The New Fujifilm Finepix X100 (Firmware Update v1.20!)
The Fuji X100 was the camera of 2011. Industry reports, professional reviews, and word of mouth around any camera store built this small wonder into one of the most appealing cameras of the year for pros and amateurs alike. It’s small size combined with it’s glorious images courtesy of the APS-C sensor and it’s unique Hybrid Viewfinder made it so desirable that it oversold Fujifilm’s anticipated figures by 200%!
However, it had operational quirks that kept it from being the best selling camera of the year. People lamented it’s spotty auto focus and nearly useless manual focus in some reviews, and yet others complained of odd design choices like a dedicated “RAW” button on the rear of the camera. If you have heard of this camera and looked into it a bit yourself or know someone who owns one, you have surely learned of some if not all of these mentioned peculiarities.
But as Fuji has promised before, some things that make this camera not as desirable for potential buyers can be addressed in firmware fixes. Like the v1.10 firmware update, the v1.20 firmware update significantly improves this camera. Fujifilm has expertly responded to their customers desires, even long after the camera has been released. What other camera company does that?
This new firmware does address a whole lot of previous issues in a big way! First off, the auto focus is noticeably better at low-light acquisition and much quicker all around, even over the v1.3 improvements. The AE system has also significantly more accurate and easy to control, not to mention the updated manual focus (it now operates much more responsively like the manual focus rangefinders it is modeled after). There is also a new way to select “ISO AUTO CONTROL” from the shooting menu. One other big add is the change from the “RAW” button being a dedicated button – you can now program that just like the “Fn” button (who said the hardware couldn’t be fixed after the fact)! I won’t go to the lengths of describing each update as individual items, but as you can tell there are a slew useful fixes to this camera and you can find them painstakingly listed on Fujifilm’s official X100 Support Firmware Update page.
Not everything is fixed to perfection, the camera still has some operational eccentricities that are more hardware than firmware issues and are not as easily addressed. The manual focus is still “fly-by-wire” rather that mechanically coupled, which results in less physical feedback than most MF users would like. The EVF (Electronic View Finder) is not any higher res than it was before, is less than stellar when compared to the OLED EVF in the newer Sony NEX-7. Even with all of these little hardware hangups, this camera is still one monumental piece of camera history. Ask any current X100 user, and they will tell you one of their favorite things about the camera is it’s constraints and complimentary performance.
All things told, this camera was a great deal before this update, this new one just makes it even more of a steal at it’s current market prices. And for anyone eyeing the sleek X100 Black Special Edition, this is just one more reason to complete that purchase! You will not find a better deal with as great of support as Fujifilm has provided for this camera, nor will you find a more portable powerhouse for the money. It will only get better from here out with Fuji & their wonderful support, especially when the Fujifilm X-Pro1 comes out!
A good reference for how people are responding to this camera update’s improvements can be found on the RangeFinderForum.