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David Knoble's insight:
As Patrick said, we're probably not looking at this camera for video purposes. It has been a remarkable backup, second camera, and primary camera. I have several limited edition prints from the X100s right next to the ones I took with my Leicas.
Hello and welcome to my review of the new Fujifilm X100S. This is not a formal style review. Instead, its a review of how the camera performed when I used it for half a day down at Dungeness beach on the coast of Kent - a typical location for an outdoor photographer. I bought this camera because I wanted a lightweight camera capable of high image quality with me when out and about, for ad-hoc photography in contrast to my more usual pre-planned outings. However, I'd read several comments suggesting that the camera would be less suited to landscape/scenic photography and so was curious to see how it performed in this kind of environment. I also thought it worthwhile to extend the use of the camera to a more demanding environment; a cold, windy beach which presented compositional challenges. I would normally use a Canon EOS 5D MkIII with a selection of lenses, typically tilt-shift lenses, for this kind of location and subject matter, so the X100S really is a different kind of animal to my usual camera. While I shot 178 images during the outing, I've presented here the 15 images which I think show off the camera's capabilities. One clear difference to my usual camera is obviously that the X100S has a fixed lens of 23mm, equivalent to a standard 35mm lens on a full frame SLR. Usually I would take three lenses with me on such an outing, a 24mm, 45mm and 90mm. During the outing I stuck with colour images rather than test out the X100S's monochrome capabilities, as I'd read a lot about the good colour rendering of the X100S, and colour is something I generally find disappointing in the digital world. I was shooting in RAW+Jpeg mode, and in the images presented here I've either used the jpeg with minimal adjustments straight from the camera, or the RAW where I thought I could improve on the in-camera processing (processed with Lightroom 4.4). In this first image I've used my own processed RAW file because I found the in-camera jpeg under-exposed the scene. It was a bright day, with a lot of reflected light from the pebbles on the beach, from the weathered wood of the boat and the shed, and with a bright blue sky, so I should maybe have added a 1-1.5 stops of exposure compensation, but this was the first real shot with the camera. Image sharpness is very good, better than my Panasonic Lumix's (GF1/GH2), and almost as good as the 5D MkIII. I had purposely left the camera at its default settings on leaving the house in order to see how easy it was to tweek the camera's settings on location. This is the first point about the usability of the camera when out and about; the smaller size of the camera does make it a bit more difficult to deal with. While this scene would suggest a nice warm spring afternoon, it was actually blowing a gale, with a wind chill factor of about 7 degrees, meaning the actual temperature was not much above freezing. My fingers were soon numb, making the small focus dial and close proximity of the aperture dial a touch more difficult to manipulate while looking through the viewfinder. In addition to the 'big vista', I'll often shoot details, particularly at Dungeness where detail photographers are spoilt for choice. In this image I've again used my own RAW conversion as I felt that the camera jpeg, even using the 'Velvia' film simulation, didn't quite capture the range of colours in the the woodwork (i.e blue/magenta hues) and nails (greens and reds). At this point in the outing I was still getting used to the X100S's interface, and finding the 'Quick' menu very useful for quickly changing the main settings of the camera. However, I wanted to try the film simulation bracketing function yet was completely unable to find it either in the 'quick' menu or in the 'Drive' menu, which is where I would have expected it to be. Later, back at home, I discovered that certain bracketing functions (film simulation, ISO, and Dynamic Range) only work in jpeg mode, and not when shooting RAW - which is a shame. Again, this image is very sharp, and despite using f16 to maximise depth of field at this close focusing distance, the effects of diffraction don't seem too evident. ....
So you're dating this great gal. She smart, cute, and good company. She seems to really care for you and gives you most of what you need. You take her everywhere. Your friends like her. You think this could be the one. Then, one day, her folks invite you over and introduce you to her sister. See where I'm going with this? At first glance, they look just like twins. If you look closely, the younger sister's hair is done a little different, and she's in slightly better shape. For the most part, however, the differences seem trivial. But then she comes over and sits down, and you start to talk. She got a quick wit. Real quick. Smarter than her sister, clearly, and a lot more insightful. Her tastes are more refined and she can hold her own on any topic. And man, she gets you like you've know each other forever! She finishes your sentences and laughs at your jokes. You're in serious trouble brother.... And so it is with the Fuji X100s. So much like her older sister, but with so much more going on beneath the skin. Because this is a romance-rekindled kind of article, a lot oof what follows focusses on improvements on shortcomings over the X100, and things I would still like to see improved. All of that might give the impression that the X100s isn't a great camera in it's own right. It ain't so. If this were a stand-alone review of a brand-new machine, without a rich family history, the bottomline would be this:the X100s is the best rangefinder-style camera Fuji has made. It produces even superb images, focuses faste processes fast and breaks every meaningful barrier to working in low light. All-around it is all good. That said, my detailed review follows......
Fuji has momentum, and it's not stopping. While the market for point-and-shoots has been dramatically eroded by smartphones, and APS-C SLRs are under pressure from ever more-capable EVF machines, Fuji has created a vibrant market of retro-yet-ultra-contemporary cameras -- like the X100s. These machines capture perfectly the contemporary ethos of Ihassle-free nstagram-style photography, yet do it in a fully professional package. Work remains to be done on their control-set, but Fuji has made tremendous strides with this innovative line of cameras. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. In the meantime, let the new street and travel king be crowned!
There’s a lot of talk these days, both good and bad, about the Fujifilm X Series cameras: the X-Pro1 and the X-E1. I’ve been using the X-Pro1 for exactly one year now. Back when I first gave my initial impressions I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this camera long term. Well, the jury is out and the verdict is I love it… a lot!
So much so, I took it for a month of shooting, an assignment in Africa for The Kilgoris Project then to India for my latest Rajasthan Photo workshop. In Africa I used both my X-Pro1 and my Canon 5D MKIII. Why? Fujifilm just doesn’t have the lenses for this little guy to go on Safari. But, then even my 70-200 mm with a 2x converter didn’t really deliver on the safari either. The main reason for being in Africa was The Kilgoris Project.
I shot this assignment completely with the X-Pro1 and only two lenses: the Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R and theXF18mmF2 R. After Africa I went to India to lead my workshop where I shot exclusively the X-Pro1. The main difference in India was I was able to borrow Piet Van den Eynde’s new XF14mmF2.8 R and this helped with any frustration I was having not being able to shoot wide enough. Remember, the X-Pro1 and the X-E1 are both cropped APS-C sensors and thus a 18 mm is a 27 mm in a 35mm equivalent..."-
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