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 Post subject: Review Fujifilm x100
PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
After a year of hard work I've decided to treat myself to a Fujifilm X100.

The X100 was maybe the most anticipated camera of 2011 and so for all those who a curios I'll write up a little review with some sample pictures.
I doesn't matter how hard I try, I never can be totally unbiased. So there fore I'll give some background information as to why I bought the x100 and to what I'll compare it.

I'm a heavy Nikon D700 user, I bought the D700, stepping up from a d80, mostly for it's low light capabilities. On more than one place on the internet the x100 is compared to the d700 before. So some way or another people feel to compare it to the d700. The second camera the x100 is often compared to is the Leica M9. I've no experience with the M9 apart from hearing it's shutter sound close-by.

The x100 should only be compared to the d700 and the M9 in order to give a bearing at what to expect. Every other comparison is foolish because each of the 3 camera's is in another league.

I started searching for an alternative to my d700 when I grew tired of carrying the d700 everywhere. Carrying a kilo of camera to a party can be fun, but most of the time it isn’t. So I dived into reviews and magazines about other smaller alternatives. My two priorities where, a lighter system, and a smaller system.

A lot of 4/3 and nex-like systems are indeed a lot lighter, but not really smaller. Of course side by side the d700 dwarves most systems, but they al need a camera bag to go with them. And so arose the question "what is smaller". For me, smaller was omitting the need for a camera bag. So the selection was reduces to a few systems with a small prime lens.
Out of all the possible options the x100 had the most appeal to me. It's small, light, can't start another lens collection.

After buying the x100 you'll feel treated by Fuji. It comes in a nice box, that almost gives you the feeling that you're unwrapping Jewellery.
Upon holding the x100 this good feeling continues. All the buttons feel solid and have a decisive snap to them. The only downside is the jog-wheel on the back. It's a bit small.

Holding the x100 to my eyes I instantly understood what I never understood before, the range-finder. It’s verry bright compared to some dslr with slow lenses. But understanding is not the same permanently trading it in. The d700 gives and equal bright and clear vision of the world as the range-finder of the x100 gives.

The biggest difference between the d700 and the x100 is of course its shutter-sound, the first one has a head turning sound and the latter one has non to speak of. The x100 is so silent I'm often checking if it made a picture at all, a little habit that has to wear off I guess. Having heard the shutter-sound of a M9, if sound is your prime concern, go for a x100. The M9 still has a distinctive loud snap over it.

Further operations show that the x100 is clearly a consumer camera. It's relatively slow compared to the d700, but a lot faster than my old compacts.

The image quality is very good, it really show how sensors and software are improved every year. In the days to come I will upload the First pictures from my x100 to show you what the camera can do.

One thing I don’t care for is the EVF. It makes me woozy seeing the world trough a viewfinder that shows the world just the slightly-est bit after it happened. Just like you see the world trough some sort of slow motion.

Using the OVF you get a rough idea of what you’re framing. The parallax difference makes it almost impossible to frame something accurately. I know what I got into, but I can imagine some people bought this camera and are complaining about it right now. So weather this suits your kind of photography is up to you.

Apart of the EVF I don’t have any complaints about the x100 uptil now, but I can clearly understand why the rance-finder evolved into the DSLR.
So stay tuned for a picture update and maybe some gripes about the x100.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:16 pm 
Hello Schultze,

I really hope you enjoy your X100. I bought one in the summer but had to return it as I had some serious issues with the autofocus (not focusing properly) over 50% of the time. I had the same issues with the X10 and if many others had not reported similar challenges would have presumed the problem was all me.

That said, there are thousands of photographers (according to the people at Fujifilm) who love their X100s and many are making very beautiful images. I wish you great success in being one of those and not experiencing the challenges that I have faced.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:21 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:22 pm
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Location: Speyer (Germany)
Nice - I'd love to see some pictures of both the camera and of what it can do. :wink:
The one thing I don't like about the X100 is that you can't zoom. And as you cannot change the lenses you will never be able to get another focal length. Together with the lower price that's the reason why personally I'd go for the X10, although it has a smaller sensor. The X100 looks much better though.


