The market isn’t short of entry-level mirrorless cameras, so where does the Fujifilm X-T100 fit in? Michael Topham tests the latest arrival in the X-Series
Fujifilm X-T100 – Performance
Other than a few criticisms regarding the responsiveness of the touchscreen and the effectiveness of its touch functions, the X-T100 is a reliable performer that you can rely on to capture great images, be it on your travels abroad or for use closer to home.
Although it may not have an X-Trans sensor, colour reproduction straight out of the camera is excellent. A majority of our test images were taken with the white balance set to auto and the film simulation mode set to Provia or Velvia. The camera served up faithful, vibrant colours with each and every shot.
The tried and tested 256-zone metering unit rarely disappoints and delivered accurate exposures when it was challenged by dark indoor scenes and bright natural light outdoors. Only occasionally did I find that my images benefited from a tweak of exposure compensation. As we said when we reviewed the X-A5, there isn’t much to fault with the X-T100’s Bayer-array CMOS sensor at all.
The X-T100 provides accurate focus-lock on in bright lighting conditions and doesn’t disgrace itself in low-light environments. Anyone who’d like to photograph moving subjects will want to have a good understanding of its zone and wide/tracking modes, however users should know that the X-T100 doesn’t employ the same sophisticated AF-C algorithm and tracking modes that Fujifilm’s X-Processor Pro models have and neither does it offer the AF-C custom settings you get on the X-T20 or X-T2 to fine tune how the camera reacts to the way a subject moves within the frame.
The wide/tracking mode is best for capturing a subject that moves unpredictably up/down, left/right and closer/further from the camera, where you do not wish to move the camera around to chase the subject. Zone AF is more effective for shooting moving subjects when you’re prepared to move the camera with the subject. You’ll want to choose the zone size carefully from the 3×3, 5×5 or 7×7 focus area options, and with AF-C enabled, the camera will continue to refocus on your subject all the while the shutter button is half depressed. If you’d like to switch between the autofocus modes quickly you’ll want to set the AF mode to all. Hit the AF button at the rear and use the scroll dial above the thumb rest and it’s possible to cycle through all the AF modes and focus area settings at once.
The menu system of the X-T100 is more dated than you get on Fujifilm’s X-Trans III cameras. Settings are listed under shooting and setup icons at the side of the screen and there’s no My Menu setting to collate your most frequently used settings in one area.
For those who’d like to shoot discreetly, there’s the option to take shots silently by activating the electronic shutter. This is also handy when you’d like to exceed the mechanical shutter’s 1/4000sec limit and push as high as 1/32,000sec using the electronic shutter, enabling you to easily shoot with wide apertures in bright lighting conditions.
The status screen that provides a general overview of all shooting settings is useful too, however you can’t view the remaining battery power as a percentage so you’ll want to observe its three-bar battery level closely. There is the option to charge the camera via USB. I lost count of the number of times I recharged the camera on the go in my car or via my portable USB power bank. When the green LED light goes out the battery is fully charged.
The X-T100 is only available with the XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ kit lens, which is Fujifilm’s first attempt at making a compact motorised zoom. It’s smaller than the older 16-50mm kit lens and features built-in Optical Image Stabilisation technology.
The lens extends by 24mm in length when the camera is switched on and it’s operated via two control rings: an inner one that operates the zoom in power assisted mode, and an outer ring that either acts as a focus ring when focusing manually or as a manual zoom control that alters the focal length in minute increments. It’s good the lens automatically reverts to the last focal length setting used when the camera is switched off and back on again, but its motorised nature does slow you down and the two-step process of using both rings to find the optimum focal length is a bit finicky.
The lens isn’t the quietest zoom in operation either. Users should know that the built-in microphone picks up the whirring that occurs whilst zooming and focusing during video recording. Optically it delivers sharp results and the fine detail it resolves paired with the X-T100’s 24.2MP sensor won’t disappoint.