This is no scientific lab review in any way. Nor am I an employee by Fujifilm or any camera manufacturer. The words you will find in this article are my personal opinion. I will not go into the technical specifications or all the changes which have been made to the X100T. This is more a user based review on the Fujifilm X100T as I use it.
After S comes T
We all know the alphabet a,b,c…..S,T… Fujifilm gave us the original X100 some four years ago. I still remember when all the rumors where floating about on the internet. At that time I was still a micro four thirds user with the Olympus E-PL2. Not a bad camera at all but when the X100 was announced it struck me with lightning. That was what I was waiting for!
Fast forward to 2014. Fujifilm announced the X100T. After the S for Second, Speed or whatever, Fuji has come up with the third iteration of the X100, the X100T. The T stands for Third, Thrill, finally There. Well that is what I put the T for.
It seems that Fujifilm has put all the information they gathered from us users into this T. But let us start at the beginning.
At first glance one does not notice that bigger difference to the X100 or the X100s. You still have the optical/electronic viewfinder. You still have the leaver to switch between OVF and EVF. There are buttons placed on the back. There is a aperture dial on the same f/2 23mm lens and the shutter speed dial next to the dial for the exposure compensation sitting on top of the X100T.
The hand grip now goes right to the top. This is good and bad at the same time. Good because it does give me a better grip when holding the camera but bad because the on/off switch is more difficult to get at. See the photograph of both side by side and you can easily see what I mean. This is no deal breaker for me but I thought it might be worth mentioning.
After using the X100T now for several months the larger grip and therefor the problem with the on/off switch does not bother me anymore.
Take a closer look and you will see some major differences. The exposure compensation dial now reaches from +3 to -3. The aperture dial stops every third stop. The speed dial is the same, well nearly. It now has an additional ½ and 1s speed on it. I would have loved to see a 1/8000s shutter speed but maybe this is just not possible with the leaf shutter. None the less Fuji gave us the up to 1/absolutely crazy 32000s!!! shutter speed with the electronic shutter. One just has to watch the fact that the electronic shutter can give us the phenomenon of the rolling shutter. A no brainer for me though.
Let´s take a view at the back of the camera. This is where the major part has been changed. Gone is the round scroll wheel, which I never liked myself. I know of others that would have loved it to still be there, but me personally I just find the new four way controller much, much better. Instead of the scroll wheel we now have a four button layout around the OK button. There have been some changes to the complete button layout. The Drive button has a new place which is positioned next to the scroll wheel. Take a look at these two pictures next to each other and you can see the differences.
Other than that the body itself pretty much looks like the original X100 and as soon as you pick it up you will feel right at home. If you loved the X100 or the X100S then you will adore the T.
On the shot below you can see a side by side comparison of the X100S vs. X100T
What is new?
At first glance not so much. As stated we now get an aperture dial with third stop increments. The shutter speed dial has some additional speeds to it and the exposure comp. dial now has +/- 3 stops on in.
New is an all-electronic shutter, which reaches up to 1/32000s shutter speed. The downside is that the flash does not work with the electronic shutter. What a shame.
The four-way controller is new, which I talked about already, and new is that you can assign the four way controller either as four FN buttons, or you can set it to move the focus point without having to hit the button twice. I personally us them as four FN buttons as I do tend to change the settings regularly.
I have also assigned the other FN buttons to my taste. The Wi-Fi is used to toggle between face detection on/off, the trash can button is used to switch on/off the in-built ND Filter and the top FN button next to the exposure compensation dial is used for the metering mode.
Fujifilm gave us 3 custom profiles for the Auto-ISO setting. This can be great but it can also be a little bit confusing. I personally tend to stick with Auto-ISO 200-6400 with the minimum shutter speed set to 1/60s. In some cases I will set the ISO manually to the value that I need. On the above picture you can see which FN button I have assigned to ISO.
Another new feature which many of us Fuji X users have been waiting for is a customizable Q menu. At first I was not in to it at all. I don’t need it; Fuji did a great job on the Q menu anyway.
But wrong, after a few weeks of use I did notice that being able to change the Q menu to my taste was and is a wonderful thing. I always missed being able to set the in-built flash compensation without having to dive into the menu system. Nowadays I can just press the Q on the T and find it there! It is just that easy. One cannot assign everything to the Q menu, but nearly. Wow, so many new features on the T which you do not see at first sight. Again, for me the biggest bonus is the new button layout on the four-way button set around the OK button. It makes using the X100T so much easier.
OVF or EVF
This is the part where it gets interesting and I am sure I will get a lot of negative comments on this part of my little review.
Yes the optical viewfinder is crystal clear, yes it is great in bright daylight and Fujifilm has done something amazing with this viewfinder. Putting an OVF and an EVF in such a small body is just a masterpiece of engineering and I pull my hat to Fujifilm with what they have done on the X100 series.
But! And this is a BUT with capital letters. If it where for me then I would have no problem with just having an electronic viewfinder, even on the X100T. The EVF´s are getting so good these days that an optical viewfinder seems obsolete. Inside the Fujifilm X100T there is an amazing 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder with no lag what so ever. It is so good that I personally do not use the OVF at all.
And yet I don’t want to forget what Fujifilm has done on the X100T. They have built a small electronic viewfinder into the optical one. Toggle the front switch to the right and a small EVF pops up into the right hand corner. It´s a nice little gimmick and that´s it! I have never used it in real life. But I do know of X100T users that love the OVF with this little electronic helper.
On a recent one week vacation in Marrakesh I solely had the X100T with me and never once used the OVF.
