The Fuji x100s :: Teaser Review

Fuji x100s first impression

I’m on my first day of a five day trip with the brand new Fuji x100s.

It’s no secret that I fell in love with the first edition of this camera. I called it the greatest digital camera ever made. It has it’s “quirks” for sure but I love that camera dearly no matter how much of a pain in the ass it can be.

The new one? The S? Well… I can’t give a full review yet because I’m still putting it through hell on the streets but let me say this…

They did it. It’s the greatest camera I’ve ever owned. No. Freaking. Joke. It’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

More to come when I get home.



Fuji X100s :: 2.8 @ 60th ISO 200


  • Rick said on March 10, 2013

    Can’t wait for the complete review :)

  • Leo Cavallini said on March 10, 2013

    Big pic, love the smoke!

  • James Waddell said on March 11, 2013

    I’ve been considering getting one of the Fujis for a while now so I can’t wait to hear what you think of the new one. :)

  • Anselm said on March 11, 2013

    Im may finally pull the trigger and buy one. Look forward to the full review.

  • Elisha said on March 11, 2013

    I bought the x100 after reading your review, and it became my favorite camera, too. Used it more than my D700 or even my 5D when I switched over. Sold it on eBay as soon as I could preorder the x100s, and now I’m going thru withdrawals. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this review, especially after David Hobby’s tweet…

  • Jonathan Ellul said on March 11, 2013

    wow! can’t wait for the review. i was looking at the x100 today. now i’m very excited…

  • Phil said on March 11, 2013

    I’m only reading good things about this camera so far. Samples look great too.
    Look forward to seeing your shots from the trip and of course, your thoughts on it.

  • Mike Garrard said on March 11, 2013

    Excellent news, been hanging back to pick this up when it’s released. Look forward to the full review.

  • David / FlixelPix said on March 11, 2013

    I couldn’t agree more. It is the best camera I’ve ever owned. I couldn’t believe just how sharp the images are and just how fast it responds. I took a few photos and zoomed in to the detail and was blown away. The X100s has to be the camera of the year.

  • Steven Carter Hewson said on March 11, 2013

    Cracking picture!

    I cannot wait for the release of this camera. It may even make it into my wedding kit bag.

  • Colin Nicholls said on March 11, 2013

    Can’t wait for this camera, also can’t wait for the review!

  • Sam Jage said on March 11, 2013

    Zach, I’ve been waiting for this review to pop up…I’m sure you will show the camera’s best. Thanks for your great reviews!

  • Brian Eden said on March 11, 2013

    I’m curious to hear how the new autofocus performs with squirrel portraiture.

  • Zack said on March 11, 2013

    Brian – I’ll take a special shot just for you!


  • Riley Joseph said on March 11, 2013

    I preordered this baby on Jan 9th.. its been a long wait that continues.

  • AlenPasalic said on March 11, 2013

    cant wait for my body, freaking awesome camera i hope.
    and i cant wait this review because i love reviews that photographers make not those chart/numbers/more charts people.

  • Edward De la Torre said on March 11, 2013

    I’m getting a 35mm 1.4 lens for my DSLR. I’m getting it. No matter what you say, but damned if you aren’t making me think twice about it!

  • Mark H said on March 11, 2013

    Glad to hear another voice singing the praises on this update of a classic and favorite camera. Have the X100s on pre-order and can’t wait to get my hands on it. Till then the X100 goes via eBay and the Xpro will have to handle the day to day stuff.

    The manual focus and Q button alone make this a big win over the previous model for me – and better high ISO performance on the new chip – yeah I’m all in.

  • Chris said on March 11, 2013

    Guess its true, the “S” does stand for “The $h!t”

  • Zachary Long said on March 12, 2013

    Whoa cool portrait of Justin Bieber – oh wait, I’m already going blind and the sign in the back says BERBER. Can’t wait to see what comes of the trip, all of the other reviews have been glowing so far, though I’m not sure if I will ditch my OM-D as my fun camera just yet :)

  • French said on March 12, 2013

    The times are changing, we can see in new worlds with this new unique Cam!!!

  • Paul said on March 12, 2013

    Zack, I hate you. Because of you I now spend all my days in abu dhabi walking around and taking pictures instead of working 😉
    And I’m starting to count steps in people walking around.

    Paul – the safe word is bananas – in Abu Dhabi

  • Simo Väisänen/Vaisanen said on March 12, 2013

    Can’t you see. The ‘S’ stands for “X100Simo”. It’s obvious because the new X100S even has a “Simo’s” censor in it.Even the serial number of my trusty X-Pro 1 starts with ’21MO’. No wonder I’m A Fuji Guy.
    Read my blog

    Greetings from Finland!

