The Fujifilm X100 in 2023 – why I still love it

There are very few ‘vintage’ cameras that garner as much attention as the Fujifilm X100, it is a camera that when debuted in 2010 were so full of issues that it divided users, but yet has carved a niche and dedicated cult following.

In fact, the weirdest thing is that in 2022 there was this huge wave led by Tiktok that pushed the X100 to the front again, with ‘tiktokkers’ (hope this is the right term) gushing over how much they love the images from the X100. (read this article from Petapixel to understand)

The OG X100 , all 13 years old of it.

Love it or hate it, the 13 years old Fujifilm X100 series is indeed cemented as a classic .

I am not a ‘tik-tok person’, but I was curious enough to go to my dry cabinet and picked up my copy of the X100, kept there all these years, and gave myself some time with it.

So similar but yet so different from the current version.

The internal battery has since gave way (so settings are not saved when I do a battery change), and a call to the local Fujifilm Service centre recently was that they refused to fix it, and so this is a camera that is simply eking out a day by day existence before its components fail, but yet it felt good to hold it in my hands again.

Fujifilm X100

The X100 lives in a tough to survive in segment, look at the Ricoh GR series, Leica Q series, Sony RX1 series and of course the Zeiss ZX1 series – there have been very clear winners and ones that clearly did not survive the test of time (ok, dead on arrival).

Fujifilm X100

And as we know, the X100 series, now in it’s 5th iteration has proved to be a massive hit with users, solidly putting Fujifilm onto the map as a camera manufacturer.

The X100V, 3 years old by now.

So many of us have full interchangeable lens systems for our more professional work so this is a camera that fits squarely into the want department, not the need one. So why do we keep coming back? In fact, I have owned every single iteration of the X100 series, sometimes in both colours.

In fact, the X100 series is hardly a need, but more of want, but why do people keep coming back?

The X100 soul

And I guess this is where maybe words like, ‘soul of photography’ can be used in an appropriate manner. Just like the Leica M series, with its rangefinder system which some swear by and yet some find unacceptable in a camera that easily costs more than USD8000 on average for the newer models.

the Leica MP – rangefinder designs that Fujifilm X100 and X-Pro series are inspired from.

In fact, I can imagine more than 12 years ago, the development team at Fujifilm probably asked themselves the question below, and in doing so, cracked the formula for a fixed lens camera design that will stand the test of time.

“What if we design a high end fixed lens camera, made a large aperture lens with film inspired output and put it into a rangefinder inspired body?”

Fujifilm X100
Fujifilm X100
Fujifilm X100

The mindset

There’s a certain mindset that comes with using the X100 series cameras. You forgo certain capabilities and wants, for example, the want for telephoto or wide focal lengths. You probably will miss quite a few shots that you will never miss with a Sony and you actually learn to accept the camera for what it is, strengths and weaknesses.

My X100 is hardly close to a modern camera, it has a 12 megapixels sensor, while a GFX100 has 102 megapixels and a Samsung S22 Ultra mobile phone has 108 megapixels. To shift the AF point, I actually need to press the ‘AF’ button , then use the 4-way controller to place it where I want – actions unforgivable by users in current 2023.

But even so, I do enjoy using the Fujifilm X100. It is a camera I have to work with and there lies the beauty of it. The X100 is not a camera where I can spray and pray (it can’t anyway).

As a user of professional systems, it is liberating to use a X100 camera, like how a Leica Q /Q2 makes me feel. As an user coming from mobile phones or from entry level point and shoots, the X100 camera feels like an upgrade, one really can understand why either way you have a happy user.

I would find using a specs perfect camera boring, and that wouldn’t be a camera I want to be bringing along on my non-work days.

The image quality

Fujifilm X100 is “a digital camera that mimics film.”, is a key reason I heard why it is still so loved.

Fujifilm X100

The images from the X100 are hardly clinically perfect. The lens flares, gives a glowing effect when shot at F2 close to MFD, has only decent dynamic range and on, but yet they are beautiful in their own characterful way.

I always believe this is what Fujifilm prides themselves on, with their many film simulations that forms the DNA of the brand. As the X-Trans sensors got upgraded across the decade, of course the way the images render on the X100 is very different from the much more saturated and contrasty drawing of the more modern Fujifilm sensors nowadays.

Fujifilm X100

I guess, the resurgence in film photograpy simply propelled this phenomenon forward.

The design

Oh so sexy. Need I say anymore? It took Fujifilm 4 generations to add a tilt screen to the almost perfect design, probably with worry for marring the design.

Perfect because of its imperfections.

The X100 series is hardly perfect.

In fact even comparing modern variants, my Ricoh GR III focuses more reliably than the X100V, which has hardly been firmware updated by Fujifilm functionality wise while the Q2 and GR III has really leap-frogged ahead with firmware updates. (yeap, Kaizen is probably dying or dead).

Fujifilm X100

But my argument is, sometimes cameras become cult classics not because they were perfect performers to begin with, they are exactly classics because their uniqueness and idiocracies made us feel something when using them to photograph moments of our lives, and the X100 is indeed one such camera.

After I posted some photos some time ago, I received a very good offer for my X100. Thinking through, I decided to keep it and it is now back in my dry cabinet waiting for our next outing.

With the original hood

Thank you for reading.


  1. All the images shared here were photographed by me and edited in LR Classic CC to my preferences.
  2. The Fujifilm X100 is a personal copy, gifted to me by a good friend for a photoshoot I did for him.

9 Replies to “The Fujifilm X100 in 2023 – why I still love it”

    1. Hahaha oh no, thank you for the kind words. These are electronics end of the day and I feel, never a great idea to want to keep them as collector items


  1. Hi Keith, well written article again. Indeed, it is seldom the most technically advanced camera that stirs our hearts.


    1. thank you for popping by. 🙂 Yeap, I subscribe to the there is a camera for work and of course, a camera for everyday life philosophy.


  2. Hi Keith and greetings from Perth Western Australia.

    Found your page looking for reviews of the Leica Q2 , which I’m considering as my next camera purchase.
    But have throughly enjoyed reading through the rest of page….still going.
    Like you I have owned a few camera , but these days use mostly my Fuji X100F and a XT2.
    Best wishes for 2023 and keep reviewing and…err…photoing
    Enjoy your coffee 😁

    Regards Dave

    Liked by 1 person

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