Renting a camera is the perfect way to try before you buy. It’s also the perfect way just to try – and that’s why I rented a Fuji X100 for two weeks. Just to try.
I also rented it because I was covering a wedding for two co-workers, and thought it would be fun to take it to their destination ceremony in Petoskey, Mich.
There, it performed very well. I had to make sure to keep it on a setting that worked for whatever situation I was in, but from there I just pointed, framed, and shot.
The things this camera can do with mixed light situations, dynamic lighting, and low light is spectacular. And sharpness? Just perfect.
There were times when I felt lost. That feeling probably comes from knowing my Canons so well. I also like having things like ISO and white balance ready at a button push. Too often, with the X100, I had to dive into the menu system to switch up the settings.
I’ve read that people use the X100 as a slower device. Take your time, adjust your settings, frame your shot, click. So maybe throwing it into a fast-paced wedding situation wasn’t entirely fair.
For those instances where I could take my time, it was perfect. The size, too, made it a handy carry-around camera. It’s a throw-it-in-the-front-seat-of-my-car camera – a walk-around-the-neighborhood camera. And it was light enough to feel like a regular accessory to the day.
The film modes are fun (like the Velvia setting above), but were an extra step in the process. I found taking the RAW files and adjusting them was more my style.
At first, I blanched at the idea of using the Electronic Viewfinder. But the rangefinder-style Optical Viewfinder missed focus points just enough to get pretty annoying, so I switched as time went on fairly easily.
Switching to Macro Mode, however, to get those close shots was not easy. I never quite got the hang of it, and would often forget which mode I was in and shoot in the wrong mode.
The picture files? Glorious to work with. Plenty of flexibility to lift shadows or pull back highlights – again, especially in those mixed lighting situations. Skies, especially, were lovely. For a lot of my shots, using the VSCO Film Fuji profiles worked well.
All in all, using the Fuji X100 really was like shooting with a film camera. The photo files had personality, and flexibility, and were a lot of fun to play around with.
The camera itself was an adjustment. I feel like, with more time, I’d get used to its particular quirks. Maybe not.
But sometimes it was nice to set the setting and not touch them, and just worry about making nice photos.