Fujifilm X-T1-Mini [X-T10]
(Full disclosure: I was commissioned by Fujifilm to use the new X-T10 to make some sample images. However, this review was created solely at my discretion and contains only my opinions from using the camera for the last month. I am under no obligation by Fuji to review this camera.)
What is the Fujifilm X-T10? It is a smaller version of the ever popular X-T1 that has been stripped of some of its features to appeal a differing level of skill and wallet size.
I say "stripped of features" but realistically these features are more conveniences in design than actually the guts of the camera. The camera still has the X-Trans II 16 megapixel sensor and EXR II processor which is the same as the X-T1. Suffice it to say the image quality will be the very same. I am not going to do a comparison of the total specs between to the two as you can find that on the Fujifilm website.
I will go over my impressions of a few areas:
Only the top and bottom plates are made of metal and the middle is fancy plastic. It does feel sturdy but definitely not as solid as the X-T1. The top of the "prism" houses the pop-up flash that is engaged with a flick of a switch. When I first took the camera out of it's packaging I tapped on the "prism" area and was disappointed thinking that the entire top plate was plastic. That was not the case. The rest of the camera does not feel plastic-y.
Another feature omitted is the weather sealing. I know some people need to have a camera with some form of weather sealing since they are out shooting in the elements. For me it is nice to have but I have used all of my Fuji's in light rain and snow and they didn't give me any problems. The up side to not having weather sealing is the buttons are satisfyingly click-y and the side door that covers the mic & USB ports snaps shut easily. The SD card is loaded in the same compartment as the battery so there is only the 1 side door.
Also, no weather sealing brings the return of the threaded shutter release. Once again we can use a soft release button and an old school cable release. I used both on past X-series bodies and love them.
The X-T10 has a tilt-y LCD screen on the back that articulates with the same range of motion as the X-T1 but without as many pixels. Sorry, you can't swivel it out to take amazing selfies. But you could just use the remote app and wifi for that.
Prior to being sent this camera I had been using film cameras almost exclusively for the preceding few months. As such, I was able to really use this camera without the bias of going from an X-T1 to the X-T10.
The biggest issue I see people having with the X-T10 is its size. It is quite small and doesn't have much of a grip in comparison to the X-T1. It does, however, have a nice thumb rest on the back. I found it fairly comfortable to hold but if you have baseball mitts for hands this thing will disappear into them. But don't get me wrong, the size makes this as discreet as it is a powerful photography tool.
The X-T10 comes with 7 programmable function buttons. I immediately went into the menus to get them assigned how I have them on my X-T1 but I ran into an issue. I couldn't assign one as the 'Macro' button. Well that is because the X-T10 already had the same new auto-focus features that will populate X-T1s around the world via Firmware 4.0. This includes changing the rear 4-way pad to only move the focus point. So no more 2-stage button press to change the focus point.
The new zone mode really reminded me of using my Canon 5D Mark III. Since coming to the X-series I have pretty much only used the single AF point which worked well for me. But I am super impressed with the zone focusing. Especially because it can be used in continuous mode as well.
More on New Auto Focus
Having used this camera with the above mentioned new auto focus features I am very excited for them to come to my X-T1 in June. The camera I used is a pre-production model, but the auto focus was snappy and fairly accurate.
I'll talk a little about the zone focusing. Now I select an area of focus points (from 3x5, 5x5 or 3x3) and I can move the area over any of the 77 focus points. It will select one or several focus points over your subject. It is a bit more targeted than the wide/tracking focus mode which will use all 77 points.. which is pretty good but of course it will focus on something you don't want to be in focus at some point.
Wide/tracking continuous mode would be best used if taking photos of your kid running amok or anything that moves in an unpredictable, rapidly changing pattern. It did work pretty well when I used it but for my style of shooting it wouldn't be something I use much.
Face detection now goes in a little deeper with eye detection, because who wants a cheek in focus and not the eye?
Bare in mind that I like the current auto focus system of the X-T1, but this new system really brings the dSLR functionality to these cameras.
I have read a lot of online chatter about the lack of the ISO dial. It has been substituted with a drive mode dial. Which is not likely something I would use much. I generally keep it in the single shot mode and that is that. Only occasionally switching it to continuous high or continuous low. It is almost like they needed something there to fill the void left by the ISO dial.
I first assigned ISO to the 'record' button next to the shutter. But then I discovered that the wheel on the front of the camera was clickable. Which make it the natural choice for ISO. Click and then turn the wheel to the desired ISO setting with one hand while keeping your eye looking in the viewfinder.
I assumed that this camera would of had some other features disabled for the sake of lowering the camera into a lower consumer class than the X-T1. Things like classic chrome film simulation, wifi, interval timer, 1/32000 electronic shutter, viewfinder display auto rotate... but no, they are all still there.
Let's take a second to talk about full AUTO mode. It has several scene modes selectable with the rear wheel (advanced scene recognition +, portrait, portrait enhancer, landscape, sport, night, night tripod, fireworks, sunset, snow, beach, underwater, party, flower & text).
I used it SR+ for a minute or two but the constant noise on my 35/1.4 pre-focusing was super annoying. I imagine it would drain the battery pretty fast too. I don't think this is a camera that someone who only wants to shoot in the full AUTO mode should buy. They would be much better off with the XQ2 point & shoot camera. The good news is if you want the camera to make all of your decisions (why is that good news again?) you can place the shutter dial on 'A', the aperture on 'A' and turn auto ISO on and be in program mode.
It is the same image quality as the recent crop of X-series cameras as it uses the same sensor and processor. And that image quality is fantastic.
Here is a small gallery of sample images I made with the X-T10. I used the XF35mm/1.4, XF14mm/2.8, XF18mm/2 & XF18-55/2.8-4:
Should you buy the X-T10? I have no idea. It will retail for $899CND body only and $1249CND with the XF18-55/2.8-4 kit lens. Cheaper with the XC16-50 but I wouldn't buy that lens. The optics are good but the build quality is all plastic with a slower aperture.
Pair this with the XF18mm/2 or XF27/2.8 and you have a very, very small street shooter camera with great image quality. What are you getting over a used X-E2? Mainly the SLR-like shape, tilt-y LCD and the great new AF system.
I won't be buying one because I already have an X-T1 that I love. I would think of it as a back-up to that if I needed it.. but at this point I don't. My wife, who is not into photography, liked it and felt she could see herself using that as her camera. She used to have a dSLR which she never brought with her due to the weight. But this would be easy to bring along on adventures.
What do you think of the X-T10? Share your thoughts in the comments or catch me on my "social" media.
*All product photos of the X-T10 were made with a Rolleiflex 3.5F on Kodak Portra 400 film. Self-developed & scanned.