By the time that i write this review the X100s is long gone. I sold it after having used it quite extensively for a period of 2 months. Around 1000 exposures according to the strange counter in the camera. That might not be much to most reviewers but having a regular job and a full house, I can’t say that I can put all the time in the world on my no 1 hobby.
I must say that this is by far the most pleasing camera that I have ever used, it delivers every time and with so much detail that you will get lost.
The build… Great feeling, I just love the retro style and the weight of the camera. A few things tho, Fuji “fixed” the stupid solution with the battery compartment that you could flip the battery any way you wanted, still I felt that it’s not perfect, the small hock that holds the battery in place is small and feels like it could break or wear out in time.
The lens or I would say the focusring, Fuji did improve the sensibility of the focusring so now you turn the ring and the Fuchs reacts as you would predict but now when you have the option of focus peaking or split image I would have loved a small tab on the ring for the index finger to rest on. It’s perfect to use the peaking mode when the light gets a bit dim and having that tab thee would be great, not that it’s hard to turn the ring but it would add that extra.
The image quality … this is where the X-Trans sensor shines loosing the AA-filter is the thing of 2012 and 2013, I know in my hart that more brands will go the same way as Nikon with the D800E, Sony with the RX1R, Leica with all there Digital M’s and of-course Fuji with the Xpro, Xe and the X100(s). The DR of the files are amazing and colorrendering is to die for.
The OVF/EVF hybridviewfinderthing… is the photography evolution gone haywire and leaping forward hundreds of years in just a few seconds. Getting all that information in a bright OVF with nothing more between you and the real world than thin glass is nothing short of a miracle.
The Q… A fast way of controlling all the necessary settings and with the addition of 3 custom settings you have all that you need at your fingertips… or so it would seem bit where did they put the bracket option, well deep inside the menus, okay a “street photographer” don’t need that option they just know the setting by feel and the “sunny 16” but this camera can work as an all-rounder so why not give the ease of bracketing for the HDR enthusiast and when I’m on that track for god’s sake it’s nice with the wire-trigger but at least give me the option to add a electronic solution.
The built in ND-filter… Woow I love this one, please Sony, Canikon and all you others out there solve this so I won’t have to run around with a ND-filer in my pocket all the time.
High ISO performance… the above Image is at ISO 1600, not that much by todays standards but its from the “old” X100 and I have pushed the Image pretty far from its original, As you can se below I have pushed the EV with +1.25.
ISO 3200, Incamera JPG, nothing tweaked.
Same image as the previous but with some adjustments in Ligthroom
Now to say that this is “just” a camera for the streets is just not the way to go. With the EVF activated you can to the millimeter decide whats supposed to be in the shot and while your at it check if the exposure is spot on.
The Image is not an HDR in the way of multiple exposures fused into one image. This just shows how much dynamic range the camera has… Its a singel exposure. The RAW-file is then processed in Ligthroom.
The lead-shutter… one of the reasons for buying this camera was the shutter, 3 blades inside the lens that without a singel noise takes care of the light getting access to the sensor. One more perk with this solution is the possibility of using high-speed sync with flashes up to a whopping 1/4000 sec. and of course the stealth:
I just loved the thought of being able to take a photo of my son when he was sleeping
The Price… at around 1200€ or equal amount of US$ it is a high priced compact camera that isn’t that small, so why? Well for starters you will have The APS-C sensor with a big “The”. Not many other CC give you that size, You will get the Hybrid viewfinder, NO other CC gives you that opportunity to look at the real world. You get a beautiful design, A terrific 35mm f/2.0 lens that feels like it was made for this sensor (might be because it is) and thats the thing you have no zoom because that would compromise the quality of the lens and take your attention away from what you should be focusing on… Taking pictures.
The why?… Now why did I sell this camera if I was so satisfied with it? I think it started with how I came over this camera, I just happened to pass by a camerastore (ScandinavianPhoto) when on my way in to a meeting in Stockholm city, I had a few minutes over so I went in and asked If they had any X100s instock… As it was one of the first days after the releas and the first few pre-orders wore going out to customers they almost laught at me and told me with a nice and calm voice that NO but you can stand in line and wait like every other normal person does that wants to be first… So okay why not. leaving my email and cell phone no so when in the future they would get a new dispatch. Leaving them I was sure that I would never buy the X100s but then just as I’m on my way home from the meeting I received an sms from ScandinavianPhoto that my order was ready for delivery. As it happened to be one of the pre-order customers had jumped the train of the X100s and I was the lucky no. coming up.
I do love this camera and it will always have a place in my hart but all the time the Leica was hovering in the distance and I’m a sucker for the FF-sensor. With that said I still miss my X100s it was so easy to get a great shot with it… It was my P&S for 2 months.