Gear Reviews

Gear Review: we just met, but I’m in love with my Fuji X100

it’s here. my fujifilm x100. moments after taking it from it’s lovely packaging i was out and about making images. the design of this tool is absolutely top notch. thework flow is straight forward and hassle free. the image quality is wonderful, and the features are plentiful. normally i’d wait a bit longer before writing up a review, but i just couldn’t wait to spread the word!

The Quick

if you’re a serious photographer desperately wanting a compact AND high quality tool… this is the camera you’ve been waiting for. in the dense market of small compact cameras the x100 is (IMO) the king. sell your silly little p7000, G12,or GH2. screw your beloved olympus ep2, and Leica gear is too expensive, and the x100 stomps all over the x1. no doubt other camera makers are hot on the heels of Fuji’s masterpiece, but for now this thing is the camera to beat.

The Build

okay, so lets start the details with the overall build quality and design. Fuji is very proud of their hard work. you can read through the design phases here. their main goal? “Achieving uncompromising performance and maintaining a compact design.” I can confidently say they most certainly achieved that goal. from the moment you pick this baby up you can intuitively change any major setting without having to dive into menus. the body is solid, but not heavy. you can easily carry this around all day every day. i even had it strapped around my back with a light jacket on and it was hidden perfectly.

The Use

let’s break this down into easy pro and con lists


  • it’s gorgeous and comfortable to hold.
  • very sharp wide open (f/2) as long as you’re not in macro mode (however macro isn’t too terrible)
  • the Optical View Finder and Electronic View Finder hybrid are a dream. totally totally awesome and probably my favorite part of the camera. the OVF is gigantic and the overlaying exposure, focus, and random camera info is divine. It also has a nifty feature that realigns the overlaid framing box depending on where you focus to compensate for parallax. easily convert your optical view finder to an electronic view finder by flicking the front switch and you instantly get the exact same view from the large screen in your little eye piece.
  • focus is FAST, and mostly accurate depending on how much light you have. the AF assist works well too.
  • iso is CLEAN. I can shoot up to 5000 fairly comfortably, but it can be pushed to 12,800.
  • it’s super quiet.
  • shutter lag is not an issue – at all.
  • battery life is fantastic. i’ve only charged it once and still have a totally full charge :)
  • i can finally use the SD slots that Apple seems to be in love with.


  • don’t even put the CD it comes with in your computer drive. the fuji “finepix” software is probably the worst thing since windows ME. yes, i know you want to utilize the RAW images from this beaut, but until lightroom, photoshop and aperture have been updated you can use Raw Developer, or this free Raw converterto mess with your images.
  • manual focus isn’t exactly a dream. it’s a nightmare. it’s not a feature i’ll be using very much as it requires a certain amount of light to respond quickly… odd considering the auto focus is very snappy. it’s implemented like this: the software detects how quickly the ring is turned. when it’s turned slowly, the focus motor adjusts focus very slowly. when the ring is turned saaaay twice as fast, instead of adjusting focus twice as fast the motor adjusts focus four times as fast. great idea in concept, however it doesn’t work well at all. hopefully a firmware update will help with this.
  • in video mode rolling shutter is a annoying and obvious when quickly panning… a common issue with these types of sensors.
  • the jog wheel and menu/ok button are kind of small. the menu button in particular is hard to confidently press without looking until you’ve shot with it a while.


i have processed these images using my normal work flow in lightroom. these are not straight out of camera. sorry if that pisses some of you off, but i wanted to see how the pictures looked after i do what i normally do to my shots. there are ump-teen other reviews that show off the brick wall, iso, sharpness, and color tests so just google to find them.

okay, so lets look at bokeh examples:

The Tips

to quickly toggle in and out of macro shooting:

  • way 1) while holding the camera to your eye you can tap the left button twice then half press the shutter to enter/leave macro. you don’t have to press OK or take the camera away from your eye.
  • way2) my preferred option – push the focus selector up to MF with your left hand and press the AFL button with your right hand (auto focus in manual mode) and you’ll get a solid macro lock. another advantage is that you can do this in OVF without jumping to EVF. works much better than “proper” macro – very reliable and the frame lines will jump to parallax correct when you half depress the shutter.
  • to quickly engage silent mode just hold the “DISP/BACK” button for a few seconds.

and here is a bunch of random photos i’ve taken over the past few days with it:

The Conclusion

if you’re able to buy one of these… do it. there are mass delays in shipping due to the disaster in Japan. i’ve seen them as high as $2500 on ebay, but new in a retail store they’ll run you $1200, which IMO is an extremely good deal. i’ve often come across busy professional photographers who say “i don’t shoot any personal work anymore.” i’m not totally sure why that happens to many photogs, but i can tell you that carrying this camera around is SO MUCH MORE convenient than my d3s. the best camera is the one you have with you and though an iphone shot is fun… the X100 is an actual legitimate tool.

i’ve read a lot of other user reviews at this point and though the majority of them seem to be glowing… there are a few that seem to hate the camera. well, this is what i think of them:



If you’re a serious photographer desperately wanting a compact AND high quality tool… this is the camera you’ve been waiting for.

