Steve's Conclusion

Steve's SnapShot
    • 24.3MP APS-C size X-Trans CMOS III sensor
    • 23mm FUJINON lens (35mm equivalent)
      • F2 max aperture
      • 35mm equivalent
      • ND filter (3 stops)
    • 3.0" 1.04M-dot LCD display
    • Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)
    • Full 1080/60p HD Video
      • with or without Film Simulations
      • Output for Stereo Microphone
    • 0.08 second Intelligent Hybrid AF
    • 0.5 second fast start-up time
    • 0.01 second shutter time lag
    • 0.2 second shooting interval
    • 'ACROS' film simulation mode
    • Focus Peaking
    • Digital Split Image
    • Intelligent Hybrid AF
    • 6 AF Modes (3 for AF-S, 3 for AF-C)
      • Single Point
      • Zone
      • Wide/Tracking
    • Digital Teleconverter
      • 50mm & 70mm options
    • Advanced Filters
      • Pop Color
      • Toy Camera
      • Miniature
      • Dynamic Tone
      • Partial Color
      • Soft Focus
      • High Key
      • Low Key
    • Interval Timer Shooting
      • 1 second - 24 hours
      • up to 999 frames
    • Wi-FI
      • Free FUJIFILM Camera Remote app
      • Wireless Communication
      • INSTAX Share Printer compatible (INSTAX Share App)
    Pros
    • Outstanding image quality in all types of scenes
    • Minimal amount of noise in photos shot at high native ISO settings
    • Prime f/2 lens produces very sharp detail in images
    • 91-point AF mode is upgrade over X100F's predecessor
    • Full manual control modes, including manual focus, available
    • New image processor provides impressive performance speeds
    • Can record in continuous shot mode at up to 8 fps
    • Hybrid Viewfinder design is great for giving the camera flexibility
    • LCD screen is sharp and bright
    • Film Simulation modes are cool, including new Acros mode
    • Q menu button is great for changing settings quickly
    • Nice retro design makes this model look great
    Cons
    • Camera's operational aspects are a little quirky; it takes some practice to use this model efficiently
    • Lack of a mode dial may confuse some photographers at first
    • Combination shutter speed/ISO dial is odd, but it's functional once you get the hang of it
    • Prime lens is sharp and fast, but has no zoom capability
    • Camera has a chunky design
    • LCD screen has no tilt or touch capability
    • Price tag is very high
    • No dedicated movie recording button
    • No 4K video resolution option
    • Flash unit is embedded in the front of the camera, rather than a popup flash
    • Menu structure is extensive; will take some practice to use efficiently
    Timing Test Results
    • Power up to first image captured = 1.0 seconds
    • Shutter lag when prefocused = about 0.1 seconds
    • Shutter lag with autofocus = about 0.1 seconds
    • Shot to shot delay w/ flash = 0.6 seconds (review off), 1.2 seconds (minimum review on)
    • Shot to shot delay w/o flash = 0.4 seconds (review off), 1.0 seconds (minimum review on)
    • Continuous Low = 10 frames in 2.8 seconds at 24M
    • Continuous Medium = 10 frames in 2.1 seconds at 24M
    • Continuous High = 10 frames in 1.7 seconds at 24M
    • Continuous Super High = 10 frames in 1.2 seconds at 24M
    All tests taken using 16 MB memory card, Program mode, flash off, review off, and all other settings at default unless noted.
    Bottom Line
    The Fujifilm X100F is a camera that has some design oddities, along with a really high price. But for the right photographer, its high-quality images and sharp f/2 prime lens is going to give you images that you can't easily duplicate with other cameras. It's especially good at portrait photos and low light photos. But with a four figure price tag, the X100F is only going to appeal to a limited number of advanced photographers.
    Pick This Up If...
    You want the ability to shoot extremely high-quality portraits and low light photos, you don't mind not having a zoom lens, you like spending time learning to use a camera, and you have a big budget for your camera.
    The Fujifilm X100F is the fourth camera in the X100 series, preceded by the X100 in 2010, the X100S in 2013, and the X100T in early 2015. It's interesting that Fujifilm has introduced all four cameras at the same MSRP of $1,299. And these cameras have held their value well over the years. You can still find an X100S for $850 on Amazon, for example. So the fact that the X100F offers some nice advancements over its predecessors in terms of photographic capabilities means that this new camera represents a really good value versus the other X100 cameras. You'll find a faster image processor, 50% more resolution in the APS-C image sensor, and a 91-point AF system with the X100F, all of which are significant improvements over the X100T.

    But it's also a clunky camera that isn't going to appeal to someone looking to slide a camera easily into a pocket. It has no zoom lens, meaning you're locked into a single focal length with the prime lens. And it has no automatic shooting modes or mode dial, which isn't going to appeal to someone seeking an easy-to-use first digital camera.

    If you're still reading, you're probably an advanced photographer who knows the benefits of a high-end camera like the Fuji X100F. Its greatest strengths are for shooting low light photos, portraits, or street photography.

