Monday, February 16, 2015

Full Review: Fujifilm X100T in Hong Kong

1/350th sec f/4.0 @ ISO 400. Classic Chrome jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong


I've had the Fujifilm X100T for almost 4 months and I've really come to appreciate this unique little camera. It's small in stature but very large in capability. Many new X100 series owners have abandoned their DSLRs and ILCs for this camera. Why? It costs more than many DSLR and mirrorless ILC kits, even though this fixed lens, APS-C sensored point and shoot (ok, that's a bit of an over-simplification) has less features, less megapixels and slower autofocus. For example, the Sony A6000 is less than half the price of the X100T ($598 vs $1299 as of Feb 2015), same size sensor, better specs, faster AF, interchangeable lenses,  and will destroy the Fuji when it comes to video recording. I know others that have very expensive and powerful DSLRs (Canon 5D mark III) and insane lenses, and yet will still choose to shoot with their X100T instead. Does this make any sense? Yes.

I argue that there are some features that many photographers value above specifications or a price-performance quotient, such as the unique and powerful hybrid viewfinder. Size, weight and shape is hard to quantify as a spec, but how a camera feels in the hands and how it suits your shooting style is also a buying consideration for many photographers. For others it's about how a camera makes them feel based on the aesthetics of the camera shape and design (many brands hire firms like Pininfarina and Porsche to help design their products, such as the classic Nikon F3 designed by Pininfarina). So what type of photographer are you? What values do you put above all else when it comes to buying and using a camera? Why should you consider buying the Fujfilm X100T? Let's find out...

1/480th sec f/4.0 @ ISO 800. Classic Chrome jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon

Without repeating my entire preview here, I would say in a nutshell what makes the X100T a great camera: It feels right when you hold it, it feels right when you put it to your eyes, the button layout, the operating system and menus feel comfortable and refined, it's light, compact, and it takes fantastic pictures. However, the most important element that makes the X100T great (and its the same quality that made the original X100 a success) is it's Functional Retro-Styling. If the X100T was big and ugly like a DSLR, it wouldn't be as successful (sorry DSLR fans, but DSLRs are rarely sexy looking... functional and purposeful yes, but sexy is a big NO, except for older mechanical film bodies). The same would be true if the camera looked great, but was functionally and ergonomically awkward.

Because the X100T can take great pictures AND because of the way the camera looks and feels, the X100 series has been a big success with all types of photographers. When form and function are perfectly balanced, a camera can be conducive to great photography. Most creative pursuits (as well as athletic ones) involve the human emotion: the way we feel affects the way we think and how we perform. For instance, the best athlete or artist can under-perform because of their emotional state. Also, many athletes and artists have their favourite tool or equipment and often feel they can't perform at their best without it. A favourite paint brush, a favourite baseball glove, etc. As photographers, if we don't like what we're holding in our hands, we won't be at our best to take great pictures. Everyone who has seen the X100T are immediately struck by it's visual impact. This impact can help take better pictures. But the camera can't just look the part, it needs to be able to perform as well. This is where this camera shines!


1/480th sec f/4.5 @ ISO 800. Classic Chrome jpeg. Central, Hong Kong Island
As I mentioned the X100T is a functional retro camera. It looks retro, but it shoots retro as well, as in it shoots like an old film camera. Is this a good thing? It is if you still shoot film and you enjoy shooting rangefinder style. Not only that, the X100T is the best of the X100 series, and I would argue its the best functioning Fuji digital camera made so far. Even better than the X-T1 some will ask? I have both cameras with me right now (and the X-E2) and I say yes. This is for two reasons: the optical viewfinder and the rear button feel. But I thought the X-T1 has the biggest and most functional and best EVF ever made... this is true, it is a fantastic EVF, but this is also its weakness. 

This is where some will disagree with me, but the EVF is not yet equal to a real optical viewfinder, either via a rangefinder style or a glass pentaprism in a SLR or DSLR. We're basically comparing what the human eye can see versus what a sensor can see. The human eye is superior...for now. Our eyes don't have lag, our eyes don't need white balance or brightness adjusting. Yes, what we see isn't the same as what the sensor can see, but this is to our advantage. Why is this so?


Image taken with Ricoh GR. X100T with MHG-X100 grip, EF-X20 flash, Artisan & Artist silk strap. Hobo Woodworks reclaimed wood cutting board. Fujicolor Pro 400H negative film.


To know the difference between what we can see versus what the sensor can do for us is the first step of a photographer to understand what the strengths and weaknesses of digital images are. The fact that you can quickly switch between optical and electronic view on the X100 series cameras is one of the greatest photographic inventions. How does our eye perceive colour, highlights, shadows, and then how does the camera interpret what we see? This is important stuff people. What we would have given in the old film days to instantly see how a certain film interpreted what we saw visually with our own eyes. In fact, the Polaroid back was used by many pros as a way to immediately check to see how the camera-lens-film interpreted a particular scene.

