A Camera We Love: The Fujifilm X100F Belongs in Your Hands
For the last three years, I’ve been primarily shooting with a Canon 6D. This is the camera I’ve used to shoot most of the photos you see on this site. While I do have a zoom lens, I’ve dialed down my kit to where I pretty much exclusively shoot 35mm and 50mm fixed lens. This has been my go-to setup for some time.
That is until about six months ago when I picked up the Fuji X-100F after much Instagram and internet lusting. I’m not a typical gadget reviewer, but based on the popularity and reaction to my write up about the SKX007, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about why I also love the Fujifilm X100F camera.
Shoots Like an Old Manual Film Camera
The biggest attraction to this camera for me is the layout of the controls. I’d go so far as to call it retro design. I learned how to take pictures on a Nikon FM (Fully Manual) film camera, and ever since things went digital, I’ve longed to be able to spin an ASA knob, focus a lens and back down an aperture ring, just as I could with that camera.
Once you get used to shooting manually, it really does make things a lot simpler - meaning you just have fewer choices to make. Pick f/8 and you’re good for the afternoon. Popping into the shade, just open up your aperture a stop or two. Yes you can still shoot Aperture Priority (or whatever mode you pick) if you like —and I still do— but being able to shoot fully manual is great, and this camera was designed for that.
One final word on that and why this specific design works. It was honed after decades of film camera production and design. It was only when things went digital that cameras departed from this design. With this in mind, Fujifilm simply relies on a tried-and-true design, and I appreciate that a lot.
People romanticize the Fujifilm glass and I can see why. There’s just something nice about these images, which isn’t at all surprising given Fuji’s long, long history. Glass or not, there's something special Fujifilm does that others just don't.
Carrying around an SLR is not always ideal. Similarly, my iPhone, which lives in my pockets and collects dust in its lens, isn’t close to good for photos either. This camera fits comfortable between those two. I’m happy slinging it over my shoulder for an afternoon and also discreetly shooting from my side if I’m trying to take photos without disturbing subjects. The size is perfect for a grab-and-go camera.
Film Simulation Modes
I’m sure more purist photographers frown on the JPEG film simulation modes, but I don’t. While I definitely prefer shooting larger raw files and having the additional data in those to edit them in Lightroom, the Fujifilm simulation modes work really well, especially if your goal is to just move images over to your phone on wifi (it’s really easy with this camera) and post to Insta.
It’s not weatherproof. Even though the case is sturdy, it’s not waterproof. Just pack a plastic bag and stay out of the rain.
Additional Lens Situation
I actually bought the tele-conversion lens that mimics a 50 mm and returned it. It added a lot of size to the camera and not a lot of benefit. While I do prefer shooting 50mm, the aperture is still just 2.0, so not as fast as my Canon lens, and with the conversion lens on the Fuji, it’s almost the same size. So it’s just not worth the money, and hassle, in my mind.
Low Light Focusing
Focusing in low light is not as strong as with a SLR. This just means you have to switch to manual. That’s fine, and a small gripe, but it’s worth noting. Mirrorless cameras don’t focus as well in low light.
Overall, I love this camera. After going through a long period of time where I was leaving my 6D at home when leaving the house, it’s nice to have a camera I’m excited to have in my hand again, and that to me is what photographer is all about: Having a camera that you want in your hands, whether it’s a Canon, a point and shoot, an iPhone, Leica, or a Fujifilm.
Grab one here.