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Just posted: Our updated in-depth review of the Fujifilm FinePix X100

By dpreview staff on Jul 8, 2011 at 18:31 GMT

Just Posted: our revised Fujifilm X100 review. Amongst the changes listed in Fujifilm's 1.10 firmware update for the FinePix X100 were several that addressed issues raised in our original in-depth review. To reflect this, we have gone back into the studio and re-tested the X100 to see just how much difference the changes make. Does the update allow the X100 to achieve its obvious potential as a high-quality luxury compact camera, or is it still too quirky to earn our outright recommendation? Read our extensively updated review to find out.

Click here to read our updated in-depth review of the Fujifilm FinePix X100

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Comments

Total comments: 98
Ryan Ladbrook
By Ryan Ladbrook (Jul 21, 2011)

Of all the things to not get right on the first model (hopefully there will be an improved version next year) why the slow RAW write speed?

I could forgive the other qwerks but waiting to take the next frame would have me grinding my teeth

Also why bother with video capture on a camera like this?

Wasted resources that could have been used to making the X100 closer to what it should have been

0 upvotes
rakita
By rakita (Jul 18, 2011)

The cutiest camera of 21 century!

0 upvotes
RC
By RC (Jul 12, 2011)

I use my X100 mainly for handheld twilight or night shots without flash. The results are simply amazing/breathtaking for such a small camera.
For everything else, I mainly use a DSLR and or a bridge camera.

0 upvotes
EduardoJB
By EduardoJB (Jul 11, 2011)

I find very annoying that one can't focus (in AF mode) objects closer than (according to the manual) 28" unless Macro mode is not activated. Even though the manual says that it is possible but it would take more time, in my experience it just doesn't work well. I've tried it and maybe two out of twenty times the green rectangle lights up, but even then the photo is not focused (and I'm using f/5.6). Macro mode is essential for it to focus right. Can this be fixed with a firmware update or is it mechanically (or electronically) impossible? Is this a design compromise?

1 upvote
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 11, 2011)

I don't think they will change this. The physical limitations of not having a TTL viewfinder means there will be parallax issues once you get too close so at that point you have to switch to the EVF or else your image will be way off. I think that's the reason they chose 28". Also, by keeping Macro and normal focusing separate they are able to optimize focus speed. It's sort of the same reason a lot macro (true macro lenses) have focus limiters so you can use them for both macro and normal shooting without having to wait so long for focus.

0 upvotes
EduardoJB
By EduardoJB (Jul 12, 2011)

Thanks. Good answer. And this happens because of the focusing system chosen? Meaning... They probably couldn't have avoided this because of the hybrid viewfinder? How does Leica solves this? It may seem that with a fixed lens the solution could have been simpler. They did address part of the parallax problem with the focus rectangle shifting places, couldn't they go further with this solution (since it's an EVF anyway? Sorry for all the questions...

0 upvotes
EduardoJB
By EduardoJB (Jul 12, 2011)

And this is why, I presume, Leica had to come up with such a complicated solution with their "dual range" lens for film cameras and prefers not to have an EVF in the digital M's?

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 12, 2011)

That's pretty much it. There's only so far you can go before the OVF is no longer effective. On the other hand, the huge benefit of this system is that your viewfinder can see much more than what your sensor will pick-up. That's why you have separate eyepieces for certain lenses with the Leica Rangefinders. This is a huge benefit for street shooters since you can see subjects in your viewfinder before they move into the frame.

1 upvote
RC
By RC (Jul 12, 2011)

This is actually one of the biggest annoyances of the X100.

0 upvotes
Bo Lorentzen
By Bo Lorentzen (Jul 13, 2011)

Pretty sure my M9 focuses something like 75cm out. its a rangefinder thing. (for better or for worse)

0 upvotes
dbaechli
By dbaechli (Jul 24, 2011)

It really is a range finder thing. My Zorkis focus from about 75-1.2m and an older Olympus Pen from 1.6m. I very much like the x100 for its limitations ,-) But there are a great features to really love. Only one issue: 2.2 sec to be ready for shooting.. Argh - OK, despite battery draining I will have to try this fast start modus (what's it in English?? *g*). Awesome camera and I am happy that it is not for everyone.

0 upvotes
dbaechli
By dbaechli (Jul 24, 2011)

It really is a range finder thing. My Zorkis focus from about 75-1.2m and an older Olympus Pen from 1.6m. I very much like the x100 for its limitations ,-) But there are a great features to really love. Only one issue: 2.2 sec to be ready for shooting.. Argh - OK, despite battery draining I will have to try this fast start modus (what's it in English?? *g*). Awesome camera and I am happy that it is not for everyone.

0 upvotes
dbaechli
By dbaechli (Jul 24, 2011)

It really is a range finder thing. My Zorkis focus from about 75-1.2m and an older Olympus Pen from 1.6m. I very much like the x100 for its limitations ,-) But there are a great features to really love. Only one issue: 2.2 sec to be ready for shooting.. Argh - OK, despite battery draining I will have to try this fast start modus (what's it in English?? *g*). Awesome camera and I am happy that it is not for everyone.

0 upvotes
dbaechli
By dbaechli (Jul 24, 2011)

Khm.. sorry.. for the triple action.

