My initial reaction to the Fujifilm X100T

There are a number of incredibly in-depth reviews about the X100T online so I want to say right off the bat that this post is not trying to be anything like those. So what is it trying to be? Well, to adequately answer that I need to give a little background.

Some time ago I saw a news article about the Leica M Edition 60. A digital camera like many others, except for one major difference: there’s no screen. Essentially what you got was all of the purity and simplicity of shooting with a film camera but with the convenience of simply popping your SD card in your computer at the end of the day. You know a camera is doing something right when its biggest con is that you can’t tell when the battery is low. I wanted it. Badly. The only problem was that it came with a Leica price tag, upwards of $18,500.

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Such a design leads you to question if you really need that new car or not.

So I chalked that one up as being a pipe dream and moved on. That is until I was at Disneyland one day and saw a young lady shooting with a very similar looking camera. I inquired and she told me about it. It was the Fujifilm X100S, a fixed-focal-length (zoomless) mirrorless camera that aimed to replicate the joy of shooting with film. Sound familiar? I looked it up when I got home and was pleasantly surprised to see that it cost less than most cars, unlike its elitist counterpart, a lot less. Fast forward about three years and its successor, the X100T, arrives at my door.

I can only say I’m absolutely impressed and in love with this camera, it’s exactly what I was looking for. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s exactly what just about anyone is looking for because it can be whatever you need a portable camera to be.

If you want a beginner point-and-shoot that grandma can use having never touched a camera before, you can set everything to ‘automatic’ and you’ll have just that. If you want a portable replacement to your DSLR, you can fuss with all of the manual settings and get just the shot you’re looking for. Despite my original desire for a screenless camera I often find myself reviewing the photos I took to check focus and exposure (I’m a product of my generation).

Most interestingly, at least to me, if you want an M 60 from your X100T, you can turn off the display completely and have the world’s simplest consumer-priced camera. Simply a shutter speed knob and an aperture dial and you’re good to go. The in-camera film simulator can even give you the muted colors you’d expect from camera’s past.

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I captured this image this afternoon without referencing the screen or checking the image afterward. The muted result (and imperfect exposure setting, oops) gives an authentic film aesthetic that is lost in today’s digital age.

All-in-all, I got the specialty camera I was looking for and saved a pretty penny (roughly 1.7 million pennies, actually). The photo quality is excellent, the learning curve was very quick, and the portability is such that I’ll never have to worry about being without it.

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