Shitty Little Camera: the Fuji X100F Review

February 6, 2018 • Reviews

Oh boy, where to begin.
Welcome to the most beautiful and useful camera in the world review. I call it shitty little camera because I’m in love with her it, and you know how being in love is. It’s just a shitty little camera.

[Just a few things out of the way before we start.
The camera in this review is mine, I use it everyday, I payed full price for it (+ two X100Ts, more later), I have no relationship of any kind with Fujifilm, nobody payed me to write this, and there are no affiliate links. I just write because I like writing, and I love this camera.
Enjoy]

The X100F is the fourth and at the time of this writing latest iteration of the X100 line.
I know it’s old news, but I bought mine in August 2017 and I can only laugh at reviews by those who don’t own what they review, who review things after a couple of days of use (with gear rented or provided by the manufacturer), or even better who write reviews payed by Fujifilm. You’ll find plenty of shortcomings in those reviews, yep yep.
Ok.

Anyway, 10 lines in and I’m already digressing.

What I wanted to say was just…

Welcome to my review of the X100F. It’s sexy, it’s sleek, and for the first time it works without major fuck-ups.
The S was a big upgrade from the original, but the T was just a series of small tweaks here and there, nothing major, and not worth the upgrade from the S: well, as a former user of the T, I can safely state that the F runs circles around the T. Worth the upgrade. Definetly worth it.

OMG it’s worth it

Just don’t handle it if you say you don’t wanna buy it, because It’s very likely you’ll fall in love with it and will want it. If you have a T and keep saying “Naah, not worth it”, well, alright, just don’t touch the F. Trust me, don’t do it.

It’s beautiful, it’s addictive, and it is definetly not a woman camera for beginners.

And it’s not even a luxury item, as some people state. It costs around 1400€ full price, you call that a luxury? A fucking Bmw is.

MY STORY WITH THE X100 FAMILY

When the original X100 came out I was rocking a Canon 450d with a few cheap primes.
When the S came out, I was madly in love with my first full frame, the 5d II, and wouldn’t have betrayed it with a cheap-ass aps-c (disgusting OMG lacks the 3D look!!1! – that’s me talking a few years ago).
When the T came out, well, it was time for me to join the fun. I sold my 5d II, kept 3 lenses and the 6d that I had added to the 5d, and went in with a black T.

I loved it, but after about 15k shots I’ve had the  opportunity to realize a ménage à trois an old dream of mine, so I sold it to fund the purchase of a used Leica M9. To make a long story short: huge mistake. Massive mistake. Should have known better.
The intelligent man learns from his mistakes, the wise man from other’s mistakes. So bear with me.

The M9 is beautiful, but it’s nowhere as practical and refined as the T, and its sensor collected dust as a magnet.
When I went in a Leica store to have it repaired, they told me that the M9, quote, “it’s a camera for lovers of the Leica brand”, unquote, and that dust, well, it was not an issue for them, although the camera was (better, should have been) covered by warranty.

I sold it immediatly (at a loss), and went back to my trusty old woman bought back another T (in silver).

At least this painful and expensive experience made me appreciate even more the T (btw, check out my X100T review here. It’s in Italian but there are a lot of pictures, no need to understand Italian for them).

I procedeed to fuck her brains out take around 60k pictures with it, but last summer during a wedding a guest went full MotoGP podium on me splashing the T with champagne, and it died. Well, sort of.

It still somehow shoots, but the dials are all sticky, they don’t work properly, and the surgery repair would have been super expensive and not worth it.
Since the couple I was shooting agreed to pay me back its value as a used camera, I used that money and some more cash to buy an F on August 1st, 2017.

After 16k shots with it, I’m happier than I ever was.

I wasn’t planning to betray again sell my T as I’m not rich and it still worked fine, but given the circumstancs… I can call myself lucky.

WHAT’S STILL GOOD

The F, as all the other X100s, is still a unique camera with no competitors from other brands.
The Sony RX1 and Leica Q might be similar, but are overpriced and lack many things that the X100 has.

A lot of things were perfect from the first X100, so why bother reinventing the wheel. No need to change what’s not broken, right?

THE LOOK

The F is even more beautiful than the other X100s.

You can see immediatly that it’s an X100, everything is just more polished and cleaner. More on this later.

PHILOSOPHY

The soul is still the same. You do what you did with the original X100, it’s just faster and with less PITA quirks.

DIMENSIONS

The F is small and light (470gr).
It won’t fit your jeans’ pocket, but your jacket one, yes.

But sometimes a beer it’s still the right thing to stick in your pocket, just in case

You can wear it all day (you should if you don’t), without being tired at night. Can’t do that with a reflex.

IT’S QUIET

It’s the quietest camera out there. I can only laugh at those who say that Leicas are quiet… They might be less noisy than a reflex, sure, but they’re no competition for the X100.

Its leaf shutter is barely audible if you keep the camera close to your ear in a dead silent room, and in real world it’s completely silent.
The electronic shutter is 100% silent. You can add fake shutter noise from the menu if you wanna have an audio feedback… That says it all.

This allows you to shoot in situations where you normally couldn’t. Talking about museums, cerimonies (great for wedding photographers), theatres…

And you can shoot everywhere without being noticed.

I went 100% unnoticed in this one

THE LENS

Still the same 23mm f/2 (full frame 35mm equivalent).

The rendering is the same, the insane macro ability as well. Sharpness is just about righ, it flares beautifully at f/2 (if you don’t like it just use your hand as a hood, it is that small), and the bokeh is smooth.

***

Update: March 28, 2018

A couple of words more about the lens.
There’s a lot of talk lately about micro-contrast, Zeiss pop, or whatever you wanna call it. You can believe it or not, but it’s indeed true that some lenses have got something to them that’s not easy to define but that’s quite there… and to me, the X100 lens has it.

This is a simple bw conversion from raw, almost straight from the camera.

***

The only thing I still don’t like it’s the aperture wing: the lens being this small, it’s difficult to change aperture without touching the focusing ring as well. But I can cope with that.

The lens has minimal distortion, and zero distortion when you apply the LR correction profile.

Being a fixed lens camera, you never think about changing lens, or spending more money to buy a new one. You just go with it. (bonus: you won’t get your sensor dirty while changing lens)

Unfortunately, even the original lens cap hasn’t changed. Very stilish, ok, but it falls all the time. No big issue: I don’t use it. Neither I use the insanely overpriced original lens hood (if you want one, buy an off-brand one).

I use an UV filter on it, and the camera is always ready to go. But pay attention: since the lens moves while focusing, if you screw the filter directly it’s gonna touch the glass.

What you wanna do is take an old 39mm filter, remove the glass, screw the frame on the lens, and then screw the real filter on the old filter frame. Doing this you allow the lens enough space to move without touching anything. Here’s a picture (looks even better than the hood IMO, and it’s smaller).

***

Update: March 28, 2018

Well, even using a top-quality-high-price UV filter as I was, last week I’ve a done a brief comparison with/without the filter, and withouth the filter the image looks slightly better, especially in BW. Maybe it’s just a mental thing, whatever.
Anyway, I took off the filter and bought an off-brand (JJC) hood+adapter for 16€. I bought a no brand black 49mm clip-on lens cap, which fits perfectly inside the hood when the camera it’s inside the bag. From now on, I’ll use the filter only in sandy/rainy conditions.
Here are a couple of pics of the new set-up.

***

THE LEAF SHUTTER

Leaf shutter means silent shutter and insanely high flash sync speed. Sync-at-any-speed-high.

Your small flash becomes a powerhouse, you can kill the sun in full daylight, or just use your flash at smaller power settings.
If you don’t know what this means, read this post by David Hobby aka The Strobist, and in general check out his website, starting from “Lighting 101”. I’ve just changed your life. You’re welcome.

THE VIEWFINDER

Along with the X-Pro series, the X100 is the only camera to sport an EVF and an OVF at the same time.

I use the EVF 99% of the time: you can see the exposure real time, whatever film simulation you have, and the framing is 100% accurate.

The only situations where I use the OVF are:

  • when I wanna save battery
  • very busy situations with many people where I wanna see what happens outside the frame, rangefinder style

The framing is way more precise than with a Leica, because the frame lines move. Still, the EVF is on a whole another level.

