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- Fujifilm FinePix X100
- The Fujifilm Finepix X100 made a huge spash when it was announced nearly a year ago at Photokina.
Fujifilm X100 Digital Camera Review$1,199.95
The Fujifilm X100 doesn't come equipped with very many shooting modes. There are no scene modes and no true auto modes. Even Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual aren't really modes—they're just a byproduct of what combination of auto aperture and auto shutter speed you happen to have selected. Set the aperture and shutter speed dials to auto and you'll be in Program Auto mode. Set just aperture to auto and you're in Shutter Priority mode.
The closest thing to a mode selection that exists on the X100 is in the Drive submenu. Selecting up on the d-pad allows the user to put the camera into burst shooting, bracketing, motion panorama, or movie mode.
We found the autofocus to be terribly disappointing on the X100, with the camera struggling to find an accurate focus in anything but the brightest scenarios. In situations where virtually any camera had no trouble autofocusing, the X100 would either refuse to focus or get the focus wrong. When shooting in any dim indoor light, the AF assist lamp is virtually a necessity—and its disturbing brightness won't earn you any new friends.
There's also no face detection on the X100—a feature we take for granted on modern cameras. We wouldn't usually complain about this conspicuous absence, but with the Fuji's numerous autofocus woes, the camera could use all the help it can get.
Unfortunately, manual focus wasn't much better. You have to place your hand in a very precise position in order to not cover the lens while adjusting the focus ring. The focus ring is very precise, but sometimes requires you to spin it round and round before you're even in the right neighborhood for focus.
The easiest workaround is to set the camera to auto focus, achieve an approximate focus, then switch to manual focus for fine-tuning. Unfortunately, the focus mode switch is atrocious; the most commonly used mode (single autofocus) is in the middle and incredibly difficult to select. You can't really make the switch quickly and you certainly can't do it without looking at the switch.
A basic autofocus assist can be activated by pushing down on the command toggle. This switches to Live View and displays an enlarged portion of the screen.
The X100 has only a modest selection of resolution options, with two aspect ratios and three sizes to choose from. You can also select either a fine or normal JPEG quality setting, which you can shoot separate from or in combination with RAW.
As a nice added bonus, the X100 has a dedicated button on the back of the camera that allows you to shoot in RAW for a single shot. This is a great feature if you typically shoot in JPEG, but want an individual photo to be shot in RAW without the hassle of going through the menus. There's also a full-featured in-camera RAW conversion if you want to create JPEGs after the fact.
Fujifilm has clearly tried to position the X100 as a professional photographer's compact camera. As such, it's managed to cram in a slew of other controls to augment the typical exposure options, dynamic range expansion, and white balance shift.
The X100 has an optional ND (Neutral Density) filter that reduces exposure by the equivalent of about 3 EV. This lets you use slow shutter speeds and/or wide apertures in brightly lit scenes. This is how many photographers achieve motion blur or soft backgrounds without overexposure in bright light.
Five color settings allow you to adjust the color density, ranging from low, mid low, and mid to mid high and high.
You can manually tweak sharpness by choosing one of the following options: hard, medium hard, standard, medium soft, and soft.
Highlight Tone and Shadow Tone
You can adjust highlight and shadow tones separately, with each setting having the same five options: hard, medium hard, standard, medium soft, and soft.
Like many cameras today, the X100 is equipped with a motion panorama setting, which allows you to move the camera along a vertical or horizontal line and capture several photos at once. The camera will then automatically stitch these together into a single photograph. The option works well on the X100, though we're not sure most people would think to locate this option in the Drive menu.