For the last 21 days I have been in Japan putting Fujifilm’s new X100T through its paces.
This review will not cover every technical aspect of the X100T, but rather how it feels to shoot with it every day and how it fits in with my workflow.
It is also very photo heavy. You can find pictures of the camera itself on any review site, so I’ll mostly only include work that I have produced with this camera.
I’ve upgraded from the X100S, so I will also comment on the main differences and whether or not I think it may be worth upgrading.
This is the 3rd release of the X100 series, and in my opinion it has been refined to the point of near perfection. Every niggle I had with the X100S has been fixed and it feels like Fuji really have taken the comments from the photographers that use their cameras on board. Some want a different sensor or more megapixels, but I feel that for the most part, Fuji have listened.
The finicky circular scroll wheel is gone and has been replaced by a nice firm, tactile d-pad.
The grip has been slightly extended making it more secure to hold one handed.
The resolution and size of the live view LCD has been dramatically improved.
The button layout has also been refined.
The firmware has also been revised and comes with a nicer user interface and slightly faster focusing.
What else is new?
The aperture ring now has 3rd stop increments rather than full stop increments.
This is a welcome feature for when you need just a little more control. If you can swing, f2.2, you’re going to get a sharper image than at f2.0, so it’s handy to have that option right in front of you.
Previously, you could change this via a dial on the back, but it’s nice to have it right there. It doesn’t take up any more space so why not?
I didn’t have much of an issue with the X100S dials but the X100T dials seem just the right amount of stiff. The exposure compensation dial doesn’t often get accidentally moved and it also isn’t so stiff you need two hands to move it. Every dial has a satisfying click.
Fit and Finish
The X100T definitely feels like a premium product. The magnesium alloy body has a nice weight to it and the metal dials feel great. Every rotation has a nice satisfying click that reminds you you’re using a premium product. It feels nice in the hands and not plasticy at all.
All of the main dials also have a new cross-hatched texture on the edges. This is slightly grippier than before but doesn’t really affect usability.
I personally haven’t encountered a situation where I’ve needed to use this yet. The camera is already dead quiet and I don’t make a habit of shooting directly into the sun! Nevertheless, it’s nice to have when the mechanical 1/4000th isn’t cutting it. Just be aware it can’t be used with flash and you can get some wonky rolling shutter effects if you’re shooting action.
The EVF has a fantastic refresh rate and I find myself shooting with this 95% of the time. In my opinion EVFs are now at a point where they kinda just fade away. Most of the time I don’t even notice I’m using one.
I love the ‘what you see is what you get’ aspect of an EVF. It also allows you to quickly dial in some exposure compensation if you need it.
For those that don’t like the EVF, you’re still getting a great new OVF at the flick of a switch.
I find the OVF with manual focusing screen really neat, but I haven’t found a situation where I find it more useful than the EVF. However, I can see how it would be useful for someone that loves the OVF but needs to manually focus. The little focusing square can be turned off if need be, but it does a good job of showing you your focus point and peaking for checking focus.
It does exactly what it’s supposed to, and it’s a nice piece of innovation from Fuji.
I usually use this when I’m street shooting. I disable the back LCD and use only the OVF. This saves on battery a bit too.
One thing Fuji really does well is colour. Their film simulations of their own classic analog films like Astia, Provia and Velvia are a major selling point for their X Series line and are quite accurate representations of these films.
Classic Chrome is a new film simulation that apparently isn’t meant to emulate a specific film. However, most would agree it feels very much like one of Kodak’s most distinctive slide films: Kodachrome.
It’s a subtle, neutral toned simulation with slightly reduced saturation and a very natural documentary-style palette.
Kodachrome film uses a complex development process that was retired, along with Kodachrome in 2010, but Fujifilm’s history with colour has allowed them to create a film reminscant of this documentary-style film.
Personally, I shoot solely in this simulation mode but still process in VSCO to get the look I’m after. I can see a lot of photographers shooting in Classic Chrome only though. It is my favourite of the simulations by far, and most of the time I don’t need to tweak much to get what I’m looking for.
Some shots I don’t need to do anything at all. Classic Chrome is perfect.
For me personally, the addition of Wifi is one of the most important new features and reasons to upgrade from the X100S. When traveling abroad it is indispensable. Being able to check your shots at the end of the day, transfer them to your phone and edit them using VSCO Cam or Snapseed and then upload them straight to your social media accounts is a fantastic feature.
The wifi remote control is also incredibly useful in the right situations. In order to get my shot of Tokyo Sky Tree I needed to lay my camera completely flat, pointed toward the sky. This meant I couldn’t check my framing and exposure.
With the wifi remote, it’s easy to connect to check your framing, exposure as well as change settings.
USB charging, which is also new, has the potential to be useful when traveling. Unfortunately it takes quite a bit longer than AC power. Luckily, Fujifilm have redesigned the NP-95 charger and it’s now much smaller and more pocketable, so on this trip I took both.
Battery life seems similar to the X100S. I haven’t had any major issues as I usually carry a spare battery. I have however noticed that the battery low indicator is now much more useful and gives you a little more time before the camera decides to shut off.
Weather sealing! Please Fuji, add some weather sealing.
I usually don’t worry too much about light rain, but it would put my mind at rest if I knew it was at least designed for it.
Please also give us the ability to check focus and see what shots we have favourited while we’re transferring them via wifi. Sometimes I take multiple shots of the same scene and only want to import the sharp ones. There’s no way to check this while transferring. Currently, I write down all the numbers of the shots I like so when I go to transfer I can just find them without thinking about it.
A lot of people are asking for a tilt screen, and while I find the X-T1 screen incredibly useful in certain situations, I would not like the added bulkiness to the X100T.
It’s useful, sure, but not at the expense of size and form.
A lot of features that make this camera great haven’t changed from the X100S.
It is dead quiet and unassuming. The tactile response to everything makes shooting with it a joy. The included 3 stop ND filter is really useful when you want to shoot wide open in bright conditions.
The leaf shutter is fantastic. You get an exceptionally fast flash sync speed and you can quite easily hand hold this at 1/8 and even down to 1/4 of a second.
This ability makes this camera fantastic in low light. It can struggle occasionally with autofocus in really poor lighting conditions, but with focus peaking it is easy to take over and manually adjust.
The ability to customise all the back buttons including the Q button is a welcome addition! You can customise this camera to your heart’s content.
The X100T just gets out of the way when you’re shooting. All these new refinements just make the camera nicer and easier to use.
Should You Upgrade?
If you’re coming from an X100, definitely.
If you’re coming from an X100S and wifi, usb charging, 3 stop EC dial and customisability is worth it for you, then yes.
If you’re coming from another system, weigh up how often you’re not taking your camera somewhere because of its size and consider the following:
“The best camera is the one you have with you”
For me, the weight, size and the leaf shutter advantages including hand hold ability, high sync speed and near silent operation made the decision a no brainer.
Fuji have almost refined this to a point where it’s a near perfect camera for me.
I wouldn’t say no to some weather sealing though or a few more megapixels!
Here are some more shots from the trip: