First impressions of the X100's controls

Discussion in 'Fuji X100 Forum' started by Ray Sachs, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    Yeeeeeee - HAAAA!!!

    The UPS man just showed up! Its chucking rain and I need to figure this little beast out, so no photos today (probably not much tomorrow either because this weather is supposed to go through tomorrow), but it looks and feels great. I don't remember who thought it felt cheap, but they have a VERY different idea of what cheap feels like than I do. My cousin left the battery pretty close to full so I fired it up. It started right up and all of the basics seem to work, the OVF looks great, etc, but I have to give it a good bit of playing around to see how all of the moving parts work together. More of a report tomorrow, photos to follow, but probably not a lot until we get back from our trip to the tropics.

    One pretty cool little bonus that I was just tipped off to by someone on another forum. The little Black Rapid Snap-R case / sling strap combo fits this camera PERFECTLY. I bought this little case when it first became available because it was such a cool idea, but the only camera lens combination it really worked with was the GF1 with the 14mm lens, so its been gathering dust. But its perfect for the X-100. So I have a great sling strap with a built in little case to protect it when I'm not shooting and to hold a couple of batteries and the lens cap (when I am shooting). I didn't want to take this camera out with a whole case, but its a bit big for a pocket and I don't want it completely unprotected if I'm out for more than a couple of hours. Very cool accidental discovery!

    More to come...

    -Ray
     
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  2. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
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    Karen
    Happy for you Ray ... look forward to your report tomorrow, and seeing your photos from your holiday.
     
  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Ray, if I weren't so happy for you I'd be well...I'd be extremely jealous! But since we are pals, after all, I am really happy for you!:yahoo:

    Now you darn well better post those photos! I can tell you who it was that thought it felt cheap...maybe he felt a pretend X100? All joking aside, it was soundimageplus over on Mu43. Different strokes for different folks and all that.:biggrin:

    <iframe title="YouTube video player" width="480" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EgVOR28iG_o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Great news Ray, at last an X100 in the area...
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    I know...I might have to drive down..when are you leaving Ray???
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    Not leaving until early Saturday, very busy Friday, weather supposed to suck Wednesday - I could maybe fit you in on Thursday! :wink: I'm betting/guessing/hoping you folks will all get yours by the time I get back. Or shortly thereafter...

    OK, some quick impressions. The AF isn't blazing but feels fast enough, sort of in the Nex / GF-1 vicinity or a hair slower - not in gh2 territory.

    The parallax focus thing is really easy to understand and get a handle on once you have the camera in your hands. You put the upper left corner of the focus box on a hard corner and then switch between the EVF and OVF and you can see very clearly what's happening. I'm just pointing at the upper left hand corner of a tv set and backing away from it. And, as others have said, when you're within a couple of feet, the box moves a lot and there's not a lot of overlap between the focus box in the evf and ovf, so clearly you're better served to use the EVF in these close situations. By about five feet, the overlap is not quite total, but its pretty close. At those kinds of distances, you just want to make sure you don't have something well outside the focal plane you're aiming for in the extreme upper left of the focus box and the OVF should be fine. As you move back from there, it becomes a total non-issue very very quickly. I can't see this being a problem in real world use, particularly in street type situations where there's movement. And if you're close enough that it is, that's what the evf is there for

    The ISO controls are just insane and stupid on this camera. I don't think you could design them this badly on purpose so it must have been a total oversight. If it WAS intentional, whoever came up with it should seriously be locked up because if they ever had to design anything important, people could be hurt or killed by the result! You can put ISO on the FN button, but auto ISO isn't included. If you're into always manually setting your ISO, this shouldn't be a problem - stick it on the FN button and its always one click away. But if you like to go back and forth between auto ISO and sometimes wanting to use a specific setting, FORGET about it. Not only can you not set the ISO to 'auto' on the fly, its not even on the same basic menu as the specific ISO settings are. The ISO numbers on on the shooting menu and the 'auto' setting is only available on the setup menu! INSANITY! STUPIDITY! WHAT were they thinking? I'm not sure how I'm gonna use it. If 3200 is really as good as some of the images make it seem, I may just leave it on auto all the time and use the fn button for something else. If not, I guess I'm just gonna always have to manually control the ISO. I hate this.