Today with live LCD views with a 100% electronic interpretation of reality, we've lost another layer of skill and added an extra layer of dependence on technology. Instead of focusing on taking pictures, we are constantly second guessing ourselves because we are dependant on the camera to make adjustments for us. After seeing with our eyes through an optical viewfinder, we begin to see the subtle differences in light colour and quality (early morning, high noon, late evening, cloudy, shadows, etc.) and also the stop difference between highlights and shadows. We then realize that the camera can't adjust as quickly or efficiently as our eyes and so we learn the limits of the camera and adjust accordingly. Over time, you become a better photographer. This is how we did it in the old film days, without the benefit of seeing instantly the output image (no chimping).  With the EVF-OVF switch on the X100s, you can see instantly the difference. This is a very powerful learning tool.


X100T 35mm equiv. 1/480th sec f/4 @ ISO 400. Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
Going back to comparing the X100T with the X-T1, I won't go into detail about the control feel on the X-T1 because I've complained too much already about it. Let's just say the X-100T has a better feel because there's no weather sealing, giving a more tactile click, better button travel, and better control placement. Even over the X100S, the X100T has improved on the 4 way controller, as well as moved the Q-button and the Drive button closer to your thumb, allowing the shooter to find these buttons by feel. If your eye is looking through the viewfinder, all the major controls are easily found and executed without fumbling around. Compared to the X-E2, the X100T handling is superior as well, with the Drive button closer to the shooting hand and more custom Fn buttons. My only major complaint about the X100T when it comes to buttons and dials is that it should have a dedicated ISO dial (like the X-T1), and perhaps a dedicated WB button; although there's enough custom buttons to dedicate to WB (I set the 4 way controller button up as ISO and button down as WB to find quickly). 

In terms of AF speed and metering and all those other basic functions and features, it pretty much feels like an X100S. However, the 'T' upgrade is mostly in the viewfinder, operating system (which can easily be updated on the 'S') and the rear button shuffle and upgrade. If you have a the X100S, the main reason why you would want to upgrade is because of the advanced hybrid EVF-OVF. I won't go into too much detail about how it works as other websites do a better job at explaining technology. I will say that its well integrated into the X100T. Like the two other X100 cameras, the T uses the front switch to toggle between the EVF and OVF by toggling right. However, because of the mini EVF inside the OVF, to turn that feature on and off is by toggling the same switch to the left. Very smart and very intuitive. You don't have to take your eyes off the viewfinder to switch between the different modes. Note that the vertical information feature (first in the X-T1) only works in the full EVF mode though. Again, many of these upgrades are subtle, but after adding all these small changes and upgrades, the X100T definitely shoots like a new camera.


1/105th sec f/5.6 @ ISO 800. Provia jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon.


SHOULD I  UPGRADE-DOWNGRADE?

So the big question is: who is this camera for and is it worth upgrading-downgrading within the Fujifilm ecosystem or even outside of Fujifilm X series? When I say downgrade, I mean going from a higher featured ILC systems camera to a simpler compact fixed lens camera with fewer options to expand. Let's start with the obvious upgrade:


1/850th f/4.5 @ ISO 800. CC jpeg. Causeway Bay
X100 and X100S: There are many diehard X100 fans who prefer the look of the original non-X Trans CMOS sensor versus the one in the X100S and X100T. If you are one of those, then stick to the X100. However, it's a huge upgrade in almost every other feature and function. Better AF, better EVF and improved OVF, better button placement, improved operating system (again this can be firmware upgraded if Fuji chooses to do so) and tighter feeling dials. The decision to upgrade is harder with the X100S. If you're primarily an OVF shooter, then I would say its worth the upgrade. While in OVF mode, you can use the mini EVF to check for focus (easier when in peaking mode), exposure and white balance, and the parallax correction lines are a great help for closer objects. However, I know many who enjoy using the EVF on the X100S. If so, the upgrade is basically software and a few control button upgrades. Yes the X100T has 1/3 stops, but I still argue this is not an upgrade, just a shooting style preference (me and many street shooters prefer 1/2 stop aperture and full stop shutter speed setup). 



1/1600th sec f/3.6 @ ISO 800. Hong Kong Island
Fujifilm ILC Camera (X-E1, X-E2, X-Pro 1): This may seem like an odd choice, to go from an ILC to a fixed lens camera, but I've had many photographers tell me they've made the decision to 'downgrade' or 'downsize'. Many originally came from DSLRs, bought mirrorless and loved it, but then realized that they can still go even smaller and yet not compromise on image quality. Yes, you're stuck with a fixed lens camera (although the TCL-x100 gives a versatile 50mm equiv), but it can keep up with larger cameras where it counts (image quality, key features, functional ergonomics). Having blazing fast AF and super fast continuous shooting for me is not important in a camera like the X100T. Shooting intuitively, having the features on hand when you need them, and the ability to see, understand and control your image output are the most important qualities in any camera. I've seen photographers missing shots because they're digging through menus or so focused on playing with so many options that they lose focus, lose moments, and lose creativity. The X100T can shoot just like an ILC where it counts and can easily replace a DSLR or mirrorless ILC, no problem. The main thing you have to get use to is the fixed lens, but you'll be surprised how much your photography improves when you start seeing only at a single focal length. Ask anyone with an ILC with a good prime lens and ask how they feel when shooting at a single focal length. It's liberating. If you have an ILC but want to downsize and simplify, the X100T is a great option. 


