Finally! My Fuji X100 will arrive next week! FULL review soon..

It’s a little bit of old news now but my Fuji X100 pre-order is being sent to me next week! As soon as I get it I will do a 1st impression and overview and then will start putting it through its paces immediately. I plan on taking a road trip with it so I will be doing a full detailed review with comparisons, tons of samples and crops, and my overall feeling on the camera. I’m excited! Woo hoo!

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  1. My .02
    So many of these arguments over the x100 Vs X1 vs M9 etc are getting absurd. Debating over IQ and lens softness before you’ve ever held the camera is just stupid, there has been no scientific comparison done – most reviews are regarding a prototype, or early release – the few who have the camera and took the time to learn it seem to truly enjoy it – blogs, reviews etc are there to help guide us – not create our opinions – it’;s mindshare – to read someone’s opinion and take it as the gospel is silly – I read a dozen blogs; I’ve found that I usually agree with Steve, so this blog is top on my hit list – but that is not say I always agree –

    Asking Leica for a Full Frame / 35mm f/2 w/ M9 quality for $2k – is delusional; its the equivalent of asking for Porsche 911 performance in a Toyota Camery. As with all things in this world you get what you pay for – thats not to say you cannot thouroughly enjoy driving a camery as much as a 911 – the experience will be different at the end of the day its still a car.

    There are different truths for Leica owners –
    Leica M-glass appreciates in value – no other glass does this . . .
    The bodies last what seems like forever – other bodies begin to fail or are just not worth the repair. . .
    …and the idea of spending a few hundred or a couple of thousand dollars can be easily justified with sentiments like – “I’ve got my M9 kit, love it, not always want to travel with it though, I have an X1 – its ok, but, wow this x100 looks like fun, and it costs less than a third my my 35 summilux, so why not?” and so it goes . . .

    I have the X100 on order – and look forward to receiving it soon – I also look forward to Steve’s reviews and thoughts and comparisons – at least when he compares there is some method behind it, meaning he shoots cameras or lenses side by side – same light – same subject same settings this makes it viable. Thank you for that!

    • Apparently Leica makes money and doesn`t have neither plan nor capacity to increase production of M9. We do not expect M9+Cron35 for 2K, but it would be definitely reasonable to ask ca.5K for the body. It`s all business. We do not know profit margins on M9 so one cannot expect a hand reach to many thousands of M film users with tons of Leica lenses. So meanwhile the likes of X100 have a chance.

    • Well put.

      To be honest, if I’m going out for the day and have no idea what I’ll be shooting, I take the x100 over my M8. It really comes down to versatility with it’s low-light and semi-macro abilities.

      I don’t think anyone who actually owns the camera finds it’s lens soft at all. I think it’s quite sharp, even at f/2, or at least no softer than my 50mm summicron which I find quite acceptable. The files don’t seem to have quite the magic of a leica file, but they are definitely smoother, with more dynamic range and world’s better AWB.

  2. Okay,

    Most people here know how much of a Leica-file I am.
    I love Leica equipment and you would think that I’d be descerning of
    all cameras that don’t bare the red dot insigna.

    I’ve read so much negative nonsense about this camera, mostly written by people who don’t have it. So for for whatever it’s worth I’m going to go on record as saying that the Fuji X100 camera is a GREAT device and one that I’ve come to love over the last two weeks.
    All this nonsense about softness wide open, quirky firmware, bad MF implementation and whatever….it’s all irrelevant! The camera is the one to beat in this category and will make everyone that decides to buy it a believer, it’s too good to say otherwise.

    Credit where credit’s due, Fuji have nailed the hell out of it with this one.
    I have no vested interest in Fuji, they don’t pay me a thing. But it is what it is so if you’re wondering whether or not it’s worth it, my opinion is ten fold……YES!

    • Well, thank you for this post; you answered my question. All I wanted to know was if a M9 owner can live with inferior image quality of this camera (compared to a FF M9) as a trade off to its price/size advantage.

      So many people forget that this camera is supposed to be a ‘second camera’, and not a do-it-all camera. This should be the camera people carry with them when they want to have fun with photography…

      • Honestly Ryan,

        this camera is good enough to be a second OR a first camera…again it’s that good. It’s durable looking enough to satisfy the most discerning M9 owner, it has a very customisable menu system that at first, seems to make little sense but then all of a sudden clicks and makes the camera better.

        And then there’s the video…..

        this is why you can love this camera and not just like it because it takes great stills. It’s 720 hd but to be honest the lens and processing engine are so good that again, it’s irrelevant. I can see this camera as dare I say it….the ‘do it all…size included’ camera we’ve all been waiting for as the one camera only to take on a vacation…(not that I would, I’ve made that mistake leaving Leica’s at home once before, never again)
        The much talked about firmware quirks…sure, they’re there but you have to believe that Fuji will fix that. The MF issue I’m sure can be tweaked to move at faster increments seeing as the EVF display is all a kind of ‘head-up’.

        But my point is that the camera for the most part is THERE. I’ve been trying to put it down over the last couple of weeks but it’s been impossible. Am I also using my titan M9? Honestly that camera with the accompanying 35, and a 75 Cron just does not get sexier or more creative. You will pry that setup from my dying hands before I stop using it, but the short answer to your question is that yes, the IQ and usability of the X100 as a second camera to an M9 user is not an issue at all…not even close!

        It’s a great camera not only for the money…it’s a GREAT camera period!


        • Well, it makes it a better bargain then…I am intrigued! I have been on the lookout for a second camera that I can take with me everywhere without worrying about few thousand dollars hanging from my neck. I almost bought Ricoh GXR after seeing your shot of Steve on the rooftop, but the 50mm module was too bulky (and 28mm was too wide for me). I wasn’t impressed with early sample images of x100 I saw online, but recently I have seen a few with monochrome and yellow filter setting that seem to have a desirable characteristic. It seems that I will be giving it a shot after all.


  3. Hi Steve, glad to hear your fuji is coming. i will be waiting your review on Fuji x100 vs ricoh GXR A12 50mm. Thanks

  4. To those that are bemoaning the camera only having a 35mm equivalent lens, I guess this camera isn’t for you so don’t buy it.

