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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Comments

The website says the shutter lag '...is expected to be around 0.01 seconds'.

If I'm not mistaken, that's 10 miliseconds, not 100.

It is also insanely fast, so probably wishful thinking...

I like the bit about image stabilization. "You don't need that, trust us."

"Fuji X100 update"
Really?
What about "Pentax K5 MJ Edition Update"?
[g]

'Tis a thing of beauty. Sigh, I know it will be a camera that I will want, not need, but want. Why can't nikon or canon see the market for this type of camera?

Sadly, I don't have ~$1000 to spend on a camera that's intentionally and pointlessly inflexible, much as I might enjoy owning and using it. It's already bigger than the rangefinder-styled micro-4/3 cameras, so saying that foregoing an interchangeable lens is in some way saving size is disingenuous.

I guess I just don't subscribe to the school of magical thinking that imagines a fixed-lens camera to be superior to an interchangeable-lens camera that, when paired with an excellent pancake prime, is similar in size and weight.

Mike,
I was looking at that statistic earlier this morning, and noted that Fuji claims "it is expected to be around 0.01 seconds." That's 10 milliseconds (not 100). Pretty sure that's a typo on their part, but that would be essentially instantaneous. Nikon's D3 series has a shutter lag on the order of 40 ms, I believe.
-gkf-

No reasonable offer for my soul refused

0.01 sec is 10 ms, not 100ms.

It is nothing but pictures of the camera. Kind of like they're hiding the sensor.

Of the shutter lag, the Fuji website says "it is expected to be around 0.01 seconds", which would be 10 milliseconds rather than 100.

Very good news about the shutter lag of 100 milliseconds. I checked against the specs for my Nikon D200, which varies from 57 milliseconds to around 200 milliseconds depending on AF or flash mode. I've never "lost" a picture on the Nikon, so that worry for me on the Fuji is deleted.

Completely OT, but I'm delighted to have stumbled across the jazz station at Linn Radio ( http://radio.linnrecords.com/ ), which is playing in the background as I type. 320 kbps MP3 sounds so much better than DAB - almost CD like. I'm normally a late adopter of any new technology as I never get to hear of it when only the insiders know. I hadn't even heard of hifi quality over the internet until this morning. However, if there are any other TOP readers out there who are equally behind the times as me, it's worth a listen. Classical and modern channels as well.

Regarding shutter lag, the site actually says "around 0.01 seconds," which is 10 ms! That's undoubtedly prefocused, and may be with manual exposure set, but still: wow. Even if that estimate is optimistic, getting anywhere close to that is great.

I wonder how many milliseconds it will take me to get my credit card out once I see one of these in person....

It said "The exact lag time between the shutter release being pressed and the picture actually being taken is still to be finalised, but it is expected to be around 0.01 seconds." Very sleepy but is that 10 millisec?

Quick correction, Mike. The website actually says that the shutter lag will be 0.01 sec., which is 10 ms, not 100 ms. Which would actually make it faster than the M6!

Sold off my m4/3 gear over the last month in anticipation of the X100. I wait cash in hand for the release date.

Two things:

1. "And Fuji were as surprised as anyone." A camera company shouldn't be surprised. Being surprised like this is just another indication of how out of touch the engineering teams are with users.

2. "most mid-level amateur film or digital SLRs at 150 to 250 ms." Sorry, but not a single Nikon SLR or DSLR takes that long. The highest they've produced that I know of is 120 ms. The D90 is 65ms and the D7000 is faster. The X1's 100ms puts it about on par with the worst Nikon DSLR, but I'm also pretty sure that number is with manual focus for the X100.

Meanwhile, there are two things you want to change a lot: white balance and ISO. While the X100 has a programmable button that allows you to assign ONE of those to it, the camera also has a dedicated button (RAW) for something that the typical user wouldn't change as much. So Fujifilm will be "surprised" again when the number one user request is to make the RAW button programmable.

Not understanding your user is the downfall of more product designs out of Japan than any other. Not communicating with your user is the second problem in most design cycles (and sending emails TO a user about design decisions you're making is NOT communicating WITH them; true communication is two-way). Camera designers are from Mars, users are from Venus.

It seems the site mentions a 10ms shutter lag, not 100ms.

The Fuji website says the shutter lag will be around 0.01 sec which is 10 ms not the 100 ms you wrote.

I recall the pro film Canon EOS 1N RS (the one with the pellicle mirror) could be set to minimise the lag to six ms. . .

Doh! They've put WB on the Direction pad buttons. Missed that change from the proto I saw. Still, I'm betting that reprogramming the raw button will be a common feature request.

The camera sure has a retro-cool styling. But, honestly, I'm not interested. If I didn't have an Oly E-P2 I might be looking at this longingly. But the E-P2, on-spec, exceeds this fellow for versatility. And my new 60D takes very nice care of the APS-C format for me. (It's excellent, btw.) My Leica M's more than adequately scratch any "retro" styling itches I might get. This X100 also looks like quite a handful...not exactly a pocket camera, eh?

