Camera or phone?

It’s time to ditch your phone for the Fujifilm XF10

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Since the best camera is the one that you have with you, perhaps it’s time to upgrade that camera from a phone to, well, an actual camera.

Since I started shooting with Fujifilm cameras, I have owned and/or used many of their compact cameras. Aside from the X100 series and the short-lived X70, my favourite small camera that they produced was the X30. Now, Fujifilm has moved away from their series of small-sensor cameras and has released two inexpensive, APS-C sensor cameras in the X-T100 and XF10.

Today, I am writing about my recent experience shooting with the XF10. It is clear from the design and size of this camera, Fujifilm would like to lure some phone photographers (phonetographers?) to this new offering. The XF10 is about the same size as an iPhone 7 and is easily carried in a coat pocket and perhaps even in a hip pocket. Since the camera only has an LCD screen, like a phone, the shooting experience will be relatively familiar to a phonetographer. What will be new, and hopefully from Fujifilm’s perspective, more attractive, is the large sensor, superior lens and exposure controls available with the XF10.

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I wanted to try the XF10 as a potential carry-it-everywhere-all-the-time camera. Much like I can with my phone, the XF10 is easily secreted in a pocket or small bag. Unlike my phone, this camera produces excellent-quality images and offers extensive exposure controls.

The XF10 is also an excellent choice for street and travel photography. The fixed-focal length, 28mm equivalent lens, the size, a totally silent shutter and the snapshot mode make this camera a really good choice on the street. In snapshot mode, you can select an aperture distance combo of either f/5.6 and 5 meters or f/8 and 2 meters. Combine those with a fast enough shutter speed and you are ready to shoot on the street. I assigned one of the many function buttons to toggle the snapshot function on and off. Really handy.

The camera layout is relatively simple, compared to the more advanced X-series cameras, but there are enough customizable function buttons to keep most of us happy. The touch-enabled LCD screen gives further options for controlling functions on the camera and will also appeal to many transitioning phonetographers.

The XF10 doesn’t have the X-Trans sensor found on the other X-cameras, but it’s 24-megapixel sensor produces great images worthy of printing. Something I have never felt that I could say about images from a phone. Developing the XF10 RAW files in Lightroom Classic or Exposure X4 produces excellent results. The XF10 lacks a few of the film simulation modes available in most of the other X-cameras, but I’m not sure that the target audience will notice or care.

The camera features three focus modes, Continuous, Single and Manual. As with the other X-cameras, one of the function buttons can be assigned to AF-L. In Manual focus mode, this button will focus for you, giving you a great back-button focus option. And, you also get the great manual focusing aids, such as peaking and split-screen. These features may be more advanced than a former phonetographer might want or need, but experienced Fujifilm photographers will certainly appreciate them.

Of course, the XF10 has built-in WiFi so that you can easily transfer images to your phone or tablet for editing and/or social sharing. The camera also features numerous automatic exposure modes for those who would rather not shoot in PASM. Numerous other functions are offered on this small camera, but the great image quality and the small size will be the biggest draws on the XF10, I believe.

For any phonetographer who would like explore higher-quality photography with a small, lightweight camera that costs less than many phones, the XF10 is a great choice. The XF10 is also a excellent option for street or travel photography and as a carry-it-everywhere-all-the-time second camera for those of you who already have high-end cameras and lenses. It can be liberating to head out of the house and just bring a great camera that fits into your pocket.

Here are some sample images:

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NB: Aside from the product shots, all images captured with the Fujifilm XF10.

2 Replies to “Camera or phone?”

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