x100f: the new little jewel from Fuji
The x100f is the new version of the x100 series from Fuji. It is the camera series I have loved more since I switched to Fuji. Today I had the pleasure to play with the x100f. Fuji kindly let me use it on a stroll around London for an hour or so. You won’t see our usual boudoir photographs in this post. You will see my return to my first photographic love: street photography.
I admit I did not have high expectation for the x100f. When I upgraded from the x100s to the x100t, I was underwhelmed. The upgrade was nothing groundbreaking. To avoid disappointments, I decided to start without expectations for the x100f. I was also very happy to be able to test it before deciding if buying it or not. That would have given me the possibility to “feel” the x100f.
So, how did it go?
To the point: is the x100f good?
Yes. The Fuji x100f is a great camera. It inherits all the great qualities of the x100 series. Of course, it is better than its predecessor is almost every aspect. What hit me was the quality of the autofocus. It is fast.
I picked up this little gem without expecting anything. That was even better, as I enjoyed Fuji x100f proving me wrong. The comment Faby made on the photos was: “these are full of… you!”. You know when you are in the driver seat of car you know like the back of your hands? The homely feeling that you have being behind the wheel is there. When you turn it on and start to drive, though, you feel a renewed power. So this is what I felt handling the x100f.
It feels good.
The Fuji x100f is an X-Pro2 in the sexy body of the x100
Since I moved to the X-Pro2, the x100t lost its appeal. I admit that I missed the lightness of the x100 series, but the X-Pro2 is too good. Yet, the lens I use for 95% of my images is a 23mm. This is why the x100f could be my best friend. Now, after an hour of shooting with the x100f, I can tell that this little camera has everything I need. It is small, portable, sharp, fast and… sexy.
Of the x100 series I particularly like its portability. It is a camera that weight 450 grams. You can put it in your pocket. What the x100f is not is a point and shoot. This camera is powerful and it allows you a lot of flexibility. For me a nice thing is the fact that the x100f uses a different type of battery from its predecessors. It now uses the same batteries of the X-Pro2, X-T2 and every other X-Pro, X-T and X-E series. I like the fact that I don’t have to bring different types of battery with me.
A note on the x100f focusing speed
Lately I am not out doing street photography very much. Recently I have always done it with my old x100s, so I am used to some tactics to get good photos. Pre-focussing; manual focus with wider depth of field; or the old good “prepare the shoot well in advance”. When I started walking with the x100f the other day, I decided to “stress test” it. I decided to take a shoot at the latest possible moment. Framing a person walking towards me when he was a couple of meters away; raising my camera for a second before clicking. These kind of things.
Now, I started laughing when I started seeing that in almost all the images my subjects were on focus. I was almost skipping the “half pressed” state of the shutter. And in that split second the x100f was still able to lock focus. I admit I tried to find challenging things to photograph for the entire hour. The camera did what I wanted, when I wanted it. Just great!
The x100f is for you if…
First, the Fuji x100f is a 35mm relative camera. Like the x100, x100s and x100t, it has a 23mm f/2 fixed lens. If you don’t like this lens, then I must warn you. It is true that the x100f can simulate a 50mm and a 70mm, but I would not count too much on that. The x100f is for you if you are looking for a lightweight powerful camera. You will love it if you like the mix of its optical and electronic viewfinder. It is going to blew you away if you want a camera nobody will notice.
I did not have the possibility to test the camera in low light conditions. Seeing the uncanny resemblance to the X-Pro 2, I don’t have issue with it. The X-Pro2 is great handled with High ISO. If you have tried it in more challenging conditions, I would appreciate your feedback.
What would I have made better?
I am starting to mesh photo and video. So I love the possibility to press a button and start recording a video with my X-Pro2. Alas, the Fuji x100f cannot do it. You need to switch the drive to video and then start the recording. It is a 4 button push process instead of one. Despite not being a huge deal, it still feels complicated.
The second thing is completely unrelated to the camera itself. With the pound having dropped like a stone in the past 6 months, this camera does not come as cheap as the other x100. The price in Yen is the same as the x100t, yet in the UK it is much more expensive. This is due to the oncoming Brexit, so I can’t fault Fuji for it.
Is the x100f worth it even with its £1250 price tag? I take my chances here, and I say yes. It is a different beast from the x100t. Its quality is miles ahead.
I was grateful to Fuji for letting me try it and to Kevin Mullins for being our host on the streets of London.