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Why It's Good To Get Up, Go Outside, Take Some Photos And . . .
Old 02-03-2011   #1
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Why It's Good To Get Up, Go Outside, Take Some Photos And . . .

wander into the local camera shop, where, luckily, there was a Fuji sales rep hanging out showing all my local camera shop sales dudes a working X100 prototype.

Being a regular in that shop, I was the only customer in there (due to the time of day) and, as such, got to fondle/hold/test out - the camera.

In an attempt to be brief, here's what I noted:
  • The X100 is a lot bigger than what I thought it would be - it's about 2/3 the length of my M7 (which I had with me) and about the same thickness. I didn't check the height
  • The X100 is a lot lighter than I thought it would be - it seemed really light like it didn't contain a lot of metal in the structure - still it didn't feel "overly" light either
  • The Hybrid EVF is pretty awesome - played with that and flipped the switch on the front of the camera to rotate through the images, it's VERY cool
  • The "Viewfinder" in general is good - It seemed clear, decent and sizeable enough to keep those of you who long for viewfinders on these digtals happy
  • The ergonomics seem to be pretty good imho - a lot better than the ergonomics on the panaosnic cameras but not as "easy" as the Ricoh GRD series - but still, very very good in my hands.
  • The price is still a bit much - $1200 CDN is what i was told by the Fuji rep - don't know if that's street or retail but still.. a bit pricey (even if he said it's about a 1/4 of the M7's price )
  • An interchangeable lens version may be in the future - I mumbled something to the rep about people whining about the lack of interchangeable lenses and he said "this is the first step but we'll look at that in the future" (I'm sure this is OLD news to most)

I was surprised by my luck and pleased I got to play with something all of you are salivating over...

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #2
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where you able to snap photo's and pixel peep? If so, how does the lens characteristics compare to what you usually make pictures with?
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Old 02-03-2011   #3
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You lucky SOB!

What I'm curious about is focus speed, shutter release delay, shutter noise, etc. Any thoughts on those?
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Old 02-03-2011   #4
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@Fireboy - There was no card in the camera and it appears the battery was, well, "well used" *LOL* - it's pre production and the rep made sure he stated that over and over and over *LOL* - the EVF was working and so was the rear LCD - both looked good but the rep said these were not the 1.1 million pixels that the production model would eventually be. I did not get a chance to look at any images - don't know if the sales guys at the store (Downtown Camera) did either though - seeing as how it's a pre-production camera, I bet there's some sort of "rules" surrounding that for the store.

@PatrickT - good question !! I did get to see focus speed in action based on some of the sales guys using it as well.. it's fairly quick - not DSLR quick but probably as fast or faster than my Olympus EP-2 - remember this was in good light not in low light. Shutter noise was almost non-existent from what I heard. Probably a wee bit quieter than my M7 with less of a "click" (obviously)

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #5
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Fred,

Well, based on what I felt and played with - it's not an iPhone case

That said, I found it awfully light and a lot bigger than I had anticipated - but that's me

Cheers,
Dave
Dave - how would you say the OVF compares to a M or Japanese fixed lens VF? more like the later or the former?

From photos online, it seems to me that OVF seems cluttered with all the projected information - what is your impression?

Are you able to 'turn off' the projected details selectively or completely?

Cheers,
Ken
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Old 02-03-2011   #6
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Ken - The OVF is definitely more like a japanese fixed lens than an M. The "frame line" reminds me a lot of any of the japanese fixed lens RFs - I think it's a lot like (in a way) a Konica Auto S2. I didn't note a lot of "junk" when I flipped away from the EVF - there still was some data showing up at the bottom but not as much as there was with the full on EVF in effect.

I am unsure about selectively turning off some of the information though as I never thought to ask or try it.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #7
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Poor Dave! You've set yourself up to be pestered with questions for about a week!
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Old 02-03-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin m View Post
Poor Dave! You've set yourself up to be pestered with questions for about a week!
I am a giver Kev
I don't mind - I know the camera has got a lot of people interested in it and people want to know about it - I can only tell what I know from my personal experience..

