Without a doubt, the Fuji X-T1 has been a huge success for Fujifilm, being one of the most rugged, versatile and very capable interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras on the market. It did not take long for me to fall in love with it – after writing my in-depth review of the Fuji X-T1, I ended up buying one for myself. The X-T1 took the market by storm and many photographers ended up buying that camera either as a primary tool, or as a secondary camera to a full-frame DSLR. Despite the many offerings from Fuji, including the X-A2, X-E2, X-M1 and the X-Pro1, the X-T1 is the camera that made the most impact overall. The success of the X-T1 was the reason why Fuji decided to create a stripped down version of the same camera at a lower price point and that’s how the Fuji X-T10 was born.
Featuring the same 16 MP X-Trans APS-C sensor, same powerful processor, same autofocus system, same battery / battery life, a similar 2.36 million dot OLED viewfinder (with less magnification) and same continuous frame rate, the X-T10 certainly is very similar in many ways to the X-T1 – it can certainly produce the same quality images. And with its $500 price difference, one might wonder if the X-T10 is a better deal than the X-T1. However, it would not be smart for a camera manufacturer to dumb down a camera a little and price it out significantly lower, as it would cannibalize the sales of the higher-end camera.
In the case of the X-T10, Fuji actually stripped down the X-T10 quite a bit compared to the X-T1, making it easier to make a choice depending on your priorities. First of all, the X-T10 lacks the weather-sealing features of the X-T1, so if you shoot in tough conditions, the X-T1 is going to be clearly a better choice. Second, the X-T10 does not give the same amazing viewfinder experience – although the total number of pixels and the refresh rate on both OLED viewfinders is the same, the viewfinder on the X-T1 is noticeably bigger at 0.77x magnification vs 0.62x. Third, the controls on the X-T10 are quite different – there is no ISO dial, no Focus Assist button, no metering dial and there are fewer programmable buttons on the camera, which translates to spending more time in the camera menu. With a larger and heavier body, useful dial locks and a much nicer grip, the X-T1 is superior ergonomically overall, particularly for people with larger hands. Plus, you have to reach to the battery chamber on the X-T10 to be able to insert or remove a memory card, while on the X-T1 the memory card slot is located on the side of the camera, which is another huge plus for the ergonomics of the X-T1. Fourth, you can attach a vertical battery grip to the X-T1, but you cannot on the X-T10 (it lacks connectors on the bottom of the camera). Although you can still attach a small grip that is designed specifically for the X-T10, it lacks the ability to add another battery and has no functional buttons or dials, so forget about being able to easily shoot in both portrait and landscape orientations. Fifth, although the X-T10 has a magnesium alloy base, it has more plastic components compared to the X-T1, which feels more solid and rugged. Sixth, the X-T1 has a 6x larger buffer and it has support for UHS-II memory cards, while the X-T10 does not. Seventh, the X-T10 lacks a flash-sync socket in front of the camera. And lastly, the X-T1 has a higher resolution LCD screen (1040k dots vs 920k dots). Being a lower-end camera, the X-T10 also gained a couple of options – it has a built-in flash, newer viewfinder GUI and it has a new “Auto” lever on top of the camera to switch to full Auto mode.
