The Fujifilm X100T the best X100 model yet with the “T” standing for “Tremendous”?
User review of the Fujifilm X100T.
last week I spent the using the recently released retro looking high end compact (ish) camera, the Fujifilm X100T , an enthusiast targeted large “Trans-X” sensor (i.e. APS-C), fixed lens (i.e. 23mm equivalent) viewfinder (i.e. clever optical – electro hybrid) camera thanks to the generosity from the guys at Digital Depot (Stevenage) (www.digitldepot.co,uk)
The new X100T is an evolutionary development of the Fuji X100S a camera which like its predecessor (the original Fujifilm X100) impressed me greatly 18 months ago when I tested one whilst on a trip to Valencia.
The X100T maintains much of the core innards of the previous model (i.e. the 16mp “Trans-X” CMOS sensor and fixed 23mm F2 Fujinon lens) but adds a bigger more resolute rear screen. Fuji have improved the excellent hybrid viewfinder added a few tweaks and and additions here and there and when added up they all tend to improve the overall user experience.
So does the new X100T still deliver the goods? Well image quality is still very good indeed although in fairness probably not class as they once were. Images are crisp and detailed displaying a lovely film like appearance (helped by film simulation looks that can be applied). As with the previous model the X100T excels when shooting in low light or utilising high ISO settings. Rather handily the camera features extensive in-camera RAW conversion / editing which can be very useful.
Metering and white balance are both generally reliable (and customisable) although its noticeable that the AF performance is now lagging a fair bit behind the opposition.
Generally the physical changes made to button layout has improve the cameras ergonomics and lead to a significance improvement in overall handling.
Almost 2 years ago I considered the Fuji X100S as the best and most rewarding “Street” camera on the market. Is that still the case?
Well almost. Whilst the X100T is by far the best X100 model released to date the problem for Fuji is that the opposition have moved on of late and cameras like the Panasonic LX100 in particular actually bring more to the party in overall capacity and usability.
This means the Fuji X100T remains cool looking niche camera but it won’t suit everybody. What it is able to deliver and deliver in spades is an old school photography experience. However it just fails to nail the overall flexibility of some of the opposition (again the LX100 in particular but also to some extent the smaller Sony RX100 M3 and Canon G7X). And although image quality was first class 2-3 years ago and is still very good, the 16mp “Trans-X” sensor has lost its edge ever so slightly over the more modern and resolute conventional CMOS sensors (especially those produced by Sony) fitted to a lot of the new breed of large sensor compacts.
Annoyingly battery life remains poor, and yes the new bigger, more resolute rear screen is a much welcomed update but it’s still non- articulated and also lacks touch capacity. Like other “X” cameras video capacity is not brilliant although I doubt video is a feature many prospective buyers will be too interested in. And I also feel the camera would benefit from properly scultured finger grip.
Overall the Fujifilm X100T is a superb camera but I suspect for a lot of people it probably won’t tick enough boxes. Fuji definitely needs to get a more resolute APS-C size “Trans -X” sensor into their X range ASAP (i.e. 20-24mp?) and also embrace articulated touch screens. In fact a new “X” camera with the same clever viewfinder, a “fast” high quality Fujinon zoom (something like a 25-75mm F2.8-4) a 24mp “Trans-X” CMOS sensor and articulated touch screen would certainly tick all the boxes for me, here’s hoping?
For the time being the X100T remains a photographer’s delight, a niche camera which will attract and justify a loyal following but Fuji mustn’t take that loyalty for granted with any future APS-C “X” camera releases.
Fuji X100T: Verdict
An evolutionary update to the previously well regarded X100S the new Fuji X100T is bound to attract and reward ownership. A capable camera capable of delivering excellent images, some may find the clever fusion of modern technology with looks to die for as totally irresistible but a fixed focal length lens means in truth is still a niche camera an “old school street camera”, but then again is that necessarily a bad thing?
Mark Baynham (April 2015)