Nope, I'm sure I'll be vicariously entertained when it's released but it's not for me.

Mike,
´it is expected to be around 0.01 seconds´, the website says. That would equal 10 milliseconds, wouldn´t it? (Although that is so fast I don't quite trust my own calculation - or Fuji's.)

Wonderful, wonderful. If there was even a camera that needed a monochrome sensor then this is it! Love the leather carry case. To top it all off, how about a retro fan fold flash - you know, the ones that took flash bulbs, but with an electronic strobe instead.

Mike, excuse me if I'm wrong but the Fuji page says trhe shutter lag is expected to be 0.01 seconds. Isn't that 10 milliseconds?

Mike, I still think it's a big mistake for them to go with the fixed lens route. I think that if they came up with a 24mm f1.8, a 35mm f2, a 50mm f1.4 and a 85mm f1.8 this beauty would sell "freakishly" well. Right now, i think it will only sell "amazingly" well, which is 2 notches below on the "well scale".

Fuji states a 0.01 second shutter lag. This is 10 milliseconds, not 100 milliseconds. If they achieve that, it will be great.

Mike,

Fuji states shutter speed as .01 second = 10 msec.

Mike,

For the record, their site says the shutter lag is 0.01 seconds or 10 milliseconds.

-paul

The best thing about all the hoopla surrounding the X100 is the fact that it shows that there is a huge pent-up demand for this style of camera - the DMD - to use Mike's very apt moniker.

If this camera delivers on that promise, specifically image quality, speed of use and ease of use, Fuji will not be able to keep up with demand for at least a year...

I think its a good step on Fuji's part to keep these incremental updates coming (keeps expectations in check) especially with the expectation build up on this model. I hope they address the menu issue. S5 and S3 pro were actually let down by the overly complicated menu system. Hint to Fuji, take a leaf from the Leica book. Also is it just me who thinks it still has more buttons that are actually needed on the back (just wondering)?

Ummmm. Somehow I'm not convinced by this...

As the X100 features a fixed lens with a maximum fast aperture of F2, image stabilisation is not required as this combination will still allow photographers to successfully hand-hold the camera in low light conditions.

Erlik,
Translation: "We decided image stabilization wouldn't help it sell any better, and now we're justifying our decision."

Mike

When you mention "shutter lag will be on the order of 100 milliseconds", are you referring to autofocus lag? That is, the time delay that results when pressing the shutter release, letting the camera autofocus, then recording the image?

I suspect that prefocusing with a half-press, or using manual focus, would demonstrate that there is no measurable shutter lag, meaning that the recording of the image is almost instantaneous.


regards,

rich

1. The 10ms number is almost unquestionably a figure you only get if prefocussed.

2. Don't confuse enthusiast enthusiasm for an announcement with "pent up demand." Enthusiasts get excited about a lot of stuff for which there is no demand at all. Except from enthusiasts. The real measure of demand is the number of people who step up when the time comes to actually put out the cash

Oy, don't get me started on "innumeracy". Most college students are completely incapable of interpreting what their calculator is telling them. I used to give a lecture about inspecting answers for "reasonableness". If you find that the Sun is less massive than the Moon, maybe its time to check your work.

Alas, I'm not sure the lecture did any good. Johnny can't read, write OR add.

Oh, the camera. Looks beautiful. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Some people are so hard to please ;-)

Apparently, no one bothers to read the previous posts before posting. My, how many seem to have "discovered" the shutter lag specification.

Could be a neat camera. But...

I do full-frame. I shoot Nikon professionally and don't have any DX lenses, just FX lenses. I can't justify buying DX lenses along with my FX lenses. As a result, I don't have any APS-C cameras, just FX. So an APS-C camera with interchangeable lenses is out of the question for me. I don't need or want to buy a new APS-C camera body and all new DX lenses.

But a fixed-lens APS-C camera could work. Since I don't have to buy any lenses for it the format is irrelevant.

Still, $1,000 (if that is the price in the US) is a bit steep for a camera that I will essentially use for snapshots. If it's spectacular, I would consider it. If it's less than spectacular, the price would have to come way down for me to buy one.

Kevin,
That's it exactly. The website says 10 ms, but that doesn't seem...reasonable.

[g]

Mike

P.S. Of course, reasonableness is not always a very trustworthy standard. For instance, take a basketball and a ping-pong ball. Tell a classroom full of college kids that the basketball is the earth and the ping-pong ball is the moon, and ask them whether the relative distance between them should be 30 inches or 300 feet. Most will pick 30 inches because it seems so much more...reasonable. (I believe the actual answer is something like 30 feet. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm being innumerate again--I can't remember a phone number for long enough to dial it, so why I think I would remember a number from a college astronomy lecture from 1976 probably also fails the reasonableness test [g].)