1/110th sec f/6.4 @ ISO 800. Mong Kok, Kowloon
Point and Shoot Camera (any brand, any size): The convenience of a P&S camera can not be denied. My own personal EDC (every day carry) is the Ricoh GR. it's truly a point and shoot: turn on and shoot. No viewfinder, easy to find 'Program' mode, pocketable. Other P&S cameras have great zoom lenses too, and because of the smaller sensor, these cameras can have amazing range from super wide to super telephoto. Stand in one spot, zoom in and out and you'll get the shot. Not much effort, not much thinking. I know I'm simplifying things, but it's easy to become lazy when shooting with a good P&S camera. The X100 series has never had an obvious P-mode. it's easy to get confused and mess up the shot. it's sort of like your dad's (or mom's) film camera of old with all the dials and knobs and buttons. What does this button do? What happens when you spin this dial? The X100T is like that. It's for those who are curious and those who wish to learn. The X100T can teach you the fundamentals of photography. If you want to shoot simple, it's easy. Shutter speed and aperture (again, if it had a ISO dial, it would be perfect). If you want to get complicated, more customization, more control, you can do it by digging into the menus. I've had many film shooters who want to get back to basics but in the digital realm and the X100 series has done that for them. Physical dials and buttons, an optical viewfinder, a simple operating system. When you upgrade to the X100T from a point and shoot, the first few days or weeks with it may not be easy and you'll make mistakes. Don't get frustrated. Keep trying. It's digital and not film. Your mistakes are virtual and you learn from mistakes. The X100T is a great upgrade from an all-in-one p&s camera.

What Do I think about the X100T? 

1/350th sec f/4.5 @ ISO 1000. Provia jpeg. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island




As a reviewer, it's easy to say how great a camera is: It's the best! Buy it, you won't regret it! Best camera ever! But would I buy it for myself? Let's just say that I've rarely had the desire to own many of the cameras that I review because I don't have to. I always have a 'free' camera to play with, so why buy one? However, while reviewing the X100S last summer I was very tempted to buy it, but decided on the Ricoh GR instead. After shooting with the X100T for 4 months I can easily see myself owning it. I want to have it next to me everywhere I go. I enjoy the conversations I have with strangers coming up to me and asking me about it. I want to customize it for myself and make sure that every scratch and ding was made by me. 

In fact, most recently I was invited as a special guest (along with X-Photographers) at a Fujifilm photowalk event in Vancouver, and Fuji asked me which camera I wanted to shoot with. I could use any camera in the entire lineup. Yup, I ordered the X100T, the TCL-x100, the hand grip and the EF-X20 compact flash. To me, this was the perfect street photo set-up. If Fujifilm were to give me any camera, I would choose the X100T for sure without hesitation. Perhaps I'm biased because of my age (I started shooting film) and my affinity for rangefinder cameras (I also review for Leica), but the X100T has everything I want in a street style camera. It has the look, the feel and the capability to capture what I see. 

There's no such thing as a perfect camera though. Every camera has room for improvement. I wish the X100T had a dedicated ISO dial, and I don't like the 1/3 stop aperture ring. An articulating screen would have been nice for those above head and straight up building shots. Compared to the X-T1, I found that shooting RAW and Fine JPEG is a bit slow on the X100T (3-4 seconds between shots vs X-T1's instantaneous-ready-for-the-next-shot). I wish the battery was bigger, although shooting mostly in OVF mode and turning off the LCD helps quite a bit (I still carry a spare battery just in case). I find that Fuji's sleep mode is too slow to wake up (it's easier to turn off and then back on again, which is easy with the on/off switch wrapped around the shutter button). 


1/800th sec f/5.6 @ ISO 400. Converted B&W. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
In my interview of Greg and Ryuichi of Fujfilm Canada, they mentioned that Fujifilm engineers back in Japan eagerly want input and constructive criticism of their cameras, and it shows with this new X100T. Subtle changes that most brands would ignore (tighter exposure comp dial, shifting of buttons, operating software updates) Fujfilm engineers quickly address. Because of this eagerness of Fujifilm engineers, here's a quick review of the changes or improvements I would like to see on the next X100 (or X200?) series camera:

-dedicated ISO dial (and not just a button)
-compatible with UHS-II format SD memory cards (like the X-T1) for quicker write speeds
-higher capacity battery
-articulating rear LCD screen
-better lens cap (the cup style is stylish but not practical) and built-in and pop-out lens hood
-exposure compensation dial in 1/2 stops for +/- 4 stops
-actual focus distance and DOF scale on lens barrel (although there isn't much room for this)
-improve the speed of 'wake-up' from sleep mode
-separate AFL and AEL buttons with more pronounced bulge like on X-Pro 1 and E-E2 as a thumb rest
-a true wide angle converter (14-16mm wide or 21-24mm equiv)
-distance scale in 'LCD info mode' for shooting by scale without looking through viewfinder
-a proper dedicated flash (EF-X20 is nice but...) that can be 100% controlled from the body

