Best of the next-gen and previous-gen deals
What is it?
Fujifilm X10. An uber-cool retro-inspired premium compact that combines good looks with great build quality. It provides digital images that are excellent, too.
It's a fast performer with a super-slick auto-focus (AF) system and easy-to-use controls. There are plenty of manual options.
The retro styling might not be to everyone's taste. Those manual modes require patience if you're to get the most from them.
The bottom line
Alongside its top-notch picture results and excellent manual functions, the X10 will attract envious glances from fellow snappers thanks to its stylis design.
Retro is in for camera makers right now. The Fujifilm X10 is one compact that's embracing the elegant look of the old, with eye-catching and beautiful lines that really look the part.
Size-wise, it's ideal for a coat pocket or small bag and comes fashioned in a practical and robust magnesium alloy. That makes it feel rugged enough to stand the test of time while also light enough to carry around in comfort. Its faux-leather trim lends extra sophistication, while the beefy control dials look smart against the cool lines of the body.
Alongside the practical design and quirky styling touches is a technical specification that will appeal to a variety of different digital camera users.
There's a 12-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor, RAW file shooting capability plus full-HD 1080p movie recording and a very respectable seven frames a second burst mode option.
That EXR CMOS sensor produces great results, particularly when squeezing maximum quality out of difficult low-light conditions. The ingenuity of this model lies in the fact that it can merge pixels in a shot to record an image at different sensitivities, something which ultimately delivers a superior end result.
Settings can be tweaked and fine-tuned to suit your own needs or shooting technique, while an Auto EXR mode can do the same kind of thing for you if you're looking for a quick and easy 'hands-off' solution instead.
Combine this with the dazzling range of manual controls found on the X10 and you have a powerful shooting tool that can deal with whatever you throw its way.
It feels good to hold, too, with the leather-style finish and sculpted hand grips ensuring that it sits well in your hands. The Fujinon lens doubles as the power switch, and by rotating it round to the widest focal length of 28mm you'll find the camera kicks into action in just over a second.
There are a total of 11 exposure modes, and you can add your own combinations via a couple of customisable mode settings.
Among a further 16 scene modes is a Portrait Enhancer option that can soften skin in portrait shots, while the likes of Sports, Snow, Underwater and Party modes offer additional versatility. Better still is the sweep panorama mode that produces wide-format images with the very minimum of fuss and bother.
Elsewhere, the Pro Focus option delivers a fabulously shallow depth-of-field effect and the Pro Low-Light mode enables anyone to get the best from poor lighting conditions while also retaining colour and clarity with minimal noise.
What's more, the EXR mode delivers the capacity for prioritising the likes of resolution, dynamic range or particular ISO settings to squeeze yet more performance from the camera.
On the back is a 2.8-inch TFT screen, which features an anti-glare coating that works extremely well in bright outdoors conditions. There is a built-in optical viewfinder, too.
Overall, the X10 is a camera that is not only great to use, but provides excellent results as well. It can capture great shots with true-to-life colour and minimal noise right up to the top end of its ISO settings.
Those retro looks might not be for everyone, but there's no doubting this is a well-built and feature-packed star performer.
Sensor: 2/3-inch EXR CMOS with primary colour filter
LCD: 2.8-inch, 460,000-dots, TFT
ISO: auto, ISO 200-3200 (100-12800 with boost)
Video: Full HD, 1920 x 1080 (30 fps)
Memory cards: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I)
Weight: 350g (including battery and card)
Dimensions: 117 x 69.6 x 56.8mm