You get the idea – there is quite a bit one would be sacrificing by choosing the X-T10 over the X-T1. Still though, for those who do not care for weather sealing and the above ergonomic / functional inconveniences and lack of features, the X-T10 still has a lot going for it. In fact, it kind of makes both X-E2 and X-M1 redundant. Seeing the X-M1 already being discontinued, I really hope Fuji consolidates both X-E2 and X-M1 into a single product. With X-A as entry-level, X-Tx0 as mid-level, X-T as high-end and X-Pro as professional, Fuji would have plenty of options for potential customers, at different price points and different set of features. There is simply no need to confuse potential buyers with additional X-E and X-M series options in my opinion…
1) Fujifilm X-T10 Specifications
Main Features and Specifications:
- Sensor: 16.3 MP (1.5x crop factor), 4.8µ pixel size, same as on X-T1
- Sensor Size: 23.6 x 15.6mm
- Resolution: 4896 x 3264
- Native ISO Sensitivity: 200-6,400
- Boost Low ISO Sensitivity: 100
- Boost High ISO Sensitivity: 12,800-25,600
- Sensor Cleaning System: Yes
- Lens mount: FUJIFILM X mount
- Weather Sealing/Protection: No
- Body Build: Magnesium Alloy
- Shutter: Up to 1/4000 and 30 sec exposure with mechanical shutter and up to 1/32000 with electronic shutter
- Storage: 1x SD slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC, UHS-I compatible)
- Viewfinder Type: 2,360,000-dot OLED color viewfinder
- Continuous Shooting: 8 FPS
- Exposure Meter: TTL 256-zones metering
- Built-in Flash: Yes
- LCD Screen: 3.0 inch, 920,000 dots, TFT color LCD monitor
- Movie Modes: Full 1080p HD @ up to 60p
- GPS: No
- WiFi: Yes
- Battery Life: 350 shots
- Weight: 331g (excluding battery and accessories)
- Price: $799 MSRP body only at launch
A detailed list of camera specifications is available at Fujifilm.com.
2) Camera Construction, Handling and Controls
Similar to the Fuji X-T1, the build quality of the X-T10 is superb. Although it certainly feels a bit less rugged with plastic components such as the top of the camera where the built-in flash is hosted, the X-T10 has the same tough magnesium alloy base as the X-T1. At the same time, more plastic components and a slightly smaller footprint certainly translate to less weight – the X-T10 only weighs 331 grams, while the X-T1 is quite a bit heavier at 440 grams. This is certainly good for those who want a smaller and a lighter camera body, but for those who are used to a large DSLR, the added weight of the X-T1 is actually an advantage, as it helps balance the camera better, particularly when using higher-end lenses such as the Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8. Still, if one plans to use the compact and lightweight primes, the X-T10’s lighter construction would make it a nice camera to travel with.
Handling-wise, I find the X-T1 to handle much better in hands, thanks to its nicely protruded grip on the front of the camera. On the other hand, the modified grip on the back of the X-T10 is more comfortable for the thumb to rest in my opinion, so if Fuji took the two and combined the experience, I believe it would make the camera even more comfortable to hand-hold. Sadly, there is no way to attach a battery grip similar to the VG-XT1, which I absolutely love and rarely ever detach from my X-T1, as it makes the camera feel much more comfortable to hold (my pinkie does not slip down under the camera), although it certainly adds to the overall weight and bulk. The metal hand grip designed for the X-T10 is nowhere as good or as comfortable as a real battery grip, plus it gives no options to add another battery, which can be quite advantageous when shooting for extended periods of time.
When compared to the X-E2 or the X-M1 though, the X-T10 definitely handles better, thanks to the nice rubber grip on both the front and the back of the camera. When comparing the X-T10 to the X-E2, the former got slightly shortened, but also grew a bit more vertically, thanks to the middle top section of the camera where the built-in flash is located. The X-T10 gained a front dial and now has a “stricter” look, as seen in the below comparison:
We can also see huge changes on the back of the camera, with a completely different ergonomic approach of the X-T1, placing the viewfinder in the center of the camera and relocating all the buttons from the left side to the top and right side of the back of the camera:
If you have been shooting with the X-E2 or any other lower-end X-series cameras, the X-T10 gains a huge advantage ergonomically over all previous designs in my opinion. First, the viewfinder sits where it truly belongs – in the center of the camera rather than the corner. The location of the playback button to the left of the screen makes it easy to press the button while keeping the eye in the viewfinder when looking through images on the field, which is great. The same goes for the trash button – if you find an image that you don’t like, you can simply press the other button to delete it. Second, having both the AEL and AFL buttons move up is also a welcome change, as you don’t have to move your thumb to the side or down so much anymore. Third, the ability to tilt the LCD screen is amazing and something I wish every camera had – that alone is worth the upgrade from the X-E2 in my opinion. And lastly, it is also nice to have a dedicated dial for choosing a shooting mode, instead of changing it within the camera menu. In short, for someone coming from an earlier or lower-end X-series camera, the X-T10 represents very positive ergonomic changes.
