Fugi x100 For a Nikon D300 user?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by randleman, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Hello all,
    I am trying to decide about purchasing a Fugi x100 camera or something similar in size.
    I travel frequently and shoot with a Nikon D300, using either f/2.8 17-55mm or f/2.8 70-200mm lenses. These are wonderful but quite bulky, and I'm looking for an additional more compact camera to use in situations where I don't want/can't carry all my desired gear.
    I have briefly looked into the regular range of compacts, but they appear to give up more image quality than I am willing to do (although I may have missed a good one and am open for suggestions.
    I have also looked at the Sony NEX cameras but don't like the lack of a viewfinder among some other features.
    So, with that background, I am seeking input on the Fugi x100 system. It appears to be the right size for the pocket, and I most frequently shoot at wider ranges, so I believe the fixed lens system would work OK for me. The price is high but within my range for now if the quality and functionality is similar to my D300 experience. if the drop off is greater than I may settle for a much cheaper compact.
    Any and all suggestions are most appreciated. I'm certain there are many issues I have not thought about in this this decision process.
  2. Get the Fuji X100. You have all but said that this is what you really want. Get it and share some shots with us.
  3. Fuji X100 is the only large sensor compact with a built in viewfinder. If you need, or may need later, more lens choices and can live with either separate optical or electronic finder, you should also consider the Ricoh GXR and possibly the Panasonic GF or Olympus EP range of cameras. I have the GXR with a 50mm lens unit and a Voigtlander optical finder. It works very well. I also have a Sigma DP1 with a 28mm lens. Having said that, I would most likely buy the Fuji if I did not have any compact cameras yet. Though the Ricoh is pretty neat and well worth considering. It has a very good user interface that can be customized. Better than the Fuji with its numerous quirks. 35 is a good classic focal length and probably the best overall focal length for a single lens system. 28 may be a bit wide and 50, the old normal, is a bit long as the only lens. A combination of 28 and 50 works well. Panasonic 1.7/20 (40 equivalent in micro 4/3s) is a very good lens for the micro 4/3 cameras. That and either the Panasonic 14 or the new Olympus 12 would make a very good pair as well.
  4. You missed out the Nikon forum ;)
    or something similar in size​
    Something similar in size would be the M9, but it may take a bit more convincing yourself... and may or may not fit in your pockets depending on how deep they are...
    As Alex already said, get it and post the pictures...
  5. Isn't Fugi (河豚) a sort of potentially poisonous puffer fish delicacy?
  6. I have both cameras.
    In my experience the signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range of X100 RAW files are superior to what I get from a D300. You will not be disappointed with the image quality. I only shoot in RAW, but people report the jpeg quality is excellent. I like how the X100 renders color compared to the D300. There is essentially no CA, and very little (if any) purple fringing. The lens is good at f 2, very good at f 2.8 and excellent from f 4 on. At distances of less than 3-4 ft you should use the lens at f 4 or greater. The lens is prone to flare from bright point light sources that are just out if the frame. Don't use a lens filter.
    The X100's multi-mode metering system is outstanding and the exposure compensation dial is convenient.
    I would rather look through the X100's OVF than the D300's finder. The X100's EVF is useful, but I prefer the OVF.
    People ignore you completely when you shoot with the X100. They don't take it seriously. The shutter is silent. The D300 can attract a lot of unwanted attention.
    The D300's AF system is superior to the X100's in every way. The X100 AF is slower and requires more contrast compared to the D300. You may need to learn new focusing methods, such as focus and recompose, if you do not have experience with manual focus cameras. The X100 has an EVF and an OVF for good reason. One works better in some situations than the other. Manual focus mode is really just another way to use AF. MF mode is useful when you want to confirm focus or make a fine adjustment. The X100 does have a focus bar in the finder display, so you can zone focus. I use MF mode much like I use the D300 (initiate focus with the AF button instead of a shutter half-press.
    The X100 write files much slower than the D300. You must use a SanDisk Extreme Pro card. The camera can take many photos while it writes to the card, but you can not change the aperture or shutter speed until it finishes.
    The X100 battery is small and dies much quicker than a D300 battery. You need at least two batteries and three woud not be a luxury. The batteries are small and light. Decent third-part batteries are inexpensive.
    Most people find it takes a while to get really good with a X100. The first week or so can be frustrating.
    I used a Nikon F3, a Zeiss Ikon rangefinder, a D200, 300 and 700. The X100 was harder to learn than any of these. I would not start with auto DR (set DR to 100 instead) and I would not start out with auto ISO. I suggest you use audio focus confirmation initially as the audio feedback will help you learn how the AF system works.
    I carry the X100 with me wherever I go. I really enjoy using it. I used to carry a D200 daily and I do more work with the X100 because it so easy to get it out of the bag and shoot. Also, people don't look twice when you use the X100.
  7. I think William has given an extremely comprehensive and fair account. It is clear that he has come to terms with most of the idiosyncratic aspects of X100 use. I agree with most of what he says but disagree on one point. My experience has been that lots of people show an interest in the camera when I am trying to be unobtrusive because of its retro look. One person actually asked if it was a Leica! I have an M6 and an M8 (lucky me!) but I mainly use a Canon 5D with a variety of lenses. But on my last trip to Paris I took only the X100 and was not disappointed. I left the hotel each day with a fully charged battery (+spares) and even taking 200 pictures a day did not have to change batteries. I was using RAW but have now moved to JPG because they are so good, infinitely better than JPG from the M8 and as good as JPG from the 5D. The low light capabilities are excellent. The photo shown was taken in Westminster Cathedral. This was in an alcove which was so dark that the mosaic was hardly visible!
