Downtown Salt Lake City With A Fujifilm XF10

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Downtown Keyhole – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

A couple of weeks ago I found myself in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. I had my Fujifilm XF10 with me and hoped to do a little street photography. It was a cold Sunday morning, and downtown was basically a ghost town. I barely saw anybody! Undeterred, I proceeded to walk around and capture some photographs.

Did I mention that it was cold? The sun was just beginning to rise and it hadn’t warmed up at all yet. I wasn’t really dressed for the temperature, which was in the upper 20’s Fahrenheit. I kept moving, though, and survived a trip around the block. It reminded me of some photography advice, I believe from Richard Steinheimer, that I heard many years ago: for great photographs you often have to be at places others don’t want to be and at times when others don’t want to be there. After getting back to the car I was more than happy to jump in and warm up!

The XF10 did a great job of capturing pictures. It’s small, lightweight and inconspicuous. It can be easily shoved into a pocket, which I did many times on that morning while trying to keep my fingers from freezing. I didn’t stay long. All things considered I’m pretty happy with the pictures that I came away with, even if I didn’t capture exactly what I was hoping for.

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Parking – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Waiting Alone For The Train – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Blue Line – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Downtown Buildings – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Lights & Reflections – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Ever Reaching – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Diamond In The Sky – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Morning Reflections – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Keyhole Monochrome – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Abstract Reflection – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Falcon Bird Watch – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Jungle Gym – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Salt Lake City Street Photography with Fujifilm X100F & XF10

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Salt Lake City Workday – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I had an adventure in Salt Lake City a couple of days ago. My family and I rode the FrontRunner commuter train into the city and then hopped on the TRAX light rail train to traverse downtown. I captured it all on my Fujifilm X100F and XF10 cameras. These two cameras are both great for this type of trip because they’re small and lightweight and yet are capable of fantastic image quality.

Street photography is something that I enjoy, but it’s only been over the last few years that I’ve really gotten into it. Urban landscape photography is something that I’ve done off and on for two decades. While they are two different genres, they’re very closely related and it’s not uncommon to do both simultaneously, which is what you see in this article. If time allowed I’d certainly find myself wandering urban areas more, camera in hand.

Downtown Salt Lake City is one of the nicer urban centers in America. It’s clean, safe, pedestrian friendly and full of shopping, dining, entertainment and educational opportunities. It’s a great place to spend a day! It’s a great place to walk around with a camera or two, capturing the urban life and urban sights. It seems that I always come away with at least a couple of great images. There are a few photographs in this article that I’m particularly happy with. I hope that you enjoy them! Oh, and be sure to check out the video at the end.

B&W:

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Upside-Down Frown – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Urbanhood – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Boarding Anonymous – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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White Shirt Train Riders – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Blue Line – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Joy Rider – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Uncompromising Photographer – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Library Basement Stairs – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Library Interior From Basement – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bike By The Fountain – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Staircase Down – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Curve Down – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Salt Lake Urbanscape – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Light On The Floor – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Color

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M12 M2 – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Light Rail Curve – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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That I Can’t? – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Sisters On A Train – SLC, UT – X100F

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Coming & Going Passengers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Stop, Look & Listen – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Where The Train Bends – Fujifilm X100F

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Overhead Wire – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Green To The Airport – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Evening Commuter Train – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Autumn Downtown – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Autumn At City-County Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Caution – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Look Both Ways – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Dressed In Red – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Passerby Strangers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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FrontRunner Station – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

I’m not a video guy, but I wanted to try out the video features of the XF10, so I recorded some footage and made a short video of this adventure:

Weekly Photo Project, Week 13

This week wouldn’t have been successful without the Fujifilm XF10. There were three days that likely would have been passed up without an image if I hadn’t had the little camera in my pocket. For me, the XF10 is an essential tool for this project. This week, which was one of the more difficult weeks for this series, features seven photographs that were captured with the Fujifilm XF10.