Just throwing in this link that comes too late now... http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=32 :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
Hi there,

yes promises make a debt, and therefore finally some pictures.

After only a few weeks with the camera I still really like it. The camera has some serious downsides, slow autofocus, even slower manual focus, and cumbersome AF point selection. But I knew about all 3 of them before I got the x100 so I was prepared. These downsides don't bother me as I explicitly bought this camera as a little brother beside my dslr. Also these downsides let me approach taking pictures a little different way.

The upsides are definitely the soundless shutter, and the dslr like picture quality.

I still don't care for the EVF. I expected this to be something I would use often, but the slight delay in the screen makes me feel like I'm seeing the world like a drunk.

@Jinko, I stil don't find the inability to swap lenses on the x100 a downside. As said, if I want to do that I'll bring my dslr. As compared to teh x10, I would not buy one for the smaller sensor. I don't think the x10 makes bad pictures, but one gets used to seeing higher quality pictures. And yes the link comes a bit late, oops. :oops:

@ drchevalier

I also read quite a few stories about x100's and x10's going bad. The only thing I can do is hope that mine doesn't break out of the 5 year guarantee period. But the x100 indeed doesn't feel that solid as some people claim it does. On the other side, a bit of respect for your camera comes a long way.

I bet that Fuji say there are thousands of people very happy about their x100 and shooting beautiful pictures with it. But as a pro camera it focuses to slow in auto focus, and manual focus isn't as snappy as manual focus is supposed to be.

For those that don't know, the x100 manual focus is a fly by wire system, and not a true autofocus system.


And now some pictures. The winter season over here is quite saddening rain, so it's no a beautiful inspiring set of pictures, but I hope it will give people an idea as to what the x100 can do.


Because of the width restriction on images I'll post the link to my website.

A shot in a barely lit kitchen shows low noise and beautiful colours
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-26-DSCF0050.jpg

Having no zoom, you'll have to switch to macro mode to get close.
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-26-DSCF0068.jpg

The quiet shutter at it's best. My first attempt to some street photography.
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-27-DSCF0073.JPG

The velvia setting makes for some punching colours (look at the flag)
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-29-DSCF0118.JPG

Yust something random
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-29-DSCF0130.JPG



And yes, the autofocus can be slow.
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-29-DSCF0137.JPG

Again an random snapshot.
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-29-DSCF0140.JPG

Without flash, it can handle contrasty scenes quite good.
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-29-DSCF0131.JPG

Here is a comparison to the metering of a d700 and a x100 both without tweaking. X100 straight out of camera jpg, d700 straight to jpg conversion trough nx2.

This shot is made with the x100
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/2011-12-29-DSCF0147.JPG

The same shot made with the d700
http://www.pimvandevelde.com/cl/20111229-059-_DSC5720.jpg


Yeah, that's my only gripe. I got used to NX2, and now I have to use photoshop, it just feels weird.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 894
Location: SE Texas
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and images. I had considered finally buying an X100, as I had worked many extra hours between Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day. A very clean pre-owned Canon 5D, however, presented itself at a local camera shop, prompting me to acquire the 5D, so the X100, or other such compact camera, will have to wait.

Of course, a Nikon FM3A is a wonderfully compact, discreet camera, so I am not without a camera in that category; it is just not digital.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
I think that overall a dslr is a better choice for a photographer a his prime camera because it offers more versatility. And the 5D is a good choice.

Besides that. The biggest gripe most people had with the x100 was it's fixed lens. And now, behold, Fujifilm has heard those people. Depending on how it delivers, it might be even a better camera than the x100.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:56 pm 
Good Morning! I bought my X100 early last Fall as my second, smaller, fun camera (I usually shoot with my D700) and I have loved it. Yes, it is quirky and limited with its fixed lens but that has become part of its charm for me. My primary criteria when I was shopping was 'excellent image quality in a small package' and in that, I have not been the least bit disappointed. I get beautiful shots with this camera! The color is especially good and the flash just works without overpowering the photograph. As for the fixed lens, I have come to appreciate that. I think it has made me a better photographer and causes me to think more critically about composition before I shoot.

