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Disappointing Encounter With The X100F
Old 01-03-2018   #1
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Disappointing Encounter With The X100F

It was recommended highly by several people here when I asked for a quality fixed lens daily carry camera on behalf of a friend and justifiably so ... it has a great reputation for excellent IQ and performance.

My friend went ahead and bought one a week or two ago and visited me today and bought the little Fuji with her so I had a chance to play with it. I had an original X100 and was impressed with it's simplicity but I see a lot has happened to the X100 since then. Nothing simple about this camera and also very little about it that seemed intuitive to me. Congratulations Fuji because based on popularity the camera is a winner but I think you have given it a lot of DSLR style complication that it really didn't need.

Apologies in advance to happy X100F owners but this was my overpowering impression.
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Old 01-03-2018   #2
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So it was complexity and non-intuitiveness of F model that was so disappointing?
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Old 01-03-2018   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarski View Post
So it was complexity and non-intuitiveness of F model that was so disappointing?


Yes ... it seemed to have a lot in common with a DSLR which is probably ok if that's what you're familiar with. I'm not that intimidated by complexity because I have a D4 and like it but I struggle to see the need for it in something like this. Beautiful camera though!
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Old 01-03-2018   #4
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My experience with the x100t was that it took a bit to catch the quirks. The first thing I did was disable all the quick set functions and over time added back just 2-3.

The second thing I did was turn off the back LCD and use the elec.eye view finder only with full time face recognition. I will give you that the user manual sucks big-time...

Shooting in-camera JPGs and love the 'x100t'. I would prefer the x100f as I also shoot ND Grad filters (Lee Sev5n) which has to be done in full manual mode so the external ISO dial would be a plus. There is some barrel distortion with the lens and there can be a bit of moiré patterning... I am using an early version of Silkypix (again a bit of a learning curve) and will most likely upgrade to a newer version of the software.

It's not a replacement for film or dSLR, but it's a great social media camera.
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Old 01-03-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimokita View Post
My experience with the x100t was that it took a bit to catch the quirks. The first thing I did was disable all the quick set functions and over time added back just 2-3.

The second thing I did was turn off the back LCD and use the elec.eye view finder only with full time face recognition. I will give you that the user manual sucks big-time...

Shooting in-camera JPGs and love the 'x100t'. I would prefer the x100f as I also shoot ND Grad filters (Lee Sev5n) which has to be done in full manual mode so the external ISO dial would be a plus. There is some barrel distortion with the lens and there can be a bit of moiré patterning... I am using an early version of Silkypix (again a bit of a learning curve) and will most likely upgrade to a newer version of the software.

It's not a replacement for film or dSLR, but it's a great social media camera.
She was certainly struggling with the manual and looking at it I can see why. She's a Canon 5Dlll shooter so she'll figure it out out eventually but like you she'll need to spend some time deciding on final settings I suspect.
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Old 01-03-2018   #6
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How can a camera with 140 pages in the instruction book be called simple? And that's just the X100, so I've every sympathy. And it's a big heavy camera with too many buttons and a weird* lens hood set up...

Why isn't there a digital camera like the old film P&S's with a brilliant to excellent fixed lens and a straight forward set of controls and no menu maze?

Regards, David

* You have to unscrew the ring on the front of the lens and then screw on an adapter and then the lens hood has a bayonet fitting! Then you have to buy a new lens cap (from China) to fit the adapter. And as for the price of Fuji's lens hood...

Life was so simple in the days of film, sigh.
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Old 01-03-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
How can a camera with 140 pages in the instruction book be called simple? And that's just the X100, so I've every sympathy. And it's a big heavy camera with too many buttons and a weird lens hood set up...

Why isn't there a digital camera like the old film P&S's with a brilliant to excellent fixed lens and a straight forward set of controls and no menu maze?

