Return of the X100 : Belfast & Tips

After a week not using my X100 I found myself compelled to consolidate my camera gear down to a limited number of options. The single aim of this cull of lenses was simply to re-equaint myself with the X100 compact camera.

I have already outlined my struggles with the X100 mainly that the battery level indicator can be a little misleading, the second the indicator suggests the battery isn’t full you really have to change the battery.

Negatives aside this is a great little camera and I have spent a a few days setting it up for optimum performance.

I am Back

1. Use the fastest SD card possible and format the card on the camera.

When I first put my SD card into the camera I thought there was something wrong. The boot up time was between 10-20 seconds, formatting the SD using the camera along with turning on the “fast boot” option makes the camera virtually instantly ready for use.

Belfast Building

2. Turn off image preview

I have sped the camera up by turning off the image preview option when a photo is taken. You can still view the photographs manually but turning off preview offers much faster shooting.

St George's Market Belfast

3. Use EVF at all times

I tend to be quite close to subjects but I am finding that the EVF (Electronic View Finder) offers greater reliability when using autofocus.

4. Use the auto ISO

The X100 really shines when it comes to image noise. Even at 3200 the noise is virtually nil. Be using auto ISO you can get the best quality image for your environment. I have read a few people criticise this mode but to date it has worked really well for my style of shooting.

I have a growing set of X100 photographs over in the flickr set. It is great to use a powerful little camera that doesn’t stand out like a lens based dSLR when out and about.


  1. Before your tips, I had not recognized that the optical finder’s green in-focus indicator only means that something is in focus but not necessarily your main subject and that the electronic finder lets you SEE what is in focus. I’m also turning off the image preview. Both good tips. Thanks.

    I like shooting with the X100 and have gotten some of my best pictures with it (both landscape and portraits). People don’t freeze up when I shoot the X100.

    However, the percentage of keepers is much higher with my D7000 and the autofocus speed and precision for moving subjects (like children) is amazing.

  2. Agreed with the keeper ratio but it feels like a more natural process, as you say people don’t freeze with the X100 compared to a dSLR with zoom lens.

  3. Totally agree with your post. Beautiful pictures by the way.

    Before I came across this blog, I read Rockwell’s guide to the x100 and set mine up the same way… which is very similar to the way you suggest.

    I absolutely LOVE this little camera, it produces the sharpest photos with the most realistic colors I have seen. I do agree, the EVF is much better than optical when taking close-up photos. Why is that? I prefer using the optical, but have found I have to go to EVF because it won’t autofocus. Maybe they can fix this when they update the firmware next time?

  4. I’m always pleased after shooting with the X100 to see one or two stunning shots (color, sharpness, exposure, composition) when viewed in Lightroom. I can usually see that those shots have potential when reviewed in camera, but I can’t tell if they are beyond just good. So, getting them transferred to my computer usually yields a special treat or two. I always get good shots with my D7000, but the color and skin tones never take my breath away quite like they do with the best X100 shots.

  5. Thanks for your tips, David.

    My X100 arrived at the weekend, and I headed off out this lunch time to familiarise myself with things. It’s clearly a different experience than my 40D, and I will no doubt take some time to get comfortable with t so that shooting becomes second nature. Your tips are very useful though, and will help me on my way.

    I know the X100 colours and sharpness are good looking at my photos tonight, but I must say that I really like your post processing, too.

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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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