Needless to say, the controls on the X-T10 are well-placed and very intuitive to use, similar to what we see on the X-T1. The biggest differences between the X-T10 and the X-T1 is the relocation of the function button from the top of the camera to the back lower right, lack of a function button on the front of the camera and lack of a dedicated “Focus Assist” button. Instead, Fuji made the rear and front dials of the camera clickable, so if you need to instantly zoom into an image, you simply press the rear dial. Not bad and certainly a workable solution.
The Fuji X-T10 no longer has the “Made in Japan” label on the bottom of the camera back. The label has been moved to the bottom, more specifically to the battery door, where it now says “Made in Thailand”. The Fuji X-E2 was made in Japan, but I guess Fuji will no longer produce lower-end camera bodies in Japan anymore.
Sadly, the tripod mount is still located off-center, near the battery door – a poor design choice, as it makes it impossible to change the battery or the memory card when the camera is mounted on a tripod, or when a tripod plate is attached. That’s another reason why I like the battery grip on my X-T1, as it relocates the tripod mount to the center of the camera and I don’t have to worry about detaching a tripod plate to access the battery.
Like before, I would recommend to replace the thin strap that comes with the Fuji X-T10 with something better and thicker. Fuji straps are very uncomfortable and they do irritate bare skin quite a bit. Despite the fact that one side of the strap is a little smoother than the other, it is the thin size of the strap and lack of any sort of padding that cause these issues. Personally, I am a huge fan of neoprene straps from OP/TECH. The classic version of the strap would probably be ideal, although if you feel that it is too thick or too big for the X-T10, they have all kinds of smaller sizes too. Just make sure to pick up a strap that is thin enough to go through the “ears” on the sides of the camera.
Lack of weather sealing is huge for me personally, since I shoot in all kinds of weather all the time. I have shot with my X-T1 in extreme cold, rain and dusty sand dunes and it performed flawlessly. I would certainly be more careful with the X-T10, as it does not have similar sealing around the dials and buttons, particularly when shooting in extreme humidity. Nothing surprising here, as none of the other lower-end cameras have ever been weather sealed anyway.
The built-in flash pops up when you move the flash lever on the left top of the camera. Similar to what we have seen on lower-end X-series cameras, the built-in flash on the X-T10 is pretty weak. I personally never bothered using it, although it could work out OK for adding a bit of fill-flash to your subjects. Speaking of flash, the flash shoe on the top of the camera is standard, so you can use pretty much any flash or a flash trigger on the X-T10. I have used my Nikon SB-900 speedlight, along with a PocketWizard Plus III when shooting a wedding on the X-T10 and both worked out great. Unfortunately, Fuji’s flash sync speed is limited to 1/180th of a second, similar to what you see on other X-series cameras.
Operating the camera and navigating the menu system is a breeze, but Auto ISO is still lagging when compared to my Nikon DSLRs. I really hope Fuji implements an automated way to control the minimum shutter speed according to the reciprocal rule. There should be a way to set it to normal, faster and slower shutter speeds relative to the reciprocal rule. Both Nikon and Canon have had this feature for a few years now and it is time for the mirrorless world to catch up!
Overall, the ergonomics of the Fuji X-T10 are excellent, similar to those on the X-T1.
