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Is the X100 my best option?
Old 11-23-2011   #1
infinitydreams
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Is the X100 my best option?

I want to get a digital camera that is quality, looks great and produces great results and isn't a standard DSLR (got one of those).

I've seen mixed reviews now for the X100 from "wow it's amazing" to "why I sold my x100" posts.

In the UK the X100 is now available for 850 which to me is still alot of money but I'll always pay for quality.

Is the only other something like the Leica X1 or are there other options?

Could they replace the X100 with a new model anytime soon? They've obviously just released the X10 and I've seen posts about a fancy interchangeable lens version but is there a X100 V2 on it's way?
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Old 11-23-2011   #2
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It IS an amazing camera. Over 70,000 sold... so there will be some reported issues on the internet...as with any camera sold in this quantity. You can choose to be scared or you can choose to buy the camera and have fun using it (it is under warranty). You will not see a new X100 until after the LX and then also maybe never.
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Old 11-23-2011   #3
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i am amazed by mine. pics in my x100 gallery here, if you've mind to look, and in an x100 photo thread here at RFF.
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Old 11-23-2011   #4
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Yeah it's probably the best digital camera released in the last few years (IMO).

Don't expect to shoot it manual focus, don't expect it to focus in darkness with no contrast for it to lock on to, and expect the lens to behave like a 35mm f2.8 in terms of 'look' compared to a full frame camera.
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Old 11-23-2011   #5
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Hi James.
The X100 is my first digital camera. I held off going digital as I don't like SLRs and I do like optical viewfinders. I must say that I am very impressed with it. It does have its quirks but once you get to know it it is a fantastic little camera.
It is the only camera I have used since buying it about 6 months ago. I mostly take photos in the street and I find it ideal for this. All but one of the photos on my 24hourphoto blog were taken on the X100.

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Old 11-23-2011   #6
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Well I think I'm sold. I now just need to find a little extra money to go and buy one...not sure santa will be that generous this year!

Is the lens hood critical? I also saw a post saying it's really important to get a super fast memory card or there is a huge delay between taking a photo and it being ready to go again?
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Old 11-23-2011   #7
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ID,

Technology timing is a continual nightmare and will be for years. I went the GRD direction with a CV brightline finder on top and love it. While the IQ might not be the same it that were an issue for me I might look GXR as an alternative to the X100. I find the Black Metal Brightline from CV (28mm) to look very good on top of a GRD.

One way several people look at trying new cameras is to purchase it and try it for a month. If you do not like it sell it and look at you loss, which should will be minor (15%), as a rental fee.

I'm not sure you will see a new X100 soon I do suspect in 2012 it might have a "Big Brother" though what that might be is just speculation.

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Old 11-23-2011   #8
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Try the focusing first.
Yes, lot of units sold worldwide but also lot of the units available second hand..
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Old 11-23-2011   #9
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Olympus EP-3 with Panasonic 20mm is also an option worth considering.
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Old 11-23-2011   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vobluda View Post
Try the focusing first.
Yes, lot of units sold worldwide but also lot of the units available second hand..
+1. I own one and love it. You certainly won't have anything to worry about as far as image quality but you may want to check if you can work with the focus.
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Old 11-23-2011   #11
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Jeez, the AF on the X100 is not that bad at all. Stop scaring people... ever tried the Leica X1? The X100's AF is blazing fast in comparison. As far as MF? It's an afterthought and not the primary focusing style for the X100.
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Old 11-23-2011   #12
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Have you considered the FujiFilm X10? ...the little brother of the X100. It's new, so there are risks....and are on backorder in many shops...but can be purchased for $599 US. $699 US if you are impatient.

It seems that, with the X10, Fuji kinda corrected some usability challenges with the X100.

I'm sure the X100 is much more camera, though. ...just a thought.
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Old 11-23-2011   #13
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Its an amazing camera, has some quibbles though. They are releasing an interchangeable version next year supposedly. Or you can also get an ep3, i love mine.
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Old 11-23-2011   #14
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The image quality, especially in low light, is superior to any camera with a smaller sensor.

