Mar 042011
 

First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter.

By Pieter Franken

Hi Steve – first of all thank you for inviting me to share my first impressions on the Fujifilm Finepix X100. It went on sale here in Tokyo on Thursday and I was lucky to get one on day-one.

First a bit about myself – My name is Pieter Franken.  I’m from Holland and live in Tokyo. I love taking pictures and for the past 3 years have been hooked on the Leica M8 and now M9. I do love shooting with various gear, and have gravitated over time towards portable, high performance cameras to fit my shooting style. When the X100 was announced it got my strong interest as a ‘sidekick’ camera to carry around with the M9 to do snapshots, macro shots and just for fun shooting.

So here it is! I have been using the camera exactly one day, and these are my first, quick (and biased) impressions.

Overall impression The X100 is extremely well built, feels good and is the right size for manual focus handling. Especially the optical hybrid view finder is wonderful – its clarity is breath taking and allows for easy composition. It is easy to use and delivers good quality pictures, especially high ISO is impressive. The auto focus mechanism is not always easy to use, but when setup properly it delivers and allows for rangefinder style shooting. It is great fun to shoot with the X100. And of-course the X100 looks are great!

Lens – the f2 focal lens begs comparison with Leica glass. When compared to a modern 35mm summicron (ASPH or late non ASPH), the performance of the Fuji lens lags a bit – Wide open it is a bit softer, less sharp. Some people may actually like this over the razor sharpness of the Summicron ASPH. From f2.8 onwards, it is crisper and clean. The lens can be stepped in full stops only – it would have been nice to have half stops. As the lens uses an in lens focal plane shutter, there are some limitations to the maximum shutter speed. When shooting wide open, the maximum is 1/1000 – to counter this limitation there’s a built in ND filter that can be enabled and offer 3 stops extra. This is very neat and works very well. I ended up using it a lot when shooting outside to get nice bokeh in full sunlight.  This also removes the need to carry around any ND filters.

Shutter – one of the great properties of the X100 is the silent shutter. The menu offers an option to put the camera in ‘silent mode’ and when once set there’s almost no sound. The shutter button feels nice and gives good mechanical feedback, so it is easy to know when you have taken a shot. The shutter sound is much less then the Leica M9 (or MP) and is a great for discrete shooting. When shooting in manual focus mode (highly recommended) the shutter response is immediate and you can take pictures in quick succession. The shutter button can take a release cord.

High ISO – I was really surprised when shooting in high ISO. Performance is in the same class as my D700. Pictures taken at ISO6400 have nice grain and color information is not lost or smeared. Detail is for all practical purposes acceptable. Nice!

Auto focus – The most critical component of the X100 is the hybrid view finder and focusing mechanism. The flawless switch between optical and electronic view finder is truly awesome – especially in bright sunlight the view finder excels. For focussing, Fuji has broken the focus range into two ranges – normal and macro. The camera needs to be put in macro mode when shooting objects closer than 80cm, though under some conditions I was able to focus up to 50cm without switching to macro. It helps when setting the focal area ‘square’ to the smallest size possible for precise pin-point auto focus.  In practice the AF range is a bit of inconvenient and I end up switching al lot between macro and normal. The speed of focus is not the fastest out there – it lags behind the Lumix GF1 with 20mm in terms of speed. Some improvement here from Fuji would help!

Manual focusrangefinder style shooting. The key is to shoot the X100 in manual focus mode. Once setup, you can compose with the optical viewfinder, and with one button switch to the electronic view finder to enlarge the focal point for precise focussing. The X100 has a control button that once pressed will auto-focus the lens, so you don’t have to spin the focal ring to much. You can then do micro focussing with the focus ring. The focus ring it self is very slow, which is great for precise focusing, but not good if you need to dial in the focal point fast. Some software accelerator would have been nice. This is not a real problem, as you can use the aforementioned control button to do a global focus and work from there. Once focussed, you can pretty much shoot in zone mode and have immediate shutter release without any lag due to AF. I ended up shooting most of the pictures with manual focus and found it easy to use.

Frame lines - as you shoot near or far, the frame lines in the optical vew finder change accordingly to ensure precise composition. Especially when shooting macro this is very handy. The frame lines are adjusted after setting focus, so you need to compose near shots after getting the focus right. When shooting manual focus, this works best. The frame-lines are conservative, and you always get a bit more then shown.

JPG output - JPG output is pretty good. What is nice here is that Fuji offers 3 color modes labelled Provia, Velvia and Astia after their positive film range. For B&W, it offer various modes with Yellow, Red and Green filters – this is much easier then most B&W in camera options I have used so far. I ended up using the Provia for most shots as I wanted to have neutral output for post-editing in LR. Another nice touch is that it has a RAW converter built into the camera, so you can create your own conversion settings without need for post editing.

RAW output – Unfortunately the X100 has no support for RAW handling in LR yet. It comes with Silkypix (windows and mac) for RAW conversion to JPG and TIFF, but not DNG. I’m not a big fan of Silkypix as it is very slow to use and not intuitive. TIFF files when converted are a whopping 36MB. Lets hope Adobe LR comes out with RAW support soon!

Compared to the Leica M9 – well Steve… don’t sell or give away your M9!  The X100 is not a rangefinder camera and is not an alternate for the M9. Comparison with the Leica X1 or other high-end compacts would be more meaningful. The image quality,  performance and rangefinder handling of the M9 are well beyond the X100. This is not a surprise and was also not my reason for getting the X100. What the X100 does well over the M9 though is close-ups, useable high ISO output, good auto white balance, clean JPG output, silent shutter and pocketable size. And, lots of fun!

I will be shooting the X100 next to the M9 over the coming days and hope to report more of my impressions after having spent some more ‘serious’ time.

For first snap shots please visit my Flickr page. All samples are available if full resolution, JPG camera output.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nokton/

Sample Pictures:
– X100 versus M3 (taken with a Lumix GH2 with 20mm ‘magic’ pancake lens)

 

- High ISO sample at ISO 6400 (Marantz 8B amplifier)

- B&W conversion sample (vintage car)

- Close-up – (Japanese old pump)

- Street shot at f8

- Street shot at f2 with ND filter

 

 

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  418 Responses to “First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter by Pieter Franken”

  1. Frankly, the photos are very “non-impressive”
    Seems like a cheap point and shoot to me

    • The full size of the truck photo looks like it’s from a cheap point-and-shoot to you? Which P&S would that be? I think I’d like to get one. :)

    • Try taking an ISO 6400 picture with a cheap point and shoot :-)
      Generally I think the technical picture quality looks fantastic.

    • I heartily agree with Tom. I strongly suggest all of you who might have pre-ordered to cancel your orders post-haste!! (That will move my pre-order higher up in the queue). ;)

      In all seriousness, I like the IQ. It may not compare with the X1 (time will tell) or the M9 (that would have been a miraculous engineering feat on the part of Fuji, IMHO), but it looks good. The high ISO JPEGs have been quite impressive, again IMHO. I don’t think the price point is high at all for the total package that Fuji is offering.

      Beyond the IQ, I’m anxious to have a small quality camera where I rotate an aperture ring while peering through an optical finder once again, to have a manual focus capability that’s more functional than theoretical, to be able to select the shutter speed via a mechanical dial and to have these settings selected in advance of turning on the camera. Most of all, I’m looking forward to not having to hold the camera eighteen inches in front of my face, trying to block glare while viewing on a 3″ LCD screen.

      I agree with other posters, this is not a camera for everyone, but, personally, I think I’ll end up using this far more than my DSLR and MF cameras.

      Pieter, thank you for your well-written review and posting your early photos. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your analysis.

      • Kevin, thanks for your kind comment and agree with your observation where this camera kind of fits, at least for me.

        I have now been able to shoot a bit more, and like any camera it has a learning curve (I never forget the learning curve I had on the Leica M8 :-) It now feels easier to shoot and am able to get shots quickly and focussed, including street shots. For portability is a big point, and the X100 brings high quality, view finder shooting and portability in one very well built package.

        I’m still getting used to the menu’s and button’s which in my mind could have been kept more simple to my taste.

  2. Funny how auto focus is a complaint straight away. Wasn’t this supposed to crush the X1 because of auto focus?

  3. Ah, i don’t want to get too bent out of shape based on this one review. Disappointed by the softness wide open though….

  4. […] Nice Set and impressions from a retail buyer at Steve Huff. FinePix X100 – a set on Flickr First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter by Pieter Franken | STEVE HUFF PHOT… BK __________________ My […]

  5. I had high hopes for this camera and had been waiting since its announcement to buy it. It looked so promising. But the sample photos that were released recently did not do the hype justice. My alternate cameras were to win the Leica M9 here (can’t afford one), or buy the Nikon D7000. Since I didn’t win, I bought D7000. After reading this review, I made the right choice!

    Thanks for the review.

  6. Not bad for a set of first shots – thank you for sharing – it seems as though the hybrid will take a little bit of getting used to – still great potential. Also would be interesting to know if a firmware update would correct the AF issues you mentioned – still excited.

  7. Nice Photos Nokton, Thanks for taking the time to share your quick review. I’m getting one and I already have it on pre-order.

    Most people are looking for the perfect Camera, unless of course it’s a Leica. If it’s a Leica, they can deal with slow autofocus, and other shortcomings – other cameras get persecuted for the same thing. Other people are looking for other people to take good pictures with a camera before they consider it a good camera so they can follow. ???

    Whatever…take some pictures everyone.

    • Right-on John.

      I think that many feel that a camera should shoot something that looks perfect OOC. From what I’ve seen the X100 pushes out a very flat and wide file that lacks any pop and for many, that’s going to be a deal breaker. In my view, the flatter the better since post is where images are brought to the next level.

      I played around with the PNG files that were released a few days ago and the difference in detail between the JPEGS and the converted PNG files was really significant. Unless what I was looking at was a fluke of some kind, eyeballs are going to be opened.

      • I am one of those people who strongly feels that a camera should produce great images straight out of camera. I can post-produce to great effect and with reasonable speed, I just have less than zero interest in spending more time that I don’t have in front of my computer. Sitting in front of my computer tweaking is NOT why I got into photography and is mainly the reason I work with film more than digital. I want to go out and make photographs, come back and hand the rolls of to the lab, I don’t want to, nor have I ever wanted to BE the lab.

        When I use the M9, I use the ‘RAW+JPG’ mode just in case I need to have a colour version of the image that I framed in B/w. It’s nothing to do with the much maligned jpg output of the camera which I find to be great. The Vintage setting in the M9 is just perfect and I’ve printed many images using it. I think that the main problem with digital photography is that we’ve somehow been coerced into being lab developers which may sit well with some but in my experience it just eats up time that I could be spending outside making more photos.

        `6

        • As is you prerogative! :)

          I’ve commented about this subject in the past. Photography should be fun and a camera that gives great OOC results is a beautiful thing for many people. And certainly a huge time saver. Post production is a huge, challenging chore for most people and is one of the reasons I still shoot film when I don’t want to spend time in front of the screen.

          But I’m of a view that the giants of photography lived and died in the darkroom and today we have the digital equivalent so I like to use it with almost every image. Personal preference really and my point was simply that the X100 looks to put out a flat image which excites me for that purpose.

          I mainly shoot concert photography -www.show performance.com (haven’t shot you yet Seal but I will definitely if you come to Austin or Houston!) and the need for post work is great in that environment, same goes for magazine editorial so for me, it is just part of the work flow.

        • I agree ‘6! Nothing kills my time like messing with photos on a computer! There is nothing like a burdensome workflow to either cause cameras to remain on shelves or images to rot on SD cards!

          Although one possible rebuttal someone might raise is that in Aperture, you can set automatic adjustments to take place on import. It’s too wide a brush though and results in a lot of images misadjusted.

        • Seal, I find X1’s b/w OOC output to be just great and noticeably better than M9’s (b/w jpeg, that is). Even though X1 forces one to shoot dng+jpeg, I rarely want to touch the dng part and just use the jpeg. At the same time, I don’t like the way X1 renders colour images in camera, so those I have to run through LR or the like and deal with dngs instead. That’s just my observation.

          As for the necessity of PP in overall digital photography, although I’d rather avoid it and use my time more creatively, I honestly don’t think it’s possible. I couldn’t find a way around digital darkroom, although I really hate spending my time on PP. Sometimes it’s minimal or none (like I mentioned above) but in most cases I do have to spend some time in front of my computer in order to achieve certain look to my images. I wish it wasn’t so…

          As far as BEING the lab goes, it was unavoidable for many great photographers in the past, especially here in Russia. I remember one guy at a master-class had recently asked one of our greatest photographers, Georgy Kolosov, where does he print his images. Georgy paused, then laughed and said: “You’re too young to know but some years ago you could have been killed for asking such kind of question! Of course, I print myself!” Then he further commented that if he’s very lucky he can print two-three images per night (he has a habit of printing at night). But his usual output is just one image.

          I print my digital images at a lab but I wish I had my own printer. They are just too darn expensive. I’d rather print myself to have more control and ability to try different things with an image. I think I would improve my photography that way.

          Cheers,
          Greg Shanta

        • Even with film many edits are needed, practically every great photographer ever has done a ton of retouching, just the reality of photography. (need to see a proof sheet marked up by Avedon, nothing but red)

          Id rather have a flat file then a contrasty one, you can also make a preset in LR or equiv to boost up the blacks and whites.

          • Same here … even with film, Ansel Adams was a big proponent of “post-processing”.

            Now, it’s digital, but with even more options, a lot easier too. One does not need a Leica M9 to get great pictures, one needs to be good at photography, the post-process, and the concept for the image as well.

            Check out these pictures and many of them are not even from top-of-the-line cameras, or they don’t even bother saying what camera they use, it’s all about the picture’s impact, not the camera. Not comparing crops of this and that, so boooring …

            http://popular-favourites.deviantart.com/

        • `6, my photos are currently my main creative outlet, so for me the tweaking is a way to be more involved with the photo. To see things that I didn’t notice whn I took it, to decide what to emphasise or draw out to tell the story I want it to tell.

          It’s not “time in front of the computer” to me, it’s time with my photos. I really enjoy it.

          That said, I’m pretty sure that the X100 will have a set of settings that will work for pretty much everyone. It’s not a Leica, but I think that it will produce crisp, contrasty, solid OOC images with character and depth.

          • I don’t get the “I want “perfect” jpegs” mentality. Working on photos used to be working in darkroom–it’s no different now. What some consider perfect others may consider unnatural–a la Ken Rockwell electric colors. I can only imagine Ansel Adams saying he wanted perfect output from his camera, and did not expect to massage his negatives.

          • wow! a cheap point and shoot from maybe circa 2016. lol! these pictures look really good to me. I’m seeing narrow depth of field and a VERY lovely out of focus area, repeatable in daylight thanks to an internal ND capability? wow again. Colors look very nice. Film like. The ISO 6400 pic looks gorgeous… hey but what do I know, I’m only a D3 and D700 owner. Good review and great pictures. I think this guy just put a lot of extra names on the wait list. I guess I’m going to have to find one to get one.

          • Okay, that reply went into the wrong place. You say you don’t get the desire for perfect OOC jpegs and your reasoning is past image making technologies? Is that really a valid reason not to desire or pursue something? It may not be easy or likely with most cameras, but I think it’s a perfectly reasonable pursuit. Love to get there. When I used to shoot basketball at familiar arenas, like the Staples Center (my nose is in the air) I knew the WB and light and was able to switch from RAW to JPEG. Huge difference in time and the results from my Nikons was fantastic.

        • If you’d ever used a Fuji SLR you’d remember that they put out very flat looking files which have a huge dynamic range to them. This is on purpose, those of you that understand dynamic range or at the very least slide film vs negative film, will understand that.
          If you don’t want a flat out of camera jpg, then use one of the film curve presets in the camera. I believe they are Astia, Velvia, and Provia.
          Here’s some examples I found:
          http://brandonremler.blogspot.com/2011/02/fujifilm-finepix-x100-film-simulation.html

    • My thoughts exactly.

  8. Keep waiting a bit folks. Could be wrong but I’m confident we are going to see some impressive shots out of this camera. I wouldn’t take this set as gospel, and nothing against Pieter or his skills. The image quality seems to be a moving target with some early images looking outstanding and others, quite average. Truth be told, I’ve seen PLENTY of average photos coming from the M9 so let’s not rush to judgement.

    Per Pieter’s summary, this is going to be a fun camera to shoot and I for one can’t wait to put it through the paces.

    • p.s. the Marantz shot looks nice for 6400 in a compact and handheld I presume at 1/15!

    • fuji needs to find a pack of well respected photographers, pass them some cash and let them play with the cameras and post pictures, not even review them just post some shots used in all sorts of enviroments. Any modern camera can produce great images.

      • Eric, Fuji used a group of pro photographers during the development ohase is what I’ve heard. They gave many inputs and probably some made it and some will be making it in the next firmware update.

        In Tokyo Fuji Photo museum in Midtown Roppongi is organizing an exhibit by 7 Japanese photographers from March 11th-23rd. I am looking forward to see what they have been able to get out of the camera :-)

  9. I read that you can stop the lens in 1/3 stops, but it is somewhat cumbersome. I believe it involves using the rocker on the back of the camera.

