If the excellent flagship Fujifilm X-T1 mirrorless camera is beyond your budget, consider its newer and more affordable cousin, the X-T10.
Like the X-T1, the X-T10 uses a 16.3-megapixel X-Trans APS-C CMOS image sensor and has the same retro SLR design. It comes in silver or black. We reviewed the black model with the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens.
Unlike the X-T1, the X-T10 is not weather-sealed, but its magnesium alloy construction is superb. It is smaller and 59g lighter than the X-T1, and costs $700 less.
Its electronic viewfinder is smaller and the 3-inch tiltable display is fractionally lower in resolution (920,000 dots versus X-T1's 1.04 million dots). But it has an integrated flash, which is not found in the X-T1.
The X-T10 has almost the same retro-styling and button layout as its big brother. At the top right sits an exposure compensation dial, a power switch that surrounds the shutter release, and a shutter speed dial. Below the dial is a small lever that lets you switch to Automatic mode. At the back, a dial near the thumb rest lets you toggle through such customised scene modes as SR Auto, Portrait or Beauty when you are in Automatic mode.
A drive mode dial, on the top left, lets you choose single or continuous low/high shooting speeds, as well as panorama and multiple exposures.
However, these top dials lack the lock buttons found on the X-T1's dials. Thankfully, the X-T10's dials do not move easily.
On the downside, the X-T10 lacks a dedicated sensitivity dial for quick changes of ISO settings and its grip cannot accommodate all my fingers.
But overall, it handles really well and it is a speedy camera. Powering up takes only 0.5sec; shutdown takes about 1.1sec, compared with the usual 2sec needed for each process in other similar cameras.
Fujifilm says that the X-T10 has 77 autofocusing (AF) phase-detection points on top of its image sensor to complement contrast-detection AF for a faster and more accurate AF. You can also use X-T10's zone AF modes, in which the focusing points will track a speeding kid as he dashes across the frame.
The results: In bright sunlight, the X-T10 locked on to a focus almost instantaneously; in dim conditions, it managed a sharp focus within 1sec with the aid of AF assist light.
Using an SD card with a writing speed rated at 10MB per second, the X-T10 shot seven RAW images in 0.8sec before the buffer ran out. Shutter lag was negligible.
As it has the same image sensor as the X-T1, image quality was unsurprisingly excellent, with sharp rendition of pixels and vivid colour reproduction. Pictures have good dynamic range, allowing details to show even in the shadow areas.
ISO performance is equally brilliant. Image noise is not really visible until at ISO 3,200. Only at ISO 6,400 do noise artefacts appear, and even shots at ISO 12,800 are still good enough for small prints and Web use. But that is the limit.
Video quality is great and it does not pick up much ambient or wind audio.
Its battery life - 350 still frames on a full charge - is average.
Other than a few minor quirks and a battery life no better than average, the X-T10 is a superb mid-range camera in Fujifilm's X mirrorless series.
Price: $1,299 (body only)
Image sensor: 16.3-megapixel X-Trans APS-C CMOS
Display: 3-inch tiltable LCD with 920,000 dots; Electronic viewfinder with 2,360,000 dots
Sensitivity: ISO 100 to 51,200
Shooting speed: Up to eight frames per second
Weight: 381g (body with battery and memory card)
Value for money 4/5
Battery life 3/5
This article was first published on June 17, 2015.
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