Save Big On Open-Box & Used Products: Buy "Fujifilm X100 12.3 MP APS-C CMOS EXR Digital Camer...” from Amazon Open-Box & Used and save 62% off the $1,199.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all offers from Amazon Open-Box & Used.
Fujifilm X100 12.3 MP APS-C CMOS EXR Digital Camera with 23mm Fujinon Lens and 2.8-Inch LCD
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- Newly-developed lens offers a focal length of 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) and a widest aperture of F2. Made from molded glass, the lens contains 8 elements in 6 groups
- Hybrid Viewfinder combines the window-type "bright frame" optical viewfinder, and the electronic viewfinder system
- HD Movie Mode; capture 720p video
There is a newer model of this item:
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Special offers and product promotions
|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||300 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||5 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||460,000|
|Display Size||2.8 inches|
|Effective Still Resolution||12.3|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||6,400|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||200|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Installed Size||20|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash, Hot-shoe|
|Focus Type||Autofocus & Manual|
|Form Factor||Large sensor compact|
|HDMI Type||Mini connector|
|Image Aspect Ratio||3:2, 16:9|
|Item Dimensions||2.93 x 2.12 x 4.98 inches|
|Item Display Weight||445 grams|
|Item Weight||0.98 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Weight||0.54 grams|
|Macro Focus Range||10 cm|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F2.0|
|Maximum Focal Length||35 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,288|
|Memory Storage Capacity||20 MB|
|Metering||Multi, Average, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||35 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||30 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.3 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Remote Control Description||Traditional cable release|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||No|
|Shipping Weight||1 pound|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion NP-95 rechargeable battery|
|Video Capture Format||MPEG-4|
|Video Capture Resolution||1280 x 720 (24 fps)|
|Viewfinder Description||1440000 dots|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic and Optical (tunnel)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
The Fujifilm FinePix X100 is a high-precision digital compact camera that combines modern technology with a traditional camera design to deliver the ultimate in image quality.Featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor (12.3 megapixel), a Fujinon 23mm Single Focal Length Fixed F2 lens, a 2.8-inch LCD with 460K pixel, and the world's first Hybrid Viewfinder, the FinePix X100 captures exceptionally high quality images.What's in the box: Fujifilm FinePix X100 Digital Camera, Li-ion Battery (NP-95), Battery Charger (BC-65N), Shoulder Strap, USB Cable, Lens Cap, Metal Strap Clip, Protective Cover, Clip Attaching Tool, CD-ROM, Owner's Manual and 1-Year Limited Warranty.
From the Manufacturer
The Fujifilm FinePix X100 is a high-precision digital compact camera that combines modern technology with a traditional camera design to deliver the ultimate in image quality.
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Highlights
Custom 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
The FinePix X100 features a custom 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS high-performance sensor, internally optimized and developed exclusively for this model. Optimization of the angle-of-incidence in conjunction with the specially developed lens maximizes light gathering efficiency extending to the perimeter of the sensor for a sharper image with exceptional clarity. When shooting HD movies, the combination of the large-sized sensor and the large aperture F2 lens, lets users create a soft out-of-focus image--a capability not available in conventional compact cameras. The ideal combination of a fixed focal length lens, high-sensitivity sensor (approximately 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact*) and a high-performance image processor captures extremely high quality images from low sensitivity to high sensitivity. In standard form, the planned ISO range is from 200 to 6400, but this can be expanded to include 100 and 12800.
The newly developed EXR Processor takes EXR processing to new heights. Combined with the high-sensitivity sensor, the EXR Processor achieves the highest resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range ever produced by a FinePix digital camera for the ultimate in image quality. The high-speed CMOS sensor read-out and the EXR Processor's enhanced focusing system contribute to the high-speed AF performance, while the combination of the optical viewfinder and extremely low shutter lag time enhance the image capture experience.
