DPReview Gear of the Year - Part 1: Fujifilm X100S

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16MP sensor | 35mm (equiv.) F2 lens | Hybrid electronic/optical finder | DR expansion to 400%

Picking our favorite gear from among the great many new products announced every year is usually pretty tough, but this year, for me the choice was easy. The Fujifilm X100S is without doubt my favorite product of 2013. 

Fujfilm X100S - What I love:

  • 16MP X-TRANS sensor gives excellent image quality - virtually noiseless JPEGs up to ISO 3200.
  • 35mm (equivalent) F2 lens is sharp at all apertures and excellent for day-to-day photography.
  • Built-in Hybrid electronic / optical finder is luxurious and addictively useful.
  • Manual aperture, shutter and exposure compensation dials look classy, and are great to use.
  • On-sensor phase-detection AF means fast, accurate focus in most conditions.
  • Focus peaking and 'Digital Split Image' MF guides make manual focus easy.

Reviewing the Fujifilm X100S was a great lesson for me in what I should and shouldn't try to take on. At first it seemed entirely feasible - it's not like I haven't reviewed a camera before, and I know its predecessor the X100 very well, so yeah - sure. I'll review it. I'll have it done in a month. No big deal.

The X100S features a very sharp 23mm (35mm equivalent) F2 lens. The aperture is controlled using a traditional (faux mechanical) ring, and as well as a lens hood and filters, you can also attach an optional wideangle adapter which converts the lens to a 28mm equivalent F2.  The X100S is an unashamedly 'retro' styled camera, and here you can see the shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial. The 'Fn' button at upper right can be customized. The screw-in red soft-shutter release is my own addition, because I'm a nerd. 

That was the pride. The inevitable 'fall' came as days became weeks and weeks became months, and every week I struggled to devote more than a few hours to the review. I don't know exactly how long I was working on the X100S and I can't bring myself to work it out, but I do know that it was longer than I've ever spent with a single camera since I joined DPReview. But although the process of creating the review was incredibly frustrating, I enjoyed every minute I spent with the camera. 

The X100S builds upon the strengths of its predecessor in some smart and valuable ways. It handles better, it starts up quicker, it has a more sensible menu system, it focuses faster, and the hybrid viewfinder has a higher-resolution electronic view. Resolution went from 12MP in the X100 to 16MP, and although the real-world impact of this bump is relatively small, the X100S's new X-TRANS sensor allows for hybrid on-sensor phase-detection autofocus, and also new manual focus aids - focus peaking and digital split image display. In my review I also highlighted the X100S's excellent, fast 35mm equivalent lens and its useful dynamic range expansion settings.

Meanwhile, all of the elements of the X100 that I really valued are either unchanged in the X100S or subtly improved. The final result is a thoroughly likable camera. 

The X100S offers a beguiling combination of 'traditional' ergonomics and cutting-edge technology (especially when it comes to the finder) which, following my experience with the fascinating new Nikon Df I would definitely term as 'retro done right'. 

Some people might find a focal length of 35mm limiting, but I love it, and find that it's a great focal length for general photography which matches my field of vision. And thanks to its near-silent shutter there's nothing to beat the X100S for candid portraiture, in my opinion.

When reviewers are working on a camera for DPReview, they are expected to live with the product for an extended period of time. It's like this scene from 'Full Metal Jacket', but with less shouting (usually). The average in-depth review of a major camera takes at least four weeks, and that's assuming that the reviewer isn't working on anything else at the same time. As a consequence, at the end of the process, there's not much we can't tell you about the product.

So in a sense, embarking on a review is rather like agreeing to travel around the world with someone you just met. At the end of the trip you might be best friends, or you might want to murder them but either way, you'll know their habits (good and bad) pretty well.

Needless to say, by the end of my X100S review I had truly fallen in love with the camera. It isn't the most innovative product I've seen this year, nor the most accomplished in terms of specifications, but it's the one that I've used most, and continue to carry with me almost everywhere I go. It takes great pictures, and damn, it looks good too. 

This is part 1 in a series of articles where DPReview staff will be highlighting their personal standout products of the year.