3) Image Quality, RAW Files and Adobe RAW Handling
Ever since Fuji released its excellent X-Trans CMOS II sensor, it has been reusing the same sensor on pretty much every X-series cameras. On one hand I don’t blame Fuji for doing that, as the image quality is truly superb, even when compared to the latest and greatest CMOS sensors, but on the other hand, I wish we saw a bit more innovation on the sensor front from Fuji by now. The company is probably keeping its next sensor iteration for the upcoming Fuji X-Pro2 and I am hoping to see a bit more resolution in the next generation sensor. With the recent increase of resolution on cameras and the growth of 4K video, Fuji is going to get more pressure to release a higher resolution sensor.
What worries me more at this point is lack of simpler things, like lower base ISO and ability to shoot RAW at every ISO, instead of only keeping RAW options for the sensor’s native sensitivity range. While it is nice to be able to shoot with the electronic shutter option at insanely fast speeds, it would be great if Fuji provided the option to shoot at ISO 100 (and preferably lower) in RAW. If Fuji ships the next generation sensor with this ability and we see more resolution, the Fuji X cameras would surely attract more landscape photographers out there.
The biggest concern, however, is lack of proper RAW support in Adobe software. I have no idea who to blame at this point – Adobe’s development team for doing such a poor job at interpreting Fuji RAW files, or Fuji’s team for failing to provide a proper way to read those darn files to Adobe, but the situation has already reached the point of absurdity. Seriously, how long do we have to wait until we see proper Fuji RAW handling in ACR and Lightroom? It is the end of 2015 already and we are still dealing with mushy grass and weird artifacts in images, which is ridiculous:
Worst of all, both ACR and Lightroom slow down to a crawl when dealing with Fuji RAW files. The latest version of Lightroom CC is unbearably slow when importing and working on Fuji RAW files. In fact, for this particular review, I spent very little time editing images in Lightroom, because I got frustrated with the sluggishness and very poor performance – and that’s on a high-end Windows PC. That’s completely unacceptable, given that everything else out there does it much faster, without leaving those nasty artifacts in images.
Fuji needs to understand that such poor and ineffective handling of RAW images in Adobe’s software is one of the main reasons why some people stay away from Fuji X-series cameras. Adobe’s market share in the post-processing world is too big to ignore, especially among professionals. Seriously Fuji, you guys need to do something about this sooner than later!
4) Autofocus Performance and Accuracy
The X-T10 adopts the same autofocus system as on the X-T1, which is plenty fast for photographing both stills and moving subjects. There are a total of 77 contrast detection and 15 phase detection AF points in the camera to work with, which is plenty for most needs. If you want the fastest autofocus speed, I would recommend to utilize those 9 focus points that look whiter than others in the middle of the frame – those are the phase detection points.
With the X-T10, Fuji delivered a few new autofocus features. There is a new “Zone” and “Wide/Tracking” modes for capturing moving subjects. This works similarly to Nikon’s Dynamic AF Area Mode, where a group of focus points are engaged to track a subject. The Wide/Tracking mode works like Auto Area AF, where all focus points are engaged at the same time. The two modes worked reasonably well for slower moving subjects, but the hit rate was not all that good for faster subjects. Another new feature is the Eye Detection AF, which is supposed to detect and focus on human eyes. I found it to work reasonably well in AF-S mode, but it was a wasted effort when shooting in AF-C. Unfortunately, Fuji’s continuous focusing is still a bit behind when compared to other mirrorless cameras on the market, like the Sony A6000. The camera does generally well when photographing slowly moving people, but when it comes to fast, erratic movements, AF is still unreliable. When I attempted to do some bird photography with the X-T1 and the Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8 earlier this year, photographing a very quickly moving bird, it was a pretty frustrating experience overall, with most images lacking critical sharpness. With the X-T10 inheriting the same AF system, it will suffer from the same issues. So if you have been considering a mirrorless camera for photographing fast action, you might get a bit disappointed, especially if you are coming from the DSLR world. For everything else though, including photographing slowly moving people, modern mirrorless cameras like the X-T10 perform pretty well overall.
