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Fuji X10 Camera Review  Updated w/ Firmware v.1.03

February 09, 2012

Fuji released firmware update ver.1.03 for the x10 camera to help correct the white dot syndrome. The update is also meant to improve and correct several other items. Here's the list of the changes contained in the update:

1. New function for "RAW" button can be applied by customer's preference
By holding down RAW button for approx. 2 second or more, RAW button can be applied into new function similar to "Fn" button setting.

2. Each value set on ISO sensitivity and Dynamic range can be maintained even if aperture setting mode (P / A / S / M) is changed.

3.  Face detection function is upgraded to keep tracking face by means of face-tracking AF function. As this function is activated even in movie recording mode, AF on detected face in the movie becomes more effective.

4. Blooming (White disk) phenomena, which can be observed in EXR AUTO mode, is reduced.

5. Compatibility on Mac OS 10.7
When the camera is connected to Mac PC on Mac OS 10.7, the camera is effectively recognized. Additionally, compatibility on RAW FILE CONVERTER EX with Mac OS 10.7 has been confirmed.

6. AF confirmation sound was controlled on "SHUTTER VOLUME" in the SET-UP menu. By this update, this sound is controlled on "OPERATION VOL." in the SET-UP menu, just similar to another functions.

7. The image area with high brightness might be recorded as "black-out" area, just in case of dedicated shooting condition, This unpleasant phenomenon is improved.

8. When the flash is used under macro shooting condition, light-reflected area was shown in greenish. This unpleasant phenomenon is improved.

I haven't tested all of the changes as most of them weren't an issue for me anyway. One change which I'm really happy about is #2. It was an inconvenience, albeit a minor one, to re-adjust the ISO any time I changed settings. The one thing that struck me from the update list is that Fuji claims the white dot syndrome is reduced in EXR AUTO mode. I hope Fuji isn't implying that WDS only occurs in that mode. Clearly this isn't the case. If the fix was meant to reduce the problem in that mode only then that's something else. I don't use that mode too often so I didn't use it in the test below.

To test the update I first took my camera outside after sunset, stuck it on a tripod, and pointed it at street lamps, house lights, etc. But no matter how many different settings I used I couldn't create any orbs. So I took the camera into my garage to create a more controlled setting. I pointed a flashlight at my car headlight at about a 45 degree downward angle. The flashlight was about 4 feet from the car. The X10 was the same height as the flashlight, slightly to the right of it, about 3 1/2 feet from the car. Focal length was 50mm. I set the camera to P mode to keep the shots consistent, changing the ISO for each photo. I took a series of photos with v.1.02, then updated the firmware to v.1.03 and took the same photos. Below you can see the results at ISO 100. These are cropped and resized.

Fuji X10 Camera Review firmware v1.03

Fuji X10 Camera Review firmware v1.03

As you can see there's no real difference. With every ISO I tested the v1.02 images and the v.1.03 images were basically the same. Below are 100% crops. If you look at them carefully you can see that the white disks are slightly smaller with v.1.03, but not enough to make a real difference.

Fuji X10 Camera Review firmware v1.03

Fuji X10 Camera Review firmware v1.03

Overall I'd say I'm a little disappointed. To be fair Fujifilm did say the update would help reduce the problem, not remove it. Maybe the results will be better when using EXR AUTO mode. If I find the time the next few days I'll post my results. But as I stated in my original review the Fuji X10 is a fine camera. For my style of photography I really don't worry about WDS. I've had very few photos where they actually appeared. And if I think they might be a problem with a particular shot I just bump up the ISO a little which usually reduces them somewhat.

My original review can be found here. For the X10 firmware update see here.

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