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| p.1 #1 · A few comments on the Fuji X100S |
I've been using this camera for the last few days and really still need to get used to it. My other digital camera is a 5DII, which I often use with the CV 40/2 Ultron - as compact a tool as I've so far been able to settle on and still maintain high level IQ and excellent usability.
The reason for buying the X100S is to have something lighter that I can have with me more often.
I can't really comment on IQ yet - though early results seem good, I can though say a few things about ergonomics and usability that I haven't seen specifically mentioned so far in any reviews.
I like the camera very much overall and feel strongly positive about the way it works - it is generally excellent to use, but there some odd lapses when compared to the 5D II that I'm used to. Here they are:
1. I'm used to using the AF button on the Canon to separate focusing and metering, when using auto focus - it is my preferred shooting method, as it is for many others. Unfortunately this is not possible with the X100s. The best that can be done is either use the AF button to lock focus and meter with the shutter release, or to use manual focus mode and use the AF button to catch focus. The problem with the latter is that in MF it is not possible to use the corrected AF frame - so there is room for parallax focus problems unless one then checks focus with one of the MF focusing aids, which can slow things down somewhat.
I would much prefer to be able to focus with the AF button and have the shutter release focusing disabled as on the 5D II.
2. The rear screen is not particularly good. a).It does not have an automatic brightness control - only an on/off for sunlight mode. Off is mostly just too dark, and on is often too bright. b) magnification is only 5x or thereabouts and is not adequate to check focus. Why this does not magnify to 10x or to 100% I really can't understand. Perhaps this is something that can be improved in a firmware update.
3. I'm experimenting with using the camera on auto ISO (which can be set up very flexibly - excellent!) so that I can dedicate the fn button to the Neutral density filter for ease of use. It works very well, but... there is no indication as to whether the ND is on or off, other than an unexpected exposure - no 'ND on' warning in the viewfinder or in the EVF. Odd.
4. The Q button is a great idea; however, if one shoots RAW, most of the control options there are redundant. Wouldn't it be possible to have a different set of options appear when one is in raw mode that are actually useful to the RAW shooter? For instance quick access to the ND filter, access to a live histogram, options to change the brightness or contrast of the rear EVF.
5. the only button one can program ones self is the fn button. Why not have the option to choose the definition of the Q button or the functions of the command control?
6. It is possible to shrink the size of the focus frame so that it is much smaller than the default size. At first I thought this would be a very useful feature for increased accuracy. There seem to be problems with this though. The rectangle in the viewfinders, both OVF and EVF, does not shrink in size to match the size that it is reduced to in set up, which means you have to guess the centre of the viewfinder rectangle - not difficult, but odd - again a firmware fix please. That would not matter at all if the smaller focusing point made focusing more accurate (enabling accurate focus on small leaves against a high contrast background) but it does not seem to. Instead, it just seems to slow things down. Can this be improved?
As I say, I find the camera's design and ergonomics generally excellent and do not want to sound too carping - most of these points are not that important (I think 1 & 2 are). Nevertheless, there is definite room for refinement.