Fuji x100 :: Review

July 4, 2011 | Shop Talk • Gear & Gadgets

 

Let me get this out of the way… The Fuji x100 is the greatest digital camera ever made and may just be the greatest camera I have ever owned. You’ll have a hard damn time convincing me otherwise. I can state with confidence that this is my favorite camera I have ever owned. Period. End of story. Done. Best. Camera. EVAR. OMG. Etc. Note that I am not sponsored by Fuji, I have no relationship with Fuji, and I paid for this camera with my own money. I have nothing to gain in services, advertising, affiliations, or monetary value by writing this review.

I’ll break this down after the jump …

I had a conversation with someone on Twitter about this camera. Their statement was something along the lines of “according to the spec sheet it seems the camera is under powered and over priced.” According to the spec sheet it most certainly is. In real life shooting I could not disagree more. My reply was, “Burn the spec sheet. This camera is worth every penny.”

There are plenty of sites that will give you all the pixel peeping measurbating specs your little heart desires. There is no need for me to go that route. You can also find plenty of full res images around the web as well from this camera with more and more popping up each day. Do what I did when I was looking to buy this camera and type “Fuji x100 review” into google and have at it. What you’re going to get from me is my personal impressions of this little camera and how I have set it up and how I’m using it. I’m not going to go into discussions about 100% crops, dynamic range, write times with different SD cards, x100 vs. Canon, Nikon, Leica, Olympus, iPhone, 8×10 view camera, etc.

If you approach this camera like you approach a DSLR you will be sorely disappointed. It isn’t a DSLR and it shouldn’t be compared to one. It also isn’t a Leica M9 like a VW Beetle isn’t a Porsche 911. An M9 with a nice 35mm f2 will set you back nearly $10,000. Are you effing kidding me? Comparing it to the Leica x1 would be closer but that camera is $800 more and doesn’t have the brilliantly designed optical viewfinder the x100 has. I’ve had both in my hands and there’s no way I’d pick the Leica x1 over the Fuji X100. No way. Ever.

Let’s get into why I love this thing.

I’ve been wanting a carry with me everywhere camera for a long time. I’ve tried a number of compact models. Mostly the Canon G line with the G10 being the last compact I bought. I hate dragging a DSLR with me everywhere. I’ve tried it. I hate it. I end up just leaving it. By carry with me everywhere I mean exactly that. I, like many of you, end up shooting a billion photos with my iPhone. When Meg and I went to Italy for our belated honeymoon I packed a 5d MkII with me and took about five pictures with it because I left it in the room most of the time because I simply tired of carrying that beast around on vacation. It’s fine on a job. It sucks on a stroll with your wife. I’ve had this x100 for about four weeks now and I have not left my house once without it since. I’m just waiting for my friends and family to get used to it so they’ll stop making fun of me. :) I seriously love this camera and it is always on my side. It’s slung over my shoulder even as I write this review at my kitchen table.

The G9/10/12/13.6 whatever and other cameras are just fine and dandy little compact cameras. The G10 I own is much faster focusing than the x100 but on every other single thing after focusing the x100 beats it into submission. I have friends who have a number of the 4/3′s cameras like the Olympus Pen. Those are cool cameras and all but why did they decide on such a small imaging sensor? The x100 has an APS sized sensor.  That’s a huge sensor for such a small camera and that was the first thing that attracted me to the x100. I think the whole 4/3′s system design is a failure based on the use of small sensors. The cameras and lenses are great but if they would have gone APS or up then I’d most likely own one of those.

The x100 has a fixed 23mm f2 lens that is sharp as a tack and gorgeous. That’s a 35mm f2 equivalent in full frame terms. There are no other lenses for the x100 as it is non-interchangeable. I’m completely fine with that. I love that range of lens for day to day shooting. My first lens back into the game was a 35mm f2 and that was my only lens for a year so I’m used to the middle wide range of glass and this little Fuji lens is specifically designed for the APS sensor living in the camera. The two are matched and they are beautiful.

As amazing as this camera is, the Fuji x100 can be a complete pain in the ass to use. It’s sort of cantankerous and slow from time to time and it has made me say some expletives. The recent firmware update has sped operations up considerably. With all the things the camera does wrong it makes up for in all the things it does oh. so. right. It’s like the thing has personality. It requires that you know what you’re doing. You have to get used to it’s quirks (menus, focusing, paralax, start up time, lock ups, etc.) to get the most out of the camera. Once I got comfortable with the camera and the quirks, then shooting with it is pure joy. That hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder is the coolest thing ever. Of all the nerdy tech stuff about the camera that is by far my favorite part of the camera. I switch back and forth between the two regularly. The optical viewfinder is fantastic. It makes the optical viewfinder on the Canon G series cameras look like a child’s toy.

Taking some personal perspective into account it is pretty easy to see how this little camera is far better than the camera I was using when I got back into the photography game. I restarted my career about eight years ago with a Nikon D100. This x100 is ten times that camera in terms of image quality and high ISO performance. ISO 1600 is a breeze and, if you nail exposure, ISO 3200 is usable. The Nikon D100 began officially sucking at anything over ISO 400. The D100 had slow write times. The x100 is faster. I only had one lens for that body. I only have one lens for the x100. The D100 cost $1,200 back then. The x100 costs $1,200 now.

So you see, the x100 is a better camera than what I got re-started with eight years ago. Moving from the D100 I went to the D70 and then to a pair of D200′s. The x100 is even superior to the D200 in terms of image quality and ISO performance. Add to the fact that it looks really amazing, is a fraction of the weight of a DSLR, and is dead quiet when shooting… this camera is continues to bring vast amounts of joy when shooting with it. Are you getting that I love this thing yet? I’ve failed to mention something else… 1000th of a second flash sync with a Pocket Wizard thanks to the leaf shutter design in the lens. Are you kidding me? Some have told me that you can push that to 4000th if you hard wire to the hot shoe. I haven’t tried that yet.

If you put an instrument of violence to my noggin and made me chose one, and only one, camera to use for the next 12 months I would undoubtedly pick the x100 over the other cameras I own. Will it be the only one I use? No. I will most likely blow this shutter out before my others cameras though.

Let me be completely clear on this point so you don’t think I’m just another Fuji fanboy.  The x100 can be a complete pain in the ass of a camera. Things like… It loves to lock up on a fairly regular basis (fixed with firmware v 1.10). I find that it does this most often when I make a change to the exposure compensation dial while it is still writing a file to the card.  To bring it back to life  you have to take the battery out and put it back in.

Another massively annoying “feature” of this camera is focusing at close range. Anything closer than three feet and the auto focus most likely won’t focus on your subject no matter how much you try. (ETA – Firmware 1.11 has dramatically improved this!). This is where “looks like a rangefinder” vs. “is a rangefinder” comes into play. The x100 looks like a rangefinder but it isn’t actually a true rangefinder. It’s still just a “compact” camera. There are lengthy technical disscussions about it elsewhere complete with power point presentations and math. I won’t bore you with those details because they are frightfully boring but they do a good job explaining this phenomenon.

Here’s how I deal with the whole close focusing issue. As soon as I see I’m getting into that situation (subject within three feet of the camera) I click the front lever from optical viewfinder (OVF) to electronic viewfinder (EVF) while simultaneously sliding the focusing slider on the side of the camera to manual focus. I then use the AF back button to lock focus and shoot. I need some more time to see if the firmware update is going to take care of this. So far I find it working much better when in EVF mode and AF instead of OVF. (ETA – After improvements made with firmware 1.11 I find I don’t need to use the manual focusing / AF button thing. Close focusing still works best with EVF instead of OVF)

The x100 has a manual focusing ring on the lens and let me state for the record that with the first firmware it was the worst manual focusing of any camera ever made in all of the world. Whoever let this camera be released with that level of uselessness did not get the employee of the month parking spot at Fuji HQ. It took approximately 8,000,000 revolutions of the focusing ring to focus through the range of the lens. Since the 1.10 update it has improved by a factor of at least 100. I most likely will still default to using the back button AF while in manual focus mode. I really wish it had a geared focusing mechanism and not the electronic focus by wire system. Last time I checked though I have never had to build a lens apart from poking a sewing needle into a piece of tin foil so what in the hell do I know about what the designers had to deal with to make this lens the way it is? Still, the manual focus ring is pretty much worthless the way it is… or at least the way I shoot with this camera it’s useless.

Speaking of back button AF I am quite surprised to find myself using this camera in ways that are completely opposite of how I normally shoot. I’m very much a manual exposure, manual white balance selection, manual ISO, RAW file, half shutter press to focus kind of photographer. While I still use the half press shutter to focus on the x100 most of the time everything else is completely opposite of how I normally shoot. With the x100 I’m primarily shooting aperture priority, auto white balance, auto ISO, and… prepare for this… JPG only. GASP! It’s true. The Fuji x100 delivers gorgeous RAW files but I’m shooting large jpgs only. Here’s why…

Being the x100 is always on my side and I’m shooting photos of anything and everything with it, I really don’t need to instal a server farm in my house to hold all of the RAW files of every picture I make with the x100. I’ve already shot some 40 or 50 gigs of large jpgs with this thing. I can’t imagine the headaches I’d have with that many RAW files. The x100 has a convenient little RAW button on the back of the camera that allows me to press it and the next image I shoot will be a RAW file. A number of reviewers of this camera have b!tched and moaned about that little button and want Fuji to make it a programable function button. I rather like that little button and if it becomes a programable Fn button at some point I will leave it just like it is.

Even though I shoot aperture priority primarily on this camera, I’m constantly riding that exposure compensation +/- dial. I typically have the meter set to average metering and I’m learning how it interprets most scenes. I’m working on anticipating how it is going to meter and I’m dialing that +/- dial as I’m pulling the camera up to my eye. The auto ISO on this camera is fantastic. I never ever use that feature on my DSLRs but for the Fuji it’s great. I have mine set to go as high as 3200 and to jump up in ISO anytime the shutter starts to drop below 60th of a second for whatever given aperture I’m using.

I keep all the sharpening, noise reduction, contrast, etc set to standard. I use the standard color film simulation mode (Provia) and the dynamic range set to dr100. I find the dynamic range modes beyond 100 just add noise and banding in the shadows more than legitimately increase dynamic range.

 

Leading up to my purchase of the camera most people using it wrote in length about how poorly placed, sized, and numbered all the little tiny buttons, dials, and switches are on the back of the camera. They are tiny. And not perfectly spaced. And… It’s fine. I’m here to report that they are usable even for a stubby fat fingered guy like me. It’s a small camera. It has small buttons. You use the camera enough and you learn to deal with them and it’s not a problem.

The x100 can shoot 720p video. I’ve shot about 10 seconds of video with it. I have no idea what the quality is since I haven’t really done anything with that other than making sure the feature actually worked. It has a fairly cool in-camera one click and pan panoramic mode. I’ve used that a few times with mixed success and failure. I actually prefer using that mode for times I don’t want a perfectly stitched photo. Like this. (click for larger view)

There are a few more things I have to cover before I wrap this review. Accessories / x200 wish list / and the most important camera review photo you have to take when making a blog post like this.

Accessories ::

• Extra Batteries and chargers – This little camera sucks through the battery in pretty quick order. I read this in all of the reviews so I went ahead and ordered three extra batteries and two extra battery chargers. I have the camera set to go into sleep mode after five minutes of non-use but every other battery saving feature is turned off because it slows the camera down a bit. The batteries weigh nothing and the aftermarket versions are cheap so I’d rather carry a few extras than turn on all the battery saving features aside from the auto off feature.

I’ve made two trips to NYC with this camera and I regularly end my day on that fourth battery. I will most likely pick up one more spare and one or two more chargers. I’d like to have as many chargers as I do batteries. The reason I have that many chargers is so that I can put them on charge over night and have them all ready to go the next day. I love that some of the reviewers of this camera complain and complain about battery life as though Fuji is violating their human rights. Buy a few extra batts and you’re good. Human rights violations avoided.

• Black Rapid Snapr - OMG. OMG. OMG. I dig Black Rapid straps but I’ve become a true believer now with their smaller version called the Snapr. It comes with the sling and a little bag. My suggestion is open the package, throw that little bag in the trash, and just use the sling. Maybe girls will keep the bag but I feel 53% less manly using that bag. The Black Rapid strap allows you to sling it over your chest and the camera slides up and down the strap. It is the best accessory I can think of for this camera. It shouldn’t even be a question whether to get it or not. I’ve spent 12 and 14 hour days on the streets with the x100 on my side and it has never been a discomfort.

• Two cheap 49mm UV filters – Get two cheap UV filters. If Fuji is guilty of any violation then it is that of price gouging on their filter ring and lens hood accessories. $150 for the two of them provided you can even find them in stock anywhere. That’s just wrong. They aren’t hand crafted by leprechauns. The front element of the x100 lens is right out there in the open. I’m the guy that loses the lens cap after five minutes of ownership. I only like lens caps when the lens is in the bag. I also hate UV filters with a passion. They regularly introduce flare and ghost reflections especially when shooting into light sources. I never use them but being as this camera is constantly in the elements I don’t want to constantly mess with the lens cap, and screwing up this lens means putting the whole camera out of commission I feel the front element warrants some sort of protecion.

So, without the overpriced filter ring on hand you need a workaround and Frankencamera the x100 a bit. You can mount a 49mm threaded filter backwards onto the lens. Take the thread cover off the lens and there are the threads. If you simply put one UV filter on the lens backwards you’ll run into issues if the lens tries to close focus because the front element will physically hit the UV filter and it will lock the camera down. So the work around is to buy two UV filters. Take a hammer to the glass of one of them and smash it out. Make sure you get all the glass shards out of it. Some of the older/nicer UV filters don’t require a hammer due to a retaining ring holding the glass in that can be removed. Newer/cheaper UV lenses have the glass glued in so you have to smash it out.

Mount the opened UV filter ring onto lens and then mount the other UV filter (with the glass) onto that and then screw the Fuji thread cover onto all of that. That smashed UV filter is just acting like a spacer. You can avoid smashing a UV filter if you get a doubled threaded 49mm adapter out there in the Internets somewhere. I picked up two used UV filters at a local camera store for less than $12. I already owned the hammer. The workaround looks like this hot mess…

As you can see, my x100 is already getting some battle scars. I expect to lose the entire finish on the thing inside of a year. :)

The last thing I have done to complete my x100 is to put a piece of black gaff tape on the read/write light on the back of the camera. I keep the back display off while shooting and the last thing that is a giveaway that you are operating the camera is the little LED on the back of the camera starts to light up as it writes to the card. If you want to stay as inconspicuous as possible with this camera, tape that light.

x200 Wish list ::

I really hope Fuji continues R&D on this line of cameras and I already have a wish list for what I’d personally like to see.

Full frame sensor, faster/better/stronger AF performance, weather proofing, focusing switch order to be changed to MF, continuous, single (in that specific order), and some sort of physical something done to the exposure compensation knob so that you can “feel” where it is with your thumb while shooting. I’m thinking of breaking out the Dremel on mine and grinding a notch into the dial so that I can feel when it is in the zero position.

I would also love to see an x200-w (wide) and an x200-t (tele). That would be a full frame 35mm wide camera and a full frame 85mm/100mm’ish telephoto version. I’d then ask Black Rapid to make the Snapr in their dual, cross your heart, whatever it is version and I’d sell all of my DSLRs. Probably. :)

Lastly. No review of a camera is complete with out all of us having a thorough discussion of pixel density while looking at a picture of a squirrel. For the best viewing conditions of the following picture, please sit in your mother’s basement and view at 400% magnification. Let the forums know of your findings immediately afterward. :)

Want to see more of my x100 pictures? Go through my newly activated 500px account. You can study META data there as well. Aside from a few film scans, and at the time of this writing, 97% of the images in my 500px gallery are from the x100.

http://500px.com/zarias

With all of this said… Remember that the camera will never make you a better photographer. Ever. My deepest and sincerest apologies do go out to all of your spouses though because they aren’t going to hear the end of it until you have one in your hands. Your best bet in finding one of these hard to get cameras is to follow B&H’s twitter stream. They announce there as soon as they have them and you have to jump on it within minutes of said announcement to get one.

 

UPDATE – The latest firmware fix has fixed a number of issues I have with the x100. It’s still a quirky PITA at times but I still love this camera. Can’t wait to see what comes next in this line.

ANOTHER UPDATE – I recently picked up the x10 for Meg. She has been wanting a carry around camera for awhile now. I ran the x10 through it’s paces for a few days and as much as I do love the little x10, the x100 is still king. I think of it this way… The x100 is a photographer’s camera. The x10 is a photographer’s point and shoot. You can see some improvements in the x10 on things like focus and such. Hope these are steps forward for the next line of the x series.

