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on 13 April 2017
I usually shoot with full-frame Canons & 'L' glass for weddings etc and have been using a Sony RX100 when size/weight was an issue. I really didn't think I could justify another camera that's somewhere in between, size/quality-wise, but I managed to find a hardly-used X100s for under 400 Pounds so I went for it and I'm so glad I did. Bottom line: this camera really makes you want to take photos of everything an anything, and that's THE most important thing by far - getting out and shooting, rather than spending hours and hours researching camera equipment. The photos have a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that I've been searching for for many years and have now finally found. The fixed focal length is a joy, not a hindrance - it forces you to become a better photographer and is an ideal one-size-fits-all focal length, being equivalent to about 35mm. It also keeps the camera small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, unlike the majority of mirrorless camera/lens combos.

If, like me, you've been considering this camera for a long time - just do it, you won't be disappointed. If you're on a budget, the X100s was a big step up from the X100 and subsequent models haven't changed the image quality in any significant way - they just have more bells & whistles, so bang for buck, this may be your best option as of early 2017.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 May 2016
This is a fantastic little retro style camera. The 35mm equivalent focal length of the f/2 lens is razor sharp and gives a wider documentary style view of the world. Perfect for close up portraits but versatile enough to capture beautiful landscapes. Of course there is no zoom lens but you can zoom with your feet (move closer or step back).

The 16mp sensor renders beautiful skin tones and produces accurate colours and tones for landscapes and general photography. You'll find that you'll hardly ever need to tweak these images. It's that good and you can shoot in Jpeg or RAW. The built in flash is quite powerful and works very well at night or as a fill in flash in bright daylight. The images hardly look like a flash has been used at all. If you want to use this more professionally then there is an optional extra flash with a tilt and swivel head for bouncing your flash (EF-42 flash).

The rear screen is excellent and you can be sure that what you see on the back is exactly what you have captured. It's quick to zoom the image in and out and to scan through everything you've taken. You can control the shutter speed and exposure compensation manually, with dials on the top and also the aperture using the aperture ring. I'll often set the shutter around 1/125th or 1/250th and the aperture to around f4 or f5.6 and let the Auto ISO settings take care of the rest.

This is the perfect documentary or wedding photography small fixed lens camera. It's also a great camera for street photography or to add a wow factor to your holiday snaps. This also has HD video if you find this useful. It can be slow to wake up when you first turn it on but it really is highly recommended. I'd have no quibbles about using this as part of my professional wedding kit or taking it to shoot a family party or a holiday.
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on 22 December 2014
Simply stunning. I take a lot of street photos and lugging around my DSLR was a pain and not discreet. This little camera takes superb JPEGS with super fast focus and stealth silence for those candid shots. People relax when they see this camera because of its no threatening retro looks. This is the best camera I own and the only one I use which is leaving my DSLR feeling unloved in its camera bag. If you don't own one yet then seriously think about it. The X100T is now out which has Wi-Fi and some other small changes so prices for the S are competitive. A great alternative to the more expensive Leica range. Here is a picture I have recently taken with some post editing with Adobe Lightroom.
review image
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on 15 August 2014
I am slightly in awe of this camera.

Like many, I got fed up lugging my DSLR around with me. I experimented with point-and-shoot, but I really, really wanted a viewfinder. I don't much like using the screens and, of course, they are less than usable in bright sunshine anyway. So that's why I stuck with DSLRs for so long. And, of course, sensor size on many point-and-shoots is pretty small, so cropping becomes an issue with quality disappearing rapidly.

But then I came across this. Same size sensor as the Nikon DX or APS-C. And a point-and-shoot with a viewfinder. Ah yes, the viewfinder - both OVF and EVF - i.e. both Optical and Electronic. Both configurable to show, for example, an artificial horizon, but the electronic one can also show a histogram. And flicking between the two is so easy - the switch that on old film cameras would have been for the self-timer here functions to flip between OVF and EVF. Easy-peasy.

Talking of old film cameras - yes, all the knobs and dials are here. Set the aperture ring to 'A', the shutter dial on top to 'A' and the ISO menu option to auto and you have a fully auto camera. Move the aperture ring off the 'A' and you have aperture priority. Set the shutter speed to whatever you want and the aperture ring back to 'A' and you have shutter priority. Take everything off 'A' and you have a fully manual set-up. Easy, obvious and beautifully engineered.

