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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
If you're not a fan of multiple record modes or compression settings, the X100 camera may be the right model for you. Fuji keeps things simple in this area by offering just one solitary record mode on the camera: a 1280 x 720 resolution video mode that records at a 24p frame rate. The compression system used on the camera is H.264, which is one of the most common formats for compressing HD video. There are no standard definition record modes, and no video quality options on the X100. Find out how the performed in our video image quality test./r:link_to_content
The Fuji X100 may appeal to semi-professional or even professional photographers, but the camera certainly doesn't cater towards those with a strong interest in video. The video quality is decent, that was cleared up in our testing, but the controls on the camera are very limited when recording video. The only major control that you can set in video mode is aperture, and we're glad to see Fuji offers this control. You can set aperture by rotating the dial on the lens, just as you would for shooting photos. The problem is, you can't change the aperture during recording. This may perturb some videographers who like to play around with depth of field in the middle of a shot.
The shutter speed dial, while it looks enticing, does nothing in video mode. Yes, you can change and rotate it to your heart's content, but it won't do anything to change the shutter speed used to record your video.
You'd think that without the option of controlling things manually in video mode that Fuji would have at least tried to offer a set of superior auto controls on the X100. That's not the case, however, as the camera's autofocus system is downright awful when recording videos (it's awful for photos, too).
The camera does have a continual autofocus system, but at times it seemed like the system didn't work at all. When it did work, sometimes the X100 took up to five or six seconds to focus using the continual focus system. The single-push autofocus option works better, but it too occasionally produces terrible results—and it's much more annoying to use when recording video than a continual autofocus option.
Auto exposure adjustments were nearly as bad, as we noticed the camera blowing out bright portions of the frame, as well as taking a long time to produce an accurate exposure adjustment.
Here's a shocker: you can't set focus manually while recording video with the Fuji X100. This is rather absurd when you consider the camera is prominently equipped with a focus ring. Yes, you can use the ring to set focus prior to recording, but once you start recording the ring is locked. It's strange, quirky, and terrible design flaws like this that make using the X100 to record video a frustrating challenge.
That fancy exposure compensation dial that is such fun to use in photo mode does work in video mode as well... but it also has its problems. For starters, the dial won't provide exposure compensation during recording, so you must adjust exposure before you begin shooting. It also has a strange delay in initiating the exposure change after you start recording.
As we said previously, aperture can be set manually in movie mode on the X100, but shutter speed cannot be altered.
Don't expect to adjust ISO or anything else on the X100 when you're in movie mode. In fact, the only options you see in the video menu system are for adjusting the film simulation color modes. You can choose from standard (Provia), vivid (Velvia), soft (Astia), a variety of monochrome settings, and a sepia option.
You can't perform a custom white balance in video mode, and you can't use a custom white balance that has been set in photo mode when you're recording videos. You do, however, have the option of selecting from the X100's variety of white balance presets (including a manual Kelvin color temperature).
Surprisingly, the X100 has a built-in stereo microphone. We say this is a surprise because the camera doesn't look like it has a stereo mic upon first glance. If you look closely, though, you'll see two small dots on the front of the X100. These dots represent the left and right channels for the built-in stereo mic. It looks kind of funny to have the mic spread out like this, and both channels are located in the vicinity of noisy knobs and dials, but the mic worked adequately for picking up audio.