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Thursday, 28 June 2018


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“Why Do I Like This So Much?”

Because it was industrially designed to be lovable. The only thing missing are oversized eyes and a waving paw.

Actually, it originally got me, too. In fact shortly after it was announced I put one on pre-order. In reality it has a lot going for it. Small size. Articulating touch-screen (my must-have). X-lens compatibility. Fuji image quality on an APS-C size sensor. A pretty terrific OLED EVF. A very budget-friendly price.

Hmmm... Why did I kill that pre-order?

A lovely little machine. If I didn't already have an X-T20 I would be very interested.

Perhaps you're interested because it's an affordable version of the latest iteration of something you already like (Fuji), without the hassles of x-trans but still with an EVF (my earlier featured comment refers). You don't already have a better version of the same thing. You've got a more upmarket version of a earlier iteration. I think you'll find that in most respects newer will trump more upmarket. And it ain't expensive.

I like Fuji but I don't understand the reason for this camera's existence, unless it is just to provide a cheaper alternative to everything else Fuji already sells? How does this camera differ (in a substantive way) from an XT-2 or the XT-20, for example? What am I missing?

[It has a regular Bayer-array rather than X-Trans sensor. I have this untested idea that the 16-MP X-Trans sensor produces marginally better B&W conversions with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2, so I'm partial to it for that reason, but a minority of photographers are pretty passionate about their preference for Fuji's conventional sensors (like the one in the original X-100) over the X-Trans. The X-Trans sensor can be somewhat polarizing (using that word in its behavioral, not technical/scientific, sense!). --Mike]

I think you nailed it when you said it was the perfect plain camera. A lot to be said for a camera like that. Looking at the files from lab testing at Imaging Resource, it also appears to have a very high image quality, which I hypothesized it would have based on the X-A5's performance.

Beats me. It looks like they took out the things that make Fuji's X system good (retro control layout in a comfortable body with X-Trans sensor) to make a camera that looks vaguely like every SLR from the 70s. I suspect it will sell to people who want to use Fuji lenses with a Bayer sensor, but it has none of the appeal of higher end models for me.

X-T100 is much more Fuji st 801 than Pentax K1000, or even the Pentax H1 which is the more slab-sided Contax S copy. I think that most of the design language for retro cameras is borrowing from Zeiss, as though all the camera designers have a Contax S and a Werra on their desk.
X-T100 looks very much in the Contraflex / Icarex continuum.

Maybe it is not endorphins, but the good/bad angel on each shoulder. I don't know which one is telling you to buy the X-T100


Please be Mike. I believe that you being you is why so many of us check in daily.

As for the look of the X-T100, when Fuji made 35mm SLR models back in the day, their film cameras looked a lot like the X-T100.
I always appreciated the look of those models and I really like the no-nonsense look of this new model.

This camera is very tempting to me. Seems to have the features and image quality I want with a price point that I could afford. I read Thom Hogan is very impressed with the image quality on the XA5 with the same sensor so I visited the big test site to pixel peek. When I saw the test scene I had to go back and look to see if I chose the correct camera. Figured I must have picked the Fuji medium format. No. It was the XA5. That camera punches above it's weight class for sure. The X-T100 is going to be a winner.

Calling the X-T100 'retro' or 'classic' when the shutter speed dial has been replaced with a PASM control does not make sense.

Pentax MX surely ?

@Ken: Fuji X-series cameras in this price range and specification (non-Xtrans Bayer sensor) have been exceptionally popular in non-USA markets for Fujifilm.

A good example is the X-A series, which been one of the best-selling cameras in S.E. Asia, particularly Thailand. Another interesting factoid is that these "entry level" cameras are very, very popular with women in these Asian markets as they like the way Fujis render skin tones. Another highly valued feature for this market segment is the selfie screen on the camera.

Having owned the original X-A1, I can attest to the fact that these Bayer-sensor based cameras, in conjunction with Fuji's A/D convertors and image processing engine, produces very high image quality. My little X-A1 notably, IMHO, outperformed my Olympus OM-D E-M5 and E-M1 with respect to image quality. For the price you are paying for the image quality you are getting, the value proposition is pretty much off the charts. For me, the only downside to my X-A1 was the lack of an eye-level EVF as using the LCD in bright sunlight could be challenging.

The X-T100 with with the X-A series imaging pipeline, and the EVF from the X-T20/X-E3, fills that bill very nicely.

