Fuji x100s Review :: A Camera Walks Into A Bar

March 22, 2013 | • Gear & Gadgets Shop Talk

106fm DJ Esin Görür. Photographed in Istanbul, Turkey with the Fuji x100s

Here is the strangest gear review I have ever written. 

Let me set the stage… Picture a bar scene…

x100s review

There’s a distinguished looking ol’ fellow sitting at the bar. He has silver hair and laugh lines around his eyes. He’s well dressed. Well groomed. Well traveled. You can tell he’s seen a lot in his time. His classic Morgan is parked outside. There’s a pretty young girl on his arm listening to his stories of being a globe trotting documentary photographer. He sips his 50 year old Chivas Regal. His name is Leica. Yeah, he’s the world’s most interesting man. 

In the corner we have Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony. They’re in a heated debate about Dungeons & Dragons or something. Sony is smart. He’s a brilliant guy. Ugly as hell. Clunky. Clumsy. Out of balance… but very smart. Olympus is more fashionable than his friends Sony and Panasonic but you can tell he’s just trying too hard. He’s cute, but sitting next to Sony shows he’s not that smart. Panasonic is just staring into his beer. A single tear drops into his IPA. He just released the GF5 and has realized it’s a total pain in the ass of a camera and wishes he could go back to the good ol’ days of the GF1.

“Remember when I created cult followings guys? Remember that? Remember?”

Sony and Olympus share glances and mumble something about the wizard losing his potion. “Hey, at least we aren’t those two assholes over there.” as they point to Canon and Nikon.

Canon and Nikon. They’re the two old men at the bar who are always arguing. You can’t tell if they’re the best of friends, brothers, or sworn enemies. Either way, there they sit… every night… arguing and arguing and arguing. One says he can drive a car faster. One says he got laid at the ’84 Olympics far more than the other. The other talks about how big his lens is. The only thing they ever agree on is they are both sick and tired of all the young kids in the bar these days taking their space. You get a feeling that if they just melded into one the world would be better for it. Please don’t get either one started about iPhone and her friend Instagr.am.

There’s a sound of an old shovelhead rolling up in the parking lot.

A young good looking kid walks in the door. Tattered 501’s. Grease stained tee. Three days of scruff. He walks with confidence. All the ladies take notice of him. The cougar den at the table next to Sony, Oly, and Pana all perk up and freshen their lips and shorten their skirts. His name is Fuji and everyone but Leica avoids making eye contact with him. Leica turns on his bar stool and gracefully nods his head to Fuji. Fuji, knowing he’s in good company at the bar, fires a grin and a wink at the old man. Leica sees himself as a younger man in this Fuji kid. Back before he opened his stupid boutique stores and started a line of t-shirts and baseball caps. (Leica should have never listened to his old friend Ferrari.)

Fuji orders a classic English bitter and starts talking to the two girls next to him. 

Phaseone pulls the perfect pint and serves it up. No one serves it up better than Mr. Phase. Phase then tells Polaroid to take the trash out. Polaroid goes out the back door and stops to share a smoke with Kodak. Kodak asks if Polaroid could spare some change. “Sorry man. Not today.”

The young girl that was sitting with Leica heads out the door but not before slipping her number into Fuji’s back pocket. 

Fuji sips his beer and quietly tucks it deeper into his pocket so he doesn’t lose it.


And that folks… is why I say Fuji is the new Leica and the x100s is the greatest camera I’ve ever owned.




I’ve just finished three weeks of travel with the new Fuji x100s. Along side the x100s I had my Fuji X-Pro1 with the new Fuji 14mm 2.8 bolted on to it. I’ll talk about that near the end of this post. For now, I’ll concentrate on the x100s. I’ll share some photos, share some measurebating 100% crops, and share a link to an image you can pixel peep to your heart’s desire.


fuji x100s


The original x100 was my entrance into street photography. I’ve always loved this genre but I never participated in the “sport” as I call it. I’ve walked the streets with a DSLR and would shoot portraits from time to time but the DSLR either intimidated me or those around me too much for me to get into street work. That feeling of intimidation melted away when I started shooting the x100. It’s small. Dead quiet. Perfect. I just finished teaching two street photography classes in Dubai and there’s no other camera I’d rather have with me than an x100. Now that the x100s is out… that’s the king of cameras for me. It’s fast. Agile. Responsive. 


fuji x100s




After my frist day of shooting with the new S I realized something. Fuji really listens to all of us. Every single complaint that many had about the original x100 has been addressed. Everything I have seen people request in the update is there. The autofocus is leaps and bounds beyond what it was. Manual focus… get this… actually works! Image quality is fantastic. Same perfect focal length on the 23mm f2 fixed prime. It’s just an awesome camera. 


Fuji x100s


I’ve read the first reviews of the camera and many folks say it’s the same body and layout as the previous but that’s not quite right. It’s pretty much the same with a few tweaks. Here’s the back of the new x100s…




Two MAJOR improvements are here. First, the Q menu button from the X-Pro1 has arrived to the x100s. It accesses a quick menu to change a number of things on the camera like WB, file type and size, film simulation, etc without having to dig into the menu system. That’s a great addition but we all knew it would be there. The greatest update on the backside is the new placement of the AF point selection button. Previously you’d have to use both hands to change the AF point in the viewfinder. You’d push the AF button on the left of the camera and adjust the area on the right side of the camera. Now you simply push the AF button on the top end of the dial and move the AF area to wherever you want it… all with one thumb. I can’t tell you how much this one improvement has made in day to day shooting. That one change is worth an upgrade. Otherwise it is the same body as the x100 with a few tweaks here and there. One nice tweak is the exposure compensation dial is stiffer than the original. It’s not as easy to accidentally bump to a new setting. Oh, see the gaff tape on the read/write light? I put that there because I’m a left eye shooter. When I shoot it starts blinking in my right eye and that’s annoying. It also brings attention to the camera at night so I just gaff tape it. 


Esin Görür – Fuji x100s


Leaf shutter lens y’all. I can grab flash up to 1/800th of a second with a Pocket Wizard and a hotshoe flash. The image above is at 500th. The image at the beginning of this blog post is 800th! While I was in Istanbul I had the opportunity to photograph promotional portraits for radio DJ, TV host, and writer, Esin Görür. Want to hear something else that’s interesting? The small flash I’m using these days? The Yongnuo 560II. Or as Rob Milton named it… the Kung Pao 560. Yeah, that’s the name I’m going to run with from now on. I’ve put that $73 flash through workshops and shoots in the last month and it’s… awesome! Anyway. That’s for another time. David Hobby (AKA Strobist) is also a huge fan of the x100s and echoes my opinion on it being the new Leica. Check out his review of the camera and how he’s pushing sync speed further and combining that with the built in three stop ND filter.


Esin Görür – Fuji x100s



fuji x100s 



Hagia Sophia





As I talked about in a previous post leading up to this review it was this night in Istanbul where it clicked for me.

Fuji x100s


When Galatasaray beat Schalke and I found myself in a roaring crowd of football fans is when I realized that Fuji is the new Leica. Not once did I wish I had another camera with me. The DSLR is dead to me. Yes, yes, yes. I have a Phase. That’s my workhorse camera for editorial and commercial work. Other than that? Even for some magazine work… the Fuji is it. Buy Canon? Nope! Bye Canon! You see, for decades Leica was the shit for the traveling journalist, street shooters, documentary photographers, etc. They are fantastic cameras with an undeniable heritage. But here’s the deal. The folks who put Leica on the map can’t afford them any longer. They are a boutique camera company. The working stiff can’t shell out close to $10,000 for a body and a lens. Go price out 2 M’s, a 20mm ish lens, a 35mm, and a 75mm. Go price that out. Then price out an x100s, an X-Pro1, and the Fuji 14mm, 35mm, and 60mm lens. You still haven’t spent the price of a single Leica body yet. Let alone two of them. And glass. 

Would I use the x100s at a wedding? Hell yes I would. Wouldn’t think twice about it. Would I shoot it on a magazine assignment? Yes. Portrait shoot? Yep. Promo shoot? Yep. And have. 

Walking the streets of Istanbul with the x100s, an X-Pro1, and the Fuji 14mm and 60mm made me realize that so much work could be done with a tiny little kit like that. You’re traveling light. You’re inconspicuous. You’re silent. You’ve got a ton of options between these two small cameras and these three lenses.  You’ve got kick ass sun killing sync speeds with small flash. Sharp optics. Great sensors. Tough as nails bodies. My X-Pro1 has taken three major falls in the past month. I have two scratches and a shattered lens hood to show for it… oh yeah, and a perfectly working camera. The x100s has taken one good hit to the ground from a table top. It’s fine. Didn’t skip a beat.

What is the soul of this camera? It’s the styling. That’s the first part of it. Then it’s the feel of it. Then it’s that damn amazing hybrid optical viewfinder. It’s attention to details. It’s listening to the community. It’s a perfect camera. I can not wait for whatever is coming down the pipe for the X-Pro. I have no idea. While Fuji has hired me to shoot with their camera, I have not signed a contract with them nor have I signed an NDA. I have no idea. When I left Istanbul my job with them was done. They’re not paying for this review. But, yes. I got paid to shoot with the x100s. So, take that however you want. I know for some of you that paints me as a sideshow salesman. That’s fine. I get that. I’m leery of paid spokespeople as well.

I’m tellin’ you though. From my heart. The x100s is my desert island camera. 



Ok. You know what time it is! Grab the KY, fire up the forums, put your glasses on, and start pixel peeping! Let the measurebating begin!

I already see people questioning Fuji’s use of the X-Trans sensor thing in the new x100s. Some love the X-Trans. Some hate it. It is true that Adobe and others have had a difficult time trying to figure out the RGGBYBRRBGYT$SR pixel layout thing with this new sensor that first showed up in the X-Pro1. I can say that Lightroom 4.4 is really really really close to getting the RAW conversion correct. I typically shoot my Fuji cameras on jpg. I know. I know. But you know what? Fuji does it right. They always have. Anyway… I love the X-Trans sensor. It’s sharper than my Canon full frame sensors. So… here’s a picture of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Straight from camera. JPG. So yes, you are seeing a JPG of a JPG. We’ll all survive.

Grand Mosque

And the problem with the X-Trans sensor is what again? Someone let me know what the issue is because I ain’t seeing it. Am I supposed to read the serial numbers of the lights up there? Is that what I’d get from a Sony?


fuji x100s



Mmmm. Yes. I see. Hmmmmm. It IS perfectly obvious that the third millionth pixel from the left shows signs of herpes. You’re right!

No review is complete without what? That’s right. A squirrel and some kitschy shit that folks on photography forums can argue about. 


Say hello to DPreview for me!


Now, let’s go ahead and run the x100s up against a Canon 6d, the original x100, the X-Pro1, and heck, let’s drop the Phase into the mix. 


pixel peep

Click the image above or click HERE to get the FULL size comparison image. It’ll be up as long as my dropbox account is. :)

So… technical notes. Each image was shot at an aperture at a shutter speed at the native ISO of the camera used at similar but not equal focal lengths. I did MINIMAL post processing of the RAW files in Lightroom 4.4. Just color corrections. No other adjustments were made. I’ve left little notes throughout the images that can only be read at 100% viewing. Remember you’re looking at a JPG from the Interweb. Hopefully you’re on a good monitor that’s calibrated. If you’re viewing this on your mom’s PC, then, well. Anyway.

Am I happy with the image quality of the x100s? Absolutely. I’d like to see RAW conversions get better. I imagine the good folks at DXO labs will get it figured out first. If I were Fuji… or Canon, or Nikon for that matter… I’d leave the software up to Adobe. I’d give them everything they need and not worry about providing software for cameras. Especially Nikon and Canon. They suck at writing software. Just let Adobe do the job. Anyway.

Check out my 500px x100s set to see more photos from this camera. Click the image below to go to that gallery.

x100s on 500px

Would I change anything about the x100s? No. Not really. If I had any requests it would be to add an intervalometer for time lapse stuff. Including the lens hood in the box would be a nice touch. I buy third party ones on Amazon now for $12 or something. Built in WiFi / Bluetooth to connect to iOS or the like would be cool. The 6d has that and it’s awesome… until you want it to fire a @#$%#$ Pocketwizard! Jeebus! It won’t fire a trigger in WiFi mode. Seriously? Anyway. I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t need more pixels. The AF is plenty fast for me. Peaking added to manual focus is a God-send! It’s fantastic. Maybe I’d request to be able to change the color of the peaking. Currently it’s white. Maybe red / green / pink would be good options to have in the menu. But yeah, manual focus is legit now. I prefer the peaking to the digital split image.

Oh. Yeah. The 14mm on the X-Pro1? Awesome! Worth the price for sure. Absolutely. My second favorite lens for the X-Pro1 behind the 35mm. 


Fuji 14mm



My Fuji X Series buying guide.

x100s – Buy it. Done. 

x20 – Nice camera. It ain’t the x100s. 

X-Pro1 – The more I use the Pro the more I love it. It’s a perfect companion to the x100. It’s more of a “work” camera since you can change lenses. Now that the x100s has the same sensor they can be switched back and forth on a job without any issues other than the bodies and buttons are totally different. I’d love to see Fuji finalize button layout on the X cameras and make them the same.

X-E1 – Pretty much the same as the X-Pro1 but has a better EVF but it loses the optical viewfinder. It’s “slightly” smaller. I have one. It’s nice…. but…. It’s not the X-Pro1. That optical viewfinder is absolutely worth the price. 

Best performing camera in the current lineup? The x100s. Now the X-Pro1 and X-E1 have to play catch up. I have NO IDEA when that may happen. 

Is it worth it to upgrade from the x100 to the x100s? I’m with Hobby on this one. If you use the x100 a lot then yes. Upgrade. If you use it occasionally then keep it. It’s STILL a great camera. Hobby and I are asking Fuji to bring some of the upgrades to the original x100. Things like a Q menu (accessible from the Fn or RAW button) and focus peaking. How awesome would that be? Can we do this Fuji? You show that you still love your current client base and they will show you that they love you back. 

Long time.

Thanks for reading! I’ll update this review as things come up. Firmware updates and the like or if I see a lot of the same question. There’s a video in the works of my trip to Istanbul with this camera. Similar to the one I did in India last year. I’ll post it here when its up.

OH CRAP! Can’t have a review without photos of your kids! Jeez! Can the x100s deal with a three year old named Hawke Danger? Yes. Straight from camera jpgs. 

Hawke Danger


Hawke Danger


Yeah. I know. It’s not about the gear. I know. Yep. Uh huh. Damn I love this camera. And yes. All you red dot lovers… Fuji is the new Leica. I’ll meet you in the back alley and we can fight it out if you want. Kodak could use a little entertainment. 


Fuji x100s





ETA – 3/26 – I don’t think I got my point across clearly enough about Fuji being the new Leica. I’m going to be making a follow up blog post about that next week to spell out my opinion on the matter. Also! I figured out where Pentax was. SHE wasn’t at the bar. She was with another friend of her’s. It’s a sad story. I’ll update all of you on what’s going on with her and her friend. Tragic really. 


  • Rory said on March 22, 2013

    Zack you SOB. I just spend a load of money upgrading some kit for work and have none left. And now this.

    Better start working a little harder!

    Great review, thanks.

  • david said on March 22, 2013

    Love it. Tremendous images from what has to be the camera of 2013. It is a really ‘stunner’ as they say here. The video quality is also very impressive.

  • Drew said on March 22, 2013

    First comment – booyah! From Zack’s lips to these ears “And that folks… is why I say Fuji is the new Leica and the x100s is the greatest camera I’ve ever owned.” I’m a tech geek, but I always wait for V2 – from iPhone to software. And now the wait for my X100S. Awesome review and great bar story/analogy!

  • Szabi (szabiakanich) said on March 22, 2013

    Just had to come in and comment on that intro to this review. That’s just pure gold. Seriously some of the funniest stuff I’ve read in a while. Great review too. Looks like a solid camera. Too bad it costs 1200 euros.


  • Tjeerd said on March 22, 2013

    Sweet review Zack. You almost make me want to sell my x100… almost… or … noo .must…resist….

  • Ryan Meakins said on March 22, 2013

    Brilliant! Thanks a bunch, why couldn’t it be rubbish! now i want one!!

  • Dannybouy said on March 22, 2013

    Awesome. Nice review. I was thinking I want to upgrade my m9 to an M, but you can’t buy one until the end if the year. Bravo Fuji. The x100s might have to be my next camera

  • Brian Powell said on March 22, 2013

    Very good read and photos.

    Sure beats a bunch of pics of birdhouses :\

  • Steve said on March 22, 2013

    I am just astounded at the image quality. In the 500px previews, I’m not seeing any appreciable noise until 3200 ISO. My only apprehension about getting one for myself is that I shoot a lot of low-light concerts where flash isn’t allowed. But thanks to this review, I’m also going to take a look at the kung pao 560. Great stuff Zack!

  • Pablo Raw said on March 22, 2013

    Apparently Pentax don’t drink or go to bars 😀 !! I’m nervous, I’m starting to feel the need for the x100s… hopefully I’ll be able to wait until the price comes down

  • Evrim said on March 22, 2013

    Dude, you went to Istanbul and didn’t tell me?
    And do NOT photograph that evil cheater government backed team Galatasaray ever again. :)

  • Urbanshoot said on March 22, 2013


    What to say more than THANK YOU for this awesome handsome review….

    Oh yes maybe one thinks I will pick up mine tomorrow morning after I’ve sold my Big (Too big for street) 5DMII….

    And congratulations for your works…

    Urbanshoot from Belgium :-)

  • Tim said on March 22, 2013

    What a brilliant and refreshing review, great work Zack. I’m going to keep my X100 and yes it would be amazing if they could give us one final firmware update – I’d love to have square format added, just a few minutes coding surely? 😉

    Look forward to the video too, the India one was great.

  • Riley Joseph said on March 22, 2013

    I sold my beloved X100 in January in and preordered once it was announced. Your review would not have swayed my decision but I always love to hear your opinion on the Fujis.
    I cannot bring myself to ditch the 5Dmk3 for an X-Pro1 system with the X100s.. I really wish I could though because it is breaking my back.

  • Wayne Pearson said on March 22, 2013

    Love the opening, brilliant!

  • James said on March 22, 2013

    My x100 Black hit the sidewalk yesterday, it’s got a few scuffs and it’s still firing away.

  • David said on March 22, 2013

    Great review Zack. I appreciate your reviews because the images are actually good and inspire me to be better. There are only so many pictures of bookshelves and tree bark I can take before I no longer respect the opinion of the reviewer.

    I am torn about whether to sell the Fuji 18mm and 35mm and buy the X100s and have a two camera solultion, or wait for the 10-24mm (and possibly an X-Pro1s). I hate changing lenses, but I also hate having gear that doesn’t get used. And the x100s would relegate my X-Pro1 to the bag for the most part.

    Thanks again.

  • Rick said on March 22, 2013

    Single best review of a product, photography or otherwise, in the history of product reviews. Period. Intro was fan-freaking-tastic.

  • Patrick Downs said on March 22, 2013

    Fun review Zack. You’ve sold me! Analogy: I was talking to a pilot who flies corporate Lear jets, high performance technical flying. I asked him what he loves to fly when he’s not working, and he said he likes to fly a small tail-dragger 2 seat plane. Real, basic flying, all performance with him in control. Said it’s like racing a go kart. Same thing here for me — the Nikons are a great if heavy tool (I don’t have a Phase) which do a good job but I miss my Leicas for personal, street, and on the go shooting (personal or work) and these could be just the answer. Thanks.

  • Mark Bohrer said on March 22, 2013

    Have 15mm f/4.5 Super-Wide Heliar, 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M, 35mm f/2 Summicron-M ASPH, 50mm f/1.4 Summilux, 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit, even an old 135mm f/4.5 Hektor. Dislike the results from my Leica M8. Don’t enjoy digitizing film from Leica M6 TTL or Leica M3.

    All the reviews have sold me on the handling of Fuji’s X-E1, or X1 Pro.

    * How do these lenses render on these cameras?
    * How easy is manual focusing, and is there brightness compensation when I stop down?
    * What advantages are there to Fuji’s Leica M adaptor?

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    Haven’t used the M mount so I can’t speak to that. Sorry.

  • Eric Duminil said on March 22, 2013

    Between your review and Hobby’s one, it will be raining X100’s on Ebay this week. 😀
    I might wait a bit before I sell mine!

  • Kurt Holter said on March 22, 2013

    I’m not in the market for one of these, but just want to say that this is the best and most entertaining photographic equipment review I’ve ever read.

  • Kevin said on March 22, 2013

    This hobby hurts. As a 20 year old photographer in college, I would love a Fuji x100, or even an Olympus EP-l1! But with all my money going to school, gas, rent, food, and to helping my mom out, reviews like this hurt. I love my original 5d with its 50mm Sigma 1.4. Have you ever held this combination? It’s a workout. My cousin bought me these items as gifts, and I shoot almost every day. But it sucks knowing that the perfect camera is out there, one I could truly walk around with all day, with no worries of weight or storage, and that no matter what, you’ll be waiting for at least two more versions to come out before you could afford this one. Thank you for your reviews and work Zack. Maybe this camera will be mine in 4 or 5 years.. I can’t imagine buying a new lens or camera when that money could pay for rent, gas, tuition, etc. Photography will always be my hobby, even when I’m a nurse working 60 hour weeks, because getting a job as a photographer now is impossible. Sorry for the rant, it’s just a sucky feeling, wanting something that would make you happy, and having to wait for it.

  • Zack said on March 22, 2013

    @Kevin – I know exactly where you are. Shoot that 5d. It’s awesome. There’s a lot to be said for working up to things. Rocking the kit you have will make you a better shooter.


  • Matthew Maddock said on March 22, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Great review – love the intro!! Very true :)

    Glad to see you liking the Yongnuo 560II’s – I’ve been using them for a while now and I’ve got 3 now, be running them to death with no problems so far. They out-perform my SB900! Cheap as chips, but fantastic easy to use manual flashes, nice zoom range and with plenty of power when you need it.

    Enjoy your X100S!


  • Laurence Zankowski said on March 22, 2013


    And the folks at La Vida Leica are not happy… Shot Nikons for the USAF, got a low end one, done, over that, it is all go pro and fuji now…

    Still can not believe the jpegs coming off that sensor.

    Be well


  • Kevin said on March 22, 2013

    @Zack – thank you, I’ll never stop using my kit. It’s a sort of force of habit that I use it every day. And you’re right, when I work myself up to a Fuji x100 within a couple of years, it’ll be worth it (:

  • Arcade Original said on March 22, 2013

    Jeeezus, that’s the most entertaining review i’ve read. It’s like one long ass Reddit post. Come to Vancouver, drinks on me brotha. x100s on order.

  • Kevin Moore said on March 22, 2013

    I’m really glad somebody has remembered their sense of humor on this topic. That intro is classic. I bought an X-Pro1 about 5 months ago. I sold all of my Canon gear about 4 months ago. I just ordered the 18 mm. I’m a hobbiest and I just could not stomach the stretch to the 14 mm. I hope I don’t spend the next few years regretting it. Nice job as usual Zack.

  • Tim said on March 22, 2013

    I X100 since it’s release because of the lack of workable MF; now that the MF is actually usable on the X100s I will be getting one…hey my wife and I are expecting our first kid, so new kid new camera right? Good old Photographer Math!

  • Chris Marston said on March 22, 2013

    Excellent writing, Zack. Its good to have you back, I could feel the enthusiasm and look forward to more.

  • Peter N said on March 22, 2013

    “The young girl that was sitting with Leica heads out the door but not before slipping her number into Fuji’s back pocket. “– poor Leica lol. Epic review! :)

  • Aaron Pelly said on March 22, 2013

    @Zack, thanks for the review. I think that might be the greatest pixel-peeping test image I’ve ever seen!

    @Kevin, I know how you feel. I could really, really use the 14mm tomorrow, but I just can’t afford it right now. I’m drooling over the X100s, but I’m going to have to stick with my beloved X100 for a while. If you’re shooting for fun, and you’re not having as much fun because of the weight of your 5D and 50, consider this: the original X100 is going to be hitting the used market. If you’d be happy with a 35mm — and only a 35mm — focal length, find a way to try one out. The focus will be slower than your 5D, and manual focus will suck, but it is still an amazing camera. You could sell your 5D and lens and pick up a used X100, a hood, extra batteries, and some SD cards for probably around the same amount. If you’re shooting for the pure joy of it and you might get more joy with a smaller camera, consider it. Again, do make sure to try one out first. The camera isn’t for everybody, and some photographers hate it. If you need faster AF or MF, just wait. In a year or two you might be able to pick up a used X100s.

  • rjbradbury said on March 22, 2013

    Hi Zack thanks for the review. I have recently become a Fuji X100 owner (Christmas 2012) and love it. Shot part of my Grans 100th birthday with it along side the 5D2 and 85 great combo but more important was the fact I was photographing my Gran at 100 years old (what a lady)… yes it seemed quite fitting to run the X100 but gear aside it is definitely about the photograph, the moment and the experience.. man I wish I realized that sooner!

    As great as the X100s sounds I need to shoot my current kit more before even thinking about upgrading.

    Thanks for your true to heart input to this crazy world we call photography.


  • Brad said on March 22, 2013

    @Zack great review and really enjoyed the ‘story’ aspect of it; always dig reading your blog! I am planning a four day hike on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and trying to plan out my camera gear. This has me thinking my Nikin maybe needs to stay home and I should buy a X100S for the trip? Thoughts on that setup as my only camera on the trip?

  • Arthur said on March 22, 2013

    Great review, Zack. Your analogy part was just to the point! Can’t believe you even managed to wrap up the review with it. Hope to see the video soon!

  • Laura said on March 23, 2013

    Arghhhh. This makes me happy and sad at the same time – I was thinking I’d rent one of the Fujis for a trip to Japan and South Korea next month instead of lugging my D700 around, but the X100s isn’t available until the end of trip. Maybe I’ll just rent the XPro1 and the 18mm and try the X100s after the trip. So frustrating to be so close to being able to test it out! I’m DESPERATE to travel lighter. Thanks for your review, Zack! So glad to hear about the manual focus!

  • Steve B. said on March 23, 2013

    Great review. Mine arrived today. I just took it out hiking with my dogs. This camera is incredible! I would agree with the Hobby review, if you use your X100 a lot the upgrade is definitely worth it. I’m still laughing about the pixel peeping chart. That’s one pimpin’ squirrel. This review was the icing on the cake for my day. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nick said on March 23, 2013

    Love the review. Thanks Zack. Yer a funny guy.

    Now (because I bet Fuji reads this blog):

    Dear Fuji,

    Please bring focus peaking to the xpro1. We appreciate how you continue to support the older models with firmware updates. Your user dedication helps us love you more, it keeps us coming back. It makes us your fans and advocates.

    And a request for the xpro2.
    I would love a leaf shutter. Would be a dream for us lighting guys that can’t afford a Hassy/Mamiya. Not sure if it can be done it body – so you can keep you’re currently lens line up. But replace the lenses if you have too. Would be a dream! :)

    Beyond that, keep up the good work. Love my xpro1 and lenses. No other 35mm/APS-C camera I’d rather have. That includes the Leica M (was saving for a used M8 when I you launched). I know I made the right choice.


  • Alan said on March 23, 2013

    Hi Zack, One question, in your review of the X100 you said you were using center weighted metering, what are you using for the X100S? Thanks, Alan

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Alan – I’ve moved to multi / average metering these days. Still ride the exp. comp dial a lot.


  • Tim Harding said on March 23, 2013

    The notes on that pixel porn are hilarious. Anybody who hasn’t gone through that file at 100% is missing out.

  • Peer said on March 23, 2013

    Loved your review… Hope to try one out soon on the street.

    BTW Amazing Kodak box really old school stuff I grewup with.
    Anduhh Hope the M&M’s are without the brown ones.. Van Halen Style.
    Ohh nooo I think I see one.

    Anyway thanx zack for this honest and real life review.


  • Florian said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks for the review Zack!
    Is your ‘X100 Frankencamera solution’ with the two UV filters still your preferred way to protect the lens or did you come up with a better solution for the X100S?


  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @florian – I ditched the UV filter and have gaff taped the hood to the lens so it doesn’t fall off.


  • Aidan Timmons said on March 23, 2013

    Thoroughly enjoyable and comprehensive review – now for the conundrum.

    Own a Sony NEX 5n with 16mm, 18-55mm and 50mm f1.8. Keeping this kit.

    On the verge of buying an XE 1 with 35mm Fujinon and potentially the new 23mm when it is released.


    In your estimation, does the interchangability of XE1 trump the static focla length of the x100s?

    I shoot fashion photography in an amateur capacity and write motoring journalism with some emphasis on photographs professionally.

    Many thanks.


  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Aidan – That 35mm is a gorgeous little lens. I’d highly consider the Pro for the optical finder. It’s worth it. Does it trump the x100? No. The x100 is still my baby.

  • jamie zartman said on March 23, 2013

    Funny, creative and compelling review, so much so, I’ve ordered several accessories for the X100s even though I haven’t yet received word of when Amazon will ship it (pre-ordered a few months ago). Your photos are magic, and I know its not just the camera, but damn, there is something about them. One wonders what some of the greats would have thought and done with such a device.

    And now, the sleepless nights begin…

  • Chris R said on March 23, 2013

    Glad to see the love for the Kung Pao. They haven’t failed me yet… though they chomp through battery power like a swamp gator.

