Everything seems to be categorized these days, even ourselves. We all tend to put labels on things and everyone else. We can’t seem to just accept something as is without putting a label on it.
In regards to the Fuji X10, I have heard many people label it a “point & shoot camera”. This just makes me cringe. No doubt about it, you can point it at the subject and shoot. But, you can do that with any camera, even a D4.
For me, a “point & shoot” camera, is a camera that is fully automatic. It’s a camera that you use if you don’t want to think about all the settings, such as ISO, aperture, etc. It’s a camera that you can just pull out, press the shutter button and get reasonable results.
Of course, there are more advanced P&S cameras out there in which you can tweak certain settings, but they still reside in the category of P&S cameras. But, these cameras are really pushing the envelope of the P&S category. Case in point, the Coolpix A. Perhaps these types of cameras are in a kind of “no mans land” for now.
Furthermore, most P&S cameras do not have any sort of viewfinder built into them. You have to always rely on the LCD on the back of the camera to frame your shot. Manual controls are also something that is lacking on the majority of P&S cameras, having the user rely more on delving into the menu to change any settings. Lastly, most P&S cameras are mostly plastic.
Where does all of this leave the X10? Do we even have to put it into a category? Or is it just fine being known as the X10, a superb little camera?
Here is why the X10 is NOT a P&S camera:
1) it has an optical viewfinder
2) zoom is manual
3) body is all metal
4) it shoots RAW
5) it has P, S, A & M modes
6) it has a hot-shoe
7) it has a focus selector switch (AF-S, AF-C & M)
8) it has an EV dial
9) it has a function (FN) button
10) does not have those little “doors” that cover the lens when the camera is shut off. These little “doors” on a P&S camera, are usually the first thing to break.
Therefore, if I was going to categorize the X10, I would say that it is a compact camera system. You might say that it falls somewhere between a bridge camera and advanced P&S cameras.
There you have it. The X10 is in it’s own little category, defining it by itself. Perhaps it just may be best to call it the X10 and be done with it.