Cheers,

Zack

PS – I’ve ditched Flickr for 500px. I’ll post about that if you care to know why.




Discussion

  • Waleed Alzuhair said on July 4, 2011

    Thanks for the detailed review.. I’ve been waiting for the X100 for a while, but didn’t buy it for it’s initial focusing glitches. I hoped the 1.10 firmware would fix it, but perhaps I should wait longer.

    Thanks again Zack,
    Waleed

  • hynek said on July 4, 2011

    As a co-star in this posting as the anonymous the-specs-say-the-x100-is-overpriced-guy I want to point out, that I’ve already preordered the x100 and can’t wait for it. :)

    Note from Zack – Hey! I did search for that conversation but it was too far back in the tweet archive for me to give proper credit. Glad you popped in!

  • Johnny I said on July 4, 2011

    That’s a photographer’s review. Thanks Z.

  • Jeremy Hall said on July 4, 2011

    Great review. The best part is hearing your renewed passion for photography this new camera is affording for you. As for the camera, I think I’d love one but I’ll likely resist and keep working with what I already own for awhile. Goodness knows I have enough gear that’s better than my abilities already! Maybe that x200 will catch me though…

  • Zofia said on July 4, 2011

    Great article! I’m considering this camera, but the 35mm fixed lens was my only hangup. Come to think of it, I hate the zoom on my G12, so it really shouldn’t. I totally appreciate your honesty in the plusses and minuses of the x100. I think my mind is now made up!

  • Aaron said on July 4, 2011

    dangit… like i needed one more reason to buy one of these….

  • Brian said on July 4, 2011

    love the open and honest, tell it like it is approach on this review Zach.

    much much appreciated. Absolutely loving the shots you are getting with the X100

    now can you talk to my wife in person to convince her why I need this camera?!? please ;)

    -Brian

  • Emily Porter said on July 4, 2011

    Thank you for this review. I have been struggling with the x100. Ryan Brenizer loves it, and that’s usually the only vote of confidence I need. Cantankerous is exactly right. I have even considered reselling it. But this gives me hope. And not just with the beautiful photos you shared but also with real, concrete tips. I’m excited to buy more batteries and update the firmware and make peace with this little camera that has been frustrating the shit outta me. :)

  • Rob said on July 4, 2011

    Gee thx Zack…. My bank manager will be sending someone right down there to talk to you :-) I have been watching it in the pre release rumors…. but have to be good for a while before I can spend that much on a luxury…. In the mean time… I will be dragging my SLR everywhere as usual – just got back from @6hrs lugging it around…. at least it’s making me lose weight, so it must be good for me right… right… :-) .

  • Darryl Bueckert said on July 4, 2011

    I loved how you approach this review. There are enough tech-based reviews out there from people who haven’t even seen or used the camera. I for one appreciate your real world experiences, and how you have adapted to the camera. The funnier thing is that after hearing you on Creative Live I can actually hear you saying this. Ever thought of a voice-over career? :)

  • Julian Yap said on July 4, 2011

    Zach, thanks for the great write up. I like the sample pics you posted. Really shows the great color reproduction of the X100.

    One thing, the 4 thirds sensor size is between that of APS-C and a point and shoot. So it isn’t that small.

  • Zack said on July 4, 2011

    @Julian – It isn’t that large either. :)

  • One of the best camera reviews mate.

    still not for me… the x that is.

    I so wished there was a compromise that is not a Leica… what ever cam I test, I keep on falling (and carrying) back my D3s…

    wouldn’t mind leaving it in the studio every now and then.

    greetings,
    Teymur.

  • Tim said on July 4, 2011

    Even though I already own the x100 and will never sell it because I love it, I was looking forward to hearing your take on it. And it was a nice comprehensive review.

    Despite some flaws, there are several ‘wow’ factors about the camera that has been a hit with my friends and family members coming from all skill levels of photography. For me, it’s the OVF and the quality sensor in a compact body. For others, it’s the retro look and the sold build.

  • Pablo Puga said on July 4, 2011

    Zack

    Thanks for this down to earth usability amazing review and not giving us the “classic techy boring info style”.
    One question, the optical viewfinder is full? or is it cropped like on the canon G series and other small cameras? Don’t you have problems framing with that crop factor or you get used too? I hate that on the G’s.

    I care to know why you ditched Flickr for 500px.
    Thanks for all the knowledge always.

    Regards

  • Zack said on July 4, 2011

    @Pablo – The OVF is beyond full and I love that about it. You see outside of the frame. It’s esp helpful in street photography as you can point the camera somewhat away from your intended subject as though you are shooting something else yet observe the subject and re-frame quickly to get the shot without taking your eye from the viewfinder.

  • Dawid Miarka said on July 4, 2011

    X100 = really great old school look, great quality but… its not for me (especially price is the problem, i`d love to have a good quality tiny camera especially on the bike … mayby one day … ).

    I`ve considered old sigma DP1 and DP2, but they were too slow for me. But ofc they were also great cameras.

  • Wilfredo said on July 4, 2011

    I still say the black body of the G9 is sexy and at least my G9 takes auto-color selection images. :P

    I think I want a x100. *sigh*

  • brett maxwell said on July 4, 2011

    Great review Zack, it mirrors my thoughts exactly. It’s a beautiful, wonderful, pain in the ass. Probably a lot like having kids.

  • Ken said on July 4, 2011

    Nice review! I like the picture on the public transport. Nice little slice of life.

    I’d be interested on your thought of flickr vs 500px. I recently discovered 500px (yes, I’ve been living under an online rock lately), and was blown away by the images on the “popular” link. That was a way different experience than I get on flickr’s Explore. So, if you do make that flickr vs 500px post, I will read it closely ;)

  • Paul Pride said on July 4, 2011

    Zack,

    Thanks for the fantastic review, it was just what I needed. I do feel, however, that the last point you made about it not making you a better photographer may be a bit wrong, and here are my reasons why. I want to have fun with photography again. My big hefty DSLR is not fun to carry around so I don’t do it. Surely becoming a better photographer is all about practice and that’s something I’m not getting at the moment.
    I have also become lazy. I need to stop and think more about what I’m shootin and how I frame things and having a fixed lens will help me with that. I have been falling out of love with photography recently and the hassle of carrying loads of equipment with me puts me off even more.
    Not only do I want this camera, I need this camera. My Nikon D90 and lenses are making way for me to buy this. I will have fun again. I will get better.

    Paul

    ps: anyone who’s been on 500px shouldn’t need to ask why you made the change!

  • Aaron said on July 4, 2011

    Nice review! You make me want to spend money I don’t have.
    Amazing contrast on that little guy though. Cheers

  • Damien Lovegrove said on July 4, 2011

    Phew! I’m glad it’s not just me that never wants to use a DSLR again. I’ve had no lock ups and like you I shoot Av, auto ISO etc. It’s liberating and all my friends are jealous. I’ve never had that with any other camera I own.

    Pictures to die for too!

    Great write up. Damien.

  • Dirk Sachse said on July 4, 2011

    Great review!
    Now I know why I m gonna have to buy a M9 :)

    Dirk

  • Chris Horner said on July 4, 2011

    Thanks Zack. I was already pretty sure I wanted one to take with me everywhere and your review confirmed a lot of what I had suspected. My wife thanks you as well :) Happy shooting.

  • Blork said on July 4, 2011

    Nice review, and I agree whole-heartedly that people should burn the spec sheets and let the design and user experience do the talking.

    But I’m calling bullshit on what you said about 4/3 sensors. 4/3 sensors are half the size of “full frame,” which means they are HUGE compared to most compacts. For example, you could fit about nine Canon G10 sensors onto a single 4/3 sensor.

    Have you ever seen a sensor size comparison chart? (Check Wikipedia.) 4/3 is not that much smaller than APS-C (which the X100 uses). Only the most hardcore pixel peeper will see the difference when examining images, and given that you started the review by telling people to burn the spec sheets it is totally hypocritical to then complain that the 4/3′s sensor is too small.

  • Harold said on July 4, 2011

    Thanks for a great review; much better than all the pixel peeping reviews. You answered the kinds of things people actually want to know; which is, how does the thing really perform on a daily basis. From my own informal research and considerable personal bias this is the kind of camera I have been thinking should be made. Small, fixed lens, big honkin sensor. Sort of kodak box camera meets 2011 technology. I have an Oly so I’m semi used to quirky menus.

    Currently trying to trade my old film gear for an iphone [3Gs, I know it's picky] and then would happily get myself in a Fuji x100 queue somewhere. The one thing that would probably do more for the X100 than anything would be speed the whole focus/write thing up. My Oly suffers from the molasses thing.

    Great job, really loving the street photography.

  • phototristan said on July 4, 2011

    Can I buy just the Black Rapid sling without the bag? Seems silly to have to get the bag if I don’t need it. Also, they make two versions of the Snapr, the Snapr 20 and Snapr 35. Is the 35 the one to get?

  • Blork said on July 4, 2011

    Correction: 4/3 is one-quarter the size of full frame (half the size on each axis, giving it 1/4 the area). But the gist of my argument still holds! ;-)

  • Jim said on July 4, 2011

    Nice write up, Zack. I’m not an enslaved fanboy so I don’t care who makes a camera so long as it’s good. I’d rather read a review like yours, telling whether a camera is worthy of use by a working photographer than the, as you might say, pixel-peeping techno-porn that plagues the industry.

  • Jessyel Ty Gonzalez said on July 4, 2011

    Appreciate the thoughts, Zach. I used an X100 the other day and have to admit it’s one of the better P&S’s I’ve ever used. (Why do we even still call them point and shoots?) Still think it’s a little too expensive for what it is (I like my Canon S95 for the ‘carry a camera in my pocket at all times’ category) but shows where we’re going. Kudos on a nice writeup.

  • Alex said on July 4, 2011

    Great sooooo…. Is your 5d mkii up for sale then cos I’m in the market for one!

  • RB said on July 4, 2011

    I have loved simple small cameras that have large aperture wonderful lenses FOREVER… Maybe thats why I still use all of my film cameras that fit that bill. I find it just a little bit backwards that a decade after digital went mainstream that I still cannot find a simple, small, good looking camera that comes anywhere close to any of my simple small good looking film cameras. I thought the X100 was the ticket but to tell you the truth – I had to sell mine as the quirks you spoke of were too too much for me to deal with. Especially the focusing system. Give me manual focus that just works in a way as intuitive as my Leica M cameras or my Nikon FM/FE’s and I will be ecstatic. I also cannot get used to the way that the DOF is rendered relative to perspective for the subjects I shoot – It just doesn’t look good to me. FX please………..

    RB

  • ATLDOC said on July 4, 2011

    Can I get an 8X10 of that squirrel?

  • Phototristan said on July 4, 2011

    I recently did a video review of an aftermarket hood and adapter I bought off an eBay seller in China. Took about a week to arrive California and it’s every bit as good at the Fuji one and cost much less at $50.

    Here is the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uq5ArgKJCY

  • Les Doerfler said on July 4, 2011

    Zack…your review makes me happy on two counts.

    First as a Fujifilm employee, I’m really happy they hit it out of the park with this one. I’ve been salivating on this since I first saw a brochure on it earlier this year.

    Secondly, as an accomplished squirrel portrait photographer (635 portraits so far and only 468 are of the same squirrel), I’m very pleased to see that this camera more than meets the high standards that we squirrel image interpreters require.

    Thanks for the great writeup.

  • Jef said on July 4, 2011

    I can’t imagine buying a $1200 point and shoot. Granted the quality looks awesome, but I can’t see spending that much on a point and shoot.

  • Zack said on July 5, 2011

    @Jef – It’s far far far more than a point and shoot.

  • Tim said on July 5, 2011

    Jef, the camera is more than a point and shoot, IMO. It’s not a DSLR either. I think people who judge the X100 before having to demo it will be missing out some of its key features.

    BTW, I have noticed Zack’s brand on the X100.

  • Frank Grygier said on July 5, 2011

    Great review Zack. Could you point to any images you have using strobes with the Fuji? I am locked in to the PEN but I do have to admit the x100 in your hands is amazing.

  • Ed Araquel said on July 5, 2011

    Zack, I agree with all of your comments about the X100. I’ve had it lock up on me at critical moments but luckily had the wherewithal to quickly remove then reinsert the battery and still be able to take the crucial pic. I usually just leave the camera in manual focus mode and then stab at the AE/AF button to autofocus. Other than that I’m really happy with the camera and the results I’m getting.

    e

  • Jessica Sweeney said on July 5, 2011

    Well, it’s not the camera for me, since I don’t have $1200 to spend. But I like the design idea and I’m glad it’s popular, because I may have the cash for the next iteration down the road.

    And I guess I better get on 500px. Looks pretty happening.

  • Kevin Steele said on July 5, 2011

    Hey Zack, thanks for the quick playtime with your X100 in NY a few weeks ago – was great to hang out on the edge of the rainbow. Nice straight shooting review, I appreciate that!

  • Harold said on July 5, 2011

    Jef, My Oly point and shoot was 1000.00 in 2004 so who knows where the prices will go. I just hope the X100 gets all the upgrades it needs. If so we all stand to win. Even my Olympus C-8080 is much more than the typical point and shoot but has plenty of quirks. Pretty good images though…

  • Eric Reagan said on July 5, 2011

    Published my review this morning as well and I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments.

    As for the sync speed, I can confirm sync at 1/4000s with a Nikon SB-26 speedlight tethered with a $30 hotshoe cable. This thing eats the Sun almost wide open.

    Unless someone comes out with a more mind-blowing camera in the next 6 months, the X100 has my vote as camera of the year.

  • Murph said on July 5, 2011

    Question Zach, do you like the camera?

    -M

  • Max in Oz said on July 5, 2011

    Great review, and yes, I concur on all points. I take my X100 almost everywhere, and I don’t even notice the weight. Inside shots at ISO5000? A doddle.

    I must say though it is not great for capturing my little grand kids as the focusing is too slow…or maybe my technique is too bad?

    Your filter-smashing-el-cheapo-adaptor-thingy works a treat. Regards from Oz.

    Regards

  • JP said on July 5, 2011

    This kind of reviews i like….a review where somebody tries to get into the heart of the camera instead of just making standard-compare-to-CaNikon-style-Dpreview´s and standard-user-interface-compare-to-CaNikon type of bullsh..

    Thanks !

    There are many great cameras out there, cameras who get the bashing in standard tests, but are wonderful cameras in practice once the user finds the “inner values” of the cameras.

  • Nasir Hamid said on July 5, 2011

    I enjoyed reading the review but 40-50 gigs of JPG’s?!? What’s your success rate of keepers? Slow your roll bro, shoot some film :-)
    I’ve just picked up an Olympus Stylus Epic (Mju II in Europe) and it’s beautifully small for carrying everywhere.

  • ropo said on July 5, 2011

    Chop the wings off APSC and you have a 4/3 sized sensor. It is a format ratio choice rather than a much smaller sensor. People are no longer going to put up with this continued misrepresentation blindly repeated by those with vested interests.

  • Kholloud said on July 5, 2011

    Can’t agree more! to be honest I was so unsure of buying it or not after seeing it in Photokina last year. When i saw it i fall in love with it. But as you say burn the spec out..

    Thanx Zack

  • Tim Brechn said on July 5, 2011

    Another great X100 review, and proves again I NEED one of these in my life (and this isn’t a GAS issue) living on the outskirts of London street shooting is a bit risky. So having an X100 would make life a lot easier.

  • Derek Clark said on July 5, 2011

    Great read and spot on about the X100′s good & bad points. It’s a game changer and mine has been with me everywhere since February. I’ve shot most of my Project 365 since then with it and all of my Street Photography Blog with it too. Even used it on a couple of weddings to handle low light

    The lens hood and adaptor ring are over priced, but it’s just like saying the camera is over priced. When you get the hood on it, you don’t want to go out without it. There’s a petty good Ebay knock-off that’s getting good reviews and is much less expensive.

    One more thing. There’s a new bug with the latest OS update. If your X100 takes 10 seconds to start-up, you need to format your SD card (in camera) and it goes back to normal. I had to do it yesterday.

  • Stratos Agianoglou said on July 5, 2011

    Hello Zack. I have been following you for a few years now but this is my ever first comment. A great review of the x100 based on real life usage and not on some lab test series.

    I would also know your thoughts on ditching flickr for 5000px ( I am a 5000px guy too but I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter ).

    Kind Regards
    Stratos A.

  • george said on July 5, 2011

    I set the minimum speed to 1/125 and now my pictures are sharp. Auto ISO.

