Almost Perfect From The Start


When the Fujifilm X100 was released in 2011, I was blown away by the quality of the images it was able to produce, but the first X100 was flawed in many ways. Fuji’s latest article “most loved” could easily be renamed most frustrating because the rest of the X series has shown us what the Fujifilm X100 could become. The original X100 is one of the few cameras I have repurchased, due to Fujifilm addressing many of the early issues with the camera via firmware updates, but by the time the corrections were made, there were a variety of compelling X series cameras on the market for substantially less money. Two years later, when the X100S was released, there was finally parity between the X100 and the rest of the line up, which peaked my interest, but then, for some reason, they quickly followed it up with the X100T, so I purchased a used X100S and saved a substantial amount of money.

The serialization of cameras, especially when there aren’t improvements, is a problem for photographers because it greatly increases the depreciation of our equipment, even when there are only incremental improvements. Fujifilm didn’t rush the release of the X-Pro 2, even with a variety of less expensive Fuji cameras on the market. That caused many X-Pro 1 owners to sell/exchange their cameras for features like phase detect pixels and weather sealing.

If the X100 was really the most loved camera from Fujifilm, they would have treated it similarly to the X-Pro series of cameras. In “most loved,” they even discuss how photographers did not want Fuji to change anything about the camera, but Fuji still made an effort to serialize a camera that should have been a flagship product like the X-Pro by introducing useless incremental improvements between the X100S and X100T. Let’s hope we see more X-Pro series DNA in the Fujifilm X200 when it is released because serialization is the quickest way to kill a special product like the X100 or X-Pro. When the X200 is released, I will likely buy one, but if they serialize it, I will never buy another one.

This entry was posted in Fuji X100, Fuji X100S, Fuji X100T, Fuji X200 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • nwcs

    That’s the model of all the camera companies, though. Iterate, iterate and hope people buy for the small changes. I don’t expect anything different with the X200 concept because the companies haven’t changed their playbook.

    • I would agree that it’s the model for consumer cameras, but the more serious cameras usually have a 2-4 year life span.

  • CHD

    You can thank Sony for 1-2 year product cycles.

  • Unless it’s literally five times faster than the x100s – thumbs down for me.

    Even the Nikon 1 is dramatically, DRAMATICALLY faster than that dog.

    I hated my x100s. I tried for six months carrying it every day. SLOW. Slow to focus, slow to start, slow to do ANYTHING.

    • Elliott Anderson

      I think the X100 series is something where you know the flaws going in, but go for it anyways because they are genuinely fun to use.

      When I got mine, I was treating it like a dSLR and shooting wide-open and constantly missing focus using AF-S. After a week of frustration, I started stopping down, zone focusing and pre-visualizing shots. Then I was getting everything I wanted. It was forcing me out of the stylistic crutch of needing to shoot at huge apertures.

      If you are going for very narrow DoF, you just have to be really careful about focus and be able to retake a shot every once in a while. If you stop down to even F4-5.6, the camera seems to have a much easier time getting acceptable focus. At F11, everything from about 7ft to infinity is sharp, so you can just lift the camera to your eye and snap. Yeah, you need to turn it on or wake it up a couple seconds before, but it’s not a big deal.

  • I still have my original X100 and plan to keep it. I like the original sensor better than the newer cameras (I also had an X-T1, but sold it). I think the X100, with the latest firmware, is still a great camera and I’m happy to have it. It’s not worth very much money anymore, but it is totally capable of taking very nice photos.