Look what popped into my house. The Black Special Edition Fuji X100!

Look what popped into my house. The Black Special Edition Fuji X100!

I could not resist. I went ahead and ordered a black X100 kit. Partly because I love all black, partly because I really do like the X100 quite a bit and partly because i wanted to see how it is with the new firmware, which I have not yet experienced. I also wanted to see how it stands up next to the new Leica X2. I made a video showing me taking it out of the box and I have to say it is much sexier in person that it is in photos. MUCH better looking than the X-Pro 1 IMO. Sleeker, smaller, and even more stealthy. Yes, this black kit is $500 more than the standard X100 but still $400 less than a Leica X2.

The SE kit has the extra though and when you pick up one of these kits you also get a black full case that strips down to a half case, and it fits very well. You get a filter for your lens and a lens hood and adapter. These are all extras that you would have to buy for your standard X100 so in reality, buying this black kit sets you back an extra $250 or so just to have all black and a limited edition set. This is Fuji milking the X100 much like Leica milks their models. If it works for Leica, why not Fuji?

In any case upon taking it all out and looking it over I have to say it is amazingly gorgeous and much nicer looking than the silver, but this is my opinion. The case is quality, the camera feels a little bit more sturdy than an X2 and as for focus speed? Well, I updated the FW to the latest and greatest and have to say it is much much faster than it used to be. MUCH more responsive than the X-Pro 1 and 35 1.4. The whole menu system is fast as well. So far so good.

Check out the video of the black X100 below to witness its sexiness 🙂

So my house is loaded with cameras and I feel a bit overwhelmed but am happy as can be as I love it! I also just received a Sony A57 and a couple of lenses and just had to return the D800 which put out some amazing files (more on this one soon). But today, right now, I am in the mini mode of the X2 and X100. Seeing that the X2 is new I was curious to see if the X100 could still match it in all aspects. So this weekend I will be doing some shooting with the X100, X2, NEX-7 and OM-D. I attached the Olympus 17mm 2.8 to the OM-D to see how it would do and it’s doing mighty fine on the new Olympus. Giving me the same 35mm view as the X2 and X100.

The facts are that today, in 2012, all of these cameras are REALLY great at image quality. The ones we choose to work with are all down to our hearts and preferences. It is getting to the point where digital has matured that any something like an OM-D or X100 could last us for MANY MANY years.

In any case, I am doing this comparison all weekend but here is a quick sample from the X100, X2 and OM-D. All at f/4, all with a 35mm equiv lens.



  1. Hi Steve, I was wondering how you would compare the X100 Black SE with firmware upgrade v2 to the new X100s? I’ve been toiling with the decision of getting a X100 Black SE ($899), X100s ($1,299), or a used Leica X2 w/ 36mm viewfinder ($1,495).

    • The BLack SE is great and would be my choice over the three you list just because I prefer the previous sensor as well as the extras you get with it. FW V2 is good, and very usable. Id skip the X2 – My choice would be black SE, then X100s then X2.

  2. Just found your site sir Steve. Just read one of the best product reviews ever. You talked me into a X100, that’s for sure. Thanks for all the work and the beautiful pictures. Excellent.

  3. I have had my black X100 for about three weeks now after selling up my 5dMK11 and L series lenses to cut out the weight and dross that collected in my bag. As an advanced amateur I really didn’t do full-frame the justice it deserved. However, I loved the IQ and that’s what I think I have retained with the X100. I have made a few changes to my workflow eg, rather than upgrading CS4 to CS6 to process RAF files, I have kept CS4 and just convert the RAF files to DNG. It works well for me and my wish is that Fuji give us the option to use DNG in-camera via a firmware update. Any focus misses I have had have been down to me and not the camera, so now I’m more careful with getting it spot on. The focus is pinsharp when I get it right. It reminds me so much of my past Contax G2 that I am still realing with the pleasure of handling it. To think I nearly purchased the XP1…What was I thinking of?

  4. X1 from leica user forums suffered broken flash popup, dials coming off & even lens issues.
    X2 would have sorted these (hopefully).

