With the X-T100 Fujifilm has brought in another entry-level model above the X-A5 – both with conventional 24-megapixel sensors. The extra 100-dollars cost sweetens the built-in electronic viewfinder – a fair offer considering the otherwise upscale features. Here is our review for the Fujifilm X-T100.
- Good image quality
- Good workmanship
- Many exposure programmes and image styles
- Viewfinder picture jolts
- 4K video only with 15 bps
ColorFoto test rating: 52.5 points (1.5 points below average)
Most of the X series system cameras from Fujifilm cost between 900 and 1,900 dollars. The top model, X-H1, is the most expensive, costing 1,649 dollars; followed by the X-Pro 2 (1499$) and the X-T2 (1,099 dollars). You can also get an X-T20 or X-E3 for around 1049$. Those are the in-house prices. If you are looking to buy at least one lens with it, you will definitely exceed the 1,000 dollars mark.
Fujifilm serves for the entry-level segment with the X-A5 and now also the X-T100. The X-A5 comes exclusively with the kit lens (Fujinon XC 3.5-5.6/15-45 OIS PZ) for 542$ and does not have an electronic viewfinder. The Fujifilm X-T100, however, does; and it is available for an extra 100$ in the kit variant with the 15-45mm zoom (in-house price: 599$). Both use a conventional 24 megapixel bayer pattern sensor. The latest X-trans sensor with 24 megapixels is only available from the X-T20 and X-E3.
Case and equipment
The case of the Fujifilm X-T100 is available in black and dark silver, made from a mixture of plastic and magnesium, with praised workmanship. Although the amount of metal is lower than on the X-T2, the viewfinder knob with fold-out flash and the bottom plates are made of plastic – which makes the camera feel high-quality.
At the front, Fujifilm added an attachable hand grip, giving your fingers even more grip than the case coating alone can. At the back is the obligatory thumb rest directly next to the mode dial. Secondly, at the top right there is an exposure corrector; the third dial to the left of the viewfinder can be assigned many functions. The small lever on the left-hand side mode dial brings out the built-in flash (LZ 5 at ISO 100), which despite its low performance can still be useful for brightening portraits.
Flexible monitor: The 3-inch monitor on the Fujifilm X-T100 can be folded out of the case and extensively adjusted – up to the selfie position next to the camera.
The standard battery for the X series does well as an energy source. It can be charged into the camera with a USB charging device which comes with the delivery. Unfortunately, a charging tray is not included, but you can get it with the more expensive models.
The OLED viewfinder on the X-T100 offers a resolution of 786,666 RGB pixels and an effective magnification of x0.62 – as with the X-T20 and X-E3. The viewfinder picture on the X-T2 is not only bigger, but also more stable with a magnification of x0.77. On the X-T100, you can see a noticeable jolting in the viewfinder when the camera moves in low light. With the X-T2, however, you get the impression of a smooth movement.
The TFT monitor offers a diagonal of 3 inches and a resolution of 346,666 RGB pixels, as with most of the X series cameras. The monitor comes out of the case in such a way that it can be used in plan view or birds-eye view. Through its lateral joint, you can also swivel it completely next to the camera into the selfie position.
Auto-focus and lighting
The hybrid AF on the X-T100 and X-A5 is a slimmed variant of the AF system of the upper X series models. Of the 91 contrast AF points, 35 are phase AF capable. X-T20/X-E3 and higher X models offer up to 325 AF points, of which 169 are also phase AF measureable.
Including AF time, the test lab determined that the shutter delay is 0.4/0.6 seconds at 300/30 lux. The more expensive Fujifilm models have a clear advantage in low light with 0.4 seconds. Once the camera is turned on, it needs 2.7s to start up, whereas the X-T20 does this in one second. To get the maximum amount of processor power available, select “High Performance On” under “Power Management” in the system menu (setup).
Connectors: under the larger cover on the right side you can only find ports (USB, HDMI), but no SD card slot. This can be found at the bottom of the case next to the battery. Under the smaller cover on the left-hand side there is a headphone jack for an external stereo microphone.
Along with automatic measurement field (wide) and single point AF with five AF field sizes, the camera offers the option of measuring field grouping (zone) with 9, 25 or 49 measuring fields. Alternative to the single image AF (AF-S), the camera has a continuous auto-focus (AF-C) with firmly set up parameters. Various AF-C presets or individual adjustments are reserved for the higher X series cameras.
