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The Fujifilm FinePix J10 is a happy snapper compact with limited creative control if you fancy taking over from time to time.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Specification
- Zoom: 3x optical
- Resolution: 8.2Mp
- Sensor size: 1/2.5in
- Sensor type: CCD
- File type: JPEG
- Sensitivity: ISO64-1600
- Storage: 12Mb internal, xD picture card
- Focus types: Auto, macro,
- Normal focusing: 40cm-infinity
- Close focusing: 15cm-infinity
- Metering types: Programmed AE
- Exposure compensation: No
- Shutter speed: 8sec-1/1500sec
- Flash: built-in
- Monitor: 2.5in TFT LCD
- Interface: USB 2.0
- Power: Li-ION battery
- Size: 91x55x19
- Weight: 110g
At £85, the Fujifilm FinePix J10 offers a slim line plastic body with 8Mp, 3x optical zoom and image stabilisers.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC LS80 costs £82 and will give you 8Mp, 3x optical zoom and an optical image stabiliser. You can also consider the Nikon Coolpix S210 at £90 with 8Mp, 3xoptical zoom and no image stabiliser.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Modes and features
Similar in design to such cameras as the Casio Exilim EX-S10 and the Pentax Optio S, the J10 is a simple, easy to use point and shooter. It's ideal for someone who simply wants to document an event in their lives or for a younger person who'd like to get to grips with digital photography.
Minimalism appears to have been the word of the day in the Fujifilm design office on the day of the J10's birth as only three buttons accompany the navigation pad and zoom rocker. This isn't such a bad thing though, as Fuji have always been well-known for making their cameras easy to use.
The 2.5in LCD screen is shunted over to the left of the camera with all the functions and buttons on the right. The zoom is just below the shoulder above a blank space that the thumb will sit in when not used. Four white dots line up under the zoom rocker and flash intermittently depending on the function you're performing. This has no bearing on performance and is merely a pretty extension to a camera designed to be just that.
The display button will scroll through different on screen options such as information on screen, off screen and also a rule of thirds grid. This button also doubles up as the back button when you're in the menu. This is great if you make a mistake as it doesn't save any changes you may have made by accident.
Pressing the menu button will take you into the main menu and Fuji have lumped everything into this one main area in a bid not to confuse you with sub menus or function areas. The shooting mode is whether you wish to put the camera in auto for easy use, manual to get at the more creative controls or any of the 15 preset modes that the camera has to offer.
Interestingly, the J10 also offers manual features such as exposure compensation and ISO ratings, normally found on a more expensive camera. This is great if you're wanting to try your hand out at some basic photographic skills.
If these don't interest you, placing the camera in auto mode will shut these off so they can't be accessed in the menu.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Build and handling
The build quality isn't bad but let's face it, don't expect it to last. This is a camera made for the consumer that only wants a camera to look nice and they'll go and get another one when it's replaced by a newer model or if they simply tire of it.
Saying that, the camera is a solid little thing and doesn't feel like the weakling you'd expect at this price point. The lens motor is quiet and while the battery is a Li-Ion type, the door covering it could be sturdier. I expect to see a plastic tripod bush on this kind of camera and the J10 hasn't let me down.
Aside from the tripod bush and price, one other thing giving you a clue that the J10 is a low end cheaper model: The USB port is exposed meaning that dust, sand or dirt could get in and clog it up.
The menu is extremely easy to use and it's not surprising as this is something I've come to expect from Fujifilm compacts other the years. The different main categories are colour coded so you can start to remember them. This could be good for when you accidentally changed the language to one you don't understand and need to change it back.
Shooting mode is green and each mode that you scroll over will be adjoined by a brief explanation of its primary function and what it can achieve.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Performance
Disappointing results for the shutter lag as the J10 consistently produced results of around 0.20sec. While this doesn't sound too bad, it's twice as slow as other compacts on the market, so if you like taking candid pictures of the kids, then there's a greater risk of missing it.
