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Fujifilm Finepix X100 review




  • Recommended by TR

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Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
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  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • Fujifilm Finepix X100
  • FinePix X100 12.3 Megapixel Bridge Camera-23 mm - Black (7.1 cm 2.8" LCD - 4288 x 2848 Image - 1280 x 720 Video - QuickTime MOV - HDMI - PictBridge)


Our Score:



  • Superb quality quality
  • Exceptional image quality
  • Versatile yet easy to use


  • Very expensive
  • Fixed zoom lens
  • Slightly fiddly controls

Key Features

  • 12.3 megapixel APS-C sensor
  • 50mm fixed lens (f2.0)
  • All metal body
  • Physical dials for exposure settings
  • Manufacturer: Fujifilm
  • Review Price: £899.99

Did anyone mention an age of austerity? Certainly not at Fuji Towers, from whence has appeared the manufacturer's most expensive and inevitably most exciting digital camera for coming up to a decade. Announced at Photokina six months ago but just hitting the shelves now for a price of £999.99, the 12.3 effective megapixel FinePix Finepix X100 has got the photographic industry seriously a-buzz.

The basics of the new high-end model are this: it's a compact camera boasting a large APS-C sized CMOS sensor (of the sort normally only found in SLRs), a fixed 35mm equivalent lens with bright f/2.0 maximum aperture, and a gorgeously classic construction. The combination of which should result in superb quality photos, with low light performance being particularly exceptional. Something that is only highlighted by the presence of a maximum ISO12800, the kind of spec found on a semi pro DSLR.

The target audience here is the monied digital SLR user looking for a more portable back up. And one who presumably isn't sufficiently tempted by a compact system camera such as the Sony NEX series, Olympus Pens, Panasonic Lumix G, Samsung NX or even the Ricoh GXR as an alternative. All retail for less money, and all, unlike the Fuji, allow the optic on the front to be swapped. Other yet more portable premium compact contenders include the Canon PowerShot G12, Nikon CoolPix P7000, Samsung EX1, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and Olympus XZ-1. Again they're all impressive and again considerably cheaper.

The camera the Fuji most reminds us of most though in terms of tongue-lolling luxuriousness is the Leica X1. Like the X100, that too features an APS-C sized sensor just like a DSLR proper, plus a 36mm equivalent lens (in 35mm film terms) to the Fuji's 35mm. At the time of writing the Leica X1 was retailing for £1395, having held its value since its release over a year ago; making the X100 actually good value in comparison. Whereas that model sports a bright f/2.8 aperture though, the Fuji offers up an even brighter maximum f/2.0. Set against that is the fact the Leica branding has a perceived worth of its own, with the emphasis being on perceived.

Inevitably you get Raw capture as well as JPEG, however video isn't so well catered for with just 1280x720 pixel clips at 24 frames per second on offer. Standard focus distance is 80cm to infinity, or 10cm to two metres in macro close up mode.

As we're 'stuck' with the one lens, the X100 has to satisfy as an all rounder as is, which regardless of your photographic merits is always going to be something of a struggle. It's therefore a camera on which your images benefit from a more considered, reflective approach to subject matter. With its maker describing the X100 as delivering the best image quality in its long and illustrious history, has this move towards enticing the well-heeled photo enthusiast rather than typical Argos shopper paid off? Read on to find out...


April 5, 2011, 5:41 pm

It would be better still had it got interchangeable lens system.


April 5, 2011, 9:24 pm

If a 28mm equivalent version is announced to match the legendary Fuji GA645W, then that will be true camera nirvana for me. No need to ever upgrade after that..

Can't imagine it'll take too long seeing how quickly the X100 seems to be selling!


April 6, 2011, 1:41 am

There is no doubt that the Fujifilm Finepix X100 is an outstanding camera in term of built and image quality,
but it is very hard to justify the high price for it is a fix lens camera;
when you can buy a Sony Alpha NEX-5K 14.2MP Digital Camera in Black with Interchangeable 18-55mm & 16mm F2.8 Lens at Amazon.com for $799 USD.
I am hoping that the Fujifilm Finepix X100 price would drop to a more reasonable level; similar to the Sony NEX-5.


April 6, 2011, 2:45 am

Great camera, however, I cant help thinking the technology involved will (like everything else) soon be out of date. I would love this camera but experience of buying such cameras in the past will hold me back from buying one for a £1000. Just give it six months and retailers will be struggling without discounts to match cheaper comparative competition. Knowing my luck though, this SHOULD have been the camera to have bought, but somehow I doubt it.


April 7, 2011, 2:03 pm

Excellent review. Perhaps, Fuji film should have this camera available also in black. Black gives this camera a pro look and does cover up dirt while shooting in the fields.