High-performance 23mm F2 Fujinon lens
The FinePix X100 comes with a new Fujinon non-collapsible lens structure that expands the realm of photographic expression with sharper resolution from the center to the corners. It has a 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) F2 lens, with eight elements in six groups. One aspherical glass molded lens. The adoption of the non-collapsible lens structure with minimized lens length not only contributes to the compact size, but also eliminates telescoping of the lens when the power is on. It's ready to start taking photos the moment the user turns it on. In addition, the lens features not only the large F2 aperture value, but also an optical architecture that maintains a high degree of resolution even when closed by 1 to 2 stops. The adoption of a 9-blade aperture diaphragm combined with the large F2 aperture and high-quality optics lets users take photos with a beautiful circular soft out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. With macro shooting capability as close as four inches, users can explore the fun and fascination of close-up photography. The built-in ND filter (equivalent f-stop reduction of three) can be switched ON/OFF via simple in-camera settings.
World's first Hybrid Viewfinder
The true enjoyment of photography begins with the thrill of seeing the world through a viewfinder. The new Hybrid Viewfinder has been developed to reintroduce users to this essential camera experience. It combines the window-type "bright frame" optical viewfinder found in rangefinder-type film cameras such as the classic 135-size or medium-format cameras, with the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in most compact or mirrorless digital cameras. By integrating a prism for the 1,440,000 dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder, the Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of electronic shooting data. It can also be used as a high-quality electronic viewfinder to compose or playback shots. With this ability to instantly switch between optical and electronic viewfinder modes using the simple "one touch" control, the new Hybrid Viewfinder offers users expanded freedom in the composition and enjoyment of photography in a wide range of challenging shooting conditions.
The reverse Galilean optical finder with a 0.5x magnification features all-glass elements made from high-refractive index glass and demonstrates low chromatic aberration and distortion.
In optical viewfinder (OVF) mode, the brightness of both the "bright frame" and text data is automatically adjusted according to the brightness of scene area, ensuring that shooting information is always easily and clearly viewable. Also, the displayed shooting data is constantly updated according to changes in shutter speed, exposure, sensitivity and other settings, so that the user's eye never has to leave the viewfinder. In electronic viewfinder (EVF) mode, the photographer can preview the picture or playback the result with the "through the sensor" image review and high-resolution 1,440,000-dot quality. With a flick of the one-touch lever, the user can switch to EVF to preview and confirm exposure settings, depth-of-field, and white balance--an especially useful capability when shooting macro shots and other scenes that are hard to confirm with only an optical viewfinder.
Stunning retro design
The FinePix X100 features a beautiful, high-quality design inspired by the classic look and feel of traditional film cameras. The top cover of the upper control deck and the bottom surface have been die-cast from magnesium alloy (semi-solid metal casting), contributing to a high-precision camera body. All dials and rings are precision milled from metal. The ergonomics of the design offer the perfect balance between compact convenience and user-friendly functionality. Traditional 'manual' dials lets the user confirm the position of the settings without turning on the power. The camera's controls have been carefully thought out to give the photographer simple and speedy access to aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, etc, allowing maximum creative expression with minimum hassle and enabling the user to view settings--even when the power of the camera is turned off. Custom modes can also be accessed with a one-touch settings change. The chassis has been finished with high-quality leather-like accents and is both a delight to use and a pleasure to hold.
RAW quality for image enhancement functions
Capturing the scene in RAW format is easy with just a press of the readily accessible RAW Button on the back of the camera. Photographers can use the built-in RAW Development function to process the RAW data in-camera using the camera's image quality settings. In addition to Fujifilm's original Film Simulation Modes that give photos the distinctive look of Velvia, PROVIA and ASTIA color reversal film emulsions, X100 expands the scope of photo expression with Monochrome Mode that can be fine-tuned with R/Ye/G filter settings. Separate adjustment of shadow tones and highlight tones lets users reproduce the rich tonality of high-contrast subjects.