Regards, David

I'm used to my DP Merrills which really do offer simplicity ... better high ISO performance and focusing wouldn't go astray though. The Fuji seems strong in these areas.
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Old 01-03-2018   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
Congratulations Fuji because based on popularity the camera is a winner but I think you have given it a lot of DSLR style complication that it really didn't need.
What's so complicated on today's DSLRs (I haven't really used a digital camera for a decade now)? Do they not take a picture at the press of the shutter button after you've taken them out of the box?
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Old 01-03-2018   #9
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More features means higher complexity.
For some that is wanted and thus accepted, others would rather stick to basic functions.
That's life, I guess.
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Old 01-03-2018   #10
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Isn't the Ricoh GR II Digital well known for its simple interface and quality IQ? Or have I got that wrong? Maybe that would suit her better if she gives up on the Fuji..
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Old 01-03-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
How can a camera with 140 pages in the instruction book be called simple? And that's just the X100, so I've every sympathy. And it's a big heavy camera with too many buttons and a weird* lens hood set up...

Why isn't there a digital camera like the old film P&S's with a brilliant to excellent fixed lens and a straight forward set of controls and no menu maze?

Regards, David

* You have to unscrew the ring on the front of the lens and then screw on an adapter and then the lens hood has a bayonet fitting! Then you have to buy a new lens cap (from China) to fit the adapter. And as for the price of Fuji's lens hood...

Life was so simple in the days of film, sigh.
Nikon FM2n, baby!!
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Old 01-03-2018   #12
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I'm a new user of the X100f. I found that dealing with some of the complexity up front by reading the manual, assigning a couple of function buttons, and locking in a few settings has made the camera very simple to operate. Very impressed with the results so far.
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Old 01-03-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brbo View Post
What's so complicated on today's DSLRs (I haven't really used a digital camera for a decade now)? Do they not take a picture at the press of the shutter button after you've taken them out of the box?
You won't hear me complaining about DSLRs.

When I bought my Sony mirrorless, it frustrated me for a long time because it seemed so many controls were buried under layers of menus. I shrugged it off, assuming it was due to my unfamiliarity with the Sony compared to my Nikons. After a couple years, I have decided it really is the Sony system that is unnecessarily tedious. The DSLRs are better.

That Sony doesn't provide a manual and expects everyone to go to sony.com to download a manual doesn't help matters either.
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Old 01-03-2018   #14
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It is just a matter of choice nowadays, Keith.
For straight forward shooting you can set aperture on the lens, shutterspeed, iso and EV compensation with dials. Program 1 FN button for Filmsimulation modes and you are done and you can shoot happily forever with excellent results.
On the other hand, if you want to setup C-AF or to have eye-af enabled and choose between the left- or right eye, then you have to delve into manuals, setup procedures and and program FN buttons.
Coming from X100 - S and T I now own a - new to me - X-T2 and after reading the manual and some blogs/youtube films I setup the camera once and now I am a happy shooter with all for me important functions readily accessible without delving into the menu's.
So, for me these camera's can be either simplistic or rather complicated, but ain't it brilliant we have these choices nowadays?
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Old 01-03-2018   #15
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just my own opinion, but camera makers have never been good with software interface designs like Apple and Google. they all have proprietary firmware OS, each solving same question differently (oftentimes even among different models in their lineups). no consistency and long term perspective like good software design should.
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Old 01-03-2018   #16
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Nice to hear what original X100 was this simple. I could give it a try once M-E goes for nine months sensor replacement saga.

I'm not sure if it is only F thing. I was asked once to help with modern Canon Rebel DSLR. I have and use the old one. And I failed miserably with new one. It is overloaded with something which gets in a way.
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Old 01-03-2018   #17
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The F is easy to learn, she’s just familiar with something entirely different. This isn’t instant.

And yes, camera UI is pathetic. Every manufacturer is still giving us the equivalent of DOS from 1985!

The first manufacturer to provide a modern UI will get a huge market share increase. But will it ever happen??
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Old 01-03-2018   #18
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IMO the problem with these cameras full of options rises when by mistake you hit the wrong button (specially on the very small bodies it can happens) and enable some function you do not desires and are not able to go back to previous settings!

