And so to the Fujifilm X100F Review:
I’m really pleased to be penning this Fujifilm X100F Review because back in 2011, I was fortuitous enough to be one of the first people to receive and shoot a wedding with the then very embryonic Fuji Finepix (as it was known) X100 camera.
I remember it very well, as I had a wedding to shoot the same afternoon that I received the camera from WEX. I took the camera to the wedding and shot some candid work during the reception with it. The rest of day preferring to use my DSLR system.
The original X100F
I think it’s fair to say that the Fuji X100 most definitely revolutionised the way I approached my business and the way I shoot weddings. It’s also true to say that the original Fuji Finepix X100 was initially frustrating and languid but given time, and a couple of firmware updates, it became a mainstay of my camera bag as it did for many wedding, street and documentary photographers across the world.
This Fujifilm X100F Review, as with all my reviews, will focus very little on the technicalities of the camera, rather, I’m going to talk about how I’ve used it, why I’ve used it, what I liked, what I didn’t and how I see the camera in comparison to the previous incarnations of the X100.
Although it may sound cliché, I do have a love of the X100 range. It was the first camera I bought, and I even wrote a book about the Fujifilm X100S. I’ve shot many weddings using just a pair of X100T’s. The X100 range and the X-Pro range of cameras are the ones I feel most aligned to as a Documentary and Street photographer.
Before I knew about the X100F, and with all the talk at Photokina revolving the around the GFX, I was anxious that Fujifilm would not forget its APS-C roots, and I asked several of the product managers directly if they would still be investing time & development in the APS-C Systems and the answer, each time, was a resounding ‘yes – we have plenty more in store for the APS-C systems’.
Fujifilm X100F Review: So what does it look like?
Fujifilm X100F ~ Front view: Retaining the classic looks of the X100 line.
Fujifilm X100F ~ Rear view: Better control layout, joystick, and ergonomically easier to use.
Fujifilm X100F ~ Top view: Shutter Speed, ISO, and five stop exposure compensation.
A Brief History of the Fuji X100F
I believe around fifty photographers were handed prototypes back in October 2016. I’ve worked hard on this project, but it is worth noting that the camera is still a prototype.
All the images I am showing here are from a prototype camera. I have edited them to my taste but where possible & relevant I will give a direct link to the original out of camera JPEG in the meta descriptions of the images.
To that end, I did not take it to many weddings during the early firmware cycles preferring to test the camera out on the streets or with personal assignments.
I will obviously dig much deeper, but for those of you who are looking for small and compact but professional camera – I think you are going to really love what the Fujifilm X100F will offer.
Fujifilm X100F Review: WCL 1/250th at f/4.0, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros+YE)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/125th at f/2.8, ISO640 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
What the F?
I’ve said on this website before that I’m not particularly interested in what a camera looks like. When the X-Pro1 came along, I thought – that’s great – it’s a little black box that takes pictures. And I loved that. And I also loved the small footprint of the X100, X100S and X100T.
But one tiny detail hit me straight away when I received my Fuji X100F and that was the removal of the logo from the front of the camera…..just like the X-Pro2 and the original X100! It’s a tiny detail, but I love it. It makes the camera that little more discreet, that little less obvious and I think Fujifilm should be applauded for having the gumption to remove all the branding from the front of the camera again.
Fujifilm X100F Review: What’s New?
Well, I guess those of you that already shoot with an X-Pro2 will no doubt have been expecting an “X-Pro2 in a smaller box”. And to a certain extent, that’s true. Of course, the X100F is a fixed lens camera and is very different to the X-Pro2.
Those of you, however, who are X100, X100S, X100T only users will be blown away by the new camera. I think the step up to the X100F from the X100T is huge and far greater than the step from the X100S to the X100T was.
There are many places you can read the full technical details of the X100F, but for brevity, the table below outlines the core differences between the X100T and the new Fuji X100F:
|Fujifilm X100F||Fujifilm X100T|
|Pixels||24.3 million||15.3 million|
|Sensor||X-Trans III||X-Trans II|
|Pixel Dimensions (large)||6000 x 4000||4896 x 3264|
|Standard ISO Output||200 – 12,800||200 – 6,400|
|Exposure Control||Multi, Spot, Average, Centre||Multi, Spot, Average|
|Exposure Compensation||5 Stops||3 Stops|
|Af Frame Selection||Single, Zone, Wide / Tracking||Single & Continuous|
|Film Simulations||15 including Acros||11|
|Dimensions||126.5mm (W) x 74.8mm (H) x 52.4mm (D) / 4.98in. (W) x 2.95in. (H) x 2.06in. (D) (Minimum Depth : 32.0mm / 1.26 in.)||126.5mm (W) x 74.4mm (H) x 52.4mm (D) / 5.0 in. (W) x 2.9in. (H) x 2.1in. (D) (Minimum Depth : 31.0mm / 1.2 in.)|
|Physical ISO Dial||Yes||—|
There are a few very important standout features that I will explore further, but needless to say, the Fujifilm X100F is faster, more feature rich and produces better quality images than any of the cameras that came before it.
