THE LOW-DOWN: This 12 megapixel camera comes with a 28–112mm (film equivalent) image-stabilised lens. The maximum aperture ranges from f2 at wide-angle to f2.8 at telephoto. Body styling is similar to the X100 and the ergonomics are excellent. The camera is turned on by rotating the lens barrel which is engraved with focal length markings in film equivalent numbers. The exposure compensation dial is on the body top, and to complete the retro touch there is a conventional mechanical socket for a remote cable release. The optical viewfinder is coupled to the lens zoom, with dioptre adjustment for spectacle wearers. A pop-up flash is supplemented with a hot shoe. The user manual is comprehensive and is needed with such a full-featured camera.
LIKE: The X10 is clearly designed by and for photographers. The zoom is manually controlled by rotating the lens barrel. The film-equivalent focal length engravings are simply sensible. Image quality is outstanding. And the final proof that this was made by photographers is the fact that the memory card and battery can be accessed without taking the camera off the tripod.
DISLIKE: There is too much complexity in some of the unique Fujifilm controls. Automatic exposure in full auto mode is erratic. Use the P setting.
VERDICT: This is a gem. It looks splendid in its serious black form. The optical viewfinder is exemplary. Noise reduction can be varied and we found that the smudging effects of so many compacts doesn’t happen in the X10 which means that the subjective resolution, even in jpeg captures, is excellent. This is not a pocket camera, like the Panasonic LX-5 or the Canon S100, but for anyone who likes a camera to look, feel and perform like a real camera the X10 is an absolute winner.