This camera was bought as a replacement for a previous advanced point and shoot model from Samsung, the WB650, which unfortunately did not live up to expectations, especially low light performance, a lot of noise on anything above ISO200. I did quite a lot of research before buying but in the end it was a recommendation from a professional photographer that clinched it. I have now had it almost two months and find myself using it on a regular basis, I was really impressed by the low light capability in EXR mode, (a few examples are posted on my Flickr photostream) I tend to use EXR and A modes most of the time , EXR auto gets it right most of the time, depending on the type of image but I will occasionally change to another EXR mode. I really like the build quality and feel of this camera, it fits really nicely in the hand and is easily maneuvered especially after updating the firmware to version 2.00 which has reassigned the RAW button on the back to a “Q” button (Quick menu), no major loss for me as I do not shoot in RAW format.
It’s nice to have an OVF, I know that many feel that this is a little too simple on this model because it does not show any exposure information, a “problem” that the new X20 addresses I believe, but I like it uncluttered, and have now used the camera long enough to know more or less what kind of image it will produce, images so far have been well exposed, although there is a direct exposure compensation dial on the top of the camera I have yet to use it, even when shooting directly towards a low winter sun! but it is early days, I am sure that this dial will come in very useful later on (otherwise I tend to use exposure compensation almost all the time on my DSLR), another viewfinder “problem” for some is that it only shows 85% but with the great image quality produced a 15% or more crop of a larger image is no problem, obviously parallax is a slight problem but most of my images taken with the camera while using the viewfinder are not of the kind where this is critical, I tend to just trust the camera, and it continues to surprise me!
One thing that is a little disappointing is the original Fujifilm lens hood, expensive and necessary if you want to use filters, yes you can screw them directly onto the lens but 39.5mm (40mm, 40.5mm?) filters are not easy to get hold of, much easier with the 52mm adapter built into the lens hood, but I don’t use filters so what’s the problem? the lens hood obstructs the viewfinder is the problem! it was more difficult than expected to take an image of the obstruction through the viewfinder but because I haven’t seen this done before I had a go! I took the image below with my smartphone, the smartphone camera was the only one that I could get close enough to the viewfinder with, lens on the smartphone was pressed against rubber surround of the viewfinder on the X10, image quality is not good, exposure almost impossible to control, (I tried!) but it does show what is visible and obstructing your view, the lens was at minimum extension (28mm), it gets better when the lens is extended and is not visible at 112mm. I use a lens hood for what it was designed for, protecting from lens flare, and on this camera that has the lens almost flush with its housing this a very important, the hood also adds a degree of physical protection, but why this round slotted design! OK it looks good but why not a square/rectangular shaped model instead? the filter threads do not rotate when focusing so this could be done, correctly designed it would minimize viewfinder obstruction, perhaps a reader of this blog as used another lens hood that obstructs less?