Fujifilm X100F review cover

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the immense success and almost cult-like status of Fujifilm’s X100 series, most notably the Fujifilm X100F and the X100V. These cameras are pined after by so many that there are actually used models online being sold at higher prices than retailers were charging for these cameras when they were new.

On paper, this should be surprising. These are, after all, crop sensor cameras with fixed prime lenses. In the Fujifilm X100F’s case, you’ll also have to accept a fixed screen that isn’t touch-sensitive, as well as an absence of weather-sealing and 4K video.

So why are the Fuji X100F and X100V such hot property when there are alternatives on the market which are cheaper and, arguably, better?

In this post, I’ll discuss why I replaced my trusty Fujifilm X-T2 kit by buying a used Fujifilm X100F in 2024, why I chose it over its older and newer versions in the X100T and the X100V, and why you may want to consider a similar move this year.

Affiliate disclosure: While we do receive a small kick-back from any sales or leads obtained through our article, this has never and will never affect any of the content posted on our site. At Roamer Photography, we only recommend products that we have used extensively and would pay for ourselves, so while our affiliate links do help us out, these products are never included in our content for the sole purpose of generating income.

Replacing my X-T2 kit with the Fuji X100F

 

If you’ve visited this site before, you may have read the review I wrote for my beloved Fujifilm X-T2. The X-T2 was my first “serious” camera and I still think it’s an incredible option for many photographers to this day, a belief that is clearly shared by many as that review has been by far my most read article since it was posted.

Fujifilm X-T2 front

That being said, even before my X-T2 kit was stolen by an opportunistic thief passing by our truck in Mexico last year (more on that another time), I had been considering making the switch to the Fuji X100 series. It wasn’t that I was growing tired of the X-T2 specifically, more that my focus was, to too great an extent, shifting away from photography and towards tech and perfecting the combination of lenses in my photography kit.

So, in a bid to escape the all-too-common clutches of gear acquisition syndrome, I wanted to simplify my entire approach to photography without making too many concessions in terms of functionality and the results I could get from it.

 

Why the Fujifilm X100F was the perfect choice for me

 

The Fujifilm X100F was the antidote to my increasingly complicated and gear-driven approach to photography. It presented me with everything that I, and so many others, love about Fujifilm in an exceedingly simple, yet surprisingly powerful package.

It was also my way of somewhat returning to the first camera I ever owned and which got me interested in photography in the first place, the mighty Fujifilm X70, without having to sacrifice image quality and the use of a viewfinder. Simply, the Fujifilm X100F ticked every box I needed it to and none that I didn’t.

 

The X100F retains all-manual exposure dials

 

The Fujifilm X100F’s predecessor, the Fuji X100T (as in third) lacked a manual ISO dial, meaning that the shutter speed and aperture could be adjusted using physical dials while the ISO had to be changed in the camera’s settings menu. The Fuji X100F was the first camera in the X100 family that integrated the ISO dial into the shutter speed dial.

Fuji X100F top dials

Adjusting the ISO is as simple as lifting the dial and turning it to the desired setting, before letting it drop down to its previous position. While this is a bit fidgety, especially when I’m using a hotshoe-mounted thumb grip which I use on every camera I use, it’s still nice to have the option to adjust all of my exposure settings without even having to turn the camera on.

 

No drop in image quality

Hong Kong on Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm X100F in Hong Kong - zoomed

The Fuji X100F shares the same sensor found in the X-T2, so I knew I wasn’t taking a step back in terms of image quality. The X100F’s 24.3 megapixel X-Trans sensor is, even today, an incredibly powerful sensor and I think most would struggle to identify any differences in images taken with this sensor and the higher-resolution, 26 megapixel sensor found in the Fujifilm X100V.

 

The X100F’s unique, hybrid viewfinder

 

Fujifilm’s X100 series also have one very special USP: an electronic viewfinder (EVF) that pops into a rangefinder-style optical viewfinder window, and one can toggle between them by flicking a physical dial on the front of the camera next to the lens.

Digital rangefinders are niche enough as it is, with pretty much only Leica and Fujifilm operating in this space. In Fuji’s hybrid rangefinders, which are also found on the Fujifilm X-Pro line of cameras, there is the additional option of using an EVF, which pops up into the physical rangefinder window.

This gives the Fujifilm X100F, and indeed the rest of the X100 series, the ultimate blend of both worlds. In one second, you can choose to see the real scene, as well as what surrounds your frame, and in the next you can see the scene through the lens, and through the filter the settings and film simulation you have selected place on it. It is truly a special way to shoot.

 

The Fujifilm X100F’s extremely portable form-factor

Fujifilm X100F scale

Now this is a fairly obvious point, the benefits of which probably doesn’t need to be explained at length. While the Fujifilm X100F isn’t exactly pocketable like my old Fuji X70 was, it will still fit in a jacket pocket and weighs so little that you’d find it easy to forget it’s there. I use it with a square lens hood to protect the lens and even with this on, it still feels small and nimble.

