It’s fairly common practice for the major brands to follow-up a successful launch of a high-end camera with a slightly stripped down and more affordable alternative. Often these versions will utilize many of the same components, include their newest features, and loosely resemble the original’s outer shell. The popularity of these models is due to their affordability — making them particularly attractive to hobbyists and beginners who want the experience of using a top-of-the-range camera, without the hefty price tag. Containing charm in equal parts, they are a younger sibling, if you will.
Fujifilm has provided us with just that; namely the Fujifilm X-T10. Sharing the glow of the much-celebrated Fujifilm X-T1, this new kid on the block shares much of what made it a leading mirrorless camera. To our delight, a large majority of the X-T10’s key features are at least similar — if not identical — to the X-T1, and are housed in a more compact body. At its heart, the X-T10 utilizes the same 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II APS-C sensor, and its EXR Processor II allows for continuous shooting at up to eight frames per second. The X-T10 offers a maximum ISO of 51200, and though we’d probably never want to take it that high, it produces fairly good results in low light, with an attractive-looking grain. While the sun’s out, a very fast electronic shutter allows for the use of wide-open apertures even in direct light, allowing for razor-thin focus and silky blurring effects. All in all, the X-T10 offers very similar performance and handling to the X-T1, with a near-indistinguishable image capture.
While its best features have been fully incorporated, others have been simplified from that of the pro-level X-T1, reflecting its tailoring to the enthusiast market. The metering switch below the shutter-speed dial has disappeared, and to economize the X-T10’s compact size, the front function button has been integrated into the front command dial. Its electronic viewfinder is excellent — albeit smaller — with 0.62x magnification, and claims of having the world’s shortest lag time — at just 0.05 seconds. While not as impressive nor quite so engulfing, it’s clear and sharp, and not noticeably dissimilar unless compared side by side with its larger sibling. In what won’t be a concern to many but still worth a mention, the X-T10 LCD screen has reduced from 1040 thousand dots to 920 — again, a difference that would likely be unnoticeable during use. In what may be our single and only complaint regarding its design, the dedicated ISO dial has been replaced with a drive dial, ruining the simplicity we’ve experienced in operating the X-T1. Instead, it requires delving into the menu system to adjust the ISO speed. Still, the X-T10 does offer the ability to switch between auto and set ISO — which we’ll accept as a begrudging compromise.
Alike to many of Fujifilm’s recent releases, which have provided ample control points and customizable buttons, the X-T10 wants its user to truly take command, and rewards those who utilize its many direct controls with a rewarding experience. The X-T10 offers great handleability, allowing users to instead focus on capturing their subject, rather than be distracted in navigating menus or irksome touchscreens. There’s nothing quite like getting immersed in shooting your subject — the adjustment of settings through pushing buttons, flipping switches, and toggling dials becomes second nature, with the use of the camera is seamless — feeling almost like an extension to the eye. And, with a fairly logical positioning of its functions, it doesn’t take long for beginners to get there too.
With three unique modes of manual focusing, the X-T10 offers an option to suit all eyesights (even those that are only average at best). Firstly, there’s the focus-assist button, which, as the name suggests, magnifies the view in the electronic viewfinder, allowing for the fine-tuning of focus. However, if you hold down the focus-assist button, the X-T10 moves through two additional focusing options — a very nifty way of changing through these modes. It first switches to Digital Split Image. Harking back to the days of film cameras, this mode offers absolute precision and is particularly useful when shooting wide open. It works by displaying dual images on the left and right that must be lined up manually to achieve focus. Admittedly, there’s a very strange and special type of joy reserved for the perfect lining of of these images and in achieving focus via this mode. Third and finally, the X-T10 offers a Focus Peak Highlight function, which displays a white line around the subject when in sharp focus, assisting those who struggle to trust their own eye. Needless to say, with all these options — there’s no excuse for missing a shot.
Taking the latest digital features and merging these with the much-loved but long-forgotten film techniques of old, the X-T10 offers a fun addition — the X-T10’s much-loved film emulations. While we’re generally a wary bunch, anxious of the gimmicks commonly associated with art filters and Instagram, these reign far more sophisticated than you’d expect. Reflecting Fujifilm's experience in colour — of which they’ve had plenty, with upwards of 80 years in photographic film manufacturing — these modes reflect the tones of classic Fujifilm films, including Provia, Astia, and Velvia. Plus, shooting in RAW offers even broader options, with the addition of an in-camera RAW processing function that enables any of the 11 options to be applied post capture.
Bearing all the hallmarks of an X-series camera, the Fujifilm X-T10 is made for shooting in style. Its top and base plates are comprised of a lightweight, die-cast magnesium, with an upper plate featuring three precision-milled aluminum dials — from a single block, in fact — lending itself to a refined finish. It bears a moulded grip, to ensure comfortable handling despite the camera’s compact size. And it’s very compact — around 25 per cent smaller than the X-T1. And, for the style conscious among us, the X-T10 is available in two distinct colourways — ‘premium silver’ and ‘jet black’.
In what may be most important to some, the X-T10 is a sleek and stylish machine — though the more practically minded will be pleased to find it performs as beautifully as it looks.
- Body type: DSLM (digital single-lens mirrorless)
- Dimensions (wxhxd): 118.4mmx82.8mmx40.8mm
- Max resolution: 4896x3264
- Effective pixels: 16.3 megapixels
- Focus: Intelligent Hybrid AF / AF assist illuminator / MF
- Sensor size: APS-C (23.6x15.6mm)
- Sensor type: X-Trans CMOS II
- ISO range: 100–51200
- Minimum shutter speed: 30s (bulb: 60min)
- Maximum shutter speed: 1/32000–1
- Lens mount: Fujifilm X mount
- Battery: NP-W126 Li-ion battery