    On a total side note, scrolling the hotel interior shot up and down becomes a rather trippy experience.

  • Michael Newman said on March 23, 2013

    I could care less about this camera but I enjoyed the read none the less… almost makes me want one. Great read! Thanks for the post, glad to see you back on social media again.

  • Alan said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks Zack, The metering is the one hurdle I’ve fiddled with. How does this sound. Multi in general, for people center, and spot when needed. But, like you said always adjusting. Alan

  • ken said on March 23, 2013

    Hey, Zach: Pentax users don’t hang out in bars…they’re too busy camping in rain/snow trying to get landscape shots 😉

    Glad to see you’ve found Fuji. They’ve always made cameras for photographers like Pentax has. The F30 was great for its time as well. That X100s looks like the best P&S today though…

  • TCP said on March 23, 2013

    Great stuff Thank you for sharing Zack…always your fan…
    Thanks for all the free knowledge…. which we should pay to get it but thanks to u and to the internet

  • Alan said on March 23, 2013

    One more thing, if the retro looking, neon lit diner in Buckhead is still there, it’s a great subject at night (hint, hint).

  • Robert Lowry said on March 23, 2013

    Between your opening story and your entrance at the GPP shootout you’re gonna have to add entertainer to your list of credentials. Great review. Love the squirrel LOL. I rented an x100 as backup based on what you and everyone else who’d shot with one had to say. Only got to play with it a little the night before the shoot, but if my 5d2 would have failed, I would have been ok with the 35mm equivalent of the x100.

  • Bret said on March 23, 2013

    Canon yells, “Bartender, why is it so bright in here?”
    Phaseone answers, “Sorry, Einstein, but I can’t handle the high ISO.”

  • Paul Atlan said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks Zack,
    reading this is a great way to start my day (well, except for the 50 year old Chivas – but let’s not quibble.) I’ve actually downgraded my car to help pay for the new X100s I got at GPP. Oh, and my wife now thinks you and Hobby are the most dangerous individuals on the planet.

    Joke aside, you capture the essence of the camera perfectly: I’ve never been a street photographer, too shy, too much bulky gear, ….but this piece of kit just makes me want to go out and play. I’ve never shot Leicas, but if they are half as fun as these, I can understand the appeal.

    I’ll make another comparison. The evolution between the X100 and the X100s seems to me a lot like what Apple has been doing right for some years: hit on a great design and feature combo, then iterate, iterate, iterate to perfection. I sure hope Fuji keeps it up, and it’s not just a fluke. In that case, we’re in for some treats in the years to come. If not, well, at least we have the x100s to play with …

  • Keith said on March 23, 2013

    I’m really interested in using the X100s at wedding receptions. How is the auto focus in really dark locations?

  • Bret said on March 23, 2013

    Three questions about the pixel peeper image.
    1. Why the 6D instead of a 5D3?
    2. What lens on the 6D?
    3. Where did you get the jacket?

  • Tien said on March 23, 2013

    Great review, I was waiting for your review for weeks since I am having x100 and looking forward to the new x100s. The review is also very funny btw. Thanks lot and I will upgrade even I use it occasionally :)

  • Todd said on March 23, 2013

    Awesome review. Some great shots as well. I have been shooting a ton with the x100. Did a wedding with it not to long ago it was amazing. Came out with some killer shots. after reading this though I think I will be upgrading. I would love to do away with my canon kit. I use it to shoot sports but seriously thats all I use it for. it’s clunky and big and blah.

    After reading this review I think i’ll put my stock in fuji. I love their system and it’s small and light. Can’t go wrong with the fast sync on the x100/s either.

    great review dude. glad you have you back.

  • dan taymor said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks Zack
    You’re making some great pictures, thanks for the great review and the images.
    Last year it was all about the PHASE, and spending a zillion dollars on that, MF was the way to go… now you have the whole fuji think going, then you’re shooting 8×10… it’s all so great, all the best… what’s a reader to do? Are we jealous of your endless cash flow for these acquisitions? Uh, yes, not gonna lie. All power to you though for making it happen on such an amazing level.
    The x100 was nice, but you (me) could never rely on that for a shoot, it was just too wonky to leave the 5DMkII behind. That crap is breaking my back but they’re excellent cameras and very versatile, too good to sell in favor of xpro-1… would love the x100s as a backup / addition on the canon jobs… but i’m learning to dislike the massive canon lenses and bloated bodies… i have the 24-70ii which is incredibly sharp and incredibly heavy…
    excuse the rant
    luv ya

  • Tony Wilkins said on March 23, 2013

    Great Review Zack. Love the bar analogy but I have one problem with it. I’m a Fuji shooter but dangit I want that Morgan! Keep’em coming.

  • Brian said on March 23, 2013

    Alright, I don’t care how fancy and fantastic these pics are (really showing what this thing can do) I can’t abandon my o.g. X100. It took many fights, but we are finally seeing eye to eye. Zack, any idea when you are opening the flood gates back open for your tumblr blog? Got a few flash questions for ya.

  • Roxanne Sahlin said on March 23, 2013

    I’ve got the X-Pro 1/35mm and my husband Doug has the X100-and our poor Canon 5D MII’s sitting in a dark room in a Pelican case waiting for us to haul them out. I already think these Fujis are the best thing since sliced bread and my next purchase (funding by funneling off some of the lenses lounging in the dark with the Canons) will be the X100s. If I had not already decided then (after I quit laughing so hard), then you’d have convinced me to forge ahead through rain, sleet and snow to get the X100s.

    Thanks for the fabulous review AND the laughter over sizing up the cameras with such accuracy!

  • Patrick said on March 23, 2013

    Great review and indeed a very good intro!

    BUT, what really impresses me is you as a photographer. I’ve seen some of your photos taken with much lesser cameras and they are all excellent!

    Great camera, but (un)fortunately (you pick), it won’t make one a great photographer…

    Thanks Zack!

  • Kinan said on March 23, 2013

    Awesome review, Zack. I bought the camera at the GPP event and have been using it for the day to day things I normally use the phone for. There is a gig coming up to shoot street portraits of a local band and I am sort of torn about using the camera, but I guess I will just jump right into it.

    You’re an awesome inspiration.

  • Kevin said on March 23, 2013

    Aha! Visiting your blog several times a day for the last week finally paid off. Excellent and down to earth review. I’m finding some inspiration in your blog and videos such as the Signal to Noise one. I’ve slapped the 35/2 on the D300s and will try and leave it there. Most of my favorite shots from the last decade have been from that lens on Nikon DSLR. Prior to that it was a Contax G1 with a 45/2 (try that one for lousy contrast detect autofocus). I think I would be pretty happy with an XPro1 or X100s but just need to wean myself off the DSLR. Your review definitely helps clear things up.

    Cheers – Kevin

    PS. I recall reading that you were going to try your Nikon 105/f2.5 on the XPro1. Did that ever happen? I’d love to hear your impression of that. I have that lens and will keep it.

  • Steve said on March 23, 2013

    Any X100 and X100s image quality comparison?

  • SteveF said on March 23, 2013

    Nice review! Makes me want to take my x100 out more, been neglected…

    Oh and I’ve got a similar shot from Hagia Sophia :D, Istanbul such a cool city


  • InTheMist said on March 23, 2013

    Great review! Irreverent, funny, informative. Loved it!

    (PS. Sorry for spelling your name “Zach” on DPReview)

  • Glenn said on March 23, 2013

    In a word: Stunning. Thank you for your review and sample shots with the Fujifilm X100S. I just received mine from B&H (pre-ordered it on 1/8) and I couldn’t be happier. Now I get to go out and fall in love with my new camera.

  • Joris said on March 23, 2013

    Hawk Danger rulezzzz!

    Great write up.

  • Scott Alan Photo said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks Zack… Now I want to sell my my 7D and some other gear so I can get this…

  • OMD user said on March 23, 2013

    I recently bought an OMD EM5. Got a great deal thanks to the current rebate on lenses. I mainly bought it because I wanted a small, fast camera with great macro options.

    However, I find the X100s attractive in many ways. I realize it can’t match a true macro lens, but can it shoot decent closeups? I’m thinking probably not. As a street camera, it does seem perfect.

  • Mark Loader said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks, Zack. Got the X100 less than a year ago, the Black LE edition, so selling it is NOT an option! Also picked up the X-E1 with 18-55 (heck of a kit lens) followed by the OMG 35 f1.4 – wow. Since the X series affair I have rarely touched the Nikons. Will do though…horses for courses etc. Was stunned with IQ from the X100…I fully understood why you and guys like Damien Lovegrove went gaga over it. Always lusted after that expensive German supermodel but ouch those prices! Now, thanks to Fuji, problem solved. Camera envy is a SOB but thankfully I’m over it now. It’s like Fuji cut a deal with God to say “We love you guys”…hey, is it just me or does this little charmer make taking pictures more intimate, engaging, emotional? Maybe it’s because it’s a camera first and a computer second? Attention Chris R..scroll that pic while listening to “Dark Side of the Moon”…far out. And Zack? How about a word or three on the X100S/intimate/engaging/emotional thing? C’mon…it’s not like you’ve got other things to do! Love from Downunder…Mark

  • Mark Loader said on March 23, 2013

    PS…memory like a sieve…Thanks for the REAL WORLD review i.e. cutting out the BS and telling it like it is from a pro photographers perspective. I think we’re all in agreement here that you’re a great communicator ( that Transform video – awesome) and you’re forthrightness and everyman approach makes us trust you…a virtue in short supply these days. Not wanting to sound like I’m glueing my lips to your butt I’ll finish by saying you’re no George Clooney! Me, on the other hand…well, modesty forbids 😉

  • JT said on March 23, 2013

    If you think football is about Man U, then your missing the point!
    WHUFC – come on you Irons!!!

    Ooops…. busted measurebating… now I’ll get hairy eyelids.

    Zack – for you and your life and business if you had to choose just one, would it be the X100s or the X-1 Pro?

    BTW TY for the post – and the pics – Hawk Danger looks awesome in cape and glasses.

  • David Pullum said on March 23, 2013

    Great review Zach as always. Ordered mine 2 days ago cant wait to get it

  • John K said on March 23, 2013

    Well, i admit i like the story in the opening scene.

    But even as a long time Fuji user – even before you happened to be able to grow a beard – i can´t help but loosing the feeling about any seriousity in this so called “review” when you wrote about Sony like… “Ugly as hell. Clunky. Clumsy. Out of balance”.

    Come on ! Clearly, you are a Diana Camera design lover, but Diana designs happened to fail big for a long time ago.

    ….a very biased “review”, mostly not worth the read if considered as a review as it is marketed.

    But reading it as a biased, personal opinion it is fun.

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @John – I recently messed around with that new Sony rf1 or whatever it is. The full frame fixed lens machine. Beautiful guts, clumsy and out of balance feel. The lack of a good viewfinder built in is another downside to it. Great chip and lens… Horrible design. IMHO.


  • Peter said on March 23, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    thanks for sharing your thoughts and some really nice shots in such an entertaining way. I hope will not get blind by so much love for the cam ;-). And I hope for the Fuji guy the young girl will not recognice immediately that he is just a guy like all the others… maybe a little bit cooler for the moment :-)

    Some thoughts of a X100s user who still does not love the sensor, but loves everthing else about the camera.


  • Chris said on March 23, 2013

    I agree, Zack.

    We are paying out well over 1000 (£, $ or €) – chuck a lens hood in the box.

  • wilfried feder said on March 23, 2013

    Zack, you’re taking gear review to a whole new level, seriously. Fuji invested in you wisely. The bar scene is hilarious =). Proves you’re an artist on many fields. Question about the sensor, hope it’s not pixelpeeping: I shoot landscapes for large prints, and stock, with the 5dII. So i want detail in the pictures. You’re saying the x100s is sharper than your canons fullframes. Now the squirrel pic has the 6d. Got an opinion abut the 5DII vs x100s? If the 5DII aint sharper than the x100s, i’ll have to get the x100s for my backcountry skiing trips, especially for the weight…I know it’s built for street not landscapes, but the Phase One investment will have to wait a bit…extremely thankful for response Zack =)

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @willfried – I’m finding the 6d to perform a lot like the 5d2.


  • Colin Nicholls said on March 23, 2013

    Nice review, and excellent photos, really want to upgrade from the x100 now, Thanks

  • Eric Duminil said on March 23, 2013

    That was hands down the best review ever!

    How do you focus/compose/expose with the X100/X100s?
    I typically use aperture-priority with AF-S, lock focus with a half-press, recompose and shoot. The problem with the X100 is that the exposure also gets locked with the half-press.
    This can lead to completely wrong exposures in contrasty situations.
    Did it change with the X100s?

  • Frank in Wisconsin said on March 23, 2013

    Damnit Zack ! as a recovering “Gasoholic” and Lifelong Leica “lecher”; I’m now officially falling head over heels off the dang wagon. Almost bought an x100 last year but the doddering manual focus killed it for me and made me wait. Now I’m glad I did. Fuji betterappropriately compensate you for all the customers you’ll be bringing them.
    Loved the “bar scene”angle . As a”RECOVERING” gasoholic; I quit reading camera magazines. The bar scene was a creative update and presented a perfectly clear picture in my mind of fairly intangible relationships.” Polaroid taking out the trash and hitting up Kodak for spare change!!” You’ve got a real talent for this writing thing if you ever decide to go that way. Thanks Bubba.Enjoyed it: There’ll be a Guiness tipped back toasting your southern fried honor in the upper Midwest tonight.

    Did I say “O-m-g.jpg straight out of the camera”; yet? Mighty fine squirrel you got there.Yeah love my honking tank of a 1Ds and “L”‘s; but the fuji is looking sexier than ever.
    Thanks bubba.

  • Ben said on March 23, 2013

    Hi Zack,
    Fantastic review, thanks so much. Please… Could you ask Fuji to get rid of that aperture dance on the original x100 ? This is IMO the worse thing about this cam, as it slows down everything. All we need is permanent working aperture. Period. Anyway thank you SO MUCH for trying to help x100 owners. I don’t have the cash for the S and love my fella so much. And keep on. You’re the best.

  • Mo said on March 23, 2013

    You are a creative genius, Zack! I LOVE your intro story! Thanks for that, and your thorough review. I shoot with Sony a77, and enjoy the peaking mode, and fast shutter speed, and etc. But your review of this little beauty has me checking my bank balance… Thanks again!

  • Martin said on March 23, 2013

    I REALLY love this review! <3

  • SixBySix said on March 23, 2013

    And Pentax is drinking alone at home. A good-looking guy with all the right things going for him that doesn’t ask for much in return, he stares into his empty glass wondering why no one even gives him the time of day anymore. Sad face.

    Great review, Zack! I’m glad that Fuji fixed all the X100’s “quirks”, aka, glaring flaws on any other camera. I was kinda hoping that the X100s would still be problematic so that I wouldn’t have to think about getting one. Guess not!

  • Hernan Zenteno said on March 23, 2013

    What about the exactitude of the frame lines of the OVF? I have the Xpro 1 and I don’t like that the frame shows more that what you get and sometimes you have some shift. Mark, the problem using leica M mount lenses is that the OVF finder show the OVF frame very weak and tenuous, you can’t see the frames in daylight so what is the purpose of have a OVF that you can use? I hate that Fuji released the X100s and still the users of the Xpro 1 can’t get a 35 mm equivalent for this PRO camera. Just one of the optics more used by professionals.

  • Joanna said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks for the great review Zack. This sounds like a great camera in many areas, but you really had me at the end with the photos of your son. So the af is really fast enough for kids? Looks like it is. This is the clincher for me. I have three kids, love photographing them, hate lugging around my dslr gear and in fact, leave it at home much of the time because I don’t have room among the diaper bags, baby carriers, coats, kids hands, etc. for a bag full of camera gear! A lot of other reviews in other similar sized cameras claim that the af is not fast enough for kids so really, when I read the end of your review I was pretty much jumping for joy over here.

  • gunzzel said on March 23, 2013

    Fabulous wordage, pics, and I really believe you, despite the disclosed conflict of interest.
    Just one bitch, but- if this is the Leica-killing shit that you say it is, wouldn’t it have been better to put the X100s up against the M9 in the camporn challenge, instead of the obviously unfairly pixel-advantaged Phase? Just sayin’ is all. Otherwise, love your work and being a frustrated X100 owner, I’ll be upgrading for sure, but not until Fuji release the XE1s and XPro1s and the price of the X100s drops precipitously. Meantime, for the pixelporn quality that betters my old D800, I’m buying the $1,000 Foveon-equipped Sigma Merrill DP3 for portraits and other shit that stands still long enough for its crap AF to focus on. I reckon with this and the X100s, I’m sorted from a long time…

  • John Wangelin said on March 23, 2013

    I don’t think anybody thinks your a “sideshow salesman”. When Zack speaks we listen because it’s truth and not BS. Keep up the good work and I’m going to be taking a hard look at the X100s.

  • Mikee said on March 23, 2013

    That first section… Gold. Ugh I just blew up my amazon card with a 5d3 and sigma 35mm. Sold x100 when I got my x-pro1 and have missed it, it’s ND filter and leaf shutter, gah! Now you’ve got me drooling over an x100s.

  • Alfred said on March 23, 2013

    Awesome review, as always, @Zack… one question, I already have the XPro1 and the 35mm lens (courtesy of you)… and I was thinking of expanding my glass with either the 18-55 zoom and the 14mm or do you feel strongly enough about the x100s that I should just get that…..

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Alfred – I’d suggest getting the x100s then get the 14mm.


  • Matt Smith said on March 23, 2013

    Great camera review Z!! Awesome job. Thank you.

  • Faisal Khatib said on March 23, 2013

    The way you worked both the Fuji cameras during the GPP workshop was the main reason for me to pick up the X100s plus it made the perfect wedding gift. I still haven’t gotten around using it myself since the wife has been extremely possessive about it. I guess that video they showed at the GPP launch is coming true for me. O_O

    Love the review (and in addition to what David Hobby said)… I’m glad I bought one.

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Face – Congrats! And thanks for everything!

  • Roger Backx said on March 23, 2013

    Hi Zack, Great Review ! I had already decided to buy a Fuji from the X-series … but wich one ? ? I was ready to wait for the new X-Pro2 and the X-E2. Your review gave me the final arguments : it will be the X100s ! Thanks again ! Kind regards from Antwerp.

  • Ptr said on March 23, 2013

    Great review — the first section’s hilarious. Please do write more reviews when you have the chance. A review of/comparison with the RX1 would be lovely.

  • Ptr said on March 23, 2013

    Ignore the naysayers and doubters. Glad you’re doing this. I’d much rather that Fuji lets you go off somewhere nice to make great pictures than have you take test chart pictures at home or memorialize your cat for free. Good for Fuji, good for photography, good for readers/buyers. I can’t believe how many haters there are in this world. But whatever!

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Ptr – I’ve already looked through what’s being said at dpreview. :) Whatever folks. :) Thanks for your kind words!


  • Franz said on March 23, 2013

    Man. I’ve always wanted to have an X100, then the X-pro1. Now? Looks like I’ll go x100s all the way. Used to own a Leica with 35/50/75 lenses, but always stuck with the 35. This is gonna be the perfect camera for me. That is, until I get the funds to own one. I do professional work with a Pentax (with just a 40mm), and the dreadfully slow AF is killing me. Time to save up and upgrade to the x100s. Thanks for the review Zack. I’m sold.

  • Otto said on March 23, 2013

    Thank you for your review. I am seriously considering changing my current camera system canon 7d to fuji x-pro1or xe-1. Just wondering which pocket wizard did you use for off camera flash?

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @otto – Plus 3

  • viv said on March 23, 2013

    Well, Pentax went to the party dressed up like Liza minnelli thinking it is halloween ans scared the crap out of the girls !! They were not impressed with his long flange and no mirror !!!

  • Paul Saxby said on March 23, 2013

    Love the review, expertly written with plenty of information and humour. Between this review and the review by David Hobby, I know for a fact that that x100s is my next camera.

    On a slightly different note. If you are a fan of English beer, you need to try a pint of Black Sheep… Makes Bombardier seem a bit plain in comparison…

    Thanks for your review…I will let my wife know you recommended I buy the x100s…best you hide..


  • Silo Watt said on March 23, 2013

    Nice review Zack, both amusing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing these images.

    Though I mainly shoot OVF, could you give your opinion on the new EVF? From what I’ve read it differs from that used in the XE-1 which uses an OLED display. Never liked using the EVF on the X100 due to both lag and noise in low light, but undeniably useful when composition is critical.

  • Finbarr said on March 23, 2013

    Hi Zac greetings from Ireland, great review as always the introduction was a brilliant piece of literature you could take up writing novels but I hope you don’t because you would not have time for your fantastic reviews. I have just bought the X100s and I love it I also have the X Pro 1 and now have my 5D mk3 up for sale.Thanks again Zac and keep up the good work of keeping us informed.



  • Saif said on March 23, 2013

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,THANK YOU Zack for losing the arm wrestling match to David (not that I’m implying it was fixed or anything like that :-) .I’m incredibly lucky and fortunate to have won this beautiful camera. Had to fly back to CT right after GPP since dad had to undergo emergency bypass surgery. Shot with it at the hospital and at the rehab center where he is now. The camera is so inconspicuous not once did the staff remind me of their privacy policy and I got some real nice candid shots of dad bonding with his grandkids n the rest of the fam.
    Oh and the upgrade from the 550d to a full-frame that I had convinced myself I needed …..yeah not happening anytime soon. Btw-the “taken date” of the pics on 500px is showing January…..say whatttt !


  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @saif – Sorry to hear about your dad. Hope he recovers well. As to the date, I forgot to set the date and time on the camera!


  • DTB said on March 23, 2013

    Very creative, hilarious, and informative review. The photos, unsurprisingly, are fantastic, as you are a very talented photographer. My only wishes would be that the X100s was an interchangeable lens camera with an in-camera TIFF option. If Fuji introduces in-camera TIFF in its future X-Series cameras, that would likely eliminate the inaccurate RAW conversion issues, as Fuji, just like other camera makers, are the only ones that have the precise algorithms necessary to accurately convert the files. That is the same for my Canon camera – I use DPP for the RAW conversion, convert the file to 16-bit TIFF, and then edit in ACR/Photoshop; and, the difference is significant. The only other thing I would ask for in the future X-Pro 1s/X-E1s, assuming that is what they will be called, is minimum shutter speed settings in auto ISO. Can’t wait for these features to be introduced in an upgrade to the X-Pro 1 ~ late spring/summer release please!!!

  • Rideout said on March 23, 2013

    Ok Zak, you’ve definitely sold me on the X-100s. My wife and I have already discussed how to pay for it:) It really is the camera that I’ve been looking for for ~8 years, and its finally here. But this question strays…

    Medium format/PhaseOne.

    When it comes to print, does the med. format, (more pixels) translate to a HUGE difference in print quality? Like you, I come from the darkroom. Where a 35mm neg only goes so far. You jump to 120/220, and eventually large format, b/c there’s really no comparison. (FYI I’m talking art prints here) Let’s compare a 35mm neg, with a 4×5″ neg, same film. And define the term GPI= grains per inch. The film has a 100 GPI. You make a 16×20 print, which enlarges a 35mm neg ~238 times, but a 4×5 neg, only 16 times. There is ~15 times more GPI translating to the print, and it shows in great detail. But digital print doesn’t work the same. The printer is still spitting out 300ppi/360ppi, even if you send it more, it chooses what to discard, and sends your extra pixels into the ether. I know that medium format digital definitely picks up a much better dynamic range. (About 7-8 stops, compared to ~3 in 35mm, I think) Which, even when you size your pixels down, will make a better looking image. But, as I said, is it a HUGE difference on print. Or should I just drag all the old darkroom equipment back out. I definitely still have it.

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @rideout – It was prints of Phase files that convinced me to jump in. Just sayin.


  • Lainer said on March 23, 2013

    I was so frustrated with my XE-1 missing AF focus even with upgrades to firmware I sold it. (Had kit lens, which was nice, but wanted the primes) Well, I did shoot indoors a lot in natural lighting. I loved the design, hated the RAW issues and AF. I ended going down the opposite spectrum to an even more basic, slow camera, by getting the Sigma DP2M for low ISO shooting because I saw some lovely crisp pictures on a variety of websites. I fell in love with it though I know it isn’t as useable as the Fuji by any stretch of the imagination. Yeah, the AF is slow, not as annoying as Fuji for some odd reason. Yeah, it can only shoot so many shots before the battery craps out, so Sigma gives you two. And yes, past ISO 200, unless it is monochrome, it looks like shit. But the foveon makes the files look so different. I’ve gotten some amazing detail. So I was kind of sidetracked by this little finicky beast. Now I want to buy a tripod and shoot some Arizona landscapes Gag! (I hate you, Sigma!) I have to say though. I did shoot a cool, crisp picture of my dog at 1/10th of a second at F/2.8 at ISO 200 indoors and it came out yummy. Suck that Sigma haters. LOL! Still, it isn’t a carry everywhere do all camera like the Fuji.

    Anyway, I liked my Fuji much better in all other regards. Just not the AF and the RAW issues. I wanted the Fuji X100s due to faster AF. (Yeah, I know it’s a fixed lens, but until they come out with a Fuji XE-2 or X Pro 2) I think it would compliment my kit. Use the Sigma for landscape and some street (no moving subjects) along with the Fuji for all other. I debated about going back to Fuji X-E1 or even X Pro 1 due to the lovely 35mm and 14mm lenses that I lust after, but until the AF gets faster, I will pass. The Fuji X100s sounds like a much faster camera. I have even thought of the Fuji X20 with faster AF and the ability to shoot with a zoom. but I can’t go back to the small sensors. I wish the X100s came in all black, but even so, I am wondering if it would be a great camera for me. (I have a Sony NEX 5 with kit lenses and tilt LCD, but the lenses produce many soft pictures. Ugh!) What do you think, Zack?

    By the way, I “Scooped” your article. hope that’s okay. The beginning of the article cracked me up and says it all! I can’t stand one particular blog that has these “real life” reviews that tell me nothing but GAS, and what the next purchase will be according to him. And it is a big fan boy website. The above story just reminded me about it and I wanted to praise you for your wit. Thanks so much.

  • Roland said on March 23, 2013

    Thanks for the review Zack!
    There are actually some things I would have liked Fuji to put into the next version of the x100 and that are still missing:
    1) full frame sensor and a true 35mm lens
    2) fewer buttons on the back (too much clutter there still)
    3) redesign of the on/off switch, since it’s far too easy to accidentally hit it and switch the camera on when you don’t want to (oh, and ditch the terrible looking silver of the switch and make it the same as the shutter dial)
    Btw., Leica got all these three things right…

    Best, Roland

  • Joanna said on March 23, 2013

    @Zach…any tips / modes / settings that makes shooting kids easier with this camera? Seems like it is THE fastest In the arena right now from what you have said.

  • Paul J said on March 23, 2013

    Great review Zack, many thanks. I liked the mini Fuji buying guide too.

    I’ve been interested in the Fuji X-Series for a long time now but have yet to take the plunge due to a bit of indecision on my part and general finances. I did have my eye on the X-E1 and although it’s not long been on sale, I am wondering if the spec will catch up sooner rather than later.

    For a first time buyer, is it worth keeping an eye out for a good deal on an X100, either new/refurbished or used? I’m wondering if I might go with that option and see how things pan out during 2013/early 2014.

    Ps. I had the pleasure of meeting yourself/Meg and having a chat at Photokina last year and I’ve still not taken the Fuji plunge. Will Meg now get your X100? I think she should, she’s been posting some great photos!

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Paul – Now is a good time to get a deal on the x100! Meg is an analog girl. :)

  • Pedro said on March 23, 2013

    I have a Canon 550D. I want to upgrade to a Full frame. I don’t have much glass so I’m not really worried about what I will buy. The thing is… I’m not a pro. I love photography and everything that comes with it. Would this be an interesting upgrade from my 550D with the nifty fifty?
    I’m willing to spend the 1k pound over the 2k of a Mark 3. Thanks lads.

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @Pedro – I think you’ll be happy with the Fuji.

  • Nate said on March 23, 2013

    Zach, love it. You should know it was your X Pro 1 article that convinced me to pull the trigger on that one. 10 months of heavy daily travel photography later, couldn’t be happier.

    But my question is – got any time to expand on the JPG vs RAW thing? (I know, I know).

    (I went from mostly JPG to mostly RAW, and not sure I would go back)

  • Zack said on March 23, 2013

    @nate – I *just* updated to 4.4. I may switch to RAW. Need to test it some more.

  • Mackenzie said on March 23, 2013

    Yummy, I’ve been watching this baby for a month or so now, gonna pick it up once the new leather case becomes available, but does anyone have any tips for accessories, what really was a must have for the x100 photographers?

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @mackenzie – A lens hood and a black rapid SnapR sling. Ditch the bag. Use the sling.

  • Andrew said on March 23, 2013

    Glad I managed to hold off on the x100. Now I just need to convince the fiancée that the x100s would be perfect for our honeymoon AND future wedding work….

  • Edward said on March 23, 2013

    I love your comments. I have X Pro1 and from the time I bought it last April I did not touch my Nikon.This camera changed completely my thinking about photography.