What about taking pics? So many times I have seen a picture and thought 'Oh, if only', knowing full well that dragging out the DSLR, setting it up and all, the shot would have long gone. With this, I just point the camera and take the pic. If you're into street photography, this is The Biz. I just set the shutter to 1/250 and leave everything else on auto.

The Fuji sensor is superb. Colours are better than any DSLR I have used. But, and this sounds a bit crazy, it also takes stunning B&W. Following on from Fuji film, there are a number of presets that allow you to set the camera up as though you are using B&W with a yellow filter, for example, increasing the contrast, making clouds stand out against blue sky, enhancing portraits, making things 'gritty'. And you can pre-program up to three setting so toggling between standard colour, enhanced colour and contrasty black and white is simply a matter of pressing a button and then selecting.

The lens is 23mm, so that's equivalent, roughly, to 35mm on a 'full-frame'. That is, of course, generally considered the ideal 'street' and photo-journalism size. No zoom - in fact, no removable lens at all. You can get a 50mm equivalent to screw on the front and also a wide-angle adapter too. But if you want a close up, you will, like the Spartan soldier who complained his sword was too short, just have to step closer to your subject (or enemy, in the case of the Spartan). Of course, given that the lens is fixed, you won't get any dust on the sensor.

All in all, this has breathed new life into my photography and I have no regrets at all about selling my DSLR. Mind you, saying that, I am very tempted by the X-T1!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 August 2013
I wish I'd bought this camera months ago. I love street photography and snapping and like so many purchasers of this camera, have been fed up with lugging my dslr around with me.

I also own an X10, which is a lovely camera and takes great fuji-style jpegs, but I have become dissatisfied with the lower resolution of the images it captures, due to its smaller sensor size.

Having an APS-C sized sensor, means that this camera can capture fully detailed images - couple this with the fact that Fuji have removed the AA filter and the images captured are barely a shade behind those captured by full-frame sensor-ed camera. They are truly impressive.

I love how it operates - the AF is as good as I could ever imagine needing.

I love the viewfinder - both OVF & EVF - the EVF is light years ahead of what is in the x-e1 - I originally really lusted after the x-e1 and a system of lenses to replace my dslr, but, alas, this camera isn't there yet - the EVF in the x-e1 is just too slow and 'laggy' for me...the EVF in the 100s is sharp, clear and has no lag - or none that I can worry about - and I am picky!!

I berated one of the other reviewers on here for listing the attributes of the camera and listing the camera's price as a 'con'. It is true; the camera is expensive - but there is a reason for this that I have come to accept (I like everybody else want 'something for nothing') and that is because there is nothing else like this camera available - there are several attempts from sony, ricoh etc but none do what this camera does, in the way that it does it.

If you own a dslr and you want a camera that captures large, high resolution images, without being heavy and cumbersome and you don't like to shoot too wide (although you can buy the wide angle conversion lens and make this a 27mm lens as opposed to 36mm) then this is the camera for you!

Now go and buy one...and when you've bought it and fallen in love with it and you wish you hadn't procrastinated for ages (like me), then come back and click the 'helpful' button on this review!!
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on 7 August 2013
Greetings,

I'm not a pro photographer, photography is my hobby, I'm not the super technical user that will be pixel counting and so on, I simply don't care that much about that.

I own a Canon 7D with 2 L series lenses (f2.8 24-70mm, 70-200mm f2.8 IS), I love the canon, takes beautiful pictures. I love the shutter sound, the ability to control everything without taking my eye from the viewfinder.

I always felt jealous about the point and shoot cameras users, they could take their camera everywhere they go, they would not draw that much attention, they were not instant burglars targets, the canon is and looks like an expensive camera.

After reading many advices and counsel from a pro photographer about the Fuji X100s I decided to buy one.

After 1 week of use and few thousand pictures I can give an honest feedback to anyone who is trying to decide about buying this camera.

The auto mode is easy to setup, meaning: this is not a camera that requires one awful lot of knowledge about exposure to take great pictures, set it on auto and shoot... It takes wonderful pictures, believe me... wonderful. I thought I would be controlling everything (as I do with the Canon) but actually most of the time I'm not a bit concerned about that, the little fuji is taking the decisions, and it does perform superbly.

Jpgs are gorgeous. I shoot RAW and jpg fine (mainly because I'm taking a lot of pictures in B&W and some may be worthy to keep in colour), but actually the jpgs are super, the colours are simply amazing (if you decide to get creative and shoot with the film modes).

The prime lens is amazing, it produces a beautiful light flare, sharp images (f4 up), wonderful smooth bokeh. I'm not missing a zoom really, instead of having a passive approach taking pictures I'm spending more time composing, most of the times you only need to take one step forward or backward to get the desired result, the camera can't zoom... but "you can". The experience is being so good I'll never buy another zoom lenses, I'll buy prime lenses instead, less expensive, less bulkier, better overall performance.

Without getting technical... the camera is silent, very small, it does not scare people, actually... most of the time people will not notice you are taking pictures. This is the cameras best quality compared to the 7D, stealth, discrete, not drawing that much attention.

Overall I'm impressed and delighted with the camera, easy to use, intuitive, and like everyone says - it makes you want to keep shooting.

It will never replace the Canon7D, particularly with the 70-200mm is lens (costing some $2000 USD).

I will use the canon for nature photograpy, landscapes and so on...

The fuji is the camera to take everywhere I go, with friends to the restaurant, for a walk in the park, to visit a museum, to walk on the streets and take pictures.

Super camera, I love it, and I know I'll not feel the need to replace it in 2 or 3 years time... I guess I'll keep it until it dies, and when it dies... I'll put it on a shelf, design is beatiful.

Cheers
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on 18 April 2014
I read all the glowing reviews and bought the X100s camera kit at the beginning of the year. I'm a professional photographer and this was going to fill a gap in my collection, giving me something small that I could always have with me, and that produced pro quality pictures.

Amazon warned that I would have to wait several weeks because they were out of stock, and other sellers were saying the same. So I was really pleased when the camera arrived in just a few days.

It was as lovely to look at as I expected, and I was delighted with the quality of the pictures it took. All the reviews that say you can stick with Jpegs and forget Raw are true; the camera's ability to process Jpegs is remarkable and I would shoot in Raw only for paying jobs.

But after a month I noticed a discolouration of the lens, like a blue oil mark. It didn't seem to affect the image quality but I was concerned about it nevertheless, and rang Amazon. They were very happy to replace the camera, and a couple of days later a new one arrived.

I set the new camera up as before. I put on the clear glass protection filter, as before. I installed the firmware update, as before. And straight after that the camera died. I tried all the usual things: turning it off and on, removing and replacing the battery, trying a different battery. But nothing. So I contacted Amazon and they agreed to send me another camera.

The third camera arrived in a couple of days. I set this one up as before. And it worked. But when I took it out on a sunny afternoon the focussing was totally and very worryingly unreliable. For example, I set up my subject about 12 feet away, focussed on them, and the camera focussed on the background. I double checked the settings and it was clear that the camera was at fault. Appalled, I returned the camera and this time asked for a refund. Amazon agreed.

The service from Amazon has been outstanding; I couldn't have asked for more from them. But I don't understand how I could receive three cameras that were all faulty, each in their own special way. I think it's a truly great camera when it works, and there's part of me that regrets returning the first one which was taking great pictures - but I just don't think a £1k camera should have what appeared to be a damaged lens coating.

The interesting thing is that a friend has since bought the same camera from the London Camera Exchange (at the Photography Show in Birmingham) and he rang me because he was having problems with it. He asked me to test it and I found that it was setting the exposure incorrectly. London Camera Exchange took it back and my friend asked for a refund.

Since then, this same friend has told me of three friends of his who have had problems with the X100s. For one, the control dial on the back of the camera fell off; the shop he bought it from sent his camera back to Fuji, and when it came back the battery cover promptly fell off. For the other, there were issues with the exposure. And the third complained of a range of problems.

The X100s is a great camera when it works. I also have £100 of accessories that have limited use without it (lens filter, spare batteries and chargers, a screen protector, a Rapid SnapR strap); so one day I may have another go at getting one. But I worry that Fuji may have hurried production of this batch of cameras when they found they couldn't keep pace with demand and have skimped on quality control. The reviews have been deservedly great and everyone wanted to have one, and Fuji perhaps couldn't keep up.
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on 3 March 2014
Like many long-time 35mm users I switched to digital some years ago. I missed the simple functionality of 35mm SLRs. You knew what ISO you were using and if you wanted more there were push processing options available at the expense of grain like golf balls. Going back a long way, Kodak 2475 recording film set the standard in available light photography (in black and white of course). The best colour equivalent was High Speed Etkachrome with its base 160 ASA that could be pushed to 320 ASA but not much more. Later the much-loved Fuji Velvia reversal film came along rated at 50 and 100 ASA with deep, saturated colours but oh so slow.

Most film SLRs let you know what aperture and shutter speed you were using. In those early days, focusing was manual but we also had better eyesight as we were younger and relatively dark focusing screens equipped with microprisms and occasionally split image screens were not a problem. Indeed there was no other way. Fixed focus lenses delivered sharp results, and often had fast apertures. Sometimes as fast as f1.2 for the standard 50mm lens, f1.4 and f 1.8 being relatively common. Early coatings did leave a bit to be desired.

Progressively most of these things disappeared as the world went digital. True, the ISO capabilities increased and soon we had cameras that would handle 6400 ASA and more. But often at the expense of image quality especially in cameras with small sensors. It was still necessary to use low ASA numbers to get the best quality from these cameras. Often they had immensely complex menu structures and incomprehensible instruction manuals. It was easier to leave the camera asset to automatic and let it work out which combination of ISO, aperture and shutter speed to use. Autofocus zoom lenses became the norm. Some of these had exceptional zoom ranges but they were inevitably a compromise and were generally much slower and less sharp than fixed focal length lenses. Pop-up flashes became standard.

So the bottom line is as a former 35mm user, I have grown to love the X100s. It looks and behaves like an old 35mm rangefinder camera. Some say it is a bit like a Leica. This is not entirely correct as it is both smaller and much lighter than for example an old M3 but there are some similarities. Many people, on seeing the camera, ask me if it is film camera. It is small, light and discreet to use.

I have it now in many circumstances with people and street scenes in low light levels and in bright sunshine as well as for more technical work. It does take a while to get used to the fact that it has a fixed focal length lens. In many cases this is an advantage. It forces you to compose photographs more carefully and the composition aids in the various viewfinders are also extremely useful.

A lot has been said about the viewfinders of the camera. Overall there is no doubt they are very good indeed. One disadvantage of the fact that the camera has so many manual controls is that it is easy to forget to reset some of these controls. The viewfinder will tell you how the camera is set but there is so much information is easy to overlook something. For example if you accidentally leave the camera on manual focus will be an indication to this effect but it’s very easy to miss.

Why would you use manual focus? There are cases where the autofocus is not perfect. It is quick and most of the time it works very well. However in low light levels it is not always spot-on and in those cases it can be useful to use the various manual focusing options. The camera will tell you when it is having difficulties. Sometimes it is also not very good at focusing on infinity. In these cases the manual options are best. There are three of these, which are all brought up using the various viewfinders. There is a normal version, a split image version and finally a phase contrast version which is the one I prefer. Once you are used to it, manual focusing is fast and very precise.

The F2.0 lens is outstanding and seems well balanced to the sensor. You can read about the lens performance in detail in other reviews. Wide open it is slightly soft but not so much that you would notice. There is a small amount of flare when shooting directly into the light. But most of the time the lens produces great, clear and highly saturated images.

Most of the time I use the camera on automatic and dial in exposure compensation as needed. Sometimes I switch from matrix to spot metering which is quick and easy to do. You can set the automatic parameters in terms of ISO levels and shutter speed range, which is very helpful. The camera is virtually free from noise up to ISO 6400. I have never used a camera with such good low light capabilities. Because the leaf shutter is so quiet and has hardly any moving parts relative to conventional camera it is also possible to hand hold the X-100 S down to sometimes one quarter of a second. This really extends the lowlight capabilities of the camera. It really is possible to take handheld pictures of stars.At the other extreme the leaf shutters allows flash synch up to its top speed of 1/4000 sec. Not something I use every day but useful to know it is there.

