I’m not going to go over all detailed specs of the camera or peep pixels; that you can find elsewhere online. I want to give the feel of the camera and its workings from the point of view of a photographer who is going to use it on a daily basis.

What is significant to me:
Camera size. Small but not too small. Light but not too light. I can carry it on my shoulder and feel like I’m carrying a camera but it’s not heavy to the point that it’ll bother me carrying it around all day. I like a little heft to my cameras.

16 megapixel sensor. This is good for the kind of shooting I’m planning to do with this camera. I like having the extra megapixels so that I can crop into an image and still have enough data left so I can make a decent sized print.

Actual dials for shutter speeds and aperture. This is something I didn’t realize I missed with my Nikon DSLRs. It’s nice having them on the outside of the camera so I can quickly see my exposure setting without having to look at a screen or through the viewfinder.

An f/2 wide (ish) lens. I like to shoot in low light and having a fast lenses like this is great. I wish it was a 28mm, but I understand why Fuji chose a 35mm instead. This lens won’t distort as much as a 28mm would and that’s great for shooting portraits. The lens is a little fuzzy wide open but the images are still sharp. Closing down to 2.8 gets rid of the fuzzies.
Metal body construction. This camera feels like it can take the hits and keep snapping. Nothing about it feels cheap except maybe the command dial that’s placed about where your thumb would be. This dial feels a little flimsy.
Optical view finder. While many mirrorless cameras are opting for a full electronic viewfinder, or just an LCD screen, the X100T has an optical finder as well as an LCD screen. Also, the optical finder is a hybrid, so it is also an electronic viewfinder which is a blast to use. I generally like optical finders as this is what I’m used to on my DSLRs. They’re great for scoping out the scene and help to stabilize the camera because I’ve got it pressed to my face.
(Optical viewfinder)
(Switch for going between optical and electronic viewfinder)
This hybrid viewfinder is cool because, at the flick of a handy switch, I can go from optical to electronic viewfinder without removing my eye from the finder. The EVF is nice for previewing how the final image is going to turn out and it’s great for low light composing since the sensor in the camera can pull in more light than my eye in dark situations.

The EVF also has a few great enhancements for helping with manual focusing. One is focus peaking, which is something usually found on video cameras. This feature throws a colored outline around the subject once it is in focus. Another is a “split field” view, where you line up two split parts of the image. Once they are together, the subject is sharp.

Last is a enlarged view of the focus point you’re using. When you see it getting sharp, the subject is sharp. These last two are cool because not only do they work in the electronic viewfinder, they also show up in the optical one. This is a nice, and useful, throwback to the days of the rangefinder cameras.

(Fuji camera iOS apps)

Built in wifi. I use this all the time to transfer JPEGs to my iPhone or iPad for processing and posting on various photo sharing services. It won’t transfer RAW files, but that’s fine.

(Fuji Cam Remote App on iPhone)
Also, I can control the camera with an app on my iPhone or iPad. The app allows me to see what the camera sees; it transmits what is being seen through the lens, like the electronic viewfinder. I can change all sorts of setting via the app, like shutter speed, aperture, white balance, focus points and more. This is great for remote and sneaky shooting. It is a little touchy, though.
You have to connect to the camera rather quickly otherwise you need to start the whole connection process all over again. Also, you can only take single shots rather than bursts. This is a little annoying for me as I like to take bursts when street shooting. Also, there is a slight delay when triggering the camera from the app. You need to take this into account if the timing of your shot is important. Still, it’s better than using an EyeFi memory card.
(Classic Chrome film preset)
Great Fuji film processing built in. The preset in-camera JPEG processing in this camera, and every Fuji X camera, is just fantastic. In fact, even though I shoot both RAW and JPEGs, I tend to use the JPEGs more and relegate the raws as backup. I didn’t think I’d ever be saying this about JPEGs. The black and white presets are beautiful and there’s a new “Classic Chrome” preset which simulates the now defunct Kodachrome from Kodak. Ironic that it would be Fujifilm who ends up copying a classic Kodak film stock. This classic chrome preset presents a nice, less saturated color palette which is great with skin tones and pretty much everything else.

