I’ve been looking for a new P&S camera for a while. My much loved Canon Powershot G9 died on New Year’s Eve 2010, and the cheap Panasonic Lumix I bought to replace it is, quite frankly, rubbish. I still have my Olympus EP-1 which, when paired with the Panasonic 20/1.7 lens, is quite small, but you are then limited to 20mm (40mm equivalent), and it doesn’t have a flash. The matching Zuiko 14-42mm lens is optically good, but at f3.5-5.6 it’s slow (remember the lack of flash) and makes the camera quite bulky.
Back in September Fuji announced the X10 and I fell in love. A camera in a similar form-factor to my EP-1, but with a bigger sensor than usually used in a P&S, a fast 28-112mm f2.0-2.8 lens, a built-in flash, and a proper manual zoom ring rather than buttons. On Boxing Day I gave in to temptation and walked into town and bought one in Jessops.
First impressions are good. It feels superb to use with a nice and sturdy construction, and the manual zoom is wonderful. In addition, for a small-sensor camera there’s remarkably little noise, even up to ISO 1600.
The automatic EXR mode allows it to switch between a full 12Mp image, and a 6Mp image with lower noise and/or increased dynamic range as it sees fit. Despite my usual preference for Aperture or Shutter priority as needed, the full auto EXR mode seems to do the job admirably.
More thoughts once I’ve spent a bit more time with it.