  • Kinan said on March 12, 2013

    I bought it at GPP after I consulted with almost everyone there. I don’t regret it, but it certainly needs a lot to get used to. So for now I have shelved the Canon and will be challenging myself with this for the next year or so.

  • Val said on March 12, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    I have X100S and I’m pretty excited about it and maybe more excited than most people who already owned X100. This is my first Fuji camera :) I’m not sure whether my monitor is not calibrated correctly or I like an overly exposed images, but I think my X100S is 1/3 of a stop too dark in most pictures I have taken. What do you think? Also, I just found out that the AF-C mode is not as useful as my other cameras. This mode only functions like AF video mode in a DSLR. It can’t AF track anything moving. Do you think Fuji could have done better in this price range? This camera is AMAZING in everything else, though. Especially Auto WB (better than my Nikon DSLR), AF-S is FAST!! The flash look natural. I’m happy with my purchase except for AF-C mode.



  • Zack said on March 12, 2013

    @Val – Focus tracking is best left to Nikon.


  • Mitch Gurowitz said on March 12, 2013

    What an incredible image, how much of this is the camera and how much of it is “Zack Magic”?
    I have a X-e1, am I missing out on something by not having this new fixed lens marvel?

  • Zack said on March 12, 2013

    @Mitch – STRAIGHT from camera. No lie.

  • James said on March 12, 2013

    Was late to the X100 party, so may be late to the X100s party but hope to be there at some point in the kitchen with a beer and having a chat about how good it is.

  • Jan said on March 12, 2013


  • Antiope Papageorgiou said on March 12, 2013

    Can’t wait until the end of the month when this goes on sale in Canada (most sites say the 22nd, but the store I’ve preordered mine from is saying likely the 29th). In the meantime, I am checking out sites daily for hands-on reviews. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  • Jayson said on March 12, 2013

    So. Damn. Excited. I absolutely LOVE my x100 and I placed my preorder for the “s” the second I could. This little camera performs damn BIG. A solid walkaround camera, and shit, it will even go with me on paid jobs.

  • Felix said on March 13, 2013

    Hi Zack,
    On the street with you and the x100s in Dubai was amazing!! Looking forward seeing you next year on the GPP

  • Sten said on March 13, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    I use currently the X100. I like it a lot and prefer it over my DSLR except for one situation: Shooting my 1 year old son in the evening in low light. The AF ist neither fast enough, nor accurate enough to get enough “keepers”.

    So if you could address this issue in your review with the X100s, I would appreciate it a lot. I want to you use this camera for all my family snapshots (I am tired of DSLRs) and an upgrade to the X100s is only worth it for me, if the AF of the X100s can handle playing kids (no running kids, no sport, just playing and moving slowly).

    Thanks in advance

  • Ian said on March 13, 2013

    What. Is. All. The. Fuss. About?

  • Umit Kurt said on March 13, 2013

    A few days ago I saw you in Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul :)

    I look forward to more photos and full review.

  • Zack said on March 15, 2013

    You should have said hello! Had a great time there!


  • Martin said on March 13, 2013

    Zack, hope you have some fun days in Istanbul. I am looking forward to receiving my X100S tomorrow here in Dubai. And yes, your German is just fine (“Das Bier ist alle”). Sincerely apologise for not getting on the 1st time.

  • Keith said on March 13, 2013

    Zack, first thanks for the two great days in Dubai, first the Street Photography ( loved the way you just sat down on the street and waited for your ‘subject’ to walk by) and then One Light which enabled me with my amateurish photography skills to take pictures I’m really proud of.

    I used the x100 for the trip to the creek and enjoyed it so much I ended up buying the x100s based on your thoughts and opinions that you shared. As I mentioned my passion is wildlife conservation and the photographic opportunities that gives me in Africa every year but your ‘stealth’ approach made me realise how similar street photography is similar to stalking wild animals in the bush!

    Thanks Zack, I learned a lot and really enjoyed your quirky perspective on all things photographic … Can’t wait to improve my skills with the x100s


  • Mark said on March 13, 2013

    OK Zack, this is just killing me. I purchased an x100 just before the x100S was announced. As much as I HATED returning the original I felt waiting for the S model was worth it. I’ve been ‘without’ for about 2 months now and it’s killing me. My little box of x100 accessories sits in my closet waiting so all I can do is wait for your review. Come on man, come across already! I keep checking my Amazon pre order as much as I check this link!

  • Ed said on March 14, 2013

    Picked up the X-Pro1 and at first I thought it was the greatest thing since dark beer. It made me re-think photography…so much so that I picked up an old Pentax K100 as well as a Leica M6 and started shooting film again. I have to say that the honeymoon is over. I’m considering selling the X-Pro as I think it’s great in low light for street photos, but in regular/bright light I got all kinds of strange stuff happening with the 18mm lens and I’ve gotten really frustrated with focus on the 35mm lens. I’ve even tried to let the camera do it’s thing by shooting aperture priority or in program and I’ve found the algorithms are off in that even in bright light, the camera is defaulting to 800iso and then applying noise reduction making it seem the image is out of focus when it’s not. I’m curious about your review…looking forward to the no B.S., honest to God opinion.

