Fuji X100 hands on

So I was at the Nat Cam store today… Completely disapointed and dreams dashed..

The thing doesn’t focus. I don’t want to be told that I’m using it wrong or I was in the wrong setting or I need to use a different technique. I held the camera stationary in space and focused on an object and it focused the background. I have used many a camera for 10 years and never have I had a this large of a problem. I’ve had cameras that have trouble finding focus, soft focus– but this, a camera that “tells me” that my foreground subject is in focus and it’s not… I was so confused as to how that can happen – but It would appear that I would need to learn 4 different ways to focus depending on what I’m shooting to get it right. Frame a subject with the eye-peice (OVF) OR use the screen on the back (EVF) BECAUSE the results will be different, and perhaps choose a manual setting and hit the AE-L / AF-L button OR use the marco more for a non macro shot… no, NO.

So here’s what happened. I look through the eyepiece and focus on something- I get the little green box and I trigger the shutter (horribly blurry). I pull my greasy face away– hold the camera in the same exact spot– and it switches to the screen — I push the shutter again and THAT photo IS in focus. I put my face back to the eyepiece and try it again without moving the camera and again it’s OUT of focus. WTF. This is completely unacceptable. It’s the year 2012- I want a camera that will focus the same way no matter if I’m looking through the eyepiece or with the screen. On top of that I hardly get it to focus on subjects around 3 feet unless I use macro mode. This post illustrates the same problem I faced- very frustrating to say the least. It will focus so long as your face is not near the camera.

You know, in a way I still love the camera, I WANT to love it (for all sorts of reasons– maybe I’m in denial) But if I listen to my inner voice of logic I can not in sound mind pay $1200 for an otherwise great performing, low-light / high ISO, pocketable, f/2 35 mm camera that DOESN’T focus. It’s just that I have a reasonable expectation to be able to focus well (esp that it be consistent between the EVF and the OVF) and I shouldn’t try to convince myself otherwise…

If I want a compact camera that still packs a punch, the sony NEX-7 with a pancake 16mm lens it looking like a better alternative– or for more than half the price a canon s100 is looking like a better option. At least both of those cameras will focus on what you point it at…

–Update–

It seems that the parallax error for “close-up” photos can be corrected by using a setting in camera… I shouldn’t have to go into menus and figure out how to outsmart the camera and have it be useable only after setting things up properly. Also the slow start up time is “solved” by using a high speed card and formatting in camera… See here and here and here and here.

“Just got my x100 yesterday, and have noticed the dreaded AF mis-focus in OVF mode, focussing close – like a half body portrait. A few times the background has been in focus rather than the subject, due to the parallax error in the AF spot close up.

I’ve found the solution though – in the setup menu, go down to the very last menu time – ‘corrected AF frame’ and mark it as ‘on’. Now, there will be 2 visible white AF spots in the viewfinder – one indicating where the spot is at infinity and one indicating where the spot will be at close focus. Use them accordingly and you shouldn’t have the problem of mis-focus anymore.

*as an added bonus, when you line up and half press for focus, you’ll see the green ‘AF confirm’ box will appear overlaid on or between the white near & far AF indicators – its position in relation to the 2 white boxes relays to you where it’s found focus. For example – If you’re focusing on a half body subject close up and the green ‘AF confirm box’ pops up on the infinity ‘AF box’, you know you’ve missed focus.”

— still not buying this camera anytime soon —