Fuji X-T10 Image Quality Comparison

Below are crops from our laboratory Still Life target comparing the Fuji X-T10's image quality to its more expensive sibling, the X-T1, as well as against several competing APS-C models -- and one Micro Four Thirds camera for good measure -- which all sit at similar price points or product categories: the Canon T6i, Nikon D5500, Panasonic G7 and Sony A6000.

NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page: Fuji X-T10, Canon T6i, Nikon D5500, Panasonic G7 and Sony A6000 -- links to the RAW files appear beneath those for the JPEG images, wherever we have them. And remember, you can always go to our world-renowned Comparometer to compare the Fuji X-T10 to any camera we've ever tested!


Fujifilm X-T10 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 200
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 200

As expected, the X-T10's image quality at base ISO is very similar to the older and more expensive X-T1, though the latter does do a little better in the red-leaf fabric here. (That may just be due to slightly different lighting angles.) Interestingly, the X-T10's JPEG file is quite a bit larger at 8.3MB versus 5.1MB, even though both cameras are set to the best quality Fine setting.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Canon T6i at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 200
Canon T6i at ISO 100

The 24-megapixel Canon T6i does capture more detail than the 16-megapixel X-T10 at base ISO, which is evident in the mosaic and fabric crops (in addition to the larger "scale" in the T6i crops), however color, contrast and sharpening are very different than the Fuji. The Canon also does much better with the pink fabric swatch and produces higher contrast in the red-leaf fabric, although fine detail in the leaf pattern is actually a bit worse, likely due to how the Canon applies noise reduction to reds. Which is better is hard to say, as it's a personal preference. Both offer excellent image quality with low noise at base ISO.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Nikon D5500 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 200
Nikon D5500 at ISO 100

Here again it's a very similar story, with the 24-megapixel Nikon D5500 capturing noticeably more detail than the 16-megapixel X-T10 at base ISO. And again, color, contrast and sharpening are very different between the two companies. The Nikon image is also crisper-looking though with more aggressive sharpening, and it does much better with the pink fabric swatch as well. The D5500 even resolves some of the threads in the red-leaf fabric, though it tends to blur the leaf pattern a bit and also shows hints of moiré.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Panasonic G7 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 200
Panasonic G7 at ISO 200

Here we compare the X-T10 to the 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds Panasonic G7 which employs a traditional Bayer color filter. The G7 does render fine detail a little better than the X-T10, particularly in the pink fabric, but it's also a touch noisier at base ISO, as can be seen in flatter areas. If you look very closely, the G7 has higher levels of both luminance and chrominance noise. Still, both cameras offer excellent image quality at base ISO.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Sony A6000 at Base ISO

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 200
Sony A6000 at ISO 100

Once again, the 24-megapixel APS-C Sony A6000 out-resolves the X-T10, with better fine detail in most areas, and it does a much better job in the pink fabric. The Sony's image is also generally crisper, without the usual haloing we see around high-contrast edges, though the red-leaf fabric looks a touch soft. But the Sony exaggerates the coloration in the monk's clothes (some of which is real, a result of the offset printing process), while the Fuji's rendering looks more monochromatic and almost sterile in comparison.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 1600
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 1600

Unsurprisingly, results here at ISO 1600 are again very similar for the two siblings, though the X-T10 shows perhaps a touch less noise in flatter areas while the X-T1 seems to pull just a bit more detail out of the fabrics. It's very close, though, and image quality is excellent for the sensitivity and size of sensor with very good detail, low luminance noise and almost no chrominance noise.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Canon T6i at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 1600
Canon T6i at ISO 1600

At ISO 1600, we start to see the advantages of Fuji's X-Trans II sensor and processing technology, with the X-T10 producing a cleaner image than the T6i that also manages to hold onto better detail. Although contrast is still good, some fine detail is blurred away by the Canon's default noise reduction, particularly in the red-leaf fabric. The Canon does however continue to do better than the Fuji in the pink fabric, but only marginally so.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Nikon D5500 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 1600
Nikon D5500 at ISO 1600

