Julia Trotti is a portrait photographer and YouTube creator based in Sydney, Australia who works worldwide. Julia’s editorials and photos have been published regularly in print and online magazines including Peppermint, Culture, White, Amateur Photographer, Rangefinder, Professional Photo Magazine and she has also worked with Australian and international publishers to have her images shared on book covers, in-store posters and more. While working as a full time fashion photographer for some of Australia’s competitive fashion brands, Julia also runs a photography YouTube channel where she shares behind the scenes of her creative, on location photoshoots, teaches the creativity and technical aspects behind photography to her audience and creates in depth camera and lens reviews as well as comparisons.
The X-S10 is a small, lightweight and very capable mirrorless camera. Featuring an X-Trans APSC sensor, it’s a body that works with Fujifilm’s entire line of X-mount lenses. It features a sleek, new, dark design with simplified buttons, stepping away from Fujifilm’s usual classic, retro look that styles most of their current camera bodies. Most noticeably it has a convenient top dial to quickly switch between Fujifilm’s in-built film emulations. This gives emphasis to the camera having the ability to be used not only as a professional camera but also as a daily camera where you can conveniently take and process your photos in-camera, having them ready to post without ever needing to go through a computer for the editing process. I personally enjoyed using the film emulation Astia for my photo shoot as it’s silky, soft colors and great skin tone rendition are perfect for portraits.
The body of the X-S10 focuses on simplicity and ergonomics making it an extremely user-friendly camera. On either side of your EVF are your 2 most important dials – a mode dial and film emulation dial. The mode dial includes your industry-standard modes as well as 4 custom modes to recall your preferred settings. The film simulation dial can also be customized to an exposure compensation dial. The X-S10 features Fujifilm’s flick gestures on the LCD to access certain shortcuts which are customizable to tailor your needs which further shows this is a great little on the go camera that can be used in a fast-paced environment.
During my photoshoot with the X-S10, I found the autofocus and face and eye detection to be reliable and accurate even with several distracting elements that come with taking portraits on location. We were taking portraits at eye level with dried fields in the foreground, we had the wind blowing our subject’s hair in front of her face and at one point towards the end of our shoot it also started to rain lightly – but throughout the entire photoshoot, I was able to focus on directing my subject and composing my photos as I was able to rely on the camera to keep my shots in focus. A feature I really enjoyed about the X-S10 is you can pinch to zoom in playback to see critical focus while out on a photoshoot.
The X-S10 features both a mechanical and electronic shutter. The mechanical shutter works up to a shutter speed of 1/4000 before switching over to an electronic shutter to give you the shutter speed ability of up to 1/32000. During my photoshoot, I mostly made use of the mechanical shutter only switching over to the electronic shutter while taking direct harsh lit portraits at a fast aperture to be able to expose my images correctly. It also has a single UHS-II SD card slot, a fully reticulating screen, and also features IBIS making this a great option as a photo and video hybrid camera.
The image quality straight out of the camera is what I would expect from a modern, mirrorless camera. My final portraits are crisp and clear, with plenty of skin texture and detail which I find very important when capturing portraits to give my images – which have a whimsical feel – a more realistic look for a balance. While I was using the base version of Astia for the majority of the shoot, I also decided to tweak the tone and color in camera as well to suit the environment we were shooting in and reflect the mood of the photos I was after. My style of photography relies heavily on shooting in backlit scenarios, mixed in with fluffy, dried fields and I knew that would result in low contrast images. For some of my portraits in the fields, I decided to raise the contrast using the tone curve in the X-S10 to create a punchier look to my final photos.
Towards the end of our shoot where I was taking direct, harsh lit portraits and portraits in the lake, I brought my tone curve back to 0 in the shadows and highlights to be able to retain as much information in the files as possible. I was impressed with the dynamic range of the X-S10 even in the JPG files while we were shooting in the lake. It was the very end of the day and the low sun was causing a bright reflection in both the water and sky which can very easily become overwhelming in a portrait, causing the important details in the scene and subject to be lost in the frame. I was able to correctly expose and retain all the information in the sky and water, for a moody, balanced final set of images.
The X-S10 is a fully capable camera both as a professional setup for portrait photoshoots and as a daily camera where the photographer requires access to photographic controls and high image quality and performance.