Some random observations from the X100 over the weekend, both visual and practical.  The strangest behaviour I’ve seen yet is the first one - I’m a bit surprised about this…

- Auto Exposure Lock does what it says, and then some.  Normally, I’d expect it to lock the exposure VALUE, and let me make manual changes around that (+/- exposure compensation, shutter speed or aperture) and have it compensate with a corresponding change to make the new setting match the reading - by changing the ISO, aperture, or whatever I’ve got set on ‘auto’ at the time.  Nope.  It locks it ALL in, so even if I turn the aperture or shutter speed dial after taking a reading it’ll stay on whatever it was set on originally until I hit AEL again to ‘release’ the settings.  (You can also set the button up to only function while you hold it down, which I may resort to shortly…)  Firmware fix for that, please Fuji?  AE lock should just lock the exposure value, and let us tweak the settings in use at the time.

- Spot metering seems to work well, almost too well.  I took a self portrait that was completely blown out, and realised I’d taken a reading off my black shirt by mistake.  Not sure how big the spot is, and whether it’s linked to your focus point or just stays in the centre position regardless.

- One quirk of the AF system(s) is that to switch from single point / selectable point to ‘Multi AF’ mode (where the camera chooses the AF point) requires a dive into the menus, where it could so easily be a function available from the dedicated AF button on the back of the camera, in the same way that you can change AE mode through Multi / Spot / Average modes with the button above.  Again, hopefully a firmware-fixable feature.  There are a number of little things that could so easily be fixed, the way Ricoh kept adding features to the original GR-D.  Here’s hoping Fuji will roll things out this way…

- Similarly, it’d be so much simpler if auto ISO was available in the ISO menu, rather than in a completely different menu system!  Just put it at the top / bottom of the available ISO list - we can set the limits of it elsewhere, but make it quick to access!

- It’d be nice if playback came up in the same mode you were last viewing, or if the user could choose a default playback mode.  I’d definitely prefer a small view of the image with histogram & highlight warnings right away, rather than having to press DISP BACK four times every time I want to check the exposure…RGB histogram would be nice too.  And if I could jump to full image view with the ‘zoom in’ button from there, that’d be nice and simple!

- Bit of purple lens flare visible when you truly point it straight at the sun.  Could be worse, but could have been better.

- The optical / electronic viewfinder lever only works when the camera is up to your eye; or, at least, when it THINKS it is.  So if you want to switch from one to the other while walking with the camera, just cover the proximity sensor next to the eyepiece with your other hand while you flick the switch…not sure why that’s the case, it’s not like the lever’s doing anything ELSE when you’re not holding it up to your face!  (Firmware fix!)

- I’ve just found my first scratch on the camera, right on the top corner by the Fn button!  Not sure how I did that, I haven’t been babying it completely but I haven’t been rough on it either.  I suspect a jacket zipper when it’s been on my shoulder, or in a jacket pocket…

- You can actually put the battery in the wrong way ‘round.  I don’t mean upside-down with the contacts pointing out (which would just be silly); I mean, it has three square corners and one rounded one as if to prevent you from getting it rotated the wrong way for the contacts, but I managed to get it wrong somehow and fit a square corner into a rounded hole.  Go figure.

- Speaking of the battery, mine is lasting for ages!  I’d heard a theoretical limit of 300 frames on a charge, dropping to 150 if you didn’t have ‘power save’ mode on, which I do - but I’ve been out and shot a full 8GB card a few times now, which is getting close to 300 frames, and I haven’t even seen the battery drop to 3/4 or half power yet.  I bought a spare to make sure, but I’m running out of memory cards before the battery’s starting to drop away!  Need a bigger card, now - I’m thinking 32GB Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-I would be good.

Look, this sounds like a lot of complaints, but really it’s a bunch of small things that don’t come close to denting the overall greatness of the camera.  Sure, it’d be even BETTER with any / all of these implemented, but it’s still a good purchase as far as I’m concerned.  Needs a better strap, and I probably have to get the sunshade too (although that will mean I can’t put it in my pocket any more) - but overall, I’m really enjoying it still.  Thanks, Fuji…now, get to work on that firmware for me!

Once again, colours in these images are via in-camera .jpg followed by Alien Skin Exposure 3 - so these aren’t the in-camera film simulations…

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