Which leads to the in-camera processing. When you shoot RAW with this camera, you’re afforded the opportunity to do a little post processing directly in-camera. While a lot of cameras have this, I think the Fuji has been the most fun and satisfying. So, if you shoot some shots with the classic chrome preset, you can then post process them to a black and white preset, or a more saturated one, like the Velvia preset, right from the camera. You can only do this if you shoot RAW, or RAW+JPEG, which is what I recommend to do. I love this flexibility.

Lots of customizable controls. I won’t go into too much depth about this because it could take up half the review. It’s enough to say that you can customize pretty much every button on the back of the camera to your liking. And there’s a quick menu which you can customize as well. You won’t be disappointed with the amount of customization you can do.

Built-in 3 stop neutral density filter. This is great since you won’t have to carry around a separate one and attach it every time you need it. The ND filter is useful when you want to shoot wide open aperture in really bright light. Since the minimum ISO this camera goes to is 200, this feature can come in handy when you want shallow depth of field or slow shutter speeds in bright light. Every camera should have one of these built in.

Things I think could be improved.

So, what didn’t I like? Well, not much. And I wouldn’t say “not like.” There are some things about this camera which I find challenging and others which could, in my opinion, use some tweaking.

Focusing. I’m finding this to be the biggest challenge, mostly with moving subjects. I never used any of the previous X100 series cameras so I can’t say if focusing speed and accuracy has improved. I’m finding that the lens tends to hunt for focus a bit more than I’d like and I’m missing shots when subjects are moving towards me. Now this could be because I don’t fully understand the focusing system yet and need to work with it more. But it does focus slower than my Fuji X20 and my Nikons. This may not be a fair comparison but it’s what I’ve got to work with. When the lens is in focus, the shots are sharp, sharp, sharp. Again, a little fuzzy wide open at f/2, but that goes away at f2.8 or f/4. Manual focusing is a dream. With all the augmented ways in which the camera helps me focus manually, it’s not something I’m afraid of using.

Video. This is not the camera you want to shoot video with that much. There is no image stabilization and it just seems video capabilities are on Fuji’s back burner with this camera. That isn’t a bad thing. This is a camera to take photos with and not to shoot a feature. But the video is useful in a pinch.

Turn-on time. The camera takes a few seconds to boot up from a cold start. This wastes precious time if I’m trying to grab a shot fast. Waking from sleep also takes too long.

High ISOs are really not high ISOs. I wouldn’t generally shoot in those high ISOs unless I really needed to. I’m happy to know I can in a pinch, but I’d rather be able to shoot RAW at those high ISOs rather than only JPEGs. (More about this below)

Ability to save RAW files with the special effects images. I didn’t talk about these extra effects the camera lets you shoot with (fake tilt/shift, spot color, etc), and I don’t shoot with them much, but the camera should let you save a unaltered RAW file with the special effect JPEG.

Battery power. Batteries are big and I expected them to last longer than they do. Using wifi shortens their time, as expected, but somehow I was hoping they’d last longer than my X20. I ended up buying some third-party batteries from Halcyon (with chargers) for much less than the Fuji batteries and they last longer, which surprised me. I usually don’t buy third-party batteries, but I took the chance and don’t regret it.

Battery insertion. A battery can fit into its slot in two different ways. Even though there’s a specific way to line it up, I’ve been able to insert it the wrong way. Now if I’d been paying attention this would not have happened. But when I was rushing to change batteries, I inserted it wrong. When I turned on the camera the next morning, it would work, of course. I thought there was something wrong with the camera, which scared the crap out of me. It took me a few moments to realize that I had inserted the battery incorrectly. In my opinion, the battery should only have one way to fit into its slot. Now, the new battery that comes with the camera has an orange stripe to help you properly align the battery but I was using some of the extra batteries I purchased and these did not come with a stripe on them.


