Fu­ji­film X-T100

£619/$699 (with 15-45mm lens) The X-T100 com­bines style, value and a viewfinder at a price that’s lower than you’d ex­pect www. fuji film. co.uk

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS - Rod Lawton

The new baby in Fu­ji­film’s mir­ror­less X range is here – we see what it can do

The X-T100 is by no means Fu­ji­film’s most ad­vanced X-mount cam­era yet, but it fills a cru­cial gap in the mir­ror­less cam­era mar­ket and takes on DSLRs at their own game.

Un­til re­cently, mir­ror­less cam­eras have fallen into two main groups: low-cost cam­eras with sim­pli­fied con­trols for ‘smart­phone up­graders’, but no viewfind­ers; and al­to­gether more ad­vanced cam­eras for en­thu­si­asts and pros, with elec­tronic viewfind­ers and other fea­tures, but with a price tag to match. What the X-T100 does is bring that DSLR-style ‘viewfinder’ ex­pe­ri­ence down to a much more af­ford­able price. The specs are ba­sic but ef­fec­tive. In­side the X-T100 is a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS non-X-Trans sen­sor. You do get 4K video ca­pa­bil­ity, but it’s at a max­i­mum frame rate of 15fps which, frankly, is of lit­tle use to any­one. (It will shoot at the Full HD res­o­lu­tion at reg­u­lar frame rates, though.) The con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing per­for­mance is a rea­son­able 6fps, but with a buf­fer ca­pac­ity of just 26 JPEGs. If you shoot at a slower 3fps, the X-T100 will keep go­ing un­til the

mem­ory card is full, but it’s clearly not a sports spe­cial­ist.

As a cam­era for novices and en­thu­si­asts to ex­per­i­ment and learn with, the X100 it has a lot to of­fer. For a start, it comes Fu­ji­film’s cel­e­brated Film Simulation modes, in­clud­ing Provia, Velvia, As­tia, Clas­sic Chrome, Pro Neg (Hi and Std) and Mono­chrome (with dif­fer­ent ‘fil­ter’ op­tions) – though not the black-and-white Acros mode found on more up­mar­ket mod­els.

It can also shoot raw files, of course, and of­fers in-cam­era raw con­ver­sion for those who don’t want to wait un­til they can get their images onto a com­puter. If you’re not con­fi­dent with the tech­ni­cal­i­ties yet, there’s an Ad­vanced SR Auto mode, which analy­ses each scene and picks the most ap­pro­pri­ate fo­cus and cam­era set­tings. If you like in­stant in-cam­era ef­fects, there’s an Ad­vanced Fil­ter mode for that too.

Per­haps the most in­ter­est­ing fea­ture, though, is the new XC1545mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ kit lens, first seen on the cheaper X-A5 model (re­viewed last is­sue). This is a com­pact power zoom lens that re­tracts when it’s not in use, to take up less space. It also of­fers a wider an­gle of view than

the av­er­age kit zoom, with an ef­fec­tive fo­cal range of 22.5-67.5mm in full­frame terms.

Build and han­dling

From the front, the X-T100’s de­sign is clas­sic and un­der­stated, and a mil­lion miles from the bulky bulges of a mod­ern DSLR. It’s not much more complicated on the top, with a mode dial, a shut­ter re­lease with a power switch around the out­side, and two un­ob­tru­sive un­marked con­trol di­als.

This is where the X-T100’s lay­out de­parts from the mod­els fur­ther up the range. Where they swap over to clas­sic ex­ter­nal di­als for shut­ter speed, ISO and lens aperture (de­pend­ing on the lens/body con­fig­u­ra­tions), the X-T100 sticks to the usual dig­i­tal cam­era con­ven­tion of a main mode dial, with shut­ter speed, lens aperture and ISO set­tings ad­justed via di­als and on-screen dis­plays.

