Lots of people ask me about Fuji X100, my experience with it and mainly whether it is worth it. I've been using this camera for about 2 years now, I purchased it right after it came out and used it extensively during my travels. This post in not a review of Fuji X100 but rather an opinion on it.
One of the reasons I wanted to share my experience is because at some point Fuji X100 was my only digital camera for an entire year. I've been using large DLSR cameras for over 10 years now and at some point I managed to sink my Canon 1D Mark IV in the waters on Mediterranean sea. Right after that I bough Fuji X100 and was relying on it as my only camera for a year while waiting for Canon to release the new 5D Mark III.
If you don't own any camera.
When people ask me whether it is worth purchasing the X100; it all depends on what you're intending on shooting with it. If you don't own any camera at the moment and thinking of getting into photography and really start creating, this might not be the best choice for you. For the same price I would recommend getting Canon 70D (or Nikon equivalent of it). At the end of the day a proper DLSR camera would be much faster in shooting, processing and focusing in general. On top of that you're getting an incredible flexibility changing lenses. At the end of the day lens is one of the most important piece of the camera and can allow you to do pretty much everything in photography.
Yes, there are Fuji X series cameras with interchangeable lenses as well, but the mount they go with is not extremely popular. I have lots of friends doing photography and (luckily for me) most of them have Canon cameras with set of lenses. So the chances that you will have people around with Canon (or Nikon) mount lenses are just higher, so you can always borrow them and try new things.
Fuji X100 is a great camera for "overall" photography. Landscapes, taking photos with friends, walks, easy to carry with you and the quality is quite amazing for such a small device. But the moment you want to do something a little more specific, having burst shots, taking photos in motion where you need proper focusing, low light conditions, taking photos of products, working with multiple flashes etc, yes Fuji can somewhat handle that, but a proper DLSR will just be much better with it.
So, if you don't own any camera at the moment and your intentions about photography are quite serious, get yourself a proper DSLR camera. There are some on the market right now that might work for the same price — currently Fuji X100 street price is around $1200 and Canon 70D is $1200 (body only), get a Canon 50mm lens with it and you're all set for a start. There are cheaper versions of Canon cameras out there as well just check what's out there online. For example for my trip to Brazil I took Canon 60D, which street price is around $600 only, and 2 lenses. I would not be able to capture photos that I did there, if I would have Fuji X100. And if your budget is not tight, then get a full frame Canon 5D Mark III. (Sorry Nikon fans, I just don't know the current Nikon line up).
If you own a DSLR camera.
If you're like me and already own a proper DSLR camera and need a second one that is much lighter, easy to carry around and still have an amazing quality then Fuji X series cameras can be a great choice. Though I would probably recommend looking at other X series cameras besides X100 (or X100s), such as X-E1, X-M1 or X-Pro 1 that allow you to change lenses and overall are newer models. During that year that I was shooting with Fuji X100 only, not to have an ability to change lenses was the biggest hurdle for me. The 23mm f/2.0 that comes with it is a great compromise for everyday use, but there were moments when I didn't take a camera out of my bag, just knowing it's not gonna work.
The quality of Fuji X100 is really really good as most of the reviews say. Shooting RAW is great, colors come out nice too, images are super sharp. Though it has it's own disadvantages. It's much slower than general DLSR camera: crazy slow in focusing (especially in low light), slow in taking/processing photos and even sometimes booting up. Fuji X100 is a beautiful looking camera, but don't be misguided by it. Controls, UI and some core buttons are not at the best spot and sometimes it takes time to adjust your shot. Some of the nibs at the top are easily switched to random positions while in a bag as well. So basically if you're not in a hurry and really have time to stop and take a photo, it works.
The way I look at it, if I have a photo in mind I would like to take, whether it is traveling, or working with flashes, anything in particular that is in my head or on the other hand, to experiment and come up with unexpected results — I grab my Canon as it is easier to control and gives me needed flexibility. If I am going somewhere for a weekend and don't want to drag an entire bag full of equipment, or want to have a smaller camera in my bag just in case during the day, I have Fuji X100 with me.
I have lots of photos taken with Fuji X100 camera on my photo website and in this blog. Just click on the Fuji X100 tag to see posts that showcase them. Also, I tag photos on my Flickr account. Some of the better galleries where all the photos are taken with Fuji X100 are: