Disclaimer: This is not a technical review of the Fuji X100s. All the views is based on me using it for the first time today.
Out of 80 images, only 18 made the cut for this post.
Why? Well, firstly my skills still need a bit of work. Heaps of work.
And secondly today I was using the Fuji X100s for the first time on the streets of Melbourne.
I’ll break this up into 3 sections:
1) The bad
Coming from a DSLR the Fuji X100s is quite a shift. Firstly, I’m still not used to the optical viewfinder on this camera. Don’t get me wrong, it is nice, but the parallax is something I am getting used to. And secondly the AF is still a bit “off” – although it is relatively quick the accuracy is a bit of “hit and miss”.
How quick is it? It’s quick enough – for street photography, I’ve always relied on the AF of my DSLR. With this camera, I’m finding that next time I’m using zone focusing as it doesn’t provide the level of accuracy I’m used to. This is noticeable wide open at f2.
The battery life is abysmal and I had to change to the spare battery near the end of the session. And to top it off access to the battery meant that I have to take off the Black Rapid.
Also, the files above ISO 1600 were a tad pixelated, and I wasn’t even pixel peeping. It was really noticeable. Low light not only had a detrimental effect on the images the AF was also hunting quite a fair bit. And that nearly got me worried and turned off by the camera. Except for the fact that…
1) The good
I was blown away by the sheer size and weight of this camera. It is not exactly “compact” but I didn’t feel the strap digging into my shoulders. And because of this I took a ton of pictures: Some worked out, but some didn’t either.
The images are stunning. The JPEG rendering is fantastic and working with RAW is awesome as well. The amount of detail captured by the camera is astonishing and I can see why this camera is popular: it covers majority of scenes people will ever need. Sure, at higher ISO the images are slightly pixelated, however convert to B&W and the grain works in your favour. Not to mention that the grain adds to the film like feel of coloured photos. Oh, and the Velvia and Astia film conversions are awesome.
The shots for this post had minimal touch ups and it was a joy to use. AND it was so light that I tended to take more photos, hence the low success hit rate.
It is incredibly silent and perfect for street photography. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I took the shot (since I disabled live preview in both the EVF and back screen). Although the AF is a hit and miss, when it did lock on focus it produces sharp images. I even tried to shoot using Manual Focus and the Split Image focusing style is awesome. Awesome.
I also found that this camera suited my photography style: the depth of field at f2 is great and the form factor encouraged me to shoot with it all day long. Not lugging around my camera gear and heavy lenses meant that I was constantly thinking about how to frame the shot and using my feet to adjust. The whole process was invigorating and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I was falling in love, which is bad since my DSLR is going to start collecting dust and only taken out on projects that potentially required a large print on canvas and for portraits (as the 35mm meant that I had to get in really close to my subjects).
3) My conclusion
This is going to be my daily go to camera from now on – It is light and small enough for me to take to work and being in the city meant that after work I can explore, and because it is discreet I can take more street photography that doesn’t alarm the subject.
The following is a collection of photos I took today. It’s a mix bag but the process to take these pictures really made me feel more connected to the scene and frame, something I was missing with the DSLR.
This is, bar none, the best street photography camera I’ve ever used. Full stop.
Hope you enjoy the pics below and have a great weekend!