Fujifilm X-S10 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-S10|
(23.5mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||160 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||80 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 900 sec|
|Max Aperture:||2.8 (kit lens)|
5.0 x 3.4 x 2.6 in.
(126 x 85 x 65 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-S10 specifications|
Fujifilm X-S10 Hands-on Preview
by William Brawley
Preview posted: 10/15/2020
While full-frame mirrorless cameras continue to gain popularity, it's important not to forget that the crop-frame camera segment is a massively popular one. For those who prioritize size and weight as well as cost, an APS-C camera can make a fantastic choice for a camera system. One of the major crop-sensor platforms, Fujifilm's X Series, has long been a top-notch offering for not only stylish cameras but also ones with fantastic image quality, performance, portability and price.
The current range of Fuji X Series models spans the gamut from high-end enthusiast-to-pro-oriented models, such as the X-T4 and X-Pro3, to ultra-portable, entry-levels offerings, like the X-T200 and X-A7. A shared feature between most of these models, aside from the X-T4 and X-H1, is a lack of sensor-shift image stabilization, or IBIS. Mirrorless cameras with IBIS have quickly become almost an expected feature at this point, yet Fujifilm has been somewhat slow in introducing this tech to their cameras. Beginner and amateur photographers wanting a small and lightweight Fujifilm camera that also has IBIS were, sadly, out of luck. Until now.
The new Fujifilm X-S10 is an all-new intermediate-class camera line, sliding in between the still-for-sale X-T3 and the X-T30 and features in-body image stabilization -- making it Fujifilm's most affordable X Series camera with IBIS, yet. Sporting the same imaging pipeline as the flagship X-T4, the X-S10 is, in many ways, a smaller, lighter and even more affordable X-T4. However, the design and ergonomics veer off a bit from the typical "retro-styled" Fuji X Series camera, with the X-S10 featuring a more simplistic design, a deeper handgrip (more like an X-H1 in this case), and utilizing more common camera controls (front and rear dials plus a traditional mode dial, for example).
Fujifilm tells us that one of the goals of the X-S10 is to grow the already popular APS-C camera market, and the X-S10, with its impressive imaging pipeline, IBIS and familiar control design, aims to welcome new photographers from existing DSLR platforms and other systems into the Fujifilm family with ease-of-use and excellent features.
We were sent an early pre-production Fuji X-S10 unit, so in addition to running through all of the major specs and features, I will also include some handling notes after shooting with the camera for a few days. Given the early pre-production-level sample, the images shot with the camera are not available for full-res download. We will, of course, update this review with full-res images once we receive a final production sample.
With that out of the way, let's dive in!
XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS: 55mm, f/7.1, 1/250s, ISO 160 - Velvia Film Simulation
Key Features & Specs
- Super-compact SLR-like APS-C mirrorless camera
- 30% lighter and smaller than the X-T4
- 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS IV BSI image sensor
- Quad-core X Processor 4 imaging processor
- 425-point hybrid AF system with phase-detect
- 5-axis Image Stabilization system rated up to 6 stops
- ISO range: 160-12800
- New Compressed RAW image quality option
- 8fps with mechanical shutter; 20fps with electronic shutter
- 4K 30p video; 4:2:2 10-bit external; 4:2:0 8-bit internal
- Full HD up to 240fps
- 18 Film Simulations
- USB-C port
- Articulated, vari-angle LCD touchscreen
- 2.36M-dot/100fps OLED EVF
- $999.95 body-only
Design & Handling
As mentioned earlier, the Fuji X-S10 is a very portable and compact APS-C mirrorless camera, and yet unlike larger X Series cameras like the X-T4, the X-S10 features a deeper, more "SLR-like" handgrip -- making it a bit more reminiscent of the burly X-H1. Still, the X-S10 can easily rest in the palm of your hand, weighing in at 465g (1.02lb) body-only and measuring (W) 126.0mm (W) by 85.1mm (H) by 65.4mm (D).
In addition to a deeper handgrip, the other notable design difference in the X-S10 compared to a typical Fuji X series camera is the use of more standard exposure controls and a PASM mode dial. Most Fujifilm cameras have a unique combination of dials -- an ISO dial, a shutter speed dial and an aperture ring on the attached lens -- that you set in various combinations in order to put the camera in Aperture Priority mode, Shutter Priority mode and so on. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature, but for new users to the Fujifilm system, it can take a little time to get used to it. The X-S10 aims to avoid that learning curve, letting photographers grab the camera and get to shooting with a familiar set of controls.
