Fuji X100 in the flesh!

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by soundimageplus, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    I had a chance to handle the much hyped Fuji X100 in the flesh today, at the Focus on Imaging show in Birmingham, which was something I was dreading!! I was however somewhat underwhelmed by the look, appearance and feel of it. Fuji have done a wonderful job of photographing it as its much less impressive in reality. The black skin looks and feels slightly cheap close up, and for some reason the metal doesn't look like metal!

    The knobs and levers also don't feel particularly solid. I was expecting my heart to sing picking it up but instead I got an "is that it?" feeling instead. Just my opinion of course, but if I'm not one of the target markets, who is?

    I thought the Leica X1 was a bit flimsy, but this didn't feel much better. In terms of aesthetics an E-P1 or 2 is much better in my book. I even prefer my GF1 to the X100.

    I was convinced I wouldn't be able to resist this thing, but I did quite easily. I certainly wouldn't dream of paying £1000 for a compact camera with some retro styling, which is just what it felt like to me. Its got quite fast AF by the way and the shutter is really quiet, but by then I didn't care.

    I've been far from knocked out by the image samples, but very impressed by the high ISO performance, so I was on the fence about buying it. I'm not any more. As I said it's just my opinion, and others may be knocked out by it. However I much prefer the GF's and Pens.

    Incidentally the Fuji stand was almost empty. From the hype I was expecting to have to stand in line. That was far from the case.

    I've included a few snaps.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Seriously :eek: :biggrin:.
     
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  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm disappointed to hear this about the Fuji look/feel in the hand. With the looks in the pictures and the price point, I thought they were going to nail the feel/usability.
     
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  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    How did you like the hybrid viewfinder? To me, that's the make or break feature with this camera. I've never shot with anything like it, or at least not for many years, so I'm sort of curious to give it a try...

    The IQ will be good enough for me and I'm glad to hear the AF seems fast...

    -Ray
     
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  5. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    I did too. I was expecting so much more. If you are coming from a P & S it may seem a different world, but from the perspective of someone who has used a lot of m4/3, it just felt less nice in the hand than my GF1 which I used to take the pictures. I was with my nephew, a long time GH1 user, who felt much the same way.

    If people are touting this as a "cheap Leica" then they have got one part of that right! Thats a cheap shot I know, but I was actually quite excited at going to try it out and apparently one of the stalls was selling them, so I was fully prepared to be coming out of the show poorer. I'm glad I actually went to see it, as it demonstrated quite graphically the difference between pictures of a product and reality.

    I remember when I first went to look at an E-P1, I just picked it up up and smiled. Even though I got frustrated with the menus and operation I still think its a beautiful camera. I picked up my first GF1 and felt good about it immediately. I had the completely reverse reaction to the X100.

    As I said, others may feel completely different about it. But X1 killer? m4/3 killer? Not for me its not.
     
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  6. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    To be honest I didn't look through it much. The finder was full of distracting multi-colour information and the switch to select between the optical and electrical viewfinder didn't work, so I couldn't try that out.

    Do try it out if you get the chance though, you may feel completely different to me.
     
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    wow ... thanks for the update ... I am very appreciative of your hands-on update.

    Gary
     
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    If I recall correctly, you walked out of a similar situation holding a Samsung NX10 and two lenses, so the fact that you walked away from the Fuji (a highly anticipated camera) says a lot.
     
  9. Bluebear

    Bluebear Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Feb 23, 2011
    Interesting..... I had been thinking of getting one of these (partly due to the huge hype!) but held off pre-ordering blind until the reviews starting coming out. I must admit I thought the hype was probably too good to be true. I will still look at it, as well as the X1, but at the end of the day may just stick with my E-PL1!
     
  10. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    You have a good memory! Indeed I did last year at the same event. This was actually the first year I've managed to get out of there with my credit cards intact! In fact I made a profit. Sony gave me a very nice calendar for agreeing to do a customer survey. It will only take ten minutes they said. Unfortunately they underestimated my capacity to talk about cameras, and 45 minutes later.......

    On a serious note, I try all these cameras, Samsung NX10, Leica X1, Sony NEX and now the X100 and I still keep going on and on using m4/3. Despite Leica's, Canons, Nikons, Pentax et al coming and going through all of this I always have 1,2 or on the odd occasion 4 m4/3 cameras. I have serious admiration for the way they are designed and handle. I agree very strongly with Michael Reichmann at Luminous Landscape (again!) when he says the GH2 is a camera designed by photographers for photographers.

    No they may not have the highest MP's or the best high ISO performance but they do the job, and they are well made, well designed and from my experience, pretty robust. Sometimes the grass seems greener and there's those birds in the bush but despite all that my little G's keep turning out the pictures for me, on footpaths, on clifftops, in cities, in the country, at weddings, in winter and in summer. So much so that I can't currently ever imagine being without one. The first, and the most developed of the mirrorless systems, and dare I say it? yes I do - the best.
     
