28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2013
As you can see, this model has problems. Worked like a charm for 6.5 months and then started to have issues one day and then stopped working altogether with this Lens Control Error problem. After reading the account by one of the reviewers here on what he had to deal with with Fuji, I'm skeptical that we'll see any resolve. Fuji should take care of this though. $400 for a few months of use would be a total ripoff. It's really too bad as this little stylish unit put out some nice photos. Will update after what I find out. Just dropped Fuji an email off their website.
Update: 12/29/2013. No reply from Fuji to my email inquiry. Doesn't surprise me but still disappointed. I know they received the email as I received one of those auto replies saying they'll get back with me.
Update: 01/05/2014. Wrote back again on the website link. 01/06 reply from Fuji: Thank you for contacting FUJIFILM North America Corporation. Please allow us to assist you. We were very disappointed to learn that you had experienced a problem with your Digital Camera. Unfortunately, without testing the camera in question, it is impossible for us to accurately determine the cause of the problem you have encountered. At this time, we suggest that you send your camera directly into us for an evaluation. Please ship your product via a carrier service with a means of tracking your package to the following address:
FUJIFILM North America Corporation
1100 King George Post Road
Edison, NJ 08837
Attn: X-F1 Camera Repair Department
We also ask that you fill out our repair form and include it with your camera. In the packaging please include a copy of your proof of purchase (if camera is owned for less then a year) and a note with your name, address, and a daytime phone number. Do not send batteries or accessory items. If your unit is covered under warranty, you will receive an acknowledgment. If your unit is not covered under warranty, you will receive an estimate for the repair prior to any work being done. If you do not have a proof of purchase or the camera was given to you as a gift please contact our Camera Repair Department at 1-800-800-3854, option #2. They have several agents that can assist with your questions. We sincerely hope this information has been beneficial to you. If you should have any further questions or concerns,Please do not hesitate to contact us in the future. It would be our pleasure to assist you again. Thank you for your interest in FUJIFILM products and services.
01/06/2014: Mailed in camera. Delivered on 01/08/2014. As of 01/13/2014, no notification from Fuji as to the arrival of the camera.
01/21/2014: Finally calling Fuji to see what's up with the camera as they haven't contacted me yet. First of all, don't use the extension 3461 that's on their website for repairs. It's invalid. Just stay on the line and go through the menu. Note: The XF1 is considered a professional camera so choose that option. Talked with the first rep. He claimed the EXACT same thing as in the other review/complaint. They're saying that there's "impact damage" to the bottom of the camera so it invalidates the warranty. $140 repair/$18 shipping/$11 tax total. I told him that there wasn't an "impact damage" and he's transferred me after I told him that I shot a video of the camera --showing no damage whatsoever-- before I sent it in as I thought they might say that. After 20 minutes on hold, this tech is going to grab the camera after I told him there wasn't any damage to the camera. He's claiming that there *is* damage and I'm telling him that a lot of people are having this problem and it has nothing to do with any impact. I also let him know that I shot a close up video of our camera before I sent it in to prove there wasn't any so called "impact damage". With this, this second guy wants to transfer me to his manager but his manager apparently "isn't in". He took down my number to have the manager call me back. After a couple hours I'm doubting they will. In the meantime, I just dropped Fuji Japan a complaint off their website. Will this do anything? Maybe if enough people contact them.
01/21/2014 part two: Got a call back. Same tech. He said he talked to his manager and they're going to drop the charges and repair the camera. I hope they do and that this error doesn't come up again. If it's just in the DNA of this camera to have this problem, then I would guess the repair won't last long. However, I'm glad they decided to honor their warranty like they should. If you plan on sending in your XF1 or anything to Fuji Repairs, I would recommend that you take a video of your camera including close ups if your problem/need of repair isn't due to owner fault. You'll need it as they seem to follow the step-by-step guidelines of Warranty Disqualification 101. Our camera didn't have any dings or scratches and was never dropped. Many are having this problem with this camera but the repair facility says it's always due to "impact damage". Will follow up when I receive the camera back from them.
01/29/2014. Sigh. Fuji just sent me another invoice for the repairs identical to the last one. Will have to call them again to find out if they lied to me about dropping the charges. Okay, all's well with this repair still.They said it takes the system some time to renew and the 2nd invoice/repair estimate was sent out automatically but their records reflect the dropped charges. They said it's going to be repaired and shipped back this week.
57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
While researching this camera I saw a number of comments regarding the likelihood that Fuji had sacrificed substance for style in this model (some people had immediately dismissed it as being too 'fashionable' to be any good), which frankly I find to be ridiculous because there's no rule that the two are mutually exclusive. Sure, I could do without the retro look if it came down to it, but overall I like the way it looks -- and I'm content with a retro-looking camera that takes great pictures while other people are applying the retro fad to the photos themselves, ruining everything they do with fake aged filters.