X-Trans III Sensor
The X-Trans III sensor makes a welcome debut in the X100F. It is of course, present in the X-Pro2 and the X-T2.
The sensor is a 24.3 megapixels APS-C sensor. It is definitely the best sensor to date that Fuji have produced and I actually wondered if they could get this sensor working in an X100 style camera.
Well, they clearly have and with the X-Processor Pro high-speed image processing engine, the camera produces beautiful images with great noise control and AF performance.
23mm F2 Lens
A note about the Fuji X100F Lens: As far as I can tell, the lens in the X100F is the same as the one in the X100T. This is a 23m, (35mm full frame equivalent) f2 fixed lens. Now, would I have liked a new f1.4 lens?
I have always been more than happy with the lens in the X100T and the cameras before it. In fact, I would go as far as saying I love the way this lens renders and I’m kind of glad, deep down, that it hasn’t changed. This is a camera that is going to be used by Street Photographers and storytelling photographers. The camera is perfectly sharp at F2 for me and I’ve never once found myself worrying about this. The camera is not really designed for close-ups of flowers and so whilst Fuji could have updated the lens, my personal opinion is that they didn’t need to.
With a larger sensor, I did expect the camera to struggle at the faster apertures with sharpness. However, I can genuinely say that I’m not noticing any difference in the sharpness of images at f2 on the X100F compared to the X100T.
Lens & Dynamic Range
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/210th at f/2, ISO200 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Very Early Prototype)
As you can see from the image above, which was one of the first images I took with the early prototype, the lens holds up at F2, even across the new 24.3-megapixel sensor.
Across the whole aperture range, the sensor has an amazing dynamic range and whether you shoot RAW or JPEG, you will get amazing colour depth and tonal range.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/2,000th at f/6.4, ISO400 (Built-in ND Filter applied)
The image above was shot during sunset on the banks of the river Thames. The X100 range of cameras has always had a really nifty built-in ND filter.
This means I can meter against pretty bright sections of the scene and use the 3-stop ND filter to block out some of the overpowering light.
Built in ND Filter
The built in ND filter is a feature that is only available in the X100F across the whole of the X-Series (due to the fact that its a fixed lens).
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/2,200th at f/6.4, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/125th at f/4, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Velvia)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/125th at f/11, ISO320 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
I think the image above gives you a great idea of how close you can get when shooting with a small camera like the Fujifilm X100F. In this instance, the camera is to my eye very quickly and the image is taken.
If you watch the promotional video above, you’ll see that I spend a lot of time shooting with one hand.
Of course, if you need to shoot at a very slow shutter speed, then one handed shooting is not advisable, but I find having a camera as light as the X100F enables me to be very casual about the way I’m shooting on the streets or at weddings. It really is a case of blending into the environment.
I really love just shooting people being people and I find the closer I can get, without any interference with the moment, the more engaging the images are.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/500th at f/8, ISO800
Higher ISO Support
I always thought the original X100 was just OK when it came to higher ISO support. The X100S was better, but not particularly groundbreaking. I thought the X100T at higher ISO levels was excellent.
Primarily I shoot with available light, and rarely resort to flash and so I often find myself shooting at 3,200 and above.
Upto 51,200 ISO (12,800 Standard)
The great news for Fuji X100F shooters is that the sensor now allows us to shoot at 12,800 ISO as standard. This is a stop more than the 6,400 of the X100T and the noise reduction algorithm in the camera is greatly improved.
The Fuji X100F even allows you to shoot in RAW at extended ISO up to 51,200.
For those who use AUTOISO a lot, as I do, you’ll be pleased to note the minimum shutter speed is now 1/500th of a second compared to 1/125th in the X100T.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/250th at f/4, ISO4,000 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Velvia)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/250th at f/4, ISO5,000 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Velvia)
As you can see from the above image, shot at ISO5,000 the old issue that was prevalent with the original X100 and X100S of waxy skin tones has, to my eye, totally disappeared.