You can use a little electronic window on the bottom right of the OVF to check focus and exposure, but I don’t like it. When I use the OVF, I go OVF only. And only when I can stay at least at f/8, manual focusing in hyperfocal and then forgetting about it.

I know I should because it works fine, but I can’t manage to trust the autofocus with the OVF. But it’s just me: many do it happily.

Anyway, plenty of choice. You get the best of both worlds.

WB

Incredible. Well, I’m a long time Canon user and Canon sucks at white balance, I don’t need much in terms of wb to be impressed, but the auto-wb of the Fujis is hands-down amazing.

If you don’t wanna cool down or warm the scene on purpose, don’t bother fiddling with it: it’s gonna be right.

I use the manual wb only while shooting artificial light.

COLORS

Fuji colors rendition is unique. Some don’t like it, most do. I’m one of those. It’s great for skin tones.

I mean, look at those skin tones. Just kidding

AUTOMATIC MODE

I never use it, but if I wanna hand the camera to my girlfriend or some of my friends I just turn all the dials to A, turn the flash on, set face recognition on, and it works flawlessly.

Try that with a Canon.

FIRMWARE UPDATES

Fuji constantly improves their cameras with firmware updates. By improving I don’t mean just solving issues: I mean really improving them.

Only brand to do that. There are probably more changes in a Fuji update than in a Sony new camera (I’m only half-joking — try to count how many A7 they’ve dropped since the original).

WHAT GETS BETTER (VS X100T)

BODY

It’s more rugged (not that the older ones looked cheap, but this is just… better), cleaner, and the shape is slightly different (especially the top).

No more T or S mark on the front of the camera (thanks), and the ergonomics is miles ahead.

The camera is still available in silver or black (my choice), it’s still all metal (feels great in hand, although a bit cold in winter), and still made in Japan.

***

Update: March 28, 2018

The front of the X100T, for comparison.

***

The back is what changed the most: all the buttons are on the right (don’t need two hands to push buttons anymore), and there’s the joystick!
Wonderful addition: just change the focus point with that (much faster than before), or use it to browse images, options, and menus. It’s great.
Little trick: if you wanna get back quickly to the center point,double click the joystick, done. With the T, I sometimes forgot where I was and had to double check in the EVF, now I just double click the joystick and now where I’m at.

***

Update: March 28, 2018

This is the backside of the X100T.

***

Another great addiction: the iso dial.

This, along with the focus point selection, was my biggest complaint about the T. When I turned on the camera, I often forgot which iso it was set at, now I can see it on the shutter speed dial. Perfect.

Just lift it and rotate it. Quick, easy, functional.
Another trick: set the iso to A, and with the front dial (yeah, haven’t mentioned it yet, another welcome addition) you can change the iso from L (100) to H (25600 or 51200), to the three auto options (customizable from the menu). I don’t use auto iso anyway, but it works well.

Practically every button is a custom fn button: add the custom Q menu, and you’ll seldom need to use the (still far from perfect) internal menu.

That feeling when you’re halfway through the X100F menu

There’s a new C setting on the exposure compensation dial: when in C, you can use the front dial to go from -5 to +5 exposure compensation. I rarely shoot in aperture/shutter speed priority, but if you do this is another welcome addition.

The body is slightly bigger than the T, and my T case doesn’t fit the F. I wasn’t using it anyway, so I sold it.

THE CHIP

The F houses the same X-Trans III sensor of the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

Yes, it’s an aps-c sized sensor. Yes. So what. It’s fantastic, and for the type of camera the F is, I’d rather have the little added DOF that the aps-c size offers.

It has more resolution (24mpx vs the T’s 16), better iso performance (I’d say around 1 stop better, but the grain looks better at any setting), and you can choose between uncompressed or compressed raw files.

The compressed raw are called “lossless” compressed raws for a reason: if your raw converter  of choiche supports them, there’s no difference with the uncompressed ones.
The latters though, are twice as fat in terms of memory. Shoot compressed.

Do it

Many people shoot jpeg with Fuji, stating that they are good enough. Well… They sure look good, but hard disks and memory cards are so cheap nowadays, I don’t see the point in shooting jpeg only, unless you’re a sport photographer or pj who needs to send the picture immediatly. The raw has much more latitude for correcting mistakes, and you can always shoot raw+jpeg (fine or normal), and use the raw if the jpeg is not the way you want it.

Really?

And I hate the way the processors handles high-iso photos: even with the noise reduction set to the minimum, they do look mushy after iso 2500. I say mushy, I mean flat-out shit.
I’d rather have a noisier pic than a mushy one, any day.

Another hot topic: which raw converter to use?

Apparently Lightroom is not the ideal choice for X-Trans files.
My experience: it’s plenty good enough.

It’s true that:

  • LR it’s slower (in importing, creating previews, editing, exporting) with X-Trans files than with Canon (or other manufacturers) files
  • there are converters than zooming 200000x on the picture offer better detail

But it’s also true that:

  • X-Trans III files are better managed by LR than X-Trans II ones, and it gets better and better at every LR CC update (in any case you should use the smart preview trick explained here by Kevin Mullins)
  • the film simulations you have on the SOOC jpegs can be applied in LR, and on a blind test nobody could tell the difference
  • I print my picture up to 60*90cm and they look great
  • on my calibrated Eizo monitor the files look great
  • LR is so practical and I’m so used to it that unless I really see IQ issues (which I don’t) I’ll stick to it

But… That’s just me. I would only consider switching to Capture One, but since I’m happy with LR, I don’t see the point in changing.

Of course if you’re the type of person that would rather compare 187 different raw converters instead of actually taking pictures just for the sake of having the best brick walls photos on the internet, well… Go for it. To each his own, right?

No point in even trying to get a sharp pic if you’re gonna develop it with Lightroom

My two cent: try whatever you want, then use what’s good enough for you (and your wallet clients if you’re a pro).

I shoot raw+jpeg (normal): I develop the raws of the pics I like, and delete the ones of the pictures I don’t like at all or are misfocused, and so on. I’ll keep the jpegs of the latters just as an archive, but don’t wanna fill my hard drives with shit raws I’ll never use.
Another advantage of shooting raw+jpeg is that if you like to shoot square formaat, you can see the square image in the EVF (or screen), and the raw file, althoug full size, will be pre-cropped while imported in LR. Composing is much easier. I don’t shoot square though, it’s just FYI.

***

Update: March 28, 2018

I’ve been forced to shoot square BW in an assignment shot for the swiss director Hanspeter Ammann, and I like it. I’ll definetly use it in the future. Some more shots in square format here.

***

The F has a new bw simulation, Acros. It’s nice, but my favourite choice for bw is: import the raw file, set the Classic Chrome simulation, then convert to bw.
Talking about bw… Am I the only one to think that Fuji black and white rendering is just gorgeous? No I know I’m not.

One last thing: there’s plenty of talk on the internet about the difference in actual exposure between Fuji files and other manufacturers’ ones.
I was curious, so I’ve done this little test in my flat. Click on the picture to download the raw file.

Pic 1: X100F, 1/13. f/4, iso 6400
(no correction profile added)

Pic 2: Canon 6d + Sigma Art 24-105, 1/13, f/4, iso 6400
(the framing is different, but I haven’t moved the tripod, and the Sigma, has you can see from the exif, is at 35mm. Not sure why)

Draw your own conclusion about this test, but I just wanna say that the noise to me looks better on the F, and the awb, well… enough said.

AUTOFOCUS

Way faster than before.
To me the best improvement is the joystick, but the autofocus itself it’s enourmosly better than the T.

Way better

Now even the continuous autofocus is reliable (couldn’t say that for the T). I don’t usually shoot subjects that need tracking, but in case I know I can count on the F. It’s not as good or customizable as it’s on the X-T2, but it’s not a sport/wildlife camera.

Many people don’t know it, but the af speed changes a lot with the dimensions of the af point. To set it, press the joystick and then rotate the back dial. The bigger the point, the faster the af. Use smaller points only if you need to precisely focus on small objects.

On the X100F there are even too many (325) focus points available: I use the 91 points option, as 325 are far too many too browse in practical use. They might be useful for still life photography (or any kind of veeeery slow shooting), but to me 91 points is the sweet spot.