Anyway, to the camera. Included in the box with the camera is a wrist strap, battery, a charger with removable prongs (allowing you to just purchase different prongs rather than an entire charger if you go overseas, I guess), a USB cable, and a manual. On the camera are several reminders that you need to twist the lens barrel to turn it on.
That's another love-it-or-hate-it point apparently. I'm fine with it. The first dozen times I tried to turn it on I would try to turn it the wrong way initially. My excuse being that Canon lenses (Canon being my preferred DSLR manufacturer) zoom from wide end to tele in the clockwise direction, while this lens twists counter-clockwise from off to standby to wide to tele. However, once I got accustomed to it, I no longer had a problem. Not being much of a video user, the manual zoom is not an issue for me -- but if you like to zoom during your videos you might end up with some noise from the rotation of the lens barrel. As a still photographer, I love the stepless manual control.
The EXR sensor in the XF1 is designed with low-light image quality and dynamic range in mind, possibly at the expense of a minute amount of image detail in full resolution mode, but not enough that it should get in the way (or even be noticeable 99% of the time). On the plus side, Fuji puts the EXR photosite configuration into use in two major ways: first, by reducing the size of the image to 6MP, the sensor can act as two interleaved sensors simultaneously recording the same image at different exposures, when are then merged in-camera for improved dynamic range. Alternatively, (also at 6MP or 3MP) two or more adjacent photosites can be used instead of one to provide increased detail at high ISOs. If you're interested, there is some information on the EXR sensor's configuration on Wikipedia if you search for 'Bayer sensor' (the standard configuration for most cameras) and scroll down to EXR.
As far as features go, this little camera is packed with them. It's so packed with features that it's a little mind boggling. Many of them are only available in specific circumstances so you'll be looking for it and it won't be there - or it'll be grayed out - and you'll drive yourself crazy trying to get access to it again. Admittedly, most of these features I will never use. With the possible exception of panoramic mode, many of the features are the type of things that I might do in processing, but not in-camera. One example would be the "Pro Focus" mode that another reviewer has mentioned. It does a pretty decent job of isolating the subject with blur, but it's not a GREAT job. I could spend a little time in Photoshop and probably come up with a much better result.
I'll probably also never use the selective color modes, the 'facial recognition' mode (where you can have it try to determine who you know in the photo), the various unnecessary filter modes, 3D photo mode, or multiple exposure mode. So the real question for me would be, is it still a worthwhile camera if you ignore all of the fiddly stuff that you'll never use?
-- It's solidly built with an aluminum frame that feels really nice in your hands.
-- Nice fast maximum aperture of f/1.8 (at 25mm), surprisingly good sharpness wide open for such a small lens.
-- It's small enough for any pocket, unlike my Powershot G12.
-- The manual zoom allows you to be as fast as you need to be at zooming to get your shot (rather than pressing on a rocker switch and waiting up to 3 seconds for the lens to finish zooming).
-- After a few minutes the manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, etc. become almost second nature.
-- The camera has a decent RAW mode and truly excellent JPG processing, so good in fact that I've considered ditching RAW mode on this camera entirely. That's really saying something, because I'm a HUGE proponent of RAW format (then again, I won't be using this camera in any circumstance where the 5D Mk II will be better suited, so RAW may not be needed).
-- Extended dynamic range functionality is available in RAW mode.
-- Customizable buttons allow you to program your most often-used features for easier access.
-- Surprisingly excellent behavior in low light, with less grain in the final image than I would have expected.
-- Quick response times, for the most part (see below)
-- An electronic on-screen level.
-- Flash stays out of the way until you specifically want it. I like that.
-- However it determines which level of DR to apply, it does a pretty good job with it.
*- Flash metering performance is great, especially for photos of people. I never see blown out faces, and color is reasonably accurate, if a bit oversaturated.
*- The reduction to 6MP when shooting in the EXR modes is generally worth it. Specifically, the "High ISO, Low Noise" mode is quite effective at around ISO 1600-3200. Remember, 6MP is still enough for an 8x10 print, and more than enough for any online viewing.
It's not all awesome though. Some down sides:
-- There is no way to attach a remote shutter release.
-- After taking a picture in RAW or especially RAW+JPG, it can take several seconds before the buttons begin responding again.
-- Many specialty modes require reduction of resolution in order to operate, and most of them are not supported in RAW mode.
-- "Pro Photo" mode results in significant (but probably unavoidable) digital artifacts surrounding the subject and requires that you knock down your image size to 6MP or smaller. Same image size reduction requirement for "Pro Low-Light".
-- Maximum aperture degrades FAST as you zoom in. Zooming from 25mm to 35mm knocks down your maximum aperture to f/3.6 (!) and just past the 60mm mark you're already at your disappointing f/4.9, and that's maintained up to the maximum focal length of 100mm. Ick.
*- Panorama mode images are limited in pixel height to only 1080 pixels.
*- Many of the advanced modes (including all EXR modes) switch you to JPG without telling you, even if you have RAW selected.
*- Heavy-handed noise reduction in JPG by default, although you can minimize it by manually setting the value to "Low" in the menus. Even so, I would have preferred a "None" option so that I could apply it in Photoshop to my own taste.
Overall though, it's very positive. If you're a JPG shooter, then PLEASE give this camera significant thought. It really is that good. If you're a RAW shooter or just absolutely obsessed with having the highest resolution, sharpest possible photos at the expense of everything else, then maybe there's a better camera out there for you. Like a DSLR. For me, this camera will act perfectly as my out-on-the-town camera, when I'm not looking to lug my Canon 5D Mk II around and I also don't critically require the full potential of the bulky G12.
--- UPDATE 12/10/2012 ---
After using the camera consistently for the last few weeks, I thought I'd post a quick update with some additional Pros/Cons. I added them to the original list, the items with a *- at the beginning are new.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
I'm glad someone at Fuji knows what photographers like me are looking for in a compact camera, because almost every other compact misses the the mark for my needs. This camera is ideal for the enthusiast photographer who already has a DSLR, knows how to use it, and is looking for a pocketable compact camera to take when traveling light, without too much compromise in usability and image quality. It's for the kind of people who would have bought a Canon S95 a few years back. The kind of people who will not be sticking external flashes, filters, mics, and interchangeable lenses on a compact camera because we already have a DSLR for that purpose. The key here is the camera has to fit in a pants pocket. And the sleek retro styling is a welcome sight as well.
The image quality of this camera is beyond my expectations. Set it to EXR mode, 1600% D-range, and BOOM - out pops a JPEG with more dynamic range than I could muster out of a RAW file of my Nikon D40 DSLR. Let that sink in for a second. Then save the setting to one of the custom user modes, and you have instant access to DR goodness at any time. In addition, if you set the camera to 6MP resolution, it will automatically use the DR priority feature even in regular PASM shooting modes. How about noise performance? I can use ISO 3200 with acceptable results, which is also about as good as my Nikon D40 DSLR. There are 5 noise reduction levels to choose from, and even on the lowest setting, the ugly blotches of chroma noise are well suppressed, and only the grain of luma noise is visible.
The controls of this camera are exceptional as well. You have up to 11 settings available with no more than two clicks away, 7 of which can be customized by the user thanks to the E-Fn onscreen menu and the Fn button. There's also two user modes on the main dial that can store and recall your favorite settings. That's better ergonomics than any entry-level DSLR I've seen. The manual zooming provides direct, instant control over your lens, and the power on sequence becomes second nature after a few days using the camera. There is no annoying lag in operating the camera controls, and the focus speed is acceptable for a compact camera.
Is there anything not to like about it? The only gripe I have with the camera is the video mode offers very limited manual controls. No audio levels, no manual exposure, no manual focus. White balance and exposure compensation can only be set before recording. It also tends to hunt with the autofocus more than I'd like. For the casual user this isn't a big deal, but serious video shooters would want to look elsewhere. However, when it comes to taking still photos, the camera certainly lived up to my lofty and picky expectations.
*** Update 4/2014 ***
Despite video recording being mostly automatic, I found out how to get better video in low light. Set it to Auto-ISO 800, then set soft shadow curve. Also use single-focus video mode. Focus on something 5-25 feet away, and take advantage of high depth of field to keep everything in focus (as long as you don't change the zoom), instead of hunting back and forth. Save it to a custom mode for quick access. This setting also produces very good low light still images.
*** Update 5/2014 ***
I find that the soft shadow curve setting and DR400 gives me the best combination of preserving highlight and shadow detail in bright daylight. DR800 and DR1600 protects highlights at all cost, but also increases ISO and disables soft shadow curve, so the darker details are not as good.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2014
Yes, it makes nice images. It's pretty close to DSLR quality images, with a lot of nice filters.
Yes it looks cool. Yes, the on/off control is questionable. First it's cool, you get tired of that twist pretty fast and wish they'd just have a button, instead of weird twisting of the lens... But one can leave with that.
All that is immaterial, as camera will fail. So avoid it.
My first XF1 failed after 4 months. It just died with black screen. After much chatting with amazon - they replaced it with new camera. That one died one week after a warranty period expired. Lens control error. For the price I really expect things to work more than a year.