Still shooting with the Fuji X100! Some new samples!

Still shooting with the Fuji X100! Some more samples…

I am still shooting with the Fuji X100 and I have to say that this is a camera that the more you shoot it, the better it seems to get. Not really, but I think that it takes a little while to fully learn how to use the camera to get the best results. I am finding that the sweet spot, as many already know, is f/4 though I still shoot it at f/2 when I want a softer/creamier look. I also feel that the Bokeh of the lens is very pleasing.

Just wanted to post a few shots I took over the past few days with it. As always, click any image to make it bigger! If you are still looking for a Fuji X100 it seems that Amazon and B&H PHOTO get them in every week or so. Check often! I feel the camera is well worth the cost and after all is said and done, its a keeper. Can’t wait for the firmware update that is supposedly coming soon for THIS and the Sony NEX-5!

I will be taking the X100 along with me to Europe and I leave on Sunday for 5 weeks, so look for some X100 street stuff soon, as well as the M9/35 cron comparison that many of you have been asking me for. Should be interesting!

This one was shot at f/2 and pretty close up.

Even at f/4 you still get some nice out of focus background, and man, is it smooth.

At f/2.8 it sharpens up a bit from wide open..

Another wide open at f/2

f/4 and loving the colors here…

f/2 and ISO 640

and one more at f2.8…

f/2, ISO 640 – I usually have the camera set to use Auto ISO as the higher ISO settings are so clean on the X100

At f/4 the camera performs superbly.

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  1. Thanks for the brill site Steve – so much interesting real-world content. These X100 photos are beautiful.

    I’m a beginner, not even an amateur, looking to find a camera with some soul. I’m guessing the X100 might be a valid alternative to the RD-1?

    That said, I’m so hooked on the idea of a learning the ropes on a real rangefinder with manual focus after reading this article on here:

    • Thanks Tobin. The X100 is great, just shot some video with it and am happy to have video on board. The X100 is NOT a rangefinder so if you want an RF, you may want to seek out an RD-1 or used M8. The X100 is more of a point and shoot with great quality, large sensor and wonderful styling.

        • While the X100 is certainly not a DRF, it really lets you shoot in the same style as a RF, and for me, thats worth more than a camera actually being a RF.

          I went from a m8 to a M9 and then to a X100, largely out of financial reasons but while they are different cameras, the overall approach they let me take when shooting is really similar.

          To me, RF shooting isn’t aligning an image in the focus patch, its about having a compact and discrete camera that I can quickly bring to bear and the style of shooting that provides.

          Doesn’t matter if its a M9 or a X100, they let me see the world in the same way, through a very nice viewfinder, and while the IQ is obviously different, to the average subject on the street, neither camera is worth a second look. They just blend in and are non-threatening.

          Shooting a DSLR doesn’t have that effect on people, nor does a DSLR let you see the world in the same way. I love my D3 with 70-200 but when I’m looking through that narrow TTL view with its shallow DOF, I’m seeing just a small slice of reality. That can be good or bad.

          With a RF, or the X100, with its OVF, your viewig the world as you actually see it before you, just with a frameline over a part of it. I feel like the camera isn’t even there. With a DSLR I feel removed from what I’m seeing.

          So while the x100 is no RF, except for the method of focusing, the overall shooting experience is every bit the same. Heck, I usually use the distance scale and zone focus either a M9 or the X100, then just quickly raise it and shoot, so for me, its very much the same overall feeling.

          Its a camera well worth at least giving a try. A real RF is as well of course, but I wouldn’t discount the X100 as being just a p&s because it really doesn’t feel like shooting my XZ1 or ZS7 etc at all.


          • Thanks for the comments Jeff.

            That’s a nice point you made regarding shooting experience. That’s the bit I’m eager to enjoy more.

            Naive as it may sound, I’ve kind of re-discovered photography via the iPhone camera. The beauty of it is that I can only worry about so much – framing the shot and where to focus/meter.

            I’m keen to keep the simplicity, but learn more technique and improve IQ. I’m guessing an X100 will let me do that safely, and an R-D1 will too (with the addition of MF)

  2. Beautiful images!

    I got my X100 yesterday! managed to find one in the Netherlands ๐Ÿ™‚
    I haven’t had the chance to play much with it yet, but I really really like how it handles -except MF, but I have a contax G2, which is arguably the only other camera in the world with a more bizarre MF system than the X100 ๐Ÿ™‚
    Anyway, has anyone had the chance to really figure out how the contrast settings in the camera work? I have both highlights and shadows set as hard, but I’m not sure how this relates with the DR settings…

    • Hi Max,
      No problems finding the X100 in the Netherlands (KE en Konijnenberg f.e.) but the lenshood is ร  different story………..