Shifting over from a set up in which a couple of my lenses weighed more than the Fuji X100F itself (looking at you XF55-200mm), this was a breath of fresh air. It’s made my travel photography set up so light that I can even justify bringing the behemoth that is the Nikonos V on a few more trips now. All I need to do is try to ignore the price of film and I’m good to go.

 

The lens

 

While I feel the size and weight of the Fujifilm X100F is fairly obvious, especially by anyone who has ever seen an X100 model camera, the lens is something that I’d say, still needs explicit mention. It is a true powerhouse, and it brings the X100F’s 24 megapixel X-Trans sensor alive in a way that I don’t think any lens I paired with my X-T2 ever did.

The X100F’s pancake lens is just 15mm long, so it doesn’t add much bulk onto the front of the camera. It is a fixed 23mm f2 lens (or 35mm full-frame equivalent), which many see as a “goldilocks” focal length, particularly if you’re into street photography.

Fujifilm X100F Hong Kong park
Fujifilm X100F Hong Kong street

If you also occasionally dabble in architecture, landscape, astro or portrait photography, there are two conversion lenses that are also available to convert the Fujifilm X100F’s lens from a 35mm equivalent lens to either a 28mm equivalent or 50mm equivalent lens. While these add extra bulk, this is still minimal in comparison to similar interchangeable lens set ups.

The lens’ maximum aperture of f2 is also just about wide enough to make it a capable lens for low-light and even astro-photography, though I would definitely opt for the WCL-X100 conversion lens for the latter.

 

Built in 3-stop neutral density (ND) filter

 

Finally, if you’re into long-exposure photography, another feature you will find interesting is that the Fujifilm X100F, and each of the other X100 series cameras for that matter, come with a 3-stop ND filter built in.

If you’ve ever bought an ND filter, or had one break or malfunction, you’ll see the value in this design feature. Easy access to this feature is the only change that I’ve made in my function button set up from my X-T2.

 

Notable alternatives

 

Now we’ve spoken at length about the Fujifilm X100F and why it remains such a strong and incredibly camera to use, even in 2024. But we should, of course, also compare it to a couple of the cameras that you, or anyone else considering buying a similar camera, might be considering.

In this comparison section, I’ll focus on the two most obvious alternatives: its predecessor and its successor.

 

The Fujifilm X100F vs the X100T

Fujifilm X100F [released 2017]

Fujifilm X100F front

24MP – APS-C CMOS X-TRANS III Sensor

ISO 200 – 12800 (expands to 100 – 51200)

35 mm f2.00 Prime Lens

3.00″ Fixed Type Screen

2360k dot Electronic and Optical (tunnel) viewfinder

Full HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution

469g. 127 x 75 x 52 mm

Fujifilm X100T [released 2014]

Fujifilm X100T front

16MP – APS-C CMOS X-TRANS II Sensor

ISO 200 – 6400 (expands to 100 – 51200)

35 mm f2.00 Prime Lens

3.00″ Fixed Type Screen

2360k dot Electronic and Optical (tunnel) viewfinder

Full HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution

440g. 127 x 74 x 52 mm

The Fujifilm X100F and the X100T are, of course, very similar cameras, and budget-conscious photographers will likely be looking at both when weighing up their options.

On paper, there doesn’t seem to be all that many differences between the two cameras. In fact, in the statistics I usually list in these sorts of reviews, the only notable differences besides a negligible difference in size and weight, are the higher maximum manual ISO of 12800 rather than 6400, and the higher-resolution 24 megapixel sensor as opposed to the X100T’s 16 megapixel sensor.

In reality, however, there are a few differences that set the two devices apart. One important one for me was the integrated ISO and shutter speed dials. As mentioned, on the Fujifilm X100T, you had to dive into the camera’s on-screen menu in order to make changes to the ISO value. Manual, film-esque dials are one of my favourite features of Fujifilm cameras, so despite the higher price of the X100F, this was something of a dealbreaker for me personally.

The Fujifilm X100F also features improved battery life of 390 shots per charge compared to the X100T’s 330 shots per charge. But other than that, honestly, the cameras are very similar. So if these differences are less of an issue for you than they are to me, or if you’re slightly strapped for cash, then the Fujifilm X100T could be a very good alternative to go for.

