Why the Fujifilm XF10 can be frustrating to use
In the previous article I have made a list of some key features that make the Fujifilm XF10 a great camera to own and use. I fully recommend you also read that one if you haven’t already.
Now I’m going to focus more on the flaws that this particular model has so that you can decide if it’s the right one for you or not. As far as I’m concerned this model fills a gap in my selection of cameras and it’s mostly a pleasure to use but sometimes… well sometimes its shortcomings do show.
There’s a slight lag when touching the screen to select a focus area / point. Not a deal breaker but it can be annoying if you want to do it fast.
If instead of touching the screen you use the joystick to move the focus area around the lag is still there and even worse, it takes ages to move the focus area from one side of the screen to the other as you have to go through all of the in-between focus areas one slow selection after another .
This inconvenient along with the fact that the joystick is hard to reach for my admittedly big hand makes me prefer touching the screen to select the focus point.
Accidentally touching the touch screen
This might not be a big issue for you but it is for me since my hands are a bit on yhe large side.
Sometimes when I hold the camera my palm (the part that’s underneath the thumb) somehow reaches the screen and touches the touchscreen buttons that are placed on the right edge of the screen. This can change the touch screen mode from touching to select the focus area to touch to select the focus area AND take a photo at the same time (touch shutter) or to disabling these two modes altogether. Or, even worse accidentally reaching the edge of the screen can change the camera from AF-S to AF-C or even Manual Focus. Or sometimes if you manage to miss the 3 touchscreen buttons you can get to change the focus area to the right of the frame if you have “Area” mode on. These three buttons cannot be changed from the right edge of the screen to the left so all you can do about it is try not to touch them or disable the touchscreen entirely. I have just learned to accept this as part of it’s quirky nature.
The lens cap
It’s the typical pinch to release type lens cap that most camera DSLR and Mirrorless cameras use. Not great, not terrible.
The problem is that this camera is meant to be used one handed most of the time and taking the lenscap off to shoot requires both hands. I wish they had implemented an automatic lenscap like Sony did with their RX100 series or like Ricoh did with their similar Ricoh GR series. Most compact cameras have some sort of automatic lenscap which makes then easier to pick up and shoot straight away. Then again maybe this design made the camera more affordable or maybe it helps keep dust out of the body better than an automatic one would.
The Snapshot Mode
I was very excited when I saw the Fujifilm XF10 has a Snapshot Mode that is analog to the Ricoh GRs Snap Focus Mode. But unfortunately while useful it is still pretty basic. For instance it doesn’t have the Full Press Snap mode which would allow the camera to instantly switch from autofocus to snap mode when you press the shutter button all the way down without waiting for the camera to focus. This, if implemented correctly would greatly alleviate the subpar autofocus it has. Just imagine the camera struggling to find focus and then all you have to do is press the button all the way down and it would quickly go to a predefined focus distance and shoot. This would be great for street shooting.
The Snapshot Mode is still pretty useful though. I have it set up to the Function (Fn) button on top of the camera, and what it does is switch from autofocus (AF) to the preset 2 meter focus distance or 5 meter focus distance.
When using the 2 m Snapshot Mode the aperture is fixed at f/8 and the depth of field (area of sharpness) stretches from 1 meter to a few tens of meters but not all the way to infinity. This means that the furthermost objects or people will not be 100% sharp but everything around the 2m mark will.
The 5m Snapshot Mode automatically sets the aperture at f/5.6. This will give you a depth of field stretching from around 3 meters all the way to infinity making sure most of the things are sharp if they’re further away.
I mostly use autofocus but when I’m shooting street and both the subject and I are moving I find it’s a good idea to switch to Snapshot Mode. This makes the camera more predictable and responsive.
It kinda sucks.
There’s no getting around it, the autofocus is some of the worst you can find on a current generation camera. It isn’t fast and even worse it sometimes gives a false confirmation. The green rectangle lights up telling you the photo will be sharp but when you zoom in there’s a chance you’ll find out that the photo is slightly blurry. And don’t even think about using the continuous autofocus mode (AF-C). Unless you want to be reminded of a 2007 Pentax DSLR that is.
Things I don’t mind but others might
No flip screen. No biggie since this is an almost bare to the bones simple street camera and has to be seen as such.
No zoom. Just get a Sony RX100 if you want a zoom lens.
No Image Stabilisation (I.S.). It’s an inexpensive street camera so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. If I.S. is a must you can just get the Ricoh GR III for double the money and also enjoy the worse battery life and lack of flash :P.
Small buffer. Fuji have made some savings by not including a bigger buffer so shooting raw at the top 6 frames per second will fill it up in about a second or so. I got around this by using the 3 frames per second option (continuous low) so that the buffer will not fill as fast.
While everything mentioned above might make you believe the Fujifilm XF10 is a bad camera, it is not. It’s just that it has it’s drawbacks. And if you will get to see these drawbacks more as quirks rather than serious flaws then the XF10 will surely prove to be a worthy little companion.