Who Do You Trust?

Almost all photographers suffer from GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome. We buy cameras, lenses, tripods, flashes, bags, filters … the list goes on and on and who knows where it will stop?

Most photography blogs are really good for giving you GAS too.  Bad reviews seem rare to me.  Now in part that’s because most equipment from the bigger companies is rarely bad. Some stuff is better than others of course but to a certain, general, vague extent, it’s all good.

But then there’s that other extent, where it’s all GREAT!!!!!! I suppose some people get excited by everything, but some want to keep their suppliers happy and others want you to like it so you’ll click on an associate link and buy it.  Some people test more thoroughly and scientifically than others.  I suppose at the end of the day it’s where it needs to be – read as much as possible and make up your own mind.

Today’s case in point is the relatively recent Fuji X100s.  I read all the reviews of this camera with great interest because if I could afford one, I’d buy it today. But I can’t afford one.

Now Zack Arias is a respected professional photographer. He makes great photos. He loves his new Fuji X100s.

Fuji is the new Leica and the x100s is the greatest camera I’ve ever owned.

The DSLR is dead to me.

Would I use the x100s at a wedding? Hell yes I would. Wouldn’t think twice about it. Would I shoot it on a magazine assignment? Yes. Portrait shoot? Yep. Promo shoot? Yep. And have.

I’m tellin’ you though. From my heart. The x100s is my desert island camera.

I love the X-Trans sensor. It’s sharper than my Canon full frame sensors.

My gosh, that’s a pretty powerful endorsement. And the photos that accompany his review are also amazing.

And he’s not the only one.

From the I-think-very-popular Fro Knows Photo:

As much as I loved my Fuji X100, the X100s is that much better and is quite possibly the best camera I own.

I’m not sponsored by Fuji. I have nothing to gain by singing their praises, but man, I am shouting from the mountaintop because the Fuji X100s is amazing.

For me, it’s the perfect camera.

If you search around, you’re going to find a whole lot more reviews like those.

So maybe I’m feeling a bit of sour grapes. Because, as I said, I think I’d like to have one but I can’t afford one. Is it something I truly need or is it GAS? I suspect it’s more the latter. But, under the heading of “seek and ye shall find,” there is at least one person with a web site not jumping on the Fuji bandwagon any time soon.  Diglloyd.

Here he writes:

Sure it has a faster AF and higher resolution sensor, but most of the design warts seem to have been cemented in, with no real improvements in usability.

I know the Fuji X100s has all the right checkbox-list of features in the marketing materials, but these days I’m looking for intelligent design; sensors are getting so good that what really makes the camera is the ease of use and well thought out features: less is more and more is less. Good design is about the right overall feature set with every little detail nit-picked and forced through a rigorous usability filter. The X100s fails miserably in this regard.

And here he writes:

Fuji ostensibly designed this sensor to avoid moiré. But the cure is worse than the disease: more digital artifacts, not fewer

The lens looks to be poorly corrected at closer range, exhibiting a glowing halo effect.

I expect to see more negative posts from him in days to come.

So who do you trust? Do you trust the guy who says it’s the greatest camera he ever owned or the one who says it fails miserably?  Arias’s photos are great but he’s a great photographer and I think there’s a dozen other cameras out there that would have given him the same results. Diglloyd takes close-up shots of burlap bags and tree trunks to illustrate his concepts, which they do, but who takes those kinds of photos in the real world?

Of course the truth is likely somewhere in between.  The X100s is the bestest camera ever this month and next month everyone will jerk off to the spec sheet for the Ricoh GR.

Me? I’m hoping to get rid of this GAS. Or maybe get a raise at work …



  1. Buck April 27, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    It is possible they are both right? I’ll give an extreme example. Let’s say I love to shoot low light nature photos. I need a bright viewfinder so I can see what I’m framing. I want either a very decent autofocus or a very decent manual focus because I’ll be shooting wide open. Autoexposure is almost irrelevant because at low light levels it’s never right and I’ll be bracketing the snot out of each shot anyway. Compare that to a studio photographer with plenty of controlled light.

    I trust the guy who’s shooting the same stuff I like to shoot.

  2. UII April 29, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    35mm portraits aren’t going to be the most flattering.

    Some have also said that the look of the 100s’ output are a step down from the X100.

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