Barnaby Britton: Editor

Fujifilm X100S Sample Images

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Fujifilm X100S

Comments

Total comments: 306
12
Roman Korcek
By Roman Korcek (5 months ago)

"the process of creating the review was incredibly frustrating"
Why?

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

thanks for this nice write up, Mr Britton
the X100s and GR my absolute fav cameras of this year - getting shots I wouldn't be able to get with a dslr
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j35F9w2D5xc

7 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (5 months ago)

I assume that the reason you can't get shots with you DSLR is because you don't have a lens for it

4 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

funny.

0 upvotes
remrebus
By remrebus (5 months ago)

@ LWS2013

I assume U don't have (never used) a X100S.

1 upvote
JF69
By JF69 (5 months ago)

LWS2013 is right; so many others have created images of the same genre with a DSLR that it's unreasonable (bordering on the offensive to others' intelligence) to say you "wouldn't be able to get with a dslr". Nice images Mike, thanks for sharing.

4 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (5 months ago)

thanks JF69, I should have said, much harder to get with a dslr, of course I didn't mean it literally

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

Harder or not - it's perfectly doable. Besides - you can always pick up one of these tiny DSLRs, like 100D. It'd be more than capable of taking any shots like you did in there.

2 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (5 months ago)

I perfectly understand what Mike K. means here: using something like X100s puts the photographer into a different state of mind, capable of seeing and doing things he/she would not do with a big DSLR. With D4 & zoom look and act different than with X100s, and people react differently. So the resulting photographs are also different.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

How about 100D with 50mm prime? That surely makes you act different than with D4+zoom.

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (5 months ago)

Yes I'm sure it's very nice and fun to use, but even that one picture of the dark haired woman shows the camera's severe limitation, a fixed semi-wideangle. It's nowhere near the best focal length for that shot and is already distorting her image

Quite how you can all blub over a camera with such limitation in 2013 is beyond me.

7 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

You must realize that if you would have longer FL - it'd be equally limiting only in different situations (eg. landscapes/travel).
Meanwhile this, shorter focal length allows for smaller lens what is a great benefit to this body.

9 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (5 months ago)

Yes, which is why having a camera with such limited options is a bit ridiculous, it isn't 1955, superb fast zoom lenses and high ISO media exist, why hamstring yourself with something so limiting?

2 upvotes
Managarm
By Managarm (5 months ago)

Because a APS-C camera with a fast zoom lens of the same optical quality would have to be a lot bigger than this combo and that would completely destroy the point of the X100(s)?

There are already enough possible alternatives with optional fast zoom lenses. Just get one of those.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (5 months ago)

Who said a dslr?

My G1X will spit on this for versatility AND image quality in RAW, plus it's FAR cheaper and not stuck with one focal length.

3 upvotes
Collie Camp
By Collie Camp (5 months ago)

You have a f 2.0 zoom? I don´t think so. Ever heard of bokeh? Not with your Canon G1X I guess...

Being a Canon and a Fuji user, I doubt that your G1X will be anywhere near the sensor quality of the X100s - sorry.

DXO Sensor score GX1: 60 vs. Fuji X100s: 73

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

bigdaddave - zoom vs prime. We had this debate for long long time in early '00s. Everything what was to be said on that topic was already said, and nearly nothing changed. Same arguments still apply.
So if you want to talk about it - dig out some ancient forums. No reason to dismiss one type of lenses or another.

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (5 months ago)

Why do professional auto mechanics have full sets of wrenches in their toolbox, when bigdaddave manages perfectly well with just one monkey wrench?

1 upvote
Managarm
By Managarm (5 months ago)

>> My G1X will spit on this [...] <<

Ok, now I see where you are coming from. "My camera is better than your sucking camera" and all that sort of immature face off.
Not interested in that lower kind of discussions. Conversation ended.

1 upvote
SuvoMitra
By SuvoMitra (5 months ago)

Yes, well done, Fuji. Nice cameras and great support. I've stayed with the classic X100, which is a different camera now with FW 2.0. Also, the WCL-X100 is amazing if a 28mm equiv is sometimes preferable, without loss of quality. For me, the X100+WCL functions as two different cameras that do different things in combination with other cameras/focal lengths.

4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

"without loss of quality" - there's no such thing. Each adapter or converter means a loss of image quality. Of course it depends on what you can accept and what's the quality of converter, but never the less - you cannot say that there is no loss of quality. It's against laws of physics.

