Fujifilm chose IFA as the place to out its latest retro snapper, and little brother to the X100 – the appropriately named X10. So, how does the mid-ranger fare in comparison? Unfortunately, we were unable to delve too deep seeing as Fujifilm were only willing to show it off in prototype form, but first impressions have earned it a huge thumbs up so far.
On aesthetic quality alone, the X10's all black design doesn't quite match the awesome toy camera guise of the X100 – so the compromise is that it doesn't look as retro-tastically cool. But it does serve to make it look a tad classier and means you won't get as many people questioning why you're using a relic from the 1950s. But most importantly, it feels good in the hand. It also lives up to its little brother status, being considerably smaller and lighter than the X100, pitting it against the likes of Canon's G12 and Panasonic's LX5.
The X10 has made some major cosmetic and under the hood improvements, namely (and welcomely) in the form of 4x manual zoom, with a 28-112mm range. The zoom ring also doubles up as an on/off switch, which is instantly triggered when twisted. Not only is this cool, but it's incredibly handy. The flash also pops up to say hello when needed.
In some areas, it's identical to the X100, like its 2.8in 460 dot LCD display. In others, it's just not as awesome – like choosing an optical viewfinder as opposed the X100s hybrid viewfinder. It's pretty similar in the controls department, too. The most noticeable difference is the small rubber pad to rest your thumb and the focus mode, which has now moved to a small dial situated on the front.
As it's still in the early stages, we were unable to put its claimed 0.01 shutter release time lag to the test. The same goes for its camera trickery, such as its panorama 360 mode, or how noisy is gets at the top end of its 100-128,000 ISO range. But as soon as Fujifilm's due a fully-fledged X10 delivery, which will hopefully be around October, we'll get one in for a full testing.
At this stage, this manually-controlled camera could be quite the hit. It's just as covetable as the X100, and at around half the price, those who missed out on the original due to financial constraints will finally be able to grab a piece of the X-flavoured pie.
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