Not many cameras have created the immense hype, buzz and excitement like the Fuji X100. I had my first taste using my friend Christian Fletcher’s Fuji camera a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with it. Finally a camera that feels like shooting with a rangefinder, for years and years I have been waiting for someone to produce an affordable digital rangefinder with optical viewfinder. I am now home in Copenhagen and the lucky owner of my own Fuji X100 and wish to present some of my first images and notes on using the camera. I attempted to capture a less seen side of Copenhagen.
Fuji X100 notes
This is by no means a review. There are plenty of good reviews to choose from on the net, probably none more exhaustive than the dpreview.com Fuji x100 review. This is simply a few of my images and notes on using the camera.
- The optical viewfinder is in my opinion darn near miraculous and a revolution. I simply cannot shoot any other way, I must have an optical viewfinder and I really enjoy rangefinder style shooting. The Fuji’s incredible viewfinder can be used in purely optical mode, in hybrid optical mode with digital overlay and in pure digital mode. A truly stunning piece of work by Fuji. I always use the hybrid mode, I really enjoy the large super bright view that means I really connect with what I am shooting, there’s no “staring through a dark tunnel” dslr feel at all, I feel right in the middle of the action. It just feels so right to shoot this way.
- The APS-C sized sensor is of extremely high quality and offers DSLR quality in a small camera. Images are sharp, detailed, colourful and with a high dynamic range. The images are incredibly crisp due to the lack of AA filter in front of the sensor. Christian Fletcher is selling prints in his gallery from the Fuji and they look stunning, on par with prints from DSLRs like Canon 5D Mk II and 7D. The file size is of course smaller but apart from that I do not see major differences from the Fuji to my Canon 5D Mk II.
- The fixed 35mm lens is another brilliant piece of engineering. I have managed to create a few images with slight CA but it is very rare and the lens is simply of quite stunning quality.
- It is not really a rangefinder as one does not focus rangefinder style. In fact I normally use autofocus or trigger the autofocus in manual focus mode as the manual focus mode is very poor, very unfortunate. Actually the manual focus is almost unusable.
- It looks stunning 🙂 Very cool old-skool rangefinder look! Even more important, the build quality is very solid. I accidentally dropped mine from a height of 1.5 meters and the Fuji survived without a scratch (I had it in a bag, but that bag had a hole in the bottom!)
- The firmware really is so quirky it boggles the mind. DPreview dedicated a whole page to the bugs in this software. You have some work to do Fuji! Most of it I find is not that annoying during actual shooting, at least if you’re me and basically use it as a manual rangefinder that happens to record on digital media. Still, plenty of room for improvement.
- I have long fingers and large hands and the camera feels a tad tiny in my hands. I need somewhere to rest my right thumb, and am considering getting this thumb grip.
- Did I mention I simply love it? It is such a great tool for documentary work and it is simply so much fun to shoot with it, and I bring it everywhere. My Canon 5D Mk II + lenses are large and heavy, the Fuji is stealthy, small, silent and goes everywhere to document what I see. Love it.
Enough notes, let’s look at some photos. I keep my Fuji in my hand at all times and just wander the streets looking for something that catches my eye, people, light, shadows, colours. I set the Fuji to auto turn off at 5 minutes meaning it is basically always switched on (needed as it takes it 2-3 seconds to come to life). I have turned off the preview in the viewfinder so nothing interrupts my shooting. I use the camera sometimes manual, sometimes in aperture mode. In short, I use it almost like a manual rangefinder with the awesome Fuji X100 hybrid viewfinder. The camera is small, not many people actually notice it and best of all it is almost completely silent! No loud DSLR ka-klunk mirror slap, totally silent stealthy street photography. It is simply a great tool for documentary reportage style shooting.
Street photography is extremely difficult to do well and I struggle with it always. Here’s a small selection of images from the streets of Copenhagen. Yes I have toyed with a lot of processing styles, again this is no review feat. un-touched raw files, this is simply me creating images with the Fuji.
