Fujifilm X10 Digital Camera Review$599.00
Taken as a whole, the X10 offers great resolution performance, performing about as well as we like to see in an advanced compact with a large sensor and bright lens. The only hiccup was the autofocus system, which wasn't always accurate and threw off our first set of results. So the scores below are the best results that we measured, but we had to work a little bit harder than usual in order to get them. More on how we test resolution.
Bright, wide-angle lenses tend to struggle with distortion, but the X10's f/2.0, 28mm equivalent lens keeps lines pretty straight. It earns the best distortion score that we give to any camera. At the wide angle, barrel distortion is notable, at about 1 percent. But in the middle of the focal range and at the telephoto setting, we see just a minor pincushion effect, too subtle to jump out at the naked eye.
We test distortion on JPEGs, so software-based correction could be a big factor—we expect that RAW images will be much curvier, especially at the extreme focal lengths. Even so, we test all fixed-lens cameras using JPEGs, and the X10 handily outperforms the Canon G12 and S100.
The X10 resolves an excellent amount of detail. We measured up to 2100 MFT50s at the widest focal length, dropping off modestly at the middle and telephoto length. The lowest MFT50 we measured was 750, toward the edge of the frame at the middle focal length—a respectable showing, for sure. The processor does appear to add a bit of pixel sharpening to edges, but it's subtle.
Our official scores come from testing the X10 in program mode, but we also ran our resolution tests on the EXR Resolution Priority mode. We found no measurable difference, and we're pretty confident that the EXR Resolution Priority mode is exactly the same thing as regular auto or program mode (or any manual mode, for that matter). No big deal, but don't expect any sharper shots just by switching to the EXR notch on the mode dial.
We also ran our sharpness tests at a few additional apertures, which we don't typically do with point-and-shoots. Most lenses are sharper when they're stopped down a few notches, especially when the maximum aperture is as wide as the f/2.0 setting on the X10. Our official test shots were all taken at the widest possible apertures for each focal length, but even just backing off to f/2.8 helped a great deal, and f/4 seemed to be as good as it got.
As far as our official scores go, the X10 finished behind the Canon G12 and S100. The difference between the X10 and G12 is narrow and can probably be chalked up to the X10's brighter maximum aperture, which tends to result in softer photos. The S100, though, is a legitimate sharpshooter. With a little effort—making sure the focus is spot-on and stopping down the aperture a few notches, for starters—the X10 can probably match the S100's sharpness, but for quick out-of-camera shots, the S100 will consistently produce sharper images. The F600EXR finished at the back of the pack, as we'd expect from a cheaper camera with a massive zoom range.
Chromatic Aberration ()
The X10 shows very little chromatic aberration, a sure sign of a lens and sensor working in harmony. We barely noticed faint fringing on the edges of the frame at the wide-angle setting, and to an even lesser degree at the telephoto setting. The results are functionally identical to the S100, notably better than the G12, and obviously stronger than the F600EXR.
Quality & Size Options
All the common aspect ratios are supported, including 4:3, 16:9 (widescreen), 3:2, and 1:1 aspect ratios at three resolutions (Large, Medium, and Small, roughly translating to 12, 6, and 3 megapixels respectively in the 4:3 ratio) in both JPEG and RAW image formats. There are two JPEG quality levels, Normal and Fine.
With stabilization turned on, the X10 shows about a 49% improvement compared to no stabilization, a significant improvement. The X10 is still quite stable even with the IS deactivated, showing 70 MFT50s of detail, but the 144 MFT50s with IS on is the best in the class. More on how we test image stabilization.
Our test measures improvement within a camera between stabilization off and stabilization on; the chart below is not meant to suggest that the S100 is the least-stable camera in the group (it isn't), but rather that its stabilization system isn't as effective as the other cameras tested here.