    So far I love this camera because it’s tough but light weight, has a great optical viewfinder but I can use the LCD to compose when I don’t feel like laying in the dirt. The lens is quite sharp and has decent bokeh but not as much “pop” or character as the 35mm biogon. I think it would be the perfect vacation or walking around camera because of it’s light weight, low-light abilities and versatile focal length. If you can’t take great pictures all day with a 35mm then I question your versatility as a photographer. There’s a reason why the minilux and most “point and shoot” film cameras were 35-40mm in focal length!

    On the down side, the auto focus is on the slow side and misses easily or in low light it just won’t lock on without the focus assist lamp. This normally wouldn’t bother me but the manual focus is neigh on useless for anything other than zone focusing. I also find some of the placement of menu items to be a bit odd and inconvenient.

    That being said, I still love it and think it’s worth every penny.

  5. As an M9 shooter heavily invested in all things Leica and medium format, I read the available reviews and comments with great scepticism. Yet, the video on Eric Kim’s site finally convinced me to order one of those crazy X100 widgets today. Just like the M9 became my ideal walkaround camera for times when I didn’t want to lug around the medium format gear, I hope that the X100 will become my preferred tool when I don’t want to carry around the M9 (replacing my Canon G10 in the process). The fact that these cameras all complement each other in size and purpose gets completely lost in most fanboy discussions.

  6. If I may sound in with my two cents worth.

    I think it’s a bit unfair that people seem to be outcasting David Babsky here. I know that what he says can be quite annoying sometimes especially if he’s saying something negative about a camera that someone owns. I myself can be guilty of that sometimes so I can understand him being vocal and stressing his point.

    I think that when people like David raise a contentious issue, it is healthy because it makes people react and think. I have the X100 and think it’s a decent camera that people will like. Do I prefer it over the X1….not really, it’s just different. The focus is okay but not that much better than the X1. Speaking of the X1 and it’s much maligned AF issues, it might not have the fastest AF but it is bloody reliable and when it locks it generally means it’s bang in focus unlike other manufacturers (more specifically the Fuji X100) that use all kinds of trickery to proclaim faster AF speeds. Faster doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in focus.

    I like the camera but David is right, I will probably be over it in a couple of weeks because while it’s good it’s not great…it’s not my M or even my X1. The video aspect of it is what makes it special for me and worth keeping.


    • Oh c’mon `6, David is obviously relishing the debate.

      And speaking of debate, I don’t agree with your claim the X1 is superior but that’s ok, right?

      I’ll give up a couple shots to missed focus for that OVF any day (my Ricoh GR and Minilux do the same on occasion) and as far as IQ goes, I’ve done the comparison for myself and I know what I see. Someone else might come up with something different and that’s fine but for me the IQ is either a wash or in the X100’s favor.

      The point is that most people choose a camera for very valid reasons and to listen to someone tell me that my choice is bunk is, well, bunk. I’m ok with criticizing a camera on technical merits but to instead criticize someone’s decision to buy said camera is a bit juvenile.

      • Chad, no need to get your knickers in a twist. I didn’t say that the X1 was superior, I merely said that I didn’t prefer the X100 over it!

        As for David, of course he’s relishing in the debate….that’s my point and I thought that I made that clear. What’s ludicrous is that people take it so personally when in actual fact what is happening is that he’s engaging us all in what can be healthy debate. All too often people get on their high horse when someone like David makes a contentious comment instead of seeing it for what it is… opportunity to discuss be it vehemently or passively.


        • Don’t worry my knickers are on straight 😉

          I think something is being lost in translation since I agree this is a fine debate. There may have been some other posters that you were referring to as I don’t think I have said an unkind word to either David or you.

          In fact that was my point. It is ok to be critical of a piece of gear for its technical faults but criticizing the user for their purchase decision is kind of silly.

        • On a side note, I remember one time during the first season of NYFW testing the X1 vs my old Sigma DP2. I used both to cover presentations in the same lighting, set the same settings on both, and must admit, the Sigma spanked the pants off the X1 that Leica had loaned me. I should post a couple of shots somewhere here or you can just go over to my Facebook and find them. I was amazed by the results as I had expected quite a bit better from the X1.

          The X100 I hope is fantastic and myself am waiting with baited breath to see what Steve does, and would love to see your shots ~6 on Pic or two soon in my email. Since I cannot afford a M9 to replace my M4, nor has anyone made something as elegant as my PenFT for me to use the X100 is my next best hope. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll have to find a nice used M8 or R-D1x.

      • btw, what do you prefer on the X1 over the X100? You mentioned focus accuracy, is that it?

        Personally, I prefer the X1’s rear interface and menu system. It is worlds better than the X100s but then again, the X100 is a more complex machine with 2 additional viewfinders.

        I also like the smaller size of the X1 but I think that’s about it.

        When I did my comparison, every time I went between the X1 LCD in bright daylight to the X100’s OVF I think I heard angel’s trumpets going off somewhere. You have to admit that the OVF is damn glorious compared to the X1’s LCD.

  7. I think it’s wonderful that people feel strongly for this camera and also that there are people like Mr David Babsky who dislike it for very good reasons.. love the car only going at 35 mph…

    and we should also be proud that Steve has the grace and insight to allow different view points to be posted here…

    it’s great that there is such a wonderful anticipation… bit like Christmas all over again…

    just one last thought… Henri Cartier Bresson though he used a 50 most of the time still had the option to change his lens….

  8. The more I read of impressions, that more I get the general sense that people are “in like” with the camera rather than “in love” with it. The bugs, the non-intuitive menu structure, the fiddliness of the EVF, all a somewhat challenging. I am more and more considering holding off my purchase of the camera, as I am not sure what this would add for me, given that I have a M9 and a couple 35 mm lenses….with an interface that I know, a size that I love, and output that I adore.

    It sure is beautiful, and the IQ from RAW files seems tops. Like ~6, I’d prefer a 50 mm equivalent lens over a 35 mm lens…alas, we can’t have everything…

    Now if Fuji would go ahead and smooth the software out, it seems that there may well be a winner in our midst, but for now, this camera seems to be more mediocre than stellar.

    It’d be great to have Fuji evolve this camera in to the digital equivalent of the Konica Hexar AF camera that I own and love…

    • This is typical of the Leica bias I mentioned earlier. How can you say this without actually using the camera? Statements like this just make you lose credibility in my eyes.