    Once you move past its design quirks, it's easy to like this Fujifilm camera. Its image quality is tremendous, it boasts numerous high-end photography features, and it has a cool, retro look.

    While the X100F includes the same physical size of APS-C image sensor that was in the Fujifilm X100T, the X100F's resolution count is 24.3-megapixels, which is 50% higher than the X100T.

    I was extremely impressed with the X-Processor Pro image processor, which allows the X100F to operate with almost no shutter lag or shot-to-shot delays. Its continuous shot modes are great too. You won't miss a spontaneous photo.

    Beyond the interior components and chips for the Fuji X100F, its f/2 35mm equivalent prime lens is one of the camera's best features. It creates impressively sharp photos and performs well in low light situations. It works great for portraits, as you can blur the background easily, maintaining a sharp focus on the subject.

    As you'd expect for a camera in this price range, the X100F's photographic quality is strong with realistic colors in all shooting situations. Exposures were accurate in all of our tests. Fine details in the images are sharp in most circumstances.

    And the X100F includes the Film Simulations, the newest of which is called Acros, a specific monochrome effect, and makes for a nice addition.

    The Fujifilm X100F looks a lot like its predecessors with a retro style and plenty of dials on the top panel, but it's a bit of a chunky design. Measuring more than 2 inches in thickness, it won't fit comfortably in a pocket (unless it's a big pocket).

    Fujifilm chose not to upgrade the X100F's LCD screen, so there's no touch screen or tilt capabilities.

    But the Hybrid Viewfinder design found in many mid-range and advanced Fujifilm cameras makes up for any lack of advanced LCD features. The X100F's Hybrid Viewfinder combines the best aspects of optical and electronic viewfinders, giving photographers a lot of flexibility in how they want to use the camera.

    Fujifilm's designers upgraded the X100F's autofocus system, giving it a 91-point system. And to make it easier to select the autofocus point, the designers included a joystick-like button on the back of the camera for picking the autofocus point quickly. This is a pretty cool feature.

    At first glance, there aren't a lot of dedicated buttons on the back of the camera for controlling the X100F's photographic settings, which may disappoint some advanced photographers. But Fujifilm did include seven different function buttons on the camera to which you can assign a setting or menu, so there are plenty of customization options to make the camera's button design work well for individual photographers. Couple these function buttons with the Hybrid Viewfinder, and the X100F has a lot of flexibility that will appeal to experienced photographers.

    If you want to keep the camera's operation simple, you'll appreciate the Q menu, short for Quick menu. Press the Q button on the back of the camera, and you can make changes in a hurry to the camera's settings. The Q menu is a common feature of Fujifilm cameras, so I'm glad to see it has migrated to the X100F. And -- to continue the flexibility theme -- you can pick and choose which settings appear in the Q menu.

    One of the numerous design oddities with the Fujifilm X100F will occur when you're trying to shoot movies. There's no dedicated movie button with a red dot as you'll find with most digital cameras. You'll have to pick the movie recording setting from the camera's Drive menu. You'll then use the shutter button to start and stop video recording. You can record video at full HD resolution at 60 fps. It's unfortunate Fujifilm didn't give this model a 4K video recording mode. And it's also unfortunate that you can't turn one of the seven function buttons into a movie recording button, which would've been much handier for shooting spontaneous movies than having to work through the Drive menu.

    Additionally, the X100F does not have a mode dial, which may confuse some photographers at first glance. It also has no automatic shooting mode or scene modes, which some beginning photographers like to use.

    To select the shooting mode from among Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual, you'll have to change the settings for the shutter speed dial and the lens aperture ring. It'll take a bit of time to understand how this function of the Fuji X100F works, but once you have it down, it's not difficult to use.

    For a camera that has quite a few interesting operational quirks, the lack of a mode dial doesn't seem all that odd. Just don't expect to pick up this camera and start using it successfully immediately. It takes a bit of practice to figure out all of the X100F's quirks and odd design aspects.

    The X100F's native ISO range of 200 to 12800 is a one-step improvement over the X100T. You also can make use of extended ISO settings of 100 on the low end and up to 51200 on the high end. Noise isn't really noticeable, even at the largest print sizes, until you reach ISO 1600. As long as you are printing photos at small sizes, noise won't dominate the image until you reach the extended ISO settings.

    If you'd rather use a flash than the highest ISO settings for low light photos, the built-in flash works adequately for basic photos. If you're looking to create high-end low light images, you'll probably want to connect an external flash unit to the hot shoe.

    You can make a wireless connection to your smartphone with the Fuji X100F, or you can connect your computer or TV to the camera's HDMI or USB ports.

    Bottom Line

    The Fujifilm X100F is a strong portrait and low-light camera. But the price tag is so high, despite its strong photographic capabilities, most people will think twice about purchasing one. After all, you can easily find an entry-level DSLR with a few lenses for that price. The Fuji X100F simply isn't going to appeal to someone as a first digital camera. But for the advanced photographer who knows exactly how to take advantage of the X100F's specific features to create certain kinds of photos, this prime lens camera has a lot of strengths in a cool looking body.
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