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!!
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.
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.
on 7 August 2013
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.
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.
on 15 March 2013
This is a great camera for street photography and photo journalism style photography. Quite compact and with a nice field of view. The AF is very quick. One slight flaw with both this and the X-E1 which I also own is that the burst mode does not refocus between each shot, so you must use single shot mode for moving subjects.
On the other hand, the leaf shutter opens up some really interesting options using off camera flash in full sunlight, even the on camera flash makes an amazingly effective fill flash.
Out of my 5D2, 5D, X-E1 and X100s, this is now my favourite camera.
on 10 May 2013
I've had the X100S for over a month, bought as a carry everywhere camera when a DSLR and lenses are too bulky to transport. I'm knocked out by several aspects of the camera:
The performance from the 23mm lens far exceeds expectations. As good as if not better than a Nikon D7000 with a 24-70/2,8 lens. I had intended to shoot RAW files only - but the selection of film emulatuion pre sets including Provia, Velvia and Astia are so good I find myself using them more than converting the RAW files in Lightroom 4. The B&W options are quite nice, but I prefer the RAW files converted in Silver Effex Pro 2
On the rare occasions the camera has had problems focusing in low light, I have switched to manual mode and have had little trouble in using either the split image or focusing highlights to achieve spot on focus.
The camera is genuinely usable up to ISO 6400
The camera is a joy to behold and use - takes me back to the days of my Nikon FE2. The optical viewfinder is a nice touch, but I find myself using the EVF more if careful compostion is required and parallax error a factor.
The fixed focal length is far from inhibiting, in fact it is quite liberating! I crop less than I do with a zoom lens which is a bit of a paradox.
Because of the leaf shutter and 3 stop ND filter you can get pleasing results with fill in flash in bright conditions whilst keeping the background out of focus.
The panoramic function is easy to use and produces great images.
Faults. Fuji should include a lens hood for the price. I bought a cheap one from Amazon and an expensive B+W filter to help protect the otherwise exposed front element.
Battery life isn't great, so you will need a couple of spares to get through a days shooting. The camera dies with little warning, just a flashing battery a couple of shots before it expires.
Macro at f2 produces strange dreamy like images, you have to stop down to get sharp images (f4 being my preference)
A five star buy from a demanding consumer.
A lot of my recent pictures feature the X100S feel free to take a look.
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.
on 18 September 2013
In this day and age where most things are made of plastic and almost seem disposable, this is a camera that harks back to when cameras were crafted from metal with dials that are milled with numbers engraved upon them. It looks like and feels like a Leica.
All this would be irrelevant if the camera did not function well. The good news is that the performance of the camera leaves nothing to be desired. Start up is quick, AF is almost instantaneous in all but the lowest of light and the results are better than most DSLRs with similar size sensors.
True, the lens is a little soft into the corners at full aperture (the centre area is still tack sharp). Stop down to f2.8 though and the pictures are totally sharp.
It is in low light though where the benefits of the Trans sensor come into play. I've taken pictures at 3,200 ISO which have very little noise and still retain detail. The results at this setting are almost on par with my 5DMkIII and far, far better than my 7D.
I already have a Sony RX100 which is an excellent camera. This Fuji x100s is larger but still small enough and light enough to carry around all day.
on 30 April 2013
Very good camera!
Small and very fast, with a vintage look (it looks even better than on the images) :), great photos quality. This is what I was expecting. And I can say - I am not disappointed! Totally meet my expectations.
I am still testing it, but since I have it, my huge SLR Canon Camera more often stays in a bag... Fujifilm fits in my "women" bag and travels with me all the time.. what is important, because you never know, when "the best photo moment" may happen... :) And what else - no zoom option and having opportunity to easily and quickly set up so many photo settings really teach you how to take less and better images. You have full control of what you are doing! I love this feeling.
Only one con so far - may be a little bit cheaper...
June 2013 Update: After two months of using this camera - I must say again - GREAT CAMERA!
Images are sharp, clear, bright amazing colours. Only dark, in-house conditions are not good for it - in those situations flash is needed although it not always do good for the overall shot.
Software needs a little bit improvements, but this is nothing in comparison to the whole package. :)
Good, fast SD card is a must for it to work 100% its capabilities.
Battery life isn't great, so you will need one or two of spares. Also a lens hood is a great idea, as in the bright sunny days you may have some sun flares due to the wide lenses.
August 2013 Update
My Fujifilm x100s Camera has started having some major problems with the lenses and the "electronic software system".
It happened once before (few weeks ago) and now second time. The shutter (aperture) blades are wide open and don't respond on any turning on or off options, all buttons on the back and the main shutter button are not working as well...... Camera and lens seem to be "frozen"...It turns on when switching it with the top "on" trigger (finally after few times when not responding at all), although no view is appearing on the back screen, it is blank black...lens don't work.. Unfortunately can't turn it off without removing the batteries.
I have updated the system from 1.01 to 1.03 (driver taken from Fujifilm website). No change. Still not working.
I have three replacement batteries (all original FUJIFILM brand), all fully charged when using them with camera. The SD cards I am using are also the best quality: one FUJIFILM 16GB and Lexar 32GB.
Last time when it happened few weeks ago, I was to write to you asking for help, but after few hrs not-using the camera it actually recovered and started working. This time it is second day and it is still not responding...
Camera never fell down, didn't hit anything, no damage was done. It has always been carried on in a leather cover and when not shooting in a photo bag, well protected.
After all I can't use my camera any more...It s not working...:( Has anyone had similar problems wit it? I would love to hear some comments from you...
I am waiting for Fujifilm service to answer my claim. Will post an update then. Now I just removed two stars from my review because of that problem...
September 2013 update:
Camera is back from service. Some parts were replaced and it is working well since then! No complaints at all. I enjoy taking pictures all the time. Only in bad light conditions images are blurred. So decided to purchase a flashlight :) Hope this will help. So one more star added to the review :)