Sunday, 7 August 2011

Short Fuji X100 Impressions

Today, I had a little bit of time to take some pictures with the Fuji X100 so I thought I post my first impressions.
First, the design is great and I still want one just for that, you can see that the Fuji engineers had a great time designing the camera.
The camera is quiet and it's fast to change settings using the dials on the camera, this is unless the camera is writing to the card where you're out of luck and need to wait till it finishes. The rangefimder style controls are all very well thought out, aside from the silly and useless focus-by-wire ring.

The firmware and operational speed is something where Fuji needs to out some serious work into, they need to buy a GXR and see how to implement controls and how a proper firmware looks like.

There are no real deal breakers ther but some things are simply more cumbersome than they need to be for no obvious reason.
For example changing ISO using the FN button, in OVF mode you can simply press the button and change through the ISO settings with the rocker switch on the back but not so in EVF or LCD mode where you need to use the directional pad to choose the ISO from a list. This makes absolutely no sense and is not even consistent with the much better way of doing this when using the OVF. There are quite a lot of things like this, all of them should be easy enough to fix in firmware so I hope Fuji actually does so.

The biggest problem however is the slow write time which basically locks the camera but not compltely since some things you can still change but not others, again without any reason why it needs to be like this or any indication what you can change and why you can't change the other settings.
Next to this is my hated screen freeze when focusing using the LCD or EVF and the very slow refresh times of the EVF and LCD in anything but good light. Another funny thing is that the speed of the MF ring goes in hand with the screen refresh rate so it's actually faster in good light than in low light for some reason only Fuji knows.

I really like the camera and if I would not have the GXR here I would be very tempted to get one despite the apparent beta firmware on it. I will still look to get one at some point because I love the look of it and the OVF is really cool and so much better than the one in the RD1.

I hope I will be able to test it more and maybe even do a quick review on it, or maybe I should just publish a list with firmware bugs and inconsistencies with suggestions of how to fix them for Fuji. I guess using Ricoh cameras spoils one to expect only well thought out and customizable cameras ;).


  1. hi Cristian - what are your thoughts on the new Fuji x100s? from what I've read Fuji fixed some of the problems of the x100 that you mentioned.

    looking forward to seeing your JPEG images from the iv and the gr when you get them up.


  2. Hi John, I like the look of the Fuji X100s and the split focusing but did not have enough time with it to say how it compares with the X100.

    Overall though the X100 and X100s are simply too big considering they are fixed lens cameras. Given that I would need a bag to carry it, I would much rather have a Sony NEX-6, a Fuji XE-1 or just use my GXR A12-M with some great M lenses.

    As nice as the retro rangefinder controls are and seem in theory, in practice I find the Ricoh and also Sony NEX or RX1 controls superior as I can customise them more to my liking an don't have dials that I would almost never use (like the shutter speed dial on the Fuji).

    No doubt though the X100s is a very nice camera and I would not mind having one for a weekend to play around with.

  3. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)