And, of course, to many people it seems completely unreasonable that global warming could be real given that it still gets cold and snows in the wintertime. I could go on....

Gunny,
No, that was my mistake--the unhappy result of posting an item and then leaving the site unattended for a few hours. All those comments came in before any of them (or the update that corrects the error) were published. So the first comment wasn't there for the last commenter to see.

Mike

Wow, it looks like this is going to be the digital equivalent of the Konica Hexar AF. I hope they won't spoil it.

I would love an all-black model. The retro-conspicuousness of the chrome is the only thing I'm not digging about the camera.

The X100 proves that there is a market for a camera that looks like a Leica, no matter how overpriced and under-featured it may be. The very idea of a "professional" camera without interchangeable lenses is ridiculous. The X100 will go down in history as the photographic equivalent of a PT Cruiser.

@ Thom Hogan

The Nikon shutter lag figures for my D200 I quoted in a post above yours showing 0.057 to 0.2 seconds comes from http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D200/D200A6.HTM. I hopefully assume they are about right: I certainly have no technical means of measuring for myself. It feels about right: in fully manual mode (including MF), the camera lets rip. In full auto-everything with an iTTL flash connected, it does seem slower to make up its' mind before tripping the shutter. Nevertheless, I acknowledge your own long-term proven and public mastery of Nikon technicals, so perhaps the Fuji X100 vs my D200 shutter lag is not a useful comparison.

That said, my wife's 5 year old Sony P&S takes about 3 years to take a picture.

Wonder if it does live view? A weak point of the rangefinder system is not being able to see what the sensor sees when framing shots critically. I shot with a contax G system for years, loved the size, lenses and weight, learned to really dislike the parallax problem when framing close subjects. Interested in seeing if this is any better than my E-P1 with the Panasonic 20 1.7 That's a hard combo to beat.

Speaking of innumeracy, anyone know what a 23mm/f2 DOF is like? Is it as narrow as a 35mm/f2?

Also, @Thom: as for being surprised, I don't think it means their engineering folks are out of touch with their customers. If that were true, they'd have no products selling well. It just means that they came up with a product not on its road map that's gotten tons of buzz: An unanticipated discontinuity in their product line.

I would put the new VW Beetle in the same category: it was revealed only as a concept car in 1994 in the US, and only later based on reaction to it was it put into production.

Prob. Konica was surprised by the Hexar AF's following too.

This thread needs another 0.01 is 10 ms not 100 ms post and I am providing it.

Dear Mike,

Didn't learn a lot from the latest releases that I hadn't picked up from the initial press information, but it's nice to see it laid out in a much more coherent form.

The high pixel count in the viewfinder is nice. Lack of image stabilization, not as much. But after thinking about it for a bit, I decided it may not prove to be a big deal. For me the big advantage of image stabilization is being able to keep the ISO low and still get sharp photographs. My experience has been that stabilization gets me about a stop and a half, no more, when I want REAL sharpness, not just tolerable-acceptable sharpness. If it turns out the Fuji does as well at ISO 280-320 as my Olympus EP1 does at ISO 100, I'm not really out anything.

Not saying it will; I have absolutely no idea of the performance of the Fuji sensor, but Fuji has been quite good at building light-efficient sensors in the past. (Heck, if this is a back-illuminated sensor, and I don't know that it is, then they've already picked up a stop.)

I'd still like to learn more of the UI. I really loved that my previous Fuji cameras would let me flick the histogram on and off with the touch of a button, so that I could check exposure accuracy BEFORE I made the exposure. I really hate the fact that my Olympus won't let me do that (there may be a way to program it in; I haven't figured it out if there is).

One caution of some import: my previous experience with Fuji RAW conversion software is that it sucks. From what I've heard from others, this is not uncommon with camera-maker-supplied conversion software. I'm not saying Fuji is worse, on average, that anyone else. But it is bad. Until folks can see RAW conversions done through something like Adobe Camera RAW, do NOT assume that the image quality that you're seeing in the sample photographs is indicative of what the camera is capable of.

Maybe it will be. Maybe Fuji has written a new converter that doesn't seriously f**k up the tone or color rendition or the portrayed exposure range. Dunno. But they haven't in the past, and I wouldn't make any assumptions. So, don't jump to any conclusions until you can see third-party conversions.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

i think the definition of shutter lag is without waiting for focus; otherwise, there is no way you would get numbers that fast, even for a d3, and they would be different with different lenses and with the lens focused and focussing to different distances. so we have to compare af speed and shutter lag independently.

the current crop of m4/3 cameras seem to mostly have relatively long shutter lag times because, i think, the live view mode of the sensor has to be shut off and the the leaf shutter /closed/ before the camera is ready for the shutter to open again and expose the sensor. maybe other engineering limitations as well.

this delay wouldn't be a problem if the new camera has a true electronic shutter (one which is very responsive). i didn't see any mention of whether the x100 uses a physical shutter or not. specs i've seen on some of kodaks new chips, for example, seem to indicate they wouldn't require a physical shutter.