- EVF/OVF Focus Area: The FinePix X100 offers users the choice between the 49-point auto EVF focus area or the 25-point OVF auto focus area as well as the selection of 5 different focus area sizes in EVF mode. Depending on the needs of each scene, the FinePix X100 offers easy focusing by design.
- HD Movie mode: Lets users capture the action in 720p high-definition detail. Just like taking still photos, users can capture movies with aperture-priority AE and enjoy a soft, defocused background effect. In addition, the built-in HDMI Mini connector allows users to easily and directly connect the FinePix X100 to high-definition TVs for showing stills and movies with plug-and-play ease.
- Motion Panorama: With the built-in Motion Panorama function, it is easy to capture 180° and 120° panoramic photos. Later users can print the results as pin-sharp A3-size (11.7" X 16.5") enlargements and share the enjoyment of high-quality panoramic photography.
- Multi-Bracketing Functions: The FinePix X100 has four types of bracketing functions: AE, ISO, Dynamic Range and Film Simulation. One click of the shutter captures 3 bracketed images of the scene so the photographer knows he's captured the moment. Star Quality--Premium Accessory Lineup
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top Customer Reviews
If you like to take your time to frame and set the exposure on your camera then this might be the camera for you. If you want a small portable camera, with exceptional picture quality, great noise qualities, and a built in view finder, then this is most likely the camera for you. If you want an exceptionally quite camera, this one is amazing. There really is no other digital camera like it.
This camera reminds me mostly of shooting my Leica M8 and that is a good thing. If you think of the X100 as an automatic manual focus you can get some really nice shots.
I initially bought the X100 to shoot outdoor portraits and it does that very well. Better than any other camera around right now. That was the initial reason I decided to keep the X100. When I first shot with it I really did not like the handling and was thinking of returning it. My big mistake was trying to use this as an all around camera when it is not.
However, I just spent a week shooting the camera in Berlin and I really enjoyed using it. My kit was a GH1, GH2, and X100. I left all of my Nikons at home as they are too big and heavy. With interchangeable lenses and fast handling the GH cameras can cover almost every conceivable shooting situation. With a fixed lens and slow handling the X100 is limited in what it can cover. However, it makes you slow down and really set up the shot the way you want it. The DSLRS and M4/3 are so fast that it is easy to reel off a number of good shots. The X100 makes you savor each shot. Because of that I really enjoyed shooting it. Just as a comparison I shot 750 (2 battery charges) with the X100. And 1300 frames with the GH2. I had 465 - X100 (62%) and 829 - GH2 (64%) shots that I liked. I got 132 - X100 (18%) and 205 - GH2(16%) shots that I really liked. And I got 4 - X100 (.5%) and 9 - GH2 (.7%) that were my favorite of the trip. As you can see the statistics are very comparable. Use a tool in the way it was designed and you should be able to get consistent results.
The X100 fits very nicely in the Lowa Rezo 60 bag that I loop through my belt. It will also fit in a jacket pocket. I don't like carrying the weight around my I neck so I do not use a neck strap. Instead I purchased a very cheap wrist strap and use that to keep the camera secure.
The way I have the camera setup is as follows:
Quick Startup On
OVF power save Off
Display Option - EVF and Back screen
Fn Button - 3 Stop ND Filter
Auto ISO - 3200 / 1/30
The reason I have the camera setup like this is as follows. I switch the camera off to save power when not in use. The quick startup allows for a .7 start. I use the EVF most of the time so I don't need the OVF power save on. Also, the OVF power save option does some weird things so I don't use it. I use the EVF and back display to switch depending on how I want to frame the shot either back screen or EVF. The camera switches between the two based on whether you put your eye up to the viewfinder or not. The 1/1000 max shutter speed is very limiting at f2 so the ND filter gives a 1/8000 equivalent and is built right in but is activated in the menus. I use it very regularly so I have it set to the fn key. I have the ISO set to auto because it is a pain to get to. The camera does a very good job of keeping ISO down until the shutter speed starts to drop below 1/30. The IQ is very good at ISO3200.