This is due in part to the new sensor and the greater control over noise reduction that we have in the menus. You can set the Noise Reduction in camera to -4, as opposed to -2 previously if you wish. This is in effect telling the camera to apply no noise reduction to JPEG images in-camera. For the two images above, NR was set to -2.
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/160th at f/2, ISO12,8000 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + R)
There is a huge difference in the sensitivity of the sensor between the X100T and the X100F. The ability to shoot at ISO’s such as 12,800 (above), really open the camera up for me.
Previously, I would struggle shooting at those elevated ISO’s. When you consider this is a 24+ megapixel camera, I think the noise control in both RAW and JPEG files is pretty incredible.
Remember, the untouched JPEGs from the camera are linked in the EXIF data at the bottom of the images.
Compressed RAW Files
For the first time in the X100 series, we now have the option to shoot compressed RAW. This is, essentially, a lossless compression which has no bearing on image quality but will reduce the size of your RAW files by approximately 50%.
At first glance, it seems a no-brainer to use this setting, and I even asked Fuji once why was it not set to compressed as the default. The answer is simply that not all RAW conversion tools support compressed RAW. I have two RAW conversion tools, Lightroom and Capture One. Lightroom supports compressed RAW, whereas Capture One doesn’t (at the time of writing).
Digital Tele-Converter & New Control Ring
I first saw the Control Ring and Digital Tele-Converter in the X70. I use the X70 a lot, and I have to say I don’t really use the control ring, nor the digital teleconverter that much at all.
I wouldn’t be particularly disappointed personally if these features were not included in the X100F, but at the same time, I know photographers such as Patrick LaRoque who use them regularly.
Firstly, the Digital Teleconverter will only work for JPEG files. If your new X100F is set to RAW or RAW+JPEG, then you won’t be able to use the digital teleconverter at all.
The teleconverter acts almost like a zoom feature, though I understand the camera is doing more than simply cropping in.
The resolution & quality of a fully zoomed image is the same as an un-zoomed image. This isn’t quite the same as simply cropping in using Photoshop after, where the image resolving will be compromised.
So, to that end, I think it’s a useful feature for those that require it. For me, I won’t use it often but its good to know its there.
I don’t have the specifications of the camera but I’m guessing the zoom levels are something like 35mm, 50mm and 70mm in full frame equivalent.
You can get an example of this range with the images below:
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/640th at f/5.6, ISO400
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/640th at f/5.6, ISO400
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/500th at f/5.6, ISO400
You control the digital teleconverter by rotating the control ring on the front of the camera.
This control ring now allows us very quick access to a few of the more common functions that we might want to move between:
You can choose to use the control ring for the teleconverter, film simulation, white balance or leave it at its standard setting.
I think it’s great that Fuji gave us the ability to use the tactile controls to keep as many settings at our fingertips as possible.
However, much like the Digital Teleconverter on the X70, I never really used the control ring for this purpose either. As I said, I think some people will really love this, whereas, for me, I’ll probably use it infrequently.
Other New Physical Features of the Fuji X100F
I think as you will see throughout this Fujifilm X100F Review, by and large, the footprint and look and feel of the camera remain true to the classic design.
There are some subtle, but very important changes, however, that have made it onto the X100F.
Tactile ISO Dial
One of the difficulties many people had when using the X100, 100S and 100T was the lack of any tactile way of adjusting the ISO easily.
Fuji has addressed this in a couple of ways with the X100F.
Firstly, they have introduced the same lift-and-turn ISO adjuster on the shutter speed dial itself. You can see this on the top shot of the camera at the beginning of this Fuji X100F Review.
I really like this way of working and have zero issue with it and its implementation. However, I do use Auto-ISO a lot and I’m not moving my ISO manually too often.
For those that do change ISO a lot, I know some will find this type of interface a little cumbersome and some may find it very frustrating.
I think Fuji realised with the X-Pro2 that whilst this is a design paradigm that solves a problem, it isn’t perfect for everyone and to that end, they have allowed us to use the front control dial to adjust ISO if we wish.
There is a menu option, called ISO DIAL SETTING (A), which allows us to set the front control dial as our ISO adjuster. This is a very welcome addition to the camera and something I’ve lobbied Fuji to introduce since the X-Pro2.
Five Stop Exposure Compensation
Another much-requested feature is the ability to have five stops of exposure compensation.
To implement this, you need to put the exposure compensation on the “C” marker.
You then use the front command dial to adjust the exposure compensation.
But wait! I hear you cry…..what if you want to use the front command dial to adjust ISO as mentioned above.
Well, Fuji has a neat solution to allow us to use the front command dial for both ISO and Exposure Compensation.
You simply press the command dial to toggle between ISO and Exposure Compensation.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Using the front command dial toggles between ISO and Exposure Compensation
It is a little thing, but very important. The new Fuji X100F shares the same battery as the XT-2 and X-Pro2 etc. The rather romantically named NP-W126S battery is included in the box and if you are lucky enough to have an X-Pro2 or XT-2 then you can use the same charger and batteries.
Updated Button Configuration
As you can see from the shot of the back of the camera above the button layout has been completely redesigned and I think it’s a much easier camera to operate because of this.
Notable changes include;
- A joystick for focus point adjustment.
- All buttons removed from the left-hand side of the LCD
- Q button shifted to the top right
- Drive button now part of the selector buttons.
NEW Q BUTTON POSITION
One thing you will notice is the new position of the Q button.
Initially, this caused me some issues while shooting with the X100F as I shoot exclusively with a back button focusingtechnique.
For me, the AEL/AFL button is too far across and the perfect place for me to rest my thumb and shoot is where the Q button is.
As I write this, the Q button isn’t one of the fn configuration buttons and I am using the rear command dial as my AFL button.
This is OK, but I really hope in due course that Fuji can change the Q button on the X100F so it is a function button. As it stands, I press the Q button inadvertently too often.
Similarly, I’d like to see the erase button either removed completely or set as an assignable function button. I think I’ve deleted images in camera maybe 100 times over the last six years.
New Menu System
The X100F has had its menu system comprehensively updated and you will find it more logically laid out and easier to navigate than the X100T.
I’ve recorded a very simple menu walkthrough which will show you the entire range of menu options in the X100F.
The beady-eyed ones amongst you will have noticed in the menu video above that there is now the option to record author and copyright data.
This is something myself and many others have been requesting and hopefully, will make its way via firmware into other Fuji X-Series cameras.
SERIAL NUMBER IN EXIF
This may seem totally inconsequential, but something I noticed when testing the X100F was the fact that the camera serial number is parsed through EXIF.
Now it could be this is just for the prototypes, so don’t blame me if it’s not in the production cameras.
Because we still can’t set the time in the cameras to the nearest second, those of us that shoot events with multiple cameras have to go through some hoops to sync the clocks of the cameras in post production. You can see more about this in my Shooting Weddings with a Fuji blog post.
Having the serial number in the EXIF will greatly help in this exercise and I hope that this will come to all Fuji X-Series cameras in firmware soon.
No Flip Screen & Weather Sealing
I have to say I was not at all surprised that there was no flip screen in this the X100F. Personally, I’m grateful for that. I understand the technicalities are difficult for a start for a camera with an Optical Viewfinder. Additionally, a flip screen is likely to add bulk and weight to a camera that really is designed to be a lightweight, go anywhere camera.
I love using the flip screen on my X70, but that’s because it has no viewfinder at all. It’s very rare that I’ll even use the tilt screen on my XT-2.
Whilst I understand some people would like to see a tilt screen in this camera, I think that it is worth remembering that the camera is all about minimalism and functionality. I’m personally not interested in touch screens and tilt screens – I just want a tactile, ranger-finder style camera that is sleek, easy to operate and creates great images.
That said, having a tilt screen is very much a subjective view of course. I hate it when purists say things like “real photographers don’t use tilt screens” etc. It’s nothing to do with that ~ for me, it is just about actually needing one and the risk of it affecting the size of the camera etc. I don’t want one, but you may…..each of our opinions are valid
Let me tell you, though, on a couple of days during my trip to New York it belted down with rain. I couldn’t have got my X100F wetter if I’d dropped it in a bucket of water. And it’s still fine.
I’ve never had any camera fail on my because of weather. None of my older DSLRs, nor any of my Fuji’s since. Not even my iPhone.
Fujifilm X100F Review: (soaked) 1/140th at f/4, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
That said, it is a peace-of-mind thing and I know that the X100F is a camera that many travellers and journalists will take to much more rugged and climatically challenging locations than I will. A weather sealed option may be something that people are looking for when choosing a small camera to take away with them on long trips.