I had it a couple of timers with my wife's D-109 when the iso suddenly disappeared and even going through many pages of menu I wasn't able to find it again! Only later I discover I had push an "A" = automatic button

And these cameras have a more than 100 pages manual (D-109 has 240 IICR) !

robert
PS: by the way this is one of the reasons for which I still love my 7 years old Leica x1 and...the M10 of course
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Old 01-03-2018   #19
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I've been using my original X100 for several years. I don't feel the need to try the later models. My X100 has everything I want, and nothing I don't!
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Old 01-03-2018   #20
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Quote:
Nothing simple about this camera and also very little about it that seemed intuitive to me.
'Complexity' with the Fuji X-100 series is not an issue for me: the f-stops are on the barrel of the lens; the shutter speeds on a dial on top of the camera, and ISO is accessible through the Q button on the back of the camera. Easy as pie, even more so when you program the Fn button with whatever function you desire, also on top of the camera.
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Old 01-03-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
How can a camera with 140 pages in the instruction book be called simple? And that's just the X100, so I've every sympathy. And it's a big heavy camera with too many buttons and a weird* lens hood set up...

Why isn't there a digital camera like the old film P&S's with a brilliant to excellent fixed lens and a straight forward set of controls and no menu maze?

Regards, David

* You have to unscrew the ring on the front of the lens and then screw on an adapter and then the lens hood has a bayonet fitting! Then you have to buy a new lens cap (from China) to fit the adapter. And as for the price of Fuji's lens hood...

Life was so simple in the days of film, sigh.
Well, most of those pages can safely be ignored. I have an X100T and all I've really had to worry about is how to format a memory card, how to set ISO, how to switch between EVF and OVF, and how to lock the various functions I don't need to change (which is most of them). Everything else I need has been pretty easy to work out because the controls (like with all the interesting Fujis) are right there in front of me and their functions are obvious.
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Old 01-03-2018   #22
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I think your friend would have had the same experience with any digital camera today as with the X100F - lots of menu choices. The good news is you really only have to set the camera up once. I rarely need to access the menus of my XE2 and XT2.
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Old 01-03-2018   #23
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You liked the original X100 and not the X100F?? I had the original X100 and tried John's X100T before buying a X100F. Every single thing that annoyed me about the original camera has been resolved in the F. I don't understand why you think the F is drastically different? Seriously, if you guys think the X100F is complicated, stay far away from a Sony or olympus body
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Old 01-03-2018   #24
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It is true there is a learning curve for new FUJIFILM X series users. This is especially so for the EVF/OF cameras because you have two different systems in one camera.

I must say I felt the same way when I started using my new D700. It took a long time to figure out how to set the AF up for sports photography, vs event photography vs MF lenses, understanding metering modes and AF fine-tuning parameters.

Fortunately the newest FUJIFILM cameras with the most recent firmware can save all the menu parameters on a PC/Mac. Eventually people will swap parameter sets.

I would advise your friend to:

o avoid the temptation set up initially the FUJIFILM system to mimic the Canon system

o turn off all automated functions and options.
start with only one finder mode, (probably the EVF)

o disable all power saving options

o decide whether they want WYSIWYG viewing brightness for the finder or automated viewing brightnesss compensation

o understand how the finder and LCD viewing options work

o initially invoke the button lock function to eliminate confusion from accidentally hitting buttons; eventually muscle memory will prevail and control locking won't be necessary

o initially turn the AF audio can formation beep on; this immediate feedback speeds up learning the AF systems

The most complicated initial decisions involve focusing. FUJIFILM has an on-line PDF that covers X-Series focusing. Even though this was published before the X100F, she will find most, if not all of the X-Pro 2 information applies. The early S-Series cameras were criticized contrast detection AF speed limitations. The incorporation of phase-detection AF improved performance but increased complexity. The X100F uses both.

Here is a link to useful setup guide for the X100F.

There are valuable resources on other forums.

Once she gains experience, taking advantage of the OVF, switching focusing modes for different situations and deciding how much automation to use – and when to use it will become easier. If she doesn't have RF experience you can explain parallax and frame line estimates. She may also benefit from learning about the in-lens ND filter and the high flash sync speeds possible with the leaf shutter.

It is not that difficult to use the X Series dual-finder cameras as one uses a film RF cameras. This is what I do.

I rarely change my X100T or X-Pro 2 menus from a virtual RF minimalistic mode.

My default OVF focusing method is focus and recompose.

