The Fujifilm X-S10 puts a proven picture sensor into a camera body with a big hold that's far better for telephoto lenses, and in-body stabilizing for blur-free images as well as video clips. United States Road Rate$ 999.95.
- Proven 26MP sensor
- 5-axis IBIS
- The in-camera film looks for creatives
- Front-facing display
- Fast, reliable autofocus
- Omits weather sealing
- Single UHS-I memory card slot
- Cramped top controls
- Underwhelming battery life
The Fujifilm X-S10 ($999.95, body only) puts the company's proven X-Trans image sensor and autofocus system into a new body style. It's the lightest X series camera with built-in stabilization, a plus for handheld photography, and it includes 4K recording and a front-facing screen for vloggers. It's a worthy addition to the Fujifilm camera system and an especially appealing choice for enthusiasts. We continue to recommend the X-T30 as our Editors' Choice for most photographers getting started with the system, but there are reasons for shutterbugs to spend a bit more on the X-S10.
A New Concept for Fujifilm
The X-S10 is an all-new body style for Fujifilm. It's sized in between the X-T30 and the X-T4 and also positioned between them in price. The handgrip is deeper than the X-T30, so the X-S10 pairs a bit better with bigger zoom lenses.
And it's smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the X-T4, Fujifilm's current top-tier X camera. There are reasons for serious photographers to spend an additional $700 for the X-T4, notably its larger EVF, bigger battery, and class-leading weather protection.
Photographers who already own X lenses can get the camera as a body only for $999.95. There are two kit options, one with the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 for around $1,400 and another with the larger XF 16-80mm F4 for $1,500.
It makes the X-S10 a more expensive proposition for photographers starting with the X system than the X-T30. You can get the X-T30 with the low-cost 15-45mm for around $1,000 or with the XF 18-55mm for $1,300.
Aside from the body style, the three models share a lot of techs, including an imaging and autofocus engine. It's a strategy Fujifilm has long used across its camera line—once you move beyond the very entry-level, your choice in camera is more about shape and handling than differences in imaging features.
Pairs With Bigger Lenses
It's telling that the X-S10 is available in a bundle with the bigger XF 16-80mm zoom when the X-T30 isn't. The body is pretty light, just 16.4 ounces, but includes a sizable handgrip. It measures 3.4 by 5.0 by 2.6 inches (HWD) without a lens.
The grip is handy when using the camera with a bigger lens. I especially liked it with the XF 70-300mm F4-5.6, a lightweight telezoom. It's a bit too much lens for slimmer cameras like the X-T30 and X-E4.
The controls are a bit different from what Fujifilm uses for most of its line. Its X-T30, X-E4, and X-T4 all include a discrete shutter speed dial on the top plate, a rare choice in digital imaging. The X-S10 swaps it out for a standard PASM mode dial. It's meant to be a bit more friendly for photographers moving from other systems. It includes an Auto position for beginners, as well as four Custom modes so advanced users can set different parameters for different situations.
Front and rear control wheels are used to control exposure. The shutter release is angled slightly forward; the On/Off switch surrounds it. Record, ISO, and Q buttons round out the controls on the right side.
There's another controlling wheel on the left side, next to the switch that opens the pop-up flash. It cycles through the various in-camera film looks, a useful tool if you want to quickly cycle between different creative styles. I switched it to swap between different autofocus modes, and there are a dozen or so other options available.
There are some additional control buttons on the rear. There's an unmarked function button next to the viewfinder, and AF ON and AEL are on the right side, toward the top. Menu and Display buttons are farther down, and the Play and Drive/Delete buttons are at the top left corner. The rear display supports touch input, and there's also a joystick to navigate through menus and set the autofocus point.
I'm mostly happy with the X-S10's handling. It's very customizable for one—you can set most buttons to do what you want, and you can even go as far as setting custom on-screen menus. If you put the time in, you can really tune the X-S10 to match your preferences.
The position of some of the control buttons leaves something to be desired. The Q and ISO buttons are placed so they're uncomfortable to reach when the camera is at your eye. The unmarked function button next to the EVF is in a weird place to reach, especially for left-eyed photogs.
