My thoughts on the Fuji X100T…
My main camera – the Canon 5D MKiii – and I have a brilliant working relationship. I’ve been shooting with the 5D series for pretty much the entirety of my professional career and it ticks all the boxes. Except, that is, for when it comes to taking a camera out for those ‘just in case’ days. Or the ‘please bring your camera to the family wedding’ days… I could go on but I’m sure you get the drift. Whilst I have been known to take the Canon 5D MKiii with me for non-work purposes, its size and weight (even with a nifty fifty) is often a deterrent and I end up relying on my iPhone, despite knowing that I’ll regret that decision afterwards. For a long time, I have felt a disconnect between the high production value of the images I produce for clients and the extremely low quality images that I document my own memories with. With this in mind, I’ve been on the hunt for a camera to fill the gap between my business and personal photography. The aim was to find something handbag friendly that could also live up to the expectations of a professional photographer when needed.
Having spotted another photographer using the Fuji X100T whilst at Way Up North in Stockholm last October – another trip I went on where I regretted not bringing my camera – I was really excited when the Fuji team offered me the opportunity to borrow one for a couple of weeks to test. After almost knocking over the postman with excitement on delivery day, I charged up the camera and popped it into my bag ready for my next adventure.
The X100T ticked a couple of boxes for me straight away with it’s compact size and weight (440g with battery and SD card). It never feels like a chore to carry it around. This also translated into less of an emotional weight too. Because it was physically easier to carry, there was far less pressure to come home with a memory card of blog worthy images. That being said, having the Fuji X100T on me constantly opened up more opportunities to shoot – and again because of the size of the camera it felt far less intrusive in social situations than it has been in the past carrying round a DSLR.
Despite its size, I’ve never once felt like I was compromising on quality for portability. The Fuji X100T has a fixed 23mm lens, which on a standard 35mm sensor would be the equivalent focal length of 35mm. To some extent it can be restrictive for portraiture, but as someone who enjoys shooting wider-with-a-bit-of-context at 35mm for my professional work anyway, its like leaving the house with my favourite lens permanently attached to the camera. With a full aperture of F2, it provides plenty of depth of field too.
The Fuji X100T features full manual control of everything you could ask for, from aperture (F2-F16), mechanical shutter speed (1/32,000 – 60mins) and ISO (standard output to 6400) to custom Kelvin scale and exposure compensation. Whilst aperture and shutter speed have their own dedicated dials, the Fuji X100T has plenty of customisable function buttons so that everything you need on a regular basis can be readily available.
Alongside all this, the Fuji X100T packs a range of other great features including the ability to shoot panoramas, multiple exposures and Full HD video via its 16.3 megapixel sensor. Surprisingly, one of the features I was less interested in when first picking up the Fuji X100T has proven to be one I now couldn’t live without – the built in WiFi. The ability to sync and send JPEG versions of the RAW files to my phone and have them available for instant uploads has given my social media a boost, allowing me to shoot, run a basic editing process and upload higher quality images on the go without the need to be anywhere near a computer. This has been especially useful during my travels as I can be far more productive – and as a result more of my personal work has ended up on my social media and blog.
The only real drawback for me on this camera is the hybrid viewfinder, which offers the ability to choose from either Optical or Electronic mode. Whilst Electronic is my preferred choice of the two as it shows 100% of the sensor (compared to 92% via optical), it still doesn’t live up to the human eye for detail and responsiveness. That being said, what is lost in detail is made up for by the ability to preview the exposure in manual mode through the EVF, offering an insight into how the image will look at the current exposure settings before it is taken. You can also playback the images through the EVF too, which can be a really handy tool to utilise when shooting outside and battling the sun against the back screen.
Overall verdict? I love the Fuji X100T. The ability to have so much control and packed into something so lightweight and portable exceeded all my expectations. I was also blown away by the quality of image the camera was capable of. It really is a powerful little camera and as a result, I’ve re-found my love of shooting for pleasure. It gets a huge thumbs up from me.