    X100 incorporating that EVF OVF yet still less long and only slightly taller than X1 X2
    is neat design engineering.

    X2 should have had EVF built in & lens F2 (matching the X100)
    The way the lens protrudes so much outside the housing of X1 X2
    makes them a less elegant design than X100.

    The overall look of X1 X2 is as a modern gadget similar to Sigma DP.
    X100 has the classicness.

    Picture taking … well that depends all on the subject & imagination of the photographer appreciating the subject.
    Personally X100 appeals more to me as a picture taking tool.

  5. Hmmm….

    Steve: I went ahead and ordered a black X100 kit. Partly because I love all black

    Steve: The X2 is available in Chrome and Black and I prefer the chrome.

    • Yep, exactly. I much prefer the chrome on the X2 as I feel for that camera, it looks much nicer. The chrome color on the X2 is very classy looking. The X100, the silver color is sort of dull and cheap looking where the black one is very nice..beautiful. So what I said was 100% true. Hmmmmm.

  6. dennis,

    if i may chime in, the black finishing is of high quality.
    don’t think one will have any issues with durability under normal usage.

    rgds ;p

  7. Once again great reviews Steve!

    I’m thinking about the Leica X2 and the Fuji X100. With your experience with these does the black finish seem more durable on one over the other or is it safer to get the silver?

    Silly question I know, but thanks!

    dennis :0)

  8. I have to admit that is one good looking camera! I am really happy to see this past year that good looking design is once again a priority. I’m not just talking retro design, but also an effort to make the camera just pleasing to the eye. Even the more modern inspired NEX has a nice pleasing look to it and the more recent Pentax K-01 may be a love it or hate it kind of thing but at least someone put thought behind its looks.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing. I am actually thinking about purchasing an X100.

  9. I sold my first x-100 “lasted a month with an SLR”, i then went to buy an X-pro-1, ended up with a Black X100, best camera ever:)

  10. hi steve, just went out and bought the black x100 coz of this lovely website.
    it’s my first fuji cam and am so looking fwd to explore it’s potential with my limited photography skill.
    now just hv to see my wife’s reaction when she gets back from her trip ;p

    best rgds

    • Resolved with latest X100 (chrome & black) which has newer lens aperture blades & housing.

      Leica user forum has many users who had X1 lens issues, broken flash popup, dials coming off.

      • I am not sure this issue is resolved completely. Every x100 forum I visit still lists the SAB issue still present. I wanted an x100 but having this issue either under or outside of warranty is not helping my decision. The 900 dollar difference will easily be washed if I have to get a lens replacement out of warranty. That’s not even counting the inconveniences of having a possibly unreliable camera. Any thoughts?

  11. I had put off buying an x100 after reading about the slow focus, menu, etc but bought the limited edition from Henry’s.com for $1499 and have to say with the latest firmware have had no problems with it. Mind you, I shoot with Leica M film and M8 so was already familiar with the idiosyncrasies with a viewfinder style camera as opposed to an SLR ( I’m being careful about not calling the x100 a rangefinder!).
    Great camera.
    I found that putting the camera in OVF and in af-s mode with the power saver mode stops the shutter from continuously adjusting. Ive set the af/AE button to lock focus so when I’ve preset focusing I just press the af/AE lock button to lock and hold the focus distance. This also has the advantage of using af-s and its smaller focussing square rather than the large non-adjustable square one gets in the af-M mode.

  12. Steve: Great decision to re-purchase my fave camera! When you figure them out, could you plz post your recommended menu settings? I’ve started with Ken R’s, but I’d sure like to know yours, and so would many other loyal fans and X100 owners/lovers, thanksabunch for all you do to make fotog Big Fun.

  13. I saw the Black Special Edition to day in a local camera store. They also had an X Pro 1, but my lust was directed to the X100. It’s a beautiful machine.

  14. Love the black X100. Thought about it, but got the Classic X model instead. I also have the X10 which satisfies my desire for a black X camera. It’s classic design, versatility and photo quality along with the X 100 gives me all I need right now. I carry both on trips to give me photographic versatility and the photo quality I need.
    This was a great and fun comparison. IMHO any of these cameras will work fine on a photos safari at home on on a holiday away. It will depend on needs, personal style and one’s pocketbook.