Also, I use raw files, only worry about the shutter speed and, or aperture. I ignore the light meter. With the X-100F or X-Pro 2 (for raw) you only need to use one of two ISO settings, 200 or 800. The former for bright scenes where dynamic range is important and the latter for low light scenes where sensitivity is important. It doesn't get simpler than this.

But there is a learning curve.[/list]
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Old 01-03-2018   #25
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I had the X100 but didn't get along with it. This was disappointing at the time as I was a big fan of their film MF cameras- I've had 4 of those. I have only played with the X100F but it seems to have addressed what i didn't like about the original. The only thing that keeps me away is the price! Fuji's have become very expensive. I would probably get a Sony instead
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Old 01-03-2018   #26
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There x100f is pretty much singular. It’s going to have a learning curve.
It’s just not like any other camera out there. Maybe the xpro2 is similar also having the ovf/evf hybrid.
One can set the camera up for very basic operation.
I bet once your friend becomes familiar with setting it up, it’s going to seem much less complex.

It’s like a Windows user shifting to Mac.
Seems weird at first and then like old hat.
The Fuji ovf/evf cameras are the same sort of adjustment.
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Old 01-03-2018   #27
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l have an x pro1, and and xe1, both set up with just the basics enabled. l used them in aperture priority mode with no bells or whistles. l have no experience of the later variants of the x100, (i.e f and t). My x100 was bought off a very nice gentleman from this forum. l was happy with the way he had set it up, in full silent stealth mode and have not fiddled with any of the menus since. It effectively is my carry everywhere point and shoot. If l can pick up a camera and shoot straight away with it l am happy. l hate large instruction manuals.
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Old 01-03-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
IMO the problem with these cameras full of options rises when by mistake you hit the wrong button (specially on the very small bodies it can happens) and enable some function you do not desires and are not able to go back to previous settings!

...
Bingo!

And this is even more frustrating early on in the ownership. Makes for some disgruntled new owners, I would think.

I do agree with Keith. It looks to me that Fuji has started to load the X100 with too many features. I never owned the original X100 but I still own two X100S models. For my use, the "S" improved on the original but stopped just shy of overburdening the camera with unnecessary features that came in later models. And, really, I don't have to have nor do I need any better performance out of the little cameras.

Don't misunderstand, I would very likely love having a new X100F but only because I love the X100 design, not because of new features and performance improvements.
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Old 01-03-2018   #29
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Hi,

FWIW, I like the photo's I get out of the X100 but I started my P&S days with the Olympus XA and would like to return to it or the Contax Tix, Leica mini, Olympus µ-I and µ-II and all the others in that long and neat line of film, sensible P&S's; only digital.

Reading about the X100 I thought it would be ideal but it irritates. Too many buttons and too few places for your fingers and thumb when you pick it up or take it out of your pocket. I've had it some time now and still get baffled when I touch something by mistake; I just don't think I should have to carry the manual around to use the thing easily.

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Old 01-03-2018   #30
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FWIW, I like the photo's I get out of the X100 but I started my P&S days with the Olympus XA and would like to return to it or the Contax Tix, Leica mini, Olympus µ-I and µ-II and all the others in that long and neat line of film, sensible P&S's; only digital.

Reading about the X100 I thought it would be ideal but it irritates. Too many buttons and too few places for your fingers and thumb when you pick it up or take it out of your pocket. I've had it some time now and still get baffled when I touch something by mistake; I just don't think I should have to carry the manual around to use the thing easily.
If I am not mistaken, if you hold the Menu OK button down for two seconds, a padlock will appear and the buttons will remain locked. Press the Menu OK button down for two seconds to unlock the buttons. If you want to use the X100F like a film P&S, there is no reason to go into the menus.
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Old 01-03-2018   #31
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Besides the ISO which requires a back button press, you can use an M9 exactly as you'd expect. I bought mine used, sans manual and never needed it.

The Ricoh GR can be used in a simple fashion but there's a thick book that comes with it as there is a ton of customization available. I use mine basically on aperture priority like I used the GR 1 film camera but it is is more complicated.

Briefly had a Fuji XE-2 but didn't get along with it.

