This is a summary of my YouTube Video Review, posted on Jan 8, 2021. You can watch the whole piece linked at the bottom of the blog post.
Technology changes very rapidly and at times it can be difficult to try to keep up. The X100 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.
2010 Specs in 2021
I don't normally like to talk about specs but in this case, we have to. The camera is over 10 years old and 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 3 stop 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.
Comparisons Are Not Always Helpful...
I've talked about this before, but I only upgrade cameras if the changes are significant enough to justify it. I said that in my X100V review, and I mean it.
So I 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.
As long as you are willing to slow down, take your time and treat it almost like a film camera then 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 preview the images, to autofocus, 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, you'll miss shots and moments, and even perhaps resent this camera.
However, I personally think that this is actually one of the most important pros of 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.
Camera Feel & Usability
The build quality is great, feels sturdy and solid, the aperture ring on the lens is 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 buttons, an "Fn" 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 12mp sensor as well, so resolution is not everything.
The ISO tops at 6400, but I suggest never going 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 wide open at F2, and while shooting at the minimum focus distance as well, so I would recommend stopping down on your aperture or avoiding 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 your creative journey 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.
If you recently got one and you're wondering how to set it up and customize it to your liking, then check out this post & video as well. We'll go over the initial setup, firmware update, custom settings and shooting settings as well.
Summary & Link To The Full Video Review
So, that's the X100, an 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 YouTube Review here: