PetaPixel

Act a Fuji: Four Months With The X100S

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For all you hipster and pro photogs out there, I’m sure you already know that the X100S has already been out for quite some time now. So if you’re looking for another one of those lengthy, technical, in-depth pixel peeping reviews about this camera? Then you’ve most definitely came to the wrong place.

This is about a four-month adventure with a piece of technology that the good folks from Fujfilm generously offered to let me put on my left shoulder. A journey through life as someone who makes pictures for a living.

I didn’t know much about the X100S to be honest other than all the Internet hype I’ve read. But that’s about it. I already own the best set of tools for myself that is needed to do my job, so it didn’t really cross my mind to look elsewhere at that time.

But then this X100S made me turn my head … a few times. For some reason I still don’t know.

Ah, why not give this unusual opportunity a shot I asked myself.

So here goes:

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Box from Fuji arrives on the doorstep.

If you’re like me and you just tend to leave the manual still in its plastic wrap or briefly flip through the pages in under a minute, then you’ll find you’re not taking full advantage of what this camera can do. This was the case for me and it involved Fuji directing a few tips out via email with some links and PDFs. Nice of them to do this really whereas I should’ve been checking out the manual prior to running around like a chicken with its head cut off. So step 1: spend some time looking at the manual.

During the period of four months, this camera has seen some domestic and international miles. Nagoya, Kyoto, South Korea, and two trips to Los Angeles. Enough travel to be convinced that this thing actually made my life a little easier. Since the X100S has been inside my working bag along with the Canon gear. Never left home without it. Even shot a couple jobs with it as my primary camera but the Canon’s still in the bag as backup. You gotta always have a backup. Always.

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The very thing that stood out most when shooting pictures with the X100S is that it achieves nearly perfect color and tone in almost every shot. And the feel of my images gave it that sorta sweet film look to it rather than those artificial looking colors that most DSLR’s produce. Say goodbye to Photoshop when using this camera. If you’re a digital artist/Photoshopper this camera probably isn’t for you. This camera is made for photographers.

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This photo is shot inside the hipster hangout of Urth Caffe in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. 1/15 at F2, -0.7 EV, ISO 800.

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The X100S is, dead silent which made it appropriate for me to use it on assignment during a corporate conference. 1/15 at F2, ISO 1600.

How about highlights and shadows? Effortless. Not much fiddling around with camera settings. Just point and shoot and you’re good (assuming you already know your basic photography fundamentals).

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Above is the original photo shot straight from the camera up in the hills at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. 1/220 at F16, +1 EV, ISO 800.

This camera does a pretty amazing job at handling those ranges from light to dark. If I used my Canon, something would’ve been either over, under, or just simply unusable.

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This is the edited version in Photoshop with slight adjustments to the exposure, contrast, highlights, and shadows. I actually prefer the unedited version.

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No light modifiers or anything fancy here. Details are all in the photo and nothing seems to be lost. Aperture Priority at F2, ISO 400.

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I love shooting sunsets with the X100S. On the plane at LAX. 1/800 at F8, ISO 800.

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This Fuji can render skin tones and balance the available light like no other camera that I’ve seen straight out of the camera. 1/60 at F2, ISO 800. Ran a 30 percent unsharp mask in Photoshop and that’s it.

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The X100S is great for shooting people even in low light without any flash. 1/60 at F2, ISO 800 with a 30% unsharp mask. Done deal.

And here are some other shots taken with the X100S:

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The exterior of Urth Caffe in Los Angeles. For decent coffee and good food, this is the place to hang if you’re a hipster.

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A good day to be on the streets of Seoul with the X100S. It’s fast, quiet and responsive. The perfect camera for street shooting.

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Beautiful blues in Seoul. 1/1300 at F4, +0.7 EV, ISO 200.

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The X100S is the go to camera you want to take when you travel. Leave the DSLR’s at home. Enjoy your actual vacation by not having to dig around in your camera bag deciding which body and lens to use. As some would say, “keep it simple, stupid!”

So there you have it. If you could live with a fixed lens then this is the near perfect camera for just about anybody — from the full-time working professional using it on certain jobs, to serious camera enthusiasts.

If you were to ask me, “Will the X100S go in your bag for work or pleasure?” My answer would probably be, “It certainly will.”

Unless, of course, the Fujifilm X-T1 just so happens to suddenly change my mind… ;-)


About the author: Christopher Jue is a Tokyo, Japan based corporate and editorial photographer originally from Los Angeles, California. He shoots for a wide range of clientele in studio and on location in the Asia Pacific region. When not shooting corporate work or for the European Pressphoto Agency, you may find him wandering around the streets of Seoul or Hong Kong in search of some delicious street food. You can follow him on his website, Facebook and Twitter. This article was originally published here.


 
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  • gullevek

    The RAW support took its time because of the different sensor format. But CaptureOne has excellent RAW support, so does Lightroom 5. That the RAW support is lacking is bull.

    The AF problem is true. But compared to the previous X100 it is much better, less hunting in dark light.

  • Paulo

    Cant wait to get mine in black!

  • Cynical Bloke

    Simple. Don’t have it on speed mode when you don’t need it. Have it set to ofv only most of the time so LCD doesn’t keep coming on and off. Switch it off more often. I shoot raw all the time.

  • Christopher Jue

    For my occasional news work for EPA I’m still using my normal 5D III and 1D Mark IV setup. For all other feature stuff, portraits, etc., I use the X100S. Each camera serves their different purposes IMO.

  • Christopher Jue

    I agree about the battery life and addressed that as one of my complaints but since those batteries are so small, it doesn’t hurt to buy an extra one to carry around.

  • Christopher Jue

    What I mean by that is someone who likes to go overboard with their editing that it looks like that HDR stuff

  • Cynical Bloke

    I also use the fasted SD card available which may help save power if the camera spends less time processing images onto the card.

  • Cynical Bloke

    Petapixel basically uses articles it finds elsewhere, that’s there gauge, if someone else put it online then they will. Good or bad.

  • Bill J.

    The EVF’s on these Fuji’s are extremely difficult to shoot with in bright sun (used one for a week; fine on cloudy days, next to useless in bright sun). Unless you enjoy jamming the camera corner into your eye socket to try to see your composition. They need an accessory eyecup. The new T looks great though.

  • vince

    …or an extra 4. Only DPMerrills eat batteries faster than the Fuji X’s. And I would want at least 6 extras with the big XT evf. Although I might be willing to do that with that evf.

  • vince

    You can’t do that on the xe2; there is no view button any more. there’ll be tons of used xe2′s on ebay in another few months once xt1 comes out. And besides, most people who actually shoot their cameras in the field are busy making photos, and not thinking about turning on/off switches all the time to save the bloody battery life.

  • Cynical Bloke

    Erm. We are talking about the x100s. You know the camera the article is about. I’m sure you can do that with the xe2 in the menu though.
    Well if that’s the way everybody shoots when ‘making pictures’ they should stop bloody complaining about battery life. But turning a camera on and off actually becomes instinct eventually and you don’t have to think at all.

  • SeoulFood

    I have the guts to say that…online… Careful people, we got a badass over here!

  • http://www.nickbedford.com/ Nick Bedford

    A stop really isn’t a huge jump in exposure, especially for film. A great many film cameras didn’t need anything more than full stops. Being either 1/3rd of a stop over or under is not going to break your photograph!

  • Palinode

    Aperture mode works extremely well on the x100s.