Fujifilm X-T100: 4K at 15fps is for whom?

Fujifilm confirmed, with the X-H1 and the X-T2, that the company is serious about video, so the new X-T100 is a bit of a surprise, although it appears to be designed as a vloggers camera. Who wants 4K at 15 fps?

Fujifilm X-T100: 4K at 15fps is for whom?

The new APS-C camera from Fujifilm, X-T100, is a DSLR-style retro camera which offers a new fully articulating LCD, some interesting options in Full HD and 4K UHD at… 15fps. What was Fujifilm thinking?

‘Video is a big growth area for us” said Fujifilm executives in an interview published in 2017 by DPReview, but video does not seem to be, at least on 4K, the goal of this camera, as the X-T100 offers 4K at 15fps, taking things to the other extreme of what Fujifilm offered in the X-H1, which gave us DCI 4K (4096×2160) at 24P / 23.98P and UHD 4K (3840×2160)] at 29.97P / 25P / 24P / 23.98P.

There is also another puzzling aspect here: the X-H1 only manages 15 minutes of 4K video capture, in both DCI and UHD, but adding the Vertical Power Booster Grip VPB-XH1 to the camera extends the video capture to 30 minutes. The X-T100 can capture 30 minutes of UHD 4K video, although at… 15fps. Couldn’t Fujifilm offer, on the X-T100, less capture time at a better frame rate? Is this a technical limitation or a marketing decision?

Why bother offering 4K in a way that will probably be forgotten by users, if it is true that the market is after 4K, even on cheap cameras… which the Fujifilm X-T100 is, priced at $699.95 with a FUJINON XC15-45mmF3.5-5.6 OIS PZ lens, when it becomes available, after mid-June? Maybe Fujifilm knows something we don’t, because this new camera seems to aim at two segments of the public: those moving from a smartphone to a more sophisticated tool for photography and video, and vloggers, for whom Fujifilm introduces in the X-T100 an horizontal tilting rear LCD screen, ideal for vlogging. Aren’t vloggers working in 4K?

The compact interchangeable lens camera with retro look and a sleek design, looking very much like a DSLR (yes, DSLRs with their “inaesthetic hump” continue to be around), is lightweight, at just 448g and introduces a host of features, including a high magnification electronic viewfinder, the already mentioned horizontal tilting rear LCD screen for vloggers, which also tilts two other ways, and built-in Bluetooth technology for quick and easy image sharing. The camera also boast, according to Fujifilm tests,  an extended battery life allowing up to 430 frames per charge.

Even if 4K seems to be included mostly for marketing purposes (and there is no immediate reference to the 15fps…) in terms of other video modes the Fujifilm X-T100 is well equipped, offering Full HD 1920 x 1080 59.94p / 50p / 24p / 23.98p, HD 1280 x 720  59.94p / 50p / 24p / 23.98p and High Speed Movie 1280×720 1.6x / 2x / 3.3x / 4x. Recording extend to 30 minutes for the first two options, and seven minutes in the case of High Speed Movie.

Fujifilm X-T100: 4K at 15fps is for whom?

What this means is that if you forget the 4K present, the Fujifilm X-T100 may actually be a good camera for video. Fujifilm even included a microphone port so videographers can record audio from a compatible external microphone (sold separately).

“We are excited to announce the X-T100 as the latest addition to the X Series lineup,” said Yuji Igarashi, General Manager of the Electronic Imaging Division & Optical Devices Division at FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “This mirrorless camera is a perfect fit for photographers looking for an easy to use, compact and versatile camera, offering excellent image quality with a variety of enhanced features with the familiar design of previous FUJIFILM X-T series cameras.”

Equipped with a 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor and high-speed image processing engine, the X-T100 is compatible with the full X Mount lens lineup of 26 FUJINON high quality lenses which cover focal lengths from 15mm to 1200mm (35mm equivalent). Combining Fujifilm’s renowned outstanding image quality with the company’s proprietary color reproduction technology, the X-T100 is stylish, portable, and highly versatile – making it the ideal companion for everyday photography.

Fujifilm X-T100: 4K at 15fps is for whom?

One important note: this is not the proprietary X-Trans sensor used by Fujifilm on some of its high end models, but a “normal” Bayer sensor. While for some, especially those using X-Trans sensors, this might be a problem, as it means introducing a different process in their workflow, for newcomers – whom Fujifilm targets with this camera – this is not very important and may be a path to get better results immediately.

According to Fujifilm, “the X-T100 uses a Phase Detection Autofocus system and algorithm originally designed for flagship X Series models, to ensure quick and precise capture of images even when photographing fast-moving subjects. Adding to its ease of use, the camera also features an advanced SR+ Auto shooting mode that is capable of detecting the subject and scene simultaneously, and selecting the optimum settings accordingly to provide intelligent, fully-automatic shooting. This mode is perfect for situations where it is difficult to select the right settings, or when a series of quick shots is what the photographer is after.”

Fujifilm X-T100: 4K at 15fps is for whom?

The  tiltable rear LCD features a three-inch touch panel display to make composition easy. Boasting 1.04-million dots for a crystal clear view of the action, this screen swings out horizontally to almost 180 degrees. Not only does this help to compose shots at awkward angles, it also makes it possible to take selfies or shoot video blogs with a clear view of what’s in the frame.

Because the X-T100 is a Fujifilm camera, it comes with 11 variations of unique FUJIFILM Film Simulation modes and 17 variations of Advanced Filters—all of which provide photographers with the ability to add greater artistic expression to images. Setting adjustments on the X-T100 is quick and easy with one-step operation that is made possible via the function and exposure compensation dials on top of the body, and the touch-and-flick function available on the rear LCD monitor.

The kits and cameras will be available in Black, Dark Silver, and Champagne Gold. Dark Silver and Champagne Gold are two colors new to the X Series lineup, seen for the first time in the X-T100.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…