      • It’s easy to have that Leica bias when you are stacked with a M9 and many lenses. It is not a fair comparison at all. Silly to even mention really.

        • Agreed. The comparison is silly, really…tholugh I am hoping to achieve similar results, as the X1 once offered me prior to me selling it.

      • I think you are overcalling my comments. I just bought the x100, despite my hesitations, and will test it and comment. And despite your comments, I am a Leica guy, BUT I am also an SLR guy (formerly Canon, now Pentax). Hopefully, I’ll like (love?) the X100 as well. I hope so…

    • All electronic gadgets, including cameras, are built after extensive market research for a specific demographic. Even I don’t understand why you would buy the x100 if you have a M9. Why do you take the time complaining about bugs of a camera that is barely out, you haven’t used, and you don’t intend to buy?

      • Its been out long enough for people to write feedback. The bugs he mentioned exists regardless of him owning it or not. The firmware released last week seems to have helped with the main issues but there is still more to be desired. I am with you on what purpose it would serve for a M9 owner, I can see a Leica M film camera owner getting one but not digital. Size wise it’s not much smaller then an M, quality wise the M is better in every single way.

        • I challenge you to find a first generation product (any product) that is perfect, yet alone the first batch of the first generation (doesn’t matter if it is Apple, Lexus or Frigidaire !!). Even M8 had a lot of issues. I would wait a bit more before judging the camera based on the first couple of firmwares…

        • Ok, I’m one of the silly ones with an M9 and since about 3 weeks a X100 as well. On my last two business trips I trew the X100 into my briefcase. Weight and size advantage played a role. Presently I’m on a family vaction and the X100 is the camera I took along. I put it into my backpack which I leave at the beach whilst I’m in the water, I would never do that with the M9.

    • You have my vote on your last Fuji wish. But them we would have Fujileica. Ashwin, what about cajoling Fuji into digitalizing their TX-2. Wow man!

    • “more mediocre than stellar” is a hard verdict. Menu and FW quirks aside, I would not know of another sensor and prime lens combo for USD 1200 performing at comparable level.

  9. Such a beautiful camera. For years I wondered what was stopping camera companies from releasing a camera that takes a que from the past by having a analog body with digital interior. When I first started shooting it was with a Canon F1. Fully manual with a simple lightmeter in the viewfinder. Thats what I loved about photography so much, playing with the dials, moving the apature ring, cocking the the fim advance and pulling focus. The pictures were awful, underexposed, overexposed and out of focus. But it didn’t matter I was hooked. As cameras got more and more spaceship like and digital took over I kind of lost that lust for shooting.

    Now cameras like the x100 come out and it gives me hope that maybe we can have the best of both worlds, a little analog past with our EFIX data.

    I’ve been lucky enough to get into an X1 and then just a few days ago a used M8 so I’m going to sit out the x100 but I know it will be a great camera that will light and reignite a lot of peoples passion for taking pictures.

    Fixed primes rule.


  10. Such a beautiful camera. For years I wondered what was stopping camera companies from releasing a camera that takes a que from the past by having a analog body with digital interior. When I first started shooting it was with a Canon FA1. Fully manual with a simple lightmeter in the viewfinder. Thats what I loved about photography so much, playing with the dials, moving the apature ring, cocking the the fim advance and pulling focus. The pictures were awful, underexposed, overexposed and out of focus. But it didn’t matter I was hooked. As cameras got more and more spaceship like and digital took over I kind of lost that lust for shooting.

    Now cameras like the x100 come out and it gives me hope that maybe we can have the best of both worlds, a little analog past with our EFIX data.

    I’ve been lucky enough to get into an X1 and then just a few days ago a used M8 so I’m going to sit out the x100 but I know it will be a great camera that will light and reignite a lot of peoples passion for taking pictures.

    Fixed primes rule.


    • A very thoughtful evaluation. Indeed I would have no reason to buy an X100 if I already had an X1 and an M8!

      Wait, actually I would keep the M8 and trade the X1 for the X100 🙂 That OVF is just too nice to look through, although in defense of the X1 it is a bit more pocketable.

      You are good either way…

      • Naw I could never give up my X1 so soon! All my best photos have been taken with it. It has made me a more thoughtful, dare I say better photographer and I love it with it perceived shortcomings and all. OVF is awesome but the optical viewfinder does a great job framing as well.

        One question I have is…how big is the x100? I haven’t seen any side by sides so to me it looks roughly ( slightly smaller) then and M.

        * Sorry about the double post, I wish I could delete that.

      • * Meant to say E(lectronic)OVF/OVF of x100 is awesome vs. External OVF of X1 doing a great job as well.

  11. You are very funny David and I enjoy reading the fallout from your original post. I have to assume that the inflammatory nature of it was intentional and as long as it’s not hurting anyone I think it’s a great thing. It’s obviously sparked an excitable series of responses and got everyone jousting in good spirit…..I hope. A little bit of a change-up from the polite backslapping can’t be all that bad once in a while right?


    • .
      “..inflammatory..”..? Moi..?

      No, I was just trying to bring a little “reality” to the table.. I like to drool as much as the next person – each week I’m up and down Tottenham Court Road (London electronics mecca) looking in all the windows, trying all the new goodies. But then I turn off the drool glands and try to use a little common sense..

      “What advantage does this new Camera X have over my previous Camera W..?” ..”Why would I want to buy this?” (.Sorry: I’m running out of full stops (periods) here)

      X100..? It’s an APS sensor, so it’s like a Sony NEX. It’s an autofocus or manual focus camera a NEX or a Panasonic Lumix or whatever a Lumix but with a bigger sensor: like a Leica X1, or a Leica M8 (but without the facility to swap lenses). It’s not going to give the shallow depth of field which an M9 or 5DMkII will give, with their full-size 36x24mm sensor ..or which I can get with a Voigt .95 on a micro-four-thirds camera.

      I won’t be able to put any other manufacturer’s lens on this camera – as it doesn’t take interchangeable lenses. I’m only ever going to get the angle-of-view – and depth-of-field – of its built-in 35mm-equivalent (actually 23mm) lens. It’s really back to the seventies; it’s like using a Yashica TL Electro, or a compact Olympus or an Oly XA, or (see my recent post above) a Rollei 35: it’s a bigger-bodied, fixed lens, close-focusing, digital version of a camera from 40 years ago.