It's a similar story here against the D5500, with the Fuji producing a cleaner image with very good detail, while the Nikon produces a noisier image with more noise reduction artifacts, but with perhaps just a touch better detail in most areas. Again, the Nikon does better in the pink fabric, but it really struggles with the red-leaf pattern.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Panasonic G7 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 1600
Panasonic G7 at ISO 1600

The Fuji X-T10 does very well against the G7 here, producing a cleaner image with fewer noise reduction artifacts, although sharpening haloes are more evident than with the G7. The Panasonic doesn't do too badly, though, and continues to best the X-T10 in the pink fabric, but it really struggles to reproduce any fine detail in the red-leaf swatch.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Sony A6000 at ISO 1600

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 1600
Sony A6000 at ISO 1600

Although the A6000's resolution advantage is still evident at ISO 1600-equivalent, Sony's noise reduction system starts to produce noticeable artifacts which make the image look more "processed" and less natural compared to the X-T10's. Again, the A6000 does better in the pink fabric, but while the red-leaf swatch has good contrast, fine detail is actually far from accurate.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-T1 at ISO 3200

Once again very similar performance from the two siblings at ISO 3200, with just very minor differences. Really excellent performance for an APS-C camera at ISO 3200 from both of them.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Canon T6i at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 3200
Canon T6i at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, we have to give the edge to the Fuji for its cleaner, more detailed image all around. The Canon's image isn't bad for this sensitivity, but it contains both more noise, and more noticeable noise reduction artifacts.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Nikon D5500 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 3200
Nikon D5500 at ISO 3200

Again, the Fuji X-T10 comes out ahead of another 24-megapixel APS-C contender at ISO 3200, with a cleaner, more detailed image.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Panasonic G7 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 3200
Panasonic G7 at ISO 3200

At ISO 3200, the G7 really starts to struggle to produce a clean image without losing too much detail. It actually does pretty well for a Micro Four Thirds camera, though there is almost no detail left in the red leaf fabric.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs Sony A6000 at ISO 3200

Fujifilm X-T10 at ISO 3200
Sony A6000 at ISO 3200

Once again, the X-T10 comes out on top in this comparison, with a cleaner, more detailed and more natural-looking image overall. The Sony does manage a little more detail in the pink fabric, but its area-specific noise reduction makes it look a little artificial.

Fujifilm X-T10 vs. Fujifilm X-T1, Canon T6i, Nikon D5500, Panasonic G7, Sony A6000

ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 200
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
ISO 100
ISO 3200
ISO 6400
Detail comparison. We also like to take a look at high-contrast detail, as results often differ from what we see in the tables above. Here, the Fuji X-T10 doesn't do as well as the 24-megapixel APS-C cameras in terms of resolution or contrast, but the former is to be expected. The X-T10 performs similarly to the G7 at ISO 200 and 3200 equivalents, but the G7 does a bit better at ISO 6400. The X-T10 also seems to trail the X-T1 in terms of contrast, but upon closer inspection, that's likely due to some glare from our studio lights which unfortunately extends into the crop area. It's therefore pretty safe to say performance here is once again very similar to the X-T1.



Fuji X-T10 Print Quality

Very good 24x36 inch prints at ISO 100/200, a nice 16 x 20 at ISO 3200, and a usable 5 x 7 at ISO 25,600.

A quick note before we get into the print size breakdown below: The Fujifilm X-T10's JPEG images have pretty well-controlled sharpening, using the default settings. This is a very good thing, in terms of ability to apply careful sharpening in Photoshop, post-capture, but also means that prints made without further sharpening don't have quite as much "pop" as ones from other cameras that, frankly, over-sharpen. While these print quality evaluations are based on default JPEGs without further processing applied, it should be noted that precisely because the X-T10's in-camera sharpening is restrained, careful manual sharpening on the computer could yield up to another full print size at low ISOs.

So with that note, let's take a look at the results...

ISO 100/200 images look good at 24 x 36 inches. They're more crisp-looking at 20 x 30 inches, but per the above note, we'll "call" these at 24x36, with the observation that you might be able to go all the way to 30 x 40 inches with careful sharpening in Photoshop.

ISO 400 prints also look very good at 24 x 36 inches, with just very slight noise when you get right up on the print and squint at it. At anything like normal viewing distances, though, the noise is essentially invisible.