  • Gracchus said on March 23, 2013

    shots, writing just oozing with passion even at 01:00 I just wanna go out and shoot. Lovely review man the X100s sounds lovely but ya dont use my x100 overly so the upgrade is not necessary although very attractive :) shabba & regards

  • Simon said on March 23, 2013

    AWESOME analogy to begin this review. I love the X100S – bought one a few days ago & have discovered exactly what you are talking about. Having said that, I think I love your analogy even more : )

    I am most certainly a gear head – have tried not to be but that has turned out to be as successful as trying to stop the moon & the tides. What the X100S has done to me though is to rekindle a deeply seeded love of photography by removing a whole lot of distraction & bulk… I still have my ‘big kit’, and it still most certainly has it’s place – right tool for the right job and all that – but this little box of magic just does something else to me when I pick it up and shoot.

    Cheers as always Zak for your insights, experience & for your humour.

  • Arnaud said on March 24, 2013

    Great and interesting review !

  • Eric said on March 24, 2013

    Great writeup! Personally, I’d love to see an RX1 vs X100s shootout. RX1 output looks great, but it hunts, and the shape is awkward so it limits portability. The chip and lens appear to be stellar, so seeing the Sony and the X100s go at it would be great.

  • matt said on March 24, 2013

    Zack, Push Fuji for the focus peaking via firmware!!!! I would love a manual focus improvement for the X-E1. Great review. Cheers!

  • Darcy Moore said on March 24, 2013

    I was looking for more reviews of my new camera and love your ‘bar’ analogy for the current crop of camera brands. Do you really think Lightroom 4.4 RC http://darcymoore.net/2013/03/18/raw-fujifilm-x100s-and-adobe-lightroom-4/ has the RAW conversion right?


  • Harold said on March 24, 2013

    Always enjoy your candor on this and other subjects. Glad to see you are a champion of the viewfinder. All the camera models that have abandoned the viewfinder are missing it I think. I have a variety of cameras but I like the ease of my phone and that’s just what it will have to be until I can spring for the 100s or….

  • Christopher Grisanti said on March 24, 2013

    You left the bar too early. iPhone bounced in with Instagram and nuzzled up to the table with Nikon & Canon. She talked so much that Nikon & Canon couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Nikon finally said, “Look. It’s getting late. We’re tired. Why don’t you just leave us alone. We’ve got a lot of editing to do.” iPhone spun on her heels, grabbed her friend’s hand and headed for the restroom. “Can you believe those old farts still edit their images? Here. . .frame these shots & post ’em to facebook.” Instagram replied, “OK. Uh, wait a second. Hmmm. Is it just me, or are all these photos beginning to look the same?”
    Great review, Zack. Looking forward to the day I no longer need to arrive with a D3 system in tow.

  • Velu said on March 24, 2013

    Zack, people always want to know about AF speed and improvement regarding manual focusing, but for me, in order not to miss “Le Moment Décisif”, I often wish my X100 does wake up faster.
    Since Fuji entered the bar as last one … should I get worried !? ( Or did he just made a detour, enjoying the shovelhead ?)

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Velu – It’s much faster. When I hit the streets though for an extended time of shooting I make sure the camera won’t go to sleep. It’s always on. That’s also why I carry 3 or 4 batteries for the day. The x100s seems to be a little better on battery consumption than the original.


  • Khan said on March 24, 2013

    Zack no wonder you don’t spare anyone with your reviews and never get sponsorships. Knowing you, you are very particular about what settings are used to take pictures. Any reason why ISO is jumping up and down on all images. I have seen few of your workshops and I know you only touch ISO if you can’t achieve your desired setting from Aperture and Shutter speed. Just curious.

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Kahn – I shoot the Fuji’s completely different from my other work and cameras. On jobs I’m in control of everything. On the street I shoot aperture priority on auto ISO. I ride the exp comp dial a lot.


  • Petrus said on March 24, 2013

    I have shot several overseas assignments with X-Pro1 and X-E1 only; carry-on size daypack only for a 3 week trip, under 7 kg! Nikon kit would weigh more than all of my luggage. Now it seems I will loose my X-E1 and 18mm replacing them with X100s. Thanks for the writeup.

    My Jerusalem shot with X-Pro1 & 18, 35, 60mm here: https://picasaweb.google.com/109958612223411682295/Jerusalem2012?authuser=0&feat=directlink

  • Brad H said on March 24, 2013

    “Now the X-Pro1 and X-E1 have to play catch up. I have NO IDEA when that may happen.”

    Zack, is it that you really have no idea when that will happen, or is it that you have an idea when that will happen but can’t say when that will happen, or is it that you can’t say when that will happen because you really have no idea when that will happen? Aaaaarrrgh!

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Brad – Hand on my heart — I have no idea of when that will happen.

  • Patrik Lindgren said on March 24, 2013

    That is by far the best review i´ve ever read. Especially the first section with all the guys in the bar, i will read the rest some other day. I bought a X100 just before christmas to a special price, a price that i could not say no to. Of course i knew that there was gonna be something new around the corner, but i just didn´t care this time.
    I knew that the ol´one had it´s issues, i guess everyone knows that now, but i still love it. I´m gonna use it until it falls apart.
    Looking forward to see and hear about your future endeavours!

  • Ronnie said on March 24, 2013

    Perfect review, thanks. I have been looking for an “all the time” camera to replace the Nikon FE (love it but only changing ISO every 36 pixtures is a bit of a hassle). I guess this will be it! It seems like the perfect match to a MF kit eventually.

  • Greg Shanta said on March 24, 2013


    Great review! Really enjoyed it, man! I was going to upgrade my trusty X100 to X100s anyway but your review gave me the final shot of confidence. As soon as it hits the market here in Russia I’ll be the first in line to grab it.

    Much in the way you keep your Phase for some ‘serious’ work I am keeping my Leica M9 for ‘serious’ portraiture. I know it’s an outdated camera and there is a lot of hype now over that new M but I just love the way it renders images with my favourite lens mounted — the Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 (and my second favourite, the Minolta Rokkor 90/4). So, I am keeping it and upgrading my Fuji to X100s.

    Fuji X100 is one hell of a camera. I use it all the time. My Leica has collected a lot of dust since I got it. Originally I thought my M9 would be my ‘main’ camera and Fuji a secondary one but it turned out to be the other way around! And I am sure it will be even more evident after I get my X100s! With its fast AF and all. The Leica will be reduced to a dedicated B&W portrait camera. An expensive one but hey it’s been three years since I got it and even the memory of that money is gone and forgotten… Let it stay in my bag and be a good companion to the leading lady — the Fuji X100s!

    I am afraid I won’t be making any new Leica friends talking like that… Please forgive my rant. Finally, I have one question for you. Did you notice any improvement on battery life over the X100?


  • Paul Stewardson said on March 24, 2013

    The inability to appreciate one brand without denigrating others is the sign of someone who’s not confident in himself. I’ m sure that the X100s is a good camera (the X100 sure is), but you let yourself down by feeling the need to slag off all the other makers.

    I know it was made “in jest” but the subtext is pretty obvious. Fuji has to win and everyone else has to lose.

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    Paul – The point is the romance of photographer and camera. All the others are fine cameras. But Fuji has made something different. It has a soul like the old Leicas. There’s a romance to the camera. Something Canon, Nikon, and the rest haven’t ever had or haven’t had in decades. The Fuji inspires me to pick it up and go shoot. No other digital camera has ever done that for me. The 2 film cameras I’ve owned that gave me the same feeling was the Nikon F3 and the Hasselblad SWC.


  • Tom Jensen said on March 24, 2013

    Fuji is the new Leica, huh? You mean overpriced, elitist and technologically way behind the curve?

    Real ringing endorsement, that is.

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Tom – Ha! Touchè! The new “old” Leica. :)

  • Vladislav said on March 24, 2013

    I died laughing (well, almost), great review, Zack, thanks! But… as tempting as X100S I would never buy it… because DUST exists. OK, if you are mainly into “flowers after rain” or “rainy street” type of photos you may not realize that life is full of dust. Yes, it will eventually get inside your camera, and some will rest in peace on the sensor. Some free dust samples are typically also included inside your camera when it leaves the factory (you did not think that cameras are assembled in dust free, clean room environments, like computer chips are, did you?). Just give it a few months, travel, take some photos in dry and dusty environments. Still no visible dust on your sensor? OK, wait a bit longer, try different aperture, look closely at your photos. It will happen. It always does. Fixed lens cameras (no access co clean the sensor) are simply wrong, arrogant engineering decision. Thanks God there are alternatives (like X-E1).

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Vlad – I’d never let that stop me from buying something as great as the x100. That’s like not driving because you might get in a wreck. My original x100’s have never been in a case. They haven’t had a lens cap on since they came out of the box. They’ve been in every conceivable condition. Heat. Rain. Snow. Dust storm. Etc. I’ve yet to see dust in my photos. If a rouge piece of dust got in there, I’d have it serviced and keep on going. I’m always fighting dust on my other cameras. Never had an issue with the x100. Not saying it won’t happen but it hasn’t happened yet.


  • George Bugenis (Xenotar28 at Flickr) said on March 24, 2013

    Great review. Laughed myself silly, and I think that DSLRs are the new dinosaurs. My x-Pro1 rocks!

  • David said on March 24, 2013

    Fantastic review! Would love to try one of these on a wedding shoot. The ability to overcome the max flash sync speed issue of an SLR is very interesting indeed.

  • Jan said on March 24, 2013

    As always: great writup and fantastic and helpful review. Hpowever, I thought it was interesting that in your little story all the cameras should be male and all the females are just decorating the place.

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Jan – Please don’t read any gender issues into it. It’s just a little story about cameras. :)

  • sean said on March 24, 2013

    i agree with you 100% completely. i recently shot a story for WSJ complete on x-series cameras. LOVED it. and it was so incognito.

    i love when people first see the camera they are utterly confused, is it film? is it digital? is it leica?

  • Kismet said on March 24, 2013

    I sat on my hands back at GPP thinking I was just being greedy to want the x100s. Now I am kicking myself. You and David are definitely not helping with all the awesome stuff you are saying about it. GAH!

  • Roman said on March 24, 2013

    Zack, You are good not just as a photographer, but the writer too! Well done, thanks!

  • Frank Grygier said on March 24, 2013

    Zack, Great to hear your voice. My little Oly Guy is feeling a little dished but I get it. I am up for another workshop whenever you are.

  • j.holm said on March 24, 2013

    Great pictures and great style! I took my old x100 with me on a trip through Kenya and Zambia. It failed me not once. Received the x100s this Friday. I am a happy man! Greetings from Sweden.

  • Kevin said on March 24, 2013

    So if this is the new Leica so how do the old lenses work with the adapter?

    In fact you can buy the 2 X-1 Pro bodies, three lens and x 100S and still have change in your pocket for the price of M body with 50mm Summarit-M.

    Sweet write up on the X 100s.

    The comments on the pixelpeepers that was great. Love the way you have given new meaning to digital vocabulary. Thanks!

  • Brad Calkins said on March 24, 2013

    Great read, great images! Thanks for the post. It is refreshing to read a ‘review’ that makes it clear cut how much you enjoy the camera, backed up with images about subjects you clearly care about.

  • Christian Klit said on March 24, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    What a wonderful and refreshing review :) you’re making it very hard to not fall in love with this camera. However, it’s not the X100s I’d like to ask you about. I’m not ready for a “fixed lens only” solution yet, but I’m starting to drool quite a bit over the X20. I’ll use it as a travel camera alongside my D700, but sometimes you just don’t need that kind of luggage.
    Here in Denmark I haven’t seen it in any real stores yet, and of course I’ll try it firsthand before purchase, but I’d like to hear if you had any experiences/opinions with this camera.
    The Fuji-cameras seems to me to do something special, and if I like the X20, it could very well lead to a X-Pro2 for me in the future. The thought of a light and simple setup seems very attractive to me.

    Thanks a bunch in advance!


  • Jørgen Stokke Halvorsen said on March 24, 2013

    Thanks for the great read Zack, and I couldn’t agree more! I picked up my x100s two days ago and it is just a joy to use. Much different from my usual work kit with 5dII and some great L lenses, but the x100s just seems much more fun and relaxed in use.

    Now I’m off to run it through some strobe tests!

  • Yonas Hassen said on March 24, 2013

    I enjoy your reviews, I really do. But let’s get one thing straight here – comparing a Fuji X100S to any Leica is like comparing a mango to broccoli, and then adamantly explaining why mangos are so much better. They’re not even in the same food group. Do you see what I’m getting at here?

    The Fuji X100S, and all of its siblings, are NOT rangefinder cameras. As such, you are not allowed to compare them to Leicas. Period. For that matter, you’re not allowed to compare them to DSLRs either! They’re not in the same class of cameras, they are completely different machines that just happen to do the same thing!

    As much as you, and others, would like to blame Leica’s exorbitant pricing on keeping things “boutique” and “exclusive”, it’s not entirely accurate. Believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of the value of a Leica is completely just and fair. Why? Because of two things: 1) full-frame sensors, and 2) precision rangefinders. A precision rangefinder, on its own, is unfathomably expensive. So of course, when you install one into a camera, the camera’s price skyrockets. Couple that with a full-frame sensor, and you’re looking at some serious costs. What’s the value of the rest of a Leica M body? Almost nothing. Seriously. It’s just a black box with a shutter curtain.

    I have a Leica M6 Classic (made in 1998) and I adore shooting with a rangefinder. That’s an experience that the Fuji X series wont ever be able to provide. I can’t afford a digital M, so I wont be getting one. I will, however, be getting the Fuji X100S because it seems to be the next best thing to shooting with a rangefinder camera. I have been silently waiting for Fuji to release a digital rangefinder, and I am completely optimistic that they will do so within the next five years. I would LOVE to see a competitor to Leica. Keep in mind, though, that if Fuji decides to produce a rangefinder, its price will most definitely be over $3k, just for the body. As long as it’s a few thousand less than a Leica, rangefinder shooters like myself will commit to buying it.

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Yonas – Agreed. The point I’m ultimately trying to make is the romance factor. I’m going to make a follow up to better state my point.


  • Brian Mosley said on March 24, 2013

    Zack, I completely get your love of the X100s, and think you gave the perfect advice for us X100 users considering an upgrade – I don’t use my X100 enough right now to justify an upgrade.

    Most of all, I just love your vision – fantastic timing, composition and people skills.

    You are the man, no doubt.

    All the best


  • Saif said on March 24, 2013

    Zack -Dads recovery is going well! BTW,the bar analogy got me thinking…how would you light that bar scene :p ?

  • Sten said on March 24, 2013

    @ Jonas

    sorry, but I disagree. There might be photographers, who are more interested in engineering than in the endresult, the image. But me and I am sure the majority of the photographers out there do care more about the photo and not the tool. Ask a painter what he cares about.

    Leica was great in analogue time. two reeasons:

    A. Because of image quality thanks to their lenses (the same film could be had in every camera)
    B. The build quality. Buy one and use it for 20 years without problems.

    Innovation came for the most part only over the film and to a lesser extent with new lens designs.

    But the world is now a different one. Not film, but sensor is determining the IQ to the largest part. Second are lenses. But nowadays the gap between Leica or Zeiss lenses and other brands is narrowing so dramatically, that for the majority of users, it is not important anymore.

    With the modern technology of AF, mirrorless cameras, Live view and video in cameras, the rangefinder technology is not needed anymore. It is technology of the last century. In the same way as Leica killed basically the TLRs last century, the digital mirrorless cameras and AF are killing Leica now.

    Nobody NEEDS the precision RF-Technology of Leica anymore. AF is faster, easier and enough precise for exact focus. The sensor in almost all pro cameras are better than the one in the Leica M9 and Leica M. Tough for Leica, but reality. It is like the question with what do you travel.

    I do not ride horses. I take my car. There are still people who like to ride horses. But nobody needs them anymore for getting from point A to point B. Everybody uses cars, airplanes, trains etc. Times are changing. We need stuff that makes life easier, not more complicated.

    This is why IMHO there will be never a real Rangefinder from Fuji. Leica and real Rangefinder are the past, Fuji (as an example what the market wants to have) is the future. Either Leica will realize this and adapt accordingly or they will die sooner or later. I used to have Leica M cameras. But this is over now.

    Fuji is the first one with it’s X100 who touched my feelings the same way as Leica. If I compare the images and the handling between both and consider the price difference, it is an easy decision.

    So Zack has the right to compare apples with oranges. The end result, the image, and how I can easily achieve it is what I do care.

  • Sten said on March 24, 2013


    have you heard by accident anything about a kind of telelens adapter for the X100/X100s.

    I would love to put a lens on it to get a kind of 75 or 85mm short tele lens with it. The same way as their wideangle adapter.

    Second question:

    How would you compare the IQ of the wideangle adapter for the X100 with the Fuji 14mm or 18mm for the XPro1?

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Sten – Man I wish. I’ve used the wide adapter once and felt “meh” about it. I mean, it’s nice and sharp and all that but it’s not *that* much wider. Now a tele adapter? That’s what I want. Just like you. I’ve even said I’d love an x100w and an x100t. Two different cameras. One with the current 23mm lens and one with a 85mm’ish lens. I’d buy those two in a heartbeat.


  • Eric Patterson said on March 24, 2013

    Great review and lots of fun! Always enjoy reading your writing.

  • Kevin Illingworth said on March 24, 2013

    Great review and this has got me in a spin. I’m about to undertake a big trip via Australia, Cambodia, Thailand and India over 6 weeks. I was getting hung up over taking my Canon 5d mkii with 16-35 , 24-105, and 70-200 with all the associated weight and hassle. Toying with simplying the process but will miss the 70-200mm for portraits. I suspect though the size of the 70-200mm will intimidate the hell out of any subjects as well as me to be honest walking through various locations. Serious thinking needs to be done now!

    Thanks again love your work and attitude.

  • Scott said on March 24, 2013

    Why cannot the fuji be compared (or contrasted) with leica, or any other manufacturer for that matter?
    There is a strange nostalgia associated with ‘process’ or ‘shooting experience’ and other such nonsense when images are being made.
    The only hard fact that matters is the photograph. It is either good, or it is not. One can either be happy with the outcome, or they are not. Each model offered is by each person ‘at the bar’ is definitely comparable to each other, for they are just tools at hand. It is in those HANDS that work is done, and in the eyes of the beholder. The camera is dumb, and the camera is blind, and it takes the hands and heart of one who wields it to make it sing.

    As an aside, when comparing creative tools, here is what Eric Clapton has to say on the Fender V Gibson debate. Just don’t take my word for it.

    By the way, Zack, you have made the most biased, fun, and completely original review for a gizmo I have come across.
    Hi Five!

  • Scott said on March 24, 2013

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Scott – Great comment and link. And you know what’s funny as hell? The comments on that post about Clapton reads like the comments on this post.


  • James morrell said on March 24, 2013

    I own an x100, and a Leica M3. I too like the x100 a lot like the Leica. It’s not Leica but yes, it’s the ‘new Leica’ Leica should have done years ago! Your review is spot on. What I like most about the x100 is its ability to produce film like images. To me, It’s a film lovers’ dream camera….

  • Michele said on March 24, 2013

    Ho Zack! Great review! I’ve got my x100s recently… My first Fuji… And love the look of your jpgs… Can you please elaborate on your jpg settings? Film emulation, contrast, sharpening…. Etc… Thank you. Mike.

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    @Michele – Everything is set to standard on the camera. I then tweak as needed in LR.

  • William said on March 24, 2013

    Hi Zack, great review again!! Your last review convinced me to buy the X100. After I got it I was a bit unlucky with the screen.. Returned it and convinced myself to buy the X-E1 with the kit lens instead. Absolutely loved it too (although I would have liked a OVF).
    Now I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I want to buy myself some lenses (like the 35mm) for the X-E1. But since the X100s is out, I’m doubting if I should get this beauty instead of the lens.

    Is it worth buying the X100s over the 35mm for the X-E1?

    Thanks a lot!
    Regards, Will

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    If it were me I’d get the x100s then save up for the 35 and get that with the X-Pro update. The XE will be your backup body.

  • meatpants said on March 24, 2013

    best review i’ve read in a long time… but now the real question is: Do I buy a new X100s, or pickup the ‘old’ for $600, as everyone is upgrading and dumping them on c/l???? hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  • Zack said on March 24, 2013

    It *is* a good time to get an original x100. I’m not ditching mine because I feel it’s one of the rare classic digital cameras. Like the Epson R-D1. I still want one of those.


  • Greg Shanta said on March 25, 2013

    Zack, I have another question for you (in addition to the still unanswered one about X100s battery life). Another popular reviewer of this camera suggests that, as per his feeling, the X100s files are not as great picture wise as the X100 files. He doesn’t mean resolution or sharpness but, rather, an esthetic aspect of the pictures. He says X100s files look more digital and therefore, less beautiful to his eye. What do you think?


  • Richard Smith said on March 25, 2013

    Great review. I’m bored senseless of reviewers who can’t take a photograph worth shit and then have the temerity to score a camera badly because it’s soft in the edges at f1.2. Wtf?!

    Anyway, I’ve been waiting for an “ideal” street digital camera and the x100 has come down from £1000 to £500 in the UK. The X100s is still £1000, which I can’t really justify.

    Question is, have all the reliability issues been ironed out of the X100 now?


  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Richard – The original x100 is straight and true. Not getting rid of mine any time soon.


  • Cathy said on March 25, 2013

    Great review, thanks. Really seems to be a great camera. would really like to get one… And the scene is in a very interesting, fast moving phase, and it is sometimes a quite hilarious scene too… ;).

    But in the end the most important thing lies in customers. How you treat them, do you listen to them? Do you do fixes and updates, do you build things they want and need. Here is where Fuji seems to be the absolutely winner too. Nikon is totally out, no firmware updates to previous models, they don’t listen to customers. And they do stupid products that customers don’t want at crazy high prices… And they have horrendous quality issues, they don’t admit.

    Customer loyalty has it’s limits. And I think Nikon has noticed it. Fuji is coming fast ang big.

    I don’t know much about Leica, but I know the prices. Comparing those it is very clear what to buy. If you are not rolling in money, I mean.

  • Skip Watkins said on March 25, 2013

    I don’t drive a classic, don’t sip Chivas Regal, more like a slow sip of pastis.
    As for the Leica I have been using them since my first M3 (film) and now up to the M9(digital)and still using my M6 (film)..and though I am not a high flyer with lots of loot I do demand quality and need equipment that will stand up to hard work rough conditions, etc…
    Enjoyed the story with the cartoon, very good.. but time will tell if the Fuji will have the endurance of the Leica..looks good so far…like the number of lenses that that are going to be available for the system…Fujinon lenses used in TV and film industry for years, excellent…anyway while the equipment is important, it is the person using the gear who contributes the final result..look at all the great photographers & photographs from before, what’s new?…. just gear…..and more gear…

    great web site


  • Espencerrr said on March 25, 2013

    You and Hobby were the nail in the coffin. I have been playing with the S in the camera stores since it came out here in Tokyo but it was not until right now that I made a detailed plan of the photo jobs I will do that will pay for this piece of…camera.

    Thanks for the strobey shots. Hobby alluded to them but this is the first affirmation of how well it works. Cheers. I’ll buy you a drink someday.

  • jaclyn said on March 25, 2013

    the photographer in me loves this review and wants to upgrade from my x100 as soon as i can…but the feminist in me is cringing. as i read the bar scene, anticipating the entrance of FUJI…i couldn’t help but think it would be a badass woman. but no. just another dude. sigh. oh except for iphone and her friend instagram (???), who only get a mere mention.

    my x100 will always be amazing and adorable and female, and so will her sister when i upgrade. and they probably won’t go to this bar.

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    Oh Jaclyn. You know I’m not a sexist pig. If I’d had made Fuji a female I’d have objectified her into a hot sexy thing that was all about her looks and less about her brains or something. It’s just a silly story. Meg said the same thing. Not everything is about gender and race. Otherwise all we have here is a story of a German in a Japanese bar. :)


  • Miguel Angel said on March 25, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Thanks a lot for the review!

    Quick question:

    Does the X100s show the “aperture dance” of the diaphragm blades when shooting in bright light?

    That was the issue that made me get rid of the original X100…it would be a deal breaker for me if Fuji hasn’t fixed this.

    thanks in advance and congratulations for your blog.

  • John Fong said on March 25, 2013

    Great review Zack and lovely photos to go with it. I just picked up a used X100 and the firmware updates Fuji came out for it had really improved the AF on the camera. I hope Fuji continues to make updates and improvements on the X100 as it is, as you say, a classic digital camera.


  • jason said on March 25, 2013

    best. camera. review. ever.

  • garygraphy said on March 25, 2013

    Well done on the good write-up. I really enjoyed reading it! Excellent pics too. X100s indeed is one of a kind of and probably one of the best companion cameras you can have with you all the time.


  • OT said on March 25, 2013

    This is the most creative review of the X100S bar none. It’s not easy but you manage to make the analogy work in an easy-to-understand yet hilarious manner.

    Of course being the owner of the X100S myself (traded up from my first love, the X100), I can’t help but be a bit biased and think I could be that cool scruffy guy that the ladies slip their numbers to (sadly that doesn’t happen for me in real life).

    PS Your review of the X100 along with that of Steve Huff’s were two biggest influences in my purchase of that camera.

  • Jan said on March 25, 2013

    Hey Zack, no one thinks you’re a pig! Yet, sexism as I understand it is not so much about blatantly objectifying women (or men). What reaffirms traditional role patterns more than anything is precisely the ubiquitous »silly little stories«, the the unobtrousive ads, the harmless TV programme, the inconspicuous toys. They all have no political agenda, so one is not supposed to think about them and no one takes them seriously. But they do make up a pretty big part of daily discourse and quietly agree with and reiterate traditional gender roles. Hence I believe the root of the problem is there, and not so much in the obvious and apparent sexism – that is just a symptom.

    Cheers mate!

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Jan – Ok. I’ll take that. Now…. lets talk about how most of the cameras in the bar are black. *ducks and runs* :)


  • Patrizia Corriero said on March 25, 2013

    Hei Zack this is the most funny review I’ve ever read! I was already thinking to buy a funji…what do you think about a Fuji x10 or Fuji xF1? :)

  • rich cerick said on March 25, 2013

    Zack – Excellent prose, insight and review. Unusual combination in my experience. I’ve tried to get one for my upcoming trip to NZ, to no avail. Would have been a nice compliment to my trusty M9 on the road, but I’ll just have to grab one when the dust settles.

  • Stephen Power said on March 25, 2013

    Great story. But surely Fuji would order Saki? And, having been brought up on English bitter, I can tell you for sure that there isn’t a “classic” one. :)

  • Tim said on March 25, 2013

    With regard to the X100 I can’t help but think there’s an awful lot of people like myself who love the thing, but don’t use it that often because deep down you know the AF is shockingly, stunningly bad, even after the updates. I love the output but the AF is just a farce; I’m tempted to sell it and spend the money on an X20 which won’t have the same IQ but doesn’t cost the earth like the new S does.

  • Mike said on March 25, 2013

    Best camera review I’ve ever read, Zack! Your talent for writing clearly rivals your skill with a camera! dpreview, photographyblog, etc, as well as many (all?) of the print photo publications would improve greatly if they followed your lead, injecting some humor and real-world images into their reviews.

    I’ve been planning to ditch my last remaining dslr & its lenses and pick up an X100S… you & Hobby utterly failed to talk me out of it… so, thanks brother!

    Best wishes always,

  • Vik Sandhu said on March 25, 2013

    Hey Zack, I got to know about you after researching the X100. Your endorsement, among others, swayed my decision into purchasing one. The initial frustrations certainly wore off after the firmware updates improved the focusing.

    You mention that Fuji listen to their customers, and by and large their firmware updates and the X100S suggests they do. However I still think there’s two things Fuji could have improved the X100 with, and I was wondering whether the X100S has addressed them:

    1. Auto-focus in low light. Are the X100S’s focus points more sensitive now? Locking focus was sometimes difficult in certain indoor conditions.
    2. Macro mode frustration. The amount of times I’ve had to flick between the regular and macro mode just to focus on something closer still irritates me. I notice there’s still a macro symbol on the back of X100S. Do you still need to flick between the two, and if so does it at least focus faster when in macro mode?


  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Vik – Both low light and close focusing are GREATLY improved.


  • Alex Atienza said on March 25, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    “Now the X-Pro1 and X-E1 have to play catch up. I have NO IDEA when that may happen.”

    While Fuji is listening to their customers, to you and David Hobby more particularly, please add to your request to them to improve the flash sync speed of both X-E1 and X-Pro1 which is currently 1/180.

    Always a pleasure reading your blog. Welcome back!


  • wilried feder said on March 25, 2013

    thanks Zack, one more thing, since my clients want a lot of beautiful pixels: i understand you find the x100s-sensor sharper than the canon fullframes. But if you blow the x100s image up to the size of, say, the 5D III, i guess the 5D III would be sharper. waddaya think? For large prints, that would matter…thanks a lot!

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    I’ve enlarged x100 files to 24x prints with great results.


  • Tom Olesnevich said on March 25, 2013


    Now, let’s talk about availability. When are retailers going to get some of these in stock!?

  • Jan said on March 25, 2013

    @Zack: Cool, glad we could resol…NOWWAITAMINUTE! *throws tripod after running photographer* :) Take care.

  • Wilson Wong U S said on March 25, 2013

    Good introduction. Love it.

