Monday, April 23, 2012

a personal fuji x100 review/opinion

back in the film days one of my favorite cameras was the konica hexar. it was an autofocus rangefinder style camera with an excellent viewfinder and 35mm f2 lens build in. for me,  it was the perfect travel and documentary camera.
since i went digital with my photography i was always looking for a camera like that. great viewfinder, compact, fixed fast lens. and i bought a lot of cameras that could possible fill that gap. i used the grd1 and 3 (which i still love), the gxr, some canon gs, a nikon p7...., the leica x1 but nothing really got close to the hexar experience.
so now after some hesitating i got myself the x100 and i must say that it is quite perfect to me. it has a great viewfinder, a sharp lens and it produces amazing files. it is the closest it could be to a hexar.
some people say that the fuji copies the leica m but i don't think so.  to me it is much closer to the hexar or the legendary contax g series. that is were it is coming from not the leica.
the autofocus is fairly fast, maybe not the fastest when compared to other state of the art cameras, but fast enough for anything i shoot. and that is mostly street photography and people.
the menu and software setup is a mess and it has some quirks, mostly relating to firmware. but overall the tactile feel of it and the simple straight forward control layout is a joy to use. set the aperture (on the lens), focus, frame and shoot. perfect. that's how a camera should feel and i guess that why the fuji x series gets so much recognition among photographers.

it is my only camera that i shoot in jpeg mode. simply because i get better and faster results from it then adjusting the raws. the jpeg engine is really great. the only other camera i trusted with jpegs was the olympus e-1.

i am looking very much forward using it at my next wedding assignments and i believe that it could replace my nikon d3 (which i also mostly use with primes) for most of the time. if that turns out to be true i will consider getting the x1 pro with the 3 primes and make it my main wedding setup.

here are a few examples from shooting the x100. all shot as jpegs and then converted with silver efex pro and color efex pro.

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