Why I love the Fujifilm XF10
One camera that I definitely fell in love with is the Fujifilm XF10. Strangely this is also one of the cameras you will rarely hear about anywhere as it doesn’t seem to get too much attention. It’s viewed sort of like the Ricoh GR IIIs uglier and less smart distant cousin or as a failed attempt to reverse the consumer trend of using smartphones for day to day snaps. I’m not entirely sure what the Fuji engineers had in plan when they made it but instead of focusing on what the camera is not I’m gonna focus on what the camera is and on what it does well. So here are a few of its strengths:
It fits into a coat pocket easily which means you can have it with you all the time. It also fits into jeans pockets but I haven’t tested that option thoroughly yet so I’m not sure how comfortable it will be. But it’s not like there are so many options out there for small cameras with big sensors.
Its small size along with the plain black color scheme doesn’t draw too much attention. You can easily take it out of your pocket and shoot without alarming anyone.
The big sensor
It’s the tried and tested 24 Megapixels APS-C sensor with a high dynamic range. On speed alone it cannot compete with the newer 26 megapixels sensors found in the Fujifilm XT-30 or XT-4 which means it won’t have good 4K video or lots of frames per second but the image quality is every bit as good, outstanding even!
The Fuji colors. The color science everyone is raving about. There’s definitely something about Fujifilm’s history as an argentic film producer that helped them give us these amazing colors.
Of course it’s a bit of a personal preference when it comes to the colors each camera brand produces but I got to give it to Fuji for making even the most mundane subjects stand out through the richness of the colors and tones. Even a dull rainy day photo with dull communist buildings can look good with a Fuji.
The in-camera Raw Converter
Just for the sake of simplicity I shoot raw and then convert my favorite photos to Jpeg using the inbuilt raw converter. While the converter is not as complex as the one from Canon cameras it does allow me to choose the film simulation and white balance or to tweak the exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights and color strength. Basically everything that is essential as far as I’m concerned. The raw converter doesn’t have a live-as-you-edit preview but it’s still easy to use and it definitely saves me a trip to the laptop. Then I have the wifi and bluetooth settings set up so that after I’m done and switch the camera off it automatically sends the Jpegs to my smartphone. Shooting raw and turning into Jpegs only the files I really like saves me from clutter as the camera only has to send the best photos to my phone.
It’s actually not that bad to shoot with! Not even some entry level DSLRs offer 2 control wheels like this camera does on its top plate. There is a 3rd control wheel around the lens but it’s not very engaging to use because it’s a clickless type so it doesn’t give any tactile feedback while changing the settings. But the 2 control wheels can be used to change the aperture and time value in Manual mode and the top right customisable button on the back plate can be set to ISO quick menu. There’s also another slightly harder to reach customisable button on the top plate and 3 more soft touch buttons on the right of the screen so there’s plenty of control points.
While some premium compacts like the Sony RX100 series have the ergonomics of a bar of soap with no grip whatsoever the Fuji does have a decent grip for the size so it’s easy enough to get a firm hold while shooting.
The joystick is hard to reach to change focus points while holding the camera with just one hand but you can instead set the Area option on the touch screen and then touch to select where you want the focus point to be.
The Fujifilm is an awesome companion if you need a small and discrete camera for street photography or documenting your daily life. While it doesn’t get as much attention as the Ricoh GR III its image quality is every bit as good if not slightly better. It’s got a very usable control interface borrowed from the other models in the Fujifilm line-up, the same latest generation Fujifilm image quality and color science as its sister models and a unique position of being the smallest APS-C Fuji. And while the Ricoh GR III might be a better camera overall the Fujifilm XF10 is the better value at around $400, roughly half of what the Ricoh GR III costs.
All of the images shown in this article were shot raw and processed in camera. Most of the Film Simulations used are Velvia (Vivid) and sometimes Provia (Standard), Astia (Soft) or Classic Chrome.