Fuji X-T10 review

This small DSLR-style mirrorless camera makes an excellent choice for enthusiast and novice photographers, find out why in our Fuji X-T10 review

30 second Fuji X-T10 review

Designed as a smaller, more affordable alternative to the X-T1 (soon to be replaced by the recently announced Fuji X-T2), the Fuji X-T10 is an APS-C format mirrorless system camera. It has many of the features of the X-T1, including the sensor and processing engine, which means it produces the same quality images.

Fuji has had some bad press for its autofocus systems, but it was well on the road to rectifying the problem when the X-T10 was announced and it’s capable of focusing on and tracking fast moving subjects.

The X-T10’s viewfinder is smaller than the X-T1’s, but it shows plenty of detail and allows you to assess exposure and colour in most situations.

Key features

Camera Name Fujifilm X-T10
Camera type CSC
Date announced 18th May 2015
Price at launch £499/$799 (body only)
Sensor size APS-C (23.6 x 15.6mm)
Effective pixel count 16.3 million
Processor EXR Processor II
Lens/Mount X
Viewfinder 0.39-inch OLED with 2,360,000 dots
Sensitivity range ISO 200-6400 expandable to ISO 100-51,200
Reflex AF system N/A
Live View AF system Hybrid with up to 77 points
Monitor Tilting 3-inch LCD with 920,000 dots
Max shooting rate 8fps
Max video resolution Full HD (1920 x 1080)
Storage SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Dimensions 118.4 x 82.8 x 40.8mm
Weight 331g (body only), 381g with battery and card

The Fuji X-T1 has been incredibly popular but as its price is a little high for some Fuji introduced the X-T10, a smaller more affordable alternative. Inside the X-T10, however, is the same 16Mp APS-C format X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II engine as is inside the X-T1. These enable a standard sensitivity range of ISO 200-6400. This can be expanded to ISO 100-51,200 if you are prepared to shoot jpegs and not raw files.

To keep the price of the X-T10 down Fuji has made a few compromises, but the company has done it in an intelligent way that maintains the X-T10’s appeal without distracting attention away too much from the cameras above it in the Fuji X-series line. For example, there’s still an electronic viewfinder and it has the same 2.36-million dot resolution as the the X-T1’s (0.48-inch) finder, but it’s a smaller (0.39-inch) device with 0.62x magnification rather than 0.77x. The size reduction means there’s no dual image display, but Fuji has maintained the 0.005sec lag time.

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Also, on the back of the camera the 3-inch screen is still a tilting device, but it has 920,000 dots rather than the 1,040,000 dots of the X-T1’s screen.

In the early days Fuji’s X-series cameras’ autofocus systems faced some criticism because they were slow and sometimes indecisive, making them useless when shooting moving subjects. However, the company has done a lot of work in this area with firmware upgrades and hardware developments. While the X-T10 doesn’t have the customisable continuous AF system of the recently announced Fuji X-T2 (which replaces the X-T1), it has the autofocusing options that were introduced to the X-T1  with firmware version 4.0. This means that in Continuous AF mode there are three AF point selection options; Single, Zone and Wide/Tracking. In Wide/Tracking mode the camera decides which of the 77 available AF points to use to focus on the subject and then changes the point to track it around the frame. In Zone AF mode, however, the photographer plays a part selecting a group of AF points for use.  The size of the Zone can be set to 25, 15 or 9 points in 5×5, 5×3 and 3×3 grids.

In Single AF mode, Single, Zone and Wide AF point options are available.

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Wi-Fi connectivity is built-in with Fuji’s free app enabling you to control the camera remotely using your smartphone/tablet. It’s also possible to transfer images to your phone or tablet for sharing on Facebook and the like.

Fuji X-T10 Build & Handling

Because it has a die-cast magnesium alloy construction the Fuji X-T10 feels nice and solid, but it doesn’t have the weather-sealing of the X-T1, X-T2 or Fuji X-Pro2.

Like the X-T1 and X-T2, the X-T10 has a DSLR-like shape with the electronic viewfinder (EVF) sitting in the middle of the top-plate.

Although the grips are little less pronounced than those on the X-T1 and X-T2, their rubberised coatings make the X-T10 feel very secure in your hand. Its low weight also makes it comfortable to carry in your hand for several hours without a strap.

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There are three dials on the X-T10’s top-plate. On the left is the drive mode dial which, in addition to enabling the camera to be set to Single and Continuous drive mode, has options to select two customisable bracketing modes (in addition to ‘standard’ exposure bracketing), two Advanced Filter options and Panorama mode. Helpfully the self-timer is accessed via the Quick Menu so you can use it with the dial-based options.

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Over on the right of the top-plate is the exposure compensation dial and shutter speed dial, with the latter having a switch underneath it that can be used to set the camera to fully-automatic operation – a useful get out of jail option for beginners.

The Exposure compensation dial is a little recessed from the edge of the camera and this, plus a sensible level of resistance, prevents it from turning accidentally on a frequent basis.

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Although the command dials enable the X-T10 to be used with lenses that don’t have an aperture ring, it’s at its best when there is an aperture ring – it makes changing aperture very quick and easy. Some people regard aperture rings as an advanced feature, but many novice photographers say that they find it easier to understand what they are adjusting.

When the shutter speed dial and lens aperture ring are set to ‘A’ (for automatic) the camera is in program mode and sets exposure values that it calculates are appropriate. If the shutter speed dial is left on ‘A’ while a specific value is set on the aperture ring, the camera is in aperture priority mode and will set shutter speed automatically. Conversely, turning the lens ring to ‘A’ and setting a specific shutter speed value via the shutter speed dial sets the camera to shutter priority mode. And if both the aperture ring and the shutter speed dial are set to specific values, the camera is in manual exposure mode.

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As usual with modern cameras, sensitivity can be set to Automatic and the camera will try to set a value that enables the shutter speed and aperture values to be used. The X-T10 has three Automatic sensitivity values and it’s possible specify a default sensitivity, maximum sensitivity and minimum shutter speed for each.

Fuji’s Quick menu system is one of the better ones because you don’t have to faff about confirming the feature selection, you just navigate to the feature you want and then use the command dial to adjust the setting. Even better news is that it’s customisable so you can select which features you want to access using it.

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The X-T10’s main menu is also straight-forward to use and after a few hours with the camera you’ll find you can locate the options you want. It’s well worth spending some time experimenting with the Function (Fn) Setting options (found in Set-up (spanner) menu 2 under Button/Dial setting). This allows you to customise the use of seven buttons to make the camera suit the way you like to shoot.

On the whole the Fuji X-T10’s electronic viewfinder is very good. It shows the scene with camera settings applied so you see what you’re going to get in most instances. I say most instances because sometimes it can waiver in its resolve and show the image with a little less saturation or different exposure, but on most occasions it’s fine.

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The screen on the back of the camera is also good, showing lots of detail, but as is often the case it can be hard to see the image on it in very bright light. It’s also a bit restricting having just a tilting screen rather than a vari-angle one. And its not touch-sensitive, which is a shame.

Fuji X-T10 Performance

One of the benefits of the Fuji’s X-Trans sensor design is that it doesn’t require an optical low-pass filter to reduce the risk of moire patterning. This helps the X-T10 capture and impressive level of detail for a 16Mp camera. Even shots taken at ISO 6400 usually look good, with nice sharp details. Out of focus areas in images taken at this setting can look a bit mushy, but the details are good.

Noise isn’t a major issue within the standard sensitivity range and we’d recommend staying within this – not least because it gives you the option to shoot raw files, which means you have control over noise visibility when you process the images.

Fuji’s automatic white balance system performs well in a variety of lighting conditions, delivering fairly natural looking results. It copes pretty well with some artificial lighting conditions, but the Manual or Custom option is on hand and easy to use.

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Fuji’s Film simulation modes have proved very popular, with Provia providing a good general purpose option. Velvia gives you boosted colour and Astia is there for a more subdued look. Classic Chrome is a relatively recent addition that’s great for lifestyle, portrait and street photography as well as some landscapes. It produces quite muted colours with fairly high contrast and warm tones. It doesn’t suit every occasion, but it can work well. As you can assess the impact of the Film Simulation mode in the viewfinder before you take the shot, you can usually be assured of getting what you want.

While there are four black an white modes available, the Across option introduced with the X-Pro 2 and seen on the X-T2 is not amongst them. Nevertheless, you can get some nice results in-camera.

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The X-T10 generally produces very pleasant looking results direct from the camera with jpegs have that high mid-tone contrast that we have come to love and expect from Fuji X-series cameras. However, it tends towards quite bright images and I often nudge the exposure compensation dial to  the -1/3EV point.

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While it doesn’t deliver the performance that we experienced with the Fuji X-T2, the X-T10’s autofocus system is pretty good. It’s not a match for that of a DSLR like the Canon 80D, but it can get fast moving subjects sharp, and track them in less than perfect conditions. Okay it’s probably not going to be the camera of choice for sports photographers, but you can shoot sport with it.

Unless you are very confident that you can keep a single AF point over the subject, we recommend using Zone AF mode in Continuous AF mode because this gives you a little wiggle-room and helps the camera concentrate on the right part of the frame. Wide/Tracking mode can deliver what you need, but it’s prone to getting distracted by objects around your main subject.

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Fuji X-T10 Verdict

The Fuji X-T10 is an excellent camera, but with the X-T2 recently announced there are likely to be a few bargain X-T1s available in the near future. You can also bet your bottom dollar that a replacement for the X-T10, probably called the Fuji X-T20, isn’t too far away. If Fuji follows the path it has taken in the past, this will have the same 24.3Mp sensor as the X-T2 and X-Pro2. Our guess is that it won’t have the mini-joystick controller (dubbed AF Lever by Fuji) of these cameras though.

That said, if you want a small DSLR-style camera right now, the Fuji X-T10 makes a very good choice with a good collection of features, a very good viewfinder and delightful traditional exposure controls.