It's the least I can do for those on the forum who've offered up so much advice/info to me over the years

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #9
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You've actually been touched by an x100. You're like a demi-god, man!

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Old 02-03-2011   #10
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Did you bring to the rep's attention how much we want a black paint version along with interchangeable lenses? Perhaps a limited edition Titanium finish?
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Old 02-03-2011   #11
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does the finish look like it would scratch easily?


(sorry, just could not resist...)
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Old 02-03-2011   #12
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I love it. While others are scouring the internet for information about the X100, you leave the comfort of your computer chair and actually get to touch one (gasp).

The moral of the story? Good things happen when you leave the house.
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Old 02-03-2011   #13
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@Joe - The finish is a "matte" type finish - it looks like there's potential for scratching if something sharp is against it - you know, like, say a set of keys.

@Darren - I never mentioned a black paint version but I did mention the interchangeable lenses - I would think the next or perhaps third iteration of the camera will have that

@Frank - No.. I'm just a man... maybe a man who's ahead of my time but yes.. just a man *LOL*

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #14
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Thanks for the info. Did they say it was on schedule to be released in March?
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Old 02-03-2011   #15
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Thanks for the info. Did they say it was on schedule to be released in March?
Double both of these. Thanks and did they mention release date? :-)
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Old 02-03-2011   #16
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The moral of the story? Good things happen when you leave the house.
But if I leave the house I might miss my package from B&H!
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Old 02-03-2011   #17
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Old 02-03-2011   #18
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hehe..
@jsrockit and @videogamemaker - I didn't get a chance to ask that question (actually it slipped my mind because I'm not that interested in the camera AND I was shocked that I actually was able to see one "in the flesh") - I would assume that it must be on schedule though because the Fuji rep said he'd seen a "production model" in Japan and Germany and the 1.1 Million Pixel display (I think he said that number applied to the EVF as well) would blow everyone away - He did also throw around the "B" word (bokeh) with respect to the lens @ f2 - he said that the bokeh was beautiful.. we'll see won't we...

@Keith - no.. no I did not Keith.. at that point in time, I was told "Elvis has left the building..."

Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdre View Post
Forget float. Will it blend?
Probably.... but I didn't have a good blender on hand to try it out

Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #20
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Well, well....

It is good that there are actual facsimiles of the little guy floating around.

Now to just get them in the hands of some photographers. That will be a great day.
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Old 02-03-2011   #21
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But if I leave the house I might miss my package from B&H!
Oh, like packages are being delivered in CT. FedEx is holding a box of mine from KEH hostage because there is too much snow on the ground. Are you telling me that life in the quiet corner hasn't stopped because it has been snowing out?
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Old 02-03-2011   #22
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Dave, next time you run into the Fuji rep, tell him a dummy film advance would be great for all us old farts who would probably tweak a muscle trying to advance the 'film'. You know the type. We still set the index on our Nikons.

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Old 02-03-2011   #23
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I'm in that shop THREE TIMES A WEEK, and this is the ONE DAY I decide to walk north on lunch instead of south towards Queen.

Or, to put it another way, I think I might hate you.
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Old 02-03-2011   #24
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Thanks Dave for sharing your impressions. I really appreciate it.
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Old 02-03-2011   #25
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@Nicholas - Sorry I am usually in there fairly often but I had an inkling to walk that way around 1:45pm and blammo - there was the camera with three of the sales guys, Harry, and the Fuji rep(s) all ooing and ahhing over the camera. I walked over, said my hellos to the guys (the reps didn't know me from any other shmoe) and immediately said "Can I touch it?" - Kevin, who was holding the camera at the time looked at the rep and said "I don't know.. can he?" The rep nodded and smiled and said "Sure.." then continued to ramble on about how it was a working prototype... Truly something I've never had an opportunity to do before - it did make me feel a bit "special" since there's been so much talk (hype?) about the camera.

@farlymac - that would have been a nice touch wouldn't it?

