This camera has changed how I take photos.
This camera has been a revelation for me.
I'm a bit of a camera nut, and have owned a bunch of cameras over the last few years. Medium format film, 35mm film, SLR, DSLR, mirrorless, Sony, Canon, etc. I enjoy taking photos, but do find the size of many cameras to be a limitation. Many are bulky, even smaller mirrorless ones. Sometimes it's just not practical.
That's never been the case with this little gem. And importantly, the picture quality is superb.
There's an APS-C sensor inside with 24.3 megapixels, which is a step up from previous generations of this camera (the F in X100F stands for Four - fourth generation). It's a great sensor, and I really like what I'm seeing from it.
This 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) offers an f2.0 aperture. It's a great focal length, although I do find myself wishing it was a little wider at times - 28mm might be ideal, like the Leica Q. The lens and/or sensor also isn't stabilised, but hey, you can't have everything in every camera. I've never really found it to be an issue. Also, the lens is permanently attached, so you'll be stuck with it (although there is a Wide and a Tele conversion lens available if that's your thing, at the cost of size - and money - they offer 28mm and 50mm full frame equivalent). There's also a digital converter, to give you 50mm and 70mm, which is just a crop of the image, so you lose megapixels. That's not terrible, but I've found that I just stick with 35mm equivalent. This lens actually sticks into the body a bit, so it only sticks out so far, which means that this is almost pocketable. It certainly is pocketable in cargo short pockets.
You can get lens hoods and filters, but you need a special attachment for the end of the lens, otherwise you'll run into problems. That comes with the lens hood, usually. Personally, I always fit protective filters to lenses, but I haven't found myself doing that with this one because I want to keep the size down.
I also usually fit a tripod plate to camera bodies, but I haven't done that here because it blocks the camera and SD card door. Instead, I've found a tiny JOBY tripod that fits on the bottom and doesn't block the door. It's always there when I need it, and costs me virtually nothing in size and weight.
There is only one SD card slot, but that's OK for my purposes with this camera (I need dual cards for my bigger cameras). The battery life is OK, but if you're going out all day, you may want a spare. It does charge through a USB micro connection, which is how I generally charge it.
There are so many great little features in here - a built-in ND filter to reduce light for bright days when you hit shutter speed limits - film simulations (ACROS+R, a black and white film simulation, blows me away) - a built in flash that seems to get exposure right a lot of the time - the option of an optical or electronic viewfinder - face detection autofocus. Many great little things to it. It really punches above its weight.
The controls are brilliant. You have full access to aperture (on the lens), exposure compensation (although I wish this dial was lockable, because it's too easy to knock), shutter speed and ISO (by lifting the shutter speed dial - I would personally prefer an extra dial).
Having said that, it's not perfect. I'd love if it was full frame, but the lens would have to be bigger. I would REALLY love weather sealing - that's almost a dealbreaker for me, because I want to take this camera everywhere, and that's a limitation. I'd love stabilisation, but really, I haven't missed it.
One final thing that drives me nuts about this is that Fuji RAW files are not natively readable by MacOS, whereas most other RAW files are. This means you need a converter. They're readily available, including ones for free, but it adds an extra step to my workflow.
Still, all of this is worth it to me. This is a great camera. It's not the one I take for my most critical work, but it's the one that I almost always have on me for just about anything else. And I love the shots it takes.
It's about $1800 new. There will be secondhand ones coming up soonish, because the next model is most likely due soon (maybe X100V, maybe X200 - who knows what they'll call it). And you can easily get the X100T (third gen) or X100S (second gen), or even the original generation X100, for pretty cheap.
If you usually carry around big cameras and want to give your back a break, or if you want to experiment with a great little camera that often has people asking "Is that a film camera?" due to its great retro styling, grab one of these. You won't regret it.
Be sure to check out the Facebook group for users of this camera. See what others are doing, share tips, ask questions, etc. But most of all, it offers one less barrier to getting out and shooting.
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