Why You Need a Fujifilm X100 in Your Life: It’s All About The Leaf Shutter…

Fujifilm X100V: B&H Photo / Amazon / Adorama

The Fujifilm X100 is a huge draw for photographers that are looking for something a little different, but what makes it special has largely been missed in recent years by reviews unfamiliar or unaware of its leaf shutter and built-in ND filter. In fact, most photographers I know switched to Fujifilm because of the creative opportunities the X100 provided them which made them excited about photography again.

Having a leaf shutter, built-in ND filter, flash, and film simulations in-camera provides many ways to work with light that photographers outside of the medium format world have not experienced. Even if they have used medium format leaf cameras in the past the X100 will shock and surprise them due to the X100’s ability to flash sync at speeds above 1/800th to 1/1000th a second reliably.



So why did I say reliably instead of all the way up to 1/xxxx? With early X100 cameras, Fujifilm shared some very conservative numbers about what you could/should do when syncing a flash at high shutter speeds with the X100, but even with the original X100, I was able to capture greater than 9 out of 10 shots without any abnormalities going way beyond the recommended limits of the X100’s leaf, which is different than other cameras that offer leaf shutters like the GR, RX1, Leica Q, etc….

Most cameras from other manufacturers will not allow you to use your leaf shutter out of “spec,” but Fujifilm was confident enough to let photographers choose and the results can be unique. Syncing at speeds as high as 1/4000th just can’t be done with other cameras, but with the X100 you can shoot until its battery dies at 1/4000th if desired which makes the on-camera flash great. The worst “problem” I have ever encountered when shooting beyond the recommended limits of the X100 leaf shutter has been a photo capturing the shutter in a small part of the frame, which can be cropped out or retake without the flaw.



This kind of operation might wear out your shutter quickly or cause other long term problems, but I have not experienced any problems with the 4 X100 cameras I have owned, which I used and abused while in my possession. The X100 is a workhorse and If you haven’t used one you should.

Since I haven’t used an X100 in a while now I asked my friend Depot MSA to share some of his X100 experimentation with readers, so you can get an idea of what the X100 can help produce without any accessories attached and while using Fujifilm’s amazing JPEG engine. If you know what you’re looking at and are into lighting you can probably think of a few ways to produce these looks in-camera using a variety of equipment, but these were all created using just the little X100.


To summarize if you’re feeling a little bored with photography or uninspired a New or even an old X100 might be a good investment for you to get your creative juices flowing. It is a camera I will always return to when I’m not taking enough photos or I’m feeling uninspired and  I want a camera to go absolutely everywhere with me even when I do not feel like carrying one. There is nothing quite like it and at this price point and size, you owe it to yourself to try the X100 if you have never tried one before.

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