When considering that, it’s worth remembering that the X100F is a fixed lens system. There is no likely chance of sand, grit or water getting in through the lens mechanism. Whilst having a camera that is technically “weather sealed” would, of course, be a good thing, I genuinely don’t worry about using my X100F in pretty torrid weather.
Fujifilm X100F Review: (getting soaked again) 1/1,600th at f/5.6, ISO400
Acros Film Simulation
The Acros film simulation is a sensor specific addition to the film simulations found in the Fujifilm X100F.
And I love it.
I mean, proper love it.
When the Acros film simulation was first shown to me I knew straight away that pretty much all my black and white imagery would be shot with it as soon as it was in the cameras.
It’s subjective, and a matter of taste of course, but I love punchy and contrasty blacks and I love monochromatic images that have perceived depth to them.
To that end, when I’m shooting Acros, I will often choose the Red filter (you have a choice of Red, Green and Yellow) to add even more contrast to the highlight areas.
Gorgeous Black & White’s
For those that shoot JPEG, and love black and white, Acros is a real benefit to the X100 system.
I shoot almost all my personal work in Acros and as you’ll see a little later, the X100F is the camera I consider my photographer’s camera and one which will come with me everywhere.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Acros Film Simulation makes it to the X100F
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/125th at f/2.5, ISO400 Acros + R
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/1,000th at f/8, ISO800 Acros + Ye
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/550th at f/2.2, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros+R)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/500th at f/2, ISO6,400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros+R)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/500th at f/2, ISO1,000
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/500th at f/2, ISO1,600
Incidentally, the last four images were taken at The Tate Modern in London where “professional” photography is prohibited. There were plenty of people shooting with their phones and smaller cameras of all descriptions. I managed to fit into the category of tourist perfectly well with my Fuji X100F.
Remember that where possible I’ve added a link to the out of camera JPEG into the EXIF description. Please remember at all times that this is a prototype camera though and even as I write this, a week before the official announcement, I know Fuji are preparing to send me another firmware update.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Autofocus System
For those that own an X-Pro2 or an X-T2, you’ll be well aware of the autofocus capabilities of the X-Trans III sensor.
Basic response specifications have been enhanced to the extreme in the X100F. A start-up time of approx. 0.5 seconds, shooting interval of 0.2 seconds (so I’m told – in real terms, its much, much faster).
The number of focusing points has been dramatically expanded from 49 in previous models to 91 (up to 325 points). Approx. 40% of the imaging area (center area containing 49 focusing points) is covered with phase detection AF pixels to form a fast and precise phase detection AF area that can be used in a variety of scenes.
Well, whilst the X100F also has the X-Trans III sensor, it is limited to a certain extent by the 23mm lens that is attached.
Here is what I’ve observed:
- Single Point AF is much quicker and more accurate than with the X100T.
- Continuous focus is dramatically improved over the X100T. It is not at the same level however as say the X-T2 when it comes to tracking and frames per second shooting.
- Low light AF is greatly improved over the X100T too, despite the lens being the same.
Focus Tracking and High Speed Shooting
When it comes to high-speed shooting, the X100F clearly is not designed to be a sports camera and it simply won’t compete with something like the X-T2 but it’s a great improvement over the X100T.
In the ‘drive’ menu, it shows SH (8fps), H (5fps), M (4fps), L (3fps).
As a comparison, the X100T has a maximum of 6fps.
I have tried catching my crazy whippet a few times using continuous focus and high-speed burst with a reasonable amount of success. However, I do still think this camera, as its aimed at street and documentary type photographers, will spend most of its time in single or manual focus modes.
The Single Point / Zone and Wide Tracking AF options have made it to the X100F and these can be useful for those who want to shoot relatively fast moving subjects with a better degree of accuracy.
Fujifilm X100F Review: adds new focus tracking options
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/600th at f/2, ISO200 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Provia)
There is little point in showing all the images here, but I was comfortably catching 8 continuous tracked frames of my little boy on his scooter. Around 6 or 7 were always in focus. He’s not Barry Sheene of course but he can scoot pretty mean.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/340th at f/2.8, ISO200 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + R)
Remember: The images in this post are tweaked by me. Where possible, I have linked to the original Out of Camera JPEG under the image. Please also be aware that these images are all from a prototype camera.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/280th at f/5.6, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
You can see me chasing this picture in the promotional video earlier in this post. I actually have about five frames, all pretty much sharp, of the bird in flight across the steps of St. Martin in the Field’s church. There was nothing serendipitous about this picture.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/125th at f/5, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Velvia)
The image above was shot with the new Zone focus tracking configuration. The Fuji X100F now gives you a much greater degree of accuracy when you are trying to track moving subjects.