Street photography in colour can get very messy with too many colours often, but sometimes just one colour dominates:
Shot from the hip, whipped the camera around quickly to capture this:
I half stumbled into this demonstration and event ‘BZ søminen’ meaning basically ‘Let us occupy the abandoned building called Søminen’. It was a very peaceful, colourful and fun event and great fun to cover. I will present just a few, I really did shoot the sh*t out of this event in order to try and really document it and I will do a longer blog post on this soon. There were many photojournos documenting this event and the Fuji got quite a few stares and comments.
Waiting for the demo to start:
Almost ready to start walking towards the building
On top of the building.
Creating windows, gaining access.
It was such a lovely sunny day, the police was there but chose wisely to remain passive and not escalate the situation into violence, instead allowing the hundreds of people to have a party all night. It felt more like a huge picnic. The police easily cleared the building Monday morning at 5am where only 11 people remained.
Much more to come from “BZ Søminen” in another blog post and of course many more new Fuji X100 (and Canon 5D Mk II) visual stories are planned. Stay tuned. I would love to hear your opinion on my first Fuji snapshots, and I will also be happy to answer questions of course.
EDIT: See my post on shooting tips and tutorial on using the Fuji X100.
PS. Oh yes, I was unable to resist shooting a classic rangefinder style self-portrait. I used a mirror in my Sister’s flat and voilá, I made a cliché:
That shot with the skaters – what an awesome board! Did you rock up to him and say “I’ve seen you in another life brother?” 😀
(If Stuart S is reading this, he’s probably going to think “do these two never stop?” Heh)
It sounds like the Fuji has totally given you a fresh perspective of your home city. Good stuff.
Copenhagen looks too, too interesting for words. One day maybe. In another life!
The board attracted me instantly, it is so so cool 😀 Yes the Fuji is proving a great tool for me to explore my city in a completely different way. It fits in perfect with my passion now for story telling and street photography, the Canon was good for the big cityscapes, the Fuji (well the M9 is more perfect haha!) is perfect for my street work.
I love the image with splashes of yellow (to me they look orange, but I constantly get told that I’m colour-dyslexic).
I’ve been seeing Twitter explode over this new Fuji camera – can you all stop adding to my gear lust? Thank you.
It is a very orangey yellow I agree 🙂 Yes this camera has brought on quite a twitter storm, I’ll swap mine for a Leica M9 if anyone is keen? 🙂
Great stuff, the first one and the bus stop are my favorite. I picked a x100 up a week or two back but haven’t really had a chance to shoot too much with it yet. Does go with me everywhere though…
Thanks Mark, welcome to the blog.
A quality post there little buddy!
I like all the shots ….nicely done!
Cheers buddy! Say hi to Dave and Nikki, fellow Fuji club members 🙂 But tutoring how, you’ll have to use a non-Canon camera heheheeh 😀
Niki and Dave have their Fuji now as well and they coming around for some tutoring tonight!
I think your shots are great Flemming and your way too hard on yourself about your street photography, have some more confidence in yourself, they look great.
Thanks Andrea. I am my own worst critic and enemy.
Tuesday night dinner tonight as you know and my other adopted son is not here this week…doh! 🙂
Yep I will have to tutor myself on the camera before I can tutor them. Give me a few more heads up on the range finder selection and how to use it if you wouldn’t mind?
Doh indeed 🙂 Just emailed you re the Fuji.
Youdadude…dude…ta muchly! 🙂
Velkommen til København ! Og tak for den seneste nyhedsreportage i billeder ! They are great !
Cool kamera, must see…
Vedr. det sidste billede: Der er godtnok noget størrelsesmæssigt med det kamera og dine hænder, der tilfører selvportrættet noget næsten Dali-agtigt seriøs absurditet. Klart det fedeste skud 🙂
Tak min ven 😀 Se dette selvportræt med medium format rangefinder for den modsatte effekt: http://www.smogranch.com/fuji-gf-670-review/
The Fuji has certainly grabbed the limelight at the moment . Having had a play and look at the camera i wouldn’t actually buy one, a little limiting for me and not without it’s problems as you say. I’d buy a Leica V-Lux 20 I think for a street camera. The little S90 lives in my pocket and is a great little camera but i’d like something just that little bit better.