Moreover, I'm very pleased with the X100T. I can see why so many DSLR and mirrorless ILC photographers gravitate towards this very unique camera. There's nothing really like it on the market and I'm surprised by this. Leica have attempted a few cameras that come close (X1, X2, X-Vario, etc.) but none are as refined (the Leica's are slow AF, slow software, no built-in viewfinder) as the X100 series. The closest competition is probably the Ricoh GR, but without a built in viewfinder, the GR isn't really a DSLR or ILC replacement.


1/640th sec f/8 @ ISO 400. Provia jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong


My Future X100 (X200) Wish List

If I could look into the future and advise on the direction of the X100 series to Fujifilm, these are the features/functions I would want to see. Some of these ideas are pretty far fetched, but others are completely doable with what technology they already have. I've actually spoken with Fujifilm about some of these, so lets hope to see some of these in the near future:

X100T WR: this is pretty self explanatory. They have the technology to do it, and it's easier to do on a fixed lens camera. 

X100T OIS (optical image stabilization): again, self explanatory. Not everyone needs it, and if you're a tripod shooter, it's actually counter productive, but I think most street photographers won't mind having the option of OIS, especially in lowlight situations.

X100T 50mm: a dedicated fixed 50mm equiv (35mm APS-C focal length) lens. Unlike the screw on teleconverter lens, this lens will be like a pancake lens, keeping the X100 compact and light. 

X100T Olive Green: I thought about this because of how the X100 series reminds me so much of the Leica M3 and M2 cameras. Have a special edition colour other than silver or black. Imagine an Olive Green X100T, and perhaps have a special edition olive green strap in collaboration with a brand like Artisan & Artist? Green is Fujifilm's colour, so why not? Also, how about a brass top and bottom plate to allow for natural wear? I think it'll look great.

X100T XF23-35: a 2 step zooming X100T with 23-35mm lens (35-50mm equiv). Perhaps the lens will not be pancake and the aperture will have to be f/3.5 or f/4, but imagine having these two focal lengths? I would want the OVF to be able to zoom as well. Even if there's no zoom, the next function would be possible and would be amazing...

X100T OVF MZ (magnification zoom): Imagine the ability to decide the magnification of the viewfinder, deciding how much you want to see outside the frame lines? Some want the frame lines as close to the edge as possible, although this makes parallax correction more difficult (in OVF mode). Others don't mind seeing a lot outside the lines, being able to see objects way before they enter into the frame. What if you have the ability to chose? This mode should be available in both OVF and EVF mode. I would recommend the ability to manually adjust magnification from 0.91X (full frame for 50mm lines) to 0.72X (full frame for 28mm). However, if you shoot 50mm but want to see a lot outside the frame, then shoot the wider 0.72X. I would want a digital version of this too, as many street photographers want to be able to see outside the frame lines. I know this EVF option to change magnification would mean to lower the resolution of the image, but for certain styles of photography, I think it's worth losing some resolution to gain an outside-the-framelines-perspective (the Ricoh GR has 35mm and 47mm digital zoom which I use often, but doesn't show outside the frame lines).


1/320th sec f/4 @ ISO 400. Provia jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong


CONCLUSION 

The X100T is great because it has an x factor that other cameras don't have. It's more than the sum of its functions and features and technology. You have to shoot with it to completely understand. X photographer Kale Friesen himself had the X100T for the previously mentioned photo-walk, and I asked him why he chose it over the other Fujifilm cameras. He said because he can take it anywhere with him and that it inspires him to want to shoot. Yes he has a full DSLR setup for his studio work, but walking around the city, getting coffee, hanging out with friends, who wants to lug around a DSLR? Who even wants to lug around a compact ILC? Not me. The X100T feels comfortable around my neck all day.

The X100T has everything that a serious photographer wants, but in a package that can be taken anywhere. Every camera and every format and system has some sort of compromise, so its a matter of finding the features and functions you want the most and find the camera that best satisfies those requirements. Do you want the highest resolution? Get an 8 x 10 large format camera, although you sacrifice size, weight and shooting speed. Do you want the most compact? Use your smart phone. Do you want the most versatile? Buy an ILC. Want the highest resolution and performance in a digital camera with versatility? Get a full frame DSLR. Want a compact ILC but decent resolution, wide variety of lenses and body options, get a M43 camera. Do you love the look, feel and shooting style of a film camera and have an unlimited budget, buy a Leica. 