You'll frame photos using the eye-level electronic viewfinder or rear touch LCD. The EVF is an OLED panel with an absolutely adequate 2.4 million dots of resolution and a 0.62x magnification rating.
The viewfinder is standard fare for mirrorless cameras that sell for around $1,000—Sony uses a similar EVF in the a6400, the Fujifilm uses the same one in its X-T30. It is noticeably smaller to the eye, and not as sharp, as the X-T4's 0.75x viewfinder, but you'd expect best-in-class from a $1,700 camera.
The rear display is more in line with premium cameras. It's a 3-inch panel with support for touch and a crisp 1.04 million dots of resolution. It's a very-angle style, so you can swing it out to the side to face forward, up, or down to capture photos from more interesting.
The flip-forward form is especially appealing for vlogging, a medium where selfie video is the norm. Some photographers don't like the swing-out design—even with the help of an on-screen framing grid, getting lines perfectly straight is trickier when the screen is off to the side, especially when working handheld. Some other Fujifilm models, including the X-T30, use a two-hinge system that drops front-facing support but provides plenty of articulation for photography.
The touch screen does the expected things—you tap anywhere to set the focus point or snap a photo (your choice), double-tap to punch in for manual focus, and navigate the on-screen Q menu via touch. You can go as far as to assign functions to directional swipes—a feature that's a little tricky to use and is turned off by default—but oddly the main menu doesn't support touch. It's easy enough to navigate using the joystick control.
Power and Connectivity
The X-S10 is powered by the same NP-W126S battery pack used by most other entries in the X system. It's a little underpowered by today's standards, promising just 325 images per charge based on the industry standards-setting organization, CIPA. You'll get more if you take advantage of burst capture, and fewer if you mix in 4K recording and wireless file transfer.
It's a shame Fujifilm didn't take advantage of the larger grip to update the battery. The X-T4 has a beefier cell with nearly double the life, another reason for serious photographers to look to the flagship X camera. On the other hand, if you're moving from another Fujifilm camera, you're likely to have at least a couple spare NP-W126S batteries on hand already, and USB-C charging is supported, so you can use a power bank for charging.
The single memory card slot is located in the battery compartment. It makes card changes tricky when mounted to a tripod or other camera support. The slot itself is the slower, UHS-I standard. It's a limiting factor when working in Raw format and taking advantage of the X-S10's high-speed capture modes, but it won't get in the way aside from that.
Digital ports are located on the left side. The X-S10 includes a 3.5mm jack for an external mic, as well as USB-C for charging, data transfer, and (via the included dongle) audio monitoring with headphones. The micro HDMI port outputs clean 10-bit 4:2:2 video for use with an external recorder.
Speed and Autofocus
Fujifilm delivers a consistent autofocus experience across its current camera line. The X-S10 shares the same focus system and burst capabilities as the X-T30 and X-T4. Its sensor uses a mix of contrast and phase-detection points, spread across nearly the entirety of its surface, a plus for tracking moving subjects.
Face and eye detection are supported for portraits, and a subject tracking mode is available when using continuous focus. Subject tracking is tenacious—when the camera locks on to a target, it doesn't lose track, a plus for photographers capturing sports action or photographing unpredictable wildlife. The only drawback is the size of the area of interest—it's a bit large to use with tricky scenes, like birds camouflaged by tree branches.
You can switch out of tracking and get a smaller focus area, even using continuous focus (AF-C). The camera will keep the autofocus system going right up until an image is captured, just like with tracking, but the focus point doesn't move automatically with your subject. Among similarly priced competitors, only the Sony a6400 has a better tracking system, one that's even a bit more trustworthy than Fujifilm and offers a smaller target for initial acquisition.
Tracking subjects is as important for action photography as the frame rate. The X-S10 includes a mechanical shutter for 8fps capture in Raw or JPG format. If you switch to the fully electronic shutter, you'll enjoy silent photography along with your choice of 10fps or 20fps capture rates. You can push the camera to 30fps in a cropped, 16.6MP capture mode if you'd like.
Just how long you can keep going depends on your choice of file format. You get about 20 Raw or Raw+JPG pairs before capture stalls, with a 10-second interval between bursts. If you swap to JPGs, you'll get about 150 shots at 8fps.
