Personally, Fujifilm X100F is the sexiest looking camera in today’s market, and also the ultimate camera for street photography ever made too!
I realize that many person who new in camera world or perhaps not doing street photography have question like “Why put such a high price tag (USD 1,399) to APSC camera that can not even change lens?”, well to reply that question in a short answer: User experience! Hard to understand what great about this camera until we use it personally in daily life or to hunt street scene.
Here are some reasons that make me think this is the ultimate camera for street photography and daily use:
I agree X100F is not the smallest (high performance) camera out there, but it still small enough to put in our jacket’s front pocket, and will not give any pain to our hand/neck if we need to carry it all day long. The biggest advantage of small form factor is this camera become “stealth” when we use it on the street. I believe regardless the size and colour of our camera, all people out there on the street will notice if we hold camera in our hand (No, being full black colour does not make our camera disappear), but by being a small camera our subjects will feel much less intimidate compare to any DSLR or other big cameras. Even if our subjects realized that we photographed them, most of the time they would let us slipped out because they thought we were just a tourist or just photographed something casually, like if we were shooting a scene with our smartphone, no one would care as well.
Therefore, we can raise our camera, click the shutter near subject’s face and big chance they will not getting angry or feel intimidate from it. Most people will think this one is not a serious camera, not used by a professional photographer, nor used by media (like newspaper or something like that). Easily my first choice when do hunting technique (read here) or shooting at Shopping Mall (read here). We will able to blend with crowd easily and X100F will not “scream” to people as a high performance camera.
A synergy combo to small size above, X100F also has the leaf shutter. Leaf shutter provide extremely minimal sound when we click the shutter, unlike the focal plane shutter that we find in the most of interchangeable lens camera (ILC) which will create a certain noise. Leaf shutter really helpful to shooting from close distance, at places like shopping mall, bus/train/airplane, or any outdoor places, X100F simply create no noise at all. It is so hard to hear leaf shutter’s sound in that kind of places that we need to put our ears right in front of lens to hear the shutter sound (and even if we do it, we only hear a really low noise). There is a chance we will confuse our subjects because they think we put our camera near their face, and then we just leave them without photograph anything, which is another feature of “stealth mode”.
I think the biggest factor why user experience is damn great on X100F is because their button layout. We got physical dial for triangle exposure (aperture, iso, shutter speed and even an independent exposure dial for program mode) that we can just change them anytime without digging into menu and we even can change our camera setting without turn on the camera (good for prepare a shot in decisive moment). There is also a joystick that help a lot to move AF area quickly. The other thing is from photo above we can see this camera great at one hand action. All button at right side, which is free our left hand to do other things. Try to hunt on the street while eating ice cream, drink ice chocolate or a can of soda (hold them with your left hand), this will make us even more like a tourist and far from a professional photographer, our subjects will “underestimate” us as a photographer and they will let their guard down, which is create a bigger opening to catch their moment!
X100F has internal flash that work well and easy to use due to TTL mode. I’m not a big fans of shooting a person on the street with flash, though I know many great photographers that produce very dynamic image with it, but for personal reason I’m rarely to do it now (let’s see for another 1-2 years if I will change my mind). However, flash is a really great feature to help create more surreal feeling (like cat above, has more pop out feeling), and extremely helpful to photograph things in our daily life. Be it our friends, love one, family or any of our relatives, we always can shoot them for documentation/memories in any places and light conditions like low light cafe, night time on the street, or any dark places. At daylight, flash can be use to fill in shadow area as well (example: photograph our relatives with sunset on the background).
We also can create more creative effect with rear curtain flash feature, just set flash to rear curtain mode, and use slow shutter speed. Right after camera fired the first flash, shake our hand as we prefer, and stay steady immediately afterwards, waiting for the second flash take action. It does not matter even if we use 1/2s shutter speed, our subject will stay sharp like if we use high shutter speed, but the creative effect is all light sources around subject will become long and become a line form (like in the photo above).
Fujifilm X100F use 23mm lens in APSC format, which is roughly same angle of view with 35mm lens in full frame format.
In my book, this is simply the most versatile focal length for prime lens. We can use it for almost anything from capture street scene to travel, portrait, food, journalism, documentary event, etc. Read more about 35mm lens here. In fact, my last two overseas trip (Bangkok, Thailand and Melbourne, Australia) I only brought X100F with me, and safe to say I satisfied enough with the result and versatility of this camera.
Whether it is a moment with single subject or groups, 35mm will capture them fine and most of the time I do not feel restricted by hitting my back on the wall because the lens is simply wide enough in many situations
I agree with (many) people out there that said 35mm lens is the true story teller lens. This lens able to capture many context/moments/objects that will help us to create a story line.
Basically digital teleconverter works like a digital zoom, but Fujifilm manage to process the images to not lose megapixel. There are 2 options, first is turn 35mm lens into 50mm, and second is turn 50mm to 70mm angle of view (full frame equivalent). Even if we use the 70mm option, final image is still full resolution 24 megapixel, though I can see slight degradation in image quality. This feature only works for JPEG format so no raw file for heavy post process.
While it is true that I rarely use digital teleconverter, but it is still nice to know we have this feature for back up. In the photo above I use the longest digital teleconverter (convert into 70mm FF equivalent) to shot from across the street. It was a rainy night and I found there was no way for me to go cross the street and capture scene. I prefer to get a good shot in lower quality image rather than get nothing at all
Last but not the least: Technical Performance
For technical information read here from Fujifilm webpage. From my personal opinions are: Super fast autofocus, responsive menu, fast turn-on time, super fast shooting interval time, TTL flash easy to use, optical viewfinder is fun to use, electronic viewfinder accurate to read exposure, great minimum focus distance (10cm), as pancake lens it is really sharp, ND Filter is really helpful sometimes, high ISO performance is simply as good as Fujifilm X-T2/X-Pro2, which is the best in APSC sensor, and film simulations create the best JPEG in mirrorless camera industry.
That is all about my experience with Fujifilm X100F, let me know about what you think about this camera in comment section! See you!
Keep shooting and stay inspired,