The calm before the storm…the Fuji X100 gets closer to release…

The Fuji X100 is getting closer to being in the hands of shooters worldwide. My ears have heard shipments as early as March 7th, or at least the week of the 7th. I have one on pre-order and have been told I will be getting one of the first available so I can not wait to shoot it and compare it to the Leica X1 and even the M9. It seems like there have been quite a few samples posted online already and even today DP Review have posted many samples from the camera.

There are videos, samples and more info over at the dedicated X100 site from Fuji. They say the X100 was developed without compromise. Those are pretty bold words so I have high hopes! I really do not  think the IQ will beat the Leica X1 in regards to flat out brilliance and detail (I could be wrong) but from what I have seen so far but I am betting the camera will be much more responsive. On paper, it appears the X100 is everything the X1 should have/could have been. A fast f/2 lens, manual control on the lens for aperture, manual focus using the lens, built in viewfinder, classic style, even HD video capable.

I have huge plans for testing the X100. I am either taking the X1, X100 and an M9 to Tombstone, AZ for a “Shoot Out” in the old west (a reader here recommended this) or across the country for a three week trip that I may be taking mid March. Either way, as soon as I get my hands on the X100 I will have a huge review with loads of images, full size files, video, comparisons, etc. Can’t wait!

Until then it may be a little slow around here review wise as it seems there is this “calm before the storm” happening. I will be posting a Voigtlander 25 0.95 lens review for M4/3 by David Babsky in the next day or two, also more on the Leica X1 and using it with it’s external VF. I will also be announcing the M9 contest winners by March 1st as well as announcing the next Contest and it’s prize just a day or two after that.

Finally, there will be some cool announcements and fun polls on the way as well. Review wise, besides what I mentioned above, possibly the Zeiss 50 Sonnar on the Leica M9, the Olympus E-5 may get reviewed, and a new Friday film will be posted using the Leica CM Zoom!  A couple of new video processing lessons will be posted as well.

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  1. Hey Steve,

    I’m really interested in the x100 myself. When you do the review, It would be great if you could do some testing of disabling the focus from the shutter button, setting the camera to manual mode, and using the AFL/AEL button to focus. That’s one critical feature to me and I’m not sure how comfortable the camera would be using the AFL/AEL button to focus..

  2. For those who are upset because the X100 had a fixed lens:

    A lot of us old-timey, “retro” Leica film photographers pretty much have a 35 or 50mm lens pretty much welded on the camera. Of course, Leica M’s can use wider and longer lenses, but the sweet spot is right there, in the middle.

    If the X100 works out as a digital replacement for my M6 and Summicron 35mm, I could conceivably leave the Leica world altogether.

    I’ve been a Leica owner for 30 years, but I care about results, not brand names.

  3. Steve,

    I really wish they gave you one early for testing…and when you DO get one I for one would like to see you do a few comparisons tests with the X1, M9 and the EPL2

  4. A shoot out in Tombstone? Great idea. Whats more ,I do know the winner!. I`ve got one of them. It`name NIKONOS II. Waterproof to 150 feet, can be desinfected with chemicals, sterilized in boiling water, you can hit the lens as many times as you want ( inner lens cell is spring mounted), you can change lenses (of course not under water), small enough to have it in middle sized pocket, you can put it on top of jackhammer and it`s shutter will fire. With one of them in each hand (in fact I have another one, too) I could easily fight my way out of crowd of braincrawing zombies armed with the latest pixel arms ( would love to whack one of those 30K 80megas Hassies or Phasies with one of my warriors) and goback to the future. Cheers everybody

  5. I actually prefer to wait little bit until Steve can review the X100, getting the pre-production model would perhaps leave some doubts in image quality etc etc.

    If this camera turns out to be really good, do you guys think the re-sale price of X1 would plunge? I guess that would be great for people who could not afford the X1’s hight price tag, or just did not want to pay top dollar for it.

  6. I disagree, because the shot´s on dpreview are mediocre photography. To see what this camera maybe can do, I like more to follow Mio Cade on Flickr ( As long Steve has not his hands on this camera )

    His photographs are showing more what is possible with this camera as the examples from dpreview. He also explains how he uses the x100.

    For me it seems that this is the perfect camera for street photography ( If you don´t can afford an M9 ).

    I wished Leica had done the thing, but they haven´t.

    • Mio Cade’s images are amazing. These are the first samples from the X100 that show emotional impact, as well image quality. Thank you for the link.

  7. I have to agree with Jason up above….I am not impressed with the samples from the X100. Is the lens the weak link? They don’t look sharp and contrasty or something…no snap. I will be interested to see what Steve thinks when he tests one. He is such a sucker for a stylin ride…LOL!!!!! It IS beautiful, though!
    I am holdin strong with my Canon 5D Mark II (huge camera… but killer files and extremely versatile) and my Panny GF1 for the time being. Only camera I may anticipate buying is another Micro 4/3 with a better sensor and faster focusing…when the price comes down (GH2 too expensive…and more geared toward video…I am just a still photographer), maybe a G3?. (Unless a Leica M9 drops out of the sky with a couple or three lenses!!!! ).
    There are so many great cameras to choose from out there, (and lots more on the way) it is a lot of fun…and this website keeps the excitement and enjoyment in it all!!!!! THANKS STEVE!

    • No snap? I respectfully disagree 🙂 I think the samples on dpreview are quite amazing. A crispy contrasty look and spot on colouring.
      It seems to me that the X100 might be the start of something fantastic. A widespread, outside the Leicacircle, back to basics revolution. Not a day too early if you ask me. Maybe a follow-up with a Fuji X10 rangefinder with interchangeable lenses? Based on a Fuji X-mount? Leica really needs the competition!

  8. it looks great. That hood in the video and the countless red seals (dots) are so shameless. Let’s see if it lives up to what it is trying to be.

  9. I held and used this camera yesterday at Jacobs photo video shop, I’m going back tomorrow to order it, the photographs I took with it looked very good and my girlfriend says that they look nicer than from her GF1

  10. So basically Fuji has created a camera that can fit into a jacket pocket, yet can still make clean images at ISO6400. Ugh; why couldn’t they have put a lens mount on that camera instead of a fixed lens? They could have set it up so that you could use the optical view finder when you have a 35mm or 50mm lens mounted on, and just automatically switch to EVF mode when any other lens is mounted. I’m so frustrated right now. So, so close to my perfect camera…

  11. Having looked at the X100 samples and having used the X1, and coincidentally both flavors of the Sigma DP, I have to say IQ wise, the Fuji X100 just outclasses all of them. If the responsiveness is close to say a Digital Rebel, then Fuji will have a winner on it’s hands.

  12. I too ordered mine, very eager – had the X1 returned it for various reasons – not IQ, mostly the super slow af – this looks very promising and if the build is anything like the GF670 it will be the “cargo pant” pocket cam. Nervous though about the focus “fly by wire” and AF . . .suppose we shall see. . . . reviews and videos so far are super weak! Thanks Steve for the up to the minute posts. This site is brilliant at depleting my balance – though it brings much joy!

  13. Hey Steve, wish you were getting a pre-release version. I too am on the pre order list and have been promised to be in the first shipment. Trouble now though is that there are just so many choices. I may wait to see your review before paying for the x100.

    What is everybody else out there planning?

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