i would like to find out exactly what the shutter lag of an m9 really is. i have read claims that it is quite long, upwards of 80ms, which is possible (i own one). it definitely seems slightly less quick than my m6, though it is very difficult to tell without actually testing it, since you learn to anticipate based on experience with the camera you use most. i will have to try some tests sometime.

for those puzzled by the choice of fixed lens--i've said it before but i will say it again, 'cause i'd like it to come true: for a camera in approximately this niche, i'd actually rather buy a second camera with a different fl fixed lens and have total redundancy, than buy just another lens. the potential advantages of the fixed lens design are considerable--from better alignment, sealed/dustless operation (esp with no moving shutter...), to specific sensor-lens optimizations, unconstrained by generic flange distance, for size and performance, and even cost savings (it definitely costs money to design and add the mounts to all those bodies and lenses; i'd rather pay 10+10 for two complete cameras with quality fixed lenses, than 7+6 for one camera and one lens, then another 6 for a second lens, etc, which doesn't keep working if the body dies...).

so i think this camera is tremendously promising. it looks potentially almost perfect (i'd prefer it just a bit smaller, ideally). and if it all comes together, i would absolutely add an (equivalent) 90mm model, maybe a 28, maybe 24, maybe even 50mm... ideally all at f2.

and it doesn't surprise me if interest in this took fuji by surprise; it isn't that japanese corporations are so very un-attuned to photographers/customers, just that it is genuinely hard to predict. people don't always say what they mean, or mean what they say when you ask them; and that assumes you are asking the 'right' people... which is a big can of worms.

Shaun,
You will be able to see the sensor image with the X100. Read the bit about the viewfinder again.

Mike

The X100 continues to look like a street shooter's dream. May finally get me to go digital.

Call me crazy, but I would like to see a manual winder on this camera, I like the delay of a wind before the next shot, and it would increase battery life. OK I am crazy.

Some of us are stipulating that 10ms shutter lag figure could only be possible if the camera is pre-focused.

But of course this is the case; it must be the case, it is always the case.

It would be incoherent to include auto-focus time in a figure called "shutter lag." The time required to auto-focus any particular camera changes with the lens installed (in the case of interchangeable-lens cameras) and with the amount of light available (in all cases). Including focusing time in the "shutter lag" would raise more questions than it would answer.

We should expect mirror-less cameras (or pellicle mirror cameras like some of the new Sony models) to have shorter shutter lag than SLR cameras. SLRs must flip the mirror up and wait for it to stop bouncing around before opening the shutter. Without the mechanical mirror, it's possible to open the shutter immediately.

Dean,
why not use your FX lenses on an APS-C body?
The only thing you'd miss out on would be at the wide end.

I don't think you can call it shutter lag for those other cameras if you are including focusing time. On that basis the shutter lag of my manual focus cameras is two to five seconds!

One point that the Fuji website makes clear and I was kind of surprised by this...

Is the X100 a range finder camera?
--Please note the X100 is not a range finder camera.

It just looks like a rangefinder camera!
But really, does the viewfinder go dark when it takes a picture? That to me is the greatest advantage of a camera with a sight or rangefinder. You can actually see the picture when you take it.

I agree with Kevin Bourque about students. Even students of journalism who should know something about numbers. I mean, knowing that percentage of a number is just a different number is not rocket science, is it? And how are such people going to explain budgets, cuts and taxes to others?

BTW, chris, m4/3 cameras don't have a leaf shutter.

Nobody said shutter lag times INCLUDED AF times. What I implied was that AF cameras tend to have longer shutter lag times, which in my experience is generally true. Nor is it entirely a matter of the reflex mirror. The Olympus Pen cameras don't have mirrors, but they don't have particularly good lag times.

Mike

...The very idea of a "professional" camera without interchangeable lenses is ridiculous...

By this way of thinking the Hasselblad SWC isn't a professional camera — tell that to Lee Friedlander.

It seems to me that this sort of insistence on interchangeable lenses is a holdover from the paradigm of film cameras without recognizing the very real advantages of a closed system with a lens-sensor combination, such as that of the X100 and the Ricoh GXR "camera units". As Fuji Film explains for the X100 and Ricoh Camera for the GXR, this is an approach that allows the optimization of lens and sensor combination and for the avoidance of sensor dust problems and sensor cleaning issues. Optimization of the lens-sensor combination is particularly important for compact cameras and wide-angle lenses that have the lens close to the sensor plane because of the difficulty, unlike film, with light rays striking the sensor at an angle.

It seems unfortunate that the overwhelming consumer reaction to the Ricoh GXR camera unit concept is the clamor for a sensor-mount unit on which interchangeable lenses could be mounted, which defeats the basic concept of the GXR design.

—Mitch/Bangkok

This will be a street shooter's dream. That's obviously the target for it. Travel shooters as well will welcome this.

You're not going on safari with this thing, and you're not putting a 300mm lens on it.