  • wilfried feder said on March 25, 2013

    oh well, you dont wanna get too specific i guess =). I was asking about the comparison x100s vs Canon fullframe. The sharpness of the x100s would suffer if you blew it up to 22MP. only that would be the real comparison (for pixelpeepers). Whereas your x100s-samples definetly appear sharper than the 6D on the large pic. Oh maybe it’s the lens, but I dont want to start on the 6D’s lens now =)

  • Gregg Zivney said on March 25, 2013

    No pixel peeping comparative is complete without a WHITE STRIPES reference. Nice job!

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Gregg – Well seen! :)

  • ronbullied said on March 25, 2013

    Great review. Great site. I love my X100 but your input has now accelerated plans for the X pro as an add since the X100 is a keeper. Lets all hope that Fuji listens again and gives us original supporters a Q button functionality. Thank you

  • ram said on March 25, 2013

    The Fuji pulls up on the old shovel head, ripped brand name jeans and well chosen t-shirt. Maybe the author saw nothing but cool in that, but what I see is someone trying to put together an image, yes they may have nailed it, but it is still an image first and function second.

    Who rides old shovel head Harley-Davidson’s?

    Not the true rebels… no a classic shovel head is too expensive for them. The shovel head is ridden by the “checkbook” biker looking to look cool. Harley-Davidson is akin to Leica these days, they make their money off the name, selling jackets and gear to the weekend biker with disposable income.

    The modern rebel is riding a Japanese bike or maybe a Buell or a victory but probably not a Harley. The modern rebel is wearing some leathers because a bug at highway speeds hurts like hell against your 501s…

    That modern rebel is the Olympus PEN and it laughs at the checkbook biker Fuji knowing it logged more miles this year and doesn’t need to worry about picking up bar flies, his old lady is at home waiting for him, she’s not looking for a well put together image of a biker, she’s looking for a real man who can get the job done and she has that in the Olympus PEN.

    For $1000 or less I can go out and get an E-PM2 or E-PL5 and the 17mm f1.8 and get the full X100s experience with the ability to expand to things like the 45mm or the 75mm later.

  • Chris said on March 25, 2013

    Looks like a great take-it-everywhere camera to compliment my 5D3/35L. I usually lug that around, but I’d really like a smaller alternative sometimes, given its weight and conspicuousness. My only real concern is how much will I miss the image quality of the 5D3.

  • Sten said on March 25, 2013

    You know what would be a great marketing idea to blow the rest of the market away?

    A “trade-in” offer. If Fuji would offer all existing X100 owners a meaningful trade-in/upgrade price, they would nail all customers on the Fuji brand for teh rest of their life. Phase One I think is doing this with great success.

    And Fuji would have 2 benefits with this:

    a) Great marketing and brand loyality
    b) the second hand market would decrease so much (not everybody wants to upgrade), so that new customers are forced to buy new
    c) great way of keeping second hand value very high, similar to Leica (percentage wise)

    @ Zack

    yes, a X100″T” (T for Tele) with a 85mm/2.8 or F4.0 (to keep the lens small) would be my dream

  • Sten said on March 25, 2013


    is there any chance that you can ask your Fuji contacts about my old question:


    “I would be interested to know, why Fuji uses LCD-EVF instead of OLED and what the refresh rate of those viewfinders are. Are there differences between X100 and X100s or betweens X100s and X-E1/X-pro1?

    What are the exact numbers for each model for the refresh rate?”



  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Sten – Ill try to remember to ask.

  • M said on March 25, 2013

    Better than Leica? Really? It seems to me this new Fuji camera sucks. I’ll sum up why in three words: Depth of Field. 35mm f/2 on a cropped sensor with no chance of immediately ripping it off and replacing it with something that is at least a 1.4? Lame. No offense, but all of your sample photos look like snapshots from generic point and shoot #1674387xxxx (Zack here – did you want to put your phone number in the comment?)

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @M – Look. I’ll take criticism. Sure thing. Just use your full name and don’t hide behind the Interwebs. You have an opinion? Speak it! Bring it! Let’s talk it out. Just don’t be that one letter name and fake email address asshole that hits and hides. It’s f*cking childish. You have zero credibility. You’re hanging out in the back with Kodak. Stop being that asshole. Stand up and put your name to something or quit wasting all of our time.

    Zack Arias

  • Mark Hayes said on March 25, 2013

    Love the images and review. Have my 100s on order and just sold the 100 – sounds like it’s well worth the upgrade cost.

    Beginning to think that the 100s paired with a Xpro1 with a complimentary selection of lenses could go a long way to being the day to day kit. Thinking of shifting to more of these two cameras during weddings – other than the Canon 70-200 for ceremony close ups – but with fuji’s long zoom coming out later this year that might even be up for debate.

  • Logan Miller said on March 25, 2013


    Been a big fan of you for years. This is a greatly entertaining review! Unfortunately, it’s causing me some problems. I’m an aspiring photographer with very limited budget, who is still rocking my 40D (first and only DSLR) with kit lens (28-135) and 50/1.4 (only lenses).

    I’ve been set on upgrading to a 7D and picking up a couple new lenses as the next step for awhile now and then I read your review. For the price of my planned upgrade, I could get pretty close to snagging the X100s and X-Pro1 and a couple of primes. I shoot mostly commercial/industrial work and some landscape (as you can see on my site).

    I’ve shot Canon all my life, but I’m not heavily invested into the ecosystem with 1 DSLR and 2 lenses.

    Should I continue down my planned path or run with the X100s for awhile and save up for the X-Pro1 (or its successor) and some primes?

    Any advice you could give me would be great!



    I’d greatly appreciate any advice you could give me.

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Logan – I can’t tell you one way or another. My transition to X cameras has been a slow one. It fits me and it fits how I shoot. That doesn’t mean it fits everyone. For me, DSLRs are done. Now, that’s coming from a guy with a medium format. I’d say get your hands on an x100s and try it. Let that be your intro.


  • Logan Miller said on March 25, 2013

    Thanks, Zack! I know it was a broad question to begin with, but I appreciate your response. The X100s looks incredibly compelling.

    My biggest issue with DSLR’s is, I always want a good camera with me and I grow weary of lugging a backpack around wherever I go. How pocketable (during transport – I’d run with a StrapR when shooting) is this rig? Jacket pocket?

    Off-topic: Greatly enjoy your stuff over at Kelby – esp. the Grid. Thanks for all you do for the industry.

    Thanks for the

  • Fritz said on March 25, 2013

    And seriously, why do mannequins have nipples?

  • Logan Miller said on March 25, 2013


    and not sure what’s up with the random sentence fragments…

    carry on!

  • Paul Saxby said on March 25, 2013

    OK.. It’s too late now…. New X100s bought and paid for… Just don’t tell the wife…

  • Eric Duminil said on March 25, 2013

    I find it both refreshing and challenging to have more depth of field.
    It’s too easy to blur the background while shooting a 50mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4 or 200mm f/2.8 on full frame.
    The problem is that portraits all kinda look the same, and don’t give any information about the place & time.
    The X100 is more about environmental portraiture, “a face in a place”.
    That’s fine for me, and it forces me to take the background into account.
    If I want a bokehliciously creamy portrait of a floating head, I’ll go get my optically perfect but kinda big fast telephoto lenses.

  • Paul Lanigan said on March 25, 2013

    Love the review Zack.

    Is it an upgrade on an X2?

  • Matt said on March 25, 2013

    GD, i was so with you until you dropped the “I got paid to shoot with the S” remark!

  • Zack said on March 25, 2013

    @Matt – I get that but how do you refuse that kind of offer?


  • craig said on March 26, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    Fantastic review, my question is where does my speed graflex/areo fit into the bar scene:) Maybe in the alley hiding from Kodak under the dark cloth??

  • Sten said on March 26, 2013


    how about the M8? Crop factor of 1.3 and no Leica Fan cried about 😉

    There are with every sensor advantages and disadvantages. Shallow DOF to blurr the background is surely easier with fullframe. Would I pay because of this 8.000+ Euro to use a Leica M? No. I than rather would go with the adults and buy medium format like Pentax 645 or Hasselblad. Try that and report how you handle THAT shallow DOF 😉

    I currently switch from fullframe to APS-C. LOve the DOF of FF, but I do not want to carry these big bodies and big lenses around. Had also Leica M6 etc. but despite the rather samll size of body and lenses, these are REALLY heavy to carry around.

    There is no free lunch. Life is always a compromise. Realize what your priorities are and pick the right tools you need for the job or private project.

  • Scott said on March 26, 2013


    Go back under the bridge from whence you came and leave us goats be.

  • Pat D said on March 26, 2013

    Thanks for the entertaining review! I’m just a hobbyist amateur (very amateur!) who recently added an X100 to my stable. I read and watched many reviews and have to admit your opinions on that wonderful camera sealed the deal.

    One of my hobbies is to shoot fire scenes when I am off duty, and I found that carrying a dSLR with a 60-250mm F4 and the X100 makes for a perfect kit. (I used to carry a second dSLR with a 16-50mm f2.8) I was shocked to see the X100 good performance in nasty smoky conditions.

    Now it’s looking like I might have to get the X100s

  • Tim J. Chong said on March 26, 2013


    Yikes–the X100s looks promising. I intend to avoid having one placed in my hands since I will not suffer the same fate as you did two years ago.

  • Funico said on March 26, 2013

    I am a Fuji fan. Loved their film. The Still have my S3 and S5 DSLR’s. Have resisted getting any X Series cameras. But your review may change that.

  • Andi said on March 26, 2013

    $20 says M’s 1.4 is a Sigma and it is the only aperture he uses.

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @andi – ha!


  • canberra said on March 26, 2013

    I have heard few issues about this camera and was wondering if you have had the same.

    The battery seems to have no specific orientation and that it fits the camera in any of the 4 way (but it only powers in one way)

    The ISO settings changes to its default setting of 200 after few days though it was set to a specific value.

    The histogram fails to appear in the OVF though it is selected. The frame/box for the histogram appears minus the graph. The issue is not present in LCD or EVF modes

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @canberra – I’ve not had any of those issues. Yes, the battery goes in several ways but its super easy to learn how to put it in correctly. Contacts down and you match the shape of the bottom of the camera with the battery. Super simple.


  • Thteve said on March 26, 2013

    Great review Meg!


  • Robert said on March 26, 2013

    Yo Zack! Love the introduction and story line! Anyhow, I jumped on a X-E1 late last year after I sold all my Canon gear (too heavy/getting old). Yes! I love it! BUT…AF is not fast enough to keep up with my 3 year old. Should I sell it and get the X100s and then wait for the next X-Pro to partner with? Thank you!

  • Kevin Illingworth said on March 26, 2013

    What would be really nice if you could share your configuration for the camera. With all the options etc Fuji could collate some of their collaborative photographers settings and share them. I know everybody works in a different manner but this would be a very useful educational process and may help people who have an issues with a camera and stop them bitching as they haven’t comprehended the manual. For instance I discovered the corrected AF frame option that stopped some strange focus results that initially freaked me somewhat. Loving the output and I’m staggered at the 6400 output can’t wait to put it to the test over the next few weeks.

  • Ferry said on March 26, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Is it THE get to the store and buy it today (if you can) camera?
    I am doubting between it or the X-E1 with the 35mm lens Or stick with my 5D MkII and 24-70/70/200 2.8’s

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Ferry – I prefer the x100s to the XE1.

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Ferry – Yes. Sorry. It is. For me.

  • Andre said on March 26, 2013

    I bought the X100s on the basis of this review.
    I am an X pro 1 user.

    I love it already.

  • Matthew said on March 26, 2013

    Hi Zach,

    Thank you for the fantastically refreshing review. As much as the X100s seems tempting, it still doesn’t make me want to give up or sell my X100. From the sounds of it, the X100s seems as near perfect as a camera can get, which is perhaps not necessarily a good thing.

    For many of us, the main reason that we brought the X100, was for in essence it’s quirkiness. I like the fact that it misses autofocus, and the manual focus is perhaps sub-par. It’s these little characteristics that revive the days of analogue photography; the excitement of not knowing whether you got the shot or not. The X100 was the fantastic camera that stated it all off, and as much as I understand the financial reasons that one may trade in an X100 for a X100s, I think photographers are easily forgetting that the X100 is a piece of Fuji heritage, just as the Leica M3 was the iconic camera for Leica. Sure it’s inferior to an M7 or indeed the M, but it doesn’t mean that it has lost it’s heritage any less.

    One day I will most likely buy a X100s, but not at the expense of selling my x100.

    Just my 2 cents!

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @matthew – It is a piece of digital history. I’m going to talk about that in my follow up post. I’m not getting rid of my original x100.


  • Tenisd said on March 26, 2013

    Downloaded the extra big size photo for the extra small comments 😀 pretty funny. Still, hard to find them all at first. Have to say the crispiness from the PhaseOne file is scary good.
    Also this review made me want to go out shoot with the X100 Classic today.
    I actualy had a question that I forgot of, oh well… cheers

  • Matthew Finnigan said on March 26, 2013

    Hey Zack love the review have you used the x100s with the Quadras yet?


    Matthew Finnigan

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Matthew – I have! It’s a great kit. The Squirrel was shot with the Quadras. :)


  • C said on March 26, 2013

    The images make me want an X series camera. In the UK – at the moment – it is SO difficult to get your hands on an X-E1 (particularly with the 18-55) that I am left worried about sourcing it. I am concerned they are just about to release a new version of it (and the X-Pro1) which, given the effectiveness of the updates to the X100, makes me reticent to spend! There is something about the X series images I really like and would love to try out.

  • Chris said on March 26, 2013

    Zack, you believe the X100 is a piece of digital history and you will not be getting rid of it.

    Will you still be shooting with it?

  • dalton said on March 26, 2013

    Hi Zack, thanks for writing the review. one qns, do you use a filter on the x100s?

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @dalton – I do not.

  • Chris said on March 26, 2013

    The thing with digital cameras… When I used film SLR’s then the lens mattered but I had no qualms carrying an old body around with a newer body. The shutter speeds were usually always in a range which I could use. The thing just had to work. And we had such brand loyalty then because few 3rd party lenses were adequate.

    Now – people who bought an X100 6 months ago are concerned they are missing out. The sensor evolutions keep coming and people are increasingly realising it is not just a pixel-count race. Colour rendition, ergonomics etc. There was always a pressure to want the latest thing but it actually used to make little difference to what you got on the film. The lens was king. You paid for reliability and weather proofing and maybe a 1/2000 instead of 1/1000 top speed.

    People used to find that confusing – now it is enough to cause a headache. The sensor, it’s size, the lenses (or not in the X100 series), RAW or not? If yes, the RAW engine. You all know.

    And know what is funny? I hardly ever see a print after all this. I nearly always get pointed to a digital image which I have to view on a crappy monitor. I love a print – in a frame – on a wall – in my house or in a gallery. I love the images people make. Now, possibly, I am spoilt simply because of the quantity of images I can browse. Or so it may at first seem.

    Oh, I don’t know. The world just got so damned confusing. People have it all – usable ISO at 6400, fast glass, wonderful resolution. “Digital darkroom”. Yet, it never seems to make it easier or photography any more enjoyable.

    I know I may be criticised for dumping this dull stream of consciousness into Zack’s comments. Sorry. I am just close to breakdown now!

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Chris – I could not agree with you more. Seriously. As excited as I get about some of this stuff I also know it just adds to the noise.

    Well said. Bravo. Thanks for bringing some signal. See M. That’s how you add to the conversation.


  • Jeffrey said on March 26, 2013

    Hey Zack!

    Awesome review, awesome photos! Sold my x100 three weeks ago in anticipation of the x100s. Just got it today; the first x100s to market in Taiwan. Won’t even be able to unbox it till I get home from work tonight, but your review already has me salivating. One issue with the x100 for me was shooting kids – the AF always seemed just a tad too slow. Is the increased AF speed on the x100s as substantial as Fuji has made it out to be in their promo material? I certainly hope so! Again, great review!

  • Matthew said on March 26, 2013


    Zack, I assumed you had kept yours. Looking forward to following post! Putting dialogue into a narrative, just as you have done with the review. The X100 will be like a ‘first love’ high school sweetheart, one that you look back on with the fondest of memories and one you will never forget despite all the women that followed.

    Chris, I totally agree. I enjoy making prints just as much as I enjoy the process of shooting. It brings back the inherent materiality to such a digital process!

  • MikeScott said on March 26, 2013

    What I need to know is whether you’re really serious about liking the Kung Pao 560 (Yongnuo 560II), or if that’s an early April Fools joke. I need to put together a cheap 2 light kit for headshots (gotta start somewhere).. and since the Lumopro LP160s have gone out of production I’m wondering if these might be where to start.

    BTW, your series of pixel peeping images may just be the funniest thing in a camera review EVER. dpreview has nothin’ on you, Zack.


  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Mike – I have been in the market to replace my dying Nikon SB 80dx’s. Those flashes are getting close to $200 on the used market right now. I typically like to have four good working flashes and I could not bring myself to spend $800 on four used flashes. As much as I love the SB80dx… I couldn’t do it. So I started looking and looking for a good manual flash that wasn’t too much. I read all the reviews of the Kung Pao 560 II. People loved it. Seemed to be a big update from the original 560. Hobby told me to buy twice as many as I needed since they had such a bad reputation for build quality.

    I bought four of them. I used two of them for three workshops and two shoots so far. The other two I threw into my checked bags with zero padding / protection. Just threw one in with my clothes and one with my umbrellas and softboxes. They then flew from ATL – Dubai – Istanbul – Paris – ATL like that. Got back home, packed them with batteries, and they’re firing away. The other two are still working great as well. I’m really blown away that this $73 flash is still alive. Bought two cheap 8 AA battery packs for them as well. Working great. Unbelievable. They may be the new Vivitar 285. And if they break in a year? At $73? That ain’t bad. $200 used flashes last me, at most, two years. Sometimes not that long.

    Buy three of them. You should be fine.


  • Gunther said on March 26, 2013

    Hi Zach:
    Great website!
    I’m thinking about replacing my Sony Rx100 with the x100s as a walk around street camera to compliment my Nikon D3.
    I always shoot JPGS and although the Sony rx100 is great, often blows out highlights in contrasty street scenes and I can only lighten shadows a bit without significant noise.
    I’d like to ask you if you’ve noticed an increased dynamic range with the x100s compared to the x100 and if the x100s sensor might be on par with DSLR full frame sensors from 5 years ago? (e.g. nikon D3)


  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Gunther – x100 vs x100s image quality is very close to each other. The main difference between the two are focusing and usability things. Both are completely on par with a D3. I’d put them up against my current Canon bodies.


  • Lean Sanchez said on March 26, 2013

    Zack I love you man! wooohoo and I’m wondering.. who is Pentax with?

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Lean – She’s with poor Lunar. :)

  • Andrew said on March 26, 2013

    You’re review is terrible. It cost me a whole lot of money now, as my camera shop had a brand new X100S in store and I couldn’t resist.
    Fortunately, the images are looking terrific, so I am not coming after you… 😉

    Cheers from Germany,

  • Kevin said on March 26, 2013

    @Chris Thanks for sharing those thoughts. Much needed to calm the gear lust. I find myself constantly feeling like I am missing out. Zack reviews the X-Pro1 and I think “That’s what I need!” but I don’t get one. Then he reviews the X100s and I think, “No, that’s what I need!” but I don;t get one. Then I pop over to dpreview and read about the latest DSLR from Nikon and think, “Wait, what was I thinking, I need one of those!” Now I need someone to convince me that I (and Zack) may have been right about three camera releases ago.

    Cheers – Kevin

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Kevin – You’re right about everything but the x100s. :) JK.


  • Logan Miller said on March 26, 2013


    Thanks for bringing up the importance of the print. I’m a relatively young guy, but I’m old enough to have learned the basics of photography on film. Digital was just gaining steam at the time (in my neck of the woods). Flash forward 15 years and I find myself rarely making a print. And finding myself less and less satisfied with my imagery (connection???)

    A few weeks ago, with the encouragement of my mentor, I entered our regional print competition. I’ve gotten more satisfaction out of those four prints of my work over the past few weeks than I have over the past few years.

    With social media, a society of instant gratification, the commoditization of photography, etc., we’ve lost some of what makes photography special (I’m guilty as anyone else here).

    There is just something about holding/viewing a real-life representation of your work that no digital canvas can ever fully recreate. Add in the commentary/reactions from others (good, bad, or indifferent) in real time and you’ve got something that no millions of Flickr hugs can ever replace.

  • Andy said on March 26, 2013


    As a guy who loves Morgans it may come as no surprise to you that I just picked up a Leica. Call it a weird life goal, but the price finally fell on the M9’s far enough that I could justify the cost. I know it has a lot of flaws, but it is an impressive piece of gear that is working well so far for portrait work. If you want to compare/bash on it I’d love to share.

  • Zack said on March 26, 2013

    @Andy – Will do!

  • Jan said on March 26, 2013

    Can’t agree more on X100 update. If Fuji really does include those two thing in the update I’m gonna be the happiest customer ever and I will probably bring some new customers in. Think about it, Fuji. X100s is still going to sell in tons.

  • dbaechli said on March 26, 2013

    I didn’t read all of your review and I can tell you: IT SUCKS BIG TIME!! I have an X100 and an X-E1 and your words make me sooo much “want to own an X100s” (and a Pro as well). I also have an Oly OM-D which I love with much of my heart, particularly for the beautiful glass that comes with it (75mm 1.8 – just wow). But NOTHING (let’s say affordable), I think by now, NOTHING REALLY CAN BEAT THE QUALITY AND THE COMFORT that comes with an X100(s). I’m going to Croatia in May and I am so tempted to just take the fixed lens camera with me.. Will it be the s?? I don’t know yet. But if I read one more review like yours chances are….. BTW: thank you *g*

  • John Wellington said on March 26, 2013

    Hi Zack, not only are you a very good photographer, you are equally accomplished as a literate and entertaining writer. I’m just jealous, some people seem to be able to do anything or everything well. I use a Fuji X10, for me, a mere snap shooter and family reminiscence man, it’s a great product, 6 really good megapixels is worth 12 or 20 moderate ones. I am pleased to have it though, I did seriously consider the X100 (the other X cameras weren’t available then). Cheers, John

  • Andrei said on March 26, 2013

    Beautiful pictures here! I have not tried the X100s, but after reading your review I dream of playing with one. Fortunately I am still in the honeymoon phase with my Fuji X-E1, so my gear addiction syndrome has not picked up on the Fuji X100s.
    Thanks again for the entertaining read.

  • David said on March 26, 2013

    Loved the bar story. The review was good too, but no surprises, really. The thing obviously rocks. I’m happy you are happy.

    I wouldn’t have commented at all, but I just have to say:

    That shot towards the top – the one that stands solid as a painting with the man in the overcoat looking down the hatch and that luscious light and beautiful blue gray – and his shadow at the edge of the abyss!
    That is definitely one one of your 50, man!
    Just utterly beautiful!
    Thank you!

  • Beaur said on March 26, 2013

    The only thing holding me back is the low shutter life and not being able to use lightroom. JPG’s dont cut it for me.

  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    @Beaur – Low shutter life? Are you stitching a movie together with it? :)


  • Rico said on March 26, 2013


    About that 5D + Sigma 50mm 1,4 comment i have to say:

    This combination will outperform every Fuji cam out there in terms of plain picture rendering.
    The files that the old 5D plus 50 1,4 delivers are just beautiful, naturally clean.
    Its very analog-ish, and never gets harsh. Never!

    Besides the x100s im using the 5D and 1ds Mark III. The x100s files looks very digital to my eyes. In higher Iso it gets worse. Yes its Noise free but the pixels are suffering.

    With the old 5D you get that very nice analog feeling at higher ISO until 1600.

  • john Kobeck said on March 27, 2013

    As a die hard fine art photographer who shoots primarily with Haselblad film cameras, I have always been against digital. I owned the 5D but hated it. Then I got an X-Pro 1 and THAT was the camera that brought me into the digital world. Fuji sure did get it right.

  • Javier said on March 27, 2013


    eh…low shutter life?

    if I may ask
    How many pictures you took with your old x100, Zack? and ​​still works, right?

    best regards Mr Arias

  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    A. Lot.

  • Beaur said on March 27, 2013

    I guess its just because my nex-3 out lasted my x100. I have about 70k on the nex3 and the fuji lasted about 8k before the first set of problems and died around 12k

  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    Send that in. That ain’t right.


  • Zlatko said on March 27, 2013

    @Beaur, Did you get your X100 fixed? If so, how much did it cost for a new shutter? I can see possibly shooting with this camera quite a lot, and I’m wondering whether a post-warranty shutter repair/replacement is expensive. As it’s a leaf shutter, do they have to replace the entire lens unit?

  • Beaur said on March 27, 2013

    Im not sure, I need to get it fixed but ive put it off for a while since im afraid it will cost as much as a new one. Plus ive been shooting my a99 a lot. :( Ill call them up and them re post it. I have a feeling the camera will have to be replaced.

  • nacho said on March 27, 2013

    Great (and very funny) review. Thanks.

    Not to get this discussion into race (besides gender), but I really wish this fuji guy entering the bar were black, like the rest in there.

    Seriously, I think that an all black (rugby fan here) camera would be much less conspicuous while shooting in the street. As it is now, it is so pretty that it will draw a lot of attention, not exactly what you want. The “limited edition” series all in black at a much higher price seems taken out of Leica’s book of tricks (I don’t know if they will do it with the x100s too).

    Looks like this is the one thing where Fuji is not listening to photographers. Do they have an explanation about it?

    Fantastic camera anyway, of course.


  • Roman said on March 27, 2013

    Zack, did not You try the Silkypix RAW convertor? Or anybody else? Does it work correctly?

  • Arrif said on March 27, 2013

    Hey Zack, great review and you made the point about the X100s.

    I love my X100 as i love Morrissey 😛

    A question:-
    is there any other TTL External Flash can i use with X100? beside EF-X20, EF 20..etc.
    sorry if my question is inappropriate.


  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    I don’t know of any third party TTL flashes for the Fuji.


  • EddieBaba said on March 27, 2013

    Interesting POV. Although I disagree that the x100 is the new Leica, maybe its the new Kodak Retina, which was legendary in its time for the same reasons of the x100. Sure the Leica price is astronomical, but what about the Canon 1Dx or Nikon D4? Their body’s are in the $6000 range in comparison to a Leica. Fuji is definitely on the right track and the X-Pro1 is awesome, I just wish it was a bit smaller. I love them too!!!

  • Bryan Leighty said on March 27, 2013

    I don’t understand why so many don’t get Zack’s point about the camera being “the new Leica”. Its 100% about the way that a camera fits in your hand, you trust it as a tool to make the photos that you envision, and it just does not let you down. Isn’t that what Leica shooters love so much about their cameras? Seriously.. if you have to zoom in to 500% crop factor to show why a Leica has better shadow detail compared to camera XYZ then have fun with all that.

  • wilbur said on March 27, 2013

    Dear Zack,

    (I tried to comment on your X100s review, but I think my comments are winding up in a spam filter somewhere.)

    First of all, a belated thank you for your write ups on the X-Pro 1. I picked one up with the 18mm and 35mm lenses last year as my first really nice digital camera (I came from a Canon Digital Elph p/s, and before that I used a Nikon F film camera. Slow adopter.). I bought the X-Pro 1 specifically for a trip I took to China with my family and my parents, and the pictures I came back with, especially the ones with my kids and my parents, completely made me forget the cost of the camera. It was completely worth it.

    I have a quick question: at the end of this review, you mention that the X100s outperforms the X-Pro 1. Can you clarify in what ways? Is it mainly autofocus speed, manual focus control, and ergonomics (new location of the AF control, etc.), or do you think there are there aspects of picture quality that are better with the X100s?


  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    @wilbur – AF speed and overall speed of taking the exposure is faster than the X-Pro. Still love my X-Pro!

  • Ealvarez said on March 27, 2013

    Hi Zack, nice review as always! I have X100S and I was wondering how do you make Pocket Wizard to work with this camera? Which flash mode do you use with the camera? There is no option for wireless triggering mode. There is only full (force flash?), slave (with on camera flash firing), and external flash where you mount the flash on the hot shoe. I also have couple of those Kung Pao YN560II and I also bought those cheap YN wireless trigger with them for Nikon (they don’t have them for Fuji) and it won’t shoot with whatever flash mode I tried to use. Last (super amateur) question, which PW model to buy? I’ve never had PW before and I thought they only work for specific camera like Canon or Nikon version? Thanks!


  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    @Ealvarez – First the camera has to be off of silent mode. Next you can’t have it on any drive mode other than single shot. Next, the flash mode needs to be set to “external” for third party flashes. That should get you firing. You “may” need to be in “standard” film mode as well. I haven’t checked if that is a concern. Single AF or manual focus as well.

    Also, just tested the x100s with a Wein IR slave on the hotshoe. Consistently syncing at 4000th with the Kung Pao! Damn!


    ETA – You also can’t be in Macro mode.

  • Gab Labelle said on March 27, 2013

    Zack, what can’t we do with this camera?

    I’m really really really thinking about selling my Nikon D600, my 85mm and 50mm (I can’t afford both at the time) but I’m afraid to somehow feel limited which shouldn’t happen since I mostly shoot portraits! I’m a bit concerned about the focal length and the the lack of Fuji teleconverters but maybe this will be the occasion for my portrait work to evolve into a more “environmental” portraiture. Something I really wanted to do anyway… But the point is I want to have my camera with me ALL THE TIME.

    So I guess I just need your approval, lol … Just say the words: “Gab, sell your D600 and go get the X100S” lol!