It's like the love child of an OM-4Ti and a K1000 - functional, still with a bit of style, and it really is a great camera. If you don't love X-Trans, this is a great way to use the best APS-c lens line around, and it's also a great second body for someone not entirely sold on an all- xtrans setup.

All but the first of my film cameras were SLRs. But I fell in love with the GX7 and GX8 for their tilting viewfinders (being left-eyed). Retro -who needs it?
Though that Fuji is very pretty.

Yet another non-SLR styled to look like an SLR.

Like that "dark silver" option.

I have an XE1 and a X10. The X10 is a lovely little compact, nice shape and size, great fun to hold and use. Small sensor, of course. The XE1 is so-called APS-C and rather larger and chunkier.

For a while, I had an XA-1. The XA-1 is APS-C in an almost X10 body. Much smaller and more compact than the XE1, yet not so compact that the controls become fiddly and annoying. A great camera except someone forgot the viewfinder. I can't get on with a camera hand-held without a viewfinder (I'm fine with using a screen only camera on a tripod) so I sold the XA-1 without really getting a lot of use out of it but with regret because I found it otherwise a very ergonomic and neat camera.

The new camera is really the XA-1 re-born with some improvements plus the missing viewfinder.

Why wouldn't you like one! I'd buy it if I didn't already have the XE1, a K5, SD9 and SD14, Kodak 14n, Lumix G3, G6, G7 and Sony NEX3 and 5n.


You will probably be to blame if Panasonic ever makes a rangefinder style MFT body that suits me and I'll buy the all black version and then buy another 20mm lens, this time in silver, to mount on it.

This time around, however, I feel nothing.

I already have a dislike for retro, but when retro also means that you design camera bodies that offer no purchase for your fingers it's not just aesthetic anymore.

The camera I missed, but wanted back in the day was the Contax S2. It was the first thing that came to mind on seeing the Fuji for the first time. That camera was also the essence of the purists SLR at the time.

My favourite Summertime is an old recording by Sidney Bechet:



If you are putting text between quotes, you can not remove or add any text. Not even delete wrongly placed commas. Editors needed everywhere, indeed.

Maybe because it resembles the cameras of your youth? We often seem to have preferences for certain styles and sometimes a good example of that style pops up. As of late, retro seems to have become really big in all kinds of product design.

Now I'm not so excited about. The front is too clean -- where's something that breaks that like the time release on Olympus OMs? And is that color champagne? Who has a camera in that color? I'd rather go something like green, make it stand out boldly. The final nail is that the right side of the mount seems to be wider than the left, killing the symmetry, which I can't get over with. Again, OMs are ok, they don't have featureless fronts so symmetry works differently. And snout nosed lenses? Can't stand that. Voigtländer is on to something in emulating the styling of old Nikkors and Zeiss in going all for futuristic.

In the end though, function is what matters and the Fuji is surely a competent camera.

Mike, why do you follow the camera porn method of camera marketing? It’s all about the hardware in all the glory and splendor the camera companies can muster. Why don’t we ever see some glorious and outright beautiful images in camera ads? That would motivate me a lot more to open my wallet for a new piece of gear.

That said, why don’t you do baker’s dozen pieces on photos from certain camera models, or with specific focal lengths? 35mm lenses? 100mm lenses? 50mm lenses? Sony? Canon? Nikon? Pentax? Fuji?

I reckon the "film" in "Fujifilm" triggers a lot of those endorphins. Just sayin'

The only thing missing is IBIS. That might make it perfect with those Fujicrons.

It is reminiscent of a K-1000. It sometimes feels as if Fuji has become Pentax.

The word that came to mind? Topcon. There, I said it.

Re: “the pleasure of cameras for me goes beyond their function as tools”, I did a lot of research before I bought my first SLR in 1973. I liked the features of all of them and concentrated on the Pentax and Nikon F. The Pentax was pretty (but had the screw mount—ugh) and the Nikon F looked liked just what it was: a serious tool for serious photojournalists; but with big prism it was ugly (and out of my price range). My choice? The Nikkormat, which used the same lenses as the Nikon F, was within my price range and, in black, was simply gorgeous. I loved it and used it pretty hard for 7+ years until it disappeared in a house robbery and I had to replace it...sigh. Price and pretty out weighed professionally robust and functional.