    Regards and back my to my safari.


  15. Dang, that X100 always tempts me. =O

    Oh yeah, and please use the 20/1.7 on the E-M5 for these comparisons. I remember reading somewhere that is is actually closer to 35mm effective, and will certainly do better compared against the excellent Fuji and Leica lenses.

  16. Steve – do you know if Fuji has finally (properly) resolved the sticky aperture blade problem on the X100? I’ve had 2 X100’s and both have suffered from it after less than 1500 shots. I’ve an X-Pro 1 now, but I still miss my little X100, tho I won’t risk getting another until I know that problem is sorted once and for all!

    I thought it was a waste of money…but wow, that black X100 looks seriously sexy…!

  17. Steve please also then tell us if the new firmware resolved the problem of sticky aperture blades and the other quirks of x100 like the very slow writing speed or if the firmware improved just the AF, thanks and have a nice weekend, ciao 😉

    • How can a firmware update fix sticky aperture blades?

      Never had a problem with slow writing times on my X100, not sure if anyone else had problems, but the buffer is 8 raw images and that should be plenty for this kind of camera. It is not suited for sports photography anyway.

      The problem with the X100 was mainly the sluggish AF and that seems to have been solved with the latest firmware updates.

  18. Steve, you are a godsend! I have been trying to decide between an X100 and an E-M5. Your insight might finally help me make a decision.

  19. Interesting comparison Steve. I see why you say that X2 looks the least ‘digital like’. I take that you used the same sharpening (maybe none) – but the look of the images is very different. X2 look very smooth (nearly like defocused – the trees on the right are completely unsharp – maybe wind though), the X100 seems to give much better detail, the OM-D has the most ‘gritty’ look, but does not seem to give more detail than the X100.

    I just tried to apply some of ‘Smart sharpening’ in CS3 (radius 0.3, 150%) and the Fuji still seems ‘sharper’. Comparing the X2 and X100 a little bit more it looks like the focus points were set very differently – the foreground on the X100 is practically perfectly in focus – very different to the X2 shot. Give that both were shot at f/4 that is very surprising, as the infinity looks very similar on both cameras.

    I guess I am milking it – but it looks like the X2 focused ‘too far’ – like a little bit beyond infinity, if that makes any sense (easily possible with view cameras, not sure about digital cameras of today).

    Please – the above is just an observation, not a critique.

    • I’m also surprised how out of focus the foreground looks in the X2 shots – a touch of camera shake perhaps? Either that or focused slightly further than the others. The X100 should absolutely give it a run for its money, but there shouldn’t be that much foreground difference though?

  20. Hi
    All three pictures are good and fairly close but to my eyes I prefer the image from the x100. I look forward to your review and comparisons. Nice location by the way.

  21. Hi Steve,

    Do you or any of your audience think that Fuji might be able to add a longer focal length adapter (for example 50 mm equivalent) to the X100? I am not sure if that would be possible/feasible. As you know they now have a wider angle adapter available.

  22. Hi Steve,
    The black X100 looks really nice indeed, very good decision.
    I have to say I really love my X100, so much pleasure to use it and great image quality.
    I still don’t know if I will buy or not the X-Pro1, and for the OM-D you’re right about everything (fast and accurate AF, etc …) but I’ve tried it and I just don’t like to hold it. It feels to me not solid, and as I use my left eye it was really not comfortable for me … It’s a bit like the NEX7, more an electronic device than a camera, but it’s just my opinion.
    So now I wonder, what will be the Canon mirrorless we might discover in June ? …
    What does your crystal ball says about it ? 😉

  23. For me the X100 is teh clear winner. But i also think that there is something wrong with the X2. I can´t imagine that the files are so bad.

    I really want some pictures of the Ricoh GXR to compare – IMO it is one of the best cameras. With m – module it blows aways anything that is shown here. Steve please don´t forget the little Ricoh . I really wish they produce an 23 1.4 APS-C module to give us a real 35 mm.

