by Good boid on 2012-01-27
After several long months of browsing forums and looking for the perfect travel/daily camera, I finally went and bought the X100. I'm a strictly hobbyist photographer, mostly interested in shooting people, streets and buildings.
Let's talk about the bad stuff first - Be warned! The X100 is a different photographic beast since you can't zoom to compose images. You can't afford to be lazy with this camera. Composing images that with other cameras was just a flick of a button or a twist of the lens, is now an activity that reminds you to enroll for gym class. This camera has terrible battery life and barely gets you through a day of shooting (Fuji says 300 pictures on full charge, but it's more like 250. Buy several batteries, if you're an active shooter). The camera menu is a bit messy, but not bad as the internets are making it out to be. Trawl the nets to find out settings that suit your style of shooting, and stick with it so you don't have to fiddle with the menu systems often. The start-up time is a bit laggy, you can't just turn on the camera and shoot immediately, it takes a few seconds (3-4 seconds) but the start-up time improves exponentially if you format the card in-camera and use a Class 10 SD card. Using the Optical Viewfinder can produce parallax when close to the subject. There have also been lots of complaints about the slow AutoFocus in low light for this camera. It's no better or worse than my Panasonic LX5, just shoot in AF Continous mode and it's fine. Not such a big deal for me. Hmm... those are about all the negatives there are to this camera.
Now onto the good stuff and man are they good - Image quality! To me this is all that matters and no camera in this size currently produces the kind or results that this camera can produce. If you want similar or better image quality you have to graduate to the Leicas (M9, M9P etc) and to me at Rs 5 lakhs (10,000$)and above, for a body and 35mm Summicron lens, this is not even a consideration. The Leica X1 comes close, but this camera beats it by a narrow margin IMO (the X1 is more expensive by 800$). The X100 lets you shoot very usable JPEGs without having to use RAW all the time, and the JPEGs have enough headroom to work with in post. The Straight-out-of-camera JPEGs are... how do I describe it... very film like. Sharp and soft at the same time.
The build quality of this camera is amazing, and Fuji have really put in a lot of time and effort into getting this right. The camera feels like a serious photographic tool that lends confidence while shooting. The top and bottom parts are die-cast magnesium alloy which house the controls for shutter speed, exposure compensation and the shutter button. The lens has the aperture control, like any proper camera should, and once you know your way around the camera you will rarely look away from the viewfinder while composing a shot.
The hybrid viewfinder is a work of art and magic. Being able to switch between a large bright optical viewfinder like a DSLR camera and then at the flick of a switch have an 1.4 million dot Electronic view of your scene is fantastic. To me that's worth the price of the camera itself. Parallax does show up when shooting close with the optical view finder, but Fuji projects a reworked frame line which shows how the image will be finally composed so you get used to recomposing pretty quickly. While shooting focus critical shots in low light, just switch to the EVF and you're good.
The metering and Auto White Balance in the camera is the best implementation I've seen in any camera till date. The average metering works very well, holding highlights in check. Or while shooting portraits, turn to spot metering, point at the cheek of the subject (which is usually blown out) and click. The ISO performance of this camera is outstanding! DXOMark the website that is known for technical tests on all consumer cameras rates the ISO performance on this camera higher than the Nikon D3s till ISO 3200. The low light jpgs straight out of camera at 3200 are actually usable especially for FaceBook size images, though I would frequently restrict the ISO to 1600.
I'm taking time out to write this in the hope that all the effort I put into research over the last few months is of use to someone else. I'd like to end by saying that the most important factor to me, since buying this camera, is that it makes me want to get out there and take more pictures. And that to me is the best 'feature' of this camera. Good luck!
Complete package for the minimalist photographer
by Avik Chatterjee on 2012-08-24
The first time I saw pictures of this camera from Pkotokina a few years ago, I knew this would be a special one. I bought it as soon as it came out in 2011. And I have used it heavily ever seen.
It is small enough to carry everywhere, all the important controls that I care about during shooting are accessible through dials.
I still use a lot of rangefinders, SLRs and DSLRs to know you cannot compose if you cannot see. The EVF is a pleasure to shoot with in low light, while the optical one has all the information to know what you are doing without having to take my eyes off the viewfinder.
The in-camera RAW processing capability is pretty nice.
The firmware initially was not up to the mark, but with the subsequent releases, it is much better now. Also, I probably had one of the models from the initial batches, the aperture had a problem and was stuck. I took my camera to the store, and Fujifilm replaced it. This was in the first few months, there has been no problems since.
The image quality is amazing and there is absolutely no noise. Not even in the evenings! (I generally use it till 3200 ISO, but with a f/2 lens, you never need more).
The lens has a little barrel distortion, but you wont notice it in the image if you are not looking for it specifically, and any 35mm (23mm actually) lens will have that unless you are comparing with very expensive Zeiss or Leica lenses that alone cost more than this whole camera.
A very nice camera on the whole. A keeper for years to come. And probably worth more than it costs.
by Gautam Nevatia on 2011-11-17
Super colour tone, outstanding fill flash, makes churning out super people pictures a cinch. And u can walk around with an x100 anywhere and not look like a dork as u would with an slr.
Buy! Buy! Buy!
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