0 upvotes
makofoto
By makofoto (Jul 11, 2011)

Build, picture and finder Quality is very nice ... hopefully they can speed up the AF. Since this is not a DSLR, are they limited to (slowish) Contrast Detection AF instead of Phase Detection AF?

Here a short video clip: http://gallery.me.com/makofoto/100539

I believe the attempt to focus on the close items was unfair, being within minimum focus. It WAS almost impossible to manually focus while live, ie. shooting video.

0 upvotes
Antonio G
By Antonio G (Jul 11, 2011)

The X100 is not the fastest one when it comes to focus but it's behaviour is not that bad either, considering it uses contrast detection. Pani G3, just reviewed by DP seems to be quite good here and also uses CD, not Phase Detection.

On movie mode, focus uses the area mode, so you can't choose the focusing points and it doesn't allow a precise control, an manual mode only allows you to focus before the recording start.
One can argue that this is a big issue but to start with I'd say that video is probably something added to meet present trends and not a part of the core philosophy of the camera's design.
Being a somehow interesting thing that I did use for some seconds of an unique experience in one month of usage, video was not a specification impacting my purchase decision, but I believe other people can value in a completely different way.

0 upvotes
makofoto
By makofoto (Jul 11, 2011)

So instead of one of these, my son just bought a used Fujifilm Klasse S (FILM!) camera, close to $500:

http://cgi.ebay.com/FUJIFILM-KLASSE-S-CAMERA-NEW-/280685727508

... on the other hand, my pro friends GF1 shots are just phenomenal, especially creating B&W using NIK Silver EFX out of his RAW files!

See "Personal Picks" (not all GF1 shots!): http://keithskelton.viewbook.com/

0 upvotes
E.J.
By E.J. (Jul 11, 2011)

Man I want to like this camera so much as it reminds me of a digital version of my first 35mm camera - the Yashica Range Finder in the 1970's. But some of the choices that were made like the 1/3 stop kludge and even now, the absolutely asinine firmware design really keep this from being the great camera it could be.

0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (Jul 11, 2011)

Since this review was just published, why was it not revised to reflect the differences provided by the new Firmware?

Instead of just a P.S. about the changes at the end...

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jul 11, 2011)

The review was originally published in May, based on FW 1.02. This revision isn't just a "P.S. about the changes at the end", but a fairly substantial rewriting to remove references to bugs that have been fixed, and indeed in a couple of places describe new bugs or oddities in FW1.1. While the update has improved the X100 quite substantially, the overall conclusion isn't radically altered - it's still somewhat buggy and flawed in operation, but the image quality is superb.

0 upvotes
Feud
By Feud (Jul 12, 2011)

Great review and revision, Andy. I've just bought an Olympus E-PL1 and the VF2 EVF, and am delighted with it. I might buy the X100 one day, but am in no hurry.

0 upvotes
Bob from Plymouth
By Bob from Plymouth (Jul 11, 2011)

What a shame, I really wanted one of these, it takes beautiful pictures and has a high desirability factor but reading in the review about how long the buffer takes to flush reminded me of my old Olympus E-20P. Surely technology hasn't taken that big a step backwards!

0 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Jul 11, 2011)

A very attractive camera, part of only a handful of small digital cameras capable of outstanding results, along with useful features like the evf. Maybe the software isn't up there with the best of them, but the only reason to overlook this is over-rating other cameras of a similar size. The tiny M 4/3 sensor and crummy lenses currently available for Sony's NEX just can't compare.

1 upvote
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Jul 11, 2011)

You're wrong about Sony. They have an upcoming Carl Zeiss 24mm f/2 pancake. Essentially the same fast 35mm equiv as the x100.

0 upvotes
basuralang
By basuralang (Jul 11, 2011)

He is not wrong - he said "currently available".

0 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jul 11, 2011)

The comments by "REAL" photographers (sigh...) seem to get more and more condescending as the price of a camera increases and/or the user interface has issues.

Like the cameras it emulates in style the Fuji will gain a cult following. Also like those cameras in many cases the person in front and the person behind the lens are both posing...

All the credential waving and non-wedding-shooter posts won't help nearly as much as a firmware fix.

1 upvote
Antonio G
By Antonio G (Jul 11, 2011)

Neither being a "REAL" photographer nor having any particular credentials to present, to me the X100 reminds my first 35mm film camera (a Fujica Compact 35) not the ones you suggest it to "emulates" (by the way, Fujifilm produced some range finders also) and I never had the courage to buy, considering their price tags.
My first digital camera (Olympus C-3040Z) cost me more than twice the X100 price today, back in 2002. And (both at present prices) the Fuji costs less than the cheapest 35mm Leica lens.
One month after the purchase I didn't show it to more than half a dozen people and I don't see any reason to "pose" behind its lens, the same way I don't consider it to be "THE" perfect camera...something the X100 it is not and could not be, because "THAT" one was not yet produced and probably will never be.
Its easy to judge other people...if it is fair or just resulting from other reasons, it is a different story.

2 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jul 11, 2011)

I in fact think Antonio G is correct, has presented a balanced view, and I agree with him on several points.