Monday, October 15, 2018

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Backside of Highway Sign – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Silver & Black – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

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Monochrome Succulent  – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Jon Holding A Praying Mantis – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Friday, October 19, 2018

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Anastigmat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Autumn Over The Red Shed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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Capital Lamp – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 12  Week 14

Using an X70 Leather Case on the Fujifilm XF10

I’ve been asked about the leather half case I have on my Fujifilm XF10. Some of you have seen it in my photographs. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now.

When the XF10 first came out there were no cases available for it. Only recently have a few options shown up on the web, and none are quite like the one on my camera. So how did I get it?Actually, my XF10 leather half case is designed for the Fujifilm X70. The XF10 and X70 are quite similar in size and shape, although there are some differences. The case was less than $10 and came from China. It looks pretty good on the XF10, but it’s not designed for this camera and you can tell in a few places. For example, the USB door opens but just barely as it scrapes the edge of the leather. But it works, even if just, and it looks particularly nice. Most importantly it adds a little protection and hopefully will prevent some damage or wear.

Using an X70 case on the XF10 is a risk because, like mine, it probably won’t fit 100% correctly, but it does open up quite a few more options. Since the XF10 is so new there are only a handful of cases available for it, and I’ve noticed that they aren’t as inexpensive as what you can find for other cameras. I don’t know that I would completely recommend the route that I took for my camera, but it worked for me. The takeaway would be know that using an X70 case on the XF10 is an option, but it might not be the best option.

My Fujifilm XF10 Film Simulation Recipes

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I have created many wonderful film simulation recipes for X-Trans III cameras, but none of those can be used on my Fujifilm XF10. I had to create brand-new film simulation recipes for this camera. I used my experience with other Fujifilm cameras to create different straight-out-of-camera looks that I would appreciate.

You can only have one custom setting saved on the XF10. The default settings that I have programmed for the camera are my Classic Chrome recipe. If I want a look with more saturation I’ll adjust the settings to my Velvia recipe. If I want black-and-white I’ll adjust the settings to my Monochrome recipe. It’s a little bit of a pain to be constantly switching, so I try to not go back-and-forth any more than I need to.

While I use these recipes on my XF10, they’re compatible with the X-T100, X-A5, X-A3 and any X-Trans I or X-Trans II camera. The rendition might vary slightly from model-to-model, but the overall look should be fairly consistent. These settings won’t translate to X-Trans III or X-Trans IV.

Aside from some minor cropping, the photographs in this article are all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I like to keep my workflow as simple as possible, and Fujifilm’s different film simulation options allow me to rely on camera-made JPEGs. Using JPEGs instead of RAW saves me a ton of time. I appreciate being in front of a computer less and behind a camera more.

Below are my Fujifilm XF10 film simulation recipes!

Classic Chrome

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Ghosts of the Past – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

This is my go-to film simulation option. I use it significantly more often than the other recipes. It has a classic Kodak film look, although not exactly like any one in particular. I think it most closely resembles 1960’s era Ektachrome, but it’s not an exact match. Even so, it looks great and is quite versatile. It has a lot of contrast, just vibrant enough colors and a warm tone.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +1 (0 sometimes in high-contrast situations)
Shadow: +2
Color: +1
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: -1
White Balance: Auto, +3 Red & -4 Blue

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Kids At The Lake – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Bolsey 100 – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Terminal Windows – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Flag On A Pole – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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FED 5c Window – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Velvia

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Vibrant Bloom – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Velvia was one of my favorite films. It produced incredibly vibrant colors. Apparently Fujifilm didn’t intend to make such a wild film, it was more of an accident than anything else, but it quickly become the standard film for color landscape photography. Something interesting that I recently learned is one of the people who helped develop Velvia for Fujifilm also helped develop the Velvia Film Simulation. The film simulation isn’t a 100% match to Velvia 50, but perhaps closer to Velvia 100F. My recipe is intended to produce a look that is closer to Velvia 50.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: 0 (+1 in low-contrast situations, -1 in high-contrast situations)
Shadow: +1
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: -1
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -3 Blue

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Historic Dragon – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Scattering of Red – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Sunlight Through The Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Green Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Yellow Amid Red – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Monochrome

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Shy Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

The XF10 lacks Fujifilm’s greatest film simulation: Acros. Instead it has the old Monochrome option, which is alright but not nearly as good as Acros. Despite this, it is possible to get nice black-and-white camera-made JPEGs from the XF10. There are four different options, and to understand what each does one must understand what different colored filters do to black-and-white film, as +Y simulates using a yellow filter, +R simulates a red filter and +G simulates a green filter. If you know how to use color filters on black-and-white film then you know when to pick which option on the XF10.