  24. Like Chad, who commented before, I think the X2 photo doesn’t look the way it should. For me it looks like motion blur. Did you use a steady tripod for these photos or were they handheld?

  25. congrats Steve….NOW add a red soft release, gordy wrist strap with red binding, bottom half of the case….and its all pimped out for action.

  26. Great to see you bought the Fuji FinePix X100 again. I did the same thing. Sold my X100 at the end of last year but after two months I really missed it. So I bought the Fuji FinePix X100 limited edition kit and this one I’m going to keep. I also have a Sony α NEX-7 with a couple of lenses, but I love the IQ of the X100, great colors.

  27. I do think the black x100 looks fantastic; Fuji really got the design right with this camera and also I think the x10 looks great too, apart from the focus button on the front that is the only bit which lets it down for me. But what the hell were they thinking with the x pro 1, I was so disappointed with the design, the grip looks terrible, and that sloped top plate? I just couldn’t believe they did it, such a shame. The thing I’ve come to realise being the owner of an x100 is that it’s a ridiculously good camera which can turn its hand to anything. For me it’s perfect, I can’t afford an M9 and secondhand they’re still too expensive (I use an M6 and would love an M9 it’s my dream to own one) so personally speaking the x100 is my digital camera of choice. I do love this black one though might be worth investigating options 😀

  28. I am super jealous! That Black X100 is supreme looking. Expensive, but deadly =o] That is one of the best looking cameras available today if you ask me. And i think it looks way better than the X2. I don’t like the rounded profile of the Leica, it just looks… weird… ? I wonder if the black ones will suffer from the sticky aperture blades as well. Looking fwd to seeing how these 3 handle themselves back to back to each other.

  29. I’ve discovered back-button auto focus, and I think of it as an automatic zone focusing. It works great with my x100, it suits my style and it rarely misses.

    When I can’t use it, I switch to “ordinary” auto focus, and shooting without waiting for a lock works surprisingly well.

  30. its my eye? or after looking carefully at 100 % of those 3 pictures

    OMD give the sharpest
    but the color is the most lovely in X100

    but thats just my eyes

  31. The X100 certainly brings out the most detail in your comparison. Now, this is what I have experienced with the X100: I bought a used X100 silver, then sold it and bought the black one. The lens on the black one is actually a tad sharper than on the silver one. It also autofocuses more quietly. Could be a coincidence, could be that the camera has been improved since the early productions, could be the fact that the lens on my X100 silver had been changed due to sticky blades. Whatever the reason – my new X100 looks very, very promising 🙂

  32. I like the x100 black se too, it’s so cute, but I like Oly and X2 as well.
    What I don’t like is the ever ongoing feeling that your photos are biased all the way. I assume that’s not on purpose, but based on your current emotional state created by holding the cameras up, like a newby. Not that you are, I understand this emotional state holding up nice new cams, but that’s the issue I have with the pics. Some Nikon 1 low light pics look better than some NEX, or here the X2 is completely out of focus, the Oly so and so while the x100 is the best picture of the three in focus. Wether you like the full saturation of the x100 more than the others is subjective, to me.

    You actually get nothing serious to value out of these pictures. Much more of the the cam porn pix, that show how beautiful the fuji really is….

    Anyway, have fun shooting. I’m looking forward to more comparable pictures that show real strength and weaknesses of the cameras.

  33. Looks like bpth the X2 and OM-D has wamree colors here, especially visible to me when looking at how the sunlight fallson the trees? Maybe the X100 is neutralizing warm colors more, for better or worse. If this was a warm evening sunlight, I guess I think the X2 / OM-D reproduced slightly more natural colors.

  34. I wonder if you’ll experience slow startups again. I have to wonder if it isn’t something in your workflow that’s doing it, like Adobe Bridge (if I recall correctly)? On Mac + Lightroom it has never happened here and I’m even using fairly budget memory cards! Strange. I hope you’ll have a better X100 experience this time and with Firmware 1.21!