0 upvotes
Ed Herdman
By Ed Herdman (Jul 11, 2011)

I do not think the comparison to 2002 digital cameras (you weren't using a Sony F707 like I was, perhaps?) is quite apt, because at the dawn of the digital age cameras were VERY expensive. On the other hand, even then there were some key considerations putting them ahead of film SLRs, such as better capacity for trips, fewer additional expenses, and much simpler pipeline to getting them web-ready. In many ways even the primitive (well, not as primitive as Mavica!) digital cameras were still a leap ahead for flexibility.

On the other hand, the X100 simply is an unusual camera with rather reduced flexibility, and you don't make a winning argument that less is worth more (or that it should cost more). Perhaps the camera wants to be a Leica alternative, but even Leica users like their interchangeable lenses ;) Again, I think a better comparison would be to the simple mass-market compacts, or even perhaps to bridge cameras, m4/3, or even SLRs, in terms of pricing.

0 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (Jul 11, 2011)

Fujifilm has a long history with rangefinders, and has till now, not created a digital one. They have several large format rangefinders with attached lenses that look very very much like the X100.

Fujifilm emulate fujifilm.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2500/5715397538_d19ff08e3d_b.jpg

0 upvotes
Antonio G
By Antonio G (Jul 11, 2011)

Ed,
My reference to the 2002 camera was meant to solely focus on how the prices of this kind of gear came down and how relative the concept of "expensive" can be when applied to a APS-C digital non reflex camera.
On the other hand, people can keep saying that the X100 pretends to "emulate" a Leica, a concept I think to be out of focus, and that's the reason I also said than to me it reminds my old Fujica Compact 35, also a fixed 38mm lens for 24 x 36 mm format.
You're right, Leica offers interchangeable lens facility at 10 times the X100 price, and just for the body...and if you want 3 midrange lenses you can prepare at least the same amount of money for the glass. Or, if you want to keep your bill low...they offer you a fixed lens compact camera for just 1.7 times the Fuji's cost.
So it's just a matter of choice and you can not blame the X100 because it doesn't offer you more than it's specifications...it is just a camera not a ticket to heaven, and you buy it not your desires.

0 upvotes
Feud
By Feud (Jul 12, 2011)

Couldn't agree more. Photography has some re-adjustment to do in the wake of the digital revolution. Whoever heard a painter claiming the type of brushes he used made him a better artist intrinsically? I play guitar a bit but buying the finest Ovation wouldn't turn me into Segovia.

0 upvotes
Keith Pulver
By Keith Pulver (Jul 10, 2011)

Dear Dan Nikon and foto2021,

Sorry if I have somehow offended you by offering my opinion of this camera. I admit I was plain HOT for this jewel when I first saw it - it reminded me of my beloved old Leica II - but glad I waited.

I still stand by my opinion (even though I learn my living in SW not photography). This, and all digital cameras, are essentially computers that record images. Granted the photographers vision is the essential ingredient but as I stated in my earlier post - pilot, soldier or photographer should not have to loose focus of the vision in order to focus on system operations. Fuji knows this very well and could have avoided all the hassles with a little quality design before development and quality process during development.

I am happy to hear you have developed "work arounds" that allow you to produce you vision using the Fuji, but no one should be forced to adapt to the technology, rather the technology should adapt to humanity.

Happy shooting.

1 upvote
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 11, 2011)

I agree. The camera isn't really that bad at anything, it's just that for a camera in this price range, aimed at professionals with all it's potential is just not up to par when it comes to the software end as other similar cameras that come in at half the price. The GF1,2.. EP... It suffers from issues that I simply did not expect in any higher end camera made today. Yeah, there are work arounds, but when you shell out 1.2K for a camera aimed at professionals, you just don't expect to have to make certain work arounds.

1 upvote
carino
By carino (Jul 11, 2011)

Did you ever have a Leica M9 in your hands and revised the software? It's worse. IMO there's not much wrong with the software nor the menu structure. I learned it in an hour or so.
I owned a Pan LX3 and the menu structure was more complicated.
Work arounds? There aren't any necessary. The only thing is that the X100 might be a little faster. But hey, focusing with the M9/M8 is still slower ;-)

1 upvote
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 11, 2011)

The LX3 was not aimed at professionals, the X100 is. Also, focusing an M9/M8 is not slower it's a different focusing system all together so you really can't compare. If you're zone focusing then the M8/M9 is faster. I'm not saying that the menu structure is hard to learn, it's just flawed. I had it down in about 5 minutes, it's not complicated.

So what you're saying is that having the ND filter and ISO controls buried in menus vs. having dedicated buttons is not wrong? It's an easy fix. Just swap make the RAW button programmable as well, but so are a lot of the software issues with the x100.

What about not being able to access menus (iso, nd and others) while the camera is writing, having to press the shutter twice to go from sleep mode to taking a photos, a slow wake up time in general, misfocusing... all non issues? I look at it this way. Compare the X100's software to the GF1's, a 2 year old camera at half the price that suffers from none of these issues.

0 upvotes
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (Jul 11, 2011)

Hi Keith, sorry about the toasting,

I just get perturbed at how these things get out of control to the point that the negative statements take a camera and camera maker to task when ultimately, no camera maker ever wants to miss the mark on a product. And to that end, not even icons like the M6, F-1, F2,3,4,5 & 6 are without critics as well, but they did have a fair "Shakedown-time" in respect to their now digital counterparts.