2 upvotes
SuvoMitra
By SuvoMitra (5 months ago)

Yes, you're right. I should have said something like noticeable loss of quality, in particular f/2.8 and up. I'm sure a loss is discoverable with effort.

1 upvote
awelch100
By awelch100 (5 months ago)

@Plastek- Not true. What exactly makes an adaptor/converter inherently inferior? More glass? Well, if that was true then we would expect any lens with more than one element to produce infereior quality images.
Perhaps what you are referring to are generalized focal length adaptors and converters. In that case, what you state would likely be true. The 28mm adaptor for the X100/X100S is not one of those, as it is specifically designed for use with the 23mm f/2.0 lens and no other.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

awelch100 - you can't cheat physics. Changing optical design of a lens with a converter or using adaptors to fit it on a different bayonet always screws it's image quality. Whatever it's noticeable for you or not - it's a different problem.
Never the less: I am right.
There are many reasons for that - additional glass elements, imperfections in construction, misalignments, decentering, etc. etc. Whatever adapter is dedicated to one lens or not - doesn't matter much. It's still an alteration of original lens which brings down an optical quality.

0 upvotes
cjhwang
By cjhwang (5 months ago)

on a side note, it's "nevertheless" aka "notwithstanding" aka "all the same" seeing "never the less" on 3 straight comments bothered me :) I kept expecting a "this is never LESS than that" kind of statement. Sorry, I'm a grammar nazi.

2 upvotes
xeriwthe
By xeriwthe (5 months ago)

i have an x100s with the WCL, the main difference I see is with the contrast of the image. The image definitely looks a bit less contrasty, which is what you'd expect going through several extra layers of glass.

also, the bokeh is not as nice with the adapter.. photos taken close up at wide apertures suffer from some weird bokeh artifacts

i see no difference in sharpness.. i could be just delusional and biased by what i've read but it almost seems sharper at f2.0 with the WCL than without

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
andy amos
By andy amos (5 months ago)

A really enjoyable article! It is interesting how gadgets can affect us and being perfect isn't alsways what we find so satisfying. Many thanks for the peasurable read, Barnaby!

2 upvotes
Vizio Virtù
By Vizio Virtù (5 months ago)

I'll never understand for what reasons people are so enthusiastic about these crappy mirrorless cameras. OK, they look nice but image quality - especially skin tones and skin texture - is so bad.

2 upvotes
Antonio G
By Antonio G (5 months ago)

Just shoot with one for some days and come back here.

7 upvotes
etagimbo
By etagimbo (5 months ago)

How does a mirror add to skin tones and skin textures?

30 upvotes
Vizio Virtù
By Vizio Virtù (5 months ago)

Of course setting aside the mirror does not affect image quality. But all mirrorless today (at least the ones I tried mysellf resp. watched full resolution samples) suffer from bad sensors and / or bad image processing engines. Even full frame mirrorless.

1 upvote
MiniMoke
By MiniMoke (5 months ago)

"How does a mirror add to skin tones and skin textures?"

Guess he's talking about a make-up mirror

5 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (5 months ago)

To get the quality you are after, you may have to drop $50,000 on a quality medium format system. But even Phase One are working on improvements to their medium format systems that sell around that price.

3 upvotes
Zoran Krnjajic
By Zoran Krnjajic (5 months ago)

"There are two kinds of photographers - those that concentrate on the art of photographing and those that concentrate on photographic equipment."

4 upvotes
neo_nights
By neo_nights (5 months ago)

Since most cameras today use Sony sensors (DSLRs and mirrorless), you're saying that only Canon cameras have a good senso, thus have good skin tones and skin textures?
:P

If you don't like mirrorless, fine. Calling them 'crappy' is a bit too much of prejudice.

1 upvote
Collie Camp
By Collie Camp (5 months ago)

I have the opposite impression: my mirrorless cameras are actualy sharper than my DSLRs - no mirror vibrations and lighter AA filter I guess...

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

I guess you got old DSLRs. Modern are very good with absorbing mirror slap and EFSC really does make a difference. Besides - even old DSLRs got issues with mirror slap only on a certain exposure times. And not all of them (eg. SLTs don't move their mirror).

