RAW mode, predictably, is even worse. The speed doesn’t drop, but the buffer does, from 10 shots to eight, while the processing time jumps to around 20 seconds. These would be reasonably good figures for a mid-range compact, not a £1,000 camera.
The retro layout will no doubt appeal to old school photographers unwilling to change their habits
Battery performance is more impressive though. Fuji claims 300 shots per charge, which was roughly borne out during testing. Expect battery life to go up if you rely on the optical viewfinder rather than either the EVF or monitor on the back.
The question is: who is the X100 for? Consumers will baulk at spending a grand on a camera; particularly when the likes of the Sony NEX-3 produces images which are almost as good for nearly £700, albeit at the cost of looks, build-quality and accessible manual modes. High-end users and professionals, however, will look for far better RAW performance and interchangeable lenses.
Fuji calls the X100 “the professional’s choice”, but with a lens catalogue numbering precisely zero it’s hard to see which category of professional the company might be talking about. Even professionals looking for a backup camera are more likely to spend a thousand pounds on something in the class of the Canon EOS 7D. Just about the only thing the X100 has going for it at this price is its size and weight: it’s about half as heavy as a semi-professional DSLR.
The X100 is a great camera to use – fun, involving, and capable of very good images in all sorts of light. It’s well-constructed, and although the retro design won’t be to everyone’s taste, I love it. Finding a compact that forces you to engage with manual photography is a novelty that doesn’t wear off, and the result is a camera that’s intensely satisfying to use. But at a thousand pounds it’s next to impossible to recommend. ®
More Camera Reviews…
Fujifilm Finepix X100 APS-C camera
The ISO 6400 image is about 1.5 stops underexposed compared to the others, and therefore can't be used for comparison because if you boost it to the same exposure it will be an effective ISO ~18000. What happened there?
'(and watching, for trainspotters)'
Oi! I'll have you know there is nothing at all wrong with appreciating a well-designed iris! At worst, it's *certainly* not up to the level of social deviance involved in sitting in a bush all day with a pencil, a notepad, and a stopwatch.
It's made for me!
I still shoot rangefinders with film and mostly with a 35mm lens.
When I want to shoot machine gun style, I have access to Canon 1D bodies, but even my slow 5D is enough for what I want to take pictures of.
This beast ist what I longed for, OK, exchangeable lenses would be a boon. But I happily trade a very good fixed 63° f2 lens for a very reasonable viewfinder and controls I can set without taking the camera from my eye.
The price is high, but where do I get a digital camera which handles like my trusty M2 for less than that?
Re: I miss my manual SLR
Not that SLRs are on topic at all, but you do realise you can operate a DSLR in full manual mode... right?
I miss my manual SLR
One of the advantages of manual cams that the full-auto brigade seem to have overlooked is that a manual cam can be prepped for a series of shots before the action starts. When the time comes you can then raise the camera and shoot in one motion, the only delay being your own reflexes.
What's more, you can lower the camera and then raise it again without losing your settings.
Meanwhile the full-auto cam user is frantically trying to get the focus, zoom and exposure back to exactly where they were a few seconds ago ....and misses the shot.