Fujifilm X-S10 Review

This is a very interesting little camera, and I’m gonna tell you what I think of it. Hi, everyone, and welcome to pal2tech. Today, we’re talking about the Fujifilm X-S10, or to put it this way, I’m gonna share with you my thoughts on this camera after using it nonstop for about three weeks. A few things to get out of the way, first, Fujifilm North America was kind enough to send to me, at my request, this test unit out to review. They also included the 18 to 55-millimeter zoom lens, which is what I used for most of my testing. At no time did Fujifilm have input over the content of this blog. Secondly, the 26.1-megapixel X-Trans sensor on the X-S10 is exactly the same as the sensor on the X-T4, meaning in theory, that the image quality is exactly the same, and because of this, if you’re looking for image quality information, be sure to check out my X-T4 video, which goes more into what you can expect from this sensor. And third, I am really late to this party. The X-S10 came out last year, and there are many very good, in depth reviews of this camera. I didn’t wanna just repeat specs and conduct performance tests that others have already done before. What I am gonna do today is simple. I’m gonna tell you what I love and what I don’t like about this camera. So let’s jump into my experience in using it.

I took this camera with me to Los Angeles, Chicago, Savannah, and Atlanta. In addition, I took it to Eastern Georgia to shoot on the beaches, time-lapse, some cosplay shots, and wildlife. And because of its size and flip screen, I thoroughly wanted to test out its vlogging capabilities. So I shot a full vlog covering a 24-hour trip across the country to Malibu, California and back. This camera was lugged through airport security, on and off airplanes, thrown in the back of rental cars, carried around Venice Beach and Santa Monica and so forth. So first off, let me tell you what I love about this camera. It is an absolute joy to travel with. I had my doubts on its size when I first took it out of the box, but then I saw the grip. Have a look at this grip. Look how it compares with the X-T4. This grip is so much better than the X-T4. It just feels wonderful in your hand. I love it! Also, it handled every single lens that I was able to throw at it. For example, I took the 50 to 140 with me, and it worked perfectly, the size, the weight. Because of the way the grip is, it’s no problem whatsoever to have a lens like this. It looks a little weird with this big lens on this camera, but it gets the job done, and it’s not a problem at all. But for more casual shooting or for traveling, I would definitely prefer to use the 18 to 55-millimeter zoom lens, or I think ideally, you’d wanna go with the 16 to 80 zoom, which would cover a variety of shooting situations. It’s the perfect travel lens for the perfect travel camera. Now, the more I use this camera, the more apparent it became to me that Fujifilm built this camera to showcase their film simulations front and center.

Even their marketing for this camera emphasizes this. Its target audience are photographers that want a compact camera that can do a little bit of everything, a camera that brings some of the best features of the X-T4 into a smaller package that’s about $700 cheaper. Now, the single SD card slot is on the bottom right next to the battery slot. On the side, Fuji finally got the mic jack placement correct, and it no longer gets in the way of the mic cable. Great job on that one, Fuji. I do wish, though, that this door that covers the HDMI and USB ports was removable, however. But for that $1,000 price tag, you get a lotta features packed in here, such as Burst Modes, all of the bracketing modes, HDR, and multiple exposure features. You get 425 focus points with great autofocus, touchscreen, and all kinds of white balance options, and IBIS works great too. Now, it’s not quite as good as the X-T4. You only get six stops of IBIS instead of 6 and 1/2 that the X-T4 has, big deal. That’s a 1/2 a stop difference. And for video shooting, you also get IS Mode Boost, which comes straight from the X-T4, as well. Speaking of video, there is a dedicated red record button right on the top of the camera. Now, while I did not like this as much as the Movie-Still switch on the X-T4 camera, it was still nice to be able to quickly press that red button to kick off the video. However, you cannot shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second. You must use 1080p only. There’s a built-in conformed video setting that allows you to go up to 240 frames per second, which is just like the X-T4, and that’s a nice touch. The camera, though, can only record eight-bit internally with its codecs. However, it does offer 10bit micro HDMI output to an external recorder. Now, the camera has a few ergonomic surprises up its sleeve. For example, like this. Also, you have this customizable button right here near the eye cup, which I absolutely love. In fact, I had it set to face/eye auto detector in the time that I was using the camera.

