Fujifilm X100S – “the pocket-XPro”

Type S

Never wanted to write one of these “it’s been a little quiet here” posts, but it actually was a little quiet here :-(

2013 has been busy so far, since I started to earn some money with my photography besides my main job as a sales manager. My respect goes to all those brave freelancers and full-time professionals out there, I just dipped my toe into the pro-water and am soooo glad to have that financial backing of my main job. Furthermore its kind of nice to switch to “non-photographic” thoughts now and then.

By the way, that’s why I also have some changes/updates regarding this website on my agenda – but filed this under “Priority: C” at the moment…

Anyway, I guess almost 80% of my photography will still be private pleasure and so as casual as it’s always been. The only challenge will be to find enough spare time for that. Speaking of private-pleasure-photography, I’m totally in love with Fujifilms X-system. This company exactly knows what some of us highly GAS-infected photographers want. The X-Pro1 is…ahh…I just love it! Period. Nothing feels better than grabbing my (black) dothebag Mono 06 with all those Xquipment inside (actually, the X-Pro1, her 4 Fujinon primes, an EF-X20 flash and stuff like the X-Pro Hand Grip, batteries/SD-Cards etc. fits in there nicely), and heading downtown to enjoy some hours of shooting with this awesome pieces of kit. But in spite of the fact that an X-Pro1 with a Fujinon XF prime isn’t actually a large/heavy camera (compared to a DSLR that’s capable of a similar output quality), it’s still that little bit to hefty to just slip it over your shoulder and take it with you everyday/everywhere.

Yes, I know:  there will be a Fujinon XF pancake lens later this year, and yes, there already is the tiny little Fujinon XF 18mm/F2.0 R with its pancake-like design; but I neither wanted to wait for the pancake, nor am I one of those (enviable) photographers that can manage to shoot everything with just a 28mm (FF equiv.) lens. Even 35mm (equiv.) is still a wide affair to me, since I already confessed to be a “50mm-guy”. But I have to admit that something between 35 and 40mm would be the perfect focal length for everyday-everywhere-use. That’s why I still used a trusty old Olympus PEN E-P1 with the lovely Panasonic LUMIX G 20mm/F1.7 ASPH pancake (40mm equiv.) for this purpose. After falling in love with the X-system last year, I was already thinking about replacing the PEN with a Fujifilm X100 - especially when Fuji released that extremely sexy “limited” Black Edition – but I couldn’t justify spending 4-5 times the price of the PEN (a good second hand E-P1 comes in for less than € 170,- on eBay & Co, and even the “PanaLeicake” isn’t that expensive anymore) for an everyday camera with more quirks than the X-Pro and the PEN together, and even without that beloved X-trans awesomeness ;-)

But just 1 year later, it’s here. The thing that pulls the € 1.200,- out of my pocket easily. The facelift of the X100. Fuji listened to their customers feedback and made everything right (imho). No dramatic design changes, no revolution, no mainstreaming of the concept/look. I’ll stop here with tech/spec-stuff about the X100S since there are so many blogs and reviews out there, praising and testing the heck out of the new model (my personal favorite is Zack Arias’ “a camera walks into a bar”). The only thing Fuji didn’t give me (and many other photographers), is a black version of the X100S. But I guess they’re preserving that for another (even more expensive) “limited” Black Edition, and I guess I’ll even buy that BE version as soon as it becomes available :-(

Anyway, I have a small and light “pocket-XPro” for my everyday-use now. And the Easter Weekend gave me at least one hour of acceptable weather to shoot the X100S between two familial obligations in Frankfurt/Main. This isn’t a wannabe-review, just some thoughts of someone who enjoyed taking a few casual (and unspectacular) shots with his new toy…

Sir Benni MilesSir Benni Miles

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Quiet happy the OVF “knew” what I wanted to focus on in this one:

SugarSugar

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StepsSteps

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Panning is what the OVF was made for:

CorneringCornering

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Oh yes, the X100S definitely is faSt! But that doesn’t help anything if the photographer is slow. After I shot the cornering C-class Merc above, I caught myself “chimping” on the display to check the shot while this much more interesting classic SL approached from the left:

SL190 SL

…damn, although the Fuji got ready to shoot in next to 0,0 seconds, I didn’t get a shot including the beautiful front of this automotive classic, fitted with those awesome yellow fog lights :-(

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Someone killed a tree in downtown Frankfurt/Main:

SmileySmiley

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BenchBench

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Let me fill this X100S-related blog post with some more images I’ve shot with that gem this weekend:

monitor self portrait [Explore]monitor self portrait

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CarolinCarolin

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business vespabusiness vespa

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cabin & shoes
cabin & shoes

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No real need for the Macro Mode on shots like this with the X100S. But using the EVF is self-evidently:

tired pugtired pug

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17 Comments on “Fujifilm X100S – “the pocket-XPro”

  1. Pingback: Fujifilm X100S - "the pocket-XPro" | patrickbraun | Fujifilm X-Pro1 X-E1 X100s | Scoop.it

    • thanks for your comment. but I meant it’s a “pocket X-Pro1″ – a relatively compact camera with all those great features and options (except for interchangeable lenses) of the bigger Fujifilm X-Pro1; especially the hybrid viewfinder. and it actually fits in the pocket of my jacket, yes.

      the Coolpix A is a very nice and advanced enthusiasts point’n’shoot camera. probably the most “professional” p&s-camera on the market, and I’m sure it will deliver great IQ and feature solid technology in an incredibly small package. so of course it’s even more pocketable than the X100S, but lacking any sort of viewfinder at all, I (personally) wouldn’t consider it anything “pro”. I don’t want to be forced to hold a “pro” camera like a tourist on sightseeing, but that’s just my personal notion.

      • SOny RX1 for $ 2700 anyone? And putting a $ 200 Voigtlander glass OVF on the Nikon A does just fine, as it is a fixed lens. By the way, the image of the Voigtlander looks much better than the OVF of the X100S. And the A is half the volume of the X100S body.

      • I’m with you on the RX1. it’s definitely a spectacular camera(-concept), and I’d even pay Sony $ 3.200,- right away if they’d have integrated any kind of VF – I’d even be fine (not ecstatic, but satisfied) with that standard EVF from the NEX-7…

        but what I don’t get is the point of putting a $ 200,- (non coupled, “stupid”) optical viewfinder (don’t get me wrong, the Voigtländer viewfinder itself is a fine piece of glass and definitely gives a clearer view than the X100S’ integrated OVF, no doubt) on the hot shoe of a $ 1.100,- Coolpix A compact camera, just to claim “look, look, I have some sort viewfinder too!” – totally sacrifices the spirit of “compactness”, doesn’t it? and even though it may look nice and give a clear view with relatively accurate 28mm frame lines, it doesn’t give the photographer any shooting-relevant informations (I’m not talking about a fancy superimposed digital level, but essential things like shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, parallax correction, or maybe even a histogram if someone prefers that), nor any feedback regarding AF! I prefer to actually know if/what the camera has focused on, and not to “pray” that the camera and me were hopefully “thinking” of the same subject until I see the final picture on the LCD (when it’s too late). with one tip of the right index finger, the X100S switches to EVF mode and gives you (just like the X-Pro) most precisely TTL liveview right inside the hybrid viewfinder.

        to me, it’s more about the actual usability of a camera than collecting and equipping it with nice extra stuff. some people might be happy with add-on VF solutions (be it bulky electronic ones, or just pieces of glass), but I’ve used Olympus PENs (E-P1, -P2 and -P3) for several years and will never ever go back to the fiddling with an external VF or limitation to shoot via LCD only.

        I’m really not fanboyingly saying “my Fuji is betta!!”, but at least innovative viewfinder technology is definitely a discipline where Fuji owns the mirrorless/compact world at the moment. there is nothing comparable right now, and personally I’m willing to carry 140g more (445g incl. battery and SD-card is still a joke) for having a “complete” camera with me, instead of a tourist article with an APS-C sensor ;-)

        like I said above, each to his/her own, but I don’t think the Nikon Coolpix A is a serious competitor to the Fujifilm X100S. the only thing they have in common is the sensor size. but otherwise, the cameras are from different classes and I think even aimed at different types of photographers…

  2. Wonderful images as always Patrick. Please keep them coming. Doens’t have to be with camera explanations/reviews, everyday life is pretty interesting in itself. Sweet pug photo, really.

    • thank you Wolfgang, appreciate your feedback!
      really hope to be able to pump out more images here, since I’m going to have the X100S with me more often than the X-Pro1…
      everyday life shots are just waiting for us :-)

  3. A very useful post, thanks for taking the time. I have the X-pro 1, which I enjoy using more than any camera I have had in the past. That’s not necessarily to say it is better (though in some ways it is), but for my purposes it’s the best on the market. Incredibly fluid in use, which I see you find with the x100s too.

    Great shots for illustrating the camera’s capabilities and your talents. What film simulation did you use?

    • thanks for your comment, Stephen. I’ve had my X-Pro1 for a little more than one year now (and still love it too).

      while using the X100S for the first time, the headline of this post manifested itself in my head immediately. I felt so familiar and “at home” with the X100S, there was just no simpler way to describe it:
      the X100S is a more compact X-Pro1, just without lens mount. nothing more, nothing less. the viewfinder(-system), the X-Trans sensor and its unique output, the handling…I think most X-Pro1 owners will love its little sister!

      regarding the filmy look: no in-camera option was used. I shoot RAW only, so these shots were processed in Lightroom 4.4 RC (the official release of 4.4 came out just 1 day after my post). I’m a big fan of VSCO(.co), especially since they released new versions of their film-preset packs including custom camera-profiles for the Fujifilm X-series cameras (and they already announced to provide updates with camera-profiles for the X100S as soon as they completed testing). so most of these shots were edited using my own looks I built upon specific VSCO presets. if you click on one of the images above, it will open in FlickR, where I often note even the emulsion I chose as starting point for my editing. those first street-shots sporting the cyan-tint, were processed with some variation of the “Polaroid 669″ preset of VSCO Film 03 for example. really looking forward to the full X-/100S support in all VSCO products…

      let me know if you have any further questions ;-)

      • Patrick,

        Thanks for responding. Looks like I’ll have to give in and an an X100s in the next few months.

        I have VSCO 01, which I like. It’s good to get a recommendation for 03.

        I’ll look through the photographs on FLICKR.

        Best, Stephen

  4. Pingback: Fujifilm X100S - "the pocket-XPro" | Patrick Braun | Fujifilm X100s | Scoop.it

  5. Pingback: Fujifilm X100S - "the pocket-XPro" | ...

  6. Well, I’ve gone through quite a few cameras in the last three years looking for the ‘perfect’ one — I’ll never find it — but I have now just ordered the X100s. What is it replacing? Well, believe it or not, it’s replacing a Nikon D600 and the 50 & 24-85mm zoom lens. Before you think I’ve gone mad, I must admit to owning, and using as my main camera set up, the X-Pro1 and the 18, 35 & 60mm lenses so I’m adding a 35mm equivalent lens to the fold and giving me a nice standalone day camera too. Good read.

    • Thanks Macjim, appreciate your comment!

      I think “the perfect camera” is just like “the perfect car”, it won’t ever exist. Everyone has different needs/requirements and even applies different priorities to those personal requirements. Some like it fast and hard, some like it smooth and comfortable. Some like it compact and understated, some like it big and eye-catching. Some like it pure and “raw”, and some love all the assistance systems and automations. Heck, some even prefer FWD or 4×4 over a good rear wheel driven drifting machine :-)

      As far as I can tell, the typical “Fuji-Driver” is some sort of modern traditionalist, appreciating the unique and innovative HighTech inside the X-cameras, while enjoying the classic design and absence of “ESP” and most other distracting gimmicks.

      Hope you’ll enjoy your X100S, I love it so far…

  7. A nice article. I am a happy X100 owner, but am tempted by the X100s even if only for the closer focusing ability without having to switch to macro mode.

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