Fuji X-S10 Announced | Performance and Portability, Perfected?
Fujifilm has announced a brand-new camera, the X-S10, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have one in our hands for the past week to do some tests and get to know it. In a nutshell, it’s the best feature set we’ve ever seen in an APS-C camera under $1,000!
It’s smaller, lighter, and more affordable than the flagship Fuji X-T4. However, it still includes 6-stop, 5-axis sensor stabilization, (though not dual card slots) …and has something that even the X-T4 left us wanting: a deep, wonderfully comfortable grip!
Scroll down for the highlights of today’s press release, including Fuji’s new (updated) lens, the 10-24mm f/4 OIS WR, as well as our initial review on this impressive new camera. (NOTE: Our experience is with a camera that is not a final production model; so we are only going based on the JPGs we captured, and we will bring you a complete review of a final production camera soon.)
Fuji X-S10 Specifications
- SENSOR: APS-C (1.5x crop) X 26.1-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor, X-Processor 4 (quad)
- LENS MOUNT: Fuji-X-mount, (APS-C mirrorless)
- STILL IMAGES: 26.1 megapixels
- VIDEO: 4K/30p 4:2:0 8-bit, (internal) 4K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit, (to anexternal device) 1080 /240p
- ISO: 160-12800, (explandable to ISO 80-51200)
- AUTOFOCUS: 2.16M* total pixel AF system, 100% coverage hybrid AF, face/eye detection
- STABILIZATION: Yes, up to 6 stops mechanical & optical stabilization, Digital & IS Mode Boost for extremely steady (cropped) video stabilization)
- SHOOTING SPEED: 8 FPS w/ mechanical shutter, up to 20 FPS w/ electronic shutter, 30 FPS with 1.25x crop
- VIEWFINDER: 2.36M-dot OLED EVF, 0.62X magnification
- LCD MONITOR: 3-inch 1.04M-dot touchscren LCD
- FLASH: Both hontshoe mount and pop-up flash
- CONNECTIVITY: USB-C, HDMI-micro, microphone in (headphone jack via provided USB-C adapter)
- STORAGE: SD, SDHC, SDXC (one card slot)
- BATTERY & POWER: NP-W126S (can be charged in-camera, USB-C direct camera power possible)
- BODY CONSTRUCTION: Metal body, weather-sealed
- SIZE: 126×85.1×65.4mm
- WEIGHT:465g (including battery & memory card)
- PRICE & AVAILABILITY: $999 (body), $1,499 (w/ 16-80mm kit lens), $1,399 (w/ 18-55mm kit lens)
B&H | Adorama | Amazon
* NOTE: The AF system lists 2.1 million pixels, however, the selectable main focus points are much more manageable, at 117 total, and with highly flexible size for each point and of course numerous pixels performing AF at each selectable point.
Fuji X-S10 Press Release Highlights:
Valhalla, N.Y. – October 15, 2020 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced
the launch of FUJIFILM X-S10 (X-S10), the newest addition to the X Series family of compact
and lightweight mirrorless digital cameras. X-S10 is expected to be available in November with
two lens kit options.
Equipped with key features including the 26.1MP X-TransTM CMOS 4 sensor, and the highspeed image processing engine, X-Processor 4, as well as In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS),
the X-S10 offers maximum functionality in a compact body.
“X-S10 is a perfect fit for anyone who needs a lightweight imaging solution with professional
features for both photo and video,” said Victor Ha, senior director of marketing and product
management for FUJIFILM North America Corporation’s Electronic Imaging Division. “It offers
something for everyone; the popular AUTO/SP (Scene Position) Mode automatically
adjusts camera settings to produce stunning images without the need to make fine adjustments
to image settings. The advanced video capabilities can either produce Sharp 4K/30P 4:2:2 10-bit
video or high-speed full-HD video at 240fps, and the vari-angle LCD screen can also be flipped
forward 180 degrees, giving everyone from photographers and filmmakers to vloggers and
hobbyists something to love about this camera.”
- The IBIS mechanism is 30% smaller than the previous Fuji X-series model, allowing for a more compact body, yet it delivers 6 stops of 5-axis stabilization.
- The combination of X-S10’s high-speed AF and AF-tracking performance with the XTransTM CMOS 4 sensor’s 2.16 million phase detection pixels and X-Processor 4’s computing power provides quick and accurate autofocus results, achieving focus in as fast as 0.02 seconds in some cases, even at -7.0 EV (With the new Fuji 50mm f/1.0 lens)
- X-S10 generates 4K video from the amount of data equivalent to 6K to ensure the
footage is in high resolution with low noise. It supports recording 4K/30p 4:2:0 8-bit video
onto an SD card inserted in the camera, and outputting 4K/30p 4:2:2 10-bit video via the
- The X-S10 camera is also capable of high-speed full-HD recording at 240fps, producing
up to 10x slow-motion footage of a fast-moving subject’s split-second motion.
