I finally got to spend some time with the X100 today. Not enough for even a preview
length article but it was enough to convince me that the camera isn't for me. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to like about it, particularly the way the hybrid viewfinder works when in optical mode with the information clearly, if a little too brightly for my taste, overlayed. But switching to full EVF mode was a major disappointment, maybe because of the instant comparison between optical and electronic display. In EVF mode, for me personally, any sense of immediate connection between the scene and the eye was completely lost. I really had thought that EVFs would have moved on but I'm not convinced at all. Manual focussing through the viewfinder was also an unsatisfactory process, partly because of the EVF but also because the focus ring seems to require a large number of twists to get any significant effect. Maybe that can be changed but without access to a manual I've no way of checking. But even in optical mode I found that the 0.5x magnification gave real problems if composing with the right eye and keeping the left eye open. Maybe that's just down to my not being used to that style of shooting but I can't help thinking that a higher magnification would have reduced the disconnect between the eyeball versus viewfinder scenes.
I did have a rummage though the menus of the X100 to see what is and is not user configurable but that leads me on to another personal pet hate and that is a menu system which seems to be more bling than substance at the initial levels. Maybe I'm just too used to Canon's tabbed icon approach where, at the first press of the Menu button, one has immediate display of most, if not all, of the configurable settings for the last selected tab and it's very easy to move between tabs. In fairness to Fuji their menu structure seems broadly in line with a number of models out there so many may actually prefer it but not me, I'm afraid.
So, while I applaud what Fuji has done and readily concede that many will love it I'll offer that if you have the slightest doubt about whether or not the X100 is for you then get down to a store and check it out. The menu structure I could probably learn to live with but my experience with manual focus and the viewfinder in full EVF mode are deal breakers for this particular potential customer.