Here are a couple of techniques for using the X100. Both utilize EVF.
1) Set your camera to manual focus and spot focusing. Put the focus square on the subject. Press the focus/exposure lock button to focus the camera. Move the center to where you want to meter and press the shutter release half way to set exposure. Now frame for the picture and shoot.
2) Set you camera to auto focus S. Put the focus square on the subject. Press the shutter release half way to set focus and exposure. Frame the picture and press the shutter release the rest of the way to shoot.
On the down side the menus and buttons need some work but they can be fixed with a firmware update. An example of the poor menus deals with ISO. Setting the ISO is on the shooting menu. Setting up the Auto ISO and switching it on and off is on the setup menu. What is labeled as a RAW button would have been much more useful as an ISO button. I have not tried the video as it is a pain to get to buried in the menus and not as a distinct button.
One of the big selling items is the Hybrid Optical/EVF systems. I did not purchase this camera because of this. However, I leave the camera in EVF most of the time. The EVF shows you what the sensor sees and thus allows for accurate framing. The OVF is a guestimate and at close distances is not a very good guess. Therefore, the Hybrid system is overhyped. If Fuji had just put in a EVF I would have been happy. For those who must be able to see outside the frame and who are not bothered by a poorly framed photo then the OVF is a choice. The other issue with OVF deals with focus. The X100 is a spot focus camera. You can move the spot but it still focuses on one spot. That spot does not necessarily line up with what you see in the OVF. Therefore, you can get some out of focus shots when you think you have everything lined up.
A lot has been made of the X100 price tag. One thing to note is there have been some people paying 2x the price on ebay. There is no real competitor to the X100 as it is unique. However, the Leica X1 with OVF and Ricoh GXR with 24mm and OVF are close. The X1 with OVF costs 2x as much. The GXR with 28mm and OVF costs about the a couple of hundred dollars more but is a little pieced together, still has no EVF option and is not on par with the X100 build quality. Also, cameras invariably come down in price so you can expect for the X100 to come down some.
On the whole the camera is very rewarding to use and takes some fantastic photographs. But you are going to have to work for it. Maybe that is why you take more ownership in your photos Because of the high ISO capabilities and extreme quite abilities, this is a great museum camera. For a fixed lens camera, the 35mm equivalent is a good compromise walk around focal length around. Not too wide that you can't use it for portraits and not so narrow that you have to back up to get in wide items.
Great Build Quality
Amazing Photos - weak AA filter
Great High ISO on par with D7000 or K5
Small (Fits in a jacket pocket)
Great Satisfaction in Shooting Great Pictures
Horrible Menus which you are forced to use because of the lack of dedicated buttons or quick menu system.
Manual Focus Almost Worthless
Back Rotating Knob Button Annoying and Frustrating to use
RAW button is a waste and would have been much better as a ISO or fn button
Overall this is a very satisfying and rewarding camera which makes great pictures. The camera is 4 stars because of the poor menu system and controls. However, the intangible reward you get from using this satisfying camera make it greater than the whole and give an extra .5 point for total of 4.5 stars.
Update July 9
I have been shooting with this camera for a little over 2 months now. It is definitely an amazing camera. The firmware update made the camera more useable and the optical view finder is now actually usable. There still needs to be further improvement but it was a definitive move in the right direction.
Something else I have discovered is the Auto White Balance is amazing. It is by far the best in the world. I was shooting at night with all sorts of crazy lights, incandescent, sodium vapor, moon, etc. The auto white balance pulled off the shot. Amazing. During the day the white balance is equally terrific. Additionally, while the autofocus was slow, ISO 1600 and F2 allowed me to catch night shots of slowly moving objects and keep up the shutter speed at 1/30. The results were fantastic. The camera would not always lock focus but it allowed me to take the picture and more often than not the picture was in focus.
