Just before leaving for America I came across a unicorn, the Fuji X100S I had been looking one for months, coveting it in my dreams, and then while at a mall camera store to get a passport photo for my son, the saleswomen asked if there was anything else we needed, I said, "Id love an X100S" knowing full well that there was no chance of finding one at all, least of all in a camera shop that is lined with point and shoots. She looked at me sideways in a way that let me know she had no idea what an X100S, but ran off to check, I said "Its cool, you don't have one", "Gimme a sec and ill check" she said as she punched keys on the computer and then ran into the back and emerged with one with the obvious indifference of someone who had not called every proshop in the area looking for one. People are searching for these, and this store has one unit and its not even out on the shelves.
I put it on hold and spent the next hour walking around the mall convincing my wife that I need to buy it, she said buy it, but for some reason whenever I buy gear in the 1K plus range I feel like I have to convince her of its necessity, she doesn't care, it really just to convince myself, which is strange because I was convinced months ago, I just hadn't budgeted for it, because I couldn't find one. But I found a golden ticket, I was going to the chocolate factory.
Firstly like just about everyone else I really like this camera. It looks great, it feels great in your hands, and it so light you can wear it all day and forget it is there. It has become an indispensable tool, I take it everywhere, keys, wallet, phone, and camera ready to roll.
There are some downsides, everyone says the battery life is awful, and they are right, but what is worse is the batt gauge, full 98% time half 1% and flashing red 1%, basically if it doesn't say full you need to charge it and carry a backup because there is no telling how close you are to it becoming an expensive necklace.
Next the menus are clearly non native english, they have been translated and sometimes not so well particularly in the Q menu, where the 'basic' setting which you would think is a preset to zero out the settings and bring you back to standard settings, is really 'current' so you have 3 custom settings and basic, so if you go to your custom1 and then go back to the q menu it will say basic you can select it all you want but your settings won't change, I tried a lot got frustrated and googled and thats what is means basic is current, I just saved you at least an hour of googling, your welcome.
Also in relation to this is a confusing menu when trying to save your presets at the top is says save current settings, with all the setting options below, however what it means is that you can save your current camera settings, as in what your camera is set not what you change in that menu, again I tried this a lot before I figured it out, so you make all your custom adjustment, but all means do not save current settings, or you will lose all your work, counterintuitive but true.
The presets I have found to be great I really like the Velvia and black and white film simulators, I have been shooting with dual jpg and raw recording, and every single time I download them I wish my raw files were as nice as the jpg counterparts, also just another FYI if you shoot raw all that fancy settings just go away, the file will look black and white but when you download the raw files all that gets stripped to a you guessed it raw file, which is good if you decide you don't want a black and white photo after all but kinda a bummer when you end up trying to match your raw to the jpg in post, but for what its worth the jpg in my opinion have all come out fine, but I have yet to print any big ones yet, so if you have done so please let us know how it turned out in the comments.
Also one of the things I was looking forward to playing with was the double exposure feature. Unfortunately and for reasons I cannot grasp Fuji did add a double exposure option and instead of making it a an actual double exposure it simply lays two images over each other, so if you were to take a photo and intentionally overexposed the whole frame it should render a second exposure useless as the 'film' has been completely exposed, but instead if you did this and then took another photo the second photo would still be visible albeit a bit cloudy/hazy, and for me at least, this turned a very exciting cool feature into something that I will never ever use. Further it kinda upsets me every time i scroll through the menu and see it because I want to use it, I want it to do double exposure, and Im reminded how disappointed I am in that feature.
Lastly Ill leave you with two final tips, one is Heavy Leather who makes some of the nicest camera straps I have ever seen or used, I got a slingshot and I love it. Also the lens cap that comes with the camera is useless, throw it out, and get a lens shade, but don't get Fujis, to say its overpriced is too kind to fuji, it is frankly ridiculous. The fuji one is selling somewhere around 70-90 dollar mark, I bought one on ebay for 7 shipping included, fuji what were you thinking?