As far as comparisons to m4/3s...well I've owned both Olympus and Panasonic models. The dynamic range is not good. That's the flaw in the system. The writing times are poor as well...best one was the Panasonic GF-1 I had.

Comparisons to DSLRs are not justified either. Even with a pancake lens (which only Pentax makes), the DSLR is still bulky. And the entry level ones that provide a small footprint have horrible viewfinders.

If this thing provides a good file it will do well.

I want one yesterday.

According to Nikon's brochure for the current D3s "release time lag is minimized to approx. 0.04 seconds ... based on CIPA guidelines" (i.e. 40 ms). And the original D3 already had the same reflexes.
A camera that doesn't need to move a mirror out of the way should easily be faster - unless the sensor needs time to be "primed" between viewfinder use and image capture. The D3s are "only" impressive for (D)SLRs.

"By this way of thinking the Hasselblad SWC isn't a professional camera" — tell that to Lee Friedlander."

As Mitch probably knows there are many photographers who work with one lens or mostly with one lens. Plus, many photojournalists historically have used "interchangeable lenses" merely as a way of customizing a camera body--they'd have one body with a 28 on it, one with a 90 on it, etc. But the lenses never came off the bodies.

Mike

I'll bet somebody one American dollar that the X100's not being made in three years...I have in my camera bag a rather neat Epson R-D1 that enthusiasts loved, AND it works with Leica M glass, and they barely sold out the first run and then...nothing. I personally think that the R-D1 was a much neater camera than this Fuji: put a Tri-Elmar on it, and it's a great street camera. I believe the same thing will happen with the X100. Rather than looking at the reaction at a camera show, where a camera like this is guaranteed to do well, perhaps they should check the reaction at a Best Buy. I'd think the X100's possibilities were a little better if it had, say, a Zeiss Tri-Elmar equivalent...but it doesn't.

JC

+1 Bill Rogers - this could very well be the PT Cruiser. I wonder how much of the buzz is due to its retro styling and how much is due to its hybrid viewfinder. Note to Ricoh, next time make the GXR look like a camera from the 60s and the Interwebs will beat a path to your door.

And btw, Mike, if you haven't heard, it's 10ms LOL!

Ctein,
when shooting Fuji you actually dont need RAW, jpegs out of camera are enough.

Note that Fujifilm claims 0.01 seconds for shutter lag for their P&S cameras too, and review sites have backed this up empirically (see http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilmf30/page4.asp for example).

As you suspect, that is the time after you've pre-focused.

How cool is that? I love the retro look. I owned a FujiS3 for years and wish I still had it..

"Not understanding your user is the downfall of more product designs out of Japan than any other. Not communicating with your user is the second problem in most design cycles (and sending emails TO a user about design decisions you're making is NOT communicating WITH them; true communication is two-way). Camera designers are from Mars, users are from Venus."
I agree with Thom on this. Coming from an open source software development cycle let me also point out that there are times when democracy does not work. I hate to draw an analogy here but linux especially the desktop environment community is a prime example of this. Sometimes you do need a Self-Appointed Benevolent Dictator for Life http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_Dictator_For_Life to make things happen. Not meaning to criticize Thom, just my 2 cents...

"Shutter lag" and "focus time" are of course different. They're also affected by different things (low light, for example), so it's important to think of them separately. And you can work around them in different ways.

The Leica does well because it doesn't have to wait for a mirror to move out of the way before taking the picture. The X100 should have that same benefit; it ought to be able to turn in lower shutter lag numbers than any SLR. It's AF speed will likely be slower than most SLRs, though.

I believe the number for shutter lag reported at dpreview.com for the Fuji F11 (I had one, back then) was 10 or 11ms. Actual focus times were of course MUCH longer!

@ Mike: "Tell a classroom full of college kids that the basketball is the earth and the ping-pong ball is the moon, and ask them whether the relative distance between them should be 30 inches or 300 feet."

30" is closer but neither are near. Your guess of 30' wasn't too far off. The basketball and the ping pong ball don't have the same size relationship as the Earth and Moon, but I make it 23'9" if you assume the basketball is Earth size, and 14'8" if you assume that the ping pong ball is Moon sized. Of course, neither the Earth or Moon is perfectly round, and the orbit is an ellipse.

People struggle to visualise astronomical distances. The later Star Trek used to have phrases like,"Klingon bird of prey 100,000 Kilometres ahead" Cut to said warship about a Kilometre from The Enterprise. I don't think many people noticed, and it got the dramatic point across.

I remember a schools television programme about the Solar System. They started off in the classroom with an arc to represent the sun, and used scale models to represent the planets, and the Earth was perhaps half an inch across. They left the classroom and walked out to the playground past some of the planets. They climbed into a helicopter and flew low over the fields. Pluto was a few miles away.

At Earth basketball scale, 9 1/2" across, Pluto averages 69 miles from the sun.

