Fuji X100 Review
Incredible Engineering. A viewfinder which works perfectly. ISO capabilities to be sought after.
If I could think of any I'd say. But I can't.
Ever since the X100 was announced I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. However every shop I looked in didn't have it. So I couldn't believe my luck when a friend of mine asked me if I'd like to borrow his for a week whilst he was away on holiday.
So after using the camera for the past week here is my review...
The first thing I noticed about the X100 was just how good it looked. Looking at a picture of the camera on a computer screen doesn't do this camera justice. It's by far the best looking camera I've seen. Things got even better when I picked it up. The quality and weight of the camera are so perfect I don't see how you could get better. It is built like a tank and you can just feel the outstanding workmanship which has gone into it.
The first thing I had to try when I first turned the camera on was the hybrid viewfinder. It is, for me, the most exciting feature of this camera and it didn't disappoint. The optical viewfinder is HUGE and really bright. I had my doubts about the EVF but by god is it awesome. Its so crystal clear and sharp you'd be forgiven into thinking it was optical. The switch between the OVF and EVF is seamless and doesn't leave you waiting around meaning you can go straight from the OVF to the menus without taking your eye away. One thing I did notice with the OVF was that it couldn't focus very close. This is due to parallax which is where the viewfinder and lens see slightly different images which increases when you get closer. To solve this the camera automatically switches to the EVF when you select macro mode. It's little things like this which make the X100 the awesome camera it is.
The screen is also brilliant quality, and like other Fuji cameras, is super clear and lag-free. It is a joy to use whether your looking at the menus or reviewing photos.
The controls are so well made and having all the dials right under your fingers makes taking photos so much quicker, easier and satisfying. The way the dials have been implemented is really clever. You can change the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO and white balance all within one touch or turn of a dial. The dedicated RAW button is a great inclusion which I think should be added to more Fuji cameras.
The customisation of the camera is just what I've been waiting for in a camera. You can change everything to suit your style. Colour, noise reduction and sharpness all have six options to choose from.
I was also surprised at the manual focusing. Although it is electronic it's much faster than any other electronic manual focus I've used before and because it's so smooth it makes it really easy. It's still a long way from real manual focus but it is very usable.
Now onto the big one... image quality. There isn't much more I can say about the X100 other than whatever you point it at will turn into an beautiful photo. The way the camera renders tones and colours is extraordinary. I heard quite a bit about the ISO capabilities of the X100 before I used it, so I knew it would be good. It surpassed all my expectations.
The fixed focal length lens is a big plus for me. Not only does this make the lens super sharp, even at the maximum aperture of f2, but it also made me think so much more creatively. As I didn't have to worry about which lens to use or even which focal length to use I could just focus on what was in the frame which improves composition.
The built in flash is superbly balanced. I never found it overexposed or washed out the image. It is so good I found myself using flash with most photos because you can't tell you've got the flash on. It just looks natural.
The thing I like most about this camera though is just that everything works and does what it's supposed to do. When taking photos you feel unlimited as to what you can capture. It's difficult to explain but taking photos with it seems so natural. I went out a couple of times with the camera you could see from peoples faces they thought it looked awesome. Then there were those who looked at me as if to say "like he knows how to use that"! :)
I'm struggling to find a negative point with this camera. I don't like to sound to one sided but I honestly cannot find anything wrong with this camera which I would change.
At first I didn't think this camera would suit me, especially with its fixed lens. How I was wrong. I could easily see myself using the X100 all of the time as its so fun to use.
After testing most of Fuji's range the X100 is exactly the camera they needed in their rang. Something which is so refined and engineered to the highest possible quality. It takes all the best parts from Fuji's other cameras, makes them better and adds a whole bunch of new features. This is what make it the best camera I've ever used. It was a sad day when I had to give it back but without question I will be purchasing one. I will have the X100 again one day... and I cannot wait!
As I said on another post "you really won't know how good it is until you use for yourself"
**I may add some more to this review when I have time. There are just so many things to talk about**
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