Fujifilm X100T

Categoria: English Pubblicato: Martedì, 16 Giugno 2015 Scritto da Max Angeloni

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/8, f/2, Iso 500

 

Four years have gone by and technology has run its course.
Firmware updates allowed the X100 to be a much better camera and the camera philosophy remained unchanged in its successors. Not only this, but all the new technical solutions and features continued to improve the usability and performance of this little camera.
This can be said for the X100T as well since Fujifilm engineers didn't change what was working but continued the improvement of the camera bringing it to a mature level that allows this unique camera to stand its ground against all the competitors.
Photographer's feedbacks, whether professionals or amateur, were a key factor for the continuous improvement of the system and the development of the camera.

Fujifilm X100T - 1/340, f/5.6, Iso 200


What's new.
Compared to the previous models the X100T doesn't seem to show any dramatic innovation.
From the outside everything looks pretty familiar and basically unchanged while all the innovations are on the inside of the camera.
The X100s introduced the new X-Trans sensor and the related imaging processor, together with the brand new hybrid AF system.
With the X100T Fujifilm Engineers decided to focus not only on image quality or quickness in general. These two factors were already well developed in the previous model and only minor improvements were needed.
The evolution of a camera is not only a better sensor, a different processor, a better AF.
Sometimes the evolution is focused on those little elements that allow the photographer to have full control of the photographic tool.
In the X100T's case we're talking about the viewfinder.

Fujifilm X100T - 1/125, f/2, Iso 5000

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/125, f/2, Iso 1250

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/80, f/2, Iso 2500

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/40, f/2, Iso 6400 + TCL-X100

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/40, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/110, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/800, f/2, Iso 2500

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/250, f/2, Iso 1600

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/25, f/2, Iso 6400

 

The X100T is stealthy. Thanks to its central shutter (and now even its electronic shutter) and its silent mode, the camera becomes a ghost. No sounds, no lights, nothing that can tell the other you're taking a picture, even at close distances from the subject. Moreover, thanks to its great performance at high ISO, the camera gives you the confidence to shoot with no worries even in dim lighting conditions.

Let's skip all the minor changes to buttons and dials...let's focus on what has always been the distinguishing element of the X100 series, the viewfinder.
The hybrid viewfinder is the X100's trademark. Being able to use an electronic or an optical viewfinder based on the photographer's needs gave a new possibility to all those photographers that didn't want to forget their analogic habits.
It wasn't an easy engineering process, this is for sure. The most obvious issue is the parallax error introduced by the Galilean viewfinder. This means that since the viewfinder is not centered and it doesn't get the image through the lens, it doesn't show the same frame the sensor is going to record. The more you're close to the subject, the more this issue becomes evident.
Being the frame different it's not even easy to focus properly. 
During the years, thanks to continuous firmware updates, Fujifilm worked hard to improve the system and face the physical limitations of this technical solution.
With the latest iterations of the system Fujifilm developed the possibility to show on the viewfinder, once the AF is locked, what would be the real frame recorded on the sensor, thanks to its moving frames on the viewfinder itself.
With the X100T Fujifilm developed a new tool to further improve the reliability of the system while using the optical viewfinder. The new system shows an electronic image (the part where the AF point is locked) in the optical viewfinder thus allowing to check if the focus is centered on the right spot.
With this solution the hybrid viewfinder has finally reached its full maturity. 
This is Fujifilm's commitment towards usability against technical specs, functionality against megapixels.
While it's obvious that picture quality is a crucial aspect of a camera development, it is really important not to overlook all those little things that allow the photographer to get the most out of his camera. And this is what fujifilm does, the attention to these details is what makes the difference.
Attention to details that wasn't focused on the new viewfinder only, but also on the new EV compensation dial (+/- 3EV, one more than the old model), the new video features, the wi-fi, the better AF, the hybrid mechanical/electronic shutter (the electronic allows 1/32000 exposure time), a longer battery life and so many other little things that improve the camera usability.