En­thu­si­asts will be happy, though, be­cause the X-T100 gives you not just one con­trol dial (the usual setup for an en­try-level or mid-range cam­era), but three. There’s a third on the back of the cam­era, used mainly for

“There’s noth­ing to com­plain about with the X-T100’s pic­ture qual­ity”

menu and set­tings nav­i­ga­tion, but also for set­ting the lens aperture in Man­ual or Aperture Pri­or­ity mode, and for zoom­ing in in play­back mode.

The touch­screen dis­play works well, too. It’s used for cam­era con­trol rather than menu nav­i­ga­tion, and you can set it up for touch fo­cus or touch shut­ter – it is quite handy to be able just to tap on a sub­ject on the screen and have the cam­era take a pic­ture in a sin­gle ac­tion.

This screen also has an un­usual tilt­ing ac­tion. It tilts up and down, which is per­fectly com­mon, but it also has a side­ways hinge, which not only makes it great for low-an­gle por­traits and other ver­ti­cal shots, but also swings through a full 180 de­grees for self­ies.

The X-T100’s aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is ef­fec­tive, but doesn’t feel espe­cially re­spon­sive. It’s not slow, but it’s not fast ei­ther, and the me­chan­i­cal sound of the shut­ter ac­tion is quite drawn out, which can make you feel like the whole process has been a lit­tle more sluggish than it ac­tu­ally is – but we are talk­ing about quite small dif­fer­ences here.

The 15-45mm lens is a mixed bless­ing. Its small size is a ma­jor ad­van­tage and its wider-than-usual fo­cal range is ex­tremely use­ful, but its zoom-by-wire op­er­a­tion lacks the im­me­di­acy of a me­chan­i­cal zoom.

Per­for­mance

We found a few nig­gling han­dling and per­for­mance is­sues dur­ing our test­ing. It’s ac­tu­ally quite hard to han­dle the X-T100 with­out accidentally press­ing a but­ton you didn’t mean to; and if you leave the touch shut­ter mode en­abled, you can ex­pect to get a few ran­dom shots of your feet, knees or blurry

pass­ing scenery where your hands have brushed against the screen.

The me­ter­ing sys­tem also seems prone to over­ex­po­sure, and we had to dial in quite a lot of neg­a­tive ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion rather more of­ten than we’d like to get a nat­u­ral-look­ing ren­di­tion. It’s just as well you can ap­ply EV com­pen­sa­tion via a top dial, then, but it would be bet­ter to have one set aside specif­i­cally for this pur­pose, and one that turns a lit­tle more eas­ily.

There’s noth­ing to com­plain about with the X-T100’s pic­ture qual­ity. Our lab tests show that its res­o­lu­tion, noise lev­els and dy­namic range are on a par with the best of its ri­vals.

Nor­mally, we test a cam­era’s image qual­ity us­ing raw files con­verted with the maker’s own soft­ware. In this in­stance, though, we found the bun­dled SilkPix soft­ware pro­duced dis­tinctly soft-look­ing images while in­flat­ing the X-T100’s noise per­for­mance. In­stead, we used Adobe Cam­era Raw to con­vert the raw files for the lab mea­sure­ments; this pro­duced much more re­al­is­tic and com­pa­ra­ble fig­ures.

What the lab results don’t show, though, is the par­tic­u­lar Fu­ji­film ‘look’ of the images. The Provia Film Simulation mode is clos­est to a stan­dard colour ren­di­tion, but if you like your colours su­per-sat­u­rated, you can swap to Velvia mode.

The bun­dled 15-45mm lens is very good for an in­ex­pen­sive kit lens. While it doesn’t have in-body image sta­bil­i­sa­tion, it does have a three-stop op­ti­cal sta­biliser built-in, and this seems very ef­fec­tive.

It might not have a Fu­ji­film X-Trans sen­sor, but the X-T100’s CMOS sen­sor is very good.

The rear screen doesn’t just tilt up and down but has a side­ways hinge too, so that you can an­gle the screen for ver­ti­cal shots.

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