X100s, One Year on.

The Fujifilm X100s, the story so far..

When Fujifilm announced the X100s I have to admit I was excited. I had grown to love the X100, I had grown used to the quirks and foibles of the original incarnation and learned to focus on the positives, as they were plenty. The X100s may look almost identical to the original X100 but in short it is a completely different animal (photographically speaking).

The X100s is a phenomenal leap in performance and image quality to the original X100, the new X-Trans sensor is brilliant and especially shines in low light environments and as a result I am using it for literally everything.

Although the X100s is only out a few months I have already taken it to most of the counties in Northern Ireland (and also Donegal). I’ve used in every weather condition Ireland can throw at it in this very long Winter of Spring. I have used it up mountains on the Northern Ireland coast, in City Hall and the dark Belfast pubs and the X100s has yet to let me down.

The White Rocks

This was the first shot I took on a pre-production X100s one early December morning on the Whiterocks beach in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim. I was struck at just how quickly the camera performed and just how sharp the image was even at 100% zoom.

Early Morning

This photo was taken a few month later on the long path to Murlough beach, this time in County Down. This was a rare sunny day following the Spring blizzard and it was the first time I had seen the Mourne mountains caked with snow to such low levels, again the X100s performed brilliantly. I am using the original X100 case and use the half case section when out and about. I can lift the camera to my eye, flick the power switch and snap in seconds.

Towards the Mournes

Game of Thrones fans will recognise this next location as the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney. Again this was one of my early X100s images and I was so taken by the detail I dedicated a whole post zooming in on the people in the distance. You can see the zoomed images in this post.

The Dark Hedges X100s

The X100s retains all the features of the X100 and my favourite the sweep panorama option. This image was shot in County Donegal and is definitely best viewed large on flickr (click the image). I haven’t ventured to printing a panorama but the quality is certainly there and they are remarkably easy to shoot.

The Road Home

Another day out and another snap along the salmon leap in Rostrevor. You can see the X100s offers a brilliant dynamic range and the colour clarity is amazing.

Rostrevor with the X100s

My favourite stretch of beach in County Down has to be Tyrella. The speed performance of the X100s allows action to be frozen even at a distance.

New Year's Day Kite

If you ever visit Belfast you have to include a visit to the Duke of York in the Cathedral Quarter of the city. This venue was used in Phil Harrison‘s latest film ‘The Good Man‘ and is always a hive of activity. This is a low light environment and this image was captured without the aid of a flash.

The Duke of York

The beach from Whitertocks to Portrush, early evening towards the sun.

Even ride to Portrush

This is the same beach early morning, although this time on Boxing Day 2012.


The famous Bad Eddie boat wreck in Bunbeg is a popular location for photographers. I had set out to capture some long exposure images of the area with the X-Pro1 and 14mm lens but found the X100s was able to capture some really high detailed images perfect for mono conversion.

Bunbeg Beach

Another snap shot opportunity in Lisburn’s historic railway station.

>Railway clock

Yet again the X100s demonstrates an ability to capture stunning landscapes. This is Murlough beach following the heavy snow fall in March.

The Walkers

Regular visits to this site will remember the ‘Mini Adventure‘ series that followed a little mini car around the sights and scenes of Northern Ireland. I captured one of the last shots of the series in Belfast on the X100s.

Belfast Drive

Another example of the dynamic range offered by the X100s, another shot of Bad Eddie in Bunbeg, County Donegal.

Bunbeg Beach with the X100s

I did say I had used the X100s in every type of weather condition. I do take care to ensure my cameras don’t get (too) wet but the heaviest snow fall in living memory needed a visit to the Mournes.

Easter Snow

For this series I was using the X100s and the brilliant WCL-X100 wide angle adaptor, you can see more of the snow images here.

Silent Valley

This was the lowest point in the snow which was still at fence height.

Post Find

The same camera that captures the cold ice of winter can equally captured the glowing sunrise on the north coast of Northern Ireland.

Sun RIse

Another road trip alongside Errigal mountain in probably some of the remotest parts of Ireland. It was great to have a light camera that was capable of capturing the sheer scale of the area.

Errigal Mountain

The area is know as Gweedore and features a little valley called Poison Glenn. Here lies the rather scary Dunlewey Church.

X100s Church

One of my favourite locations in County Down has to be St John’s Point home of the famous yellow and black lighthouse.

st John's Point

I take the X100s everywhere and have had to attend a number of functions in Belfast’s City Hall. Again it is great to have a subtle camera capable of picking up the detail of the wet streets…….

st John's Point

…. yet at the same time be capable of a quick point and shoot shot while crossing the road.

Belfast City Hall

With the X100 I was never really sure it was a replacement for my DSLR. Yes when it hit the mark the image quality was remarkable but it was relying on it delivering in all situations and environments that was the real issue. The X100s is different, it performs, it out punches other cameras I have used but best of all it performs in a subtle lightweight body that you can carry everywhere without a rucksack or backache.