In general, I think one of the biggest elements of change between the X100T and the X100F is the auto-focus and continuous tracking. For such a small camera, with such a large sensor I think it’s pretty remarkable what it can do now.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Viewfinders
One of the reasons I’m so attached to all my X100 cameras is the amazing viewfinders. The Optical and Electronic Viewfinders have been a mainstay since the original X100.
From the X100T onwards, we are totally spoilt with effectively three viewfinders:
Fujifilm X100F Review: Electronic Viewfinder
The Electronic Viewfinder offers a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach to shooting.
Essentially, the view you see in the viewfinder or LCD is how the final image will look. This is possibly the number one reason why people have moved from DSLRs to the Fujifilm system.
The ability to see exposure issues and correct them in real time cannot be underestimated, especially for people who have to work very quickly in challenging conditions (such as weddings!).
The Electronic Viewfinder is fully customisable too and you can switch on and off features such as the level guideline, histogram, white balance etc.
You can see the Focus Peak Highlighting in action in the above shot too, The top of the mug has red highlighting which is indicating exactly where the in focus are is.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Optical Viewfinder (note, this illustration does not show the image I’m shooting)
The optical viewfinder (OVF) is a little more like the traditional DSLR viewfinder, in that you will not see exposure accuracy in the viewfinder.
However, there are a few benefits of using the Optical Viewfinder over the Electronic. You have bright frame lines in the OVF which will allow you to see beyond the capture area. This is invaluable if you want to watch scenes unfold before you press the shutter. For example, you may be waiting for a person to walk into the frame before shooting. With the OVF, you will see outside of the frame allowing you to do this very easily.
Additionally, in low light especially, I find the optical viewfinder essential. I always have the histogram displayed in the OVF and it is an incredibly quick way of shooting.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Hybrid Viewfinder (note, this illustration does not show the image I’m shooting)
And the best of both worlds? The Hybrid Viewfinder (HVF). You have the speed and benefit of the OVF, but a little window in the bottom right that will show an exposure preview of the image you are shooting.
You can also have a magnified view of the evf in the hybrid viewfinder, allowing for enhanced accuracy when checking focus.
I find this very useful when shooting fully manual, as I need to ensure all my exposure attributes are good.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Leaf Shutter
The Fujifilm X100F (and of course its predecessors) is one of a very few that has a leaf shutter installed.
Now, I’m not a big user of flash at all. I much prefer natural or available light so you will likely get much better examples of the leaf shutter in operation on the X100F from other reviews.
However, it is worth knowing that a leaf shutter is essentially different to a standard focal plane shutter because it can synchronise with flash at very high shutter speeds.
This is great when shooting in bright sunlight and you want to be able to use that ambient light by using an extremely fast shutter speed.
Fujifilm X100F Review: X100T 1/1,000th at f/5.6, ISO200
Fujifilm X100F Review: X100T 1/800th at f/5.6, ISO500
Unfortunately, we haven’t had any real sunny days in the UK since the 17th century so I’ve had to use a couple of shots I took whilst on holiday in Spain last year to illustrate the leaf shutter and flash.
These were taken on the Fuji X100T but the principle remains the same. Most focal plane shutter cameras only allow a sync speed up to 1/250th maximum. The leaf shutter really opens up a whole world of creative options for those that want to use flash, especially in the day time.
Fujifilm X100F Review: The Photographers Camera
When I moved across to the X-Series some six years or so ago, one thing that hit me straight away was how much fun it was to shoot with small, tactile cameras.
This remains the case now. Even though professionally I’m using the X-Pro2’s, the X100F has already become my photographers’ camera. It’s the camera that comes with me everywhere; it’s the camera I shoot almost all my personal family photos on and it’s the camera that I enjoy using the absolute most out of the X-Series.
I still use my X70 of course, but that’s a more considered choice when I’m shooting. The X100F is the simplest camera to pick up and go shooting. Quite simply, I love using my X100F.
The Fuji X100F is an unthreatening, little black box that empowers me to have fun, enjoy shooting & love photography.
