Just a couple months back, I decided to sell off my entire camera arsenal due to some personal reasons. The process was a lengthy one but it was all done by May 2012. After the mass exodus, I was determined to put my photography hobby on hold since I seldom shoot nowadays and there are no travelling plans in my calendar. But somehow, the so-called “determination” took a drastic turn when a good friend of mine brought a camera to our dinner appointment. The camera was on my acquisition / target list. The rest, as they say, is history.
There are tons of articles out there which offer in-depth reviews. So, I suggest that you take a look / read them for a thorough, professional review. But if you insist, continue to read on for my summarised amateur opinions / impression / thoughts about this camera; Fujifilm Finepix X100. Not like my words would change the mass perception of this camera, anyway. Or, you can skip the last paragraph which still does not bring any value to this post, heh.
1. Simplicity at its best. One fixed lens attached to the camera. No future G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). This is one of the main reasons why I bought this instead of other cameras like Sony NEX-7 or Olympus OM-D E-M5 although they perform much better in terms of all aspects. Another reason is that it is cheaper than
Leica M9 my other targets.
2. The size (and weight) is just nice. It is perfect companion for travelling. I like how light and handy it is and it doesn’t weight down your shoulders / neck in a long run. You can ‘dump’ it in your backpack and move on, literally.
3. S.O.O.C. (Straight out of the camera) image is good. Almost everybody claims that the EXR processing engine is amazing. I was sceptical at first but now, I know why after seeing it for myself. Besides, the configuration of the camera opens up to endless options in creating the final image you like. There are so many settings to fine tune; i.e. DR, Highlight Tone, Shadow Tone, Sharpness, Colour, ND Filter and etc. There is virtually no reason (for me, at least) to shoot RAW unless you are going to PS the shit out of your photo.
4. Hybrid viewfinder is something new to me. I like the high resolution responsive EVF (Electronic View Finder) and I’m equally fond of OVF (Optical View Finder). That said, the EVF freezes for half a second whenever the camera is acquiring focus while there is no Macro mode when I’m using OVF mode. Or maybe I’ve no found a way to do so yet… Therefore, it is good to use OVF for moving subjects and EVF for static subjects.
5. Oh… there’s Macro mode! Me like Macro mode. It’s a poor man’s version / way of owning a macro lens. Problem?
6. The learning curve is steep at first since this is my first Fujifilm camera. My previous gear was Canon EOS 40D and Canon in camera world is like Nokia in mobilephone world. And by that, I mean it is
ancient user-friendly. Unlike DSLR, there is no PASM dial. I have to tweak here and there for each and every mode. Nonetheless, once you get the hang of it, it will be a lot easier. Besides, it is always fun to learn / discover new things.
7. Prime lens means fixed focal length. It also means limited capabilities / flexibility. It did concern me prior to purchasing this. But then again, I’m on budget (then, now and near future). Besides that, I’m too used to short range / wide lenses. My previous ‘farthest’ lens was 50mm. And I went through that phase for over 4 years (I can’t believe I did so!).
8. The leather case is all nice and dandy. But it is kinda useless if you have a hood attached to the camera. Hence, get a bigger bag or something. I’m using a combination of Lowepro Terraclime 50 (discontinued model) and Crumpler Hillman Hunter.
9. Unlike the preset settings found in Olympus (they labelled them Art Filters), the ones found in this camera is somewhat generic but still wonderful. Fujifilm labelled them Film Simulation.
10. There is no internal IS (image stabilization), which is a bummer! But, as they say, you can’t have everything in a single camera…
11. Sad to say, the autofocus is not as snappy as the latest digital cameras out there. If I were to compare the autofocus system with any other cameras, old or new, out there, I would say it would be slightly slower than the previous system I owned (Canon EOS 40D). A good thing or bad thing? You decide. As for me, this camera is never built to be a workhorse. I doubt any professional photographers would use it to do sport photography. That said, when there is a will, there is a way. Once you get used to the focusing system, there will be little or no complaints at all.
12. The battery life is bad. But the design of the battery charger is even worse! ‘Nuff said.
I have not personally gain mileage with this camera but I kinda like it, from my initial trial run. I mean I better do since it will be ‘THE’ camera of the household for quite some time. And yes, I’m still putting partial blame on my friend for this unexpected expenditure.