X100S AF Performance and other functionality

Discussion in 'Fuji X100, X100S, and X100T' started by ean10775, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    I'm creating this thread for those X100S users that wish to document/discuss their experiences with the AF performance of their X100S, as well as other functionality, in addition to asking questions from other users of the camera. I initially posted some comments in the X100S image thread regarding the discussion of whether or not firmware v1.01 apparently provides slower AF that what has been described in the various reviews many of us have read (many of the writers of which were using pre-production firmware versions). In hindsight this was probably ill conceived as we probably shouldn't clog up that thread with non-image-related posts.

    My other question, which I posted there was that I was under the impression that one of the improvements to the X100S was that the histogram now worked in manual exposure mode, however, on my copy with firmware v1.01 the histogram stays the same regardless of change in shutter speed or aperture. This is the same whether using OVF or EVF. Unless I'm missing something, I thought that we were now supposed to be able to see the histogram reflect the actual exposure settings. It does behaves the way I would expect in both Aperture and Shutter Priority (changing with the addition of positive/negative exposure compensation) Can anyone confirm their camera behaves the same way as mine in manual exposure mode or direct me as to what I may be missing here?
     
  2. afkenner

    afkenner FujiXspot Regular

    190
    Feb 3, 2013
    New York
    Adam
    Confirmed on mine (1.01). Histogram does not change in OVF or EVF in manual. Only the meter changes.
     
  3. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
  4. flysurfer

    flysurfer X-Pert

    Feb 1, 2013
    Nuremberg
    Rico Pfirstinger
    It doesn't. But Live View will adapt in manual mode as soon as you half-press the shutter.
     
  5. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I got my X100S yesterday (surprise shipment from Amazon, and arrived 2 days before the shipment notification too! :thumbup:).

    I hesitate to say anything definitive until I've had more time with it. However, after using it a little bit just playing around the house, my first impression is the AF isn't all that noticeably different than on my X-E1. And yes, mine shipped with FW 1.01 on it also. I will say AF-S mode is quick enough in good light, but in low light (where I tend to have the most trouble with the X-E1 anyway) I'd put it on par with my RX-1 and X-E1 for speed. On the plus side, the focus seems *accurate* when it does lock and it doesn't hunt - again, much like the RX1 - but it's no speed demon. From what I've seen so far, AF-C mode is noticeably faster just like on the X-E1, and the "mash the shutter button" trick using focus priority also works on the X100S in a similar fashion, so those two "tricks" to get the most of the X-series AF still seem to hold true.

    Overall, I'm not blown away like I was hoping. I may have been expecting too much but with all the hype I was sort of expecting the X100S to be up there with my Nikon gear or my GH3 in the focus arena, when it feels like more of an incremental improvement. I'd be curious to try FW 1.0 to see if it fares any better.

    That said, I'm going to give it some time, because there's other things I like about the X100(S), and I'll report back if I change my mind about the focus after shooting with it a while longer.
     
  6. CaptZoom

    CaptZoom FujiXspot Regular

    166
    Mar 22, 2013
    One of the online review sites mentioned that the AF speed varies with the size of the AF box (dunno what it means since I don't own an X100 series camera). Purportedly, the larger the AF box the fast the AF speed.
     
  7. spinyman

    spinyman FujiXspot Veteran

    215
    Feb 13, 2013
    Valley Center,CA.
    Jloden,I have the exact same impression as you.I think the extreme hype surrounding the release has contributed to a slight letdown in expectations in me as well.I had a similar feeling when I got my O-MD and I've grown to love it.Each day I use the new X, I warm up to it just a bit more.I'm confident that Fuji will address the focus speed in a firmware upgrade down the line.Meanwhile, it is perfectly acceptable as is.
     
  8. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yeah, the OM-D was a similar experience for me too [EDIT: not the AF, just the overall expectations vs. reality]. However, I just don't feel myself warming up to that one so I decided to sell it back off - going up for sale today in fact - and invest the money in a 14mm for my X-E1 instead :biggrin:

    As far as the X100S I'm going to give it a little more time and see how I feel about it, and most importantly hopefully get a chance to shoot with it a bunch over the next week or two before I make any decisions.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    Are you thinking of keeping the X100s and RX1? Or is it an either/or decision? For me it's one or the other. Since I already have an X-Pro system, I'm likely going to buy the RX1, but I should be getting an X100s within a few days and I'm going to give it a good look before I decide.

    -Ray
     
  10. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Great question - no idea yet :D

    I'm still deciding on which gear to keep and which to clear out, but it's definitely time to thin the collection a bit!
     
  11. chrisnmn

    chrisnmn FujiXspot Rookie

    20
    Mar 28, 2013
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    Hey guys i just received my brand new x100s. Im happy with it so far i knew about the new af issue with the new firmware but i also knew that nz was one of the first countries in the world to sell this camera, so i checked my firmware version and i can confirm it is v1.00

    AF seems fast and snappy though it hunts a bit in low light, but most of all is not silent, it actually produces an af noise, such as my p20 on my omd.

    Im using this camera in companion to my OMD system which is extremely responsive, will see how it progress!
     
