The popularity of mirrorless cameras has been on a steady and significant rise of the past few years.
Their relatively compact designs, reasonable price tags (depending on the model and brand) and all-round shooting capabilities have made them a viable option for non-professionals or prosumers.
As such, the market is getting pretty saturated when it comes to good value for money mirrorless cameras, which makes picking one as your go-to option all the more difficult.
Cutting through all the noise is the Fujifilm X-T100, which although not as powerful as the new X-T3 is still a very good mirrorless camera that can do a bit of everything well.
Having recently had a few weeks with it, here’s how the X-T100 performed during our review.
Old school looks
One of the things we like about the X-T100, and most of Fujifilm’s cameras in general, is the design. More specifically that they have an almost retro look about them, which means you can’t always date the cameras.
When it comes to this particular model, the rectangular shape and sharp lines are really pleasing to the eye, and help distinguish the Fujifilm offering from the other plastic-heavy mirrorless cameras on the market.
It’s also quite weighty at 448g for the body alone, and sits reassuringly in hand. This is an important consideration, especially as the dimensions of the camera are a little small, which it means it needs to be heavy enough to counter the weight of any lenses.
Our review model came with a 15-45mm lens, which is designed to shoot solidly in a bunch of scenarios without being niché.
Added to the old school stylings is a button and control layout that’s straightforward and easy to understand. The dials also have a mechanical feel to them, which helps to up the level of premium feel that the X-T100 touts.
When you cycle through the different shooting options for example, located on the right of the top of the X-T100, they almost slot into position with each turn, and makes you feel safe in the knowledge that they won’t inadvertently switch or be changed while handling.
On the back of the Fujifilm X-T100 is a 3.0inch screen that also doubles as a viewfinder, along with serving as a visual aid for cycling through the different settings of the camera. When it comes to the former, its bright and crisp enough to provide a good preview before snapping.
It also features a hinge at the top to allow the screen to swing upwards and downwards. You’ll find yourself tilting it up when you’re trying to take photos of objects close to the ground. Personally we favour screens that can rotate with a hinge on the side instead of the top, but this one is perfectly good enough.
The only thing we’d prefer is the ability to rotate and flip the screen to ensure it doesn’t get scratches. This is something you’d normally find on more expensive DSLRs, but would have been welcome on the X-T100.
Now for the important stuff, how well does it photograph.
Taking care of the image sensing is a 23.5 X 15.7 millimetre CMOS unit with 24.2 million pixels on offer.
Using the 15-45mm lens provided for the most part the X-T100 is good in a variety of scenarios, especially when taking close up shots in outdoor conditions.
Added to this is an equally impressive autofocus, although moving objects did present a problem, so if you’re looking for reliable tracking or indeed doing a lot of sports or animal photography, it might be worthwhile looking elsewhere.
On the whole though the X-T100 handled everything we through at it, with the only real issues we encountered being some over exposure at times when the lighting was a bit too harsh.
It’s also capable of up to 4K video recording, but you’ll need a UHS speed class 3 SD card or higher to save the footage. That’s why we suggest sticking to the FullHD (1 920 X 1 080) mode if you’re planning to shoot video on a regular basis with the X-T100. It’s also important to note that you’ll get up to 30 minutes of continuous recording from this mirrorless camera.
A singular issue
As good as the X-T100 was, there was one thing that we did not like – the electronic viewfinder.
The one on offer here is an OLED colour 0.39inch model, with 2.36K dots and a 100 percent view to captured area ratio.
On paper it should be great, and for the most part it was. The real issue we had, however, is the time it took to activate, with a slight delay that could prove frustrating at times. If for example you want to capture something quickly, and pull the viewfinder to your eye, that delay could result in losing a shot, which is less than ideal.
As such, we often opted for the screen while shooting over the viewfinder.
It’s not a deal breaker, but is definitely something to be aware of before buying this model. If there’s a demo version on show at the store you’re buying from, we’d advise giving it a quick test, as we do when buying any camera.
All in all the Fujifilm X-T100 ticks three important boxes for us when it comes to evaluating a mirrorless camera – it looks great, takes good shots and is well priced.
As far as the latter is concerned, you can pick up the X-T100 bogy for just under R9 000 and one with a standard lens kit for about R11 000, depending of course on the retailer you head too.
Yes, there are some entry-level DSLRs that can do the same job for less money, but none of them look as good as the X-T100, or are indeed as compact.
For all-round functionality that does not break the bank then, the Fujifilm X-T100 is a sure bet.