While Canon and Olympus take the approach of using a ring on the dial for adjusting settings, Fujifilm using the lens ring to power on and manually zoom. I like that there are focal-length indicators on the barrel, and the zoom has a good feel--not too tight and not too loose. The grip is small but in combination with the rubber thumb rest proves sufficient for single-handed shooting.
Like the G12 and P7100, the X10 has an exposure compensation dial. The mode dial has the usual array of, plus two custom settings slots; movie mode; a scene program mode with the typical set of choices; an "Advanced" shooting mode with Pro Low-Light, Pro Focus and Motion Panorama 360; and EXR resolution priority, high ISO and low noise, and D-Range priority modes. My one gripe: the function button is quite tiny.
On the back you'll find the usual array of buttons and dials, including a raw override button. The navigation dial is a tad loose and its associated buttons--macro, drive, flash and self-timer--feel a bit too flat too use without deliberation. Because I review Fujifilm cameras so infrequently, I forget that the company labels the metering button AE rather than, oh, with a metering icon like the rest of the world.
All the important shooting options are directly accessible via buttons, except perhaps ISO sensitivity, and you can program the Fn button for that. Which is good, because the menu system is straightforward, but fairly tedious: there are two top-level menus, but you have to scroll through multiple pages within their extremely granular submenus.
Fujifilm's "Pro" modes are actually multishot modes. Pro Low-light combines 4 shots to improve noise in low light and Pro focus combines up to three shots to perform what other cameras call background defocus. The third multishot mode, Motion Panorama 360 is one of those panorama modes where you pan the camera while holding down the shutter button, à la Sony's Sweep Panorama. Fujifilm does let you save the individual images in addition to the automatically combined one, which is a nice feature. Like Panasonic, Fujifilm offers face recognition in addition to face detection, and can save up to 8 faces.
Though the novelty of the power-on ring wears off pretty quickly, the X10 is fast and pretty enjoyable to shoot. But to get the best photo quality you have to shoot in the automatic modes, which runs counter to the idea of an enthusiast camera, and yet even in auto it's too complicated to recommend to snapshooters who just want better photo quality. Plus, the photo quality and autofocus are a bit too inconsistent for its relatively high price.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Raw shot-to-shot time||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)