With the Canon, I prefere back-button focusing. To use it with Fuji, you need to set the focus on M (=manual) on the left-side switch, then either you manual focus either you back-button autofocus with the “AEL-AFL” button under your left thumb (much better positioned than on the T btw!).
My F stays in M 99% of the time (bonus: in M mode, you don’t need to turn on the macro mode, it will work by default).

***

Update: March 28, 2018

This is another aspect in which it’s miles ahead of any reflex: being able to change in a fraction of a second from back-button focusing to shutter-button focusing it’s something I’d really like to have on my 6d… But I don’t.

When you shoot in M mode you have a distance scale with the dof indicator in the viewfinder or in the LCD: it’s not super precise, but it gives a rough idea of where your focus will be, and it’s particularly helpful when shooting stopped down. When I shoot on the street I generally back-button focus on my feet, set the aperture to f/8, iso and shutter speed to whatever needed, and then I know I’m good to go and I just need a quarter of a full rotation to go slightly closer or farther.

***
Actual manual focusing, due to the focus-by wire mechanism, is still quirky at best. Don’t really use it a part from low light wide open shooting sometimes.

A spectacular try at manual focusing

GENERAL SPEED

The F new processor is much faster than the F in everything, from turning the camera on, to menu browsing, to setting changing.

It’s just more responsive.

Even the buffer is better. I always turn the auto-play option off, so I can keep shooting even while the camera is recording images.

MENU

I can’t understand why they don’t copy the Canon ones, the Fuji menus are still all but perfect (everbody hates multiple sub-menus, and this camera is full of them).

At least now there’s a “MY MENU” setting (about fucking time), where you can set your most-used settings. When you enter the menu, the my menu page is the first to show up.

I use it for my off-camera flash settings (more on that later).

What’s still slow and annoying is the format card option. You can’t add it to my menu (please fix this with a firmware update), and to acces it you have to:

  1. click menu
  2. go to the set-up chapter
  3. click on user setting
  4. click format
  5. click yes

Too long.

Waiting for the X100F to format the damn card

*****

Update April 16, 2018

As M said in the comments (thank you!), there is a way to quick-format the damn camera.
Press and hold the “delete” button for a couple of seconds, and then press the back dial: the format menu will appear, just select yes >> ok. Thank you M!

*****

THE BATTERY

Haven’t mentioned this in the body chapter, but the F sports the same battery as the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

This is great news. First thing: if you own other flagship Fujis, you can share the same batteries and chargers.

Second: the T battery was small and lasted next to nothing. The F battery is bigger and more powerful.
Even setting the camera to “High performance” (which you should) it lasts longer than the T.

Really?

I used to carry 5 batteries with me (the original + 4 off-brand spares), now I just go with three, and rarely need to change the first one.
With the T very seldom I made it to the end of the day with my first battery.
I still own 5 for weddings, but usually I go out with just three.
As always with Fuji, original accessories (including batteries) are outrageously expensive.
I bought 4 Patona batteries and one charger for less than the price of one original Fuji battery. They’re slightly less powerful, but I can buy four. That will do, thanks.

The T battery indicator was useless: it had 4 segments, but when it was at 3/4 it could fall to 0 any minute. Now it has 5 segments and it’s much more reliable.
When you shoot from the screen, if you press DISP BACK you can even see the percentage of battery left (welcome to the 21st century Fuji).

Ah, the charger. Looks better, but it’s still inadequate.
When it’s charging the light is green (doesn’t make sense to me), when the battery is full, the led turns off. One day the cable wasn’t connected very well (my fault), I just plugged it in and forgot about it, in the morning I saw that the light was off and thought the battery was full, but of course it was still empty.

Why can’t they make them like Canon, with red blinking light while charging (1 blink = 1/4 battery charged, and so on), and green fixed led when charged? Beats me. Fix this please. It is an issue.

Why?

Another little quirk of the new batteries: in the old ones I used to put little tape marks to number them (1, 2, 3, 4): I had taped the new ones on the side, and they wouldn’t come of the battery housing anymore! The housing is tighter than before, so if you wanna tape the batteries do it on the bottom. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning.

WHAT’S STILL WRONG

Not much, but the F is not perfect.
Of course complaining on the internet as I’m about to do is much easier than designing and manufacturing a camera: for a behind the scenes look at what goes on at Fuji while deciding what features to include in a new camera, read this post by David Hobby. It’s about the X-Pro2, but the same goes for the F or any other camera.

Discussing all the X100F shortcomings

NO DOUBLE SD

Major complaint of many. Not an issue for me, I always buy good quality cards and change them every couple of years just in case, they’re cheap enough today.

For years photographers have coped with one roll of film or one sd, now apparently you can’t venture out of the door without a double sd…

I think it’s fine as long you don’t do stupid things like:

  • using cheap off-brand cards on a 1400€ camera
  • formatting the card from your computer and not from the camera
  • using a card formatted on another camera
  • using a card on different cameras withouth formatting it
  • erasing pictures in camera
  • and so on.

If you wanna learn the memory card bon-ton, read this post by the former Lexar marketing director.

***

Update: March 28, 2018

This are the cards that I use on the F, and that I used on the T.

***

NO WEATHER SEALING

I think it’s a body design issue. Everybody wants it, but if Fuji hasn’t implemented it yet there has to be a reason.
I use the F under light rain all the time anyway, but I wouldn’t pour champagne of it, as my story with the T shows. Lesson learned, until the next drunk wedding guest.

NO TILTABLE LCD SCREEN

This is the feature I really  miss. Again, probably a body design issue, but after trying a friend’s X-T2 I want that damn tiltable screen. I want it, period.

SETTINGS ARE EASILY CHANGED WITH THE CAMERA HANGING FROM YOUR NECK

Especially the joystick. It moves really easily, so the focus point it’s gonna change just by bumping on your jacket.

NO MENU ON THE SCREEN WITH EVF ONLY SETTING

I keep the camera on Viewfinder Only setting 99% of the time, but I’d like to see the menu on the screen when pressing the menu button. Easily adjustable via firmware, but maybe I’m the only one with this issue.

***

Update: March 28, 2018

I don’t like the eye-sensor mode, where you the viewfinder turns on when you approach your eye to the sensor near it. It’s faster than on the T, but not fast enough for me when shooting in fast-paced enviroments. I don’t like neither the viewfinder/lcd alternaate mode, for the same reason.

I’d like to being able to disable the two sensor modes and change from “lcd only” to “viewfinder only” in one click with the “view mode” button, but it’s not possible yet. Firmware? Am I the only one with this problem?
At the time of this writing, the only way is press the “view mode” button three times in a row, but not too fast if not the camera will skip a beat. Quite annoying! (Yes I know, I’m nit-picking)

***

DRIVE BUTTON

It’s in the “up” selector, and can’t be moved somewhere else or disabled. A couple of times it changed to video while bumping on my t-shirt, and it took a couple of seconds for me to realize what happened. Annoying. I’d rather have it hidden in the menu or in some fn button.

STRAP

It doesn’t look very nice, and the quality is low. The inside after a while starts losing bits and becomes scratchy.

CAN’T SEE HOW MANY PICTURES YOU’VE SHOT

Not sure if I’m too stupid to find this setting, but I couldn’t in the T neither. While in playback mode, I can’t manage to have the number of picture I’ve taken (e.g. 1/64). Woud be practical.

USE WITH GLOVES

I live in Paris. Winters are pretty cold here, but if I wanna use the F (as I do) I know I can’t wear gloves withouth pushing 54 buttons at the same time.

AF HUNTING

In the rare occasions the F won’t lock focus, it will hunt back and forth for a couple of seconds and the only way to stop it quickly is to turn the camera off and back on. It’s frustrating when you see the scene developing in front of your eyes and can’t do anything but wait while the camera goes bzz-bzz back and forth. At least in M/back-focusing mode, it should be possible to manual-override the af, but it isn’t.

INTERNAL CLOCK

Not precise. I set it with my two 6ds, and already after a couple of weeks it’s off by a few minutes, while the Canons are still on point. It was an issue with the T, it’s still an issue with the F.

A good trick if you’re shooting multiple cameras jobs: don’t bother changing the in-camera clock.
Install on your smartphone a “global phone” app, shoot a picture of it with every camera you’re gonna use, and then change the acquisition time in LR referring to that picture. Done.

VS LEICA M9, OR LEICA IN GENERAL

Many say that Fuji is the new Leica. I don’t agree. Fuji is a better Leica.