@Bob - heheh... I heard it also holds the cure for many a disease

@Rover - it was interesting - this photographer was interested but still wouldn't "bite" just yet. One of the other sales guys said he was disappointed because he was so hoping it would have had a REAL rangefinder in it - the rep first didn't exactly know what he was talking about but then realized and said "Oh, ya.. no... we couldn't do that and have auto/manual focus"

Oh.. which reminds me... although probably old news.... the rep had said it was "Focus by wire" (whatever that means) for the manual focus.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-03-2011   #26
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Would you say X100 weighs the same as a Canon G11/12?

According to fujiguys the weight is approximative 400-450g and a G11/12 is 400.
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Old 02-03-2011   #27
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You should have really raised a ruckus by asking the Fuji guy why they discontinued Neopan 1600.

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Old 02-03-2011   #28
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@GSNFan - as I have never played with the G11/12 I couldn't tell you - the camera, for its size, just felt "light" to me - I guess I expected some "heft" because it just looks like it SHOULD be heavier - they make it to look like a retro all steel/metal camera but clearly it's not. The focus ring and aperture ring on the lens felt "plastic" for the lack of better wording.

@Jim B - heheheheh... I never thought of that - I should have asked him "Why do all your (Fuji's) pro films like NPH, NPZ and NPC seem to cheat to the green end while Kodak's seem to cheat to the red end?"

Cheers,
Dave
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ITS THE MAGIC I SEE IN THE Light, Texture, & Tone
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Old 02-03-2011   #29
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1.1 Million in the EVF and beautiful bokeh, held by the common man for the first time, Whoa! For the first time I think I just saw Elvis flash across the screen.

Dave, thanks for giving us your impression of this camera.

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Old 02-03-2011   #30
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@GSNFan - as I have never played with the G11/12 I couldn't tell you - the camera, for its size, just felt "light" to me - I guess I expected some "heft" because it just looks like it SHOULD be heavier - they make it to look like a retro all steel/metal camera but clearly it's not. The focus ring and aperture ring on the lens felt "plastic" for the lack of better wording.

Cheers,
Dave
Considering that X100 has no image stabilization I thought Fuji would make the X100 slightly hefty, but I guess thats is not the case.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-03-2011   #31
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wander into the local camera shop, where, luckily, there was a Fuji sales rep hanging out showing all my local camera shop sales dudes a working X100 prototype.
My quick impressions:







This is a preproduction model, so there were parts that weren't fully up to spec, but the hybrid viewfinder worked very nicely with a red overlay to show shooting information. The eyepiece has a proximity sensor to auto-switch from the VF to LCD as appropriate. Looking through the optical viewfinder without seeing a rangefinder patch was very disconcerting.

The build is very nice, feeling more solid than the GF1, but nowhere near the machined metal casing of the Leica X1. There's a very subtle hand grip, mild but effective, on the front of the camera. The black material that wraps around it is slightly yielding and very nice to hold. The lens is quite small, and the balance is entirely within the body.

The camera is essentially silent in operation. Its shutter is about the same volume as a compact P&S. It's just a quiet little 'snick' that makes my GH1 sound like a firecracker.

In short: the people who want to like this camera are going to have plenty of reasons to keep liking it, while those who don't 'get it' will continue to not understand what the big deal is.
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Old 02-03-2011   #32
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My quick impressions:







This is a preproduction model, so there were parts that weren't fully up to spec, but the hybrid viewfinder worked very nicely with a red overlay to show shooting information. The eyepiece has a proximity sensor to auto-switch from the VF to LCD as appropriate. Looking through the optical viewfinder without seeing a rangefinder patch was very disconcerting.

The build is very nice, feeling more solid than the GF1, but nowhere near the machined metal casing of the Leica X1. There's a very subtle hand grip, mild but effective, on the front of the camera. The black material that wraps around it is slightly yielding and very nice to hold. The lens is quite small, and the balance is entirely within the body.

The camera is essentially silent in operation. Its shutter is about the same volume as a compact P&S. It's just a quiet little 'snick' that makes my GH1 sound like a firecracker.

