Top critical review
53 people found this helpful
on 18 April 2014
I read all the glowing reviews and bought the X100s camera kit at the beginning of the year. I'm a professional photographer and this was going to fill a gap in my collection, giving me something small that I could always have with me, and that produced pro quality pictures.
Amazon warned that I would have to wait several weeks because they were out of stock, and other sellers were saying the same. So I was really pleased when the camera arrived in just a few days.
It was as lovely to look at as I expected, and I was delighted with the quality of the pictures it took. All the reviews that say you can stick with Jpegs and forget Raw are true; the camera's ability to process Jpegs is remarkable and I would shoot in Raw only for paying jobs.
But after a month I noticed a discolouration of the lens, like a blue oil mark. It didn't seem to affect the image quality but I was concerned about it nevertheless, and rang Amazon. They were very happy to replace the camera, and a couple of days later a new one arrived.
I set the new camera up as before. I put on the clear glass protection filter, as before. I installed the firmware update, as before. And straight after that the camera died. I tried all the usual things: turning it off and on, removing and replacing the battery, trying a different battery. But nothing. So I contacted Amazon and they agreed to send me another camera.
The third camera arrived in a couple of days. I set this one up as before. And it worked. But when I took it out on a sunny afternoon the focussing was totally and very worryingly unreliable. For example, I set up my subject about 12 feet away, focussed on them, and the camera focussed on the background. I double checked the settings and it was clear that the camera was at fault. Appalled, I returned the camera and this time asked for a refund. Amazon agreed.
The service from Amazon has been outstanding; I couldn't have asked for more from them. But I don't understand how I could receive three cameras that were all faulty, each in their own special way. I think it's a truly great camera when it works, and there's part of me that regrets returning the first one which was taking great pictures - but I just don't think a £1k camera should have what appeared to be a damaged lens coating.
The interesting thing is that a friend has since bought the same camera from the London Camera Exchange (at the Photography Show in Birmingham) and he rang me because he was having problems with it. He asked me to test it and I found that it was setting the exposure incorrectly. London Camera Exchange took it back and my friend asked for a refund.
Since then, this same friend has told me of three friends of his who have had problems with the X100s. For one, the control dial on the back of the camera fell off; the shop he bought it from sent his camera back to Fuji, and when it came back the battery cover promptly fell off. For the other, there were issues with the exposure. And the third complained of a range of problems.
The X100s is a great camera when it works. I also have £100 of accessories that have limited use without it (lens filter, spare batteries and chargers, a screen protector, a Rapid SnapR strap); so one day I may have another go at getting one. But I worry that Fuji may have hurried production of this batch of cameras when they found they couldn't keep pace with demand and have skimped on quality control. The reviews have been deservedly great and everyone wanted to have one, and Fuji perhaps couldn't keep up.