ISO 800 hangs in there quite well at a print size of 20 x 30 inches. There's very slightly more visible noise at this size than ISO 400 at 24 x 36, but it's very well within the range of what we'd call acceptable.

ISO 1600 produces very usable 20 x 30 inch prints at normal viewing distances. 16 x 20 prints are excellent at any viewing distance, but we'll call this at 20 x 30 for actual use, hanging on a wall.

ISO 3200 is often a dividing line for sub-frame cameras, but the X-T10 delivers very good 16 x 20 prints; an excellent result.

IO 6400 performance is very much in line with the general trend for this camera, producing very nice-looking 13 x 19 inch prints. There's just a little noise to be seen here and there, but the images look great overall when printed at this size.

ISO 12,800 sees a more significant degradation in print size, with the X-T10 managing to produce very good-looking 8 x 10 prints, with just a little noise, and a bit more loss of detail in the infamous red fabric swatch.

ISO 25,600 holds up surprisingly well, producing very usable 5 x 7 inch prints; quite an accomplishment for such a high ISO on a camera with an APS-C sized sensor.

ISO 51,200, alas, is pretty marginal, even at a 4 x 6 inch print size. It might be usable if you're just looking for a small image to share on Facebook, but this ISO level is otherwise best avoided.

As time has marched on, Fujifilm has continued to advance the state of the art with their X-Trans sensor technology, as well as their image-processing chops. The X-T10 is quite a bit cheaper than the previous X-T1 which we reviewed two years ago, yet its print quality is a solid step up of a full print size at high ISOs. As noted above, Fujifilm's conservative approach to in-camera sharpening shows up as slightly less definition and pop, but the fact that it creates only minimal "halos" around high-contrast edges means you'll be able to do a lot in Photoshop to bring out crisp details. Overall, the X-T10's high-ISO results are pretty amazing. It delivers exceptionally clean, detailed images at very high ISO levels. If you're shooting in conditions that routinely require you to crank up the ISO to get the shots you want, the Fuji X-T10 might very well be the camera you need.

About our print-quality testing: Our "Reference Printer"

Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell 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 routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, which we named our "Printer of the Year" in our 2015 COTY awards.

The Canon PRO-1000 has a lot of characteristics that make it a natural to use for our "reference printer." When it comes to judging how well a camera's photos print, resolution and precise rendering are paramount. The PRO-1000's more than 18,000 individual nozzles combine with an air feeding system that provides exceptional droplet-placement accuracy. Its 11-color LUCIA PRO ink system delivers a wide color gamut and dense blacks, giving us a true sense of the cameras' image quality. To best see fine details, we've always printed on glossy paper, so the PRO-1000's "Chroma Optimizer" overcoat that minimizes "bronzing" or gloss differential is important to us. (Prior to the PRO-1000, we've always used dye-based printers, in part to avoid the bronzing problems with pigment-based inks.) Finally, we just don't have time to deal with clogged inkjet heads, and the PRO-1000 does better in that respect than any printer we've ever used. If you don't run them every day or two, inkjet printers tend to clog. Canon's thermal-inkjet technology is inherently less clog-prone than other approaches, but the PRO-1000 takes this a step further, with sensors that monitor every inkjet nozzle. If one clogs, it will assign another to take over its duties. In exchange for a tiny amount of print speed, this lets you defer cleaning cycles, which translates into significant ink savings. In our normal workflow, we'll often crank out a hundred or more letter-size prints in a session, but then leave the printer to sit for anywhere from days to weeks before the next camera comes along. In over a year of use, we've never had to run a nozzle-cleaning cycle on our PRO-1000.

See our Canon PRO-1000 review for a full overview of the printer from the viewpoint of a fine-art photographer.

*Disclosure: Canon provided us with the PRO-1000 and a supply of ink to use in our testing, and we receive advertising consideration for including this mention when we talk about camera print quality. Our decision to use the PRO-1000 was driven by the printer itself, though, prior to any discussion with Canon on the topic. (We'd actually been using an old Pixma PRO 9500II dye-based printer for years previously, and paying for our own ink, until we decided that the PRO-1000 was the next-generation printer we'd been waiting for.)


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