The Fujifilm X-T10 marked another successful release from Fuji that offers competitive imaging ability in a small form factor. Originally released in summer 2015, the X-T10 was marketed to the hobbyist/prosumer photographer looking at Fuji’s X-T1 but lacked the budget. The X-T10 aimed to offer comparable image quality and performance, due to the inherited X-Trans CMOS II sensor from the X-T1, while being smaller and more compact. This camera competed directly with the previously released Sony a6000, both of which are compact interchangeable lens cameras offering similar photo quality. While this camera does shoot digitally, Fujifilm has paraded the camera for its film grading capabilities from the internal processor and its ability to set their digitals apart from the competition. Even so, can Fuji really still stand firm in the digital era? Let’s see.
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What are some of the goods, bads, and the uglies of the Fujifilm X-T10?
Has physical Aperture and Shutter dials directly on the top of the camera body, which surprisingly resemble those of film cameras, that make changes not only immediately accessible but also easy.
The X-T10 has the ability to color grade both JPEG and RAW images using the historic Fujifilm profiles, creating a unique film quality and color even though this camera shoots digitally. The results of these simulation options are phenomenal and are perfect for the enthusiast who wants to shoot akin to film without the costly consequences of improper technique.
Has an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), which also supports Live View, allowing users to literally see the final outcome of the photo prior to shooting. The EVF, while small, is found to have good color representation, brightness during daylight conditions, and ample contrast. Below are a few notable pluses with this specific EVF and LCD combination as well:
There’s a button that turns on or off the cameras automatic switching to the EVF, a necessity when an undesirable shadow causes the EVF to recognize the movement and triggers accidentally.
The LCD can also be disabled entirely, perfect for those looking to either shoot more discretely or to aggressively conserve battery life.
The EVF has the ability to show Depth of Field preview, simply by half depressing the shutter. Removing the need to hit a separate button.
The EVF display actually rotates when the camera is moved from landscape orientation to portrait.
It has superb autofocusing performance, speed, and accuracy as a result of 49 AF points, 9 of which are Phase Detection points. The Phase Detection points also allow this camera to have the ability to track subjects when in continuous focusing. Not only that, but it also has Eye Detection AF which allows the camera to track either the closest, farthest or both eyes as well.
It has Focus Peaking for manual focusing, which makes nailing critical focus easier than using the LCD alone.
It has a burst rate firing speed of 8 frames per second, that does get limited rather quickly when shooting RAW by the buffer, but allows users to continue shooting at a lower speed indefinitely.
Has built-in WIFI, allowing for remote control through a paired smartphone device. Once paired, the Camera Remote application allows users to set: white balance, touch to focus, self-timers, shutter speed, iso, aperture and start/stop video. Overall, playback of images works well, and images can be viewed directly from the app itself. The app also supports the ability to remotely transfer images from the camera, granted it only allows 30 images to be transferred at a time.
The built-in flash has the ability to act as a commander for optically trigger external flashes, a great option for flash photography.
Strong overall ISO performance, the X-T10 provides usable images up to ISO 12,800.
Has an electronic shutter, which allows faster shutter speeds to be reached that aren’t possible with the physical shutter alone (the physical shutter limits the speed to 1/4000 seconds). When used, the electronic shutter is also completely silent.
Has a dedicated Drive Mode dial, allowing users to quickly switch between shooting modes (ie., continuous, single shot, bracketing, etc.)
Has a dedicated focus selection switch on the camera, allowing users to quickly switch from manual, single and continuous focusing modes.
Solid build quality, it definitely doesn’t feel cheap or plasticky whatsoever.
Battery performance is good, considering the battery is small and provides between 300-500 shots per single charge.
Doesn’t have a dedicated ISO dial. Thankfully, the X-T10 offers enough customization through its menu, so one of the control dials can be used as an alternative to change ISO. A separate dial would have been a nice plus, however.
No dedicated Mode Selection dial either. Scene/mode selection is changed solely through the menu of the camera.
No weather sealing. So if it’s pouring outside, run. Run very fast.
The main LCD is not a touchscreen. Yes, the LCD does tilt, but it does so in one direction only. And without a fully articulating screen, video composition becomes difficult when shooting alone due to the lack of rotation.
Has lower resolution compared to the competition, namely the Sony a6000, with only 16 megapixels.
