This last week has been very exciting. I got my hands on a FujiFilm X100 S for the weekend. I used this sweet little thing for a Prom Party shoot, and took it out around Los Angeles to try my hand at some street photography. But first thing's first, let's take a look at this camera and why I love it.
Number one thing I was asked while using this camera was, "what decade is that from?". A classic look with new tech makes this camera stranger friendly, as opposed to a huge DSLR body and lens.
It also comes in all black for a more inconspicuous utility or you're a bad ass.
I'm currently employing a Canon Rebel for my mainstay photography and I'm able to push it to the limits but it still has limits. One of those limits is it's ability to shoot low light situations. I figured it would be nice to test out this particular camera for it's low light strength and candid ability, being full framed doesn't hurt either. I'll let you find the specs for yourself, I want to tell you about using this camera.
It's lightweight and the viewfinder switches between a electric viewfinder and optical. At first it was just a nice little feature that I didn't really use, now it's a powerful focusing tool. Being primarily a DSLR user I find it hard to just trust the camera to grab focus without seeing it for myself, and the electric viewfinder is great for getting a clear idea of what your depth of field will look like after you press the shutter. The optical viewfinder is great too if you find yourself in low light and need the dynamic range only your eye can provide. When you peek through you'll see superimposed digital framing and exposure meter, with options for a grid and horizon level. When you half-press the shutter the frame jumps to a pretty accurate estimate of what your final framing will be.
The Auto Focus is slower than my DSLR but it does work and you can select a focus point using the easy access thumb wheel. Manual focus is usable but it can be difficult to gauge with your eye the sharpness of the focus. Having a fixed lens can be the only possible downside if it weren't for how awesome the 23mm f/2 lens performs. The camera also comes with a built in ND filter blocking up to 3 stops of light. the noise performance is great. My rebel looses so much quality to noise once I get to 1600 ISO, the X100s outperforms it at 3200 ISO by a very large margin. The blacks and shadows look great.
The sensor is cropped 1.5x rendering the 23mm lens to 35mm but with Fujinon glass the sharpness is real, refreshing and confidence instilling.
It has a bulb mode that I wasn't able to play with too much, just very briefly from a balcony hand held. Still the images came out really nice considering, just think what you could do with a tripod in the early morning (I'll get on that soon enough).
I did take it to the streets of LA, and I must say, street photography is not as simple as you might think. That 35mm point of view means you gotta get right up in people's business if you want an image that can be considered portfolio worthy. Every once in a while you can catch a scene like this transient arguing with a woman accusing him of following her.
So there you have it. The Fujifilm X100 S, a candid camera you can use anywhere. Small, light, powerful. It's a camera that can create wonderful images, and in the right hands will make superb works of art. If you want to get a new camera that will last a lifetime and comes with everything you need all in one sweet classic body, the X100 S is for you. I can't wait to own one, but maybe, just maybe, I'll wait long enough to get my hands on the rumored X200? Only time will tell.