  10. Nice to read first-hand impressions. Thanks for the review Pieter (and for posting it, Steve).

  11. John, good point – there’s no perfect camera (thank god – how boring would that be!) – my reference camera is a Leica 0 series camera – everything in comparison is very fast, convenient and wonderful! Yet I enjoy shooting it.

    Today I did some more shooting and started to get a hang of the camera – as it is not your usual rangefinder / DSLR design it indeed requires a bit of time to get into. Today is a very bright day here and the use of the optical viewfinder was a joy as the display was not useable. Overall the focussing worked well and was fast enough for my tastes. Focussing of macro shots up to 10cm worked well and needed little or no manual adjustment most of the time.

    All new things take some time to get used to.

    • Frankie boy. Your comment on Leica 0 is overshot by one take! When this Grandma of all Streetshooters is wound, sun is out, exposure is set for sunshine ( you remember magic f:16, shutter speed same as ISO ), lens set at hyperfocal, then all you have to do is aim and press that big shiny button. All other digies are two step girls. You have to turn them on (step one), then to squeeze, press or jab to make a take (step two).

  12. I thought Fujinon lens are legendary. So what happen? No thanks, I’ll wait for the NEX-7 or GF3.

  13. Peter, Could you possibly post the PDF of the manual for those of us outside of Japan who can’t buy the camera for a few more weeks?

    Thanks, Michael

  14. Here is a little exercise to show why no one should base a judgement on a single or even multiple “samples” unless you are taking them yourself or trust a scientific comparison.

    These are 100% crops taken from Pieter’s Flickr images of the same building (Pieter I certainly hope you don’t mind and if you do we will have Steve pull this post immediately). One photo was with the X100 (35mm) and the other an M9 with the 24mm ASPH. Both look to be taken from the same vantage point

    Without doubt, the X100 eats the M9’s lunch in this comparison. Not even close. The M9 images are soft and full of CA while the X100 is crisp and clear.

    Does that mean that the X100 has bested the mighty M9? Of course not. But if we were looking at only the M9 photos what would we think about that camera? Are the photos representative of the true nature and quality of the M9. Just something to think about…

    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/M9 24mm crop 01.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/X100 crop 01-1.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/M9 24mm crop 02.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/X100 Crop 02.jpg[/img]

    • And for those of you who will undoubtedly cry “unfair”, of course it is. That’s the point :)

      The M9 images were shot at 1/30th and f/1.7 while the X100 was at 1/350 and f/8!

      Still doesn’t explain away that god awful CA in the M9 shots ;)

      • Chad, thanks for the thorough analysis – indeed the Summliux was shot wide open (at f1.4) as the pictures were taken near dusk. From my experience this lens has quite some CA wide open, but has a very good rendering of shadows and light in general. When you look at the X100, the CA is indeed absent. I tend to look at the overall effect, rather then the micro details. The X100 image is very clean at f8 and this is from the in camera JPEG, not RAW. The Leica shot is from DNG and has gone through LR for conversion. My expectation is that once LR supports X100 RAW we can expect a jump in image quality.

        The settings I used on the X100 are the default settings for JPEG, which is neutral and a bit flat. Today I took my chance with the “Velvia” option, and this has a much higher pop factor (as to be expected from Velvia) In the evening I ended up shooting quite a bit at high ISO – this is were the X100 really shines and presents outstanding output (well ahead of Lumix G cameras and the Leica X1).

        • Thanks Pieter!

          I very much agree that the image is in the overall impact, not the micro details. I posted these to make a point that people shouldn’t rush to judge, not to say that the X100 could best the M9.

          I’m looking forward to seeing more of your images and I don’t think I properly commented on how well organized and written your mini review was. Nice job.

          • Chad – thanks.

            I have posted two more sets over the past day:
            – one is shot in Velvia outdoors – nice of you don’t want to do post edits and like the Velvia look.

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/nokton/5506417168/

            – one are a set of shots done at high ISO, including ISO3200. I must say that the performance is great in both color and B&W. Makes my D700 blush a bit. So you can shoot at decent shutter speeds from the hip at f2-2.8.

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/nokton/5508569308/

            Will be posting some street photography today – I was able to make peace with the AF performance and am now able to get what I want without to much fuss. In this I worked with the built in BW film option with Yellow filter — works very well. So for B&W shooters the X100 is a serious cam to check out. (of course nothing beats TriX film :-)

      • Chad, I don’t think comparing X100 to X1, M9 or any other camera will do any good. I’d rather judge a camera/lens system based on its output in various conditions and then make up my mind if I like that system or not. It looks to me so far that I don’t like what I see in X100’s output (apart from its low light performance) and I’m afraid there won’t be enough evidence to change my mind in the future.

        Pieter, in my experience LR actually doesn’t do a nice enough job in RAW conversion, at least with my M9 files (and much more so, with X1 files). So, I wouldn’t expect miracles from it in regards to X100 files when they start supporting it.

        I use LR for web output and workflow management but when it comes to printing I prefer CaptureOne. It’s way better than LR. Sometimes I also use ‘Raw Photo Processor’ which does a very nice job, too.

        Cheers,
        Greg

        • Greg, you better tell Steve to cancel his X1, X100, M9 shootout then!!! ;)

          I can’t make this clear enough. The post wasn’t meant to compare the two cameras! It was designed to show that even a $7,000 M9 kit can take a really lousy image and if people judged their purchase decision on that image alone, Leica would be out of business.

          People have been extremely quick, almost eager to dismiss the X100 which I find both amusing and slightly sad. The X100 looks to be a special camera that photographers should be rejoicing – especially those of the rangefinder persuasion.

          I am not a Fuji fanatic, in fact, other than my Instax and a couple rolls on a Fuji 6×9, I have little experience with the brand. I do however, recognize and applaud when a company boldly develops a camera that appeals to us film shooters and based on early reports and samples they have done a commendable job.

          • Chad, I got your point. I’m not against camera comparisons from objective stand point. But my view of this particular camera is subjective and I was trying to say that. X100 is great, no doubt. Fuji did a great job.

            I think this camera is not for me but I’m sure it will fulfill many people’s dreams.

            Greg

          • Honestly I see it going the other way in majority. From what I’ve been seeing people are sooooo eager to make it the second coming (myself included) that the expectations are high. The images we are seeing out of the x100 to this point (much more limited than with wide availability) are not overly impressive.

            My experience is the opposite to yours.. I think there are people who are ignoring the shots we are seeing and finding reasons to dismiss disappointing results. I’m not saying all of those reasons don’t exist, clearly they may.. however I would think that most photographers with an open mind have re-calibrated their expectations at this point.. based on the samples we are seeing. I do see just as much, if not more, turning a blind eye than crucifying at present.

            I won’t comment right now on more than 2 things. a) it’s very soft wide open b) the rendering of the lens is quite different than what I’m used to seeing.. and I’m not sure I like it.

            I have one on order.. however my thoughts of replacing the x1 with it may be vanishing.

          • Azx1, I promised not to make negative comments in this thread any more, so I won’t say much. I’ll just say one thing, though. If I had one on order I’d cancel it at this point. Especially if at the same time I had an X1 in my possession (which I do). I’d cancel and wait and see how things go for a few months. We’re not talking about some limited edition collector camera here.

            In Russia we have a saying that it’s better to have a sparrow in your hand than an eagle in the sky (loose translation). Especially if there’s a chance that the sparrow may actually turn out to be an eagle…

            Greg

          • Greg,

            We say a BOOB in the hand is worth 2 in the BRA :-)

          • Well, Kelvin, we basically mean the same but metaphorise that with bird names.

            Cheers,
            Greg

    • Thanks for that comparison.

    • well.. if you wanna do a “scientific” comparison, at least make sure all the parameters are the same !!! It is clear that it is not the same light condition for both pictures !!! And since what matters most in photography IS light, the results show a huge difference. You could have use a hasselbad medium format camera here, you wouldn’t have a better result (over the M9 shots) !!! Back to the basics.

      • Jim, please read the text. This was not a traditional comparison. It was meant to show that you should not judge a camera by one set of images and that we are going to see some awesome photos from the X100 AND some duds. Go back and look at the M9 image (you can find the original on Pieter’s Flickr) and tell me it is not a dud. Point being, if we used that single M9 image as an example of the M9’s IQ, people would fall out of their chair laughing at the thought of paying $8-$9,000 for that combination. I’ve already read comments from some people boldly stating that Fuji has failed, that the lens is garbage, the camera is no better than a cheap point and shoot, etc., all because of a few images that looked soft or bland. This is absolutely ludicrous.

        I’m sorry you didn’t understand the nature of my post but I thought I made it clear.

        • no worry, I totally agree with you here. Picture tells nothing about the camera but the photographer.

        • Chad, thanks – I love my duds :-)

          That was shot to get the ambient light in the street right, while still hand holding the cam – the trees had to suffer !

        • Excellent photos Greg – love the blue split tone!

          • Thanks, Chad! I like your pictures, too. I am reading your X100 vs X1 comparison right now and I find it very interesting. There is one fundamental thing I wanted to tell you about it, though.

            I think such comparison should have been based on OOC jpegs from both cameras or on Raw Photo Processor conversions of both systems’ RAW files (as it seems to be the only RAW converter, outside of Fuji’s own, which can deal with X100’s RAW files right now). I would favour the jpeg comparison, though, as I find native in-camera processing to be great in most cameras.

            You have used ACR for X1’s files and I think it’s unfair. Many people will agree with me that ACR does lousy conversion of X1’s dngs (which should be strange, as it’s supposed to be Adobe’s own file standard). ACR eats away the X1’s sharpness like crazy. I’ve tested that a million times. Whenever I need to preserve maximum sharpness in an X1 picture I go for OOC jpeg or Raw Photo Processor, or CaptureOne, both of which do the job well enough.

            In your comparison test the X100 looks a clear winner but for me the jury is still out. I like your results for the X100 but I also have my X1 that produces files way sharper than I see in your test. And I think it’s not your fault, but rather, Adobe’s.

            Cheers,
            Greg

  15. Having owned an X1 and being blown away by the quality (even holds up to my M9), I’d be surprised if the X100 can compare. It’s a Fuji after all. That FinePix marque has a bit of a stigma in my eyes.

    • Agreed that the X1 does put out very high quality images.

      I’m looking forward to the inevitable shot to shot comparisons between the two…then we won’t have to be subjected to conjecture. We will know one way or the other.

      • Here you go Dan,

        The first shot to shot comparison of the X1 and X100…

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/robzo1/5499603170/in/photostream/

        X100 looks to take the prize but I’m going to withold judgement until I see full resolution shots.

        • Hmm, that is a difficult comparison. The Fuji X100 colors are very saturated compared to the x1 which looks almost dull. I’m sure the x100 is a very competent camera as is the x1, but I’m not sure I like any of these photos together, because they look so different color wise.

          Personally I think I would prefer the x100 due to the view finder and much better high ISO capability. I don’t think there is a great difference in the technical image quality from the two cameras, so it all comes down to ones individual skill as a photographer, which in my opinion is also the factor that counts most. I mean if your are lousy photograher you will still take lousy photos even with the best gear money can buy.

          • I commented about the details of the comparison below. I don’t think this is a fair comparison since the processing appears to be so different between cameras but I am struck at how similar the overal feel of the images are. If the X1 shots were processed identically, it would be hard to tell the two cameras apart. That bodes well for Fuji but I’m withholding judgement until Steve runs his shoot-out our I get to do my own.

          • And fully agreed on your comment about individual skill as the most important factor. These cameras look to be very close technically but the person behind the lens is going to make either one sing.

    • Really?
      Is that why Hasselblad digital cameras are made with Fuji and have Fuji lenses?

      • Fuji is well known for some outstanding lenses. I think they have failed with this particular lens, though. It’s very obvious to me now. Difficult to say exactly why this lens is not what is expected of it. Maybe new, untested double aspherical design, maybe some other design aspects geared for lens/sensor matching. This camera, the Fuji X100, has too much innovative, if not experimental, technology in it, so there was no guarantee it would become a perfect product right away regardless of Fuji’s past track history. Remember Leica M8? It took Leica a few years to evolve it into M9. Maybe X200 would be just about perfect when they figure out how to iron out all the imperfections of the current model.

        • I’m beginning to agree. Fuji makes great lenses, but this lens looks soft at F2, and there seems to be complex distortion. I may wait for a version with a 50mm equivalent lens, since that would be easier to design, and it is my preferred focal length.

        • How it is “obvious” Fuji failed with this lens is a rather bold and I would say premature assertion.

          • Well, as I said elsewhere in this thread, Chad, they ‘failed’ for me, subjectively. I don’t know what others expected of this particular lens but I expected more than I see so far. And I’m not talking about wide open performance. I’m unimpressed with it at f8. I don’t see enough resolution in this lens to justify swapping my X1 for it.

            To me, the interest in this camera was not based on wether I should buy yet another camera but wether I could replace my X1, which is crippled ergonomically compared to the X100. But I don’t want it at the expense of optical performance.

        • Interesting- someone *somewhere* in the L-Camera forums posted about their discussion with Leica lens makers. This won’t be an exact replication of what he said but it went something like this: The Leica people said that getting consistent results out of a cast ASPH element was impossible, and so after trying for too long, they finally concluded that there was no way to get the quality they wanted without grinding each ASPH element by hand, adding to the cost significantly. The Fuji uses a cast ASPH element without grinding, and so many said it would either prove Leica wrong or show inconsistent results.

          • Interesting point, Bradley. I suspected that the reason I am not happy with what I see lies somewhere in that area. But then again, some Cosina’s lenses have aspherical elements and seem to perform consistently well. Although I didn’t research those myself, so I couldn’t be completely sure. The only Cosina’s ASPH lens I have is a 15/4.5 and I am quite happy with it. I doubt that Cosina hand-grinds those elements, considering their low cost.

            May be it’s the type of ASPH element that’s crucial. Fuji came up with an unusual double aspherical element for X100 and they had to tune the lens to match the sensor in terms of angle of light hitting the edges of the frame, on top of all the aberration control, etc. So, it’s surely a complicated optical design to deal with, hence more risky.

          • Yes Greg it was the type of element that couldn’t ust be cast you are right. I don’t remember the discussion exactly but that was part of it.

    • “That FinePix marque has a bit of a stigma in my eyes.”
      Wow

  16. The photos are great I think and Peter, you have a good eye. Love the ND ‘filter’ option. Sounds like a camera that will take some getting used to but will deliver more and more. Hmmm, that is what I found with my M7! It bodes well :)

    Thanks for the review!

  17. Thanks for sharing your first impressions. I like your report and writing style.
    IQ wise, I’m not blown away by what I see, though the iso 6400 shoot looks promising. However, we will have to wait with final judgment until RAW support is more widely available.
    I can’t wait to learn whether the Fuji’s IQ can compete with the best in class Leica X1 and Ricoh GXR A12, I start to have my doubts. The optical performance of the X100 is not at the same level.

  18. Is it ture that the japanese version of x100 only support english and japanese language? And is the camera now in streetstores to buy or only in onlineshops?

    • The Japanese version has Japanese and English menu’s only.

      It is for sale in major camera shops and online retailers. It’s currently sold out and there’s a wait of at least 7-10 days now.

  19. I’ll be waiting for more samples even tho I have made my mind to get one when I travel back home. The samples I have seen on flickr were lets be honest, absolutely amazing.

  20. Thanks a lot for your first impressions, which seem to confirm what I was thinking about that camera.

    The sensor seems fantastic, however, as I’m hesitating between the X100 and the X1 I am much less impressed by the lens. Not in terms of sharpness, which seems on par with Leica offerings above f2,8, but in terms of overall character, and especially bokeh – the X100 bokeh seems too “aspherical harsh” to me. The X1 bokeh never really moved me, but the X100 does – in a negative way.

    So I’m impatient to see that upcoming comparison !

    Also, I’ve got oen question : when set up on MF, does the camera remembers when the focus was when switched on and off ? Is there such an option in the menus ? That would greatly help for zone focusing, as I don’t see myself refocusing manually everytime I switch it on (in the same way that I don’t move focus on M lenses when switching the camera on or off).

    Thanks !

    • The manual focus setting stays same even when powering on and off the camera. this is very handy indeed.

      For Bokeh, I don;t know if this is due to aspherical or not, but I do like the bokeh of the Leica Aspherical 35mm and 50mm very much. The X100 bokeh is fine to my taste and like it better than what my Nikon lenses give me. But if I want real bokeh I will no doubt shoot with an M9.

  21. Mooie recensie Pieter, dank je!

  22. Pieter, thank you for your review and sample pictures! It’s great help for those still undecided on wether they should consider purchasing the X100 or not.

    I am quite impressed with X100’s high-ISO performance. But I’m still very unimpressed by its base-ISO performance. I am becoming more and more convinced that my first impression based on Fuji’s own sample images was true and I don’t really expect any surprise revelations about it anymore.

    Your ‘Maranz’ pictures do look very smooth and clean. Really on a par with Nikon D700 (I used to own one, too). Noise wise, that is. Image IQ wise — I seriously doubt it. For one simple reason: you can shoot D700 with all kinds of great lenses available for Nikon F mount but X100 is limited to one mediocre fixed lens.