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/800, f/2, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/100, f/2, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/800, f/2, Iso 1250

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/800, f/2, Iso 1600

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 4000

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/800, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/950, f/6.4, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 800

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/500, f/2, Iso 3200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/200, f/2, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60, f/2, Iso 3200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 27", f/16, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/480, f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/400, f/2, Iso 200 + TCL-X100

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/400, f/2, Iso 200 + TCL-X100

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/340, f/2, Iso 200 + TCL-X100

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/600 f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/160 f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/850 f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/220 f/5, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/750, f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/100, f/3.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/120, f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/125, f/2, Iso 3200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/640, f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/20, f/16, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/850 f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/680 f/5.6, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/480 f/2, Iso 200

Reportage, street photography, travel photography is what the X100T was designed for. An entire system in just one tool. This camera may be limitative sometimes, but if your photographic philosophy is focused on recording what you see while you're around, on the street, this camera is the perfect tool for your neighborhood walk or your travel around the world.

In the field.
I already told you that my relationship with the X100 was a hate/love one.
Once the camera was stolen I didn't feel the need to replace it since I bought the X10 and especially the X-Pro1.
The latter got all my attention and there was no room for the small "rangefinder" camera in my heart anymore.
My attention continued to be gathered by all the new lenses developed for the X system, while the X100S didn't steal my heart. I thought I was done with this kind of camera but, as they say...you never forget your first love.
I lately switched from the X-Pro1 to the X-T1 and sometimes I found myself thinking nostalgically to the "old" Hybrid viewfinder. This is not to say that the electronic viewfinder is not good, because it's not true. The electronic viewfinder is what makes CSC cameras special since you can visualize what would be the final result before you push the shutter button.
The thing is that, sometimes, photography is not necessarily rational. Sometimes instinct wins over thinking, the heart wins over the brain...sometimes you just touch a camera and it's love at first sight...You either love it immediately or you'll never love it. Again, this is not rational, but we all know it works like that.
And this is what happened when I first used the X100T. I immediately remembered my first love, a first love that was so improved that didn't have all those quirks that fed the hate part of my relationship. The X100T is an almost perfect tool if you love the 35mm and you want to stay light and stealthy.
Last but not least...I love the black color, I have always had black cameras...with the only exception of the "old" X100 that they stolen.

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60, f/2, Iso 2000

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/900, f/6.4, Iso 200

Fujifilm X100T - 1/1000, f/5.6, Iso 200

The Classic Chrome film simulation is good whether you shoot outside or inside. If you want to rely on Jpeg out of camera my advice is to use this setting in high contrast situation. If you usually shoot RAW though, the latest Adobe Lightroom can manage all the Fujifilm X film simulations you can find on your cameras.


The learning process was blazingly fast. The X100T is a X100 body with the X-T1 electronics.
As I already stated in my X100 review, these cameras are to be considered like a mini photographic "system" rather than just a camera. All the X100 iterations are the perfect travel companion but, at the same time, the perfect camera for a quick photograpic shooting around the the streets. 35mm (or 50mm for some) is the perfect focal lenght for all those documentation shooting sessions. Whether you shoot a reportage on some esotic place or your travel snapshots it makes no difference. Moreover, the small size and the quietness of this camera allow you to be stealthy whenever you need it. All of this comes in a package that doesn't compromise the image quality thanks to the big APS-C sensor and thanks to its lens and its imaging processor.
What can I add? Almost nothing. When I write about cameras that I like and that end up being part of my everyday gear I tend to be excessive. As our usual readers already know, here at Riflessifotografici we like to write about our impressions rather than focusing on the technical data and writing a scientific review.
The X100T is a mature tool, with no flaws or room for improvement. Of course, you can always accept little improvements but honestly...What can you ask more than what it is? It's fast, the AF system is quick and spot on, the image quality is really good even at high ISO, the viewfinder is so well engineered that it allows you to shoot with confidence in almost every situation.

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60 f/2, Iso 250

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/50 f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/80 f/2, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60 f/2, Iso 640

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60 f/2, Iso 6400

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/250 f/5.6, Iso 400 + TCL-X100

Fujifilm X100T - 1/80 f/2, Iso 5000

Dim Lighting conditions and high contrast scenes...another situation where the X100T shines, showing it is worth wearing the Fujifilm X shirt.


Shot after shot I realized that the main functions and features are easily reached with a dedicated button or dial, thus improving operating quickness and responsiveness. The 1/3 stops dial on the lens is one of those little thing that I really appreciated together with the electronic shutter that helps a lot facing those situations where you need fast shooting times that the mechanical shutter does not allow you to reach, especially with wide open aperture settings.
Even one of those chronic issues that affected almost all Fujifilm X cameras but also many CSC cameras seems fixed...the reliability of the remaining battery life indication. It may look weird but with the previous models it was almost impossible to rely on the battery life indicator since it indicated full battery for hundreds of shots and then, in a few shots, you could see it going down to zero. I finally got used to it and I decided to replace the battery as soon as the battery indicator moved to 2/3 of battery life.