Monochrome (Monochrome+Y, Monochrome+R, Monochrome+G)
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +1 (+2 in low-contrast situations)
Shadow: +2 (+1 in high-contrast situations)
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: -1

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Wishes Waiting – Fruit Heights, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Plastic Fingers – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Hat Abstract – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Dream – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Tilted Pier – East Canyon SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Weekly Photo Project, Week 8

Week eight of this project proved to be especially difficult. Not every day was hard to capture an image, but three of the seven days almost didn’t have a picture. Luckily, I had purchased a Fujifilm XF10, and it arrived just in time to help me out. I really do believe that I would have faltered on at least one day, if not two, if this camera wasn’t sitting in my pocket begging to be used. The downside is that, while I was able to capture an image on those days, a couple of the photographs this week aren’t the strongest pictures.

Monday, September 10, 2018

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Flag On A Pole – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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Light Patch On The Water – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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Chevy Blue – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Fall Is In The Trees – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Friday, September 14, 2018

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Hat Abstract – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Saturday, September 15, 2018

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Kodak Ektachrome-X – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Sunday, September 16, 2018

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Trash Corner – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 7   Week 9

Review: Fujifilm XF10 – The Best Camera

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The Fujifilm XF10 is the best camera. I’ll explain why this is so in a few minutes. For now, just know I truly mean that bold statement.

A few weeks ago Fujifilm released an ultra-compact, fixed-lens, fixed-focal-length, wide-angle, low-budget, APS-C sensor camera. The XF10 is a brand-new camera, but it borrows much of its design and features from other Fujifilm cameras, as well as a non-Fujifilm camera. There are a lot of similarities between the XF10 and the X70, including the same exact 28mm (equivalent) f/2.8 lens. The X70 was essentially a smaller, lighter, cheaper, and more wide-angle X100T. While the XF10 is noticeably influenced from the design heritage of Fujifilm’s rangefinder-style fixed-lens cameras, there’s a touch of the X-E3 and X-T100 in it, as well. Oh, and Fujifilm even took a little from the Ricoh GR series.

I don’t want to go all that deep into the stat sheet of this camera. You can readily find that information online. I’ll talk about what I feel is important and perhaps what I believe others want to know. I will do my best to keep this review from reading like all the rest, which, by the way, brings up a point that I want to clarify right from the start. I paid for this camera myself. Fujifilm did not give or loan me an XF10. You can rest assured that this review is strictly my own opinion and not influenced by a corporate gift. If someone did offer me a camera I would not turn it down because, well, I like free stuff as much as the next guy, but that has never happened and probably never will.

The elephant in the room is that the XF10 uses a 24-megapixel sensor with a Bayer color filter array and not an X-Trans array. It’s the same sensor that’s found in the Fujifilm X-A5 and X-T100. Also, the processor is not the same one found in X-Trans III cameras, but a generic one that seems related to the processor found in X-Trans II cameras. What this means is that the XF10 feels more like an X-Trans II camera, but with subtly inferior color rendition. It does have more resolution and slightly better high-ISO performance than X-Trans II, but overall it’s a lot closer to X-Trans II than X-Trans III and not exactly like either.

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One thing that’s missing on the XF10 is the Acros Film Simulation, which, in my opinion, is the very best in-camera JPEG option on any digital camera ever. It’s a shame that it’s not on this camera, but it’s omission is understandable. There are also no faux film grain options. Adjustments max out at plus or minus two instead of four like what’s found on X-Trans III cameras. For the JPEG shooter, the XF10 will not quite produce the wonderful analog-like photographs that one can achieve with an X-Trans III camera, but that doesn’t mean the images don’t look good because they do.