Maybe the internet perhaps prematurely affects companies that by all accounts, are trying to do right with their customers and with somewhat unfair consequences.
dpreview is great in some ways and flat out destructive in others in terms of perceptions and customer relations....it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt and in a round about way, it could end up being the customer who is actually satisfied with the product.

Quite a few X100 users find it excellent as is for their needs and are committed to it being more patient in waiting for fixes...

0 upvotes
foto2021
By foto2021 (Jul 10, 2011)

I second Dan Nikon's opinions. Almost every complaint I have read about the Fujifilm X100 comes from people who expect the camera to do everything for them and provide outstanding results with minimal user input. The same complaints are regularly to be heard about the Leica M9.

The truth is that the F100 (like the M9) generously rewards the input of a skilled user. It isn't a beginner's camera. It isn't to be worn as an ornament. In capable hands, it is an incredibly rewarding photographic tool that can produce very fine results.

A bad workman blames his tools. Anyone who wants a fully automatic point and shoot camera should look elsewhere.

3 upvotes
straylightrun
By straylightrun (Jul 11, 2011)

If you and other 'real photographers' want to pay $1200 for a camera and have it occasionally lock up on you, that's fine. But for me, I find it completely unacceptable that Fujifilm can produce what they claim to be a 'premium' camera with such a poorly thought out and quirky interface. I hope they release another firmware update to fix the rest of the issues.

2 upvotes
Keith Pulver
By Keith Pulver (Jul 10, 2011)

The modern digital camera computer is a combination of glass, sensor and UI-WX. The Fuji was intended to be a high-end luxury, travel-street camera...and it is...but only in physical appearance.

As a S/W Designer and a Certified S/W Quality Auditor I can say this camera would never have passed an aircraft flight-certification, a satellite-camera certification or a weapons certification. This Fuji and most cameras are still in the "Control-Alt-Delete while hopping on one foot" mode - with too many features and not nearly enough UI-UX designed in from the beginning.

Computers ought allow the user, be they pilot or soldier or photographer to "focus on the target and not on the system."

Maybe we are all so intrigued by the very notion of digital photography and digital darkrooms that we have failed to demand "Best Practice for Best Price" from the manufacturers who seem to respond simply to "more features" much like a fast-food chain promising more calories instead of a better life..

1 upvote
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (Jul 10, 2011)

OK, I guess it's time for an actual photographer to chime in rather than the legions of "People With Cameras" who think or say they are or the ones who outright admit they are not photographers by saying they are a software developer as is the case here.

As a full time, professional , non-wedding shooting photographer, read, REAL photographer, I have owned and used the Fuji X100 since May 24th. In that time I have shot over 6,000 photographs with it in light from full sunlight in snow to low light in dark rooms. With the exception of a couple of now very minor issues of menu diving for things I change on an occasion, the camera has performed flawlessly and certainly beyond the expectations I had in reading all the tech-head-test garbage on this and other sites.

I don't use manual focus ever, I simply use AF-S with the smaller and more precise box and then lock it with the rear button. The jpeg output and AWB are outstanding, the photographs I make with it, perfect.....

5 upvotes
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (Jul 10, 2011)

...So in short, if you are an actual photographer, one with talent for seeing the world through the camera rather than the world AS a camera, then the X100 might be for you. Don't expect this to be the jack of all trades, it is not nor was it designed to be.

If Fuji does not come out with another firmware update, I will say the camera is darn near perfect for what I need it to do. This is not really a camera for the masses or even most amateurs, dilettantes as it requires you to know what the heck you are doing. This is instead a camera for professionals or amateurs who can operate in that rarified level of making the camera a subconsciously resting tool in their hand as they keep seeing the world in front of them unfold and make brilliant imagery because of it.

This is not a camera for pixel peepers, Internet Gear Review Heros or Software Developers, this is a camera for photographers, period. Trust me, if you are a talented photojournalist, you will want this camera....

7 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Jul 10, 2011)

@dan nikon: so, you have an opinion, nice :)

0 upvotes
Antonio G
By Antonio G (Jul 10, 2011)

I'm glad said it all loud and clear, about most criticisms about manual focus ring (besides an easy and fast way if using AFL/AEL button), "no face recognition" and the lack of other gimmicks of dubious necessity.

0 upvotes
EduardoJB
By EduardoJB (Jul 10, 2011)

Two things, though: the camera is slow recording (not good for street photography for a camera that looks like a camera built for that) and you can't use the OVF with a distance of 3 feet or so (this I don't know if it can be solved). I own the camera and like it. I'm a photographer. It's true: there are some things "real" photographers don't need or maybe even don't want, and in trying to cover different markets, there will always be unfortunate compromises. BUT, critiques are supposed to be given according to the manufacturer's intentions and claims. Fuji made a big deal about the technology of the camera, so critiques to the technological aspects are justified. You shouldn't expect and "advanced" technology camera to work so-so with crucial needs. I agree with Dan Nikon: I really don't need manual focusing if in Macro mode AF works fine. And I agree with Antonio, I don't need facial recognition either.

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 11, 2011)

Dan, I gotta disagree with you on the "This is not a camera for pixel peepers" part. The files I'm getting from this camera are nothing short of spectacular even when pixel peeping. The one part where I think everyone can agree is that the files from this camera are impressively good.

0 upvotes
brkl
By brkl (Jul 11, 2011)

It's a camera, not an airplane.

