The Real Problem with the X100

Started Jun 28, 2011 | Discussions
NoDal
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The Real Problem with the X100
Jun 28, 2011

The X100 is clumsy. So much engineering and innovation went into it. So much of it is so good. It's truly innovative--bleeding edge in many ways. But In the end, it's an awkward camera designed by engineers. It falls way short of the elegant designs that inspired it.

The fix? Hire great designers to design every aspect of the camera--the body, dials, buttons, menus, etc. Raid Apple, Porsche or BMW for talent. Or identify and nurture the next Walter Ballmer or Jonathan Ive.

There's a large market for a $1200 fixed lens camera, but it will have to be a much better camera than the X100

Still loving my quirky X100! Peace, MC.

Paulo Abreu
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to NoDal, Jun 28, 2011

NoDal wrote:

... But In the end, it's an awkward camera designed by engineers. It falls way short of the elegant designs that inspired it.

What? can you please enumerate the design improvements you suggest?

The fix? Hire great designers to design every aspect of the camera--the body, dials, buttons, menus, etc. ...

What? This comment is really unique. Please point me someone with the same opinion, any reviewer, photographer or member of this site.

There's a large market for a $1200 fixed lens camera, but it will have to be a much better camera than the X100

That's why there are hundreds of cameras in back order.

Still loving my quirky X100! Peace, MC.

You have the X100? I got it, this post was written on April 1 and just published today.

Sorry for the short and obtuse comments but you can't be serious with this post. Excuse any extra "salt"

Regards

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Paulo Abreu,

'It is not worthy to make a video of your life - just keep the best moments in
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NoDal
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to Paulo Abreu, Jun 28, 2011

Paulo Abreu wrote:

You have the X100? I got it, this post was written on April 1 and just published today.

Sorry for the short and obtuse comments but you can't be serious with this post. Excuse any extra "salt"

Regards
Paulo Abreu,

Mr Abreu:

No worries. Your "short and obtuse comments" are noted and appreciated! MC

ob·tuse  (b-ts, -tys, b-)
adj. ob·tus·er, ob·tus·est
1.
a. Lacking quickness of perception or intellect.
b. Characterized by a lack of intelligence or sensitivity: an obtuse remark.
c. Not distinctly felt: an obtuse pain.

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hunz
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to NoDal, Jun 28, 2011

Muppet

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liquid stereo
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Fuji must have run out of money
In reply to NoDal, Jun 28, 2011

Its no secret that most companies have no regard for the user experience. Cheap (low cost/price) is all that matters. For this I blame Dell. Technology companies are especially bad because of the continuously decreasing price of their commodity-based components.

But I think Fuji ran out of money/time when coming up with the X100.
(1) Consider the dippy plastic command dial/stick/thing. POS.
(2) Look at the menu system. Its almost like they've never used a camera before.
(3) Manual focus is horrible at best.

(4) Why is the focus ring so stiff? Its like Fuji is saying "no, no, no. You don't want to touch this."
Why would they go 90% of the way and decide to leave the last 10% on the table?

That being said, the overall build is quite good, the images are phenomenal, and the JPEGs out of the camera are simply awesome.

NoDal wrote:

The X100 is clumsy. So much engineering and innovation went into it. So much of it is so good. It's truly innovative--bleeding edge in many ways. But In the end, it's an awkward camera designed by engineers. It falls way short of the elegant designs that inspired it.

The fix? Hire great designers to design every aspect of the camera--the body, dials, buttons, menus, etc. Raid Apple, Porsche or BMW for talent. Or identify and nurture the next Walter Ballmer or Jonathan Ive.

There's a large market for a $1200 fixed lens camera, but it will have to be a much better camera than the X100

Still loving my quirky X100! Peace, MC.

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Jeff Charles
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to NoDal, Jun 28, 2011

NoDal wrote:

The X100 is clumsy.