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  11. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Thinking about it, the thing that really disappointed me, was the seeming lack of providing something special for what is after all a special price. The Leica X1 doesn't cost much more than this, and leaving aside the arguments about whether Leica is worth the money, at least you can sell the X1 for not much less than what you paid for it, because of the name. As I did with mine.

    The X100 is 12MP after all, less than a NEX and a GH2 and any of the Samsungs. No matter how good it is to price it at close to a Leica price it needs to have something that justifies that. Since Fuji have made a great deal of the design, look and style of the thing then that should justify the price. £1000 here in the UK isn't cheap. My very first reaction to looking at it close up and picking it up and pressing the shutter, was "This isn't worth £1000" It was a gut reaction and as I indicated in a previous post completely the opposite to my reactions with m4/3 cameras.

    I will stress again how this is my personal opinion and I would never suggest that if you're interested, you don't try it out. You should do. However speaking personally, I fully expected to either be walking out with one or having placed an order. My initial reaction after a few seconds was to walk away, and I had to force myself to try it out a bit more. This was not the reaction I either expected or anticipated, and I was surprised by my antipathy towards it. I really did expect more in terms of a classy look and feel after looking at the website, the video etc. and I just didn't get that.

    However my disappointment may be someone elses joy. Do try it for yourself.
     
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  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks for your first impressions, David. I am surprised. Obviously, I am hoping that my impressions will be diametrically different:wink: - since I have one on order. I am looking for an improvement over the Leica X1's controls with a similar image quality. If this camera can give me that, I will be thrilled. Time will tell and I promise to report in when I finally have one to use and take some pictures with. Fingers remain crossed!:smile:
     
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  13. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I also just want to add that I really appreciate the way you write about cameras and lenses, etc., and share your opinions. You never pontificate - which is such a relief - and I feel as though we could be sitting down talking, rather than reading. Just wanted to go on record here, and I feel the same way about your blog.:2thumbs:
     
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  14. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Do remember I am just talking about my reactions to handling it and I'm making no comments whatsoever on the images it may create, other than the samples I have seen, with the proviso that they may or may not be representative of what it can do. Like others I've been very struck by the photographs and videos of it, and thats what disappointed me. I held it up and shot some pictures with it and it just felt wrong. Thats a very personal reaction and I'm hoping you will love it!

    I'm fortunate enough to be able to use a Leica M9 and I think I was hoping that it would feel and look like a miniature version of that crossed with an E-P1/2. To be honest I've never liked that black mottled covering either to look at or to hold and that could have contributed to my feeling. I also did look at the camera very closely and there were none of those elegant touches you get with Leica and Olympus. I may have got a rough one to try, and there were certainly things that didn't work, the finder lever being one.

    Hopefully you won't feel the same, and I do react very instinctively to cameras, so my experience may be the complete opposite to yours.
     
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  15. linkedit

    linkedit Mu-43 Top Veteran

    649
    Aug 6, 2010
    New Jersey, USA
    I knew that the huge hype (people on this board saying it would sell out, destroy the Leica X1, etc.) couldn't live up to the reality of this camera. While I think that the idea was a good, the pricing and the fact that it sports a fixed, non zoom lens equal an epic fail for a lot of people.

    The niche that Fuji is aiming for may be smaller than they imagined.
     
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Thanks for the first impressions David.

    I think the hype has made all of us expect the X100 to stop wars and feed the hungry! Looks like Leica may not have to worry about releasing a firmware to increase the AF speed in the X1 then ...

    I'm with you on m4/3. I was planning to ditch m4/3 after experiencing the NEX and the A55. But found myself selling the A55 in order to keep the GH2.
     
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  17. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Wonderful.
     
  18. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    Its interesting what publicity can do. I'm convinced that if I could I would have ordered one without ever looking at it or handling it. I'm as susceptible to hype as anyone and looking at the Fuji X100 website and in particular the video on there, I think I was actually drooling. The photographs of it looked so wonderful, and I was even thinking last night about how great it would be if I could buy one at the show and bring it home with me.

    These days with internet discussion and internet shopping these reality checks seem to be becoming a rarity, and I freely admit to having bought gear without ever trying it out. I actually bought my first Leica, an M8 without ever having seen or handled one. Fortunately I loved it, but my experience could have been different.

    In many ways I hope the X100 is a roaring success, because I really would like to see cameras with that neo-retro (is that possible?) design. If it is then I think we could see more. Anyone for a digital Nikon S2?
     
  19. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    636
    Jul 17, 2010
    The hype is so big that it is really tough for the real camera to fulfill the expectations. I was fascinated by this camera, but finally I lost interest. I do not want to buy a camera having a prime whose focal length is not one of my favorites. The aperture ring is bad designed, too, because it permits only full stops. Having controls to set aperture and exposure is great, but the restriction to full stops undermines the concept.
     
  20. ericimbs

    ericimbs New to Mu-43

    8
    Feb 1, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia.
    Lovely to look at, until I get around to the bolt-on viewfinder.