So I finally decided to buy a new compact camera. After 6 years of just using dSLRs (a Canon 30D and a Canon 5D MkII) I found my personal photography was getting into a bit of a rut. The main cause of this was the tendency not to take my dSLR out and about in Singapore because it was too heavy and cumbersome. I lost count of the times I would spot a great photographic opportunity and kick myself for not having a camera with me. Time to buy something a bit lighter.
I looked into a few compact cameras but finally opted for the Fujifilm X100. Here are the 5 top reasons why:
1. It has a fixed lens. What no zoom? That’s right. If you want to get closer through your lens then you’re actually going to have to move your feet. I don’t want the luxury of a zoom lens, it can make you lazy sometimes. I want to think about my photography a bit more and where I need to be to get the right composition. The lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of 35mm and an aperture which opens up to f/2.
2. Its optical/electronic viewfinder. There’s something nice about putting a camera up to your face to take a photo instead of relying on a live image through the LCD screen at the back. It helps on composition by shutting out everything else around you. With you X100 you can switch between an optical viewfinder or an electronic viewfinder via a simple lever at the front of the camera. It even has a sensor which will turn on the LCD screen once you take your eye away from the viewfinder.
3. It’s one of a handful of compacts that allows you to shoot RAW files for easier editing later on your computer. Additionally Fuji has included eight Film Simulations into the camera such as Velvia, Astia, Sepia and 4 B&W settings. Change the camera settings to one of the B&W simulations, look through the electronic viewfinder and you will suddenly see the world in black & white. My guess is that I will end up shooting in RAW + JPEG mode as I suspect these Film Simulations will be good straight out of the camera without too much post-processing.
4. Apart from the menu button on the back the controls are a pleasure to use. Change the aperture on the ring around the lens, change the shutter speed and exposure compensation on the magnesium alloy dials on top of the camera. The camera also feels sturdy in your hand. You can tell a lot of work has been put into the design of this camera.
and last but by no means least:
5. It just looks so damn retro cool!
So there you have it. Watch out for future posts on how I think the X100 performs when photographing children.