      Why would I buy this restricted-capability camera? Others, of course, may think – and obviously do! – differently. People may be wowed by its looks, and some people seem to have ordered one before even having tried one! Some people seem to have been wowed by its specifications ..but I always treat a manufacturer’s claims with some circumspection ..for anything: camera, car, computer, boat, bicycle, etc.

      All I’m saying – and it’s only my single point-of-view, and it doesn’t have to be anyone else’s, of course, as you know! – is “THINK”. You ..anyone!.. may be seduced by the styling, by the throwback to last century combined with this year’s electronics, but this is simply a camera manufacturer’s method to get money transferred from your pocket to theirs. What’s the compelling reason to give them your money? Simple as that.

      “..A little bit of a change-up from the polite backslapping can’t be all that bad once in a while right?..” ..Right!!

      ..And, of course, with Steve’s good will, everyone else is equally at liberty to post their own compelling reasons why this IS a good buy (..or a goodbye to however-many-hundred dollars)!

      Yours – always happy to hear the alternative point of view – David.

      • Well, since David believes he is thinking clearly and people who choose the X100 are being seduced, I must not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but let me try to explain why oh why someone might enjoy a camera like the X100.

        Reason #1 Size vs Quality

        Witness the popularity of the micro4/3 cameras and NEX. People want smaller cameras with higher quality. Cameras like the X1, NEX and X100 are a dream come true for many and the X100 is arguably at the top of the heap.

        Reason # 2 It’s Viewfinder Stupid

        What other current production camera (non DSLR) short of an M9 has an OVF with frame lines and data overlay? In like looking through optical viewfinders (a lot), do you?

        Reason # 3 I Like Manual Controls

        Imagine for a minute how many viewers of this site have used good ole film cameras with traditional manual controls. I know I have and controlling aperture on the lens and shutter speed on the top deck is as second nature as breathing. Yup, I like manual controls.

        Reason # 4 Primes are Good.

        I want a small camera. That means I like small lenses, ergo I like high quality primes and 35mm is my preferred FOV. Bingo! And btw, the X100 has an excellent prime.

        Reason # 5 Cost

        Let’s review. Being from the film world and a former Hexar AF and compact film shooter (Contax T3, Minilux, Ricoh GR), I like a small high quality camera with an optical viewfinder that displays shooting data, has manual controls and a fast(ish) prime. Sure I could almost turn a GF1 or E-P2 into such a beast but I wouldn’t have the optical viewfinder and I wouldn’t have as high of IQ as the X100 gives. And I love the NEX as a platform for manual focus legacy lenses but it does not fulfill my needs as an everyday AF shooter with manual controls and viewfinder.

        So what else is there that meets my criteria? Well, there is the M9 with a 35mm lens. Yup, that would do. But see, maybe I’m not able or willing to pay north of $7,000 for my solution. Not knocking the M9, just making clear that the price difference is staggering.

        So after the full evaluation, the X100 is the lowest cost solution that meets my criteria. Was I seduced by the X100? He’ll yes! I was seduced by the package of features that it offers for the price, thank you.

        Happy Easter! Now go take some pictures of cute kids with bunnies or something…

        • Please excuse a couple of typos.

          It should read “It’s the Viewfinder Stupid” and “I like looking through optical viewfinders…”

        • Chad, Thanks for the summary. It’s pretty much what I would have said, except I was too lazy.

          One correction, though. A new M9 with the more-or-less standard Summicron 35mm lens is not $7000. It’s $10,000. Not in any way a realistic candidate for the vast majority of photographers.

      • David. I can see that your weekly hajj to Tottenham Court Road left you deeply desilusioned and confused. Like some of the faithfull you went to shrine and didn`t find the God. The new revelation, that can outperform everything, do everything, cost very little, deliver you from bad pictures. And X100 fails miserably because, in your eyes it`s elevated by many to new redemption coming. You have to be blind not to see it`s shortcommings. It all comes down to two basic points of view. The one belongs to gadgetry rambling which will go forever. The other one is about picture taking in most straight uncomplicated way yet giving you all necessary controls over the final result (they are three,shutter, lens opening, distance setting) period. As I and some of reasonable guys, belonging to the last one, we summed it up saying-put that remarkable sensor in one of good old fix lens cameras with good optical rangefinder and leave the rest to photographers who are serious about picture taking and making. Now, as to fixed lens issue you seem to pull a leg but you are not quiet sure which one. Your comparison to luxury car with one gear proves that you are talking about gadgets not pictures. One gear would correspond to fixed shutter speed on camera. If you have slow one you can`t go fast and viceversa. Interchangable lenses, yes why not, everybody would love Fuji to come up with their version of Leica at reasonable price. But if X100 shortcomings were fixed (manual focus rf-style please, instant ready-shoot powering) I would definitely buy one. As a first draw compact quality camera. As to other lenses, there are loads of interchangeable lens cameras you could play you lens swapping game with. If there is time enough for that, which often isn`t the case. That`s why from the old days till now, reporters use to carry two bodies with different lenses on them. Oh, you still want one body that does it all. Well, in that case go back on you shopping hajj. India, may I suggest? They are reputed in astral bodies doing everything you want them to do.

          • Well, dear stanis and ~6 ..since you’re waiting for a reply..! (..Sorry this is getting to be so narrow, but I can’t really help that if I reply to ~6..)

            “..all necessary controls over the final result (they are three,shutter, lens opening, distance setting) period..”

            Hmm? In the days of film there used to be at least one other: the choice of film you put in the camera, slow, colour, B&W, infra-red, hi-contrast, positive, negative ..etc. Nowadays, with digital imaging, there’s still another – and very convenient – option: ISO ..that’s to say, ‘sensitivity’.

            So there’s more to choose from than just shutter speed, lens opening and distance setting. And then again, on MOST cameras there’s nowadays a choice of focal length: here’s a picture I shot a couple of weeks ago; the inauguration of a new sculpture on a headland (on an island in New Zealand). I used a GF2 and the 7mm end of a 7-14mm zoom ..equivalent to a 14mm super-wide-angle on a 35mm camera.