  35. Hey Steve,
    Isn’t that some color shifting that I notice around the thin branches? Especially with the Olympus it’s clear. Less with the Leica and the least with the Fuji. I guess you can see it more clear, looking at 100%. I know it’s a difficult matter (great contrast with backlight), and many camera’s suffer from it. But it surprises me that all three of them show it. Is this really normal? How do you look upon this?

  36. Hello Steve,
    might I ask you to experiment a little with the sharpening in lightroom when developing the x2 files and let us know your findings. As some others wrote, the standard output of the x2 is different than the x1 also regarding sharpness. I would say the x2 is a little less sharp, as can also be seen in the picture above. However I can increase sharpness without loosing image quality or getting artifacts. So in the end I get a better picture from the x2 than from the x1.
    I think a camera based on a Beyer sensor always plays around filtering and sharpening. I assume that even the raw output of camera went through filter and sharpening algorithms. The conclusion for raw developers would be to see how much quality I can extract from the raw file as a result, means to judge the result of the raw development rather than the starting file. In my opinion the x1 gives a better start while the x2 gives the better end result.
    Thanks a lot for your work which you invest in this site, by the way. I think you ar doing a great job! It’s joy to stop here.

  37. very interesting that you say that these cameras could last for many many years….i agree. the image quality coming out of any high-end camera is fantastic and the tech. is almost at it’s peak. When you look the prints, images you have gotten out of these cameras I really don’t think one will be able to get much better. Yes, they could be faster but I just wonder if we are getting to that tipping point very soon. Mind you they said that they could never make a full-frame rangefinder digital camera and within 2 years that was sorted….

  38. very interesting that you say that these cameras could last for many many years….i agree. the image quality coming out of any high-end camera is fantastic and the tech. is almost at it’s peak. When you look the prints, images you have gotten out of these cameras I really don’t think one will be able to get much better. Yes, they could be faster but I just wonder if we are getting to that tipping point very soon. Mind you they said that they could never make a full-frame digital camera and within 2 years that was sorted….

  39. Congratualtion with the black kit Steve. Looks great and I’m just a little envious and a little sad that I sold my silver X100. Should just have waited for the firmware upgrades 🙁

    • Btw. the Leica X2 still looks the best though (except for the plastic hump on the top.). Much nicer and cleaner design than the X100 in my opinion.

        • No not at all. But I would consider the X2 it if it had all the smart features of the X100 (OVF/EVF,better LCD, faster lens and you could go on forever) and as good IQ as the X100, but unfortunately the X2 has so many “no goes” that it is not an option.

          The only thing that seems to be better with the Leica is the design (think the X100 looks a bit to oldfashioned) and probably the build quality – but with the build quality I’m only guessing because I have never held one in my hand.

    • Fully agree. But it is actually amazing that the OMD achieves such nice output with that crappy 17mm.

  40. I also very recently bought the black X100, a few months after selling my Leica M9. I must say that I am impressed. Focus is snappy and the hybrid viewfinder is amazing. Up to now my 5D mk III for studio/wedding/model work and the X100 for street and travel pics have worked wonders. I haven’t (really) missed my M9 all that much…

  41. Steve,

    I am no X2 apologist – looks like a big fail – but are you sure that the shot was completely in focus? It looks like there is vaseline on the lens! Where is the detail?!

    The OM-D looks over sharpened and funky @ 100% while the Fuji looks just about right.

    Would love to see another round with the same 3 just to verify these results.

    Glad to hear the X100 is much improved. I gave up the ghost quite a while ago and am happy in Sonyland but there is no doubt that little cam is an IQ champ.

  42. Hey Steve, does this sound familiar?

    “OK, I just know you guys are already asking “What about the X100″?? Why not compare it to that one since it is still the one camera that the X2 has the most in common with. Well, I do not own the X100 any longer nor do I have one here. I could buy one for $1200 to do this comparison but then I would be out $1200 and I really do not need an X100 right now with all of these other cameras in my house. Honestly, the hot camera around my house these days is the Olympus OM-D with the Panasonic 25 1.4.”