    Check out my work if you have 2 minutes to kill please! 😉

    Thanks for this review!

  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    @Gab – It’s taken me time to transition from traditional DSLRs to Fuji. Now mind you… I have a Phase and the X-Pro1. So I have some optical diversity. The Fuji would compliment your current system as I see it. You’d have to make the person choice as to it replacing your system. I can’t tell you that.


  • Valerio said on March 27, 2013

    Some users report a possible AF issue with 1.01 version of x100s. It should slower than x100.
    Is it true? And, which version do you have?

  • Zack said on March 27, 2013

    No issues here.

  • Paul Crouse said on March 28, 2013

    Brilliant writing, Zack.

    Keep it up.

    Geez, my keyboard is now all sticky from the KY.


    Paul from Kyoto

  • Larry said on March 28, 2013

    I currently have the XP-1 & 18mm lens. I am selling it to go back to the X100. I just love that camera. While i could use the extra $ for my other money sucking activities, it’s SOOOO tempting to just get the X100s. I’m on the fence about it, and this isn’t helping =o] Very nice review!

  • chris said on March 28, 2013

    Just as I decide to find the money for an X100s – and entering the arms race – I start reading the firmware update results in a a very significant degradation on the AF performance.

    I do not question the validity of other users experience (from fujix-forum) but I am also assuming a number of people here are using firmware 1.01 – and I imagine Zack has first hand experience of before/after moving to 1.01? I might be wrong.

    Only reason I ask is I am still tempted to an older non-S version to see how I get on with it. If focus is going to be a pig-in-a-poke for a while I feel happier accepting the older model for now. The images on both models look great. Manual focus is probably my real concern with the older model. I like using focus to change perception in the composition and sometimes manual is the only way.

  • Chris said on March 28, 2013

    I sometimes become paranoid and slightly concerned there are “sleepers” on camera forum’s and discussion groups. People designed to appear friendly but with an ulterior motive. Occasionally rocking the boat. Just enough to frighten us.

    Creatively, the most fertile part of the year (usually) is about to start for me. I no longer make money from taking photographs. I just use it in an attempt to express myself. I secret most images away for me and friends or family and like to give them as gifts.

    I think the time spent ruminating has led me to be more honest. I like the colours and style of the X100. My kids are now bigger than I am – no more trampoline shots – how I miss those days! I very rarely take a picture where I cannot spend time thinking. The important thing for me is that I am happy with the images and the picture taking experience. And I really like the OVF in these cameras (I know the X-Pro a little not the X100). I have Nikon cameras – film and digital SLRs so I am like most 1st world people – spoilt!

    I am going to pick up an X100 at roughly 40-50% the price of the new model and if I like it as much as I hope – I shall feel good upgrading later. The saving can go on the family and some decorating needing done!

    However, I shall have an X100! Many thanks for the comments and all the effort from so many people. I am enjoying discussing photography again so much!

  • Zack said on March 28, 2013

    Love your comment Chris!


  • Bradley said on March 28, 2013

    Zack- I always enjoy your reviews and your perspective. I was going to wait for the 23mm f1.4, but I’m probably going to add the X100s to the 2 X-Pro1 bodies in my wedding kit and get the side effect of a perfect camera for taking everywhere with me. Glad Fuji has found a humorous and energetic product tester! Contrary to the interwebs, I am finding the X-Pro1 and primes to not only be perfect cameras for shooting professionally, but ideal companions to my film Leicas. The coffin is being built for the DSLR!

  • Stefan said on March 28, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    thanks to your enthusiastic review about the X100s:
    Would you still recommend a 28mm lens over 35mm for a beginner, like you did a while ago? I bought a 50mm and a 85mm lens. Now I am not so sure about what wide angle to choose.

    Kind regards,

  • Zack said on March 28, 2013

    @Stefan – It’s all personal preference. I can’t say. Pick one and get to know it so well that you can see in that focal length.


  • George Koury said on March 28, 2013

    Thanks Zack for the great review and gorgeous images. I’ve read some reviewers claiming that they found many of the X100S images were flat, further stating that they felt the sensor on the X100 produced better images with a bit greater contrast.

    In your time with the X100S, have you found this to be the case?

    Many thanks.

  • Zack said on March 28, 2013

    I can’t say that I’ve found the images to be more flat than the original x100. Being I always tweak images I’d be fine with flat images as it allows me to have more control of contrast. Again though, I have no issues with these images coming from the x100s.


  • Felipe Anciaes said on March 28, 2013

    Hi, Zack!
    I have a 60d + 35L + 24-105 + 135L.
    Since x100 launch, 2 years ago, I felt in love with it, but never had enough courage for purchasing one, due to the reported quirks of it. Now, it seems that all of them have been addressed in the x100s.
    My “to be or not to be” question is: would it be worthy selling my 35L, my beloved lens, so I would be able to purchase the x100s?
    I mostly photograph children/children party and Women Belly.
    Thks a lot!

  • Zack said on March 28, 2013

    @Felipe – I can’t say for you. That 35L is nice. One of the rental places will soon have them I’m sure. You could try it for a week and see. I can make drastic decisions for myself but not others! :)


  • Steve said on March 28, 2013

    I vote most awesome gear review ever written. Great metaphor.

  • Mathias said on March 29, 2013

    Hi Zack I would like to know if this is true or maybe in manual or automatic mode can be avoid .At its lowest ISO sensitivities, the X100S gives very good image quality, with almost no visible noise until ISO 800. ISO 100 is a JPEG-only extension setting, and as we’d expect, the differences in terms of detail/noise between 100 and 200 are effectively zero. The X100S’s X-Trans sensor does a decent job with the organic textures in our studio scene (fabrics, feathers and so on) but close examination of the very finest detail shows that high-frequency vertical and horizontal lines are somewhat muddled, and artifacts are visible on close inspection. Above ISO 800, this effect is no longer noticeable. Even at ISO 800, there is almost no visible noise in the X100S’s JPEGs, and detail capture remains very high.( http://www.dpreview.com/previews/fujifilm-x100s/5 ) . They say that artifacts are visible on close inspection maybe
    in the highlights of the JPEG file . Here is another example :



  • Zack said on March 29, 2013

    @Mathias – I don’t know what the issue is here. I’ll expand on this in my follow up post next week.


  • Chie said on March 29, 2013

    Hi Zack. Quite amused by the review. Thanks for the metaphor/parable at the beginning, truly creative way of looking at the camera scene. I’m betting on the Canon for the big guns but it’s just getting heavier by the minute that I now rarely shoot at all (I don’t really call shooting with my Samsung Note II shooting).

    My question though lies in the X20… have you tried it and would it be a good alternative if it was for street photography on a less luxurious budget? Or do you strongly advise breaking the bank (parting with 5D MkII and its trinkets) for the X100s?

    Oh, and as much as I’m not taking photos for profit right now, it is in my horizon. I’m just taking my time to get there.

    Anyone else’s opinion is welcome, too. I want all things considered before I get the gear on. 😛

  • Zack said on March 29, 2013

    @Chie – here’s how I described the x100 vs. x10 – The x100 is a photographer’s camera. The x10 is a photographer’s point and shoot.

    I bought an x10 for my wife. It’s a nice camera. It really is. She didn’t care for it much and I haven’t touched it in 9 months. I’m letting my business manager take it because she needs a good point and shoot for an upcoming vacation.

    The x20 is cool. It’s a nice little camera. But it’s not magical like the x100 is. Save your money. Sell a kidney. Be patient and get the x100s. Or…. Or…. Buy a used x100. I’d rather have a used x100 than a new x20. That’s not saying the x20 sucks. That’s saying the x100 is *that* much better.


  • busterbluth said on March 29, 2013

    One thing I hate about Fuji in the past is that you don’t see the actual exposure. It’s what makes the a99 the best camera I’ve ever used. Im thinking of getting rid of my xe1 and either getting the rx1 or x100s (only if it shows the actual exposure)

  • Zack said on March 29, 2013

    @buster – Huh?

  • Mark Loader said on March 29, 2013

    @Herman…there is a 23mm f1.4 in the pipeline, check Fuji’s lens roadmap. @Jaclyn…my X100 is female too and her name is Eva Green. The comments here have been great apart from anonymous M who appears to have turned up by mistake. Guys like that are usually playing Call of Duty and using delightful terms like “sucks” meaning pretty much everything that is actually good. Other terms may include “a**hole” and “f****t” which may refer to Non-Americans or anyone not like him. Happily though there’s the rest of you who love photography and are open and honest with your contributions. We should all go out for pizza (hold the anchovies)….c’mon, Zack’s buying 😉 Love from Downunder

  • busterbluth said on March 29, 2013

    Sorry if I was unclear, I want to know if the live view shows the changes in exposure similar to the a99 or nex
    My ex1 screens don’t reflect the exposure live like my a99 does. If the x100s doesn’t have it, its a no go for me.
    I hope I’ve explained correctly. If you get a chance to play with a Sony you’ll see what I’m talking about. Fujis colors l
    Look godly but i without the live exposure its just nub

  • Zack said on March 29, 2013

    @Buster – Ahhh. Gotcha. Exposure simulation? Yes, it does that and I’m not too keen about it. I’d like it turned off or have the option to turn it on or off. The problem with exposure simulation on the x100s is when you’re using flash. You get a live view on the screen. When you half press to focus it then goes into exp simulation. But at times the exp you have set is so far under the ambient the screen goes black. Now you can’t compose. You’re firing a flash so exposure will be there but the camera doesn’t know that. Fuji is discussing the issue. So the feature you want is a feature I don’t want. Lets hope that it becomes a user defined parameter.


  • pixypig said on March 29, 2013

    I know what Buster is trying to say. No, the fuji’s dont have it. Sony is good about that, but they still dont have our sensors;)

  • Aaron Pelly said on March 29, 2013

    @Zack, I think what buster means is this: On the X100 and X-Pro1, in aperture priority the evf shows a real-time preview of what the final exposure will look like (and a real-time histogram). In manual mode, it doesn’t do this (and the histogram is based on how it’s currently metering, not what the current settings are). The result is that if I’m shooting a back lit subject in manual (which I almost always am—just how I shoot) and I have to use the evf, the image in the evf compensates for the back light by darkening the exposure, and my subject looks like a black blob, even though I’ve exposed for the subject. Freakin’ annoying, but I live with it because I love the cameras so much.

    I’ve heard the X100s fixes the problem with the histogram in manual. That gives me hope that the problem of no real-time exposure preview in manual is fixed as well. Is it?


  • wilbur said on March 29, 2013

    Any observations on picture quality differences that you might have noticed between the X100s and the X-Pro 1? I realize it’s going to be difficult since the lenses aren’t the same, but I was wondering what your take might be on this.

  • Zack said on March 29, 2013

    @Wilbur – They’re punching the same weight so to speak. Two Fuji APS X-Trans sensors. They perform a lot like. I think the new xtrans adds phase detection or something. I haven’t dove into the spec sheet.


  • Andreas said on March 29, 2013

    Hi Zack, I got the new camera because I love what I have seen in your work. Amazing.
    Just have an issue with the RAW file import in Lightroom 4. I does not recognize the file. Does anyone else expirience this issue?


  • Zack said on March 29, 2013

    @Andreas – Lightroom 4.4 recognizes the x100s raw files. Check your version.


  • Philippe said on March 29, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Did you try to use the high flash sync speed to overpower mid day light with a small flash? At ISO200, the sunny 16 rule (1/200s f16) is equivalent to (1/1600s f5.6) or (1/3200s f4). As you know, f4 or f5.6 is quite achievable even with an umbrella or softbox on your speedlight if the subject is close enough. Can you sync at those settings? And if so how? I read David “the strobist” Hobby mention it might be tricky to sync with a Pocket Wizard at very high speeds because any millisecond delay counts in this case. He suggests using a PC sync cable.
    If it is possible to sync a speedlight at (1/3200th f4) with the X100S, you could do things that require a big bad Elinchrom Ranger flash with a DSLR for a fraction of the price (and weight!). That would be another way the X100S is a game changer.
    Greetings from Scotland.

  • Zack said on March 30, 2013

    @PHilippe – I’ll talk about sync speeds and getting to 4000th in my follow up post.


  • Ryan said on March 30, 2013

    Thanks for the review, entertaining it was. I’ve been thinking of picking up one of these and you’re not making it any easier to resist. I’m trying to follow advice I’ve heard you give elsewhere, though, and not go into debt to pick up gear. :)

  • Adam said on March 30, 2013

    I bought the x100 for exactly this reason. syncing at 1/2000 @ 2.8 with a speedlight is a dream, probly even to fast in most situations.
    hooked up the Kung pao with a sync cord then throw it on this lovely piece of manfrotto kit http://www.manfrotto.com/camera-flash-bracket-with-telescopic-column with a mini umbrella or soft box it is a handheld mini setup.

  • Marc said on March 30, 2013

    I’m truly happy you are so happy with your Fuji, sounds like aawesome camera indeed. With this review you changed the paradigm of reviewing for ever. No review in the future wil be the same again. Now shall I sent you my address details so you can sent me your Canon or PhaseOne as you won’t be needing them any more? :)

  • Belinda said on March 31, 2013

    Totally convinced. Thank you (and especially thanks to all the replies that back up this review).

  • mash said on March 31, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    I have to say this is an awesome review and really nails the picture.

    Once the high of having a awesome camera wears off, it starts gathering dust on your desk. (I am not a pro-photographer).

    When I saw your preview of the Fuji X100s (turkey soccer game), I bought the camera. I am not dissapointed one bit and have been carrying it with me everywhere.

    Here is a recent outing with the camera.


    Thanks for your great work.

    P.S. Would love to know the next time you are in Abu Dhabi.

  • Zack said on March 31, 2013

    @mash – The honeymoon for my original x100 never ended! :)


  • Paul J said on March 31, 2013

    Following on from my earlier post above and despite your fantastic review, I’ve picked up an X100 via a great deal and I shall pick it up when I get home from my holiday. I”m really looking forward to using it and it’s going to be my “carry everywhere” camera. I’ve always wanted one since the first came out and now I have one.

    No-one knows what Fuji’s thoughts are by releasing an ‘S’ model, perhaps they will follow a similar trend to Apple from now on (but not as frequent) and release an ‘S’ version before a major upgrade. Who knows, but everyone should lear/use whatever camera they have and get the best out of it and make some nice prints along the way.

  • Tgallardo said on March 31, 2013

    Zack; all: Not only the review is pleasant and instructive. the reading afterwards has delivered a lot of nice moments, except for this M fellow. I’ll have mine in 5 days from now (the ‘essed’ one) and will be keen to try to reach out to this level of photography. so far still learning, still experimenting, but all i’ve read and seen about the x100s looks great, it speaks to me and the kind of pictures I take. so yes. Thanks from me too!


  • Mateo said on March 31, 2013

    and what about Hasselblad… he used to have a bar…

  • Zack said on March 31, 2013

    I’ll update with where Pentax and Hasselblad are in my follow up post. :)


  • Patrik Lindgren said on March 31, 2013

    I dunno why i am admitting to this really since i dont consider myself to be a pixelpeeper. But i did enjoy your prepped pixelpeeping picture that you made for all of us. I found the information “in it” to be most valuable, really. :)

    Haha, keep doing what you do the way you do it. There is no one out there doing it better.

  • Alex said on March 31, 2013

    Hi there and thanks for the review, I found it enjoyable and informative. This camera looks to be not only addictive to use, but offers image quality and sharpness that compares with larger sensor cameras. The main point I am interested in, in regards to an upgrade over the X100, is the manual focus handling. This is a pivotable point for me, as I prefer to focus manually when in low light situations.

    I have enjoyed your 500PX page, very much looking forward to seeing more pics with the X100s!

    Thanks again,


  • Zack said on April 1, 2013

    @Alex – It is addictive!

    Fuji has not only added manual focus assist features like split image and peaking, but they have changed the “fly by wire” mechanism of the lens. There’s technical speak for it but basically the focus ring reacts more like a standard lens when focusing. It’s great. The x100 had useless manual focus. The S is now usable. I use it far more than I thought I would.


  • Peter said on April 1, 2013

    Zack the sensor and processor between the Xpro-1 and X100s/X20 are NOT the same the latter have the newer CMOS II Sensor and EXR Processor II.

  • Zack said on April 1, 2013

    @Peter – True. Performance wise though and IQ wise they perform so much alike they might as well be the same. It’s not like mixing a Nikon D4 and a Canon 5d3. Or a 5d3 and a Rebel. Or a Phase and a Fuji. Know what I mean? They’re both x-trans and the images coming out of each of them are very close to being equal. So close that I don’t really notice them. They can be switched back and forth on a job and the post production in dealing with the images isn’t a big deal.


  • David said on April 1, 2013

    Hi Zack, I’ve been trying out the new x100s over the past week and have posted many pictures – http://www.dwwphotography.blogspot.com.au – so you can check them out. I have to agree with you, the upgrades are significant and worthwhile for regular shooters. Your website, composition & blogs are wonderful – thanks, cheers, David

  • Brian Eden said on April 1, 2013

    Great Review Zack. I’m glad to see it didn’t go squirrel-less.

    You inspired me to write my own on my first 3 days with the new baby. The Fuji X100s: The New York Test. (If it can make it here, yadda yadda yadda).

    Check it out on WalkAMileInMyUnderpants.com:



  • Giovanni said on April 1, 2013

    I see this becoming a classic, in a different way that SIGMA DP1 Merrill is.
    Just like Sigma, it might deserve a second body with a different focal length. DP1-DP2-DP3… I know that this would eat into the X-PRO / XE territory even further, but…
    Or, beat Sony at their sensor game with a FF X1000!
    Or, keep the same sensor, give us a slightly smaller body, i.e. close to the FX20 but forget the zoom and never ever drop that amazing OVF/EVF concept.
    Or, give us back the Hassy XPan, which was Fuji-made anyhow, with a XTrans sensor with the same panoramic format.
    Fuji is in major creative overdrive…

  • Max Almonte said on April 1, 2013

    Man, Zack, i dont really care if Fuji pays you or not. IDGAS (I DONT GIVE A SHIT):) Im sold! This is the sickest review ever. Thanks for the images and fun story. Cheers.

  • Roman said on April 1, 2013

    ..well…finally..I´ve got the “S” beauty!..and it works so great!
    One thing against I must admit to myself – the AF in a worse light environment has not improved that much IMO (compared to X100), but the manual works!! smoothly as on analog (which I am used to) – great job, FUJI! – I love using it more, that I would think so 😉
    The results are sharper and finer, higher usable ISO I am grateful for, a lot of other improvements I thank for as well. Still learning the Silkypix RAF curve (as I do not own the last LR version..).
    Anyway…the Jpegs are great for most situacions.
    The “S” is is the right tool for me!!
    Thank You Zack and others who helped me to deside for this great upgrade! (as the FF is too “overprised” for me, I suppose not to go for that in the future).
    Have good times all of You!

  • Zack said on April 1, 2013

    @Roman – Yeah! Have fun!


  • Mithun Biswas said on April 1, 2013

    Fuji is the real brand i where quality is 100% ensured….

  • Viktor Arakchiev said on April 2, 2013

    So basically Pentax is non-existent anymore? Nice, I’ve never liked them… :))

  • James said on April 2, 2013

    I’m up against the wall here. I want a new camera. While I enjoy street photography, I also like the option of a camera that can function in other environments (landscape/architecture/fashion/nature/travel).

    I’d go for the XPro1, but with the improvements to the X100s, I feel like my options are:

    1) Wait it out for the XPro1s/2 refresh – maybe comes this year?
    2) Get the X100s – but I feel stuck with no option to swap lenses – which means buying another cam at later point.
    3) Get a Nikon D600 and 50mm prime – heavier, yes – but still will get the job done for my above interests and desires.

    Money is an object – I’m at the $2000-$2500 mark, all in.

  • Zack said on April 2, 2013

    @James – I hate being in that spot. I’m usually in that mess when thinking about lights. I’ve spent years trying to figure it out. I’ve learned to get what you need when you need it at the budget you have.


  • Alan Matthews said on April 2, 2013

    My typical reaction to a “crowd mentatlity” is to resist it and go the other way. That’s what I did regarding a Mac for a few years and now that I have one, I won’t go back. I spend so much toward supporting my Canon I would have a hard time justfifying the expense of yet another camera tha looks as expensive as my Canon and it’s lenes. Is this camera ready for “prime time” yet? I have always wanted a camera such as this for family vacations etc but still having a hard time trying to justify the cost plunge.

  • Zack said on April 2, 2013

    @Alan – I’ll never travel with a DSLR again for personal shooting. It is prime time.


  • Bryan Leighty said on April 2, 2013

    @James – I have an x100s en route right now. I was in same boat as you but there are those few things about this camera that made it a real easy pick up. The leaf shutter is A number 1 on my book as the prime reason to own this camera. Sync speed goodness! Size (taking a trip to NYC soon and want to a non-iphone camera with me that didnt weigh me down), quality (everyone is raving) and speed (again, raves). Lens options is a downside. If fuji could make a quality telephoto adapter this thing would be Boss!

  • Juan Gonzalez said on April 2, 2013

    Zack, killing me here. X-Pro1 or X100s?

  • Zack said on April 2, 2013

    @Juan – For now I’d suggest the x100s and let’s see how the X-Pro updates.


  • Alexander John said on April 2, 2013

    Amazing dude! Just wow. I’m super jellos of your eyes for detail.

    Great photos bro!

  • Barry said on April 2, 2013

    Thanks for the great review! Your thoughts on photography are refreshing and I love how you focus on the relationship between the photographer and the camera, rather then the relationship between the camera and technical image quality. Backing your arguments up with provoking photos that actually have artistic merit is the icing on the cake.

    I shoot with an “ancient” Nikon D50 and an old 35mm Yashica RF and am far from being able to afford an X100s, but more then anything, your views on the actual process of photography inspire me to go shoot with whatever equipment I have in hand.

  • Brian said on April 2, 2013

    Awesome review! Fuji couldn’t have picked a better spokesperson imo.
    Really looking forward to the next ‘Fuji is the new leica’ installment.
    Just go easy on mother pentax. She’s a kind soul who marches to the beat of her own drum. She also has 3 of the most beautiful, talented children ever- the 31mm/43mm/77mm, who also march to the beat of a different drum.
    Keep up the good dude!

  • Brian said on April 2, 2013

    *good work

  • Roman said on April 3, 2013

    Zack, and other friends, please help…yesterday I found some problems witk my new “S”, when I half press the shuter, the screen (EVF and LCD) darkens – it darkens more in dependance of what aperture value is set – the higher number, the darker screen – so as a merely I do not see the scene before the shuter goes on. When a picture is captured, everything is O.K.
    Has anyone came accrose to something similar?

    Thank You for any hint what could be wrong.

  • Zack said on April 3, 2013

    @Roman – Is this with flash?


  • Roman said on April 3, 2013

    @Zack – no, flash is off…

  • Zack said on April 3, 2013

    @Roman – I can’t replicate the issue except for when the photo would be underexposed. They’ve implemented an exposure simulation mode. When you half press it will show what the exposure will be at the settings you currently have. I’ve requested that be a user defined option because its a problem when shooting with flash. That’s why I asked if you were shooting with flash. If you half press and the screen goes dark then the resulting photo is fine… Without flash… Then I’m not sure what issue your camera is having.


  • Jason Ramynke said on April 3, 2013

    Zack, you are the single most influential person in my photography ambitions. But I hate reading about all of this awesome gear as it makes me want to spend all my money. First large format cameras and now these sweet little setupz… I may have to spring for one of these though. Thanks and keep up all the great work you are inspiring us, and more importantly, me!

  • Peter said on April 3, 2013

    @ Roman

    It´s not just your camera… I think they all behave like this. I´ve recognized it too while shooting in very low-light conditions a few days ago. It´s imho a little bug because in low-light situations (e.g. camera set on A and Auto-ISO with max. 6400) it does not simulate the final exposure if you close the aperture and half-press the shutter. In that case it simulates what the exposure would be at a shutter speed of aprox. 1/30s, Auto-ISO 6400 and the chosen aperture. The EVF goes dark, but the final exposure will be correct. With f2.0 everything is OK and you see what you get. Things change if you use a fixed ISO or another Auto-ISO setting but it´s not consistent within the different settings. For me it´s not a big problem because in real life you wouldn´t close the aperture to much in these situations anyway. It might be a problem for some night shooters with a tripod, but I think Fuji will change it with one of the next firmware updates… and you still have the OVF 😉 It´s not a show-stopper in most situations.


  • Anthony said on April 3, 2013

    One of the big qualifiers I have about photo quality stems from the lens. When I reviewed the X100, I blamed myself for the poor results I got at f2, but I see it again here: f2 is close to unusable, bad enough that if I hadn’t seen the same problems after looking back at my X100 shots I would have thought I had a defective unit. It’s not too bad beyond about 10 feet, but for anything closer it’s fuzzy in the center with what looks like convergence issues and extremely distorted at the corners of the image. At f2.8 it almost looks like a different lens, snapping into sharp focus in the center; you have to bump up to f4 before the edges are all relatively sharp. It does manage to maintain both center and corner sharpness through the top of the aperture range, f16. That said, the camera didn’t display any of the sticky aperture blade issues that seemed to plague the X100 (though I didn’t experience them). The lens also seems a bit more susceptible to flare than I’d like. f2 is close to unusable ? what the f***? Hello Zack can you explain me this review or the part of the f2 ? I think Lori Grunin editor of cnet is not doing a good review or need to practice more :) http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/fujifilm-x100s/4505-6501_7-35566613.html

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Anthony & @Angelina – How do you have the same comment? Weird. Two different IP addresses too. Same person you are? /yoda


  • Angelina said on April 4, 2013

    Hello Zack i read the same article in cnet and i think maybe is wrong or not but you know more about this here :

    One of the big qualifiers I have about photo quality stems from the lens. When I reviewed the X100, I blamed myself for the poor results I got at f2, but I see it again here: f2 is close to unusable, bad enough that if I hadn’t seen the same problems after looking back at my X100 shots I would have thought I had a defective unit. It’s not too bad beyond about 10 feet, but for anything closer it’s fuzzy in the center with what looks like convergence issues and extremely distorted at the corners of the image. At f2.8 it almost looks like a different lens, snapping into sharp focus in the center; you have to bump up to f4 before the edges are all relatively sharp. It does manage to maintain both center and corner sharpness through the top of the aperture range, f16. That said, the camera didn’t display any of the sticky aperture blade issues that seemed to plague the X100 (though I didn’t experience them). The lens also seems a bit more susceptible to flare than I’d like. http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/fujifilm-x100s/4505-6501_7-35566613.html

    i would like to know if this a problem and a firmware can fix it ?

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Angelina – I’ll do some tests and pixel peep.


  • Alex Atienza said on April 4, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    After seeing you and David Hobby “show-off” your X100s in last month’s GPP 2013 and then reading both of your reviews, I decided to let go of my near 1-year old X10, and bought “the new Leica”. It will be delivered from Dubai next week.

    It seems that this camera is available only in Dubai (at this time) and not anywhere else. Or is it?

  • Tristan Howswez said on April 4, 2013

    Fuji never calls and tells his Father that he is a flaming homo and confused about life. The inexperience in camera knowledge is evident with the first photograph showing a deer in headlights look with the bad camera flash on the model.
    Ill save this page and look forward to sharing it and laugh at this childish review.
    Many Leica photographers are super excited you use Leica because we have seen better photography by a kid with an iPhone.

    Good luck with Fuji.

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    Well Tristan, at least you used a full name in your comment! Much better than “M” did. You’re a troll with a name! Of course, a quick google search of your name turns up zero results. Your IP address of shows you’re somewhere in the Sydney, Australia area.

    That homo remark really helps your credibility. By leaps and bounds I tell you! We all applaud you for that remark because it qualifies your position. It let’s us know the type of person you are and how much weight we should place in your comment. Your mother must be proud. Well done.

    Now then, back to your cave sir. Back to your cave. Back to your laughing leica lovers.

    (slaps troll with stick to make it go away)


  • Roman said on April 4, 2013

    @ Peter – THIS IS EXACTLY how the camera behaves!! Thanks for Your comment!
    Anyway, the “S” results are just that amazing for me (the sharpnes and colours). And I love the manual sharpening as well!
    This is my “every go” camera (and in pair with Hexar AF the desert island ones :-))
    Thank you all!

  • Tyler said on April 4, 2013

    After reading Zac’s review of the x100s and a bunch of online research, I went to my local camera shop to buy it…until that is, I held it. I don`t have big hands by any means – if anything my hands are small. But the feel of the x100s in my hands really turned me off to it big time. I know all the improvements and the IQ and all of that wonderful stuff, but when a camera just doesn`t feel good in your hands, it`s just not good. I was left standing there scratching my head thinking `what do I do now?`

    I don`t need a camera right this minute, today – but I don`t know if I can hold out for an xPro1 refresh. I might have to go to a DSLR.

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Tyler – I get what you’re saying. If it don’t feel right it don’t feel right. I sometimes tell folks who are trying to decide between something like Canon or Nikon to go to the store and put each in their hand. Whichever feels right… buy that one.


  • philip sutton said on April 4, 2013

    Hey Zack – I am not looking for problems and really want to like this new camera. I don’t really want to verbalize this here on this site – because after reading all the comments, sounds like I will be the only one.