  3. I like the red brick wall picture, Steve! And the F4 portrait of your friend. Good luck in Europe! Have fun! Hope to see you when you come to Russia. Will be glad to show you around, if you like. I just got myself a tiny new Peugeot 107 (after three car-less years). This is what I call a real car: it’s tiny on the outside, roomy on the inside, takes me from place to place just as any other car would, costs next to nothing and runs on just a few drops of petrol. It’s sort of like Fuji X100: you get the real deal for much less money.


  4. hello Steve
    Some time ago i wrote an article which wasnt exactly pro the X100′ but…3 days ago my friend enterd with the X100 under his chin and what can i say?
    This is !!! a nice camera. To bve honest i changed my mind and i do like it now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • The X100 takes some time but if you give it that time, it grows and grows on you. At least it has been growing on me like that. I still say it will be Camera of the Year. It’s far from perfect but it’s closer to what many of us want than anything else (in this price range).

  5. Hi Steve,
    I’m French from Holland and own a x100 for about 3 weeks now.
    It took some time to react cause this camera asks for miles before you can tell the story.
    Its so nice to feel enthousiastic about something and it only happens when there is a reason….
    To see how beautifull normal things and people are when you shoot them right.
    This camera helps a lot.
    * * no broblems with macro…about 15cm is allight
    the same with MF and the AFT button, they are made fore eachother. Just manual on the lens for the last mm. when neccesairy.

    You all named them already.

    Thanks for your positive inspiration!


  6. I’ve really been enjoying the X100, although I have quite a bit of guilt that my lovely X1 is just not feeling the love lately. I have no doubt that the image quality of the two cameras is very close, however I just enjoy the X100 shooting experience so much more. It just feels so right. The more time I spend with the X100 the more it rewards me.

    My chrome M8.2 is still my go to camera (well, for another month at least when something new and chrome with sapphire glass will hopefully replace it) but for now the X100 is almost always along for the ride.

  7. Stop! It’s bad enough I have to envy the M9… LOL
    Love the shots of your son… the first one is outstanding… and the hand shot oh-so reminds me of the many I get of my daughter like that.
    Have a great trip!

  8. STEVE,

    I hope you can answer this question: do you use UV filters for protection on any of your lenses? On your Leicas or on the x100? I never see any filters on your lenses in pics that you post. Personally I am afraid to use expensive glass without filters, but maybe I’m just overly paranoid?


    • I use a UV filter (Leica version) on my 50 lux as I feel the coating is the same so they ‘gel’ well together. That said, I sometimes take pictures through scratched train windows and wonder why I bother!

    • Don’t use UV filters. Never have, never will. Why? Well, never needed one and I feel if I am shooting a $10000 Leica lens that uses exotic glass, why cover it with cheap glass? Even my Noct goes naked.

      • Thanks for your answer Steve! I understand the rationale of not wanting to put cheap glass in front of expensive glass, but I am just always worried about scratching my lens so I put the filter on for protection… Aren’t you afraid of scratching your glass? I mean you put some pretty expensive lenses on your cameras ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Hi Steve,
        I think remember me that you have to put on a filter on the M8?
        Due to sensor sensitivity for red or something?
        Or was this only related to shooting JPEG?

      • Steve, I would go as far as to say if the large version is not opened there is little point to even viewing the picture (from a technical point of view, not a composition point of view). It is like looking at a thumnail vs a full blown HD version. Whenever I want to look at technical quality, I open the large version or I don’t judge it at all, it would not be fair to do that. The large versions are just superb. I recommend everyone do this if you have the chance, it will open your eyes.

  9. Steve,

    I had also adapt my style of shooting to the camera. Using nikon d90 with zoom lens, and lumix L1 (manual ring and dial, but still with zoom lens). I find the pictures little too soft at F2, but at f2.8 is just perfect. Plus its a fixed lens, so sometimes for architectural and interior is just not possible to move.

    But, the more i use it, the more i appreciate it : portable, almost free-distortion lens, silent! and people don’t pay attention to me, except geeks who knows about leica or the x100 ๐Ÿ™‚

    here some architectural/interior shot made with the x100 i want to share :


    ps: the quality is so good..i sold my d90 ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hi Steve,
    Are these RAW images or OOC? I am spoiled by good quality of jpegs from this camera. Sometimes makes me think if processing the raw images (plus file management/space) worth the effort.

    • I find the RAW better, but mainly because I can make changes easier to color, contrast, etc. Ill mark the images above in a bit to show if they were JPEG or RAW but since they are all resized it doesn’t really matter. You can get more detail from RAW if you want to make a print or show a 100% crop but for web images, JPEG would do the trick.

  11. “Pocketability” is going to depend on the size of one’s pockets. I have tended to seek large pockets for reasons other than toting cameras, so many of my clothes could accommodate an X100 or X1 well enough, but I would worry about damage, and would never tote anything as valuable as $1000+ cameras in the pockets of trousers/pants/shorts.

    Without viewfinders or accessory grips installed, the X1 is going to be much more pocketable than the X100. To be clear, I did not compare them side by side, as my local camera shop has not had both in stock at the same time.

    Steve, I love your images! Being a father, I am biased to prefer the first image; your son reminds me of my son, especially from some angles.

    • Thanks RexGig! Spent quite a bit of time with my son these past two weeks and we have been having loads of fun. Our kids always make great subjects ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Great pics and I spoke to a friend who is using it and just loves it. There was some talk the other day about the X100 and ‘flatness’ of the images. I have thought about this since then and looked at some of the D700 shots I have and some of the film shots I have and I really do think that film shots have a certain 3D look to them. Ok, this is with an M7 and a 50 lux asph but still, for me there is a definite depth to the photos that is less apparent on X100 photos. What do you think? Am I imagining this? Here is the photo I mean that I had processed and scanned yesterday evening.

    • This picture is a good demonstration of the “3D” look on a photo IMO. You can look at some DP2/DP1 pictures. The X3 sensor is also known as being capable of taking photos with “3D” look.

      • Yes, those Sigma DP2/DP1 digital files certainly have the “3D” look, and I could not believe my eyes when I first looked at them on my computer screen – just stunning.
        The only problem is the files fall apart above 400 ISO, and to work the cameras with any degree of speed you have to zone focus, which takes a lot of practice and dedication.

        It is a pity that Sigma are such a slow moving company as regards developing their cameras and the Foveon sensor, as there is so much potential there. Imagine a Ricoh GRD with that Foveon sensor. Come on Sigma, pull your finger out!

    • The reason your posted shot is not “flat” is because it has depth due to be shot with a 50 at 1.4. The Fuji has a 24mm lens that is giving a 35mm equiv. Cant get that DOF with a 35 equiv at f2. I do not feel the Fuji shots are flat, just different.

      • Although the aperture and focal length certainly contribute, they are not the exclusive reasons to the “3D” look. The “3D” look is ought to have something to do with the characteristic of the lens and the sensor even the algorithm. DP2/DP1 have no edge comparing to X100 regarding either aperture or focal length. DP2 has a 24.2mm/F2.8 lens which is equiv. to 41mm/F2.8, and DP1 has a 16.6mm/F4 lens which is equiv. to 28mm/F4. Yet both cameras are reputed to deliver “3D” look photos. They do great job on shooting clouds. At that distance even a 135/F2 won’t ensure a “3D” look.

        A clouds shooting with DP2:

    • I don’t think it has anything to do with the camera, sensor or the image processing. It has to do with the focal length (and aperture) of the lens used, as well as the camera-to-subject distance.

  13. Hi Steve!

    Good to read you’re still enjoying your new “toy”. And I am looking forward for your pics around Europe, the continent I am living.


  14. Man, I just bought the Sony NEX 3 months ago, I paired it with my Zuiko 50/1.4, and I thought Sony will release an EVF… they didn’t. Now I’m lusting for this expensive X100… because I love film cameras, and this feels just like one.

    But I’m afraid prices will drop after a while, like they did with E-P1, GF1, and eventually Fuji will replace the X100 with an interchangeable lens version…

    If it wasn’t that pricey…

    • All camera prices drop when a new model is released, so when an X200 is out, it is possible the X100 will SLIGHTLY drop, but that is true with most models (except Leica). Thats one thing you can never worry about or let stop you from enjoying a camera as its a fact of life. No digital camera is an investment unless we are talking Titanium M9 or something…

  15. please stop ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been looking for this camera for almost 3 weeks now – seems that it’s not available in Germany at the moment. It’s not even listed at amazon (Germany). Only found some overpriced offerings on ebay.

    Is there any news on the new firmware?

    • It is available in Germany. I ve held one in my hands and the shop had 2 more in stock. I doubt Amazon will get it. Fuji tries to deliver to photo shops only. Some of those do not even sell over the internet. So get the yellow pages and call em.