  43. What a beauty, congratulations! In this comparison, the X100 file looks best, the X2 disappointing. From what I have seen so far, I prefer the rendering/files the X1 produces as compared to the X2. The latter’s output looks more digital to me. I understand the X2’s AA filter is stronger than than the one in the X1, which might be part of the explanation. It’s amazing that the “old” 12MP sensor in the Fuji easily competes with the newest 16MP offerings from Olympus and Leica. It just shows how good an IQ machine that little beauty is.

  44. Hey Steve, Nice preview! I saw the NEX 7 on the floor so I’m wondering what camera you are shooting this video with? Why? Because the video was absolutely perfect. No racking focus (like I’ve seen with the NEX 7), super sharp, good color, etc. Could it have been shot with your Nikon V1? Just curious. (btw I also have the Nikon V1 at your recommendation and I’m loving it! Probably the most fun camera I’ve shot with since going fully digital in 2000.

  45. Heh, I caved, too, Steve, after selling my silver X100 a while back, I turned around and bought the black one about a month ago. Love the look and of course all of the things about the X100 that make it a great little camera. I’ve used it a couple of times on business trips as my only camera, too.

  46. The X100 image appears to have been processed, some setting in the camera, or maybe the lens is that good? The other two do look like unprocessed raw images. Look at the near tree on the far right.

  47. Of them, they are all very close.

    I would put the Oly as the worst of the bunch. The lens is not the best. Too much fringing on the lens.
    The X100 is a bit better, but the colors appear to shift a bit blue.
    I would actually put the X2 as the best image quality of the three. Though for the price, I would probably get the X100.

    The black is nice, but I am finding I like the silver better in most cases. Fits the “retro” look better.

    • Hmmm, I disagree here. To me the X100 files look the best, then either the X2 or OM-D for different reasons. Check out the thinnest branches of the tree on the left that jut out into the middle of the photo. The details are very thin against a bright sky. The branches in the X2 are soft. In the OM-D the branches are sharper but there is fringing, and in the X100 the branches are sharp without fringing. The colors in the X100 seem the most accurate to me also.

      • Yes I agree with you!, the X100 has better picture quality, sharpness more detail. then I go with Oly and third place is for X2

        • about the branches… i noticed this too. but, could it be becuase the X2 and OM-D files are bigger? also i’e owned the X1 and Own and X100. so i loved both and was considering changing for the X2, but has anyone looked at the edges of the images? look at the bottom and lower corners, specially on the X2. this sort of thing happens a lot. specially with this type of cameras but it does bother that it happens on the X100 and more so on the X2. the whole point of having a fixed lens camera from the marketing point of view is because performance of the sensor and lens are optimized so. i guess this 2 cameras need some more optimizing.

    • The Olympus 17mm is widely considered to be the worst m4/3 prime lens.

      It’s an OK lens, but not in the same class as either the Fuji or the Leica. For now, there isn’t a really good 35mm equivalent lens for m4/3, but I’m sure there will be eventually. I’d like to see a really sharp compact, (but not pancake) 17mm f2. An f1.4 would be bigger, more expensive, and probably not as good.

      Also, my X100 started out a little blue too, but it’s easy to adjust in the menus.

      • I have a PEN and am planning a purchase (96% probable) of the OM-D. I recently bought a lightly used X100: So I got the really nice, pretty fast 35mm-equivalent lens for the system… it just came with a camera attached! BTW, any “from experience” tips for setting up the X100 that I might be likely to miss?

    • I have to agree that the Fuji is clearly tops, followed by the Olympus, with the Leica a distinct third. I don’t own any of them, so no owner’s bias here. The differences are really quite striking, with the X100 well out in front, IMHO.

  48. For an extra $500 not only do you get the black Fuji X100 BUT it also comes with, get this folks, a black box, two more black boxes inside, a black leather case, black leather strap (which is not really leather), a black card with numbers & signature. All of which has NOTHING to do with taking pictures.

