First Impressions: The Fuji X-T10

DSCF3356 Fuji Canada was kind enough to send me a review copy of the Fuji X-T10 for use this summer on a working vacation, on a personal project, and for several client shoots (athlete portrait sessions and a wedding or two).  I have literally only had it for a day or two, so for now I’d just like to share some initial impressions of the camera as it comes out of the box.  Throughout the summer I will be writing more about it on a shoot by shoot basis.

There are already many good sources online for technical information, and I highly recommend my friend Take at bigheadtaco.com.  Please check out his site and his Youtube videos.

My reviews this summer are going to focus on using the camera in real life scenarios.  How does it feel in the hand?  How does it fit in the bag?  How is the new autofocus system?  How does  it works for portraits? While traveling?  At a wedding?

THE CAMERA:

DSCF3384 I had been intrigued by this camera since it was announced, as I had been looking for a backup to my Fuji X-T1.   I always bring my Fuji X100t with me on shoots, but a backup interchangeable lens camera is a must for paid client work. I was looking for something that felt familiar in my hands, worked with my existing lenses, and for something that wouldn’t break the bank.  I had initially set my eyes on a used Fuji X-E2, but a good friend reminded me of the importance of working with two camera bodies that are similar so your muscle memory can take over when it counts.

You can’t really talk about the Fuji X-T10 without referencing its big brother, the Fuji X-T1.  On first glance you will realize that the X-T1 and the X-T10 have far more things in common than not:  both have similar all metal bodies, both have a tilt screen and, most importantly, both have the same image sensor and processor.

So, where do the differences lie?  For that we need get geeky and look at the specs briefly:

  • The X-T10 is not weather sealed
  • The X-T10 viewfinder has slightly less magnification compared to the X-T1 (.62x versus the .77x of the Fuji X-T1).  It does share the same refresh rate and resolution as the X-T1, however.
  • The X-T10 LCD has 920k dots versus 1040 dots in the X-T1.
  • The X-T10 does not have a flash sync port.
  • The X-T10 has less” burst potential” than the X-T1, due to a smaller buffer and because the X-T1 can use faster SD cards.

There are a few small differences for sure.  But, those small differences give you:

  • A camera body that produces images every bit as beautiful as the Fuji X-T1 (same sensor, same processor).
  • A camera body  that is lighter that the X-T1 (381g versus 440g).
  • A camera body that is smaller.
  • A camera body that is extremely customizable:  There are 7 function buttons versus the X-T1’s 6.
  • A camera body that has an advanced auto switch.  I have to admit that this sounded a little hokey to me at first, until I thought about all the times I’ve tried to hand my X-T1 or X100t to someone to grab a snapshot with.  The auto switch allows you to quickly give it  to someone for a snapshot, yet still retain all of your custom settings when you get it back.  Brilliant, really.
  • A camera body that has a built in flash.
  •  A camera body that is about $500 USD less than the X-T1 at the time of launch.

IN THE HAND AND IN THE BAG:

We talked about the X-T10 being lighter and smaller than the flagship X-T1 camera body.  You can see this a little in the picture at the top of this post,  but trust me the size difference is very noticeable when you hold it in your hand.  I’m sure there will be an adjustment period getting used to gripping the camera (coming from the X-T1), but I don’t anticipate any problems.

For me, however, you really notice the size of these cameras when you start putting a system together.   Many of us switched to mirrorless because we were tired of lugging around a backpack full of DSLR gear.  When you look at the pic of the three cameras at the top of this post you can see the Fuji X-T10 with the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens on it, sitting between my X100t and my X-T1 with the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 lens on it.

Here are those 3 cameras, with assorted accessories, in a small Think Tank Retrospective 5 messenger bag:

DSCF3382

I have long evangelized the benefit of switching to mirrorless cameras.  Let’s consider this picture though to truly realize how far Fuji has come, not just with the new X-T10, but with their entire lineup. In that tiny little messenger bag you will find:

DSCF3378

  • The Fuji X-T1 with the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 lens (85mm equivalent)
  • The Fuji X-T10 with the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens (50mm equivalent)
  • The Fuji X100t with its 23mm f/2 lens (35mm equivalent)
  • The Nissin i40 flash
  • Extra batteries, cards, cleaning cloth.

That’s pretty incredible when you think about it:  2 interchangeable lens camera bodies, and 1 rangerfinder-esque camera, that all share the same sensor.  Add in 3 fast lenses, a flash, and assorted accessories all packed into a camera bag the size of a large purse (or, you know, a “satchel”  for the men).

You could rock out a day long wedding with that bag no problem and your shoulders wouldn’t complain once!

THE BOTTOM LINE SO FAR:

The Fuji X-T10 is small, light, and cost effective… all while using the same sensor and processor as its big brother the X-T1.  Fuji seemed to only make a few compromises to achieve this (slightly decreased viewfinder magnification, slightly lower LCD resolution, no weather sealing, and no flash sync port).

It also provides an automatic mode and pop up flash for use when you just need a quick snapshot, perhaps making it the most versatile “family camera” in the X line up (as it can  be shared easily by the photo enthusiast and the point and shoot family member).

Finally, it retains the user interface and customizable characteristics that made the Fuji X-T1 such a success.

On first glance that seems to be a whole lot of win, at a very attractive price.

The Fuji X-T10 can be purchased as a body only, or in two kits (paired with either the Fujinon 18-55mm or the entry level Fujinon 16-50mm).  What has been interesting for me, however,  is how I instantly paired it with the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens.  The X-T10 and the 35mm just seem made for each other, and that lens has been bolted to the camera since I took it out of the box.

The X-T10 will be my main camera body this summer (alongside my X100t), and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you as the summer progresses.

Best wishes,

Ian