The continuous shooting mode of the Fujifilm FinePix J10 is called Top3 and on the higher specification models takes a series of continuous shots but only records the first three. The J10 is only capable of taking three images onto the buffer before it has to download and this action takes so long, the ten seconds is up. So, even though the camera can take those photographs in one second giving it a 3fps result, it won't take anymore pictures until ten seconds later. Given that we measure the frames per second rating over ten seconds, this gives the camera a continuous shooting performance of 0.3fps.
The colours are boosted in the primaries with all the other colours coming out nicely.
After conducting these tests, I went into the playback area to erase the images I'd taken. I don't normally comment on this, but the J10 is so slow it borders on sloth-like. I've never known a camera take so long to erase an image and get back onto the next image.
The colour test chart shows a distinct boost in all the primary colours and red especially has a deep saturation to it. I like the rest of the colours with the earthy and mono tones nicely balanced while the skin tone has some substance it but isn't overpowering.
The landscape image is nicely detailed and well balanced. The lack of sunlight has reduced contrast to a minimum meaning I can't check for fringing but what I can see is minimal.
On the day I took the landscape shot, it was grey and raining and miserable. The image that the J10 has produced has good colours in the grass, a balanced exposure and nice detail. Once again I'm pulled to the EXIF data and under Exposure program it says: "for landscape photos with the background in focus."
This statement counter attacks the information below as the J10 has selected an aperture of f/2.8 which is radically different to what it should've chosen.
Taking the rest of the test shots I was blessed with decent weather. The flower mode boosts the colour in the frame so that colours of the flower and the plant life around it are saturated to give vivid colours to your picture. I was worried that this could be quite sickly but it's fair to say that the boost is only subtle compared to the natural mode image of the same flower.
Taking the portrait images produced a unique result. It seems that with the J10, the flash doesn't work with the focusing or metering. Without flash, the image is slightly dark but the colours are balanced and there's decent detail.
The image with the flash is badly overexposed with bleaching on the cheeks and nose. A large shadow has been cast on the wall behind.
Despite a little underexposure, the colours are balanced and overall I'm happy with the result.
Adding flash to fill in the shadows does more than that with a horribly over exposed result.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Noise test
I had some real trouble getting decent images from the noise test and after the thrid time going back and taking them I realised that it isn't me. I first took the images and as always used a tripod. The self timer doesn't stay on after taking a shot so after ISO100, it showed a decent shutter speed being used so didn't activate the timer. My images came out blurred so I took them again and it occurred to me that it wasn't motion blur but the camera not focusing.
I thought that maybe I'd moved the camera between focusing and taking a picture. It was possible as the buttons aren't easily pressed. So after a third time of using the tripod and self timer on every shot and being so careful that the camera didn't move at all it struck me that the camera was either not locking correctly or it purposefully sends the image out of focus to smooth out the noise.
Either way, the low settings such as ISO64 and ISO100 look good. In focus with detail in the petals. and no noise.
Noise jumps into the frame at ISO200 which isn't brilliant. I'm guessing this is why the landscape image chose an aperture of f/2.8 to keep the ISO low.
The images only get more blurred as the rating gets higher. Purple and green blobs appear at ISO200 and only get more definite as the stages rise. ISO1600 has purple artefacts dotted all over it.
The ISO64 test.
The ISO100 test.
The ISO200 test.
The ISO400 test.
The ISO800 test.
The ISO1600 test.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Verdict
I'm a little disappointed in some of the more basic functions of the camera such as the operating speed and the focus problem at high ISO.
It's also worth noting that this is the first camera I've reviewed that I had to load the drivers because the computer wouldn't recognise it straight from USB.
This is a good camera for a starter in photography or for a younger member of the family due to it's price point making it more expendable. It has plenty of preset modes with a manual mode allowing extra features such as exposure compensation and ISO control.
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Plus points
Small and tidy design
Easy to use menus
Creative control for expanding your photographic knowledge
Fujifilm FinePix J10: Minus points
Slow response to action requests
Terrible noise result
Sends camera out of focus at high ISO
Exposed USB port
The Fujifilm FinePix J10costs around £85 and is available from Warehouse Express here.