A fast memory card is a must. I use two Sandisk Extreme Pro 8 GB cards. I also use a lens hood. Any amount of flare is undesirable and the hood also protects the lens. I never use a filter as the lens rear element is very close to the sensor and any source for reflections is to be avoided. If you shoot a lot of frames in a day, I would purchase a second battery.

As others have mentioned the X100 is an automatic focus camera. Manual focus ( rotating the lens collar) is only useful to make fine adjustments. Manual focus mode is really just a different and more convenient way to use autofocus . I usually focus and recompose and my selection of M or AF focus modes depends on what I'm photographing.

For most people the learning curve is steep (it was for me). Once you figure out how to operate the camera to match your needs, all is well. The lens performs best at F 4. The weakest part of the system is flare due to gross over exposure of point-source lights in scenes with where high dynamic range is important (night scenes). Otherwise the sensor tolerates over exposure much better than most digital cameras I've used.
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Old 11-23-2011   #15
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I really like the idea of the X100 because of it's fixed lens. My photos are always better when I don't have access to ZOOOOOM
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Old 11-23-2011   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Toad View Post
It seems that, with the X10, Fuji kinda corrected some usability challenges with the X100.
Like what?
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Old 11-23-2011   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Jeez, the AF on the X100 is not that bad at all. Stop scaring people... ever tried the Leica X1? The X100's AF is blazing fast in comparison. As far as MF? It's an afterthought and not the primary focusing style for the X100.
Agreed, the AF isn't far off a modern prosumer DSLR. It's a little tiny bit slower, and is single shot AF only, center point only. Otherwise it's quite good, and very accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willie_901 View Post
The image quality, especially in low light, is superior to any camera with a smaller sensor.
Yeah, even comparable to my 5d in terms of IQ. On a different planet to m4/3 in low light and with dynamic range.
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Old 11-23-2011   #18
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You could always consider buying a second-hand Epson R-D1, R-D1s, or R-D1x.
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Old 11-23-2011   #19
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couldnt agree more with gavin's comments. found funny the comment it has trouble focusing in NO light where NO high contrast subject is available. really? what camera doesnt have trouble focusing in those conditions--PEOPLE have trouble manual focusing like that.

AF is just fine--set it to MF, press the AFL button to achieve accurate focus 95% of the time, use MF ring with subject magnification for the other 5%.

daytime IQ the equal of my 5d with zeiss legacy glass; lowlight/high iso IQ beats 5d hands down (i traded my 5d for the x100). i have and really like an olly ep2 with evf and the panny 20/1.7--but its no contest, its not in the same league as the x100, and is really unuseable above iso 800. x100 fabulous even at 3200.
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Old 11-23-2011   #20
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I've only got three knocks on it - it does seem somewhat fragile (purely a feelings, I've had no actual issues with it), the buffer is slow even with a UHS-1 card (but not unusable) and the filter ring/hood setup is terrible. I'd really like a locking bayonet hood for it, but there are no real elegant solutions.

Other than that, fantastic camera.

I use mine 99% of the time with the EVF, with the AF focus point at its smallest setting and use the same focus and recompose method I do with every other camera, whether rangefinder, dSLR or manual focus SLR.
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Old 11-23-2011   #21
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James,

I have the X100. Its a fantastic camera, but don't expect it to perform miracles out of the box. Its well documented as having its foibles and if you get one, you'll just have to learn to love it in spite of that. The IQ is excellent and its low light performance is quite remarkable. And yes, its very pretty and unassuming. All bonuses in my eyes.

I don't think the lens hood is in anyway essential, but, again, it does look pretty. I occasionally like a bit of lens flare, in any case (I'm always a season or so behind in photographic fashions and trends).

Try before you buy, then buy with your heart and not with your head and you'll be all the happier for it.
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Old 11-23-2011   #22
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Oh and I've just added you on Twitter lol
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Old 11-23-2011   #23
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I love my X100.

Was lucky enough to get one very early back in mid-March. Simply brilliant.