What I like/love about the X100T

It’s Beautiful looking. Has that classic look and many people stop me to ask me about it. They think it’s a film camera. This may or may not be a good thing. I just love the way it looks.

(Added thumb grip and soft-trigger button)

Feels great. I did add the thumb grip so it’d be easier to use one-handed, but that’s my preference. It’s not that heavy but has enough weight that it hangs on my shoulder or neck and feels like it’ll stay there. Feels rugged too. I get the sense this camera can take a few bumps and be just fine.

(Some post processing done, but only color)
Very sharp lens. The pix that come out of this camera are tack sharp (when I want them to be). It’s a great lens, except when it’s wide open (f/2) and the images are slightly hazy/foggy. They’re still sharp though, and the effect can be pleasing depending on the subject matter. That f/2 does let you shoot in very dim lighting (with the help of a great sensor) and that can be a great help sometimes.
Quiet. Even when you use the mechanical shutter, you can barely hear this camera at all.

Hybrid optical viewfinder is da bomb! With a quick flick of a switch, you can turn the optical viewfinder into an electronic one and see just what the camera will capture, color effects and all. This is great for shooting in low light. The optical viewfinder has lots of info displayed which is very helpful. The LCD screen on the back is bright and clear and very easy to read.

(Shot handheld at 1/34 sec, f/2 ISO 6400)
Low light capabilities. Really very good in low light with high ISOs. The “noise” in the final shots is pleasing and really just looks like film grain. Tip: you’ll probably want to turn off the noise reduction function on the camera.
Customization. You will not be disappointed by the way you can customize the features of this camera. It can be a little overwhelming and I suggest taking the time to learn how to set this up for your own use, but you will be,rewarded with a camera that feels like your own.
Manual dials. I forgot how much I actually missed these. When I’m out on the street shooting, I can see my exposure setting with a quick glance. I can turn the dials and feel the clicks while changing shutter and aperture settings.

Film styles. Fuji has done a great job with their simulated film styles. If they can get a hardcore RAW shooter like me to shoot JPEGs, they’ve done something right. Also, the internal RAW processor is fantastic. I can review my shots and reprocess in all the film styles I want while riding on the train or wherever. I personally love the Classic Chrome film style and the B&W + Green filter.

Picture quality. This is what it really boils down to, right? The shots I get with this camera are just beautiful. Granted the single 35mm (equivalent) lens could be considered limiting, but with that said, I’ve been loving the images I’m getting. Even just straight-out-of-the-camera images are gorgeous. Again, shooting wide open can cause some issues, but you can turn that hazy look into an advantage. I haven’t printed any shots yet, but, having printed some great shots from my Fuji X20, I’m sure the shots from the X100T will be just as good. Probably better.


Some tips I have from my short experience with this amazing camera.

Shoot JPEG+Raw all the time. By doing this you can take advantage of the excellent post processing built into the camera. You could also just shoot raw and have the same access to the camera’s processing. If you shoot only JPEG, you won’t get to process the shots in the camera. So buy yourself a couple of 32 GB cards to store your pictures on. They’re cheap. The camera’s RAW processing engine is fun to play with after a shoot.

Third of a stop shutter speeds. When setting shutter speeds with the top dial, if you wish to dial in third stops shutter speeds, use the command dial on the back of the camera to dial the in between shutter speeds, up to 2/3rds of a stop in either direction.

