My reasons on selling my X100.
This camera will always leave me a sour taste. It's possibly the worst camera I have ever owned and I really wanted to like it.
I bought the camera based on the reasoning my favorite camera of all time was the Epson R-D1s. I owned and used one for around 3 years. On the last 2 years of ownership, I acquired a Ricoh GR28mm f2.8 lens LTM on ebay to fit on it. The lens was expensive and stayed on my camera pretty much 90% of the time. Based on this, I thought the X100 with it's fixed 35mm f2.0 would not really be a problem.
Anyway, I think X100 is rubbish.
- It cannot be relied on. Yes the OVF is really cool, but it's very inaccurate to a degree you cannot trust it. I ended up using the EVF most of the time in order to ensure I get a usable picture.
- The MF is basically unusable. When you compare using the MF on the X100 with a GXR-M you suddenly wonder why on earth would someone want to suffer with an X100. It would have been so easy to not have a focus by wire and provide distance markings on the lens. The distance markings are available on via the LCD screen and OVF but I don't find that very useful.
- It's slooooow. So slow by the time you turn it on, view the settings, take the shot. What's more frustrating is when you realize after taking the shot that a setting was wrong. You need to wait a long moment before any settings can be changed. You can't even switch between OVF/EVF while the picture is being written to the card and this is just one of many things you will find you cannot do.
- Only one function key? Well it's going to either be ISO or ND. My experience of the Auto ISO was that it was random and could not be trusted. Then of course you find the setting for Auto-ISO is not even on the ISO menu.
- Lack of care and firmware updates. Should I say more?
- Should I mention the centre menu button was designed to be pushed with your nail?
Anyway, I really wanted to like this camera, I learnt to be patient with it and work with it the way it likes to be worked with. I even had a number of arguments with fellow photographers about this camera and defending the virtues of the x100. I even invested in what I thought to be the nicest leather case and the nicest leather neck strap. I even got an addon lens hood and painted it black to make it look cooler. I put so much energy into wanting to like this camera, but in the end I was just waiting for Fuji to release a firmware update to make it really a joy to use and not always pain and annoyance.
The camera nevertheless has some appeal: the picture quality is great, really.. but honestly no better, if not worse than the Ricoh GXR-M with a half decent lens or one of Ricoh's lensors (ok they don't make a 35mm f2 lensor). I really did wish before selling it that the X100 would do something the GXR wasn't able to do in order to justify owning 2 cameras but also to not appear to be foolish buy bushing a useless camera. The difference is that unlike the X100, the GXR will be reliable and responsive, you will love using it due to the solid build, perfect intuitive and logical interface, the speed of operation and the possibility of choosing the lens you want to go with it.
In terms of looks, the X100 is fantastic, it looks like an old Leica, but it's not. It's really not. Really really not. On the other hand, you will be able to appear like you have a Leica (if that's what you want) Honestly, if you can't afford a Leica (or even if you can), and you want better than a modern Leica (yes, better than a M8 or M9) and even better than the Epson RD1, get a GXR-M and a good lens (why not from Leica, CV, CZ..etc). You will have the perfect tool for the job with a mix of modern features alongside an amazing lens that will stay with you forever.
Enough of that...
Well today was probably my last sunday stroll around Avery hill park. Next week it's the Ricoh Meetup in London. The location will be confirmed on Christian's blog.
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