There’s a new camera out this week from Fujifilm that I’m pretty sure I’ll start to recommend to anyone starting out in photography.
I try not to be biased so don’t always default to recommending Fujifilm, even though I love their philosophies of design, controls and providing ongoing software updates for relatively (and it definitely is relative) older cameras.
If you want a viewfinder, the entry level into the Fujifilm X-series range has always been a bit expensive for a beginner, the options being the X-T20 or X-E3 depending on whether you prefer the SLR or rangefinder style. Great cameras but the older Sony A6000 has generally been available at a lower price point.
But now Fujifilm has released the X-T100 and it looks great. The controls and sensor are more in line with the Canon/Nikon/Sony approach, including a command dial rather than the more traditional Fuji approach of dedicated shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. Although I personally prefer the dedicated dials, removing the markings certainly improves the clean simplicity of the design. And looking at the color choices, my default of black suddenly doesn't seem quite as appealing anymore.
I haven’t tried one out yet but the build quality is said to be very good, and the add-on grip is an interesting choice giving the possibility of third-party grips if the provided one doesn’t quite fit your hand. Another strong feature is the touch screen which can be flipped out into full ‘selfie’ mode.
The autofocus will be a little slower than the more expensive Fuji offerings, but at a launch price of $600 US (excluding lens) it’s also $200-300 cheaper then the next models in the lineup.
My new recommendation for a first camera? I’ll need to try it but yes, I think so. Get the kit lens too but aim to upgrade to one of the excellent small prime lenses such as the 35mm f/2, or pick up a cheap third-party lens to practice manual focussing.
The naming is potentially confusing (Fuji already had an X100T, an entirely different camera) but otherwise it looks like a great release. Good quality, excellent viewfinder, useful screen and Apple-esque color options at a very good price. Good move Fuji.
(More weather-sealing and USB-C next time though please!)