    And soon you will realize it still is the same as the regular X100, just with more junk you don’t need. Just update your camera software and don’t fall for the “coolness factor”. (-.-)

    • The case $99
      The Hood set – $120
      Filter – $79

      About $300 in extras making the cost $1499 if bought with the silver X1. You are paying $200 for the black paint and LE status. To me, that is worth it because I MUCH prefer the black. It’s gorgeous in person so to some that will be worth it. BUT with that said, I think Fuji should have offered it in black or silver and my guess is that they will after they sell these 10,000 kits. 🙂

      At $1699 for the entire kit and caboodle is not bad and I would rather own this than the X-Pro 1 (my personal opinion) which will set you back much more with a lens.

        • True, if you want the top part of the case as well you can not have the hood or filter on. You can close it with the adapter ring though, I have done it no problem. Just not with the filter, which is ridiculous. I just use it with the bottom as a half case.

  49. Sorry, I should have written 2X DIGITAL zoom. It reminds me of the Olympus Pen film camera I used to have that had a half-frame 35mm/70mm optical zoom lens which switched back and forth between those focal lengths at the touch of a button. That camera had superb quality and it was my secret weapon for shooting in tough bars and as a backup to my twin-lens reflex when shooting weddings.

  50. “So my house is loaded with cameras and I feel a bit overwhelmed but am happy as can be as I love it!”

    Sounds like its time for a camera giveaway contest!

  51. I just return from a trip to China and Japan that I made with my X100, my brand new Fujifilm X Pro, and a two-year old Canon S95. Within two days I knew I hated the X Pro; it was HEAVY, slow focusing, and the focus was wrong about 30% of the time. No worry, I had the X100 that I’ve used for more than 5,000 shots and has delivered 16×20 exhibition-quality prints. Well, two days later the diaphragm began to stick and I was left with the S95 to finish the trip. The results were good, but they couldn’t match the X100 in quality and I found the zoom a needless distraction compared with just shooting the Fuji’s 23mm lens.

    Well now the X100 has been repaired (within 5 days at no cost to me) and is shooting as good as ever; the X Pro has gone back (it’s really a turkey as is the Sony NEX-7 with it’s enormous lenses) and now I have the OM-D with the 12-50mm lens, the 45-150mm lens, the Lumix 20mm 1.7 and an Olympic optical finder that’s ideal for shooting on the water on bright sunny days when the best of the EV finders are next to useless. This entire outfit, in a Lowepro Nova 160 AW bag, weighs 5 pounds even with the charger, an extra battery and the trusty S95 & 3 filters packed into it. Further the entire outfit (with the exception of the S95) costs less than the X Pro or the NEX-7.

    As for quality, I’ve only had the OM-D for two days, but my preliminary results with ANY of the lenses look like they’re in the X100 class which makes this outfit a long-term keeper. As for features, the OM-D blows anything else away in it’s focusing accuracy and speed; and it’s secret weapon for street photographs and clubs is the 2X optical zoom. With that and the 20mm 1.7 lens, I think you’ll have a killer stealth package with a choice of shooting at 40mm or 80mm equivalents; and from a test photo I took last night of a window screen, there doesn’t appear to be any distortion or lack of resolution in the images when seen on the camera’s viewing systems. I’ll know for sure that the 2X digital zoom is in a class of its own when I look at these shots on a 27″ Apple monitor.

    For now I have no intentions of getting rid of the X100. It has served me too well and the frequent updates of the software keep it fresh. I’d like to graduate my wife from the S95 to the X100 so I can have a real justification for keeping it and for knowing that it will be always around if something happens to the OM-D.

  52. Can’t tell which is better, I think you should ask Fuji to send you the X pro 1 to review again and compare with the Leica X 2, They are not angry with you any more.


  53. WOW, congratulations Steve!!! welcome back to the X100 owners club! The only problem with the half case is that is you want to charge, replace and take the memory card out you ll have to remove the case compleatly… other than that… AWESOME camera… recomendation… recomendatios… focusing has been emproved a lot but is stril tricky from time to time, be patient!
    Aperture priority works very well, try to set Auto ISO up to 1600 and DR up to 400% and you’ll get beautiful results!

  54. I love my black x100…..added a soft release button, neoprene case, polarising filter and its fantastic with the latest firmware. Have no hesitation taking it away on trips.

