Date with the Fuji X100S ~ First Impressions
This is not meant to be an indepth review. It’s an account of my first impressions of the new Fuji X100s. After just a couple of dates with it, I think I’m in love!
I’ve been a Canon shooter for many years. I love my gear, it is my bread and butter and it has never failed me. As I am spending less time on commercial shoots and more time teaching workshops, I’ve been thinking of adopting a smaller camera for the days when I want to spend hours roaming the streets of a large city or going on photo walks with local friends. As a matter of fact, I even started using my iPhone a lot more this year and found it a great creative tool when I didn’t feel like logging heavy gear around. I considered purchasing one of the many micro 3/4 systems now available on the market but that meant a smaller version of what I was already using. I have great glass, I’m not getting rid of it, so why duplicate in a smaller system? My main goal with a smaller camera is to look less conspicuous when I do street photography while producing the highest quality of images.
That’s when the first reviews of the new Fuji X100s started coming out. I’m not a gear junkie, but it didn’t take me too long to press the ‘Add to cart’ button on Amazon.
The expected wait was 1 to 2 months but it arrived after 2 weeks! I was very anxious to get a feel for it. I’ve been shooting with a heavy DSLR for so long, anything smaller and lighter feels awkward. The first impressions were great. Nice weight, very solid and well built. And how can you resist its retro look? It’s considerably smaller than my 5DMarkII but it feels right.
If you haven’t heard of the X100s please read detailed technical specs here. Basically, it is a rangefinder style camera with a fixed focal length lens. You cannot change lenses! A 23mm (equivalent to 35mm) is what you’re stuck with. If you are not used to shooting with a fixed lens, it may be quite an adjustment to get used to it. As far as I’m concerned, I love to shoot with a 50mm or a 40mm when I’m not on a client assignment. I’m a gear minimalist when it comes to personal projects: One camera, one lens on every photo walk. I like simple. I don’t want the camera to come in the way, it should only serve as an extension to my vision. I believe in the power of limitations, shooting with a fixed focal length lens will get the creative juices flowing! A few more things about this little camera: 16MP, Fujinon 23mm F2 fixed focal length lens (35mm equiv.) It has the new APS-C 16M X-Trans CMOS II Sensor & EXR Processor II. You have the choice of Optical Viewfinder (OVF), Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) or LCD display. Super fast auto focus, full HD Movie (1920 x 1080) mode at 60fps and so much more!
So far, I’ve used it in its most basic form and mostly in aperture priority mode. I haven’t used any of its many filters yet. It offers several monochrome filters (Pro Neg, Yellow, red, green, sepia), film simulation (Velvia, Provia, Astia), as well as some fun filter effects. It also has a panorama function. All these will be the subjects of new blog posts as I continue to play it.
During my first week with the Fuji I took it out on a couple of photo walks and photographed random things mostly to get used to the new dials and buttons. Some of those subjects may look familiar as I visited a favorite antique store where I’ve shot several times with my 5DII.
The following selection of random images was minimally processed in Lightroom 4.4. No noise reduction was used on any of them, either in camera or in post.
I haven’t even scratched the surface of what this little camera can do yet. I am more than impressed with it for far!