0 upvotes
asdfsky
By asdfsky (Jul 10, 2011)

To all who are screaming about Auto ISO, I thought that the photographer is always smarter than the camera, I was shock to know there are so many people who let the camera decided what ISO to choose for you. Come one, go and buy the camera, don't be a paper shooter.

BTW, I did buy the X100 and I love it. The best camera I bought so far in term of innovation, fun to use, and the quality of the photos. I also have 5D MKII and 1D MK IV for my Pro use.

1 upvote
Martin_PTA
By Martin_PTA (Jul 10, 2011)

I guess if you can afford two high end DSLR cameras, buying this quirky toy isn't a biggie. I think if this camera gets a major update on the electronics to match its brilliant mechanics (maybe also even a dual core processor like the new PEN's), it will probably be a great little camera.

0 upvotes
asdfsky
By asdfsky (Jul 10, 2011)

I don't care if it has dual or quad cores, it's a camera, you need to enjoy using it. The Pen doesn't have OVF, no matter number of cores, it's suck. You are comparing the joy of driving the stick shift with your automatic one.

0 upvotes
Jeff Charles
By Jeff Charles (Jul 11, 2011)

Auto ISO works well on the X100. The photographer should be paying attention to aperture and shutter speed, which are the "real" photographic parameters.

0 upvotes
cheddargav
By cheddargav (Jul 11, 2011)

Agreed, I hate having the camera make decisions for me especially the ISO

0 upvotes
JustSomeDude
By JustSomeDude (Jul 10, 2011)

I'm curious if DPR generally gives camera manufacturers a mulligan on a bad review result + an updated firmware, of if this was a special favor to someone at Fujifilm?

What other DPR camera reviews have (quoting Andy Westlake) "been substantially rewritten to take into account all of the improvements with the new firmware, and highlight useful new features"?

If this was a special case one-off for Fujifilm, won't that further encourage them to release substandard cameras before they are ready, knowing that they'll get a free pass later to fix problems found in production cameras and getting another shot at the review later. And will the same "generosity" be extended to Panasonic/Canon/Nikon/etc. in future reviews?

It just smells fishy to me. Bloggers are forever complaining that they aren't treated like journalists. Perhaps if more of them *acted* like journalists, that wouldn't be an issue?

Remember that a reputation takes a lifetime to cultivate and a moment to ruin...

0 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Jul 10, 2011)

They do it all the time. You are turning this into something it is not. The reason it makes such a difference in this case is that they fixed 20+ things, whereas normally the update might be 4 or 5 things.

1 upvote
TEBnewyork
By TEBnewyork (Jul 10, 2011)

Have a look at the Sony NEX review. Similar issues. Similar important firmware update. Review revisited by the reviewers. I fail to see any downside to this practice.

1 upvote
Jon Stern
By Jon Stern (Jul 10, 2011)

Quote: "won't that further encourage them to release substandard cameras before they are ready, knowing that they'll get a free pass later to fix problems found in production cameras and getting another shot at the review later."

That's a pessimist's view. From the opposite perspective, isn't it great that Fuji has listened to its customers and sites like this?

With ever shorter product life cycles and the increasing importance of firmware, updates have to be a fact of life. A company that spends a year beta testing and refining their firmware will be forced out of business by rivals who release quicker and then issue updates.

Releasing too early though is also a recipe for failure as first impressions count and few people are so geeky as we are and will come to sites like this and read review updates.

1 upvote
DocNukem
By DocNukem (Jul 11, 2011)

You also have to realize that the X100 has been a hotly anticipated camera for some time. It is also far different from most cameras on the market. Given this, it would have been surprising if DPReview did not re-address the camera following the firmware upgrade.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jul 9, 2011)

Thanks for the update! That's one heck of a tempting camera!!

Though it's sad to see that Fuji hasn't fixed all the bugs you have found: even revised review mentions lots of them.
(Or they should hire the DPR as alpha testers. You definitely have the capabilities and the desire to dig into it.)

I'm hopeful that successor would address the majority of the issues.

P.S. Strange that histogram doesn't work in manual exposure mode - the mode where it is needed probably the most.

P.P.S. pp 14 "Mac OS 10.3-1.6" the "1.6" should be "10.6" me think.

P.P.P.S. I do not see the mention that OVF doesn't work in macro/close-up mode. As users have said, to focus on anything closer than 80cm, one has to use EVF or LCD.

0 upvotes
Fujinut
By Fujinut (Jul 9, 2011)

I'd a lot of Fuji top digital cameras from F10 to F550, plus DSLRs, I've been shooting with the X100 for a few months already, totally satisfied with the picture quality. However there should be a few more updates to clear up other glitches as well. Even Leica constantly updating the M digitals. Pls allow time for Fujifilm to perfect the product.
Fujifilm is the biggest optic manufacturer in Japan including astronomical, broadcasting, plus a huge amount of untold OEM products of the highest caliber. Their production capability could be far beyond our imagination.

0 upvotes
jerry  eisner
By jerry eisner (Jul 9, 2011)

I'm a fuji fan and yet reading this makes me think that there were a lot of bugs in this new model and the ways around them are complicated. How can you remember which button fixes which bug and so on. I'm thinking of waiting till the next generation of this camera before buying into one. Maybe i'm just flying off the handle here and the fixes will just all work their way in naturally but they seem complicated. Good luck to those who are owners. I hope that things work out well. je

0 upvotes
patoth66
By patoth66 (Jul 9, 2011)

Looks like a nice camera, perfect for street shooting!