Happy, before I knew better

Let’s see… what are the major points that made Leicas the camera of choice for documentary and reportage photographers back in the days?

  • the quietness of the shutter release. Fujis are more silent in general, and the X100 series is dead quiet. Check
  • the rangefinder mechanism that allows slower hand-held shutter speed. Nothing moves in a mirrorless camera, so you can hand hold a Fuji better than a Leica. Check
  • the inobtrusive look and small size. Fujis are smaller and look as inobtrusive as any Leica, and they’re much lighter as well. Check
  • the reliability. Film Leicas are built like tanks, but digital ones not quite so. Every single person I know who owns or owned a digital Leica, including me, has had issues with it at least once. The Leica customer service, on top of that, is arrogant and inefficient.

Tell me more

Other points.
Leicas are insanely overpriced. Even if you wanna talk about “historical heritage” and similar bullshit, they will still be overpriced. How many people can afford a normal Leica kit (with a backup body)? Mmh. Leicas, unlike Fujis or other cameras, are luxury objects.

Lenses are great, no doubts, but so are Fuji lenses.

With a Fuji you leave for a trip knowing that the camera will work, with a Leica you leave wondering whether you’ll have to realign the rangefinder mechanism (a friend of mine went to China with his M240 and misfocused all of his shot under f/4 due to a rangefinder mislagninment), and hoping that the heavily flawed electronic won’t bug or let you down.

And in general walking with a Leica means walking with 6000+€ hanging from your neck. I didn’t feel completely at ease walking in dodgy areas with the M9.

They’re more boutique objects than real world cameras. Step into a random Leica store to see what I mean: their main business is selling expensive cameras to old people who won’t use them.

The so-called rangefinder experience is indeed very nice, but there’s no point in denying that a Fuji works better than a Leica in pretty much every aspect.

The M9 is still a broken dream for me, but going back in time I would never buy it again. No close-focusing. No live view. No precise framing. Buggy electronics. Ridiculous “high-iso” (ah-ehm) performance. Laughable dynamic range. And I won’t even mention again the dust on the sensor problem.

The main point is: everything you do with a Leica you can do with a Fuji, most of what you can do with a Fuji you can’t with a Leica. Period.

Last thing. Leicas are beautiful to see, but holding them you get the feeling that they are delicate objects. You get that feeling because, well, they are. To each is own… But Fuji is a better Leica.

When they tell you that Leicas are the best reportage cameras

I would buy a Leica just as an investment, if I had enough cash to spare: every couple of years or so they come out with special limited editions like the Lenny Kravitz Leica. I would buy one of those, not touch it, put it in a closet and forget about it for 20 years, and then sell for twice the amount of  money I’ve spent on it. Unfortunately at the moment I can’t afford to do this.
Now back to the F.

HOW I SET IT

Random bits, as many settings are already described above.

I use the F almost always at iso 1600, as I find this its sweet spot. The grain is almost non-existent, and since in Paris the light changes a lot I’d rather play with the shutter speed than with the iso. Sometimes I’ll use “stupid” settings like f/8, iso 1600, 1/2000, but who cares. Iso 1600 is beautiful in black and white as well.

Somehow I rarely shoot vertical with this camera, don’t know why.

I always keep the shutter on the “m+e” (mechanical+electronic) setting. By default it will use the mechanical, but when needed (e.g. full sunlight wide open) it will switch to electronic, allowing crazy fast shutter speed. Flash doesn’t work with the electronic shutter.

I set the auto power off to 5 minutes. To turn it back on, press the shutter release. You’ll know it’s on because it will slightly vibrate.

I actually keep the Q menu half-empty, as I don’t need as many items and thus I’m faster to browse among the ones I use. Here’s my setting.

As stated above, I normally use back-button focusing in M mode, but when using normal autofocus mode (S), I’ll keep face detection off and use single-point focusing and recompose. I seldom use Zone or Wide/Tracking modes, but if I want to I can quickly access them from the Q menu.

Ah. You see that “ND OFF” setting? This camera, as the T had, has an in-built ND filter (a real one, not some electronic gimmick). Very useful for flash and landscape photography.

My go-to film simulation for colors is Classic Chrome.

OFF-CAMERA FLASH SETTINGS

Ok, this is where the My Menu option really comes handy.
First thing, this is how I’ve set it.

As off-camera flashes, I use two Canon 430 EX II, triggered by Yongnuo RF603CII triggers (it’s the Canon model).

The hot-shoe is somehow tighter than the Canon one, so there’s no need to tighten the trigger in it, it won’t move anyway.

In order to actually fire the flashes, you have to:

  1. turn off the Built-In flash (from My menu)
  2. set the “Flash Function Setting” to M (quickest way for me: Q menu, that setting is already the first item, I  just need to turn the rear wheel on the right once and I’m done)

If you don’t do this the flash won’t fire.

In My Menu I’ve put the Shutter Type setting: in case it slipped on Electronic Shutter, I can quickly set it back to M or M+E, if not the flash won’t work.

I’ve added the Wb setting as well in order to have more control on color temperature in case I’m using gels or mixed light sources.

I set the EXP Preview off when using off-camera flash because I often want to keep the background underexposed, and with the exposure preview on I wouldn’t see anything in the Evf. This setting was hidden in the menu with the T, now it’s much more practical to reach.

Just a couple of words on the Built-In flash. It’s small, but with the hi-speed sync of the F it can be very powerful. Used in TTL it’s super intelligent and rarely miss the exposure. The news with the F is that you can also set it manually. If I go flash, I usually go off-camera flash though. But it’s nice knowing that when I need a small and reliable flash I can just turn it on and know it will work.

WHAT THIS CAMERA IS FOR

To me, the fixed lens notwithstanding, the X100F is the most versatile camera available now.

Let’s talk about it

It can do so many things, and do them well. Of course a great camera in the wrong hands becomes useless, of course the most important piece of gear is that mushy thing between your ears, but…

It’s a joy to use.

The thing it does best: recording memories. This is my go-to camera for persons and situations that mean the most to me. You won’t see those pictures in this review, but they’re the ones that I go back to more often.

In general it’s a great documentary cameras: small, light, quiet, great in low light. It can go wherever you go, and record what you see without IQ compromises. Yes, phones are getting better every day, but no phone is gonna be as pleasurable to use as this camera is.

You can use it for work, if you’re fine with the 35mm field of view.

It’s the desert island cameras for the majority of street photographers out there.

It’s the camera that will make it through controls in events where “No professional cameras” are allowed. Oups. Of course if your pride is hurt by not being recognized as a PRO you can always walk around with a D5 and 24-70 + 70-200 kit. You’ll be walking outside the gig, but hey, everybody will know. You’re a PRO.

Usual reaction I get from people when they notice I’m not shooting with a SUPER PRO D5 + 70-200

It’s the ideal camera for holidays and trips. Ok, maybe not the best choice for a safari, but I can’t think of bringing anything else when I travel. All the travel pictures you see on my blog have been shot only with an X100 (T, and then F).

MISCELLANEOUS

The X100F, as the T, has an internal shutter count. It’s not super precise, but it gives a rough idea of how many shots you’ve taken with the camera.

I normally keep the camera in a Billingham Hadley Digital, along with my everyday items (wallet, keys, metro card, power bank, usb cable, Patona battery charger, two spare Patona batteries, lens cloth, e-reader, phone, backup SD). I bought it black (50% discounted), and it goes really well with my black F.
When I need to bring more stuff, I use a Billingham f/stop 2.8, where I can put, along with everything I put in the Hadley Digital, even a Canon 6d with a 85mm f/1.2 or 200mm f/2.8 lens. They’re stylish, robust, durable and waterproof. There are only two kind of persons in the world: those who like Billingham bags and those who never tried them.

The X100F can shoot videos, but it’s not the best camera for that purpose. Go Canon or Sony if you do videos (I don’t).