 

The Fujifilm X100F vs the X100V

Fujifilm X100F [released 2017]

Fujifilm X100F front

24MP – APS-C CMOS X-TRANS III Sensor

ISO 200 – 12800 (expands to 100 – 51200)

35 mm f2.00 Prime Lens

3.00″ Fixed Type Screen

2360k dot Electronic and Optical (tunnel) viewfinder

Full HD – 1920 x 1080 video resolution

469g. 127 x 75 x 52 mm

Fujifilm X100V [released 2020]

Fujifilm X100F vs X100V

26MP – APS-C BSI-CMOS Sensor

ISO 160 – 12800 (expands to 80 – 51200)

35 mm f2.00 Prime Lens

3.00″ Tilting Screen

3690k dot Electronic and Optical (tunnel) viewfinder

4K (DCI) – 3840 x 2160 video resolution

478g. 128 x 75 x 53 mm

While differences in the listed statistics were fairly negligible in our comparison of the Fuji X100F to the X100T, the differences between the X100F and the X100V are much more significant. In fact, the only thing that has remained exactly the same is the 35mm f2 lens used on both cameras which, as I’ve mentioned, would have been a colossal task to improve upon.

The Fujifilm X100V improves upon the X100F in almost every way, though as I’ll get to shortly, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best choice for many of us. It certainly wasn’t for me.

The Fujifilm X100V features a (slightly) higher-resolution 26 megapixel sensor and a lower minimum ISO of 160, which can get as low as 80. It introduces weather sealing, along with a tilting screen for the first time in the X100 series, a feature I loved on my X70 as it enabled discreet, waist-level shooting, as well as a higher resolution EVF and 4K video recording.

X100F on Hong Kong island

The X100V is, undoubtedly and in almost every way, a better camera than the Fujifilm X100F. So why didn’t I opt for the X100V over the X100F?

Well, in short, because I don’t have bottomless pockets or easy access to a time machine. The Fujifilm X100V has been on back-order for more than a year, and demand for them is so high that the prices have inflated to an obscene degree. I’ve seen used models of this camera sell for close to twice as much as they cost when they were new, and more than twice as much as I ended up paying for my mint-condition X100F, which at the time of buying, only had 1000 shots taken on it.

So, is the X100V a better camera than the X100F? Absolutely. Is it worth more than twice the price of a mint condition X100F? Absolutely not.

So that’s why I opted for the X100F – a healthy mix of reason and financial scarcity. But does that mean that, if your pockets are significantly deeper than mine, you should opt for the X100V? Honestly, unless you need this camera right this second, my answer would still be no.

 

The third option

 

If you have the funds to buy a Fujifilm X100V at its current price, my advice would still be to hold off. An eagle-eyed reader may already know why.

Edit: Last night, almost exactly a week after I posted this article anticipating the announcement and release of the Fujifilm X100VI, it has now been officially announced and many of my (admittedly rather common/obvious) predictions came true. I’ve now written another article about its announcement and imminent release. Be sure to check it out here.

X100VI

If you spent any time looking at the release dates of previous models, you can see that they’re roughly 3 years apart. In other words, the sixth iteration in the series, presumed to be called the Fujifilm X100VI, is already overdue and the rumour mills have been turning all year. Speculation is that the X100VI will be released this year, featuring notable improvements such as the significantly improved 40 megapixel sensor found in the Fujifilm X-T5, in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) and presumably some extra film simulations.

Fujifilm are expected to hike up the price of this model in line with inflation, though even with this price increase, the price is unlikely to be as high as what the Fuji X100V is commanding on eBay at the moment.

In any case, if time is not a factor, there is a high likelihood that later this year, those with the budget will be able to choose between either a much higher spec version of the X100 series, or a significantly less expensive version of the X100V.

If you need a camera right now and if the aforementioned improvements aren’t much of a sticking point for you, however, the Fujifilm X100F may still be the best option for you.

 

Why the Fujifilm X100F will remain in my arsenal

 

Even with all these improvements and imminent releases, for me, the Fujifilm X100F remains the perfect camera, and probably the only digital camera I will be using in the near future.

Ipoh graffiti with X100F
Ipoh graffiti with X100F

The reason for this is that, firstly, I’m not a professional photographer and the statistics and limitations of the Fujifilm X100F are really not an impediment to me or my work.

Secondly, the Fujifilm X100F is exactly what I wanted from my camera set up: a simple, functional, and surprisingly powerful setup that I don’t need to alter or modify because it’s already all that I need it to be. It has simplified my approach to photography in a way that allows me to focus, to a greater extent on the photography itself.

Where to pick one up

 

If I’ve managed to convince (or reassure) you that the Fujifilm X100F is the camera for you, I would recommend looking for a used model on MPB. I’ve been using MPB to buy and sell camera equipment for years and they have yet to let me down. Their team carefully inspects and tests each camera they buy / sell, and they offer comprehensive 6 month warranty with every item as standard.

Click here to have a look at the Fujifilm X100F’s current price on MPB.

 

Wrap-up

 

So there we have it, my admittedly rather subjective review of the Fujifilm X100F and why it may just be the perfect choice for you.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out some of our other posts or sign up to our newsletter below to stay up to date with any posts that we post in future.

Roamer Photography is an online community that aims to help guide photographers through the saturated and ever-changing world of travel photography.

All of your photography and travel information in one place.