Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fuji x100 - Review

The Fuji x100.

It is a compact camera with an SLR-size APS-C sensor and traditional analogue control dials, that hides ground-breaking technology inside a retro-styled body with looks to die for. It's Fuji's first camera with a large, APS-C sensor aimed at professionals and advanced amateurs for like 5 years.

There are a few things that attracted me to this camera. It’s a retro-styled camera that squeezes an SLR-size APS-C sensor into its compact body, and sports a fixed, fast F2 maximum aperture semi-wideangle lens with a classic 35mm-equivalent field of view.

I've always wanted a small camera with the following features:

Manual Focus
Shoots Raw
APS-C Sensor or Full Frame
Fast Lens (F2 or higher)

And once I saw the x100 and how it looks, I MUST GET IT.

For a start, the x100 is not hard to look at. Here are some photos.












There are so many accessories for the x100 and it has the world's first Hybrid View Finder.

So What is the HYBRID VIEW FINDER?

It combines a conventional direct-vision optical viewfinder with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, offering the best of both worlds. The optical view finder can also digitally overlay gridlines and other important information, making it strangely fascinating. It can also change to a digital view finder is also very high resolution and it gives you a better view in dark conditions.

Styling

The styling of the x100 works. It looks like a 1970 camera, the aperture controls, shutter speed dials and other controls are in pretty good locations, making it easy to use. There is a place to even for the flash in the small body, the place you would find the viewfinder in the old rangefinders.

Key features

12.3 megapixel APS-C sized CMOS sensor
Fixed 23mm F2 lens (equivalent to a 35mm lens on full frame)
2.8" LCD screen, 4:3 aspect ratio, 460,000 dots
Hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder
OVF with 0.5x magnification, projected framelines indicate approx 90% of field of view
EVF with ca 0.5x magnification, 1,440,000 dots
Traditional-style control dials for shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation
ISO 100 (L), 200-6400, 12800 (H)
Flash hot shoe and built-in flash
Built-in neutral density filter (3 stops)
1280x720 HD movie recording with stereo sound (24 fps) H.264 .MOV (max 10 mins)



Here is a sample of a video of the x100



It records very fast with the press of the button, and focuses continually even in low light.


Here are some sample photos.

Indoor photos.

toilet 3

water pooling

Old refrigerator


Night Photos

Top view

Zooming by

Ferris wheel, Salem, MA

Fair, Salem, MA

Towards Boston Common

Day photos

The greens

Long shadow at noon

Red Leaves

View from afar

American Airlines

Portraits

Flash Gordon's Enemy

Halloween costumes

She Devil

monsters

Jake and Ginger

K

K

I feel that the quality of the photos are pretty good, most of the shots are done at ISO 3200, or ISO 1600 at night and yet you do not see much noise. The color is very vivid, and images pretty sharp.

Pros:

APS-C sensor in a small body
Good noise reduction
Fast f/2 lens
Beautiful and simple to use
Incredible Hybrid viewfinder

Cons:

Slow focusing
Manual focus is hard to use (or just sucks)
Macro Range 10cm - 2m
Maximum shutter speed at f/2 is 1/1000s (max speed of 1/4000s only for f/8 or smaller)
Relatively expensive at US$1200

I feel that the x100 tries to be all smart to control the light and the camera actually does not allow you to do artistic overexposed or underexposed silhouette shots. Even with manual aperture controls and shutter speed, the camera still seems to process the data when it makes the shot.

Overall:

This is a great travel camera and it does street photography really well. It is small and light for something with an APS-C sensor and it is pretty to look at.

I would give it a 8/10

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