16 janvier 2016

The Fujifilm X-T10: Are you serious?!!!

(This is the second version of a previous text that has been accidently delete to my great despair…)

The Fujifilm X-T10 is the diminutive and compact version of the Fuji X-series X-T1 camera that can be regarded as the flagship of this category. It represent a smaller, simpler, lighter package equipped with the same 16MP APS-C image captor of the other Fuji APS-C models with the exception of the newest Fujifilm X-Pro2.

The EVF  (Electronic ViewFinder) of the X-T10 is located on the axis of the taking lens like the bigger X-T1 compared to the off-axis viewfinder of the Fujifilm X-E1/2(S) or the X-Pro 1/2 that got also the OVF (Optical ViewFinder) option and  is assimilated as a hybrid camera. On-axis viewfinder has the advantage to give you a slightly more adequate position to anticipate your final taking angle of view in comparison with your own sight.  For their part the rangefinder style cameras tend to be more discreet devices in relation with their subject(s). I have worked over the years with success with ether on and off-axis type of viewfinder.

Today EVF viewfinder surpass OVF:
It may appear controversial but the point is that EVF viewfinder should be  today the first option of serious photographer. EVF allows us an instant view of the imagery result. It helps to do your composition, to fine tuning your focus, exposure or other special effect controls. It secures your results and increases a lot your efficiency. The days of film blind photography are gone and today new technology has liberated us in many ways of wrong guessing. As an ex-corporate and sport professional photographer I would have liked to work with digital cameras equipped with the most recent EVF.

Because it is a compact version the Fujifilm X-T10 is a narrower camera and like I use to comment for compact cameras it induce some sort of design compromise namely less space for the handling of the camera and for positioning the function command dials and buttons. To counteract that fact you can add an optional grip if this solution seem to improve your own handling of the camera.

A clean design that recall classic SLR film camera
Interesting points:
Speaking about the viewing option, working with the EVF give a nice representation of your final picture result even when you are wearing glasses like me. For myself I prefer to shut down the automatic brightness adjustment and manually set it. The automatic horizontal/vertical swift of the viewfinder indications is a nice touch too. The LCD back screen tilt able is also very handy to use as a waist level viewfinder or for tripod or tabletop work. Lastly on the EVF subject I must mention the very interest EVF switch-off option that will help to save your battery duration as for the nice automatic switch-on LCD screen option when you are reviewing your taken pictures (As I have firstly discover with the Fujifilm X-30 model).
The access to a distinctive shutter speed and exposure compensation dials are a very fine photographic features as for the aperture ring present on the XF version of the Fujinon line of lenses. Separate Automatic Exposure and Focusing Locking direct buttons are another fine touch for the user. The Quick menu is also a faster way to reach critical exposure adjustment without extendedly searching in the full menu.
Since the Fujifilm X-T10 is a simpler camera, it lacks some of the direct function buttons present with the others more advanced Fuji APS-C. This is partially compensated by clever use of the two front and rear command dials of the camera. I recommend you to consult a tutorial on how to handle the model such as the YouTube Fuji Guys.

To Be Improve Features:
There is no perfect camera in this world or should I say every model got its own personality. I definitively dislike the location of the Review and Trash buttons on the left side of the body. If you are a kind of one-right hand main user for holding and operating the camera, these particular buttons locations prove to be annoying and is asking you a less efficient procedure for reviewing your last results. The lack of signalisation for the functions buttons located around the Menu/OK button will also ask you to assimilate their respective value.

On-Board Flash.
The Fujifilm X-T10 is equipped with an in-board tiny flash that represent a nice fill-in flash option that can be used as an accent light. I must add that finding in the deepest of the menu the power flash output fine-tuning represent a challenge. Fuji designers have rightly maintain the flash hot shoe that allow us the addition of an external flash with more output, more flexibility and better height.

The Fujinon XC 16-50mm OIS II: a typical urban lens.
The Fujinon XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II Lens combine offer is a departure from the usual one of the XF 18-55mm lens with the other X-Series ILC cameras with viewfinder. The interest point of this XC 16-50 is mainly its 16mm focal length setting that gives a real wide angle of view compared with the 23mm, 27mm and 18-55mm lenses options. At 16mm the larger angle of view facilitate the creation of more contextual picture with close foreground subjects. For street photography this lens can be very creative. On the other end (50mm) of the XC zoom lens the telephoto option stay modest with a smaller maximum aperture  of F5.6 that prevent more shallow deep of field for portrait. In that case you may select one of the prime focal fix Fujifilm XF lenses with maximum aperture of F2.0 or F2.4 at least .

The Fujifilm Film Rendering Master Ability:
Every time I have returned using Fujifilm cameras after trying other maker models I always noticed how the Fujifilm image rendering is an always-pleasing experience. Because I am working mainly in JPEG format file I appreciate a camera maker that give us directly usable results at a professional level.
When I have started with digital camera I was amazed by the inability of many camera makers to produce repetitive image results. Posts processing of the time have been developed with a graphic technical bias that prevent photographer to correctly translate the traditional notions of imagery. Yes that language gap between photographers and software producers has been narrowed with time but more than that the camera makers like Fujifilm are now offering products adapted to photographs and with in-board post-processing very competent at the start.
There is something special with Fujifilm products because photographic technicians specialized in image rendering design them. And it shows I can testify. In fact Fujifilm is the digital successor of the Leica tradition of quality imagery.

Black and White is alive and well:
If you like B&W (Black and White) photography, you will be delighted with all the Fuji X-Series products. Their B&W rendering are simply rich and wonderful. If you process afterword your Fuji color picture in B&W you will get similar results without problems. But the ability to directly see your B&W rendering into your EVF/LCD screen is awesome. I think that products like Fujifilm X-series is recreating B&W popularity among photographs and the great public.
On the Fujifilm X-T10 you have the possibility to fine tune your B&W rendering by using the filter option that will increase contrast in discriminating certain colors/grey tones.

To conclude I would say that the Fujifilm X-T10 is the best entry option to the Fuji X-Series ILC camera without any image quality compromise.

Have you finish? Let’s take a nap!

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