5 min read
Technology changes very rapidly, and at times it can be difficult to try to keep up. This camera is 10 years old, and in many ways it feels like it. However, it can produce incredible results that match or best some newer cameras.
This is a brief summary of my Video review, if you want the whole piece, watch the review linked at the bottom of the blog post.
2010 Specs in 2021
I don't normally like to talk about specs, but in this case we have to. Besides, I didn't remember any of the specs, so I needed to refresh my memory.
- 12.3MP Aps-c CMOS sensor
- Hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder
- Leaf Shutter
- Built-in ND filter
- 23mm fixed lens (35mm equivalent in full frame.
- ISO range: 100-6400
These settings give the camera incredible image quality for today's standards, and the rangefinder style viewfinder is critical to get you immersed in your craft in my opinion.
Comparison are not always helpful...
I've talked about this before, but I only upgrade cameras if the changes are significant enough justify it. I said that in my x100v review, and I mean it.
So I very quickly realized that comparing this camera to anything else is not the way to go, by default it will be worse than pretty much everything else that came after that era.
So let's get it out of the way, this camera will be slower than any smartphone, or any other somewhat modern camera, but the image quality and the results, are incredible.
If you are willing to slow down, take your time and treat it almost like a film camera, you will be rewarded with incredible photographs.
Slowing down is not optional
When I say to slow down and take your time, I don't mean it as a style or preference. It's almost mandatory if you're coming from newer/faster cameras.
The camera takes forever to turn on, to back button focus, to review the images, to auto focus, to change settings in the menu, and move your focusing point. If you are not compatible with that style or philosophy, then you'll be frustrated, miss shots and moments, and even perhaps resent this camera.
However, I personally think this is actually one of the most important pros about this camera, it gets you into the right rhythm, to take your craft seriously, to think before pressing the shutter release, to be intentional. Almost as if you were shooting with a film camera.
Feel and usability
The build quality is great, feels sturdy and solid, Aperture ring on the lens like all the other x100 cameras, at the top you have a shutter speed dial and a shutter compensation dial.
You have two custom function button, one at the top, and the "RAW" button as well. I have set to the top function button change my ISO, and the raw button to enable the Built-in ND filter.
The electronic viewfinder is good enough, and I can customize it with extra info like a histogram, or electronic level, and other settings as well which is great.
The battery is fairly small, and the camera is so old, that you can forget about finding original replacement batteries. Those are discontinued and you can only find cheap 3rd party batteries.
However, if you plan to shoot with the optical viewfinder, then the battery will last all day, I've tried this myself, not an issue at all.
Only 12 Megapixels
You can still get good results from a 12mp sensor. Newer cameras like the Sony a7s III also have a 12 mp sensor as well, so resolution is not everything.
The ISO tops at 6400, but I suggest to never go over 3200 to get cleaner files, since the noise can be noticeable at times.
The camera is missing some of my favourite film simulations, like ACROS and Classic chrome, however, like most Fujifilm cameras, it has great colour and it grades well too, in fact I would suggest taking a look at the raw files, and trying to get a bit more out of your photos if possible.
The lens can be a bit soft at F2, and while shooting at the minimum focus distance as well, so I would recommend to stop down on your aperture, or avoid macro-like photography.
Who is this camera for?
If you're serious about photography, and you want to invest in gear that will help you get started or advance your craft and your skills, Then this is it.
The combination of the budget price and amazing image quality and results make this camera ideal for people starting out their photography journey, or at the very least committing to getting serious and getting good.
Summary and link to the Video Review
So, that's the X100, and incredible camera with some quirks, and slower speed that offer outstanding image quality and results. Overall I really enjoyed using it, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering purchasing a camera.
Watch the full review here