  • Vlad said on March 14, 2013

    Perfect? Sure, when brand new. Until one day you get a few dust particles on your sensor. And a bit later, a few more (the sensor is not vibration cleaning itself, like for example Olympus sensors). And suddenly you realize that to clean the sensor you have to send it to be serviced by Fujifilm… but you happen to be traveling… I know, post processing can fix it (extrapolating adjacent pixels and “guessing” how to patch missing info where the dust spots are). Hmmm, me? I would never buy a camera with a non removable lens. Unless there is really no other option (X-Pro 1? X-E1?).

  • Zack said on March 15, 2013

    My two year old x100 has never gotten dust on the sensor. The camera is amazing. Not removing the lens has zero effect on my thoughts on it. It’s fantastic.


  • Espencerrr said on March 14, 2013

    There are so many reviews of the x100s out there (not to take away from yours Zack- I’m anxiously awaiting more), but why does no one ever review it with an off camera flash? The x100 represented some really fun opportunities for daytime strobe use, but I never see anything but pictures of the first thing outside the the review’s front door and then a lot of pixel peeking review garble. What a fun tool to use when you can’t/don’t want to carry more than a small body and one small strobe!

    Zack, I look to you for pragmatic reviews of gear a photographer would use to feed his soul, and not just to talk tech. Especially, I look to you for some insight on what it is like to use with an off camera flash. Please!!

  • Ty said on March 14, 2013

    Hey Zack – long time no see. Out of the business of photography for other people, just doing it for me now. Looking forward to this camera and not having to lug around the big DSLR. My only question/concern: any disadvantage to having one fixed 23mm lens? Maybe it’s something I’d get used to, but I would think I’d miss being able to ‘get in there’ on some shots. Looking forward to sharing some beers at OLW, I’ll come again and make it three 😉

  • Chris said on March 15, 2013

    What a tease! The 100S is more than double the price of the 100 listed in the UK – would a newcomer to the “X” series be missing out too much by going x100 and saving the cash?

    Is the new camera simply that much better?

  • Zack said on March 15, 2013

    @Chris – The new one is worth it. While I love the original, the S has made a significant leap in speed and usability.


  • Chris said on March 15, 2013

    Thank you for responding, Zack.

    One thing which I really would like to ask someone who has actual experience with the camera: The images on the older X100 galleries seemed to suggest a sensor with a wide level of range. Does the newer, more densely packed sensor retain such tolerance of exposure zones?

    I am concerned that high pixel count sensors sometimes sacrifice this latitude (now more often called dynamic range?)

  • Zack said on March 15, 2013

    @Chris – I’ll be able to answer that once I see the images on a good screen. I’m traveling with a MacBook Air and its not the best screen to judge things like that.


  • Chris said on March 15, 2013

    Thank you, I await your full review. It is refreshing to discover feedback which does not always read like a technical specification sheet!

    People taking photographs used to discuss the “decisive moment”. Now we are consumed by resolution charts and pixel densities! The “feel” of a camera is not just karma or “hippy” nonsense!

    More people than most discussing the X100 etc seem to be commenting on the images and the pleasure of photography – which is why I am drawn to it.

  • KJP Images said on March 15, 2013

    I really really need one. Looks like a fantastic little camera.

  • Andy F said on March 15, 2013

    Ed said: “I’ve even tried to let the camera do it’s thing by shooting aperture priority or in program and I’ve found the algorithms are off in that even in bright light, the camera is defaulting to 800iso and then applying noise reduction making it seem the image is out of focus when it’s not.”

    If my X100’s behaviour is anything to go by, it sounds like your X-Pro1 is set to Auto Dynamic Range, meaning it underexposes on purpose when faced with a high contrast scene, then boosts the shadows and mid-tones up to the ‘proper’ levels while preserving the highlight detail. The noise reduction I can’t help much with, as I’m not familiar with how the X-Pro1 handles it, but on my X100 I’ve got it set to the lowest setting and any noise that does appear is pretty benign.

  • John said on March 16, 2013

    Hi Zack, thank you for all your great images with the X100. Looking forward to your new work. I have both of these cameras and love each of them. I want to ask you which flash in the fuji range will optically sync with the new camera, and do you know what remote trigger fits the input? Thank you stay kool.