    Let me explain. This picture was shot at f8 and 1/340 at base ISO in full daylight: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nokton/5497042356/ . The same goes for this one, except it was shot at 1/200: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nokton/5497041904/ . Look at the full-res images, guys, and judge for yourselves. The lens performance is mediocre at the very least. Frankly, I am surprised… F8 is not ‘wide-open’ where imperfections can be forgiven. At this apperture any lens is supposed to shine. And you can’t blame the photographer here, as it is very difficult to screw up a shot in such conditions.

    As I mentioned before in my comments somewhere, I could get way better performance out of my fifty-year-old Jupiter-3 lens and a Sony Nex-5 ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/5334673438/sizes/o/ ). One commenter, in response, had raised his hopes that modern aspherical Fujinon should perform better than an old Russian-made fake Sonnar. Well… it should but it obviously doesn’t. To my eye at least.

    I shoot M9 and I am happy. It would be nice to have a good high-ISO/close-up backup camera. I was hoping the X100 would fill that expectation and replace my wife’s X1. No way! We’re sticking to our X1, period! As for high-ISO, where the X100 shows some impressive performance, I will have to cope with Leica’s somewhat limited performance in that area. And I’ll try to sleep at night and shoot at day time. Haha! Typical denial Leicaman’s reply!

    But seriously, I can get decent high-ISO images out of my M9 (even better with X1) unless I’m trying to use it as substitute for a night-vision device in some covert surveliance operation. Luckily, I am not in the surveliance business.

    I had a chat recently with one D700 owner in the street. He was shooting left and right in almost total darkness. He showed me his images on his camera’s screen and I was impressed: they looked like they were shot in broad daylight. I almost forgot my own past experience with D700. It surely can replace and probably even surpass a night-vision device. I didn’t do much shooting at night (I am a day kind of person) but my D700’s night-vision ability was sure handy every now and then ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/4948509990/lightbox/ ).

    After the Nikon guy was gone I though to try what my M9 could offer in such difficult light conditions. I pulled it out, with my faithful Zeiss ZM 50/1.5 Sonnar on, set ISO to 1600, apperture to f1.5, exposure to 1/6 (try that with D700!) and took this shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/5480862890/lightbox/ . Satisfied, I went home and had a great night’s sleep.

    It all comes to the quality of your lens at the end of the day (pun intended). M9’s low-light performance is outdated by today’s standard. But that night my Sonnar had saved the shot. Besides, M9’s 18MP resolution gives some leeway there as well. I can print very nice tabloid-size posters from ISO-1600 files and I doubt I want to go any larger than that.

    Another example of glass superiority over ergonomics. Some time ago a friend gave me his Minolta M-Rokkor 40/2 to use with my M9. It is a great little lens, equal to or even better than Leica’s Summicron 40/2 (made for the much acclaimed Leica CL and Minolta CLE cameras). Its compact size was very tempting, it allowed me to carry my M9 under my coat without a bag and just take it around everywhere. But then, I’ve noticed that while I could get some great images with it, it’s performance was not in the same league with my Zeiss ZM line of lenses. Although I loved the ergonomics of Minolta lens, I had to return it to my friend and stick to my ZM lenses (after all, they’re not that big, either). When you get a taste of the best optical quality you wouldn’t be willing to settle for anything less.

    Fuji X100 looks like a cool little camera, indeed. But it’s clearly not in the ‘pro’ category when it comes to what kind of image you can print from it. Interestingly, in my humble opinion, the X1 clearly is. So, for me the decision is made: I’ll keep the X1.

    Sorry for such a lengthy comment.

    Cheers,
    Greg Shanta

      • Interesting. Apart from being less saturated in colour and somewhat less contrasty the X1 images look better to me even in small size.

        • We’ll agree to disagree on that point. And given that some will like the X1 images and others the X100, I’d call that an accomplishment for Fuji. Especially considering all the other benefits the X100 has over the more expensive X1 – Viewfinder, High ISO, AF speed.

          All this remains early speculation and we will soon see more conclusive tests. I’m simply not one for making bold pronouncements like Fuji has “failed” with this lens.

          • Chad, I am Russian. We make bold pronouncements here. Remember Khrushchev? Just kidding… By ‘failed’ I simply meant ‘failed to deliver the kind of lens I personally expected in the X100′.

            We’ll see how it goes with X100’s launch in the US and when our Steve will finally get his hands on it. By the way, I have my own conspiracy theory on why Fuji didn’t ship the camera to Steve prior to its launch…

            In ‘post-soviet Russia’ life is tough. We have to be suspicious all the time…

            Cheers,
            Greg

          • Indeed you do! I used to live next door to Russians training for the Olympics up in Lake Placid and I’ve never met a more proud and sure people. We had good times and much vodka.

          • Chad, I appreciate your tactful depiction of the Russian character. I’d say ‘proud and arrogant’. That would be closer to the truth. Actually, I hate that about my nation. We should be more gentle and civilized. But I think the vodka and the rest of our ‘specialties’ just wouldn’t allow that. Never touch the stuff myself, by the way. I guess that disqualifies me as pure breed.

            Cheers,
            Greg

      • The comparison has a “vivid” setting for X100 and a “standard” setting for X1. Its distracting to compare images when they are processed with a completely different intent.

  23. Hi Pieter,
    thanks for your very impressive and fast review of the X100; I think at the end of the day frame quality is THE criterium for any camera; and so I will follow my plans to get a M9 soon.
    Your frames are well composed and I like the colors,

    Matthias
    Germany

  24. I think the IQ is no worse than semi-pro Nikon or Canon judgin from these picures. Of course it´s no Leica look, but buy a Leica if you want that.

  25. Thanks for the first impressions
    manual can be found here
    https://files.me.com/kylebarrow/dxsgl2

    page 22 of the manual says autofocus times should be around .2 of a second.
    As a very happy M9 user I would never expect this camera to come close from an IQ point of view after all there is a reason why leica cameras and glass cost so much and this camera is less than half the price of the 35 summicron by itself. that being said it has some really exciting features and will do things that the M9 can’t do and for this reason I will be getting on. as to the flat files that is fine by me as I only ever shoot RAW and am looking forward on being able to see them worked on in LR3 (when update comes out) and B&W conversion in Silver Efex Pro 2.
    Personally nothing I have seen yet has put me off. The X1 is an amazing camera from the IQ point of view but just has to may operational foibles to make it interesting for the sort of work I do

    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Screen shot 2011-03-05 at 10.25.05.png[/img]

  26. I’m in Japan too and will check out the camera tomorrow. From Pieter’s report sounds about what I expected, a nice try but image quality short of Leica or Zeiss standards. It’s not as easy as assembling a feature set and a development team to come up with a Leica killer.Beats me why they can’t get these cameras to focus though. Minolta nailed this back in …what? …..1985?

  27. Min. focusing distance of Summicron 35/2 – 0.7 m. And no any switching.
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1020&message=37886054

    • The X1 has the very same macro switching requirement and I think that is the camera the X100 should most closely be compared with…

      • No the X1 does not have the same switching requirement. It should be thought of not as “macro” but “AF including macro”

        It has two modes- regular and Macro. The Macro includes regular focusing mode, it just also reduces the minimum focusing distance from 90cm to 30cm. Having it in regular mode apparently limits the contrast detection range the camera tries and improves AF speed. The speed change is minimal though and I happily leave mine on AF incl. macro.

        The Fuji apparently requires one OR the other. The Leica has one AND the other.

        • Are you saying that the Fuji Macro mode cannot AF across the full range as well?

          • I’m not claiming that, it’s just what it seems like form the reviewer’s claim that he found himself “switching a lot between macro and normal.” There is no need to do that on the X1.

            Of course, on the X100 he could just manually focus.

          • Bradley,

            You are correct sir. The X100 focus from 10cm to 6.6 feet in macro, while the X1 goes from 30cm to infinity.

            I see your point about leaving the X1 in macro mode but I just can’t live with the slower AF times that you get. Standard AF is slow enough!

            I reviewed the X1 when it came out and the need to switch to macro mode to focus on something a couple feet away was a negative. In all fairness, the X100 has the same problem.

          • Chad, it focusses full range when in Macro, but slower. The best option is to focus n manual mode by using the one-time autofocus. This is full range and works. For best AF performance non macro is the choice. It focusses typically in less then a second – pretty fast.

        • See the link to dpreview forum above.

  28. […] manual as it might interest some https://files.me.com/kylebarrow/dxsgl2 Also from Steve Huff http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/0…ieter-franken/ would and the the reviewer is not Steve and he seems to have got some of his facts wrong such as […]

  29. PDF Manual
    [file]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Fuji X100 Manual.pdf[/file]

  30. I bought a few new Nikon EM bodies recently. Even cheaper and bigger frames and better output too. ;-)

  31. Hi Pieter,

    I actually saw your photos on Flickr before seeing it here on Steve’s site.

    Thanks for the review. I peeked at the full-size images, particularly the old Benz. I’m quite impressed with the details on the grille and almost non-existent fringing at the edges of the chrome parts. Distortion looks very well controlled for a wide lens as well.

    The lens (or processing) seem a little low in contrast, can this be set/adjusted in-cam via picture parameter settings?

    In addition, I notice the flare bokeh orbs right next to the highlight hotspots in both day and night shots.

    I’m excited of getting one (I’m based in Singapore BTW) as well, but my urge to avoid ‘first-generation, first batch’ product stopped me from pre-ordering, but I’m pretty certain I’ll have this in my hands before the end of the year though hehe.

    Regards,

    Dave Tong
    (http://www.davidleetong.com)

  32. Thanks for the great article on the X100, and by the way, I particularly loved the photo of the Marantz 8B – very cool!

    Best,

    Jeff

  33. […] unlike the one above, this one is totally inexcusable. A couple of photos from Steve Huff's guest preview. Ugly. I need creamy bokeh. If the X100 doesn't give that, I'll have to look elsewhere…. Why do […]

  34. very interesting and honest review
    nice pics
    thanks and enjoy

  35. From DPReview.com you can find samples in full size from the X100 and the X1
    First the X100, click at the upper left corner:
    http://masters.galleries.dpreview.com.s3.amazonaws.com/940708.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=14Y3MT0G2J4Y72K3ZXR2&Expires=1299338468&Signature=EJAtlpUp1o3X2ty1FHgrjIRtQjw%3d
    Then the X1, click at the upper left corner:
    http://masters.galleries.dpreview.com.s3.amazonaws.com/113379.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=14Y3MT0G2J4Y72K3ZXR2&Expires=1299338696&Signature=BOrmcVwQkXsOVhnWWdk1sKL8yGU%3d
    Conclusion?:
    The Leica X1 is way ahead of the Fuji in sharpness and details. No I wont dream of the X100, just wait for the moneytree to grow bigger…and then the M9.
    Best Thorkil Brodersen

    • The links do not work!

      Sharpness and detail is only a small part of picture quality and often a very small and insignificant part, unless you take photos for a product catalog or similar.

      Also please take a look at 14. above by Chad.

    • I wouldn’t make that conclusion to hastily…

      Here is an X1 vs. X100 shot comparison on Flickr. I’ll preface this by saying they are not high res, there is no EXIF and the shooter has not commented on his post processing methodology.

      All that said, I’m struck at how similar images from the two cameras are. I tend to like the X100 images in this particular comparison but having used an X1 extensively, I know the posted X1 shots can be processed to luck much better.

      Anyway, see for yourself…
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/robzo1/5499603170/in/photostream/

      I’m looking forward to a more professional and controlled comparison and might have to do it myself.

      • on that link the X1 is still way more sharp, look at the right biggest tree, the X100 colours some wierd, too much magenta/red, X1 picture too dark, but much clearer. Having taking a lot with Hassy’s and M6 I’m a dog after sharpnes roomy feeling (which one is going to give you a feeling that standing in the picture). And in that way of looking (for my part still…) the X100 is flat, a bit uninspiering, dull but perhaps friendly to most people, dont know, but not to me.
        best
        Thorkil

        • I would argue (politely) that we can’t really settle the sharpness and detail question with these low res Flickr images. Also, the extra warmth in the X100 images will make the images appear to have less detail than the cooler, darker X1 version. Anytime you take away the reds, an image will look sharper.

          • you might be right and I might be somewhat hasty and predesided in my mind. But still having been surfing over some X100 pictures and some X1 around has made my mind, If I wanted a X100 I would better put some ekstra money in and by the X1, but I will save the money (once again) for the M9….(and keep my D3 and M6(and my film-hassy’s (do take a look at SWC pictures..) until then…
            best
            Thorkil

          • +1

  36. Pieter, Any comments on the audio/video recording quality of the x100? Thanks.

  37. So when is someone going to review on this website the new supposedly promising best-point-&-shoot contender: Olympus xz-1. If its IQ is not too much below the x100, then its much greater versatility makes it the much better deal for most of us. Perhaps?

  38. I think people really need to understand that this is a 23mm lens and that because of it’s inherently large DOF it will be hard to get creamy bokeh unless very close to the subject and the Out of focus area is in the extreme distance

  39. PS about Hasselblad. Things went a bit wrong with Fuji lenses, they just doesn’t have the same edge, sharpnes and rendering and can’t compete with the Carl Zeis lenses (which nowadays even are a bit less sharp, contrasty and roomy than the older glasses made some years ago with lead, which now is forbidden)
    (I just think….)
    best
    Thorkil

    • im sure hasselblad is more then capable of finding great lenses for there cameras and that the fuji ones from what ive heard (not used though) are incredible. The xpan is also made (well was) by fuji, extremely sharp lenses on that camera. The fuji MF studio camera has good lenses and fuji made great large format lenses as well which can go for a lot of money on ebay.

  40. […] diese Kamera ja alle ziemlich bewegt hier nun die ersten Impressionen der X100 von Pieter Franken: First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter by Pieter Franken | STEVE HUFF PHOT… Hoffe das ist OK dass ich das hier poste, ansonsten löschen ! Gruß OLAF __________________ […]

  41. [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/X100 PROOF.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/X100 PROOFB&W copy.jpg[/img]

    I downloaded these pics online which have been around for some days and converted it to Black and
    White. I shoot with an M8 and I must say I am VERY impressed with the file quality and its ability to be manipulated to taste in Photoshop. I used CS4 in the Black and White conversion. These files hold much data, and anyone shooting RAW will love this camera!!!!

  42. I’m up in the air about this camera. I want to like it, but I’m still not sure. I like the Leica X1 better, but would never get one until the firmware update. Then I would be tempted. All of this just makes me want to shoot more film. LOL!

  43. those flickr X1, X100 comparison pics really tell us nothing as he used the velvia preset in the fuji. we really need to see side by side RAW comparisons and even then try to tell which is better over the net is not an easy thing

  44. So it has slow autofocus, what a suprise

  45. Until a trusted technical review site does a real raw side by side comparison these conclusions draw from flicker pics are frankly a joke.
    As much as people want to say to tell others how they have decided to buy other cameras based on these files, I think a lot of use would rather not know about it. Go ahead, buy your M9, use your D3S etc, but I can be sure you’ll be back to look harder at the X100 when a professional review is posted on the net.
    Also for those that seem to have forgotten, It’s not a full frame camera, and it’s shooting a 23mm lens.

    Sorry to be so grumpy, but all these early negative opinions are just tiring to sift through, in order to find some genuine comments about how the camera is to use, by someone who has actualy used the camera.

    • The man who wrote this article has used the camera. This was only his 1st impressions. There will be a slew of reviews coming in the next 3 weeks so that will tell us all more. I’m still looking forward to the X100.

    • Kev, your point is taken. I cease all my negative comments. Let’s see what the pro reviewers will say. I’m sure we won’t have to wait very long for that.

      Cheers,
      Greg

  46. I’d much, much, much rather take a read from a “reviewer” such as Pieter then the so-called professional reviewers.

    Does anyone remember what Michael Reichman did whilst hold off many a negative fact at Leica’s request on the M8?
    Cost people thousands of dollars.

    “Professional Reviewers”, for the most part, not all, always have a positive review with perhaps some softball negatives thrown in. This is how they get paid and get gear.

    I am much more comfortable with folk like Steve Huff and Pieter giving us the low down.

    Add this plus Fuji’s own sample photos they first put out there and then quickly removed after most where asking “Really?” and this camera has the clear writing on the wall.

    • What an odd comment. Michael Reichman was the only I know of reviewer who mentioned the M8’s IR problem early on. He published the M8’s sensor’s color response and strongly hinted there would be an IR contamination issue.

  47. Why even bother discussing it here. There is NEVER any camera that performs better than a Leica to some people. It’s pointless to argue…the Leica fans will never be swayed no matter what samples you post or how you explain it.

    It’s hard to swallow that the cheapest camera of the bunch (x100,x1 & m9) performs as well or better than the more expensive ones.

    The so called “flatness” of the files is highly desired by anyone who shoots stock photography.

    The X100 is a steal at $1200.00.

    • Jim, I have two Leicas in the house. Well, only two… that may not qualify me as a Leica fan. I would dump my Leicas in a heartbeat if I came across something better at comparable cost. I don’t care about the brand. It’s just a lump of metal with some electronics and a red logo on the front. What I love is the style of shooting and the optics and the ones I have aren’t even made by Leica. I happen to prefer Zeiss.