I love the fact that I can easily customize the rear navigation buttons to change focus points, something that every camera should be able to do (Set-Up -> Button / Dial Setting -> Function (Fn) Setting -> Fn3, Fn4, Fn5, Fn6 set to “Focus Area”). Sony is already on the second iteration of its A7-series cameras and the ability to quickly change focus points is still not there – you have to press a button before being able to do it, which is a huge waste of time. Fuji did not have the ability to customize each button on the back to change focus points initially, but after photographers complained, the company listened and implemented this ability in new firmware. Gone are the “Macro” and “AF” labels from the navigation buttons, so you can set every button to do whatever you want, which is great.
When it comes to focus accuracy, I find mirrorless cameras to generally produce better results than DSLRs, especially for stationary subjects. All focusing is done through the sensor and there is no threat for focus calibration problems, no separate phase detection sensors to deal with. The ability to zoom in and adjust focus with extreme precision before shooting is indispensable. Fuji makes it easy with the X-T10. Whether you are shooting in autofocus mode, if you push the rear rotary dial, the camera will instantly zoom in and you can easily see where you are focusing before you take a shot.
5) Manual Focus
Manual focus is still the same as on all X-series cameras, which is pretty slow to rotate from one end to another. That’s because Fuji does not rely on a mechanical focus ring like on traditional lenses. When you rotate the focus ring, focus is adjusted electronically via the fly-by-wire system. A focus scale is provided inside the viewfinder or on the rear LCD to indicate where you are at. It would be nice if Fuji added an option to speed up focus rotation by 2x, 3x, etc.
To zoom in to your subject while focusing manually, you also simply press the rotary dial on the back of the camera, just like you do when autofocusing. From there, you rotate the focus ring and watch focus adjust in your viewfinder or LCD.
6) Metering and Exposure
Metering performance felt to be about the same as the X-T1, which is pretty accurate and actually works surprisingly well in most situations. If you shoot in tricky lighting, the exposure compensation dial is right there on the top of the camera to make those fine adjustments. I personally rarely used the exposure compensation dial, since the camera performed well most of the time.
7) Shooting Speed (FPS), Buffer and Battery Life
Although the X-T10 shoots at the same speed of 8 fps as the X-T1, the continuous speed is only the same on paper, which does not specify exactly how long you can shoot. And that’s where the buffer size comes in. Basically, the X-T10 can only shoot for a second, since 8 images fill the buffer pretty much immediately. In contrast, the X-T1 can shoot much longer, being able to fit a total of 47 JPEG Fine images, which is roughly 6 times more. This makes the X-T1 a better choice for any kind of action photography.
As for battery life, not much has changed in that front – it is still around 350 total frames, since Fuji has been reusing the same battery from one model to another.
8) Video / Movie Recording
Video recording is definitely not the strength of X-series cameras, but Fuji has been slowly making improvements to video with each camera model. The Fuji X-T10 can shoot high definition 1080p content at up to 60 fps, which is not bad, but still pretty far behind the overall industry trend of going 4K. When even a basic iPhone 6s can shoot 4K video, I don’t understand why so many camera manufacturers are still stuck with 1080p. I am not a big video shooter, but Fuji has not done much to make video look great from Fuji cameras, pretty much ever since video was introduced to X-series cameras…
Unlike DSLRs that have to have their mirrors flipped up, which limits viewing of video recording only on the camera LCD, the Fuji X-T10 can display recorded video both on its rear LCD and inside the electronic viewfinder. You can choose a desired aperture, adjust exposure compensation and a few other camera settings and start the video. The external mic connectivity on the side of the camera is still there for those that want to record with an external microphone. Similar to the X-T1, a separate video recording button is available on the top of the camera.
9) High ISO Performance and Dynamic Range
There is nothing new when it comes to high ISO performance and dynamic range – the X-T10 has exactly the same sensor as the X-E2 and the X-T1, so if you are curious about how the X-T10 does when compared to other cameras, check out the Camera Comparisons section of both Fuji X-T1 and Fuji X-E2 reviews, where you will find comparisons to cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M1, Nikon D5300 and Nikon D600/D610.
