6 Months with an old Fujifilm X100s.

It’s only slightly more scratched and dented than when I bought it second hand for $450. The focus ring has been brought to a halt in a superglue mishap. It’s not the most recent camera in it’s lineup – yet, I am strangely satisfied with it.

The x100s is an aging camera, but in an era when camera features seem to be improving very incrementally, it stands up pretty well. Only the most recent x series cameras have better sensors, and a large part of that is simply better resolution with only marginally less noise. also, 16 megapixels is more than I, or most people for that matter, need.

The x100s replaced the original x100 and fixed many of its drawbacks. The x100 was a landmark camera, a revolutionary realisation of technology and design. It filled a sweet spot for all around photography enthusiasts who don’t want to let gear acquisition syndrome break up their marriage or send them bankrupt.

Its retro styling says comfort, and indeed it’s an easy camera to use, with dials for shutter speed and aperture that include an auto setting, allowing you to shift in and out of manual, automatic and priority modes intuitively. Only the most recent edition includes an ISO dial but it isn’t too hard to set in the same way.

Above: JPEG from the x100s.

The x100s replaced a high end Sony A7s, that indeed ate up a large portion of my bank account. Turns out that I needed to go full-frame in order to realise the problem with my photos wasn’t the sensor they were shot on or even the depth of field.

Above: shot on x100s and processed in Lightroom.

The x100s has helped me realise no amount of background blur will isolate a subject properly or make up for poor composition.

Finally, I have solved the JPEG vs raw dilemma that plagues many an enthusiast such as myself. Ultimately, there is a place for both. I don’t with to process all of my photos, but having the RAW when I need it is a must. I don’t want to import raw into photos and have it uploaded across my devices, but I can drag just the jpegs in without difficulty, preserving my easy Apple Photos workflow.

In all truth, with what I’ve learned about photography, an iPhone will do 90% of the time in terms of the finished product. But a camera is just so much fun, and that’s where the x100s really excels. It has just the right balance of features and simplicity to allow me to enjoy taking photos in a casual way.

Another x100s JPEG.

I don’t use a lens cap or filter and I don’t expect this camera to last forever, or much longer even. It has already survived a few terrible falls, including having the bottom corner smashed in so I have to pry the battery compartment open with a fingernail. But while it does last I’ll love it with all my heart, as this was the camera to cure me of my biggest misconceptions about photography.

Having a camera with mr and snapping any damn thing I feel like is a pure joy in the moment and also years later, when I see that mundane Melbourne tram shot that reminds me what life was like fifteen years ago. The ease of digital photography is making this possible, and Fujifilm is really making sure we have accessible tools to do this with that also speak to the photographers in us.

One of my first didital photos ever, taken with a Samsung Digimax 1 megapixel camera in 2002 (or 3).

The x100s has really brought digital photography back to earth for me, by simply being a physical object that respects camera history. It avoids some features like flipping screens, that, while convenient, divorce cameras from history and add complexity to something simple. It sticks to the old age paradigms of photography, allowing you to load up film in the form of well designed and subtle emulations, and control your shot as you would on any camera made in the last century.

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