The design of the X100 line wants to recall the retro aesthetic and tactile controls of the past but at the same time bring you all the functionality that you might ask for from a modern camera. The X100F is the successor of the X100, the X100S and the X100T so there is quite a bit of legacy already behind this line and this new addition is truly exciting.
The sensor of the camera is an APS-C X-Trans CMOS III of 24.3MP and this improves the resolution from the 16MP that you could find in the S and T models while also adding an increased sensitivity range.
The ISO range of the X100F is from 200 to 12,800 and you have an expanded range of 100 to 51,200. To add to this, the expanded settings also have the capability to capture raw images unlike the previous models where you were limited to JPEG shooting.
The hybrid viewfinder which was present in all of the X100 series provides the option of shooting in the optical or electronic mode and the electronic view is rendered through the OLED display which has 2.36 million dots and offers data about exposure, white balance, composition and many other needed info.
The optical mode has a Real Time Parallax Correction function that shifts the frame guides so that you are ensured framing. You can combine the electronic preview with the optical viewfinder and this offers a magnified view through which you can check the focus.
The display in the back has a size of three inches and a resolution of 1,040,000 dots but doesn’t provide touchscreen capabilities. The lens is the same as the one of the previous models so a compact 23mm f/2 prime equivalent to 35mm and you have two dedicated lens converters that are equivalent to 50mm and 28mm which will be detected automatically.
When it comes to video recording, this was something Fujifilm never focused on with this line and the X100F is in the same category so you only get Full HD capture with up to 60p but that might be sufficient for some more casual things such as recording personal events or vlogging.
The communication is done through Wi-Fi as there is no support for NFC communication or even for low-energy Bluetooth but the app permits you to transfer images and shoot remotely via Wi-Fi.
Design and Handling
The retro charm is something that makes the X100F really attractive and the construction is made from a magnesium alloy that ensures a durable exterior. There is the option for a silver or a black one and when it comes to the controls these have been improved.
The top plate has dials for shutter speed and exposure compensation with the first one having dual control so that you can change the ISO through lifting and turning the dial. Obviously this control isn’t something that you can do while having the viewfinder to your eye so for some this can be a problem.
The exposure compensation dial has the -3EV/+3EV range of the previous model but it now offers a new C setting that lets you set the compensation to +/-5EV with the new front command dial. The exposure is really easy to set and the controls in the back that were on the left side before are now moved to the right to allow better one-hand control.
A new joystick for focus point selection makes this process much faster and easier and since there are more AF points for the X100F this was certainly a welcomed upgrade. For customization, the level offered with this model is really something to appreciate. One of the four-way control settings is fixed but the three remaining points can have any functions you want as well as the function button on the top place, the AEL/AFL button, the rear command dial and there is a new function button too in the front of the viewfinder selector which is set to select what the manual focus ring controls but can be modified.
The aperture is set through the ring on the lens and you can adjust it to 1/3 stops even if only the full ones are marked. If you set this to A then the camera will control the aperture and this applies for the shutter speed dial as well.
Autofocus and Performance
The latest Fujifilm autofocus system has 325 points if you want a lot of precision but the typical model offers 91 broad AF points that have a 7×7 central grid with phase-detection points and two 3×7 grids to detect contrast. The coverage is really good and there is an eye-detection AF. In total there are six AF modes to choose from and it is very fast to position the focus.
In burst shooting you can have up to 8fps which can be kept for up to 60 consecutive JPEG files or for 23 uncompressed Raws. You can reduce the frame rate and you can get the live view feed between the shots if you lower the fps.
The battery is a NP-W126S which is the same as the one used in the mirrorless range of Fujifilm and it boosts the battery life to 390 shots. The display now shows how much life you have in percentages so it will be easier to keep track of it.
The TTL 256 zone metering system works great and you can get real-time exposures in the back display or the electronic viewfinder. If you want to add some exposure compensation then the C mode will make this very simple.
The sensor really does its job and the fact that they provide a fixed lens might seem as a huge limitation for some but the level of detail is very good even at an ISO6400. The sensitivity range is also one of the good parts of the X100F as even at the lower end you get good colors and these get more muted only at ISO6400.
The dynamic range is also impressive and at lower sensitivities you can recover a lot of detail of the highlights in the post processing. Noises are handled well and you get a lot of flexibility, while the Film Simulation mode provides some really good results so we would say that with the X100F this line has made a lot of progress in the right direction.