  • Peter said on March 16, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    due to your glowing review I bought a X100 in 2011. Initially I didn´t want to because I read l lot of negative comments on the performance and the bugs that camera has. But I gave it a try, went to my local dealer and fell immediately in love with it. For me it is THE ultimate tool for ME as a photographer, combined the best of both the analog and the digital world. To keep a long story short: one day before the official announcement I preordered the new X100s at my local dealer and yesterday it arrived. It sounds stupid to give a statement after only one day of use, but: WOW! They got it! Finally!
    Have fun and keep on shooting…

    Greetings from Germany,

  • Matthew Islam said on March 16, 2013

    Can’t wait to hear what you have to say. I took up photography because of your work and I got my X100s a few days ago and it rocks too. It will be the camera I use soley for ages and my D600 is feeling very unloved nowadays…..

  • nicholas gonzalez said on March 16, 2013

    Would you, Zack, or anyone else here, say that it’s a great time to buy the original x100 now that it will be a great used item? I saw a few online for sale. Why not get the original too, right?

  • RoG said on March 18, 2013

    They’ve done it! Got rid of all the quirks and bad menu program and made it perfect.
    I got back to photography because of the X-100 (I’m 62) sent me right back to the future!
    Then I fell for the X-P1, then got excited and took along the X-E1 and gave back my precious X-100… Sob!
    Always regretted the camera, but couldn’t live with the quirks. Especially not having the Q menu.

    But now Doctor, tell me how to get rid of this bad case of GAS that’s all over me…
    Should I get back my darling precious with its new brain?
    Should I get rid of the X-P1?
    Or the sExy-1 ?
    I already got 3 Fujinon lenses + 2 Leica’s + 1 Samyang
    Keep all 3 bodies?
    The X-100s comes at the price of a used “cheap” Leica glass. And I don’t have a 23 (35mm) lens.

    Please doctor help me with that GAS?

  • Daniel said on March 20, 2013

    Damn u Zack Arias. Even this short teaser is enough. I just got over the thought of changing my X100 to the X100S and then you come along and call the S the best camera you have ever owned.
    Well I will wait and see. Until the I will enjoy the rest of my gear and just take pictures.

    Greetings from Germany

  • Ian said on March 21, 2013

    You always have to take “rave” reviews with a grain of salt, especially when the author is on a Fuji paid junket.. Once you accept gratuities like that, your “independence” always comes into question..

    but still.. it looks the goods.

  • Zack said on March 21, 2013

    @Ian – Understood. I agree. I’ll be glad to hand out salt shakers.


  • Roman said on March 21, 2013

    Hi Zack, I like the picture above very much! (its light, atmosphere…)…looking forward for the new ones from Your “S”!!

  • Leo Edwards said on March 22, 2013

    The X100S ROCKS! first shipments arrived in Dubai –

  • Mitch Gurowitz said on March 24, 2013

    I know that this follow up is 10 days too late, but when I said “Zack Magic” I was referring to your mad camera skills, not post production.

  • Jen said on March 24, 2013

    Hey Zack. Great review! I do believe there is a writer in you, sir. Enjoyed reading this immensely.

    I will be sticking to my original x100 that goes with me everywhere. No upgrade in my future any time soon. It’s been a great camera for me. Next it to figure out how to get my pocket wizard and flash working with it. A part of me is really itching to try that off camera flash and then use it at my next wedding. I’ve seen Matthew Carter at it… shook my head and kept up with my Canon -arms aching. Can’t quite part with that lens line-up on my Canon. Hmmm… but wouldn’t that be something? A lighter camera at a wedding. Still mulling it over.

    Thanks again.

  • Paul Crouse said on March 28, 2013

    Thank the gods for you, Zack. (Especially Oden and Thor).

    It is so good to read something about photography that is not pretentious wankerdom.

    Seriously, you have a good heart, a sharp mind and a brilliant eye.

    Cheers mate!

  • Rich said on March 31, 2013

    Fabulous shots- ‘we buy any car’ here i come, must have this camera to go with my dusty sensored x100.
    Thanks for being so warm and fresh.
    You are a star to me.

  • chris said on April 3, 2013

    Zack –

    Did you notice a change in the strap lugs?
    I lused a Leica strap with the x100, can’t seem to make it work on the x100s.
    Also, can you elaborate on moving away from using spot metering?
    Great review – thanks.

  • Ken Tan said on April 27, 2013

    Loving the x100!!!

  • Gary Ross said on April 28, 2013

    Zak! XE 1 or the new 100s? I’m a couple of days away from purchase….so which one and briefly why?


  • Zack said on April 29, 2013

    @Gary – I’d go with the x100s now and wait for an update to the other X cams. That’s my personal opinion.


  • Bob Owen said on June 6, 2013

    Might even trade down from my X Pro-1, this looks sweet and more of a go-to camera. Maybe even for weddings

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