Video performance and implementation are poor even though the X-T10 inherits similar specifications from the more heavily priced X-T1. The camera is found to have significant amounts of moire during video recording, and autofocusing customization is nonexistent. When manual focusing, there’s no manual focus peaking, thus achieving critical focus manually is hopeless. When autofocusing, there’s also no way to choose the desired focus point or any customization for that matter making focusing very hit or miss. There is also no ability to change video recording to the EVF either, so you’re stuck using the LCD. Granted, this camera does shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second, so it would be okay for everyday use. But, for those of you needing a photography camera that offers adequate video, its best to look elsewhere as this camera is not suitable for serious videographers.
When using the electronic shutter, even slight movements of your subject will cause significant motion blur due to the presence of rolling shutter. This will greatly hinder those of you shooting action and wanting a shallow Depth of Field.
The eyecup that rests on top of the EVF is small and rather shallow. This is an issue for those wearing glasses, as you will often find yourself struggling during prolonged use.
Has a mini microphone input port, instead of a normal-sized one. This makes adapters a necessity to connect an external device to this port, particularly for those of you wanting to connect an external microphone for better audio capture.
Has poor ergonomics. The original camera grip is shallow and can be particularly uncomfortable when shooting with large focal length lenses (ie., Fujinon XF55-200mm). A secondary camera grip will be a needed accessory if extended comfort is important to you. Thankfully, Fuji does make one specifically for this camera body. Even so, this is a very small camera and will still remain difficult to hold for those with larger hands, even with the added grip. With the X-T10, you will definitely experience some level of hand cramping with prolonged use.
While several of the lenses Fuji offers do include a built-in Aperture control ring for added convenience, it’s especially common to make unintentional changes to the Aperture when manual focusing. Unfortunately, there’s no dedicated way to lock the Aperture ring on these lenses nor is there a way to disable this feature through the menu of the camera.
The burst fire rate and overall performance in continuous RAW shooting is poor once the buffer is reached. While this is something that occurs on all cameras, the X-T10’s processor slows significantly from the marketed 5-6 FPS down to 1-2 FPS. In JPEG shooting, the reduction in speed that’s experienced is tolerable, slowing to only 3-4 FPS. But, while shooting RAW, the speed is dropped further and absolutely ruins the experience of shooting sports or action.
While users have the ability to configure and map buttons, none of the physical buttons on the X-T10 are labeled on the camera body. This makes it difficult to remember individuals settings when multiple setups are configured and used. Not only that, but several of these custom buttons are also easily hit and increases the likeliness of unwanted changes.
Low light focusing speed and performance is poor.
Initially connecting the camera to a paired device is tedious and repeatedly experiencing errors during setup is also common.
Has no headphone input port. Another shame for those of you looking for a capable photo and video camera in one.
Is the X-T10 a good starting camera?
Yes. The X-T10 is a well-featured camera that will adequately meet the needs of the beginning, hobbyist, or serious photographer. Granted, it is a photography centric camera that places little emphasis on its video performance and prowess. Thus, it is not suited for someone desiring both photo and video capabilities in their camera. Even still, its photographic powers are top-notch. We consider the X-T10 as really a lower-priced version of Fuji’s higher-priced X-T1, offering the exact same feature set across multiple markers of performance and quality. Fantastic image quality, solid AF performance, ample customization, convenient physical buttons, and great usability despite the gripes in ergonomics. Not only that, Fuji offers a wider selection of fast prime lenses with shallow Depth of Field, compared to other APS-C manufactures. While the selection of lenses is limited, the lenses offers are of top quality and the performance delivered is industry-leading.
Fujifilm X-T10 Best Bundles
Is the Fujifilm X-T10 a good camera for you?
Yes, but there’s a caveat with it.
While, the Fujifilm X-T10 is a well-featured camera that can adequately meet the amateurs or hobbyists needs, it’s a niche camera best suited for someone that’s looking for the specific benefits it offers which are: a photographers camera with little emphasis on video performance, a camera offering built-in analog/film color profiles suited to the enthusiast desiring a unique visual style, or a photographer who has previously shot film and now wanting to shoot digital. If you fall into one of these categories, then yes. The X-T10 would be the perfect camera for you to consider, especially if you’re looking to also finally drop that traditional Digital SLR and head over to mirrorless. Granted, this camera excels most when shot in JPEG, as the in-camera color processor works incredibly well when coupled with the native color profiles. In all though, the X-T10 is an amazing little camera that has its gripes but still offers to fill a small void that’s otherwise left vacant in today’s lineup of digital cameras.
While the X-T10 is made to look like an old film Digital SLR, it’s performance is on par with any APS-C camera released during its original release cycle. Even today, it remains as a well-featured camera that can adequately meet the needs of both amateurs or hobbyists alike. It’s definitely a niche camera best suited for someone that’s looking for the specific benefits it offers or for those wanting a photography centric film inspired camera.