The Fuji X100 Series, My kind of Fuji for making life memories
By Steve Huff
1st, The Fuji X100 – Original
I have always loved the little Fuji X100 series. I remember it well…when Fuji announced the very 1st one back in 2011. The good old X100. I waited and waited for that one to be released and when it arrived, even with its issues like slow focus and sticky aperture blade issues that plagued that 1st version for some, I loved it. It was before the X-Trans sensor and I adored that sensor. The color and style reminded me of Leica and in fact, I liked my images more from the X100 than I did with my then Leica M9 and 35 Summicron! My review of that 1st version can be seen here and when I browse it today, it sure does bring back some wonderful memories. I even bought the black special edition when it was released and the wide angle converter. Loved them all.
Some images from that 1st X100 review in 2011 – I LOVED that camera. Went with me everywhere while I owned it.
Many here think I hate Fuji, when I have never hated Fuji. Somehow, somewhere, by me being critical of the original X-Pro 1 and its dodgy auto focus, and also being critical of the early versions of the X-Trans sensor when anyone who used Adobe products were getting sub par results (flat images, smudgy details)…well, many took that as me hating Fuji. As I have said for years, I review cameras I like, and if I think I will love a camera and review it, then have issues..well, I will state those issues. It also showed me the politics of camera reviews. Soon as I became critical of Fuji, guess what? They no longer wanted to send me review units.
That also turned me off of them a bit as no other camera company has ever done that just because I was critical of something. While it did not make me hate Fuji, it made me “leary” about recommending them because if I write something negative that I feel needs attention, and the camera company decides to no longer send me review units that told me they only wanted positive reviews. Even though, I always kept my eye out and checked out what they were releasing. I still loved all cameras and if Fuji released something that ticked all of my boxes, I could care less what they felt about ME, I would still use it and review it even if I had to buy it or rent it to review it. So that is what I did.
When I tested the X-T1 I loved that camera, and praised it and even though I still did not LOVE that X-Trans sensor, I enjoyed the ergonomics and speed. It was a nice polished capable camera. I wanted to buy one and then realized I would be in the poor house if I kept buying every camera I liked, lol. In fact, here was my conclusion: “While not perfect, it is THE Fuii X Body to get if you love Fuji and want a responsive, fast, easy to control and set up body that feels great in the hand and is super high on the usability factor. The EVF rocks, the LCD rocks, the feel and handling rock and the IQ is the same as the previous X Bodies. If that is your thing, the X-T1 will feel like a masterpiece to you.”
Time went on and I used the X-Pro 2 for a but but for me, was not my cup of tea ergonomically. So I did not do a big review of it, instead I asked my good friend and Fuji fan Amy Medina to review it. You can see it here. She did an amazing job with that review.
I then did a quick test of the X-T2 which I also praised and claimed as the best Fuji IC camera made to date. It was fantastic in every scenario I used it in.
So as you all could see, I never “hated” Fuji. Just had some issues that I felt needed fixing. But no matter what, I was always drawn to and enjoyed the little X100 series cameras. To me, these were the Fujis that spoke to me the most.
Then, the X100 S Arrived
Iin 2013 the X100s arrived and it was a faster and sexier version of the X100. I say sexier because while it looked the same, shooting it was a sleek faster and smoother experience. Keeping the sexy looks of the original, just being more enjoyable to use meant it was SEXIER ;) It was fantastic. Giving us more more more of what the X100 did. I concluded that review 5 years ago by saying this: “All in all, the X100s may be the hottest camera of the 2013 year. Giving you stellar results for a fraction of the cost of the big boys. I congratulate Fuji on creating what I feel is hands down, their best digital camera to date.”
Some memories I captured with the X100S, successor to the original X100
Did the S have low T?
As much as I loved the S, in 2015 the T came along. I loved the S. The color, the output and even with that X-Trans sensor, it was showing me how beautiful the files could be. I enjoyed it much more than any IC lens camera from fuji as it was integrated much like the gorgeous Sony RX1 series. This means the sensor can match the lens, for optimal performance. It’s also sleek, small, light and offers one simple focal length to learn and grow with. That 23mm lens equals a 35mm in the equivalent 35mm full frame world and that is a classic everyday focal length. So what did the T bring? For me, not anything that would have me sell off an S to get a T but for others they did just that. With some new EVF/OVF features and some minor changes it was about the same as the S, in real world use, for me. Even so, at that time I was spoiled by full frame quality and by then the X100T was for me a tad flatter than what I was getting from my other cameras. Even so, I still enjoyed it…just was not wowed over by the new features when compared to the S. So at the time I would have taken the S over the T and saved some cash ; ) Even so, some more memories were created…
The X100T…more memories from 2015!
So now, here comes the F
So here we are again and it is 2017, six years after I reviewed the original X100 and I will have the new X100F in just 3 days, on Monday. This is the 1st time since 2011 I am truly excited to test a new Fuji. I mean, yes I enjoyed using the XT1, Xt2 and previous X100 models but going back over the image, remembering the fun times I had with it, and remembering the simplicity, the OVF/EVF and the color coming from it…and now with the new Sensor that ups it to 24MP, I feel this one will hit me in the heart.
As I said, I have never “Hated” Fuji but I never found them perfect of the “best” mirrorless system. Even so, the little X100 that has now stretched to its 4th generation proves that this little camera has something special about it. Many love this little guy as there really is nothing quite like it on the market. It is not a rangefinder, nor does it work like one but no other camera like this (Sony RX1 or Leica Q) offers the hybrid EVF/OVF, neither of the full frame options are this small and slim, and this one is 3-4X less expensive than those full frame big guns while delivering the good. While I would have liked to see Fuji improve the lens on the X100F (it does have some slight softness to it), I think this new model with the new sensor, the new X-Processor pro, the expanded phase detection AF, new ISO dial on top, focus lever and the other new features will deliver the X100 vibe better than any before it.
Yep, I am excited to get back to the X100 and give it a workout in its newest F configuration. The X Trans sensor have improved, the speed has improved, and the overall user experience is better than ever with Fuji. So look for my memories made with the new X100F, as well as my full review of it within 2 weeks or so ;)
Where To Buy the X100F
You can PRE ORDER the X100F at the recommended shops below. While it was just released for shipping today, Feb 23rd 2017, it seems to be sold out everywhere for now, but I am sure more will arrive soon. By Pre ordering you assure your spot in line. I always pre order at Amazon as they do not charge my card until the day the order ships, not even for an authorization.
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