I had been looking at this camera for almost a year before I decided to take the leap and explore what the hipster culture of Fujifilm had to offer. For months I had heard about this camera and it was intriguing to me that I could put all of my heavy Canon gear aside and move on to something that would save my neck some pain without sacrificing image quality.
The Fujifilm X100s did exactly those things for me, just not all at once. After months of research and trying to make myself assured that I wanted to start the migration over to a smaller camera, I went for it. I had been talking to my wife about it for awhile and I got it right before the birth of my son. I wanted a small camera that I could carry around and document his life. Now, that's not to say you can't do that with a DSLR, but I can tell you it was much more enjoyable to take his pictures with the X100s than it was with my Canon. There were lots of new angles that I could explore with the camera and its EVF (more on that later). I took both cameras to the hospital, the 5D acting as more of an insurance policy, as I still had my doubts about the Fuji.
I ended up taking more shots with my X100s than I had thought and that was encouraging.
The X100s had become what it was touted as, an easy but beautiful camera to document my families life and our little journeys we'd take to and from our parents and surrounding areas. This was our life. It was good.
Time went on and slowly it just sat on the shelf. The enthusiasm had faded as it were just the next "thing" to be excited about. After about 2 months I had contemplated selling it and putting the money towards more DSLR gear. Every time I had a shoot to do, the X100s was an after thought and I quickly grabbed my DSLR and ran out the door. It got the job done. A friend of mine encouraged me to put my DSLR gear in the closet and just learn the Fuji. Probably the best advice I got. I didn't really understand the potential it had. The summer rolled around and my journeys outside with the DSLR hit the shelf, my summer photography work is pretty slow (Texas es muy hot). So I dived back in and learned the camera from the ground up.
And now I'm sold. After running back and forth on wether my appearance as a photographer was wrapped in the fact if I had a big bulky DSLR in my hands, I got more encouragement to let my work speak for itself. Obviously the camera does not make you a better photographer but in some way I really do think this one has. Say what you will about having only the fixed 23mm (35mm full frame) lens, but it really allowed me to have some restraints and really make me focus on learning composition. In this case less really is more.
Things I Love about the x100s
This I think tops the list as my favorite thing about the x100s. Now this is mostly my fault but I used to get so frustrated when I would be using the optical viewfinder on my DSLR and would switch to a new location and forgot to check my settings. The image would be either over exposed or the opposite. Having the electronic viewfinder on the Fuji allows me to see what I'm going to capture in the camera and it's awesome. It's not for everyone, my wife who loves the Fuji loves using the optical viewfinder. Using the back LCD to compose was at first, I thought, very un-pro. I have found it, however, to be very useful if you want to shoot low but maybe the ground is wet so you don't want to kneel down as you would have to with an optical viewfinder. For the same reason, it also makes shooting babies and kids more enjoyable and much easier. I can shoot on their level without having to lie on the ground. It's also nice that when I take a picture with my eye to the EVF it will show me the picture I just took in the viewfinder to review. I'm hoping to move forward into an XT-1 down the road and I already know I'm going to love it using the flip out screen. I hope they eventually bring one of these to the x100 series.
These things are cool to look at and they really just help you feel more in control. I use this camera in Aperture Priority mode a lot and having the aperture wheel up front is a great benefit. They are resistant enough that I don't have a problem with accidentally bumping them. I used to have this problem a lot on my DSLR. A lot of people seem to say things about the wheel on the back of the camera but I actually enjoy it. I don't think it was as weird as everyone thought and I was a little sad to see that they took it away from the x100T. If anything, Fuji could have made it a little more sturdy, but I do miss that wheel.
I use focus peaking when I'm photographing landscapes or things that don't move much. It's really accurate and it allows me to not have to hit multiple buttons when i'm trying to choose my focus point. It's a great feature. The selective focus is great too. I love being able to choose where it's going to auto focus. This really helps when I'm taking portraits of people and I want to be sure that I'll be focused on their eye. It's also helpful that I can check my focus points after the image is taken by pushing in on the back lever. I don't really use the regular auto focus or the split image at all but my wife loves to use them.
This thing is small. It's a great size to really take anywhere. It won't fit in a pocket but you probably don't want it sitting in your pocket anyway. I recently shot a concert with my Canon as I needed some longer focal lengths. I carried the 70-200mm 2.8f from Canon around and after about the first 20 min I was ready to go home. The fuji can be worn around your neck or on a sling, and after a day of walking around you won't be left with a sore neck. It also doesn't scream "photographer". I love using it at weddings because you do look just like another guest as so many have pointed out. The size and quality really shine in this camera.
Most of this stuff has been said over and over again by other photographers who use this camera. I decided when I got it that If I made it a year I would write this and see if anything was different. A whole year and I'm still in love with the x100 line. Is the x100s for you? Maybe not. If you are looking for something with an assortment of focal lengths you may want to stick with your DSLR or you could look into the other lines of Fuji Cameras. You can pick up a used original x100 for about 400-500 dollars right now on Amazon and thats really all people need. The x100T that just recently came out has tons of really excellent features on it now; new film simulation, wifi, and a new +3 and -3 exposure compensation dial(awesome!).
My wife and I have reached a point where we are not taking pictures with our iPhones much anymore. We love the quality and the prints we are getting out of the fuji. It serves as both our family camera and our professional camera of choice.