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Entries in Fuji X100 Review (1)

Tuesday
Jul122011

FUJI X100 Review

I have had the Fuji X100 for about a month.  After reading about the image quality of this nostalgic looking camera, I had to see for myself if it was as good as advertised.  

The image quality is excellent, comparable to my Nikon D3S.  For doing street photography of static subjects the camera works great and is sufficiently responsive.  The X100 can sync a flash at 1/2000 of a second.  This is great when doing flash photography outside in bright sunlight.

Unfortunately, I have found a lot about this camera that make it difficult to use in many situations.  Here is my list of gripes:

  • I like to pick my focus point on my Nikon DSLR bodies.  I don't like to focus and recompose with the center focus point because that slight amount of movement can make a sharp eyelash a bit soft.  Selecting a new focus point on the X100 is very cumbersome, especially if you are using the optical viewfinder because the button you have to push to turn on the focus point selection is right next to your eye and hard to reach when looking through the viewfinder.
  • Manual focusing is useless.  It takes so many turns of the lens ring to move the focus that it becomes very tiresome.
  • The X100 has a macro capability but you have to push a button on the back of the camera and then toggle to macro mode to focus on subjects within two feet or so.  Why not just automatically switch to macro mode when the camera sees that you are trying to focus on something close by.  
  • There is a Command Button on the upper right side of the back of the camera.  The button is totally underutilized.  Why not push that button to go right into playback mode?
  • I shoot in RAW mode and it takes quite a long time to write to the SD card.  
  • The camera has a fixed 23mm lens (35mm equivelant).  There are times I wish the lens was a bit wider and a bit longer.  You can't complain about the lens quality, but when you just want to take one camera, having a fixed length lens can be limiting. 
  • All of the above problems make it very difficult to use this camera if you are trying to capture the moment. 
  • Video focusing is hit or miss.  The focus just seemed to wander everywhere.

Conclusion ... the image quality of a camera of this size is the best on the market and is the ONLY reason why I may keep the FUJI X100.  Fuji could do some things in micro code to fix many of the usability problems. They just came out with an update and made a few things better, but they still have a ways to go to where this camera is responsive enough to use to capture those priceless moments that will be lost while you are fiddling with the X100's controls.