The Fuji Finepix XP10 is a cheap and cheerful waterproof digital camera. It is aimed at someone who is looking for a robust digital camera that can be used in extreme conditions and can also handle the occasional bump here and there. In addition to its robust features it also scores very highly for ease of use. The Finepix XP10 is small enough to slip into a pocket and has an attractive design with a glossy outer shell.
Why Buy The Fuji Finepix XP10
If a tough, resilient digital camera is a must for you and you are on a tight budget then the Finepix XP10 is the cheapest model of this type around from a major brand.
95.6 x 63.8 x 23.2mm
SD / SDHC
The main attraction of the Finepix XP10 is its rugged feature set. To start with it can be used underwater to depths of 3 meters. It is able to survive falls if it is dropped from heights of up to one metre. It is also able to handle extreme cold and can operate at temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. Fuji have also made the camera dustproof. So as well as being able to handle rainy days and some snow it can also be used around the pool on holiday.
The Finepix XP10 can be used in the sea although it is always worth rinsing the camera in clean water afterwards. There is a special underwater mode where the camera automatically sets white balance and exposure for the conditions.
More standard features are light on the ground, but the upside of that is a camera that is relatively easy to use. You are able to shoot High Definition movies and you also get access to features such as white balance and ISO levels. There are also a set of predefined scene modes you can use. These help the camera to match settings to the type of photo you are taking.
For anyone looking to upload videos to YouTube or photos to Facebook Fuji have simplified the process so that you can upload with a few button clicks. There is also an in camera image search facility that makes it easier for you to find your photos.
Another feature worth mentioning is the ability to shoot two pictures at the same time. One is taken with flash and the other without. You can then select the one you prefer.
The Finepix XP10 has a shiny, smooth finish. This could lead to the camera becoming slippery when wet, but Fuji have added some small rubber bumps to the front of the camera. These help to ensure you can get a good grip of the camera. Some of the buttons on the back of the camera are larger in size than on other cameras making them that bit easier to locate. The downside of this is there is not a lot of zoom to rest your thumb and if you are not careful you may find yourself accidentally zooming in or out.
Another reason for the lack of room on the back of the camera is the design. Not only have Fuji rounded the edges of the camera they have also created space around the control area. This reduces the room available not only for controls, but also for the LCD screen. The LCD screen is 2.7 inches in size instead of the more common 3 inches. This may not sound a great deal, but it does have an impact when you are composing images or viewing the menu.
The position of the lens in the top corner makes it easier for a stray finger to blight a shot. Fuji have reduced the possibility of this by making the lens unit stand out slightly from the body.
There are not a great deal of buttons or controls to get used to. The layout of the camera is quite straightforward. On the top of the camera the only buttons are for turning the camera on and off and the shutter button.
On the back of the camera at the top are separate buttons for zooming in and out. Underneath this is a rocker divided into four sections. These are for exposure compensation, setting flash, activating the self timer and placing the camera in macro mode. The exposure compensation section doubles up allowing you to delete photos when the camera is in review mode. In the centre of the rocker is a button to access the menu system and confirm a setting. Below this comes three more buttons for reviewing images, shooting a movie and changing the LCD screen display.
Delving into the menu system gives you access to 10 options for controlling shooting parameters. There are also 23 set up options.
Image Quality - See Sample Images Below
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
As is typical of a lot of cheaper digital cameras the Finepix XP10 does not have a great dynamic range. This means that it is likely to find the going tough on bright sunny days when it has to cope with glare from the sun. My first test picture underlines this fact as a lot of detail is lost from the white boats and also from the white, wooden slates under the roof of the building in the centre of the shot.
Sharpness of the picture is also below standard with the brickwork showing a marked lack of clarity. Noise creeps into to the shot in areas of light shade. This can be seen in the shady area around the name of the front boat.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
This is a fair effort. The photo compares favourably with other cameras in this price bracket. It is helped by the fact Fuji have not been over adventurous with the lens. It does not have wide angle capabilities. Without this feature the lens is not pushed to the extremes that some digital cameras are.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
The Finepix XP10 struggles when the lens is zoomed in to its full capacity. The shot becomes enveloped in a haze that runs right across the photo. I see this from time to time, especially with cheaper cameras with the entire photo losing its edge due to noise.
Sharpness in the centre of the picture is good, but this soon falls away as you move out towards the edges. As with the previous shot there is a general lack of clarity to the photo.
Working closer in seems to suit the Finepix XP10. There is still evidence of a touch of noise here and there, but the photos offer greater definition. The outdoor portrait could do with a little more life, but it was taken on a winter's day and with this type of camera it is difficult to produce warmer tones to make the picture look more appealing,
Indoor Portrait With Flash
Moving indoors with flash turned on produces an acceptable portrait shot. The light from the flash is a little uneven with darker patches appearing towards the top of the photos. This suggests that the flash unit is not as strong as it could be.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
In natural light without flash the Finepix XP10 finds it that bit harder. As with other shots there is a small amount of noise creeping in. This causes the camera to lose a degree or two of sharpness.
The minimum focusing distance is 9cm. That is further away than most digital cameras manage. Taking the price of this camera into consideration, that is fair enough as some compromises are required to keep the cost down. Anyone who is serious about close up photography would almost certainly be buying a more expensive camera than this one. Focusing and definition are quite good, but if you look carefully at the edges of the photo you will notice that straight lines start to curve quite noticeably.
I like the colours this camera produces. They are bold enough without being overpowering. No one colour dominates and they are well balanced.
As I have mentioned above some of my test shots are blighted by a hazy look. Noise tends to be an all encompassing term for this type of problem. Therefore you are likely to see noise in your photos if you make larger prints or view your photos on a television or computer screen.
Picture Quality Summary
In this price bracket you expect some level of compromise when it comes to picture quality. It is a little difficult to judge the Finepix XP10 against direct competitors as this type of camera is normally somewhat more expensive. On the whole it is likely to be a case of ensuring snapshot prints are kept to reasonably small sizes. By doing this the weaknesses of the Finepix XP10 will be a lot less apparent.
Shutter Lag Times
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time
Ease of Use
The Finepix XP10 is about as straightforward as you are likely to find. There are not a great deal of features that require your intervention. All you need to do is turn the camera on and click away.
Points I Like
Robust features - ease of use - stylish design - lower price - small and lightweight
Where it Could Improve
Noise - sun glare - shutter lag with flash
The Fuji Finepix XP10 has a lot going for it. It is a fun camera that can be used around the pool and on the beach. It can also handle the occasional bump and bruise. Compared with other robust digital cameras it also comes with a lower price tag. Picture quality does leave something to be desired though. Therefore this camera is only likely to suit you if the robust features are of real value to you, you are on a tight budget and all you want is a camera to record your fun moments in a fairly basic way.
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