Zoran Krnjajic - welcome to the website that concentrates on photographic equipment.

DaveE1 - it'd be enough for him to buy FF DSLR with some good, dedicated glass. Perhaps also color checker if he is so concerned about skin tones (but that's useful with any camera - even P&S).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Collie Camp
By Collie Camp (5 months ago)

If you call a Canon 5D Mk2 or Sony a850 old then yes.

But as you said, you can´t change physics, there are vibrations, even at fast shutter speeds. And if you use an electronic shutter like the Sony Nex7 in my personal experience, you´ll get incredibly sharp results.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

Well, these are quite old, from times before EFSC got widely adopted.

Still though - I'm quite sure issue you have is in technique, not an actual physics, if you are unable to get razor-sharp shots with 5D mkII - or perhaps it's just lenses?

Either of these cameras given right conditions is capable of exceeding NEX7 capacity, even more so as NEX7 got rather poor sensor in terms of resolving details, even for an APS-C camera (it doesn't really stand a chance against Full frames according to the independent reviewers). Mirror vibrations got nothing to deal with that if these are results you see - as said: you can't change physics, and these tell that both these DSLRs are capable of delivering sharper photos than NEX7 (whatever mirror vibration disadvantage is there gets neglected by larger sensor area and pixel pitch) - besides, as said, mirror vibrations is applicable only at certain shutter speeds - if you shoot faster or slower a difference between shots with MLU (no vibration)

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

...and without it is impossible to see.

0 upvotes
Collie Camp
By Collie Camp (5 months ago)

Well Plastek,

so when you talk about bad technique - why could I handle one camera better than the other ;) ? I get razor sharp shots from my Canon - but the NEX surpases it in resolution terms in RAW.

"Either of these cameras given right conditions is capable of exceeding NEX7 capacity, even more so as NEX7 got rather poor sensor in terms of resolving details..."

is simply not true at all. According to "imaging resource" the Sony a850 has a measured RAW max resolution 2150 lph, the Canon 5DII max up to 2200lph and the NEX7 is capable of up to 2400 lph.

And that result reflects exactly what I am seeing. I think, you are not informed very well.

The NEX7 is just incredibly sharp at pixel level. Noise? Not as good as a full frame dslr. there are allways tradeoffs.

You are happy shooting DSLRs? Me too, I love the view through the Viewfinder...then I switch to smaller cameras again and love their size.

They are all good cameras IMO.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Zoran Krnjajic
By Zoran Krnjajic (5 months ago)

It's useless, Collie Camp, there will always be someone how knows everything about everything...

2 upvotes
samuelphoto
By samuelphoto (5 months ago)

Bad skin tones and texture? No way. I would say that from an imaging standpoint, skin tones are the #1 strength of this camera. I have a 1 year old grandchild and it renders his complexion just beautifully.

1 upvote
davids8560
By davids8560 (5 months ago)

I dunno. The X100s' 35mm lens reminds me of the year 1935, when, as everyone knows, the great T.E. Lawrence of "Lawrence of Arabia" fame died in a motorcycle accident in the English countryside. It's kind of a deal breaker for me.

I'd much prefer a 64mm lens, because 1964 was the year the animated cartoon series "Speed Racer" made its television debut.

Just sayin'.

3 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (5 months ago)

I don't know whether you are one of the world's great thinkers, or simply weird. lol.

4 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (5 months ago)

@ davids8560, your local photo retailer better have their Wikipedia open at the 'on this day' section when you bound in to buy a new lens :-D

1 upvote
James Pilcher
By James Pilcher (5 months ago)

@davids8560: It blows my mind to think about what you would have to say about a 24-70mm zoom.

Just sayin'.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
JohnEwing
By JohnEwing (5 months ago)

It's great to read such a personal take on a camera and on the reviewing process. I'd think there'd be a danger of starting a review of a camera you love and ending up hating it because you can't get the review finished. I'm glad your love of the X100s survived.

1 upvote
InTheMist
By InTheMist (5 months ago)

Well-deserved win by Fuji.

It's not my favorite camera in the world but it's the one I have in my bag right now in the office. It's just so light, and the colors are soooo good. Innovative features too.