The M9 would suit but I’m not selling a kidney just yet.
PS You are a bit clumsy with these little cameras aren’t you. You dropped the S90 as well. 🙂
Hey I forgot to comment on the pics. i like the Mango and the bus stop shots, I like a bit of colour.
For me, the Fuji is awesome. I cannot shoot with any compact that does not have a high quality optical viewfinder. And the Fuji has image quality like a dslr.
Yes, big hands, long finders, small cameras and a very distraught mind does mean drop quite a few things! I never liked the S90, I think it sensed that and just killed itself by jumping out of my hands!
I’m really liking your shots from the Fuji Flemming. And you are a great ambassador for your home town and indeed the Fuji. Some of your horizons are way off mate! But I guess these shots are very candid so I reckon we might just let you off on this occasion.
I can almost see you wandering around the streets snapping away. These shots are great. They have the appearance of being snapped up with very little processing. However this candid collection is so much more than that!
Thanks very much Dave. In street photograpy and photo journalism it is considered art whenever one shoots wildly way off horizons and out of focus shots etc 😀
It looks like the camera is in great hands, beautiful street photography. I particularly love the Mango grocery photo!
Glad to hear that, thanks!
Hey Bo Jangles mate these images are just awesome I have been looking at one of these little devils for a little time now for when I am working away and they capture some amazing images especially with you behind the lens though mate ;).
Keep them coming and see you when you get back in Aussie land mate 😉
Thanks very much Brett, glad you enjoyed the images. This might be a good camera for you to always have on you when you’re working away! See you next time mate, was great to catch up.
Hey Flem great reportage images. Any chance you can email me too your tutorial on the range finder selection. And Mark if you read this any heads up send my way. Trying to work out the set up of the X100. Simply a detailed complex machine
Hi Adrian, thanks very much. I will do a blog post tonight or tomorrow and post all my tips on using the X100.
It’s a great little camera for sure, thanks for your thoughts on it, I can’t wait to get one myself!
Flemming the shots are stunning every one of them. I love your street style, almost like your not there which would be hard for you as you do stand out!! 6 foot blonde jedi. Simply brilliant work from capture to edits. And Merv you have no idea, the Fuji rocks every living camera out there! Leica indeed, phew!
The Leica V-LUX 20 doesn’t shoot RAW I’ve found out so that is off the list now.
Has to be the M9 now ….. bugger, i’m going to have to sell a kidney.
I’m selling my kidney too for an M9, I advise potential buyers to select my kidney – it is in a fair condition!
Thanks Christian! There are a few fellow 6 foot blondes here so I am a bit more incognito when shooting on the streets here. And I use my special jedi powers. The Fuji rocks!
Thanks for this great article.
I’m in Copenhagen right now and really want this camera. Is there any store around where I could get one?
Hi Chris, glad you like the article. I think you will find it impossible to find a Fuji X100 in Copenhagen, I doubt anyone has it in stock. Try http://www.photografica.dk
Very nice blog and photos, I’m looking forward to getting a X100, and to the shots I will get just by having a smaller camera to hand.
stunning photos !
wonder if the auto focus mode is fast ?
Greetings from Brunei. Great photos and I enjoyed your blog thoroughly. I thought I would share some of my own musings on owning the X100. I bought mine a few weeks on holiday in Singapore. I have to admit, the camera irritated me greatly at first and we did not get on the same foot. I thought the focus was slow, having to plow through lots of menu to get to where I want and the start up being slow despite being on power saving mode also pissed me off. But overtime, something happened. I started to realize how to work it and adapt if you like to its nuances which were not subtle. Now I cannot imagine going anywhere without it. It does everything my Nikon D2xs does and more.
Anyway, best wishes for the coming year.
Great post; fantastic self portrait at the end.
I saw the x100 for the first time tonight. Love the camera. It’s got some very weird buttons, I’ll admit that, like the raw button?? But the look, feel and overall fit and finish are superb.
I ‘m from Thailand. Just bought Fuji x100 camera.
I like picture ‘mango and fruit’