Review: Fujifilm X100


ed9119

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#1
Admin just got hold of this camera today and I picked it up from Simon at 5pm

I am not given much time with this camera....have to return this unit next week Monday ..... so this review is going to be brutal .... on the camera...

A couple of images of the camera first..... sweet retro nostalgic lines all round , lovely

Will upload the specs and first impressions later this evening..... stay tuned



 

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ed9119

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#2
FIRST FEEDBACK: ST battery can be inserted BOTH ways (no one-way-only feature) so you could well insert your battery wrongly and wonder why on earth the camera is not powering up... just happened to me. There is a big arrow on the battery to show which ends goes in Not a big deal but just note this.... BTW, the battery is BIG at 1800mAh / 6.2Wh / 3.6 v

Body material Magnesium alloy on entire body but with both top cover and bottom plate exposed ...(its GOOD to feel so little plastic for once in a camera this size)
Sensor • 23.6 x 15.8mm APS-C CMOS sensor, • 12.3 million effective pixels
Imag sizes
3:2
• 4288 x 2848 12m
• 3072 x 2048 6m
• 2176 x 1448 3m
16:9
• 4288 x 2416 10m
• 3072 x 1728 5m
• 1920 x 1080 2m

Image Quality
Fine
Normal
Fine + RAW
Normal + RAW
RAW

Dynamic Range
100%
200%
400%

FILM SIMULATION (!!!!!) :)
Provia (Standard)
Velvia (Vivid)
Astia (Soft)
Monochrome

BUILT IN ND FILTER - 3 stops

Motion Panorama
• 180° Vertical - 7680 x 2160
• 180° Horizontal - 7680 x 1440
• 120° Vertical - 5120 x 2160
• 120° Horizontal - 5120 x 1440

Image Processor Fujifilm EXR processor

Movie recording
• 1280 x 720 HD, 24fps
• H.264 MOV format
• Stereo sound
• Maximum length 10 minutes

Lens
• a Higly rated FUJINON aspherical lens with Super EBC Coating
• 23mm (equiv 35mm focal length perspective)
• F2 - F16, adjustable in 1/3 EV steps via ON LENS BARREL or rear dial
• 8 elements / 6 groups
• 4 high-refractive index glass elements

Focus distance
• Normal: About. 80cm to infinity
• Macro: About.10cm - 2.0m

Auto focus
• Contrast Detection (TTL AF)
• Area AF / Multi AF
• 49 selectable AF points

Focus modes (side of body)
• Single shot AF (S- AF)
• Continuous AF (C-AF)
• Manual focus (MF) with distance indicator

AF assist lamp • Yes

Exposure modes
• A (red) Program AE
• Aperture priority AE
• T Shutter priority AE
• Manual
l
Sensitivity
• ISO 200 - 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
• 100 (L) and extended to 12800 (H)
• Auto ISO control available with adjustable parameters

Metering modes
• TTL 256-zones metering
• Multi-pattern
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot

AE Lock
• AE lock available

Exposure comp.
• Up to ± 2.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps

Shutter speeds
• 1/4 - 1/4000 sec (in P mode)
• 30-1/4000 sec (in all other modes)

• Bulb mode (max 60 min)

Drive modes
• Single
• Continuous (5 or 3 fps), for 10 JPEGs or 8 RAW/RAW + JPEGs)
• Self-timer (2 or 12 sec)

Auto bracketing can be done in several ways
• AE Bracketing (±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV)
• Film Simulation Bracketing (PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft)
• Dynamic Range Bracketing (100%, 200%, 400%)
• ISO sensitivity Bracketing (±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV)

White balance
• Auto WB
• Fine
• Shade
• Fluorescent light (Daylight),
• Fluorescent light (Warm White)
• Fluorescent light (Cool White)
• Incandescent light
• Underwater
• Custom
• Color temperature selection

Internal Flash
• Auto flash (super intelligent flash)
• Effective range: 50 cm – 9 m ISO100
• Guide no. 4.5 (m, ISO 100)

Flash modes
• Auto
• Forced Flash
• Suppressed Flash
• Slow Synchro
• Red-eye Reduction Auto
• Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash
• Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro

Got External Flash Hotshoe

Viewfinder (very nice with electronic overlay) easy on the eyes
• Hybrid Optical / Electronic viewfinder
• Eye sensor installed
• Eye point approx 15mm
• Diopter adjustment -2 to +1 m-1 (dpt) in detented clicks (very good)
• Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display
• 0.5x magnification
• Projected framelines with approx. 90% frame coverage

Electronic Viewfinder
• Ultrafine 1,440,000 dot LCD
• Approx 100% frame coverage

LCD monitor
• 2.8" TFT colour LCD
• 460,000 dots
• 100% frame coverage

Internal in-camera storage
• 20MB internal memory

Goodies
• Mini HDMI available

Power
• NP-95 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery
• Battery life approx 300 frames
Dimensions
(including lens) 125.5mm (W) x 74.4mm (H) x 53.9mm (D)
excl. accessories
Weight • Approx. 405g. ( without battery)
 