  • andymoons said on July 5, 2011

    wow zack, you are really making me want to spend money! I recently bought the GF2 and sold it a month later…it just didn’t cut it taking pictures with only an LCD, I felt disconnected from “the process” somehow…

    Thanks for the non pixel peeping review, way too few of them. Love it when great photographers write reviews like this!

  • Stuart Mackenzie said on July 5, 2011

    So about this 500px then??

  • Martin Busek said on July 5, 2011

    Thanks for the perfect REVIEW! Love your work. Cheers

  • ProphecyBlur said on July 5, 2011

    Great review, couldn’t agree with you more. As an alternative to your sugestion of taking a hammer to a UV filter i found another alternative using Cokin adapters to acheive the same thing for cheap

    http://prophecyblur.com/blog/2011/04/22/fuji-finepix-x100-filter-and-case-solution/

  • t0m said on July 5, 2011

    That’s a great review and it makes me want to get a x100! :)
    I’m searching for a small everyday and everywhere cam with a fixed lens since ages…
    Leica isn’t an option because of their prices so I think I should get me a x100.

    Thank you for beeing that honest and pointing out the issues aswell! ;)

  • Ken said on July 5, 2011

    Great review, Zack…
    This camera needs to be learnt, but once you get to know it, it will satisfy with brillant pictures.
    As to the occasional freezes, I did have the same problem but after changing to a Sandisk Class 10 or U1 Extreme Pro SD card, I haven’t experience any. Not sure why, but it works for me. When I use back the Class 8 Fujifilm SD card, it is Dejavu..
    Hope this helps..
    Cheers,

  • Richard Sharman said on July 5, 2011

    Quite possibly the greatest camera review ever written.

    I’ve been eyeing the x100 off for a while and can definitely see one in my future.

  • Clive Litchfield said on July 5, 2011

    My mind had already been made up for exactly the same reasons as you, your post confirms it all. Never been so excited to get my hands on anything (almost) the fact that your review is independent and that you have my respect as a photographer makes it impossible to resist. Anticipation, the joy, the pain, the ecstasy my girlfriend will kill me! HA!

  • Oliver said on July 5, 2011

    The X100 is probably the nicest and affordable Rangefinder-like camera around. However, if you cannot afford it and you want to have the best price-performance ratio: go and get a used Olympus PEN E-P1 with 4/3 sensor for less than €200,- incl. kit-lens on E-Bay (or pay a few bucks extra for the 35mm equivalent 17mm Pancake). You pay a fifth of the price and get two thirds of the joy…

  • GregK said on July 5, 2011

    Nice review, Zack! I’m glad I’m not the only one w/ scratches all over their x100… I felt guilty at first, then got over it. I haven’t spent any time at all w/ the auto ISO, so I’ll be doing that this week. I too, spend most of my time in AP mode and shoot JPG’s only and have been more than thrilled w/ the results. Have you spent any time in the slow shutter speed range testing the cameras image stabilization? Works pretty dang well! Are you using a screen protector? The ACMAXX 2.8″ LCD protector is a perfect fit, but pricey at $23.00 for a screen protector..

  • Alessandro Rosa said on July 5, 2011

    This might be a safer option for those that do not want to break the glass of a filter.

    Stack a 49mm-52mm step-up ring with a 52mm-49mm step-down ring and then attach the UV filter to the stack.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/98833-REG/General_Brand_49_52_49mm_52mm_Step_Up_Ring_Lens.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/6241-REG/General_Brand_52_49_52mm_49mm_Step_Down_Ring_Lens.html

    Cost of the Step-up Step-down stack: $13.90.

  • bizior said on July 5, 2011

    is that Chicago Bean in the first picture? :)

  • Zack said on July 5, 2011

    @biz – Yep!

  • Zack said on July 5, 2011

    @ropo I have no vested interest and to me the APS class of sensors are the smallest ones I want to use. Chopping off the rings kills it for me. It’s personal opinion and reasoning. It’s not a conspiracy to bring something down. 4/3 is too small. I wanted at least APS and finally got it. Glad I waited.

  • Paul said on July 5, 2011

    Great review, Zack. I wanted this camera when it was first announced. Now after reading your words, I’m torn between the need for an f/2.8 70-200 or getting the Fuji. And people think being a photog is easy…. all these decisions! :)

  • DSR said on July 5, 2011

    Got one.
    Love mine too (though not, it would seem, as much as you love yours.
    Got an aftermarket female-female adapter and hood for less than $15 (couldn’t stomach the obscene price of the Fuji) but so far going naked without a filter.

  • Peter said on July 5, 2011

    Hi from Germany, Zach.

    Thank you for speaking this out. Fully agree with your pros and cons from a personal daily photographers life point of view.

    After 3 weeks with the X100 I can say that this cam has a own soul. My precious is always with me since then.

    Some points from my perspective…

    I’m shooting Raw only. Won’t miss the benefits from Lightroom Raw Development.

    Because of using Raw I can also benefit from using full Dynamic Range set to auto.

    X100 Auto ISO with the possibility to set in addition the lowest possible ISO in combination with 1/125 as slowest shutter speed works great for me.

    In order to save money, an Adapter/Lenshood via Ebay (35USD) is a solution. In my opinion better than all this UV Crap. Also won’t miss a lens hood to avoid lens flares and for better contrast.

    See some of my X100 Pics on Flickr via my Website link.

    Sorry for the bad english…

    Peter

  • amanda said on July 5, 2011

    awesome, awesome review, and not just because it fuelled my lusting for this camera :) :)

  • ryan said on July 5, 2011

    Zack, so based on your review I’m thinking the x100 might be a nifty solution for a second camera for weddings say instead of a 5D with 35mm f/1.4. Thoughts?

  • Brian said on July 5, 2011

    Zach,

    Your a witch !!!!!! It’s like you’ve read my mind or did some type of weird Vulcan mind meld thingy.

    I got this camera about 4 weeks ago and love it !!!! Just like you, I wanted a real camera to keep with me all the time and the x100 is perfect for me.

    I’ll have to try the auto ISO setting. I’ve been shooting with it set to 1600 all the time – I like a fast shutter speed for street shooting.

  • Paul Pride said on July 5, 2011

    Why can’t people spell your name correctly Zack?

  • Patrick said on July 5, 2011

    Zack,
    I’ve had mine since last April and my Nikons are feeling seriously lonely (!). I basically just use them for work now as I’m also constantly reaching for the X100.
    Your approach completely echoes my own: like you I’m a manual guy and pretty much got my butt kicked when I used this camera for the first time. I soon realized I needed to change old reflexes and embrace other ways of working — basically, everything you said down to shooting JPEG instead or raw. I’m still on Auto Dynamic Range though (been debating that point with myself lately).

    I just came back from traveling in France with nothing but the X100. Honestly, apart from a few slow-downs here and there, I never missed my DSLR. And I’m super happy with the results so far. In fact beginning tomorrow, I’ll be posting a sort of reverse travel journal if you’re interested.

    Looking forward to more of your images with this little beast.

  • Marcus Neto said on July 5, 2011

    I dunno Zack… I don’t think it measure up ;)

    In all seriousness I love the images that you are capturing with this camera. Whilst we all know most of that is due to the man behind the camera it is nice to know what kit measures up and what doesnt.

  • titus said on July 5, 2011

    Hello Zack, since my years with the Rollei 35T, i was looking for a digital equivalent to carry all the times with me. The Sigma DP2 is a very interesting beast, but i sometimes, i miss an optical viewfinder with information about… so, maybe, i have a look at the X100. But personally i prefer the focal lenght of 41mm. Time will tell. Thanks, titus

  • Ken said on July 5, 2011

    I would be curious to know why you ditched the Flickr account???

  • Bari said on July 5, 2011

    7/5/11 Does anyone know where to find one? Every place I’ve checked is backordered. I placed an order almost a month ago with a NY camera shop and with Amazon, but so far, no word on when either might have the camera.

  • Rich Beaubien said on July 6, 2011

    Thx Zack

    I too have been enjoying this wonderful machine. It has definitely lightened the trip from home to the studio.

    –Rich

  • Aaron said on July 6, 2011

    Interested to know if you’ve shot any jobs with it yet or just personal work? Or if you plan to?

  • Posy Quarterman said on July 6, 2011

    I could not agree more – you completely nailed it with this review. For the closer than 3 ft photos, I find switching it to macro mode takes care of the problem. I’ll give your method a try for fun, but I’ve been fine with just shooting on macro when up close. Perfect review, seriously.

  • Toby said on July 6, 2011

    So, dude – you need my address to send on your 5dii?

    I’m with you on the ‘DSLR everywhere’ thing. What a pain in the arse. Plus did you notice that when buying it (DSLR) that you thought it’d make you look cool? Huh? Massive lens AND a hood, Battery Grip and the make & model emblazoned along the strap? Huh?! No, you look like a douchebag… …what a gip.

    It’s all about stealth – particularly for street photography, no?

    POW!! x

  • jay.eads said on July 6, 2011

    since day one of its announcement i wanted to buy this camera… this doesn’t help.

    j

    p.s. flickr can suck it

  • CyberGus said on July 6, 2011

    I seriously appreciate your honesty when you write about these things. I want an X100, that’s for shure. I really hate to take my 5D everywhere… Thanks Zack.

  • Jane B said on July 6, 2011

    I love my Sony NEX-5 (with its APS-C sensor) but I can appreciate what you’re saying about the x100. I definitely don’t need both though and I’m not going to persuade myself of that however hard I try :-)

  • HM said on July 6, 2011

    Great, fun review. I’ve considered the X100 as well. Currently I’m using a film rangefinder as my take-everywhere cam so I don’t have to take my SLR everywhere.

    I do find funny that you’re Ok with a G10, but not m4/3s given that the 4/3 sensor is almost 10 times the size of the sensor in the G10, but only 30% smaller than APS-C!? But I don’t want to turn this into a Nintendo vs Sega debate, it just seemed weird, like the spec sheet got you there. Also, the new Pens may have licked the AF issues of CDAF, so lots of great choices out there right now.

    Having said that, Fuji did great by using an APS-C sensor thats only 12mpix instead of chasing the crowd and going for more useless pixels that would make it a spec sheet performer.

    Thanks again! It’d be great if you do some follow-ups as the firmware updates address the issues you’ve found.

  • Andreas said on July 6, 2011

    Oh Zack,
    why did I need to find this painful review?
    Couldn’t you just write that this camera is crap? It would have saved me a lot of money!
    Now I need to sell my G10 and go to by a Fuji X100.
    Thank you Zack, for this photographer review I trust in!

    Andreas
    (Germany)

  • Oleg said on July 6, 2011

    http://www.x100enthusiasts.com/discussion/141/50-fujifilm-finepix-x100-lens-hood-review-lh-x100-ar-x100-clone

    try this solution to the Hood/adapter issue

    I have it my self the Chinese have done a good work replicating the original
    and it’s cheap enough

  • Craig said on July 6, 2011

    If the focus isn’t as fast as the G10, would you say the G10 remains better for street photography?

    My GRD3 has the snap function – set the focal length and snap, no AF lag at all. Does the X100 have anything similar, so street shooting can be done at say 1m focus without a half press to focus?

  • Zack said on July 6, 2011

    Craig – I’ll pick the x100 over the G10 any day for shooting in the streets.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • SeanG said on July 6, 2011

    I don’t understand why anyone would think this camera is related to rangefinder in any way other than they’re both cameras.

  • Dave said on July 6, 2011

    Zack -
    Thanks for this review – I’ve been following this camera for a while, seeing how people are falling in love with it, and not just for the great styling. The part of your review that really hit home for me was in regards to traveling with your “beast”. I recently went to Italy with my daughter, and would have loved to have something more comfortable to walk around with every day that was still capable of producing great images. I’m totally getting on the bandwagon…

    Cheers!

  • Barry Khan said on July 6, 2011

    @Craig I’ve had the GRD3 and yes the snap focus is nice and quick but I think the x100 can do that like any camera with manual focus.. You set the focus to manual then to your preferred focal length then snap away.. No lag at all..

  • Jo said on July 6, 2011

    Great review, thx! :-)

    But what’s wrong with Flickr?

  • Craig said on July 6, 2011

    I’m looking to be convinced that this would be a better investment than a DSLR. I have a Ricoh GRD3, which I love and having an SLR could earn me a few quid keeping the Ricoh for a carry about. Or ditch the ricoh and DSLR and get the fuji. Argh!

  • Nicolae Cioloca said on July 6, 2011

    Zack, you are great,

    just THANK YOU !

    Nico

  • Jim Denham said on July 6, 2011

    Even though the camera does not make the photographer, it is amazing how much life a piece of machinery can generate in one! Cool review. Maybe I can afford one someday! Otherwise, I’ll enjoy looking at the images you produce with it!

  • Robert said on July 6, 2011

    The X100 combined with G11/12 would be a match made in heaven that aside a new lens on the X100 that could focus easily at 5cm would be on my wish list. I have shot some really cool urban macro stuff with my G11. If the sales of X100 take off I bet Canon will be on Fuji’s heels with a new compact which will have a APS-C sensor.

  • Waz In Oz said on July 7, 2011

    Installed the 1.10 firmware upgrade on my X100. No more lock ups, manual focus works great and if you press the Menu/OK button for 3 seconds the control dial functions and RAW button lock so they can’t be bumped into another mode by accident. There are a stack of other improvements too.

  • nate parker said on July 7, 2011

    Heyya Zackman, i’d love to hear your opinion as to why 500px is better than the flickr camp. i mean the only photos that i look at for the most part on flickr are from my contacts whose photos are better than most. and the interface of 500 is kinda purty what with the black backgrounds- flickr just needs some updating and customizable options. as for the cam- seems like the best street and everyday option but yer 5d2 will still reign the studio. wicked!

  • Surly said on July 7, 2011

    I didn’t know about 500px. Now that I do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. And Dave Jackson’s too.

  • Nancy said on July 7, 2011

    Great review, appreciate your take on it! I just got a hold of my x100 about 2 weeks ago… love it 90% of the time but am struggling with slow focus when taking pics of the kids, and with horrible focus hunting during video mode (fixing a manual focal length works, but only when the subject doesn’t stray)! Would love to hear if anyone has advice for these 2 issues, and would also like to hear more about 500px, thx!

  • Zack said on July 7, 2011

    @Nancy – I haven’t really tried the video yet.

  • Jeffrey said on July 7, 2011

    Two things.

    First, you really do need to read the manual to learn this camera. I had to freaking read the manual just to put the strap on. (No joke, you need a random special tool, which is included, to put the strap on.)

    Second, on the Flickr issue, I see where you’re coming from. I still have my Flickr pro account as well as a 500px account. For me, the reason I can’t just abandon Flickr is because it is another place to store my high resolution images, and no matter where I am, I have the option to log into my Flickr account and download the high resolution version of any image I have. I used to use Flickr as a place to showcase my work, now I mainly use it as an online storage locker. I am beginning to use 500px as a place to showcase work. So, until 500px gives you full access to get your images, I will be keeping both active.

  • Edd Carlile said on July 7, 2011

    Really like the young dude captured in the first shot on the right…..he looks really worried.

    This camera looks like it seriously rocks but I cant justify that kind of spend. (my wife would garotte me!)
    :(

  • SaraKByrne said on July 7, 2011

    my wallet hurts, but you’ve successfully sold me on the x100. It sounds like the perfect camera to cure the “oh shit, that would be an amazing picture if I had my 5d in my pocket” moment.

  • Jeff W said on July 8, 2011

    Zack, the cap from my G6 fits perfectly onto the double filter setup. What are you using if anything?

  • Julien T said on July 8, 2011

    Hy Zack!
    Thx for your rewiev! It was very informative.
    Im interested to know why you ditched flickr for 500px.

    Greetings from Switzerland

    Julien

  • Andreas said on July 8, 2011

    Your review just gave me the last kick to order a X100. It should arrive tomorrow. Thx!

    Are all of your photos taken with the UV filter?

  • Matthias said on July 8, 2011

    Hi Zack, can not agree more to your point of view about this camera and your purpose to use it that way. One question I have is about your BW images I can see on your 500px site. Are they strait out of camera as BW/JPG or are they post processed?
    If they are right out of the x100, I will not be able to resist to buy one ;-)
    Cheers, Matthias

  • Gianmarco said on July 8, 2011

    I hate you! do you have any idea how long it will take me to save up that amount of money!? :D

  • Tom Bricker said on July 8, 2011

    Great and honest review. I tell people that photography is all about compromise. My dad jokes he’s going to buy a 14-600mm f/1.2 lens that can do it all.

