Fujifilm X100 camera high res shots and user update

Jul 2, 2011 | Location, News | 23 comments

Two weeks in and I’m totally smitten with my Fuji X100 camera. I took it on a holiday to Cornwall and then I pulled it from my camera bag at today’s portrait shoot just for 1 minite. This is a follow up to my original post about the Fujifilm X100 here.

Fujifilm x100 picture

1. We were moving between locations and this little girl wanted to have a go with my Fuji X100. I had my Canon kit in my Think Tank bag over my shoulder and I took this grab shot on the move. Click on the picture to see the full resolution image. I've only processed these pictures in Lightroom using the auto black and white function and the pictures have not been near Photoshop. The EXIF is intact on the full res image.

I would love to have shot for longer with the X100 but I didn’t think my client would have been too impressed with me using a ‘Micky Mouse’ camera. And that’s the great thing about this camera. It looks innocent, non threatening, fun and kids love it. As soon as the big Canon comes out the mood and the moment changes. It may be a subtle change but it is certainly very significant. If I had prewarned my client that I was going to use this ‘special camera’ then I’m sure there would have been no issue.

The Fuji X100 camera for those of you who don't know the camera in question. Cute doesn't even begin to describe this instrument of imagemaking :) (Official press shot taken from the Fujifilm site)

You will know by now that I don’t blog client pictures so I’ll keep the client shots annonymous. I do want to share them with you because I really believe there is merit in using the little Fuji X100 for client work as well as for personal projects. It really doesn’t matter if you decide to spend a bit more and get the Leica X1 or a little less and get the Olympus Pen2. The fact remains that these latest generation of big sensor compact cameras are up to the job optically, electronically and in speed of use.

2. Same as above. Click the shot for the full size jpeg.

The Fuji focusses so fast I can catch moments with more certainty of a useable result than I can with my 5Dmk2 and it’s 50mm L lens. Admittedly the Canon 5D mk2 focus engine is a relitavely ancient design being handed down from the mk1, and the 50mm f/1.2L lens has a vast amount of glass to be shunted around. I’m not here to praise or knock either system, just to report my findings. I’m using the focus and reframe method with the fuji and because the lens is of simple construction it seems to allow for quite a big framing shift without any change in focus position even at f/2.

 

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These four portraits were all shot wide open at f/2 using auto ISO and aperture priority. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. The rest of my client pictures from today’s shoot were taken on a pair of Canon 5Dmk2 cameras, mine with a 100mm f/2.8L lens and my second shooter, Brett Symes, used a 24-70 f/2.8L. I don’t normally use a second shooter on portrait jobs but I wanted to see how the customer experience could be improved by freeing me up to chat a bit more and build on our rapport. Brett’s pictures really add to the mix and the client will love them. I can’t wait to show the pictures to my clients and to design their album.

Here are a few of my findings that I can share with you after using the camera for a week or so:
The focus mode switch is easy to knock and so too is the shutter speed dial.
The camera is almost silent when the melody mode is switched off.
You have to record a jpeg as well as a RAW file if you want to be able to crash into 100% in playback. If you record RAW only the screen preview is a lower resolution.
The lens hood I bought on Ebay from China is fabulous and increases the contrast in the images by reducing flare. I bought two of them so if any of you need one tweet or DM me @damienlovegrove

Please share your Fuji X100 experiences below.

23 Comments

  1. Dan

    Very impressive images, thks for sharing. I have X100 on order and await it’s delivery. My Canon 1Ds MrkIII is getting heavy to lug around everywhere.
    DanG

  2. martin

    You haven’t mentioned the usability issues widely reported elsewhere. i assume they do not hinder the image making process? Have you installed the new firmware and is that an improvement?

  3. damien

    Thanks Dan. I hope you love the X100 as much as I do.

  4. damien

    Hi Martin,

    There don’t seem to be any useability issues as such. DPReview complained about a buried menu system but there is a programable function button that is assignable. I’ve spent a lot of time reading the manual, I’ve installed the latest firmware that addresses DPR findings but to be honest it doesn’t affect the way I use the camera anyway.

    I’ve decided to shoot with the auto ISO function and it does the job perfectly. I’m using the fast power up mode because the battery life is so good it is a no brainer. It’s probably as fast or faster than my 5Dmk2 from the switched off position.

    I’ve set the Fn button to access the ND filter so that I can use f/2 in full sun.

    The camera is very intuitive super fast to use. I don’t fiddle with it, I just take pictures. I’ve set up my pictures style, auto ISO, I’ve set the aperture to f/2 and that’s it. Pick it up and shoot. Unlike DPReview I’m not making HD movies with the X100 or printing direct using the inbuilt print engine. 90% of the cameras functions are supurflous for a pro shooter and the good news is they are easy to ignore.

    Cheers,

    Damien.

  5. damien

    The lens hood I mention above is £35 inc delivered to mainland UK :)

  6. martin

    Hi Damien

    I don’t read DPreview but Lloyd Chambers and Thom Hogan are worth following and they had some insights on the X100. Sounds like a fab tool in the right hands. Still have the M9 itch. It’s another league of cost I know.

    Cheers. M.

