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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Compared
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Leica M3 and Fuji X100

1955 LEICA M3 mit 50mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX and Fuji X100. enlarge.

 

Leica M3 and Fuji X100

1955 LEICA M3 mit 50mm f/1.4 SUMMILUX and Fuji X100. enlarge.

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April 2012  Fuji X100 Review   More Fuji Reviews   All Reviews

NEW: High-ISO Comparisons of the Nikon D1, D3 (D700), D4, D800, D7000 and Canon 5D, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III and Fuji X-Pro1 and X100 06 April 2012

NEW: 2012 DSLR Comparison 18 April 2012

 

Overview

DSLRs still rule for dedicated sports and action.

The LEICA masters all for ultimate image quality for nature and landscape.

The X100 excels for everything else in between, especially when you have to carry it with you.

 

Respect

Although LEICA invented the full-frame format in 1918, I'd love it if some other manufacturer would kick LEICA out of the park and have the guts to make an even better camera.

If Fuji would simply keep their 23mm lens and provide us instead with just a hole with a LEICA M mount and full-sized sensor, the LEICA M9 would be so dead for actual photography. (LEICAMEN would still buy them for their own sake. Bloodline matters.)

Fuji could call it the FinePix M10, and market it as "Die Zukunft der Fotografie M" ("The Future of M Photography"), and they would be right. For instance, even the X100's shutter release feels so much nicer than the notchy thing of the M9.

Sure, collectors will always pay für LEICA, but for photography, do you have any idea how great it is to just tap a lever on the Fuji X100 to see live through the lens and make the parallax go away for close shots? LEICA is fun, but since the viewfinder is in a different place than the lens, with a LEICA, you never really know what's in the picture until you see the results. The X100 is 60 years ahead of LEICA. Now if someone would take off the lens and get the junk features out of the way of the X100.

The M9 is all about using M lenses on digital. It is the world's only full-frame LEICA M, but if I could get a better body für use mit my M-lenses, I'd use it.

 

Tabular Comparison

BASICS

Canon S95

LEICA X1

Lens pairing
built-in
built-in
built-in
Lens speed
f/2
f/2
f/1.8
f/1.8
f/2
f/2.8
Weight, actual ready-to-shoot, with lens
440g
852g
971g
751g
193g
~ 310g
Price, USA, with lens, June 2011
$10,000 ($7,000 + $3,000)
$1,460 ($1,200 + $260.)

$1,060 ($800 + $260.)

 
HUMAN
Optical Finder
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
no
no
Electronic Finder
Yes
no
no
no
no
no
Lens always ready to shoot?
Always ready
Always ready
Always ready
Always ready
No; retracts
No; retracts
Focus speed
Fast
Slow
very fast
very fast
fast
Preset manual zone/scale focus?
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes.
Next-shot speed
Moderate
Instant
Instant
Instant
Moderate
 
Buffer Depth
no buffer
7
> 100
> 100
no buffer
 
Danger if left pointed at the sun

None, in OVF power save mode.

Some in other modes.

Yes.
Usually not.
Usually not.
Usually not.
Menu Jockeying
Moderately slow
Extremely fast
Fast
Fast
Moderate
 
Total-recall setup memories?
none
4
2
none
1
Carries on
Shoulder
Shoulder
Shoulder
Shoulder
pocket, belt or girlfriend's purse
pocket, belt or girlfriend's purse
Acoustic noise
Essentially Silent
Moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Almost Silent
 
Battery life, actual
500 shots
300 shots
thousands of shots
thousands of shots
400 shots?
rated 300
Response to inputs
Fast enough
Instant
Instant
Instant
Fast enough
 
Shutter feel (Trigger pull)
Fair
Poor (too notchy)
Good
Good
Fair
 
Standard threaded cable release?
Yes
Yes
no
no
no
 
Rear LCD Resolution
High
460 kPxl
Moderate 230 kPxl
High
921 kPxl
High
921 kPxl
High
461 kPxl
Moderate
230 kPxl
Good for
Travel and leisure
Nature, landscape, fine art and travel
Everything
Family & everything
Travel and pocket
Rich guys' girlfriends
 
IMAGE
Sensor Size (crop factor)
1.5
1: full-frame
DX: 1.5
DX: 1.5
4.7
1.5
Aspect Ratio
1.5:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
1.5:1
4:3
1.5:1
Dust Resistance
Excellent
Fair
Good
Good
Very Good
 
Sunstars
18 subtly delicious points
8 big ugly points
14 soft points
14 soft points
6 foolish-looking points
Fill-flash
Superb
not great
Superb
Superb
sometimes OK
 

Auto WB

Excellent
Atrocious
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
 
High ISOs
Superb
Worse than the rest
Excellent
Excellent
OK
 
Highlight rendition
Excellent
fair
good
good
OK
 
Sharpness
Excellent
excellent (DNG), fair (JPG)
good
good
good
 
JPG Image Quality
Excellent
poor
Excellent
Excellent
good
 
JPG file size
fixed
optimized
semi-optimized
semi-optimized
optimized
 
Lens Distortion
-0.7
-1.5
+2.0
+2.0
varies
 

 

Focus Notes

The X100 has a better AF-mode slide switch than SLRs because its three modes are all switched electronically. Nikon SLRs have one or more switches, and at least one of them is a big clunky thing that has to move internal mechanics to change between auto and manual

Far better than any SLR is that the X100 allows one to set and reset a fixed manual focus with the tap of a button. With SLRs, it takes sliding the darn switch back and forth, setting one focus, and hoping one can slide the switch back to Manual without moving anything.

 

Weight Comparison

Actual measured weights of little cameras, including lens, batteries, film or card, and ready to shoot:

193g
Canon S95
350g
Nikon 35Ti
400g
Canon G11
440g
Fuji X100
528g
Minolta CLE + 40/2 SUMMICRON-C
577g
LEICA IIIf + 35mm f/3.5 SUMMARON A36
699g
Nikon D3100 + 35/1.8 DX
749g
LEICA M9 + 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M
751g
Nikon D5100 + 35/1.8 DX
752g
Contax G2 + 35mm f/2 Zeiss G Planar
757g
LEICA IIIf + 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH (M39)
852g
LEICA M9 + 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH
971g
Nikon D7000 + 35/1.8 DX
1,617g
Nikon D3 + 35/2 AF-D
1,987g
Nikon D700 + 24-70 AF-S
2,319g
Nikon D3 + 24-70 AF-S

 

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B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Ritz Camera

The closest direct comparison, the LEICA M9 + 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH, weighs twice as much as the X100!

Likewise, most of you folks reading this are shooting either a Nikon D700 + 24-70 AF-S or Nikon D3 + 35/2 AF-D, either of which weighs twice again the weight of the LEICA M9 + 35mm f/2 SUMMICRON-M ASPH, or four times the X100, to take the same pictures.

The 24-70 AF-S is a stop slower and works worse in low light. What's up with that?

 

More Information

Fuji X100 Review

Fuji X100 Sample Images

Fuji X100 Specifications

Fuji X100 Accessories

Fuji X100 Compared to Other Cameras

Fuji X100 User's Guide

 

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