Without a doubt, the Fuji X-T10 is another very strong tool to join the current line of X-series cameras from Fuji. Thanks to Fuji’s continuous efforts and the constant firmware updates that get pushed not only to the latest and greatest cameras, but also to the previous-generation cameras, the Fuji X system has been slowly maturing to a much more reliable system to shoot with. What started out as a gimmicky and a very unstable system with the introduction of the first X-Pro1, has transitioned into one of the best mirrorless systems around. Fuji continues that tradition by bringing out new firmware features and improvements in newer cameras like the X-T10, further delivering them to older cameras like the X-T1 as new firmware updates – something other manufacturers rarely ever do. Thanks to such efforts, Fuji has been highly regarded in the photography community, growing a very loyal fan base. And despite other systems having more features, lower price points or perhaps even better reliability, it is hard to ignore the fact that the company continues to attract huge crowds to its products. Fuji’s team is all about creating a positive shooting experience and that’s where they deliver, as it really is a true pleasure to shoot with X-series cameras and lenses.
The Fuji X-T10 is not an exception. Similar to its bigger brother, the X-T1, it is a pleasure to shoot with. We already know what to expect from Fuji’s X-Trans CMOS II sensor in terms of image quality, so delivering the same superb results in a more compact, lighter and less expensive camera is surely something that will appeal to many. Not everyone needs the build quality and the weather sealing of the X-T1, and the inferior ergonomic design of the X-T10 is also not a deal breaker for someone who is looking for a serious tool under $800. For those who already own an X-T1 and use it as a primary camera, the X-T10 would nicely fit as a secondary or backup camera too – there is not a big learning curve for the X-T10 and using both cameras would not present any issues when shooting in the field.
In my opinion, the X-T10 leaves no room for the X-E and X-M series cameras, considering its price point, features and ergonomics. If that’s the case and Fuji does indeed eliminate those two lines, I would certainly welcome the move, as it would mean consolidation and less confusion for potential buyers. Ideally, Fuji should not go beyond 3-4 different camera lines, with the X-A targeting entry-level, X-Tx0 targeting mid-level, X-T targeting high-end and X-Pro targeting professional.
The X-T10 is surely a great camera, but I do have some concerns – not specifically with the X-T10, but with the X-system in general. While the current firmware does deliver excellent autofocus performance in single-shooting mode (AF-S), Fuji has not been able to properly design a reliable continuous autofocus (AF-C) system. Every iteration of the Fuji system continues to disappoint here and I am not exactly sure why Fuji is having such a hard time with designing a proper system for focusing on moving subjects. While continuous autofocus is a problem with all mirrorless products on the market today, others are making it quite workable – the Sony A6000 and the second iteration of the Sony A7-series cameras are good examples. I really hope that Fuji spends a bit more time on developing a solid continuous AF system, as it could win far more fans for the company. With more telephoto lens and teleconverter options, Fuji should not be missing the potential opportunity to target future sports and wildlife photographers.
Another complaint is lack of proper RAW support from Adobe. As I have pointed out earlier in the review, I don’t understand what’s taking so damn long for Adobe and Fuji to come together and create a workable solution. After a number of years, it is tiring to still see nasty artifacts show up in images, and both ACR and Lightroom slow down to a crawl when working with X-Trans RAW files. Everyone else has figured it out – why can’t Adobe get the job done? Fuji should really try to work with Adobe engineers to create a solution that actually works, not occasional patches that don’t seem to achieve anything…
Overall, the X-T10 is a wonderful camera that I can highly recommend to our readers. For its price, it delivers superb performance in my opinion.
All Images Copyright © Nasim Mansurov, All Rights Reserved. Copying or reproduction is not permitted without written permission from the author.
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
- Image Quality
- High ISO Performance
- Size and Weight
- Metering and Exposure
- Movie Recording Features
- Dynamic Range
Photography Life Overall Rating