Still not a beginners camera nor an all around camera, this camera has some amazing capabilities that no other camera can match.
I receive the Fujifilm X100 about 5 days ago and since then, I have been slowly learning the features and capabilities of this camera. I will be steadily adding to this review in the coming days but I thought I'd share here my initial impressions of the X100 to help those wondering whether to get this camera make their decision.
Though I tried my hand at using small cameras that can shot RAW and provide full manual controls on aperture, shutter speed, ISO and White Balance (the Panasonic LX-3 and the Canon S90 being among these), I was never happy with the marginal photos that I could take with these cameras. This is mainly due to the small-sized camera sensor. Yet part of my dis-satisfaction with these cameras is also due to the shooting position where one extends one's arms to view and compose with the rear LCD screen rather than the viewfinder to the eye position when using a dSLR. After trying my hand with these cameras, I sold them but knew that my next small and light camera must have a large sensor and a proper viewfinder.
My initial attempt to finally address this issue on poor image quality and sub-optimal shooting stance yet have a small and compact camera was my purchase of the Nikon D3100 which I paired with a Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX lens. Equipped with a good-sized sensor, a real optical view finder (OVF) and a very capable lens, this setup provided me with a compact, light, inexpensive and very capable camera setup. I was very happy with the setup and it provided me some relief from using the D700+MB-D10 or D7000+MB-D11 combo. Though I did install and use my other Nikkor lenses on the D3100, it was the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX that was mounted on the D3100 easily 50% of the time. For the other times, it was mainly the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G at 40% of the time and the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 or the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for the remaining 10%. I would have used the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G far more often with the D3100 than the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX but the large size and heavy weight of the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G lens does not make for a light and well-balanced combo with the D3100. So as much as I would have preferred matching the D3100 with a 24mm focal length prime lens, the lighter weight and smaller size of the 35mm f/1.8G DX made it the default lens for the D3100.
I also acquired a Panasonic GH2. Though equipped with a smaller m4/3 sensor, the GH2 acquits itself very well for video work and the 14-140mm lens provided good results when shooting outdoors or in good lighting conditions. But for still-photography, the GH2 with the 14-140mm lens is simply awful. For a while, I had the impression that the GH2 was very bad for still photos until I decided to buy an adapter and mounted my Nikkor prime lenses on the GH2. Wow .. what a difference mounting good lenses made on the quality of photos the GH2 can take. I found myself using the GH2 more and more often for still-photos even though I had to manually focus my Nikkor lenses. The GH2 was my first exposure to an electronic viewfinder (EVF) and despite its real limitations when working in sub-optimally lighted conditions, I appreciated the ability of the EVF of the GH2 to display information that an OVF could not display. I decided to add a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and 14mm f/2.5 lens and was happy with the resulting setup which was even more compact and lighter than my Nikon D3100 and 35mm f/1.8G DX lens. While the image quality of the Nikon D3100 was still better than the GH2, the smaller lighter size of the GH2 and its excellent video capabilities made it my choice for many situations.
Then came the Fujifilm X100. Combining the small compact size of the GH2 and its compact prime lenses plus incorporating the advantages of both the optical viewfinder of the D3100 and the electronic viewfinder of the GH2, I became seriously interested in the X100. The fact that the lens was not interchangeable was not an issue for me as the X100 lens is a 23mm f/2.0 - the perfect focal length as far as I was concerned. The 35mm equivalent of 35mm would have been my favorite focal length with the D3100 and the GH2 but neither Nikon nor Panasonic makes a compact and light prime lens that has a fast 35mm in 35mm equivalent (Olympus makes a m4/3 17mm but it is just f/2.8). That the X100 lens was also a fast f/2.0 lens was definitely an ace in favor of the X100. While cleaning the sensor of my D700, I realized another reason why the non-interchangeable lens nature of the X100 was a non-issue. With a non-removable lens, the X100 will likely not need any sensor cleaning at all, I happily realized. Yes!
