnoticeable until you break out a competitor camera to compare.
Fujifilm doesn’t go out of its way to pack the X10 with fun editing or filter features. There’s a panorama setting, red-eye removal, and some tone editors, but the camera isn’t about novelties and we’re glad there aren’t a bevy of Instagram-like options built-in.
What’s in the box
In addition to the camera, you get the lithium-ion battery, its charger, the shoulder strap, lens cap, USB cable, CD-ROM, and owner’s manual.