In short: the people who want to like this camera are going to have plenty of reasons to keep liking it, while those who don't 'get it' will continue to not understand what the big deal is.

Awesome impressions - thanks! Do you have any opinion on the AF performance?
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Old 02-03-2011   #33
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Dave and Matthew - thanks very much for your impressions. This is looking better and better. I'm glad it's a little smaller and a little lighter than an M.
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Old 02-03-2011   #34
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Funny thing with all the hype around the x100 is that Fuji Belgium is unaware of it's existence. Only one standard press release hidden somewhere.
www.fuji.be

So I am on the list at Robert white.

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Old 02-04-2011   #35
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The build is very nice, feeling more solid than the GF1, but nowhere near the machined metal casing of the Leica X1.
Thanks for the photos and your impression, but the quoted sentence seems odd when DPreview had this to say: The build quality is absolutely superb... ....but overall the X100 gives a rare impression of solidity. Indeed of all current digital cameras, arguably only the Leica M9 can challenge the X100 for its sheer build quality and beauty as an object.

Is the X1 more solid than the M9? Why does DPreview (who has handled tons of cameras, including the x1 and m9) think it's so solid and well made, but you say it's "nowhere near" the x1?


Quote:
Originally Posted by GSNfan View Post
Would you say X100 weighs the same as a Canon G11/12?

According to fujiguys the weight is approximative 400-450g and a G11/12 is 400.
There is no "according to". There are now three different sources, two with photos, showing it's 440-450 depending on if the cap is included. Fujiguys, the norwegian (who privately emailed me a photo of it on a scale) and this photo from the japanese review.
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Old 02-04-2011   #36
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Is the X1 more solid than the M9? Why does DPreview (who has handled tons of cameras, including the x1 and m9) think it's so solid and well made, but you say it's "nowhere near" the x1?
Relax...the guy just gave his opinion. The X1 does feel nice in your hand, so I can understand. Show some restraint... the guy did us a favor by taking a real photo of it next to a well known (to us anyway) camera.

Last edited by jsrockit : 02-04-2011 at 05:37.
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Old 02-04-2011   #37
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Relax...the guy just gave his opinion. The X1 does feel nice in your hand, so I can understand. Show some restraint... the guy did us a favor buy taking a real photo of it next to a well known (to us anyway) camera.
I just wanted elaboration, I'm not attacking him. I certainly don't have one to correct him, I just want to know why there are two apposing viewpoints on the same product that seem so diametric. Maybe he could explain further why he feels that way. And I did say thanks, I am very appreciative of these two guys giving their hands on impressions.
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Old 02-04-2011   #38
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I was looking around the cameras I have to find a size comparison and the Canon Canonet GIII QL17 is somewhat comparable to the x100.

Canonet - 120 x 75 x 60 mm, 620 g
x100 - 126 x 74 x 54 mm, ~440g

x100 is 6mm wider, a mm shorter, and 6mm thinner.
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Release Date DELAYED Until April
Old 02-04-2011   #39
dcsang
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Release Date DELAYED Until April

As an FYI: I went back to my local store today and asked some pertinent questions of the staff who had more time with the camera than I did.
  1. Is the release date still March? - Nope... it's been pushed back to sometime in mid/end of April, due to, according to Fuji "unexpected demand"
  2. Is $1200 Retail or Street price? - Retail BUT apparently Fuji has informed retailers they cannot discount this camera initially. Yep.. what you see on the price tag is what you're going to pay.
  3. Did you get a chance to take any photos with the camera and can I see them? - Nope - what was online (apparently they're gone now) is all that existed. The camera they had, in question though, did have 2200 shots on the "counter" according to one of the store staff.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 02-04-2011   #40
jsrockit
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Thanks for the bad news dcsang. I'm just wondering how they are judging demand for a camera that doesn't have many stores accepting pre-orders. Perhaps Japan is a different story?

I'm all for pushing back the release date if they plan to have enough supply to fulfill demand upon release. I'm sick of playing the waiting game after paying my money.
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