            I couldn’t have shot this with a 35mm focal length lens, because if I stepped any further back I’d have fallen off the headland! So I CHOSE to use not just a particular shutter speed, not just a particular aperture, not just a particular distance setting and a particular ISO ..but a particular LENS. If I’d had a Fuji X100 with me, I couldn’t have taken that picture (..the three prongs against the light).

            And if I’d wanted to shoot that other pic with the X100 – the one of the sculptor and his creation, and the shadows of the watching people – then I’d have had to step backwards between the watching people, and the PEOPLE, not just their shadows, would have entered the frame.

            Of course, you might argue that if I’d been stuck with only a 35mm lens (or that 23mm on the X100) then I would have framed my pictures differently. Maybe so. But what’s undeniable is that I could NOT have got that against-the-light shot which I wanted, because I couldn’t have stepped back far enough.

            So why limit yourself to ONLY – as you suggest – shutter speed, aperture and distance ..oh, and ISO..? Why limit your choice of lens, of angle-of-view, in your pictures? Please tell me.. please say why you’d want to stay always with a 35mm lens and only ever a 35mm lens?

            Really ..I’m very keen to understand why!

            And as for ~6, smirking on the sidelines! ..he’s going to send us back to our corners for a quick rinse-out and a pep talk from our seconds (boxing terminology) and then he wants us to come back for another quick bout ..he’s dying to see a knockout! ..Can’t you just feel it?!


          • (..If my longer reply hasn’t yet appeared, complete with two pics, it’s “..awaiting moderation..” like up below number 3 (above), in response to Chad ..Though I thought my comments were already pretty moderate..! Hoho!..)

          • Well dear David. I`m not sure where my reply will land but I hope you will link it to yours one startin dear stanis. Let´s start with the final lines. I`m sure that `6 doesn`t wy for a knock -out for neither side. He`s just exited to see two good contestants making a fine show. And as an artist he is- the show must go on. Hence no knock-outs. As I wrote and practise I don`t write off use of lenses. The very reason I stick to M system are the lenses. Which other system allowes me to carry in my two jacket or roomy pants pockets four lenses. In one CV15 and Tele-Elmarit90 held with double backcap, in another likewise Summicron50 and CV21. On top of that all take 39mm filters, isn`t it neat? The fifth lens, Summicron 35 on the M-6 (M-9 will have to wait). And I do have couple of favs taken with CV15 which would be impossible to take with any narrower angle. That goes for dynamic shoots, static ones could be saved with pannorama shooting when having a fixed lens. I don`t ruled out at all inter lenses. On couple of occasions I dropped camera smashing viewfinder. I could still shoot without it, but when scratching or downright chipping a lens makes the camera useless unless you can replace the glass. But sometimes changing lenses can be pain in camera. How do you change your 7-14 on your GF boy when you need something around 25 and it`s blowing fine vulcanic ash across that fabulous Islandic vistas and you know the bloody Panasonic haven`t provided m4/3 with simple mechanism of covering the sensor with shutter blade when removing the lens. Or there`s simply no time, you have to do with lens you got. The advantage of fixed or one lens shooting is that you after a while you settle on one angle of view in your perception and look for the motive within that field. Gives you peace of mind, frees you from constant strees of looking for opportunity everywhere anglelike. From fish-eye to astronomic sky gazers. In analog realm nobody could surpass the compactnes of M-6 with summicron 35/2. In digital reality Fujica tries just that, not understanding yet what M-6+35/2 photography is about. So David, shall we say it`s a draw? Looking to a next bout! Stanis.
            p.s. Asked that old question, which camera and the lens (just one of each) would you take on a trip far from civilization, my number one using film is Nikonos-II with 35/2.5 land/water combo. As for digital? Oh Nikon God, please, please, please, the same! Cheers Stanis

        • stanis,

          Thanks for your long reply – the one about you choice of lenses ..”CV15 and Tele-Elmarit90 held with double backcap, in another likewise Summicron50 and CV21″.

          Very good choices! I’ve tried very hard to choose my own minimum kit for an M9, and have settled on 16-21mm zoom (‘Tri-Elmar’), 40mm (as used on the Leica CL/Minolta CLE), 75mm (it’s so sharp!) and 135mm f4. Each of those is so very sharp (I’m thinking of the built-in-Japan ‘Rokkor’ 40mm, not Leica’s own 40mm) that pictures can be cropped from those 4 lenses to give results like a 35mm, 60mm, 90mm and 200mm. But those CV lenses are also excellent – and, of course, very small and very light!

          I was joking, of course, about the knockout ..and accept your far better suggestion of a draw!

          “..How do you change your 7-14 on your GF boy when you need something around 25 and it`s blowing fine vulcanic ash across that fabulous Islandic vistas and you know the bloody Panasonic haven`t provided m4/3 with simple mechanism of covering the sensor with shutter blade when removing the lens..” ..I turn my back to the wind, put the camera under my coat, and quickly swap the 7-14mm for a 14-140mm, then put the caps on the 7-14mm and put it in my pocket. On that day out on the headland, I also used a CV 25mm with the wide 0.95 aperture, to get fairly close shots of the sculptor (Chris Booth) talking, with most of the background blurred away.

          “.. In analog realm nobody could surpass the compactnes of M-6 with summicron 35/2..”, I disagree: try a Minolta CLE (with that 35/2 if you like) instead of the M6 ..the Minolta’s smaller, lighter, the electronics are excellent, and it’s far less weight around your neck. Yes, I know there’s no 35mm frame-line, but being the expert photographer that you are, you don’t NEED that frame-line: you know what’ll be in your 35mm shot, just by the distance from the edges of the focusing patch to about two-thirds the way to the inner edge of the viewfinder!

          “..which camera and the lens (just one of each) would you take on a trip far from civilization..” Olympus OM-2 and 50mm f1.2.

          Here’s a shot of Chris the sculptor, and another of our friend Graham on the way to Rotoroa Island, pointing towards the sculpture ..7mm, small aperture (I focused on his left elbow, to keep his head and the distant island in focus) +2 stops of over-exposure, to allow for the sun dead ahead ..I just love pictures of people pointing! You can see why I prefer a VARIETY of lenses, instead of having to use just the same one all the time, as with the Fuji X100 ..though I suppose I could crop its 35mm results to get the “appearance” of using a 60mm or 70mm lens ..but I still wouldn’t be able to get the really wide shots.