This is why I found myself suprised when I realized that the X100T reached the 2/3 on the battery life indicator far quicker than before. At the beginning I thought I had a bad battery. Then I thought that the hype around the new "battery economy" was just a marketing trick. Then I decided to shoot until the battery died and I finally realized that this is not an issue anymore. The battery level indicator is now reliable...finally.
Talking about battery life though, it is worth remind everyone that CSC cameras rely only on electronics and therefore the battery life is highly affected by the settings we decide to use.
Compared to a DSLR, a CSC has an electronic viewfinder that shows all the settings, it reflects lighting and chromatic conditions...Having all of these features activated drains a lot of battery life. If you use a DSLR in live view mode for a long time you'll find its battery dying a lot quicker than in "normal" mode.
This is why it's not easy to define the battery life of a CSC camera...You can try to optimize your use to prolong the battery life.
With Hybrid viewfinder cameras such as X100 and X-Pro1 if you chose to use the optical viewfinder over the electronic you'll see a lot longer battery life.

One last consideration is to be dedicated to the lens. I often read that many consider the X100T lens comparable or in competition with the XF 23mm F1.4. Please let me say that this is not right, this is just a superficial approach to the matter. To me these lenses have just one common feature...the focal length. 
The X100T lens is a miniaturization miracle. Fujinon was able to squeeze a great optical lens with almost no flaws, in a tiny pancake design. Of course miniaturization comes at a cost especially when talking about brightness. A 23mm F2 lens in such a small body is a great achievement.
The XF 23mm 1.4 is a complete different lens...it's a gem. It's sharp even wide open, with no flaws, but it also shows a "carachter" that the X100T lens doesn't show. The bokeh and the three dimensionality of the lens are great and the differene is more perceivable the more you open the aperture. Shooting At F5,6 or F8 you won't see the same difference, but if you love shooting a wide aperture settings and you love playing with the bokeh, the difference is clear.

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/640, f/2, Iso 200

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60, f/2, Iso 1000

 

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60, f/2.2, Iso 1000 + TCL-X100

Fujifilm X100T - 1/60, f/2, Iso 250 + TCL-X100

Conclusions.
I don't know what else I can add.
For those who already know Fujifilm's X system some things such as the image quality are a fact.
Until Fujifilm pushes out the new generation sensor the actual 16 Megapixels X-Trans sensor ensures high quality pictures to all the Fujifilm's cameras and this is why it doesn't make sense to talk about it every time. Many photographers finally realized that what makes the difference is the usability, the quickness, the responsiveness and the pleasure to use a camera. 
The X100T has all of that and it was developed for those photographers that know exactly what they want from the camera. I would never ever recommend this camera to those photographers that don't fit the X100T philosophy.
A philosophy that focuses on telling stories without worrying about the tool you use. What camera is better suited for this? What lens? What if I shoot a portrait? What if I shoot a landscape? What if I don't have the right lens?
This is what many photographers ask themselves continuously. If this is what happens to you, if this is what you ask yourself every time you get out...forget the X100T.
But if you like telling your stories from serious reportage to family snapshots, and you like doing it with ease...I would start to think about buying this camera.
And if for whatever reason you cannot live with just a 35mm equivalent lens, Fujifilm produces 2 little additional lenses that make the X100T field of view wider or narrower without adding much bulk or size, without changing the philosophy of a camera dedicated to those who want to walk and look at the world with a slow pace.


Additional Note:
TCL-X100 e WCL-X100 are two additional lenses that allow the X100T 35mm equivalent lens to become a 50mm equivalent or a 28mm equivalent respectively.
During our test we used the "50mm" a lot. The TCL-X100 screws in the front element of the lens. Dimensions are not tiny, but this was due to the design choice to keep the same light gathering capability of the lens despite the 1.4x factor.
As usual the X100T is a camera that fits many different situations and many different styles of photography and this is why I decided to include pictures with so many different subjects and lighting conditions.
Moreover...with the new "classic chrome" film simulation I prepared a new preset on lightroom based on this picture control.