      I don’t care about the brand but I like the pictures I come up with shooting in the style I like. So far Leica fulfills those expectations for me. Tomorrow it may be some other brand. The only thing makes me doubt any near future change of brands is that I think developing a top quality product that reliably and consistently provides top quality output takes decades to develop.

      Well, maybe I am a Leica fan after all…

  48. WOW! Finally got through all the comments 15 minutes after reading the article! Thanks to the reviewer Pieter (just made you a contact on Flickr) and big thanks to Steve for posting! Good initial “hands-on” and I’ll look forward to more info (ESPECIALLY Steve’s “showdown” wherever it ends up taking place)!

    It looks like a quality, fun camera.

    • Oh yeah and by the way I would like to echo the commenter who said they were impressed with the high ISO shots. 6400 is superb!

      • Bradley, it’s all because the bulbs on that Maranz are made in Russia.

        Seriously though, the high-ISO is great and for me is the only serious reason why I still think about this camera. But again, I don’t need an extra camera and my wife wouldn’t part with her X1 unless I convince her the X100 is better.

        Greg

        • Greg, great high-tech from Russia! Great sound and keeps the house warm.

          Seems your strategy should be:
          – get the X100
          – shrink it
          – put a red dot on it
          – grab the X1
          – swap in the X100
          – get the X1 back
          – shoot it !

          (P.S. Read the above with Gruu’s voice from the Despicable Me movie)

          Thanks for all your comments and points – much enjoyed it :-)

          We will now need to leave some room for Steve to his job !

          • Thanks, Pieter. We make everything double-duty here in Russia. Besides, if house isn’t warm who cares about the music? Smart marketing move, those bulbs… But make sure not to overheat them: they run on Uranium.

            Your swapping strategy won’t work on my wife. She’s after image quality. It better be the same as X1 or she will notice the change immediately.

            I may try it, though, just in case. I didn’t see the ‘Despicable Me’ but I’ll try the voice of the Kali Priest from the ‘Help!’ movie, the one with The Beatles. Remember, he tries to lure Ringo to “com to de vindoo!”?

            I don’t think we’re harming Steve’s job in any way by our little chats here about all those cool cameras, etc. I’d dare to assume we’re doing just the opposite.

            By the way, Pieter, congratulations! You’ve made one of the most successful posts on Steve’s site. Great review and 103 comments so far — not bad at all! Pity, there aren’t any contests for that… You’d have a solid chance.

            Cheers,
            Greg

            P.S. To Steve. Sorry, Steve, if some of my posts and side jokes here were inappropriate. No evil intention there; just trying to freshen up the ‘gear talk’.

  49. I realise the Pieter has had his hands the camera, and have nothing in particular to say about the review other than “thanks for writing it”.
    It’s the comments from people who haven’t held it (regarding Image quality for example), that just get me.

  50. This is a good watch for AF Discussion. . . . not about the x100 but the system in general . . .

    http://youtu.be/D_zGXERMRQU

    • I found it amusing that his M9 shot was always at about the same distance and that he was using a tabbed lens. That is by far the fastest way to focus because you know your distance when the tab is directly at the bottom (not all lenses are tabbed). Yes an M9 can be fast to focus but I think he gave himself a pretty easy setup on this test.

  51. So far, Mio Cade’s X100 stream is the best I’ve seen. This camera is more than capable for any level of photographer:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ramdiboy/5473524633/in/set-72157625992434661/

    • Jim,

      Thanks for posting the link to Mio Cade’s stream, not that i need it to confirm what i already know regardless of what others are saying about the IQ. If Cade’s or Pieter’s IQ is not convincing enough, i don’t know what else is…

      Might i add that a Leica is a Leica, same goes for Nikon, Canon, Fuji and everything else in between. IMO, comparing this camera or its IQ to anything else is rather ridiculous, it is what it is and i will love the heck out of it once i get mine, regardless of any further reviews. Question to me is, does it take good photos? Answer = Yes! and that is plenty…

      It is ABSOLUTELY a capable camera for any level of photographer. +1

    • Wow. Excellent shoots. Fantastic.
      Lets just conclude if you can’t take good pictures with this camera, you can’t take
      good pictures with any camera.

  52. 6:

    I just read what you said about not wanting to spend too much time on front of the computer. I have been shooting as a pro for 25 years and I remember spending hours on some prints in the darkroom for exhibition. Same is true today with my Leica M8 files. I guess I cannot blame you for what you said, I get tired too, but for me dodging, burning, adjusting is like drawing and painting (I can oil paint draw, sculpt, etc,,, ) and for me a natural part of the process of creating a photograph. I see no difference film and raw files. With each you have to manipulate the image to get what you want. I just happen to be one of those people who loves to spend hours on one photo. I had a portfolio review a few months ago and Larry Fink said my printing technique was exceptional with gorgeous prints.
    So I guess my hours and hours in front of my IMac are paying off for me. It would be nice if I could just whip up photos on a snap, but I cannot.
    So when I get my X100, I will be in front of my PC even more and loving it!

    • I’m with you Ed but I in no way denigrate Seal or any other shooter who prefers to work out of camera. Why do you think the manufacturers are coming out with all of these film modes? They are offering a quick and easy way to perfection and I’m all for it. Why not provide these great out of camera looks while still allowing anyone who feels the need, to dig deeper in RAW?

      I think we are on an exciting path in photography right now and I applaud Fuji and Leica for honoring the traditions while moving us forward.

    • Ed,

      I am also with you. Might i add that some shots CAN come OOC perfect and ready for print assuming you’ve done everything right or just got lucky. Some will definitely need PP if you want to keep a shot that needs something extra or just some minor tweaking. In camera manipulation are no where near what software or lab will do yesteryear or today. It ain’t happening!

      To quote `6 “I am one of those people who strongly feels that a camera should produce great images straight out of camera.” I politely beg to differ, i strongly feel its not the camera, its the photographer that actually creates great images… the camera, decent enough simply records the intended visual. I’m a little confused by that statement… Cameras have been recording images for donkey years – great, good and ugly. The M9/T, X100, M8 and so on are no different, in the hands of any capable photographer, great images can be created, enhanced in the lab or in software.

  53. Bradley,

    I wouldn’t make that assumption. When I was shooting the X1 I switched between regular and macro often since I didn’t want to take an additional hit to the AF speed. As I said in my first post, I expect the X100 macro AF mode is identical to the X1’s.

  54. fashion shoot with the X100

    http://brandonremler.blogspot.com/2011/02/fujifilm-finepix-x100-fashion-images.html?m=1

    the leica vs fujinon lens debate is a waste of time
    every camera is different as is every photographer
    horses for courses

  55. & a full set of test shots by mio cade

    http://m.flickr.com/#/photos/ramdiboy/sets/72157625992434661/

    there are more test shots “out there”
    every camera is different as is every photographer

    folks need to chillax and let this new camera circulate for a while

  56. Pieter,

    Can you comment on whether you were shooting with the OVF power save feature on? The manual states that this mode slows down the AF speed.

    Thanks!

  57. To hell with the X100….did you SEE that Marantz 8B Amplifier???? LOL!

  58. […] update: -First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter by Pieter Franken over at Steve Huffs Blog GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "0"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  59. […] Leica M9 rather than a Leica X1 or a Panasonic GF1, both similar cameras of this class. Here is the article. It isn’t long, but covers enough ground, otherwise I’d have provided a short […]

  60. Quick question about the review: It says “the lens uses an in lens focal plane shutter”

    Can you explain what this is, or am I misunderstanding it? I thought an in-lens shutter and a focal-plane shutter were completely different things. (E.g.: Leica M3 has a focal plane shutter: cloth blinds just ahead of the focal/film plane. Rolleiflex 2.8F has an in-lens shutter: pivoting metal blades inside the lens, near the diaphragm.)

    From what the review says about the interrelationship between maximum shutter speed and aperture (slower maximum shutter speed when shooting at full aperture) it sounds as if the X100 is using an in-lens shutter of what used to be called the “programmed” type: the shutter blades also perform the function of the aperture diaphragm, by opening and closing to less than the maximum amount when smaller f/stops are selected. This means a slower top speed when maximum aperture is selected (because the blades have to move farther) but makes possible a simple, quiet mechanism. Another possible downside is that “bokeh” may be less desirable, because the shutter must have a small number of blades (to allow quick movement) and this may make it difficult for it to form a smoothly circular opening at medium aperture settings.

    But again, I may be misunderstanding the original comment, so would appreciate hearing more detail. Thanks…

    • Hi Ranger 9,

      according to this:

      http://www.finepix-x100.com/en/story/

      part “FujinonLens’

      it seems that there is a 9 blade aperture with pretty neat curvature, and the in-lens shutter which is placed between the aperture blades and built-in ND filter.

      So it definitely isn’t ‘two in one’ which I think is good. Especially bokeh-wise. Those 9 blades look like they can form nearly circular aperture for smoother rendering.

      But I am still getting M8 + Biogon 35/2…

      I am VERY tempted by this camera especially when it comes at $2500 cheaper then this set. But for the future I want to be able to use more lenses and I will most likely not have enough money to have two cameras.

      So M8 it is.

  61. People can go around and round in circles debating whether they want to buy this camera or not.
    We can all get hung up on other reviews and so called experts.
    I like the look of the X100. I want to get out and take photos with it. I no longer want to spend my time trawling blogs and reviews. I have the camera on order, I will pay for it soon hopefully.
    I will go insane if I study anymore so called experts on here and elsewhere.
    Photography is supposed to be fun not a forum for one ups man ship.

  62. Peter,

    Thanks for the review! I’m in Tokyo right now and would also like to buy an X100. Can you tell me where you got yours and what price you paid? Many thanks!

    Roger

    • Roger, I got mine from Big Camera. Any large retailer (Yodobashi Camera, Yamada Denki, Labi,etc) will carry the camera. I’m hearing it has sold out but please see for yourself.

  63. just as i thought this camera is all hype….! images are not very impressive …leica shouldent worry about the x100 as competition for the x1 ..! its just a cheaper knock off ! and still 1200 bucks is absurd for this camera !

  64. More than a little off-topic, and not wanting at all to take away from Pieter’s very enjoyable article (thanks Pieter)… but isn’t the M3 just such an absolutely gorgeous camera?!!

  65. Pretty impressive X100 JPEG flower shot with crop from Brandon Remler’s blog…

    [img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-qVMBlTWus3c/TXLVyYt4slI/AAAAAAAAE3c/Y650FDpQw2s/s1600/Central+Park+X100++138A.jpg[/img][img]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Vb5MHbuy6aY/TXLVrldLSJI/AAAAAAAAE3Y/7zi-Un5VGoA/s1600/Central+Park+X100++138.jpg[/img]

  66. Mr Franken,

    Would you please do the following experiment.

    Set the camera to OVR Power Saver Mode = ON and test the AF response time.

    Next turn OVF Power Saver Mode = OFF and repeat the test.

    Is it possible your observation that the AF was slower than the GF1, 20/1.7 was made with OVF Power Saver Mode = ON?

  67. I am pretty amazed with the image quality of the x100. I would really like to see many of the nay-sayers assess comparative images from M9, X1, X100 blind and pick pick out which camera was used … I think the results would be surprising if not humbling, in many instances.

  68. The ‘fashion’ shots were interesting because they show EXACTLY the limitation of the fuji when trying to shoot portraits, The focal length is unflattering and I don’t know many photographers or models that would be content with this kind of result. Thats why an M is better. ANY M.

    • You don’t shoot portraits with a 24mm lens. A full-frame SLR with a 90mm or 135mm f/2 is the ticket here. Yes, the 90mm Summicron is nice but you get a lot of lost shots due to focus issues. Better yet, maybe a Pentax 67, 165mm/2.8 and Portra 160.

      • NL, my preferred lens for portraits is wider rather then tele, but that’s personal taste (the complete blured out background is a bit boring). I like to have closer contact with the subject.

        My favorite on the M9 for portraits are the 50 lux and especially the 75mm summicron, which is easier to focus than the 90 cron.

  69. What this device offers, I think it’s worth every penny.

  70. Meh, this is just like a debate between Mac and PC. Which one is better?

  71. Lovely looking camera, but £1000 ?!?! No thanks!

    • Try to get it elsewhere, OZ prices are great at the moment. Converted it comes to around 750 pounds and of course shipping to UK whatever that might be.

      • Thanks for that Vlad but not at all interested in getting one really. It did intrigue me when it was announced but not really my bag.

        Now, a Ricoh GXR really would tempt me but as I’ve just spent the money on a nice Elmarit 28mm for my M8 and a lovely Rolleicord Va I can’t afford it and don’t really need it if I’m honest. I’d still LOVE one though after parting with my GX200! :D

  72. Thank you Pieter, for your first impressions!
    Very informative and with some good tips I will take with me.
    I can`t wait to try out this camera, but it wont be released here in Norway for another couple of weeks, so I`m passing time reading the manual and looking at photos from other people ;)

    So far there are some good examples of what this little baby can do, I`m really looking forward to see what happens as more and more people get there hands on it.

    Have a great day shooting, everyone!
    /Kim

  73. still….do you all a favor, take a look at the samples for X100 and X1 at dpreview.com (my links failed), click at the original size of the picture and then click at a corner. JPEG or not, no one have to argu any more about which of these camera are the surperior one…right?
    best
    thorkil

    • PS would think that even(even is perhaps a wrong word) the E-PL2 would be a better point and shot camera, even though the X100 look so good and M-like, but it aint.
      sorry Fuji
      Thorkil

      • E-PL2 does not come even close to the x100 in technical image quality in my opinion. I compared the (EP-2 with same sensor) to the M8 and they are very close unless you pixel peep (M8 has a slight advantage in this case), but the x100 image quality looks a good deal bettery to me than any Pen.

      • Yes, I have to agree with AH, from the full res X100 samples I have pulled down to Photoshop, they blow away my E-P2 files.

  74. […] The same aforementioned flickr user shared his first impressions of the camera over at Steve Huff’s website. His (preliminary) verdict: “The X100 is not […]

  75. I have just been playing with an x100 at the “focus on imaging” show, the auto focus doesn’t feel any different to my ep-2, so plenty good enough for me. I have managed to take some pics with my sd card so hoping to check them out at home later.

  76. I don’t think the X100 is a sreious competitor against the Leica X1. At the end the image quality matters! Sure there are adavantages in terms of speed but for landscape pictures, architecture the X1 leads.

    • Rainer, have you shot with the X100? I think the X100 will do landscape and architecture pretty well, as does the X1. But for street and available light, the X100 will be a serious contender.

      Much enjoyed your website, Danke!

  77. Apologies if this link has already been posted : http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1020&thread=37895075

    I’m interesting in buying an X1 so the conversation is of much interest to me.

    Regards,
    D

    • Wow- I’ve been shooting with an X1 for almost a year now and haven’t taken a single picture that looks as bland as the ones in that comparison stream. They look stripped of the X1 look completely. I was so shocked I went to click on the EXIF data to be sure I wasn’t looking at another camera and the EXIF data is hidden.

      If you want to see X1 picture quality take a look at mine here and you won’t see any resemblance:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsgraupner/sets/72157625572490580/

  78. Hi Kevin,

    I really appreciate your comments on why the camera is just a tool and the brain of the photographer is the key to wonderful photos. I myself do not care what camera was used . I care more about the ideas and vision a photographer presents to us. I selected Leica rangefinders because they were the glove that fit my hand better. The X100 may offer me more creative possibilities. I am really excited by the prospect some wonderful art will be created by the X100 that we will soon see.

    Also, I respect 6’s argument for great photos straight out of the camera. I never had luck in that way, always dodging and burning with film and now Photoshop with my M8 files. But for us all, in the end , the final print is the end product, and it does not matter if it was shot with an M8/9, Nikon, Fuji X100, Megapixels do not matter, etc,,,, photoshop or not , who cares. It is the impact of the image.

  79. Lens comparisons with Leica should also take into account the fact that the sensor has an AA filter like most any other camera these days. This introduces quite substantial fuzziness compared to an AA-less sensor as used on an M9. It would be interesting to compare with a DX-format SLR like a Nikon D7000, and a comparable lens like the 35/1.8 DX or 24/2.8 AF-D. I bet the Fuji would be as good or better.

    I think it is cool that they have preset color modes named after Fuji’s transparency films. What, no Velvia?

  80. William:
    Here you go:
    “On a personal level this has reflected badly on me because, though I did mention in my review that the camera suffered from poor low light auto white balance, and had excessive infrared sensitivity, my review did not mention the green blob / banding and purple response issues.”
    Here is the Link: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/leica-m8.shtml

    I’m not putting this up to bash, only to point out that Reichman held back very, very important information by request of the MFR.
    This is why I will never, ever give any merit to a professional reviewer. If they are professional, they have something to gain. Period.
    I’d much rather read from A Steve Huff or in this Case Pieter.

    Another reason is that I no longer subscribe to one single magazine for the very same reason but as for “Professional Camera Equipment Reviewers”, they are indeed, I’m sorry to say, very bias.