1/85th sec f/4 @ ISO 400. Classic Chrome jpeg. To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong


The Fujifilm X series is the best overall ILC systems camera on the market today, with a decent variety of bodies and lenses to chose from. However, the X100T is the best balance of all these qualities and features and functions. It's light and compact. Its performance is good enough for a pro or serious photographer. It has high image quality. It's retro in look and shooting style, but it's highly functional. The build quality and lens quality is fantastic, but the price is reasonable for what you get. It feels like you're shooting film but you have the advantage of shooting digital. It's cutting edge technology that no other manufacturer has (hybrid viewfinder, X-trans non-bayer CMOS sensor, true film simulation). As the 3rd generation X100 series camera, the controls and functions are highly refined and well thought out. This is the best Fuji film X series camera to date. If you can afford it, buy it. Don't worry about the X200, or the X100U or X100V. Fujfilm loves updating firmware to keep your investment relevant years after you've bought it, and their engineers listen to customer input on how to improve their cameras via firmware updates.


1/450th sec f/4 @ ISO 200. Provia jpeg. Camera Girl in Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong


I've had the X100T now for almost 4 months now and it goes with me everywhere I go. Yes I take my Ricoh GR with me as well, but there's an emotional attachment to the X100T that probably comes from the fact that it feels like I'm shooting film. I'm a sucker for OVFs. The Ricoh GR is basically a very powerful point and shoot. The X100T is a lot more. If you've shot with it, you know what I'm talking about. If you're considering buying one and you can afford it, get the X100T over the X100S. The S is good, but the T is great. Thank you Fujifilm Canada for letting me review this camera for such a long time. I loath to ship it back. Maybe I'll keep it for the next photo walk? A special thanks to Helen and Serena of Fujifilm Canada for all your help.

Check out my Preview of the X100T here:

Check out my Video Review of the X100T here:

Check out my X100T streetphotography set-up video tutorial here:



Bonus pics...enjoy and happy shooting!


1/1100th sec f/4 @ ISO 800. Classic Chrome jpeg. Argyle Street, Mong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong



1/1000th sec f/5.6 @ ISO 400. Classic Chrome jpeg. Kowloon Road, To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong



1/240th sec f/4.5 @ ISO 1000. Provia jpeg. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island





36 comments:

  1. Hi BHT!

    Been anticipating for your written review for the X100T and I have to say this is one of the rare few reviews that focus much on the overall package of the camera and the OVF!

    I've been using the X100T since last November and I have to agree that having the option to use the OVF and EVF is a huge benefit and it is indeed making me to think more about how my eyes and the camera perceive light differently. Something unique to X100 series and X-Pro 1.

    X100 series is not a specs sheet topper but as an overall package it is one that makes me want to bring it out to shoot. An aspect that cannot be quantified unfortunately :/

    I'll be awaiting for more of your insights of the Fujifilm/Leica world! Somehow your posts often have an unique view of the gears that I rarely find elsewhere. (None of those specs list for me to scroll through that is everywhere!). Appreciate your efforts!

    Regards,
    Dave

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for commenting, I really do appreciate it! It's taken me far too long to write this review, but I find that the longer I have a camera, the harder it is to write the review as it feels unfinished. My favourite photography writer/reviewer was Herbert Keppler. I would buy the latest Popular Photography magazine just to read his viewpoint on photography. He rarely gushed over specs or top speeds. It took him years before he told his readers what he actually shot with himself, as he didn't want people to run out and buy what he was shooting, or focusing on equipment. He was a genuine reviewer who loved photography and loved sharing his thoughts and ideas. So perhaps that's why my writing may be a bit different than most reviewers.

      I've also been shooting professionally and as a hobby or many years (over 20) and I've been very open-minded about equipment. I've also worked in the retail, wholesale and the production side (photo labs) of photography so I have a pretty well rounded view and a timeline viewpoint of equipment. I've seen trends come and go, and I've seen manufacturers' marketing patterns versus real technology leaps.

      I appreciate you appreciating what I do. I know I'm not one of the big reviewers but I still hold myself to a very professional level when it comes to reviewing. I try to be as honest as possible, and I do so by respectfully expressing my opinion, which is what a review is right? If I say something that you don't agree with, that's great! Let's debate it. I don't like reviews that read like a spec sheet. This is something I learned at university when writing papers: you need to have an argument, but you need to prove it.

      I have more articles to write, but I always try to complement the writing with good photography as well, which is what takes some time. I want to prove that I mean what I say with images to prove my point. Thanks for your support and encouragement!

      Happy shooting Dave!!

      BHT

      Delete
  2. Hey BHT!

    Your reviews are great! Your initial video about the X100T made me get mine!

    About your request for a "distance scale in 'LCD info mode' for shooting by scale without looking through viewfinder"

    You can actually turn this on in the Display Settings > EVF/LCD > MF Distance Indicator

    I use it this all the time to prefocus and with focus peaking on you can really get a sense of what is in focus when shooting from the hip!

    Thanks,
    Tom

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tom,

      Thanks for the complement and I'm glad you found my review helpful in making the decision to go for the X100T.

      I know what you mean about activating the distance scale on the rear LCD while in 'Info Only' mode. You actually activate it in the Set-Up menu (blue folder) under 'Focus Check', although you do need to make sure the focus scale feature is turned on in Display Custom Setting Mode in the 'Shooting' menu. However, it switches to the actual view mode, which for me is distracting. I think it should be built into the Info Screen mode without switching screens, like on the Leica M240 LCD info mode. Sorry, I should have made that more clear.

