Upload & Sell: Off
| p.82 #11 · Sony RX1 FF Mirrorless (fixed lens) |
I just realised (after seeing the various cameras seen from the top, posted above) that I find the X100 a lot more compelling. It has a shutter speed ring instead of a drive mode ring, it has a grip, and it has a built-in EVF/OVF hybrid.
I'll grant you that a built in finder would make the RX1 more compelling to me too.
But having used the X100 extensively, I do not find it more compelling and I've since sold it. I bought the camera based on the visual promise that in use it would feel much like one of my small film cameras. Although physically it shares some traditional camera traits, the implementation feels somewhat crude and for me, just didn't work well.
While I like a marked shutter speed dial on the top deck too, I like such a thing because traditional controls if done right can make camera operation both simpler and faster. That advantage is lost if a camera actively works against speed of operation and in a number of ways the X100 does do just that.
The X100 has an annoying trait that it would randomly but often enough lock up when certain settings were changed - perhaps not speed but white balance or some other menu accessible function - while still writing to the card. An X100 owner soon learns not to rush things lest the camera lock up, which requires a battery pack removal to "reboot". Perhaps card write speeds have improved to help minimize this issue, although start up times are on the slow side too.
The on-lens aperture ring sits too close to the body for comfortable use - for me, and I have medium sized hands - and the little tabs Fujifilm put on the ring do not ameliorate this design flaw. When reading complaints about Sony's design decision to make the RX1 small, I am reminded of the X100 - had they made the lens just a little deeper they could have made the aperture ring more user friendly for all and dropped the tabs altogether.
As there is no distance and depth of field scale marked on the body of the lens, having manual controls top deck and on the lens doesn't help the shooter that uses zone focus - she/he must still look at the LCD or finder for that. Now you have two places to look rather than one = no efficiency savings, if that's truly important to a Manual-oriented photographer. Advantage lost.
The "OK" button in the control pad is a fiddly affair that is difficult to operate accurately without depressing one of the nearby controls, and feels so cheap, that one can hardly imagine how the component was ever approved on what was then seen as a very high end camera of its class. Fire the person that approved that control.
Autofocus works "OK" but wasn't great. Usable but not really acceptable. Fortunately for X100 owners this has been improved quite a bit in recent firmware. It'd be ok to have sometimes-sucky autofocus if the manual focus implementation worked well, but it didn't and doesn't. First word that comes to mind when manual focussing the X100? Abominable. Focus can be a time-suck with this camera, but I'll allow that maybe the firmware updates have improved it to the point that it wouldn't frustrate me now. Or maybe it still would.
As for the OVF vs EVF vs Hybrid choice, I liked the hybrid nature but used the EVF far more often than not, despite it being quite mediocre, because framing using the OVF is often quite "approximate" despite the camera's attempts at parallax correction of the framelines. Obviously an optical finder has certain advantages, but for my purposes I can get by without those advantages. Others mileage will vary.
Despite various issues, the X100 was ground breaking, looks sweet, and is a fine camera just the same. But nice as it is, for some it will always be in their way. While I loved the camera, I hated it as well, and it had to go. Those that have kept their cameras and love them to death probably won't agree with my conclusion, but I find the promise of the X100 is quite a bit better than the actual execution. Maybe a future X200 will hit all the high notes.