Earlier this year Fuji came seemingly out of left field to score a global hit with their X100 camera. Featuring an amazingly sharp lens, an APS-C size sensor and a somewhat revolutionary viewfinder system as well as amazing retro good looks, this camera has become my favorite point-and-shoot, every day walking around camera. This month they’ll be releasing the X100’s baby brother, the X10.
This doesn’t have the same viewfinder system as the X100 and its sensor is also smaller (though significantly larger than those found in other cameras of its size and price range). What it does have, unlike the X100, is a zoom lens – 28-112mm (35mm equivalent) that starts at F2 and is just F2.8 at the tele end of things, which is pretty amazing for a camera of this size and presumably one of the reasons for the US$600 price tag. The zoom lens is manual – you twist the lens itself to zoom, just like with the big boys, rather than rely on some little switch or lever. However, you also twist the lens to turn it on or off, and I suspect that means the camera may get turned on inadvertently a lot. I also find the prominent placement of the focus mode switch to be a little odd.
Obviously it also has full manual controls and 1080 (not sure if 1080p or 1080i) 30 fps video. Check this preview post over at Pixiq where they ask if the X10 might end up being better than the X100.
It’s rolling out this month and is extremely tempting. The only thing stopping me from running out and trying to get this immediately, aside from the price, is that I don’t need two walking around cameras. Having the X100 and the X10 seems excessive. It does seem as if it would make a great travel camera, more flexible than the X100 and of course much smaller than my Nikon, and I do have a trip to Vietnam coming up next month. More than likely I’ll pass on it and bring my Nikon with me to Vietnam.
But it does show that a lot more thought is going into the design of these smaller cameras and there are at least some companies that seem to be focusing (pardon the pun) on creating quality creative tools. If you get one, please post a comment here and let me know what you think of it!