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Old 17th April 2011   #1
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X100 Initial Impressions

Finally got out for a little while this AM to shoot with the X100. Ran into a fog bank early so no real sunrise. Here are few shots. These are all out of the camera jpegs with perhaps a crop or two and resized.

Camera feels great in the hand.
Extremely quiet
Can handhold at quite low shutter speeds
Can pick it up an start shooting but for sure there are things to learn
There are some firmware updates needed - change the way ISO works (auto and changing "modes")

Sean Reid just did the first section of his rolling review and if you are a subscriber it is really worth reading he pretty much tackles all of the major things you need to know about focus.

I haven't tried manual focus yet.



self portrait





the only time of day with no people



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Old 17th April 2011   #2
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Terry

Thanks for pointing out this article. I have been waiting for Sean to test this and looked as early as this morning to see if it had been posted.

All in all a typical, accurate and unbiased report from one of the best testers extant.

Good news is that many of the current problems can be addressed in firmware....but not all. If you are really a zone focus or manual focus devotee you will be looking for generation 2 of this camera (if there is to be one.)

On the other hand, if you like AF primarily and learn to work with this rather bizarre focusing patch, you will probably find the tool quite useful.

From my own perspective, I am comparing it to the (in my eyes, wonderful) K5. Almost none of the limitations of the X100 apply to the K5 unless you really want an EVF experience. With the terrific 40 limited pancake lens you have a very small package and the interchangeability of the lenses provides so much more versatility.

In the end, different strokes for different folks but the X100, at some point in the future, may be a solution for many who simply cannot afford Leicas M's.

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Old 17th April 2011   #3
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Once you understand the focus (which I just don't think any of us thought about the implications of OVF and AF before) it really doesn't feel like an issue. As I get more shots under my belt I will have a better feeling.

I understand liking the K5 (I played around with one). The X100 is very different, starting with seeing outside the frame like in an M8/M9 and there is no comparison in size/weight.
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Old 17th April 2011   #4
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Terry,

Your X100 images look very good. Do you know if any of the issues Sean raised in his review have been addressed in the most recent firmware update?
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Old 17th April 2011   #5
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

I'm running the same firmware that he is. There have been some postings that new firmware is coming as soon as this week.

So far the files (I've only seen the jpegs) seem really appealing to me. I haven't felt the urge to really even tweak the colors. They seem spot on.

I haven't really had issues focusing but Sean's tip about how to use the focus box is really good. I haven't really felt the urge to manually focus yet so I can't really comment on that.
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Old 18th April 2011   #6
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Terry,

I have complied a list of bugs, possible bugs, and needed improvements. They are listed here.
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Old 22nd April 2011   #7
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

So I was out shooting for a bit today and personally I really like the camera. very comfortable to shoot with. The viewfinder is beautiful, the ability to customize the display and EVF is really nice. Everyone has their own shooting style and my setup is generally very simple and I haven't run into too many glitches.

It has been widely reported that the firmware (even after this first update has a lot of bugs or "curious decision making"). There are two ways to look at the situation:

1)understand what is going on and keep happily shooting. What I mean is: "would have programmed it that way", NO but now that i know how it is programmed, is it a deal breaker NO.

2)Get annoyed with it.

I think I feel similar to Michael Reichmann. They got enough stuff really right to allow me to be patient and believe that the dumb stuff will get sorted out. If given the choice to sell it and wait for some better firmware or keep it and understand the firmware for what it is, I'm VERY FIRMLY in the keep it camp.




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Last edited by Terry; 22nd April 2011 at 17:26.
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Old 22nd April 2011   #8
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

I actually shot today with Terry and her X100.

>1)understand what is going on and keep happily shooting. What I mean is: "would have programmed it that way", NO but now that i know how it is programmed, is it a deal breaker NO.

I second this. The key is that you get rewarded by a very, very nice image quality.

Here is a small gallery of images I shot today.

http://outbackphoto.smugmug.com/DOPF...sts/Fuji-X100/

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Old 23rd April 2011   #9
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

I'm quite happy so far:



and



Phil.

I'll add more to my flickr in time

http://www.flickr.com/photos/3133099...7626560171026/
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Old 23rd April 2011   #10
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Big thank you to Terry:
We met up in Palo Alto today so I could see/handle the X100.

It's very nice, and more sophisticated than I'd expected. The optical viewfinder is splendid. I nabbed a couple of snaps and the quality looks excellent. Using the camera kit, I transferred a couple of the images to the iPad and they look very nice indeed. Build and feel are excellent.

What I didn't like: It's a bit small for my hands and I find the controls a little fiddly. It's hard to get my fingers on the focus or aperture rings, etc. Not counting some of the v1 firmware issues and menus, it seemed just "not quite the right fit" for my hands and preferences.

Afterwards, we walked into the camera shop and I held and played with the Olympus E-PL2 again. It fits my hands better and feels less fiddly to me. Menus ... still a bit too much work ... oh well, nothing's perfect.

So much as I like the idea of it, the X100 didn't quite meet my "wow, gotta have it" criteria.

