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Tales From The Mancave | The Fuji X10

Back at the start of the year I was privileged to be sent a Fuji X10 on loan to test. I am not going to bore you with a million tech spec and comparisons to my Canon G9, there’s loads of site doing that already. So instead I will share with you my experience of using as a personal point and shoot camera, out on an e-shoot in London and in a studio environment.

Build and styling wise this is one sweet little camera with a very retro feel to it. It is light but feels robust. The layout of the camera seems to be well thought out with useful dials and button easy to hand. Although I am cautious of using the lens as the on off switch all the time. I would have preferred to have a dedicated button for it, but that’s just my choice. The viewfinder is a bit naff and I found myself constantly using the LCD screen instead and as with all Fuji cameras the menu system is a bit, um, interesting at times. Certain things are buried deep into sub menus taking a lot of time to find. Like the hotshoe activation. In silent mode the hot shoe is disabled, which took some working out on a shoot one time.
There’s a whole host of in camera processing settings you can play with and being a bit of a lo-fi freak on my iphone these for once appealed to me, especially the square crop settings. Image quality wise it impressed me for it’s size producing some impressive images in RAW format.

So using the camera, firstly as a personal point and shoot. I am very impressed, it’s ease of use and compact size makes it easy to carry in a pocket and have to hand there and then. It’s quick to focus and with two young sons this helped me capture a few shots the G9 may have missed. it worked well under all lighting conditions, but impressed me the most when faced with some strong back lighting situations handling them very well.

During my test period with the X10 I had a shoot up in London. I used the camera there but due to client confidentiality I can’t sow you specific images from the shoot but I did have some time to go shoot some street stuff around St Pauls area of London. If I had had my main DSLR on show I don’t think I would have been as well received in the “occupy” or been as discrete as I was with some shots. A real plus there. I did use the X10 on the main shot and received a few funny looks from my clients but it was never questioned..

Finally I used the camera in a studio type environment working with mono block lights and flash trigger. I had an initial issue with the hotshoe not firing, but after a few menu tweaks we got the Fuji to work with PocketWizards, Elinchrom skyports and Cactus V4’s to fire a range of strobes. I honestly would say this is about the only time I felt the x10 shows it’s weaknesses. But in all fairness it isn’t designed to be used in this environment, so I can;t blame the camera. But we did get it to sync at 1/500 sec..

Overall I really liked the X10 and being in the market for a hi-end compact it is on my list of possible purchases, but I would love to test it out against it’s bigger brother the x100 at some point. In comparison to my G9, it’s hard to say it’s like comparing apples and oranges. The G9 out performs in areas the X10 is weak and vice versa, so a tough one to call.
Would I buy one to put in the my bag for weddings, yes, but only after I have tried the X100. Would I buy one as a family point and shoot. – For sure.

A huge thanks to Fuji to loaning me the X10.

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