  55. just curious, Steve, if you were travelling overseas (in my case UK) would you think that the X100 alone would be enough of a camera travel wise? I love mine but wondering how much the fixed focal length is going to be an issue. Dont want to carry my canon 5DII so its the X100 alone or maybe get another compact camera as well, not sure which one, maybe an X10 the the new canon G series camera.

    • Hey Julie! Me, I would have no issue taking one camera with a 35mm lens and I have done so in the past. I rarely shoot wide and never shoot tele, but that is my preferences. If you are a fan of wide angle or telephoto then you may want something with a zoom. The X10 is great actually. Fastest of the Fuji cameras 🙂 I think when you shoot with one focal length it forces you to think more about what you are going to shoot. It can also help you get more creative.

      • Thanks, been pondering the whole thing for a while now, honestly think the X100 will do the job except for one stop over in Singapore zoo but the majority of shots will be villages and a few landscapes and family. maybe I will just take the fuji and if I need something else will buy in UK where I get more for my Aussie dollar anyway.

    • my 5 cents worth, just came back from a trip to the US going to southern states, NYC and the westcoast (business mainly), took with me a NEX5 with zoom and a Canon G1X, 80% my shots used the Sony, added some gear (primes) from B&H when I got to New York, couldn’t resist. I found the Canon IQ great but the zooming and controls more fiddly than the simplicity of the Sony NEX.

    • Hi Julie,

      I used to think like you right now, but I have realised that even on dslr with two zoom lenses (16-35 & 24-105) I always had 16-35 on. 24-105 was almost all the time in my bag, the lens was bigger, and altough I could cover great area shooting with it, I have found it uncomfortable and not as sharp as I would prefer. Since there was obvious distortion on 16mm, most of the time I was shooting from 20-35mm. Finally, I have sold the system and bought X100. It will get some time untill you will be get used to the camera, but once you do you are gonna love it. I deceided to buy it when I realised that I can always move and get into the action (photo), and what everybody was saying become true, you really start to think about the shoot.

      Sometimes you will be forced to make few steps back and sometimes few steps forward, but when you and your camera became one you will be standing at the right spot almost all the time. Today I had some scenes in my head for shooting. Small airport, nice small airplanes, and I have realised that I almost got it 🙂 At 3 out of 4 shoots I didn’t had to move, I was standing at the right place, for those 25% it took me up to 1m backward or 1/2m forward, less than a single step. I was so happy knowing that, and the camera is with me only for month and a half.

      A month ago I went for a vacation to Dominican Republic. After “crying” 🙂 for a bit more wider angle to shoot and after few days of getting knowing the camera, I was so surprised that I can do everything with that small piece of beauty. Pictures are great, I have forgot the zoom on lenses and cameras I used to have, and I didn’ need it any more. This is real travel camera, something that I was looking for.

      The best camera is the one that you will shoot with, and this one is my best camera so far. The black edition is real beauty if you would like to spend 500 USD/EUR extra, it would be worth the money spent for it. For the first time in my life I didn’ took the “more beautifull” one, and I am as happy as I could be with it.


  56. I don’t know what it is about the x100, but I really love the look of it and really hate the look of the x-pro.

    • It is the handle detail. It looks nicely integrated on the X100 and it looks like a cheap add on on the X1 pro. The X100 just looks more refined and better detailed. D!rk

      • I agree. And on top of this, it’s also the size IMO. The P1 Pro in live is just one big lump to me. But you know, one can’t discuss tastes. Steve loves black. I love silver much more. Gives me more that vintage feel. It comes with the age, I guess… 🙂

        • Hi..I would say the whole point of a black camera apart from looks..is that it is less obtrusive..allowing one to shoot without being noticed so much..often an advantage when doing documentary photography…cheers Peter H

  57. “Yes, this black kit is $500 more than the standard X100 but still $400 less than a Leica X2.”

    That line there just blew me away.

    • ~150 for the case
      ~100 for the hood and adapter
      ~50 for the uv filter

      So basically a 150 premium for the black colour. Big deal. Learn math and get some perspective crybaby.

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