      Thanks again for commenting and your support. I'm glad you're enjoying and using the X100T's unique shooting modes. I find it a shame when people buy the X100 series and shoot it like a point and shoot. It's so powerful with so many cool features to help photographers become better. Happy shooting!

      BHT

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  3. One thing to take note of, you mentioned "X100 and X100S: There are many diehard X100 fans who prefer the look of the original non-X Trans CCD sensor versus the CMOS sensor in the X100S and X100T."

    The original sensor is not a CCD, it's a CMOS, but just a normal CMOS sensor not a X-Trans. Nice review btw!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, thanks for the correction. I'm going to change that now. I often mix up my Leica info with my Fuji (M9 with CCD and then the M240 with CMOS). I'll correct but leave your comment and mine. Thanks for the kind correction! Happy shooting...

      BHT

      Delete
  4. Thank you for the great review of the x100t
    And for the wonderful images ... Isn't That's what we do with a camera?... Capture moments?, well done!
    Patrick, A fujifilm xpro1/x100/xt-1 user

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    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for your encouraging comment. I appreciate it very much. Yes, I wanted my reviews to be different than most. I wanted to have great pictures as well as insightful thoughts. I didn't want pictures of brick walls looking for light fall-off and distortion, and I didn't want a listing of all the features. You have a nice collection of Fujifilm cameras. I can only imagine the lenses you must have! Happy shooting!

      BHT

      Delete
  5. Hi Take,

    I just got my X100T and it is a fantastic camera. I was wondering if you could check your X100T and see if in low-light the focus peaking in full EVF mode is weaker than what shows up on the LCD. A few other users and I seem to be having this issue. While the peaking highlights will show up fine on the LCD what I see in the viewfinder is very weak.

    Thank you,

    Ly

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ly,

      Yes I did notice that the focus peaking in the EVF isn't very good in low lighting. My guess is because it needs to gain up in low light which in turn hides the peaking light. I will check with my Sony experts and see if they experience the same issue with lowlight peaking as well. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will comment back here as soon as possible.

      BHT

      Delete
    2. Thanks for looking into the issue. For what it's worth, I haven't noticed any peaking issues with the RX100M3 in low-light. But please do double check with your acquaintances. If it is a Fuji issue then hopefully it will be fixed via firmware.

      Thanks again,

      Ly

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    3. Hi Ly,

      sorry for taking so long to look into the EVF peaking issue. I've tried many different combinations of lighting situations, setting changes, but to no avail. You are correct that the Fujfilm EVF peaking performance is subpar. Because I typically don't shoot in lowlight (as you can tell by my pictures) and when I do manual focus it's often by scale, I never really noticed. I double checked against the X-T1 and the X-E2 and they also have the same problem. I am meeting up with Fujifilm tomorrow to talk about it as well, but my guess is that it's just something they're going to have to fix in future updates.

      I compared against Sony and they have no problems with low light peaking, although the performance does dip a bit. Sony does peaking the best so they are definitely ahead of Fuji in this area. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. I didn't find focusing difficult in low light even when peaking wasn't working, but peaking sure would help when there's nothing with decent contrast to focus on.

      Take care and I'll keep you updated once I speak with Fuji. Happy shooting!

      BHT

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  6. Great review as usual BHT-san! Your video review had me leaning towards an X100T, so i had ordered one for Xmas... and don't regret it! I live in Japan and also got to participate to Fuji's photo contest here, so i could see some serious shots taken with the x-systems. Really awesome things these cameras can take, and i got seriously humbled by some of the works I saw.
    Two questions for you if I may...
    - a very close friend is getting married, and i am planning to take my x-t1 for a spin. I do have a 60mm lens (the "macro" dubbed one). Do you reckon that can do for wedding photo? Or do i need a 56mm for the quality of its bokeh? Expensive option though..
    - I started a blog where i showcase pictures and music i am making. If you ever find time in your busy day, would love to hear your comments on my photographs as I really like your street photography style and I could learn from you! erictrucco.wordpress.com . Just in case :)

    Looking forward to your next reviews and videos!

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    1. Congrats on the X100T! The Fujifilm X series of cameras are great and I'm very privileged to have such a great working relationship with Fujifilm Canada. Let's get to your questions:

      1. Are you saying you are only going to use the 60mm lens, or that you're thinking of using it or the 56mm lens for close up portrait work? For portraits, I've never been a fan using just Bokeh as the singular effect to take a great picture. If you notice with many of my pictures, I shoot stopped down so I rarely use that effect. As for Bokeh, the APD does have an amazing quality, but you're right, it's a lot of money to spend unless you have lot of money, or you're going to make money from using it. I would recommend sticking with the 60mm because I would probably stop down to f/2.8-4 anyway to get a portrait shot.

