Steve's Conclusion

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Steve's SnapShotfuji_xp10_450.jpg

  • 12-Megapixel CCD image sensor 
  • Fujinon internal 5x optical zoom lens: 35mm equivalent of 36-180mm
  • 2.7-inch, 230K pixel LCD screen
  • Waterproof to 10ft.
  • Shockproof from 3.3ft.
  • Freezeproof to 14°F
  • Dustsproof
  • Dedicated Video Record Button
  • 720p HD video capture
  • Optical Zoom while Recording
  • Face Detection
  • SR Auto (Scene Recognition auto)
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion battery
  • SD/SDHC memory card compatible

Pros
  • 5x optical zoom lens available while recording video
  • Water, Dust, Freeze and Shockproof
  • Dedicated video recording button for instant videos
  • Good quality images indoors and out
  • Great performance for its price range
  • Better than advertised battery life
Cons
  • Flash is not very powerful
  • Wide end of zoom starts at 36mm
  • Mono Audio Recording
  • No HDMI output
  • Does not export any video without an adapter
  • Short battery life (less than 200 shots)
Timing Test Results
  • Power up to first image captured = 3.1  seconds
  • Shutter lag when prefocused  = 1/10 of a second
  • Shutter lag with autofocus = 6/10 - 1 second
  • Shot to shot delay wo/flash = 2.12 seconds
  • Shot to shot delay w/flash = 2.68 seconds
  • Burst mode = 1.15fps (3 images)
  • All tests were taken using a 2GB RiDATA 120X SD memory card, Program mode, Flash off and all other settings at the factory defaults unless noted otherwise.
Bottom Line
Fuji's FinePix XP10 is a 12-Megapixel "tough" digicam with a 5x optical Fujinon lens and 720p HD video capture all packed into a case that is ready to take whatever you throw at it. At $179.95, this is one of the most affordable cameras on the market with these capabilities.  
Pick This Up If...
You are looking for camera that you can take with you on vacation to the beach, skiing or anywhere else you would be afraid to take a normal digicam.
The Fujifilm FinePix XP10 is an incredibly tough, versatile digicam that is capable of going anywhere you go and capturing images that most other cameras cannot. Its tough construction allows it to be Waterproof up to 10ft, Dustproof, Freezeproof to 14° F and Shockproof from falls up to 3.3 ft. Capturing your images is a 12-Megapixel imaging sensor, internal Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens, Scene Recognition Auto and 720p HD video capture in case a still image just isn't enough. With SR Auto, a fully automatic shooting mode, the only thing you need to do is point and shoot while the camera picks the correct scene mode and exposure settings for your image.

It's design and sturdy metal construction allows the XP10 to be tough enough to take anywhere you go, while still being easy and comfortable to operate. The rubber-covered waterproof buttons take a little time to get used to, as at first they will feel like one large button, but allow for easy operation once you get to know them. Framing and viewing your images is done on the camera's 2.7-inch, 230,000 dot LCD screen. With 11 levels of brightness to choose from, you will have no trouble seeing the screen in any lighting conditions, including direct sunlight.

Our outdoor image samples show us a very good overall image. Producing great exposures and realistic colors, the images are very close to what the photographer sees when capturing them. Composing your images is accomplished with the Fujinon 5x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 36-180mm. Its mediocre wide end will capture a descent landscape or group portrait if you stay far enough away, however it's a bit difficult to use in small to mid size rooms. On the telephoto end, you get a little closer than most 5x optical zooms, but again at the cost of a good wide shot. We did see a little noise within all of the images and chromatic aberrations in some high contrast areas throughout the zoom range.

Looking at our indoor samples, we see a sharp, well exposed image in the middle that gets a little soft around the edges. You can also see a noticeable amount of noise when viewing the image at 100%, but at the lower ISO settings of 100-400 this will not be a problem at all; even when making larger prints. At ISO 800 and 1600 the amount of noise is unacceptable; you could possibly make usable 4x6-inch or smaller prints at ISO 800. Assisting with your low-light or indoor images, the XP10's small built-in flash has a maximum range of up to 10ft. at ISO auto. In our sample photo from just 5ft. away at ISO 100, it left the image just slightly underexposed.

Capturing portrait images is very easy, as long as you remember to turn on face detection. Just selecting the Portrait scene mode is not enough if the face detection is turned off. The only mode that automatically turns it on is SR Auto. Once the face detection is on, it will quickly recognize and follow the faces within the frame, as long as they face the camera. It does struggle a bit with the side of the face. Our sample image shows an excellent exposure with great skin tones, even in a backlit situation. 

Shooting underwater images is also very easy as long as you stay as close as possible to your subject. Since light does not travel as well underwater, what you see before you shoot will come out darker in your photographs. This will also limit the range of the flash a great deal. Our underwater samples were all taken under bright lighting, with the flash and all within 1ft. of the subjects.

The XP10's 720p HD motion JPEG video option is an excellent feature for when an image just isn't going to be enough for the situation. With the one-touch recording button on the back of the camera, it is always ready to record. Our sample is exposed well and the subject stays in focus, but there is noticeable noise in the movie, which will really stand out when you watch on a HDTV. The 5x optical zoom lens IS available while you are recording, adding an additional level of creativity and versatility to your movies. 

Battery life is not quite up to par with most cameras of this size. Powering the XP10 is a 3.7V, 700mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. During the completion of our tests, we were able to capture 130 images and movies on a single charge, showing us that it is capable of providing at least the 165 images claimed by Fuji (using CIPA standards). You will want to make sure the battery is fully charged and that you have a backup ready and on hand at all times, especially if you are planning a long trip or underwater shooting session. 

Bottom Line - Fuji's FinePix XP10 is a compact and versatile 12-Megapixel digicam that was designed to take a beating. Its tough features, which are explained above, allow you to take this camera anywhere you can go to capture beautiful images where most other digicams cannot. Performance and image quality are both very good for this class of camera. With a MSRP of US $179.95, this is an excellent "tough" camera choice. Others include the Olympus Stylus Tough 6000, Canon Powershot D10 or the Pentax Optio W90.

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