4 upvotes
Eleson
By Eleson (5 months ago)

I think that is misreading the article. It is not stated to be a overall winner of the year.
This is BB's personal favourite of the year, and a chance to write a very personal article about his favourite, and most of all, hes feelings about this favourite. Totally clean from all charts and spec's but instead full of what the camera gives to Barney.
(BB, correct me if I'm wrong here ... :) )

And I like exactly like that and hope to see the same from all (or atleast more) writers from the dpr staff.

2 upvotes
InTheMist
By InTheMist (5 months ago)

"The Fujifilm X100S is without doubt my favorite product of 2013."

That's all I mean with my congratulations.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

X100 is a perfect proof that compacts do better job as a travel / walk-around camera than any compact system camera out there.
Well done Fuji!

3 upvotes
Marty4650
By Marty4650 (5 months ago)

The X100s certainly is a wonderful camera.

But isn't it essentially just the final version of the X100 from 2010, after all the bugs were fixed? This is just the camera Fuji tried to release three years ago, and finally got right.

I suppose that even though the specs are nearly identical, it qualifies as a "new camera" because all the problems were fixed. It went from being a frustrating and expensive piece of camera jewelry, to being a really great camera.

So, I guess it does qualify.... after all it is the best fixed lens camera you can buy today for under $3000. (The Sony RX1 being the best one if cost is no object.)

4 upvotes
chooflaki
By chooflaki (5 months ago)

it was only a few weeks ago that Fuji released new firmware for the original X100 a year after it was discontinued. Now the original has focus peaking and other up to date improvemts. Now almost as good as its successor. Great ongoing support from Fuji

7 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (5 months ago)

Today I saw a total of 40 X100 cameras in the used shelf in a camera shop, and half of them the limited black edition... hope the people that used to own them just went on to the X100s, but I do wish the used price for the X100 would drop with so many available as second hand

1 upvote
Antonio G
By Antonio G (5 months ago)

It's a signal of consumerism and the way people behave nowadays. I don't regret keeping mine and after the firmware update it will stay with me no matter how tempting the X100s can be.
I don't know how low you expected the prices to go but I've seen quite reasonable ones. So maybe you should pick one and enjoy it.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

IDK - black X100 looks worse than a silver one. I guess people realize it eventually and drop it for a silver one. Or upgraded to X100s.

0 upvotes
Northgrove
By Northgrove (5 months ago)

The price for a new X100 is ridiculous over here right now, a true bargain. With FW 2.0 on top, I think many don't realize what they're skipping because it's not the latest model. You can now get an X100 for less than a Sony RX100/II, which is ridiculous consider the APS-C sensor, hybrid VF system, handling, dials and JPEG engine. Yes, not as pocketable and no (uber slow) zoom lens like the RX100, but that doesn't stop me from walking around with it in a jacket pocket all day.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

Northgrove - you haven't seen a slow lens if f/1.8-4.9 is "uber-slow" for you.

"that doesn't stop me from walking around with it in a jacket pocket all day" - I walked with a DSLR + 50mm prime in a pocket of my winter jacket. Can't see what it proves, really. Aside from the fact that DSLR can be portable camera if your brain isn't stuck on a perception of "DSLR=big".

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
dgc4rter
By dgc4rter (5 months ago)

Just couldn't resist when I saw an X100S sitting there behind the glass in a Newcastle camera shop. It looked gorgeous. It has to be one of the best "walkaround" cameras in existence at the moment. I can't imagine ever wanting to get rid of it (that's unless they bring out a FF X300 :-) ).

1 upvote
kitsap2
By kitsap2 (5 months ago)

This has nothing to do with the X100S, but having spent a weekend with a 24mm Pentax legacy lens on my Panny G2, I found that the corresponding focal length of, 36mm, was really fun to work with. It's a focal length that Mr. Britton describes perfectly.

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (5 months ago)

24mm would be 48mm on the panny g2

3 upvotes
kitsap2
By kitsap2 (5 months ago)

Ugghh! You're right! I knew it when I was shooting, but then got lost in the "fog" of reading about too many camera's, lately!

1 upvote
zenfr2009
By zenfr2009 (5 months ago)

A little bigger than my X1 and needs a little bag.

X1 is better in very dim light and when I need a long exposure during the night.

