The upcoming Fujifilm XF10 was just announced today, and a Fuji X Weekly reader asked if I would share my opinion about it. I have never used the camera or seen it in person, so I don’t know how valuable my thoughts might be, but since I was asked I will share them with you.
To understand the XF10 you have to go back a couple of years to when the X70 was released, which was basically a smaller, lighter, more wide angle, and cheaper X100T. It was a very popular camera, especially for street photography and travel landscapes. The X70 was also the very last X-Trans II camera, and right after its release Sony announced it was discontinuing production of the 16-megapixel APS-C sensor, so its availability was limited.
A lot of people figured that Fujifilm would release a successor to the X70, perhaps called X80, with the new 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor, but that didn’t happen. Fujifilm came out and said that the new sensor required too much computing power and generated too much heat to simply fit into an X70 body. It was either going to run very slow or they were going to have to make a bigger, heavier, more expensive body to house it in, which would defeat the purpose of the camera in the first place.
There are a lot of similarities between the X70 and the XF10. There are some differences, as well, but the two cameras are more alike than not. The XF10 lacks a flip screen and has a PASM dial instead of a shutter speed dial. The XF10 is 4K capable (sort of). The XF10 has a snap-focus option. Oh, and the sensors are different.
The X70 sports a 16-megapixel X-Trans sensor while the XF10 has a 24-megapixel Bayer sensor. What this means for practical purposes is you will get similar image quality from both cameras. For example, the X-A3 camera I used to have also had a 24-megapixel Bayer sensor, and the images that it produced were very close to what X-Trans II produced.
I believe, based more on a gut feeling than anything else, that Fujifilm is still working on a true follow-up to the X70, but they haven’t got it all figured out yet. It might take the upcoming X-Trans IV sensor and improved processor to make it possible. There are plenty of issues that have to be worked through, and I’m sure some compromises will be required.
The XF10 seems like a cheaper, more entry-level version of the X70 than anything else. If Fujifilm is still hoping to release an X80 in the coming year or two, it would make sense to have a stop-gap option in the meantime. They want to capitalize on sales in this niche market, but they don’t want to do so at the expense of the future model.
If you’ve been waiting for an X80, then the XF10 is not the camera that you are looking for. If you’ve been considering a used X70, you will have to decide if the XF10 is a good alternative for you or not, and, for the $500 MSRP, it might be. If you have been considering a Ricoh GR II, then you might also take a look at the XF10.
I imagine that sales for the XF10 will be pretty hot for awhile after it is released, but only because there aren’t many cameras to compete with it. It’s lightweight, small, pocket-sized and cheap, yet capable of fantastic image quality. It would be a good option for street or travel photography. If you have some cash lying around it might be worth having. Otherwise, it’s not a camera to get all that excited over. If you were hoping for an X80, you’ll have to wait awhile longer.