I’ve never done a review of the X100S. Even though I’ve been meaning to during the year or so that I have had it. So let’s go ahead and call this a review, even though it is not really about the buttons and dials on the camera, as there is a lot of those out there already.
We have just returned from a trip to the Netherlands and Belgium for a bit of travel, so I thought I would put the emphasis on how great this camera was for carrying around. I hope I can put in words how it really saved my shoulders and arms.
Most of my photos are not something to publish in a travel magazine, keep in mind that the trip was about a friend’s wedding, a bit of time away from work, routine and home.
The focus, which my wife had to keep reminding me, was about experiencing a new country, seeing things, enjoying myself and taking photos in the process, not going out to get the perfect picture. The result in the end was a great bunch of pictures of a trip that we both loved and enjoyed immensely.
I took with me the X-Pro1 + 35mm 1.4 and the X100S with the wide angle converter. I had forgotten that there is so much light in Europe this time of the year, we are used to the sun going down the latest 7:00 here in Johannesburg, South Africa. We both loved this for the extra time it allowed us to take photos, as well as longer days = longer holiday.
I found that I used the X100S the most, just because it was so easy to carry with me. Easy to pull in and out of a simple shoulder bag, no camera bag required. The other small reason was that my wive was mostly shooting at 50mm, and in the end we would both get the shot of the same stuff, so a different focal length will give you a different view for that building or scene, and it forces you to see it differently.
Slinging it over my back while cycling around the Dutch countryside was easy and I didn’t even feel it. (Though taking photos while cycling may not be the smartest move, luckily it stayed on top of the bike, as did I.)
Hiding it, or covering it under an arm or a pullover while it was raining was simple enough, even hanging over my neck under an umbrella was trouble-free. Plus a one hand operation while holding an umbrella was easy.
Walking into places like churches or cathedrals, the camera is so silent, you feel a bit braver and can get away with more discreet shots. Including quick shots of people on the trains or in the streets.
When traveling, one also has to experience the local food and drink, so out comes the X100S!
The ND-filter came in handy as well. One can not always plan visits to new places around the best light, so having it built-in is great and takes away the hassle of having to carry and fiddle with ND-filters.
The wide-angle converter was great, and can get you really great results.
I wasn’t sure I would actually use the wide-angle converter, but I have about a 100 keepers in my library taken with it attached, so it was worth taking it along.
Sadly, I could not get my hands on the teleconverter for the 50mm equivalent before leaving. If I did have it, I think I would have left the X-Pro and 35mm at home.
Yes, there are times you wish you had a little bit more focal length or some other accessory, but then one remembers how easy this camera is to carry with you, and when you get the results, all doubt just falls away. Even if you have a good DSLR setup, this X100S is a great compliment to your gear, and you will find that it gets used just about every day.