The X-S10 features both front and rear command dials for primary exposure setting adjustments, as well as a dedicated ISO button on the top deck. As mentioned, the camera features a standard PASM mode dial with four customizable user-setting modes as well as AUTO and SP (Scene Position) modes. On the left side of the central EVF is an additional, unlabeled dial that lets you scroll through and switch between the various Film Simulations. I wish other Fuji cameras had this same dial, as it allows for quick and easy access to all your Film Sims all in one motion. Next to this dial is a lever switch for the pop-up flash.
On the rear of the camera, the X-S10 is rather minimal, with only a few buttons for things like menu access, playback mode, and drive settings, as well as a multi-directional joystick control. Much like the X-Pro3 and X100V, this model also lacks a 4-way control button cluster; the joystick is fantastic for changing your AF point, but personally, I find menu navigation a bit easier with directional buttons.
In terms of screens, the X-S10 has a fully-articulated vari-angle touchscreen LCD with front-facing capabilities. The 3.0-inch LCD touch display features approximately 1.04-million dots of resolution and provides 100% field coverage. The EVF, meanwhile, is more or less the same as the one on the X-T30, featuring a 0.39-inch OLED panel with 2.36 million dots of resolution and providing a 0.62x magnification factor.
A few other notable differences between this camera and it's larger X-T4 sibling is that it uses only a single UHS-I SD card slot and does not feature any purpose-built weather or environmental sealing.
As the sample unit we've seen so far was only a prototype, we can't comment too much on overall build quality, as that may change slightly at final release. However, in use, the camera feels very nice in the hand. The grip is made of magnesium alloy, as are the front and top-plate of the camera, making for an altogether ridged and solid-feeling camera. The camera was indeed much smaller and lighter than I was expecting, yet the deeper handgrip makes it much more comfortable to hold -- more so than the X-T4, in my opinion, which has a fairly shallow grip. The built-in front and rear controls dials also provide that classic "DSLR-like" shooting experience, letting me quickly adjust shutter speeds and aperture setting with my thumb and forefinger will keeping the camera up at my eye.
The imaging pipeline of the new Fuji X-S10 is essentially exactly like that of the X-T4. The cameras share the same 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 backside-illuminated image sensor and quad-core X-Processor 4 image-processing engine, and offers a native ISO range of 160-12,800, with an expandable ISO range down to ISO 80 and up to ISO 51,200. Like other Fujifilm X cameras, the X-S10 can capture images in both RAW (uncompressed, losslessly compressed or compressed) and JPEG, and of course, features the full array of Film Simulations offerings, including the latest ETERNA Bleach Bypass film sim that was released late last year. The Film Simulations go beyond just standard "images filters" -- read more about them here -- and alloy you to easily customize the look and feel of your images all within the camera without the need to post-process images (if you don't want to).
Additionally, the inclusion of an AUTO/SP (Scene Position) mode, in which the camera automatically recognizes the scene and adjusts exposure and picture settings for the optical look and exposure -- allows newer photographers or those that just want a point-and-shoot operation to capture photos easily. For the first time, however, the X-S10 now allows for RAW capture in AUTO and SP modes alongside JPEGs, and with in-camera raw processing, you can tweak and adjust images directly in the camera without the need to edit images on a computer. Further, the X-S10 now allows you to select an AF point in AUTO and SP modes; earlier cameras with these shooting modes only allowed for Wide-area AF mode with no AF point control.
XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS: 55mm, f/5.6, 1/300s, ISO 160 - Velvia Film Simulation
One of the major features of the X-S10 is the inclusion of in-body image stabilization. The Fuji X-H1 was the first X Series camera to offer IBIS and was quite a large camera compared to the rest of the X Series lineup. Eventually, Fuji managed to slim-down their IBIS technology, allowing them to squeeze it into the slimmer X-T4, which maintained a nearly identical footprint to the previous X-T3. For the even-smaller X-S10, Fuji's managed to shrink and lighten their IBIS assembly even further. The 5-axis IBIS unit is 30% smaller and lighter than the X-T4's yet offers nearly as much stabilization power, with a rating of up to 6 stops depending on the lens (the X-T4's IBIS was rated for up to 6.5 stops). The X-S10's IBIS is more powerful than the earlier X-H1, however, which offered up to just 5.5 stops.