0 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (Jul 9, 2011)

After reading it, it seems DPReview actually loves the camera almost crazily, and would like to see it improved as best as possible by FujiFilm. Because camera really deserves so, and its users. Adding some extra pressure is sometimes a good thing.

0 upvotes
xlynx9
By xlynx9 (Jul 9, 2011)

Please update the review properly, so it does not mention the old firmware at all and is judged solely based on the new firmware.

1 upvote
snake_b
By snake_b (Jul 9, 2011)

Why? To rewrite history of a product that was rushed to market?

9 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jul 9, 2011)

Let's be absolutely clear here. The review has been substantially rewritten to take into account all of the improvements with the new firmware, and highlight useful new features. The final judgement of the camera is based on the new firmware. Now it's possible that references to bugs that have been fixed may have crept through the revision process, if you spot any let me know and I'll revise the review accordingly.

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Jul 9, 2011)

There's no point or reason to mention the old software. The purpose of the review is not to write the history, but to tell the user in a straightforward way about the product that he or she will receive. Including the bugs that have been fixed will only make the review confusing.

0 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (Jul 9, 2011)

Incredible hi ISO work there. I see detail and sharpness, still, at high ISO's. Issues aside (which will be corrected), this camera is amazing.

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 9, 2011)

After using the camera for a month now, my impression is much the same as the review. Although my biggest gripe is that it's a slow camera. Substantially slower than my GF1. I definitey have a love Hate relationship with the X100. Image quality, manual controls, the hybrid viewfinder and silent operation are exceptional. The firmware (especially the slow wake up time and AF) are pretty unacceptable. I also hate having to press the shutter once to wake it up and again to take the first shot.

I don't regret buying one, but I won't hesitate to upgrade as soon as someone else puts out something better. Perhaps the next firmware upgrade will change my mind, but I think Fuji should just start from scratch and put together a proper one. The camera itself is nearly flawless.

2 upvotes
nomorepencils
By nomorepencils (Jul 9, 2011)

Good to hear from someone who has the camera.

In what particular ways is it slow? For example, if it was slow to write to card it would not bother me so much as if a camera of this kind was slow to focus or slow to work through menus change ISO

0 upvotes
seta666
By seta666 (Jul 9, 2011)

I think the same; the X100 is a wonderfull camera with some big flaws that make me think about selling it.
-Manual focus is worst thing ever, you need 10 turns + to go from min to oo It should help you focus in low light situation but in low light MF is even slower. It is not mechanical but wire driven (this is the worst aspect of the camera) I do not think tis can be fixed via firmware

-Menus layout have been designed by someone who likes drinking at work but could be fixed via firmware

1 upvote
Antonio G
By Antonio G (Jul 9, 2011)

seta666
It's unbelievable how many people keeps referring this about the X100 manual focus. Ok, if you use "only" the ring that's true but you're putting aside the best part of the facilities offered by the camera and doing things the painful way.

Did you ever try another way? No? Just do this:

1. - Allocate "Focus only" to AFL/AEL button, and the option to keep focus till you press it again (besides this is more important for AF)
2. - While in MF, point the camera and press AFL/AEL
3. - Use the ring to focus micro adjustments only (here you'll find a good thing that focus doesn't change that much with a small ring movement).

Ok, the ring's reaction could be better, namely the feeling under your fingers, but I'm sure that if you try this your opinion about X100 manual focus will not be the same again.

1 upvote
EduardoJB
By EduardoJB (Jul 10, 2011)

This works without adjusting the setting for the AFL/AEL button for "focus only" if you want to lock the exposure too

1 upvote
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 11, 2011)

nomorepencils,
The camera is slow to write when shooting RAW + Jpeg, but a fast card solves the problem. It could be faster, but it's fast enough. Changing ISO is fast as long as you keep the function button set to ISO. The RAW button should have been the function button that's all. Focus could be faster, but it's fast enough.

My problem is mainly with sleep mode. The process is: press once to wake up, wait a sec, then press to focus and take the shot. If you press early nothing happens and you must press again. All together it makes for a slower sleep to shot time. This could be solved by having a single press wake up the camera, focus and take the shot like my other cameras. It would make for fewer missed shots. For now I carry extra batteries and just keep the camera constantly on but it does get warm. It's a poor work around and I hope it gets solved with the next firmware. For a street camera Sleep to shot time should have been a bigger priority.

0 upvotes
mr moonlight
By mr moonlight (Jul 11, 2011)

seta666,
The 10 turns to go from min - infinity issue was solved with firmware. I'm finding that it takes about 2 turns to go from min to .5M (for macro shots) and about 2 turns to go from .5 to infinity. It's much better now and if you use the method outlined by Antonio G it actually works well although I agree that it could be better but not by much.

0 upvotes
lbjack
By lbjack (Jul 9, 2011)

Andy, I remember your posting a comment on the forum, that if Fujifilm addressed the firmware issues, then definitely -- Gold Award. Apparently, they haven't addressed enough for you. Exactly what important ones remain? All of them?