All in all, X100S is very good too especially during the days.

1 upvote
Segaman
By Segaman (5 months ago)

Congrats to Fuji

1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (5 months ago)

I knew there was a reason I liked you Barnaby.

1 upvote
Jonavin
By Jonavin (5 months ago)

It has it's quirks but I love my X100S because it's so darn fun to use. Photos from it still surprise me. I've taken more shots with it this year than I have with all my other cameras combined in the past 5. It's always inviting you to pick it up and take some shots, and results don't disappoint.

Great pick.

3 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

I love when people measure quality of cameras by amount of shots made with them.

3 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (5 months ago)

Well, if the quality is not very good or it is awkward to use you are unlikely to be using it a lot.
It seems a very good way for a photographer to judge whether a camera matches their needs

4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (5 months ago)

What cameras you suggest got poor quality and awkard controls? DSLR? I would argue with that.

0 upvotes
Jonavin
By Jonavin (5 months ago)

My point of mentioning the number of shots is just to say how much I love using it. There was no intent to imply quality of the X100S is superior vs any other camera. I'm not measuring quality but personal utility and satisfaction. " and the results don't disappoint" is all I've said about the quality.

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (5 months ago)

Aha! I knew it. Playing footsie favorites with Fujifilm I see.
(I'm teasing of course, and envious of such a sweet rig. :P )

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (5 months ago)

Good choice! I got one right away when they became available to fill the gap in the X-Pro1 lens family (I had 14mm, 35mm and 55-200 at that time) and as a back-up camera for travel projects. Too bad the battery can not be recharged with X-Pro1 charger, though, that is almost the only complaint I have.

Here are some samples from a trip that I could not have done with DSLRs:

https://picasaweb.google.com/109958612223411682295/EasternTibetAmdoAndKham2013?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Secret, giant monasteries of Eastern Tibet. Shot with X-Pro1 and X100s.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
alybaba
By alybaba (5 months ago)

Excellent work well done.

2 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (5 months ago)

Petka, your images tell an interesting story that I found difficult to stop browsing.

However, why could you not have done it with DSLRs?

1 upvote
zdys
By zdys (5 months ago)

WOW, good pictures!

I must correct, excellent pictures! They become better and better towards the end. Congrats!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (5 months ago)

@Gediminas 8: Tibet is a bit difficult area for journalism, Chinese government does not like us wandering around there freely, even not at all (Tibet Autonomous Region is totally closed to journalists). Also those two giant monasteries have often been closed to all foreigners, I was lucky to be able to visit them without any police checks, the hotels there did not register me either, not wanting a visit from the security branch. This just to show the situation and official atmosphere over there. With small cameras I was just an old guy with "old" cameras.

The other part of the equation is the more intimate feel provided with these unobtrusive, quiet and harmless looking Fuji cameras. It is much easier for me to go to places like those and visit peoples tents and shacks with a small "old" camera, than with Nikon D4 & D800e, which are my daily work tools. I also doubt if they would have given me a permission to take pictures in some closed monasteries If I had stormed in with big DSLRs.

2 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (5 months ago)

Cont: I also tried to dress a bit like locals, flannel shirt and felt hat etc, so that I would not immediately stick out like a sore thumb. This might have helped me to get through two closed areas without being stopped at the check posts and to avoid being spotted by automatic video & camera surveillance used at every village entrance & exit.

On my Picasa site there are also photos from Jerusalem taken with X-Pro1, there it was also easy to "blend in" (???) with a harmless old camera. 7 days in the old town.

2 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (5 months ago)

Thanks for the explanation.

I was aware of the Tibet issue/situation, perhaps only underestimated the intensity of the control and thought that since tourists are allowed there anyway (after all permits have been obtained), why not take the best gear you can.

But I also understand the point about blending in and not scaring your subjects.

1 upvote
Alejandro Ruiz
By Alejandro Ruiz (5 months ago)

Congratulations for the subtle way "Some people might find a focal length of 35mm limiting" is illustrated by the girl photo.
Love this camera but 35 mm severely compromises portraiture, unless the model is in the center of the frame, you gonna get in trouble with her...
Why there is no 50 mm fixed lens in the market ?