Stabilized X-Trans Imaging
The X-S10 shares its 26MP APS-C sensor with the X-T3, X-T30, and X-E4. With Fujifilm, the differentiating factor between most models is the form factor, not imaging prowess. Still, this model sets itself apart thanks to in-body image stabilization (IBIS)—the sensor is mounted on a 5-axis stabilization system.
The benefits are palpable. You can net long handheld exposures, even without a stabilized lens. You can blur people away in cityscape scenes without having to carry a tripod, or push shutter speeds a little bit longer in dim light.
See How We Test Digital Cameras
Image quality at higher ISO settings is right up there with the best APS-C models. The X-S10 can snap photos from ISO 160 through 12800 in its native range and has an extended range of ISO 80-51200 available when using the mechanical shutter.
When shooting JPGs, the camera nets photos with strong detail through ISO 3200. It takes a step back at ISO 6400 and 12800, but nets very usable results. It's at the extended ISO 25600 and 51200 sensitivities where quality really suffers. Raw images retain more detail at higher ISOs and rely on processing software to reduce noise.
For photographers who prefer working in JPG format, Fujifilm is the leading system for creative control. Out of the box, the camera snaps shots with a standard profile—Fujifilm calls it Provia, after one of its vintage film stocks.
You also get Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Negative, and Classic Negative colour looks, as well as a few flavours of monochrome, including one that mimics the Fujifilm Acros emulsion. You can opt to simulate film grain or not, and apply a colour chrome effect, useful for photographing deeply saturated fabrics and flowers.
Even if you prefer the convenience of JPG capture, you may find a good reason to use the X-S10 in Raw mode. In-camera Raw processing is there if you'd like to edit a shot a few different ways, and it all works from the camera's rear screen. It's a pretty slick interface, held back only by the lack of a preview—you need to render out a JPG to see the results.
Robust Video Toolkit
The X-S10 offers 4K recording at up to 30fps at 4:2:0 8-bit quality to internal memory, but ups the quality to 4:2:2 10-bit when using an external recording device like the Atomos Ninja V. You can opt for 16:9 UHD or 17:9 DCI formats.
There's no 4K60 support—you'll have to step up to the X-T3 or X-T4 for that. You do get 1080p60 with sound, and at 120fps or 240fps for slow-motion effects. All of the same film-simulation looks are available for video, as is the flat F-Log profile. The low-contrast look is used for editors who are familiar with colour grading. A graded preview look is available while recording too.
While some of the video features lag behind the flagships, they're in line with other Fujifilm models at the same price, and better than you'll find from most other systems, save Panasonic's Lumix line.
The X-S10 sets itself apart from lesser priced X cameras with IBIS. The stabilized sensor and front-facing screen are good news for vloggers. You'll net smoother handheld video, even better than you can get with lens stabilization alone.
Get It for the IBIS
The Fujifilm X-S10 is an appealing camera for enthusiast photographers looking for a model with a stabilized sensor, but without the budget for the $1,700 X-T4. You'll enjoy the same level of imaging and autofocus prowess in a lighter form factor, as well as access to all of the same X series lenses.
Photographers moving over from other systems will appreciate the X-S10's traditional PASM controls, though they may be a turnoff to Fujifilm fans who've grown accustomed to a shutter speed dial. The deep handgrip and flexible controls are welcome, though we found some of the top buttons difficult to reach.
There are still reasons for pros and well-heeled shutterbugs to go for the X-T4. It includes weather protection, absent in the X-S10, records video at 10-bit quality internally, and offers nearly double the battery life, among other sundries. The X-T4 is the best APS-C camera we've tested for any system, though, a high mark to match.
The big reason to opt for the X-S10 over more affordable Fujifilm models is its IBIS system. Stabilization is beneficial for both photos and video, and vloggers will love the forward-facing display. If you're already invested in the X system you'll find it to be a welcome upgrade from any older 16MP X-Trans model.
The X-S10 is a pricier prospect for photographers entering the system, with the lowest-cost kit coming in around $1,400. It's one of the reasons we continue to recommend the Fujifilm X-T30 a bit more highly as our Editors' Choice, despite it not having a stabilized sensor. The X-T30 is a better fit for fans of prime lenses and smaller zooms. You can get it with the XC 15-45mm zoom for around $1,000.