Family & Personal Photography
Photography for me, personally, is so important. I see part of my role as a dad to be the curator of my children’s memories. Each year, I have a large book printed with our family photographs. It’s so important to me now. I emphasis now because I genuinely have so few images of my young family from my DSLR days. I just didn’t get it out.
Now, my daughter has my X30 and between us, we snap away at almost anything that makes us smile and you know what….it is such a lovely and cathartic feeling to actually do something we both enjoy.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/420th at f/5.6, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + R)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/850th at f/2.8, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Monochrome+ R)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/1250th at f/2, ISO2,000 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + G)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/1500th at f/2, ISO800 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + R)
As I’ve mentioned, really, having a camera like the Fuji X100F with you at all times will release an ability to shoot the everyday stuff that passes us by so often. It’s images like the ones above that my family and I will cherish forever.
This adventure with documenting my own family life started with the original X100 and its still going on. I have a lot to thank my own curiosity of life for, but also I do fully believe that without moving away from my DSLR system I simply wouldn’t have the compunction to shoot these elements of everyday life.
As you may know, my main income is from being a wedding photographer. The way I shoot my weddings is the same as the way I shoot my family pictures and my street photography; candidly.
All the images you see here in this Fujifilm X100F Review, and indeed all the images on this whole site and all the images on my wedding photography site are all natural, candid images. There is no direction at all.
That obviously presents a certain challenge, but it’s the way I like to see images ~ as real moments, captured.
Because weddings are such important events, I tend not to shoot with the prototype camera much at them for obvious reasons.
That said, on the occasion that I did shoot briefly at weddings, the images have been great.
Before the X-Pro2 came along, I shot a lot of my wedding work on the X100S or X100T. I really do love the immediacy of such a small camera and it really does allow me to get right into the action and shoot the wedding from the inside out.
Totally downsizing equipment when shooting a wedding is very liberating and being able to shoot with one hand, in amongst the guests, for example, is simply something I can’t do with a larger camera.
The X100F will definitely be accompanying me to weddings once the product is launched. It won’t replace my X-Pro2’s of course but will become part of my equipment on the day.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/1250th at f/2, ISO800 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
It’s really great being able to just blend in completely unobtrusively, and I think really only the Fujifilm X100F gives me that complete package in that respect.
The above image is F2 at ISO800 so any questions about the sharpness of the lens at anything other than extremely close up are muted I think.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/1250th at f/2, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
Shooting with the Fuji X100F, although professionally, is just like being another guest at a wedding. It is perhaps the perfect camera for those who want to shoot fly-on-the-wall documentary photography.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/250th at f/2, ISO1,000 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
Look how easy it is to just become part of the scene. For the image above, I shot with one hand ~ quickly moving into the area, raising the camera, back button focus using the command dial and click. Then I can move away from the scene just as quickly as I arrived and let the natural event continue without really anybody noticing a picture was taken.
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/150th at f/2, ISO400
Popping on the Wide Conversion Lens brings the focal length down to 19mm which gives a wider view of the scene without any perceived image degradation. I really recommend anybody who is going to shoot at weddings with the Fuji X100F invests in the Wide Conversion Lens.
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/140th at f/2.5, ISO400
The last two images above I think really illustrate the power of using such a discreet camera as an X100F in these kinds of situations. Whether it’s weddings, parties or you just have a curiosity of photographing everyday events, the X100F is the type of camera that I think will fit the bill for you.
I don’t have any statistical facts about the usage of the Fuji X100 cameras, but I would hazard a guess that Street Photographers make up a sizable chunk of the people who shoot with it.
I don’t class myself as a professional Street Photographer, but I do love to shoot it and I enjoy spending time with my camera out and about.
There is that point again……enjoy…..that’s what it all comes down to. Some people will make money from street photography (some of my favourites right now are Matt Stuart, Claude le Gall, Chris Hunt and Raymond Depardon) but by and large, we shoot Street Photography because we love it and we have that curiosity again…a curiosity to document the everyday events.
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/250th at f/5.6, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + Ye)
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/1,000th at f/8, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + Ye)
Both of the images above were shot using the Wide Conversion Lens. I mentioned it earlier in this review, but it is really worth getting as it adds a whole new dynamic to what you can shoot with your X00F.
I really love to get in close, or, rather, allow the hustle and bustle of the street to get close to me. In order to do that, I will often shoot with a zone focusingtechnique. One of the things I think Fuji could really do to help street photographers is to include a distance scale on the lens. I’d hoped that with the X100F we would finally get a physical distance scale (there is one in the viewfinder of course), but sadly not this time.
