The Fujifilm X-S10 marks an interesting shift in Fujifilm’s camera range. Until now its more advanced mirrorless cameras have all featured external shutter speed dials and (depending on the model) external lens aperture rings and sometimes ISO dials. Instead, the X-S10 reverts to a regular mode dial as seen on countless competitors.
Fujifilm's old-school approach to camera design and external exposure control has won it lots of fans and is featured on the Fujifilm X-T4 flagship model, the rangefinder-style X-Pro3 and super-compact X-T30.
The Fujifilm X-S10 also has a conventional mode dial and might at first seem like a ‘bridge’ between Fujifilm’s beginner cameras and more advanced models. However, we are told that it is instead positioned between the Fujifilm X-H1 and the X-T4 and is, in fact, an advanced camera that’s aimed at a broader audience of users who might previously have been put off by Fujifilm’s external exposure controls.
Sensor: 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS 4
Image processor: Quad-core X-Processor 4
AF points: 117/425/91 point hybrid contrast/phase AF
ISO range: 160 to 12,800 (exp 80-51,200)
Video: Uncropped 4K UHD up to 30p
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36m dots, 0.62x magnification
Memory card: 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC
LCD: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Max burst: 8fps mechanical shutter, 20 fps electronic shutter, 30fps & 1.29x crop
Size: 126 x 85.1 x 65.4mm
Weight: 465g (body only)
Apart from its physical design (more on that in the build & handling section below), The Fujifilm X-S10 has a lot of technology familiar from other Fujifilm models. The significance is largely in how it’s been brought together and the price it will be sold for.
The sensor is, we presume, the same 26.1 megapixel X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor used in the Fujifilm X-T4. The quad-core X-Processor 4 processing engine appears the same too.
The autofocus system offers the same 100% phase detection AF frame coverage as the X-T4, with face and eye detection and, Fujifilm says, improved sensitivity down to light levels as low as -7EF, with a response time of as little as 0.02 seconds.
Like the X-T4, the Fujifilm X-S10 has built-in in-body stabilisation (IBIS). The stabilisation unit is around 30% smaller, and offers 6 stops of compensation versus the 6.5 stops of the X-T4. There is a difference, then, but a small one.
• See also Fujifilm X-S10 vs X-T4
But there are larger differences elsewhere, notably in continuous shooting and video features.
Where the X-T4 can shoot at up to 15fps with its mechanical shutter, the X-S10 achieves 8fps – though that’s still pretty good for a camera in this price bracket. The X-S10 can shoot at 20fps with its electronic shutter or 30fps in a 1.29x crop mode.
The Fujifilm X-T4 is renowned for its ability to capture 4K 60p video and 10-bit video internally, but the X-S10 takes a step back to a more conventional 4K 30p and 8-bit capture internally – though if you use an external recorder, the X-S10 and X-T4 can both record 10-bit 4:2:2 video.
In other areas, the Fujifilm X-S10 has a single card slot compared to the X-T4 and a slightly lower-resolution electronic viewfinder. The X-S10 delivers a lot of features for the money, but there are enough areas where the X-T4 is superior to justify the price difference.
Build and handling
It’s hard not to be impressed by the Fujifilm X-S10 when you first pick it up. The specs say it’s not particularly heavy at just 465g body only, but it has a very solid feel and, thanks to the front grip, it’s a small-ish camera that still delivers a very good hold.
The swap to a regular mode dial doesn’t mean the X-S10 has a dumbed-down control layout. It has twin command dials; one inset into the top of the grip at the front and another on to top at the back. Over on the left side is a third, function (Fn) dial.
This means the X-S10 doesn’t use one of those annoying spinning/clicking multi-controllers on the back. Instead, it just has a joystick for AF point and settings navigation – and there’s an AF-ON button for photographers who like to separate the shutter and AF functions when they shoot.
Fujifilm’s regular Q (quick settings) button is found on the top of this camera, rather than its usual position on the back, and there’s a movie record button on the top too.
The rear screen flips out and rotates easily – no complaints there – and the EVF is good too, though the resolution and especially the 0.62x magnification feel a little mean.
Our camera was a pre-production unit, so our sample images do not necessarily represent the final image quality and we aren’t yet able to open and check out the RAW files. Our first impressions, however, are that the Fujifilm X-S10 delivers exactly the kind of color and detail rendition we see on other Fujifilm cameras. Given the fact it uses the same sensor and processor, we wouldn’t expect any different.
Being a pre-production model, we couldn’t draw any real conclusions about the AF performance or image stabilisation, but our first impressions – again – are that it’s exactly like using the Fujifilm X-T4.
We will run full lab tests and try out the stabilisation, autofocus and video quality properly when we get a full production sample in for review.
Fujifilm’s swap to a regular control layout is not a signal that this is a simple camera for novices. It’s immediately apparent when you pick it up and use it, that it’s made to very high standards (though it’s not weatherproofed, we’re told) and has the quality feel of the more expensive X-T4.
The specs also confirm that this camera is aimed at enthusiasts and more advanced content creators, though Fujifilm has taken care to ensure that the X-T4 has sufficient advantages to maintain its higher price and flagship status.
The Fujifilm X-S10 might not trouble the X-T4 too much, but it immediately looks a more attractive proposition than Fujifilm’s diminutive X-T30, because the X-S10 brings a more mass-market control layout and in-body stabilization.