Update: Fuji X100 or X10 ?

A while ago I reviewed the Fuji X100, long story short: excellent lens and sensor, but arguable ergonomics and poor AF.
Overall a very good product. Well built and clearly designed at people like me who, as much as we'd like a compact product, can't tolerate a compact image quality. If I had to buy compact, I would buy a Fujifilm X100 , it's the only one that gave me an overal image feel that compares to a SLR. It's due mostly to the DX size sensor, much much larger than other compacts. As said previously, sensor size is the variable that determines the quality level of camera.

Also, my reserves concerning ergonomics might not be valid anymore since firmware as been updated. I haven't had a chance to try that, but I've read it corrected most faulty features. Thanks Fuji.
Last time, I mentioned it'd be worth waiting for the X10 if you are looking for a premium compact, knowing that it would be:
  • cheaper
  • with a zoom lens (X100 is only a 35mm, but I love that)
  • optimized compared to an X100
  • even smaller
  • still likely to be built as good and with a rather premium lens.
Now I haven't had the chance to use one yet, but the sample shots produced by Fuji and other sites allow me to confirm what was to expect. Click on photos for full size files.

@ F2.5, iso 400, where is the blur ????

Dynamic range on this is pretty good, balance between dark and bright areas is nice.
Those are X10 Sample shots, courtesy of Fuji and Lenstip.com

It is very good for a compact, but it crossed my personal line. Too far away from my image quality threshold. The small sensor doesn't allow proper depth of field play, it lacks the crisp feel on close up portraits. Noise level is not good enough to shoot past ISO 200 and print large. However, macro is very good, dynamic range is also impressive. Fuji is really nailing it when it comes to pushing those small sensors to their limits. Also the bright lens that is a reasonable zoom is a really good pick.

My final call: the X100 is at this stage the only compact that can satisfy a very demanding photographer, used to full frame and medium format. It compares at least. Still room for improvement, but it's very good. It won't however get you anything close to the results of full frame film SLR and black and white TRI-X film.

The X10 appears to be excellent for a compact, probably the best for this XMas. If you are looking for a premium compact under 600$, you found it. If you want the freedom of a DSLR when it comes to playing with optic, it might be too much of a stretch. If you can't go the extra buck, get a used Nikon D90 instead.

Overal Fuji is doing a great job with compacts. Unlike other film camera monsters like Pentax and even Nikon who are taking us for idiots a little too much lately.

1 comment:

  1. Bought this beauty some months ago and still loving it. It is always with me when I am out in the city or anywhere else! Great image quality and dynamic range. It is pleasure to shoot with this camera :)