“At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.
Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:
Toshi Iida, General Manager.
Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager.
Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.…”
Fujifilm GFX 50R with Fujinon GF 63mm f/2.8 R LM WR lens, equivalent to 50mm in 35mm format.
Fujifilm X-T3 with VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom lens.
“My earliest memories of X100 was at a shopping mall. I was walking pass an electronic store and on display was a gorgeous camera. I actually stop and spend a little moment admiring how good looking it was. It was a Fujifilm camera. Wow. I have never own the original X100. I have used a X100s and owned a X100T and now a X100F.
The X100 series is always special to me. I love the design of it. Kudos to the designer; whom I have the privilege to meet on two occasion. Thank you Masazumi Imai; you have design a timeless looking camera that is loved by photographers all over the world….”
The X100 was the first camera that showed me I was going to love digital photography, after too many dodgy and disappointing premium compacts, bridge cameras and DSLRs.
I ordered one immediately and have loved it from the day it eventually arrived.
“I was shooting street photography before I encountered X100, but ever since I held one in my hand, I simply have not been able to let it go.
The perfect fit in my hand, quick response, high image quality, and independent dials for shutter speed and aperture…. the list goes on and on. The camera is compact and has all the features I need to capture moments with quickness and ease.
The 35mm equivalent angle of view is exactly what I need for my street photography. I do not need any additional cameras….”
“In my last video I went through my bag of lights. For this video I walk you through my bag of cameras and lenses. I’ve spent a lot of time streamlining my gear to the essentials and it has really helped clear my head and make life easier for me. I was constantly moving from bag to bag and one set up to another depending on the job at hand. I wanted to simplify my photographic life to a bag of cameras and a bag of lights.
While I feel my bag of lights is complete, I’m not so sure yet about my bag of cameras. I’d really like to add the Fuji GFX to this kit to be a back up to the Phase One and to be my run-n-gun camera. I’m still trying to decide if that will be the best option for me and the work I do….”
Fujifilm kicked off a global digital photography revolution when it released the X100 fixed prime lens rangefinder-style mirrorless camera in 2011 at a time when digital photography was dominated by big DSLRs made by the then two biggest camera manufacturers.
How things have changed, in some quarters at least. DSLRs still dominate the local newspaper industry but most photojournalists and documentary photographers of my acquaintance here and overseas left the DSLR world for the mirrorless realm some years ago.
Little wonder. Recently I showed a DSLR-dedicated friend one of my mirrorless cameras and he began wondering why he had put up with his DSLRs’ heaviness and old-world features for so long.
With Fujifilm’s announcement of the X100 series’ fourth iteration, the longevity of the original X100’s concept is demonstrated yet again.
The original X100 is a camera I use to this very day, especially when needing to be extra discrete, even more invisible than usual.
That original X100 has ably handled demonstrations, protests, festivals, conferences, travel and urban documentary projects.
Its autofocus is slow compared to the current generation of mirrorless cameras but not impossibly so, and its sensor is far from the biggest going, but the old adage holds true, that you only need 6 megapixels for a double-page spread or a single-page portrait.
Exhibition prints and 48-sheet posters are another thing altogether but Fujifilm now has those bases amply covered with its GFX 50S medium format masterpiece.
Moving up a notch
The X100F has moved up a notch to the same sensor as its X-Pro2 and X-T2 sisters, all 24.3 megapixels of it, and that is something of a minor miracle in such an affordable, professional-quality, small-bodied camera.
We are lucky to be living in the digital photography age, one no longer beset by golfball grain and beautiful though ultra-slow films – Kodachrome 25 and Panatomic-X anyone? – if the project demands sharpness and high resolution.
That a camera the size of the X100F can deliver image quality rivalling if not surpassing Fujifilm’s analog era mirrorless or SLR-based GX680 series 120-format cameras, especially when using faster films in them, is no small miracle.
I can see why photojournalism-style wedding photographer Kevin Mullins will be adopting an X100F alongside his two X-Pro2s equipped with XF 23mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.2 lenses as part of his core wedding photojournalism kit.
It’s all black for me
Mr Mullins’ style is based on almost-straight-out-of-camera (almost-SOOC) JPEGs with his JPEG settings dialled down for a gritty hardness perhaps partially inspired by great British photographer Bill Brandt, but Mr Mullins’ photographs are almost grain-, or in reality digital noise- free.
Like Mr Mullins, I would definitely choose a black X100F over the silver one for its contribution to a photographer’s anonymity and near-invisibility.
Like him also, I consider the X100F as a complement to the X-Pro2, a fixed lens camera with the advantages that fixed lenses can bestow such as leaf shutter, high-speed flash sync, built-in ND filter and small form factor.
X100F and X-Pro2 compared
Photographs are not to scale.
Accessories for the X100F
There are three Fujifilm-brand accessories I consider essentials for the X100F, the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens, the TCL-X100 II Tele Conversion Lens and an L-grip.
I would also add a Peak Design Clutch and Cuff camera strap pair, the latter a wrist-strap and the former a hand-strap, both ensuring good grip and safety if the camera falls out of your hand.
I have yet to see a Fujifilm brand L-grip for the X100F, similar to the FUHGX100T grip for its three predecessors, make its appearance online but surely it is a matter of time. I have used the X100 with and without this hand grip and, given the camera’s tiny built-in grip and slippery surface, consider it a necessity. Otherwise a few third-party alternatives will doubtless be available soon.
As usual, the proof of the pudding is in the trying and I look forward to giving an X100F a good roadtest sometime in the near future. For those who enjoy specs charts, a specifications spreadsheet PDF is available further down this page.
Meanwhile, I wish to hail the Fujifilm X100F as the rightful heiress to the classic that the X100 was in its day, and that may itself be a future classic in the waiting.
Fujifilm’s global YouTube.com channel FUJIFILMGlobal appears not have received the memo about female gender equality in its product videos given that all fifteen of its video feature male photographers with not one woman photographer in sight.
On the other hand, the Fuji Guys Channel run by Fujifilm employees based in several different countries including Australia has featured two female photographers so far, both in the USA.
Let’s hope more videos featuring women appear very soon, with at least one of them being Australian.