Here's an interesting Ted talk on seeking joy. I suspect that Fuji gives you joy!


I had a Nikkormat FT3 in the early 80s, a back up for my FE. Built like a tank, ergonomically superb, and that 50mm f2 Nikkor was simply excellent. Sold the rig to part finance a new stereo system for the wife (sigh).

Do me a favor, Mike. Never use the word "curated" again unless you are referring to the choices of a wan person deep in the depths of a vast institution who has to choose which of the hundreds of thousands of items in the inventory (that have already been "curated") are to be shown to the public with some kind of sense.


I have used Pentax until recently from my Spotmatic onwards. For non professional enthusiasts they have been a path for those of us who weirdly feel comfortable on a road less travelledby. But I am with Dave Karp.... Fuji has become Pentax in my head.
My K5 and LX has gone, but two MESupers and loads of lenses have gone to my kids who love film.
I have found myself between the Panasonic G7 with good grip, tiny lenses and 4k video ...the perfect take anywhere cameras.

BUT the Fuji with poor grip and no IBIS fulfills that sense of form and beauty. It is so lovely to spend the day with the X100F ....slower photography. But I am very tempted by this camera as for me thr Fuji do such a great job with a Bayer sensor ( viz original X100).

I just wonder if in the end they may drop the Trans sensor .... through it they have made their own niche .... but they are so distinctive and with no filter on Bayer sensors is it really necessary any more?

To Mr. Marks: Topcon, indeed. Not like a K1000 at all (which was a poor man's sleek KX, of which I owned two, bought new, before abandoning Pentax for Canon and the muscular F-1). Topcon was the closest Japanese makers ever got to heavy Soviet design sensibilities--it's also reminiscent of a much-reduced, say, Kiev 60. Except that the "prism housing" lacks the mirror box on which a real prism housing should sit, making it look like a growth resulting from a glandular condition. It's not beautiful in the way a Pentax 67 is, or the K1000, KX, or ME. (I never really left the Pentax fold, though my small-format DSLR is still a Canon.) I have the same issue with the GFX-50S, though I admit being biased as a result of the 645Z--a true SLR that doesn't look like one, instead of a non-SLR that does.

With me, I’ve had to face that it’s an addiction. It temporarily relieves inner tension.
And sadly not a lot less expensive than heroin. Though less damaging.

One of the few cameras I ever bought for the way it looks is the Olympus Pen F. Fortunately it turned out to be great to use too!

I can't think of any other current camera that looks more retro.

Was going to say it was irrational exuberance but that has been used elsewhere.

I was struck by your comment on liking “good” turntables. Beginning in my late teen years, just as the first stereo stuff was coming to market (tape & LP), I had a fixation to own a high end LP playback system and finally did much later in life. The turntable was a massive VPI unit with a Graham tone arm and pricey cartridge. The one utterly amazing thing about it, that I had read about but mostly didn’t believe until I experienced it first hand, is the capacity of high-end LP playback to “lift” the level of the audio signal “up above” the background groove noise. Having owned maybe 8 different turntable-arm combos, what that Graham arm-VPI combo did was nothing short of miraculous.

When just about every camera in the world is good enough, why not just buy one 'cos it looks nice.

I intentionally don't buy pretty cars because they are vandal magnets. I don't make too much fuss about wardrobe because I don't like shopping, and although I would LOVE to be able to afford a really classic watch, I can't think of why I would need one.

But a nice looking retro camera?

When I walked around with the dragoon, every curtain in the neighbourhood was twitching and everyone tried very hard to ignore my gaze or cover their faces. I was either the paperazzi or a perv, as far as the public were concerned.

With an Xpro2, people come up to me and ask me what it is and quite a few even want me to take their photo. It's smiles and waves all round.

Yep. Pretty retro cameras are really cool.

Jonas Rask explains here how to set PASM to M and then the other two top dials to ISO and Shutter Speed and then it works just like a XT or X pro ... sounds great to me


I don't like it and it's taken me a while to work out why.

An obvious reason is that they've dropped the shutter-speed dial and joined the herd with a P/A/S/M style one.

Second, and more irrational, is the way the lens is flat against the front of the body. If you are going for a faux-SLR look, you need some sort of small step out from the body - like the Olympus E-M10. Like I said, irrational, but it just looks wrong to me.

Otherwise, I sure it's a perfectly wonderful piece of kit and those who like it will get on fine with it.

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