For me that's not true. The X100 has its user interface faults, but most do not come into play when I am using it to take photos. I use:

  • raw, which makes most menu settings irrelavant

  • auto ISO, which let's me assign the ND filter to the Fn button. ISO is not actually a photographic parameter, anyway, so I am happy to let the camera select it. If I need to change max ISO or min shutter speed, holding down the Fn button is now the shortcut to get to the auto ISO menu.

  • quick double tap on the macro button to turn macro on and off

  • AF button to move the focus point. I am still not completely adept at finding the AF button with my left thumb, but that will come.

  • AF, with the AFL button to hold focus when that is called for. I agree that the MF ring is not well implemented.

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Jeff

My cat, who likes to sprawl on my keyboard, gets the credit for anything I write that makes sense.

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Photohobbyfun
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to NoDal, Jun 28, 2011

If you let Apple design the camera it would have no buttons. Sure they would do a much better job with the firmware, but then you'd probably be left with a shutter button only.

Not sure how car designers come into play in the camera industry though.

I've only heard of two complaints with the camera, the exposure dial is too easy to move and the firmware was rushed. Fuji said the last firmware update wouldn't be the last. They fixed some stuff in the last update, maybe in the next update they'll get closer to what it should have been.

NoDal wrote:

The X100 is clumsy. So much engineering and innovation went into it. So much of it is so good. It's truly innovative--bleeding edge in many ways. But In the end, it's an awkward camera designed by engineers. It falls way short of the elegant designs that inspired it.

The fix? Hire great designers to design every aspect of the camera--the body, dials, buttons, menus, etc. Raid Apple, Porsche or BMW for talent. Or identify and nurture the next Walter Ballmer or Jonathan Ive.

There's a large market for a $1200 fixed lens camera, but it will have to be a much better camera than the X100

Still loving my quirky X100! Peace, MC.

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theswede
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to Photohobbyfun, Jun 28, 2011

Photohobbyfun wrote:

If you let Apple design the camera it would have no buttons. Sure they would do a much better job with the firmware, but then you'd probably be left with a shutter button only.

Shutter buttons are for professionals. Consumers will get a camera which takes pictures when there is something interesting, preferably smiling, in front of the camera, and automatically uploads them to the cloud.

Why confuse users with buttons and choice and stuff? Just make sure they get what they think they want and they'll be happy as pigs in ... mud.

Jesper

PS. I write this from a Mac.

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gordon lafleur
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to theswede, Jun 28, 2011

I love my x100, but you are right, the camera is awkward. Ergonomics and functionality have been compromised in order to maintain the retro aspect.

My studio mate Denis has an Olympus EP1 and all you have to do is pick up the Olympus after holding the x100 to note the superior grip.

Much has been written about the awkward controls, and menus, argue all you want, they need improvement.

Like I said, love my X100, but anxiously await it's successor.

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woffles
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Re: The REAL Problem with the X100 is
In reply to gordon lafleur, Jun 28, 2011

You can't buy one of the darn things anywhere! Wonder how much money a day Fuji is losing to non sales due to lack of inventory.

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Spade357
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to Photohobbyfun, Jun 28, 2011

I don't see any of the quirks affect the excellent pics I'm getting. It's the best compact camera I've use so far (had a NEX-5 and GF1). I'll get rid of it if the NEX-7 is really awesome or if Fuji releases the X200.

By the way, If you let APPLE design the camera, then I'll guarantee you there won't be any flash built in.

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fad
fad
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to NoDal, Jun 29, 2011

You are a brave man, for having spoken truth to fandom.

But are there any elegant cameras in a modernist style anywhere, for serious photographers?

All of our cameras look like they belong in a museum of outdated technology, with my Osborne 1.

If someone brought Apple level of software and design to cameras, we'd all have a lifetime supply of doorstops.

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ViewOnBlack
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to gordon lafleur, Jun 29, 2011

gordon lafleur wrote:

I love my x100, but you are right, the camera is awkward. Ergonomics and functionality have been compromised in order to maintain the retro aspect.

