Fuji X100 - User Experience 6 - Operational Difficulties

Fuji X100

After going through the good stuff, and there's a lot of it, there's also some menu and control craziness on the X100.

1. Auto ISO and ISO selection are on different menu pages.

2. Self-Timer is on a separate menu page to the other drive options.

3. If you set the camera to power save and let it turn off when not in use, when you press the shutter button to turn it on again it takes longer to get going than if you turn it off and just turn it on again!! Consequently I leave everything on all the time which runs down the battery quicker.

4. Adjustments that you make return to default settings when you switch it on again.

5. When you press the DISP BACK button to alter the screen display it only stays on for a second and then disappears, before you have time to do anything. Same with the macro function selecter.

6. The OK button is so small that unless you press it exactly in the middle it engages the other functions around it.

7. Most of the buttons are not particularly touch sensitive and need to pressed quite hard.

8. Theres a function changing wheel, which actually isn't a wheel, it just goes left and right and it feels fragile.

9. Theres also another wheel around the OK button, which is virtually impossible to use without other pages coming up.

Other people have other complaints, but these are the ones that directly affect the way I work. As you can see its quite a long list. Many can be fixed in firmware apart from the button designs. So its pretty much 10/10 for performance and results and 2/10 for menus and controls.

Fuji X100

Fuji X100

I am starting to put together some workarounds but these ill-thought out design issues turn what should be a great camera into a camera with great results but a lousy user interface. Virtually every review of the camera complains about these things, its not just me, and hopefully this will all get back to Fuji so that they can issue a major firmware update. There is a small one already, but it apparently doesn't do much. It also apparently has some bugs, so I'm not even bothering with it yet.

Two things occur to me. Firstly, as I was indicating with the piece on the video and panoramas yesterday, I think Fuji have tried to cram too much in. This should have been much more like the publicity, for want of a better term, a "Photographers camera" 

Secondly they might have been too eager to get it out on their deadline. It would certainly have benefitted from more testing and feedback.

There's no way you'll prise this away from me, but it is frustrating to use and I can see missed shots because of this lack of thought. If anyone is planning to use it for serious street photography, I'd recommend getting to know it thoroughly before going out as you could end up with it not responding in the way that you want. 

There was an awful lot of hype about just how good this camera was going to be and its frustrating that its being held back from its full potential by some pretty mediocre programming and design. All mostly fixable, but none the less annoying. If Fuji don't fix this and loose potential sales because of their somewhat slapdash job with the user interface then I will be very frustrated. This has the potential to be the start of a ground breaking and seriously impressive camera range, and I would be very interested in the follow-ups to this. If it turns out to be a one-hit wonder then Fuji have only themselves to blame. Cameras should be easier to use than this and most are. However all is not lost (yet).

Fuji X100