As a wedding photographer who enjoys the reportage aspect of shooting I took great interest when the Fuji X100 was released. On paper it appeared to be a good fit for the type of discrete photography I enjoy. After some deliberation and a little concern over the cost I took the plunge and purchased mine via Warehouse Express who I have always found to offer fantastic customer service. The camera duly arrived the next day as promised and I have now had the opportunity to use it for a couple of weddings and a few corporate shoots. In short, this is a stunning camera and has now become a key part of my photography kit. Can it be compared to a DSLR? Well the image results certainly can – it’s 23mm F2 (35mm equivalent) lens is a cracker delivering sharp images with lovely drop off at F2 which I use almost all the time. The other key feature of this camera is its noise capability. I have set mine to Auto ISO – something I would never do on my SLRs but for the type of shooting I am using it for I wanted to be able to use it without having to play with the (rather fiddly) controls any more than I have to. I have limited the maximum ISO to 3200 and could probably go further as the performance is amazing. This allows me to use the X100 in every situation from discrete guest shots outside to candid bridal preparation in the darkest of rooms.
I have set the camera to silent mode so there is a barely discernible shutter noise but nothing else – great for ceremonies with officious vicars or registrars. It is also a tiny camera, especially when compared to my D700 with its 35mm 1.4 attached. As a result it feels small and light in the hand, quite a change from the bulk of a DSLR. It’s diminutive size and weight allow me to blend in amongst guests and capture great candid photos.
A great feature is the optical viewfinder which also displays the images you have shot. Focussing is good, not as quick as a DSLR but fine for most conditions. manual focus is a bit tricky. The menu systems take some getting used to and the buttons are, as you would expect, quite small and fiddly. The body feels great in the hand and you really feel you can hide it in your hands and disappear amongst the guests. The panoramic feature works really well also and has been great for venue shots and my corporate work. I have never really been interested in panoramas before but this makes them really simple.
I have also used this for personal use and found its size means I can take it everywhere when a DSLR may be too bulky.
Size, image quality, F2 aperture, noise capability
Menu system, battery charger