Thursday, May 3, 2012

The X100: Wow, duh...

It's finally here.  After reading about this camera since before its inception, and letting every other photographer in the world test it out first, I finally decided to take the plunge.  After only an hour of shooting with it, I can honestly say it might be my favorite camera ever.  It delivers stunning pictures, but its quirks and idiosyncrasies are well documented.  All I can say is it's lived up to the hype.

First off, its retro design is simply beautiful.  I just love looking at it.  Fuji is absolutely brilliant in being the first (non-Leica) to offer such classic design with modern performance.  Olympus has just followed with a new rendition of their classic OM series.  Being a smaller sensor it's not in the same ballpark as this camera, but its still taking off.  Canon?  Nikon?  What the hell is wrong with you??  Do you know how much money you could make if you offer a APS sized camera with a retro design??  Get on it!

I'm convinced that Fuji is capable of making the best sensors on the market.  This camera is so small, yet delivers ISO performance and a depth of field that you'll find in camera 3 times as large.  The ISO at 3200 looks to be cleaner than my 7D.  (I haven't done a side by side.)  Some of the images below we're shot at ISO 800 and the grain is so miniscule I can hardly notice it.  I didn't have to use any noise reduction at all.  I wouldn't have gotten away with that on my 7D.  Wide open at f/2 it's as sharp as a tack and delivers stunning colors.  I convinced this camera/lens combo cannot be beaten.  

Is this the 7D killer?  In a lot of ways, yes.  I hate carrying that thing around most of the time.  There are still plenty of circumstances where the 7D and other DSLRs will blow the Fuji out of the water, but I don't think I'll ever leave the house without my X100 again, and that's what I love about it.  It makes you want to take pictures.  And isn't that the point?

And as frustrating as it can be at times, it begs you to take it with you wherever you go.  I will make a million different excuses as to why I should leave my 7D behind, and most of the time I do.  With this thing I want to take it out on the streets and just to see what I find.   

I don't know what Fuji was thinking when it comes to their menus or layout of the buttons, but you soon get the hang of it.  The close focusing issue will make you want to throw it against a wall, and the manual focus is such a joke that whoever designed it should be fired...or at the very least go work for Nikon.  Zing!

I'm not much of a pixel peeper, and there are plenty of reviews out there that will show you all that.  I'm more worried about how it performs the way I need it to...and when I zoom in and see the sheer sharpness of this files every eccentricity about this damn thing is quickly forgotten.  In fact, like every other review I've read about the thing, I'm simply blown away by the quality of the pictures.  

If you have had you're eye on one of these beauties then check out one of these reviews.  Zack Arias, one of my favorite photogs, called it the greatest digital camera ever.  Check out his review here.  Here's another great review by Steve Huff.  Fair warning- you'll want one of these after you read either of these.

Anyway, enough of my half-assed review.  I just got the thing this afternoon and had to go test it out, so where better than a cemetery?  Enjoy...

All images below are ISO noise reduction- tack sharp and clean as a whistle. 


  1. right on, great write up. glad to see you like it. can beat that 35mm frame. if i only had one lens it would be that every time. wish the Xpro1 had that, or that I hadnt so hastily sold my x100...

    when i got mine the minimum focus distance was a huge concern, but in practice I never had much of an issue. as I remember it, i just threw it in EVF and could fill frame with a face, or thereabouts.

    its true, when canon/nikon jump on this market it will be a good thing. at least to keep fuji on there toes. i heard canon looking to bring full-frame to this type of cam, that would be killer.

    i miss takin my new gear to cemetaries, my fav is the one across from Commanders, really great stuff. anyways, rock on

  2. Thanks dude. After using it for a week now I can say I've almost become accustomed to all its quirks. Still annoying, but the end result is worth the frustration.

    I've noticed that with the EVF too...I don't know why the OVF has such an issue focusing on anything closer than 3 feet away. But flip of a switch and all is well.

    I hope you're right about the Canon full frame. They would kill it. I might jump on the mirrorless bandwagon for good. It's only a matter of time before Fuji or some other company offers a cheaper alternative to the M9.