          Thanks for your replies, stanis’s great fun comparing opinions with you! Thank you ..again! And I agree with your comment: “..I`m sure that `6 doesn`t wy for a knock -out for neither side. He`s just exited to see two good contestants making a fine show. And as an artist he is- the show must go on..”



          • .

            scroll back up and try adding a reply to my original long reply to ~6 (..which ends with the phrase “..Yours – always happy to hear the alternative point of view – David”..) – so reply to my comment just under ~6’s comment at number 18 (above).

            See if that works, and if it appears in the right place! ..Best wishes ..David.

          • David. You choice of lens set up is very fine indeed. Though for a price of WATE16-21 I can have four sets of CV15+CV21, albeit of lesser flexibility and quality. Anyway, sometimes I am a bit of wild and careless shooter and an idea of demaging such a fine lens would upset my style. Beside it , I am a “camera in the pocket guy” and all my lenses from 15 to 50 fit the bill. I do have Rokkor 40, lightweight and sharp cutie but not of heavy duty mechanics as my old 8-lens cron35 or 35/2.8. ( I do drop or bang lenses). Tele-elmarit 135/4 is suberb but too heavy and cumbersome (focusing) to be for a ” camera in the pocket, tongue in the cheek, Chick in the front!” shooting. It is more natural on Viso (action) or if on RF body for landscapes and stationary objects.
            The idea of CF cameras is an enticing one. Small box with interchageable optics. Put a zoom on it and it looks like contradiction. I know, 7-14 compared to NIK14-24 shows the difference ( not as

          • ( not as dramatic if NIK kept it to f:4 or PANA to f:2.8). If Pana comes with fixed 7 and 10 the size of their 20, they will be boys in the street.
            As for one and only camera in far from the maddning crowd, you must be joking. Battery only, electronics dependent camera in steamy Congo jungle! No way. My NIKONOS II rules. Waterproof to 150 feet ( I don`t dive but it`s nice to know that no high pressure water jet, like waterfalls, watercannons, tsunamis, will soak it), tough as hell ( would be tougher still with polycarbonate outer shell, but it`s 50 years old design), it`s lens impervious to knocks ( inner lens cell spring inner mounted and independent of O-ring outer mounted lens case) and interchangeable.
            To round off lens talk may I include part of my post on Steves H. trip to Rio commenting on his pict of Sugar Loaf (Pao de Azucar) without Christ statue

          • ” By the way, it would be nice to have a pict taken with circular fish-eye and the convert it into V.R. thus we could share your impression of Rio universe. Alas Mighty Leica doesn`t makes one, neither does inventive Voight-Cosina. I know, I know, we can put slr glass on with appropriete adapter but the can you immagine Nikor 2,8/8 on Leica! With it`s glass mushroom it would look as if Leica innards were nuked.

          • So Heilige Solmz please compact circular 7mm f:4-5,6. I know it will cost zilions but Nuke it or Nike it! (just do it). Do you hear mr. Kobayashi? Here is a chance to outsmart Red Logo Hat Sect. Compact full frame fish the size of CV15 wouldn`t be bad either. Enough for this time, gone fishing.”
            So much for the lens talk, next time viewfinders perhaps, hoping to end where it`s all about. Pictures from the Exhibition. Stanis

          • David, I had to post it in chunks, sorry. When I tried to post it in one piece I kept getting message “an error occured while processing the message”.
            Hope it`s a freak case.

          • .
            Very nice, stanis, thanks for all your thoughts!

            Bed time for me now ..all the best, g’nite!

      • The more David types the more I understand that he isn’t against the X100 he is against fixed focal length cameras, period.

        If I was only to have one camera I might agree with him but since most of us have more than one, the point becomes irrelevant.

        I have a DSLr kit and others here have an M body with lot’s of great glass that are used for situations in which we need flexibility. Maybe I shoot the 70-200 for a music festival but the 35mm 1.4 for a indoor club show…

        But the smaller you want your camera to be (and I’m talking one camera in a pocket or around the wrist/shoulder with no extra lenses to cart around) the less options you have. You can do a high quality fixed prime or a built in zoom. I’d use the Leica Minilux and Minilux Zoom as an example.

        The primes generally are faster and better corrected than the zooms while the zooms provide that flexibility David so desires. I choose the quality and shallow DOF over the flexibility. I just shot a Ricoh GR on a hike I took Friday and got a great variety of shots (macro, action, landscapes) all from a tiny camera that fit in my hiking shorts. I ultimately chose to give up focal length flexibility for portability and IQ.

      • The look of the X100 is quite appealing but actually I bought a GRD3 with a fixed 28mm and was quite happy with it. The g/f who is only interested in the photos and not the camera was very pleased with it too, so no, a fixed focal length is not a problem for quite a few people. I’ve sold the only zoom I have for my 5D Mark 2 and now roam with a 35L, 85L and 135L. I can’t always carry that bag though, its about 6 kilograms. My most usable prime on that kit is the 35mm so the X100 was a natural choice for me.

        • From all accounts, the GRD3 is a very nice cam. I liked my GRD 2 so much I sold it and bought the original GR 1 film camera! The GR (film or digital) form factor is one of the best that has ever been made. Ricoh really designs cameras for the photographer…

  12. Arguing about the logic of someone spending their hard earned cash on a camera like the X100 or the X1 is, to put it most charitably, faintly ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous to when a person claims that he/she knows that someone else – someone with different preferences and interests – will find one camera more ‘fulfilling’ than another.

    If someone finds that a camera like the X100 or X1 to fit their needs and wants, finds that it’s worth the cost to them, and they can afford it, more power to them. If they don’t, more power to them. I find the vehemence and hostility that some people display towards products/choices that they don’t like rather odd: it sounds either like they think that they themselves are being attacked or like they simply don’t understand that others can have valid opinions that differ than their own.

    We live in a world of choice and diversity, which is a wonderful thing. Tolerance of one’s choices and preferences – be it in fashion, politics, photographic tools, etc. – make living in this world much more enjoyable.

    Okay, sorry, discourse over. Back to the matter at hand. I’m really interested to read your impression of the X100 as a artistic and photographic tool, especially compared to the X1. I’ll be especially interested to see to what extent the camera shapes the kind of photography you produce with it.

