I have had the Fuji X100 for a couple months now and have some thoughts that we should share. It has been in my bag at every wedding I have done this summer as well as some commercial and editorial shoots. I have not used the pictures from it yet but took these times to really get to know the camera and how it works.
I had previously purchased the Olympus xz-1 and found it to be a stunning little point and shoot that I still recommend to people with gusto. I however found myself running the xz-1 constantly in aperture priority mode with the zoom left at about 35mm equivalent and ISO 600. This meant that I could pull it out of my bag and quickly shoot something with very little tinkering of the camera. It was great for vacations and carrying with me every day. The only thing I wished was that I could get at the ND filter faster on the xz-1. This was how I used it 99% of the time.
If you understand what I just said I’m sure you can see why the X100 was the next logical step for me to purchase and why I jumped on it right away. It’s fixed focus 35mm lens with a massive sensor (compared to the xz-1) mixed with hard dial quickly adjustable settings makes it a perfect fit for the way I was using my daily camera. As you can imagine I gave John at Kerrisdale Cameras Victoria a call and he ordered it for me right away.
I must say I have fallen in love with this little camera. Apart from the obvious benefits o the large sensor I have been impressed with it’s low light capability even when shooting jpg mode which I do sometimes because I just need a quick picture. The picture of Steve at a wedding was shot in jpg mode at ISO3200 as it was getting dark at that point. I am continually impressed with the usability of the file from the X100.
The hard dials for aperture and shutter speed are very quick and easy to use but the two features that make this camera for me other than file size and cool factor (lets face it this little camera turns heads) is the ND filter and the EV comp dial. Ok so I run in aperture priority mode most of the time so being able to tweek the EV with a hard dial on the top of the camera is such a nice feature. I have also set up the little black button on the top of the camera to be the ND filter on/off button so I can get to it quickly.
The image quality at ISO640 is pretty amazing so I pretty much leave it set there unless the situation demands otherwise. So the process for me to take a picture is simply pull it out of my pocket, frame up the shot, check the exposure, take a picture. I didn’t use the Auto ISO feature as I find it likes to drop the shutter speed to low before it bumps up the ISO making shaky pictures from my big old hand shake. That’s why I lock it in at ISO640 and go to town.
Ok so shooting during the day at ISO640 f/2.0 is a tuff situation and pretty much leads to overexposed hard summertime light. No problem. at the settings I run this camera I just throw on the ND filter and it pretty much usually get’s it to a workable file with no overexposure while keeping the shallow depth of field I want.
I have found my ultimate point and shoot camera. The cool part is that it is super capable of being way more than that. Every once in awhile I run into a situation where that style of settings just doesn’t work or I need to tweek the settings and in those moments I just more to full manual mode and tweek it out. It is capable of that for sure.
One thing I have learned with this camera though is that it writes to the card slow as mud. So be prepared to wait for it sometimes .. ok … a lot! It is also pretty slow to focus and a bit clumsy in the menu department which makes fast work hard. I may notice it more as my regular camera the Nikon D3S is a rockstar of a camera and I am very used to how nimble it is. But the whole point for me is that I don’t carry my D3S around with all my lens’s for documenting my vacations and daily life. It’s just to big and bulky and expensive to accidentally leave at a coffee shop (which is where my X100 is right now and after writing this I’m headed there to pick it up lol)
There are way more features and settings we could geek out on about this little camera like the RAW button, the amazing digital overlay of the viewfinder, and it’s amazing styling, but the point is that despite all it’s quirks and finicky little habits, I have made this little gem my hip slinger!