    I say the proof is in the print. While I woud love the latest and greatest gear, I’m still rockin’ the D200 and after getting prints of Kodak Endura metallic prints of shots from a USL soccer game at ISO 1600 with the 70-200mm f/2.8, I rethought the “need” to spend so much for camera bodies that wear out. I’m just having fun shooting rather than peeping at pixels on my 27″ iMac.

  • MichaelinA2 said on July 8, 2011

    Your x100 comparison to the VW Beetle is amusing. My first brand new, drive off the lot, sea-foam green VW Beetle cost me $1200 cash in 1963. The typical good wage for a college student at the time was $1.83/hr. Scholarships were rare and there was no such thing as a student loan to repay after graduation. If you are lucky and feeling a bit daffy at the moment, perhaps, you’ll find yourself offering up a variation of this smidgen of trivia to a future bubbling reviewer. Glad you enjoy the camera and are having a great life. Cheers…

  • Scott said on July 8, 2011

    As an alternative to smashing a filter, would this B+W screw-in hood work?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/11150-REG/B_W_65069598_49mm_Screw_In_Folding_Rubber.html

    Or would you need the AR-X100 Adapter Ring and then the B+W hood?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/760882-REG/Fujifilm_16144559_AR_X100_Adapter_Ring_for.html

  • William Cowan said on July 10, 2011

    Thanks for the review Zack. I’ve always loved the Fuji cameras. They don’t do everything well, but they do take great photos. I think Fuji hit a nerve with this one.

    Cheers

    William Cowan

  • Eric said on July 10, 2011

    Excellent (and entertaining) review Zack. I also share the love for the camera. Great tips on alternate ways to protect lens too.

  • Peter Gregg said on July 11, 2011

    I think the camera has a stealth mode to kill all lights and sounds without any tape. Fuji’s do this by pressing and holding the Display Button on the back of the camera. The instruction book should tell you if it has this or not. Maybe it is something you may like.

  • Daf said on July 11, 2011

    Dear Zack,

    What model of hammer did you use ?
    What settings was it on …?

    ;)
    he he

    Thanks for the personal, passionate yet two-sided/honest review.
    Am looking for a carry-with-me-everywhere camera too (bought a new phone, but no aperture control = no creative control). Currently fixed 35mm and price is a bit of a kill-joy for me. (Plus I’m saving up for the D800/400 – still on 200)

    I’d be interested to hear which of the EVIL/Compact-SLR type cameras you’ve tried – to know who’s butts the x100 kicked. Think there have been a few new ones of late.

  • Daniel Zihlmann said on July 11, 2011

    Hey Zack

    Not sure if I missed it. If you shoot large JPG instead of RAW, is it sRGB or Adobe RGB you do?

    Thanks,
    Daniel

  • claude etienne said on July 11, 2011

    Great review Zack. In regards to 500px, Scott Kelby posted a mini-review of the site on his blog today. I checked out the site, it looks amazing. The quality of work there is incredible, and as far as the layout, flickr isn’t even in the same league. I didn’t even know this site existed until you mentioned it on this post, and I can’t believe that it’s been around longer than flickr. Anyway, thanks for sharing. I think alot of people are gonna be dumping their flickr accounts.

  • Patrick said on July 11, 2011

    Thanks for the review Zack – having read it, I bought mine the next day… So far, so good.

  • Daf said on July 12, 2011

    On the 500px font – I don’t personally use anything like that – prefer to host images myself for now.

    But came across this the other day – others might be interested:
    http://www.pixiq.com/article/500px-encouraging-copyright-theft

    Could be alarmist – not sure.

  • Chris.h. said on July 12, 2011

    Can’t afford and didnt know I wanted one until I read that :(
    Brilliant and passionate review Zack–really interested to know what you have gone with 500px and ditched Flickr?

  • Michael O'Hara said on July 13, 2011

    I just don’t get it. Maybe its because I’ve owned and used every Fuji DSLR except the original S1 and know what a proper Fuji file can produce image wise. I find X100 images to be soft and a bit grainy. The dynamic range suks. This makes for a wonderfully gritty B&W street cam (reminds me of TriX) but for other use? I just don’t get all the praise this camera is receiving, especially when you add in all the glitches.

  • Zack said on July 13, 2011

    Michael – You have good points there but I’m telling you, this camera has a soul. There’s something about it.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Laura Stone said on July 13, 2011

    Thanks for posting all this enthusiasm for the x100. And the squirrel photo, what camera review would be complete w/out one? Was planning to buy another 50mm 1.2 for my partner, but we will be getting an x100 instead!

  • Mike Kleinsteuber said on July 14, 2011

    I’ve recently bought an X100 for many of the same reasons as you and love the quality of the build and the images it produces. My main camera is a Canon 5D MkII and the quality of the images, whilst better than that of the X100, is not as far away as I’d thought it might be. The menu is quirky as you’ve mentioned and one wish I have is that there was a dedicated ISO wheel somewhere cos I’m always changing the ISO I use. There’s no doubt at all however that this is one great camera and I love using it.

  • Jacek said on July 14, 2011

    What can I say? After reading (twice) your review I simply went to shop and bought it. The first non canon camera in the last 10 years. No regrets. Thank you.

  • matthew said on July 16, 2011

    Excellent review, couldnt agree more =D

  • Nichole said on July 16, 2011

    Agree with you 99.274%. It’s ever so heartening to find someone of a like mind on this camera. I’ve had mine for a month now and I take it everywhere and even use it for studio shots. It has its foibles and oooh boy these are irksome. Maybe Its a girlie gripe, but I started finding dslrs too weighty and ginormous. Only one of my photog friends/ enthusiasts agree with me and can see why I bought it. I tried the G9 and G10, but never for a moment contemplated buying either. For me the ovf/evf and lens are worth the price. I own a fair bit of canon gear that I groan when I have to lug around, especially when travelling. (From home to location.) After a month I’m still learning it’s quirks. So like Jacek, it’s been my first none Canon camera purchase ever. And I would sooo buy a full frame x200 if it came out before a 5d mark 3. I’d sell off all my Canon gear. I would kinda want a bit more megapixels in the x200 though. Keep sharing man.

  • bob said on July 16, 2011

    Nice review. Looks like you’re having fun with the camera. I want to like it, but it’s way overpriced — and there isn’t a chance in hell I’d buy a camera that locks up randomly or doesn’t focus properly at close distance.

    Maybe the X200 will get it right.

  • Robert James Elliott said on July 17, 2011

    Zack, I liked your review and agree almost entirely with your comments and findings…I too love the camera and YES is a pain in the ass at times, but once you make the effort to use it like it should be used and probably more importantly, know how it works, it is a little gem…(I too have a canon 5dmkII and canon g11, but just love using the x100).

  • MikeScott said on July 18, 2011

    Zack, are you shooting the camera in a black & white mode or converting in post? Assume you’re going the Photoshop/Channel Mixer route or something similar.

  • Don T said on July 18, 2011

    Zack,

    Great review and timely as I’m just warming up to my x100. Didn’t like it at first but maybe because this is the first “P&S” I ever bought (it’s sooo not a P&S).

    You talked about leaving your 5D in your room while on vacation I know exactly what you mean. I brought my gear to SE Asia in a roller and, man, did I ever regret that DuChemin-wanna-be move! X100 solo all the way next time. Keep my gf happy too — always a plus!
    !!

  • Alex E said on July 18, 2011

    Hi!

    Just came back from one week in NYC with the X100. My first time using it and in order to feel not too much on the edge I brought my D7000 w/ 12-24. I ended up taking more photos with the X100… And it is so much more fun shooting with the X100, I kinda found photography again.

    And just to not make this post another *me too* (loving & having the X100, that is), I just wanna say I’m a big fan of yours and I think you have the right approach to this gorgeous camera. I feel the same way.

    I love your work, mentality and style. Keep it up! Keep shooting, sharing and posting.

    Take care!

    / Alex, Sweden.

  • corey said on July 19, 2011

    HI Z. I love excitement. Thats how i felt when someone emailed me a link to this camera… excited. A little camera with a wide aperture and a big sensor that looked cool. That day I advertised my 40d (backup camera) on Facebook and sold it within an hour. Next day went down to the melbourne camera street knowing i wouldn’t find one but willing to talk a salesman into selling me someone else’s lay-by. No luck.
    A day later I woke early and called a camera shop i had been to and lined up an unwanted lay-by and went and picked it up.
    I love this camera and its quirks. Heres a link to a couple of my shots with it.
    http://coreyesleap.com/people/ the top three with cream back grounds. Feels funny shooting with a pocket wizard on the top.
    Loved the review. Thanks.

    The

  • Osama Al Zubaidi said on July 19, 2011

    Thanks Zac For your great review. I have enjoyed reading it to the end.
    I have already got one and I am very happy to shoot with it. In fact I did in my vacation exactly like what you did in your honeymoon. I left my Big DSLR in the hotel and I felt in love with the X100.
    You feel more light with it plus you get excellent quality photos!

  • Guybertdude said on July 19, 2011

    Very entertaining and enlightning review Zack! Thanks for that. I’m still torn between the X100 and a used Leica M8. The focus frustration on the Fuji kindof scares me.

  • Derek said on July 21, 2011

    Very amusing commentary.

  • Speaker said on July 22, 2011

    “That’s a 35mm f2 equivalent in full frame terms.”

    No, its not. Its still a 23mm lens with the borders cropped off. Or, putting actual depth of field in the equation, its more like 35mm f4 lens on “full frame”.

  • Mike Watkins said on July 22, 2011

    This morning I took your Frankencamera solution (thanks for that!) for filter holders a step farther and have sandwiched a decent multi-coated UV filter inbetween two empty Tiffen 49mm rings, figuring this might… might… provide a little bit of flare protection. I can’t see any obvious problems with vignetting but haven’t done any careful testing as yet. Three 49mm rings with no filter glass at all probably would work even better and might also help protect the lens enough to do away with the sacrificial UV filter.

    Re the Black Rapid Snapr, I’ve never tried it but I have an R4 strap and love it for my heavier cameras. The X100 doesn’t have enough heft to pull the shoulder pad down around my contours thus it tends to ride around some; maybe the Snapr is missing this pad or has a much lighter version which sits properly. I borrowed the tripod mount attachment from the R4 and built my own slightly uglier version using climbers 1″ black tubular webbing. I like it so much I think I’ll buy the mount piece from Black Rapid and have a local shop bar-tack the bits on my version I’ve joined together using plastic hardware…. which should fix the strap somewhat in the looks department.

  • Matus Kalisky said on July 22, 2011

    Nice ‘straight ahead’ review. Thanks. I am just wondering as you mentioned the Leica X1 – did you also had a look at Ricoh GXR with its APS-C sized modules (28mm & 50mm)?

  • Dusan said on July 23, 2011

    I care to know why you ditched flickr account. Anyway…X100 looks really amazing. Thx for GREAT blog!

  • Kristofer Samuelsson said on July 25, 2011

    Thanks for a great review. I bought one immediately after I read this and am very pleased and common problems can usually work around. Here is my blog on which almost all the pictures last two weeks are taken with x-100 http://www.kristofersamuelsson.se/?cat=4

    /K

  • Takkiwrites said on July 25, 2011

    I really enjoyed reading your hands-on review of the x100. Have you also tried the x100 with flash? Can you use it with Nikon flashes and the SC 17 sync cord for high speed flash photography? Will the x100 flash work as a master flash? How about using it with Pocket wizards?

  • Zack said on July 31, 2011

    @Takki – I have shot with a pocket wizard up to 1000th of a second with great results. Going beyond 1000th will require a sync cord from what I understand. Haven’t tried it yet.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • JL said on July 26, 2011

    ————————–
    I really hope Fuji continues R&D on this line of cameras and I already have a wish list for what I’d personally like to see.
    Full frame sensor, faster/better/stronger AF performance, weather proofing,…
    ————————–

    You can buy a Leica M8 or M9.

  • Zack said on July 31, 2011

    @JL – I’m not spending $7k on a 35mm based body! At that point I’ll just buy digital MF.

  • John Sharpe said on July 26, 2011

    About Dynamic Range set at 100% –
    This from DPREVIEW/X100 Review
    “….. The flipside to this approach is shown by ISO 100, which is effectively the opposite; i.e. ISO200 overexposed by a stop then pulled-down in processing. This results in the loss of stop of highlight range – to all intents and purposes it counts as DR50, and should therefore normally be avoided. (Note ISO 100 is only available in JPEG anyway).”

  • karlbaxter said on July 27, 2011

    Great review Zack! thanks for sharing it!!!

    I have one question I meant to ask about your gear purchases, you have both Canon and Nikon cámeras, the thing I meant to ask is the logic behind your purchase… I can´t figure it out (with respect I say this).

    I have done the math and if the 5D MKII costs around 2,000 bucks, another 2,000 bucks for the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, another 1,500 bucks for the 24-70mm f/2.8 and add a couple of hundred of bucks more to the math and you are dangerously close to the D3x which has better focusing although poorer noise reduction at high ISO (it isn´t that bad I had a D3x and D3s for commercial work and weddings).

    And au contraire with the 4,000 bucks price tag of the D3s and the glass you have you could have gone for a 1Ds MKIII to go with your 5D MKII with the thing that you don´t have to deal with 2 brands or duplicate lenses in different systems.

    Again I´m not tryig to be disrispectful or anything, I´m just curious that´s all :^)
    Cheers mate!

  • Zack said on July 31, 2011

    @karl – I got the 5d for video and I got a “can’t refuse” deal on it as well as the lenses. So I had a decent Nikon kit and a decent Canon kit. I’ve recently sold most of my Nikon gear so I can have a fully fledged Canon kit. It was a touch decision but it was time to decide on one or the other. I do like the 22 MP files from the 5d and the video so I kept that and sold the Nikon. I’m sooner or later moving to medium format digital so 35mm won’t be as important to me.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • WJ said on July 28, 2011

    Wow Zack I think Fuji really needs to pay you, you just convinced a bunch of people to get this camera.. myself included. I might wait for the x200, but I’m definitely saving up for one!

  • Rob Hammer said on July 30, 2011

    Thanks for the review Zach. Great info. You kinda look like Dennis Hopper in that picture!

  • Omari Stephens said on August 1, 2011

    Hey, thanks for the great review. Just wanted to mention/ask a couple things

    1) I ended up using this one as the sacrificial filter: $4.50 with free shipping, and you can unscrew a retaining ring and remove the glass without a hammer:
    http://www.amazon.com/Zeikos-ZE-UV49-49mm-Multi-Coated-Filter/dp/B001UE6N06/ref=pd_ybh_6?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1HVJAG00JJAK2EXQBG2T

    2) I just got back from doing a lot of shooting in Vegas, and I easily went through maybe 6 batteries a day (thankfully, had time to charge periodically, because I only have 4 in total). Do you shoot with the OVF when it’s dark out? I usually use the EVF because I feel like I can’t trust the AF otherwise, but it seems like that might also be killing my battery life.

    3) How do you get quick shots in focus? Do you just prefocus and try to be the right distance, or is there some trick for getting the thing to focus both quickly and accurately? I’m especially curious about scenes where it’s dark out.

    4) I’ve gone over to using auto-ISO (3200ISO, 1/15sec), and I tend to shoot Aperture Priority when it’s light out, and then switch to manual when it’s dark. That means that if I want to get a nice pan when it gets dark, I still can, but if I want something sharp, I can still set the shutter speed to 1/60s or 1/125s and do that too.

    5) I got the Snapr; thanks for the tip! I didn’t like how the camera hung — upside-down makes it a pain to grab quickly sometimes — so I just attached the black half-circle from the buckle directly to the triangle-clip on the left neckstrap anchor. Now it always hangs with the right side down, which I find makes it easier and more consistent to grab quickly.

    Thanks again,
    –Omari

  • Marina said on August 1, 2011

    Hi Zack,

    really really waiting for your new blog post on converting to BW.

    have a great day~!
    Marina

  • Ben said on August 2, 2011

    I’m afraid neither the X100 or M9 are a Porsche 911. Poor analogy, very very poor.

  • Zack said on August 12, 2011

    @Ben – You know what I mean.

  • French said on August 2, 2011

    Verrry good Zack /

    Inspiring work and i hope to show you my dutch squirrel. I’m working on my own site. Its good to do with a camera for what its made for and show it around!
    thank you and good luck!

    French from Holland

  • Really want a Leica. said on August 2, 2011

    I’m still deciding. I’ve been reading a number of reviews and the X100 sounds like an excellent choice, I just wish it was priced lower. There’s a few photographers that have posted a number of images and thoughts as well you might like to read, http://www.laroquephoto.com/blog/tag/x100/ , http://www.ianwilkinson.com.au/blog and http://www.ryanbrenizer.com/blog/2011/05/fuji-x100-review/ , there’s many more if you search, but these chappies seem to be pretty good at their craft.