  • Price
  • In my gear bag?

Blog Comments

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  1. Awesome post Sam. I want one even more now!

  2. amazing! I can’t wait to get one.

  3. Sam, good on ya for doing this review. Great examples and deets – totally lusting after one of these.

  4. Great review. Lots of unique points from the dozens of reviews already out there. Can’t wait to get mine. I have it pre-ordered at 3 stores. Hopefully one of them comes through.

  5. You’ve totally sold me! Now I just have to find one :(

    That’s the only thing that I don’t love about my D3S … that I don’t have it with me all of the time for personal work.

    This might be the solution that I’ve been looking for!

  6. Kim Kleven says:

    Thank you sir!
    A very interesting read, I`ll keep checking my mailbox.


  7. It looks like an old camera :) .. Just kidding, I think I’ll get one as well to replace my GF1.

  8. wow. I love my G12, but this camera here – this has got style…

  9. Always dig your review man, can’t buy it cause I can’t even use my digital camera!

  10. oooh that is pretty darn impressive. Stop it – you are making me feel like I need to spend more and my wallet does not agree! Thank you so much for taking the time to review it :)

  11. haha I take photos of my leg when I’m testing things out to.
    I really want one of these, don’t think I can get my hands on one for a few months though …
    Great review of a great camera.

  12. your processing is so beautiful, sam. the pictures look super super professional. someone needs to buy me this camera ;-)

  13. This blog post completes me. I’m so bloody jealous of anyone who wields this nugget of a camera, and now I’m convinced about getting one. Thanks for the great roundup!

  14. great review! even more tempted by one of these now!

  15. I’m so jealous! I want one, great review!

  16. Shit, I WANT ONE NOW! Your images are I think the best I´ve seen from the X100!

  17. Dude, solid review. IT looks like a fine piece of work (except for the macro) but that is not a huge turn off.

    Worth looking into for a carry around camera for sure!

  18. Great photos and review Sam, thanks. Oh, and thanks for making me crave this – there goes the budget… ;-)

  19. Are you getting commission? Wasn’t sure I wanted one before, but you’ve killed any doubts.

  20. I love mine also! Great review, it matches my thoughts very closely. I can’t WAiT for LightRoom to get compatibility, though I think the Jpgs are my favorite of any camera I’ve used.

  21. Damn, those picture look like shot on film :o)
    I’ve been waiting for it for quite some time, and placed my order weeks ago, can’t wait to finally get it. Thanks for your article and beautiful – inspiring – pictures.

  22. I’m not sure how you can say it stomps all over the X1 after posting the images you did. The X100 is nice, but don’t dismiss a camera you’ve never tried.

  23. These photos are gorgeoussss! I’m so bummed that B&H said they weren’t going to have any in stock anytime soon.

  24. My X100 will make a great companion will to my Leica. Got mine last week and the hood today. So far it’s fun to use and the bonus are the great images. I can’t wait for Aperature to process the raw files


  25. I love love love that cherry tree shot! Thanks for sharing the results with us. :)

  26. Good review Sam. I’m fiending for one badly.

  27. Great review Sam! Thanks for taking the time. Now to just get my hands on one!

  28. Thanks for this rev. Really helped me make up my mind to go ahead and pick this sweet cam up. Expecting delivery tomorrow! (Lucky me I happened to hit B& today after reading your rev and it was in stock! Ordered straight away; 10 minutes later it’s out of stock again)

  29. Pamela "Kate" Hurd says:


  30. Great review, love the new website. I WANT ONE OF THESE SO BAD!!!

  31. Hi Sam, thanks for sharing your experience. :) Would you use this camera in a wedding?

  32. I have to admit that not being a “gearhead” I kinda ignored most discussions about that camera…but now that i’ve simply seen the exterior of it (for the first time, i admit..) I want one!!
    Gorgeous little thing!! :)

    I might get back tocarrying a camera instead of just an iphone as my work cameras and lenses are just too heavy..


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