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FUJIFILM X100: A Welcomed Hybrid

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FUJIFILM

FinePix X100

Conceptually speaking, hybrids have enabled companies to offer an approach to design that enabled it to be progressive without alienating users with design and aesthetics that could potentially be lost on the consumer. In the case of the FUJIFILM X100, the Japanese camera maker offers an aesthetic that has many reminiscent of their original vintage cameras all while incorporating the latest in hybrid viewfinder design with an optical and electronic viewfinder. We take a look at one of this year’s most anticipated cameras as well as having select people contribute their own thoughts in a series of Q+A segments.

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REVIEW

The first thing that draws you to the FUJIFILM X100 is its retro design. The camera does ooze a certain degree of class thanks to its relatively hefty and robust footprint as well as contrasting silver metal and black leather finish. The fixed focal length f/2 23mm lens (or 35mm equivalent due to the APC-S sensor) has drawn initial criticism for its lack of interchangeable options, making the X100 camera essentially a niche product in the eyes of many. But despite this, what it does do is offer outstanding image quality when paired with a 12.3 MP sensor that has notably been immune from any ongoing megapixel war which seems to be trailing off as of late. Shooting in high-ISO is a breeze with X100 as there’s little loss of detail when shooting upwards of ISO 6400. Composing and shooting with the hybrid viewfinder is an interesting experience. From a digital perspective, you have all the settings as well as review at your disposal while the optical viewfinder when activated, provides a more visually-simple approach.

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The X100 can shoot movies in 1280 x 720 format @ 24 fps, but a lack of initial user-friendly controls makes this feature more of an afterthought. Another potential downfall is the lack of any lens threads for 3rd party filters. At the end of the day, a highly satisfying user experience should attract both seasoned and new photographers alike despite the shortcomings due to the lens.

While much more technical reviews exist out there which take into consideration many greater factors, pixel peeping is something we’ll leave to the experts. Over the next few pages, we have four individuals who each contribute their own thoughts and insights into the camera including Kai Wong of DigitalRev, The Fuji Guys, Kevin Poon of CLOT and actor/singer Shawn Yue.

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Billy Luong, Matthew Menard, Paul Woodall and Emilie Aubut

THE FUJI GUYS

What initially drew you to the camera?
The anticipated image quality first drew me to the camera. It had the IQ of a high-end DSLR in a more compact body.

What do you usually prefer to photograph?
Other than my one year old daughter’s every movement, like most people, family and friends are what I normally shoot.

What are your thoughts on the aesthetics of the camera?
The design is reminiscent of older Fuji Fujica film cameras from our past.

What’s the camera’s greatest strengths?
Has image quality like a high-end DSLR; The camera’s look, feel, and build quality; Manual dials; Hybrid viewfinder and finally a sharp and fast f/2 lens with a 35mm equivalent view.

What would you change about the camera?
The IQ and the manual controls just make it easy to concentrate on photography. The video mode could really benefit from offering more manual controls over the recording process such as ISO, shutter speed, aperture and focus.

Who represents the ideal person to use an X100?
Photoenthusiasts, journalists, and freelance photographers or DSLR corners looking for an “everyday camera” to take with them everywhere, with no compromise in quality.

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Kai Wong

DigitalRev

What initially drew you to the camera?
The concept that in an era where “tilty-flippy” screens are quickly becoming a commonplace on new models, FUJIFILM has really dared to be different by offering something that is quite unique and makes photography fun.

What do you usually prefer to photograph?
Things on the street.

What are your thoughts on the aesthetics of the camera?
It has a sort of retro-cool to it, but it’s not pretty as such. It’s notable but I think that it was a bit disappointing and not as stunning as many had hoped.

What’s the camera’s greatest strengths?
I would say the viewfinder, controls and looks.

What would you change about the camera?
Better lens that wasn’t so soft, it’s something that I liken to “baby poo” when shot wide open.

Who represents the ideal person to use an X100?
Someone who wants a digital rangefinder but can’t afford one.

 

Photography: Hermann Lee

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Kevin Poon

CO-OWNER OF CLOT

What initially drew you to the camera?
I first got interested in this camera when I saw it release. The vintage looking body plus the features were something I was looking forward to trying. Couldn’t wait, especially for the hybrid viewfinder with both digital and analog elements incorporated into it.

What do you usually prefer to photograph?
I usually like to capture candid experiences.

What are your thoughts on the aesthetics of the camera?
It looks great, I like it.

What’s the camera’s greatest strengths?
I think its the color and feel when the pictures are captured.

What would you change about the camera?
I would include the option to have an interchangeable lens.

Who represents the ideal person to use an X100?
Anybody that likes it.

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Shawn Yue

Actor/Singer

What initially drew you to the camera?
I saw it at a FUJIFILM exhibition in Tokyo a while back and after I few exchanges, I was able to get one to try out.

What do you usually prefer to photograph?
Daily snaps, anything to be honest. Photography is all about capturing moments of your life.

What are your thoughts on the aesthetics of the camera?
It’s perfect as the X100 combines classic aesthetics and the new cutting edge technology we have today.

What’s the camera’s greatest strengths?
The aperture, lens and the quality of the images are definitely the strengths of the X100. Especially if you compare the X100 to the other cameras of the same class, it definitely holds its own. When the images are blown up, you can really tell the difference.

What would you change about the camera?
I think the only down side of the camera is that the lens is not changeable.

Who represents the ideal person to use an X100?
An everyday user. It is light, handy and the quality and functions can easily match the specs of a DSLR, so the X100 is definitely my choice.