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Jul 9, 2011)

The most important issues remaining with the X100 include: 1) The camera still locks you out of button-driven functions while writing to card, including changing ISO or AF point, or switching viewfinder mode. If you've shot a couple of raws in succession this can get really annoying. 2) Manual focus is still substantially broken. The focus ring is unresponsive, the DOF scale is calculated for a 35mm lens not a 23mm lens, and the camera stops doiwn uncontrollably when using MF magnification makinhg it practically useless. 3) The camera still ignores changes made to the physical controls (shutter speed, apertures, exp.comp) when 'Image Disp' is enabled. If the X100 had the kind of slick efficient firmware that you get on a Panasonic G it would easily get a Gold. FW1.1 is a lot better than FW1.0, but it'sa not there yet.

2 upvotes
dmartin92
By dmartin92 (Jul 9, 2011)

I own a X100, and I like it plenty. It takes great pictures, and I'll be using it for the next three years, I'd guess.

But "Gold Award" ? With so many "version 1" issues, it's a long way from that.

My old, old Canon 1D Mark II, that was, in its day, "Gold Award" material, in my opinion. The 1D Mark II had very few functional flaws. But the the X100 ? No.

But the X100 has got some real strong points ... image quality and being small ... those are two super strong points, right there.

0 upvotes
carino
By carino (Jul 9, 2011)

The flaws mentioned in the review are highly exagerated IMO. At 1) use a fast card, and who is changing settings all the time anyway? At 2) Yes manual focus only by the ring is unuseable, but not intended like that. When using it combined with AFL button it works ok and fast enough. At 3) Huh? my camera doesn't. Anyway, most shooters will have images disp. switched off anyway.
Are these 3 things the "most important issues remaining" ?? I think not. Everybody has always a differnet concept of what's the ideal camera.
Let's be real, the reviewers verdict is highly subjective. At least admit that.
I have the x100 for 3 weeks now and for me it's Gold.
Only when and if fuji (or someone else) comes with a fullframe, fast focus in the same concept at a reasonable price i'll switch ;-)

1 upvote
misterpepper
By misterpepper (Jul 9, 2011)

Andy, I appreciate you. You're review is very thorough and well thought out. I think everybody who owns an x100 would like it to be a "world beater", but the fact is it simply isn't there yet, and I don't think it will be because opinions differ so much. Reading through your list of bugs the other day, for me several of them are non issues, and there are a few that I'm pretty sure Fuji had them act the way they doon purpose, so I'm pretty sure those will never change. It was good to see with this latest firmware that Fuji also revised the manual, meaning they aren't afraid to add features and/or make changes admitting they could have done something better. I have thoroughly enjoyed my x100, even though it isn't as fast as other cameras I've used and it occasionally refuses to find focus for a few tries. Typically the pictures I get out of it are fantastic. I'm a complete amateur, but the x100 often make me feel like a pro. I'm very satisfied with this camera (quirks and all).

0 upvotes
EduardoJB
By EduardoJB (Jul 11, 2011)

Mr. Westlake (I'm new here, "Andy" sounds like if I were an old-timer), my camera DOES show the changes to the physical controls with "Image Disp" enabled. You may want to check this with another sample...

0 upvotes
happy snapper uk
By happy snapper uk (Jul 9, 2011)

pastorthomas..I think he feels to stupid to return

0 upvotes
pastorthomas
By pastorthomas (Jul 8, 2011)

Fujifilm cameras are not worth fussing over. The SD15 is another fine example why Fuji doesn't make cameras for ease of use. They make them to get you to think that you don't know jack about how to use a camera. The SD15 was really frustrating to use. Not consistent with its exposure, and yes, you had to process all the images to get anything out of the camera. Now comes this Fujifilm FinePix x100 camera that wasn't made for ease of use, even though it's basically a point and shoot camera. There is no rhyme with the reason why they have done some of the things that they have done with the new x100. It will sell only because it is nostalgic not because it is a good camera. Put a high price tag on anything and people will think that the product must be good. But then the saying goes, "there is a sucker born every day," and Fujifilm is banking on that with this camera.

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 8, 2011)

Are you thinking of the Sigma SD15?

2 upvotes
Caleido
By Caleido (Jul 8, 2011)

You should start from scratch. You're completely wrong and mixing brands and models. Back to the drawing board.

9 upvotes
Doug Frost
By Doug Frost (Jul 9, 2011)

People aren't waiting months to get an X100 because they feel nostalgic. Your comments display a complete ignorance of what the X100 is all about.

4 upvotes
theswede
By theswede (Jul 9, 2011)

You've used a Fuji SD15 then? Since you're the only person in the world who's as much as heard of it, could you provide a list of the things Fuji got wrong with it? Apart from that they didn't make it, that is. ;)

If something sells because "it is nostalgic" then there are quite a few cameras on the market which ought to have outsold the X100 by a fair margin. Strange how that hasn't been enough for any other cameras, isn't it? Maybe that's not what makes the X100 sell after all? And stating that a high price will in itself make an item sell more is rather novel, I'll give you that. Perhaps you should take that up with all the companies who are in competition to provide the best camera at the lowest price?

6 upvotes
ray-ray
By ray-ray (Jul 9, 2011)

Despite listing every "con" imaginable, there is one thing the X100 does and that's producing gorgeous images. Since released, I've looked through hundreds and hundreds of images posted by X100 users and the eyes don't lie. It is what it is. If you want it, get it. If you don't want it, don't get it. No need ridicule Fujifilm or anyone who gets an X100.