  81. Don’t forget to read this update:

    “Why did I agree to Leica’s request not to publish some of the problems that I saw during my testing? “

  82. still thinking….If you all go to dpreview.com at camera reviews and look at the samples of both camera in full size, one should asume that you could compare them in shots with same Iso. And take a look at the corners!
    What is your judgement then????
    My, for my own sake I must say, is that the X1 is way superior to X100, in IQ, sharpnes and glow.
    But make your own judgement.
    Best
    Thorkil

    • Well, I’m sure x1 one can be used for taking wonderful pictures (we have already seen that), but I wouldn’t even consider it due to no view finder, not so good high ISO performance, not so good focus system, mediocre low resolution LCD and too high a price.

      • Which X1 has “not so good high ISO performance?”

        High ISO performance is one of it’s strongest traits. It’s an APS-C sensor. It takes a full frame camera with a 2.8 or faster lens to beat the X1’s low light 3200 ISO shots. Most prefer the X1’s 3200 shots to the M9’s 2500, and even the GF1’s f/2.0-1600’s. I personally couldn’t be happier. Notably the X1 doesn’t have any internal noise reduction either- can the same be said for the X100? (I really don’t know the answer to that)

        While there definitely are some reasons some may choose to pass up the X1, this isn’t one of them.

        • Yes, I like the X1 high ISO quality very much. It produces a nice film grain look.

          We’ll have to see how the X100 performs. Some early reports look very promising but I also don’t want the high ISO files to look smeared.

          I have to agree with Krsitian on the other criteria though…

        • No offence mate. Just what I read at Dpreview: “At ISO 800 visible noise is beginning to creep into the X1″. Doesn’t seem to be much visible noise from the X100 at ISO 800 or for that matter at ISO 3200.

          • The X1 is excellent up to iso 1600 and still very good at iso 3200. reading tests is one thing, using the camera in real life another.

          • I just looked at the pictures at Dpreview and by todays standards it is certainly not very good at ISO 3200.

          • Hi Krsitian,

            No offense taken. I respectfully disagree however, the X1 has great high ISO performance.

            Here is a shot I took with the X1 at 3200 ISO that was good enough to mount on my wall on a 20×30 canvas and it looks gorgeous. It’s essentially OOC RAW converted to JPG in Aperture.

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsgraupner/5282070273/

            I couldn’t imagine expecting more from a pocketable camera. Here are a couple other 3200 shots you are welcome to pixel-peep:

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsgraupner/5449773159/in/set-72157625404717987/

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsgraupner/5232505657/in/set-72157625404717987/

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/bsgraupner/5450388034/in/set-72157625404717987/

          • Hi Krsitian,

            No offense taken. Your pictures are amazing! While the X1’s high ISO performance is not comparable to the Pro full frame / medium format cameras you probably use, I believe the X1 has great high ISO performance for a pocketable camera.

            Here is a shot I took with the X1 at 3200 ISO that was good enough to mount on my wall on a 20×30 canvas and it looks gorgeous. It’s essentially OOC RAW converted to JPG in Aperture.

            [img]http://flic.kr/p/93KZt8[/img]

            I couldn’t imagine expecting more from a pocketable camera. Here are a couple other 3200 shots you are welcome to pixel-peep:

            [imghttp://flic.kr/p/9izvGc[/img]

            [img]http://flic.kr/p/9iCEtu[/img]

            (I tried replying before but the comment didn’t post so if it eventually does, my apologies for the double reply)

          • Ugh, they didn’t show up. I wish you could edit comments in wordpress blogs :-(. Anyway, here’s the one I canvassed 20x30in first, then two others you can take a look at:

            [img]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5124/5282070273_df14b82f43_o.jpg[/img]

            [img]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5131/5450388034_35e9067105_o.jpg[/img]

            [img]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5012/5449773159_1410f53474_o.jpg[/img]

    • Let’s wait for a real shot to shot comparison before making conclusions like this. What do you think?

      • Bradley, thanks for posting the pictures. They are nice and absolutely useable at ISO 3200, but they are just not quite as noise free as some of the currently best high ISO cameras like the Nikon d7000 and the x100 which have a sensor about the same size as the x1.

        But that was to be expected as the x1 is more than a 1 year old now and sensors keeps getting better regarding high ISO performance (only talking high ISO and noise, not how the picture is rendered otherwise).

  83. By the way, I wanted to throw one thing in here and I hope no one minds.

    I have a Nikon D40 as well as an F5.
    I recently purchased the Nikon D7000 in October and last year the Panasonic LX5

    I sold the D7000 in February, it was not for me for many different reasons, image IQ wise as well as some other technical issues. The D40 I found as a “freak” camera. It’s amazing this little 6meg wonder. Also I think the only DLSR that has a flash sync speed of 1/500 which is amazing.
    The Pano LX5? Yes, I think the Leica 5 Images are a bit sharper with that nice Leica look, but I guess what I wanted to point out is that it’s beginning to seem to me, the further we go along the more we seem to be moving a bit backwards in IQ. Now, the M9 does NOT fit into this as I’ve handled her, seen the images and can only hope to have one some day.
    The M9 is the execption, IMO.

    For what it’s worth, my F5, with color film processed in my own wet lab (Jobo ATL-2300) blows every single DLSR on the market today away. Just sayin’.

    I do hope Steve that one day you give the Zeiss ZM Biogen 35mm f/2 a chance. I think it will really surprise you. When I purchased mine for my M6, I found it the finest 35mm I’ve ever shot with. Then it was only $800. Try her.
    Best,
    Tom

  84. Photos are soft and you can’t change the lens–what a waste of a great sensor and camera body.

  85. @ah,
    i think the x1 is also way over priced but atleast its images are much better & the lens is sharper .

  86. Now I’m worried. I have an X100 pre-ordered, but the sample pictures I’ve seen, including Peiter’s, really don’t show the kind of sharpness I would expect from a well corrected prime lens. I guess I’ll just have to wait and test it myself.

    I don’t expect the X100 to be as knock-yer-socks-off as an M9, or even an X1, but I do expect it to be at least as sharp as, for instance, my Pentax K5 with its 35mm f2. So far the samples I’ve seen don’t seem to be that, although some of the DPreview shots seem pretty nice.

    I’d really like to see comparison shots between the X100 and M9 or X1 with the same detailed subject, (like maybe a house or shop front filling the frame) with the same exposure, and full sized files. So far, all the comparisons I’ve seen are not of the same subject, or one light and one dark, or tiny files don’t demonstrate much.

    Here’s hoping that the X100s for the US went on the boat (or airplane or whatever) at the same time the camera was released in Japan, so they’re on their way.

    • Paris, testing for yourself is always and excellent idea. I can appreciate that over blanket statements such as “the lens is shite” :)

      I wouldn’t worry too much though. At least I’m not. I’ve been examining every full res image that reflects my shooting style and the sharpness and detail looks excellent and very much what I expected.

    • Save your money, or by the X1 or a E-PL2 instead and use the saving for a used M8 or save a little more…and by the M9 for the ultimate satiesfaction
      best
      Thorkil

      • Thorkil you are going to have to give up the ghost soon my friend. More X1 vs. X100 samples are up (this time full res RAW conversions) and the lenses look identical to my eyes, dare I say the X100 is better corrected for CA. Sharpness is there in spades and the signatures look very similar. I think people would have a hard time picking which camera took what picture in a blind test.

        We plan on doing a controlled Full Res/RAW/Tripod shootout later in the week here in Austin when my X100 comes in and hope to have it posted this weekend.

  87. Love how people are comparing a $1000 camera to an M9 that’s 9x the price. Seriously?

    With the X100, you’re paying for and receiving a camera with new design feats that people have been asking for, and some unexpected. If the image quality is even close to an M8, or a Ricoh GXR, thats a bonus. Pixel peepers may be disappointed, but if the camera operates according to spec, it;ll be a fun camera to enjoy photography with – NOT pixel peeping.

    • May I add that if people care so much about pixel peeping and high ISO peeping, buy a Nikon D3s and a Sigma DP2. Then you can complain about the size, and the lack of usability.

      Thanks goes to the author for posting, but there is much more to see before ‘adequate’ conclusions can be made. We are yet to see what Steve himself thinks, or professional photographers putting the camera to good use.

    • I think the fact that people are comparing this camera’s results even unfavorably with an M9 is a HUGE huge win for the X100.

      • +1 on that Donald. Hehe.

        It’s amusing when those who hasn’t touched the X100 let alone test it without prejudice dismiss it just because it doesn’t have a red dot…

        • It’s just like going to the BMW forums and start the discussion that Mercedes is better or vice versa!

          Remember the long thread over at l-forum nex vs x1? heh

          Most of the X1 samples are processed raws, so I would wait until there is a support for X100 raw files before any conclusion is made.

          Anyone willing to take a wild guess with which camera was this shoot? :)

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/dovla/5504844869/lightbox/

          Cheers
          Vlad

          • NEX 3?

          • Bingo! I’m sure you have seen my other photos so therefor comes conclusion :)

          • Actually, I guessed NEX based on the perspective, looks like you shot from the hip, but then saw exactly which model you shoot with in your other photos.

            I also have a NEX 3 and it was the bargain of the year. $300 for the body only and I now have a terrific platform for my M-mount lenses. Here is a shot I took with it yesterday with a Nokton 40mm 1.4. Love how you can play with the perspective so easily…
            [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/DSC01937-web.jpg[/img]

          • Geez, Chad, that’s one hellva photograph

          • Thanks Tom. You can see and download the high res here:

            http://gallery.me.com/wadsworths#101386/DSC01937

            The NEX 3 with adapted lenses is a winner.

          • Im stunned by the performance with the NEX, not of course with sony glass which I ended up selling after few photos with it. Now I have great Canon FD 50mm f1.4 SSC which shines on NEX.

          • Vlad, I haven’t even tried the Sony lenses! I’m holding out for the Zeiss wide prime. For now, the NEX and X100 will make a nice shooting combination. I have a feeling my 5D is going to be collecting dust until the next shoot I need a long lens for.

          • Chad, the photograph is just crazy wonderful. I’m going to look at this along with the GXR. (I have to say also, you had a LOT to do with this, getting down at grass level really made this an impressive photograph. I hope you are printing and hanging this)

            I can tell you, years ago I had a Sony F707, small body with a huge Zeiss Lens, only 5mpegx, that made just stunning photographs.

          • Thanks again Tom. I can’t wait for the new Zeiss 24mm 1.7 for E mount. That lens should stir things up a bit again…

      • Don, fully agree – it’s not the swiss army knive people hope it to be, but the X100 is going to be a lot of fun to shoot. And great looks to boot!

  88. Ok, here’s the thing, this camera costs tweleve hundred dollars (+ whatever taxes your govt. chooses to add), why is it that all the Leica peeps on this post choose to compare it to their M8’s, M9’s et al when you would struggle to even buy a decent Leica lens, or for the same money, just afford a
    Zeiss lens. Good glass is really steep (I have a couple of Zeiss lenses I use on my GF1), and from the sample pic’s I have seen (and none of these RAW’s processed with Adobe), Fuji have done magnificently. Uber sharpness is important for technical work, What is more important is the character of the lens, and from what I have seen, this lens is delicious (same reason I use my Hexanon 35/f2 over my Zeiss 35/f2).
    The other important thing with this camera is, not so much the target market, but the photog’s who will use this camera with serious intent. I feel that photojourno’s will fall hard for this camera, and street photog’s.
    For me, it will replace a Yashica electro35 and an Olympus SP, both of wich I would go through 5 or 6 rolls of film in an average outing.
    Yes, the x100 could be better, but expecting Leica like performance at $1200 is a bit much.

    • Julian,

      How do you like your Hexanon 35 f/2? I have just recently began to use these incredible lenses on my EP2 including the Minoltas. Collected almost 30 of them in the last month and a few more to come including 35 f/1.8 EE version. So far the 52 1.8 EE is my fav, somehow i like the EE versions slightly better than the AE. They are all incredible performers… On the Minolta, the 35 2.8 Rokkor X MC HG is a beast, i also got lucky finding the Auto Rokkor HG 35 f/2.8 Minolta’s first 35mm Circa 1958. Can’t find the Konica 35 f/2 though…

      Here are a few shots from the Konica 52 1.8 @ 2.8 or so… ( Noir our Miniature Schnauzer ) Processed using Olympus Master 2 software which is surprisingly very good for Olympus files. Just tried it last night…

      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/_3015696.JPG[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/_3015700.JPG[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/_3015702.JPG[/img]

  89. I, for one, am thrilled about the excitement and release of this camera. It allowed me to purchase a mint condition Ricoh GXR with both A12 lens modules for less than the cost of a new X100! Speaking of which, if you haven’t shot one yet, you should give it a shot. It’s phenomenal!

  90. […] Impressions of the Fuji Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter by Pieter […]

  91. I haven’t seen this much activity since the M9 contest! I would say Fuji developed a winner here. Priced just high enough for the masses, and spec’d for the people really love photography and using a camera.

    Very exciting!

  92. Lens (image) quality looks pretty good. Not amazing, but an overall good performer capable of good results in capable hands. I’m sure there had to be some design compromises to make it small and well corrected.

    High ISO noise performance sounds impressive. Wish they had stuck this sensor into my Ricoh A12 unit.

    From the sound of it, the optical viewfinder is the real killer feature of the X100. Everything else you can get with comparable quality from other brands. I’m sort of hoping viewfinders will be the next big improvement from companies, whether they be digital or optical.

  93. an extensive stream of x100 shots by 246-You (supposedly a pro) is available on flickr

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotois/5506325570/in/photostream/#/

    numerous subjects and shooting situations

    as i stated: let this new camera circulate a bit before making proclamations or judgments (positive or negative)

    stop yapping and do more shooting with the camera closest to hand! peace out!

  94. I spent a day out with the family yesterday in a building with very low light. I decided to take the GXR together with the A12 28mm f/2.5. Framed most of the day with one of my custom d-sat profiles as the florescent light was ugly. Everything was at ISO 1600 and honestly, if I wasn’t convinced way back when I bought it, I am TOTALLY convinced now that Ricoh have given me all I will ever need to take the kind of images I like. In my opinion it is the best of the bunch including the X1, NEX, etc.

    I haven’t personally used the X100 yet so I can’t give an intelligent opinion of that camera but I have to say that in light of yesterday’s experience I’m not really excited about it. not because I think it won’t deliver, but more because I am so thrilled with the GXR. I think it’s the best kept secret out there to those who don’t already own one. It’s such an amazing, well thought-out, perfect little camera that just continues to deliver. People bashed it because they just couldn’t get past the innovative lens/sensor combined module concept, yet I’d rather that than the fixed-ens/camera concept of the X1 and forthcoming X100.

    I have to congratulate Ricoh on what they’re about. I’m now at home preparing for my South American tour with Steve and thinking that I will take my Titan M7 with a 35 & 50 seeing as I have the most fun when using film. My only digital solution will be the Ricoh together with the two A12 modules and an iPhone. I think I’ll leave the M9 solution to Steve. I couldn’t be happier.

    `6

    • Even with no viewfinder?

      • It does have a very good EVF but I really don’t need it. Will bring it along in any case because it’s so good (just under a million dots).

        `6

    • ~6,

      With talk like this about the Richo, you will make everyone bolt like hell to get one :-) I for one don’t know why i haven’t gotten one so far, seen so many awesome images from the Richo especially in B&W, simply stunning! Wish you and Steve well on your upcoming tour!

    • ~6, I like two messages in your post: 1) Be happy with what you’ve got; and 2) The GRX is great. I’ve been hearing that repeatedly before on this blog and elsewhere.

      I have a question for you. Do you have that new M-module for the GRX (don’t know if it’s been released yet)? If you do, could you please say a few things about it?

      Another question is wether GRX’s shutter is as quiet as X1’s.

      Thanks. Have a great tour and lots of fun shooting with the tools you like.

      Cheers,
      Greg

      • Hi Greg.

        The Ricoh’s shutter is whisper quiet.

        No, I don’t have the M module.

        The build of the camera is better than the X1 which I find to be flimsy and cheap given that it’s a Leica and the relative price. By contrast the Ricoh looks like it would be the choice of a war photographer. Steve wrote an excellent review on it so look through this site and I’m sure you’ll find it. He explains the pros and cons far better than me.

        `6

        • Like I said, I just got the GXR, but it is one of only few cameras I have been genuinely excited about in the last number of years. The ONLY other digital that has gotten me this excited was the Nikon D700, which I still believe is one of the most perfect cameras ever.

          Anyway, the GXR is just wonderful. The auto WB is far better than anything I have ever used. Sounds hokey, but there is something about the OOC images that is just perfect. It really is the most “film like” of any digital I have used. The controls are intuitive and well laid out. The menus are logical and highly customizable. Don’t even get me started about how great the OOC b/w images are.

          To give you an idea. I compared the GXR with both A12 units to my d300 and the 17-55 AFS at the same focal length. The results were close, but the GXR was better.

          Am I curious about the X100? Sure, I had one on preorder, but after I got the chance to buy both units on the cheap and try them out, I canceled my order. I really believe it is good enough for anything I need.

          After all the talk about the horrible AF, I was expecting a nightmare. Is it as fast as my D700? Not even close, but it’s really fine. It’s much better than any luxury compact of the film era and about the same as entry level slrs of the last film days.

