Fuji X100T Review conclusion
Having used the Fuji X100T for nearly 2 years we are well placed to give a real world opinion on what it is like to use day in and day out. We have traveled with it all over the World and in that time have really put it through its paces.
The Fuji X100T is aimed quite clearly at photographers who enjoy the simplicity of photography but don’t want to compromise on image quality. In this respect it it is a very good camera. We like the design and look of the X100T.
Using an aperture ring on a small range finder style camera feels very natural and combined with the shutter speed dial and other physical controls it creates a very pleasing tool which gets out of the way and just lets you shoot.
When coming from DSLR’s the Fuji controls can seem a little small. For example when first shooting this camera we noticed that it was a little difficult to get purchase on the aperture ring to quickly adjust it. Maybe that was just our clumsy fingers as after some use our hands and muscle memory adjusted and now we don’t find it difficult at all.
Even after all this time though we still don’t find the FUji X100T to be a camera that we can quickly adjust the settings of while having our eye up to the viewfinder. Want to change ISO, white balance, enable the ND filter then we almost always find ourselves doing so on the LCD screen with the camera away from our eye. This means that we don’t feel it is natural to quickly change settings on the fly while shooting.
However other items that are perhaps more regularly changed like moving the focus point and changing film simulations can be quite quickly controlled via the D-pad custom functions and in fairness to Fuji they have made this camera very customisable so you can set it up so that your most used functions are where you want.
The shutter speed and exposure compensation dial are definitely ones which we change before or while bringing the camera up to our eye. We just find we want to physically check the settings before shooting. However it is nice to be able to set these while scouting potential shots before being immersed in the viewfinder. If we know we are going to be shooting people or faster moving subjects we can set the shutter speed accordingly and then adjust aperture as required when framing the shot.
The image quality is very good, offering sharp images from f/2.8 on-wards and although you lose some detail when shooting the lens open at f/2 we still generally liked the image quality that we were getting. High ISO performance is very good (with the proviso that Fuji ISO numbers may be fudged somewhat). Up to and including ISO 3200 files are very clean. ISO 6400 is usable.
We believe the in-camera Jpegs from Fuji are the best in the industry and the film simulations modes are very pleasing. The new Classic Chrome gives a very appealing muted palette which suits a wide range of imagery. We often find that we just shoot Jpegs with Fuji cameras as combined with the ‘what you see is what you get’ element of an electronic viewfinder there is very little need for chimping after the exposure and the quality of the Jpegs produced is excellent.
What we really love about using the X100T for general photography is that it is a camera that can shoot in virtually any light. It’s main advantages over the competition are its leaf shutter. This makes the Fuji quiet in use but more importantly it gives much faster flash sync speeds than the typical 1/250 or less of most other cameras. This allows you to take shots with flash in full sunlight at fast shutter speeds without issue. Combine this with a built in ND filter and it means that we can use large apertures and create images with that beautiful shallow depth of field without having to add an ND filter to the lens. All this while still being able to add a touch of fill flash thanks to the faster flash sync speed.
Don’t forget there is an electronic shutter too which goes up to 1/32000 of a second although the flash wont fire when using the electronic shutter.
This allows you to go out with just the camera and nothing more and know that you can create the look in your images that you want without having to carry loads of kit. That is exactly the simplicity that we desire when carrying a small and light camera.
For street and general travel photography, if you are happy with the focal length of 23mm (35mm Full frame equivalent) then it is certainly one of the most enjoyable cameras to use. Some may feel limited by the lack of ability to change lenses but after nearly 2 years of use we feel it is actually quite liberating.
No longer are you constantly asking yourself which lens to put on the camera, as you simply focus on what you have and learn to use it to the best of your ability.
- Image quality up to ISO 3200 is very good
- Leaf shutter allows for fast flash sync speeds
- In built ND filter allows you to shoot shallow depth of field shots even in bright light
- Out of camera Jpegs are beautiful
- Excellent flash exposure for fill light in portraits
- Electronic shutter allows up to 1/32000 shutter speeds
- Aperture ring on the lens is intuitive to use
- Small size and light weight means that you take this camera with you everywhere
- Very customisable with 7Fn buttons
- Auto Focus is not as good as other mirrorless cameras like the Fuji X-T1, Olympus OM-D E-M1 and Sony A6300 and nowhere near a modern similarly priced DSLR
- Auto Focus can hunt in poor light
- Tracking Auto Focus is abysmal
- Shutter Dial would benefit from a lock and Exposure compensation dial needs to be stiffer to avoid being accidentally changed
- Not actually much smaller than an X-T1 with 27mm pancake lens and not quite small enough to go in a standard pocket
- Poor battery performance (average around 300 shots per battery) You need at least 2 for a days shooting, probably 3.
- 16mp sensor is lacking resolution compared with the competition
- Did we mention the auto focus
So would we recommend the Fuji X100T to other photographers?
Yes we would because this camera possibly more than any other makes you want to get out and take pictures and that is a great quality. When you do you wont be disappointed with the quality of the images you get thanks to the X-Trans sensor and f/2 lens.
However we would add a few words of caution because this camera is quite a niche tool in our opinion. If you shoot fast subjects, like to change lenses, crop heavily in post or just want a do everything camera then you should probably look elsewhere.
The Fuji X-100T feels like a camera built for purists that enjoy its simplicity of control, fixed lens and beautiful image quality. It feels like a camera for creating images with rather than for snapping pics of your holiday as record shots. Used in the right way it can produce fantastic results but if you just want a general camera to snap away with then auto focus performance and lack of zoom lens might leave you disappointed as for considerably less money you could get a decent entry level DSLR and kit lens which would better serve that purpose.
In an ideal world the Fuji X100T would probably be your second camera to work along side an interchangeable lens camera.
You might also consider
Street and travel photographers – Fuji X100T or the X-T1 + 18mm, 27mm or 35mm f/2. You might like to check out our videos on the Fuji X-T1 and Olympus OM-D
Want better IQ in small and light pakage? Sony A7II, Sony A7RII. See Our quick look at the Sony A7 mkII
Landscape Photographers– In our opinion Nothing beats a DSLR like the Nikon D810 or Canon 5Ds due to the image quality, build quality and available lens choice. Mid range DSLR’s like the Canon 80D and D7200 also offer a a lot of these benefits at a cheaper price than their full frame alternatives.
Sports and wildlife– Nikon D500, D5 or Canon 7d mkII or 1DXII- Take a look at our Canon 7d mkII and Nikon D500 (coming soon) reviews.