A tip for you Fuji X100 owners. Having problems focusing?? Try setting your camera to manual focus (the little slide lever on the left side of the camera when looking from the back) and then focusing by pushing the AFL/AEL button on the back just above the jog wheel instead of pushing the shutter button half way down. Then just take your photograph! No need to keep holding the AFL/AEL button - pushing once does the trick. The other advantage of this is that you don't need to change to the macro mode when taking a photo of something close up. This trick/technique works through the whole focus range! Wish I had discovered this trick myself but credit goes to Ken Rockwell.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 5:02 pm 
Forgot to include a link to some examples of photos I have taken with the Fuji X100 that give some idea of the high image quality and good color rendition possible with this camera. Seven photos here, all taken in raw at or near sunset this past Fall with minimal post processing. The location is Bucks County, Pennsylvania where I live part of the year. Hope this helps those who are are doing their homework on this camera.

http://gallery.me.com/gan106

PS. I will have to shut down this link around the end of Feb 2012 as Apple's Mobile-me is going away.. :(


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 Post subject: Fuji X100
PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:22 pm
Posts: 2
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Schultze, Gordon Nebeker, I am thrilled I came across your X100 posts tonight. For several months now I have been "trolling" the Internet seeking people's comments on the Fuji x100. Like both of you, I too am a Nikon shooter, (D700 + D300) and have been seeking an alternative camera for those times when I do not feel like lugging my heavy gear, perhaps something to carry around most of the time..

My objective is to find a compact camera that gave stellar image quality and based upon what I have found it seems that the Fuji X100 delivers, albeit, also delivering to owners several annoyances.

Other cameras being looked at are Sony Nex5N, and the new Nikon V1. Both these cameras seemed to have garnered positive comments from some Pro-Photographers, who like us, were looking for a compact camera that offer good image quality.

I am looking forward Schultze to more of your reports on the X100.

One thing I had hoped for since seeing the several issues that initial X100 purchasers experienced, was that by this time (Jan 2012) that several of these issues would have been addressed by Fuji. I am not sure if they have (ex. auto focus, aperture blade issues).

In closing all the best Schultze and Gordon with your X100 and I will continue to monitor this posts for new developments. If I do decided to acquire an X100, I will probably wait till April-May (2012); I suspect perhaps the prices may be a bit lower by then. Currently in Canada, I can get the X100, Fuji leather case, Fuji Lens Hood and 8GB SDHC card for $1,350 Cdn.

Don J J C


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:36 am 
@ Don

Glad to be of any help. I think if you asked the Fuji Film people, they would say they have addressed the issues that X100 owners complained about through the very recently announced X Pro1 model due out in March. Of course that camera is considerably more expensive and requires purchasing separate lenses as it is an interchangeable system. Prices are not firm as yet but the numbers being batted about would suggest the Pro1 will be about twice as expensive as the X100 with the body and one lens. I am sure it will be a wonderful camera but it begins to defeat the purpose I bought my X100 for: great quality photos in a second "fun" (and more reasonably priced) camera.

Haven't shot with the Sony NEX-5 but our Web host, Gordon, thinks highly of it. If you are seriously thinking of going that route, you might want to wait until the announced Sony NEX-7 comes out. Should have been out by now but the floods at the Sony factory in Thailand have delayed things. The specs on that camera are very impressive and I think it is not too far off the price of the Fuji X100. Have no idea about the IQ. Just a thought.

Good luck in your search,
Gordon


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 Post subject: Re: Review Fujifilm x100
PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm
Posts: 256
Location: Holland
Hi There,

it's a long time since I did some photography, but now the weather is getting better I'm getting in the mood.
Therefore I decided to look if everything I own has the latest firmware upgrade, and I'm happy to see that Fuji is still working on the firmware of the x100 (ok I'd rather have a product that was a 100% out of the box, but better support than no support at all).

The autofocus on the x100 was very slow, but after the upgrade to firmware 1.20 it has gotten better. To give some of you a general idea, the speed is now on par with my d700+50mm af-s 1.4. Ok that combination isn't very fast to begin with, and I haven't tested the new firmware out on the streets, but it at least puts a smile on my face.

Greetings,

Pim

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