The Leica earlier models like the M1 to M 4 are silver & black just like Finepix X100 in theme & looks. Of course we are talking about Rolls Royce and Mini minor. But starting from the M 5, there are black bodies available Not colors like red, blue please etc. This will make the camera seems like a toy. Also lens should then be black too to match the body. Hope Fujifilm will think about this. Next have interchangeable lens. Asking too much ? Maybe but let the market decides.


April 8, 2011, 7:48 pm

Don't just preach about it! Go and buy one if you can afford three times the price of a camera which will do a lot more as near as well as makes precious little difference. Every week I see work friends have done on on their Canon G11,G12, S90, or Panasonic LX3, or others I forget, and I've just come home after my first morning with my Olympus XZ-1 and have been looking at the results on TV. Even though I'm a prehistoric old f--- who still uses film all production from high-end compacts that I see tells me that this retro-style X100 is not worth the difference. Not at all. OK, there's less to brag about with a high-end compact, as there's less to brag about with certain Panasonics than with certain Leica, and the X100 has indeed a pretty face, but I've got other things to do with my money than buy bragging rights or pretty faces!


April 8, 2011, 8:05 pm

@ThatOne: Says the man that has bought a premium camera? Surely you can appreciate the extra level of detail this camera brings as compared to the camera you've bought, just as you appreciated the extra quality your camera has over a basic compact?

There's a reason professional photographers use DSLRs costing thousands of pounds, just as there's a reason for this camera to exist.

Not saying I'd buy one but it fits a market niche.


April 11, 2011, 2:21 am

Thanks for the review. It comes across as well-balanced and I have to admit I'd love one of these but can't really justify (which means afford..) buying one.
Reminds me a bit of my old Yashica range-finder. I really loved using it.


April 16, 2011, 8:52 pm

To Ed: It took some time, but I've finally managed to see a Fuji x100, and some of its work. My scepticism has become knowledge: It's not worth more than £400 in terms of what can be done with it and its relative build quality. I don't foresee any build quality issues with my XZ-1, but I'll stick to a camera I know very well through "let me play with yours and I'll let you play with mine" try-outs, and which has been around long enough to be generally well-rated: Canon G11 or G12.

Compared with the G12 the X100 has a foreseeable list of weaknesses, and just one potential strength: its viewfinder... I know what you are going to say, and we have had a loud "discussion" about optical versus digital. It's certainly down to personal preference and the willingness or not to pay three times the price just to have a viewfinder and a long list of un-ticked boxes.

Finally, a question: working with film I would frequently take two bodies, or two backs, with different films in each, but what can be the reason for two digital cameras, especially when the proposed spare costs as much as a nice lens?


April 28, 2011, 6:08 am

I'm afraid many of you (especially ThatOne) are completely missing the point of this camera, as it being compared with the G12. It's about as different in its target audience from the G12 as is the Nikon D3S or the Leica M9. You're comparing apples with oranges. The X100 is a specialist item. It's not a 'jack-of-all-trades' semicompact like the G12. If you want something with mediocre low light performance, no shallow DoF ability and a distinctly average quality zoom lens, then buy the G12. If you want something with the ability to change lenses and great low light ability but will certainly not fit in your coat pocket, buy a Nikon D700 or D7000. If on the other hand you want a camera with best-in-class low light ability, totally silent shutter and you are prepared to work in the very useful fixed 35mm focal length to achieve a pocketable form factor, then the X100 is your *only* choice. If that's not what you're looking for then shop elsewhere, but please don't tell Fuji their business - they know exactly how well this camera would be received by people like me who love it for what it is and understand its intended use - i.e. reportage and street photography. This has been demonstrated by the backlog of advanced orders and X100s selling on ebay at above their RRP. In addition to my X100, I own a Nikon D700 and a Canon S95 (the pocket sized G12) and I can tell you that the X100 is an outstanding performer, giving me images very nearly on a par with my D700, but unlike the D700, I can take the X100 everywhere. When you factor in the superlative build quality, the X100 is worth every penny of its UK asking price.


July 28, 2011, 2:31 am

Despite the site's name, the feature list is anything but to be trusted. "Camera type Digital: SLR" "Optical Zoom: 12 Xx"? "Image Stabilization: Optical"? "LCD Monitor: 3 in, 2.8 in"? "50mm: fixed lens"?


June 24, 2014, 9:06 am

I know this is an old review but there are additional lenses available for this camera which are getting rave reviews. There is a wide angle and telephoto converter available now.

WCL-X100 28mm Equivalent
TCL-X100 50mm Equivalent.

These are not like DSLR converters though. they sit in front of the lens also you maintain the F2.0 aperture. They are a bit under $400 each.

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