My day with the Fuji X100
Photo of me, my Fuji X100 and my Brent Black Panama – by Hariman Abd Rahman
First, let’s get something straight – this is not a review. These photos are not straight out of the camera and put on this blog post (with the exception of one). I imported them into Lightroom and then did my normal workflow on them. Most of these were shot in raw, though not all. I will give you my thoughts on this camera, with one caveat; I just bought it yesterday and only used it for about 4 to 5 hours.
For the most part I really, really like this camera. I know there is a lot of controversy over the cost of the camera and its abilities. Some folks call it nothing more than a glorified point and shoot. Others think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. I think it’s somewhere in between. There are several things that are frustrating with it but there is a lot that is good. The image quality both in JPEG and raw is astounding. When I shot JPEG, and there were a few that I did with the built-in presets, there was still enough latitude to tweak them in Lightroom. Lightroom now has the ability to import the X100’s raw file with no troubles.
I like the feel and the look. I mean honestly, what is there not to like, this is a sexy camera. It’s heavy enough to feel substantial; the metal is brushed and beautiful even the name etched in the top of the camera looks nice. The analog dials are a joy and come in a wonderful relief after using my G9. I love the fact that I can adjust the aperture on the lens (where it should be!) and the shutter speed with the dial on the top of the camera. I can set it to aperture priority, shutter priority or full program mode just by turning the dials to “A” on the aperture ring or on the shutter dial. The viewscreen on the back is bright and crisp. The hybrid optical viewfinder is everything it’s cracked up to be. In a word: AMAZING! It gives you more information in a viewfinder that I’ve ever seen before and it’s all bright, crisp and clear.
The dial on the back does seem a little flimsy at times. It is rather small. When I go to use it I often hit the wrong button and make the wrong changes. Toggling between the viewscreen on the back and the viewfinder is confusing when trying to view images. Oftentimes the image will appear in the viewfinder rather than on the back of the camera, and this is frustrating. I’m sure it’s just a matter of me getting used to the right sequence of buttons to push, but it wasn’t very intuitive for me. The camera is very complicated and after working with it for about five hours today, there is still a lot to learn. It definitely has a high learning curve. I actually think it’s harder to figure out how to use this camera than my 5D MK II. But again, it may just be a matter of playing with it and learning and it should all become second nature after a while. Others have complained about the shutter being slow. It’s not so much the shutter being slow as it is the electronic viewfinder catching up with what’s happening with the camera, at least I think so. I don’t feel I missed any photos today, but I did not see what I took at times. Frankly, I will not be using the electronic viewfinder much as the optical viewfinder is so stellar. It’s kind of hard to explain. The whole optical viewfinder is a completely new bird and something that you just have to pick up and play with. The camera makes some noise when you flip between the optical and electronic viewfinders. It is a rather tinny and cheap sound. At first I was quite concerned, then once I figured out what was making the sound and seeing the tiny little metal shutter over the viewfinder closing, it made sense. Lastly, the battery went pretty quick… as in, after five hours of shooting it was dead. I have heard this is an issue. I hope there will be a firmware update to fix this soon.
It sounds like there are more dislikes than likes. Not really. I think it is a matter of getting to know this camera and how it works. In the end, the good out weighs the bad. It is not a camera for everyone. I wanted a sophisticated small rangefinder and this is as close as it gets today. If you want a full review check out Ken Rockwell’s review HERE. Also, checkout this rather silly hands on review video by DigitalRevCom and a comprehensive look at the camera by What Digital Camera. In getting to know the camera I found the best option is to put the manual aside and visit Ken Rockwell’s online manual he has made. You can find it HERE.
Like I said, at the beginning, this is not a review, I wanted to just highlight some of the pictures I shot with it today. I think you’ll see that these images are as good as anything you can do with the DSLR given its limitations. I look forward to using this camera. Certainly, there is no buyer’s remorse here.
Click on the images below to view it and read any comments.