Fujifilm V10 Review

 
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Fujifilm V10 Exposure


Color

Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Generally good hue accuracy, though lower than average saturation for all but red hues.

In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located towards the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center.

Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life. In contrast to the general trend, the Fuji V10 tended toward lower saturation across the spectrum, with the exception of strong reds, which are quite oversaturated. Still, outdoor photos generally had appealing color. Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc. The V10 actually produced somewhat pale skin tones, with a slight red tint, but they were within what we'd consider an acceptable range of performance.

The other important part of color rendition is hue accuracy. Hue is "what color" the color is. Here, the Fuji V10 also performed pretty well. It did push magentas quite a bit towards red, but most color looked pretty accurate.

Our random "Gallery" shots showed very pleasing color across a wide variety of subjects. (See our Fuji FinePix V10 Photo Gallery for more shots taken with the camera.)

Sensor

Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Very warm casts with both Auto and Incandescent white balance settings. Less exposure compensation required than usual.

Auto White Balance +0.7 EV Incandescent WB +0.7 EV

Color balance indoors under incandescent lighting was warm and reddish in Auto white balance mode, while the Incandescent setting resulted in a more yellow color balance. The color cast with both settings was more than I like to see, but may be acceptable to some consumers, particularly when the images are printed out. The Fuji V10 only required a +0.7 EV exposure compensation boost to get a good exposure, a little less than average for this shot. Overall color is a dark and reddish here, making the blue flowers very dark and purplish. (A very common outcome for this shot.) Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulb, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the US.

Outdoors, daylight
Slightly bright exposure, high contrast loses detail in highlights and shadows, though good results overall.

Click to see YDSCF0068.JPG
Auto White Balance
Auto Exposure
Auto White Balance
+0.3 EV
Auto White Balance
Auto Exposure

Outdoor shots generally showed a slightly bright exposure with somewhat blown out highlights and plugged shadows under harsh lighting. The V10 typically required less positive exposure compensation than we're used to seeing with consumer digital cameras. With the exception of strong reds, most colors appeared slightly undersaturated, though accuracy was still pretty good.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Resolution
High resolution, 1,250 lines of strong detail.

Our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 1,250 lines per picture height, with extinction at around 1,700. Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail. Beware that while you might be able to make out what looks like distinct lines at numbers higher than those we've mentioned here, the camera is just doing its best to continue interpreting the lines. If you zoom in and follow them from the wider portions, you'll see the lines converge and reappear several times, so the lines you see at 1,500 and higher are really only artifacts generated by the camera's imaging system.

Strong detail to 1,250 lines horizontal Strong detail to 1,250 lines vertical

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sharpness & Detail
Fairly sharp images, though some artifacts from edge enhancement in high contrast areas and noise suppression blurs subtle detail somewhat.

Good definition of high-contrast elements, though some "halos" from edge enhancement by the camera. Subtle detail: Hair
Noise suppression tends to blur detail in areas of subtle contrast, as in the darker areas of Marti's hair here.

The Fuji V10's images are fairly sharp overall, though high contrast subjects show some fairly noticeable "halos" from the in-camera edge enhancement. (Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.)

Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears. The crop above right shows this, with the the darker areas of Marti's hair blurring somewhat, although lighter strands stand out well against the darker background.

ISO & Noise Performance
Low to moderate noise at the normal sensitivity settings, though very high noise with very strong blurring at the highest settings.

ISO 64 ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1,600

The Fuji V10's lower ISO settings produced low to moderate noise, with only slight loss of detail in the dark areas. At ISO 400, noise increases to a higher level, though detail remains pretty good. However, at ISOs 800 and 1,600, noise is very high, with very strong blurring. The images at these highest settings look more like impressionist paintings than photographs as a result, and even 4x6 inch prints are quite soft-looking.

Extremes: Sunlit and low light tests
High resolution with good overall detail, though high contrast limits shadow and highlight detail. Moderate low-light performance, capable of capturing fairly bright images under average city street lighting and slightly darker conditions.