    All seem to like it and are using it well, but for some of us it’s going to be a stretch to buy one. Hopefully someone else brings out a similar unit at a more affordable price and with image stabilization, some of us older folk need a little aid there.

  • claude etienne said on August 3, 2011

    Hi Zack,

    In regards to moving to medium format digital, are you thinking of getting the Pentax 645D?

  • Reinholt56 said on August 3, 2011

    Brilliant, straight forward, hands-on review. The sort I like.

  • Matt Decell said on August 5, 2011

    I found a store with 3 in stock!!!
    The debate begins.

  • Cnell said on August 10, 2011

    Thank you for your open and honest review on the x100. This little camera has renewed my interest in photography.
    I find the review on The Grid with Kelby and RC patronizing and uncalled for. They could have reviewed the camera but had to keep going on and on making fun of the camera and it’s users.
    Enough about them. Thank you for speaking up.

  • jaime said on August 11, 2011

    love your post! i got my X100 a few days ago, and discovered the same as you, where if i let X100 do the thinking for me, it’s fantastic. so, whereas with my other cameras i am mostly set to M or A, i let x100 figure out the ISO, WB, etc etc. also, when i get close to my subject, i switch to manual, read off the distance meter on the awesome vf to tweak the focus, and click. (yes the manual focus-by-wire stinks).

    incidentally, my other cameras are Nikon D7000 and Sony Nex3. I love all THREE! They are all unique and special in their own ways.

  • Dr. Angshuman Bhattacharyya said on August 11, 2011

    Hi Zack ! Since I’m not a pro I don’t know if I should comment at all . But I some how couldn’t resist. 1st of all thanks for a wonderful and unbiased review . I’ve been clicking since I was 6 yrs with aim and shoot and 120 rolls . Now I’m 43 yrs . I own a Nikon D 5000 plus 4 lenses . I was contemplating on buying fuji X100 since long but few adverse comments were putting me off . After reading your review I’m getting this camera within a week . I think this will be a perfect tool for me . It reminds me of my old contaflex .

  • Darwin Young said on August 12, 2011

    Hey Zack,
    Thanks for the useful review! I have had my X100 for about a week and I can not put it down! I love everything about it, even the quirkiness, it gives it personality. I too live in Atlanta and I plan to get out and shoot some street stuff. I took a look at your website and could not even get passed the front page prior to coming back and telling you how excited I am about owning this camera! I hope our paths cross one day!
    Darwin Young

  • Mike said on August 12, 2011

    You don’t need t filters when you can use the Omega-Brandess Step down ring 52 to 49 (NP5249 sells for about $ 8.00). The ring is threaded all the way inside the ring so when you screw the ring on backwards, the 49mm filter will screw directly into the ring and still have the space to let the lens move.

  • Maguire said on August 12, 2011

    The fuiji x100 don’t get me started some of the buttons are frustrating to use for example the focus select its either the top or bottom position ~ getting it in the middle ~ its just such a damm @)*)&))^)%)^))&)&) .
    I needed to get that out of my system.

    Using the FX100 at first i took some rubbish pictures ~ i mean really rubbish picture’s then you learn to fettle it and its wonderful it becomes 2nd nature even using the dreaded manual focus option and that damm vague 3 way selector switch.
    Its like every time i use it i learn another of its charms . By the way the write light i coloured mine with a black permanent
    marker ~ its gives the effect of dimming the light.

    Re batteries 300 shots + 70 with flash from one freshly charged battery . i invested in a spare .

    i got the fuiji case it is what it is ~ i haven’t done anything yet re a lens protection i’ve have it since fathers days and not yet needed to clean lens.

    i use a fast pro grade sd card and format in the camera. it seems to be quicker especially down loading .

    As for problem’s some times it has a wobbly i turn it off take battery in and out and its good to go

    The other point of this Comment i don’t know what it is, but i do like how your eye see’s things ( your pictures )
    Your FX100 Review was spot on a great read .

    i use to use flicker just as a source of inspiration 500 is just so much better thats how i found your site

    regards

    Maguire

  • Kalu said on August 13, 2011

    Hi Zack,

    Could thank you for the information about the X100, I’m very glad that I see your examples and I will now set a x100. Thanks and best regards kalu

  • John said on August 14, 2011

    Hi Zack. Salutations from Toronto! I just picked up the Fuji x100 and am interested in your UV filter workaround. Problem is the “thread cover” or lack of one. I don’t seem to have one. I don’t seem to have threads. I see what you’ve done in your pic and I see the beveled part on the end of my lens the same as the “thread cover” on yours. Twist as I may, twist as I might I can’t seem to un-screw the thing. I’m thinking of using vice-grips but that would require another 3 beers (before I could attempt) and probably another $1200.00.

    What’s the dealio?

    Many thanks!!

    John

  • KlausCR said on August 14, 2011

    Thanks Zack for this great review!

    I own the little beauty since more than two months and fell in love with her…

    Ciao, Klaus

  • Gladys W said on August 15, 2011

    I love Fuji and nearly died when I saw this camera. I SO want one. No just for myself, but so that my fiance can learn it to use as my second shooter for weddings. This is just the right kind of camera for him. If he and I can figure out the quirks, it would be a fantastic edition to my kit. He would only get to use it on gigs because I want it for all other times.

    G

  • Takki said on August 16, 2011

    So heres my story about the Fuji x 100. Got the camera and took it out for some shooting. After looking at the pictures on my computer I noticed several spots on the the pics. There was some kind of dust or whatever on the sensor. So I mailed the camera back and asked for a new one. After a long wait I finally got a call from the dealer. Fuji says they can’t find any problems with the sensor. I refused to have the camera back and hope they will exchange it for a new one. Does anybody have problems with dust on the sensor on their Fuji X100?

  • Hi Zach: I have been on the fence about selling my film Leica and buying the X100. You’ve pushed me over the edge. I’d rather have a camera I’m using, than one sitting on the shelf and this one sounds amazing!
    Thanks for the review.

  • Sam Brentnall said on August 19, 2011

    Awesome review and +1 for a post on why you moved to 500px

  • Biff said on August 23, 2011

    Almost bought a PEN, instead waited 2 months for the X100. Never looked back. My D700 is gathering more dust while my X100 is always with me. Color “trueness”, spot-on exposure, sharpness, and resolution depth make this unit the most important camera in a half-decade. On a daily basis I’m amazed what it can do. It’s a game-changer for all us SLR-sloggers. No regrets….none.

  • Jackson said on August 25, 2011

    Zack,

    Ok I’ll bite. (I’m hungry to know) So why 500px over Flickr?

  • Joe G said on September 9, 2011

    I’ve been looking for an alternative to carrying my 1D bodies (I have a 1D and a 1D Mk2n) for events where I need a camera, but don’t need/want to carry around the big guns. My biggest concerns are low light performance and fps for concert photography. So, you’re obviously in love with the x100. So, now the x10 is coming out and there’s rumors of an x200 w/interchangeable lenses. Do you think you would stick with the x100? Would you consider the x10 (based on it’s specs and what you know of the x100) instead of or in addition to the x100? I’m interested in hearing opinions from anyone who’s used the x100.

  • Zack said on October 6, 2011

    @Joe – I am interested in seeing the x10. I think Meg will love that camera.

  • Peyton Hoge said on September 9, 2011

    Will the aftermarket batteries charge on the charger supplied with the X100 camera?

  • Zack said on October 6, 2011

    @Peyton – Yep.

  • David H. said on September 11, 2011

    Alas, even after reading this, and days and days of indecision as to whether to buy the Fuji or an Oly E-P3, I bought the Oly. The bugs and flaws of the Fuji that have been written about did influence me, as did handling a x100 at one of the local BIC Camera shops in Tokyo* and getting lost in the menu and somehow switching on image review in the finder and not being able to figure out how to get it back off. Figured I didn’t need the hassle.

    So despite the fact that I knew the little 4/3 sensor was going to be a lessor sensor than any I have used in years, and could never hope to match the Fujifilm sensor, I bought a PEN. Same price in Tokyo as the Fuji. Didn’t get a lens with it, just the 3.5/5.6 14-42mm thing. I figured I’d be adding an adapter and using some of my old lens anyway.

    Turns out the PEN also freezes and locks up—just had it happen today and had to pull the battery and reinsert after which it remained frozen for a few more seconds. What’s even better is that the wonderful touchscreen must be disabled in the menu when using the optional VF2 finder or it will freeze all controls except the shutter release. Really tons of fun to figure out what causes that. Without Google, I’d still be looking. Or else I would have wrapped it around a tree already.

    But after 3 weeks of fighting it, I am sorta coming out on top occasionally. I miss a lot of pics I could easily get with one of my film or dSLR camera, but heck, it feels so much better to get something out of the PEN since I have to wrestle the camera for it. I figure now my time is about equally divided between WTF is that setting in this bizarre menu and how did I manage to change it to begin with. But the single area AF is fast in bright light. And the CAF with tracking is a joy as you put the focus point on your moving subject and watch the Oly pull it off and focus on and area in the shade of a roof up in the left corner of the frame. Heehee, Fun! We’ll leave low light focusing (what low light focusing?) out of this. It is a bit embarrassing to talk about.

    The Olympus PEN E-P3. A true retro camera. Looks a little like Grandpa’s PEN. The menu system looks a little like an old Oly 5060 except now as well-thought out. Haven’t seen such color noise in the shadows of a properly exposed file at base ISO since–well since BEFORE the D70. If ever.

    But for some reason, I like shooting it. I have too. Too late to return it, and the wife would notice anyway.

    Lesson learned: 1) The sensor ratings on DxO do mean something more than just geeky numbers. 2) The Olympus of OM-1 and 35mm rangefinder days is gone. Never to return.

    *One never buys from the chain shops in Tokyo, but just uses them to look over potential purchases before heading to one of the small be good shops staffed by folks who know what they are talking about. Price is likely lower too.

  • Mary said on September 13, 2011

    Tx. Great review. I have a Lumix lx3 with a wider add on lens. It is my travel camera for the reasons you love the x100. It was so good to read a review by an owner as opposed to a tester.Cannot afford it yet, but one day. My Canon 40D will keep me busy for now.

  • Dr. Angshuman Bhattacharyya said on September 14, 2011

    Hey Zack ! I’ve got my X100 . Delivery was late but I got it day before . Really a great tool . Enjoying every bit of it . Wish manual focus was better though . Rangefinder focussing would have been the perfect finish for this excellent camera . Thanks again for the perfect review otherwise I would have never bought this . :)

  • Rick said on September 20, 2011

    Thanks for a helpful and clever review, Zach! I especially appreciate the 49mm UV filters tip, ’cause I’ve got an X100 on order and there’s NO WAY I’d pop for a $50 adapter! I suspect that I’ll re-read the review after the camera shows up (if that happens in my lifetime).

  • Alain Alexandre said on October 2, 2011

    I have the same analysis as you, for 3 months and I do not separate myself from the x100n quality are waiting for you, before I had a Nikon D80 in the afternoon very heavy, get time I bought a canon G10 well except maque sensitivity, the x100 I learned to be more closer to my subject, the more it is so small that you go unnoticed, your work is outstanding

  • broadshoulder said on October 9, 2011

    Hi Have u looked at the Nikon 1 V1 yet?

  • Zack said on October 10, 2011

    @broadshoulder – Nope.

  • Joe said on October 13, 2011

    Hey Zack, I was wondering if the new firmware 1.11 fixed the focusing issue. I am thinking of going with the X100 as I am loving street photography. Like you said in your review carrying a DSLR is a real pain and like something smaller and not have something that scares people away.

  • Jesse said on October 19, 2011

    Zack, have you heard of the X100′s “sticky aperture” problems? …have you had any issues with yours?

  • Zack said on October 20, 2011

    @jesse – I have heard of it but haven’t experienced it.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Jesse said on October 21, 2011

    Thanks Zack! All the best!

  • Paul Abrahams said on November 2, 2011

    Small profile round the neck and easy to conceal on the street. I use to love my old fuji 35m camera back in the 70s. I’m still to read any reviews on the Video quality yet. look out credit card!

  • Zack said on November 2, 2011

    @Paul – It shoots video of course but I’ve yet to use it. To me, it might as well not even be an option.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Paul Abrahams said on November 3, 2011

    After seeing some videos it does seem like an odd feature. Hope they develop keep developing this model.

  • blackshadow said on November 6, 2011

    Zack, that’s the greatest ever camera review I’ve ever read, I’ll definitely be grabbing one before I head off to the US early next year.

    Have you tried using the X100 with the Pocketwizard AC3 zone controller? I already have Pocketwizard TT5s and an AC3 with Canon flashes, being able to shoot high speed synch with the X100 and control flash power from the camera would be pretty darned sweet.

  • Claudio Branch said on November 8, 2011

    Have you posted your reason for switching from Flickr to 500px yet?

    I have not been able to find that anywhere…

  • Zack said on November 9, 2011

    @Claudio – Not yet. This winter I’m getting the blog caught up on all the posts I want to make.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Kaushik Parmar said on November 9, 2011

    Hi, Greetings!

    This is Kaushik from Ahmedabad (India). Great review.

    I am proud owner of X100. And hereby invite all to see my some videos mad by Fuji X100. If you have time see below links:

    vimeo.com/​29685181

    vimeo.com/​29937327

    vimeo.com/​30650835

    vimeo.com/​31384476

    vimeo.com/31710819

    Regards,
    Kaushik

  • Keith said on November 9, 2011

    Enjoyed the review so much went out and bought the camera!
    But now the dreaded ‘sticky aperture problem’ has struck with a vengeance – gross over exposure and the camera is back at Fuji for repair like so many others – seems to be coming up more and more and even with a lens barrel change the problem has recurred for some.
    Here’s some links but there are many others around the word:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/x100/discuss/72157627618220011/

    http://www.fujixseries.com/discussion/281/over-exposing

    http://www.fujixseries.com/discussion/569/is-this-f16s

  • Zack said on November 9, 2011

    NOTE – ETA – The latest firmware update has addressed a lot of the issues I’ve had. It’s still my favorite camera. I just ordered the x10 and will have that in my hands soon and will report about it.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Andy said on November 10, 2011

    Hey Zack, great review…wish there were more people like you on the photography internet :)

    Have you had time to look at the x10? I’m looking to buy a street/everyday camera…been looking at the x10, but been offered a decent price on a used x100 (about $900). I’m shooting a D90 today with almost only primes (35 and 50mm). Do you have any thoughts on the matter?

    Thanks!

  • Zack said on November 10, 2011

    @Andy – Just ordered the x10 this week. I hope to have it today or tomorrow! $900 for an x100 is a great price though. The x10 will be more of a high end point and shoot where the x100 feels and acts more like a “real” camera. I know that “real” is subjective but you know what I’m talking about.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Andy said on November 11, 2011

    Thanks Zack! Mailed the guy with the x100 and told him I wanted to buy it. Think it will fit me better. Still looking forward to your verdict on the x10 :)

  • photodelux said on November 13, 2011

    Why ditch flickr for 500px? Curious… I’ve just started with 500px but haven’t got into it yet. I’m also toying with tumblr.

  • jef said on November 20, 2011

    Thanks for such a great review. I appreciated your personal perspective and reactions to how you actually felt using it. Sometimes things suck on paper but just feel right despite their limitations. I love the “according to the spec sheet” comment.

  • patrick dinneen said on November 28, 2011

    I love your opening ” The Fuji x100 is the greatest digital camera ever made and may just be the greatest camera I have ever owned.”

    Sums up your love and excitement about it.
    I really like your critique section btw. nice to see detailed reviews of sites.

  • Brian said on December 7, 2011

    WOW! Really love the review. I, too, shoot much different with my X100 than with a DSLR.

    I find the panorama feature to actually work quite well. It seems to always stitch the images together just fine. I am constantly amazed at the quality of panoramas considering I am moving/rotating the camera.

    I also find that it shoots EXCEPTIONAL video and even motion. It does not give that “home movie” feeling to me like ALL other DSLR or consumer-grade video devices. The stereo microphones can pick up a sound from VERY far away, as well.

  • blackshadow said on December 9, 2011

    I’ve had my X100 for a few weeks now and I’m loving it. It’s got its quirks that take a bit of getting used to but I’m totally blown away by the amazing quality of the images from this little beauty.