There are built-in filters including a very useful neutral density filter. This is a little bit fiddly to set manually but can be set using the function key. There are also a number of other filters which I have yet to explore fully.

On the view menu you can set the camera to take single shots, multishots, and to do bracketing of exposure, bracketing of dynamic range, and three different colour settings, as well as taking panoramas and to take a video as well. You can also use the internal filters and manipulate the image in terms of hardness, softness etc in many ways that I have yet to explore, all without adding any accessories to the camera. Such capabilities with 35mm either demanded a host of add-ons or complicated processing or (in the case of the film speeds and other digital options available) were simply impossible.

There are many other options available some of which I have yet to explore. I have also had not yet taken any RAW files, the JPEGs are so good.

As provided, the camera does not connect wirelessly to anything and this does make it a bit slow to process images. However the quality of the images are worth the extra time.

There is very little I don’t like about the camera. It is possible to add a lens hood and filter, but in order to do this you have to unscrew the front retaining ring on the lens reverse in the filter and then add the attachments on the back of that. If you do this then the camera will not fit in the standard leather case which, although an extra, suits the camera well.

There is also an issue that if you have a filter on the camera and you set the macro function the front lens element of the camera will touch the filter and if you’re not careful you can break the whole lens. This does seem to me to be rather fundamental design problem. Otherwise I like the camera very much indeed and there is so much right about it that it deserves its five-star rating.
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on 22 August 2013
Having lost my mojo a little with photography over the last few years, mainly due to everyone having a camera, everything being Photoshop'd, filters / software etc. and the fact that everyone is striving for what society deems a 'prefect' image I was thinking of giving up photography, but not now. This camera is a fixed lens (35mm), which makes me walk closer or further away. It is small, mobile and the images are stunning straight out of the camera. No longer do I feel the need to use any Photoshop, apart from maybe cropping slightly. Just walk, snap and carry on. I don't even look at the screen at the back anymore. If I got it great, if I missed it so what. I feel like Cartier Bresson, awesome! My only criticism is the on/off button is accidentally moved to 'on' and battery drains.
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on 9 January 2014
Simply put this is a stunning camera.

Summarised in no particular order

- Small and light considering it rivals a dSLR in IQ and noise
- Lovely handling and ergonomics - love the physical control dials, aperture ring, shutter dial and EV comp dial
- Leaf shutter (silent and flash syncs to very high shutter speeds
- Wonderful optical viewfinder
- Very good EVF
- Stunning out of camera JPEG tonality, contrast and colour
- Very nice film simulation presets and ability to tweak tone curves in camera for custom set up
- Good AF speed
- Amazing MF assist

I would have to say the stand about feature for me in the sensor and in camera software combination. The sensor rivals my FF Nikon dSLR on noise. It really is usable up to 6400 with 3200 being very clean indeed.

JPEG processing and sharpness is miles ahead of any other camera i've used. You get stunning colours from this camera. I tweaked my presets further and i can easily have print ready photos unless i mess up exposure. And this is coming from someone who normally shoots full frame raw with a mandatory PP in aperture step. Some files may need minor tweaks but the cameras WB, tone, contrast colour and sharpness is fantastic.

It allows you to select B&W with filters, i choose the red filter and added sharpness and contrast which produces lovely B&W.

Built in ND filter allows you to shoot wide open in sunlight. thanks!

Manual focus assist, wow, turn the speed sensitive manual focus ring and you get a really nice focus peaking mode to spot check your fine detail focus. Even works in very low light where most AF systems wouldn't stand a chance.

Ultimately love the fact this is almost a manual camera but with automated controls, light, fits in a coat pocket so you have top notch dSLR image quality with you at all times.

I actually don't use my dSLR now.

Only issue worth mentioning is the parallax feature of this rangefinder style camera. Take 5 minutes out to master it, it really isn't difficult to adjust or just simply use the great EVF for close focus. Also recommend a 3rd party lens hood and 2 spare 3rd party batteries that are only £6 each. Finally give some thought to this if it is your only camera. The fixed focal length may put off some people. I'm a street photographer / documentary photographer and it is perfect despite the fact i usually shoot 50mm. I love it.

Highly recommended
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