A X100S review: One Year Later

                    The camera that challenged me to be a better photographer

This is my first entry into the blogosphere. I will not get very technical or go into detail on specs in this review. There are many reviewers out there who cover that aspect, and they do a great job. What I will talk about is how this fun little compact camera consistently offers me a satisfying shooting experience. 

This is the ideal camera to carry with you at all times, and it is excellent for street photography and candid work. You can easily stay in stealth mode and just snap away, thanks to the silent leaf shutter. The Fujinon 23mm lens(equivalent to 35mm on a full frame sensor) is very fast and sharp.

Fuji's APS-C sensor produces great image quality and performs well at high ISO under low light conditions. 

Taken at ISO 1600

Taken at ISO 1600

The overall build quality is very high, and all the control dials feel sturdy and well-made. The attractive range finder style body appeals to fans of vintage and film cameras. 

The fixed focal length is something I had to get used to. I've now come to appreciate the 35mm prime lens. It helps me become more conscious about composition and framing and it allows me to get a different perspective. The prime lens won't be for everyone, but I would encourage all photographers to take on the challenge of using only the 35mm or even the 50mm for a extended period of time. As crazy as it sounds, the limitation is liberating in a way, it forces you to think fast on your feet and to find creative ways to compose. For those of you that cannot live with the 35mm focal length, there is a wide angle converter that will give you the equivalent of 28mm, I carry the converter in my bag when travelling, you get the same high quality images with the converter on. 

Taken with the WCL-X100 installed

Taken with the WCL-X100 installed

The hybrid viewfinder is state of the art, but personally I tend to use the EVF(Electric Viewfinder)more often. I find the EVF lag to be minimal and tolerable, and I like the what you see is what you get aspect of it. The OVF(Optical Viewfinder) will surely please the longtime DSLR users who consider OVF irreplaceable.  

The built-in ND filter can be quite useful to those who want to shoot wide open on bright sunny days. It is quite a nice feature to have and I have utilized it for landscapes and long exposures. 

The film simulation mode is also a great feature, even though I mostly shoot in Provia/standard. Occasionally I do leave it in the B&W mode and I've been quite pleased with the result.  The film simulation is not applied to the RAW files, so it only works for JPEGs. The newly released Kodak Classic Chrome mode for X100T looks great, and I hope it will be included in the next firmware upgrade for X100S. 

Now it wouldn't be much of a review if I don't mention the negatives. The truth is there aren't many that are noteworthy. Yes I wish the auto focus could be faster and more precise, but I do not shoot sports or wild life with this camera, so it is adequate for me. It is perhaps a bit too pricy, you can even argue fujifilm offers better options internally at this price point. Indeed you can get the X-E2 with the kit lens for about the same cost and have the option of upgrading with Fujifilm's ever expanding excellent interchangeable lenses system in the future. If you're looking for a primary camera, then the X-E2 is probably the more versatile option, but if you're looking for a high performance walk-around compact camera that's almost pocketable, you can't go wrong with X100S/T.

Overall, this camera just has that je ne sais quoi, it is such a joy to shoot with. It poses a serious threat to the other cameras that you own as I have been shooting exclusively with the X100s for the past year. From time to time, I dust off my DSLR for portrait and macro work, but for everything else, X100s is more than capable of getting the job done, and that's why it has won the hearts of so many professionals and enthusiasts. I hope you find this review helpful and enjoyable. Thank you for stopping by and I will leave you with a few images taken in the past year. These are all JPEGs with minimal post processing.