          Enough gushing, any negatives? Yes, I wear a size L glove (men’s), so about average, but the camera does feel a little small in the hand. The weight is not perfectly balanced due to the mass being loaded on the lens. In other words, I wouldn’t want to shoot a wedding with it… your hand would be badly cramped by the end of the day.

          In summary, if you’re interested in a high quality P/S, do yourself a favor and give one of these a shot.

          P.S. Now all I need is a resonably fast 85/90mm equiv. For travel work, I’d do away with DSLRs altogether.

          `6 What do you use as a camera bag for the GXR?

          • Hi Jack,
            couldn’t have put it better myself. What do I use for as a camera bag for the GXR? hmm… let me see…I don’t really! I generally throw it into anything that I’m carrying whether it be a man-bag or a gym bag….I tend not to worry about it because it’s so robust.

            For my trip at the end of this week, it will go inside a back-pack along with my M7 and two lenses. I bought this really cool back-pack which I won’t tell you the name of because it’s embarrassing and besides, it will no doubt bring a mountain of hate due to the ostentatious nature of the brand. However it is not a typical camera bag so I pulled out the innards of one of my A&A bags and kind of ‘jimmy-rigged’ the backpack to become a camera backpack. I will just throw the GXR in it when not in hand.

            I’m glad you bought a GXR, I’ve had it for a good year now and keep coming back to it because it is just brilliant in what it does. I use it right up to ISO-3200 and print from the jpegs, if you can believe that, with no hesitation whatsoever. Here’s a jpeg at iso-1600 with my d-sat profile straight out of camera.

            `6

            [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032146.jpg[/img]

          • ~6,

            Thank you.

        • Hi Seal,

          Thanks. It’s good news that Ricoh is quiet. The only other camera that can potentially accept M glass is Sony NEX and it’s obscenely loud. Besides, it’s kind of ugly, to my eye. Ricoh seems better to me.

          It’s good to know that Ricoh is tough-built. Shooting primarily an M9 I’m kind of used to that. It’s one of the things that X1 is surely lacking (I have one, too).

          I will read Steve’s review. To be honest, I didn’t give it much attention before. Now I will.

          Again, good luck with your tour. I hope, some day you will come to Russia again.

          Cheers,
          Greg

    • Where can I go please to see some GXR images? Did steve do a review? I can’t find it if he did. This has my eyes open now.

      Gonna take a lot to beat my F5 but I’m willing.
      Geez, we’re an odd crowd.

    • I also got a mint GXR with an A12 50mm module just recently for a really good price. Since GXR was not exactly the hot item on everyone’s wish list, it worked out for me that I was able to get it very much on the cheap side.
      I took it out to celebrate my fiancee’s grandpa’s birthday the past weekend for my first serious shoot with the GXR, I couldn’t be happier with the results. The images were crisp and clean, and after some LR adjustments (for birthday celebrations, I like them to be contrasty and saturated to match the mood) , the images really pop up and 3-D like. The AF was dead-on and most of the images were incredibly sharp and detailed.

      Now, besides the Leica M3, GXR will probably be my daily camera for a long long time.

      If you have not have the chance to check out GXR, before putting your money on X100 or X1, take a good look at GXR as they are available to play with at your local dealers now.

      Who wants to buy my M8?

  95. Well that little write up should mix it up a bit, ~6 hope you realise you’re going to upset a few. I had a play with an x100 yesterday and it feels very nice and fun to use, so I guess it achieves most of what it’s supposed to. But so many people want it to be the last thing in photography – the only camera they will ever need. Oh well. BTW, good luck with the tour, have fun.

    • Honestly Phil, I think you upset people even if you say that the X100 is the second coming (which it very well may turn out to be). I’m just in love with this thing because it delivers. I think most people know how much I adore Leica products and what I think of them but that’s not to say I won’t give credit where it’s due. In this case the Ricoh is as I said before the best of the bunch including the X1 which for my money produces over-sharpened images which people tend to confuse with being superior IQ. I don’t know this for sure but it appears to me that the camera devision at Ricoh is run by a small bunch of passionate photographers with integrity not interested in appeasing the masses by getting up to all the high-iso circus tricks that are all too common in products theses days. They just make a bloody good camera with stella images that rock.

      `6

      • There’s something special about Ricoh’s. My Ricoh GRD3 has become my favourite digital camera ever simply because it’s a joy to use. In fact I’ve bought and sold other cameras in the meantime because none of them had the experience of the Ricoh. (Thou I also love my 5dmk2 as I do a lot of music videos etc too with that) It’s one of those cameras you just find yourself holding but forget that you picked it up in the first place!

        The X100 has just landed in the UK and I managed to find a place with them in stock so mine is hopefully arriving tomorrow (pumped b/c now I’ll have it for my trip to sxsw next week!). If it produces DSLR quality images and gives me an experience on part with my GRD3 then it’ll be a winner for me.

  96. And that’s what it’s all about – isn’t it? If your perception of Ricoh engineers is correct then that’s a really encouraging way to operate in this day and age of profit margins and corporate accountability. Credit to them.

  97. Here’s another, but more of a hands-on, physical comparo thing (no sample images)…

    http://robertcatto.tumblr.com/tagged/Fujifilm_X100

  98. Wait, now we’re talking about NEXes and Ricohs hehe…

  99. […] $1,200. And I still can’t wait to try one.Leica M3 versus Finepix X100 [Nokton / Flickr]First Impressions of the Finepix X100 from a rangefinder shooter [Steve Huff Photo]See Also:Leica M9: 18 Megapixels, Full-Frame Sensor$29000 Titanium Leica M9 Will […]

  100. “The lens can be stepped in full stops only – it would have been nice to have half stops.”

    You can actually adjust in thirds of a stop using one of the buttons on the back

  101. Fuji shortage of X100 sensors according to DPReview ( http://www.dpreview.com/ ) Looks like we will not be seeing this until the end of March or first week of April. Darn!

    • Yeah, this is a major bummer for the US audience.

      Luckily I’ve got one coming to me from Japan. A friend in Tokyo is bringing it later this week when he comes to Austin for SXSW. Going to do a comprehensive review and a separate X1 vs. X100 shootout. Very excited about the shootout, we’ve got a solid methodology planned, a model and some fun illustrations. Should be ready this weekend over on X100forum.com

      Also planning on shooting SXSW exclusively with the X100 and posting the results the week of the 21st.

    • The post on DPR does NOT say the shortage is due to a sensor shortage, just high demand for the camera.

      Careful, that’s how bogus info get’s amplified on the web…

  102. There is a new X1 vs X100 comparison on FLICKR. Here is the link. It has both OOC JPGs and RAW conversions with X1 converted using LR3 STD settings and X100 converted via Silkypix standard settings. http://www.flickr.com/photos/robzo1/sets/72157626224207516/

  103. Got my X100 today and spent the afternoon playing around with it, the images from it are brilliant, took a few night photos and they look really good, much better than my girlfriends GF1

    • Congrats Howard. How does the AF focus speed compare to the GF-1 (does she have the 20mm 1.7?)

      • Hello Chad, sorry for the late reply I’ve been playing with the X100 night and day, I think that it focuses just as quickly as my girlfriends GF1 + 20mm lens, I’ve taken to using just the optical viewfinder setting rather than the electronic one because its so clear and bright.

        the image quality is amazing and much better than the GF1, only problem now is that my family have bought me a Ricoh GXR plus 28 and 50 modules for my birthday, I forgot to tell them that I had ordered the X100.

        • Howard, maybe you could do a comparison review of both systems here if it’s OK with Steve? That would be great for everyone and will help you to decide which one you prefer yourself. Maybe both?

          Thanks.

          Greg

          • Hello Greg, I’ll get the GXR on by birthday this coming Sunday when my family visit from Germany, they arrive today but I know that they will not give it to me till then, while there are here I will have to hide the X100

            but come Monday I will take photographs from both and see how they look, I just learnt that both the X100 and GXR use the same battery, it all seems like fate

          • Howard, it looks like you’re destined to keep both! Well, nice! They’re both quite small, so you can shoot them side by side instead of changing lenses on GXR. Good for you.

            I look forward to see your pictures from both cameras. Especially interested in GXR’s high-iso performance.

            Cheers,
            Greg

  104. Wow, over 300 comments in this post! The Fuji X100 will be available in the USA the last week of March or 1st week of April. Fuji wanted to have enough cameras for the USA Launch so they held back the release. It’s not due to sensor shortage.

    • No Steve my bad its not due to sensor shortage… They are just short due to demand!

    • I disagree.. I think they are pushing this deliberately for the same reason apple didn’t preorder the ipad 2 – free hype and advertising.

      Fuji could have launched I believe.. but I think they will be eking out just enough to keep demand high, avoid the inevitable price drop, and keep interest sustained.

      To me, this push is completely a marketing decision – I’m not judging it as a bad move.. but I don’t think there’s anything other than continuing forward momentum.

  105. Thanks to ‘6, for pointing out the Ricoh GXR, havn’t even thought of this one as a possible point and shoot camera, and thanks for the review to Steve(didn’t even notice it at that time (didn’t think that Ricoh was something..))(and outperform even the M9 for you…amazing…hhhmmm). Yes it certainly looks more interesting than the X100 (and even the X1 perhaps). Must look after one here in Copenhagen.
    best
    Thorkil

  106. What now for Leica and the X1 ?

    No real comparisons have been made, however all data points to the X100 selling well, and these sales I think will impact on the X1’s sales.

    Will Leica announce a new X model , will the X1 price fall ?

    Can the firmware put the X1 back into the limelight ?

    D

  107. The talk about living with images out of the camera and hating post processing is scary, thank god Ansel Adams liked working in the dark room!!!!

    • Clyde,

      first of all you need to calm down. Nobody, least of all me, said that they hate post processing, I said that I hate the fact that I HAVE to do it or that I’m expected to do it in order to get an image to look good in this age of digital! It’s one of the main reasons I use film…because I drop it in the lab and I’m done.

      Secondly, why is the de-facto criteria always Ansel Adams? Yes, I acknowledge that he was a great photographer who pioneered the zone system and whatever but honestly, I couldn’t give a flying @#^$ about his photographs of perfectly exposed tree bark laying across another baron landscape. In other words they do nothing for me and leave me unmoved and uninspired. Avedon, Newton, Jacob Hotlz on the other hand are people who continue to move me to tears and if I could ever frame a picture as good as Avedon’s worst I’d be jumping for joy but AA, no and in fact I’d go as far as to say that I’m more inspired by the photographs that Steve and a lot of the other photographers here have posted than anything I’ve ever seen by Ansel Adams.

      FYI, Cartier Bresson NEVER developed or printed (he had a genius of a printer that did all of his great works) why? because he preferred to be out there making brilliant photographs and recording history, not spending time in the darkroom missing it. The same goes for Newton and Avedon, they never printed or developed themselves because they were photographers, not darkroom technicians. It is a complete myth that all of these photographers spent time in the darkroom developing because they didn’t! The unsung heroes were great developers and printers that we never heard of.

      Once again I don’t hate post processing in front of the computer, I can do it to good effect, I just resent that I’m expected to do it in order to complete my process. This is why any great photographer who uses film will tell you that the more you can do in the camera, the better it is. The truth is that we’ve all become lazy because ‘we can fix it in the post’. Well no! I don’t want to fix it in the post, I want to get it right at the time of taking the photo, go out and make some more.

      `6

      • Wow, ~6, some strong statements! It won’t be surprising to me if a huge Ansel Adams discussion springs up from your post. Anyway, I can relate to your reasoning. I too like taking pictures better than editing them. I do PP (pun intended) because I have to but I’d rather do without it if I could.

        I like the HCB example. He didn’t even consider himself a photographer. He used to say about himself that he just liked taking pictures. At the same time I appreciate those great photographers who printed their own work. It’s just a matter of preference and convenience.

        In Russia most of our great masters printed their own pictures. But there was a practical reason to it, too. There weren’t any good labs available in Russia, almost none. So, everybody had to print in their own bathrooms at night (a separate darkroom was another unavailable luxury for most photogs).

        For the same reason nobody did any colour work in Russia. There was absolutely no way to print colour at home. I know one guy who did only colour photography but you wouldn’t even imagine what kind of ‘workflow’ he had… He’d shoot a roll of colour film and then put it aside for a few months (!) until someone showed up who could take his film to the West for development and printing. Then he would wait for few more months for his prints to come back to him. Often it took him up to a year to see his images for the first time since he shot them! That’s what I call dedication! Give this guy a digital camera without an LCD screen in the back and he wouldn’t even notice it’s missing.

        I personally don’t care who does his own post-processing and who doesn’t. It’s a matter of personal taste, habit or whatever. It’s always better to do as much as possible in the camera. Nobody would argue with that, not even Ansel Adams (in fact, I think he’d be the last one to argue with that). In our digital age we tend to be lazy, so I find your approach to be very healthy. Better do it perfect in the first place and move on to the next image. I admire great prints that took hours to make but at the same time I don’t feel like spending hours in front of my computer. For me the ideal workflow is as such: do the best you can in camera, then do some basic adjustments in the computer, then print and hang it on the wall (digital or, better, real). Done!

        Another good thing is to always use great quality lenses like Leica or Zeiss. I found in my own photography that whenever I use some great glass my files almost always require much less PP. So, gradually, I got rid of all the mediocre glass I had in my possession and kept only the good ones. Well, of course, that alone is not sufficient for great photography. Some good set of skills and a great talent wouldn’t hurt, either.

        Cheers,
        Greg

        • Yea, you’re right Greg. There will no doubt be an Ansel Adams lynching party out for my arrest but I couldn’t stop myself. It seems that every time someone says something unconventional, the standard retort is “well Ansel didn’t do this or Ansel would never have done that”. Mind you Greg, I’m not saying that I don’t do PP, I just Poo-poo the idea of having to do it as part of my workflow. Sure I’ll do the one touch tweak here and there or if I get my scans back from the lab and there’s something I feel like printing, I’ll personally roll my sleeves up and get in there. What I’m saying is that it’s all too time consuming (I have four kids so that might have something to do with my time obsession) and I’d just rather not spend that time in front of my computer post processing every image that I’m going to put up on a gallery.

          I bought a little camera yesterday for my son, the EPL-2. The reason I got it was because it was red so that will make it fun for him but also because of the GREAT filters that it includes. I just love creative thinking. you know, back in the day if you wanted a certain look you just picked a certain film stock…done! If you were a pro (which I am most certainly not) you went to the lab and spoke with your tech whom you would’ve developed a rapour with over years and he/she would know exactly how you wanted your image processed and printed, leaving you to do what you love…make photos.

          I totally agree with your workflow, my favorite PP app is Alien Skin’s Exposure 3. What an incredible piece of technology mainly because the filters are sublime and it gets you in and out with minimal fuss and time wasting.

          I think I better stop posting for today, that way I’ll escape the AA lynch mob.

          Keep well,

          `6

          • ~6, don’t worry about the lynch mob; they’re banging on my door right now. Since I’m in Russia, you still have enough time to escape to South America and have fun with your tour there.

            I’m with you on the ‘Saint Ansel’ issue. I like his work, although I think if he stuck to Pictorialism it could have been even more fun. Anyway, he’s not my favourite photographer like HCB or other great ‘people photographers’ but I appreciate and admire some of his work. But, much like you, I hate it when people always refer to him as some kind of ultimate authority. Or to HCB, or anyone else, for that matter.

            “Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory” (Leonardo)

            You know what else freaks me out about having to spend much time in front of a computer? It’s losing my eyesight at the damn monitor instead of preserving it for taking more pictures. Kind of defeats the purpose…

            Exposure 3 is cool. I don’t use it much, though, as I’ve come up with my own little favourite tricks in LR that I like to use on my pictures real quick and be done with it.

            Congrats on your son’s new gift. I retrospectively envy him. I mean, when I was a kid all I could get for my photography was some crappy soviet camera that never worked (had fun disassembling some of those, though). Aren’t our kids way more fortunate than we ever had been in their age? I have five children, by the way, so I know what you’re talking about regarding time and priorities.

            Cheers,
            Greg

          • My best work is definitely architecture/landscape work. For me, the option of not having to PP every photo is wonderful. My first digital camera was a D200 and amazing as it was (at low ISOs), I had to PP nearly every photograph. When it comes to family events, most people get irritated when you take so long to get them the photos. A small camera that gives both good OOC images as well as RAW images with nice headroom is a dream come true. I love PP, both in the darkroom and on the PC, but I sure don’t want to have to do it all the time.

            I worked as a printer in a professional photo lab until the D300 was released (the money stunk but hey, I got free printing :-). Digital has done some wonderful things for photography, as well as some bad ones. First, images often end up residing only on facebook, flickr, whatever. Second, in the beginning I heard never ending complaints about how the images looked “funny” due to WB issues, plastic perfection, etc.

            The ironic thing is, that, for many people, film is actually the better solution. You like punchy colors and decent skintones (what most of the general public wants)? drop in a roll of Reala and shoot away. Any decent modern camera will have near-perfect exposures and people walk away happy.

            Digital in many ways has introduced far more work. It’s all about workflow. Lightroom 3 is a godsend for me, but still–I don’t know about you, but after spending all day working on Logistics modeling, oftentimes, I would prefer to not be on the computer.