Lots of stuff on my blog.
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Old 11-23-2011   #24
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my lens hood twist locks. 't'is a nice hood ...
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Old 11-23-2011   #25
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James:

For what you describe, Rockwell thinks that it's best and he is quite thorough. It's a "consumer" build and not what you'd expect from a Leica, but it is 6k cheaper and does take great pictures.

Spent several first weeks of July in your town - lovely (I don't know if I could live with a single lens there...).

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Old 11-23-2011   #26
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As you did not mention any particular requirements, I would say that you should also have a look at Sony NEX-5N (lens line grows only slowly, but the cameras seems to be good and there is very good EVF available), Ricoh GXR (there are 28/2.5 and 50/2.5 APS-C modules and Leica M-mount APS-C module which seems to be very good too) or Samsung cameras (N something). ANd of course the m4/3 which is currently probably the most matured system in the mirror-less market.
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Old 11-23-2011   #27
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I've owned a Panasonic GF1, Leica X1, still own a Leica M9 and bought my wife a GF3X. The X100 is the camera I carry in my jacket pocket every day (the M9 comes out on weekends).

M43 image quality just isn't up to snuff on the models I had (the GH2 and GX1 may be better, but all Olympus cameras use the older sensor). The X1 is slow to focus and has a slowish lens. The M9 is not compact enough to fit in a jacket pocket, unless you use a pancake lens like the 28mm Elmarit ASPH.

On paper the Sony NEX and Samsung NX should be formidable competitors, but the NX performance is lackluster for an APS-C sized sensor, and the NEX lenses are simply humongous and take the system out of compact territory.

On the minus side, the X100 ergonomics are funky. Too many menus, and the EV compensation dial always gets knocked to -2 in my pocket. It's definitely not a camera I'd give my wife (hence the easier ot use GF3X), but for an advanced amateur, there is no other game in town for a compact high quality camera with an optical viewfinder.
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Old 11-24-2011   #28
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yes, this really is a AF camera, but the manual focus works fine as a 'zone/hyperfocal focusing' tool, where you set your focus point. When not directly manually focusing my Leica M, this is how I work, so it works for me. it does not, however, suit manually focusing to a specific point. Good luck with that!

I got the hood to allow me to leave filters off but still protect the lens. I am sure it will help guard against flare too. Its not a tiny conservative design and will likely work well.

IQ is superb. High ISO nips at the heels of my 5DII and might even match it. All I know is 3200 shots look great in colour, so in B&W they will be amazing. I've not used mine for anything serious yet, but here is a camera that no matter the new discoveries will still be a serious image taking tool for me well into the future, I think.
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Old 11-24-2011   #29
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I dunno, but I love mine..

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bhop73/...7627534453297/
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Old 11-24-2011   #30
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Took me a while to really like mine, but I do now. IQ and high ISO performance is terrific as has already been said. In an interview with one of the Fuji marketeers it was stated that January would bring something that would make X100 users very happy (IIRC) in addition to rumours of a non fixed lens version being announced in February. If you like a fixed 35 equivalent lens then the X100 is a good choice, but only you can decide that.
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Old 12-05-2011   #31
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The X100 has made it so easy and comfortable for me to take photos that I have absolutely no regrets. I like landscapes and more open scenes so the 35mm equivalent lens is fine and the spirit level and and grid overlays are lovely, but the general handling and quality of the camera and the images it can produce make it great in general. The only serious question is whether or not you can be happy with a single focal length. I've not tried the X10, but it might be worth a thought.

P.S. One gripe: there is a lot going on at the back of the camera - need more space for my thumbs. Otherwise, worth the money.
P.P.S. I'm glad I didn't wait to get home to the UK to buy it. IIt's slightly more economical to buy from/in the US.
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Old 12-06-2011   #32
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as for it's build. i have dragged mine through 8 countries in the last 8 months. it has been used mercilessly and exposed to rough use without a hiccup.

i know of a countless number of working folks who are also using one with very few, if any complaints. if it can survive the kind of abuse these folks experience, i assure you it is up to the task of most.
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Old 12-06-2011   #33
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annie and her fuji

http://www.npr.org/2011/11/08/142139...tistic-renewal
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