Oh boy, I hope I had my maths head on today.

Seems like the comment lag is well over one hundredth of a second. Seems like it may be a problem of the commenters locking focus.

Speaking of pro cameras without interchangeable lenses, interchangeable film was always a bigger deal than interchangeable lenses. I have a Hasselblad with 3 backs 2 finders and one lens, and fondly remember all the stuff you could put on the back of a Mamyia 23, or even better all the cool cameras you could put a Mamyia 23 back on.

If retro digi-clone fixed lens cameras are so cool , where is my Rolliflex digi-clone ?

Dear Shaun,

Just be patient. That is precisely the comparison I'll be testing when I get an X100 for review.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dear TS,

For real world lenses, DOF depends hugely on the boke characteristics of a lens. Images from a lens with harsh, jangly boke appear to have much more depth of field than those from a lens with smooth, buttery boke.

So, you're going to have to wait until we have a bunch of real-world photos to look at to know.

But... if you were doing a (useless!) theoretical analysis, a 23mm lens in this format has very roughly a stop more depth of field than a 35mm lens in full-frame format.

~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Thom,

I agree that I'd like to see more user-programmable buttons, including the RAW button, but for an entirely opposite reason to yours. I use RAW for 95+% of my photography, so I really don't need ready access to a RAW/JPEG switch. But I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've felt impelled to switch my EP1 off of auto white balance. So that's worth even less to me.

ISO, I change a lot. RAW, rarely. White balance, almost never.

I'm not going to make any assumptions about what the typical Fuji customer does. Do you know?

pax / Ctein
==========================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
==========================================

JC,
You may be right, but there were other forces at work in the background where the R-D1 was concerned, and also, don't underestimate the Japanese home market, for which this camera was undoubtedly conceived. Cameras are much more important as fashion accessories in Tokyo than elsewhere in the world, and the Japanese love both retro *and* exquisitely crafted little perfectionist devices (Koetsu's been in business for forty years). This one might sell the same volume in Japan as in the rest of the world combined.

Mike

Wonderful camera but maybe a few years too late.

Have to look at it compared to a Nikon D7000 and a 35mm f/1.8.

The whole point of this kind of camera is it's small size and superior available light performance.

Things I found so far:

Build in ND filter.......nice!

No rangefinder in optical viewfinder........not so nice!

Furthermore a fixed prime.......depends.......it surely limits operation, but Cartier Bresson wouldn't mind!

Not weather sealed.......not so nice!

No full-HD video.......not so nice but okay!

Personally I think this is a niche camera that will create a niche of its own. A sort of answer to the X1 and just as limited in uses. Great for street, indeed, but for day to day photography I need my interchangeable lenses. As an extra camera to bring to the party, great, and if Fuji would decide to make 4 different camera's available (24, 35, 50 and 90mm 35mm equivalent) and get the price down to 600 euro's and keep the weight under 500 grams a peace, you would get a great travel outfit. I could see myself doing a job with two camera's round my neck and 2 in a bag.

Greetings, Ed

Mike wrote,

"Nobody said shutter lag times INCLUDED AF times.,"

The difficulty is that readers often don't know what is being referred to unless it is explicitly stated.

DPR says this about the Canon G11:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong11/page5.asp
"Anybody buying a G11 to accompany their DSLR will be in for a bit of a surprize as they find themselevs having to wait for the camera to respond. Its shutter lag is very good but quite a lot of the other things it does require a little bit of patience."

"Waiting to respond" is the autofocus lag, for in Manual Mode, for all practical purposes, there is *no shutter lag*, meaning that as soon as the shutter is pressed, the image records. You can capture the exact moment!

I shoot this way a lot with the G11.

regards,

rich

« The potential advantages of the fixed lens design are considerable »

I will agree with this... the problem is that this is not being offered in other sizes. in terms of these compacts, they are all super wide angle lenses, and with distortions that cannot be corrected in an easy way — that I know, though perhaps in using their RAW software. I almost gave up on the E-P1 (I know, not fixed) with their 17mm lens, until I put Zeiss M-mount lenses on it. if it was fixed, I would have had to "toss" the camera.

buying a camera with a fixed lens brings on the risk of how much it is to be liked, which is not certain until it gets used.

Ctein Said:
"One caution of some import: my previous experience with Fuji RAW conversion software is that it sucks."

Which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Assuming that the in-Camera JPEG conversion *doesn't* suck, it seems trivial to translate the camera firmware into software.

I guess the DSP guys have trouble explaining things to the C++ guys.

@ erlik--brain hiccup--i guess i was thinking of the leaf shutter in the s90, which on some irrational and completely incorrect level i think of as in the same class as the gf-1. obviously the focal plane shutter on the gf-1 is a different animal, though it entails a similar cycle to current generation p&s cameras. lag of around 72ms seems long to me for cameras that have no mirror to move out of the way.

