Fujifilm FinePix XP10 review
Review Date : Thu, 16 Sep 2010
Author : Matt Tuffin
A water, shock and drop proof camera that has the appearance of a normal compact
|Pros:||Some impressive features for an underwater model|
|Cons:||Flawed, noisy images|
Shock, water and dust proof cameras must walk a fine line between providing the amount of protection that the user requires and still taking reasonable photos. As the likes of the zoom must be internal, and the optics sealed behind a protective layer, the image quality can take a hit. The Fujifilm XP10 is at the cheaper end of the tough camera market, giving it an immediate attraction for those looking for such a model on a budget.
Fujifilm FinePix XP10 Review - Features
The XP10, in spite of the price, offers some impressive features to bolster the 1 meter drop, -10 degrees freeze and 3 meter water resistance. This includes a HD movie mode, at the 1280 x 720p resolution, and a 5x optical zoom. Both are pretty standard on a normal compact, but on a tough model both come as a pleasant surprise. Image stabilization is handled digitally, throwing out potential problems for shooting in limited light as the ISO will be boosted in manageable lighting conditions to combat shake. The likes of an auto Scene Mode and Face detection are also present to round out the features list.
Fujifilm FinePix XP10 Review - Design
There are some blocky, industrial-looking models in the tough camera market, but the XP10 certainly doesn't immediately look as destruction-proof as it is. The curved edges and smooth casing are more indicative of an affordable, stylish compact rather than a water and drop proof model, especially with the two tone colour effect. The rear gives a better indication of the intentions of the camera, with rubberized controls for all functions except the D-pad. Even getting into the battery and memory card section doesn't require any overtly ridiculous levels of twisting, pulling or pressing, it's achieved by flicking a switch and pushing the flap open.
Fujifilm FinePix XP10 Review - Image Quality
Image quality was reasonably decent for a camera intended to be tough, giving some sharp, relatively well exposed images in decent lighting conditions. As expected the image stabilization wasn't particularly effective for taking a quick snap, nor was it able to repress the noise levels when it was effective. Plenty of shots suffered from motion blur, and when the stabilization did take hold the images were noticeably noisy, especially in areas of shadow. This makes the payoff between holding the camera steady without stabilization and allowing the camera to assist with the likely addition of noise difficult to gage. A touch of fringing was also apparent at close range, but the tones tended to be balanced if not spectacular or massively eye catching.
There's plenty to be admired about this camera, especially the subtle looks in spite of being a shock, drop and waterproof model, but the image quality is too below par to ignore.