My studio mate Denis has an Olympus EP1 and all you have to do is pick up the Olympus after holding the x100 to note the superior grip.

Much has been written about the awkward controls, and menus, argue all you want, they need improvement.

Like I said, love my X100, but anxiously await it's successor.

no need to argue, I agree. the X100 is just odd to handle. the lack of grip could be the main issue, but hard to tell. when I grab my EPL1, it just "feels" right in my hand, whereas I keep fiddling my hand around the X100 to make it feel less awkward. the X100 looks much better than the EPL1, but the EPL1 just feels 10x more natural in my hand.

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Apteryx6
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to fad, Jun 29, 2011

fad wrote:

If someone brought Apple level of software and design to cameras, we'd all have a lifetime supply of doorstops.

You think they would be that bad? I know the last Apple product I was happy to use ( though didn't buy) was the IIe, but some people swear by them

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alwye
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to Apteryx6, Jun 29, 2011

The real problem is:
You can't buy one anywhere, unless you pay big $$$.
People pays $300 more than the sale price for a used one on ebay.

There is no design issue with X100, no handling issue, no performance issue...issue is people's expectation.

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fad
fad
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Re: The Real Problem with the X100
In reply to Apteryx6, Jun 30, 2011

Apteryx6 wrote:

fad wrote:

If someone brought Apple level of software and design to cameras, we'd all have a lifetime supply of doorstops.

You think they would be that bad? I know the last Apple product I was happy to use ( though didn't buy) was the IIe, but some people swear by them

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Apteryx

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Frank

Read what Thom Hogan says about Apple and Nikon at Bythom.com. He's been involved with this business for at least 30 years.

I realized some 6 or 7 years ago that the biggest cost of tech equipment is the time you spend learning to use it and keeping it working properly. Dell would outsource a part to a supplier that could save them 50 cents, and the resulting lack of quality and compatibility could easily cost me $1,000 of my time. Sio I decided to go the the ultra-expensive custom computer makers with a reputation for exceptional service, reading extensive reviews. The two computers I tried using this approach cost almost $10k. And that didn't work out so well. So now I have a mac pro, macbook pro, am writing this on my wife's mac air, and we have 4 iphones and 2 ipads. Couldn't be happier.

And I keep hearing stories of exceptional apple service at the stores.

They aren't perfect by any means, but Apple dominates high end markets because they understand user needs. Someone deleted some files of mine from a shared dropbox folder. I didn't have to look at a manual to restore them from Airport. It was a joy to use. How often do you get pleasure from a backup program?

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Mr Gadget
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Hummm, you mean like my ...
In reply to fad, Jun 30, 2011

Apple Newton. Now there is a door stop!
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Pointcolville
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NoDal i reluctantly agree with you
In reply to NoDal, Jun 30, 2011

And so do Reichman and Reid. MyM9 can be switched on, aperture and shutter set, and focus dialed in within seconds, and I know exactly where I stand. The x-100 takes a lot of fiddling around to get ready, and then the focus is hit or miss - especially with he environmental portraits (near/far) that I like to shoot. I hope they strip it down to the essentials and solve the focus problem in the next generation.

-

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lbjack
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TROLL (nt)
In reply to NoDal, Jun 30, 2011
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lbjack

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Paulo Abreu
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A question to Pointcolville
In reply to Pointcolville, Jun 30, 2011

... and other M9 owners:

Pointcolville wrote:

And so do Reichman and Reid. My M9 can be switched on, aperture and shutter set, and focus dialed in within seconds, and I know exactly where I stand.

  • May I ask why did you buy a X100, owning M9 ? I ask since I own X100 but my dream camera is still Leica, namely M9. If I could afford buying M9 I would never buy X100, I don't see a reason why... and surely not because of the AF ... for then complain about it.

I just envy those Leica lenses ... lens lust I know ...

Regards
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'It is not worthy to make a video of your life - just keep the best moments in
pictures!'

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