Fuji X100S - A few months in kind of review. / by John Wellings

Lets get something straight, I'm not a pixel peeping, chart posting reviewer kind of guy. Those sort of reviews make my brain feel like it's splitting in two.I'm more from the real world, how does it "feel", does it work in actual working conditions vibe.

Before taking the not insubstantial step of committing to buy the Fuji X100S I had done my own, not so scientific research. Reviews posted by Zack Arias and David Hobby (Strobist) had both got me stupidly excited for this camera, and I'm not usually interested in getting hyped over gear.

Short background info before we continue: I started off shooting on film, b+w, hand developing/printing then got seduced by digital. Went and studied photography at university where film once again became dominant in my work. Fast forward a short while after that and I tend to shoot most things digitally with a small amount of personal medium format work on a Mamiya 7ii.

When Fuji released the original X100 my interest was sparked. I loved its look, the appeal of having something that aesthetically looked and felt like a 'real' camera was a huge factor to me. I remember at the time looking at reviews and the things that are quite important to me such as focus and speed seemed to be its limiting factors which basically put me off.

Homage to Greg Funnell, he took a similar shot here and it's better. - Fuji X100S

Which brings us to the new model. It's been written by other dudes with larger readerships and more years in the game than I, that Fuji seem to be a company that listens to it's customers and for the most part, addressed all of the concerns and issues surrounding the original X100.

Riders in Ogmore - (This is a massive crop by the way) - Fuji X100S

Within a couple of days I knew this was now the main camera I would reach for when leaving the house, and here's why;

  • Size/Weight - I never used to bother taking the 5D anywhere, it's a pain the ass. The X100, you barely even notice it's on your shoulder, at times I need to touch it to make sure it's still there

  • Image Quality - It's as good as the Canon 5D Mkiii. To be fair I haven't done any serious lab comparisons here, just that I've used them both on jobs and can't tell the files apart. the X-Trans sensor has a quality of its own. It also feels easier to get sharper images with the X100S, which brings us onto the next point.

  • Focusing - With all the noise about the previous models focusing issues I was at first a little sceptical  I needn't have been, the X100S barely ever misses focus and the manual focusing, something that was apparently near impossible on the previous model works like a dream. Having said this it's not on a par with high end DSLR's for all out speed.

  • Appearance - It looks amazing. It feels like a proper camera. I don't need to elaborate on this, if you don't what I mean maybe it's not for you.

  • The THING - This is what a camera does that can't be easily explained. It's just how this camera makes you feel, right now I'm sat here typing this and I can see it out of the corner of my eye, sitting on the scanner.....you know what I mean.
Boss dude, London. - Fuji X100S
Dog, not happy. - Fuji X100S

River vibes, Wales. - Fuji X100S

Yes it's fixed lens, but 35mm is a good workable focal length, without the fixed lens you're then into XPro-1 territory. I've read about other photographers starting to switch over to using the Fuji system cameras exclusively, not something I'm thinking of just yet, but this is on my shoulder and in my bag when im out on jobs thats for sure.

I'm still a little precious with it and as such haven't taken it out to any pubs/gigs etc and I still need to pick up a decent leather case, but I can see this camera being a firm favourite of mine for some time to come.

You can see more daily snaps taken with the Fuji over at my tumblr by clicking here.