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ed9119

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#3
A look at the top


Rear of camera - control buttons on the left side


Rear of camera - control buttons and dials on the right side


Diopter adjustment dial next to viewfinder (clicks firmly)
 

ed9119

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#4
Another view of the top - notice the Fn button .... you can choose a variety of quick-to-get-to functions with one press of this


What the whole back layout looks like


The cam with a very very nice metal lens cover - very retro old Leica style slip on .... not the usual plastic clip on lens cover


Focusing modes selector at the side of the body. AF-S and AF-C is self explainatory... BUT MF mode... once you are in MF... you focus via the focusing ring located on the lens barrel
DOF scale (ends of the white bar) will show the area of focus

 

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ed9119

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#5
Notes to myself :

1. Where on earth is the Aperture Pirority button on the top dial ??? After a while it occured to me .... its default on the lens barrell.... choose the aperture setting indicated on the lens barrel while the top shutter speed dial is at A position..... presto ! We're back to old school Aperture Pirority mode !

2. To get into the Shutter Pirority mode ..... set the Aperture ring to A position and choose a Shutter Speed from the shutter speed dial at the top of the camera.... presto !!

3. The 'self-timer' lever next to the lens is NOT a self-timer.... Its a VIEWFINDER selector that allows you to choose between Optical and Electronic viewfinder .... self timer is in the menu settings

4. There is a proximity sensor that switches between the Optical viewfinder and the 2.8" LCD screen

5. It feels very good in the hands..... larger than an LX5 or Samsung EX-1 ...... definitely pocketable if you're wearing a comfortable loose pair of bermudas or pants

6. No scientific tests but start up is very quick

7 Outer material is certainly near TOP of its class in ASIA .... not too difficult seeing how many Japanese and Korean cameras that are clad in plastic out there... BUT its still a pretender when compared even to 1950s german rangefinders.....

8. low light AF is ...... can be improved alot...... this is NOT a rangefinder it just looks like one

9. I can see people will possibly be greatly attached to this camera by its retro charm and its quirky user interface but this will likely irritate the heck out of C and N dslr diehards

10. Highly Recommended .... SET the Fn button to Movie - that activates movie shooting mode ( BUT IT IS NOT A START/STOP SHOOTING MOVIE BUTTON) .... AFTER its in Movie mode then shoot or stop shooting video clip by pressing the regular shutter button ... FEEDBACK: AF in movie mode feels sluggish.... wished it was snappier (I shot it in office at ISO100 under flourscent lighting ) .... no big deal for me as I dont shoot serious video... but others might feel differently .... Then again, I dont think folks are buying this camera for its video wizardry.... I believe its got a very different niche intended market

Will start putting the cam through its paces tomorrow onwards..... I really wonder what kinds of colors and monochromes the camera will put out (vis a vis its Velvia/Provia/Astia modes)

I know I've been a little harsh on the X100's build quality above.... I still stand by it. The build quality will impress many many many people ...... who have been brought up on plastic and flimsy cameras that are what most people are used to nowadays.... if you're paying top dollar for the camera, better build refinement should come with the package... like along the lines of a modern Voigtlander RF or even a Contax G2 body ?

Still, a good dose of nostalgia and retro is good .... thankfully the technology and goodies below the surface are modern day.

We'll let the pictures taken with the X100 do the talking over the rest of this week.....
 

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Sep 24, 2009
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#6
go on, ed! can't wait for your review! hahaha! the more review the merrier, right? after all, for a camera that caused quite a stir even before its launch, more reviews would really be interesting and helpful for those who are yet to lay their hands on it!
 

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#7
One short question. Are you able to focus manually with he optical viewfinder or is it only available via the electronic viewfinder?
 

ed9119

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#8
One short question. Are you able to focus manually with he optical viewfinder or is it only available via the electronic viewfinder?
great question thanks for bringing this up.....

In Optical Viewfinder mode , you do not see through the lens so NO you cannot manually focus BUT there is a distance scale at the bottom of the Viewfinder to tell you how far the front element is from the subject (therefore in focus or not) .... and ONE advise ..... get to know your DOF scales for 1.5 crop factor (you'll need it) ..... there is a DOF indicator on the distance scale ..... the RED bar shows how far the camera is from the subject..... the left/right edges of the WHITE BOX around the RED bar shows the DOF limits forward and behind subject

In Electronic viewfinder mode, you are looking at an electronic image through the lens so YES you can see literally what is in focus and what is not...... the distance scale is still there at the bottom

There is no 'Beep ' or light to indicate if subject is in focus in MF mode
 

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#9
great question thanks for bringing this up.....

