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New to X100S: here are my impressions

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by mrjr, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    I bought a Fuji X100S from a local Fuji guy two weeks ago, and have been shooting it happily ever since.

    Got this message from a friend this morning:


    So, here's what I had to say to him. Read on if you care to know what one Olympus shooter thinks of a new toy.

    --------------------------------------------

    Wow, haha. That's a big one. It's early days, still, and I'm really enjoying this two-week honeymoon with the Fuji.

    I'd definitely have to write at least 10,000 words to do justice to a comprehensive comparison. And that would be both tedious to write, as well as intensely boring to read, I imagine. But, in terms of general impressions… how about some unstructured and unordered rambling?

    Foremost of all: those "Fuji colors" are *no joke*. Fuji has that long-established heritage in color research, it is perfectly obvious when you look at the output of the X100S. Man, it's good, both in RAW and JPEG. To my eyes, it absolutely nails all the nuances that make a color image work. White balance is impressive, even in mixed lighting; there's great color depth — colors are vibrant, but not "overcooked". And this thing loves shooting people; skin tones are fantastic. There's definitely smoothing happening in JPEGs, which I'm good with, and there are subtle color shifts that improve things as well.

    Further, Fuji really gets great performance out of that X-Trans sensor. I'm talking mainly about dynamic range. It's a combination of sensor capability, and pushing the shadows up in the JPEGs. This yields a really smooth rolloff to highlights and "soft" shadows which gives images good overall tonality.

    I'm really happy (surprised, even) with the detail from that Fujinon 23/2 lens coupled with the AA-less sensor. Sharp enough to crop to 50mm (eq) as needed. At high ISO, it trades-in detail for clean, noise-free images—a little too much for my taste, actually.

    Good subject isolation for close-ish portraits, too. I'm bored with the highly compressed perspective from long lenses; I want some perspective depth and some context. A fast 35 equivalent absolutely rocks for that.

    Flash metering and ambient light balance is unbelievably good, even when shooting under artificial light without gels (probably going to apply a 1/4 CTO gel over onboard flash, though, to warm it up a bit). And being able to sync at 1/1000 or faster is the bees knees for daylight fill.

    Onboard raw converter is amazing. Allows +2/-1 push/pull, shadow/highlight tone curves, saturation, film simulation, WB tweaks, sharpness, noise reduction, cropping. Dead simple to do.

    I like the handling. That extra 1/4" height at the shoulders makes for a slightly more comfortable grip compared to OM-D. Like it slightly better for one-handed operation. Don't like the placement of exp comp dial—rotation direction feels counterintuitive to me too. Falling more and more in love with the aperture dial.

    AF is competent. Quick is most lighting. Fails sometimes in low light. I sometimes flip to focus peaking, which is good, but not as fast, or accurate, or easy as it sounds. Better with practice?

    But OM-D is still a faster handling, faster focusing, faster shooting machine. Touchscreen focusing and face detect are unbeatable in dynamic, candid situations (kiddos, street, social gatherings).

    I like the one-camera-fixed-lens fits-in-a-(big)-pocket thing. Fewer distractions and decisions. You know what I mean.

    Going to a wedding this weekend and planning to take X100S slung over shoulder on old school 3/8" nylon strap. Everything else stays in the car... I think. Expecting some questions and some conversations, and some nice photos and some missed photos. Would my Summilux 25/1.4 be a better choice? Probably/don't care. Worst to worst, it's in the car if the situation demands it. More likely, I'll get what I get and be happy with it.

    --------------------------------------------

    So there you have it. If you are curious about the X100S and have any questions, I imagine I could help you out.


    And I'm curious to know—for others shooting both Olympus and Fuji... did you have the same experience?
     
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  2. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    455
    Jun 22, 2013
    Finland
    I've just acquired X-T1 and have to say I share mostly your saying. Handling of Fuji is so familiar from old SLR times. And just feels natural. My OMD E-M10 or PEN E-P5 are little bit snappier on focusing and touch focus and shoot on screen has its benefits.
    I believe I'll sell OMD and keep PEN because of the beauty of if and different form factor. I still like to have access to my extremely fine Olympus glass, 75, 45 and 17mm.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    I had an X100 for a while and still have an XE1.I agree on the majority of your points. I'd love to have the Fuji sensor and jpeg engine in a E-M10 body. I find I don't need to do any PP on Fuji jpegs. My EM5 is just so fast and willing, shooting the Fujis is an effort.
     
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  4. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    E-M10 handling and Fuji jpegs? I'd buy that camera, oh yes!
     
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  5. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    I never liked the jpegs from my Fuji, or any camera for that matter. The X100s has too much noise reduction, even on low. It destroys every detail there is.

    Raw is the way forward and man I do love the raws from the X100s.

    Nevertheless, I sold the thing. The handling and AF constantly bugged me. The E-M10 is miles ahead in that feel.
     
  6. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I find it ok at lower ISOs but it the noise reduction simply goes crazy at ISO 3200 and up. With all the firmware updates Fuji seems to put out I really must say I'm surprised that this hasn't been addressed yet. For this reason is shoot exclusively RAW as I really like using auto ISO and don't want to risk losing a shot should high ISO be required.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    This is why there's "RAW + JPEG". ;)

    But yeah, I've had a couple high ISO photos where the noise reduction gave downright awful results. Fine detail like grass and hair really suffers.
     
  8. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    Also not to mention skin.. looks like marzipan :-(
     
  9. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    Eh. I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I don't mind a little smoothing of skin, at least for casual snapshot portraits. I wouldn't say that it's not a little heavy-handed, though—it arguably is.
     
  10. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    Nevertheless, whether we like it or not (the smoothing), I don't get why there isn't an off setting or why the low setting isn't really low as promised by the menu. The low I'd call high. It has nothing to do with low IMHO.
     
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  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
  12. AlexH

    AlexH Mu-43 Veteran

    384
    Mar 27, 2012
    Arkansas, U.S.
    I've got to admit, the X100S is tempting. I love my E-M5. It's fast, gives me access to a slew of great M4/3 lenses, but the minimalist in me loves the idea of a high quality fixed lens camera like the X100S.

    Thanks for posting your impressions!
     
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  13. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    518
    Sep 25, 2012
    Bingo. I think this is key to the appeal and the success of the X100S: Plenty of great camera systems to love and use, but this Fuji covers so many bases in one small package... yeah... super appealing as a complement to an existing system, or even as an only camera.
     
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