Talking about Sony… Just a couple of lines. [personal opinion alert]
They can have the most incredible dynamic range, they can be full frame, you can adapt pretty much every lens on them… But…
My god, aren’t they ugly. To see, to handle, to use. I just can’t cope with them. No doubt you can produce wonderful work with them, but, call me hipster if you want (although I can’t even grow a proper beard and I don’t have a fixed bike), I wouldn’t touch them with a cattle prod.
The interface is orrible, the dials and buttons are all in the wrong place, and they look more like computer than cameras to me.
A wee story: I was shooting a wedding, and one of the guests was a girl from New Zealand. She had bought a Sony A7R (I think the original one, not sure as they come out with 4/5 new models every year) because someone told her that it was the camera to have and she wanted a serious camera.
Of course, being a beginner, she couldn’t understand anything about that laptop camera, and she asked me to help her.
I explained her how her Sony worked, and she was already beginning to have an headache.
She then pointed at the X100T hanging from my neck, and asked me if she could try it. Of course, go ahead sweetheart. Well, I’ll never forget her words after 10 seconds with the Fuji: “Wow, this feels like a real camera.”
Because it fucking is a real camera. It’s not a computer!
End of story.

The F has no IBIS.
I don’t give a shit I’m happy with that, and I hope it will stay the same even in future iterations. I can hand-hold it to really slow shutter speed, it has great low-light performance, and an f/2 lens. IBIS is not the best thing for your sensor, I’d rather be without it.

The F, as the T, has wi-fi. You can shoot from your phone, or transfer images to it. I’ve never used it nor felt the need to, so can’t talk about it.

It has no gps. I don’t care.

No IBIS? No GPS?

You can mount the same additional lenses (WCL and TCL, 28mm and 50mm equivalents) that you used on the T, or use the new versions. They’re optically the same, the only difference is that the camera automatically recognize the new ones and you don’t have to set the converter option in the menu. I wouldn’t bother buying the new ones if I already owned the old versions.
I’m not a big fan of the 50mm fov so I’m not interested in the TCL, but for about a year I owned the WCL and used it on the T. I’ve sold it as I found myself preferring the 35mm fov, and not liking the extra bulk on the camera.
If you’re a 28mm fan though, I highly recommend the WCL: IQ is the same, aperture is the same, af speed is the same. It blocks the bottom-right of the OVF and distorces a bit more (easily solved in LR).

***

Update: March 28, 2018

For those who have never seen it, here’s how the WCL looks like on my old X100T. Here are my pics shot with it.

***

Generally speaking, I love what Fuji is doing.
Call me a fan boy, but I really do. I’d like to jump completely in the Fuji world, and the only reason I haven’t yet goes by the name of his majesty the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II. That lens… OMG, that lens. It’s hands-down my favourite lens, I love everything about it. Yes, the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 is very nice, but… They’re not the same. Not even close, if you ask me. The Canon is in a league of its own.
I’m a sucker for nice gear, and my favourite toys are, guess what, the X100F and the Canon 85mm. I would love to use the 85mm on an X-T2 (it’s a so much better camera than my 6d!) withouth cropping it, and if anyone does it via these new Speedbooster adapters, please, hit me in the comment section or via e-mail. Please do.

porn

THE END

Not much to add after 7000 words.
The X100F, for what it aims to be, is as close to perfection as they come.

It reached a maturity that the previous X100s lacked, and has no major shortcomings.
Everything can be improved, but this camera goes completely out of the way and gives one of the most beautiful shooting experiences available today.
While using the T, I often thought: “Oh, if only Fuji fixed this, or that…”

Well, they fixed this and even that.
Not sure whether they can significantly improve this camera without a major design change. Bravo Fuji.

Final thought about the price. It’s not cheap, but it’s not even expensive. You get a flagship (and unique) camera (+lens) for less than 1500€. Completely worth the money. There are worse camera sold at much higher price.

You can see other pictures taken with my F, including the ones taken after this review, at this Flickr link.
[there are no affiliate links on my website, and nobody pays me for writing, nor do I write to get rich. I do it to have fun and hopefuly add something useful to the web.
Some people reached out and told me that they appreciate what I write and wanted to thank me dropping some spare change via Paypal, that’s why I added the Paypal donation button below.
No obligation to use it of course, if you like what I write you can simply send me a couple of lines via e-mail ([email protected]) or in the comments, and if you want to receive my next updates in your inbox just subscribe to my newsletter (no spam, and you can cancel the subscription at any moment).
In any case, thanks for reading!]




64 commenti a “Shitty Little Camera: the Fuji X100F Review”

  1. M April 16, 2018

    To quick format an SD card, just press and hold the garbage can button for a second, and then press the back jog dial. Choose ‘yes’ and voíla!

    1. matteopezzi April 16, 2018

      Thank you!
      I’ll add it to the post.
      -Matteo

  2. João Ricardo April 16, 2018

    Congrats for the very good article. I have an X100S and I love it. I just find a little error, in the second line under “THE VIEWFINDER”. You wrote “whatever lens simulation you have” and I think you wanna mean “whatever film simulation you have”. Thanks for your views and nice photos!

    1. matteopezzi April 17, 2018

      Yep it was a typo!
      Thank you for the comment & the correction 🙂

  3. Felipe April 17, 2018

    You got me with the shot of Jeff Waters. I’ve been on the Testament tour aswell ;-). Nice pics.

    1. matteopezzi April 17, 2018

      Thank you!
      Fabio Alessandrini, the actual Annihilator drummer, is one of my best friends, we grew up in the same small village in Italy. On my blog there are other pics of him when he played in smaller bands, it was really cool watching him play at the Bataclan with the Annihilator!

      1. Felipe April 19, 2018

        What a circumstance ^^. Unfortunately I quit as a concert photographer before switching to Fuji, but you can see some of my work on http://www.felipefernandes.de.

        1. matteopezzi April 20, 2018

          Wow you shot A LOT of concerts! 🙂

  4. Cinq1 April 17, 2018

    Hello Matteo.

    Nice review. I live in Paris to. Sadly, I sold my X100F few month ago to get some cash. For sure, I will buy it again in few weeks.
    Take care and keep shooting

    1. matteopezzi April 18, 2018

      Thank you! Let me know if you wanna have a beer sometime

  5. Francis April 17, 2018

    This review rocks! Thank you sir.

    1. matteopezzi April 18, 2018

      Thank you Francis! Appreciate it

  6. Martin K. April 17, 2018

    Really enjoyed your review. Great style of writing, very blunt and funny.

    1. matteopezzi April 18, 2018

      That was my aim! Thank you Martin!

  7. Mehran Khalili April 18, 2018

    Thanks for the write-up and the pics Matteo, some of which are real stand-outs (the silhouette on the windows!)

    X100 cameras have been my primary photography tools since I got the first edition back in 2011 (I now have the F), and you articulate some of the reasons for that well in your essay.

    Sometimes I think there are too many functions and buttons on the camera, and wish that Fuji would make a poor man’s Leica M-D out of it instead. But then I go through all the photos I have taken and the versatility really comes into its own.

    (Last point: thanks to their manual controls and different viewfinder options, X100 cameras are great learning tools too!)

    Keep up the good work. Cheers.

    1. matteopezzi April 18, 2018

      Thank you Mehran!
      Yep I agree with you, there are too many functions. But the F it’s almost fully customizable so you can make it a bit simpler… If it were up to me I’d remove the video function, all the toy-camera simulations, the low-performance options, and so on… But I’m sure there’s someone out there who’d rather keep them and have all my favorite settings removed 🙂

  8. Scott April 18, 2018

    Killer post. I loved it.

    1. matteopezzi April 18, 2018

      Thank you Scott! Glad to hear it

  9. Jim Diaz April 19, 2018

    Straight forward, no BS. I am looking for a camera to add to my Canon 5D mark ii and Panasonic FZ 1000. This hits all the buttons.

    1. matteopezzi April 19, 2018

      Yep I think it’s a perfect addition to your kit.
      My first X100, the T, was the companion of my first 6d

  10. Adam April 19, 2018

    Wow what a review. This is the best X100F review I’ve read, it’s funny, it’s relevant, it’s relatable. It’s your review that finally tipped me over the edge and means I’ll be selling my Fuji X-E2 with 35mm f1.4 for the simplicity and single vision of the X100F!

