It’s been three months since I started using the Fujifilm X100T as an addition to my Olympus, micro four thirds cameras. I thought I’d take this opportunity to write a short review based on real-life usage over that time and share a few images in the various genres I shoot in. All images are taken with the X100T (well apart from the one above, obviously) with some light editing in Lightroom.
Overall I can honestly say the X100T has met, and probably exceeded in some areas, my expectations. My main reason for getting it was I wanted a small (i.e. pocketable) camera I could take anywhere but could create high quality images. It has a few foibles that it takes a while to get used to (like going back to using an aperture ring on the lens for example) but it’s well worth persisting with these and you soon overcome them. Here are the pros and cons I’ve found from using the camera for three months. First the pros:
- Image quality is great, really sharp and superb colours.
- The camera is certainly small enough to be with me all the time. I wouldn’t have got the last shot above if that had not been the case.
- The pre-set film styles in the camera are a great addition though I tend to just shoot RAW and use the conversion that’s available in Lightroom if I want to play around with these.
- The fixed 28mm lens is actually a plus point. I was slightly concerned it would be too limiting but as you can see from the above images you can cover a whole range of genres. Working with a fixed lens actually improves creativity I think as you have to think and plan more. That said if the new Olympus PEN F had been available at the time I purchased the X100T I would have seriously thought of going for that instead as it would have enable be to use all my M.ZUIKO lenses and I could have kept my 20mm lens on there for a pretty similar focal length.
- The camera feels great and handles really well. I have large hands but have no problems with the controls. Everything is in the right place. You can sometimes accidentally touch one of the buttons on the back right of the camera but it turns out there is a way of temporarily disabling these so that’s not a problem really.
- Having both an optical and electronic viewfinder (and a hybrid) is a nice feature though I pretty much always use the EVF.
- Some people complain about battery life on Fuji’s, can’t say this has been a problem for me and anyway it’s handy to be able to charge the camera up from the USB port on a computer as well as it means you only have to carry the cable for that rather than the mains charger.
- The menu system is pretty easy to navigate and the quick menu system makes things even easier. For even fast changing of key settings you can use the four arrow keys on the dial on the back of the camera, which are of course all configurable.
- The ability to take shots using the Fujifilm app on an iPhone is great if you want to take some up close pictures without anyone knowing. The guy with the dog above was taken like that.
So now the cons, there are some but none are show stoppers.
- No image stabilisation. I know this should, in theory, not really be a problem on a camera with this focal length (i.e. 28mm) however if you’re used to the great 5-axis image stabilisation offered by the Olympus OM-D you can find yourself shooting at shutter speeds too low (i.e. less that 1/10) and ending up with a bit of camera blur.
- No filter thread. Well there is but you have to remove a ring on the front of the lens then buy an adapter before you can add a filter. Naturally the standard Fujifilm one is not cheap however you can buy a perfectly good third party lens hood which comes with the adapter for less than 25% of the cost of the Fujifilm equivalent. I have the former and it seems to work really well and is made of metal like the real thing. The only problem with having the lens hood is that you then cannot use the supplied lens cap so another purchase is necessary.
- When I take the camera out of the bag I sometimes find the on/off switch has been moved to on. Not a great problem provided you set a fairly low power off time but a bit of a design fault I’d say.
- Similarly the battery/memory card door easily comes open and is only made of plastic and feels like it could easily break off if it came open in a bag with other bits.
- I’ve discovered having a silent shutter is great for discreet street shots but for studio/portrait photography where it is handy for your subject to know when the shutter has fired it’s a bit of a problem. You can of course set the shutter to make a noise but even at its loudest setting it’s a bit feeble.
Overall I’m really pleased with this camera. It’s an extremely capable little machine which I’m sure I’ll continue to use alongside my Olympus gear for some time to come.