    However, I really don’t like what I am seeing from my RAW files in L/R, compared with my old X100. I have shot them extensively side by side over the last week, and there is something that does not look good from the S files. I even updated to the very new L/R 4.4 last night, and ran some of them through again, and no difference. I am very disappointed, because I really love the way the S is faster now, a much friendlier interface and mf – much more useable. However, for the kind of photography that I do (environmental portraits, travel Asia for 6 months of each year), it’s not looking good.

    When I try to sharpen or enhance any of the sliders (as I can do on my X100), skin tones are taking on a horrible plastic look to them. Zoomed in on 100%, they really don’t look sharp like the old X100 (but I know they are sharp – if you know what I mean). What am I doing wrong? I can even send you a RAW file for you to take a look at. I am not a beginner at this, so am really confused at why I am not getting a decent ‘look’ from this setup.

    There seems to be nothing wrong with the camera. The files seem to pop up nicely on L/R, and from a distance the colors look good. Once you start to zoom in though, then the problems start.

    I am in Australia and feel embarrassed for the comments from that homo guy – don’t waste your breath worrying about him Zack, there is always one of those in every crowd.


  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Philip – I think the world of post processing is still trying to catch up and figure out what the hell to do with these X-Trans sensors.

    I don’t do a lot of editing to my RAW files no matter the camera I’m using so I’m not having any issues with the new x100s and LR4. I am shooting RAW + Jpg and if I nail the shot then I’m just tweaking the jpg right now and saving the RAWs for later if needed.

    For me the truth is in a good print. Make a good print of your x100s images. Something 16×20 or so. Hang it on the wall and step back and look at it. Don’t get four inches away from it. Put it on a wall and look at it. Is it still falling apart?


  • Alex said on April 4, 2013

    Hi again Zack.

    I managed to find a shop in Berlin that would let me play with the X100s! I went straight for the manual focus ring, wow, it behaves exactly how I want it too!

    Just took a look at the Jpegs I took (it’s always good to carry an SD card on you for situations like this) and I am very pleasantly surprised at the results. With manual focus my pictures were extremely sharp at my point of focus and nicely blurred in the background.

    Now I need to save hard, the addiction has started, my love of street photography has made the decision for me…

    Thanks again for the top review!

    All the best,


  • Anthony said on April 4, 2013

    Zack it is not weird haaaaa . @Anthony & @Angelina – How do you have the same comment? Weird. Two different IP addresses too. Same person you are? /yoda ? Diffrents ip ? of course she is my friend and I told her about that review and she is kinda new in photography and the comments were not offensive so i don´t know why you said that .You check IP? that is weird

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Anthony – I’m not offended. It was just odd to see nearly the same exact comment from two different names and two different IP addresses. On the backend of this blog is a comment moderation page. It has the commenter’s name, email, and IP address. It’s not like I go digging for an IP address. It’s simply listed right next to your name when I’m moderating comments on this blog.

    I just shot some images at f2, f2.8, then f8. Honest to God. The f2 images are sharp where they need to be sharp. It doesn’t have this MASSIVE jump once I go to 2.8. Any lens is never at its sharpest at its most open aperture. That’s a given. The thing is though I’m not getting “un-sharp” images at f2. I’ll post some in my follow up review.


  • Anthony said on April 4, 2013

    Thank you Zack ☼ 😀

  • Kevin said on April 4, 2013

    Zack said: “Hang it on the wall and step back and look at it. Don’t get four inches away from it. Put it on a wall and look at it. Is it still falling apart?”

    I love this simple bit of advice (aka sanity). They should sell salad bar sneeze guards with computer monitors… just to keep people from getting to close to those pixels. Maybe bundle the sneeze guard with a calibration software package.

    Great conversation here in your comments. I look forward to your follow up review.


  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Kevin – Hahahahahahaha! Sneeze guards for monitors! Perfect! Yes! :)


  • Seraj Farabi-Iverson said on April 4, 2013

    Hi Zack / Fans :)

    I had a quick thought exercise I was wondering if you minded commenting on. I had a random chance last year right about the time I was plotting to take aspects of my photography more seriously, thus I ended up buying a D800. I did so on the recommendation of several pros in my world. A few months later I ended up finding a GREAT deal on a nearly mint Leica M6 TTL .85 which I picked up because I am shooting a lot of film in college.

    Basically I’ve been lucky and have some incredible gear by some standard. The thing is I hate my digital set up, its heavy, huge, and draws so much attention that I don’t really want to pull it out and shoot in many of the street situations I find myself wanting to shoot in. Now I’ve done a little professional work here and there, but right now I am more a hobbiest / student as I work on my own technique, editing, and build a portfolio. But my vision of the future involves me using this art I love as my profession.

    Am I as crazy as people keep saying I am for wanting to sell my D800, thus far it’s only lens (50mm), and some misc camera gear I own from previous times to pick up an x100s and saving up for whatever the next version of the x-pro1 is?

    Fuji seems to be setting a standard for cameras that feel like “me” and since I can’t afford my dream M Monochrom and M. But everyone around me keeps telling me I am just G.A.S.ed up and that giving up the DSLR is somehow an affront to my goals of working with my art.

    Context: areas that interest me are journalism, travel, fashion, street, nature, portraiture.

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Seraj – You are not crazy. Tonight I’m selling my two most prized Canon lenses. The 24mm 1.4 and the 135mm 2.0. Gorgeous lenses. Love them. Will shed a tear as they drive away… But I’m committed to this crazy ass idea of using Fuji cameras instead of 35mm based DSLRs. Yes. Yes I have a Phase for “big” work but I do a lot of jobs that don’t require the Phase or the Phase isn’t the right tool for the job so the Fuji’s are taking over the Canon gear in my bag.

    I just got some press proofs in for a book project I’m working on based off of my Q&A blog. I had them print x100, X-Pro1, Canon 5d2, and Phase images. The Phase images stand out because of what that camera produces. The Fuji images and the Canon images can mix and match. I see no difference in image quality between the two camera systems when it comes to these CMYK proofs. The Canons don’t exceed the Fuji images in print quality nor do the Fuji images exceed in quality over the Canons. They are equal. Done.

    I have another reason I’m ditching DSLRs. I’ll speak to that in my follow up blog post.


  • Will said on April 4, 2013

    I’ve had this tab open on my browser for nearly 2 weeks waiting to read it, later. I am glad I finally took the time. I am a long time fan of you Zack for your sense of humor and humble attitude as well as your ability to put into words the emotions involved in this life as photographer. On a regular basis you speak what I am thinking. Thank you for many more things than you can ever know.

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Will – Glad to be of service!


  • Robin said on April 4, 2013

    Hey Zack, thanks for your lovely review! How do you sync up to 1/4000? Do you use a ttl cable or some sort of radio triggers? For my review I was using the built-in to sync my SB-700 and it worked pretty well but that’s not very convinient. Usually I shoot available light only, but with a small capable camera like this, it would be stupid not to make use of those insane sync speeds. 😀

    You can find my review with tons of street shots here:

    Oh man, I barely touch my D800 since I bought the X100s. 😀

  • Zack said on April 4, 2013

    @Robin – That’ll be in my follow up review.


  • Kevin said on April 4, 2013

    @Seraj: I saw some advice on dpreview.com when someone asked “X100s or XE-1?”. It was something like “buy the XE-1 if you are going to build a system around it or buy the X100s if you already have a system and just need a smaller walk around camera”. That seemed like practical advise. The Xe-1 will get you a lens you could use going forward with the XPro-1 successor.


  • Zack said on April 5, 2013

    @Kevin & @Seraj – I agree with Kevin. I’ll throw a wrench in the gears though. I’d go for the X-Pro1. I can’t state how amazing that OVF is over the EVF only X-E1. There is one caveat. The X-E1 has a port that allows you to hook up electronic cable releases that have intervalometers, bulb actions, etc. The x100 and X-Pro1 don’t have these options available. If time lapse is important to you then there’s that. I’m not aware of a remote release working with the x100s at this time. Not saying there isn’t one but the ones for the E-X1 do not work at this time. The USB connector is different on the x100s and there isn’t a mini plug on it.

    If you aren’t in need of a workhorse camera at this time I’d personally wait for the update to the X-Pro and get an x100s now. I’m not sure when that update is scheduled though. Honestly. I don’t know.


  • Sten said on April 5, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    many things have been written about the better AF performance of the X100s. Many people said, nevertheless it is still not AF speed/accuracy of a DSLR. I have a problem to put this into context.

    There are many differenet DSLR-AF systems, depending on how much money you put on the table. A Nikon D5200 will have not the same speed as the Nikon D4, a Canon 1000 not the same speed as a Canon 1DSMark…

    So my question is: Can you name us a DSLR camera model you know and which is very similar in speed and accuracy to the X100s? Could be also a very old DSLR. I just want to have something to research for and compare this then with my own DSLR to get a better understanding of “how fast is fast”?


  • Zack said on April 5, 2013

    @Sten – It performs on par with a 5d2.


  • Seraj said on April 5, 2013

    @Zack & Kevin:

    Yeah right now most of the shooting I’m doing these days is for fun. I have a wedding I’m helping a buddy with and perhaps some events I go to over the summer that I sometimes shoot for or help with some shots. So even with some college digital courses focused on more theoretical and experimental stuff I’m not too worried about. From what I’ve seen the X100s can do all the fun long exposure and fun things I plan to do. I’ve never seen anyone with an x100s messing with Astro-photography but where I love there is so much light pollution that it doesn’t really matter.

    Now the D800 is incredible, has great IQ, but it seems to be built more for studio and tripod centric work. I wish I had a studio to play in but at current I don’t really. Another thing to note and perhaps I’m missing something, but the fujinon glass seems excellent even if DXO won’t rank them yet, I’ve read nothing but praise. Also the idea of building an entire kit for the price of a single lens worthy of mounting on my D800 is appealing.

  • Seraj said on April 5, 2013

    Part of my thing is I never want to take my D800 with me. Tonight for example was saying goodbye to my mother before she moves to another state, perhaps this seems silly of me, but after my busiest day of classes (10 hours) where I need to lug my retina Mbp, iPad, four text books, etc. I used my Leica and iPhone 5 to take photos. If I’d had time to go home maybe I’d have Black Rapided up my d800 and gone nuts, but a roll of Porta, a Leica with a collapsible lens, and an iPhone is a much more appealing option.

  • Reuben said on April 5, 2013

    This camera is AMAZING.

    Like a great love affair: sudden shock, awkward getting-to-know-you phase, then tumbling headlong towards not being able to imagine life without it.

    I started with an OM4Ti, was an Oly fanboy for 20 years. My first great love.

    This is the next great love affair, all other digital has been a passionless necessity for the past 5-7 years.

  • Steve said on April 5, 2013

    Grrr…just recently bought the Lumix LX7 and do enjoy shooting with it but the X100s has me salivating. Not quite sure about the fixed lens, but I must admit most of my shooting with the LX7 is at 24mm. Focus peaking is a great feature for manual shooting as I have that on my Sony A77 and find it invaluable.

  • Gilbert said on April 5, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    Thanks for the entertaining and informative review! And, uh… thanks for giving me GAS. 😛

    Looking forward to your post on why you’re ditching DSLRs. I’ve used compact cameras before but was never happy with the lack of manual controls/focus compared to DSLRs. Right now the choice for me is upgrading my DSLR (which I find too heavy to carry around) or getting the x100s. If as you said the x100s performs as well as a 5DMkII then yeah, perhaps it’s time to take the plunge…

  • Marty said on April 5, 2013

    Hi Zack, thanks for a really informative and humourous review…I got my x100 on the back for your review mainly as I know you’ll tell it like it is. I am now contemplating switching up to the 100s as I had a chance to play with it at the Focus on imaging show here in the UK, and the differences between them make you go “damn why couldn’t I have waited.” and “take my money now!!”
    I use my x100 for street shooting, and increasingly for portraits I love it so can see the x100s fitting neatly in my bag…The x100 i own right now sits nicely in my bag along side my Bronica ETRSI and Canon 5DmkII…I can’t see me jumping ship and going Fuji all the way as I shoot a lot of video too, and the 5d just gives me so much freedom to do so with the Magic lantern firmware in there…if Fuji ever come out with a camera that shoots stills as well as the x100s or X po 1 and shoots video as well as the 5dmkII then I’ll have a long weekend listing on ebay ahead of me.

  • Kevin said on April 5, 2013

    @ Seraj: Sounds like you need to figure out what you want to take pictures of. I’d imagine the D800 would be better suited to long exposure astro-photography. If that’s what you want to do, then the D800 might be the right tool and you should keep it and just add the x100s.

    PS. My first encounter with the D800 was at a local camera store. I went to look at the Fuji’s on the same day a Nikon rep was there with new Nikon stuff. After spending 15 minutes handling the XPor-1 and XE-1 I walked past the Nikon display on the way out. When I went to pick up the D800, I swear if felt like it was glued to the table. Very convincing demonstration… now, if only my bank account was as weighty.


  • Francois said on April 5, 2013

    Hallo Zack , I would like that you see this pictures and help me to understand this “problem” the_sardonic_iconic 3 hours ago:
    Yes, CNET. You’re totally right. F2 is unusable. The next time I get booked to shoot apples and charts, I’m screwed. Intimate portraits much closer than 10 feet are utterly USELESS at F2.


    I dont understand the problem I only see great pictures and filters

  • Zack said on April 5, 2013

    I have no idea what people are complaining about with the x100s at f2. I’m getting fine results.


  • Odell said on April 5, 2013

    I’ve been looking for a camera like this to get back to doing some street photography. Rolling around with a 5DM3 is not cutting it. I have been a Canon loyalist for all of my shooting life. Outside of that 5mp Sony Cyber Shot I had years ago. So I am willing to move away to a brand like Fuji. Your review and a couple others I have taken in are swaying me towards the x100s. It seems better than the Canon EOS-M. Best way to use off camera flash?

    Anyways, great review, and my congrats to you and all you do for your craft!


  • Kent Johnson said on April 6, 2013

    I just knew this camera was going to be a Killer just like the X-Pro1 is a Killer camera. I have been dreaming of this combo myself – love the review, now if I can just get my hands on the X100s; maybe my sponsor Fujifilm Australia will help me out there!

    And Zack, I have been shooting commercial work with the X-Pro 1 too, now when will we see that long zoom lens? That’s one I’m looking forward to as well.

    Great stuff here, love the shots; totally enjoyable read.

  • mark0159nz said on April 6, 2013

    Hi Zack, I read this review because I enjoy how honest you are when it comes to photography. I first watched the shooting challenge at DigitalRevTV and enjoyed your style of how you approach your subject and the craft itself. Very down to earth and honest. After watching more clips on you tube and then watching the 3 day course of yours creativelive really fulls in the some the blanks about photography cause everything that I have learned as been because of the internet. (thanks internet :) )
    but now I hate you, why cause in a couple of days time I am taking a trip to Aussie and had planned on taking the 6D with 17-40 and 24-105 and now reading this and others talk about the fuji x100s all I want to take is a X100s!
    I like how the camera is less in your face than a big bulky dslr, the quality is good and it’s got a nice F2 lens. manual focus where needed and a good AF. Plus I like the retro look of the camera is a plus in my book.
    I might look at getting one in Aussie now that think it about it some more.

  • Gordon said on April 6, 2013

    Nice review…I have an x100…great camera…I also have an M9, wonderful camera…
    I am looking forward to the day Fuji make a full format with interchangeable…then …just may be then you can compare it?
    BTW you ever owned a Leica M?

  • Zack said on April 6, 2013

    @Gordon – I have not. I can’t justify the cost at all. I’d rather put that kind of money to medium format and that’s what I did. I have shot with the M8, M9, and M9 monochrome. I’m not denying they’re great cameras but the price is just astronomical for what it is.


  • Ferry said on April 6, 2013

    Hi Zack

    I was checking marktplaats and second hand x100 camera’s are selling for 500/600 euro’s, would it be a good deal or just take the x100s?

  • Zack said on April 6, 2013

    I’d say its a great time to pick up a used x100. The market will be flooded with them.


  • Olle said on April 6, 2013

    Best review I’ve read, ever. And believe me, I’ve read so many reviews in my days my eyes bleed.
    I love the way you do it, I love how different you present this. And the images are nice!
    Way to go

  • mikert said on April 7, 2013

    Dude….you can write….
    I mean it might be better than your photography. Hard to say for sure… apples and oranges.

    Do yourself a favor…. send this to the NY Times.

  • Xtol said on April 7, 2013

    I shot over 60K on the original X100 on political assignments including the President, high pressure corporate work and dicey PJ work in general. As a long time user of digital, 21 years and even longer user of the M system, I have to say I fully agree with Zack. As much as I liked the M9, for what I need the M for, silent don’t piss off the secret service with a noisy ass camera, the new X100S just leaves it in the dust. Sure, the files from the M are sharper, more depth, more rich…but read that last word. Rich, that is what you have to be to even consider wearing out a pair of M’s and tens of thousands in M glass like I did my film M’s. I still carry and use a worn out M3 and 50 Summicron, people pay more money for a real print from a richly textured Tri-X neg than they do any compu-print, hand made is still worth something….thank god because even after 2+ decades of watching digital finally “get there”, I am never-ever giving up my darkroom, printing, etc. But lets be real, true image quality is the talent behind the camera, not pixels.

    After using the X100S for just two weeks, I am completely stunned. The same brilliant, classy design with the most silent operation in the business and the update is much better than I thought it would be. I used to cringe at the blackout from shooting sequences, that’s history. I used to not have full confidence in the AF in medium low light, done. I used to wish for a usable MF, could never use it on the original X, now with peaking and the split, I am blown away by how good this is.

    While I don’t envy Zack’s amount of camera reviews and blogging, sorry, not my cup of tea, I agree with him. For what Leica was ultimately most highly prized for by the likes of Winogrand, Bresson and many others, the X100S makes the M digital lineup look like it is already outdated, at least for me and several other pros I know.

    Fuji X100S….un-freaking-believable camera…really.

  • Zack said on April 8, 2013

    @Xtol – Thanks for the comment and backing me up from a real world perspective!


  • London professional photographer said on April 7, 2013

    I really like the results from the images posted above. The rendition of the colors reminds me a lot of the Canon system. I probably will consider this camera as my compact and a bit more discreet companion.

  • Bryan Leighty said on April 7, 2013

    I am getting sync to 1/4000 with a nikon flash cable to a sb-600. I was under impression that 1/1000 was the best you would get at f2. You can clearly see the change in ambient between 1/1000, 1/2000 and 1/4000 in my very non-scientific examples. Or does the shutter sync but maybe I am not getting a true f2??? Either way – I am very happy with this camera. Some back focusing issues at times (indicator goes green on my subject but its focusing on background – this happens a bit too often in my book). Here’s my flash tests : http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151384264275994.1073741827.582860993&type=1

  • craig said on April 7, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    Great review! Just managed to get my hands on an x100s. Been running through the learning curve, menus, etc,…. very intuitive, just don’t press the menu and Q button at the same time!! Locks the camera at current settings, finally figured that out!! Just press them together again and it unlocks the camera.

    Just had it at the studio, synced it with the skyport at 1/2000sec f2 with the ND filter engaged!! Absolutely stellar camera!! My M5 is fuming in the cabinet!! My be there for a while:) Again thanks for the great review, best camera purchase in a while.

  • martin hickman said on April 7, 2013

    Mine arrives tomorrow. :) Not an impulse buy, I’ve been intrigued by the X100 since it came out and with the internet buzz on the (S)upercharged version getting louder thanks to Arias, Hobby and a couple of others I’ve taken the plunge. I was previously considering a D800 to supplement my D7000 which I have used a huge amount since the model was released using it everyday as part of a project 365. At the end of the day I shoot mostly for fun with some commercial work, That’s what swung the decision.

  • Joe Wiegman said on April 7, 2013

    Thanks Zack for the humorous beginning and the subsequent great review. I think that I’ll always be an SLR guy, but for street and candid work, I would want to try out the x100s. Now if Nikon could only make something similar….

  • Donald said on April 8, 2013

    My cousin has a Fuji camera too and he took great images with it. He travels a lot so it is perfect for him. Wish I could afford his hobby someday. It’s great to capture wonderful images of life.

  • Toby Adamson said on April 8, 2013

    Hey Zack – just got the x100s – only thing that disappoints me is the lack of usable histogram in manual and the incorrect live view exposure simulation at some settings. Any ideas whether these are likely to be addressed in later firmware updates??

  • Zack said on April 9, 2013

    @Toby – No clue.

  • Harry Potter said on April 8, 2013

    Hello Zack there is a second part of review ?

  • Zack said on April 9, 2013

    @HarryPotter – It’s in the works. Traveling. Will get to it when I get a breather.


  • Kumpu said on April 9, 2013

    Oh crap, now I have to find a local dealer who sells x100s … just to try it out.

  • einar said on April 9, 2013

    My first camera, my mum gave to me. A Kodak Brownie. Later on my Aunt in Michigan sent me an Canon TLb as a christmas gift. Living in Norway that was quite a gift, and wow how I loved that camera and 50mm.1.8.

    I set up my own darkroom under the stairs, taking the bicycle out in the night photographing old derelict petrol stations in the snow with a tripod, it was really magic. Next step up was a Canon F1. Basically because it was cool I guess. I spent all the money I earned that summer as a welder at the local ship yard on it.

    Then the Canon A1, and strangely the magic disappeared. I have often wondered why…Then in the nineties I got back into photography and went digital. Nice L-lenses and all, but never finding the magic I felt when I was young, somehow i felt restless longing for the feeling I felt when I was starting out with the TLb.

    And then enter the X100. Got it a year ago, now the «s. and I´m back at “making” photos agin. Loving it!

  • Craig said on April 9, 2013

    Just got the X100S yesterday and the single biggest improvement for me is the AF focus are is now adjustable making it truly a one handed camera. Yes, it’s faster and makes nice files, but ergonomics and handling are what make or break whether and camera gets used, and compared to my X100, this one improvement is like night and day.

    Like you Zack, I love the Canon 5d files, but shoot Nikon because of the ergonomics.

    Thanks for your great review and what you give back to the community. Looking forward to you restarting your Q&A on Tumblr. FWIW it’s the best read on the web for serious photographers looking to do something serious with their work.

  • Roman said on April 9, 2013

    @einar – that´s it! o)
    Please…let me (us) see those old photos You´ve made (petrol stations, etc…)


  • David said on April 9, 2013

    Hi Zack, it went and bought a Wein sync link trigger and used a Yougono flash in slave mode and it sync’s at 1/4000!!! Wow, would like to see you do a follow up blog on this. Cheers David

  • Zack said on April 10, 2013

    @David – That’s the rig I’m using right now as well! Great minds! :)


  • Neil Mason said on April 10, 2013

    The X100-S is an excellent camera, I have one. But, the king of kings of cameras is the Panasonic GH3. I like the X100-S for stills, but the GH3 kicks sweet arse in the video department.

  • Tim Harding said on April 10, 2013

    I am checking your blog compulsively for this second part of the review. Any idea when you’ll write it up? Not only do I love the way you write, but I’m considering making the jump to Fuji. I’ve been using a 20d and nifty fifty for over two years and am really starting to run up against its limitations. Tried the x100 at the camera store a few days ago. I crave it. Thanks for showing us all a new way. Rock on.

  • Zack said on April 10, 2013

    @Tim – Prolly gonna be a few weeks. I’m on the road and have a number of projects that are a priority right now. Sorry! I’ll have it up ASAP!


  • Juan Gonzalez said on April 10, 2013

    I’m now #8 on the list waiting for this baby. Is like signing up for a mail bride. I can wait for her to get home to cook and rub my feet.
    I have a a Nikon D800 with three lenses. I decided for this one due to the fix lens and the high quality of images at high ISO. The fix lens will make me smarter on my composition and I don’t have to feel like I need to buy more lenses.
    Most of my play around and street images are taken during my Drink and Click™ events here in Austin, Texas. I want to make sure I keep the Nikon D800 at home and take this new bride out with me at night.

    I will put this bride to the test. Rub my feet baby.

  • Francois S. said on April 10, 2013

    Hello Zack I like your review and i would like to know more about the dynamic range that i have just read here :

    When we first shot our high ISO studio samples, we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail that the X100S preserved, even in JPEGs straight from the camera. Unfortunately, when we took the camera into the real world, we found dynamic range to be lacking, especially in the shadows. After testing the dynamic range under lab conditions, we found the X100S aggressively clips shadows in its JPEGs, far worse than we’ve seen from any recent camera.

    To give you an idea of the difference in what can be recovered, here are three shots from our dynamic range chart, the Xyla-21 from DSCLabs. On the top is the X100S at ISO 200 in JPEG, in the middle is the same shot taken in RAW (developed in lightroom as a TIFF with zero processing), and the third is an ISO 200 JPEG from the 16-megapixel NEX-6. We’ve enhanced the contrast artificially by bringing the levels up in Photoshop, and the difference is pretty staggering.

    Check this link the pictures of the dynamic range http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/fujifilm-x100s-digital-camera-review/the-science . Is it true that the x100s aggressively clips shadows in its JPEGs ? or we have to use a different setting? or for better results the Raw files? well maybe with lightroom 4.4

    I think it is an interesting review of the x100s for example : The results are among the best that we’ve seen in our sharpness lab test, though they fell slightly behind the Sony RX1 .That is great just slightly behind a full frame camera .

  • Zack said on April 11, 2013

    I don’t give two shots about dynamic range, charts, graphs, etc. know what I mean? I’m not trying to be an asshole but none of that technical masturbating means anything to me. I’ll get into that when I do a follow up.


  • Francois S. said on April 10, 2013

    I found this pictures about the shadow detail that the x100s produce :

    Fuji X100S Shadow detail +3EV . And then the original : http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/photo-gallery/showphoto.php?photo=21534&title=fuji-x100s-shadow-detail&cat=1102 . Maybe clips shadows in its JPEGs but +3ev reveals a lot and with almost 0 noise

    Also like the Fuji X100S wide conversion 😀

  • Felipe Anciaes said on April 11, 2013

    Zack, in the first photo of this review (the girl wearing sunglasses, against the wall), the flash used is the little one of the camera? Judging by the shadow under her chin, it seems you’ve triggered something on your right, but reflection on the glasses seems to be the x100s’ flash.

  • Bryan Leighty said on April 11, 2013

    @Felipe —

    Likely he has the x100s set in “commander mode” – this just fires the on-camera flash without TTL or pre-flash in order to trigger an optical slave flash. The on-camera flash, even in this mode and especially if you are shooting at a wide aperture, will illuminate the subject a bit – in the least it will show a reflection on certain surfaces.

  • Felipe Anciaes said on April 11, 2013

    @Bryan, that makes sense! This is exactly what happens when I use the 60d built-in to fire the slaves! Thanks for reminding me!

  • Francois said on April 11, 2013

    OK thanks I don´t like a lot of details but is just a good point and maybe a firmware will fix that

  • Jocke said on April 11, 2013


    Du you have any idea when the video from your trip to Istanbul will be up?

  • Zack said on April 11, 2013

    @Jocke – Should be soon.

  • Roman said on April 12, 2013

    Friends, please, what colour profile do you use with your “S” honey? Adobe RGB or sRGB?

  • Vincent said on April 13, 2013

    I own the Fuji X-E1, its also one of the greatest cameras i’ve ever had in my hands.
    If it would had the speed of the Fuji X100s, it would be fulfilled.

  • milton simoes said on April 14, 2013

    Wrote this the first day the post appeared, but after the first comments didn’t fit. Now I think it fits:

    The second picture is really, really good. At first you think the old man is walking, then realise is stopped. Doing what?. Next, you see the shadow of his head on the floor. Is looking at stairs that go down?. And the stool near him, was he sting there before? And the security camera seems to be watching him. Very nice one.

    Also love the number 5.

    Liked the intro, but didn’t laugh. And don’t think your intention was that. Almost drop a tear in the part of Polaroid and Kodak. Very, very deep.

    Mr. Devlin is on the spot over you.

    PD: First thing I saw: That is a really dirty viewfinder. Remember me of my first SLR, a Zenit ME, the darkest viewfinder in the world. And the coverage was something like 75%, no kidding…..

    Now, Leica part in history is over-rated. They invented 35mm yes, but it was the Argus camera that make it take off, with model A. The model C3 is the longest produced camera from the 30´s to the 60´s. 5 years ago I found one new in an old camera store, it was in its box, with booklet and warranty. After 30+ years in storage it still worked fine. I bought it and asked the store owner (a friend) to fill the warranty, and we laughed…..

  • Ed said on April 15, 2013

    Great review and pictures. Absolutely love the bar conceit, too. Spot on and funny. I’ve been waiting several weeks for my x100s to arrive from B&H where it’s still on backorder, like every other state-side retailer. Reviews like this are like viagra for my neglected camera boner. I’m looking forward to when I’ll be able to consummate my camera relationship. Of course I’ll be nervous, handling her fine curves and soft shutter, but I know she’ll be kind. Some day I’ll return to this site and reminisce, smile, give a nod and a knowing wink.

  • Ty said on April 15, 2013

    Not sure if there are any x100s forums out there, but there seems to be lots of users here, maybe I can see if others have experienced this battery issue. I’ve noticed that the last four battery cycles have done well but died very quickly without much warning. While shooting, the battery indicator has been showing 2 bars. Out of nowhere, the indicator turns red with one bar, and after one more shot it’s out of juice. I have 4 batteries, the original Fuji that shipped with the camera, and three MaximalPower DB FUJ NP-95 purchased from Amazon. I have experienced this with all four batteries. Anyone else?