5 upvotes
chooflaki
By chooflaki (5 months ago)

There is the Sigma DPM 3, 50mm ASPC Foveon fixed lens. A different beast entirely but also impressive.
The most impressive feature IMO of the x100/100s is the leaf shutter/ flash combo.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
abortabort
By abortabort (5 months ago)

Sigma DP3M? Or if you mean 50mm equiv, Ricoh GXR A12 50mm or even the DP2M.

2 upvotes
chooflaki
By chooflaki (5 months ago)

Yep the DP3m. I got the letters wrong. I have the DP2m. Outstanding IQ for everything but portraits. The sensor to too revealing of every flaw in a persons skin.

1 upvote
RStyga
By RStyga (5 months ago)

Have you ever heard of Gaussian blur? It's the easiest thing to do, unlike sharpening... I've read a lot of arguments against the Foveon cameras but never that it's too sharp!

1 upvote
Spectro
By Spectro (5 months ago)

this camera is very popular in my photography group, I know 4-5 people with it(4 of the 5 have dslr as a main body). I also work by pike place market where the tourist are and don't see anybody with one. Mostly cellphone rebel and baby nikon. I played the camera and find the 35mm too limiting. Take a photo seem to be a slower process (good and bad). The camera isn't for me, prefer the x-pro or x-e2, granted those aren't flat.

x-trans sensor without an AA filter has great detail and no hint of moire. For some scene since it has more green photodiodes then red and blue does look more muted compared to a same shot with my dslr. Giving that bayer sensor on a few nikon and sony don't have aa filter the advantage of a xtran might be a moot point (d800e, d5300, d7100, A7r). Grant fuji use a sony base sensor (this has been written/noted on fujirumors) so dr and color profile might be in the same range.

0 upvotes
Esign
By Esign (5 months ago)

Well, first thing to do is to remove the horrible leather diaper... and then many of the sample shots - from technical reasons...
For a compact 35 mm, I prefer my Canon EOS-M/22 f2.0 all days of the week - smaller and much better colors - no orange faces - and excellent macro. Focusing by tapping the display is very quick - you know you need only one focus point, don't you? And you choose it yourself! When 35 mm gets boring, the excellent 11-22 f4-5.6 comes on. Now, I'm just waiting for a compact 55-250. The full system is no burden to carry all day.

3 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (5 months ago)

Another alternative is Panasonic GX7 + Olympus 17/1.8. Much more flexible, faster and more reliable focusing and even has silent shutter.

1 upvote
Marcos Villaroman
By Marcos Villaroman (5 months ago)

I much prefer the handling of my X100S over my EOS-M. The EOS-M's touch screen messes me up at times when i accidentally tap it and reconfigure things at a bad moment.

If Canon comes out with a pro version of the EOS-M with an EVF and sufficient buttons to control it without using the touch screen, I'll buy it.

3 upvotes
MoltenP
By MoltenP (5 months ago)

Here's a ride report done by a motorcyclist who used the x100s when riding through some of the 'stans (Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan). He has some beautiful images in his ride report.

Some of his photographs prompted forum members to buy x100s.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=923656

0 upvotes
Deleted78792
By Deleted78792 (5 months ago)

"... red soft-shutter release is my own addition, because I'm a nerd."

You are a brave man Barney. That's almost as difficult as confessing love :)
And great photos too.

1 upvote
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (5 months ago)

Part 1?

How many parts to come? And at what frequency?

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

Other companies trying to make digital cameras that look like a film camera could learn from this. If I liked using a 35mm lens I'd buy an X100 without hesitation.

1 upvote
Absolutic
By Absolutic (5 months ago)

I agree, out of all the cameras I've owned in the last few years, X100s stands out and that is the one that I am unlikely to sell anytime soon. It goes to my work bag with me and is always with me pretty much. I've taken some amazing photographs with it. Great picture quality + small size+ silent shooting = success. I wish the lens was F/1.4 instead of F/2, but hey, the camera would not be as small.

0 upvotes
FlickTek
By FlickTek (5 months ago)

Couldn't agree more!

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (5 months ago)

To the staff of DPR.

You are a lucky bunch of lot, handling great innovative gadgets.

You made a deserving choice.

Keep on truckin' in 2014!

.

13 upvotes
Total comments: 306
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