  7. David Morton

    Last week I found a dealer that had one X100 left to sell, after testing their demo model I was smitten and just had to have it! (especially after reading your first test).
    I used it alongside my Nikon set up yesterday for a wedding shoot. It’s so easy to use and the quality is stunning. It was superb in the church, where the Minister was not too happy about photography at all; the X100 is silent and the light gathering of the f/2 lens was superb.
    At the reception it was causing quite a stir amongst the gear-freak guests.
    Love it, love it, love it!
    Can I ask how you are converting the RAW files, there is a bundled converter but CS does not want to look at them.
    Many thanks,
    David.

  8. David Morton

    Hi Damien,
    Do you still have the spare X100 lens hood for sale?

  9. Murray

    Just to echo Damien’s comments this is an excellent camera. I had one to review for a couple of weeks and have posted a few shots taken in Paris on Flickr – http://bit.ly/k444fI (June 2011)

    Martin – I have an M9 c/w 35mm f2.5 & a 90mm f2 (cost to buy £9679) on loan from Leica this week. As someone who wears glasses I find the M9 incredibly difficult to focus, much harder than I remember from my M4-P days. I’d buy the X100 and save yourself a lot of cash. As Damien says the autofocus on the Fuji is superb.

  10. martin

    Hey Murray thanks for the feedback on the M9. There’s no realistic prospect of me buying one any time soon. I had no problem with the M6 but my eyes were a lot younger then:)

  11. damien

    Hi David,

    I do still have the lens hood for sale. It has your name on it ;) Email me your details and I or Blaise will be in touch on Monday or Tuesday. damien@lovegrovephotography.com

    I use Adobe Lightroom to convert the RAW files. It has the lens profile too so I use Lightroom to auto correct the lens on import.

    Cheers, Damien.

  12. david cooke

    Looks like this little beauty is going on my list, thanks to you damien my list is now £10000.

  13. Lawrence

    If the sale of the lens hood falls though – can I be next in line ? Assuming that it is sold, could you please post a link to where you bought it from on Ebay ?

    Thanks

    Lawrence

  14. damien

    Hi Lawrence,

    The sale happened. Rather than me leaving a link that will soon be dead on my blog please do a search for FujiX100 in Ebay. All the hoods look identical and the quality is fine. I hope this helps, Damien.

  15. Al

    Have you tried the Sony nx3/5 they are the same size but sport a full sized sensor…. they are cute but too slow not as clear as the real thing… plus they are bigger than good pocket cameras…. I’m not sure where they fit.

    I returned my Sony as the novelty wore off.

  16. Lawrence

    Thanks Damien for the update and help regarding the lens hood – much appreciated.

    Lawrence

  17. damien

    Hi Al, Thanks for all the reasons I shouldn’t bother trying the Sony. I agree with you.

  18. michaelbs

    Hi Damien
    Just a tip you may find useful:
    You programme the Fn button to control the nd filter so you can shoot f2 in full sunlight. Fine. But if you want to use the fn button for other purposes and still be able to shoot f2 in full sunlight you can simply – whenever you see the red 1/1000 in the viewfinder – you can simply dial in 1/2000 or 1/4000 on the shutterspeed knob and shoot. Simple but true. 1/4000 at f2 is no problem in manual mode.
    You probably know this already but maybe some of your readers don’t.
    Thanks for a terrific blog.
    Please remember to make a workshop in Copenhagen..
    :-)

  19. damien

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the tip. The instructions didn’t make this point clear. I’ll give your method a go. I don’t usually look at the numbers in the viewfinder I just shoot. Hence that is why when I’m out in bright conditions I use the ND to avoid me ever having to make a technical decision.

    I would definately love to come to Copenhagen. I’m in Berlin for some shooting workshops and a business seminar, and Berlin is not far away from you. Here are the details :)

    If you would like to help me arrange the same in Copenhagen in exchange for a complimentary place please email blaise@lovegroveconsulting.com

    Kindest regards, Damien.

  20. face

    Some questions:
    1) f2 isn’t too soft? Why not use 2.8 or better 4?
    2) focus and recompose works also if the mark indicator is not in the center of the screen (i don’t remember how the 2 focus system are named in af-s)?
    3) what about flash fill in? You don’t use it at all?

  21. damien

    Hi Face,

    Some answers:
    1) f/2 is pin sharp and I love the focus isolation with this lens at f/2. By f/4 nearly everything is sharp and the ‘look’ is gone.
    2) If the marker is not in centre screen why use focus and recompose?
    3) I never use fill flash, it’s not my style. I’ve seen great shots by other photographers that do use fill flash though.

    I hope this helps. Damien :)

  22. Steven

    Hi Damien,
    Do you use any of the dynamic range controls, to increase range, or just leave it off.
    Just one other thing, as noted on comment 18 you can set the shutter speed faster than 1/1000 at f2, but there’s not enough time to expose the full frame and parts will be unexposed. Being able to set incompatible exposure settings is just one of the quirks of this camera.
    Won’t stop me buying one though.

    Regards
    Steven

  23. damien

    Thanks Steven, I leave the dynamic range set to D100. It seems to work fine for me. I’m not sure it affects the RAW file anyway, it shouldn’t do. Cheers, Damien.

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