Fujifilm X100F Review: with WCL 1/1,000th at f/8, ISO1000 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Acros + Ye)
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/150th at f/4, ISO200 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Velvia)
Shooting from the hip, without raising the camera to my eye is a way I love to shoot. Coupled with the zone focusing, it really does allow me to get in closer and shoot scenes I just won’t be able to with larger cameras.
I purposefully chose the black Fuji X100F when I was given the choice in October. I believe the black camera is more descreet than the silver one and that helps me a little.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/250th at f/8, ISO500 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
Fujifilm X100F Review: with TCL 1/140th at f/4, ISO400 (Out of Camera Fuji X100F Sample Image Classic Chrome)
The image above was the first I shot on my trip to New York with the Fuji X100F and the Tele Conversion Lens attached.
Contrary to the WCL which I’ve mentioned throughout this Fujifilm X100F Review, the TCL gives a narrower focal length (around 33mm), which gives an added depth of field to the image.
I find the TCL to be excellent, but not as sharp across the focal range as the WCL is. However, as you can see in this image (via the original JPEG), it perfectly acceptable and again, adds another dimension to shooting with the X100F.
Fujifilm X100F Review: Final Thoughts
DISCLAIMER: My relationship with Fujifilm is symbiotic. I am lucky enough now to have been selected as a tester of several of their cameras during the pre-production stage. I use the word ‘tester’ here, not ‘reviewer’ intentionally. Since October, I’ve been fully testing the Fujifilm X100F. I’ve spent many days shooting with it, filling in feedback, communicating with the R&D team, bug testing etc. Without the photographic testers, it’s possible some of the issues we identified may not have been ironed out. I have spent at least 150 hours that I would consider ‘work’ on the project.
If you look at the economics of it, I’d be better off flippin’ burgers at McDonalds. However, I have always had a genuine passion for the X-Series of cameras and wherever possible, I will help the system grow organically…..and because of that, I am very proud to be an official Fuji X-Photographer. I’m not obliged by Fujifilm to write this, nor to be positive in any way. As I have said many times, the most important people in my business are my clients. I use the best tools that allow me to deliver the best service for my clients.
The X100F is not without its quirks. The Q button, for example, is something I am going to hope a firmware update resolves (it just needs to be a fn button). It would be good to be able to sync settings across wifi or a .dat file, shoot JPEG+RAW when bracketing but these are minor things.
Fujifilm has squeezed as much of the X-Pro2’s performance into the aesthetically beautiful little box of the X100F. It is a camera with character, its a camera with quality and possibly above all, its a photographers’ camera. This is a camera I want to use and look forward to picking up.
For me, this is the most comprehensive update the X100 range.
Fujifilm X100F Review: 1/1,100th at f/5.6, ISO400
So, as the sun rises on this day of big announcements from Fujifilm, for me, the Fujifilm X100F is the zenith, I suppose.
A Street & Social Documentary camera that has a superb sensor, and much improved Auto Focus and focus tracking. It creates beautiful images, including the gorgeous Acros film simulations. It’s a small, sleek camera and for me, it epitomises everything that the X-DNA stands for. I know how proud Fujifilm are of the X100 series, and they should remain proud still of the X100F.
Back in 2011, the original X100 was a classic. Now, in 2017, the X100F builds on that legacy….
Preorder the Fujifilm X100F
If you want to pre-order the X100F in the UK, you can do so via Warehouse Express. You might also be interested in the Tele Conversion Lens or the Wide Conversion Lens.
Additionally, my friends at Castle Cameras are offering a Fuji X100F preorder service too.
Want to get your hands on an X100F and spend a day with me shooting in London?
If you do, then Fujifilm UK are offering six experience days (half day sessions) with me, and the X100F in the next couple of weeks.
The following link will be live at 7 am on the 19th February 2017.
To be in with a chance of securing your spot, and being one of the first people in the UK to try ou the X100F, check out this X100F Experience Day page over at Fuji UK.
I currently have three available workshops myself.
I am running a Wedding Photojournalism Workshop in London next month.
A Street Photography Workshop in London – I will have the new Fuji X100F with me then.
I’m running two photography workshops in Lausanne, Switzerland in conjunction with Fujifilm Switzerland in May.
Those on my Birmingham Street Photography Workshop today will be the very first people in the UK to get their hands on an X100F.