First Impressions | the X100S is here.

X100S1.jpg

NOTE: There's obviously a lot of interest surrounding this new camera. If you have any specific questions (beyond the obvious) don't hesitate to leave them in the comments below. I'll make sure to address them in my official review.

Mr. Purolator brought me a nice box today: the brand new X100S (B&H) courtesy of Fujifilm Canada. Huge thanks to them for this opportunity.

It’s been raining cats and dogs today so I haven’t had a chance to test it the way it’s intended to be used: out in the world, roaming the streets and alleys. But I’ll be out and about these next few days and I’ve scheduled a documentary shoot next week for which I intend to use it exclusively. So real world testing is coming.

Still, I wanted to share a few initial impressions:

  • The hardware is identical in every single way to the X100 except for the button layout, which is much improved and gains the very useful Q menu. In the hand, this is the exact same camera.

  • Some further cleanup has been made to the menus. For instance, some redundancies have been left out of the main settings menu: white balance can now only be accessed either via Q menu or the dedicated hardware button (needed to change custom WB). Same goes for flash mode. This threw me for a loop initially as I couldn’t find where to enable external flash (to trigger the Skyport unit). Likewise, Multiple Exposure mode is now only available via the FN button.

  • AF button is now a right handed affair!!!! I knew about it, I wrote about it, but man… Why didn’t this happen before? It completely transforms how you shoot with this camera. Again, I have to reiterate how much I want this to be added to the other X cameras eventually. The next generation is a given but I hope the current crop can get this as well. It’s how it should’ve been from day one. And AF performance? No. Comparison. At. All. This is NOT an X100.

  • Manual focussing: wow. Fujifilm have stood behind fly by wire and I couldn’t understand why. Having spent time with the XF 14mm and now this camera, I can honestly say I get it. The manual focussing on this camera feels mechanical: smooth, precise and with the right amount of tension. Coupled with the new Focus Peaking feature it’s almost faster than using AF. I can’t wait to try this on the streets.

  • There’s now a dedicated Eye-Fi menu. As far as I can tell it doesn’t change any of the functionalities (my Eye-Fi card still works the same way as before) but adds some welcome icon feedback in the UI. The camera now shows various icons depending on the state of transfer/connection. A nice touch.

This is all off the top of my head. Obviously there’s much more to say (sensor anyone?) but this will happen once I’ve had a chance to put it through its paces.

Stay tuned...

UPDATE: a few additional images added. I'm getting more excited as I use it...
UPDATE 2: I'm slowly getting acquainted with what this camera can do. Given the interest this post is generating I'm posting yet a few more images in the grid below, taken outside this morning. A few multiple exposures in there as well.

Patrick La Roque

311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada