Zack’s full review is now online. Read it here at zackarias.com. He says that it’s the “strangest gear review I have ever written.” I found his strange and creative review very pleasant to read. There are also some beautiful shots. Great job Zack! Here an extract:
“What is the soul of this camera? It’s the styling. That’s the first part of it. Then it’s the feel of it. Then it’s that damn amazing hybrid optical viewfinder. It’s attention to details. It’s listening to the community. It’s a perfect camera. […] I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t need more pixels. The AF is plenty fast for me. Peaking added to manual focus is a God send! It’s fantastic. Maybe I’d request to be able to change the color of the peaking. Currently it’s white. Maybe red / green / pink would be good options to have in the menu. But yeah, manual focus is legit now. I prefer the peaking to the digital split image.”
“The scene was dark and quiet and I tried to capture that feeling by keeping the ISO down, I did not want the trees to look grainy or noisy and kept the 1/30 shutter speed. Switched focus to AFC and focused. Failed. No problem, my subjects weren’t going anywhere, just running around in circles, re-framed, focused and captured. AF FAIL again. Now this was a pretty challenging scenery, low light, nothing reliable to focus on and after a few more failed attempts I switched to manual focus, which, from my previous setting was in split mode and I realized instantly split mode wont get the job done here, the subjects are moving too fast, the snow on the ground didn’t offer anything vertical and the trees were too far away. I pressed the toggle switch on the back for a second and this took me to focus peaking, which was the perfect aid for this scenery and thanks to the short throw of the mf ring, I had them focused properly and followed their movements with ease. I never took my eyes off them until I had the shot (after about 30 clicks). […] Back in the East Village, I spotted this lady waiting for the light to change and just caught her, still in AFS mode I switched to AFC mode, left the shutter speed at 1/30th and was pleasantly surprised, the X100S nailed focus the first time, I took a few shots to get the step right and autofocus was spot on every time. Impressive.”
It sounds like a “photografic adventure” in NYC and I really enjoyed reading it. No ISO-charts, no comparisons… just walking around in a cold, snowy winter night, hunting for a good subject to capture with the X100S and writing down his experience. At the end Mike Kobal says that “[…] the X100S is a street photographers dream. AF issues have been fixed and the improved EVF was a joy to use, MF options are in a league of their own. No contenders for now, and I almost forgot, in good light, we have the fantastic OHVF. Do I like this camera? Will I get one? Hell YES![…] ” Read it here.
Here is Ralf’s X100S unboxing & review in English (German review). Amazing and outstanding image quality, very good also at high ISO and details. The image quality is also a little better than the X-E1, because “the pictures have a little bit more contrast and just a little bit less noise than the X-E1, but the difference is very very low.”… Take a look also at his Flickr X100S set here.
– In the next video (German version) Ralf reviews the X20. The X10 was already a very good camera. But Fuji improved it. It’s not that huge improvement [as for the X100S], but there are a lot of nice and new functions in the X20 (focus peaking, OFV with Trans Panel, X-TRANS, EXR II, a bit faster AF…), so it’s worth to buy this camera, although the X10 is still really good, and you could save a lot of money if you go for the X10. Here is his X20 Flickr set.
MIKE KOBAL: Very solid, increased refresh rate and resolution when in EVF mode, better feel of the focusing, aperture, shutter speed and +- control rings, “in good as well as mediocre lighting conditions auto focus can be blazingly fast. Nikon V1/V2 fast. Olympus OM-D fast. Yes, my friends, it is that good!“
And here is the video where Mike compares the RX1 and X100S. He will, among the others, show you the AF-performance in low light. The X100S is a bit faster. In his RX1 review here he says that”Auto focus performance is the Achilles heel of the RX1 with non static subjects […] Battery life sucks on the X100S, not a big deal, I have two spares on me when I am out.” A detailed comparison will follow in the next days. I’ll keep you updated.
BRIAN KRAFT: You know, Brian updates continuosly his website, with his findings about the X100S. Look at the updated PROS and CONS section here. This time he photographed a wedding. Just click here to see read his considerations and the images. Here an extract:
“I’ve never been much of a manual-focus-photographer, but I was really surprised how often I found myself going to the manual focus with focus peaking yesterday.[…] Since it was so dark and using the OVF is not helpful in that situation, I was using the EVF. However, for flash photography, your camera settings are not set bright enough to very effectively use the EVF either. Except… with focus peaking engaged, you could see those white contrast lines show up in the dark and could know whether you had focus or not. Loved it! Also, please note for those wondering about the low light ISO capabilities (FYI- I did shoot RAW). I happen to love the grain structure of the X100S and so I did very little noise reduction on these– most have no noise reduction at all, even many of the ISO 4,000, 5,000, and 6,400 photos. If you’re looking for the cleanest shots possible– the camera can do it very well– […] The camera is capable of producing an amazing dynamic range.”
GERMANY: X100S: At ebay, but you have to pay €140 extra. If you can’t wait for it, then click here for the ebay store. X20: There is one black in stock here at AmazonDE for €555 (third party reseller). Also ebay has it here for €549.
ITALY: X100S: At ebay here or here or here (delivers in 16-18 days). X20: At ebay here (€529) or here (€495 – delivers in 16-18 days).
Pocket-lint posted his X20 review. They assigned to the X20 five out of five stars (the RX100 gained 4½ stars here). Read why in this review. Here just the verdict:
“The Fujifilm X20 is not only the camera that irons out its predecessor’s orb-related imaging issues, it’s also the camera that pushes image quality up a notch to class-leading levels. The chunky, retro-styled build doesn’t make the X20 the tiniest of models and the design, even just aesthetically, won’t suit all tastes – but we’re big fans and think its looks are just as stand-out as its images. The advancement of the camera’s optical viewfinder with its digital overlay is also welcome, even if the limited field of view and inconsistent – yet unavoidable – presentation of focus areas can frustrate a little. Yet, and in context, we can’t think of a better OVF in a camera at this price point. There may be no touchscreen and no vari-angle bracket mount, but we have no care. The one thing that the X20 has missed out on – in order to make the very most from its 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 equivalent lens – is a built-in neutral density filter. Sounds small, but we’re surprised at its omission. That small blip aside and this is high-end compact camera perfection. We’ve got a lot of love for the X20, and it’s given us a lot of love back. The high-end compact camera hierarchy has a new champion: all hail the Fujifilm X20.”