Back in the Spring of 2011 I purchased the Fujifilm X100 and a matching Fujifilm leather case, it was the beginning of a journey with what has become my favourite little camera. I have owned the set, the original FinePix X100, (as it was called) the X100S & X100T and now the X100F. This versatile little camera has gone everywhere from the top of the Mournes to the top of Mont Blanc, from the inner-city streets of Belfast through to the streets of London and Paris; I literally carry a Fujifilm X100 camera everywhere.
With each generation of the X100 series Fujfilm added something extra and the very latest release, the Fujifilm X100F sees an exciting new chapter in the X100 story. Like previous generations, the new X100F is perfect for both landscape and documentary photography, it combines both portability and versatility with Fujifilm’s now renowned image quality. Please note all of the images in this post are from a pre-production Fujifilm X100F.
Fujifilm X100F Hands On
I have been shooting with the X100F since the beginning of November and I’ve documented the journey in 4K video thanks to the Fujifilm X-T2. With any pre-production prototype, there are often teething problems yet the X100F has been a joy to use since day one. Some of the updates over the S and T versions are obvious and others are a little more subtle but all add something special to the latest generation. The most obvious difference is the X100F now employs the same X-Trans III 24-megapixel sensor featured in the flagship Fujifilm X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras.
The image quality is stunning, the dynamic range and detail is remarkable, it is a powerhouse of a camera wrapped up in an elegant, portable shell. To fuel the larger sensor and updated processor the X100F is powered by the same battery employed by the interchangeable lens Fujifilm range (X-T2, X-Pro2 etc.) namely the NP-W126D.
This battery change is particularly handy if you are using the X100F alongside one of the flagship cameras better still the X100F, again features the ability to charge over USB, making it great for travelling light.
I have carried the X100F everywhere for the last couple of months and in Millbank Music Studios I was able to employ the new cutting edge 24megapixel X-Trans III sensor alongside the on-camera film simulations to shoot the uber talented Amy Montgomery. On an aside Amy’s work is well worth checking out, a X100F hands-on video will offer a sneak peek of one track from her upcoming debut album.
The good news is Fujifilm have brought across the ACROS simulation for capturing high contrast mono images. The X100F offers exceptional lowlight performance with minimal noise even at a high ISO. The image exposure compensation has also been increased to plus or minus five stops for additional versatility.
Improved Focus Selection
Focus selection has also been much improved thanks to the inclusion of a focus thumb-stick and the 23mm, (35mm equivalent focal length) can be supplemented by both additional lens attachments or by the newly added digital tele-converter. Note the digital tele-converter is currently available when shooting JPG. I shot a number of images with the physical teleconverter and it was great to study Belfast with the 50mm field of view.
It’s the portability and performance of the X100F that make it such an attractive camera for everyday use. It is just as much at home capturing the streets of Belfast or the Mountains of Mourne than it is performing in the studio.
The firmware (please note, like the camera the firmware is also pre-production) also offers the ability to embed your copyright information into the image EXIF automatically. It’s a great additional feature and one that I hope makes its way to the X-T2 and X-Pro2 firmware at a later date.
Physically the camera is, I think, just, ever so slightly larger (probably due to the battery change) but to be honest this wasn’t something I even noticed until I tried to use the camera in my X100T case, we are talking millimetres. The build quality is spectacular and there is an air of luxury to the feel, it is the perfect combination of power and elegance.
The Fujifilm X100F, like all of its predecessors is a loyal companion through the forests and on the higher peaks of County Down’s Mourne Mountains. ISO adjustment has been moved to a physical dial, this, combined with the Hybrid and Electronic viewfinder make shooting in ever changing light levels notably easier.
This was particularly useful in the late, winter afternoons when the sun goes down that bit quicker. Also, you can also easily assign ISO ‘A’ setting on the dial to COMMAND, this allows for easy ISO adjustment via the front command dial. This is a great feature and you quickly adjust ISO without taking the camera from your eye.
Another plus, the Fujifilm X100F retains the ability to capture sweep panoramic images producing a single JPG file that is automatically stitched in camera. The X-Trans III sensor with stunning dynamic range offers the ability to capture the highs and lows of the Northern Ireland landscape.
Like the previous range the Fujifilm X100F also features a T mode of up to 30 seconds and a bulb mode combined with a shutter release cable offers the ability to capture extremely long exposure images. Like previous models the X100F has a built-in ND option and the threaded lens offers the use of additional ND filters to enhance the long exposure photography experience.
This is well beyond a point and shoot camera, this is a camera capable of every landscape and documentary situation I threw at it.
The versatility of the Fujifilm X100F continues with built-in wireless for both mobile transfer and geotagging of images but the key attraction to me is the combined versatility of portability and image quality.
The X100F sees an exciting new chapter in the X100 story, perfect for travel, for documentary and for landscape photography. The X100 series is special and the Fujifilm X100F is no different, it will go everywhere and document the FlixelPix journey for the next few years.
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Amy Montgomery Music