- In addition to X-S10’s IBIS, its Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) mode powerfully
compensates for camera shake even when walking with the camera. Adding IS Mode
Boost provides even more stabilization, nearly eliminating camera shake when it is used
from a fixed, hand-held position.
Fuji XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS WR Announced
Today Fujifilm has also unveiled a new version of their 10-24mm f/4 optical formula, this time in a fully weather-sealed housing. The optical formula is, in fact, the same as its predecessor, but the body itself has been updated to meet the rigorous demands of outdoor photography in bad weather or other tough conditions.
We’ll try and bring you a full review very soon! The existing 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens is known to be extremely sharp, indeed.
Where Does the X-S10 Fit Into Fuji’s Lineup?
Based on the features, size, and weight of the camera, it seems clear where this new camera sits in Fuji’s overall lineup: The X-S10 is just below the X-T4, and above the X-T30. Of course, this also means it sits well above the X-T200 and most other X-mount cameras besides the X-Pro series.
Basically, with a “yes” to IBIS and a “no” to dual card slots, plus the highly acclaimed 26-megapixel X-Trans sensor, this is the perfect camera for serious enthusiasts who are looking to get virtually everything the X-T4 has but in a noticeably more compact, lightweight, and affordable package.
The forfeiture of dual card slots shouldn’t bother photographers unless they’re working in critically important environments. The loss of some of the X-T4’s video prowess won’t be missed unless you’re a dedicated video shooter, and even then if you’re doing paid video work then you probably need 2-3 cameras anyways, and the X-S10 could make a perfect 2nd or 3rd camera.
All in all, this is pretty much exactly the Fuji X-mount camera that a lot of people have been asking for! A mirrorless camera that offers robust build quality and full-featured ergonomics, while still doing its best to be as lightweight and compact as possible.
What types of photography is the X-S10 made for?
When I first took this capable yet portable camera out for a spin, the first feeling that came to mind was, “This is what mirrorless is all about!” Aside from a few quirks, which we’ll get into later, I feel like this is exactly the camera that almost any type of photographer would be interested in.
Maybe you’re just getting into photography, and after using your phone for a while you’re looking to step up to a “legit” camera with interchangeable lenses. Maybe you’re a serious hobbyist, or an aspiring, or even full-time professional. Either way, whether it’s your first camera or a backup/second camera, the Fuji X-S10 ought to be considered.
Portrait & Wedding Photography
Just a few years ago, it would have been frowned upon for us to recommend showing up to a paying job with a compact, unassuming, crop-sensor camera. Clients and photographers alike thought it was cool and impressive to show up with a big heavy camera and giant, intimidating lenses.
With that in mind, although the X-S10 is missing the dual card slots that many paid photographers prefer, every other feature is up to the various tasks of group portraits, candid moments, low-light action, and everything in between. Saving up for a Fuji X-T4 would be better, of course, but then again if you’re a paid photographer you ought to have a backup camera anyways, so maybe both cameras will wind up in your bag in the long run.
Casual Candid, Street, Family, & Travel Photography
Casual everyday situations, but with the desire for serious, high-quality results–this is exactly the group of scenarios that suit a compact yet capable APS-C mirrorless camera. And, as far as “bang for your buck” goes, it doesn’t get much better than this 26-megapixel X-Trans CMOS Fuji. (We haven’t tested the raw files yet, but it’s roughly the same sensor as the X-T4…)
Action Sports & Wildlife Photography
Fuji continues to improve its autofocus with each new generation, which is critical for any sort of fast action. With 2.1 million effective pixels working to perform autofocus, (again, not to worry, that’s only 117 selectable points!) and 100% viewfinder coverage, the AF system is certainly versatile, however, I would have loved to see an easier way to move AF points around, such as with flagship sports cameras that have a large rubberized AF point selector, a button with no other purpose besides AF point control.
Having said that, the autofocus itself locks on and tracks subjects very well, so once you get the hang of using the AF system itself, you’ll enjoy it. For telephoto action, Fuji has the pricey 200mm f/2, an equivalent 300mm f/2.8 lens in full-frame terms, plus of course their original telephoto flagship zooms, the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR, and the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which give a 75-210 and 150-600mm full-frame equivalent experience, respectively.
Landscape, Nightscape, Astro, & Time-Lapse Photography
With impressive dynamic range at low ISOs and surprisingly low noise at high ISOs, all of these genres of photography can benefit from Fuji’s renowned X-Trans sensor. If you’re looking for a decently robust camera that can survive the elements but doesn’t weigh a ton if you go on a lot of long hikes, then quite honestly I’d rather have the X-S10 instead of an X-T4. (I’d have money left over for the new 10-24mm f/4!)
