A Dad’s Review of the FujiFilm x100T: Great Camera, Just Not Great With Kids

This is a long overdue review of the FujiFilm x100T from a dad’s perspective. I’ve had this camera for well over a year and a half now, using it for street photography, landscape, portraits, and basically as an everyday camera. But with the arrival of our daughter, she became the centre of my focus (#dadjoke), and this camera has become the go to device when it comes to documenting my tiny human.

I know on the Web there are numerous x100T reviews out there, but how many of them have parents in mind?

So for the tiny population out there who wondered whether the Fujifilm x100T a good camera to take pictures of their kids, I’ll try to answer that question with this post.

For those who don’t like to read here’s the TL:DR:

If your main goal is to take exceptional pictures of your kids straight out of camera: get this camera.  

But for the price you are paying for subpar autofocus, and unforgiving video capabilities, it is hard for me to recommend this camera to dad’s and mom’s out there who want to capture those precious moments.

For the rest of you who wants a little more detail, read on and I’ll explain why I feel this way by highlighting three points about this camera.

First, confession time: I bought this camera because of how flipping cool it looked. I mean just look at how well it accessorizes!

I remember browsing through someone’s instagram feed one day and the original Fujifilm x100 caught my attention. I thought to myself, “Damn that camera looks cool. I must have it.”

Basically it was the poor-man’s Leica. But at over $1000, it’s still a hefty price for a fixed lens camera. In fact when I was talking to another dad about cameras and told him I shoot with a x100T, he quipped:

“Isn’t that camera really expensive for a fixed lens camera?”

I remember looking at him with a blank and defeated look and simply said:

“Yeah….so..?

This was yet another example, of my lifelong pursuit of being a closet hipster. But despite that, I’ve stuck with this camera and have not regretted the purchase of it one bit.

Just something for your to consider I would consider myself as a user with some pre-existing photography knowledge and technical know-how. My photography history includes shooting with various point-and-shoot cameras as well as film and DSLR equipment. 

 

Autofocus

The autofocus on this camera is okay at best. In low light or really bright light I find that it struggles a bit with fast focusing. With a kid constantly moving all over the place the focus can be a bit frustrating, especially if you miss that “perfect” shot of your little one. Comparing to my DSLR (Canon 6D), it’s just simply not as quick and accurate.

Perhaps a firmware upgrade could correct this, but you’ll find that you’ll be missing a few shots because the autofocus is simply not there yet on this mirrorless camera.

The AF can get frustrating sometimes, and it takes a little getting used to
The AF can get frustrating sometimes, and it takes a little getting used to

 

Video Capabilities

I’m not a big video guy. But with the recent purchase of a GoPro Hero I’ve been pulled into the video side of capturing moments. With the x100T, the video quality looks quite nice, capable of recording at full 1080p HD at 60FPS. However, what killed it for me was a lack of refocusing option when recording.

You're better off with scenic and landscape videos than to constantly have to refocus on an active kid
You’re better off with scenic and landscape videos than to constantly have to refocus on an active kid

As I mentioned above with the photo taking autofocus, it’s very difficult to keep focus on a moving target and the video is practically unusable because of this, unless you get really good at manual focus. But seriously, which parent has time to sacrifice both their hands on using a device? We need that extra hand to do stuff like catching baby or blocking their barf and pee.

This then brings me to the next point…

 

Size and Handling

This camera is solidly built, but if you’re thinking of one-handing this thing, you’ll need a thumb grip and proper strap. The feel can get a little slippery and you would hate to lose your grip on such an expensive camera. While chasing around a kid, not having a proper handle on the camera is a disaster waiting to happen.

Nothing comical about the price of this camera at $1400CAD
Nothing comical about the price of this camera at $1400CAD

 

Imagine Quality

This is where it matters most for photography aficionados: the quality.

When you get the right light, the IQ is quite spectacular
When you get the right light, the IQ is quite spectacular

And boy do the photos jump out in a great way. If you’re able to mix the right light with your pictures, some shots are pretty amazing. At the end of the day, if you simply care about taking great shots straight out if the camera, you could probably overlook all of the other faults that I’ve mentioned above.

And that’s the beauty of this camera, and it’s a luxury that I have having purchased this prior to having my daughter.

Would I have spent so much for this type of camera simply to take pictures of my kid?

Probably not.

But if you’re parent who enjoys photography as much as taking great photos of your kid, then this camera might be something to consider.

 

Conclusion

I really really enjoy shooting with this camera as a photography fanatic simple because of the images that come out of this straight out of the camera.

But now as a dad chasing around a nine month old, I really need something that is quick and easy. With over a year of practice, I’ve slowly begun to know about the nuisances and subtleties of the camera to get those great shots of my daughter.

But most parents do not have the time or resources to do so. At close to $1400 CAD, this is a price most parents are not willing to pay, despite the images quality.

This is why I cannot recommend the Fujifilm x100T as a parent-friendly camera to take pictures of their kids.

 


I hope you enjoyed this post and the photos in this post. If you are interested in seeing more XT-2 photos or my other photos (I also shoot with a Canon 6D and FujiFilm X100T), do check out my Instagram feed where I post daily.

Thanks again for reading this review, now if you excuse me I have to toddler to chase. 🙂