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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Fujifilm X series...Fuji X100s review.....

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Late last year, I was fortunate to get hold of a Fuji X Pro 1 from Fuji UK for a week and write a review based on my experiences with it. The review was in 2 parts and you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here. I was so impressed, I fell in love with it, well, not love, but you know what I mean..hopefully!

Being so busy in the following weeks, I finally settled down to buy one and heard news of the imminent arrival of the X100s. I decided to hang fire on the X Pro and wait for the X100s.

As soon as I could afford it, I sent off for one. After my time with the X Pro 1, it was fairly easy to "get into" using it. However, I simply wasn't expecting or prepared for what I was about to discover.

I used it around the house for the first couple of days and just couldn't put it down. I ran the battery flat several times as it was seemingly attached to me!

We had a wedding coming up and I decided I loved the X100s so much, I would take it along and see if I could use it confidently in the pressured environment of a full day wedding shoot. 

Normally, I use a Nikon D3s and mainly a 24-70 2.8 which I l.o.v.e! However, it is heavy, obvious and, well, just big!

So my thoughts were...would I be confident to use the X100s over the Nikon? Would it suit our documentary style of photography? What would the reaction of the couple and guests be? Would I feel "less" professional? Would it help with my "tennis/ photographers elbow"???

Anyone other photographers suffer with that? Mine is agony and using the X100s is a blessed relief.....

So, here are my answers, then some images with all the settings for all those who want to pixel peep.

As soon as I started shooting the groom prep images, it was hard to stop. it just felt so natural, so "right" and it really did make me feel less obvious.

It certainly suits our style of photography, being almost exclusive documentary. The couple didn't really notice it to be honest and it was other guests and "uncle Bobs" who seemed the most interested. In fact, one guest asked me"that's a bit of a comedown isn't it? Not a pro's camera is it?" I just laughed it off and said something about paintbrushes and paper and being able to paint....

I couldn't care less really what people may think or say, as long as the clients trust us to produce emotional and creative documentary wedding photography then a camera is just a tool for me to do that, and the Fuji X100s is a pretty good tool.

Is it perfect? Well, have you ever got that "perfect" shot? Is that your fault or the camera's?

Oh yea, it will certainly help relieve the pain in the elbow, though I'm not sure it will part of a prescription on the NHS any time soon...imagine that!!

It is a joy to use. I can't help but agree with the reviews by Zack Arias and Bert Stephani...this is the best camera I have used. It's small, feels right, looks right, produces stunning images and feels like an extension of my eye/ mind/ heart/ soul. It's the best, in my opinion, not because of one outright performance factor, but because of the sum of the parts. It really just gets out of the way and allows you to shoot. I had a short street photography trip a couple of days after it arrived and you can see the results on my personal project site A Simple Mind.

So much has been the impact so that it has made me think about what my gear bag may contain in the next couple of years. At the moment, I can honestly see us covering complete weddings with a couple of these and maybe an X Pro 1, which I could get for less than the price of, say, a new Nikon D4.

The summer is going to go a long way to help making that decision as I use it more and more at weddings...as I'm writing this down, I'm finding it hard to believe I'm saying these things, but there you go. Sometimes, one just knows when something is right, and, for me, the X100s is simply that, right.

We'll see what happens over the coming weeks and months......

Here are a few images from the 2 weddings we have shot since I have had it...I have included the exposure info for interest for those who are interested!

1/250, f 2 ISO 2000

1/25, f2.8, ISO 2000

1/70, f 2, ISO 2000

1/70, f 2, ISO 2000

1/120, f 5, ISO 400

1/320, f 5, ISO 2000

1/600, f 5, ISO 2000

1/400, f 2, ISO 400

1/125, f 5, ISO 400

1/300, f 5, ISO 2000

1/70, f 4, ISO 1600

1/75, f 2, ISO 800

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  1. Hi Ian,

    Thanks for your great review! I also have the X100s since a couple of weeks now and it really inspired me to get some shots I would not have been able to take before.

    I really like your post production. My personal favorite is the one in the bus (with color). Can you tell us what tools you use to get these effects?

    Greetings from Luxembourg

    1. Thanks a lot, glad you liked the review...my post is VSCO (as a starting point) with my own additional tweaks....
      With best wishes from Liverpool UK.

  2. Just stumbled upon these pictures, waiting for my x100s to arrive. I must say, there is a timeless feel to your pictures, and they are very inspiring.

    All the best from Canada,