Viewed sideways, the X100 was considerably smaller and thinner than the D3100 with the 35mm f/1.8GDX lens and still substantially thinner than the GH2 with the 20mm f/1.7 lens. The X100 wins against the two others on this point.
Based on my initial test, the image quality of the X100 is excellent and can easily hold its own against the Nikkor D3100 with the 35mm f/1.8G DX lens. This is quite an achievement as the Nikon-Nikkor combo is superb. While the X100 is a bit soft when shot wide-open at f/2.0 compared with the Nikkor D3100 shooting the 35mm f/1.8G DX at f/2.0, I like the way the X100 renders the image which is very pleasing and of a different character than the clinical images I could take with the Nikon D3100 and the 35mm f/1.8G DX lens. Testing both at f/2.8, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8.0 yielded even better results with the X100 while the Nikkor D3100 with the 35mm f/1.8G DX stayed very good as well (it was really good wide-open to begin with anyway). In terms of image quality, I would rank these two at about equal.
What for me tilts the balance in favor of the X100 is the focal length of its lens - 23mm vs the 35mm of the Nikkor. So while the image quality for both are neck-to-neck, I much prefer the X100 because of its lens' focal length. The GH2 ranks lower than the X100 and D3100 in image quality and with the X100 being thinner and having both OVF and EVF and with my preferred focal length lens, the X100 is now my first choice for a small and light compact camera.
CONTINUATION - April 12, 2011
In many respects, while there are similarities among the D3100, GH2 and the Fujifilm X100, each is unique and each serves a specific purpose better than the other.
The primary advantage of the D3100 is that it packs a lot of capabilities and flexibility for its size. These advantages however are lost when one installs a zoom lens on the D3100 as the resulting bulk and weight no longer qualifies it as a light and compact camera. Until such time that Nikon releases several compact and light prime AF-S lenses that will auto-focus on the D3100, the D3100 steps out of the light-and-compact auto-focusing camera competition when equipped with other than the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX.
For video work, the GH2 remains the best tool for the job, with the D3100 and the X100 a far second and third. In addition to a far superior video capabilities, the GH2 has a electronic zoom that essentially gives the user a 2nd lens when using the pancake prime lens. Very impressively, this electronic zoom (or "ETC" in Panasonic parlance) can be used without any significant or visible degradation in the captured video and provides the GH2 a flexibility that other manufacturers would do well to emulate. The availability of several good light and very compact interchangeable pancake prime lenses adds further to the attraction of the GH2 as a video camera - as well as a still photography camera. This makes the GH2 a better tool for those who want to capture still photos and videos at the same time. The only disadvantage that I see to the GH2 is its low-light performance which is best described as adequate but not exceptional. This is partly due to its smaller sensor and higher pixel density. While using fast primes such as the 20mm f/1.7 can often delay the onset of having have to use higher ISO, the GH2 would truly be exceptional if it had better low-light performance and will likely be the toughest hombre to beat among the three.
The Fujifilm X100 as a still camera is excellent for a select group of photographers who are not limited by the fixed-lens as its performance as a still camera is nothing short of excellent. In terms of low-light performance, the Fujifilm X100 outclasses the D3100 when shooting at ISO 3200 and even more so at ISO 6400 where the X100 still yields very good images. Combine with the f/2.0 lens, the X100 users will likely have minimal need of bringing an external flash. For a narrower select group of photographers who are not hobbled by the fixed lens, the Fujifilm X100 is one of the most exciting camera in the market.