In Optical Viewfinder mode , you do not see through the lens so NO you cannot manually focus BUT there is a distance scale at the bottom of the Viewfinder to tell you how far the front element is from the subject (therefore in focus or not) .... and ONE advise ..... get to know your DOF scales for 1.5 crop factor (you'll need it)
Just this fact alone should be enough to signal to prospective X100 owners that one definitely needs to have a strong foundation in the technical aspects of photography in order to fully utilize this camera.

Now, we just need more noobs to splurge on this camera and write it off as a 'lousy camera' for not being noob-friendly enough, and collectors can get their hands on a near-pristine X100 at bargain prices. :)
 

alantkh

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#10
do you know how the C-AF works? Can you track a moving object (running children) with it? It is useable? thank
 

ed9119

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#11
do you know how the C-AF works? Can you track a moving object (running children) with it? It is useable? thank
well.... the moment you half press the shutter the camera locks focus..... in AF-C keep your finger away from half pressing the shutter to allow it to continuous autofocus.... its a touch noisy (u can hear the AF motor hunting) and while quick its not as quick as a DSLR's ..... i dont think this camera's forte is in shooting running kids ...... it is GREAT pre-focussed .... AF seems quick enough for people walking around at a regular pace

So far after using it for a day..... one good news to report ..... the X100 seems naturally aimed at the thinking photographer ...... it is definitely not a do-everything-for-you camera .... prime example is above.... it forces you to think of how to capture running or moving subjects ......

in more ways than one.... it forces you to slow down
 

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Feb 22, 2004
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#12
Had hoped that it would be able to manually focus like yesteryear's rangefinder cameras. Strange isn't it, a rangefinder (camera) without a rangefinder (device)!
 

ed9119

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#13
Had hoped that it would be able to manually focus like yesteryear's rangefinder cameras. Strange isn't it, a rangefinder (camera) without a rangefinder (device)!
this is NOT a rangefinder type camera ...... it just LOOKS LIKE ONE

rangefinder cameras use triangulation to measure distances (1 point each on left and right ends of the camera and the subject as the 3rd point)

How to use triangulation to measure distances

talk about manual focusing ..... traditional manual focus lenses achieve focus with usually a very slight turn of the focussing ring.... and barely a half-barrel turn to go from minimum to inifinity..... on the X100 it takes about a 540degree (1.5 times ) turn of the focusing ring to adjust focus from 0.1m to 10m
 

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Feb 22, 2004
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#14
Yup it's a viewfinder camera ;-) - like the Rollei 35s. Anyways I think one needs to fiddle with this camera to get the feel of it. Enjoy your time with.
 

Six-GHz

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#15
Hi, thanks for the brutal review. Just a query - for the built-in 3-stop ND filter, is it user selectable, as in setting it in either 1, 2, or 3? Thanks.
 

ed9119

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#17
Shot this on the bus earlier this evening on the way home
in B/W Monochrome mode
no adjustments, just resize and a touch of unsharp mask
1/100
f4.0
iso800



In Movie mode ..... just a sample clip ..... personally I feel the camera hunts excessively when focusing when shooting video clips
The af hunting sound is also very noticeable with a 'thud' 'thud' 'thud' 'thud' sound when it struggles
As mentioned above..... I dont think this cam is aimed at people who rate video shooting highly on their list of priorities when getting this genre of camera
[video=youtube;oPWkYRVg9V4]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPWkYRVg9V4[/video]
 

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alantkh

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#18
well.... the moment you half press the shutter the camera locks focus..... in AF-C keep your finger away from half pressing the shutter to allow it to continuous autofocus.... its a touch noisy (u can hear the AF motor hunting) and while quick its not as quick as a DSLR's ..... i dont think this camera's forte is in shooting running kids ...... it is GREAT pre-focussed .... AF seems quick enough for people walking around at a regular pace
Thanks for the info. That seems different from what DSLR do. The moment you half press the camera lock focus? Does it immediately lock focus irrespective of whether the subject is in focus? mmm... I guess C-AF is useless and most of the time you are using it with S-Af?
 

ed9119

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#19
Shot at bus stop outside Orchard Presbyterian Church
iso
1/160 sec (btw background sky was reading 1/400 sec)
f 4.0
iso 400
Brightness Value (??) 437/100


100% crop
 

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ed9119

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#20
Wide open at f2.0 and close up
I pulled out my 50+ year old black paint russian rangefinder (a REAL rangefinder ha ha for the clueless) for a lube, dust down and clean up this evening and used the X100 to shoot it

Note: In 'macro' (close-up) mode, the X100's minimum focusing distance drops from 20cm to 10cm ..... (personally, I wished it was 5cm or less )

Note: the X100 automatically switches back to normal shooting mode (OFF Macro mode) once you turn off the camera and then power it up again later...


iso 800
F 2.0
1/280 sec handheld
spot meter and focussing on the nearest fat rewind knob
must say the bokeh is rather pleasing and a touch 'creamy'
will try it out more next few days

 

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