  • Tom said on April 15, 2013

    I’ve just come back after travelling two weeks in Indo with the X100s (as well as a 5D M III). The x100s is a pretty capable camera and the images it takes are more than what you would expect from a camera that size. I took some early morning rice field shots with both the x100s and the 5D MIII + 28-70. When you shoot raw the difference is often hard to spot. If anything I’d say the x100s gets better shots straight out of camera.

    That said the Adobe Lightroom RAW converter for the 5D MIII is still light years better than the X100s converter. Also, a tele converter would be nice for the x100s. Even if it would just convert to say 100mm or perhaps 85mm.

    Lastly, the most annoying thing about the x100s is the camera constantly locking up. It happens while shooting in Aperture priority mode, manual focus with peaking and looking through the viewfinder. It seems to happen random but every time either the camera locks up with the speed on Bulb or the exposure compensation is “stuck” on +2 even though the dial in 0. 50% of the time the camera can only be reset by removing the battery.

    Has anyone else noticed a similar behaviour?

  • Bryan Leighty said on April 15, 2013

    @Ty – try fujix-forum.com. Great online community of fuji owners. Yes your battery experience does seem to be the norm. The indicator does not show a gradual depletion of the battery life. Once it hits the 2-bars you are well on your way to being done with that battery.

  • Paul J said on April 15, 2013

    Fujifilm ME tweeted a link to the Istanbul video

    FujiFilm X100S Test Drive in Istanbul with Zack Arias: http://youtu.be/SlbaWP3mVVA?a

  • Rivergull said on April 15, 2013

    I’m a senior citizen… started shooting in SF in the 1960’s with a Nikkormat FTN. I had an intuitive relationship with that camera. The switch to digital was hard on me. Never adjusted well to all the scrolling through hidden menus. I missed having a viewfinder…especially in sunlight. Missed the on-lens manual focus ring. Missed having aperture and shutter speed settings on the camera body.

    Currently I own the Leica D-Lux 5. I’m SO tempted to sell it (mint condition) and purchase the Fuji X100s. The Fuji X100s might have enough film-camera features to make me excited about shooting again. Any idea how much I can get for my mint condition D-Lux 5 (with Leica handgrip) considering the original price included Lightroom 3? I’ll be keeping Lightroom, as I already downloaded and registered the software, and I can use it with the X100s.

  • Zack said on April 20, 2013

    No idea on market price for your camera.

  • Francois said on April 15, 2013

    I like the video just waiting for the second part of the review


  • Scott D said on April 16, 2013

    @Ty, and anyone else questioning the battery level indicator. I think part of the issue may also stem from the inherent design of Lithium Ion batteries. Unlike alkaline and Ni-mH batteries which slowly deplete in power level as they are used, L-Ion batteries maintain full power until they are dead. I think Fuji’s charge level indicator may not be precise enough to notice the slower drop in charge of the Lithium batteries. Now, why my Canon DSLR’s are able to show me two or one bar on the battery indicator for a decent period of time and the X100/S doesn’t is beyond me as I too go from full power to dead within maybe 10 shots once it drops off the full charge mark. This happens with both my original 1800 mah Fuji NP-95 and my two 2700 mah Wasabi Power NP-95’s.

  • Ty said on April 16, 2013

    @Bryan Leighty – thanks, there seems to be a wealth of knowledge on that forum.

  • Andreas said on April 16, 2013

    Hi Zack, I really enjoyed you´re portrait of Instanbul in combination with the x100s. Great work, very entertaining. I own the x100s by myself and I also love this cam. Checking flights to Instanbul now … 😉

    Whenever you´re in Düsseldorf, I buy you a beer …


  • Chris said on April 16, 2013

    I lied.

    I did not get an X100 – I bought an X100S. I decided the manual focussing was the major factor for me. So many said it was significantly better than the initial model.

    I picked it up yesterday evening and am only just beginning to get time to “fiddle” with it (get familiar with the buttons etc). It is an intrinsically desirable object and very ‘retro’ – which confuses people. I see why some who I have shown the camera assume that it is for film.

    The OVF is fantastic. The EVF is nice but the OVF is precious.

    If I take any reasonably decent images I shall share them! Do not hold your breath… Once again – many thanks for the feedback and review.

  • Roman said on April 16, 2013

    @Chris – good choice…wishing You a lot of wonderful pictures (and looking forward to seing some :)

  • Jason Vinson said on April 16, 2013

    I absolutely want this camera. I’m a current owner of an X100 and i find myself not even attempting to capture certain images of family and events because i know i wont be able to lock focus. That being said, i currently have the X100 so im still not sure if its worth the upgrade. Everything i read says YES, GO, BUY, ITS GREAT! and i currently take my X100 with me everywhere so its definitely something i would get my moneys worth out of. But at the same time, i know for a fact that i have not harnessed the true power of what can be done with the original… So with that, i have a few projects i want to get done that i know i can get done with the original. If after getting done with these project i feel i still need the upgrade then i will more be able to justify it and the things i learn from my projects will serve me more then faster auto focus and will transfer to the X100S anyway!

    (top 8 images are from X100 minus the self portrait)

    (all images on my tumblr are from my X100)

  • mberker said on April 16, 2013

    Damn! I should have bumped into and rubbed against you in Istanbul… The way you utilise the Fuji’s is so inspiring I keep on pushing my own boundries (well, no luck as of yet, but the will remains).
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Steve said on April 17, 2013

    I have had the X100S three weeks now. I LOVE this camera. On the F2 issue I’m just not having any problems. Someone else asked me about it so I spent a Saturday on the hiking trails shooting my dogs at F2. I was more than happy with every shot.

    This camera was the nail in the coffin for my Nikon FF gear. I have held onto it for over a year thinking I would use it again and the truth is it just sits there collecting dust. I also have an X Pro and will be immediately upgrading to the X Pro 2. For the X Pro I have the 14 (unbelievable lens), 18 (much better than people say), 35 (peerless), and 60mm (peerless).

    I am just an amateur hobbyist but the thing about the Fuji cameras, if they work for you the REALLY work for you. When I first got the X100 I would struggle with it, get frustrated, and put it down. I would take out the Nikon and immediately wish I had left it at home. The more I worked with the X100 (same with the X Pro) the more I loved it. Eventually I just left the Nikon at home. I would also add there is more to the Fuji than just the sheer joy of using the camera. There is something special about the look of the images. I will admit to being a huge admirer of William Eggleston so maybe that’s why I like them so much. I also love the images Mr. Arias takes. The shots from his Istanbul X100s video are amazing.

    These are not the cameras for everyone but if they are for you, trust me you will fall in love with photography all over again. I can’t wait for the weekend to be able to work with them. Tonight I’m after I walk my dogs we are going on a night shoot of some things I’ve been wanting to take photos of- a doughnut shop, an old roadside hotel, a laundramat. I’ll be groggy at work tomorrow but I’m excited photography in a way I never was with the DSLR.

    Thanks so much for the great site Mr. Arias, the inspiration, and the incredible photos that inspire me to try harder.

  • Ranan Samanya said on April 17, 2013

    Darn you are TERRIBLE! You and your great, funny review made me want this camera! I guess I’ll cancel purchasing that 35mm f/1.4 for this one. It’s cheaper anyway. B-) Hey, thank you for this awesome article. And no, I won’t change the fact that you are terrible!

  • Lisa Pierson said on April 17, 2013

    Very helpful review since I’m trying to decide between the Fuji X-E1, Fuji X100s, & Olympus PEN PL-5 cameras. At least I have some idea between the Fuji cameras now.

  • Mark said on April 17, 2013

    Hello everyone where can i see the part 2 of the review ?

  • Zack said on April 20, 2013

    It’s not up yet. Been on the road for two weeks and I’ve been on a deadline for a project. Have to get that all done first.


  • PKA said on April 18, 2013

    Outstanding review. To Taylor Swift it, it is the best gear review I have read, like evurrr! X100S on order.

  • Samantha Quiñe said on April 18, 2013

    I like your review when is ready the second part i would like to see and i will have my new x100s next week

  • Jocke said on April 18, 2013

    The video from Zacks trip to Istanbul is up if anyone missed it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlbaWP3mVVA

  • Christopher Hacker said on April 18, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Amazingly entertaining–and deep–review of this little camera. Question: why not the Sony RX1? Because, damn, that full frame sensor rocks. You get a true 35, with a narrower DOF when you need it. And it’s smaller and less conspicuous than the Fuji. Have you had a chance to handle it?

  • Zack said on April 20, 2013

    @Christopher – The RX1 is great but it’s A) Expensive B) the optional and expensive EVF isn’t that great C) You have to buy a battery charger for it unless you just want USB charging and D) it isn’t well weighted and isn’t comfortable in my hand. Add to that it has no soul. The Fuji’s have soul. They are exciting little cameras. I’ve not found that in any other digital camera I’ve ever owned. They are a joy to work with.


  • ThomasT said on April 19, 2013

    The X100 was reputed great on skin tone, Caucasian pink, but not so on landscape/nature, by a ‘color specialist’. I do wonder if the S has sorted this out. The Pro1! was noted as poorer onall color rendition. If not sorted, I’ll stay with my 175MP FF sensor from Funji, Velvia 50. I see n opoint in upgrading anb xperimantal 1K cam. every year, and that with a fixed 35mm.lens. That buys much film.

  • Federico said on April 19, 2013

    Hi Zack!
    Which AF is better: X100s or Xpro1 ?

  • Zack said on April 20, 2013


  • Michel Gohler said on April 19, 2013

    For those considering the X20 (which I love)… It may not be quite as sturdy as it’s bigger brothers:
    I dropped my new one on hotel carpeting. It bounced, which I hoped was a good sign; but I got a “Lens control error”, or something like that. Fortunately the folks at Camera Land NYC immediately exchanged it; just don’t tell them what happened!

  • JeF said on April 19, 2013

    Zack, your review of the X100 and X100s made me discover a camera i couldn’t live without anymore.

    Thank you!

    My own little “review” -> http://www.inverse.ch/welcome-home-fujifilm-x100s/

  • Kim said on April 20, 2013

    hello Zack when will we see the next review ?

  • Zack said on April 20, 2013

    I’m currently on the road so it’ll be up when I get home.


  • Ken Tan said on April 21, 2013

    Great review, Zack! This camera is incredible!

  • Mark Belliveau said on April 21, 2013

    Hi Zack, great review! As a DSLR user, I became very comfortable composing accurately within the viewfinder (no post processing crop required). Once I got an x100 I found the inaccuracy of the frame lines in the OVF a little irritating. Out of curiosity did:

    (a) x100s fix inaccurate frame lines?
    (b) or do you just crop after the fact in an editor
    (c) or do you get it right in camera, because through sufficient use, are you able to accurately predict what outside of frame lines will be included?

    this often drives me to use the EVF when I want to compose accurately in camera, but I really want to use the OVF. Perhaps I just need to get used to minimally cropping after the fact. Not a huge issue, but always liked getting it as desired in camera.


  • Zack said on April 26, 2013

    @Mark – I don’t crop a lot but I do “shave” images here and there.


  • Gordon said on April 21, 2013

    Hey Zack, hysterical review, you’re one crazy ass dude.

    I’m a really old guy who’s made a living as a photographer since 1971. This is just the most exciting time. It’s the re-invention of photography, and Fuji is re-inventing the camera. I use Canons for work (I have a portrait studio). In film days, I shot medium format of course, but for my personal work i’ve always shot with 35mm point and shoots, small slrs (Pentax), or Leicas.
    I’ve had my x100 for two years now, got it April 2011. I rarely go out without it, even to take the dogs for a pee. It is absolutely the best, most amazing camera I’ve ever owned.
    It’s a love/hate thing. I curse it almost every time I use it. ‘Cant tell you how many shots I”ve missed waiting for it to boot up, or focus, or un-lock, or change batteries when they go dead suddenly. But when, she’s good, she’s really really good.

    My main complaints about the Fuji are:
    1. slow to turn on. I can pick up a Canon Rebel (my other camera of choice for personal work because of the small size), it is ready to shoot pretty much instantly. I never turn it off, and it awakes pretty much right now. I’ve missed many shots waiting for the Fuji.
    2. Shutter lag. This is especially troublesome in bright light. Even when pre-focused, raise the camera to your eye, hit the shutter release, and the Fuji has to do a crazy little “aperture dance”. The camera has to open and close the aperture a bunch before the shutter will go off. Less of a problem shooting wide open. Infuriating when shooting in brighter light. The only way to avoid it is to pre-press the shutter release, then there is no lag. However, if you just want to raise the camera to your eye, and do a spontaneous shot, it doesn’t happen.
    3. I use the ael button to focus, not the shutter buttion. Having to focus, and re-compose every time you make an exposure is idiotic. Focus once, shoot however many shots you want without the focus changing every time you touch the shutter button just make more sense than re-focusing and re-composing every time just makes more sense doesn’t it? Anyway, so far so good, but Fuji, in their infinite wisdom, will not turn off the stupid intrusive distace scale in the bottom of the viewfinder, even if you ask it to in the menu? What the F is up with that?

    Anyway, waiting to try out an x100s, and will no doubt buy one.

    Gordon L

  • Adam said on April 22, 2013

    Hi Zack, What’s the max power you can use on the YN560II? I thought the flash duration on 1/1 was 1/200. Looks like you need to be around 1/8 to get above 1/4000.

  • David B said on April 22, 2013

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/22/4242928/fujifilm-x100s-review . A nice and cool review of the x100s and I like this phrase :

    THE X100S IS AN EXCELLENT CAMERA, BUT I’M DYING FOR A FULL-FRAME VERSION .Yes I would like a full -frame version 😀

    The only phrase i don´t agree is this : but the images didn’t convey the same “wow” factor that a full-frame camera offers, and it was rare that I was in a situation where I didn’t feel like a less expensive camera like Sony’s NEX-5R could pull off the same shot.

  • Evan said on April 23, 2013

    “Holga is spinning in circles in the corner.”

  • Robert said on April 23, 2013

    Zack — you do realize that you’re going to have to write Part II of your “A Camera Walks into a Bar” story next year when Jesus arrives … in the form of an X-Pro 2 … and everyone is enraptured.

  • Jay Mcintyre said on April 23, 2013

    Hey Zack, I just came back from Uganda where I was doing some photo/video work and I thought to myself a number of times “I really wish I had an x100s right now” For the first time, I found that the greatest obstacle to getting the images that I wanted was actually my camera. There were a number of situations where lugging out my D700 with a big honkin 24-70mm lens slapped onto it would have either made the people around me very uncomfortable or would have brought attention to me that I didn’t need or want. I ended up using my phone to capture some of these situations but the fuji would have been perfect.
    I’m currently working on a proposal that will send me to Dubai for an assignment and you can be sure that I’ll be sinking the cost of the x100s into my estimate 😉

    I’m curious about the film emulation in the camera, have you used it, is it any good, would you recommend using it or shooting straight out of the camera and going for amy “look” in post? I know you are not a big fan of the preset look, but I saw that you mentioned this feature as a part of the quick menu so I was curious about your thoughts on it.

  • Zack said on April 26, 2013

    @Jay – I shoot standard and deal with stuff in post. I’m still stuck in that mindset.


  • Jon Carlson said on April 23, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    Jon here, an off-and-on follower for 4 years – I’ve always stayed quiet in the background. This is a first time message to you. :)

    I actually just watched your creative live course for about the fifth time the other day. It’s beginning to show it’s age I suppose because your photography philosophy sounds different from then to now. Not that anything’s wrong with that – growth is a good thing. This review shows you’ve really opened your mind to a new view of things – but at the same time it *seems* a liiiittle bit “boxed” – You once seemed to be more of a guy to say “use which ever tool is needed for a particular job”. You still get this message across to others that don’t have any other options. It just feels like you’re saying that if you can afford the Fuji, this really can be the one camera for all your needs. Maybe I mis-read, but what I’m reading feeeeeels a bit “fanboy”, though I know you’re referring more to the soul of the camera, not necessarily a brand thing. I get it. It’s obviously a game changer of a camera once you experience it yourself. But a compact point n shoot for all jobs? It just feel a bit like linear thinking. There’s no wiggle room in saying that. Personally, I would be a bit nervous to take this on a wedding gig just for appearances alone. While you yourself would have confidence in your tool, many on-lookers, perhaps a potential referral may second guess your equipment choice from an appearance standpoint. I know, I know.. screw their opinion. But I think there is some obligation to look a certain part for such a high priority gig.

    But honestly, I’m not in much of a position to question your statements as you’re speaking out of passion and years of experience. I’ve yet to test drive one of these Fujis myself. Not having used a compact since my Nikon CoolPix in 2001, it’s quiet difficult to imagine myself selling off all of my canon primes and zooms and embracing this seemingly radical philosophy. Actually, I’m still in the process of pushing piles of cash into my studio which is why I haven’t broken out into the streets quiet yet… having said that…

    Regarding street photography, is there a photographer that inspired you dive into this “sport”, as you put it? For example, I see this genre done on Digital REV (saw you on an episode!) but besides art galleries or internet slideshows, I don’t see a lot of use for street photography – for personal use anyways (great for photojournalism, obviously). Personally, when I do my own street candids (which is rarely) I typically use an ungripped 5Dx + 24mm, hold the camera to my chest, and guess compose/shoot. Crop later. I’m in the same boat as others as I don’t want to be creepy and have a camera up to my eye photographing strangers, regardless of the size of camera.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to make myself known to you. Much respect for all your endeavors as a husband, a father, and entrepreneur, and a TRUE artist. You’re an inspiration for all those that keep pushing forward and learning new ways to define the art form. Cool review, well written and kept me engaged to the very end. Peace.
    – Jon

  • Jay Houser said on April 24, 2013

    Best camera review ever. In fact, the best review of anything I have ever read.

  • Sandra M. said on April 24, 2013

    Great post! I am a wedding photographer and my husband bought the X100 for leisure photography. I was so impressed with the quality, low light capabilities and low noise on the images at high iso, that I rented the XE1 and fell in love. Dumped one of my Nikon bodies for the XE1. I find myself using it more and more at weddings as opposed to my Nikon. It’s too bad it’s so black and white in the industry (at least from what I’ve come across and I have not read all the comments here…so no offense to anyone). It seems like it’s Nikon, Canon or nothing. I am so amazed at Fuji’s quality. I would love to ditch Nikon completely, who knows that might be in the future. Thanks Zach!

  • Jeffrey R Farmer said on April 24, 2013

    This whole thing was lost on me. – I don’t drink. :)

  • Mark said on April 28, 2013

    I just picked up an ex-demo X100S for a reasonable bargain (traded in a DSLR-lens combination which could double up as weight training gear). I’ve used the X100 before and liked it, but this one definitely seems like yet another step forward. Love the manual focus options, and the picture quality is more than satisfactory. Re-reading your review now, it makes a lot of sense!

  • claude etienne said on April 29, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Hi Zack, I read the question you answered on Tumblr about the lack of diversity in the photo industry. You said the conversation could continue on your blog. Since this is the most recent article you posted, I figured this would be the best place to continue the conversation. You stated that racism isn’t the issue. Like you, I can name quite a few white photographers, but, when it comes to black, latino, asian, etc…photographers,the list gets significantly shorter even though I live in a country that has a majority black population. The photographers whose blogs I read, books I purchase are for the most part white. I don’t work in the photography industry, but, I was curious to hear you elaborate more on this issue which probably is also relevant in Canada and Europe.

  • claude etienne said on April 29, 2013

    I apologize. I misunderstood. I should have asked the question on the Tumblr page.

  • Jan Moller said on April 29, 2013

    Hi Zack
    I have the X100, and was actually willing to upgrade to XE 1, but now that I have read your review of X100s, I am not sure whether or not it should be an X100s. Help me :-)

  • Mike said on April 29, 2013

    Agree totally Zack – I’ve shot DSLR for editorial newspaper and doumentary work for 20 years and have found a whole new love of the art after buying a x100s. Feeling 20 years old again! Some peeps are always gonna grind on stuff. You give them a beautiful steak and they want seafood. You give them glittering gold and they want dimonds. Forget pixel peeping and make the image shine with love and effort. Satisfaction will be repayed in bucket loads. Please dont post stupid out of context replies to my thoughts but take them for the spirit they are written. Cheers, peace and quality.

  • Marcel said on April 30, 2013

    yours are really the only reviews, I still read – thanks fot that one!
    adding something to the wishlist: a tele x100s and a wide x100s, all with leaf shutter lenses, hope, you read this, mr. fuji 😉

  • Ana said on April 30, 2013

    when will you post the part 2? i am waiting for it i liked the first part 😀

  • vidyaputra said on May 1, 2013

    man, after reading this i really really really wanti FUJI X100; and dont have cash for that… ahhh.. great review zack.

  • Stephen said on May 1, 2013

    Well you’ve just cemented my own personal experience, so the 5D ii is getting sold and the X-pro1 and 100s is now going to be be my kit. Thanks for a great read, breaking from the norm.

  • Great review. Love that third shot, so good!

  • David said on May 2, 2013

    5 weeks later and I still love this camera. I’ve posted several examples on my blog dwwphotography.blogspot.com.au. Can’t wait for your follow up review Zack. You’ve certainly stirred up a wave of enthusiasm for this camera, which is well deserved. David Hobby & yourself are leading the charge into the future of mirrorless photography.

  • Nick Kenney said on May 3, 2013

    I don’t usually respond on blogs, however; your story about all the camera dudes down the local is a good one. My Canon D60 would be sitting somewhere near the exit out to the lavs because his bladder leaks. Something always goes wrong after a couple of years that they don’t bother to fix with a firmware update because they are now two or three models up the line. I’m expecting the Canon 60D mkII any day. Wouldn’t consider it after that chunk of crap called the EOS M turned up in the display cabinets; you always hear the good news up until the day you purchase one then it is all downhill until the new model hits the shelves. A DSLR should have interchangeable lenses and viewfinders, compacts should stick to being what they are good at. Fixed lens, no stupid touch screens that stuffs up the autofocus and saps the battery faster than you can change the prime over to the zoom, then remember that the zoom you were waiting for was cancelled because the Canon R & D budget got trashed when company profits slumped by 45% in first quarter 2013.

    As for old Fujifilm, I decided I wanted a camera that reminded me of the good old days of film and didn’t appear as if it was trying to be something it would never be. I returned the EOS M and exchanged it for a Fujifilm X10, free leather case and $50 cash back offer. Dinky little optical view finder, a cunning on/off switch only Baldrick or Inspector Gadget could come up with, and a battery that ran out nearly as fast as the EOS M.

    Anyway, I’m the dude that follows old Fuji out onto the street after a skinfull and an evening of pissing in Leica’s pocket. Leica went home with the chicks with the offer of a free T-shirt and baseball cap each, and a shufti at his new superzoom from the business end. Meanwhile, Fuji gets to grips with the business end of my right boot after tripping over a dead box brownie. Why? ’cause Fuji employ a load of tossers on their customer service desk who can’t even give you the name of a Fujifilm dealer who is happy to order you a spare battery and lens hood without crapping on about how it is so difficult dealing with the manufacturers when ordering in small quantities. So Fuji, the X10 is a top little camera, almost reminicent of my Olympus Trip 35mm compact from the ’70s until they lost it with the shite they are making these days. Ugly and angular, designed no doubt by someone with a head shaped like Kryton, trying to recapture the good ol’ days of OM1 and 2 in the belief that they still had David ‘oo’s ‘e then’ Bailey to flog the thing for them. Last time I saw DB with a camera round his kneck it had Nikon on the strap. Anyway, when I finally get my 50 bucks cash back from Mr. Fuji and his know bollocks all about their product availability customer service mates, I’ll stick with the X10 and 60D until they fall to bits. By then I may have found the dosh to fork out on a decent camera, such as a Leica, blad, or even a good old Zenit. One didn’t need a userguide or customer support to use one of them good ol’ commie bricks, it was just a case of ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink, grin, grin’ and press the red button. The ‘Nit even came in handy when one came across a subject that got stroppy at the first wiff of a shutterbox; ever wondered what a photographer in self defence mode looks like with serveral pounds of solid steel swinging around his head by the strap. No, neither do I, Steve Jobs must have still been wearing short pants in those days. Any ways, thanks for the laugh and the winge, tarra.

  • Dan said on May 3, 2013

    You didn’t comment on the low light performance but I was blown away. Way better than my 5D3. I seriously could not believe the results. I shoot at 6400ISO now and the images are not just usable, they are great.

  • Jon Streeter said on May 3, 2013

    Great review. I laughed out loud several times. I have been shooting with my X100 for a couple of years now, and I have to agree with your assessment that the X100 is the new Leica: small, very quiet, very quick, astounding image quality, great lens (with the X-Pro, great lenses, I’m reading). I’ve shot with Leicas, Rolleiflex, Kowa, Nikon, Olympus, Canon, and now the Fujifilm, and if I had to pare down to one camera the X100 would be the one I’d keep. I’ve devoted a section of my website to it. I plan to acquire the X100s for all the reasons everybody else wants one. The heavy stuff is just going to have to go. The best camera, as we all know, is the one you have with you, and now with the X100 and X100s, the one you have with you may well be better than the Whammoflex you left at home.

  • Fred said on May 4, 2013

    Great review Zack.
    The review and video in Istanbul made me want to try the X100s.
    Bought one 10 days ago.
    Thanks for the amazing words and photographs.

  • Greg said on May 4, 2013

    Dear Zach

    Great site, I read it almost everyday.

    I am in a big dilemma and I would like to have your opinion.
    I trust your opinion very much.
    I am a photographer I have many cameras most Canon .
    My last camera is Canon EOS 5 d mk II.
    Canon Lens 24-105/4 L is.
    I have many lens.
    I have Fuijfilm X10.
    I would like to be more simple in my Photography.
    When I create when I shoot when I think.
    So I decided to shoot with one lens 35mmm.
    My options are two.
    The new great Sigma 35mm /1,4 for my Canon 5dmkII
    Fujifilm X100s.

    The truth is that Canon with 35mm is a brilliant sharp combination. And more
    cheaper than X100s. But much bigger.
    But X100s is light, small and great quality too.
    Would you like to help me about this dilemma?
    I am an owner of a Fujifilm X10.

    Thank you

  • Zack said on May 7, 2013

    @Greg – I can’t really answer that for you. AS much as I don’t like 3rd party lenses, that new Sigma 35mm is really nice. If I was going to keep my Canon gear I’d get one of those.


  • Ricardo said on May 4, 2013

    Hey Zack.

    The X-Pro 1 is a crop factor, what do you think about it? It wouldn’t be better if it was full frame?
    Once you said that you never go back to crop, now that digital full frame was available.


  • Zack said on May 7, 2013

    @Richardo – Of course I’d love it if it were full frame. I never planned on looking for a DSLR replacement. I just wanted a carry with me anywhere point and shoot with good quality. Over time these little cameras have captured my heart to the point… they replaced my DSLRs. Crop factor and all.


  • Dazzy said on May 5, 2013

    Those are some amazing images. Especially like the one with the woman’s red heels and purse, and the one with the girl and her earbuds in the middle of the business.

  • Robenroute said on May 7, 2013

    @David (posted on May 2nd): curious about your examples I was a bit surprised to find your blog stating “No posts”. Am I missing something, or doing something wrong? Cheers for any hints in the right direction.

    @Zack: many thanks for sharing your thoughts, experience and material. Much appreciated en well enjoyed!

  • Mark said on May 7, 2013

    Fantastic review Zack, I’ve linked to it all over the internets in the past month, from a magazine on Flipboard to Twitter to Google+ and then some.

    Dying though to read your promised followup article. Got an ETA?

  • Felipe Curvello Anciaes said on May 8, 2013

    @Greg, I’ve just sold my 35L to make money for a X100s. I’m still waiting for it to arrive. I hope I don’t regret!

  • Carlos Caetano said on May 9, 2013

    Where the heck is Pentax in that bar?! :)

  • Greg said on May 10, 2013

    Dear Zack

    At 9-5-2013 i bought one Fujifilm X 100s.
    I read many web reviews and i decided to buy this camera and let for a while my DSLR’s. All reviews said its a brilliant camera,some said its the best camera in the world.
    Unfortunately the lens of the camera has a flair-ghosting failing.
    Semicircular radius are shown when i shot direct or side light sources, creating this multi-stage reflections.
    I dont think that with the use of lens hood or uv filter will decrease the fail.
    I made some tests.

    Here is a link from where you can download 5 photos, where you can see the flair lens failing.
    The DSCF1423.JPG is without flare because its evening, i just want to show the place i took the photos.


    Could you please tell me if this is a natural failing of the lens?
    All the X100s lenses they have the same problem or its only mine with this failing?
    It’s unacceptable to pay 1200€ to buy cameras with these kind of problems.

    I made some photos from the same position with my Canon EOS 5 MK II and 24-105/4L is at f/4 and my Canon EOS 40d with the cheap Canon EF-S lens 18-55/3,5-5,6 at f/3,5 and the photos are 100% clear without any flair or ghosting problems.

    Thank you

  • Rio said on May 10, 2013

    Hi zack,
    I really hate you. Since i watched your ‘one light’ video. I always follow your method, gear and technique ( except phase one… Way too expensive for me) now you came with this ‘above the earth’ review! The best review i ever read!
    Now i just ordered this x100s with the last treasure i have. Now its on the way to me. Because of you! I will blame you if i regret this decission. :)

  • Alex said on May 11, 2013

    @Zack: Thanks for your review. I used my pw III with HSR enabled and got 1/4000th shutter speed on my X100s using a studio strobe. That’s pretty amazing! Yes, I can shoot that with my D800 and HSS, but that’s not the point. What an amazing camera this is!