            About the almighty Ansel: I really appreciate what he has done for photography (I do own all of his books), but frankly, many of his students ended up being far better than their “master.”

            Today, for maximum quality, I still prefer the methodical process of shooting 8×10, but it’s not practical for everyday life. (i.e. my marriage wouldn’t last if I brought an 8×10 on every date–for much of photography, including that with a DSLR, the camera becomes the focus of the event). Furthermore, over time, while my own skills have sharpened, fine landscape work moves me less and less. It’s part of our weak ability to capture the natural beauty which exists. I use 8×10 because I feel it’s the best (and damn heavy) tool available to do so. But, to put it in context, I’ve never seen a photograph of the Rocky Mountains that rivals the magnificence of looking out over it in person. The most I will get is, “wow.” Whereas the awesome beauty of being there at sunrise paralyzes me.

            For me, the GXR is the first compact that has met my expectations for everyday life–I don’t live in Estes Park (most recently, I also gave the S90 and GF1–the gf1 was decent but limited DR drove me nuts).

            In film, I loved my Leica Minilux and Contax T3. When I go back through my images, at least half of my favorites were with these cameras. It is because of they allow spontaneity, and technically, the quality is “good enough.”

            If my house were burning down and I could only save 3 photos, every single one would be from my Minilux (the day I proposed, an early date on a sailboat, and a picture of my father looking out over a lake).

            For me, the GXR is the first generation of compact digital cameras that will capture these kinds of images for me in the future.

          • Hey Greg, yea…kids have it so easy these days. When we were kids we were so poor that we couldn’t even pay attention let alone pay for camera gear.

            Jack, what a wonderful way with words you have. Thanks for the insight into your world of photography. I loved what you said about “digital creating more work” because that’s precisely my issue with it all. I am pretty quick with both LR and Aperture so my problem isn’t that I’m overwhelmed with technology. It’s just that the more time I spend in front of the computer, the less I enjoy photography. I’m glad you love the GXR because as you know it’s the best kept secret. I hope it doesn’t stay that way for long.

            `6

  108. Somebody asked me to post some images from the GXR seeing as I’m being seen as some sort of quasi ‘Ricoh evangelist denouncing the fraudulent camera manufacturers of our time’, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” (Peter Finch in the 70’s motion picture ‘Network’ … a total masterpiece!).

    So whilst putting together my camera bag for my trip which consists of a Titan M7, 28 or 35 and a 50 (plus some dusted-off leather pants from the 90’s albeit a little more snug fitting than I remember) and the GXR with 28 and 50 modules, I snapped these boring samples just to show you. These are taken with the 50 macro module which honestly is a work of art. I cannot believe that more people aren’t talking about this camera if only for this lens alone. The great thing about it as you will see from the close-up images of the mic and the sofa I was sitting on, is that because the 50 is a macro with very little distortion due to the lens being perfectly matched to the sensor, it doubles as a portrait lens.

    Whenever I’m assessing a camera bag, I always use the ‘If I was traveling to India, could I take this kit, capture everything I need and be happy?’ criteria. Well if I had both 28 and 50 modules together with the EVF the answer is a resounding YES! My wife and I did just that a few years back and had the most amazing time. She took an original 5D with the 24~105 f4 ISL which may as well have been glued to the mount seeing as there was no reason to take it off…she brought nothing else. I on the other hand brought about fifty thousand cameras plus every film stock imaginable. Needless to say who came back with the better pictures :-(

    Anyway, enough ranting. Here are some mundane images but you’ll get the gist. I’ve included some RAW’s and jpegs of the same image because I use a d-sat profile quite a lot. Nothing is sharpened and everything is straight out of the camera, framed at base ISO of 200 and around f/9.

    `6
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032196.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032203.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032206.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032207.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032208.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032209.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032217.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032233.jpg[/img]

    • This is Sick! I’m going to finally pull the trigger on the GXR with the 50. Incredible shots! Thanks for sharing… Can you post some B&W OOC?

    • Couple of questions ~6,

      How good is the EVF?
      Is there a hood for the 50 module?

      Cheers Mate!

      • Yes I’ve made up my mind, after reading ‘6’s decision, reviews of Steve, dpreview.com and Sean Read I’ve decided its going to be the Ricoh GXR with the 28mm module, and I’ll keep my D3(+14-24) for work and keep my Hassy’s SWC and 201F and the M6.
        But I do think the Ricoh will do nearly all-the-time work, because it has that edge and sharpnes I’m so blindly looking for…and the M9-dream must rest for a while…
        best
        Thorkil

      • Hi kelvin,

        not sure about the hood but I think I remember there being one. The EVF is GREAT! Almost 1 million pixels and just works. I don’t use it much because I love the camera the way it is. However I will take it with me because why wouldn’t you?

        The great thing about the GXR system that nobody talks about is that it is essentially a dock with an LCD screen, battery and an SD card slot. This means that buying into this system can and will eventually provide the possibility of adding a whole host of modules like the M mount module or a projector and even a mini printer. I’ve even heard talk of a dedicated HD module.

        `6

      • I’m not ~6, but I can answer this one.

        EVF is good, but don’t expect an F3 HP viewfinder. They’re hard to come by at the moment. A number of photo stores appear to be out of stock.

        The hood for the 50 module is built in (slide out like the Nikon 105 f2.5).

        As I said above, the quality of both lenses are at least as good as my 17-55 f2.8, in my cursory tests–even better. The only thing it is missing is a portrait option, which I hope they release in the near future.

        • Oh and a note: two GXR bodies and both A12 lens units weigh LESS than the 17-55 f2.8 lens by itself. This is what got me to pull the trigger.

        • Wow, you learn something new every day.

          Do you know that I’ve had this lens for over a year now and I never knew it had a built-in lens hood. thanks for that,

          `6

        • Thanks Jack!
          Do you know by chance if the VF1 will work on the GXR? I know the GXR uses the VF2, since its hard to come by, i was thinking of getting the Caplio i believe the 100 with the kit, it comes with the VF1, and use the VF on the GXR.

          Cheers!

    • I have to say that for the last 3 or so months the gxr has been on my list to replace the x1.. as one of not limitless means, the idea of fixed focus compacts @1-2000 $ is not making much sense when one can buy an interchangable system. I really wish Ricoh had a 100mm option.

      • I’m pretty sure that they will have something around that focal length in the not too distant future. In the meantime I would check out the 50 macro because you can get really close if you need to for portraiture.

        `6

    • ’6
      Thanks for the pointing out, and the beautifull inspiration.
      Strange that camera is living by such an anonymous existence ….!
      Should have been hyped a great deal more than the X100!
      (but it don’t look like an M, which the X100 does, but aint..!)
      Best
      Thorkil

    • Thanks, ~6! This camera/lens combination looks very good to me, based on your pictures. I haven’t seen the full-size images yet I can feel it’s in the same league or close to what I’m used to. I’ll wait for the M-module, though, and see how it works with M lenses.

      I’m not even sure I need another camera… Well, maybe as a backup for some critical situations. GXR looks like a good choice. If it will be available inexpensively with an M-module I may seriously consider it as backup/low-noise/macro solution.

      Greg

      • Please Greg. You know well that the Mother of all Backups for leica users is M3/MP/M6 and say ten rolls of Fuji Velvia. For everybody else Nikonos II terminator. Interesting that fight between Rico and Fico trying so hard to lure amiproffs into “invisible do all gear” game. And as usually they fail on one of basic of photography. Quick, reliable and simple distance setting. I join in your last remark. M-module with quite please! shutter.

        • Stanis, I hear you. But the thing is, although I like the visual esthetics of film, I don’t shoot film at all (have some weird ethical reasons for that). So, for me it’s digital only.

          Micro 4/3 doesn’t thrill me as suitable backup solution, so I’m left with two choices: Sony Nex or Ricoh GXR (when they will deliver the M-module). Sony’s shutter is too noisy, so I’ll wait for the GXR-M and see if I like it. GXR’s image IQ seems to be somewhat better, too. But at the same time I like the flip screen of Sony and its ability to take just about any lens on Earth with an appropriate adaptor.

          I like my M9 and I think I might need an additional camera only for some rare critical situations. So, even if I end up not buying anything, I’ll still remain a very happy shooter.

          Cheers,
          Greg

          • Digital shooting has some great advantages environmently speaking (immagine all chineese and hindus using chemistry). I know quiet a lot about digital photo shooting with borrowed stuff. Leica M9 would be holy grail for me but the price. I do not shoot much lately so I carry M6 for just in case. Getting older I care less and less about big outfit. Some thirty years ago I vagabonded for three years round the world having just Rollei35. Ricoh has one great advantage over NEX, OLY and PANA. The lens unit is sealed hence no problem with changing lenses. How do you change yours on Leica when shooting camels or smugglers in Gobi desert in the midst of sandstorm? Probably you don`t. By the way, yesterday I happened to see your photos on Flikr. They brought me to Russia where I never been. Thank you. Stanis

          • Thanks, Stanis. Chemicals is not the main reason why I don’t shoot film. It’s the gelatin that keeps me at bay. I just don’t think my pictures are worth someone’s life.

            How do I change my lenses in the Gobi desert? Well, usually, when I’m there I just take one lens with me, so I don’t have to change it. Or, if I’m in the changing mood I bring few more M9s with different lenses on each. Easy!

            I am glad I could show you a bit of Russia in my pictures. Please come back for more.

            Cheers,
            Greg

          • Hi Greg. When I browsed through your on lines I stumbled on DSC_7496 JPG. This one is my favorite picture. It`s simply a great one. I love it. Maybe it`s square format reminding me of simple TLR sold in Poland and russia (remember Ljubitel?). One thing, there`s some lightned area on both sides of young pair. Looks like some photoshop. It`s disturbing. Otherwise exibition stuff. cheers Stanis

          • Thanks, Stanis! That’s an ‘old’ picture of mine (I started doing photography in 2008). There was no Photoshop per se but some heavy LR torture, indeed. The white area around the models is actually a coincidence: natural white clouds. I’ve oversaturated the sky, hence the ‘disturbing’ look. I’ve corrected that; looks better now ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/4951107486/lightbox/ ). I’d do this picture very differently now. Which I just did. Take a look: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/5525329017/ . The square is gone, as you can see. What do you think? I like both versions. There’s another picture is this series that I like: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/4950515501/lightbox/

            There’s a story behind those pictures. Please read the caption in Flickr.

            Cheers,
            Greg

          • Yes, the corrected one is more natural. I still prefer the square crop. It`s most powerfull. And by the way, you probably noticed accidental harmony of colors. Behind guy`s white t-shirt, white background patch, on the girl`s side red jacket and red patch. There`s such a calm and joyfullness in that picture, pose, glances, colors. Sad story behind picture. Reminds me lyrics from Stones “- my love`s like water splashing on the stone, it`s here and there, and then it`s gone-“. Anyway, I see this picture more like a painting then a record of something that maybe isn`t there any more. Why you try to stop time? said once mongolian nomad upon seeing his polaroid picture. Maybe it`s feeling we should catch, which is so difficult, not even talking about retaining it. Cześć, Stanisław

          • Hey Stanisław, thank you for your comment! Now I can see more in my own picture. I think. I’ll save it in both formats: the square one in colour and the rectangular in monochrome. They look like completely different images to me. I like them both.

            Sad story, indeed, but as you say it’s not so much about the particular story as it is of a particular moment and feeling. After all, photography, or any other form of visual art, is supposed to be that way: to puzzle and excite the ‘mongolian nomad’ in all of us…

            Cheers,
            Greg

  109. ~6,

    BTW, for a cheap option, I found that the dimensions of the GXR with 50mm are almost the exact same as the Nikon P90, so the P90 case should be a perfect fit. It’s not attractive, but small and suitable for throwing in another bag.

    Plus, it’s only ~ $14 at B&H

    Steve, I accidentally posted this in the Prosophos “daily inspiration” post… feel free to delete it.

  110. Somebody asked if I could post some ooc b/w jpegs from the GXR. These were all taken with the 28 module. The lady on the bench was taken at base iso of 200 round about f/whatever. The one of the chap reading an iPad was taken at iso 3200. No PP whatsoever on these, the sepia look in two of them is the ‘TE’ setting in the camera. Again these are RAW’s not jpegs

    `6

    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1031982.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032242.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032243.jpg[/img]

    • Thanks ~6 for posting these awesome B&W images. Let me just say what i like about all the images you’ve posted today from the GXR, they all have DEPTH, not overly SHARP, and serious CHARACTER which is what i love! GXR is in its own world… These are what I call photographs… The files seem like it will give you so much latitude in PP if you have to go that route. I read so much about the GXR ever since its inception, as already said, i don’t know why its taking me this long to pull the trigger, now i will… I am convinced its right up my alley! It will sit nicely with the X100 when i get it, i won’t be comparing both for anything other than each one will serve its purpose as the rest of my gear.

      Once again, thanks for posting and have a wonderful tour with Steve! BTW ~6, i think you’ve started something here with the GXR :-) This is no longer a secret, the GENIE is out the bottle.

      Cheers Mate!

      • ~6, I agree with Kelvin on both his ideas: about GXR having character and that you’ve probably released the Genie on this camera. Ricoh should pay you some commission.

        This thread is becoming more and more interesting. 340 comments, wow!

        Cheers,
        Greg

        • ~6, I like the picture with the bench. Looks better in sepia to me. The one with iPad shows great high ISO capability of the camera. Love the character of the grain.

          Greg

    • `6 you are guilty !! ;-)

      I just bought the GXR with the 50mm. As an former M 4/3 user I am very impressed by the image quality. Thanks to your´s and Steve´s opinion I am finally at the End of my journey.

      Last Saturday my daughter was born and as father of your own you can imagine that I just cannot stop making pictures of her.

      Thanks for that !! You just made my day…

      • First I want to congratulate you Torsten, not on the GXR but on someone of ultimate importance… your baby daughter. There is nothing else in life.

        I’m happy you like the GXR especially as you say I’m partly responsible. I have to tell you that it continues to impress me even after a year. It is the only digital camera I brought with me on this tour which is saying a lot for someone who is lucky enough to have the M9 Titan. Admittedly I made this trip an ‘acetate only’ affair thus bringing an M7 and an MP but I have been snapping the odd thing here and there with the Ricoh and it’s just so liberating. I love it and so will you as time goes by.

        `6

        • `6 Thank you very much for your congratulation. She is, the most importent and beautiful thing in my life. I am still in the awe by her birth.

          On the GXR, that was one of my thought´s “Why he did not bring his M9 ?? The GXR must be very good that he took her with him”. I am also impressed by the build quality of this little camera. I think I will use her a long time even longer when there will be an M-Mount. ;-)

          I wish you all the best for your tour and have fun with Steve..

          Also, all the best to your Family who will miss you in this time..

          Torsten

          • Thank you,

            being away from the family is the hardest part and it saddens me. Something you may or may not find interesting, I live my life by something I call ‘The Triangle’. Bottom left is where my children live, bottom right my work and right at the very top is my soul mate, my best friend….my wife. :-)

            `6

  111. The GXR examples look great, but regardless, I’m going for the X100. I have all sorts of cameras for various needs, but I don’t have one that covers precisely the sweet spot of the X100. That’s what I assume the X100 will be doing for many buyers: filling a very specific, small niche. I for one can’t wait!

  112. A limited amount are on sale now in Suntec City Singapore.

    $1,699 Singapore dollars.

    Tripod, card reader, 16gb memory card & additional battery included.

    My patient approach of waiting until the price falls and reviews are comprehensive went to pieces when I looked through the viewfinder. I’m giddy with exctitment, can’t wait to start shooting. It’s going to be a long 8 hours waiting for it to charge :)

  113. It’s officially available for sale here in Singapore today, coinciding with this week’s IT show for S$1699 (US$1336)

  114. ~6 and other film lovers.
    I don’t have to send my color E6 and/or C41 to the lab, this is how I roll:

    http://vimeo.com/5608095

  115. ‘6 and others GXR shooters:
    How do you focus? manually or auto, as it can give some trouble as on the x1 I understand???
    Pity they haven’t engraved some distancefigures on the lens.
    Is it a concerning issue?
    Best
    Thorkil

    • Hi Thork,

      I leave the focus on auto for both 28 and 50. I used to have to switch to manual on the 50 when critical but since the firmware update, the auto focus is as fast as I’ll ever need for this type of camera. It improved the focus almost miraculously. It makes you wonder why the same could not be achieved with the X1. Here are some ooc jpegs from my hotel room window here in Buenos Aires. All at base ISO around f/7~14. No post whatsoever.

      The point of this is not to in any way discredit the X100 as I’m sure it will be a phenomenal camera but it’s more to show how brilliant the GXR is, a camera that is available right now. It may not have great video it’s true, but as far as IQ is concerned it’s on par with Leica’s (and I don’t mean that panasonic crap which is NOT a Leica, even the D-lux series)

      Look at how blue the skies are which were snapped in ‘vivid’ mode. On the whole the images are just so natural looking to the point whereby you just don’t need to do that much if anything to them. No sharpening (which I don’t like doing anyway, I think sharpening is the enemy of anyone who loves photography). Once I’m out ‘n about I will start posting some proper images rather than these mundane snaps of plants.

