Andy Westlake examines the fourth generation of Fujifilm's classic fixed-lens rangefinder-style compact
Fuji X100F review: Performance
In use, the X100F is fast and responsive, with all of the controls responding instantly to inputs. Overall, the camera behaves exactly as well as you would hope, given its £1,249 price tag.
Image quality is very good indeed, with the 24-million-pixel sensor providing lots of detail at low ISO settings, and giving entirely usable images at sensitivities up to ISO 6400 at least. At higher settings there is, naturally, a lot of noise and significant detail loss. But switch to the black & white Acros mode, which Fujifilm says uses entirely different processing to the standard monochrome, and the noise takes on a very attractive character. Indeed, in Acros, I was quite happy to shoot as high as ISO 25,600.
Metering tends to be accurate, and with a live histogram available in the viewfinder, and accurate exposure preview using the EVF or LCD, it’s easy to ensure your exposures look right before even pressing the shutter by applying a touch of exposure compensation whenever necessary. Likewise, auto white balance gets things right more often than not.
However, it’s the colour processing that really makes Fujifilm’s JPEGs stand out. All of the film-simulation modes have their uses; my favourite for everyday use is Astia, but Classic Chrome provides a lovely muted colour palette, and for black & white, shooting Acros gives absolutely stunning results. For many users, this kind of JPEG quality can make raw post-processing practically obsolete. If the camera gets things wrong first time around, you can also make a lot of corrections using the in-camera raw converter.
It still makes sense to shoot raw files, of course, in case you want to do more extensive processing. For example, the sensor’s impressive dynamic range means there’s a lot of scope for pulling extra shadow detail out of low ISO shots, allowing you to expose to protect highlights then extract shadow detail in post-processing. The built-in dynamic-range-expansion modes allow you to do this in-camera to a degree, but raw processing gives more control. Alternatively, processing raw can help extract the finest possible detail from your files, and allow you to strike the optimal balance between noise reduction and detail at high ISO. Fortunately, both Fujifilm’s Raw File Converter EX and Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom do a good job of matching the in-camera film-simulation modes, so you don’t have to give up that lovely colour reproduction, as was the case with older models.