  • Faust said on December 17, 2011

    Picked up an X100 tonight. I got a screaming deal on a used one (by used I mean it had a couple hundred clicks, so basically it’s new). Picked up the camera, an extra battery, wrist strap, Domke wrap so it won’t get beat to death in my bag, and it came with the overpriced hood & adapter. After taxes the whole mess came in about $120 under retail for a new camera only. So, I haven’t really had a chance to put it through it’s paces yet. Mostly I’ve been sitting on the couch thumbing through menus and snapping photos of our cats and other inanimate objects, but I really don’t see the menus to be as difficult to navigate as some people have made them out to be. I’m really impressed with the high ISO performance and the built in flash. However, I would like to sack punch the idiot responsible for that lame ass manual focusing control. While I don’t see this being a replacement for my 1D bodies, I do see it as saving me from replacing my shoulders and back since I now have a viable alternative to carrying around a 1D brick and a 30lb sack of L lenses.

  • Zack said on December 18, 2011

    @Faust – What a deal! Well done.

  • Andrew Niesen said on December 20, 2011

    Just bought one!

  • Seppe said on December 30, 2011

    Hai Zach,

    First off, great blog/website, just discovered it :) Love the vibe.

    Now a question: I’m interested in learning street photography, and currently own an EOS 450D with 50mm 1.8. Because of it’s crop size though, things get a bit narrow on the street. Do you recommend buying a 35mm F2 (~50mm film equivalent) or selling the 450D + lenses for a X100? I’m pointing towards the X100 because of the better high ISO performance.
    I hate choices, and could use some professional advise :D

    Greets from Belgium
    Seppe

  • Zack said on December 31, 2011

    @Seppe – That’s a hard one to say. I highly suggest renting/borrowing an x100 first to make sure you love the camera before you sell everything you own to get one. Also try either the 28mm 2.8 or the 35mm f2. See if you can rent or borrow before you make a big move like that.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Rick Alan said on January 2, 2012

    Hey, Zack… there are so many posts that I was getting worn out reading them. So, I appoligize in advance if you have answered this question 400 times.

    I have been shooting with a Canon G10 for more than 3 years. I love NOT dragging a bunch of lenses and heavy equipment around. At this time, Jan. 2012, do you still love your X100? I have been dying for that camera and will be selling my G10 in a few weeks. As of now, I am getting an X100… any reasons now that I shoudn’t? Thanks for your review and for reading a million posts! Take care.

  • Zack said on January 3, 2012

    @Rick – Still love my x100! It has developed the sticking aperture problem that has been reported by others so I’m having to send it in for service but yes… I still love this camera as much as I did when I made this post! The only reason not to buy an x100 would be if an x200 is coming out but as of writing this comment I haven’t heard of any solid rumors about a predecesor.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Warren Williams said on January 9, 2012

    Wow, great write up Zack – looks like a phenomenal camera. I’m always asked on my recommendations for small cameras, yet I only own Canon SLR’s. So generally I just say a G12. However, upon reading your review, and hearing of the impressive ISO performance, I almost want to walk out now and grab one myself! Lately I’ve found myself shooting a lot of photos with my Samsung Galaxy S. By all means not terrible, but definitely not like the 5D II quality I’m used to.

  • Paul said on January 9, 2012

    Zack,

    I’m not sure when your last update was but did you (or Meg) play with the X10 more in the last couple of months? If so, how do you find it now?

    Just asking as I’m seriously considering getting one as my ‘carry everywhere camera’. The X100 is very nice and the new X-Pro-1 looks cool but way out of my price range.

  • Eitan Riklis said on January 10, 2012

    Great review of this camera. I’ve had it for about two months and it is indeed a great camera. I love the images that come out of it.

  • fexz said on January 10, 2012

    Any thoughts on the new Fuji xpro1, would you recommend sticking to x100 for the same reasons you avoid bringing out your 5D on walks, i.e the size. The new release seems significantly big. Size being the main reason i would buy a mirrorless camera. Missing out on so many shots due to the burden of the camera weight.

  • Zack said on January 11, 2012

    @fexz – Honestly much of the draw to the x100 is the design of the thing. The xpro, meh. I am interested in seeing that lens though even though it falls to 5.6 at the end of the range.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Takki said on January 12, 2012

    So far I had 3 X 100. Two of them came with dust in the sensor. The third one I had to send back because it has developed the sticking aperture problem. So far I was more without the camera then with. I have read several posts that reported the sticking aperture problem occured again after repairs. Anyone with this problem out there?

  • Primoz said on January 16, 2012

    I had this camera for one week and I absolutely adore it! The IQ and handling is superb. My main camera is 5D and I needed camera that I can carry with me 24/7. This little gem has changed my life. Zack thank you very much for this review and for being absolutely honest about everything you write.

    And after few years of just thinking about 365 project I finally start it, all the pictures except one (yea the battery in X100 really sucks) were taken with X100. URL: http://365project.org/zanoskar/365

    Br,
    Primoz

  • Mark Clark said on January 16, 2012

    Hi Zack. I’m looking for some ideas regarding an off-camera lighting setup. Nothing fancy, just my X100 and a handheld flash. Any ideas? Thanks!

  • JoeOz said on January 20, 2012

    Zack,

    Got one for Christmas and I have to agree with you. Astounding results great IQ. Have a G11 and this camera blows it away completely (tho a lot more pricey). Sure the X-Pro 1 gets announced right after I get this as a gift, but honestly my X-100 is now my street camera, and I really don’t want to mess around changing lenses when I’m shooting street. If I have a shooting scenario that requires lens selections I’ll use my 5D MKII. Thanks for the review as it helped my significant other make the best Xmas gift choice :-)

  • Cyclopedia Brown said on January 23, 2012

    The sticky blades problem is the only issue preventing me from going with the X100. Fuji really should make a public statement about this issue to let people know whether they have the situation under control or not. Reoccurring sticky blades makes me think that Fuji hasn’t gotten it handled yet.

    So what do you think about the X-Pro1 as an alternative, Zack?

  • Zack said on January 23, 2012

    @Cyclopedia – I’m in love with the X-Pro1 and I haven’t even set eyes on one yet. :)

  • John Kobeck said on January 29, 2012

    Nice review. This sounds like the perfect digital camera for a film shooter

  • Wayne Pownall said on February 6, 2012

    What’s going on here? Buy the X100 go on holidays and the infamous sticky blades problem crops up. What is the solution if you’re in a foreign country? This possibility is stopping me from buying the camera! Any ideas?

  • Jesse said on February 10, 2012

    This may just be the most awesome review I’ve ever read. Best quote ever -> “They aren’t hand crafted by leprechauns.”

  • johanlm said on February 11, 2012

    Thanks for the great review. I think I have read a bibles worth of reviews and forum posts about this camera, and there has been a l o t of “whining” all over. I saw this camera by a fluke in a shopping window in my town Gothenburg/Sweden and been researching about it ever since. Much since I just “the love” of taking pictures for a good while. I have a now dusty D200 and a bunch of lenses, but I have been taking less and less photos the more lenses I got.
    Really wanted a camera that I cannot upgrade, zoom and just get “out there”. This seems like a very good match for me. So thanks for the nontechnical review/feedback/thoughts about it. It kinda feels “Johan got his groove back” since I’m looking for my craditcard while I’m typing this. ;)

  • johanlm said on February 11, 2012

    Much since I just “the love” of taking pictures for a good while.
    >
    Much since I just LOST “the love” of taking pictures for a good while.

    :p

  • matt the photographer said on February 19, 2012

    and you didnt mention that you can put a 46mm lens cap on the end of the camera when you want to pack it a way and not worry about your filter breaking. fits great.

  • fireblade said on February 25, 2012

    one of the best reviews i have read on a camera…..and i dont own the X100.

  • Jeff said on February 26, 2012

    Zack
    You weren’t kidding! The X100 is a beautiful piece of photographic equipment. I drove four hours (each way) to purchase one today. I am just in love with this camera! Its like learning to make photographs all over again. Fantastic! I am having a blast.

    Best,
    Jeff

  • Melvin said on February 27, 2012

    Thank you Zack. After reading your post and many more weeks of research through forums and comparing with other cameras (e.g., m43 vs NEX), I decided to try the X100 instead, despite the scare of sticky aperture blades.

    I haven’t had the chance to go out and shoot much yet (winter), but I’m enjoying the experience of the camera with its warts and all. It was a significant upgrade from my Panasonic LX5.

  • Kevin Laycock said on March 1, 2012

    Fantastic review! It answered all the questions that I had about using the camera and none of the ones that would never had occurred to me (e.g. questions answered by interactive graphics with words like Nyquist and chroma and aberration on it.)

    Look forward to your take on the X-Pro 1. Any chance of a few words about the X10 you got for your wife? How is she liking it?

    Thanks

    Kevin

  • Ian said on March 10, 2012

    Great review, I think every photographer needs 3 to 4 cameras. I have a 5d mark11, Leica M8, Mamiya RZ and the X100 the later being the first to grab without thinking to much for all conditions. I don’t even think the so called quirks are a problem just read the manual first, again great review.

  • JT said on March 12, 2012

    I’m dying to get my hands on the x100 as I already have the x10 and absolutely love it.

    I know some folks have had problems but my style of shooting obviously hasn’t brought them to light yet and I can’t say I’d be too bothered anyway.

    The x10 is the first camera since my trusty old Olympus OM1 that has actually made me want to go out and take photos ALL THE F*CKING TIME! It has so much soul and I just love it even more for its quirks. I originally bought the G12 but returned it in favour of the x10. The G12 was nice but it just didn’t fit the bill for me, not enough character. The x10 is a great little camera and the build quality is phenomenal. I’m officially in love.

    Hopefully it won’t be long before before I can get my hands on the x100. I can seriously see me sticking with the X series for a while.

  • Frakus said on March 15, 2012

    Just to let you know that your enthusiasm and photography has helped me decide on taking the plunge and buying the X100. Im extremely excited and await a big learning curve ahead. I hope im up to the task.

  • SJM said on March 17, 2012

    Hi Zack
    Quick question…do you find that altering the size of the AF area helps the camera focus better at all? Love the camera, but when the thing doesn’t want to focus and or ridged, all red, garage door, I get a little mad :)

  • Zack said on March 18, 2012

    @SJM – I do find that altering the size of the AF area can help lock focus better but you need to be in decent light.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • SJM said on March 18, 2012

    Thanks for the reply. In my scenario it was middle of the day with overcast skies. Thought that good enough.
    Like I said, the IQ is awesome, just don’t feel like I can trust AF. It is kind of a hassle to checking the range, altering AF area size, switching to MF/AFL when the AF bails etc…But most of all, missing shots! For me personally, I cannot get past the bad AF.

    I went out shooting with my old Nikon D60 and was much more secure…all i was thinking about was getting interesting shots rather than “did I nail the focus?”. Sure, it’s less stealthy, but other than that, I don’t mind just going out with a DSLR and 35/50 prime. Feels about the same as taking the Fuji out. I think I might just sell the Fuji and update to a better DSLR at this point. I’ll be back on board if next gen fixes the AF.

  • Paul Treacy said on March 21, 2012

    I’m a fellow pro and street photographer and this little camera is an absolute gem. If they would make two more, one with wider and one with longer lens, I’d use them exclusively. For events, it works great with off camera small Nikon SB600 manual flash. Brilliant plus plus!

  • Kelly said on March 21, 2012

    great review – definitely up the top of my shopping list now

  • Jon said on March 21, 2012

    Fujifilm posted the v1.20 firmware upgrade…everyone who wanted a programmable raw button will be happy. Some other nice tweaks included. I’m glad to see them keeping the X100 on their firmware upgrade radar.

  • Jon said on March 22, 2012

    In my previous comment, I was so excited about the v1.20 firmware upgrade release (that tells you a lot about me right there, doesn’t it?) that I forgot to mention that I am also very grateful for your review of the X100 as it heavily influenced my decision to buy one recently. I initially thought your opening statement was ludicrous (“greatest digital camera ever”), but after only a short while using it (and having read a good chunk of the manual) I am in agreement! The image quality is simply incredible. I don’t know how they did it, but maybe the absence of a low-pass filter is partially the reason, though I have seen no confirmation of this. And I swore I would never again buy a cropped sensor camera after using a D700 for almost 3 years, but here I am, having sold the D700 a couple of months ago in anticipation of the D800, and now I’m not sure I want anything else but this outstanding picture taking machine.

    Thanks for the excellent and honest review!

  • John Barkiple said on March 22, 2012

    Your crazy enthusiasm for the x100 convinced me to try it out. After an hour, I’m still pleased with my decision. It’s super. On a whim, I upgraded the firmware to 1.20, and I immediately noticed that the RAW button is now programmable within the Fn button menu. I picked self-timer, but feel free to leave it like it is.

  • DaStar said on March 23, 2012

    A few months back after i read your review i was just f*** it i’ll buy it. I was already researching this camera for weeks and your review was the last one i read before deciding to invest my hard earned money for a x100. Now two months later i couldn’t be happier with my decision. A lovely camera. The 5D MKII is collecting dust. I don’t need it. I don’t need 5 different lenses. I just need the x100 and some spare time to walk the streets of my city and do what i loved to do. Take pictures. Thank you Zack. Looking forward to your India pictures and the X-Pro 1 recap :)

  • Mike McFarlane said on March 27, 2012

    A nice fun review, full of love for the camera, photography and life, but still honest.
    If you liked the camera before, firmware 1.20 will blow you away:-)

  • William Miller said on March 30, 2012

    My x100 is very much like a three year old child. It is sometimes ill-behaved and and frustrating. But if someone tried to take it away from me, I would kill them.

  • Zack said on April 11, 2012

    @William – Ha! Perfect!

  • Dougbm said on March 31, 2012

    The 1.20 firmware makes a big difference to auto focus speed and even to start up times. And of course the RAW button is finally programable. And the auto ISO menu now is part of the ISO menu selection in the shooting menu rather than in the middle of the setup menu. All much better and fixes most of the gripes. My love affair continues after a year with the camera. I do however wish for a 24-105 (35mm equivalent) zoom on it. But then it would be bulkier and IQ not as stellar.

  • Ronny said on April 10, 2012

    Ive been saving up for a Leica m9. Now I just put in an order for a x100 some sd cards and a shitload of np95´s. The rest of the money I used to buy a lens for my 5dmkII and a dinner with my wife. Thanks… you always give the most logical advice.

  • Travis Alex said on April 11, 2012

    I too, like many others, love taking photos wherever I go, but can not stand having to lug the SLR around hours at a time…I worry about smacking it on things, dropping it, getting dirt and junk all in the censor when switching lenses…it’s a mess. I love my D700 & D7000, but I would love to have something more compact for my “snap shot type work”

    This is a magical review…thank you for sharing this with all of us…this camera is on my possible future wish list.

  • Aileen said on April 11, 2012

    hey Zack, when you updated your firmware, did you notice that the adjusted focal point disappeared? it’s still an option, and i have it selected to use it, but instead of getting the 2 rectangles, i just keep getting the cross in the middle. has anyone else had this problem that you know of? thoughts on how to fix it? Cheers, Aileen

  • Zack said on April 11, 2012

    @Aileen – Make sure you’re not on continuous focus mode.

  • aileen said on April 11, 2012

    ahh, thank you. i’ll check that.

  • Scott said on April 13, 2012

    I’ve had my X100 for almost a year. I haven’t sold it because I REALLY want to like it, but along with all the “normal” issues, I’ve never gotten the great colors that others talk about. I normally keep the exposure compensation on minus 2/3 to minus 1; otherwise all the highlights are blown, colors washed out.

    But here’s the new problem: I installed 1.20, then 1.21, and now the aperture stops down to match the light, without half-pressing the shutter button, so in daylight the EVF is so dark I can’t see much of anything. Did it do this before? I don’t remember noticing, but I don’t think so.

    It’s possible that the firmware update reset a setting that I’m not aware of.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Or was the camera doing it all along and I just didn’t notice?

    Also, what are the symptoms of the “sticky shutter” syndrome? Maybe I need to send the camera to Fuji for repair?

  • Zack said on April 14, 2012

    @Scott – I haven’t found that setting the exp. comp. to one setting to be an overall fix. I ride that dial constantly depending on the scene in front of me. I’ve learned how it typically meters situations and try to anticipate the exposure.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Scott said on April 13, 2012

    Oh. Also with 1.20/1.21, the ISO and Auto ISO Control are back to being on separate menus. Didn’t they fix this once already?

  • Scott said on April 14, 2012

    Oops. ISO Auto Control is in a sub menu under ISO on the shooting menu.

    What confused me is that ISO Auto Control ALSO appears (alone) on the Setup Menu.

    Dumb mistake on my part.

    Feel free to delete this comment, and my second one above, if you wish. (But I’d still like to hear about the dark- viewfinder-in-sunlight question.

  • Zack said on April 14, 2012

    @Scott – I haven’t found the dark viewfinder problem. Maybe it’s something that needs to be fixed on your cam?

