The recently announced Fujifilm X-S10 is an exciting release. The mirrorless crop sensor camera is the latest addition to Fujifilm’s X series, and offers remarkable performance capabilities given it’s small, lightweight frame. Although the camera shares traits with many of the other X series cameras, there are multiple features that differentiate the X-S10 from its siblings. To kick-off our Fujifilm X-S10 review, let’s take a look at the camera’s build.
Portability is a recurring characteristic across Fujifilm’s X series, and the X-S10 is no different. The camera weighs just 465 grams (14.6 oz) when loaded with a battery and memory card. That’s pretty impressive considering the X-S10 also has a larger grip than other cameras in the series. The deep, magnesium alloy grip means the camera is easier to handle when shooting handheld or with a large lens.
In fact, stability appears to have been a design priority for the X-S10. In addition to the larger grip, the camera has a 5-axis in-body image stabilization mechanism that uses a motion sensor to deliver up to 6 stops of compensation.
Fujifilm has also redesigned the layout of buttons and dials for the X-S10. Unlike the X-T4, X-T30, and most other X series cameras, the X-S10 mode dial includes Auto and PASM modes. That is, Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual modes. While these modes are standard on all DSLR and mirrorless cameras released by other brands, Fujifilm cameras typically don’t include them.
The updated mode dial on the X-S10 also includes 4 customizable modes that can be assigned to specific image quality, focus, and shooting settings. Other new additions to the top of the camera include dedicated buttons for ISO and video recording, which can also be customized to control other settings.
The mostly metal construction of the X-S10 feels strong and durable, although it has no weather sealing. The camera also has a 180° vari-angle touch screen, and uses a NP-W126S lithium-ion battery for power. The camera’s single memory slot fits UHS-I SD cards.
The X-S10 has an excellent build, and while it may not look or feel quite like the other X series cameras, it does perform like one.
The Fujifilm X-S10 is equipped with a back-illuminated 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and a quad-core X-Processor 4. The same sensor and image processor as the X-T30, X-T3, and X-T4. With these mechanics, the X-S10 delivers impressive image quality and is capable of 20fps uncropped continuous shooting, or 30fps with a 1.25x crop.
Producing images that look like they were taken by a film camera is a hallmark of the Fujifilm X series. The X-S10 has a total of 18 film simulation modes that are designed to mimic the color reproduction of various types of photographic film. The result is that the X-S10 can deliver stunning visuals using an array of different color tones.
Additionally, the X-S10 has great autofocus. The hybrid system is very fast, capable of focusing in just 0.02 seconds. Face and eye detection functionality is available, as well as Tracking AF for moving subjects. The autofocus also works remarkably well in low-light. When fitted with the Fujifilm XF 50mm F1 R WR lens, the X-S10 can accurately focus in near-dark conditions (-7EV).
The X-S10 has impressive video recording capabilities as well. The camera can record 4K 30p 4:2:0 8-bit video internally, or 4:2:2 10-bit video via HDMI output. The X-S10 can also record slow-motion (240fps) in full HD.
While the build of the X-S10 is fairly unique, the camera uses the same mechanics as several other X series cameras to produce a powerful yet familiar performance.
To round-out our Fujifilm X-S10 review, let’s see how the camera compares to its competitors. The pre-order price of the X-S10 (body only) is $999, or $1,499.95 with a 16-80mm kit lens. Within the X series, this places the camera at the same price point as the X-T3, right between the X-T30 ($799) and the X-T4 ($1699).
As mentioned, all four cameras have the same sensor and image processor. However, only the X-T4 and X-S10 have in-body image stabilization. The mechanism is also 30% smaller in the X-S10, allowing the camera to be lighter than both the X-T3 and X-T4, even with a larger grip. The X-T30 is lighter and lower-priced, yet lacks the in-body image stabilization, large grip, and simple dial and button design of the X-S10. Its LCD screen also only tilts rather than fully articulating like on the X-S10.
Outside of the X series, the X-S10’s competitors include the Nikon Z 50 and the Sony a6600. The Nikon Z 50 has a lighter build, and is more affordable at just $856.95. However, it’s arguably less powerful. The Z 50 has a lower resolution sensor, no in-body image stabilization, and only goes up to 11fps of continuous shooting, versus 20fps on the X-S10.
Meanwhile, the Sony a6600 is heavier and more expensive at $1,398. While it does offer in-body image stabilization, like the Nikon Z 50 it only goes up to 11fps of continuous shooting. Unlike the Z 50, the a6600 can output 30p 4:2:2 8-bit video via HDMI. The X-S10, however, can output 10-bit video via HDMI. The major advantage of the Sony a6600 is it’s 720 shot battery life. That’s over twice as long as both the Fujifilm X-S10 (325 shots) and the Nikon Z 50 (300 shots).
Concluding our Fujifilm X-S10 review, it’s fair to say the camera offers great overall value. The X-S10’s light, ergonomic build contains sophisticated mechanics that allow it to perform comparably to significantly more expensive cameras. In other words, it’s high quality and low cost. The X-S10 is an excellent addition to the Fujifilm X series and the increasingly competitive mirrorless camera market.