    • This sentiment needs repeating all over the web.

      It never ceases to amaze me, how self centered “adults” can be about something as trivial as a camera or lens preference. Somehow they believe, just typing the words makes their view correct and all others invalid.

      I’m all for healthy discourse but the blanket statements delivered as fact are getting really old.

  13. I’ve been using the X100 now for about a week and at first I found it REALLY frustrating in that it would constantly miss focus. Then after the firmware update it seemed to stop doing that, it could’ve been a mode that I had it in or the fact that I just wasn’t used to it but now the focus issue has all but disappeared.

    I can see how this camera will please a lot of people and if I had to be completely honest, it is a fantastic achievement (not easy to admit being a Leica-man). It’s much maligned menu system seems to make no sense at all initially but after working with it for the past week I now feel that there’s a method to it’s madness and once you RTFL (something I NEVER do) it’s actually very well though out all things considered.

    I love the fact that it’s a static 35 and the last thing I want is an interchangeable lens system. I would much rather they bring out another one with a 50 and I’ll be set if I was to be a Fuji user but I’m not so I don’t need anything more from them. The Jpegs are very good, not fantastic, and so I can only see great things for the RAW’s when LR3 finally supports them. I’m not holding my breath for Aperture to support them because I’ll probably be old and grey by that time.

    Great job Fuji, credit where it’s due.


    • Good to hear that focus is solid for you now. I was missing maybe 5% of my OVF shots so I’ll be anxious to get the firmware updated when my own copy arrives this week.

      To the point regarding in-camera JPEG vs RAW, I think that the biggest problem with the JPEGS is the DR as they tend to clip highlights in high contrast scenes.

      A user over on our forum just did a comparison of highlight clipping on the same image that was purposefully overexposed +2 EV. He compares the OOC JPEG, an in-camera RAW image with -1 EV compensation and a RAW processed using RAW File Converter.

      No big surprise but the RAW files are retaining a ton of data.

      Here is the link if anyone is interested…

      Glad to hear you are enjoying the X100 `6

    • The firmware has definitely sped a few things up, the manual focus moves around faster though its still not as instinctive as a mechanical focus (I don’t think it ever will be). I saw a nice MP on sale last week and put my X100 up for sale with the intention to fund it but decided to withdraw it a few days later. I ended up getting emails asking me to list it back lol.

  14. I also pick mine up from Precision next week Steve. After using a loaner for a week back in March it has been painful waiting for mine to arrive but at least I’ve had lots of miserable company…

    My only suggestion is to spend as much time with it as you can before doing any kind of shootout. I had to jump right in after about only 40 minutes with the camera on my X1 vs. X100 shootout and it would have gone MUCH smoother if I had known what the hell I was doing with the X100.

    Simple things like having your power savings and start-up settings optimized, understanding the way the camera intuits which screen you are viewing automatically, or the shortcuts to enter macro or ND filter mode without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. The X100 begs to be mastered before it will reward you.

    Good luck.

  15. Please bring the GXR with you as well. To me, that and the X1 are the only true competitors to the x100. (okay, you can throw in the Nex 5 as well)

    • I can only second that wish. GXR and X1 are currently my main candidates. I am very curios how does the X100 compares.

  16. I’m really looking forward to your opinion on the X100. What I saw so far didn’t really convince me, sadly, as I had hoped for it to be the great camera it looked like it was going to be. Well, the finder is unique, the design is marvelous and high ISO capability is superb … but it just ain’t no Leica 😉

  17. Considering the two reviews you have posted were very negative (compared to very other reputable review site) and heavily Leica biased I will not be surprised to see another here.

    • I posted a couple of first looks by readers, not by me. What I think of the camera will be my honest opinions. Fuji didn’t send me one, I bought one and plan to keep it if it is good for me.

  18. I’m almost as excited as you are about the Review. I’ve had mine on order seemingly forever, and have been enjoying the smattering of reviews here and elsewhere. David Pogue’s review this past week in the NY Times was fun as it doesn’t go into the detail that you do, but looks at it from a different perspective (never a bad thing). Vive la difference!

  19. Great News!

    Would like to see if you already got one who does not have so many bugs, problems with functions as are postet right now heavely on in the X100 Forum.

    Looking forward to read your review.

    Happy Eastern!

  20. I tried one in London the other day: remember that – in 2011 – this is a camera with one fixed lens cannot be changed for any other lens; it has just this one, single lens forever (like the Leica X1).

    This is not a zoom lens, so every shot you take will be a shot taken with a 35mm (equivalent) lens. You want a wider shot? ..You have to walk backwards (if there’s room). You want a closer shot? ..Maybe you can’t climb that wall, jump that fence, step into the traffic, swim that pond, move that furniture, walk onto the grass which says “Keep Off”, climb onto that roof, etc.

    Instead of buying one 35mm lens to put on a camera which you already own (or instead of zooming to the 35mm point), you’d be buying both a LENS AND ITS CAMERA to shoot ONLY 35mm-equivalent shots. For ever more. Only ever 35mm..

    Value for money..?

    • Seeing that 35mm is my fave focal length and one I use 90% of the time, this doesn’t bother me. I wouldn’t buy a zoom for any camera unless it came with the camera. Value for the money? I feel the X1 is a great camera, worth the cost if you are into simplicity, high quality, small size, and slow speed 🙂

      The X1 at $1200 is an even better value, again, if you are into that sort of thing – fixed lens, smaller size, etc.

    • Hej Babski. What`s babsking you? One and only one lens camera? You can fit 0.6 wide converter, not Elmarit 24/3.4 quality but you get this wider stuff. Or stick a binocular to it and presto, lens for birdies. The best comes last. Fuji is a cunning and secretive maker so they haven`t said everything about X100. You, Can take this lens of! Just try hard enough till you hear a cracking noise. Don`t panic, the lens will come clean off, revealing shiny M-bayonet ready for that fantastic Noctilux. Now that`s value for money!.

    • Hi Babsky. Henry Cartier-Bresson used a Leica rangefinder with a 50mm for almost all his work. Think he did okay without a zoom to distract him.:-). In my opinion a 35mm lens is an even better alround lens because it can be used for both people and landscape.