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Technical Specifications

Model Name FinePix X100
Number of effective pixels 12.3 million pixels
Image sensor 23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C) CMOS with primary color filter
Storage media
  • Internal memory (Approx. 20MB)
  • SD / SDHC / SDXC(UHS-I) memory card
File format Still image

JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3), RAW (RAF format), RAW+JPEG

(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-compatible)

Movie

H.264 (MOV) with Stereo sound
Number of recorded pixels Still image

L : (3:2) 4288 x 2848 / (16:9) 4288 x 2416

M : (3:2) 3072 x 2048 / (16:9) 3072 x 1728

S : (3:2) 2176 x 1448 / (16:9) 1920 x 1080

<Motion Panorama>

180° Vertical 7680 x 2160 Horizontal 7680 x 1440

120° Vertical 5120 x 2160 Horizontal 5120 x 1440
Lens
Name
Fujinon Single focal length lens
Focal length
f=23mm, equivalent to 35mm on a 35mm camera
Full-aperture
F2
Constitution
6groups 8 lenses (1 aspherical glass molded lens included)

Aperture F2-F16 1/3EV step (controlled with 9-blade aperture diaphragm)
Focus distance

(from lens surface)
Normal
Approx. 80cm / 2.6ft. to infinity
Macro
Approx.10cm – 2.0m / 3.9in. – 6.6ft.

Sensitivity Equivalent to ISO 200 – 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity)

Extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100 or 12800

ISO AUTO Control available
Exposure control TTL 256-zones metering, Multi / Spot / Average
Exposure mode Programmed AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual exposure
Exporsure compensation -2.0EV – +2.0EV 1/3EV step
Shutter speed

(with mechanical shutter)
(P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000* sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec. Bulb (max.60min.)

  • * 1/4000sec at F8 or smaller apeture, 1/1000 sec at F2
Continuous shooting Up to 10 /JPEG

Up to 8 /RAW or RAW+JPEG

5 / 3 fps selectable
Auto bracketing AE Bracketing (±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV)

Film Simulation Bracketing (PROVIA / STANDARD, Velvia / VIVID, ASTIA / SOFT)

Dynamic Range Bracketing (100%, 200%, 400%)

ISO sensitivity Bracketing (±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV)
Focus
Mode
Single AF / Continuous AF/MF Distance Indicator
Type
TTL contrast AF, AF assist illuminator available
AF frame selection
Area / Multi

White balance Automatic scene recognition

Preset
Fine, Shade, Fluorescent light (Daylight), Fluorescent light (Warm White), Fluorescent light (Cool White), Incandescent light, underwater, Custom, Color temperature selection

Self-timer Approx. 10sec. / 2sec. Delay
Flash Auto flash (super intelligent flash)

Effective range : (ISO 1600)

Approx. 50cm – 9m / 1.6ft. – 29.5.ft.
Flash modes Red-eye removal OFF : Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.

Red-eye removal ON : Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
Hot shoe Yes (dedicated TTL Flash compatible)
Viewfinder
  • Hybrid viewfinder
  • Optical viewfinder

    Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display

    0.5 x magnifications

    Coverage of frame area v.s. capturing area : approx. 90%
  • Electronic viewfinder

    0.47-in., approx.1,440,000-dot color LCD viewfinder

    Coverage of viewing area v.s capturing area : approx. 100%
  • Eye sensor installed
  • Eye point : approx. 15mm
  • Diopter adjustment : -2 – +1m-1(dpt)
LCD monitor 2.8-inch, approx. 460,000dots, TFT color LCD monitor (Approx. 100% coverage)
Movie recording 1280 x 720 pixels (24frames / sec.) with stereo sound
Photography functions Select custom setting, Motion panorama, Color space, Film simulation, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Focus check, Electronic level, One-touch RAW
Playback functions RAW conversing, Image rotate, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, image search, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Mark for upload, Protect, Crop, Resize, Panorama, Favorites
Other functions PictBridge, Exif Print, 35 languages selection, Time difference, Quick start mode, OVF power save mode, Silent mode, Shutter sound select
Terminal
Digital interface
USB 2.0 High-Speed
HD output
HDMI Mini connector

Power supply NP-95 Li-ion battery (included)
Dimensions 126.5(W) x 74.4(H) x 53.9(D) mm / 5.0(W) x 2.9(H) x 2.1(D) in.

(Minimum thickness : 31.0mm / 1.2in.)
Weight Approx. 405g / 14.3oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)

Approx. 445g / 15.7oz. (including battery and memory card)
Operating Temperature 0°C – 40°C
Operating Humidity 10% – 80% (no condensation)
Guide to the number of available frames for battery operation Approx. 300frames
Starting up period Approx. 2.2sec. ( Approx 0.7sec at QUICK START mode)
Accessories included Li-ion battery NP-95

Battery charger BC-65N

Sholder strap

USB cable for the FinePix X100

Lens cap

Metal strap clip

Protective cover

Clip attaching tool

CD-ROM (Viewer software, Raw File Converter etc.)

Owner’s manual
Optional accessories Li-ion battery NP-95

Battery charger BC-65S / BC-65N

Leather case LC-X100

Lens hood LH-X100

Adapter ring AR-X100

Shoe mount flash EF-20,EF-42

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Date: May 5, 2011  /  Views: 2522  /  Author: Staff
Category: Features  /  Tags: Tech, Design, Hypebeast, Kevin poon, Features, Fujifilm, Cameras, Fujfilm x100, The fuji guys, Digitalrev, Shawn yue