Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fuji XP 10 a Review (Sort of)

I primarily use two kinds of cameras, SLRs and camera phones.  I don't use small compact cameras very often.  It is because if I am going somewhere to make pictures I take a real camera, and if I come across something unexpected my cell phone is the camera I have with me.

However, sometimes I find point and shoot cameras handy.  This summer after our little Canon broke I started looking for a replacement.  I had a few criteria.  I wanted a camera that didn't have an externally protruding lens, I hate them on compacts*.  I also wanted it to be fairly tough, so Kathryn could run about with it.  I thought it would be nice if it had manual control.  There is a criteria you may feel is missing.  What about image quality?  I didn't care that much.  Most of these cameras do a reasonable job, and I would never make a P&S my primary camera.

So, based on my criteria how does the Fuji XP 10 stack up?  Pretty well I think.  It is a sealed, water proof camera.  That helps in the toughness department.  It also means the lens is non protruding.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to try it underwater sometime.  The idea of that makes me slightly nervous.  Unfortunately, it does not have manual control.  The control available with it is adequate, but I would prefer more.  Even though it wasn't a primary consideration image quality is reasonable.  It can make pretty noisy images, but Lightroom seems to handle it to the point where I don't notice it.  Detail is still good.

It is the kind of thing I would carry to football game, or hand to Kat at a party.  I wouldn't make anything too serious with it, just because serious stuff requires planning.  If I am planning, I'd grab my SLR.  I have posted a few pictures here that were made with it.

Do I recommend it?  Yes, with some caveats.  From what I can see on the net most other P&S cameras will outperform this one in the image quality department.  If this is to be your only camera, perhaps another choice is better.  If you require more manual control, you will also have to look elsewhere.  Otherwise, I think it is worth consideration, and I felt it worked with the best for us.

*A friend of mine has an interesting way to describe this type of lens design...

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