Ever since I started photography at the ripe old age of 25, I have always admired the look of "THE Photographer". You know the one. A giant DSLR swung by the side with a thick, ornate neck strap. A backpack carrying a tripod, and thousands of dollars worth of lenses. They looked cool, professional, and I imagined all of them were getting published somewhere. That is what I wanted to be, a pro.
It didn't hit me until I actually picked up one of these behemoths, how much you got noticed, how much your neck hurt, and just how all around obtrusive they were. My Nikon, bumped into more people throughout the day than a 9 year old who just drank 3 sodas at a birthday party. I thought being noticed was what I wanted...I was wrong.
When I carried around the DSLR, no one acted candid, they acted frightened..like I was pointing a gun at them rather than a lens. They would often hide their faces, or turn their backs to me. I have soooo many pictures of people's backs.
Now I am not saying these cameras do not have their place. They create beautiful images with their amazing, large full-frame sensors. They have incredible auto-focusing capabilities, and they have the ability to swap out their lenses so you can achieve the look you are going for (so do non DSLR's...but shhhh...). However for Street Photography, I found them close to useless. I got better composed shots on my iPhone.
Enter the X100T. First off let me say, what a beautiful little creature. It looks straight up out of the 60's. It is a Hipster's wet dream. It's not tiny, but it could pass for a larger point and shoot, and this is where I think it's biggest strength lies...it's discreteness.
This is, in my opinion, the name of the game when it comes to street photography, and photographing people you don't know it general. People have what seems to be a 6th sense when a camera is pointed at them. This camera dilutes that sense. Remember what I said earlier about looking like a pro with a DSLR? This camera makes you look like a tourist, and that is a good thing. It's non-threatening, it's pretty, and it can capture some amazing candid moments because people do not know it is there, or if they do, they do not seem to care. Which leads me to my next topic, size.
This Fuji in particular is a mere 5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1 inches. My hand is bigger than that. It is not pocketable (unless you are wearing those jeans from the 90's) but it is relatively light and easy to carry (without bumping into people). It is also really easy to carry out of the house, which is my favorite part. While I love my X Pro 2 to death, I find getting everything together and taking it with me is a little bit more troublesome than I would like (and that thing is small for a mirrorless camera). I take the X100T with me everywhere. On a day time walk, to work, even to the bathroom (joking).
Have you ever been driving home from work and seen a sunset which blew your mind and you said, I wish I had a my nice camera with me...well...now you do!
3. Fixed Lens
Now some of you may argue with me here, and say, but the whole point of swapping lenses is the be able to adapt to your needs as a photographer. To that I say you are absolutely correct, but hear me out. Remember what I said about the portability above? Well imagine leaving the house and grabbing your X100T, then deciding on what lens to take, only you can't make up your mind and end up taking 3, and your backpack. Now you are no longer traveling light my friend.
The other beauty of the fixed lens is that it makes your process as a photographer more creative. You have to compose shots differently when you can not zoom or switch out your prime lens. If you can't get close to a subject, you have to find a different way to get a viewer interested in what you are looking at. It's makes the whole process more artistic in my opinion.
And having a full frame equivalent of 35mm is not the worst focal length to be stuck with :) Not too wide, but not too narrow/tight either.
P.S. Fuji offers some converters as well to simulate different focal lengths. 50mm and 28mm are the current offering.
4. The Image Quality
Now you may be thinking that with all these size perks, you are giving something up in terms of image quality. Heck no, Tech no. This thing packs a punch. Sure, it may only be 16MP, sure it may be APS-C, but seriously, the straight from camera JPEG's that come out of this things, are some of the best looking images I have ever seen. Perfect sharpness, perfect contrast, and oh boy the colors! Fuji has alway been known for their colors, but with this camera, and the Classic Chrome profile selected, you get some amazing shots that just tug at your soul.
5. The little things.
The other things that this camera offers that are not necessary but amazing.
Dead silent electronic shutter. Seriously, I can not hear this thing when shooting, let alone my subject
Next is the built in ND filter. Yes, that is right, it has a 3 stop ND filter built in! You can take "short" long exposure photos mid day.
The Wifi is great. Especially for people like me to love to Instagram and have no patience to wait until they get home to upload and edit. Transfer photo from camera to phone, upload the Lightroom mobile, post to Insta. Boom, now you have millions of followers, all because of this camera...ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration.
Built in flash. Yes it has a leaf shutter and ability for HSS, but if we are taking the portable route, this flash actually works very well (the X Pro 2 does not have built in flash which is another reason I take this camera EVERYWHERE).
And finally, chicks dig it. I swear, more people have asked to see the camera than the photos I took on it. I am married so I can't utilize it's full potential, but to all my single brothers out there, buy one...(honey, if you are reading this, I am joking...kind of).
6. What I would like to see next...
Ok what I love is above, what I think they could improve upon is below.
Weather proof the damn thing...seriously. If I want to take this everywhere, it needs to be able to do so. Rain, shine, snow, hot, cold...get me some seals on this bad boy.
Would love to see the X Trans 24.3 MP Sensor on the next iteration.
Lens..I think the lens should stay the same. It needs to be sharper at wide open though. f4-8 is where this kit really shines.
And I know it will never happen due to size, but I have to say it anyway. It would be awesome if they could get 1.8 out of this thing, just to please us bokeholics.
Thanks for reading my incoherent and very biased review.