CONTINUATION April 15, 2011
Fujifilm's decision to equip the X100 with a fixed non-interchangeable lens has allowed it to make the camera and lens smaller, and to add several features unique to the X100. This setup dispense with the need to use a focal plane shutter so unlike a dSLR where the shutter is found in the body, the shutter of the X100 is found in its lens. The combination of a quiet leaf shutter on the lens and the absence of a mirror-slapping noise means that it is possible for me to shoot the X100 very discretely even in a quiet room. Even continuous shooting with the X100 generates little noise. The shutter sound of the X100 shooting continuously is unobtrusive unlike the loud staccato clatter of the dSLR.
Another feature the fixed lens arrangement allowed is for Fujifilm to install a built-in 3-stops neutral density filter in the X100. I wished this was button activated but its fairly easy to access it from the menu. Once activated, I have a choice of either using a slower shutter speed or to shoot with the aperture wide-open.
The X100 can simulate several colored, B&W and sepia films. The colored setting are named after the Fuji Films. The standard setting is Provia. For landscape (and sometimes even for people), I like using the Velvia for its rich saturated look. Though one can choose the Vivid on the Nikon D3100, I find the Velvia look on the X100 more pleasing, specially when viewed on the computer. The Astia is intended for use with soft-tone palette and yields a less-saturated look. So I took several solo and group shots in the diffused light in the late afternoon with everyone wearing light pastel and earthy colors. The Astia setting yielded a dreamy old film look which I find very pleasing.
The shutter is adjusted using a dedicated top knob beside the shutter release button while the aperture is adjusted using the aperture ring on the lens. The controls work very well though the adjustment is always in increments of one stop. This is one area where the dSLR may provide greater flexibility in that it allows the easy adjustment in increment of 1/3 of 1/2 stop. It is possible to adjust the aperture and shutter speed of the X100 in 1/3 increments but it takes a whole lot longer to do this with the X100. It is by far faster to just adjust the exposure compensation when one is shooting in aperture priority mode. Because of the greater effort, I simply adopted and made my exposure adjustment (shutter speed and aperture) in one-stop increment adjustments.
CONTINUATION April 17, 2011
As someone who cleans his camera after every use upon getting home, one of the things I appreciate about the X100 was that it was designed for photographers who have a nose. =)
As a right-eyed focusing photographer, I can avoid the noise hitting and smearing the rear LCD screen of the X100 whenever I bring it to the eye to look through the viewfinder. Instead of my nose hitting the rear LCD screen whenever I do this, I am doubly pleased that this no longer happens and that cleaning the camera before putting it away is a bit easier and faster at the end of the day.
While video is limited to 720p, it is nonetheless quite good. The advantage of the X100 having an electronic viewfinder (EVF) becomes evident when one uses it for video. With the EVF, one can take video while keeping the X100 to one's eye and this makes for a more natural and steady shooting position just like with still photography. This is similar to the Panasonic GH2 which also has an EVF but in contrast to the Nikon D3100 where the arms would be outstretched in a point and shoot position while using the rear LCD screen take the video. The Fujifilm X100 can autofocus on video and its pretty fast. The Panasonic GH2 autofocuses on video faster still but the X100 is much faster than the Nikon D3100 on video.
Some have complained about power-up lag. First off, the type of SD card you use will make a substantial impact on power-up. A slow SD card can slow down the X100 from power-up to ready-to-use state. Using a fast SD card will help. Assuming that one is using an SD card, power up lag will depend on which viewfinder you are using. If you are using the electronic viewfinder, power lag is about 2 seconds. If you are using the optical viewfinder, the power lag is just a little bit above 1 second. In both instances, unless you have the viewfinder to your eyes and ready to shoot, the power lag does not make much of a difference as you still need to bring the camera up to your eyes upon power up, then need some time to compose, check exposure then shoot. While a dSLR like the D70 is almost instantaneous and is faster, it really will not make much of a difference for 99% of the time.
UPDATE: June 12, 2011
After taking hundreds of photos with this camera, I fully appreciate the solid and sturdy feel this camera imparts whenever one uses it. As such, it imparts a certain sense of confidence and satisfaction in being able to take good photos in a measured and deliberate manner. Never designed for sports speed shooting nor for the urgency of events or wedding photographers, the X100 is best used when one can take his time to frame and compose before taking the photo.