  8. I have a G11 Canon and simply hate using it. But the Fuji X100 is so good, so easy to use, I find myself taking many more images than even with my big Canon SLR. The X100 is a very satisfying camera that inspires creativity due to its simplicity and great viewfinder.
    Keep in mind that my raves are about a camera with a lens far from my favorite focal length. From Leicas to medium format cameras to 35mm SLRs to medium format SLRs, 35 mm is an equivalent focal length that I have never enjoyed. Yet, because I find this camera such a joy I work around that (or with it, as the case may be) and enjoy the flexibility of a "shoot in any light" conpact tool.
  9. Some excellent comments here. The only thing I can think to add is to take your D300 and 17-55 out for a couple of days and lock it down at about 23mm and see if you can live with that 35mm-equivalent focal length. I know I can and do and it makes shooting with the X100 an absolute delight. I also have a Nikon D300 and except when I need to really reach out and touch someone, it stays in the bag. Also be prepared, as with any digital camera, to have about a six-month learning curve to be get the maximum out of it. I'm still working on that myself.
  10. William's response was excellent, and I can endorse almost all of his points.
    Check your D300 photos with Exif Viewer or a similar program. I found that
    almost 50% of my shots were between 18 and 50mm, with 30% more
    between 10 and 18mm. With a little more leg work, the 23mm Fuji lens covers
    most of that, and I use the excellent panorama feature to get 'wider', for
    example in churches. I rarely get my D7000 out now.

    In contrast to William, I find Auto DR and Auto ISO very useful, if set up well,
    but you will have to find your own sweet spot. My X100 is my constant
    companion and is the perfect travel camera for me. YMMV :)
  11. Brad:
    I would wholeheartedly recommend the X100 as a great compact camera for somebody who already knows how to use a camera well. I think you'll be delighted. The image quality is outstanding, even at ISO 3200.
    Yes, it's a fixed "35mm" view. You can crop to a 50mm perspective and still be at the same sensor size used by the micro 4/3rds camera. You can crop to a 90mm perspective and still get very nice 4x6 prints.
    It does what it does extremely well once you learn its idiosyncrasies and compensate accordingly. I would absolutely buy an X100 again. It's worth every penny to me.
  12. Here is a review by Neil Van Niekirk where he second shot a wedding using just the Fuji X100.
    I think it is very informative and positive. It along with Ken Rockwell's high praise makes me want to get one. Good luck!
  13. Fugu. Pufferfish sushi.
  14. Fugu is hardly ever eaten as sushi. Usually sashimi. But aso grilled etc.
  15. Thanks to all for the in-depth and insightful responses! I won't use the sushi information much, but the rest of the comments have helped tremendously, and I purchased the Fuji x100 today!
    I agree with determining which focal length or lengths suit one's personal style best, and although I love my 70-200mm lens for the right shots, and certainly can't get them without it, for 90% of my world I sue my 17-55mm nearly wide open. So, I'm confident that the fixed 23mm lens will get what I want, perhaps with just a but extra foot work on my part.
    Assuming I can figure out how to use it expeditiously I'll post my reviews and photos ASAP.
    Thanks again to all!
  16. Brad,
    Let us know when you get your camera. You will certainly have fun trying to find the right settings for your use.
    From looking at your portfolio you seem to be a very talented photographer (and world traveler). I look forward to seeing some of your pics.
    BTW, since you live in Atlanta, did you get a chance to check out the Cartier-Bresson show at the High or the Ansel Adams exhibit up here in my stomping grounds of Cartersville at the Booth Western Art Museum? Great exhibits both.
  17. Thanks again to all for the feedback. I did get the Fuji x100 and recently had an opportunity to use it in New York - and I love it!!! It is so easy to use and so incredibly portable compared to my D300.
    For me, this camera is no replacement for my normal set up, but it is a great addition for all times, because it takes up so little room to carry, and for those times when I was tired and/or not certain there would be major shooting opportunities it was perfect because I did not have to make that fateful decision to either be committed to carrying a heavy camera bag around potentially for nothing or being without a camera if a good shot arose.
    I found the camera very easy to use and very easy to acclimate to its features. The 23mm lens is in my natural shooting range so I found that no major problem - interestingly I did find that a frequently shoot even a bit wider than that with my 17-55mm lens, so there were some shots that surprised me when I found I was "too close" for the whole frame.
    I was perhaps most pleasantly surprised by the camera's quality at higher ISO (800-1600). I shot some at night without a tripod and was quite impressed with the results.
    I had read about battery life issues but found none - I easily shot over 200 shots each day without even approaching half battery life - all shooting was done in raw except for brief moments where I just needed a quick jpeg of something. One feature I particularly enjoyed was being able to very quickly switching to jpeg for a single shot and then back to raw for my normal shots.
    I used the "paparazzi" mode after a Broadway play to catch a shot of Daniel Radcliff signing an autograph for my daughter and found this mode to be amazing - ten frames per second (jpeg) followed by a lag to have then copy to the memory card.
    One thing to watch out for - many of the functions are lose together, and I found more than once that I had changed the focus mode or EV inadvertently.
    All in all this was a great investment for me and is going to expand my range of photography. I also found it quite fun to use as it forced me to think a bit differently about shots and compose differently. For anyone with the same goals and desires for a second camera I would highly recommend the Fuji x100.
  18. For more images please see my Fuji x100 photo gallery folder

Share This Page