Fujifilm X100F 12 Month Review

It’s just over 12 months now since I upgraded from the Fujifilm X100T to the X100F so I thought it was time to post a quick update on my experiences of shooting with this camera over the last year, as well as show some recent images taken with it.

Like most cameras these days in this price bracket (around £1200) there is very little not to like about it or the images the camera produces.  Clearly, as a fixed lens, APS-C sensor camera you have to live within the ‘limitations’ this comes with.  You are not going to buy this camera for high speed sports photography, for videography or if your primary motivation for making images is portraits or macro photography.  As a go anywhere, ‘street’ camera which is light (it weighs less than 500g) and easy to carry, aesthetically pleasing to look at and intuitive to use it is second to none however.

A few weeks ago, whilst on holiday in Devon, I decided to make the X100F the only camera I carried to see what type of images it would be capable of making.  All of the images below were taken with the X100F over the course of that week.

My primary motivation for buying the X100F was as a street camera.  When used for street photography I put the camera in aperture priority mode with auto-ISO and set the default sensitivity to ISO 200, the max. to ISO 3200 and a min. shutter speed of 1/125s.  Unless subjects are very fast moving or it is a particularly dull day this allows most shots to be at least exposed correctly even if framing is out.  Having an APS-C  sensor does allow for some cropping to isolate subjects further if needed.

So what is my verdict of this camera after a year of use?  First the plus points:

  1. The camera looks gorgeous and is a pleasure to use.  It screams “use me” and makes you want to pick it up to take out and make some images.
  2. Image quality is superb over the complete aperture range, even at f/2 and f/2.8 (which I use a lot).
  3. The film simulations on the camera are a nice choice, no gimmicky filters just the type of thing you actually find useful.  That said I tend to select these during post processing rather than select them in camera, preferring to just capture RAW images.
  4. By and large all the buttons and dials and menu items are where you’d expect them and fairly intuitive.  The card format option is buried a bit too deep in the menu system for my liking but I suppose this means there is little chance of accidentally formatting a card!
  5. The clever hybrid viewfinder, giving you the option of shooting in either optical or electronic modes, is pretty cool although I tend to use it exclusively in electronic mode.
  6. The small joystick/focus lever immediately to the right of the back screen makes focus point selection easy and quick and is a good addition over earlier X100 models.

In terms of negatives, like I said earlier there really is not a lot to dislike about this camera but a few annoyances are:

  1. The battery/SD card door sometimes pops open when in use, the latch not being very good.  A few times I’ve been wondering around with this camera and looked down to see the door open.  Whilst it is very unlikely the card or battery will drop out the door feels a bit plasticky and could easily get knocked off.
  2. Lack of waterproofing is a bit annoying for a street camera.
  3. In a desire for the retro look Fuji have even made the ISO settings a dial rather than a button or menu selection.  It’s not that easy to change ISO settings whilst shooting therefore (although there is a way of assigning the front wheel to this function).
  4. The camera sometimes has trouble focussing when there is a lack of hard lines or contrast but not frequently enough to make you miss too many shots.

The X100F is the fourth iteration of Fujifilm’s X100 series and to be honest it’s difficult to see how the camera could be improved.  Water proofing or at least water resistance would be good to add but apart from that the camera is pretty much perfect in my view.  I don’t plan to exchange or upgrade it any time soon and think it’s going to give me a good few more years of use.

 

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