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • jeremy said on April 17, 2012

    Zach.. great review and great work!

    I have an opportunity to shoot an indoor arena concert closeup with my x100.
    I’ve never shot a live performance in low light conditions before.
    Any quick tips or suggestions on greating great shots with the x100 in that environment?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Best-Jeremy

  • Zack said on April 17, 2012

    @Jeremy – Never shot live in low light? Shooting with an x100? Pray, pray, pray. :)

    Put it in manual focus and zone focus at the distance you need and work within that range. You’ll see your zone measurement in the EVF.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • jeremy said on April 17, 2012

    ha. thanks for the tip.
    lets hope my prayers are answered.
    cheers!

  • Greg Barth said on April 18, 2012

    Ah, Zack the camera salesman. I’m not sure how many of these you sold but add my name to the list.

    Oddly enough the quirks are what sold me. If something is too easy I will not spend the effort to really get to know it. I have tried various film and digital cameras as a “constant companion camera.” Hopefully this is the right combination of size, control and quirks to keep me entertained for a while.

  • Raymond Masse said on April 24, 2012

    The worst auto-focus of all time. Completely useless to let it on this function for street photography. Once at sleep, if you want to turn it on for an instant snap, forget it. You will miss your shot. Years behind the simple use of manual focus Leica lens. Very fragile, due to it’s lightness … no feel at all you’re handling something. The price-tag makes it interesting at first glance, but the very, very annoying weaknesses makes it a leave at home, for nerves’ sake.

  • mark said on May 2, 2012

    It’s great that you can recognize the things you dislike, and even compare it to other cameras you see as better cameras. Correct if wrong, but there is perhaps some indefinable thing about this camera that meshes with what your shooting esthetic is at this point in time, or more broadly , where you are at as a person at this time of your life. And as such, the camera might be considered a metaphor for the niche esthetic that at present defines you as an image maker.

  • Zack said on May 7, 2012

    @Mark – Well seen and well said. I have to agree.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • MARK BOLTON said on May 2, 2012

    great review, and many thanks… am loving this little camera, and have posted short review here… will add more! Mark
    http://www.markboltonphotography.co.uk/fuji-x100-on-the-allotment/

  • David Hobby said on May 4, 2012

    Zack-

    I am two weeks in, and it has become my constant companion. I love this camera. Headed to UK in June with the family. This is the only camera I am bringing. Not even a flash.

    Quirky? A little.

    Does it have a soul? Absolutely.

  • Mark T said on May 5, 2012

    Zack

    Great review – based (mainly) on your review, I went out and picked up my X100 today. Love it so far! Great looks, great IQ, and it just feels “right”. I also tried the G1X (I’m a Canon shooter, so have some brand loyalty), but it was totally soulless compared to the X100.

    Thanks again for your write up – you should be picking up commission cheques from Fuji for all the cameras you’ve helped sell!

    Mark.

  • David said on May 14, 2012

    Hey Zack,

    Your review of the X100 is one of the things that made me buy it. I absolutely LOVE it, despite its quirks.

    I hope you don’t mind me posting this here, but I posted a review and lots of real life full-size images to download (at all sorts of apertures, ISO settings etc) on my site:
    http://www.frescoglobe.com/2012/05/14/fuji-x100-hands-on-review/

    For street photography, landscapes and portraits it is just brilliant. Amazing colour, white balance and sharpness every single time. The manual controls are great too – you feel more “in touch” turning the aperture ring than scrolling a wheel and looking at an LCD like with a dSLR.

  • hawkins said on May 25, 2012

    found a bombproof lens cap from ace hardware part 4094702 sku 8290103820. fits over the fuji thread cover and both filter rings perfectly. nice soft cushy rubber. less than $5.00!
    http://db.tt/5gduHI3J
    http://db.tt/5YGGYJny

  • Gerald Gonzales said on June 11, 2012

    Greatest review ever for the greatest camera ever?

    Fuji owes you money … I just bought one and YOU sold it to me better than they ever could.

    PS How do you feel about the X100 after you’ve had the XPro-1 for awhile now?

  • Chris said on June 14, 2012

    Yep. You sold it to me too.
    So I bought one yesterday.

    Can’t believe I hesitated! With the new firmware there seems to be no glitches at all.

    I freakin’ LOVE it.

  • ajira said on July 16, 2012

    Thanks for making me want the x100 even more than I did already. Bah. Frankly, the squirrel picture is awesome. :D

    I’d definitely be interested in why you left Flickr for 500px. Mostly because I’ve never been a huge fan of Flickr… always felt SO awkward to use…. and I like 500px but have not been using it regularly. At all. So… curious. Please share.

  • Matteo said on July 18, 2012

    thanks for sharing,
    mine is coming !
    Matteo

  • Julie said on July 20, 2012

    Great review Zack
    I’ve had this little gem of a camera since November and still love it to bits. I also have a 5DII and an Olympus pen but the X100 in some ways is my favourite camera. I’m heading to UK in August and hoping and praying the sticky blade syndrome wont turn up, so far no sign of it for me, maybe I’m just lucky.
    Julie

  • Rex said on July 23, 2012

    Well, you sold me on it and I tried it out between December ’11 and July ’12. But the x100 was re-sold in the end for a bit over half the money I spent on it. It was just too slow, too quirky for me and the way I shoot. So now I’ve opted for a smaller sensor tool with a faster and far more reliable auto-focus, (the manual is fun too). Finally, the x100 attracted too much attention to me when I was trying to blend in and let the world move around me.

    I’ll keep an eye out for an x200. I’m hoping Fuji releases a fully finished and furnished product.

  • Brad Wieland said on July 24, 2012

    Zack, I already hate Flickr, but I’d like to know what you love about 500px.com. Thanks!

  • Thomas Byg said on July 25, 2012

    Thanks for the article on the X100…great review…after 5 ebay auctions I finally snagged one…great condition…such a great camera. I grew up around Voigtlanders and this has the same feel.

    Tom

  • Seth said on July 28, 2012

    Hi Zack, long time reader, first time writer … I’ve finally broken in my X-Pro1 and I now love it (for a while I didn’t think I could ever get to this point!). My question is, how much of an adjustment will I need to make to go from using the X-Pro1 to the X100? My reason for buying the x100 is 1) built in flash, 2) it’s lighter and more compact, and 3) it’s on sale! Will it seem slower, harder to handle, less responsive, etc. compared to the X-Pro1? Thanks in advance. Love the blog!

    Seth

  • Zack said on July 30, 2012

    @Seth – The thing that trips me up most bouncing between the two is the AF area selector and view mode buttons. Other than that, they are similar. The x-100 feels a slight bit faster actually. They’ve had more time to tweak it. Rumor on the Internets is the x200 is getting announced at Photokina. I have ZERO insider information with them. I’ve never signed an NDA or the like so I only get my info from the web. But that’s the rumor. Excited to see what they do with it if that’s the case.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • David said on July 29, 2012

    Agree. This camera is unbelievably sharp and has amazing contrast and dynamic range. Shoot raw as sometime the jpegs can be a little flat. I had a 60d, but thinking of selling that now. Forget dslr unless you absolutely need fast zooms, which rules out 99% of us. For most sports within 100m the camera is so sharp it crops extremely well. Agree too with your x200 specs – the perfect camera!

  • Robert Meredith said on August 1, 2012

    Hey Zack, read this review a a number of times over the last year or so and love you and your style. Just took delivery of my X100 on Monday (the same day the rumours of the X200 started. Ha!) and I’m really looking forward to testingit out and having a camera to carry with me everywhere. Ordered a 16Gb SD card, but for the time being I may stick with an old, SLOOOOOW 1Gb card that only holds about 60 shots. Kind of as an experiment to force me to slow down & really think about the shots I take.
    Great review you did of the XPro-1 also and can’t wait to hear your view on the X200 or whatever else Fuji have up the sleeve. In fact I’d read your reviews of anything as you tell it like it is. Thanks for being so inspiring big guy! x

  • Rena said on August 24, 2012

    Hi Zack :)
    This may be a stupid question, but, so there’s no zoom function?? I would LOVE this camera, but I feel like being able to zoom seems so important since that what I’ve always had. I wanna get a lighter camera (instead of a DSLR) to take on vacation and trips and stuff, but from my minimal understanding of photography, wouldn’t zoom be kinda important? Please adviseeeee.

  • Zack said on August 25, 2012

    No zoom. It’s awesome just like it is. You can zoom with your feet. :)

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Oli said on September 10, 2012

    Hi Zack, I have been tempted by the X100 for some time. I read a review by a ‘professional’ who said the camera wasn’t suitable for pro use as only 60% of shots were in focus. I understand speed of focus might be a problem for some, but accuracy? Would you hesitate to use it for a suitable ‘paid’ job. Cheers.

  • Zack said on September 19, 2012

    @Oli – Not at all. I’ve used it on jobs. You have to learn the camera. You have to get a feel for what it wants to focus on and give it that. Once you know it, the amount of usable shots goes up.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Perry said on October 4, 2012

    Great review.

    Somethings can not be summed up with numbers and this camera is one. I get goose bumps from 1/20 photos from this camera. With my pro-sumer SLR I get this in maybe 1 in 100 or less and that has been improving over the years. I can not define it but I get soo many more “maybe I am a good photographer?” photos with the X100.

    It is however a Love/Hate relationship. She is in with Fuji as I write this having the shutter replaced. Luckily the over exposure from the sticky shutter was intermittent so I have seen how it should/can take photos.

    My two main issues were inconsistent exposure and unreliable focus. I hope and expect having the shutter replaced will fix the exposure problem. For some reason it occurred in batches and the periods when it wasn’t happening I have multiple photos that just astound me. (When it is happening you can check the problem by setting F16 and watch the aperture with a half press of the shutter release. The size will not be consistent if the shutter is sticking)

    The focus problem was an easy fix once I worked it out. Just shrink the size focus area so it focuses on a more precise point, it seems to focus on the highest contrast section of the focus area which does not make sense as often the back ground is in focus. Maybe firmware updates have helped this as well as my fix??

    The menu system is definitely getting better with firmware updates and the original complaints of this are are largely irrelevant now.

    I hear rumors of X200 or whatever it will be called but other than waiting for this, stop making excuses, just find the money and buy one.

    Click.

  • JeffP said on October 6, 2012

    Hey Zack, Great review on the X100. My question to you is if you were buying a camera now would you choose the X100 or XE-1? My main issue is the XE-1 does not have the OVF. I have tried the nex7 and hated the EVF.Which VF do you find yourself using more? I like the idea of a small camera but there are advantages to be able to change lenses.
    Thank you,Jeff

  • Wilson said on October 12, 2012

    Hi Zack,

    I did not know about the bad debacle that Scott Kelby has introduced last year August with regards to the X100 until I signed up for his Worldwide Photowalk this year. Yes it was pretty bad as people was still talking about it now.

    nearly 2 years since the X100 announcement, I still got this to say. I am totally with you on the first paragraph of your review. This is after I have done my photo walk through Prague and Bratislava and more than 80% of the shots is basically from the X100 rather from the DSLR that I brought along.

    Thanks for this interesting read and further my motivation to prove to the community that the x100 has more than what it lead one to believe.

  • Bhupinder said on October 20, 2012

    Hi Zack. . I loved this review and X100 is a great camera but ……but you need to know more about MFT which is my primary system. OMD and GH3 are kicking butts of FF sensor cameras . OMD has surpassed Canon FF 5DMII in DR and is up there as far as high ISO performance is concerned . MFT has the best native lens line up. Photographer like you lose credibility and seem just below medicore when they pass comments like that – m4/3 is a failure because of small sensor ? small sensor really ? OMD is a better performer than many of available APS-C sensors there in the maker. So please buy an OMD and see how your views change . Visit http://www.mu-43.com to see whats happening my friend .

  • Zack said on October 23, 2012

    Bhupinder – I’ve shot with them… still choose the Fuji. There’s more to a camera than specs.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Adam Boyd said on October 20, 2012

    Hey, I am a new follower of your blog and I really enjoy what I read, it is very helpful. I am just getting serious in the photography world and I really like what I see about the x100 from your review and others I have read and this seem like a great tool for me to learn on since it only has the one focal lengths and full manual controls. But I have stumbled on to a good price on a Sony a 65 and a 57 and now kind of torn unless you can sway me other wise. I am leaning still towards the x100 because of the size and what I mentioned before, just need a second opinion.
    Thanks, ARBoyd

  • yamaha83 said on October 23, 2012

    if changing lenses is not something you need, get the X100 Adam Boyd

  • turnpike said on October 25, 2012

    Zack, just got myself an x100. It’s a world away from my heavy gear but that’s exactly what I wanted. You’re style of writing it about the most to the point no nonsense usefull stuff I’ve ever seen. Thanks! Especially the bit about EVF focusing better close range.

  • turnpike said on October 25, 2012

    P.S. Any chance of an “edit your comment” feature here? My typos and grammar are appalling! :-)

  • Alan Frank said on November 3, 2012

    Dear Zack, Thanks for the write up on the X100. I cut my teeth using a Leica IIIF with a 35 Summaron so most of the “idiosyncracies” of today’s digital cameras are easily overcome. I’m still working through how the X100 reacts. I’m finding I like the Astia better than the Provia setting (personal preference). One thing I did notice is that there seems to be about a one stop difference between the “average” and “pattern” meter settings. Again, thanks for “using” the camera and not “measuring” it. Regards, Alan

  • Al Downie said on November 12, 2012

    For years I’d been looking for a compact digital camera that offered traditional controls; it seemed like a lost cause until I learned about Fuji’s X series and I knew I must have one. However, I only learned about them after the X-Pro and X-E1 were introduced, and I spent a MONTH agonising over every review, spec-sheet, package deal I could find, and still couldn’t make up my mind which was the right one for me. Then I read your reviews! Thanks very much for providing *exactly* what I needed to read. I received my X100 a week ago and have been astonished and in love with it ever since. Cheers, Al.

  • Jan Ros ( Netherlands) said on December 5, 2012

    Dear Zack,
    I am in my seventies, and started to take pictures at age 12, shooting black and white, developing in Rodinal and printing on a home made enlarger. I used many different 35 mm camera’s, like Leica IIIG , contax, Nikon FM, FE, F2A, Olympus OM 2N etc. etc.
    I have a Nikon D7000, a fabulous camera, but …….I now own a Fuji X100 and just love this little monster. It is just like using a 35 mm film camera. Great to set the shutterspeed dial AND diaphragm ring for just that shutter speed and depth of field I want AND let the AUTO ISO figure out the correct exposure (a major difference with fixed ISO rating of film). GREAT STUFF THIS X100

    just want to use this wonderful little X100

  • Oli said on December 12, 2012

    Hi Zack
    I’ve joined the party rather late and against the wife’s better judgement bought a X100. The shutter is indeed very quiet, but I was somewhat surprised by the noise of the focus motor. Maybe I’m being picky or have a duff copy, but hoped it would be more subtle. That squirrel won’t hear the click but he might hear the whir!;)

  • Zack said on December 14, 2012

    Oli – Focus noise? It’s sooooooooo subtle and quiet! I’d maybe find another x100 and check your sound to the other one.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • Steve said on December 14, 2012

    Hey Zack,

    Great review, thanks really nice to read !
    Have you heard about the successor of the X100 coming (still a rumor) in early 2013 ? It’s supposed to have a x-trans sensor just like xpro/xe1, any thoughts on that matter ?

    Cheers man, keep up the good work

  • Philip said on December 17, 2012

    Great review Zack! I really want this camera but i am really concerned about the “sticky aperture” problem. Has this happened to you yet? Do you think this is a lasting camera? I really want something i can “grow” with!

    Cheers,
    Phil

  • Zack said on December 19, 2012

    I did have that pop up on me. They fixed it.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • evan lavine said on December 21, 2012

    I love my x100. I agree with all your points. Stopped taking photos because I got tired of lugging my 5D II around. Now I can’t keep up with the amount of photos I need to library and work on. I didn’t want to compensate quality for convenience (why bother)- this is the camera that fits the bill my friend.

    Good reviews, well written. Thanks for sharing

    Cheers,
    Evan

  • Jann said on December 22, 2012

    Dear Zack, your pictures are of highest quality. You are to blame I bought the X100… and I have never regretted it a second. As you say, this camera is much more than the spec sheet. I used it in the Château Chenonceau, one of the greatest place for taking pics. And the X100 just sang… I have all cameras disposable. And the X100 with the 35mm equivalent just makes it. EVERY TIME! Fuji was crazy to push out that model. And yes, I am not buying one of their newer models (xpro etc). X100 is perfection, as simple as this.