    1. matteopezzi April 19, 2018

      Thank you Adam! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  11. Leonidas April 21, 2018

    One of the best articles I have read online, I really enjoyed the style, the thoughts, the words, the photos.
    Happy I found another blog to follow. 🙂

    1. matteopezzi April 21, 2018

      Thank you for the compliments 🙂 If you want you can subscribe to my newsletter from the link in the site’s menu! Have a good day

  12. Pat April 22, 2018

    I was interested in a cheap backup for my M240. So I found this article, which is interesting and funny, but since you apparently hate Leica or are at least biased towards this brand, I don’t know if I should take your user experience of the X100F too seriously. I like the design of the X100F very much but I somehow know that I will regret buying it, since I bought a X-Pro1 a couple of years ago and it felt so uncomfortable shooting with that I sold it after a few weeks. But now I will give it another try with the X100F, an even smaller camera. I know this little shitty camera, as you call it, will definitely suck compared to my M240, but sometimes I just do stupid things, like buying camera’s of which I know that they are a mere compromise. I can’t afford another Leica, that’s why. And there you have your point: Leica is expensive. For good reasons, though. And you have another point: the Leica sensor has to be cleaned regularly. But for all the rest of your comments: you really can’t compare apples to oranges. Or an APS-C sensor to a full frame sensor. Or a full frame sensor to a medium format sensor. Fuji has apparently a shitty big camera with the GFX, which is obviously and for good reasons more expensive than a Leica. High ISO might be your standard, but it shouldn’t be a standard at all. Have I ever felt the need to shoot 1600 ISO on the streets? I don’t think so. Unfortunately you had bad experiences with Leica, but you really don’t say why exactly. Perhaps because Leica doesn’t have autofocus? Probably you want to say that Leica is a much more limited camera in terms of functions and usability, which is true, and which, for me, is a good thing. Only street photography it has to do. It’s not because you say that Leica is “a luxury product” or you can’t afford it (of course you can, certainly if I can, it’s just about priority) that you should bash it without real arguments. Perhaps you drive a Mercedes? I don’t think that’s a bad car, although a Dacia also takes you wherever you want to go. And personally I had a great Leica customer service experience: they just gave me a new M240 after it fell hard on the cobblestones when I was riding my bike. So you can’t really say they have a bad customer service.

    1. matteopezzi April 23, 2018

      Hi Pat
      thank you for the comment, which might help to clarify a couple of things.
      First of all I don’t hate anything.
      I might reserve hate for some human beings, maybe, but I can’t be bothered to hate a camera manufacturer, believe me, life is too short…
      Second, the tone of the review is, intentionally, light-hearted.
      Third, the aim is (for me) to have fun in writing (check); (for the readers) to get some hopefully useful informations from someone who has some mileage with the camera (check?). In the 7812 words of my review (many of which I could have done without, I know I know…) there are at least a couple of things that you don’t find in the others online, and not all of them are positive.
      Whether you like the review or not, there’s one thing you cannot say: that I’m biased towards Leica.
      I put my money where my mouth is: no affiliate link, no contacts with Fuji, camera paid full price.
      Same goes for Leica: I had bought the M9, with my money, and I have friends with M240s, all of them with bad experiences. (the only ones who don’t complain own M6s, eheh).
      I stated my bad experiences as follows (copied and pasted from the review):

      The M9 is beautiful, but it’s nowhere as practical and refined as the T, and its sensor collected dust as a magnet.
      When I went in a Leica store to have it repaired, they told me that the M9, quote, “it’s a camera for lovers of the Leica brand”, unquote, and that dust, well, it was not an issue for them, although the camera was (better, should have been) covered by warranty.

      It was not a matter of having the sensor cleaned more often: immediatly after the cleaning, the sensor would be full of dust. Not usable, unless I shot at f/2.8 or wider.
      Many with M9s had the same problem (and even a friend with a M240: he sent it to Germany for repair, it came back with the same problem, and after some hustling and a few months of wait managed to get it replaced).
      I remember Steve Huff, the Guy Who Talks With The Deads (yep yep), stating in some comment that he didn’t know about the problem because he “only shoots wide-open”. Ok…
      About the rest of the comment.
      If you already know that you’ll regret buying it, then by all means skip it and save for another Leica no?
      But don’t say you won’t buy the X100F because you didn’t like the X-Pro1: hope there’s no need to waste words explaining why.
      Saying that the X100F “wiil definetly suck” compared to the M240 IMO is a bit extreme as a statement, but everyone is entitled to have his opinion and especially to do whatever the hell he wants with his money.
      I still don’t understand the “good reasons” for which Leica is that expensive though, and randomly raises the prices without improving the products (should be the contrary according to logic: time passes, the product becomes obsolete, prices goes down — but not in Wetzlar. Sounds like a good place to do business…)
      To me a camera for which I can’t afford a backup is a luxury product, but you’re right, it’s my opinion (which is ok, since this is my review, written by me, on my own website).
      I compare the Fuji X100F to Leicas because they are in, roughly, the same
      category: and I stated the reasons that for me and a lot of people make Fujis better reportage cameras than Leicas, eg weight, quietness, reliability, price.
      The aps-c X100F sensor is in many ways better than the M240 full-frame sensor.
      Good for you if you never felt the need to shoot 1600iso on the streets… I shoot at evening/night all the time and if I wanna stay at least at 1/60 sometimes I have to push to f/2 at iso 6400, but maybe where I live dark is darker than at yours. This is pushing the envelope, but a couple of days ago I did a picnic with my friends on the Seine, and I took some pics at iso 25600, f/2, 1/30.
      Last time I checked (30 seconds ago), the Fuji GFX is cheaper than both the Leica M240 and M10 on B&H Photo ($6499 vs $6595 vs $6895).
      There’s much more difference in destination of use between a GFX and a Leica M than between a Leica M and a Fuji X100.
      I don’t own a car, only use public transports, but I think that your comparison is wrong: I’d correct it this way.
      Dacia = Fuji x-a3 or similar, canon rebels, and so on
      Mercedes = Fuji X100F (stylish, RELIABLE, works smoothly)
      Leica is more some kind of luxury fancy car that you wouldn’t use daily or for long trips. I’m not an expert in the field though, so please insert the car brand.
      Anyway: if Leica makes you happy, everybody’s happy. I have nothing to gain in you choosing one or the other.
      I don’t know where you live: if you happen to be/travel to Paris, let’s have a beer, and if you’re still not sure, you can try my X100F.
      Cheers 🙂
      -Matteo

      1. Cristiano Alves July 9, 2018

        Hi! Great review and great Reply message. You’re a gentleman.
        I was already convinced do buy an F but you just made me sure about my decision. I’ll subscribe your newsletter for sure. Do you think a new version will come soon? The fifth? I’ll buy the F as an everyday camera since I own an D750… Keep writing and thanks again.

        1. matteopezzi July 9, 2018

          Thank you Cristiano 🙂 Glad you liked it!
          Honestly I have no idea about a new version, the F came out around beginning of 2017 if I’m not mistaken, so maybe next year a new one might be announced (the T was annoounced end of 2014), but I really don’t know.
          I wouldn’t wait for the new one if you wanna shoot today, considering that as far as I know (not much admittedly) there are not even rumors about the new one.
          Thank you again 🙂
          -Matteo

  13. Rowan April 22, 2018

    Loved the article. Really enjoyable read. Thanks.
    I’m looking to get an X100F soon, as I got an X100 classic years ago, then added an X-T1 in 2014 with some nice glass including the 56mm f1.2 – but some of the magic was lost. I recently got the WCL and TCL and have been using the X100 again, it can still take great shots. So I’m going to ditch the X-T1 and go X100F 🙂

    1. matteopezzi April 23, 2018

      Thanks Rowan 🙂 Have fun!

  14. Sidney Stapleton May 1, 2018

    There must be a psychological term for folks who stay up past their bedtime, obsessively reading camera reviews, following feckless days spent taking photos with gradually improving results but also gradually rising standards. Lugging a big Canon did not equate to better photos, so I purchased an x100 when they first came on the market, and spent a few desperate weeks trying to decipher the system. The experience proved, and cemented, my amateur status and dented my pride as well. Soon, mercifully, it fatally broke within warranty so I could return it without remorse; and I got every penny back. Your delightful, informative, and often hilarious review has convinced me to take those bucks and use them on the F. Now I can aspire to interesting and demanding subjects beyond grandchildren and roses, of which one cannot amass enough images.

    Nothing personal or analytical here, but if you are a native Italian living in Paris, and writing with such an inventive and informative style in idiomatic English, you may deserve a degree in linguistics as well as photography/art. I even learned to correct my misremembered Tortilla Flats to the singular.

