The Fujifilm X100T is the 3rd generation of the brilliant retro-styled X100 camera. The X100 was the camera that first attracted me to Fujifilm and to mirrorless photography back in early 2011 and from then I upgraded to the Fujifilm X100s and it literally went everywhere in its little brown leather case documenting some of the best memories of 2013 and 2014 including Jim Broadbent, Two Door Cinema Club, and Vivian Campbell to name just a few. You can read my X100S experiences in: The X100S One Year On.
When Fujifilm announced the X100T I assumed it was an incremental upgrade to the X100 range and I began to wonder what they would change and how they could improve on the the X100s which I considered to be a work of brilliance. I read comments from other photographers considering there might not be enough of a change on the X100s to justify the upgrade as, after all it was the same lens, the same sensor, and it is almost identical in physical appearance.
Within a few minutes of using the X100T the differences were obviously apparent, it’s a leap but please don’t consider this statement me writing off the X100S, it remains a brilliant camera but where the X100s is smart, the X100T is a genius. It feels like Fujifilm have packed a supercomputer into the X100T both in terms of features and performance.
The first thing I noticed was the change in the button layout from the X100S. The buttons seem firmer and better quality, there is a new wifi button and the rotating wheel on the X100s has been replaced with a 4-button digital selector configuration similar to the X-E2 and X-T1.
Change can be challenge but interestingly the X100T button layout feels natural both in ergonomics and position. I know Fujifilm consulted with a number of professional X100s photographers in the development process and it is clear they listened to what they had to say, the new layout and button system is definitely a great improvement.
One other major change is that both the FN buttons and the Q menu system can be easily customized to suit your shooting style. This isn’t just the little FN button on the top of the camera but all seven buttons on the back of the camera! It’s brilliant!
Everything has been refined and improved on the X100T, the viewfinder has seen an update offering 92% coverage and a new advanced hybrid viewfinder perfect for those who use manual focus. The LCD has also been upgraded to a larger 3.0-inch 1040K-dot offering stunning previews of captured images as well as a live view option.
The new OVF (Optical View Finder) is a joy to use. I have every feature turned on (menu option) allowing me to see literally every aspect of the image via the viewfinder. It is a stunning way to capture images, it even offers a magnified digital preview of the focus area on the bottom right of the finder. The image below really doesn’t do the OVF justice, you have to see it in the flesh to appreciate what it offers.
Film Simulation: Classic Chrome
I habitually shoot RAW but over the years have acknowledged the quality of the JPG images from the X-range of cameras. Lately I have moved away from RAW+JPG to shooting only JPG images. There are a number of benefits to shooting JPG, firstly you can get more to a memory card and writing is quicker. You can transfer JPG images using the wifi option without having to use the on-camera conversion but the real benefit (in my opinion) comes in the form of the Fujifilm film simulation modes.
The addition of Classic Chrome is a welcomed addition to the suite and like the other film profiles it is true to their film counterparts and considerably better than I can replicate in post production. The quality of the JPGs from the Fuji range is fantastic and I suspect the X100T will be locked in Classic Chrome simulation mode by default as the colour tones are quite beautiful.
Note, if you are still keen to shot RAW and use Adobe Lightroom you can apply the camera simulations by going to the ‘Camera Calibration’ tab in the Develop module and using the ‘Profile’ drop down menu.
In addition to the film simulation modes the X100T also offers a choice of eight ‘artistic’ filter effects. Effects like ‘Toy camera’ and ‘Miniature’ in my opinion, feel out of place on a camera of this quality, perhaps I am wrong. I happy to report the brilliant panorama feature appears on the X100T and like the X100s banding is rarely an issue.
The focusing speed on the X100T seems quicker again to that of the X100S (which was great to begin with). Things have come a long way from the initial X100 release, it’s amazingly quick, combine this with the new OVF and you have a really enjoyably photographic experience.
The Fujifilm X100T sees the introduction of both Face Detection and multi-target focus areas. I have been using both options over the last few days and find both to be reliable and useful in a range of applications. Face detection is particularly useful on days or nights out in groups and works with remarkable precision. The multi-target system may be handy for general point and shoot applications but I suspect I will go between a single point of focus and face detection.
Another massive improvement is that spot metering now works based on where the focus point is in the frame. Move the focus area and the metering will also follow. This is a very welcome improvement and is going to be very useful for music photography.