      2. I'll definitely check out your work. I'll comment on your blog.

      Thanks for commenting and I hope you have a great time shooting your friends wedding. My first real photo gig was shooting a wedding, so it's a great learning experience.

      Happy shooting!

      BHT

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    2. Hi BHT, thank you very much for your response! I currently only have a 60mm for portraits, and were wondering if the 56mm was a justifiable option. As always, your insight is helpful and I understand the 60mm might be just what I need. I will look around your blog for some portraits samples! Thanks again!

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  8. Hey BHT,

    Great review - appreciate your insight!
    A question for you - outside of the interchangeable lens flexibility, how would you compare the X100T vs an X-E2 with say the 18 or 27 pancake? Use ability, size, mojo... What would one be giving up or gaining with one vs the other?

    Sean in Tokyo

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    1. The X100T is in a class of its own because of the hybrid OVF-EVF. The X-E2 is fantastic, but it's 100% EVF only. The button layout is also much improved on the X100T, so you will shoot faster and more intuitively. Depending on the lens, I feel the X-E2's AF is faster and more accurate. The X-E2 with a pancake is a great option for those who want to change lenses, but definitely not the same feel as the X100T.

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    2. Sean, I tought about the pancake 27mm but at the end its not the same experience compared to the X100T.
      A) Better bokeh due to f 2.0
      B) You have no apeture ring on the Xf27 which is make a huge difference
      C) Sometime you need this 23mm , which means moving one step back with the 27mm

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  9. Awesome. Simply awesome. Thanks for the wonderful (and in-depth) review of this wonderful camera and your amazing shots with it.

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    1. Hi Glenn,

      Thanks for reading my review. I had a great time with it and I'm seriously considering buying one, although I also love my little Ricoh GR. Happy shooting!

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  10. Hi BHT,

    I'm currently debating between a Ricoh GR V, and the x100t,

    Mainly focused on street photography/every-day/travel use and the occasional landscape and architecture shots when needed (architecture/design graduate). Previous camera was an entry level dslr from over 6 years ago, and I would like to learn to shoot better (but dont have too much experience with a 35mm prime lens) and so this choice would be superseding that camera as I cannot afford high end dslr, nor do i need one - and this would be much easier to carry around!

    Was wondering what your opinion would be? and whether you think the x100t would be a worthier investment even at the higher cost? The only thing I'm worried about with these two is the zoom capability (which 'might' be an issue when I'm on a trip somewhere, etc).

    Sorry, I know your posts somewhat favour the x100t, but just wanted your direct opinion!

    Many thanks :) !

    Vic.

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    1. Hi Vic,

      Thanks for your question. This is probably the most asked question: Which is better for street photography, the Fujfilm X100 series or the Ricoh GR? Well, to answer your question with an action, I own the Ricoh GR. For my specific needs, the GR was the better choice. Which is the better camera in terms of specs and features? It's definitely the Fujfilm X100T. But just because it has better specs doesn't automatically make it a better camera, as you may well know. Your DSLR in many ways is a 'better' camera than the X100T, but sometimes what you need are not specs or features.... sometimes what you need is a single feature that wins you over.

      The shooting style is an important factor between the GR and X100T. The reason you buy the X100T is because of the awesome hybrid viewfinder. If you only use the rear LCD, then I would suggest getting the X-E2 and a prime lens. The Ricoh GR is a stealth shooter. It looks like a tourist's camera and nobody takes you seriously. However, that's what makes it so powerful. Also, it's very customizable, way more than the Fuji. If you take the time to read the well-written manual and play around, you will get the most of the camera.

      So it depends on you. If I had to make a buying decision right now between the X100T and Ricoh GR, I would probably still choose the Ricoh, but that's because of my needs. I will probably take better pictures with the X100T, but because I review cameras and need a back-up, my personal EDC (Every Day Carry) has to be as compact as possible. This is the primary feature of the GR that I need.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Either camera will be fine. Don't worry so much about zoom. Sure you'll miss some shots, but you will also miss shots if you only shoot with a zoom. Only seeing the world in a single focal length changes the way you see the world and the way you shoot.

      Happy shooting!

      BHT

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    2. Many thanks for your in-depth response,

      Agree completely with respect to specs not determining a cameras greatness!

      I guess for my purposes the 'compact-ness' isn't too much an issue, but you've given me a great insight regarding both cameras. The customizing that you spoke about intrigues me, I guess the last thing would be to try and find a local shop that sells the Ricoh and give it a shot! I've only tried the x100t so far, feels great in the hand, controls are nice, viewfinder option keeps me happy as a switch from DSLR, and I guess the aesthetic appeal is very high too :P

      Agree also with the zoom, I'm hoping to become a better photographer and learn greater composition of what I'm shooting!

      Thanks again BHT !

      Vic.

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    3. Hi Vic,

      The X100T is a great camera and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is serious about photography. Aesthetics is important and the X100T is probably the sexiest looking camera on the market today. The beauty of digital is that you can evaluate and learn from your mistakes right away so keep shooting and keep learning. You will grow as a photographer. Happy shooting!

