Posted by Mark
Here’s a quick spoiler, I’m very disappointed. When I first saw pictures of the X100 I fell in love with it right away but after playing with the camera all day I’m having trouble understanding how Fuji went wrong with this. The issues this camera has aren’t major but there are many which I am going to try and go through some below.
The first issue is with the Menu/OK button on the rear (pictured above). I read a lot of complaints online about how the button is too small and very difficult to press. I thought psshhht whatever, can’t be that bad. Well it IS that bad, I don’t know how the engineers at Fuji missed this but the button is tiny and nearly impossible to press. Every time I try to press it I end up pressing up or down instead. It’s really bad and very annoying when you’re trying to quickly select an option or delete a file since you keep missing the OK button and spend wasted seconds going up and down instead.
The second issue is with the focusing. It doesn’t focus! It’s ridiculous how terrible the focus system on the camera is. At first I thought I was having problems focusing on low contrast objects but I was just checking some portrait shots I took today and I don’t think any one of them is focused properly. Another issue with the focus is the fact the camera thinks macro mode is like a mile away. With most cameras you need to activate the macro mode when you get super close to objects but with the X100 you have to activate macro mode on objects that are more than 50cm away. And if that’s not bad enough after you’re done taking a picture in macro mode the camera puts it back in regular mode so if you have to shoot another shot in macro you need to activate it again. Finally when in macro mode the optical view finder turns into an electric view finder (which I hate) so during my shoot today the camera spent a lot of time swapping between the two modes and it annoyed the hell out of me.
There are some cool things about the camera, just not enough to make me want to get it. I love the retro look and the metal body although I do wish it was a bit heavier. The X100 has something called a hybrid viewfinder where information is displayed on top of what you’re seeing through the viewfinder. Hard to explain but imagine looking through a view finder and seeing information displayed on top of your subjects [Check this visual]. Some reviewers online complained about the start up speed and recording speed but it didn’t cause me any issues when I was shooting.
Now compared to my GF1 I prefer the GF1 in every way except for two things, the knobs and the optical view finder. I really like the exposure dial on top of the X100, it’s similar to the one I have on the Canon G11 and it’s a knob that should be on top of all the cameras. The shutter speed and aperture ring around the lens are also two things the X100 has and I wish the GF1 had as well. Lastly I wish the GF1 had an optical viewfinder like the X100. The X100 has both an optical viewfinder and an electronic one which you can swap between. I don’t care for the EVF, I have it on my GF1 and would rather have a proper optical viewfinder instead like the X100. Size wise the GF1 is slightly smaller and heavier than the X100. Focusing, although the GF1 isn’t that great focusing and although it gives me trouble every now and then it’s like ten times better than the X100, that’s how bad the X100 is.
Basically because I got to try out the X100 I’ve decided to cancel my Amazon.com order and stick with my Panasonic GF1. I really really wanted to love the X100 but I didn’t enjoy using it and if I’m not going to enjoy using it then whats the point in getting it? Now keep in mind my review was based on my experience with the camera in one day. There are a ton of better reviews online which I’ve listed at the end of this post. But personally I had issues with the camera shooting today and ones that would effect my ability to take shots the way I want. I’m not a great photographer and need every help I can get out of the camera and I felt the X100 was holding me back with some of it’s annoyances. Below are some pictures I took with the X100, they’re not as is from the camera since I’ve color processed them.
The X100 is available on Amazon for around $1,200 [Amazon Link]
Here are some reviews online:
Luminous Landscape 1
Luminous Landscape 2
Steve Huff Photo 1
Steve Huff Photo 2
Steve Huff Photo 3
Enticing the light 1
Enticing the light 2
Enticing the light 3