I think the current version of the point and shoot is called a cell phone. Unfortunately there is no digital Yashica T4.
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Old 01-03-2018   #32
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Don't get me wrong here ... I still think the Fuji is a fantastic camera but I think they have gone overboard with controls and setting options. And while it's easy to say it can just be set to basic requirements and used effectively as such my friend was confronted by the available choices and was frantically scanning the manual ... which I have to say wasn't helping her confusion and was really causing her to overthink the situation. lol
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Old 01-03-2018   #33
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Don't get me wrong here ... I still think the Fuji is a fantastic camera but I think they have gone overboard with controls and setting options. And while it's easy to say it can just be set to basic requirements and used effectively as such my friend was confronted by the available choices and was frantically scanning the manual ... which I have to say wasn't helping her confusion and was really causing her to overthink the situation. lol
The alternative is to not give choices, and just hard wire the default settings. Sometimes I think that would be a good idea. But can you imagine the whining (except from Leica users)?
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Old 01-03-2018   #34
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IMO the problem with these cameras full of options rises when by mistake you hit the wrong button (specially on the very small bodies it can happens) and enable some function you do not desires and are not able to go back to previous settings!
Pull the battery, the Fuji will go back to the settings it saved the last time you turned it off. (Or at least it does on the XP2)

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Old 01-03-2018   #35
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Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post

Reading about the X100 I thought it would be ideal but it irritates. Too many buttons and too few places for your fingers and thumb when you pick it up or take it out of your pocket. I've had it some time now and still get baffled when I touch something by mistake; I just don't think I should have to carry the manual around to use the thing easily.

Regards, David
A thumb grip works well on the X100 or XE2 bodies to help locate it in your hand. The Fuji base/grip is nice too but does make it a big larger.

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Old 01-03-2018   #36
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Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
I think your friend would have had the same experience with any digital camera today as with the X100F - lots of menu choices. The good news is you really only have to set the camera up once. I rarely need to access the menus of my XE2 and XT2.
Also worth pointing out is you don't really even need to dive into the menus to set it up. If you know what functions you want just press and hold a button and after a few seconds the options you can assign to the button pop up. Select which you want and move on. Once those are done you have direct access for changes. You can also disable the button

Shawn
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Old 01-03-2018   #37
BillBingham2
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I think you should be able to export/import setting/configuration files for all digital cameras.

A while back, when Nikonians was free for everyone there were a couple of spread sheets that folks had their configurations for the D200 on. I loved the idea that folks shared.

B2 (;->
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Old 01-03-2018   #38
fireblade
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With all digital cameras you just want to access the SS, A and ISO. From there it is just a matter aesthetics for each individual. I have not accessed 95% of the menu. No need.
I set my ISO, and then everything else is controlled externally, the SS, A and Ev.
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Old 01-03-2018   #39
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Indeed, the X100F leaves you like 10 buttons and 5 dials plus 2 rings and a joystick, all customizable. It takes lots of energy to learn and map all the controls. Once sorted out the camera runs nicely, but I can't let go of the feeling that there should be a "master switch" like the physical "U1/U2/U3-ish" user preset controls we have on more conventional cameras to harness all the mess.

On the other hand, cameras like the Leica Q (which I decided to sell in the end!) are often touted as simple "no frills" tools, but IMO it's just too darn simplistic to the point of being unusable. It seriously LACKS (USEFUL) physical controls. Wanna change AF mode? Dive into the menu. Wanna turn the OIS on? The menu. Wanna alter your file size? Menu Again. If you prefer the EVF Only mode like I do, then good luck adjusting anything without peeping into the EVF, as the camera doesn't have a switch to toggle between EVF and LCD - for the later you have to dive into the menu, which itself is (unlike the Fuji) only visible in the EVF...

Sure you can set the camera as single point AF-S and DNG only, forget about ever changing any of the perimeters and just shoot away. But with the completely useless video mode button and the half useless digital zoom button at hand, you cannot stop thinking it's the camera itself, not you, lacks some more tinkering.

Guess I have yet to find the digital autofocus camera that strikes the balance between usability and simplicity.
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what if...
Old 01-04-2018   #40
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what if...

We are still in the marketing phase "we give you more, buy our product which has more options than competition"

Soon or later it will change, the new paradigm will be "less is more, simplicity is our keyword" buy our simple product with an high image quality.

robert
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