Before I start writing, I should clarify that I have absolutely no affiliation with Fujifilm and am not paid to say what you are about to read; it's seriously that good! Probably the best camera I have used so far when factoring in size and image quality.
I had been looking for a smaller & more compact camera that offered manual controls and decent quality so that I could carry it with me on a day-to-day basis. I wasn't necessarily looking for something that I could use as a second camera on professional jobs, just something that would satisfy my desire to document the world around me!
I had been hearing really good words firstly about the x100 and later on, its successor, the x100s from various professional photographers that I follow (namely Zack Arias and Adam Lerner) so about a month ago I went out, somehow found myself at my local camera store and walked out with a brand new Fuji x100s!
I rushed home, practically ignored my dog who was excited to see me back home (at this point he's probably been photographed more by this camera than anything else), stuck the battery in the charger within a few seconds and began to read the manual while eagerly waiting for the battery to charge. As soon as the green light went off, indicating that the battery was fully charged, I grabbed the camera, set it to RAW, adjusted my settings and took the first shot.
I was immediately blown away by the color depth (particularly considering the photo was shot at 800 ISO!), the dynamic range and clarity! I immediately saw that it would be more than adequate for what I intended to use it for. The only thing that disappointed me on that day (which didn't even have anything to do with the camera) was the fact that it was raining heavily outside and I wasn't able to test it outdoors! The rain however didn't stop me from going "shutter crazy" indoors and I very quickly filled up the 4Gb card I had in it. (I suppose one downside is that 4Gb doesn't fit many more than 100 RAW photos but it keeps me from overshooting).
The next day, a friend of mine came over to use my brother's wood workshop so he could work on an instrument he was making. I was excited to get a chance to test the camera out in a real life situation and at the same time, document the process for my friend.
He is basically a jack of all trades, able to make something out of anything, so I asked him if he could make a case to protect my newly acquired camera. He accepted and I began to realise that he would have to take my beloved new toy home with him in order to make more accurate measurements for the case... I knew I had to make the best of those last moments with it before I had to temporarily part with it so I made the best of the situation and tested it in every way that I could until he packed up for the day.
During the time I spent apart I from it, I strongly felt as though I had made a mistake giving it up so soon, even if it was just temporary, but the camera was finally returned to me while I was giving a photography workshop at a skill-sharing event which I was also informally covering. After I was reunited with the fuji x100s at the event, I found myself turning more to it than my trusty Nikon D800 (for which I have a selection of lenses ranging from wide-angle to telephoto) despite the fact that the x100s has a fixed 23mm lens.
I was initially a bit sceptical at the idea of having a fixed 23mm lens (equivalent to 35mm) but after using it over the past month, I haven't found it particularly limiting. I've been a fan of prime lenses ever since I first used a 35mm f/1.8 Nikon because of their clarity and the fact that they make me think much more about framing and composition. Despite the x100s' lens being on the wider side of what I'm used to working with, I have been able to get the framing I want in most situations by simply moving around a bit.
I haven't come across any particularly off-putting distortion in portraits either (though this may be subjective and dependent on the subject), and the macro feature means that (provided I can get close enough to the subject), I can easily fill the frame in most cases.
The final blow, which I wasn't aware of when I purchased the camera, came when I realised that not only is the fuji x100s compatible with my Nikon flashes, but because it uses a "leaf" shutter (meaning that the shutter mechanism is in the lens instead of the camera body) flashes/speedlights can be synched at pretty much any shutter speed! I haven't really tested this out much yet, but I certainly plan to once I figure out exactly how to do this with the flash off-camera.
While I still plan on using my D800 for vast majority of my professional portrait work, I plan on keeping the x100s close to me at all times and look forward to using it more as a second camera for events. I expect it to eventually replace my Nikon D5000 which I had been using up to now as a second camera and back-up for events and will probably be my go-to camera for documentary work.
Peace Advocate Blogography
Welcome to the Peace Advocate Photography blog, where you will find everything from gear reviews to my opinions on photography and recaps of my recent shoots!