All of the common film simulations, such as Classic Chrome, Velvia, Astia, Provia, etc., are found on the XF10. The odd thing is that you can only save one custom setting. On any Fujifilm camera that I’ve owned before, there are nine custom presets that one can create and save for quick recall, but not so on the XF10. I was extremely disappointed by this at first, because I have tons of great film simulation recipes that I like to use (none of which are directly compatible with the XF10), but after awhile this setup grew on me. I found freedom in the limitation, and for the XF10 it’s actually great because it plays into the camera’s philosophy.

The XF10 has a minimalist design. There’s no hotshoe. There are no threads on the lens. The rear screen doesn’t tilt or swivel. There are fewer buttons, knobs and wheels than one would find on other Fujifilm cameras. It’s like Fujifilm took a look at their cameras, such as the X100F and X-T20, and asked, “What’s unnecessary?” What is left is a camera that has just what you need, nothing more, nothing less. There are exactly the right amount of controls for everything, thanks in part to the touch options on the rear screen. The gesture touch controls are a nice addition, although it’s very particular and one must do it just right for it to work well, which for me took some practice. If there is one complaint about the camera’s design, it’s the darn PASM dial, which I don’t care much for. I would appreciate dedicated controls for aperture, shutter and ISO like on my X100F and X-Pro2, but the XF10 is designed for a different group of photographers.

Fujifilm tends to have a certain group in mind when they design a camera. That’s why they have so many different models that are similar to each other. The differences between the X-T100, X-T20, X-T2, X-H1 and now the X-T3 aren’t huge, yet each is clearly intended for a different faction. The X-A5, X-E3 and X-Pro2 are quite similar not only to each other but also the previous list, yet they are meant for different groups. The X100F and XF10 could be grouped together, but the XF10 wasn’t designed for and is not marketed towards the same group that purchased the X100F. That doesn’t mean those who own the X100F shouldn’t buy it or won’t appreciate it. It simply helps us to understand why the designers made the choices that they did.

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What I have come to appreciate about the XF10 is the simplicity of it. I’m thinking less about camera settings and more about the image itself. The camera becomes less important. It fades away at the end of my hand. That’s not necessarily what Fujifilm intended. What they were attempting was simplicity for the inexperienced photographer. They wanted something that a novice could pick up and use without trouble, something that wouldn’t seem overwhelming to the beginner. They achieved that, but in the process made a camera that’s fantastic for the experienced user to just shoot with. That should be the camera’s slogan: Just shoot it. Perhaps Nike wouldn’t care for that, so I digress.

While I’m sure that the XF10 has a lot of plastic in it, the camera feels solid and sturdy, like it could take a beating and still function just fine (I have no plans to test this). It doesn’t look or feel cheap. It seems higher-end than the price would suggest. However, something I’ve noticed in the short time that I’ve owned the camera is the paint on a couple of the corners is already starting to wear. I’m sure that this is from shoving the camera into pockets, but it seems much too quick for the paint to be rubbing off. That’s really too bad.

Like the X100 series, the XF10 has a leaf shutter and fantastic built-in fill-flash. The camera seems to balance the exposure and flash perfectly every time, which is just fantastic! This is something that Fujifilm does better than anybody. A side effect of the leaf shutter is that it is nearly silent, making this camera particularly great for street photography. Just be sure to turn off all the artificial noises that the camera is programmed to make.

There’s a feature on the XF10 that should be on every single camera manufactured today. It’s called Snapshot, which is a zone focus system where the focus and aperture are at predetermined settings. There are two options: five meters, which utilizes f/5.6, and two meters, which uses f/8. Both of these settings will give you a large depth-of-field where much of the scene will be in focus. I wish that there was a one meter option using f/11, but there’s not. What’s great about Snapshot is it makes street photography or even pictures of the kids as they play extraordinarily easy and quick because focus and aperture are already taken care of by the camera ahead of time. As quick as auto-focus systems are becoming, there’s still nothing faster than focus that’s been preset. I love it! If Snapshot sounds familiar, it’s because the Ricoh GR series has a nearly identical feature.

