by Mark Condon
As the founder of Shotkit, I’m in the fortunate position to have access to virtually any photography related product. Being a huge fan of the Fujifilm X Series cameras and lenses, I’ve handled every camera and lens in the line up.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F4 – ISO 640
Herein lies the one thing that I actually dislike about the Fujifilm –series – there are just too many great cameras and lenses to choose from! With functionality which overlaps between camera models and excellent image quality across the board, choosing a Fujifilm X Series camera is a somewhat challenging process…
After almost a year of umming and ahing and reading countless online reviews (like this one on my own site!), I finally settled on one camera – the Fujifilm X100F.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/220 second – F4 – ISO 200
In this guest post, I’d like to go into the 3 main reasons why I decided upon this understated fixed lens camera as my camera of choice, and ultimately decided it was the best travel camera of 2017.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/2000 second – F2.5 – ISO 320
It’s no surprise that the number one reason for dSLR shooters to move to the mirrorless camera format is due to the smaller size of the camera and/or lenses.
All the camera bodies in the Fujifilm X Series line-up are smaller and lighter than dSLRs with equivalent APS-C sensors. This makes them very attractive to anyone who carries their gear for long periods of time, particularly professionals.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F2 – ISO 640
In the Fujifilm X Series lineup, the Fujifilm X100F isn’t the smallest and lightest camera, but to me, its size and weight are perfect.
I have rather large hands, so anything smaller than this camera feels far too fiddly to use. In addition, I believe that a camera body needs to have a certain weight to it to be used effectively. The proportions of the X100F provide great balance in the hand, and its weight is reassuring – not too light to feel like a toy, but not too heavy to be cumbersome.
Another important factor that contributes to the compact size of the Fujifilm X100F is its fixed lens, which leads me on to point number 2.
Having written extensively about the best Fujifilm lenses, I feel somewhat hypocritical choosing a camera which uses a fixed lens! With all that stellar Fujifilm glass on offer, why would I choose a camera with a fixed lens?!
Tying in with the point above, whilst I do love the Fujifilm (interchangeable) lenses, they do add size and weight to any Fujifilm camera body. Even the smallest, lightest Fujifilm prime lens will add bulk on to the front of the camera. Whether or not this is relevant to you is questionable, but for me, I love the fact that the Fujifilm X100F is (and will always be)… compact!
Fujifilm X100F – 1/1900 second – F5.6 – ISO 200
Aside from the size benefit of using a compact camera with one fixed lens, there are 2 other less obvious advantages of the XF23mmF2 lens of the Fujifilm X100F.
The first is somewhat subjective, but I absolutely love the images that are produced by the combination of this lens and the camera. I’m sure the boffins at Fujifilm HQ can elaborate, but there’s something about this combination that seems to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F4 – ISO 320
I’ve shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 with a Fujinon XF23mmF2 WR lens attached, and whilst it’s an excellent combo, the Fujifilm X100F still beats it for me.
The other advantage is also slightly subjective, but having a fixed lens helps you improve as a photographer faster than any other accessory. Anyone who shoots with prime lenses (as opposed to zooms) will tell you something similar, but having a fixed focal length really allows you to visualise your scene and composition much easier, even before lifting the viewfinder to your eye.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/500 second – F4 – ISO 200
By having a prime lens that’s literally fixed to your camera body forever, you’ll get really good at this, and start seeing the world in 35mm. Also, by limiting your options with only one lens, you’ll push yourself harder to innovate and experiment with your photography – after all, restrictions encourage creativity.
In my opinion, the Fujifilm X100F is the best looking camera available today. I have to say that all the X Series cameras look good, but for me, the Fujifilm X100F stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I used to own a black and silver Fujifilm X100S and received compliments on it wherever I went. When I upgraded to the Fujifilm X100F, I chose the all black version, and absolutely love how it looks.
I don’t receive many compliments on it anymore, but perhaps this is due to the fact that it’s more inconspicuous in jet black, which makes it perfect for photographing unnoticed, helping to achieve candid and natural-looking shots.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/250 second – F3.5 – ISO 200
The way a camera looks may seem insignificant, but I believe it’s actually very important. Whilst it bears no correlation to the image produced, having a camera that gives you pleasure to see and hold will make you more likely to pick it up and use.
Out of all the cameras I own, the Fujifilm X100F is the only one I display proudly in the open, as opposed to keeping it stuffed away in a camera bag. I actually have it hanging on a hook in my living room (much to my wife’s dismay!) It’s always the first camera I reach for when I need to capture a moment, and I never grow tired of looking at it.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/160 second – F2 – ISO 250
The other reasons I love my Fujifilm X100F are the features shared with most of the other cameras in the X Series line-up, including the excellent JPEG and RAW image quality; impressive high ISO performance; fun film simulations; fast auto-focus; fast start-up time, and much more.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/280 second – F4 – ISO 200
Fujifilm X100F – 1/420 second – F7.1 – ISO 200
It’s been a long process to find the one camera to document all my precious moments, but I’m confident I’ve chosen wisely with the Fujifilm X100F.
Fujifilm X100F – 1/1700 second – F6.4 – ISO 200
Guest review by Mark Condon, wedding photographer , author and founder of Shotkit.
Same here Mark…
There’s just something about the X100F that is good stuff…leaf shutter, fill flash, ND filter, etc. Goes with me everywhere.
As a street (i.e kids. travel and ‘art’) rather than a studio photographer, I couldn’t agree more with your approach. After using my X100s for the past four years I have moved on to Fujifilm’s T2 and T20, each with a prime lens (23mm and 56mm). In doing so I have gone back to the 1970s when I carried two identical Pentax SLRs, one with a 35mm lens and the other with the fantastic 105mm lens. Combining this with the fact that film was expensive, I had to learn the technique of ‘see a photo, grab camera, take a photo’. ONE photo. I still do this today and go for that one shot, rarely using the 8fps that may be available. I wouldn’t trade my Fujifilm cameras for quids and enjoy all the stuff that Fujifilm cram into my inbox.
Love it to – but to soft wide open – not really sharp until 5.6
I’ve never seen this to be true at all. I’ve never heard someone who owns it and uses it echo this either.
I disagree to that point. If you nail the focus, its sharp even at f2. 8.
Thanks for the visual photos your camera can produce. No need for pixel peeping here just great photography. Do you have ant special settings to get that beautiful blue water and sky shots ? In camera or PP programs. Thanks again
[…] These photos were taken with a Fuji X100F, a camera I named the best mirrorless camera for travel of the year on a guest post I wrote for Fujifilm Australia. […]
[…] OM-D EM-5 Mark II review); switched over to APS-C (see my thoughts on the Fujifilm X100F on the Fujifilm blog); and even brought my full frame DSLRs on the odd holiday […]
Am I missing something? I am researching cameras for the street and this sounded great until i zoomed in on the photos and not a one of them was sharp. Look at the ice cream container enlarged. I know many many people LOVE this camera so I’m thinking it must be something else such as me looking at these photos on my iphone over the internet. I mean no disrespect, I am just confusd. I used to be very active back in the Nikon FM 2 days so obviously everything has changed since then. So seiously, if you zoom in on that ice cream container is it sharp? Thanks.
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