    Photographs speak a universal language, and yours are certainly fluent. Studying your composition is a lesson in itself. I had never even heard the term of street photography until I blundered into Vivian Maier’s work several years ago. Now I seem to have made another fortunate blunder.

    Thanks

    1. matteopezzi May 1, 2018

      Sidney thank you very much for your kind words!
      The original X100 and the F are miles apart, I doubt you’ll be disappointed but try it in a shop just in case before you buy it
      No degrees deserved I’m afraid…
      My French is ok enough to live and work here, but far from perfect (when I moved here, a couple of years ago, I worked at McDonald’s to pay the rent and mainly to learn the language: it worked, but let’s just say my French is not exactly academical).
      My English is better because I love reading and most of my favourite writers are anglo-saxons (Hunter S. Thompson over all), plus, my girlfriend is half-French/half-Scottish and for some reasons we mainly speak English, so that helps as well…
      But compliments are always nice to receive, so thank you very much again!
      If you want you can subscribe to my newsletter, there’s the link at the bottom of the review or in the website’s menu!
      Have a great day 🙂

  15. Mike Seither May 3, 2018

    Definitely going to get an F model, used, when it hits my price zone. I have the original model with 2.0 firmware and a slightly broken S model with no screen I shoot using the viewfinder only. You make me desire the F model and like I said, one day. Your review was filled with great shots, great humor (rare for a really good photographer who posts shots on the internet) and I enjoyed it all. Thanks. Keep it up. We traveled to your city recently and I was driven crazy by what to bring to shoot knowing it was going to rain a good bit (forecasted so anyway). We carried on via Atlanta, Chicago and Dublin and I traveled super light. One camera that made the cut was a Canon G9X. It fits in your pants pocket, easily. It takes amazingly good photos. Just amazing. It’s smaller than a Sony X100 and that’s saying something. I got a used one under 300US. But yeah, Fujifilm rocks and so do you. Like I said, keep it up.

    Some of the pics I took of Paris are on my website. I probably cook them too much but I can’t help myself. Ciao

    1. matteopezzi May 4, 2018

      Thank you very much Mike!
      No wonder about the rain… Always wet around here. Unless the rain is really heavy though I just pretend it doesn’t rain and keep shooting 🙂 Maybe with an umbrella and zone-focusing.
      Tried to go on your website but it’s offline!
      Have a good day 🙂

  16. Rand May 4, 2018

    Thanks for the fun review! I bought the x100F 3 months ago, and use it to shoot street. As a Canon 5D shooter, this little guy takes some getting used to. But it’s growing on me for many of the reasons you mentioned: build quality, AF speed, high ISO quality, stunning images. Learning a second camera “system” — the different ergonomics, menus, button assignments, etc. takes a little time. So I’m still getting my “reps” in. Question for you: one of the interesting features this camera has is the ability to switch to a 50mm and 70mm equivalent focal length with the a twist of the lens ring. We give up some resolution when doing so, but I’m curious what your take this is from a functionality standpoint. I haven’t used it much because, like you I shoot in Raw+JPG and it only works in JPG-only mode. Thanks!

    1. matteopezzi May 4, 2018

      Hi Rand, thank you 🙂
      I come from Canon as well (actually, still am a Canon shooter on the side), agree with you: it takes some time, but once you get used to it you’ll realise that a part from the menu and a couple other things Fuji is very much ahead!
      Never try the 50/70 function as I never shoot jpeg-only, and I like the 35mm fov sorry!

  17. t May 11, 2018

    Hi Matteo,
    Many thanks , switched up to the F from the T after reading your article and haven’t had a minutes regret.
    Thanks also for the suggestions as to how to get the best from the X100f, they’ve worked for me.

    Grazie molto,
    Tony

    1. matteopezzi May 15, 2018

      Prego 🙂
      Sorry I’m a bit late in replying but I’m in Italy without my computer!
      Have fun with the F 🙂
      -Matteo

  18. Rodolfo May 14, 2018

    Hello Matteo,

    that was a very funny & informative article!

    I ordered the camera to have it always with me. Its the perfect blend of retro with hightech..

    Saludos de Stuttgart
    Rodolfo

    1. matteopezzi May 15, 2018

      Thank you Rodolfo, indeed it is 🙂
      Matteo

  19. Peter Gabriel May 15, 2018

    Wow. Great review. Lovely read. Fun! After owning the x100s, which I loved, unforunately sold to get the x100t, which I never really came to terms with (expecting to much maybe), I have now ordered the x100f which will complement my x-pro2, which I in all my naivity hope I can ditch at some point, so I only have the x100f to focus (no pun intended) on.

    Best,
    Peter Gabriel
    Denmark

    Instagram @navlefnuller

    1. matteopezzi May 15, 2018

      Thank you Peter Gabriel! Yeah the T is not much better than the S,the F though is quite better!
      I often dream as well to just keep the X100F and fuck the rest… But I can’t manage to do it, especially for work reasons.
      -Matteo

  20. Andrew May 17, 2018

    Great review

    I do have to disagree about Leica though. I own the X100F and the Leica M10. Yes, Leicas are stupid expensive and yes the X100F is very well built, but hold the X100F next to the M10 and there simply is no comparison.

    M10 sensor doesn’t get any more or less dust on it than any other mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses and a focal plane shutter. The difference is that the Leica doesn’t vibrate the sensor to shake the dust off, which is why most Leica shooters carry a rocket blower with them.

    Leica lenses are amazing. Fuji lenses are very good, but they do not match Leica’s.

    A true rangefinder is a pure delight to use, and there is no substitute. Fuji’s hybrid viewfinder is amazing, but it is not a rangefinder.

    That said, I use my X100F about as often as I use my M10, and while the Leica files are a slight bit better (I credit the glass as much as or more than the sensor), both of them are entirely adequate for everything and anything I might want to shoot.

    1. matteopezzi May 23, 2018

      Hi Andrew, sorry about the super late reply but I was in Italy and didn’t have my computer with me!
      Thank you for the compliment.
      Maybe I wasn’t very clear, but my Leica M9 pictures looked like dalmatians, even right after the sensor cleaning. I had only one lens and never took it off, so the dust was coming from somewhere else. All the people I know who use Leica have this problem. I carried a rocket blower too, but it didn’t serve any purpose, as the sensor would get dirty again in a couple of shots. Really, really frustrating.
      Funny thing is, one of my best friends has just bought an M10 so I played with it a bit last week. It’s really nice, but not 5500€ nicer.
      And it feels like something wrong it’s gonna happen the first time it falls, while my X100 (both the T and the F) fell a few times and kept on working fine, without worrying about rangefinder misalignements or stuff like that.
      Truth be told though, my T died with some champagne on it, but I would say that sugar+alchool+water is a mix that won’t do any good on any camera.
      Call me a fan-boy, but I actually prefere the X100 ergonomics (joystick and iso dial in particular).
      The lenses are amazing though. The rangefinder is really fun, but it makes the framing too imprecise for my taste.
      Have a good day!
      -Matteo

  21. anis paul May 18, 2018

    Salaam(greetings) –

    i dreamed for x100 but couldn’t afford then bought used x100s for $500, inspired by zack arias and david hobby, and kevin mullins went far and even gifted me his amazing book ‘from snap shot to great shot” , i loved this camera beautiful aesthetics, technical brilliant and top most it has a soul that no other camera would dare to claim, essentially grown and learned lot and took many great shots along with really bad ones occasionally, but couldn’t not really understood or satisfied with x100s – then sold it without loss and purchased brandnew x100t in throwaway price of $700 – later sold it for financial reasons with regretful loss – again have been dreaming for x100f but still couldn’t afford to take it, some days ago surprisingly bought x100t only for $330 – now started again taking pictures with mix results – now again im financially down someone offered me $550 for this camera. its insane love hate relationship with this piece of art and technology – what should i do now? let it go with some profit and buy x100f sometimes later and miss it, or keep it and loving it halfheartedly……..looking for golden advice from x-purists here!. (forgot to tell you that im from a place where fujifilm x is still niche product, people have strange feelings and grey thoughts about it ).

    thanks MATTEO PEZZI as you shocked and shaked me for good reasons with this truthful review.
    keep shooting in nostalgia – blessings from Lahore -pakistan

    [email protected]

    1. matteopezzi May 23, 2018

      Ehy Anis Paul! Thank you for all the compliments and sorry about getting back to you so late! I was in Italy without my computer.
      Quite a story!
      I’m not an excellent financial consultant, but if you are financially down I wouldn’t put out more cash for the F.
      Just enjoy the T which is as good as it was when it came out, and when you are more comfortable with your money situation start thinking about the F.
      Btw, you got the T at a fantastic price!
      The F won’t change your life for the better if to buy it you have to increase your $$ worries.
      I wouldn’t have bought it myself if my T weren’t “killed”.
      Sorry again for the late reply, and enjoy the T!
      -Matteo

  22. Marc Baptista May 19, 2018

    Thanks for that exhaustive & punchy review, loved it. I currently use an x-pro2, and my newly ordered F -all black also- will be delivered in the next few days. After reading your article I’m (even more) excited… I suspect my pro2 will not see as much use after this.

