Until recently, Fujifilm was known only for its mediocre cameras, as well as a few decent DSLRs. But today this company is unrecognizable, and all thanks to the release in 2011 of a premium “soap box” with a retro design – X100. That camera was able to gain popularity among advanced photographers, so it immediately received an update in the form of the X100S with a new sensor and improved autofocus, which helped to finally consolidate the company’s success.
Today I will tell you about the third generation of cameras in this line – Fujifilm X100T. There are not so many changes inside: a new Wi-Fi module has appeared and the diagonal and resolution of the main display have increased. Oh yes, and it’s also the world’s first digital rangefinder camera. Interesting? Then let’s get to know her better!
Design and management
At first glance, the X100T is no different from its predecessor: it is still a solid camera, made using magnesium alloy and leather-like plastic. Classic retro style with a viewfinder and lots of analog controls – all very reminiscent of classic rangefinder cameras from the last century.
The novelty has rather large body dimensions for a “soap box”: 126.5 x 74.4 x 52.4 mm, although if you plan to get somewhere “light”, it will still be a more acceptable option than a bulky DSLR with a similar optics. At the same time, the X100T weighs a little less than it seems at first glance: only 440 grams (the predecessor was 5 grams heavier). Yes, it’s still bigger and heavier than competitors like the Sony RX100 III or Canon G7X, but don’t forget that this camera is in a completely different league, so this oversight can be forgiven.
On the front of the camera there is a “pancake” lens, an autofocus illuminator, a flash, two microphones, a viewfinder and a lever for switching viewfinder modes.
The top panel is equipped with a hot shoe mount, shutter speed selector, shutter release button, which surrounds the power lever, exposure compensation selector and a programmable function key (turns on video recording by default).
At the back is a large 3-inch LCD display. On the left side of the display, there are four buttons for switching between the display and the viewfinder, playback, deleting pictures and another function key (by default responsible for Wi-Fi). To the right of the display is a five-position block for navigation, a focus / exposure lock button, a display mode change button and a quick menu activation button.
Above the display are the hybrid viewfinder, diopter adjustment wheel, proximity sensor, drive mode button and selector dial.
On the left side you will find the focus mode switch, and on the right side there is a door behind which miniHDMI, microUSB and a jack for connecting an external microphone are hidden.
The bottom panel is equipped with a door with a battery compartment and a slot for a memory card, as well as a thread for a tripod. The thread is too close to the door, so it is not possible to quickly change the battery without removing the tripod.
In general, there are no complaints about the ergonomics of the X100T, however, the handle could be made deeper and the plastic less slippery, otherwise you can simply drop the camera when trying to shoot with one hand.
Display and viewfinder
It features a hybrid viewfinder that combines optical and electronic viewfinders to give you the best of both worlds: real picture and no lag in the optical, and 100% frame coverage with the ability to preview the final result in the electronic viewfinder. The resolution of the electronic viewfinder is 2360 thousand dots – the picture is very clear, one of the best solutions on the market.
An innovation in the form of a digital rangefinder allows the optical viewfinder to work with focus areas, as well as use “focus peaking” to increase the focus area.
The LCD display has finally received a long-awaited update: its diagonal has increased from 2.8 to 3 inches, and the resolution from 460 thousand dots to 1040 thousand. The Japanese tried to keep the classics in everything, so, alas, there is no swivel design and touch coverage here.
Shooting and image quality
The X100T uses a 16.3-megapixel APS-C format X-Trans CMOS II sensor (no low-pass filter) and uses EXR II as an image processor. ISO sensitivity is available within the range of 200-6400 with an expansion of up to 51200. The built-in lens has a fixed focal length of 23mm (or 35mm full frame equivalent) and provides a maximum aperture of f/2.0.
A hybrid system of 49 points (phase and contrast) is responsible for autofocus. The system is fast, but not very reliable: a couple of times it flatly refused to find focus even despite quite favorable weather. Also, problems arose with focusing very thin objects, for example, a plant stalk. In terms of speed, the X100T is comparable to the Fujifilm X-T1 equipped with an XF 23mm f/1.4 lens. Burst mode allows you to shoot at up to 6 JPEG frames per second (the buffer overflows after 24 shots), or up to 8 RAW frames.
The Fujifilm X100T takes excellent pictures: noise won’t bother you up to ISO 3200, and the first slight noise appears only at ISO 6400 and the pictures are still quite good even at ISO 12800. Further, when shooting at ISO 25600 and 51200, the noise naturally narrows. strongly conspicuous and, moreover, there are problems with contrast. Nevertheless, these are excellent results for an APS-C sensor, and Fujifilm engineers have tried to make the most of it.
Chromatic aberrations are at a low level: color defects appear only in the most exceptional cases, with very high contrast in the frame. There are no problems with vignetting and distortion.
The Imacheck test was used to evaluate the sharpness of the lens. At full aperture, the test produced 2246 lines that fit on the vertical side of the image, which is much higher than the value of 1800 lines, which is considered to be quite sharp. The value at the corners is a modest 1278 lines, so you should be careful when shooting at f / 2.0 and shoot with cropping in mind. Shooting at f/4 produces very sharp shots, with 2,705 lines on average per frame and 2,078 lines at the edges.
Video recording can be done in 1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720 resolution at up to 60 frames per second. The video is pretty clear and clean. The movements are smooth, although color artifacts are noticeable in the frame. The X100T lacks optical image stabilization, so handheld shots come out with a noticeable “shake” in the frame. The analog controls make quite noticeable clicks that are then audible in the video, however an external microphone should be able to handle that.
The Fujifilm X100T is priced on par with other APS-C cameras – think of the Samsung NX1 mirrorless we’ve already talked about. And for that money, users will get a unique hybrid viewfinder, the world’s first digital rangefinder, as well as stunning design and excellent build quality.
Users of the X100 will find the improvements very pleasant, so the upgrade is more than worth it for them, but X100S owners should think twice. As for everyone else, if you are looking for a premium camera with high image quality, stylish design and a large viewfinder, then I highly recommend getting the Fujifilm X100T, you will definitely not regret it.
Especially for Photosklad.rat