Furthermore, the X-S10’s built-in time-lapse feature works quite well, and in conjunction with external USB power and closing the rear LCD display, you can shoot for extremely long periods with minimal power drain…
…Any Photographer Who Wants To Shoot JPG?
Last but not least, I need to mention that especially these days when everybody starts photography with a phone capturing JPG images, there’s an increasing demand for gorgeous in-camera JPG files, even if a raw workflow is “the thing serious professionals do”.
Make no mistake, the JPG images coming out of Fuji cameras are always gorgeous, and with the X-S10 they have tweaked their algorithms for tone and color just a little bit more based on the scene.
The bottom line is, if you grab a Fuji X-S10 and throw it in “Velvia” mode for nature and landscapes, or set it to “Pro Neg Hi/Std”, …and if you nail your exposure and white balance, your images will look gorgeous and ready to print right out of the camera. (Fuji also provides in-camera curves, so that you can bump up or down your highlights and shadows independently, for extra punch, or shadow/highlight recovery, etc.)
For those who are truly brave, you can try in-camera black and white, or Fuji’s unique creative in-camera processing, “Bleach Bypass”. Again, the un-edited JPG images are beautiful, and of course, you can always shoot RAW+JPG if you’d like to have a backup raw file for your JPG “tinkering around”…
Fuji X-S10 Initial Review | Pros & Cons
Now that we’ve talked about different types of photography, let’s talk about the camera itself and mention which exact things I really like and don’t like…
- X-Trans sensor offers the best image quality of any APS-C camera
- In-camera film simulation modes are the best of any brand
- Solid autofocus performance
- Rugged build quality
- Best Fuji ergonomics yet
- USB-C charging and direct power
- Single SD card slot
- AF point control joystick is the same tiny, smooth button
- USB-C port used for the headphone jack
All in all, there’s a lot to love, and only a few minor complaints that most photographers can learn to live with. In other words, there’s just a very small chance that you might want a Fuji X-T4 instead, and a very good chance that you’ll want to save up for the X-S10 compared to literally every other APS-C camera on the market below the $1K mark.
New Ergonomic Design: Better Grip, Functional Control Layout
The command dials and mode dials are a bit of a departure from the X-T4 and some other Fujis that you might be used to, but that’s not such a bad thing for anyone who is used to the traditional two command dial setups of most other digital cameras. In fact, I personally prefer it, instead of having the confusion of BOTH a dedicated dial and a command dial being in control of your shutter speed…
There is also a new customizable dial on the top-left of the camera, where the X-T4 had its ISO dial. Although I lament the missing secondary dial underneath, which changed the X-T4’s drive mode, (it’s now a button, that doubles as the “delete” button during playback) …I still found it useful after I re-programmed it from Film Simulation control to change the ISO instead.
Last but not least, that grip, oh, that wonderful grip! Fuji X-mount cameras have always had a grip that wasn’t very deep at all, in fact, even the X-T4 almost feels like you’re holding a full-frame rangefinder camera, not a flagship APS-C camera. Well, the X-S10 changes that trend, with the best grip yet of any Fuji we’ve ever held.
Ergonomic Cons: Focus Point Selection Joystick, And Other Quirks
There’s a few things about the X-S10 that you might not notice at first, but are, in fact, a bit more on the budget-friendly side. For one, the viewfinder and LCD have the resolution of more entry-level cameras, not the flagships. It’s not massively noticeable, but it’s something discerning photographers/videographers might notice.
As we’ve mentioned before in previous Fuji camera reviews, anyone who has even slightly sweaty or oily thumbs will not enjoy the rear AF point control joystick nearly as much as the latest Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus cameras. It is just too small and smooth, making it downright slippery on hot sweaty summer days.
There was only one more thing that I found to be a bit frustrating, and that was the fact that the “Q” button is just a little too close and too similar-feeling to the “record” (video) button. If you’re shooting stills and accidentally hitting that button a lot, I recommend going into the Function (Fn) Settings and re-programming the REC button to do something else.
Image Quality: Fuji’s X-Trans Technology Is The Best Around
We’ve already demonstrated the gorgeous in-camera JPG colors, and we’ve already tested the 26-megapixel X-Trans sensor in our Fuji X-T4 review. Suffice it to say, this sensor is one of our favorites to shoot with, period.
Autofocus Performance: Improved Tracking Capability
We’ll have to wait until we can do a full review and get our hands on a telephoto zoom such as the Fuji 50-140mm f/2.8 or the 100-400mm, and do some extensive testing with tracking birds in flight, or surfers at the beach, and reach a final verdict for you regarding just how well the autofocus stacks up against the competition.
