What I expect from Fujifilm X100F

There is something outstanding and unique about the Fujifilm X100 series. The first X100, originally announced in September 2010, was launched in March 2011 and started what I could call “the revolution”.

It was  the beginning of a new era for Fujifilm and the opening of a new chapter in photography. The mirrorless revolution was about to bring very interesting technical capabilities, while watching the mature, but highly acclaimed DSLR world (especially when talking about professional and semi-professional DSLR cameras) standing down in so many technical aspects.

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Mirrorless philosophy in itself means a revolution in photography. It is about achieving outstanding image quality and continuously improved performance, over the years, while keeping a compact size and weight of the whole system.

And also, mirrorless brings new technology that is specific to this type of camera, like Contrast Detection On-Chip Focus (no more front-focus, back-focus and the need for calibration of your lenses), Focus Peaking (a great tool to ensure that the desired specific area of the frame is in focus, while visually confirming the area in focus), Electronic Shutter (that enables the totally silent shutter and speeds over 1/8.000 sec, up to 1/32.000 sec and maybe faster than that) and many other amazing things, like GPS, Wi-Fi transfer and Wi-Fi remote access from your smartphone. All those things open new doors in photography, pushing the technical boundaries even further, a lot more that the DSLR philosophy is able to do.

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I choose Fujifilm for several reasons, for the fact that they create cameras according to my needs and taste, real cameras for photographers. I do not need a no-personality, cold and plasticky electronic device that captures images, even if it is full of high specs, but I need a camera, designed for photographers, that gives me that pleasant feeling of using a real camera, through its materials, decent performance and design. And Fujifilm succeeded in doing so.

Well, how do I see my future X100F camera?

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Size. I need the new X100F to be a little bigger. This means better ergonomics and I am sure many of us feel the same way. Dear Fujifilm, you already have very compact cameras, for those who really need their camera to be as small as possible, like the A series, or X70. No need to make the next X100 model in the same way. At least, keep the same size, but not smaller than already is.

Then again, why bigger? Are there any other reasons? Yes, indeed.

Weather Resistance. A bigger body could easily include the sealings, to make it weather resistant, as all Fujifilm professional cameras should be.

Battery. If the X1ooF can be a little bigger, maybe there is enough space to put a bigger battery, like the existing NP-W126. A better autonomy is something that we all appreciate.

Heat dissipation. A bigger body would improve the heat dissipation coming from all internal components that produce heat (faster processor, maybe 4k capabilities – although I don’t see the need for 4k videos in this type of camera).

Dual SD card slots. This is also related to the bigger body aspect and a different technical improvement, too. I don’t feel this to be an essential item, but it wold be great if this could be implemented in the next X100 camera.

Design. The way you created the X100 series is simply gorgeous. There are some aspects that can be improved, like the size and feel of the metal dials (as you did with the X-T2, compared to the X-T1). An ISO dial should be very welcome. If it is so hard to make a separate ISO dial, just implement the strategy used for the X-Pro2.

Performance. Well, normally there are many elements to be discussed under this important section. I will not go into the technical details. Just make sure the new X100 will have every piece of speed and performance that the X-T2 (alone, without the power battery grip) has; or at least what X-Pro2 is capable of. It just feels natural, to be so.

I presume that a compact fixed lens, should help achieving, (why not), the fastest AF speed in all Fuji X camera range. If the new X100F cannot be better than the newest Fujifilm cameras (because X100F will be the latest camera of them all and now the Medium Format GFX 50S can bring some new expertise in the field, as well), it should be at least on the same level of performance.

Lens. This was a strongly debated part, on Fujirumors website, also on Facebook. I know I’ve started my own public debate on Facebook Fujifilm related user groups, regarding what lens should the new X100F have. In one evening, more that 100 comments were fighting to express the people’s opinion regarding this sensible element of the X100F design.

Some say the 23mm focal length is the easiest way (there still are the WCL and TCL conversion lenses, designed for the X100 series). Some say this time it is better to go wider, like the suggested 18mm focal length (but others said the X70 already has the 18mm), then some others proposed this time it would be interesting to go beyond the 35mm Full-Frame equivalent, like 40-50mm, for example.

I have no idea what focal length should be ideal for the new X100F. But I strongly suggest that this time it should be F1.4 (the maximum aperture of this fixed lens). I understand that F2.0 is not quite slow, but in low-light situations, as I really love to photograph, an advantage of one stop of light is essential. And by the way, “a new lens” (even if there will be the same 23mm focal length) is supposed to be better and faster, right?

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The future is unpredictable and this is why it is so hard for me to say that I will remain a Fujifilm lover, for the rest of my life. I am still so young (in photography) and Fujifilm X mirrorless system is also, quite young, but from what I have seen and felt, based on my own experience, now it seems I will be a Fujifilm lover. For a very long time…

Thank you, Fujifilm!

Yours sincerely and admiringly,

Sebastian Boatca (X-Pro1, X100S and X-T1 enthusiast since 2013)

All photos and text – © Sebastian Boatca 2016 / www.sebastianboatca.com

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8 Comments

  1. The X100F really does not need to be any bigger. And increasing from an f2 to an f1.4 lens would increase the size significantly. I own a 23mm f1.4 and that is a big lens compared to those of smaller apertures. So in essence, making the modifications you suggest would change the formula for what is a very successful camera series. Thankfully Fuji know their market and will continue with an f2 lens and small body of the x100 series.

  2. if it should be bigger than it is actually, why not take an xpro2 directly? or wish for an xpro2 with leaf shutter? why bother making x100 a shadow of xpro2

    1. I do not see the need for X100 series to become as large as the X-Pro2. But you can’t deny the improvements that could come with a slightly larger size. The actual X100T does not fit inside a regular pocket, so… I prefer a bigger battery anyways.

  3. Although it might be technically easier for Fuji to improve battery life if the camera body is larger, it’d be a shame to take away from what is one of the best aspects of this camera: it’s compact size. The one thing I feel Fuji really need to concentrate their efforts on is improving the autofocus speed to bring it in line with their latest XF lenses.

  4. I see your point. A 23mm f/1.4 on a X100 body wont be bigger than XF23mm f/1.4. Just look at the x100 lens now, it’s a lot smaller than xf 23mm f2. With a fixed body, you can make a very portable “pancake” lens.

    Bottomline: with a brighter lens and/or weather resistant body, maybe x100f will a bit bigger than its predecessor, but wont be any bigger than xpro2 + XF23mm f2. And thats still good for fuji’s business –people who want portability and compactness could always choose X70.

    1. I agree with your point. As long as it is still portable and compact, smaller that the X-Pro2, a slight increase in size would allow for the things I just described. The actual X100T does not fit inside a regular pocket, so… I prefer a bigger battery anyways.

  5. While I appreciate your sentiments, I agree with the comments above that it does not need to be bigger. I feel there are more important things to improve:

    a sharper lens than the current one. Too soft at f/2;
    same 24 mp sensor as the xt2;
    ISO Dial (rumour that it will be the same integrated one as xpro2) which makes sense to keep the size down
    Clearer EVF.

    Apart from better ergonomics, those are the key needs. It needs to be 23mm so we can reuse our converters. Weather protection and dual card slots are fanciful, it is not a targeted as a pro level market. As others have said, if you want bigger and pro attributes – get an xpro2!

    1. It sounds natural and doable. I am curious how big this would be, if they use the battery from X-T2/X-Pro2 and hopefully add the weather sealing capability.

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