I met Hein Hough, a Fuji Film rep, a few weeks ago on a photo mission to shoot some stars near to where I stay. He was kind enough to lend me the Fuji Film X100s for a week.
The X100s is a 16 megapixel APS-C camera with a 23mm (35mm full frame equivalent) F2 lens. On first look I loved how the camera felt in my hand. It’s very solid and has a decent weight to it . I love the simplicity of it . Most DSLRs and other digital cameras include the fundamental settings, aperture and shutter speed, as two of many available settings however on the X100s they are clearly shown as two separate dials. I really liked that.
The menu took a bit of time getting used as I’ve only ever been a Canon user but overall I got the hang of it pretty quickly.
I always shoot RAW and it was great to see that capability in the X100s. The quality of the photos was surprisingly good too! I say ‘surprisingly’ because when viewing the photos on it’s LCD screen they looked average, but after loading them into Lightroom I was very impressed.
The X100s has a live and an electronic view finder. I personally really don’t like EVFs. Having my eye so close to a little screen gives me a bit of a headache. I much prefer a clear view through the lens like what you get with a DSLR. The live view finder is pretty interesting though. It’s basically just a view straight through the camera and not through the lens. You actually look a bit to the left of where the lens is pointing which posses a bit of a challenge when composing your shots. Also, you can’t see if your lens is in focus then or not. After a bit of searching in the menu, I found two settings that helped solve that problem - composition guidelines in the view finder and a little square that flashes green when your shot is in focus - problem solved!
I decided that since I usually shoot sports, I’d give this camera a go in doing just that. I was able to use my Canon flash directly on the camera, and was also able to use my wireless flash triggers with no issues. When I had figured out how to fire the flash from the camera itself, I was on my way to do a little sports shoot. The X100s is able to shoot up to 6fps which was pretty handy to capture fast action. The autofocus system is really not designed for such fast moving action through, so to help out a little, I prefocused on a spot before I had Brendan run past. (thanks Brendan) Overall I’m really happy with the shots I got. It would have been easier to do on my DSLR, but I wanted to test if I would be able to do a sports shoot and come back with images I liked… I did.
To me the X100s really comes into it’s own when walking around the streets. Because of it’s size, it’s easy to leave hanging around your neck and when shooting candid streets portraits it doesn’t feel like you are about to fire a rocket at your subject.
So would I buy one? If I had the money - for sure! What this camera does is force you to think more about what you are shooting. It slows things down and also seems to bring out more creativity. Which got me thinking, is it the camera that does that? Or does it just bring on a mindset change that I could apply to any camera I’m using?
I think it does both. I’ve applied a lot of what I learned while using the X100s to the way I shoot with my DSLR. It has opened a new door in my photography so to speak, but there is still something about walking around with the Fuji Film X100s that is a unique experience of it’s own.
Here are some more of the images I took during my week with the Fuji Film X100s