Anyone in the neighborhood have an X1 and optical viewfinder I can handle for a few minutes? ];-)
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Old 23rd April 2011   #11
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

X1 and Optical cost 2x an X100. Lose a stop. No data through the OVF. High ISO not in the same league. AF slow. No video, no ND filter, no panorama. I could go on.

Basically, included with every X100 is an X1, if you really want to shoot it that way.
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Old 24th April 2011   #12
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Afterwards, we walked into the camera shop and I held and played with the Olympus E-PL2 again. It fits my hands better and feels less fiddly to me. Menus ... still a bit too much work ... oh well, nothing's perfect.


Godfrey

Have you tried the Ricoh GXR? It has X1 quality primes (28 and 50) and a small sensor zoom that turns it into a Canon G10. Handling and menus according to most reviewers are the best. The M-mount module is due in the Fall.
Popflash is the distributor in California.

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Old 24th April 2011   #13
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodmancy View Post
Have you tried the Ricoh GXR? It has X1 quality primes (28 and 50) and a small sensor zoom that turns it into a Canon G10. Handling and menus according to most reviewers are the best. The M-mount module is due in the Fall.
Popflash is the distributor in California.
I've had no interest in the Ricoh GXR. The last thing I want is another system camera (unless it's a Leica M ... ;-) I'm quite content with the Olympus E-5 and FourThirds format for my system cameras.

I really just want a fixed-lens camera of the right size and shape, the right ergonomics and features. If I have to go with an E-PL2, it will likely be used with just one adapted lens, at most two if I get greedy. It's a good complement/backup to my system gear as it will also work with my FourThirds SLR lenses.

I'm willing to pay more for less in this particular instance. But it has to be the RIGHT camera that does just exactly what I want. I don't need it at all, really.

But sure, I'll look at the GXR too. Since I really don't need it, I can take my time. My friends at the shop said again that Olympus was coming out with several new Micro-FourThirds cameras and lenses this summer-ish. There may be even more options soon.

---
So I did look up the GXR system. It's more interesting than I expected, probably to my detriment... :-)

But where can I find one to handle in person? It looks reminiscent of the Ricoh GR1 I had a long time ago, which was a good camera.
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Old 25th April 2011   #14
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Godfrey,

Tony at Popflash can give you a loaner for a week with all attachments as I understand it. The offer is explained on his website, popflash.com..good luck!
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Old 26th April 2011   #15
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Just got my X100 half an hour ago. First 1800 seconds impressions.
Looks great.
To me it's pocketable, unlike M8.
Falls in hand similar to yet my favorite pocketable EP1+20mm
The optical VF is fantastic. This is the deal breaker over any m43.
It's quieter yet than my Leica MP. Winner here.
To any rangefinder user it's immediately understood, no manual reading necessary.
Now looking forward to some serious picture taking.

What is the issue with the focus?
Don't have access to Reid's page.
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Old 26th April 2011   #16
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

nugat-
The framelines will move when you half press - to account for parallax
Also means the center point focus in the viewfinder moves but you can't really see that and it can get confusing as to what in the focus box the the camera is locking on to.
Play with it a bit and see if you miss focus in some shots and then we can go into more detail.
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Old 26th April 2011   #17
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Gotcha. That would be effective from what distance? 3-4 feet?
What's the workaround?
TIA

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nugat-
The framelines will move when you half press - to account for parallax
Also means the center point focus in the viewfinder moves but you can't really see that and it can get confusing as to what in the focus box the the camera is locking on to.
Play with it a bit and see if you miss focus in some shots and then we can go into more detail.
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Old 26th April 2011   #18
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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Godfrey,

Tony at Popflash can give you a loaner for a week with all attachments as I understand it. The offer is explained on his website, popflash.com..good luck!
Very interesting. Just might have to give it a whirl. Thanks!
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Old 26th April 2011   #19
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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Originally Posted by nugat View Post
Gotcha. That would be effective from what distance? 3-4 feet?
What's the workaround?
TIA
Couple of things - but I really haven't had focus issues.

1. update firmware to 1.01 and keep your eye on the distance scale
2. think about bottom right corner of the focus box then being closer to the center of the frame
3. if really tricky flick the switch to the EVF
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Old 26th April 2011   #20
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Nice new avatar, Terry! :-)

Quote:
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Very interesting. Just might have to give {the popflash Ricoh loaner} a whirl. Thanks!
I checked into the Ricoh loaner program. Unfortunately you have to essentially buy the entire four lens system for a week, and it's refunded after return. I dont want to lock up my credit like that when all I'd be interested in to evaluate is the camera, optical finder, and A12 28mm lens, with the notion of getting the Leica M lens module when it is released.

But here I am getting all caught up in equipment again. It's worse than drugs...! Time to take out the E-1 and shoot some photos...
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Old 27th April 2011   #21
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by nugat View Post
Just got my X100 half an hour ago. First 1800 seconds impressions.
Looks great.
To me it's pocketable, unlike M8.
Falls in hand similar to yet my favorite pocketable EP1+20mm
The optical VF is fantastic. This is the deal breaker over any m43.
It's quieter yet than my Leica MP. Winner here.
To any rangefinder user it's immediately understood, no manual reading necessary.
Now looking forward to some serious picture taking.