    The manual focus has absolutely no feel to it at all. I think this will be OK to use with the AFL/AEL button (ie, not manual at all) and to set for zone focus or hyperfocal shooting, but not much else. OK with me - that's all I had in mind for it anyway but will probably use AF 99% of the time. I have no idea yet what the little command control toggle thing does, absolutely NO idea in any of the modes I've tried so far? The rear dial is a bit fiddly for sure and the button is small, but I don't see myself using it much and I can make it work. This is not the kind of thing I lose sleep over.

    I bought a good fast card in anticipation and formatted it in the camera and I'm not finding the write times to be a particular burden, even shooting RAW+jpeg for now. Based on the reviews I turned off all of the power saving options and the auto-review and turned on the quick start and I find start up times and general performance to be just fine. I'm not gonna let it go to sleep because the wake up times are supposed to be crazy long. So I'll just leave it on and turn it off if I'm not gonna shoot for more than a few minutes. And carry extra batteries. Carrying a couple of batteries does not bother me. Having the camera unable to wake from a nap would!

    In short, I like the feel of this camera a lot and my first impression is generally quite good. Nothing has really pissed me off except for the ISO thing which is just about enough to turn me into a screaming lunatic - its THAT stupid. Otherwise, very very nice!

    That's all for now - hopefully some photos in the next couple of days sometime...

    -Ray
     
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Hey Ray, would you tell us how you really feel about the ISO thing....:dash2:
     
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  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    :rofl:
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    I don't much like it Don. In fact I don't even like a little bit. It could be said that I rather dislike it. I actually dislike it a lot. Hate might not be too strong a word. Or, you could just say I find it rather objectionable. Not my favorite feature on the camera...

    Take yer pick!

    -Ray
     
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  10. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    We're just giving you a hard time, Ray.

    I enjoy reading your impressions and am doing my darndest not to live vicariously. Can't wait to see more photos from you and Retow, our first members with the Fuji X100!
     
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Ray, if I understand what your saying, it seems you don't like it.

    Could you explain how it actually works?
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    If it worked....

    Essentially, there is a menu item for ISO - I think they call it 'sensitivity'. And on it are a whole lot of numbers representing your garden variety ISO choices (and plenty of them, which is a good thing). "Auto" is not an option on this menu. This menu can be assigned to the function button so you can access it instantly and change the ISO quite quickly. The setting for "Auto" ISO is located on another menu far far far away from the first, not even in the same general category. There are two overall categories of menu options (you know, like on a Panasonic, where there are 3-4 tabs on the left - but here there are only two), one for shooting and one for more general settings. The ISO menu I mentioned above is on the "shooting" menu, as it should be. But the item to allow AUTO ISO is buried way down under the other tab, the Settings menu. Which is just insanity. So, you can choose auto (using the settings menu) and leave it in auto. Or, you can choose to select your ISO manually and even assign the list of available ISOs to the function button. But there's NO WAY to switch easily between AUTO ISO and a specific ISO setting that you want to choose manually. If you're in the manual ISO setting, with AUTO not engaged, the only way to get AUTO turned on is to dive into the settings menu. From there, you can pretty easily switch back to manual if you have the manual settings assigned to the FN button, but then you can't go BACK to auto without diving back into the menu. And nothing about these menus appears to be easy to dive into on the fly. So, realistically, for a given shooting session you need to decide beforehand whether you're gonna trust auto to do its job or whether you want to set ISO manually. You just can't switch back and forth between auto and manual without a lot of hassle. EVERY other camera I've used recently has a list of ISO values that you can select and one of those values is "auto" - always on the same list with the numbers. On this camera, auto and the numbers live in different cities and its NOT a short drive to get from one to the other. It CAN be a short drive from auto to manual (if you set the camera for auto but have the manual settings under the fn button), but you can't go back without a good long drive in the country.