      `6

      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032264.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032267.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032273.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032277.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032279.jpg[/img]
      [img]http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/R1032280.jpg[/img]

      • Hi ´6
        Thank you so much. I just do think they look lovely and fantastic. Coming from and hittin in my younger days by the Hassyes and the M6 with different lenses (but mostly used the 21mm Elmarit, tiny, sharp..still have them all….but are becoming lazy…so digital..) a camera just have to render in a sculptural way(else it not interesting), you just have to feel standing in the edge of reallity just at the edge of the picture, my SWC did it allmost and lovely 50mm Carl Zeis Distagon on the 201F did it.
        But I do think these pictures also do it! and they seems tac-sharp, allmost sharper than some fullsize M9-samples around I think.
        My D3 makes flatter pictures(and think the X100-pictures look in the same way, although the camera looks nice, but is it a tool or what, or a belief perhaps?), and then….the bulk!
        Thanks, and enjoy down there (remember Copenhagen allthough (but some musicions never left(stayed for good) the town when first arrived(Gordon, Webster..), so take care..)
        Best
        Thorkil

        • Hi Thorkil,

          I know what you mean about the bulk, I just can’t do it anymore and besides, its no longer necessary. I respect Nikons and everything they’ve done for photography but the only digital Nikon I’ve ever been happy with was the D3x which ’til this day rendours the most pleasing IQ of all Nikons in my opinion. Whenever I look at any other Nikon file, the first thing that I want to do is put a filter on it because I cannot stand how ‘flat and digital it looks. The F6 on the other hand is the greatest SLR ever made…period.

          Yea, I left the M9 at home and brought the GXR simply because it is all about the capturing the moment due t it’s design and SIZE. It really is made for the photographer. That said I will always be a Leica man at heart and if you took everything away from me, the only one I would beg to keep is my M7 and my 50 lux with a life-long supply of Neopan 400, 1600 and Provia 400. Wishful thinking I guess seeing as 1600 is now discontinued. :-(

          `6

          • Hi ‘6
            Agree, the D3x I would like to have, but no, not for the bulk, I can’t stand it anymore, and I only take the D3 out at work where the 14-24 in two shots can make me see everything in a room (architect).
            But talking details (together with bulk) take a look at the Pentax 645D at Imaging Resource(Compare Samples) , and go down to the “Still life 400″ and do look at the bottles, then you don’t believe what a camera can do, its simply amazing, and the D3x then becomes shy and embarrassed(!):
            http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM
            But I’m too poor, too non-fit to carry that bulk, and I don’t want to frighten people to put such a tele-camera up in their faces.
            By the way glad to hear focusing is not a frightening issue at the GXR.
            But in “growing up” I tend to nowadays to want to capture things(people) in the city with loose hanging camera in ones hand shooting from hips or something without looking at the camera, with presetting of focus, that’s where joy comes into life, and sort of letting the camera decide..
            Should I have something with me in the last one-room apartment, I think it would be the M6 (with the elmarit 21/2.8)and the SWC (together with Velvia for tripod shots in Venice(30 min for each picture, maual bracketing with 5 shots)) and Provia 400 (both can be pushed 2 steps if that’s it) with its fixed distagon 38), but perhaps I would have the GXR in the right hand though, for the last snapshot.
            And Nikon I must admit have followed me all the life, but I would leave it outside..
            And I do think I could have a period with only a GXR, and I do think this camera might be able to wake me up, and crawling a bit outside….
            Best
            Thorkil

      • Hi ~6,

        I like the silky-smooth rendering of the flowers on pictures 1 & 2.

        Cheers,
        Greg

        • ps, I’m that lazy guy (and old-fascioned) that I neither do spend my time at postprocessing, and in that way the old film-days were more honest (and a bad picture or the lag of sharpnes were hitting harder). You just have to get early up in the morning(definetely not my strongest side) to catch the cool, clear, sleepy and bright light. But now, one can allmost make a dull uninspiring picture and then afterwards make it artificially interesting (we only miss the remote-micro-electrical-car-to put the camera on so we can keep on sitting all the time at the computer in a wheelchair). But by the way I’m also to lazy to film anymore (and its expensive too)…
          so therefore pictures must be honest and show their quality straight ahead and right out of the box…
          and these ones certainly do, and sharpness!! too (the genue sharpnes is so seldom!).
          Best
          Thorkil

  116. […] at Steve Huff’s blog, street photographer Pieter Franken gave his first impressions about the Fujifilm FinePix X100. He is originally from Holland and currently lives in Tokyo (where […]

  117. Guys I love how long this thread has gotten. I cant wait to see how this camera performs. I have been thru a ton of cameras as I’m sure alot of you have here. Leica is the only camera I have shot with that truly seems to give you that film like look which I feel the x100 do. I have been shooting digital for many years now while still very rarely going back to 35mm film for fun here and there. My good friend has never made the change to digital yet. Swears by his leica m6 35 cron. Here is a link to his site. Film still has that look.

    http://damonpablo.com/

  118. Interesting how this thread turned into a GXR discussion. I don’t mind really, but how about we take the discussion back on the X100 topic?

    I have made a pre-order, but still not yet made a final decision if I will go with it or not -or if I should wait for some time after the camera has been released.

    There are some early user reports turning up on dpreview and some more pictures being added on Flickr now. Also, I saw that there is now a dedicated forum site for the x100.

    • …but do yourself a favor and take a look at the IQ at the Ricoh GXR 28mm, look at Steves review, look at Seals statement, look at samples at dpreview and look at pictures from Sean Reid of that camera (the GXR), and then you have to realize that the X100 don’t come near the GXR (or the X1 for that sake) in sharpnes, Image Quality and 3-dimensional feeling…and then make your descision..
      best
      Thorkil

      • ps…also take a look at Luminous Landscape
        T.

      • There have been several X100 vs X1 shootouts already including this one further down this comment page: http://www.x100forum.com/index.php?/topic/145-x100-forum-x100-vs-x1-shootout-is-here/

        The X100 absolutely resolves more lines per inch than the X1, objectively, without doubt, it’s already been shown as fact. Plenty of people are retreating now to some kind of pop or character, but what’s more important is vision and photography skills to go out and capture images with depth that people want to look at. For me (and many others) that requires a real viewfinder that’s actually coupled and made of glass rather than an alien-esque add on.

        Will be interested to see the eventual GXR vs X100 shootouts, but I’m sure even if the X100 outresolves it, there will be people claiming there is some other magic factor making it superior. The only one there is: The GXR and X1 are out now (worldwide) and can be used to make images today. Spec-wise, if you want 35mm, the X100 is where it is at.

        • We might be holy in our own belief, and truth might be a very subjective result of our own eyes, instead of our faith and reliance at that we are looking objective at things.
          Its commen knowledge that we fool ourselves to see what we believe that we see. I don’t know.
          I just know that coming from a life with Leica, Hasselblad and Nikon I was looking forward to the X100. I didn’t know the existence of the Ricoh GXR at all, and I didn’t read Steves review of this because I thought it was an odd camera, just looking at this “system”. When Seal pointed out I took a closer look at the GXR and read those reviews at recognized places and looked at a lot of X100 shots also. But for ME it was shiny obviously, specially at the available samples at dpreview.com , but also from commen peoples samples from here and there, that the GXR (and the X1) did beat the X100 by a long length(specially in the corners at dpreview) and at feeling (and the feel of razorsharpnes), glow, 3-dimentional appearance etc.
          I’m still going for the GXR, and I do think that Seals shot from Buenos Aires above confirms it, and remind me of quality I normally only see with Hasselblad and Leica.
          I might be wrong, for now I don’t think, lets take a look when dpreview more objective compare samples in the studio.
          But I’ve never felt this before at pictures from such a small camera(the GXR).
          Best
          Thorkil

    • Dodger! Some people just don’t get it :-)

      • So Kristian i’m curious, what exactly is it that you feel you get and others don’t?

        `6

        • …it must be illusions, or the vision that with a camera, affordable, looking like an M, one can concour the world´with, and the wishfull thinking thats belongs…
          we all want an M, but at a size of a compact, with the price of a compact, with the quality of a M or even a Hassy, and ability to make large prints….
          and then the dreaming goes on….
          but as far as I can see the nearest ansver by now can only be the Ricoh GXR…(and Sean Ried aggrees as I understand, besides the X1)
          looking forward to get one…
          best
          Thorkil

          • ps Sean Reid just promised me within a month or so to make a further studioanalyses of the Ricoh GXR 28mm. Looking forward to that.
            Thorkil

  119. […] Link: Fujifilm Finepix x100 First Impressions […]

  120. hey guys,
    just got the X100, love it and will be posting stuff soon.BUT, what´s the way to open the RAF files? ACR doesn´t do it, LR can´t recognize anything, DNG converter does nothing, silkypix does try to convert but ends up doing a very funny assortment of colours and patterns.
    so i can´t see any raw file or dngs in ACR.
    any ideas?

    • As far as I know, only the software that comes with the camera, and the Mac-based Raw Photo Processor 4.2.1, currently support the X100 RAW files.

  121. A lot of real-world, owners’ samples here in the Singapore thread as it was officially for sale starting yesterday.

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threads/806424-Fuji-X100/page10

  122. A lot of real-world, owners’ samples here in the Singapore thread as it was officially for sale starting yesterday.

    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/threads/806424-Fuji-X100/page10

    In addition: All Japanese ports have reportedly been closed. “It’s a big mess. All discharge operations are suspended in the area,” a Japanese ship broker told the Reuters news agency. Another broker said: “Most or all coal stocks will be washed out at many of the coal-fired power plants. Ports will be closed at least for a short time until damage assessments can take place.” – BBC

  123. Well, I’ve been super busy putting the X100 through the paces and wanted to share my shootout between it and the Leica X1. I know Steve will be doing his own soon and I know we are all excited to see it but since he is busy on tour I thought you all might want to take a peek…

    Best,
    Chad

    http://www.x100forum.com/index.php?/topic/145-x100-forum-x100-vs-x1-shootout-is-here/

  124. I know x100 is not a lieca but with the below sample night shots. I’m sold. :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilzworkz/sets/72157626243597960/

  125. I saw all the photos from down there and
    A. I have a whole new level of respect for you as a photographer Steve. Your nailing it!
    B. Just remember the important thing guys, have fun but. Be safe and return home to your families safe!

  126. Dag Pieter, hartelijk dank voor je interessante bevindingen met dit fujitoestel. Ik heb er eentje besteld in België, maar de geruchten doen de ronde dat er mogelijk uitstel is van levering als gevolg van de rampzalige gebeurtenissen in Japan. Ik hoop dat erger kan voorkomen worden. Op allerlei websites duiken berichten op de de Fujifabriek waar de X100 geproduceerd wordt werd stilgelegd. Op de fujisite evenwel is daar geen enkele berichtgeving omtrent, waardoor ik de mening ben toegedaan dat het mogelijk om een hoax gaat. Maar misschien ben jij in Japan beter geinformeerd?
    In alle geval wens ik jou het allerbeste en hoop ik van ganser harte dat de nucleaire catastrofe kan ingedijkt worden. Met vriendelijke groet, Hans

  127. Bottom line for me personally is the image quality, and I hate how these images look (nothing to do with the composition etc).

    I picked up a Leica M4P for half the price of this camera. It’s a marketing con, and if people weren’t so lazy then they would stick to film.

    It baffles me that a digital camera can cost £1000 that doesn’t even have the same resolution sensor as a £2 disposable camera.

    Don’t believe the hype.

    • “weren’t so lazy”

      Yeah, that’s it. It’s not that my time is not worth nothing, and that I’d like to actually spend some time with my family, I’m just lazy.

      If you add up the extra time, film, chemicals, etc it takes to get photos as good out of a £2 film camera (and through a scanner and on to your computer) that £1000 looks pretty cheap in the end.

  128. A lot of impatience here around :-)

    The fast preview confirms some points that have been mentioned elsewhere – among others the sharpness wide open. However the focusing options that X100 offer sound very promising. I am not disturbed by the speed of AF – indeed that can be improved with firmware (like it was the case with Ricoh GXR). The high ISO performance sounds very good too – the X100 will probably outperform X1 or GXR. The pictures from this camera shows so far have a very distinct smooth look that not everybody likes. I personally would like to see a it more “pop”.

    I am really curios how this camera will perform in IQ department compared to X1 and GXR (Steve – I hope you will make this comparison for us in the near future).

  129. Steve, Peter, guys,

    Big News! Or is it so?

    Look, Leica just announced the long-anticipated X1 firmware upgrade (available for download on Tuesday)! For some unknown reason they chose Russia to be the first country blessed with the news. The translation on the Leica Rumors Blog was done by Mr. Google himself. Here you go:

    http://leicarumors.com/2011/03/26/leica-x1-firmware-v2-0-is-out.aspx/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+LeicaRumors+%28LeicaRumors.com%29

    I left some comments there (under an assumed identity of ‘Ungoogle’) for you folks to better understand the most mysterious parts of Mr. Google’s translation. In overall, it’s decipherable but you have to be really inspired.

    I’ll give you a little spoiler right away. Looks like the AF stays the same, essentially. That’s the main part of the news to me. They made lots of cool improvements to MF but no significant AF speed boost, as it seems.

    What does it mean for my better half and I? She said right away she’ll keep her X1. She likes the image IQ and doesn’t care much for speedy AF. Me, I don’t care. I have my M9. Besides, X1 does indeed have the best image IQ in its category. I use it sometimes for fun and low light, so I am happy with her decision. Look, couple of days ago I took this picture of my wife having her new dress (yet another one!). ISO 3200. Not bad. Check it in ‘original size’ (1500 pixels). Trust me, 100% doesn’t look any worse. Totally useable image. Not like your D700, you lucky Nikonean devils, but still quite acceptable. Enjoy:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gregshanta/5556796934/lightbox/

    By ‘enjoy’ I meant just look. She’s all mine!

    Cheers,
    Greg

  130. Lovely camera with a gorgeous viewfinder that makes the whole experience so pleasurable. Yes menus a bit fiddly but not too bad once you have set the camera up and found your way round. Just wish they had a dedicated ISO button as well as the function button an Image stabilisation. Overall 9/10.
    I am very impressed with the out of camera jpgs from my x100. Very clean even at hi ISO’s and sharp (especially above f2.8). Couldn’t improve on it with Raw (that’s a first). Beautiful image quality that you need to see native on your computer not via Flickr etc. I would say better than My 5D with 24-105L lens and 60D with 70-200mm f4 (well that lens is amazingly sharp but the picture quality of the Fuji is just so classy). I have posted a few images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbm. View the largest size by right clicking a selecting ‘original”.

  131. Hey Greg,

    Nice shot! Let see if i can match that… It’s my other half too… Zero PP

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ki0001/5540214479/in/set-72157626297044728/

    • Thanks, Kelvin! Very nice pictures of your lovely wife! I looked at the other pictures, too. She seems to be very strong and soft at the same time. I think it’s quite rare, golden combination. Of course, if I’m right in my guess…

      Cheers,
      Greg

      • Thanks so much Greg… She truly is and have been that way ever since I’ve known her for the last 20 Years! Glad you like the pics, she’ll probably kill me if she knew i posted her pics :-) Love her to death!

        • Kelvin, I am very glad to hear that! I could actually see that in your photographs but was shy to say it to you. But now, since you said it yourself…

          Long-lasting love is so great and so rare! But it can be also very fragile if not cared for properly. I admire you guys! Love is the greatest and purest thing a human can have in this world.

          I would say pass my regards to her but then you’ll be killed on the spot according to your own estimation. So, don’t do it, please.

          Best,
          Greg

  132. yes I am the first customer in France for this wonderful device!
    is mine I have just been delivered! (Ordered on the internet) and I can share my impressions =
    Wawh-how fast! it looks like a Leica M …. It comes in a stylish package as the Leica x1-an impression of solidity, of boutons/bagues- al’ancienne, which remain in place (not like the x1) reactivity astonishing, immediate display, and a bright viewfinder specific (hybrid viewfinder is stunningly beautiful and it automatically!) – Picture perfect (as x1 that I had and sold quickly due to its deplorable slowness and lack of viewfinder) –
    a quibble = button back end of the pad is too small and poorly easy to use-it lacks any zoom! a little big to fit in your pocket
    the price is also quite high = 1200 € approximately (- x1 expensive than all the same)
    In summary a great camera, a success, a large number who will make history!
    Finally I have a poket high quality!
    FUJI thank you!

    http://flic.kr/ps/uevTA

  133. Just read this review today at Luminous Landscape, sorry if it has already been posted, but I thought it was very well presented: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/fujifilm_x100_test_report.shtml

  134. Thanks for the review Pieter. I have had my X100 under two weeks now and already believe this is a game changing camera from Fuji. I am documenting my journey with the X100 at:

    http://www.x100photo.co.uk

    Thanks again,
    MarkB

  135. Dear Sirs:
    I’m reading–skimming, rather!–this mess of correspondence on November 29, 2011. I went all the way to the end because I didn’t really believe there was much to say about a camera that hadn’t yet been released in this country. I now fully believe in logorrhea. Best, JJ.

  136. It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before end I am reading this impressive paragraph to improve my knowledge. http://stopfolks.info/ Check with your receipt.They can immediately make use of here, but knowing some of your goals for the website.

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