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While Snapshot is quick, the XF10 as a whole is not particularly fast. Auto-focus, startup times and even frames-per-second aren’t bad, which is what one usually thinks of when it comes to camera quickness. It’s the general responsiveness to adjustments that’s noticeably slow. My fingers can fly through the menus and buttons faster than the camera can keep up. The camera can be painfully slow if it’s writing to the SD card, as it seems to have a hard time doing that and other functions simultaneously. I think that shoving this camera into such a small body required some compromises (maybe more than “some”), and the speed of the processor is certainly one of the trade-offs.

The camera is small and lightweight, noticeably smaller and lighter than the X100F. It fits into a pocket without trouble. The X100F also fits into a pocket, but more so in the winter when pockets are larger and less so in the summer when pockets are smaller. What makes the XF10 the best camera is that it fits into your pocket all of the time. It’s easy to carry around with you wherever you go. It’s never in the way. It’s just there in your pocket when you need it. As Chase Jarvis coined, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” This camera is great because it’s always with you.

Image quality on the XF10 is quite good. The lens has noticeably less distortion than the one on the X100F despite being more wide angle. There’s a little vignetting and corner softness when wide open, but stopping down fixes that. Bokeh is rather pleasant, which is not typically all that important on a 28mm lens, but with the close focus distance of about 4″ it’s possible to get some nice out-of-focus backgrounds and foregrounds. The camera controls lens flare only moderately well, but I kind of like the way it renders it, so this could be positive or negative to you, depending on if you like it or not. There’s not very much negative to mention about the images that this camera produces. If you’ve ever used an X-Trans II camera, that’s pretty darn close to what you can expect from this little camera.

I’m not a video guy, but 4K at 15 frames-per-second isn’t anything to get excited over, and that’s the best this camera can do. I suppose it’s fine if there’s not much movement in the scene and you are using a tripod. The camera can do 1080p at 60 frames-per-second, which is awesome for casual family movies. I think, as far as video goes, the best feature on the XF10 is 4K time lapse at 30 frames-per-second. That’s actually useful if you enjoy making time lapse videos.

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Is the XF10 an upgrade over the X70? In some ways it is, in some ways it’s essentially the same camera, and in some ways it’s a downgrade. If you already own an X70 then you are probably better off keeping what you already have. If you’ve been considering an X70, the XF10 is a good alternative, but you may want to consider the differences between the models before choosing one over the other. If you’ve been thinking about a Ricoh GR II, the XF10 is a similar camera with similar features, but there are pluses and minuses to both that should be considered. As with any camera, one must look at what’s important to himself or herself and judge if the camera will meet those needs or not.

The XF10 comes in two colors: black and champagne-gold with faux brown leather, which is hideous an interesting choice that you’ll either love or hate. I chose black for myself. You can’t go wrong with black. The XF10 has an MSRP of $500 (at Amazon here), which is a good value for what you get. In fact, it’s the cheapest compact camera with an APS-C sensor on the market right now. I had a coupon so I was able to snag my copy for only $425.

The conclusion to this review is that Fujifilm has a new camera that’s smartly designed, pocket-sized, produces quality pictures, and doesn’t cost very much at all. One could start a list of all the different features not included, and it would be easy to judge this camera based on that list, but the experience of the XF10 isn’t about what’s there, it’s about the simplicity of capturing an image. It’s about having an uncomplicated tool that’s always with you and is never in the way to capture quality pictures of the fleeting moments that often don’t get photographed. The best camera is the one that’s with you in the moment that you need one. The XF10 is the best camera because it will be there in that moment eagerly waiting to be used.

Example photographs, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs (with the exception of some minor cropping) captured using the Fujifilm XF10:

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Terminal Windows – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Up & Away – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Airport Road – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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I Spy Exxon – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Only One Way To Go – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Chevy Blue – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Flag On A Pole – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Artificial Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Green & Yellow – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Green Leaves – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Leaf In The Forest – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Fall Is In The Trees – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Sunlight Through The Forest – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Rays Between The Trees – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Trail Kids – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Mother & I – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Pilot & Copilot – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Traveler Check In – SLC, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Shy Horse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Forest Leaf Monochrome – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Light Patch On The Water – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Provo River Marsh – Utah Lake SP, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Hat Abstract – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

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Curved Stairwell – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

See also: My Fujifilm XF10 Film Simulation Recipes