Our technology editor reviews the Fuji X100T.
Rating: 4 Stars
Could you live with a camera that only has one focal length? If so, which one? Many famous photographers (Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibowitz, Dorothea Lange) appear to gravitate toward a 'classic' 35mm view. And this is what Fuji's 16-megapixel Finepix X100T gives you. The zoomless fixed lens is intended to cut out distractions and let you focus more on other elements of your photo. Personally, I find this limitation challenging.
But in two weeks' use of this camera, I had no complaints whatsoever with the X100T's photo quality. I got nothing but top-drawer results: beautiful images that came from fast focusing, superb colour treatment and an excellent F2 lens. The quality isn't hurt by the camera's nice, big sensor. Despite being a lot smaller than a DSLR camera (although a little too big to pocket), the X100T packs an APS-C sensor under the hood.
Its viewfinder is fantastic too, while the selection of shortcut buttons - including a nicely placed 'Q' button - makes it fast to switch settings when needed. The camera also has good, simple video controls, with full HD (from 24 frames to 60 frames-per-second) as the standard setting. And there's a small, handy built-in flash with an additional hot shoe camera mount for bigger external flashes. The X100T keeps the retro styling of its predecessors, a popular aesthetic look in cameras right now.
For beginners considering the X100T, a word of caution. Everything about this camera encourages you to manually set your shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and other variables. An automatic mode is there, but if that's what you're likely to default to, this is not the camera for you.
The only complaint I have about it is that it is not especially ergonomic to use. Principally, there's no natural placing for one's thumb, meaning that you sometimes inadvertently hit setting buttons on the back when you don't want to.
Overall, I don't think I could rely on this as my catch-all camera: there are simply too many times when I find a zoom (either out wide for a landscape shot or in close for portraits) useful. But if you want high quality and don't mind the fixed focal length, this is about the best you can get for the price.
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