After using the Fuxi X100 for a couple of months I thought it was time to air my views about this lovely professional compact camera.
I bought the Fuji X100 after much research as an addition to my Two Nikon DSLR’s. I was going to upgrade one of my Nikon bodies to a newer model with the criteria ‘cost vs image quality.’
The decision to consider the Fuji X100 was made on the basis that I’m not a camera ‘snob’. To me, photography is all about the subject, image, composition and the quality of the final product, to that end I’m quite happy using my Iphone 4S when all else fails.
I’d been using a compact Panasonic Lumix LX5 more & more for everyday photography and must admit I liked the freedom of not carting Pro bodied Nikon SLRs around with all the associated Nikon Lenses. Of course, there are limitations of using a compact compared with SLRs, but do we really need to be carrying an SLR around?
The Fuji Finepix X100 is marketed as ‘The Professional’s choice‘ and having seen rave reviews about it, I finally bit the bullet and bought one.
So what is it like?
It is very similar to the Leica M6 in looks and modelled on the ‘retro rangefinder’ look. To hold it’s almost perfect, not too small (as you can see by the top image) but it has a weighty, well made feel about it (no plastic here). All the controls are just where you would expect them to be. I was brought up using old manual SLR film cameras so it just feels like coming home.
It is a lot slower in real use than a SLR or modern compact. But I quite like that. It slows me down into thinking about what I am doing and I spend time not wasting shots and thinking about the final image.
A lot of reviews state that the autofocus is a little clumsy. I will agree with that, but I think we are all used to the concept of point and shoot cameras with perfect results each and every time. If you try and ‘snap’ away with the X100 it does get a little confused about focus points sometimes. At first it was frustrating and a little annoying, but I’ve learnt to slow down and live with its shortcomings. It’s all about planning ahead, and going back to my point about being brought up on totally manual SLR film cameras I can see why Fuji designed the X100 in this way. It really does have a traditional feel about it.
It does have a few little quirks. The exposure compensation dial is easy to knock from the ‘home’ position and then you’ve taken a few shots before you realise that they are over or under exposed & the hot shoe has a very sharp edge which isn’t great when you catch it on your forehead.
In a word ‘stunning‘ It has a 12.3 million pixel CMOS sensor, which is used in Nikon SLRs. Whatever Fuji did with the old Nikon D300 sensor is amazing. The resolution is fantastic. It’s also the best camera I have ever used in low light. Even when you use high ISO’s up to ISO 3200 there still isn’t really any visible noise in the resulting image. It really is that good. The fixed F2 35mm lens is also very sharp and images are free of any fringing and virtually zero distortion. It’s the perfect focal length for everyday photography and great for ‘street’ photography.
And a Full size section of the photo below for example of the resolution this camera has
Low light Photo taken in black & white mode at ISO3200
And for colour & sharpness in sunshine my ever obliging daughter below
Yes the Fuji x100 does have a few shortcomings. It’s not ‘quite’ perfect, but hopefully Fuji will release a firmware update in the future to fix a few minor issues. It’s a little slow on start up & the menu button on the back is a little small to use easily, but that’s all that I’ve found wrong with it.
A far as taking photographs is concerned it is the nicest camera I own. Sorry Nikon, For everyday use the Fuji beats you! It is an excellent camera that provides excellent results with a fantastic lens & is beautiful to use in low light conditions. It is very discreet, has a virtually silent shutter and doesn’t shout ‘look at me’ It will be going everywhere with me as my first choice camera this year.