David Hobby Purchased the First Fujifilm X100S to Be Sold, and He Loves It


Our pal and fellow photo blogger David Hobby of Strobist is currently over in Dubai for Gulf Photo Plus 2013, and yesterday he had the privilege of purchasing the first Fujifilm X100S to be sold on planet Earth. Hobby tells us he’s in love.

The purchase came after he spent two weeks testing a pre-production model of the camera. Want to know what Hobby thinks about the camera? Here’s the feedback he gave Fujifilm after that testing period:

  1. The chip is fantastic. I was worried that higher pixel density (16mp vs 12 mp) would bring noise problems. Nope, it’s truly awesome. With respect to noise, I estimate it to be one stop better than the X100 chip, a pleasant surprise given the increased pixel density.
  2. Autofocus was a relative weak link with the X100, but the X100s is remarkable. Super quick, confidently grabbing focus in low light. Wonderful.
  3. Manual focus is not only useable (which I did not consider it to be in the earlier model) but downright fantastic. It sees in the dark. The focus peaking works wonderfully. The changed pitch of the manual focus ring was much-welcomed and is, in my opinion, perfect. Bravo.
  4. I found the crossover point for macro focusing to be too far out in the previous model. Thanks so much for letting me focus much closer before going into macro. This is a great evolution from before.
  5. The redistribution of the menu controls was both thoughtful and elegant. The “Q” button was an inspiration. Fast, and all of the go-to items right at my fingertips. Great choice on the new location for the AF and Drive buttons, too. Again, very well thought out.

His conclusion: “This camera is pretty close to perfect for what it purports to be.”

Here’s a photograph he snapped of the Dubai skyline (check out a larger version on his Google+ account):

"This is through a subway window (and cropped) but still, I love the palette on this camera. The original X100 is (well, now was) the only camera I take with me when traveling. I do not see myself lugging a DSLR again anytime soon."

“This is through a subway window (and cropped) but still, I love the palette on this camera. The original X100 is (well, now was) the only camera I take with me when traveling. I do not see myself lugging a DSLR again anytime soon.”

The camera will be hitting store shelves in late March 2013, but you can already preorder it for $1,300 through retailers like Amazon and B&H.

Image credits: Photographs by David Hobby and used with permission

  • Chris Gampat

    This reminded me of when we met at CES this year. That camera was awesome.

  • Michael Zhang

    :) Fujifilm has been doing some pretty exciting things as of late.

  • Ben Jacobs

    I own an x100 and it sounds like Fuji have fixed all of it’s cons! Considering upgrading!

  • Bj Del Rosario

    There wasn’t that big of a difference between the x100, and x100s though right?

  • Ariel Caudis

    back to basis?

  • Vlad Dusil

    So much more appealing to me personally than the new M 240.

  • leo

    fantastic, awesome, remarkable, wonderful, perfect, great, elegant attribution mix.

  • EvilTeddie

    So much cheaper, but that’s about it…

  • InTheMist

    I agree. Some innovative products like we haven’t seen in a long time from any camera manufacturer.

  • Hj

    What’s on the front of the lens? Is it a shade or an extension?

  • NATO

    I have an X Pro1 and the X100s will be walking along side it’s higher end brother soon. What an amazing side arm it will be.

  • Colin Nicholls

    These changes seem like everything I want, cant wait to get one!

  • derek

    hate the Nikon ad in all places , your Fuji camera and site are great , though.

  • R.j. Knackstedt

    I’m a fan of David Hobby, but why did Fuji let him test an X100S for two weeks, and why is he allowed to be one of the first people to buy an X100S? He didn’t have to be put on a waiting list like the rest of us? I want to hear feedback from documentary / street / journalist photographers, not studio guru’s.

  • InTheMist

    That’s the wide-angle adapter.

  • Henrik Dahl

    Da hood

  • Henrik Dahl

    Sorry, no it’s the lens hood.

  • InTheMist

    Yeah, right. The WA adapter is even longer. Thanks for the correction.

  • Clive Litchfield

    I love my X100, quirks and all, and will definitely upgrade in the future. If David says it’s awesome, it’s awesome, never known him give bad advice yet.

  • kuishinbou

    I can’t wait till they introduce the new sensor and features in an upgrade to the X-Pro 1 and X-E1, as a single focal length is not enough for me. That said, it is a beautiful camera and it is refreshing to hear several positive reviews about the X100s…It seems Fuji may have finally matched its exceptional image quality and design with excellent performance. That is great to hear. Hopefully they upgrade the interchangeable lens X-Series cameras soon…

  • David Hobby

    @RJ Fuji was partnered with Gulf Photo Plus, so early samples went out to some of the faculty there. There was a launch event, etc., which quickly devolved into Zack Arias and I arm wrestling on stage to see which of our two separate photo contest winner pics would win a free camera. But that’s another story.

    As it happened, GPP aligned with the first opportunity to buy an X100s, as they had a dozen or so flown in from Japan special. After playing with one for a couple of weeks, I was first in line—before they even opened—to buy an X100s. As it happened, it was the first one delivered on the planet.