      BHT

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  11. Mr BHT,

    I understand your mindset. When I taught English in Korea back in the 80's I brought my Nikon F2s and a Kodak Retinette. When I took a trip to Hong Kong in 2000, I only brought my Rollei 35T. I enjoy using my eyes for judging exposure, and guessing the focus to set on the lens. My Fuji F700 is finally giving out. After more than 40k pictures, now it only works if I turn it upside down and lightly tap a bit. When you preset limitations on the equipment being used, the gears spin faster in the brain. (smile)

    Mark

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    1. Hey Mark,

      thanks for commenting! Yes, the less equipment you bring, the better you will be at shooting the one camera, instead of dividing your energy and talent on multiple cameras and focal lengths! I actually enjoy wearing out a camera to the point that it stops working. It proves you used it to the max! Then you can put it on the shelf and retire it as a trophy. Thanks for commenting Mark!

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  12. Take,

    I've enjoyed this review and the conversations above. I've since sold my original X100 about 3 yrs ago and have been camera-less except for my iPhone. Recently, I have had some funds to acquire a new camera and so have been diligently catching up with what's available since my hiatus. Oh my...to my surprise there's so many good cameras to choose from. The Leica Q has peaked my interest but not much info out there and haven't even seen one in person. And to find a dealer, I need to drive a couple hours. Even then, they don't have one in stock. Heck, I didn't even know that Sony made cameras until last week!!! Shows you how absent I've been from keeping up with the camera world.

    Anyway, I really like that image you posted above in your review! That one entitled "Camera girl in Mong Kok" What a great pic! I was thinking man what if you could redo that one and drag the shutter a bit to show the crowd with movement but have the girl/lady simply stand really still for the shot - man it would be interesting. I never center my subjects in the middle and love my subjects off to the right or left showing the environment - so that's probably why I gravitated towards that image. Anyhow, enough for now, hope to hear from you.

    Teng

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    1. thanks for your comment and sorry for my late reply. I've actually been working on rebuilding this website on another platform so there's nothing new yet..... but everything has been moved over so don't worry. Nothing will disappear.

      As for the Leica Q, I've posted quite a few YouTube videos on it and I really like it. It's expensive and some may not like the 28mm fixed lens, but I'm use to shooting 28mm so I'm good. As for the X100T, best bang for your buck rangefinders style digital camera. In fact, I also write for FujiLove magazine, and here's my article on the X100T: http://bit.ly/BHT_FujiLove

      As for the picture, yes I would have loved to use a slow shutter speed and a pop of fill flash, but HK is a tough place to set up a tripod or monopod as the streets are crowded and busy. Perhaps I'll give it a go next time. Thanks again for commenting. Until I have my new website up (it will have the same URL so don't worry) contact me via Twitter, Instagram or my YouTube channel.

      Thanks,

      BHT

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  13. Hi BHT!

    great review ( as usual :D )...i would like to ask few question

    1. for a budget reason i was looking for a X30 and then i'm in love with the X100T...am i going in the right way spending more for it?

    2. do you think i have to buy immediately with the camera the TCL and the WCL or those are just expensive accessories?

    thx
    best regards
    F.

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    1. Sorry for the late reply.

      1. Between the X100T and X30, you get what you pay for. I think it's worth the extra expensive to get a camera that has less features, but does what it does very well. It's a well focused camera and is unique in a sea of sameness.

      2. I'm not a fan of the WCL because going from a 35mm equiv to a 28mm equiv isn't much of a difference. The TCL is a bigger deal, but unless you need to shoot 50mm equiv, the standard 23mm lens (or 35mm equiv) is good enough for most situations. I actually wrote an article for FujiLove magazine about the TCL converter:

      http://fujilove.com/fujifilm-x100t-tcl-x100-perfect-50mm-rangefinder/

      I hope this helps and sorry for the late reply.

      BHT

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  15. Hi, BHT!
    Discover your site today and there's a lot of great info.

    I'm going on a long travel mainly Asia and Europe and I want a reliable camera that can be great on street as well on travel style kind of photo.

    I've read a lot of reviews of two cameras that keeps me in the doubt: xpro 2 + 35mm f2 and X100t.

    The money is no problem, because I saved for this specific purchase a long time.

    I'm thinking more on the diferent weather conditions and multiplicity of situations of all these places in Asia but also on something light with great imagen quality that I always can carry with me.

    Do you think the X100t is trustable enough without being WR? Or do you prefer the xpro2 for that kind of long travel?

    I'm looking for one adventure brother and it would be great to read your thoughts about it.

    Thanks a lot!

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  16. BHT,

    What's your take on the 35mm F1.4 as a contender for capturing kids at play with the goal of obtaining "portraits" in action? I'm a teacher and take this kind of portrait for parents as a end of the year gift presented in video format. Thanks big guy:)

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  17. the field of view of the XF35mm f/1.4 on the Fujifilm system is fine for sports portraiture as long as you're reasonably close.

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  18. I have bookmarked your blog, the articles are way better than other similar blogs.. thanks for a great blog! Southern California wedding photographer

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