Photos review

The X100F a dream camera for taking street shots

For photographers who have used a rangefinder or manual camera before, the handling of the Fujifilm X100F will feel just as superb.
For photographers who have used a rangefinder or manual camera before, the handling of the Fujifilm X100F will feel just as superb.PHOTO: FUJIFILM

The Fujifilm X100F is the fourth generation of the X100 prosumer compact camera series.

The original X100 was an industry game changer seven years ago, with its large image sensor, small compact body, fast prime lens, hybrid viewfinder and rangefinder- style retro look. It is a street photographer's dream camera.

So what are the updates compared with the third-generation X100T launched three years ago?

At a glance, the X100F does not look much different from its predecessor. It comes in all-black and silver-black (the version tested).

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

Its magnesium-alloy body exudes sleekness and sturdiness. The slightly protruding right-hand grip allows for a comfortable grasp of the camera.

But there are some differences in the button layout. On the top, there is still the shutter speed dial, exposure compensation dial, a Function button and shutter release. But, within the shutter speed dial, you will find the ISO dial. Just lift the shutter speed dial and turn to change the ISO setting. Pretty neat.

Most buttons at the rear have been moved to the right side for easy access with your thumb. There is now a small rear joystick that allows you to quickly change the autofocusing (AF) point.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $2,099

    IMAGE SENSOR: 24.3-megapixel X-Trans APS-C CMOS III

    DISPLAY: 3-inch LCD with 1,040,000 dots; electronic viewfinder with 2,360,000 dots and optical viewfinder

    SENSITIVITY: ISO 100 - 51,200

    SHOOTING SPEED: Up to 8 frames per second

    LENS: 35mm f/2.0

    CONNECTIVITY: Wi-Fi

    WEIGHT: 469g (body with battery and memory card)

    RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 3/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

In front, there is the aperture ring around the lens for changing the aperture from f/2.0 to f/16. There is also the lever just beside the front grip to toggle between the optical and electronic viewfinder.

If you have handled a rangefinder or manual camera before, you will love the the X100F.

Inside the X100F is the new 24.3-megapixel X-Trans APS-C, the CMOS III (up from 16.3 megapixels of the X100T) image sensor and X-Processor Pro image processor. It is able to shoot up to 8 frames per second (fps), an upgrade from the 6fps of the X100T.

The X100F has 91 AF points, compared with its predecessor's 49.

Operation-wise, this camera is really quick, needing just 1sec each for start-up and shutdown.

Using an SD card with a writing speed of 90MB per second, the X100F was able to shoot 28 RAW images in 3.6sec before the buffer ran out - almost as good as the advertised 8fps.

The X100F's AF is almost instantaneous in bright sunlight. In dim lighting conditions, it takes only 1sec to secure a focus, with the aid of AF assist light.

As you might expect from Fujifilm's X-Trans image sensor, the image quality of the X100F is excellent, with sharp renditions of pixels. The dynamic range is great, with clear details in the darker areas.

Noise performance is superb, with no visible noise artefacts up to ISO 3,200. Only at ISO 6,400 do the noise artefacts become visible, though the loss of details is not significant.

But anything at ISO 12,800 and above is best avoided, as noise artefacts are abundant, with notable loss of details and sharpness.

Battery life is slightly better than its predecessor's, with 390 still images shot on a full charge. That's around 60 more pictures shot than the X100T.

Trevor Tan

•Verdict: If you are travelling and love street photography, the Fujifilm X100F is one camera you would want to take along.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'The X100F a dream camera for taking street shots'. Print Edition | Subscribe