    • Not quite sure what your point is but I’ll take a guess and assume that you see the factors listed as some sort of disadvantage. Putting it simply, you might find that a lot of people see every one of those points you raise as an ‘advantage’.


      • We-ell, imagine that it’s a car; a new take on an old classic: it’s a new version of a British Racing Green – or bright red – open top E-type Jaguar. It’s got a long nose, comfy leather seats, and a modern twist or improvement.. four-wheel drive, too. But it’s got only one gear.

        So it drives beautifully from 0 – 35 miles-per-hour. But that’s it. It only goes at 35mph. Of course, it goes beautifully and looks marvellous, and has a great sound system, and built-in GPS ..but if you want to go a little faster – maybe 50mph, or 60mph or possibly more – it just can’t.

        But would “..a lot of people see every one of those points you raise as an ‘advantage’..”..? Do “a lot” of people REALLY see it as an advantage to use a camera which does NOT take interchangeable lenses, or which can’t change the view which the lens sees by zooming? “Oh, it forces you to think more clearly about what you’re going to shoot” goes the argument.

        So would you buy a pen which can only write vowels but not consonants, though it forces you to think more carefully about what you’re gonna write? Would you really buy a pair of shoes which let you walk uphill only, but not downhill or on the flat? Would you really buy a computer which displays only numbers, and not letters or graphics? ..Or a phone which lets you call me, but call no-one else?

        If you really want to restrict yourself to using only a 35mm lens, then by all means use just a 35mm lens, forsaking all others ..or whatever the marriage vows say. But buying a camera which is unable to take any other lens, ever – or a car which can’t go faster than 35mph ever – or a pen which can write sentences of only 35 words, ever – or a calculator which can deliver totals of only 35.00 ever – isn’t that unreasonably masochistic? I mean, if it cost only £35, we-ell, it’s a little indulgence we could all afford. But at £1000..? Does it make any kind of sense?

        I’ll bet you £10 that anyone who buys one will use it, on and off, for six months, and will then leave it in a cupboard and take it out only twice a year. Most of the time they’ll shoot with something else entirely: something more flexible, something more versatile, something rather more fulfilling.

          • .
            Well, I was actually placing that bet with ~6, but I’m happy to accept your £10 ($16.51) right now Chad! ..And I’ll check back with Steve in 6 months’ time (23rd October 2011) to see how much usage he’s had from his Fuji X100. (He didn’t seem to keep his Leica X1 for long, as I remember..)

            I’ve nothing against someone restricting themselves to just one lens, and seeing how creative they can be within that restraint ..but to purposely buy a camera which can never offer any other point of view than just that one single angle seems – to me – ludicrous. It’s like buying a big, new, glorious TV, but which can only ever pick up just one single TV channel.

            I’ve got a little compact Rollei 35 here, with its wonderful Sonnar 40mm lens, and an even smaller Minox 35, with its one fixed 35mm lens: these were terrific miniature pocket cameras in the days of 35mm film ..but after a while you (..well, I..) became tired of the single, fixed point-of-view these lenses gave ..impossible to change the perspective, couldn’t get a dramatic wide-angle or telephoto shot.

            Who now remembers – or uses? – a Minolta Prod, or the really -s-u-p-e-r-b-l-y- sharp fixed-lens autofocus twin-AA-cell Olympus Écru?

            These were ‘concept’ cameras, like this Fuji X100. Looked interesting, performed well, flash-in-the-pan, but utterly forsaken now (..though I do still sometimes use, for old times’ sake, the Écru, the Rollei, the Minox and a little Rollei A110).

            Send all £10 cheques and PayPal contributions to me via Steve, please 🙂 ..!

    • Mr Babsky, do tell me more about the ramifications of using a prime lens… fascinating stuff lol

      What is this magical technological development you speak of… “zoom lens”?

      Ha, you crack me up David 🙂

    • Odd, I have never found using a single focal length a problem….

      All shot on the only lens I use when shooting documentary work on the streets of NYC, an Olympus G.Zuiko 25/2.8 on an Olympus PenFT (35mm equivalent). I’ve been shooting this setup for over a decade, and still use it (I actually like it over my M4).

      Really if you think you an only work with a zoom, I recommend a remedial course in photography.

    • I hate to sound like the crabby old man that I am, but I’m pretty tired of long posts explaining what a bad camera the X100 is.

      For many photographers, it’s exactly what they’ve been waiting for. For you it’s
      not. Different Strokes.

      If you have something constructive to post, please do so.

      Otherwise, the solution to your problem is simple: Don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

    • Hi,

      I don’t quite understand why you dislike a camera just because it doesn’t have a zoom or take interchangeable lenses. What appeals to me with this (sort of) camera is the combination of size and IQ. Now that I’ve said that I’ll add that I did look at a X100 last week and was surprised how big it actually was. Nevertheless I very much like the fixed focal lensed camera. And I’m not into street photography.

      On my Nikon D300s I usually have a moderate wide prime. The zoom lens is hardly on. On my LX5 I usually have it resume to 35mm and on my GF1 is my 14mm (I’d rather have the 20mm, but hate the focus noise…). I actually bought the GF1 over the X1 because I thought I would prefer the flexibility being able to use both native and legacy lenses. The IQ is IMO excellent, but I regret not buying the X1.

      So, to take the car analogy one step further – who would buy a Ferrari sports car when you can’t even attach a trailer to it (or perhaps you can, I’ve never been very interested in cars…)? Or if you can’t put your bikes and family in it and go into the mountains hiking?

      – iau

    • Do you really think that those who are in the market for this camera don’t own any other cameras? Calm down. I ordered a Fuji which will complement my Pentax K-5 wonderfully.

      Also Fuji has a long history of making fixed lens cameras and this is another, and perhaps it’s most exciting venture.

    • Thank you David!! You made me come to my senses. I was really interested in the X100 and I was waiting for Steve’s review to make my final decision but I then realized that the X100 is too limited so I order this instead…the only camera I will ever need!

    • I ordered from precision camera and received the email today that it will be sent next day air to me next week. I haven’t been this excited to receive a camera since the M9. 🙂

      • Right there with you Steve – thanks for the site and the post last night – all good perspective coming from you – appreciate it!

  21. At last Steve! Looking forward to what must be the most highly anticipated review ever. Hope you don’t slate it ’cause it’ll make me question my own judgement.

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