Another image-quality amenity included for the first time in the X-S10 is a new motion sensor retention mechanism, which is essentially a mechanical shock absorber device to help combat against shutter shock.
Autofocus & Performance
With the same sensor and processor as the X-T4, both the AF system and performance features are by and large the same here on the X-S10. The camera features the same phase-detection-based autofocus system with 2.16 million phase detection pixels that span the entire sensor area and feature up to 425 user-selectable AF points. According to Fujifilm, the X-S10's AF system is capable of grabbing focus in about 0.02 seconds and can operate in low-light conditions down to -7EVs. The camera also features high-precision Tracking AF functionality as well as both face and eye-detection AF. Additionally, the camera features updated AF algorithms for AUTO/SP mode for faster AF speeds and better autoexposure for backlit subjects.
XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS: 37mm, f/4, 1/950s, ISO 160 - Provia (Standard) Film Simulation
In terms of burst shooting, despite the same processor as the X-T4, the new X-S10 differs slightly in the sheer horsepower of its burst shooting capabilities. The X-S10 can shoot up to 8fps with the mechanical shutter, whereas the X-T4 reaches up to 15fps. However, with the electronic shutter, the X-S10 is on-par with its big brother, offering blackout-free shooting at 20fps at full-resolution or 30fps in a lower-res 1.25x crop mode.
Fujifilm did not provide any information about buffer depth. We will update our Preview once we have that information. Given the same processor as the X-T4, however, buffer capacity has the potential to be similar. However, given the X-S10's use of a slower UHS-I memory card, buffer clearing times are likely slower than the X-T4.
On the video side of the equation, the X-S10 is, again, very similar to the X-T4 in terms of features and performance. One of the main differences of the X-S10 is a lack of 4K/60p recording capabilities, and instead topping-out at 4K/30fps. Aside from that difference, the X-S10 is capable of 4K video at both DCI (4096 x 2160) and UHD (3840 x 2160) resolutions and can output 4:2:2 10-bit video through the HDMI. Internal recording is set at 4:2:0 8-bit (the X-T4 is capable of 4:2:0 10-bit internal recording). Full HD recording is also available at up to 240fps, which allows for excellent slow-motion capabilities. Video is recorded using Long GOP compression, and bitrates are offered up to 200Mbps. The camera also supports F-Log recording and offers F-Log View Assist (BT.709) in-camera to help assist with exposure settings in this extra-flat recording mode.
Thanks to the on-board IBIS, the X-S10 features both Digital Image Stabilization for enhanced video stabilization when shooting walking video footage, as well as IS Boost Mode for an even more rock-solid stabilized shot for stationary handheld video recording. (These additional IS modes will introduce a slight crop to your image.)
The camera features separate Movie Mode menus, displays video recording time counting up from zero, and offers a dedicated video recording button (which lets users easily capture video clips quickly while remaining in photo shooting mode). Additionally, Fujifilm states that in the construction of the camera, they use a new cooling construction for the front cover of the camera for better thermal efficacy while still allowing for a compact camera design. In terms of sustained recording time, the X-S10 is capable of up to approximately 30 minutes of 4K 30p recording; the X-T4 shot up to 20 minutes at its highest 4K frame rate of 60p.
Ports, Battery & Storage
In terms of ports and connectivity, the Fuji X-S10 features a USB Type-C (USB3.2 Gen1x1) port that supports charging and data transfer as well as headphone support. The camera features a 3.5mm microphone jack but does not have a standalone headphone jack; instead, the camera ships with a small USB-C 3.5mm headphone jack adapter. Additionally, there is an HDMI micro connector (Type D) and a hot shoe on top of the EVF. As mentioned earlier, the X-S10 provides only a single SD card slot, which is also compatible with only UHS-I speeds. The camera also includes wireless connectivity (Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) with compatibility for the FUJIFILM Camera Remote smartphone app for wireless image transfer, geo-tagging and remote control functionality.
The X-S10 is powered by the rechargeable NP-W126S Lithium-ion battery pack, the same battery used in the X-T3, X100F/V and many other X Series models.
Pricing & Availability
The Fujifilm X-S10 is expected to go on sale in the U.S. and Canadian markets beginning in November 2020 in black and will be offered in both a body-only and two XF lens kit options:
- X-S10 Body-only: $999.95 USD / $1,349.99 CAD
- X-S10 with XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R lens kit: $1,399.95 USD / $1,899.99 CAD
- X-S10 with XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR lens kit: $1,499.95 USD / $2,049.99 CAD
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