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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

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"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."

My impression exactly, from what I've read and heard hither and yon.

Mike

A tangent from yr humble editorial watchdog:

You said "And Fuji were as surprised as anyone." Fuji is a corporation, a single entity. So it should be "And Fuji was as surprised as anyone" (assuming we accept the leap of faith that a corporation can think). Alternatively, the more accurate but more cumbersome "And the people at Fuji were as surprised as anyone."

An now back to our regular programming. ;-)

Dear Martin and KeithB,

I think maybe you guys don't understand what RAW is for or how it differs from JPEG?

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Dear John R.,

I don't believe anyone said that the RAW conversion software should figure into the buying decision.

But... the Fuji website suggests there's a possibility that the only converter that will be available when the first real photographs come out will be Silkypix. In which case, people may not get a good nor correct impression of the quality of the RAW photos. So I'm warning them in advance to consider the source before jumping to conclusions.

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Dear Thom,

Amen-- I think most of us "whiners" [g] would be a lot less whiny about any camera's UI given just a coupla more user-defined buttons (and ones where we could assign any function or mode to the button, natch).

I think you're right about the Fuji mindset-- I've watched them engage in brilliant flights of, well, almost engineering whimsy it seems. For three decades. Producing some valuably unique cameras along the way. I love that they don't always march to everyone else's drummer. It's clearly part of the corporate culture.

What I fear, as you probably do also, is that if it doesn't produce occasional winners, it might stop being part of the culture.

Now that I think of it, was the Fujica GA645 a commercial success?

pax / Ctein
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-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
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press-to-capture, pre-focused shutter lag times of .01 are not at all unheard of in the point and shoot realm:

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=4497&p=3

A camera is a tool, different jobs call for different tools. I'm personally excited about the fixed lens, having owned and loved a Fuji GW67II and dealt with too many dirty DSLR sensors. In a few months we will find out if the camera lives up to the hype (and whose dreams are crushed). We all have different reasons for wanting to love (or trash talk) this camera. I will be happy with retro controls, viewfinder (fingers-crossed it works well), a sharp lens and a APS-C sensor. It will never replace my DSLR (or the money I make with it), but it did stop me from buying the EP-2.

Now if I could have a full frame Digital Nikon FE (manual lenses and all) or a any new digital rangefinder that doesn't cost as much as a small car I would be in Heaven.

AND remember "Professional" just means you're paid, not that you're any good or know what you are talking about.

@ctein (Love your Digital restoration book by the way, awesome work!) & @keithb:

I'm wondering if the dislike of the Fuji RAW software is explained fully? The "Fuji Raw EX" software produces converted RAW images that match the camera's JPGs and handle the S&R pixel data the most elegantly of any on the market, presumably because Fuji have never really let on to 3rd party vendors just quite how to work with their sensors. The software is about as ergonomic as a pair of barbed wire trousers, but the output cannot be argued with if you're looking to match the (Excellent) JPG output from a RAW file. Lightroom3 has come some way to address this, but you still can't get LR to match an S5 JPG in the same way you can get Raw EX to. I can't speak for models beyond the S2 and S5 (The only Fuji cameras with which I have shot, and still shoot RAW) but it continues to pain me that the Raw EX interface is such an abomination. So much so that despite any improvement in output I use LR3 in my workflow.

(I wish I was able to shoot my S5 in JPG mode, but I'm so forgetful that I run into too many issues with incorrect WB and exposure settings as I invariably forget to check or change settings as I move throughout the day!!)

Dear Denyerec,

I think you've hit some important points. Oren grad has reported that he was quite happy with the raw converter for the S-series. It's a different converter from the one that Fuji offers for their regular cameras, and based on the software name, I am presuming that we're going to be seeing the latter rather than the former released with the X100.

A more important point is what you say about it being able to produce RAW conversions that look like in-camera JPEG's. That is precisely the biggest problem with the Silkypix software. Especially since that cannot be substantially overridden.

Generally one does not want to do a RAW conversion that clips several stops of exposure range from the image with no way to override that. There's a serious loss of information in the Silkypix conversions. Or be saddled with the degree of edge sharpening and noise smoothing that goes with a JPEG-looking result.

Again, I want to emphasize that this problem is not unique to Fuji conversion software… Or even all Fuji conversion software. But it is very common for camera manufacturers' conversion software do a poor job on RAW files. Hence, it will be important not to jump to conclusions about the X100 if all we have to look at is Fuji-converted RAWs, until we know how good the conversions really are.

pax / Ctein

We all have our opinions re this entry/great to read them. For me, the style reminds me of the first camera I received in 1967 from my dad.Beautiful design...really! Because of arthritis in my hands, I use my DSLR cameras less frequently. I have been pleased w/ the Lumix lx3 for some shooting, and will purchase the x100 as a 61st birthday gift for myself so that I can shoot thousands of photos of my grandbaby..arriving in February.

I know it's irrational but the images about the craftsmanship and specially about the leather 'holster' case:

http://www.finepix-x100.com/story/craftsmanship-2

get me mad. I want one. dot.

All cameras are imperfect. Here's another one. What Fuji have done right is payed attention to the viewfinder and used tactile controls instead of menus which are the bane of every digital camera but...
Designed for professionals? Nope.
Your hand is going to be pressed up against all those one touch buttons on the back of the camera every time you hold it.
Fixed lens ..nice. But you'll need a 90mm every time youwant to take a portrait. Do you take nice portraits and elective shots with nice out of focus backgrounds with a 35mm lens?
Come on....really!
Should have had a 2 lens system or a zoom.If Leica can design a good quality 24-90 equiv. on a Lumix LX5 I7m sure Fuji could at least do a 35~70mm high grade zoom. oh, yes they say it makes the camera bigger.
have you seen how small the LX5 lens is and it has f2 at 24mm.
90% viewfinder coverage?
No black finish? They didn't THINK that people would want that??? What planet are the designers on?
Oh well, it does seem to offer a better spec than the Leica X1....of course without the Leica lens. I expect the lens to be sharp but does it give any depth perception. years ago I used a Contax T2 film compact. Fuji introduced the KLASSE compact and made lots of claims for it's kens. I bought one. The results were flat and nothing like the Zeiss lens on the Contax.
Hmmm.....we'll see!

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