In keeping with the targeted audience – described by Fujifilm as “entry-level” and “lifestyle” – the X-T100 offers a rich selection of automatic modes, including 15 scene modes, 17 filter simulations and a panorama mode. Along with the standards (P, S, A, M), a further fully automatic (SR+) with motion sensor recognition enables the upgrader to take photos easily. There is also no problem with bracketing functions (series exposures). There are exposure, ISO, film simulation, white balance, dynamics and HDR.
The mechanical shutter on the X-T100 has one of the shortest shutter speeds of 1/4000 of a second and synchronises flashes at 1/180 seconds. The electronic shutter enables quiet exposure for 1/32,000s. Films can be recorded with a maximum of 4k resolution on the X-T100, unfortunately only with 15 B/s. A noticeably smother example is the full HD at 60 B/s. Interestingly, the 4k burst mode for fast simultaneous exposures can do 15 B/s and 8MP per image. In photo mode, the X-T100 stays at 6 B/s at full resolution, noticeably behind the more expensive models such as the X-T20 (around 14 B/s.).
The exposure consumption dial to the right of the shutter is a familiar feature for Fujifilm. Only their novice cameras have a mode dial for exposure programmes. A feature of the X-T100 is again the big settings dial to the upper left of the viewfinder. On previous models it was combined with the “film simulation”, a choice of eleven image styles including black and white, and with and without contrast filter (yellow, red, green). If you BARELY ever change the image style, give the mode dial other tasks, like the flash light consumption or the choice of ISO level.
The four buttons on the direction switch are functions (AF, WB, self trigger, and serial exposure) that are ordered in such a way that a further function (Fn) can be left on its own. By swiping the screen you can access further important settings. Which those are can be found in the functions menu on a camera chart. With the thumb dial, particular settings have been set up – for example the aperture and time delay.
New settings mode dial: the big mode dial left of the viewfinder knob is new for the XT100, whereas the mode dial for exposure programmes has been around since the XA5. Normally, the Fujifilm cameras would have a shutter speed dial in its place.
More settings modes include the fast settings menu (Q key) with 16 functions listed, which can be customised by the user. You can simply change the settings with the thumb dial. In addition, there are touch-sensitive function fields on the monitor, with which you can set up, for example, the type of AF system (AF-S, AF-C, M), film simulation or touch AF/touch shot mode. The function fields vary with the chosen functions. With the X-T100’s range of features, not every system camera novice will understand it right away. You should definitely plan to get to know the camera for a while, and in urgent cases access to fully automatization still helps.
The Fujifilm XT-100 reaches a respectable resolution of more than 2000 LP/BH, which almost constantly stays at ISO 3200. The dead leaves are at a higher level, where the DL curves only noticeably increase to over 1 at ISO 100, which is a strong contrast increase. The edge profiles show distinctive peaks in higher ISO settings – it gets sharper.
The JPEGs from the camera generally make a lot more noise than what one would be used to on cameras with X-trans sensors: even with ISO 1600 you can easily overtake the VN 2.0 (X-T20; VN 1.6). The first texture losses on JPEGs from the camera begin at ISO 800 and it becomes obvious from ISO 1600. To avoid this, you need to change to RAW format and change the settings accordingly.
If you buy a system camera, you are looking to take more ambitious photographs than your smartphone is capable of. For that, you need a good interchangeable lens, which, relatively speaking, can be bought at an affordable price with Fujifilm. Apart from that, it would be worth getting an optical or electronic viewfinder, which allows for image composition under all lighting conditions. The Fujijfilm XT100 has an electronic viewfinder and scores with its hybrid AF, which is technically derived from the AF systems of the upper-end X series models. A XT100 kit with standard zoom Fuji non-XC 3.5-5.6-15-45 OIS PZ costs around 599 dollars– it deserves the purchasing tip for “price performance”.
Compared with the X-A5 without EVF, the X-T100 is clearly the more attractive entry-level model, even if it cannot decisively improve the image quality. Finally, both cameras use the same image sensor. You can get the popular X-Trans sensor for about 599 dollars in a case without a lens.