What is the issue with the focus?
Don't have access to Reid's page.

I also started using it without reading the book.

However keep an eye on the exposure.
The maximum shutter is limited to 1000 at f2 getting faster as you close down the aperture.
I use Aperture Priority mode it shows the shutter speed in Red, but happily takes the photo and over exposes.

It took me a while to realise what was happening and then I set the Fn button for the 3 stop ND filter option so I can easily switch it on or off.

good luck
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Old 27th April 2011   #22
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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...
However keep an eye on the exposure.
The maximum shutter is limited to 1000 at f2 getting faster as you close down the aperture. ...
Ah: the dynamics of a leaf shutter. I'm actually kind of amazed they get 1/1000 second at f/2! That was unheard of in years past.
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Old 27th April 2011   #23
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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Ah: the dynamics of a leaf shutter. I'm actually kind of amazed they get 1/1000 second at f/2! That was unheard of in years past.
I actually did a small test and picked a scene where it wanted to go over 1/1000 of a second at f2. I had read that the limitation was in Aperture Priority. So in A mode I did the following:

1) shot anyway (with 1/1000 chosen by camera) - over exposed
2) used ND - exposure is fine
3) moved to manual mode and chose f2 and 1/4000 and exposure was OK and shutter did not create a problem in the picture.
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Old 27th April 2011   #24
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Thanks!
I should RTFM after all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pellicule View Post
I also started using it without reading the book.

However keep an eye on the exposure.
The maximum shutter is limited to 1000 at f2 getting faster as you close down the aperture.
I use Aperture Priority mode it shows the shutter speed in Red, but happily takes the photo and over exposes.

It took me a while to realise what was happening and then I set the Fn button for the 3 stop ND filter option so I can easily switch it on or off.

good luck
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Old 27th April 2011   #25
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

This is one camera where RTFM does seem to be sort of worth it.
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Old 27th April 2011   #26
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Very interesting! Wonder why the behavior is different like that.
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Old 27th April 2011   #27
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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This is one camera where RTFM does seem to be sort of worth it.
You've got me there, Terry. I don't know RTFM.
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Old 27th April 2011   #28
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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You've got me there, Terry. I don't know RTFM.
"Read The F*****g Manual
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Old 27th April 2011   #29
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

ahem,
Read The Fine Manual ?
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Old 27th April 2011   #30
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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ahem,
Read The Fine Manual ?
-bob
or "Read The Fuji Manual" ... ]'-)

(My new iPad is becoming populated with camera instruction manuals. It's so nice to have them all right at hand for casual reading ... !!!)
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Old 27th April 2011   #31
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No more chimping

I like the "review in VF" function. While in optical mode it still lets me confirm the picture is generally ok without having to look at the LCD.
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Old 27th April 2011   #32
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

Quote:
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ahem,
Read The Fine Manual ?
-bob
No Go Bob - Fine doesn't have 7 letters, and doesn't end in G!


Quote:
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or "Read The Fuji Manual" ... ]'-)

(My new iPad is becoming populated with camera instruction manuals. It's so nice to have them all right at hand for casual reading ... !!!)
(nor does Fuji come to that Godfrey!).


Isn't it - the pdf bit of ibooks is really good - mine is also populated with camera manuals (not, of course, that I would dream of reading them! - I might have a feminine side, but reading manuals is one step too far )
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Old 28th April 2011   #33
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Re: No more chimping

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I like the "review in VF" function. While in optical mode it still lets me confirm the picture is generally ok without having to look at the LCD.
I hope they would show a histogram and blinking clipped highlights in this preview.
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Old 2nd May 2011   #34
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Re: No more chimping

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I hope they would show a histogram and blinking clipped highlights in this preview.
But you can project live histogram in the OVF while composing and taking the picture.
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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No Go Bob - Fine doesn't have 7 letters, and doesn't end in G!...............
I knew exactly what Bob meant, even if I haven't read the flaming manual!
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Old 3rd May 2011   #36
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

>But you can project live histogram in the OVF while composing and taking the picture.

Don't think the live histogram is good enough to show critical fine clipped highlights. Have never seen a live histogram that shows all the clipping (THe GH2 life histogram is not bad though).
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Old 4th May 2011   #37
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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I knew exactly what Bob meant, even if I haven't read the flaming manual!
Congratulations Dave!

Did you get one yet? I got 'the call' from Park Cameras yesterday . . . . this is the 4th call I've had, I still managed to resist the temptation, but sometimes it's tough!
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Old 4th May 2011   #38
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Re: X100 Initial Impressions

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Congratulations Dave!

Did you get one yet? I got 'the call' from Park Cameras yesterday . . . . this is the 4th call I've had, I still managed to resist the temptation, but sometimes it's tough!
The upcoming mother's day might be a reason to give in to temptation and buy it for her
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