IS/VR is not that important but fitting something detecting motion would be quite nice. If it is sensitive enough, it can remove quite a bit issues when taking pictures on, say, boats. Used a lot with my iPhone and the picture is a bit sharper with that feature.

For the lens, if they can make 2 version one 35 and one 80 (35mm equivalent), it would done the job.

It seems Micro 3/4 has a few issues like DR, shutter lag (needed to shut off the shutter and reopen and shut for taking picture!) and write time ... is that true also for Sony?

No image stabilization?
Sounds to me like they want to give people a reason to buy the second generation with IS. I'm not trying to be the least bit snarky - they know demand is high enough, and if they can put off the expense of licensing the relevant patents, (and building the hardware) they can save an enormous amount of money in the short run. It's pretty clear to me that in-body image stabilization is going to become a universal feature like AF. There's no point in buying a multi-megapixel camera if you never see the improvement due to camera shake. Yes, high ISO performance will help, but to get the most out of a sensor you have to be shooting at at least 1/500th*. Given that people will expect sharp images at EV4 (where most people live most of their lives**), and will desire sharpness at EV -3 (full moon light), I don't think IS is going to be optional in the future. (Except for working pros using long lenses - framing & aiming is a problem over 300mm-equivalent hand-held.)

Will

*so I am told, though sadly, I cannot cite any sources at the moment.
**all you outdoorsy people excepted.

There are no "professional cameras", just professional photographers (those who make their living from photography) and the rest of us. Daido Moriyama used a Ricoh GR-1 professionally. I used one to take family snapshots during vacations.

I am using a bunch of excellent KONICA AR lenses on Micro Four Thirds and Sony NEX. And occasionally I also use the AF lenses that come with each system (think KIT primes, 20/1.7 for MFT and 16/2.8 for Sony NEX).

So seriously... what does the X100 offer what´s NOT available today? A stupid retro shell? Thanks, if I want to look retro I´ll grow a moustache. I want my camera to work, not to pose.

I am wondering why there is so much discussion around fixed lens vs interchangeable lenses of various focal length. To my mind, this would be the perfect camera if it had a fixed zoom f/2.8, 35 to 85mm equivalent. It would obviously make for a bigger bundle, but I think it would not be excessively large. Please enlighten me if I am wrong on this as I am planning to suggest it to Fuji. Even with some extra bulk, I think it would still be useful as a carry around camera.

I see it more as a Mini than a P.T. Cruiser and I too want one yesterday.

"By this way of thinking the Hasselblad SWC isn't a professional camera — tell that to Lee Friedlander."

Not to mention the Rolleiflex, which of course was used and loved by generations of pros. In fact if anything it's probably less the professionals than the "enthusiast" crowd that demands interchangeable lenses on this kind of camera.

"We should expect mirror-less cameras (or pellicle mirror cameras like some of the new Sony models) to have shorter shutter lag than SLR cameras. SLRs must flip the mirror up and wait for it to stop bouncing around before opening the shutter. Without the mechanical mirror, it's possible to open the shutter immediately."

I find myself wondering... does a live view camera (implies shutter open) have to close the shutter first before opening it again to make an exposure? If so, I would expect shutter lag to be much more than 10ms.

I'm sure it'll be a big letdown and all the naysayers will have a field day, but still...

I can't wait til March!!!!!

Please, make mine black.

...To my mind, this would be the perfect camera if it had a fixed zoom f/2.8, 35 to 85mm equivalent. It would obviously make for a bigger bundle, but I think it would not be excessively large. Please enlighten me if I am wrong on this as I am planning to suggest it to Fuji...

Knock yourself out, but Fuji Film has already explained that they are designing this camera to have a prime lens because they want the best image quality possible; and a zoom lens would also not be optimized with the sensor for all the focal lengths throughout the zoom range. You're asking them to use another concept for this camera than the one they have articulated.

—Mitch/Bangkok

"does a live view camera (implies shutter open) have to close the shutter first before opening it again to make an exposure?"

All current CMOS sensors need a mechanical shutter unless you want your photos to look like this

http://singularity.ie/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/lartigue_car_trip.jpg

CCD sensors can implement global shutters, but I believe all the live view cameras use CMOS.

I've been wanting a digital Hexar forever, so this may be it! I do hope they make the black, too, so we can have a black body for BW and a chrome body for color--just like the old days (ok, this is a joke!).

@Ctien: good point about DOF and bokeh- can't really consider one w/o the other. So this lens is asph, which I've read means less than smooth bokeh. Will this lens have narrower apparent DOF then?

@Jim: I *would* take it on safari- how many more lion's-face-in-the-grass photos do we need?

@Ts Wu "Speaking of innumeracy, anyone know what a 23mm/f2 DOF is like? Is it as narrow as a 35mm/f2?"

No. I'm using a 24/2.8 on a D80. At 2.8 the details in the backgroud are merely unsharp when you focus it to 1 m. You can distingush all the features of the background, just not the fine details. The 35/2 on the other hand has shallow enough DoF that I can use it for fuzzy-background portraits without any problems.

If it's a good lens, just like the one on the Hexar AF, I won't care if it's fixed. In fact it's great, since I'll never be tempted to buy another lens. The 23 mm focal length is just perfect.

"So seriously... what does the X100 offer what´s NOT available today? "

A viewfinder. Built in, not plonked on top.

I've tried to use the Sony and the GF, but unfortunately, without the viewfinder they just seem like irritating toys.

"To my mind, this would be the perfect camera if it had a fixed zoom f/2.8, 35 to 85mm equivalent."

Too big. It completely undermines any size advantage, which seems to be the whole point.

"So this lens is asph, which I've read means less than smooth bokeh."

TS,
*Tends* to mean less than smooth bokeh. Each implementation is different and a case unto itself. We can't jump to conclusions here.

(He said, hopefully.)

Mike

"The 23 mm focal length is just perfect."

ggl,
For me too. And as I've said before, I'm glad it's other people complaining about the focal-length choice this time, since usually it's me doing the complaining. I (and you, and people who agree with us) deserve to get the choice of a new camera with just the right f-l for *us* every so often...not every time, just now and then.

If this camera had a fixed zoom I wouldn't be interested in it.

Mike

If some folk MUST have an "interchangeable lens" version, then build your own! (Ignore the headlng, this was a DIY job.)

Not on my "Soon to purchase list", but definitely the best looking camera to emerge in a long time.

BTW, I don't see how the RAW conversion software that comes with this camera figures into the buying decision. Just about all camera maker software sucks compared to what is available elsewhere. Updates for new models come out all the time for ACR and others. It's a non-issue.

I have to say I'm pretty much in the same boat as Ken Tanaka: the X100 does not interest me.

For starters, retro-for-retro's-sake just doesn't do it for me (that's not just regarding cameras, BTW). And it seems to me the ergonomics of the X100 will be less efficient than, say a Pentax K-5 (or most recent DSLRs with 2 control dials). In fact, I'll take a K-5 with a DA21 over the X100 any day. Ok, so the DA21 is only f/3.2 vs. the X100's f/2, and the K-5 is a bit larger. It's not like the X100 is really pocketable anyway.

Still, I understand the appeal the X100 has for a lot of people, and I hope the camera lives up to the hype, that its image quality is fantastic, and that Fuji sells a lot of them. Competition is good, different strokes for different folks and all that...

@ Ctein
I don't think we disagree. Perhaps my wording was not the best, but assigning dedicated buttons to uncommon functions (raw) is not preferred to allowing the buttons to be defined by the user. That's especially true when you're producing a camera which is clearly targeted at something other than the mass market. Each of us prioritize different decisions a little differently, and the latest trend in camera designs is to ignore that and bury functions in menus (e.g. the original NEX firmware).

@ James

Shutter lag is a tough spec to compare at anything other than "ready to shoot". You can turn on features that make the apparent lag longer. For example, using flash on a Nikon DSLR adds about 60ms to the lag to allow for the preflash conversation. But I can't get a 250ms number out of a D200 without also accounting for focus. Clearly the X100 will not focus and shoot in 10ms (or even a 100).

@ TS Wu

Fujifilm is losing market share and has abandoned markets, which is not an indication of a company designing to customer need or demand. I'll stick by my statement. My impression at Photokina was that the X100 was that a group of engineers had put together the X100 as sort of a pet project, got some buy in from corporate, showed it at Photokina to judge demand (thinking it would be one of those special, low-volume products they've done in the past but would garner them some prestige), and was surprised when the design resonated with customers and the press. Skunkworks projects are great, I love them and encouraged them in the companies I ran, but it's not that difficult to get user opinion without going to a trade show (and less costly, too).

@ Mitch

I've heard all the Ricoh and other company statements about fixed lenses. I've read all their marketing materials. I've yet to see any proof of the thought that lens/sensor optimization actually occurs in some form with fixed lens cameras that can't be done with a mount. None. And yes, I've got a GXR. Perhaps if you disassembled one of the lensors you'd be surprised at the construction. It doesn't say "alignment" to me. And the 28mm has as much CA and other issues as I find on, oh, say the equivalent Panny pancake.

I've asked the question point blank. The answer I've gotten back is the same vague gobblygook we see in the marketing materials. So, excuse me if I prefer to suspend disbelief until I see some EVIDENCE that lens/sensor alignment is better/enhanced/perfected in a fixed lens camera.

@ John

"This could very well be the PT Cruiser." Well, that's worrisome ;~). The PT Cruiser was really just a different body on the Neon chassis, and was popular mostly for the retro look and the fact that the American public won't buy "wagons" (imagine a Neon Wagon) but will buy pretty much any other iteration on the theme as long as they're not called wagons or hatchbacks. But the PT certainly wasn't a high end product, as the X100 is certainly priced to be. So let's hope it's more than PT Cruiser (retro design on common chassis).

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