  • Zack said on June 6, 2013

    @Alex – HSR worked? I’m going to try that.


  • Greg said on May 11, 2013

    Dear Zack

    I took some photos tonight and i upload a new set of photos with my new Fujifilm X100s.
    3 different night scenes indoor and outdoor.
    All photos are jpg without any process, direct from camera.
    I don’t use any filter, no adapter ring, no lens hood, no oil on the lens, nothing.
    I see again the same problem-fail on f/2 and f/2.8.
    Multiple rainbow semicircles are shown left or right of light sources.

    Here is the link

    My only question is one and only.
    Is it mine X100s lens fail or is a natural phenomenon of the X100s lens?
    Someone who owns X100s could give a little help.

    Thank you for your interest.

    For the history i took some great photos today with X100s.It’s a fantastic camera with or without flash, but this problem-fail worries me.
    Here is a link with some photos, no process direct jpg from camera.


  • Jota said on May 12, 2013

    Hi Zack

    Thanks for your review.. I bought the X10, and i want to upgrade this camera to the X100… but I see the x100s, and this is my new camera.

    I have a question… You say that used the YN560 with the X100s., but… How the flash fires ? Used triggers?? Or slave system (S1) in the YN560.

    I will wait your comments 😀

    Greetings from Chile

  • Zack said on June 6, 2013

    @Jota – I use a hotshoe sync cord, an IR slave, or Pocket Wizards to fire the flash.


  • Gary said on May 12, 2013

    Nice camera. Little thing: the on/off switch is too easy to turn. The EVF still “smears” in low light and depicting movement. F2 flash synch is about 1/600 max. Movie mode: can’t use af-s. AF-c is still not useful. And the digital crop/zoom on movie mode of the x100 is gone.

  • Felipe Anciaes said on May 12, 2013

    @Rio, are you from Rio?! 😛 I am!! Zack has just made it to me, too!!

  • Marc said on May 13, 2013

    Still wondering what happened to Pentax……

  • Dino said on May 13, 2013

    Fuji is the new Leica? Jeez … I *hope* not …

    He may look like a smart guy, that well travelled Leica dude … but he may as well fooled you. Once he did run a good staff canteen, not cheap but what he served back then did get you through the toughest day. Then he missed it when the world turned digital, and now he is running nothing but a niche brothel for selected clientel. But not for the working class anymore. 😉

    That’s why I really hope that Fuji will not become the new Leica.

    Great Review – Cheers, d.

    P.S.: Didn’t you see that Hasselblad guy? He was waiting in a dimmed room in the back of the bar, where he and the waiter did lure the innocent in … for an expensive game called “big sensor holdem” …

  • Dan said on May 13, 2013

    Well Zack , I just DUMPED !!! the Fuji x pro 1 because of the focus problems as well as the difficulty in using the camera. Used the money to buy another ziess lens for my M8. It sounds like Fuji has solved a lot of problems with the new 100 s..
    But I have to tell you the joy and the feel of shooting with the Leica M8 far out weigh the image quality of the Fuji. I enjoy the Leica in my hand , and as a result of this I get better photos. And as we all should know it is not about the pixels, but the image content.

  • Susan said on May 13, 2013

    Hi Zack i like this picture but look the duck .There’s plenty of detail in the feathers of this duck, although there are some artifacts in the highlights of the JPEG file – but they are only visible if you pixel peep. iso 200 why presents artifatcts ?


  • Zack said on May 21, 2013

    OMG – I’m not looking at a duck to talk about artifacts in a JPG on the web!!!! Not trying to be a jerk but seriously. Not going to get sucked into that.


  • Dominic said on May 13, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    Great review! I recently picked up my X100s to complement my Leica M6. The ergonomics, image quality are all fantastic. BUT I have notices some slow focusing issues which I hope they resolve in a newer firmware. One strange issue seems to be the AF speed between EVF and OVF. I have noticed a 2x speed increase using the EVF over the OVF. OVF seems to hunt more for some reason. Are you experiencing the same thing?


  • Dodi said on May 14, 2013

    Just one glitch with the X100s: carry a few spare batteries. It is very power hungry. For the rest, no complaints, great camera.

  • Holly said on May 14, 2013

    Lousy AF. Sorry, it just is. Any DSLR I’ve ever owned owns the X100s on autofocus and there’s no getting around that. Action shots are very hard and low light focus is not there compared to a DSLR.

    So does this replace my DSLR? No Complements it. It’s a “shooting style” camera. Looking at the Ricoh GR. Thanks for the review.

  • Zack said on May 21, 2013


    Yep. It’s a horrible sports camera too. :)


  • Ben said on May 15, 2013

    I reckon Pentax is an aging rock star: cult following with an great history, who currently splits his time between
    a) producing brilliant but underrated work and
    b) trying to appeal to teenage Japanese girls
    c) working out which record company he’s sold his soul to this week

  • El_Crosso said on May 17, 2013

    Great review and tempting to jump ship (pentax) to join the Fuji legion with a Pro or 100s.

    But yes, what happened to Pentax in your story??

  • Anderson Cooper said on May 17, 2013

    Hello Zack, the part 2 of fujifilm x100s ?

  • Zack said on May 21, 2013

    It’s coming! Just busy as can be right now.


  • Paul said on May 21, 2013

    I love my GF1 and never seriously ought about getting something else, but now that I’m focusing more on street photography, and the X100S has come out, I’m sold. Can’t wait to get mine next week!

  • adam said on May 22, 2013

    Great post, these are the best photos Ive seen come out of the fuji x100s cameras. I do have a question, would you consider the new Olympus Pen E-P5, thats coming out soon?

  • Zack said on June 6, 2013

    @Adam – Not really. I’m not out to try every camera in the world. I get what I like and stick with that for some time.


  • adrian said on May 22, 2013

    Thx Zack! I blame you for getting the x-Pro1 two weeks ago and x100s just a few days ago! :)
    But on a serious note, dumped (uhmmm…sold) all my Nikon gear and moved to Fuji, and so far loving every minute of it – what a nice breath of fresh air.

    btw, best review I’ve read in a long time!

  • Frank said on May 23, 2013

    I love the review and particulary the images.
    I have a Canon 580 flash and also a hotshoe extension cord (vello TTL cord from b&h) to use it off camera with my Canon dslr – Wondering if it’s safe to use with the x100s ? And if so, any tips to set it up

  • Dade Freeman said on May 23, 2013

    Great story, and lovely looking camera. VERY tempting :)

    Cheers Zack

  • frank said on May 23, 2013

    …just a follow up to my comment above which unfortunately I cant see how to edit

    my worry (canon flash & ttl hotshoe ext cord) is simply the manual says 3rd party units may be too strong and fry the electronics

    I also have a yongnuo 602 receiver/transmitter that I use with the canon and flashes – is this safe with the x100s?

  • M-dude said on May 24, 2013

    The last picture is really good. And the third one with the man, very interesting.
    But is the autofocus feature worth the downgrade from an M6 for amateurs?

    I find the look of the files reminding me of Arri’s Alexa camera. Not bad, that thing cost quite a bit.
    This might very well be the Toyota Prius of cameras. Like an eco-friendly Leica M.

  • Sten said on May 25, 2013

    Hi Zack,

    just some ideas for your upcoming second part of the X100s review. I am still hesitating to upgrade from my X100 to the X100s. Maby I keep my X100 and buy next year the XPro2 as an addition…

    So to be able to pbetter repare my decision about this, I would find it helpful, if you would cover the following points in more depth:

    1. AF speed and accuarcy old x100 vs. X100s
    2. “crispness” of images x100 vs x100s. The X100 has still an AA filter in front of the sensor. The X100s not. Do the X100s images look thanks to this as they would have more “bite” or more “3D effect”?
    3. Skin tones of Asian and European people. Which of both cameras/ sensors is better (more real) for this?
    4. IQ of the X100s lens in combination with the Fuji sensor compared to your XPro1 with the Fuji 35/1.4 at apertures 2.0, 2.8 and 4.0. Center and corners (if people are in the corners)


  • Adam Tal said on May 26, 2013

    I liked the review, much. I liked even more the your video presentation of the X-Pro 1 on youtube. But! I really do not liked the video presentation of x100s. Why? Because it was no longer a honest review, at least not for me. It look rather like an ad…shame. You stated that Fuji is not sponsoring you, I doubt. Not because I want to be the bad guy how blames you because you have all of my respect, but there is too much connection between you and Fuji. To tell you the truth I am a little bit disappointed, because I came here to read an honest review of the 100x from you – from Zack a honest guy, but I think something has changed. As told you there is too much connection between David Hobby and Fuji, Zack and Fuji. You were invited by Fuji on GPP to talk about their products. Why? Because Fuji does not sponsor you….ehhh

    Everyone knows that there is much that can be improved in the future with these cameras x-pro 1 and x100s. The biggest problem is the AF of the x100s, you know it. I am sure when you photographed people at night there was problem with accuracy and speed of focus. Why did you not pointed it out? It is a major flaw that people going here to read a honest review just have to know.

    Shame, because I thought this is the place where we can read real review.

  • Zack said on June 6, 2013

    @Adam – Think what you want but I’m not sponsored. I love these things. David loves these things too. The AF on the x100s has improved leaps and bounds beyond the original x100. My Fuji’s have replaced my Canon gear. I was not paid a red cent to do that.


  • Wang said on May 28, 2013

    Hello, Zack
    I just bought X100s, a perfect camera for me.
    Your review is the most interesting one I’ve ever seen :)
    May I translate it into Chinese and post it on my blog?
    (will indicate the source is your blog)

  • ray li said on May 30, 2013

    Hi zack, corrently I am using a canon 50d with 24-105 and 50 1.8. Disadvantages of this camera are low iso, heavy and apsc(loses wide angel).

    I’m pretty impressed by Fuji’s sharpness, size and high iso. I am quite interested in x-pro1’s aperture (EVF and OVF) and changable lenz, x-e1’s price and x100s’s focus speed. I like the x-e1 most. Becuase it is able to change lenz and I need a wide angel lenz for 14mm/2.8, which 100s can not do this. Price is also a very important factor of buying the equipments.

    I am hoping the x-e2’s aperture can be same as x100s so I don’t need to be so hesitating. However since the development cycle is usually two years or even longer, I’m not sure whether I need to wait the unsure type camera, while the 50d sleeps at home.

    So, if that were you, do you perfer just buy a x100s, or replace 50d to 6d(50d may sold to second hand by USD300 and that makes the 60d procurement cost close to x100s), or but a x-e1 kit?

  • Zack said on June 6, 2013

    I’d wait for the X-Pro replacement.


  • Richard said on June 3, 2013

    Best review I ever read! Tell me Zack, if one were thinking of getting a couple of bodies, would 2 X-Pro1 bodies be a better choice? As I understand the x100s comes with a fixed lens. Thanks in advance.

  • Frank in Brisbane Aus said on June 3, 2013

    The video and this review speak volumes of this seemingly perfect cam. Great shots; color and compositions are beautiful. Any camera that offers results that meet or exceed expectations is a good thing. Cameras which do this on a consistent basis are rare. Those that offer tactile and thoughtful interfaces are rarer still. Thanks for sharing your wonderful camera experiences and you passion and talent.

  • Julian said on June 3, 2013

    Do you mean that the Canon 6D doesn’t fire any radio trigger on the hotshoe, when using the EOS ios app over WIFI?

    Is this documented somewhere? Can anyone please elaborate?

  • Tulio said on June 3, 2013

    You are absolutely right, Leica have lost it.
    They just made the M Mini with a fixed f6.4 zoom for $2400.

  • Mark Matthews said on June 4, 2013

    I absolutely adore this camera, going to Sri lanka next month for the first time to play sax, I hate dragging my D800 around with me when I travel, so I’m definitely thinking of purchasing this little baby soon.

    It just goes to show that you don’t need to lug a stupidly expensive camera to get amazing shots.

    Well done sir.

  • Chuck France said on June 5, 2013


    Thanks for the review on the 100s. Full time working pro here (Chief Photog at a large university & freelancer) and I use 2 X-Pro’s on a daily basis for my “day job” and LOVE them! Reformed traditional dslr shooter here. I thought somebody would have to pry my personal X100 from my cold dead hand…until now.

    Thanks for contributing to my shrinking bank account my friend. :-)

  • Sam said on June 5, 2013

    I had the x100 and loved it except for the AF which to me was useless for anything that moved. My sole purpose of buying the X100 was to avoid having to bring my wedding photography gear with me when out with the kids. Sadly and $1200 later the X100 didn’t solve the problem.

    After reading your review I hesitated for weeks to click “buy” not believing the AF was any better. Well I’m happy to say it is and while not perfect it’s a lot better and I am actually using it now with the kids.

    The only pictures I have online are some “street” photos I took when I traveled from Toronto to Vancouver for a wedding photography convention a few days after I bought it.


  • Taha Ghaznavi said on June 6, 2013

    Thanks Zack for such an incredibly detailed (in all the right ways) and frank review. You almost made me buy it! (were it not for your other pieces on buying only what you need :-) )


  • Paul Jarvis said on June 9, 2013

    Fantastic review! Love it!

  • Jacques Moneyron said on June 10, 2013

    Hi Zack..Greetings from France and thanks a lot for comments and revues. Just like you, I gave up months ago my big DSLR and got a X pro-1 and a X100.Because the ” Flash mode ” on menu 5 of the X pro-1 was grey/unactive, I sent a mail to Fuji France ( I’m using 3 Yongnuo 560 II ) which replied that the X Pro-1 was dedicated to the use of Fuji flashes .
    I wonder if you use that menu or not, and if you found a way to use it properly ( I read somewhere that you do have Yongnuo strobes as well ! )
    Yours comments ans advices would be greatly appreciated


  • Anish said on June 13, 2013

    Hilarious opening, Zack! Excellent review!

  • kkonkkrete said on June 14, 2013

    … Meanwhile, the eccentric genius Sigma DP2 Merrill doesn’t frequent bars. He is too busy sipping absinthe, waiting for there to be enough light coming through his window to paint a masterpiece at ISO 100. He may not wear cool jeans, in fact he looks like a bit of a brick. He’s lazy, not deigning to paint more than a few dozen strokes before needing a little languish on his chaise-longue with the wind blowing the curtains gently across his face. And he’s slow and scared of the street. He lacks Leica and the new-boys’ smooth bonhomie. But when he’s on form, he can duel Phase and his middle format mates into a corner for a tenth of the price. Oh and sync like the Fujis too. In short he’s eccentric. You can’t take him everywhere, he’ll probably misbehave. But he’s a genius, worthy of respect….

  • Frank said on June 16, 2013

    I am trying to understand how the AF Multi works? I can see how to move the ‘area’ spot around on the Area mode. Is the Multi based on what is closest, most contrasty, face recognition or a combination?
    Thanks for any help,

  • jacques moneyron said on June 17, 2013

    Hi Zack- Love your portrait of the model on the stairs. Light is just great contrasted by the ND filter background. A question ? Is you 36″ double fold Umbrella white or silver inside. I am choosing my studio equipment at the moment.Keep on keeping on..Cheers – Jack

  • Emad zahirifard said on June 18, 2013

    bought it last week and its been with me since. i dont think ill be using my d7000 anymore. just love this camera

  • Ferry said on June 19, 2013

    Hi zack

    Just made a deal on a brand new x100 for less toen half the originaliteit Price 😀

  • Ferry Knijn said on June 20, 2013

    Well Zack, just bought a X100 with the Leather case for a ridiculous goodprice, Just €650,-

  • Zack said on June 24, 2013

    @Ferry – Well done!

  • Andreas said on June 21, 2013

    great article and great cam. I love it

  • John A Fleming said on June 26, 2013

    Zack: You make excellent photos (I’m sure you hear that a lot, but it’s true). But there’s one I must ask you about. Taken in the subway; a gorgeous, big-chested woman being ogled by this middle-aged guy standing over her; his expression and hers are priceless. What camera did you use and how did you pull it off without being noticed?

  • Zack said on June 27, 2013

    @John – I used the x100s for that shot and do you think he was paying any attention to me? :)


  • Marge Ely said on June 29, 2013

    Hey there old friend! Great info & now I want one! Miss you!~

  • sergey said on July 10, 2013

    Zack, you are becoming a hardware whore….. please dont let me unsubscribe and continue to talk about photography and not gear.


  • Zack said on July 11, 2013

    @Sergey – Stick with me here. I’m working on stuff. Plus… my Q&A blog has a ton of non gear talk on it. I’ve been putting a good bit of energy into that. Things will be changing around here soon though.


  • Stephen Bunn said on July 11, 2013

    Great post Zack… you convinced me to buy the xpro1 and also the x100s. it’s such a great fun camera, I even shot a wedding with it http://www.stephenbunnphotography.com/2013/07/fuji-x100s-wedding-photography/

  • Edmond said on July 19, 2013


    What a joy to read and watch how you enjoy photography. I must say that you really got me going. I have been walking around with way to much gear and just got the x100s. Indeed this is something completly different. I went out on the street and started shooting as I always wanted. This mirrorless trend will bring a lot of people back to what is is about. Making pictures.

    Thanks for your more than inspiring site and blog.


  • Andy Lim said on July 25, 2013

    I’m a die-hard DSLR guy…but now you’re making me think about getting an X100s.

  • Tom said on July 26, 2013

    Hi Zack
    I’m An absolute beginner wanting to enter the world of photography and enjoying street photography
    would you recommend buying the x100s or start with a different camera and if so what would you recommend?


  • Zack said on July 27, 2013

    @tom – I would suggest it. It’s such a great camera. You can grow with this camera.


  • Bob Zamudio said on July 31, 2013

    Zack! Thanks so much for this review! I just bought my X100s because of your review. I’ll be taking it to a backpacking trip through Europe en September. Decided to buy this as a street photography camera and not carry my 5D3 with 3 lenses to cover macro, wide and zoom.

    What accessories do you suggest I should pack in my bag. I’m trying to travel as light as possible, but will take some stuff, just in case jejeje.


  • Zack said on August 1, 2013

    @Bob – Just take plenty of batteries and a few extra chargers. I suggest the Black Rapid SnapR sling and an aftermarket lens hood and thumb grip that slides into the hotshoe. You’ll be set!


  • Marcelo Furuta said on August 1, 2013

    Zack, you rock dude. Thx for sharing your thoughts and keep doing it. I’ve just ordered the X100s. Regarding the X100s most of the web comments are very positives including that pixel-peep-technical-mambo-jambo topics! So what do I expect from this camera? Have Fun!! : ) with this light, high quality, small, stealth street camera. Take care and a big hug from Brazil.

  • Yee said on August 2, 2013

    Hey Zack,

    Awesome review – thoroughly enjoyed reading. Debating between this X100S and the new GX7 Lumix. Do you have any thoughts? Any readers want to chime in? I’m pretty amateur… so much so that the difference in sensor size for example doesn’t really matter to me. The price is pretty comparable with the 20mm f/1.7 lumix lens.

  • Zack said on August 4, 2013

    @Yee – The new G7 looks nice but I’m a Fuji guy. :)


  • Abi said on August 7, 2013

    Best review of the x100s. I am really interested in this camera for street and portraits. Really love the leaf shutter and the high synch flash. In one of your photo, you used the pocket wizard and how did you position the flash? did you have somebody to hold the flash for you? I’m talking about the photo with the girl by the car.

    Thanks Zack!

  • Zack said on August 7, 2013

    @Abi – Yes. Someone was holding the flash. VAL for the win! :)


  • TN Args said on August 13, 2013

    I love the bar scene analogy. The only thing completely wrong thing is the treatment of Olympus, who should not even be in the bar. Being the true successor to Leica’s legacy, they are in the cool new cafe club, making smaller, lighter full-system approaches to quality photography in a stylish and ergonomic package built around a visionary new image format they invented — just like Leica was when they started! Fuji, being the Leica wannabe and copycat, are inherently just an insult to the original innovator, who now smells of beer and unwashed old men anyway. Hooray for copying that!

    P.S. I don’t own anything Olympus, just an impartial observer.

  • Fiskars Spaltaxt said on August 30, 2013

    I think the admin of this site is actually working hard in favor of
    his site, for the reason that here every information is quality based data.

  • Raug said on September 1, 2013

    Just had to say this is the best tech review…ever. Thanks for confirming what I already strongly suspected about the S.

  • Jeremy said on September 3, 2013

    I bought into the hype and bought a x100s. My first run was a family vacation to Chicago. very photogenic place. I wanted a subtle little camera for street photography. The image quality is very nice. Having a f/2 capability on a small camera is great.
    BUT at the end of the day – I do not share the love.

    No interchangeable lens. Ok, that’s fine, I should have gone with the XPro.
    Way way too slow for me. Too much button pushing and lag. When I’m doing street photography, I need immediate reaction from the camera. Maybe the next generation.

    Returned it.

  • Luc said on September 3, 2013

    Awesome written review, Like it very much and it is giving me some more information to fasten up my own progress with the x100s.

    Going to Cuba soon to see my family i really am already exited to walk around with this little beast but unfortunately have some problems with the shutter in front of the EVF. In some occasions it is not fully opening and/or closing.

    Wonder if it is risky taking it on this travel and submit it to Fujifilm for repair afterwards, well we’ll see.

    Thanks for you review

  • Bob Owen said on September 10, 2013

    damn you and Kevin Mullins too, you made me buy one. You made me. 😉

  • Ryan said on September 17, 2013

    Zack, this was a brilliant post! LMAO reading that bar scene.

  • terry said on September 27, 2013

    A poignant reminder of what the true nature of a camera really is; it is not a ‘tool’, as some refer, but an ‘instrument’. This distinction may seem subtle, but the joy of using an instrument is both tactile and aesthetic as well as functional. Much like using a Rega 3 turntable.
    I learnt the basics of photograhy on a Fujica ST701 – I still have it and it is about half the size and weight of a DSLR. Eventually I used it exclusively with a 105mm SMC Takumar fitted and in tandem with the tiny, but lovely Minnox ML 35mm which had the wonderful simplicity of DOF focusing. My only other camera was the excellent Olympus 35RC. The X100 seems to be the spiritual successor to the RC, but with a much wider performance spectrum and, crucially, my favourite 35mm focal length. Fixed lens, leaf shutter cameras do it for me so now I just need that 85-100 equivalent…

  • len said on October 10, 2013

    I just got my x100s and read this. After laughing so hard about the “bar-room” story, I was able to pick myself up off the floor and write this. But I didn’t see Pentax in the room! Was she in the back-room with the owner?

  • john W. said on October 16, 2013

    I just visited my local camera shoppe and the gentleman behind the counter said to google this. My mind is blown! Sheer genius is all I can say without gushing! Don’t laugh….I’m just starting out in the game and was debating between the Sony NEX 3-N w/ the SEL 18200LE all-in-one, or the X-M1 w/ 16-50 kit. I think my mind is made up for the x100s now. Cheers and many thanks! john W.

  • drb said on November 4, 2013

    Now the x-e2 is out. What now???? Get the x-e2 pro or the x100s ?????

  • I Simonius said on November 12, 2013

    love your review – love the humour, gawd it makes a difference!

    Off to compare and contrast, contrast and compare with the X-E2, as I know nowt about these in the hand yet – but – yeah great review – cheers

  • Ben Frank said on November 13, 2013

    Great review. I just pulled the plug on a used X100 as the prices have really come down here in Japan and now that the new Firmware is out and allows most of what the X100s does (minus sensor), I think it’s a great little thing.


  • jon banquer said on November 19, 2013

    The writeup was great, thank you. Especially the fact that you know what a shovelhead is …

    But the photos are awful. Sharp, certainly. But they look like they came out of a magazine. Is it possible to turn off all that glitzy crap and have them come out realistic ? My antique Konica-Minolta A200 takes better photos.

  • Surge said on November 20, 2013

    Great review, you’re a good writer and an even better photographer.

    Therein lies the problems with this review —
    1) you’d get amazing results with ANY camera.
    2) You are getting paid by Fuji!

    Hate to say it, but this review is worthless for the above reasons. You’re not objective and you don’t need a Leica, or Fuji, or anything special to get great results. ’nuff said.

  • Mark said on December 12, 2013

    A silly question but how do you prefer to carry the x100s for street photography? Neck strap, wrist strap or no straps ?

  • Visionary productions said on December 26, 2013

    Great work Zack! I enjoyed reading your interesting reviews for this camera. I liked the image quality of this camera, which I expect a lot while replacing my old cameras.

  • chris said on January 18, 2014

    Fuji has a major update for the original x100 that has better af and focus peaking

  • Randolf said on January 19, 2014

    Thanks for the review, Zack. How does your buying guide read with X-Pro 1 with latest Firmware 3.10? Is manually focussing possible now?

  • Zack said on January 19, 2014

    3.1 is a great update and focus peaking is fantastic. It’s a great upgrade to the camera.


  • Mario said on January 19, 2014

    great analysis . I am an enthusiast Nikon user (d800 & several lenses) but since I bought the fantastic x100s I really forgot my Nikon gear. I am seriously thinking to sell everything and buy xpro xe2 14 35 60 macro & zoom . I hope in a new xpro2 .. Full frame???? Thanks from Italy Zac!

  • Zack said on January 19, 2014

    Wait for the new model to drop and don’t get the 60mm. Get on a list for the new 56mm. :)


  • IMAGEPRO PHOTOGRAPHY & DESIGN said on January 23, 2014

    excellent update and focus peaking is amazing. It’s an excellent update to the camera.

  • JUDY said on January 31, 2014


  • Zack said on January 31, 2014






  • Joel said on February 3, 2014

    Thank you for great review. Yes its the photographer not the camera. I shoot D7100, RX100 and much of the time as I am such a lazy fu** my iPhone5s. Have been thinking about this camera “forever”… bigger than the RX100 so will I carry it? How knows… but again thank you for entertaining, informative, review.

  • Drew Smith said on February 25, 2014

    I came here from ‘Signal and Noise’ vid. Now…. I guess I’ll just pull up a seat. : )

  • Luc said on February 28, 2014

    Nice these Fuji guys reviews. Like it a lot but, shit i don’t want to mention it because i love my x100s despite some flaws, over here it is a bit over positiv. My x1100s is back now after repair to fix an apperture setting problem and a problem with the blade in front of the viewfinder. It’s okay now, i think, but ….. prevoious posts i placed are deleted bij Zack etc. Well delete it again my friend and receive a lot of Fuji gear for free. Don’t trust and other guys sites but love my Fuji.

  • Cary Lee said on March 2, 2014

    I don’t know if this has been mentioned earlier in the thread but I wanted to get photo vest for shooting around Los Angeles that is lightweight but can still carry 3 lenses in my pockets and also conceal my x-e2 w/27mm lens on my photo strap under your coat. I was wondering what was the name and style of coat you used in Mumbai?

  • Zack said on March 7, 2014

    @Cary – It’s by Scott E Vest.


  • Tom! Striewisch said on August 25, 2014

    “Can we do this Fuji? You show that you still love your current client base and they will show you that they love you back. ”

    Whats about the feature to see the “clipping” right after the shot? Or even in front of, like some other cameras offer.

    Am i the only one missing it with Fuji cameras?

  • Karina said on October 14, 2014

    Wow, awesome review! Didn’t know this camera existed! Found the x100S on Amazon and see there is a newer version coming out next month. Know anything about the x100T?? Thanks in advance!

  • David Blackshaw said on October 16, 2014

    What a great review and discussion on the Fuji x100S. Wish I’d read it before I ordered another Canon dslr. Seeing lots of pro wedding photographers with these. Love the more simple (back to basics) viewfinder experience.

  • bent toe said on December 4, 2014

    Great review Zack.
    I bought the X100s because i did not think the T and it’s improvements was enough to spend another $300, i probably skip one generation..

    But what i wanted to ask is for you to talk to Fuji and BEG!!! them to do FF and weatherproof in a X100 body.

  • Che Birch-Hayes said on December 23, 2014

    This made me want to really get an x100s over the x100T

  • Scott McIntyre said on December 28, 2014

    Wanted to make sure a ‘walks into a bar’ joke I was working on was original and found your post. Thought it would be a good place to share a link to, This camera walks into a bar…

  • Bob Mielke said on January 2, 2015

    I added a 2nd XE1 to my stable for Christmas. Love this camera and now that they’re giving them away for $449 I couldn’t resist buying a 2nd body to go with the 6 Fujinon lenses I already have. I don’t miss my two Nikon DSLRs a bit. Go Fuji!

  • Gavin said on January 6, 2015

    Greatest review I’d ever read. Can’t help saying sth.

    Thanks for the review first. I can see how deep your understandings of phtography and cameras are.

    As a amateur from cn, I really can’t find much that counts to read. Everybody knows it.

    I’m a big fan of you and your teaching video. Thank the gov doesn’t block that!

    I was thinking of buying a X100T recently, and I’m going to buy it tomorrow!

    I’m not sure how I’d feel shooting with it because I haven’t had it yet, but I know I can’t bring my 5DIII with me anywhere anytime.

    Good Luck.

  • Chip Quinn said on November 21, 2015

    Yer still the best street photographer since Cartier-Bresson.

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  • David said on April 20, 2016

    Insane imagery, just made the switch… awesome review.

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