For now, suffice it to say that in virtually all “normal” shooting conditions, the Fuji X-S10’s AF system never let us down, nailing shots in good light, bad light, and almost no light at all!
(If you’re “hardcore” into telephoto action sports, and need the absolute best subject tracking, our top recommendation is still the Sony A6600, because the Real-Time AF Tracking is just the best in the industry. However, Fuji, like the other competitors, is/are closing the gap very rapidly!)
Rugged Build Quality (And Stabilization!) In A Portable, Comfortable Package
This is one of the most exciting things about this camera, so it’s a shame this detail is buried in the middle of this review! But, here it is: the X-S10 is the first APS-C camera under $1000 to offer both Fuji’s flagship sensor and in-body stabilization, plus a metal-bodied, robust overall physical design.
Sony, Nikon, and Canon all have cameras in about the same price range, but none of them offer this.
Could the ergonomics of the X-S10 be improved even more? Yes, but the overall durability and comfort are still great. Despite the slight reduction in overall dials and switches compared to the X-T4, I actually prefer holding the X-S10 simply because the grip is that good!
Video Features: More Than Enough For Most Videographers
With internal 4K/30p video at 4:2:0 8-bit internal recording, the Fuji X-S10 is about par for the course. It should be more than enough for most vloggers who are going to likely appreciate the fully articulated LCD screen, the 6-stop IBIS, and the noticeably lighter weight versus the X-T4. However, if you’re a really serious cinematographer, then Fuji’s fourth-gen flagship is the one with 4K/60p 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording, of course.
Fuji X-S10 Initial Review | Our Verdict
If you’ve skipped the more in-depth stuff to get to here, (hopefully you saw some colorful pictures along the way?) …here’s the one highlight you need to know: The Fuji X-S10 is unique in its feature set and price point, creating an impressive overall value. For under $1,000, you can’t find this many features in any other APS-C camera, let alone a full-frame option.
Fuji X-S10 VS Fuji X-T4, X-T30 | Weights, Features, Prices, Compared
For those who are curious, here’s a breakdown of the key features, form factors, and prices of each of Fuji’s X-mount interchangeable lens cameras, to help you understand which might be right for you.
In our honest opinion, of course, the X-S10 offers by far the best value and even the best overall user experience.
- FUJI X-T4 (607g, $1699)
26-mp x-trans, quad-core CPU, 425-pt hybrid AF, 4K/60p, 6.5-stop IBIS, dual card slots
The X-T4 is, of course, the flagship with the most features, including basically everything you could want for any type of photography from professional work to wilderness adventures, and of course some of the best video specs of any camera, even among many full-frame competitors.
- FUJI X-S10 (465g, $999)
26-mp x-trans, quad-core CPU, 425-pt AF, 4K/30p, 6-stop IBIS, no dual card slots
The X-S10 offers almost everything the X-T4 offers, especially if your focus is more on photography and less on video; in fact for “stills only” shooters who don’t do critical/paid work, (where dual card slots are nice) …this S-series camera’s ergonomics and portability might even make it the top choice!
- FUJI X-T30 (383g, $899)
26-mp x-trans sensor, quad-core CPU, 425-pt AF, 4K/30p, no IBIS, no dual card slots
The X-T30, at just ~$100 less than the new X-S10, is finding itself in an interesting position. On the one hand, it’s even more lightweight and portable than the X-S10, so if you’re on a very tight budget of not just price but also size and weight, then you must say goodbye to in-body stabilization. On the other hand, the X-S10 is just so much better, in so many ways, we absolutely recommend it instead.
- FUJI X-T200 (370g, $450-700)
24-mp non-x-trans, no IBIS, no dual card slots, 4K/30p, no crop, 15-min limit
The X-T200 is the other, even more portable camera that you might consider if you want to drop significantly in price, while also forfeiting the awesome in-body stabilization. For an ultra-lightweight walk-around camera that only costs $450, it’s a great value, but once you start doing a lot of low-light photography, you’ll miss that IBIS!
- X-Pro3: 497g, $1800
This is a hybrid rangefinder specialty camera, and its price shows that. It’s not really very practical, its features aren’t that jaw-dropping, but what it does offer is a classic design and a memorable shooting experience, for those “aficionados” of photography who have extra money to spend, and who actually want to carry around a large, cool-looking camera…
- X-A7: 320g, $450 (with lens)
24-mp non-x-trans, no IBIS, no dual card slots, 4K/30p, no crop, 10-min limit
Just for fun, here is one of the truly “tiny” Fuji cameras, that you might still be able to find for just $450 (including a lens!) …even though it is now listed as discontinued…
Fuji X-S10 Price & Pre-Order | Check Availability
The Fuji X-S10 will be available starting at $999 for the body only, or $1,499 for the body with the 16-80mm f/4 kit lens, or $1,399 with the 18-55mm kit lens.