Fujifilm announces the X10, a step-down alternative to the advanced X100 in terms of both price and features. It's no chump, though. The X10 still aims to please with a 12 megapixel imager, f/2 Fujinon 4x optical zoom lens and full HD video.
Essentially, the X10 is positioned to appeal to the advanced photographer who found the X100 to be too much camera (or too expensive). It will offer all of the manual exposure controls that the X100, though the retro-cool dials and levers that give the X100 some of its mystique have not been included in the X10's design.
At the core of the X10 is a new 2/3-inch sized 12 megapixel EXR CMOS sensor. It's decidedly smaller than the APS chip on board the X100, but it's larger than what you'd find in a typical compact. It's accompanied by a dual-core EXR Processor, providing the horsepower required for 1080 HD video recording at 30p and full-resolution continuous shooting at 7 fps.
With that EXR imaging system comes a manually-operated 4x optical zoom lens covering the 28-112mm equivalent range. That lens starts at a wide f/2 aperture at wide angle, closing down only to f/2.8 at the telephoto end. More care has gone into the construction of this lens than that of a typical point-and-shoot - the all-glass construction includes 11 elements in 9 groups.
Hardware-wise the X10 is equipped with a 2.8-inch 460k-dot LCD. Its construction is primarily aluminum alloy with sturdy magnesium alloy top and bottom plates. It doesn't adhere to the strict retro cool aesthetic of the X100, sporting an all-black design, and it offers a standard optical viewfinder instead of the hybrid EVF/OVF of the X100. The camera on/off switch is incorporated into the lens barrel so that it's always at the shooter's fingertips.
The X10 sports a pop-up flash with a range of about 23 feet as well as a hot shoe compatible with separately sold TTL flash accessories. ISO range extends from 100-12800, and users will be able to shoot JPEG, RAW or RAW + JPEG files. In-camera processing modes include Fujifilm regulars like Velvia, Provia and Astia for nostalgic film effects, with a total of 8 modes all together.
Pricing and availability
With no confirmed price yet, Fujifilm reps promise that the X10 will cost considerably less than the X100. The FinePix X10 is slated for early November availability.