The electronic viewfinder in this great small X100T was even bright enough to be used in bright sunlight. I did not even switch on the mode for bright sunlight. With this you can set the display and the viewfinder to be even brighter.
AF and MF
Although we are using the same sensor as in the X100S the autofocus seems better than on the older S model. In good light the X100T snaps into focus as fast as anything. Take a look at this Taxi which was driving toward me at about 40km/h. I took the camera to my eye, focused and took the shot. It is tack sharp. And I was able to do this every single time. Even quick street shots taken of moving subjects at a closer distance is possible. In low light the autofocus still sucks. Sorry Fujifilm. It slows down to such an extent that one thinks the handbrake is still engaged. Maybe Fujifilm will give us a firmware update which can solve the problem. There is a firmware version 4 coming for the X-T1 so maybe they can put some of the magic into the X100T as well.
Of course one always has the possibility to switch to manual focus and use this type of focusing in low light. Me myself? No. I want a reliable autofocus system.
Manual Focus works a lot better than on the X100 and the X100S! See this short Video of the manual focus function.
What about image quality
The images taken with the X100T seem to have great details and the Jpeg´s OOC have just the right amount of sharpness to them. The colors are just Fuji magical. You can pretty much say that the images are the same as taken with the X100S. But not quite. The Jpeg´s taken with the X100T are larger than taken with the S. It seems that the compression rate is lower.
Working on the RAW files is just plane and simply amazing. One can push and pull the lights and shadows to an extreme extent.
Other than that the X100T does pretty much compare to the X100S. This is why I will skip this part and forward you to my review on the X100S where you can read a little more on the image quality.
As the size of the images is larger than on the X100S I presume that Fuji has done something with the compression rate. I have noticed that I can edit the Jpeg files to a greater extent than on the X100S. Only if this is needed.
But most of the time the Jpeg´s OOC are just perfect.
The f/2 23mm lens is still practically the same as one the X100 and X100T except for the new third stops on the lens barrel and not via the toggle wheel. Yes the lens is soft at f/2 when focusing close to a subject. Remember that and use it as a creative tool. Just as I did with this shot! I set the aperture to f/2 and the film simulation to Classic Chrome. This gave me the wonderful softness to the image.
Let’s talk about the film simulations
Fujifilm left all the great film simulations we already had on the X100 and X100S. But the pulled the trigger and gave us Classic Chrome. At first I did not like it. I actually hated it. Strange colors and hard contrast! Not my cup of tea.
Then I started using it and started to love it. Classic Chrome is not meant for every photograph. But it can work magic on others.
All the other film simulations such as Astia, Velvia, ProNegHi and so on are still there. My favorite is Astia, Velvia and yes Classic Chrome.
Take a look at my two part blogpost on my wife’s and my vacation to Marrakesh. Near enough all the photographs shown are Jpegs OOC with one of these three film simulations. Just handfuls are fully edited raw files. Marrakesh Part I and Marrakesh Part II
Fujifilm is the master of Jpeg OOC!
Let me tell you in short.
A lot of you will wonder if it is worth upgrading from the X100S to the X100T. My short answer is: YES!!!
The button layout, which I raved about further up in this short review, is so much worth the upgrade that this alone would be enough for me. The new third stop increments on the aperture ring are the second and the better EVF would be the third. For me the whole package is now the best X100 versions to date. It is that what the X100 should have been in the first place.
Fujifilm has kept what was and is awesome on the X100 series cameras. The stunning f/2 23mm lens, which is an equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full frame camera. The shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial on the top plate and not to forget the aperture setting directly on the lens barrel. They have even kept the threaded shutter button. I tend to use a convex shutter button on this as one can easily use the Wi-Fi connectivity function to trigger the camera.
To top things up Fujifilm have added some great features to the X100T. There is the already named Wi-Fi connectivity as already seen on the Fujifilm X-T1. The display size is now a 3” display and the button layout is much refined.
Is the X100T the perfect camera? Well to 95% yes. See this last chapter of my shortish X100T review to find out what I think could be done even better. After that, the X100 next letter camera would be the best travel camera I could think of.
What about the next X100?
Now don’t get me wrong. I love this X100T to such an extent that I went to Marrakesh with this small camera and nothing else. Well except for some spare SD cards, some spare batteries, the Lensmate Thumbrest and the lens hood. That was all I needed.
I am sure Fujifilm is already working on the next X100 and whatever the next letter may be. It might even be called X200. And of course I do have some things that could be done even better on the next model. Sorted in order of importance
- Even better dynamic range (please stick to the 16MP sensor. It is enough). I took a look at some photographs I took with the X100T on a large canvas with a beamer. It was about 4m diagonally. When looking at the shots at 100% size I could still read the number plates of the car!!! 16MP is enough!
- Tiltable screen like on the X-T1, this is the one thing I miss the most!!!
- Better Autofocus in low light
- Weather sealing, but keep the buttons. Don´t do the same mistake as you did on the X-T1
- For me just an EVF with 3 or 4 Mio pixel and no lag and a little larger if possible. If you don´t use the OVF/EVF the there is more space for a better magnification of the EVF
- Lens hood not as an accessory but in the box
- Larger battery with more power.
That’s about it. Other than that the X100T is the perfect camera. I know that is quite a list of improvements. It would make this camera the absolute awesome travel camera. Well it actually is the perfect travel camera already. The only thing I really, really missed on the one week trip to Marrakesh was the tiltable screen.
And that´s it! My Fujifilm X100T review.
Additional images either Jpeg OOC or edited Raw files with Lightroom 5.7 or Lightroom 6