Now there’s also a dedicated ISO button right at the top, which gives you immediate access to the ISO settings, and where you would expect to find the ISO dial on say the X-T4, you have a blank dial. And when you turn it, the default setup is that you rotate through the film simulations. You see that right there? And as I said before, this camera is serious about promoting its film sims. So not only do you have a dedicated dial for that right when you first turn on the camera, but you also get a description like a mini Wikipedia inside here for the film sims. And of course, let’s not forget to mention the PASM dial. Clearly, Fuji is marketing this camera to new users of Fujifilm or to maybe new users of mirrorless cameras who may prefer or find easier or have a much easier time wrapping their minds around that kind of a function dial. And I must admit, when you set this PASM dial to AUTO and sort of set it and forget it and throw this camera into AUTO mode, it takes some wonderful JPEG images while also allowing you to keep raw copies of all of them. And for users brand new to the Fujifilm system, this PASM dial right here may, in fact, be that nice set of training wheels to get them into a camera that is a really powerful machine under the hood. Okay, so the size, the weight, the grip, the image quality, and the great performance for a mid-range camera priced at $700 less than the X-T4, this camera has a lot to offer you. And if you’ve never shot with Fuji before and you want a general do everything hybrid stills and video camera in a really small form factor, there is a definite compelling reason to get the X-S10. However, (laughs) you knew this was coming. You knew it. If you are already a Fuji shooter using say an X-T3 or an XT-4 camera, I’m not sure you’re going to like this camera. I know that the X-T4 is $700 more than this unit right here, but here’s the thing. The X-T3 is about the same price, and that’s where your buying decision gets a whole lot more complicated. Here are my major issues with it. First, they use a smaller X-T3 battery. Once you start using the larger XT-4 batteries, you never wanna go back. I forget that these little things have such a spit of power in them.

And yes, I know I have plenty of batteries and I can bring them with me. I get all that. But I’ve found that the internal IBIS unit on this camera, as well as using it all day long for vlogging, this camera just chewed through too many batteries too quickly. I was changing batteries out constantly during vlogging, much more than I would have had I used the X-T4. Now, for stills shooting, that’s fine, but if I’m gonna be using this camera for vlogging, I want a longer-lasting battery. My second issue is actually a big one, and that is the removal of the focus mode dial. That was a deal breaker for me, especially coming from an X-T3 and an X-T4 where I didn’t realize how much I used that focus mode dial. I used it all the time. Okay, on the X-S10, you can assign a custom button to do that same thing, but no matter what, you’re going into the menu to take care of it, and I cannot tell you how much better it is, at least for me, to have this focus mode dial right here. Even after three weeks of using the X-S10, I was still going like this. “Where is it? “Oh, right, I gotta go into the menu.” Big deal for me. Next, the focus joystick does not allow for double-clicking to center the focus point. I had no idea how much I used or missed this feature from the other cameras. When you double-click the focus joystick, you don’t center the focus point. You are actually zooming in when you do that. So for example, if you have the focus point set in the lower right-hand corner and you wanna quickly move it to the center, you can’t just go boom, boom like that and it’ll just center. You have to then move it back to the center like that, and that was constantly tripping me up, having come from constantly using an X-T4. Now, as far as using this as a second camera for client work, maybe for shooting, that would be great, but for me, for B-roll where you’ll often wanna shoot at 60 frames per second to slow it down for a nice slow-mo, that 1080p limit will not be enough for me because if my A camera is shooting 24 frames a second in 4K, I want my B camera to be shooting at 60 frames per second in 4K.

And what makes this a little more difficult for me is the fact that while I’m out and about, I’m carrying a phone with me that can shoot in 4K 60 frames per second. And even for casual vlogging, for me, having only one SD card was kind of a pain because I was constantly having to change it out. Having two SD cards allows you to shoot video for a lot longer without having to worry about switching out the cards. Now, lastly, we need to talk about the PASM and the top dials. I get where Fujifilm is going with this camera, and I actually think that’s great. They should make a version of their camera lineup that goes down the PASM route. And for a lot of new users, this may make them feel more at home, particularly if they’re coming from other camera systems. And for those users who are wanting to move from say a smartphone into their first interchangeable lens camera, getting used to this way of controlling things will probably become second nature to them. However, for myself, the entire joy and essence of using Fujifilm are the dedicated ISO aperture and shutter speed dials. I like the marked, I like them dedicated, and I liked the retro feel of the X-T3 and the X-T4, and I like the fact, I actually love the fact that there is a bit of a learning curve with these cameras.

There should be. And yes, the grip on the X-S10 is better than any Fujifilm camera I’ve ever used, but you know what? I can fix that problem by using a third party right up just like that. Using a camera is a very personal experience, and I can only report how this impacted me. While I love this little camera and I love the fact that Fuji made it, I would just prefer using the X-T3 and the X-T4. Even if this camera had exactly the same specs as the X-T4, I would still prefer using the X-T4 for the top dials and that focus mode switch alone. But again, though, this is purely subjective. This is an incredible camera, and that brings me to my final conclusion for this blog. For the very first time on this channel, I am not gonna give it a final grade whatsoever. Clearly, if you look at Fuji’s intentions on what they wanted to accomplish, then this camera is a solid A. It is an awesome travel camera, incredible autofocus and image stabilization. It’s a good vlogging camera. It’s a powerful merge of the X-T4 and the X-H1, both of those features put into a small body at a respectable price and size. It ticks off all of those boxes, and for the price, you are getting one hell of a good camera. But for what I love about Fuji, this is not really the camera best suited for me. So I will respectfully pass on owning one, but I still highly recommend that you check it out, particularly if you are brand new to Fujifilm. I wanna give a special thank you to Fujifilm North America for sending me this test unit, along with this lens so that I could provide this blog for you. Well, thank you so much for watching. I hope you enjoyed the blog and found my thoughts on the camera helpful. If you did, be sure to give it the like and subscribe.

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