I took these shots under an umbrella at Lisburn’s recent Mayor’s parade. I was able to document the day snapping away with every shot being pin sharp, even the action shots are razor sharp.


More often than not I use the X100s in aperture priority mode I set the camera to auto ISO capped at 3200 and concentrate on composition. Even in low light and a high ISO the X100s is a remarkable performer.


From the action shots of summer carnivals (albeit wet summer carnivals) to the stunning landscapes of Northern Ireland the X100s offers a photographic experience that is almost addictive.


It is photography as it should be, the prime lens means you don’t have to stress as to what lens to use which means you are forced to be creative with composition and exposure.

Road to Donnard

Over the last few weeks the only time I lifted another camera was when I needed to take a photo of my X100s for this post. The only thing that confuses me is the name, simply adding a S suggests a few minimal refinements on the original model yet this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Dark Hedges

The X100s is a powerhouse and really has become my everyday goto camera. From the dark corridors of Belfast City Hall to the fifteen foot snow drifts of Silent Valley the X100s has consistently impressed.

Check out the X100s a One Year on Review.


  1. I love my X100, but this post may have just cost me a load of money!!

    You are a very bad man!!!

  2. I think you’ve hit it just right David. I couldn’t agree more. You were one of the key Fuji disciples that convinced me to buy one and I’m very grateful.

    I won’t mention the brand of my other camera but in a few words, it hasn’t been missed in the few weeks I’ve had my new X100s. It does everything and does it all tremendously well.

    Sure, you have to be content with a 35mm focal length, but for me that’s absolutely no issue and as you said in your post, doesn’t cause any loss of detail for subjects in the distance. I sold my X100 to upgrade and am so happy I did.

  3. Lovely pics David and glad you’re getting so much out of the camera. I do miss my X100 sometimes but have been enjoying shooting film again. Clearly i need to plan a trip to Northern Ireland!

  4. Great selection of shots David. Thanks for sharing. I am in two minds about selling my X-Pro1 now that I have the 100s. Are you still using your X-Pro1 actively?

  5. If you have to chose just one camera between X100S, X-Pro1 or XE1 what would be your choice?

  6. A multi lens camera is always going to be more versatile but such versatility comes with a financial cost. That said the X100s is consistently the go-to camera.

  7. After months of deliberation, I finally bought an X100s and I have never looked back!. The images that I get from it are astonishing. I thought that the restriction of a fixed focal length lens might be a problem but no! it makes you to think about composition and cropped images are still pin sharp. As far as I an concerned the DSLR is dead

  8. Wow, wow, wow. What an incredible set of images – so varied, but every one superb. Love the gritty depth and contrast of the black & whites, and you can tell by shots such as the boxing image how fast the focus on the X100s obviously is. Not long had a Fuji X-Pro1 and would struggle to get rid of my beloved 5D3s BUT seeing these images does make me realise what an impressive camera range (in a talented pair of hands!) Fuji now has.

  9. Didn’t you sell your original X100 and buy it back again a few weeks later?

    I can’t see any difference between the images of the two camera. Plus your stil restricted to the same lens. How frustrating. You’ve adapted some of the shots well. Trying to give a wide angle look. But it doesn’t acheive what you want. It is without doubt the best street camera and excels at night in low light. But I get the feeling your trying to make it into a jack of all trades and master of none.

  10. The X100S is a amazing camera that can give great, almost 3 dimensional results. It’s a great companion to a DSLR or the X-Pro1. I tend to carry my x100s and my x-pro1 with 14 and 35 almost everywhere with me.

  11. I have just ordered one, along with the wideangle adaptor (I already have the X100) to go alongside my XE-1 and 35mm.

    Looking forward to trying it out.

  12. Thanks for the great read. I just bought a X100s, my first Fuji and I can honestly say the quality of my photos exceeds the files from my Canon 5D MKII and my Pentax K5 (with the Limited Primes)

  13. Wonderful shots! I like them much.
    Are these processed from RAW files or are these SOOC jpegs?

  14. Great article. I appreciate your insights with the X100S. I have an X-E1 currently and love it, except for the not-so-fast AF. Now, thanks to you, I may be spending more money to get the X100S. Thanks a lot 🙂

  15. Great “review” David but … you’ve left me more anxious. I like what Fuji is doing with these cameras. I haven’t seen a bad image from an X-Trans sensor and I love the retro look. I’m budgeting for an X camera but I have not yet decided which one — X-100s, X-20, X-E1, X-Pro 1. Choices!!! Perhaps I’ll wait until the end of the year and Fuji will introduce an X-E2 and X-Pro 2.

  16. Great. Not only do I need to get the x100s, I need to go to Ireland too! 😉 Thank you for this great post!

  17. Thanks for the great review David, love those photos. I have an X100S and really enjoy taking photos with it. Do you have any links for good Lightroom tutorials? Also, any tips on taking good photos indoors would low light would be great! For some reason mine always end up out of focus. Thanks a lot!

  18. How do you get the dark corners on the black and white boat wreck picture? It really makes the boat the centre of attention.

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David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is a former Official Fujifilm X Photographer.

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