Friday, March 25, 2011

Fuji X100, To Buy Or Not To Buy.

The early reviews of the X100, leading up to the review that everyone cares about at DPReview, are very good. It's unfortunate that Fuji did not completely exorcise many of the functional issues that seem to affect high-end point & shoots like the Leica X1. Auto-focus is slow and problematic at times and writing to the memory card is slow as shit, but unlike the things that made the X1 a purchase only for the most self-important photogs, nothing on the X100 makes it a non-starter.

The leaf shutter is exciting for anyone who's ever tasted the ability to sync a flash past 1/250 sec, and the ISO quality is amazing. They've wedged a sensor that's as good as any sensor on the market into a body that's only slightly bigger than the new Pen cameras. My only equipment disappointment is the lens being soft at the maximum aperture of f2. All things considered, the quality of the images is simply wonderful.

As with Micro 4/3's, I hope that the wild success of this camera fosters more creativity in the market. Aside from the growing 4/3's group, the major players have been annoyingly conservative. Yes, Fuji produced some funky sensors in the past, and Foveon is cool, but Nikon and Canon own 80% of the market together. Even 4/3's was uninventive (stupidly so) for most of its time on the market. 4/3's had to fail and be forced into a new product paradigm to find success.

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