Fujifilm X100s Observations

Had the Fujifilm X100s for 4 days now, but today was it’s first true outing. I don’t think early evaluations are always that useful. People are often overwhelmed with joy (or the complete opposite, or in full-on justification mode) and tend not to offer truly useful insights after only a few days of use. On the other hand, sometimes those instant early observations are useful, if mostly for oneself and not necessarily anyone else.

So, that said, as I sit here in a Starbucks after two hours of shooting, four or five things jump right out at me.

  1. Its a bit small. I’m a reasonably large male, but my hands are very average, even a tad small. I find the body just a bit bi-dimensionally short, height and width wise. Especially width wise. I find that with my finger on the shutter release, there is a gap between the body and my right hand palm that I just can’t get rid of. It always feels a bit less than glove-like in it’s fit. Of course, this is a very personal thing, and different people will no doubt have different experiences. I might explore optional grips at some stage, when the bank balance stops having spasms.
  2. Like many, I’m surprised at how often I use the electronic viewfinder. I’m initially smitten with the camera’s un-rangefinder-like ability to get in close, and for this the optical viewfinder is clearly not as good. Don’t get me wrong though, I still far prefer the view through the glass window, as it were, and I can’t ever imagine myself opting for the electronic viewfinder as my primary viewfinder. So far, the hybrid viewfinder is proving to be absolutely bloody fantastic.
  3. I am really enjoying the “Advanced Filter” set. As David Hobby said (24 mins in), turn your 13 hundred dollar camera into a 30 dollar toy camera. I like the irony of that. He’s right too, square format coupled with the Toy Camera filter kicks bottoms. I bet many scream “gimmick!” But probably not as many, I suspect, as are secretly cringing in the knowledge that their photos look better with said gimmicks applied. Get over it. Personally, I’m getting on board. In my next post, I’m going to shower the place with gimmicky photos.
  4. The menu system still defeats me. There’s a few things I’d like it to do better or different. On the other hand, maybe it does, but I haven’t figured out how yet. And speaking of not figuring out how yet, I can’t seem to turn some features on in the custom viewfinder menu. Well, I’m turning them on (I think), but nothing is happening. Specifically, the optical viewfinder’s level and histogram. I’ve had both up, but it took ages and I’m not sure how I did it. After turning them off, I can’t get them back. And when I had the histogram on, it was an empty box. Oh well. I don’t actually want either on as my default, so no matter for now. They will be useful at times though, so I’ll need to figure this out eventually.
  5. The camera is great. But the battery sucks. Actually, I guess the camera sucks. Electricity that is, and there’s not much of it in the battery to be sucked. I also bought a spare, but I can see one more being needed. I just spent barely 2 hours shooting and drained one battery (not so many frames either – around 160 RAW + Fine jpegs).
  6. The camera is great.

Okay, so that was six things, but the last needed to be said, in case I came across as negative. The quibbles are just that, they’re not really problems. The camera has already become, to all intents and purposes, essentially transparent. It really is an effortless joy to shoot with. In this, it is very Leica M-like.

Here’s a photo from the camera’s first outing, classified as a ‘not true outing’ on account it was second fiddle to the family and merely playing the role of snapshot recorder of memories. Not all that sharp, but that’s down to me. ISO 3200, f2, 1/50 sec. Almost SOOC, but slightly tweaked with a little contrast, face lightening and vignetting.

Typed with a little help from some not quite discernible but quite pleasant jazz, coming over the Starbucks speakers.

_DSF0198 1Aperture Tweaked 1

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