Fujifilm X100F First Impressions

March 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment
All images in this blog were made with Fujifilm X100F JPGs and minimal Lightroom processing.  Click any image to see a larger version and then hover over the upper right corner to display EXIF information.

I’d pre-ordered from B&H on January 28. By the time the camera arrived on March 2 I felt I’d read every X100F review and blog post I could find, so I opened the box with a mixture of excitement and worry. 

F5.6, 1/60, ISO250, +1EV Fortunately my copy works perfectly and it arrived with no dust on the lens, fingerprints or any evidence that the box had ever been opened.  No manual focus problems or sticking aperture blades either.

I’m primarily a nature/wildlife photographer, these days mostly with a Canon 1Dx. Prior to buying the 1Dx I used a 7D, and before that I shot with everything from Canon’s original D60 (years before the 60D you’re probably thinking about) through their 10D and 40D APS-C bodies.

I bought the X100F because I wanted something easier to carry around, something that would allow me to experiment and do more work in a wider range of settings where a full-sized rig would be difficult to manage and attract too much attention.

I’ll blame my 1Dx experience for approaching my decision with a full-frame bias, first considering Sony’s A7s, RX-1 and A99 and even renting a Leica Q.

 

Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

But rangefinder size and handling were appealing and so was the image quality I saw in all those reviews.  I really, really liked the Leica, but it was bulkier and more than three times the price.

Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

Now that I’ve used both, I can’t argue that the Leica wins on image quality, but in my case the difference wasn’t enough to justify the additional cost and bulk.

Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

I've shot RAW exclusively for years so didn't give much thought to Fuji's film simulations. But due to Lightroom's lack of X100F RAW support I've shot nothing but JPGs so far, and I've had fun playing with the camera's film simulation bracketing.  Of those I've tried I tend to favor the standard "Provia" profile.  Eventually I may edit the EXIF data to make Lightroom think it's an XT-2 or try another raw converter, but the JPGs are so good I'm in no hurry to explore either option. 

Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

The camera has its quirks.  The Q button placement makes it too easy to press while holding the camera, to mention one example.  Experience with other cameras suggests that most of these issues will disappear as I become more familiar with the system and "muscle memory" kicks in.  Right now I still often reach for Canon controls and I unintentionally move the control ring when not in manual focus.

Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

This is my admittedly subjective conclusion: It’s not perfect, but the X100F is a very well-designed, well-made camera capable of wonderful images from ISO200 all the way up to ISO6400, and useable images to ISO10000. 

I haven’t begun to get the best out of this little camera but I really like what I see in my first images.  Take a look and let me know what you think.


This is a followup for Steve M, who was worried about the "waxy skin" effect reported in connection with earlier X100 models.  I don't see it in these admittedly poor snapshots made handheld in available light at relatively slow shutter speeds.  Not the way I normally shoot, but here they are.  All I see is slow shutter softness and poor technique, but YMMV:

ISO1600 Skin Rendition
Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

 

ISO3200 Skin Rendition
Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

 

ISO6400 Skin Rendition
Standard ("Provia") "Classic Chrome" "Acros"

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