Fujifilm UK was recently kind enough to send me a sample of the XF1 to review. I’ve had it for a few days now and been out shooting with it when I have had the chance, so here are my first thoughts on the XF1 and a few first sample images.
FUJIFILM FinePix X100 (23mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO200)
It’s a great looking camera. I received the black version which is for the more traditionalist, but if I was buying one personally I’d go for the more retro tan colour, although my wife immediately said it looked fantastic in red, so there is one for everyone out there and with Fuji showing off a huge range of other colours at Photokina we might see more colours available, if not on the XF1 maybe on the “XF2”. Everyone I’ve shown it to is taken by the styling and immediately impressed when I show them how the lens folds away, and the more photography minded people love the manual on-lens twist to zoom feature, myself included.
After spending years with dSLR’s strapped to my side, I consider my X100 a compact camera, but having had the XF1 almost permanently in my pocket I realise that I would carry this little camera with my literally everywhere, with the fabulous folding lens it fits in any pocket and you barely notice that it’s there. I can put the in some of my pockets, but you definitely know it’s there, and I tend to carry it around in a BlackRapid Snapr most of the time. It is significantly smaller than the X10, with which it the internals, although the X10 has a significantly faster lens at the long end.
An early shot having coffee, ISO 500. Lovely Fuji colours.
I was surprised to find the menu system is pretty much identical to the X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras, I had thought it might be a dumbed-down menu, but you’re immediately at home with it if you are familiar with those cameras.
Image quality is very good, and last night I was shooting at ISO 3200 with impressive results for a small point-and-shoot camera, most of which have given up way before they get to that sort of high ISO.
I would not normally go anywhere near the ‘auto’ modes on cameras, and initially was shooting in A mode on the XF1, but out of curiosity I tried the Adv (Advanced) and EXR modes and found that the EXR mode produces some fantastic, idiot-proof, images when all you want to do is point-and-shoot without thinking about it, which let’s face it is quite likely with a camera like this. I don’t know what’s going on inside the camera in EXR mode, but it does work very well and seems to set everything up just right for the scene you’re shooting to make the best of it. I’ll post some side-by-side samples in the full review.
There are some interesting filters which is something I’d normally do in Lightroom if I wanted, but it’s always fun to try out in-camera. The Pro Focus mode is a nice touch and takes a series of images, presumably at different focus points, and combines them to produce an image with a soft out-of-focus area, but sharp subject, as you would get in a camera with a larger sensor
A few more sample images – more to come!
Venture on Windermere – “handheld” on a rail 1.5s exposure in EXR mode.