    1. matteopezzi May 23, 2018

      Thank you Marc! Have fun! You have a nice kit 🙂

  23. anis paul May 23, 2018

    thanks matteo for your kind and good advice as you have really put yourself into my shoes, sadly you replied late and i sold out my x100t yesterday for $530 – im already started to missing it, but that’s okay its life and, show must go on!

    regards with out regrets

    anis

    1. matteopezzi May 24, 2018

      Hope you can buy an F in the future! If you needed the money it was a good move anyway to buy for 350 and sell for 530!
      Good luck 🙂
      -Matteo

  24. Thomas Zimmermann May 30, 2018

    Thank you Matteo for this review.

    This is the last review I will read on it and I will now buy the camera. My original X100 was good when my girl was born 6 years ago, but now she and her little sister never sit still for more than 2 seconds, about as long as it takes to focus.
    The X100F should be just right. I love your statement that it should be a camera for people and cherished memories, that’s exactly what I want.
    And I agree, there is something intangible about the image. Whenever I look at a picture I have taken, I will know instantly whether it was the Fuji or not.
    So thanks again, Matteo, I enjoyed reading and will check out your blog and photos.

    Kind Regards
    Tom Zimmermann

    1. matteopezzi May 30, 2018

      Thank you for your kind words Thomas!
      Maybe just try it in advance in a shop, it’s galaxies ahead of the original x100 but might be not your piece of cake! (although I doubt it 🙂 )
      If you want you can subscribe to my newsletter, there’s the link at the bottom of the review or in the website’s menu!
      Have a good day! 🙂
      -Matteo

  25. Frank June 8, 2018

    Hey, thanks for a lovely review. I’ve been shooting with Canons for 20 years, but have kind of lapsed and have been looking for something smaller, yet capable. Going climbing (again) in Nepal at the end of the year and previous trips there have always produced great photos, but lugging around a big DSLR at altitude isn’t too fun since you feel every gram twice. I _just_ put an order out for x100f, based on this article. It looks small enough that it stays put inside a down suit and given that we’re going to be sub-8000m, it looks like something I can just use with nimble liner gloves.

    1. matteopezzi June 9, 2018

      Thank you Frank! It’s definetely super small, but since your use of it it’s gonna be quite extreme the only thing I wouldn’t be 100% sure of is whether you need a better weather sealing or not… A part from that, have fun 🙂 Glad you liked it

      1. Frank June 13, 2018

        Cheers Matteo – I already noticed couple of ingenious DYI weather proofing things which involve a ziplock bag, so that should be good enough 🙂

        1. matteopezzi June 14, 2018

          Good luck then 🙂

  26. Paul M June 14, 2018

    Excellent and very enjoyable review.

    I’m about to pull the trigger on the X100F and this may have tipped me over the edge. Thank you!

    I currently have the X100S, which I’ve had for a good few years now. Like you, I also shoot Canon and still have an old 5DII that I’ve had for nearly eight years. I had wanted to upgrade it with a second hand 5DIII but think I will upgrade the X100 instead. I don’t find as much use anymore for the bulkier 5D, and don’t get out enough for landscape photography. These days I much prefer the lighter more portable setup, as well as the inconspicuousness that the X100 brings.

    1. matteopezzi June 14, 2018

      Hi Paul glad you liked it!
      Had a 5d mk ii once as well, I think there’s more difference between the x100s and the f than between the 5d mk ii and iii!
      So maybe you can keep the mk ii and buy the F?
      I saw from your website that photography is not your main job, the F makes more sense to me for you!
      Have fun 🙂
      -Matteo

  27. Stephen Barling June 16, 2018

    Great review. Fun read. I totally agree with your enthusiasm for this little wonder camera. Mine goes with me everywhere. When possible I use it for the odd journalism job. I had the S and shot beautiful pics with the thing for years even though auto focus was worthless, leaving me working in manual focus at all times. Still, an incredible camera with beautiful color rendering. The F improves on all this dramatically. I actually love face recognition. It’s not for all the time, but it works great when I need it.

    I have a couple quibbles with the design – I’ve set all controls to work from the front and rear dials, so now I can control everything like a DSLR without ever pulling the camera from my face. I prefer this so much I’d like the same camera without the silly dials. Oh sorry, you’re using those! Okay, we can keep them. (By the way, what’s exposure compensation for? People who want to be half manual? They trust the camera, but only so much? I don’t get it. Certainly don’t need a giant knob for that. It always gets knocked and changes setting. Useless to me.)

    My dream firmware upgrade would be an easier way to go to AUTO ISO. I always shoot manual, but if I want to go auto, that’s the setting I want and there’s no way to set it to a fn button. You have to dig through the bloody menus. Lameness.

    I totally agree about menus on the rear screen. It’s a no-brainer. Let me shoot with EVF, press MENU and have it come up on the rear screen. Perfect! FUJI, are you listening?

    A couple months ago, the battery indicator started showing 1%. I thought my charger/battery had failed. Nope. The camera now always shows low battery. Shoots for days at 1%. Great. Not sure how I’m going to resolve that. For now, I’m just ignoring it.

    Anyway, thanks for this. Keep on shooting!

    -Barling

    1. matteopezzi June 17, 2018

      Hey Stephen glad you liked the review!
      I somehow don’t trust face rec but maybe I should try it!
      I like the metal dials, and when I shoot aperture priority it’s useful coupled with the evf for me. Agree though that it should be a bit stiffer.
      About auto iso, if you keep the iso dial on “A” you can change them with the front dial, and auto iso is bottom right, maybe it’s not super fast but you can turn the dial to the right for half a second and it should make it!
      I doubt they’ll ever change the Evf/menu thing, apparently a part from you and me no one else iis bothered by it 🙂
      The battery thing is a bit weird, maybe you should have it checked!
      Thank you again for the comment!
      Matteo

  28. Egil June 20, 2018

    I`m a little late to the party, but wow, this was a fun read. I actually have a x100f arriving in the mail in a few days, and your article mentioned a few of the features I`ve been somewhat concerned about.

    The lens is relatively old, but so what? My most used lens the last months has been a MF vintage nikkor. I actually do wish it had WR, which I think we will first see in combination with a new lens. I`m very excited about testing the AF speed. Hope it`s relatively snappy. Thanks again!

    – Egil

    1. matteopezzi June 21, 2018

      Thank you Egil, glad you liked it and was useful for you!
      I’m not an engineer so I can’t really sa what’s next…
      Talking about the lens, I’m perfectly fine with them keeping the same lens forever 🙂
      -Matteo

  29. Gideon June 23, 2018

    Hey Matteo!

    Firstly…… such a good review! thank you!!
    I’m also from New Zealand and I also own a sony camera (a6000) I’ve read so many reviews (that are half as good as yours) on this camera, I’ve also gone into a camera store and had a feel of this camera itself and I’m sold. Even though this camera packs a punch in terms of cameras specs, I’ve gone from caring about megapixels etc to having something that is just exciting to shoot with. I’m currently selling my sony alpha6000 so I can get my hands on one of these bad boys! Thanks again, subscribed and looking forward to your future work! peaceee

    1. matteopezzi June 25, 2018

      Hey Gideon thank you for the nice comment & for subscribing!
      Sorry for getting back late to you but for some reasons your comment ended up in the spam comment folder, the filter is not perfect!
      I know that feeling of being sold eheh 🙂
      Hope you’ll have fun with it and have a great week!
      -Matteo

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