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Fujifilm FinePix X100 review
|DATE REVIEWED: 9th Jun 2011||Add Camera To Comparison Chart|
|Camera Type||Compact||Shutter Speeds||30 - 1/8000 sec|
|RRP||£999||ISO Range||100 - 12800|
|Megapixels||12||Focal Length||23 - 23mm|
|Weight||405g||Aperture||f2 - 2|
|Dimensions||126 x 74 x 54mm (WxHxD)||Focus Distance||10cm - inf|
|LCD Size||2.8 inches||Zoom (Opt)||0x|
|Zoom (Dig)||None||Storage||SD / SDHC / SDXC|
|Max Resolution||4288 x 2848||Battery Type||Li-Ion|
Filling a whole new niche in the premium compact market, the hotly anticipated Fujifilm FinePix X100 will leave a lasting first impression on all those looking for a vintage-style digital camera.
Reminiscent of a Leica rangefinder in design, the FinePix X100 has been marketed towards professional photographers, setting itself with some high expectations to uphold. We took it out to see how many of our expectations it met.
Featuring a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and a fixed Fujinon lens, it’s easy to forget that the FinePix X100 is essentially a premium compact. In hand we found that it was surprisingly lightweight but well built all the same, with an attractive leather-like chassis, magnesium alloy top and bottom plates and analogue-style setting dials that give it the retro designer look. The classic film camera style is impressively matched with a high-standard digital interior that is capable of shooting some great-quality images.
The FinePix X100’s most innovative feature is its hybrid viewfinder. As it combines both an optical and electronic viewfinder, users have more flexibility when composing captures. The optical ‘Reverse Galilean’ system will suit those who prefer the fuss-free framing approach and is located on the left-hand side of the lens. This does mean that, like a rangefinder, you will lose a percentage of the frame in your captures as you’re not previewing the exact view through the lens. However, this does allow you to adjust settings quickly before your subject moves into frame, which will make it popular with street photographers.
It’s also easy to alternate between the OVF and EVF modes by using a well-located switch on the front of the camera. Shooting using the electronic viewfinder mode allows you to preview and compose your shot either by looking through the viewfinder or viewing the frame on the back LCD screen. We used the latter most often, particularly when shooting with manual settings, as we found we were able to get more accurate results while previewing the exposure settings, histogram and light meter when selecting to view using the custom display mode.
Featuring a bright, high-contrast 2.8-inch 460,000-dot LCD screen, the X100 makes previewing your exposures in EVF mode and image playback sharp, detailed and informative. It’s also got an easy-to-navigate menu interface that allows you to adjust all other camera settings including ISO and white balance.
The X100 also caters to those who have a little more creative flare by offering users a selection of film effect filters including vivid enhancement, soft and dreamy colour captures, and black and white with a range of colour filters for varying tonal results in monochrome shots.
The only factor we were a little let down by was the X100’s focusing ability. Using an electronic focusing ring located around the lens you can opt to shoot using automatic or manual focus modes; however, we found that the manual mode was a little tedious and involved at least a 360-degree spin to work its way through the focus range, which you can preview within the EVF mode. Suited to adjusting in smaller increments, we found the manual focusing was best left for macro shots where only slight adjustments were necessary. But shooting in macro mode using the automatic focus is notably better as the camera doesn’t struggle as much from a distance of 10cm. We also noticed a lag in information from the wheel rotation to the screen when using the manual focus, so we were never really sure on the accuracy of the focus until it caught up. We also found that the automatic focusing mode could be a little slow and inaccurate at times, making it harder to get some quick captures.
The featured Fujinon prime 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens proved impressive, which we had expected as it’s not interchangeable. The fixed focal range didn’t hinder our shooting style, either. In fact, it encouraged us to engage more with the scene and people that we were photographing, as we found ourselves having to step in closer to frame effectively.
This style of shooting can be fantastic for street photography and, with the added silent mode option to minimise the sound of the shutter being released, you can stay fairly inconspicuous, particularly when shooting from the hip and photographing wildlife.
The wide angle of the lens also makes the FinePix X100 great for landscape captures, particularly when shooting using the motion panorama mode that sweeps smoothly, creating a panoramic image at either 180 or 120 degrees.
The FinePix X100’s image quality really impressed us; we had clear and vivid colour representation in all our shots. Overall contrast and dynamic range in well-exposed images was great and detailed, making captures look true to life. It is worth noting that the camera does struggle in bright and direct sunlight, though, with colours appearing washed-out and often-noticeable lens flare present, which can be unavoidable in some shooting situations.
The wide f2 aperture and extensive ISO range means the X100 performs well in low light, with little noise present even when shooting at high ISOs around 1600. We also found that very slight chromatic aberration only occurred in a few shots, with the quality of JPEG and RAW formats being very impressive and equally detailed.
The camera can also record good quality 720p video with stereo sound. You can adjust the exposure settings before you begin shooting; however, these can’t be altered while you’re recording, so unless you keep the camera set on automatic settings it will struggle if the lighting conditions change. There is, however, the added option of using the filtered effects in video mode, which is great for those wanting to capture more creatively styled movies.
The X100 is better suited to shooting using manual settings, and it would be ideal for a photographer who has some level of experience with exposure settings and the more technical aspects of photography.
Despite some of its minor glitches, as a first-generation model we were really impressed with the Fujifilm FinePix X100’s performance, and we felt that its image quality and retro-inspired appearance made up for some of its flaws.
The Fujifilm FinePix X100s retro design makes for an appealing purchase, and with impressive image results its a fantastic high-end compact camera companion
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|The Fujifilm FinePix X100s retro design makes for an appealing purchase, and with impressive image results its a fantastic high-end compact camera companion|
Hayley has a huge passion of photography and has spent the past 6 year studying the medium. She loves to shoot fashion and shoots using both analogue and digital camera. She is looking forward to getting to grips with the latest camera releases.
|Total Camera Reviews||12|
|Average Camera Rating||3.8|
|Hayley's Last 5 Reviews|
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