      • ok thanks, so I’ll have to physically *walk* to get one?!? ๐Ÿ™‚

        Not sure if I should wait for news about the new firmware though …

    • had the X100 in stock some days ago at 899ยฃ (shipped by amazon, not third party resellers at crazy prices). I ordered one ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Now it’s a 3 week wait, but it’s the only big website in europe that has the Fuji.

  16. Steve, I bought my X-100 a couple of weeks ago and like you still playing around to get the best out of it. The bokeh on your first image is amazing. I have been using the fn button for ISO but I may follow your example and use auto ISO as its so flexible, better I would say than my Canon 5D Mk2 at 3200! I will then be able to set the fn button to the ND filter. I hope that it the update you will be able to reassign the RAW button as by default I shoot Raw. Were the above examples shot in RAW or Jpeg?

  17. I’m in Honkers again in a week and they always have everything in stock and at cheaper prices than online (especially if you do the deal in Mandarin or Cantonese and don’t shop at the tourist places).

    I had my heart set on a GRD3 + optical viewfinder. Considering the X100 again – but it still isn’t pocketable is it? Is the X1 pocketable? I may be able to pick up a second hand one of those too + OVF.

    • The X1 without handgrip and external VF is jacket or cargo pants pocketable. But not the X100. The X1 weights quite a bit less as well (without handgrip and VF). I have both and thought I would sell the X1, but struggle with the decision because of size and weight advantage. The X1 prefer using with wrist strap and the X100 with shoulder strap, which ads more bulk.
      Nothing beats the GRDIII if pocketability (doe this word exist?) matters most, though.

  18. I totally agree.
    Last weekend I was at the Fotofestival Naarden 2011 (Holland) and took some photos at ISO 1600.
    Wonderful colors and almost noiseless.

  19. Steve,

    Thanks for your review and updates.

    I have had my Fuji X100 over a week now and I have to say that, despite the problems and quirks that you and others have flagged up in reviews, I am really enjoying using it. I nearly didn’t buy it after a couple of fellow pro’s had sent theirs back for a refund. I decided to get a hold of one for a trial (ยท4 hours or so of frantic shooting) and this is what I learned:

    1. Set it to manual focus and use the back button to auto focus. The focus then stays locked on the subject. This is the way I am used to working with my pro Nikon kit. Adjusting focus only takes a quick hit of the back button and in 90% of lighting instances it’s quick enough to do.

    2. For street work I use the hyperfocal display and the OVF to set a focus distance. This works superbly at f8.0 for example. If I want to work at f4.0′ I just hit the back button again. In most cases the image has been sharp.

    3. I too use auto ISO. I would never have used this with for example, my Lumix GF1 and 20mm pancake lens on account of the noise at high ISO settings. With the X100 properly exposed I can get a noise free image at ISO 3200. If I want to shoot a stock image I don’t find it much of a problem to change to ISO 200 although admittedly I would prefer a dedicated button for this. (I have the top button set to the ND filter).

    4. I have had absolutely no problems with slow start-up times. I use a fast SD card and always format in camera. It takes about 2 secs to start-up which I find acceptable for a compact camera.

    I know a lot of people want to compare this to a Leica M9 but I think this is a futile exercise. An M9 with a 35mm lens is going to cost around โ‚ฌ13,000 almost 10 times the price of an X100. I would expect the M9 to be vastly superior in every department and I’m sure it is. But it can’t be times more superior!

    Your review and others were very helpful when it came to making my decision and parting with my cash. All I wanted was a small camera that I could carry around with me at all times that had good image quality and, most importantly, a real viewfinder. The X100 not only has this but it has amazing high ISO ability to boot and way better than my Nikon D300 for example.

    Like most owners I look forward to the firmware upgrade ironing out some or all of the quirks but the bottom line for me is that even with the oddities it is a damn fine piece of kit.

    I am enjoying using it and I hope you continue to do so.

    A few samples can be found on my blog at:



  20. The first one with your son and last one with your friend are outstanding. Very very nice rendering of the lens. And also remarkable how highlights did not get blown in the last one.

      • Hi Steve,

        No, the face isn’t blown, but the windows are. Yes, the X100 has a good DR, but like all digital cameras, keeping details in the highlights is hard. Remember what detail you could find on black and white film ? It’s one of the last issue camera manufactors should improve in my opinion…
        But don’t get me wrong, the X100 is my favorite compact camera on the market right now, so pleasant to use, even considering a few conception mistakes. What bothers me the most is the raw button that keeps me switching to jpeg when I hit it by mistake ; when you select raw in the menu, the camera should stick to jpeg…



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