1 upvote
noiretblanc-dpreview
By noiretblanc-dpreview (Jul 9, 2011)

In your understanding and opinion, what camera is not a point & shoot when switched to full automatic mode?

0 upvotes
lbjack
By lbjack (Jul 9, 2011)

Hey, way to make an jackass of yourself.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jul 8, 2011)

I see it this way. The X100 has this going for it.
Essentially silent operation

And all of this going against it.
deeply buried Auto ISO in menu

Camera locks-up certain key functions for several seconds while writing to card

Requires fastest possible SD cards to give tolerable write speeds when shooting raw

Several key features buried deep in the menus

Autofocus not quite as fast and accurate as the best MILC

'Focus by wire' manual focus slow and unresponsive

No face detection AF system

Inconsistent button operation for secondary controls

Eccentric and buggy firmware, poorly organized menus

Relatively poorly-implemented video mode

4-way controller can feel laggy and imprecise

Menu/OK button too small and not very positive

Lens gets very soft at large apertures and close focus distances

The high ISO RAW files appear to have some noise reduction applied to them.

2 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Jul 9, 2011)

And yet, you keep on reading the reviews, even the updated ones, and bother to post here a long comment on it? Just buy one already, you know you want one.

1 upvote
Antonio G
By Antonio G (Jul 9, 2011)

I wonder if most critics have a working experience with the camera – and I don’t mean just a quick hands-on one.
I bought the X100 and got if about one month ago and even risking to be considered my birth day’s sucker I don’t regret it.
mpgxsvcd,
I see no reason to blame the camera if you use slower media.

buried Auto ISO - if you press the “fn” you get a list of available functions choose ; go down to “SELECT CUSTOM SETTING”; press OK; go down one line you’re at the Auto ISO menu

Manual focus – if you press AFL/AEL button focus is as fast as it can be and you just need to use the ring for small adjustments.

No face detection - Professional Canon and Nikon DSLRs don’t offer it and I never saw any criticism about that “fault”.

Softnedd of the lens and high ISO RAW –Dpreview review conclusions, we can read: “One aspect of the X100 that's almost impossible to criticize is its image quality”.

Autofocus slower than some mirror less - what to say about Leica M9?

2 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Jul 8, 2011)

I still think it was weird that dpreview made such a big deal over iso settings not going over from mode to mode. I've read many posts from people confused as to why they set the iso and it applied in shutter priority (I mean in general, not specific to the x100) or why changing the shutter speed in manual also affected the shutter speed in shutter priority mode.

And then of course there's others that don't change - change the iso on a Canon s95 in Manual and it doesn't affect the other modes (which is good because you wouldn't want to set the iso to 80 in M then find out it is now hard set to 80 in P to), but then setting the shutter speed affects the shutter speed in shutter priority.

Just think it's weird someone made such a huge deal over it. Maybe some other settings make sense, like shooting raw, or file size...stuff like that needs to move from mode to mode. But iso? I'm not sure which I prefer, but I think it's a little weird dpreview made such a huge deal over it.

0 upvotes
TEBnewyork
By TEBnewyork (Jul 8, 2011)

If you shot with the camera for a bit you would understand how confusing it could get especially with the way Fuji implemented Auto ISO and min/max ISO.

3 upvotes
misterpepper
By misterpepper (Jul 9, 2011)

I'm baffled by all the uproar over auto ISO. Sure, on other cameras it was necessary to switch off auto ISO to set your ISO speed exactly, but with the x100 if you leave auto ISO on and just set the ISO speed you want the x100 will nearly always give you exactly that ISO. The only time it won't is when it isn't enough to expose the shot properly. 9 times out of 10 if I want to specify an ISO it is to go higher. Since the x100 uses the specified ISO as a lower limit this works exactly as I would want, even with leaving auto ISO on, with the rare exception that it needs to go even higher than I set to capture the shot. I guess I just don't try to shoot dark subjects in the shadows enough to care that it takes an extra 3 button presses over other cameras to turn off auto ISO.

2 upvotes
gava
By gava (Jul 9, 2011)

I've been shooting with the camera since March and I've never found it the ISO settings the slightest bit confusing. I read the manual first, a radical step I know. Oh I said, that's slightly different from my Canon, might be useful sometimes. Then they changed the firmware because most people are obviously incapable of reading the manual. Now it works like my Canon DSLR. Also not confusing.

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Jul 8, 2011)

Excellent review. I just have a couple of comments.
1. "Motion Panorama mode sounds interesting but simply doesn't work very well.."

I strongly disagree with that comment. I think the panorama mode works very well.

2. "The default Provia color mode isn't our favorite, due mainly to its rather low-contrast tone curve and somewhat open shadows..".

In my opinion that depends very much on the scene. Morning or evening landscape may work well with Velvia, while people and street scenes may be better using the standard Provia setting, but maybe tweaked a little on color, highlight and shadow.

0 upvotes
TEBnewyork
By TEBnewyork (Jul 8, 2011)

Thanks for revisiting the camera but also for still keeping the pressure on Fuji to continue to work on the firmware. I was honestly surprised that they got the first big update out in a reasonable amount of time.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 98