  • Joachim Vaturi said on January 6, 2013

    Hey Zack,
    Insane review! I was about to buy a used x100 for $600 (amazing deal) thanks to you and your passion for that camera when I saw that Fuji was releasing the x100s.
    I thought you’d be interested to hear about it (if you haven’t already) since you love your x100 so much.
    Fuji has disabled its release on its website, but fujirumors.com has the statement (http://www.fujirumors.com/no-more-secrets-x-100s-complete-press-release/)
    I copy-pasted the statement.
    Hope you can get your hands on one as soon as possible and give us another inspiring review!
    Thanks, -Joachim
    X-100S

    Two years ago, FUJIFILM launched the prestigious X100 with a FUJINON 23mm f/2 fixed prime lens and superb image quality, in a beautifully designed compact camera body. Its unique style and international acclaim has carved out a niche for a new genre of Premium Compact Camera, designed in pursuit of optimum operability. Today, FUJIFILM is proud to announce the launch of the FUJIFILM X100S, the successor to the FUJIFILM X100, inheriting its elegant design and high-performance lens, whilst evolving further to meet customers’ demands with the introduction of a higher-definition Hybrid Viewfinder and a new sensor and processor.

    The X100S has the ability to capture high resolution images, comparable to those taken on full-frame sensors. This is down to a combination of its newly-developed 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and EXR Processor II, which together increase resolution by approx. 25% (*2) and reduce noise by more than 30% (*3). Clear images with minimal graininess, even at high ISO settings, can also be produced, thanks to the removal of the optical low pass filter and the introduction of a more powerful processor.

    The newly-developed X-Trans CMOS II sensor has built-in Phase Detection pixels which provide the X100S with the world’s fastest AF in as little as 0.08 seconds (*1). Additionally, the EXR Processor II offers very speedy response times with a start-up time of approx. 0.5 seconds (*4), and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds. Plus with its shutter time lag of only 0.01 seconds, it allows you to react quickly and capture each precise moment you want to with no missed photo opportunities.

    Also new to the FUJIFILM X100S is the world’s first (*5) “Digital Split Image” feature, which displays dual images on the left and right to be lined up for manual focusing. This enables accurate focusing especially when working with an open aperture or macro shooting. What’s more there is a handy Focus Peak Highlight function, which shows you precisely which area of your composition is in focus.

    Depending on the subject and scene, users can switch between two viewfinder options: optical or electronic. The Optical Viewfinder (OVF) is useful when users want to see their subject in the same bright clarity that they see with the naked eye, or when time lag is an issue. The high resolution 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) is useful when you want to be able to visually check focus, exposure, white balance and depth of field whilst composing the shot.

    Main Features

    (1) Sensor performance comparable to full-frame output

    The X100S features FUJIFILM’s newly-developed 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor with a unique, highly randomised, colour filter arrangement. The benefit of the new array is the elimination of the need for an optical low-pass filter; these are used in conventional sensors to reduce false colour and moiré effects but they also reduce image resolution. The removal of the optical low-pass filter allows the X-Trans CMOS II sensor to maximise the light it receives directly, enabling users to capture much finer detail and optimise resolution levels.

    The X100S uses a Lens Modulation Optimiser to reduce optical effects such as lens diffraction, which occurs when light passes through a lens. Even when stopped down to f/16, the X100S retains sharpness and texture in the smallest details, demonstrating the extent of the sensor and lens combination’s capabilities, perfectly.

    The excellent sensitivity of the X-Trans CMOS II sensor is coupled with the new EXR Processor II’s advanced signal processing capacity, which can reduce noise by more than 30% (*2) compared to its predecessor. Even when shooting in low-light, at a high ISO setting, the FUJIFILM X100S will produce crisp images with minimal grain.

    (2) The World’s fastest Auto Focus and High-speed EXR Processing

    With built-in Phase Detection, the X100S offers the world’s fastest AF speed of just 0.08 seconds(*1). The Intelligent Hybrid AF can switch to Contrast AF, dependent on the demands of the subject or scene, to ensure that the camera always auto-focuses quickly and with precision.

    The EXR Processor II delivers processing speeds twice that of FUJIFILM’s previous generation processor (*6). The fast responses result in an impressive start-up time of approx. 0.5 seconds (*4), and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds. In addition the X100S delivers a burst shooting rate of up to 6 frames per second (max. 29 frames) at the full resolution of 16.3 megapixels and the shutter time lag is a mere 0.01 seconds.

    (3) Enhanced manual focus performance with the world’s first (*5) ‘Digital Split Image’ display

    Making use of the built-in phase detection pixels for AF action, the X100S is the world’s first (*5) camera to offer a “Digital Split Image” feature, which displays dual images on the left and right to be lined up for manual focusing. This enables accurate focusing especially when working with an open aperture or macro shooting.

    In addition, the X100S offers a handy Focus Peak Highlight function, which emphasises the outline of the subject focus plane. It provides the photographer with a guide, even in situations where it is difficult to calculate focusing accuracy, allowing users to enjoy manual focusing comfortably, however challenging the conditions.

    (4) Premium Hybrid Viewfinder for easy image composition

    Offering users freedom when composing photos and adaptability for a range of shooting conditions, the X100S’s Hybrid Viewfinder combines both an Optical and an Electronic Viewfinder.

    The electronic viewfinder uses a 100% coverage, extra high resolution, 2,360K-dot High Definition LCD panel. It shows depth-of-field during macro shooting, as well as white balance settings, allowing users to accurately compose their shot while continuously looking through the viewfinder.

    The premium quality optical viewfinder offers an easy-to-see magnification of 0.5 at a 23mm focal length and a horizontal apparent field of view of 26 degrees. The all-glass construction uses high-refractive index glass to minimise chromatic aberrations and distortion.

    While in the optical viewfinder mode, users can make adjustments to shutter speed, aperture, ISO and other settings without having to take their eye off the viewfinder. The shooting frame (Bright Frame) and text brightness automatically adjust according to the ambient light available, to ensure that the information on the display is easy to see at all times.

    The system features an OVF Power Save mode, which activates the power-saving function in the optical viewfinder mode to double the maximum number of images per full charge from 300 (*7) in normal operation.

    With FUJINON’s proprietary coating, the viewfinder cleverly resists fingerprints and can easily be wiped clean, so that users can enjoy the optical viewfinder’s clear display without compromise.

    (5) FUJINON 23mm f/2 lens offering premium image quality in a compact body

    Specifically designed for this model, the FUJINON 23mm f/2 Single Focal Length Lens has a fixed angle of incidence of light into the lens, which facilitates optimum optical design. Taking full advantage of this, the X100S demonstrates advanced levels of image clarity, not only in the centre of the image, but also through to the edges of the photo. The versatile focal length of 35mm (*8) delivers an angle of view ideal for a diverse range of subjects and scenes.

    The lens consists of 8 elements in 6 groups, and includes a high-performance double-sided aspherical element and highly-refractive converging glass elements, which deliver a high level of detailed performance with minimal aberration, excellent sharpness and beautiful colour reproduction. Moreover, FUJINON’s proprietary HT-EBC coating is applied to effectively control image flares and ghosting.

    Other benefits of this lens are the beautiful, soft, round-shaped Bokeh that is produced from the 9 blade lens diaphragm. In addition the lens allows you to get as close as 10cm from your subject in macro mode for stunning close-up shots. And its built-in 3-stop ND filter enables blurring of the background in portraits, or applies a gorgeous creamy look to flowing water even in a bright setting.

    (6) Elegant design and sophisticated functionality

    The front of the X100S proudly bares the letter “S” as confirmation of its extensive evolution from the FUJIFILM X100. Down to the tiniest detail, the premium build and feel of the X100 is continued in the X100S. FUJIFILM’s top quality Japanese engineering is evident from the high precision components used and the perfectly optimised body.

    The X100S’s top and base parts are made of magnesium alloy to achieve a lightweight, resilient, yet delicate design. A specially-formulated coating is applied to give its surface a steel look for an added premium feel. All the dials and rings have been milled from solid metal, with attention paid to the finer details such as finger grips and enhanced operability. The exterior is finished with synthetic leather, which is durable and resilient to the environment yet reproduces the texture of real leather, while still offering the practical benefits of additional grip and comfort.

    The layout of the dials and rings allow users to operate the aperture ring on the lens with their left hand, and the shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial on the top panel with their right hand, meaning all the settings can be adjusted comfortably without having to take your eye off the viewfinder. And to make you feel even more at home, you can even customise your shutter sound by choosing between the four different sounds available: Lens Shutter, Focal Plane Shutter, Mirror Up and Silent Shutter.

    The menu system has been also updated to incorporate a Q “Quick” button which allows you to quickly call up frequently-used menu items such as ISO setting and Film Simulation modes. In addition, the Fn (Function) button allows users to assign functions frequently used while shooting, for convenient use at the touch of a button.

    (7) Artistic photography

    The X100S features FUJIFILM’s proprietary ‘Film Simulation Modes’. Users can choose from ten simulation options which replicate the results achieved by FUJIFILM colour reversal films (Velvia / PROVIA / ASTIA), professional colour negative films (PRO Neg. Std / PRO Neg. Hi), monochrome filters (MONOCHROME, Ye filter, R filter and G filter) and SEPIA.

    Also available on the X100S is the Advanced Filter function; users can choose from 8 different artistic effects which can be previewed on the LCD screen:

    Pop Colour – great for boosting contrast and colour saturation

    Toy Camera – create shaded borders as if you were taking a photo on a toy camera

    Miniature – adds top and bottom blur for a diorama or miniature effect

    Dynamic Tone – create a fantasy effect by dynamically-modulated tonal reproduction

    Partial Colour – highlights one colour and leaves the rest of the image in black and white (choose from red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple)

    High Key – enhances brightness and reduces contrast to lighten tonal reproduction

    Low Key – create uniformly dark tones with few areas of emphasised highlights.

    Soft Focus – blurs the focus of the image edges to create a softer effect

    In addition a Multiple Exposure function enables users to combine two separate images together for special creative effects. And for greater artistic freedom, the aspect ratio can be selected from 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1 (square) to accommodate a wide range of photographic styles.

    (8) Full HD Video Shooting

    The X100S can shoot at 60fps during Full HD video recording (1920 x 1080) for very smooth video capture. Plus shooting at the high bit-rate of 36Mbps will result in reduced noise and enhanced image quality that reveals every detail, from individual leaves in the trees, to subtle changes in facial expression. During video recording, users have access to many of the additional modes available in still image capture. Film Simulation modes can be used, White Balance settings can be adjusted, you can even make the most of the fast lens to produce beautiful bokeh and also operate the Intelligent Hybrid AF for high-speed and high-precision focusing.

    (9) FUJIFILM X100S Key features list:

    · 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor

    · EXR Processor II

    · High Definition Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)

    · FUJINON 23mm f/2 lens

    · Intelligent Hybrid AF (with the world’s fastest AF speed of 0.08 secs (*1))

    · Start-up time of 0.5 secs (*4)

    · Shutter time lag of 0.01 secs

    · Shooting interval of 0.5 secs

    · High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8-inch Premium Clear LCD (460K dots)

    · Super Intelligent Flash

    · Burst shooting rate of up to 6 frames per second at full resolution (max. 29 frames)

    · Focus Peak Highlight function

    · Digital Split Image display

    · Artistic filters

    · Full HD movie recording (60fps / 30fps)

    (10) Premium Accessories available for the FUJIFILM X100S

    · Wide conversion lens WCL-X100 – designed specifically for X100 and X100S, shortens the lens’ focal length from 35mm (*8) to 28mm (*8). It offers a broader field of view while maintaining the powerful performance equivalent to that of the main body’s lens

    · Premium Leather case LC-X100S – Users can remove / insert a memory card and battery without having to take this case off. This is a practical ‘Quick Shot’ case, made of premium genuine leather

    · Shoe Mount Flash – Three types of Fujifilm external flashes are available, capable of the proprietary high-precision TTL auto flash control: EF-20 and EF-X20 with the guide number 20, and EF-42 with the guide number 42

    · External stereo microphone MIC-ST1 – For recording real sound with impact to go with premium-quality images and full-HD movie

  • Ian said on January 7, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Good review…I was if you have used the camera with the wide angle lens adapter? if so what do you think of it?

    Thanks,
    Ian

  • Zack said on January 18, 2013

    @Ian – I have not. No thoughts on it.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • saneesh said on January 9, 2013

    Thanks for the review Zack, I am going to get it. I know the x100s was announced yesterday, however I think this is the best comparing to the price, and my need to have an camera that I am excited about which I can carry everywhere leaving my two pro dslr at home.

    Thanks.

  • Jono said on January 14, 2013

    x100s is out ! Wonder if Zacks gonna upgrade and update the review

  • Zack said on January 18, 2013

    Itching for it!

  • Jørgen said on January 21, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    afer you got the xpro-1, did it have a big impact on what camera was always with you? Or do you still use the x100 as much as before? People raved for months about the x100(and still do), but it would be great to hear from someone who used it as much as you have, and hear if you still use it daily?

    Thanks,
    Jørgen

  • Zack said on January 27, 2013

    x100 is still my walk around camera. The XPro has been replacing the 5d in my bag.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • wedding photojournalist said on January 22, 2013

    Hi Zack. I have really been loving my X100 for wedding photography, I have taken it along to about 80 weddings over the past two years and the image quality always amazes me.

    Are you going to do a review on the Fuji X100S? It looks like they have fixed all the niggles with the X100 and I’d be very interested to read your opinion on it.

    Best wishes from England, Simon.

  • Utku said on January 22, 2013

    Dear Zack,

    When do you think you could publish your NEW review about the x100s?

    Thanks,
    Utku Oguz

  • Zack said on January 23, 2013

    Whenever I get one!

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • JD said on February 1, 2013

    Zack – brilliant review thanks. I now am saving for the X100 – even though the S is also out – I have budgetry issues! I am keen to learn to get the best of the X100 and maybe by that time I’ll have saved up for the upgrade. Mainly I want a portable quality camera, with (lets face it) awesome looks. I have an SLR with a couple of lenses but I very much see this as bolstering my armoury, complimenting the SLR, with obvious portability advantages.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the One Light Workshop – helped my understanding very much.
    Cheers – keep up the good work!
    JD
    Scotland

  • Taz said on February 8, 2013

    Zack – absolutely loved reading your review. I have the Fuji X100s on order and cannot wait to have it in my hands. I find carrying a dsl with a massive lens on can be very intimidating for people and draws too much attention to the point where its almost like having a massive sign hanging over your head which says “rob me”. Anyway, look forward to your X100s Review.

  • Marco said on February 22, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    thanks for the great review! One question..

    Do you have many problems with your two UV- Filter construction and light flares?

    cheers
    Marco

  • Zack said on February 24, 2013

    @Marco – Yep! I have since ditched it. I broke down and bought the lens hood.

    Cheers,
    Zack

  • JD said on March 11, 2013

    Got my X100 today….
    :o )

  • JH said on March 12, 2013

    I’m planning on the getting the X100S soon and in anticipation got that Rapid Snapr bag/sling combo. But how the heck would you use the sling just by itself (as mentioned in your review above)??? There are two (male) clips at the end of the sling that don’t go together and need the bag to make a closed loop…

  • Zack said on March 12, 2013

    Jeff – Mine makes the loop. I hope they haven’t changed it. They sell it as a sling and/or bag combo. On the strap there should be one male and two females.

  • JH said on March 12, 2013

    Hi Zack,
    Thanks for pointing that out. I googled around and came upon some pictures that show the strap having a male and a female clip (just as you mentioned). They must have messed up mine – rats.
    – j.

  • Paul Treacy said on March 22, 2013

    For anyone interested, I just uploaded an off-kilter little film shot entirely with the X100 and WCL-X100 utilising still, video and audio, which I gathered separately and spliced in. You’ll find it at http://youtu.be/ODuvqkKSChQ

    I wonder what can be achieved with the even better X100s?

    Thank you for your time.

    - Paul Treacy

  • Rogério Martins said on April 10, 2013

    tnx a lot for the filter tip! great!

  • Darrell Wong said on August 15, 2013

    Hello Zack…

    I discovered your site from your recent PDN article. So cool.

    I’ve been using Canon G and S point & shoots as my “everywhere camera”, but I found the shutter lag lacking when photographing my kids. They move faster than the athletes I photograph. Is the shutter on the X100 up to par with a DSLR?

    Aloha… Darrell

  • Ben said on October 23, 2013

    Hey Zack.. Any chance you can post another quick “P.S.” here with your brief thoughts on the 2.0 version of the firmware they just released? Thinking that it might change the x100 vs. x100s decision for me.. Thanks for all you do. Cheers.




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