  12. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Well, took my X100S out to dinner with my wife tonight and tried a few shots with some disappointing (but not unexpected) results. The AF either failed to lock or took so long it was basically unusable unless I pre-focused. Overall from what I've seen so far it seems like AF performance is more than acceptable in good light but falls apart in low light conditions. Seems adding phase detect sensors isn't a panacea for AF performance ;)

    To be fair, AF isn't the only important factor in a camera, *but* - it's a biggie for me personally. If I can't rely on fast & sure AF in low light then it's not a good all-in-one solution camera for my needs. In a fixed lens camera I want something I can grab and go, counting on it for moderate action (i.e. moving people), travel/documentary, landscape or scenery shots, and indoor & low light photos.

    Not giving up on the X100S just yet because I like the form factor and really want to like the OVF too. I will probably try MF in low light conditions to see if that's workable too. I've played with it a bit earlier and have to agree with other reviewers that I wish they'd make the focus peaking color configurable; white is very difficult for me to see compared to red which I've used on the RX1.
     
  13. Bananas

    Bananas New to FujiXspot

    3
    Apr 3, 2013
    Well with all this doubt about the X100s maybe I will put mine on hold. Or spend the money on a lens for the XE1.
     
  14. Armanius

    Armanius FujiXspot Top Veteran

    691
    Feb 1, 2013
    Texas
    Muttley
    Thanks for the info X100S owners. It's so odd that Fuji is still having such issues with AF speed and accuracy. I figure that they'd be able to recreate everything Pany and Oly learned by now. I wonder if sensor size also has a relationship with AF speed and accuracy for contrast detect cameras. Or maybe it's a function of having more DOF in smaller cameras. In my experience, only the Nikon 1's (with even smaller sensors) are faster than the m4/3's.
     
  15. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I've said this elsewhere, but I think it all illustrates just how hard of a problem reliable, fast CDAF is to solve. The current generation of m4/3 cameras is extremely impressive, and fast enough for anything I would want to do when it comes to AF-S. Conversely, the Fuji X100, X-E1, X100S and Sony RX1 are all slower to focus and struggle more in low light. The fact that even adding phase detect didn't bring the X100S in line with my m4/3 cameras actually doesn't surprise me. I suspect it's simply going to take a while for everyone else to catch up to the hard-earned experience and knowledge Panasonic and Olympus have in the CDAF arena. Tangentially related topic, but this is also why I am fairly doubtful that Olympus or Panasonic will be incorporating PDAF into their sensors. Generations of m4/3 bodies has said to me they're banking on CDAF technology and making it faster & better.

    As to your comment about sensor size, I've no idea from a technical perspective to be honest. However, I am inclined to think it's a simple matter of experience in working with CDAF. I think much of this is software based, and software algorithms improve and iterate over time (as does hardware). I *think* this is just a function of time in the game yielding better end results.
     
  16. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    I don't pretend to understand all the technical aspects of how these things work, but that would make sense to me - with more inherent DOF at a given FL/Aperture, the AF could be less precise and still yield an in focus image.

    As far as the X100S goes after using it a bit more, I find that in good light, using the EVF or LCD and the largest focus box size with the center AF point, the AF is definitely faster than when using a. the OVF b. other focus points or c. smaller focus box sizes (or any combination thereof). Obviously this is because the camera is using the phase detect pixels on the sensor - which you can also confirm by focusing on different objects at the same distance since the camera doesn't need to refocus the way a contrast detect system would. Since the phase detection pixels are only in the center of the sensor, this would make sense. I don't quite understand why OVF vs. EVF matters - though the AF box using the OVF is smaller than the largest size when using the EVF so maybe that's part of it. I still don't think AF on my camera is as fast as what I've seen in the various review videos, but I think these parameters are important to understand when evaluating the AF speed of the camera.
     
  17. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks for the tips/info. FWIW, I tried this just now in low light and I don't see much difference. I tried different sizes of focus box, OVF/EVF/LCD, AF-S vs. AF-C mode, center-point and selected focus points. All seemed to be about the same in low light. The only thing I noticed was shrinking the focus box to the tiniest size made it fail to focus at all in some cases where the larger box succeeded. But as far as speed, I'm not seeing any difference in low light regardless of which configuration I use.
     
  18. Armanius

    Armanius FujiXspot Top Veteran

    691
    Feb 1, 2013
    Texas
    Muttley
    In my experiences with the XPro1, XE1 and X100, I find/found that using AF-C results in faster lock-on and higher lock-on rates in low contrast situations. However, in the X100, using the AF-C also gives me more false lock-on's when the subject is closer. On both the XPro1 and X100, using the EVF/LCD also results in superior AF than the OVF.
     
  19. jloden

    jloden FujiXspot Top Veteran

    708
    Mar 9, 2013
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yes, I should mention/add that I found the same on the X-E1, AF-C is faster there. However, I'm not seeing that with the X100S (in low light at least). Sometimes it's still a touch faster in AF-C just because the camera will start pre-focusing before you hit the shutter button, but if you are moving the camera around at all that advantage is pretty much negated.
     
  20. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    885
    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    Eric
    This is to be expected because the phase detection only works in good light (or at least it only works quickly in good light). As I understand it in low light AF speed is the same as with the X100, however the X100S will be able to achieve focus lock in lower light where other cameras (X100/X-E1/X-Pro 1) will fail.