The Fujifilm implementation of camera wifi is amazing. I wrote about previously in the X-T1, see Fujifilm X-T1 Wifi connection. The X-100T employs the same wifi system and offers the ability to:
Live view the camera on your smartphone or tablet
Preview the images stored.
Transfer up to 30 images over the air.
Add GPS information to the photos as they captured.
You can download the free Fujifilm wifi apps from your respective Apps Stores. Below is a quick video guide on how easy it is to use the wifi App with the X-range.
You can also automatically transfer your images from the camera to your computer. It takes a few minutes to set up via the camera menu system. Interestingly I found the ‘manual’ setup easier than the ‘Simple’ option and it was a matter of adding my wireless access point key and installing the PCAutosave application (don’t worry there is a Mac version too). You can get the software here.
Within the application on the computer you can set the location of where the images should be stored. The App runs in the background listening for an incoming camera communication.
Once you have paired the computer and camera you can use the ‘playback’ menu when viewing cameras to access the PC Auto Save function. This isn’t tethered capture as such but offers the ability to send images over the air to a folder on your computer. Although it is a handy function it isn’t quite as handy as transferring the images via USB cable or memory card reader.
The X100 has always been a camera focused on simplicity. The X100T takes that notion a step further, with the introduction of USB charging. It is the first camera I have used to offer the feature and I think it is perfect for travel photography. The X100T already boasts the longest battery life in the X range with the ability to capture 330 photos on a single charge or up to 700 photos when OVF Power Save mode is ON. With the X100T you can travel ultra-light and charge your camera on the go by connecting it to a computer via the USB cable. The USB charging is really handy and you can read about my experiences using the X100T in my Elgato Smart Power review.
I have previously used an additional adaptor to capture time-lapse video with the X-E1. The X100T removes the need for an external device as the feature is built-in to the internal software. You can set the interval, duration and start time.
One of the big issues facing photographers who capture time-lapse is battery life so the ability to connect your camera to a USB source in essence means the camera can almost be mains powered. This may open up a whole new set of opportunities, from initial experimentation you can still use the camera while it is connected to a USB port although the battery doesn’t charge while in use (but it doesn’t appear to deplete either).
Also note the X100T is capable of capturing up to 700 photos in a single charge, which at a full 24 frames a second equates to a 29-second time-lapse.
I use the macro feature on the X100s quite often but I definitely feel there is an improvement to this feature on the X100T. It’s easier to control at shallow depth of field and the resultant images are ultra-sharp.
Depth of Field
Speaking of depth-of-field, the X100T features a 9-blade aperture diaphragm and an electronic shutter capable of exposures up to 1/32000 sec. This is a massive improvement on the X100S which had a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second, 1/3200 allows the X100T to shoot bokeh rich backgrounds when shooting wide open even in bright conditions. This was a frustration with the X100S on sunny days so I really welcome this improvement.
The X100T is definitely more responsive both in the process of capturing images and also when using the menus. Everything feels virtually instant from adjusting settings via the Q button or working my way through the improved menu system.
I have been using the silver variant of the X100 range up to this point and this is my first all black version. I can confirm, as you may expect that the colour of the camera has no impact on image quality (:-)), but it does mean, as a fashion conscious photographer I have to consider my accessories.
I have been using the original X100 brown case with the X100 and X100s so have invested in the sleek, black leather Fujifilm case for the black X100T. These really are high quality cases they offer enough protection that I can carry the camera around in my bag everyday without fear of damage. The new variety of the case also has a little door on the base that allows access to the SD card and battery.
I have also invested in the little X100T lens hood, I tend to keep the X100T in the case but when out on a photo walk I use the bottom half of the case and attach the lens hood. In additional my X100 Lee Filter system is still compatible so I look forward to some long exposure photography using the X100T.
If you are currently using a DLSR camera then the X100T might be the best introduction to the mirrorless system you can find. For years I missed shots simply because I didn’t have a camera with me but the X100T is compact and light enough to ‘go anywhere’ and ‘go everywhere’ and it’s still a powerful workhorse capable of capturing stunning images in a wide range of situations.
I genuinely didn’t think Fujfilm could improve very much about the X100S, yet I haven’t managed to cover all of the enhancements and improvements introduced on the X100T although I suspect they will appear in posts throughout the year.
This really isn’t a conclusion, it’s really just the beginning. The X100T is a worthy replacement to the X100s as my everyday, take everywhere camera and as such, the adventure is just beginning. I can’t recommend it highly enough.