I’ve had a copy of the x100F since early November. During that time I kind of made it my go-to camera for just about anything and everything—from my more artistic professional shots, to travel, to basic family vacation images. This camera has been everywhere—from around my own home in Kentucky, to the Great Wall of China, to Disney World in Florida. I’ve thrown just about everything I could at it and the x100F delivered wonderful results.
This past summer I had a copy of the X100T in my bag for a couple of months. It saw some use, but not as much as my X-Pro2. I was drawn to the Pro2’s increase in resolution. When Fujifilm sent me a copy of thier upcoming x100F I was pleased to see its files coming in at the same 6000 x 4000 resolution as the T2 and Pro2 sensors. The larger battery was also a very welcome addition to the camera’s usability.
Other additions to the camera was the inclusion of Fujifilm’s joystick seen on their latest flagship, as well as a frontside dial. Also, just like the Pro2, the integrated ISO/shutter speed dial made for even more functionality.
The first thing I noticed when I took the camera out of the box was that it felt… heftier. It felt like it grew up a little bit. Other than these physical additions—and the buttons left of the LCD screen moved to the right to accommodate the joystick—not much else had changed from the previous model. That’s a good thing. Why fix something that isn’t broken? I love the design of the X100 cameras—this one just feels like a nice evolutionary step.
Something that I did not see present was 4K video. This probably has something to do with how heat is dispersed in the camera’s design. Of course, I’m not an engineer so I’m purely speculating based off of what has been said about why the X-Pro2 doesn’t offer 4k recording. But enough about ergonomics, let’s dig into the real reason you buy one of these devices: how well does it shoot?
Now, since I was using a beta copy I did not have any RAW conversion abilities. I just used the in-camera RAW converter the whole time and then did some further touch ups in Lightroom. I don’t have any experience with how the RAW files do, but I imagine they’re identical to the x-T2 and x-Pro2 files.
The lens resolved wonderfully on the 24mp sensor. I was able to walk away with stunning detail from a tiny little camera. I believe this is the same lens seen in the previous models, and it is still just as excellent as it was on the older sensor. The bokeh is very pleasant and has a smooth aesthetic to it. It also maintains the leaf shutter from before—a nice feature for those of you using off camera flash. You get to shoot as if you have HSS, but at a fraction of the cost.
I’m a natural light shooter so that’s not a huge benefit to me, but it’s still nice to have the option if I need it some day.
Functionally, the camera reminds me of a shrunk down X-Pro2 with a tiny 23mm lens fixed to it. I love that.
The X-Pro2 is a great camera, but it feels a bit bulky for everyday use. Since I use the 35mm focal length (full-frame equivalent) a lot of the time, that makes the x100F a great fit for me. It fits easily in some of my jacket pockets, hides away nicely, and makes quick family and travel photos a breeze. Just like other X series cameras, it turns on almost instantly; as long as I have it around my neck I don’t miss too many shots. Having the ISO dial integrated into the shutter speed dial isn’t my favorite (that’s one reason why I love the X-T2) but at least I have a dedicated dial for the third part of the exposure triangle.
Finally, the joystick. The joystick on these cameras is indispensable. One of the many reasons I’ve fallen for the latest X series cameras are these joysticks. Being able to select my focus point quickly and easily without even taking my eye away from the EVF/OVF allows me to work with my autofocus more organically.
Speaking of autofocus, I was sort of hoping this camera would be just as speedy as the X-T2, but that wasn’t the case. While it was certainly fast enough for me to get the job done and done accurately, don’t expect the speed of the x-T2. That’s about my only gripe about this camera: it’s autofocus isn’t DSLR quality. That’s not a huge deal, and as I mentioned earlier it’s still plenty fast to get whatever shot I wanted.
Okay, now I’m going to answer the question that will always be asked when a new camera comes out: “Should I upgrade from x…?” The answer isn’t what you’d like to hear, but it’s probably what you’re used to: it depends.
This question can never really be answered by anyone else but yourself. There are ways to go about figuring it out—you want to ask yourself a few questions. Will you be selling the old camera to help finance the new one, and if so, how much are you going to end up spending to upgrade? Does it have a feature that you think would help you get a shot that you wouldn’t with your current version? For some, that was 4k video on the X-T2. Video isn’t a large player with this camera but resolution is. If you found the 16mp files to be limiting on the last two X100 cameras, then maybe you should spend the extra money. Another simple question to ask is whether your current camera is on its last leg.
Of course, the best question to ask is whether or not your significant other will make you sleep on the couch for getting yet another camera. Even then… sometimes we just let Gear Acquisition Syndrome get the best of us. That’s okay, too.
Personally, I love this camera and think the bump in resolution makes the series all the more appetizing. Having such excellent image quality in such a small camera is definitely a nice perk. Also, if you’re a Fujifilm shooter and have either an X-T2 or an X-Pro2 with a 23mm lens, you may want to consider getting one of these as your 23mm focal length—it covers a focal length while at the same time makes an amazing travel camera or just a general take-anywhere camera.
I previously published an article that explained what I felt was the best camera to use if you’re introducing someone to photography. I now officially change my opinion, and want to mention the x100 series cameras as the best investment you could make. The x100 series offers everything you could want in a general camera, and resells quite nicely.
If you think you may want to order one, go ahead and click here. Then scroll down to see more sample shots taken with the x100F:
About the author: Adrian Murray is a well-known photographer, artist, Lightroom expert, and author. This opinions in this post are solely those of the author. To see more of Adrian’s work, visit his website or give him a follow on Instagram, Facebook, and 500px. This review was also published here.