(Shot at ISO 51,200!)
About Those Extended ISOs. This one is a little tricky so hang in there with me. The camera is rated from ISO 200 to 6400, with extended ISOs down to 100 and up to an incredible 51,200! But there’s a catch: you can only extend the ISOs when you shoot in JPEG mode. Why? Because the camera is actually allowing you to either underexpose (in the case of the higher ISOs) or overexpose (with the lower ISO) and then processing the raw files in-camera, compensating for the under/over exposure and spitting out the resulting JPEG.
So, for instance, if you shoot at ISO 12,800, the camera is actually exposing the image at ISO 6400, applying a -1 EV exposure compensation and then during processing giving you a JPEG which then looks as if it was shot at 12,800. The opposite happens when you shoot at ISO 100. After the camera processes the file, it discards the RAW file and presents a finished JPEG. The drawbacks to these extended ISOs are an increase in noise with shots exceeding ISO 6400 and probable highlight clipping with shots taken at ISO 100 and no RAW file as a backup. So, my suggestion is to avoid shooting at these extended ISOs and do the following:
  • instead of shooting at ISO 100, shoot at 200 (in RAW of course) and use the exposure compensation dial to add (up to) +1 EV and then process the raw file in-camera where you can dial back the exposure (up to -1EV) or use Lightroom to recover the highlights. You can alway engage the built-in neutral density filter to help with your exposure here (I would recommend not going all the way to +1 EV because you’ll risk highlight clipping). Actually, I see no point in ever shooting at ISO 100. If you need to reduce the amount of light the X100T is getting, you’re better off using the built-in neutral density filter instead. Using the 3 stop ND filter will almost be like shooting at ISO 25. Also, if you use the ND filter you’ll stand a better chance of not clipping the highlights.
  • When going the other way, shoot at ISO 6400 and underexpose the image from -1 to -3 EV (for the equivalent of ISOs 12,800, 25,600 and 51,200 respectively) but then over-process the image (+1 to +3 EV, either in-camera or in a post processing app) to compensate for the underexposure. You can underexpose using shutter, aperture or a combo of the two.
(Inexpensive lens hood – less than $20. Classy, yeah?)
I added a thumb grip, soft shutter release button and a lens hood to the camera. The lens hood in using instead of any kind of protective filter on the lens. I figure the hood should be adequate protection and it’ll help block out some flare. The soft release button helps me to fire the shutter faster and the thumb grip (attached to the hot shoe) allows a slightly better grip to the camera. Without the thumb grip it’s a little harder to operate the camera one handed. With it, the camera feels more secure in my hand. I didn’t buy the Fuji version which is nearly $90! I found one on Amazon for about $20 and it works great. I also bought a third party lens hood for under $20. It’s a clone of the Fuji one and it helps make the camera look really classy.
Electronic and manual shutter. Using the electronic shutter you can achieve very high shutter speeds. Just don’t expect to use it with moving subjects because you’ll get “Jello Cam” shots. Any vertical lines in the image will be slanted in the opposite direction the subject, or camera, was moving. Use it when you really need to be quiet or in really bright light if you need to. The mechanical shutter is very quiet and is barely noticeable.

The X100T is a beast to learn. Don’t think you’re going to know this camera overnight; you’re not. You don’t have scene modes to work with and there’s only “auto” setting (Program). You’re going to have to work a bit to get know how the X100T works. I know I still have a lot to learn about how this thing focuses and how to take best advantage of the custom settings. Read the manual. Read all the reviews you can. Learn this thing. Be patient. You’ll be rewarded for sure.

I think this is one of the best cameras I’ve owned in the over 35 years I’ve been shooting. Being that I’ve spent more of my life shooting film than digital in that time, I believe Fujifilm has done a fantastic job of blending the two genres. The camera reminds me of the rangefinder film cameras of old, while giving me all the great advantages of digital capture. It’s a great “every day” camera but I haven’t been afraid of using it on a job (which I did the first week I got it – not recommended, but the results were great).

I’ve never written a review of a camera before, but felt compelled to with this one, just to share my experiences and how I feel about it. Fujifilm has done a terrific job with the X100T and if you’re looking for a camera like this, I cannot recommend it enough.


(Sample shots – processed and unprocessed)