I can also categorically say that in terms of image quality, the X100 camera can hold its own against some of the best APS-C-sized sensored dSLRs in the market such as the Nikon D7000 for the type of shooting that the X100 was designed for. The black and white setting of the X100 can be quite intoxicating. The 3 "film" settings of the X100 (Astia, Provia and Velvia) is superb.
What has also become clear is the value of the silent shutter of the X100. Several times, I have had to take photos inside a very quiet church. The few shots I took with the Nikon FX D700 sounded like gunshots inside a very quiet church and even the considerably softer and quieter Nikon DX D7000 still sounded loud. I could not continue without causing a major disturbance. The X100 came to the rescue and allowed me to continue taking photos quietly and unobtrusively. What has also become of great help is the ability to see the aperture, shutter and exposure compensation settings of the X100 in one glance without needing to view these through the viewfinder. This has been helpful when shooting from the hip again to avoid disturbing the very quiet and solemn atmosphere in a church.
Going on to regular shooting, the electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the X100 allows me to shoot a photo and to review it immediately in the same EVF without need to put down the camera to view the image I just took through the rear LCD screen. I do not know of any camera that can do this ... not even the GH2 which also has an EVF. The EVF makes eye-on-camera video shooting very easy. While limited to 720p with very limited control on the settings, the X100 nonetheless can take very good video even in low light due to its clean images at high ISO.
On the other hand, using the optical viewfinder (OVF) of this rangefinder-type camera, I can see a greater area than what the lens cover and this gives me the advantage of better and greater situational awareness that allows me to better compose or anticipate the different elements that I would like to converge in my photos. With the dSLR, I have to keep both eyes open to do this but it is neither easy nor convenient. The OVF of the X100 make it a cinch to do this.
I should however mention 2 negatives both of which do not go directly into the performance of the X100. The first is the plastic adapter that comes with the battery charger. The battery charger is designed for another battery and an adapter is needed to charge the battery used with the X100. Though this adapter is also supplied with the charger, it is easily dislodged and as a result, could easily be lost making recharging a real challenge. The second negative is how Fuji has chosen not to design the lens so it can take on a filter (49mm) and also failed to include a hood with the camera. One needs to buy an expensive adapter that would allow the mounting of a filter on the X100. Considering that the lens is fixed, scratching the lens can quickly ruin anybody's day. Still on this, Fuji has also chosen not to include a hood with the lens. Like the filter adapter, this is again an expensive accessory. The hood is essential when shooting outdoors in bright sunlit conditions as well as indoors in harsh lighting conditions. Fuji may make a handsome profit when an X100 owner buys these but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth when one has to pay so much for something that should not cost much for Fuji to make and which it should have included with the camera as these are essential items.
While at it, there are a couple of nitpicks that one can make against the X100 (e.g., difficulty and tediousness of taking multiple shots using a timer) so some of the complaints made against the X100 firmware is justified. Fuji has already released a firmware upgrade and is expected to release a 2nd sometime soon. This gives me confidence that many of the nitpicks will eventually be addressed. And as these minor irritants does not detract from the X100 being a good camera for what is was designed for, I have decided to keep the 5-stars rating for this camera.
Finally, I can understand the frustration expressed by some who have reviewed the X100 when they treat and use the X100 as a substitute for their dSLRs. Having read this review this far, you will perhaps better understand their missives against the X100. The X100 has been designed for use in a specific niche and it excels within this specialized area. Outside this area, there are far better camera models out there that would surpass the X100 in size, weight, price, performance, flexibility, or the various combination of these. A better understanding of the capabilities and design of the X100 will help in avoiding the pitfalls that some have fallen into when they use the X100 as a dSLR substitute. I own an X100 but use my dSLR when I need a dSLR.