    As far as I can tell on short notice, that's how it "WORKS", but I wouldn't use that word to describe it. If I'm missing something, I'll be thrilled to be educated. But I think this is the thing the Luminous Landscape guy was complaining about in his review, so I'm guessing this is just the way it is. Just don't let whoever came up with that design an airplane....

    -Ray
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    After playing with it a bit more, I'm thoroughly confused. At times it seems to jump back to auto ISO on its own, so maybe the manual over-ride isn't sticky? I'm gonna have to play with this in good light where I have more options. It might have been over-riding some of my manual settings because there simply wasn't enough light?

    So, I'm still pretty sure I don't like this aspect of it, but I can't say at this point exactly WHAT it is I don't like...:biggrin:

    -Ray
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    OK, Andy Westlake over at DPR just explained it to me and now I understand it and I still don't like it, but I have to think about it.

    How it works is this - you still have totally separate places to set auto ISO and to set the specific ISO value if you're using manual ISO. One can be accessed from the FN button, the other can't. If you choose to turn AUTO ISO on, you also have options in that same menu to set the maximum ISO value it can choose and the minimum shutter speed it will use in making its determination. But even with Auto ISO turned on, you can still go into the ISO value menu and pick an ISO number and it doesn't turn Auto ISO off. What it does is sets the MINIMUM ISO value that the camera will use while determining automatically which ISO to select. So, it allows you to set the low end of the range (the high end being set back in that other menu, where you turn AUTO on or off). I'm not sure where I think this would be useful or where or if I'd ever use it., but there you go. I hadn't been able to find any explanation in the manual and Andy confirmed that, in fact, its nowhere to be found in the manual.

    You still can't switch between auto and manual ISO without menu diving back to the Auto ISO menu and turning auto on or off. If its off its easy enough to deal with and when its on its easy enough to deal with, but you just can't easily move between the two modes. So yes, I still hate this (or strongly dislike it if you believe that hate is a word that should be reserved for mass murderers and the like), even understanding how this additional undocumented feature works. And, yes, I did lose a small amount of sleep over this until it was explained to me...:cool:

    -Ray
     
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  15. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    Ray, thanks for bringing us along on the ISO journey. I don't use Auto ISO, so it doesn't seem like a big deal to me. However, it's easy for me to say it doesn't bother me...and really settings are such personal matters. I keep rereading this last post of yours to get it in my head why the setting of the range of low and high wouldn't serve the purposes of someone who did want to have Auto ISO on.
     
  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    I gotta say, having an ISO 3200 that's THIS useable is likely to take an awful lot of the sting out of just setting it on AUTO ISO and forgetting about it. Check these out. These are 100% crops from the GH2, Nex, and X100 respectively, all taken at the same focal length and all at ISO 3200. All obviously of the same subject in identically low light. The Nex and GH2 were my best high ISO cameras - emphasis on WERE.

    -Ray

    GH2:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5616160072/" title="GH2 - ISO 3200 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="GH2 - ISO 3200"></a>

    Nex:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5616171184/" title="Nex - ISO 3200 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="Nex - ISO 3200"></a>

    X100

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5616160114/" title="X100 - ISO 3200 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="X100 - ISO 3200"></a>
     
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  17. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

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  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    In fairness, I just remembered that the first two are raw images with no noise reduction applied. The X100 shot is a jpeg with the lowest setting for noise reduction, but I'm assuming that its still using SOME sort of noise reduction, even if not very much...

    -Ray
     
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  19. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
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    OK, I'll tone my wahoo down just a tad, but not too much.:wink: I think you need to go back and do a full jpeg test.:friends:
     
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend Subscribing Member

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
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    you should be able to figure it out...
    Nah, I think i'll wait until Apple adds raw support for the X-100 and do a raw comparison. Since that's the way I shoot when I can, I'd rather see the base results rather than the processed results, because that becomes more a test of the processing than the basic image capture...

    But yes, it should be apples to apples...

    -Ray
     
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