+0.3 EV +0.7 EV +1.0 EV

Sunlight:
Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)

The Fuji FinePix V10 produced rather high contrast with washed-out highlights and deep shadows under the deliberately harsh lighting of the test above. Noise suppression is visible in the shadows, contributing to the loss of detail here. Highlights are a bit washed out at the +0.7 EV exposure, though the overall image seemed too dim at the +0.3 EV setting. (In "real life" though, be sure to use fill flash in situations like the one shown above; it's better to shoot in the shade when possible.)

  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
ISO
64
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100
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4 sec
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ISO
200
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ISO
400
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ISO
800
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1/10 sec
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ISO
1600
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Low light:
Our low light testing revealed some limitations in the lens and sensor's ability to gather and process light, but the Fujifilm V10 was able to capture good-looking images down to lowest light levels we test at, albeit only at the highest ISO settings, and therefore with the greatest image noise. At the lower ISO settings, the V10 was able to capture fairly bright images under lighting equivalent to average city street lighting, and slightly darker. It did significantly underexpose our test target though, at all ISO settings. (We don't generally use exposure compensation for this shot, but it looks like the V10 could have used it.) The camera's autofocus system worked down to the 1/8 foot-candle light level. Still, the V10 should be able to capture good-looking shots under typical city street lighting at night, since that light source usually produces about one foot-candle of illumination.

Do keep in mind that the longer shutter times a demand the use of a tripod or other camera support to get sharp photos. (A useful trick is to just prop the camera on a convenient surface, and use its self-timer to release the shutter. This avoids any jiggling from your finger pressing the shutter button, and can work quite well when you don't have a tripod handy.)


Flash

Coverage and Range
A slightly limited flash, with a bluish cast under incandescent lighting. No flash exposure compensation.

36mm equivalent 130mm equivalent
Normal Flash, Default Exposure Slow-Sync Flash, Default Exposure

Flash coverage was slightly uneven at wide angle, and even but very dim at telephoto. In the Indoor test, the flash on the Fujifilm V10 underexposed our subject at its default setting just slightly. However, with the Slow-Sync flash setting, the default exposure was a little brighter, with more even coverage. Unfortunately, the V10's exposure compensation adjustment has no effect on flash exposures, so we couldn't boost the brightness any.

8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft 12 ft 13 ft 14 ft
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1/60 sec
f5.3
ISO 100
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f5.5
ISO 100
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f5.5
ISO 100
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f5.5
ISO 100
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ISO 100

Even at eight feet, our closest test range, the Fujifilm V10's flash did not illuminate the DaveBox target adequately. At 14 feet from the target, results were quite dim indeed.

Output Quality

Print Quality
Good print quality, good color, usable 11x14 inch prints. ISO 400 images are marginal but possibly acceptable at 8x10 inches, fine at 5x7. ISO 800 and 1,600 images are so soft they really aren't usable even at 4x6 inches.

Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell just so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we now routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon i9900 studio printer, and on the Canon iP5200 here in the office. (See the Canon i9900 review for details on that model.)

With the Fujifilm V10, we found that it had enough resolution to make good-looking 8x10 inch prints. At 11x14, its prints were a bit softer looking, but more than adequate for wall or table display. At ISO 400, the prints were softer and more noisy, to the point that we'd consider them marginal for use at 8x10 inches, but fine at 5x7. (We suspect that most consumers would find 8x10 prints from ISO 400 shots acceptable for wall display.) At ISO 800 and 1,600, though, the images become so soft and distorted by the anti-noise processing that we wonder why Fujifilm bothered to offer these settings on the V10. Even when printed at 4x6 inches, the V10's ISO 800 and 1,600 images look more like impressionist paintings than photographs.

Color-wise, the Fuji V10's images looked fine when printed on the i9900, their more subdued color likely to be appealing to photographers who dislike the generally oversaturated color of most consumer digital cameras. (Although the Fujifilm V10 does still go a bit overboard with strong reds.) Printed on the i9900, the V10's images looked colorful enough, without seeming overdone.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm FinePix V10 Photo Gallery.

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Fujifilm FinePix V10 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!

Fujifilm V10

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