Zack Arias Claims That The DSLR Is Dead As A Result Of The Fuji X100S

We've all heard of renowned portrait photographer Zack Arias - not only is he a great shooter, but he's got a reputation for making some bold claims. Make no mistake that the Fuji X100S is a great little camera. Small, compact, feature-packed and with great image quality, you've probably heard quite a bit about it lately. But just HOW good is it? Zack Arias says that it's so good, in fact, that the DSLR is dead. Check out the video and let us know if you agree. I've personally used the X100S and while I think it's an awesome little camera, there's just no way it's going to replace all DSLRs any time soon. Obviously Zack's claim is a bit of hyperbole, but how far off is he? I would gladly trade in a DSLR for one of these for street photography, but as far as sports, architecture, and weddings go, the DSLR is still king.

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I don't know why so many people consider Zack some kind of photo god. Don't get me wrong, I think he does great work. Take his word with a grain of salt, just like anyone else's. I just got back from filming a time lapse film for a client, and there is no way I could have done it without my Dslr and lenses. I will be shooting a resort next week, sorry, but the X100S wouldn't cut it. I guess if someone gave me an all expense paid trip to Turkey, some gear, and a wad of cash I would maybe say otherwise.. :-P

Andreas Feustel's picture

First of all I like Zack Arias a lot! I met him on Photokina 2012 in Cologne here in
Germany and I need to blame him for me buying a Fuji X100. ;-)

Next week I will be in Istanbul for a couple of days and I don’t agree with
Zack that my X100 (without an “s”) would be all I need. At the end of the video
you could see that even Zack had his Fuji X-Pro 1 next to the X100s with him on
that journey.

Regarding Fuji, I’m still disappointed, that they didn’t bring a new firmware update for
the first X100 which could easily fix some of the known issues with this

I think I will take my Fuji X100 with me to Istanbul but my Canon 5D Mark II and some
fast lenses as well.

The words spoken from a paid mouth are worth less than the mouth that speaks for free.

Joey Tranchina's picture

Ultimately, that's a logical fallacy, used to discredit a speaker rather than to challenge the assertions of fact that speaker presents.

What he said is either honest or BS, depending upon the character of the speaker;
Then it is either correct, partially correct or incorrect depending upon facts.
Whether or not a person is paid is not irrelevant — in this case quite relevant since Zack said that he was not paid — but it determines NOTHING about the accuracy of the comments.

Photos aside, Arias isn't really a gear whore so it tells me a lot that he is so impressed with the camera, perhaps to a fault with such a claim.

If the canon 6D had focus peaking in Live View mode, I'd be happy. If fuji can implement it in their cameras, there's no excuse for Canon. Big kudos to Fuji for making an incredible camera. I look forward to owning one; but it won't replace anything.

he is on drugs.. and not the brightest bulb anyway....

Andreas Feustel's picture

Hopefully YOU are!! :-(

I am incredibly saddened by the hateful/negative posts on this thread. I've met Zack numerous times (he's very friendly with the Kelby people and they are all here in town and I see/meet/hang with them a lot). I've hosted one of his OneLight Workshops, I've raced to home depot to buy him materials for a class he was teaching a Photoshop World in Orlando, Ive drank pints and pints of beer with him late into the evening a couple times. My point is that I can tell you without a single doubt that he is 100% genuine in this. He even lists exactly his ties to Fuji on his website (its not an endorsement in the same way that athletes get for wearing Nike). He's more like one of their go-to guys that really love the camera and they want his opinion. (I would guess that they lean to think his thoughts will be positive) Believe it or not people, there are a lot of really enthusiastic photographers out there living the dream and remember their roots. Zack is absolutely in this class. Do you have to agree with him? Hell F'n No. But he is not a being paid to say these things. He says this and I truly believe him. Do you believe me? Seems so many of you won't... but I'm just putting that out there. I didn't buy my x100s because Zack said. I did because I have friends with the x100, XPro, etc and then I read so many positive reviews for the x100s (including Mr. Arias') and found one available.

Agreed a thousand times. He did this before with the Xpro series in India and told about the failings of the x100. A sponsored agent of a company can not say negative things about their products.
The argument that people make that he claims the camera is perfect is his opinion, and an opinion that I share with many owners of the x100s.

And yes it IS A DSLR killer for me, in that I am now selling my 35mm f/1.4g Nikon lens because I will never take my D700 out on the street any more saving for a job where I need high FPS, and a long zoom. The x100 has killed my use of my d700 for anything but unique jobs.

Andreas Feustel's picture

Thank you Bryan for writing down what I wouldn't be able to express in a foreign language!
I 100% agree and this is also my opinion about Zack.

Wow, I am amazed at the negativity as well. My husband owns the Fuji X100, while it is a point and shoot, I would not buy it for what I do full time which is wedding photography. However, I was so impressed with the low light capabilities and very minimal grain on high iso images, I rented the XE1 that came out (a dslr based on the body of the Fuji X100). I was so impressed with its performance, that I ditched one of my Nikon cameras in favor of this one as my second body. I feel that it's black or white, Canon or Nikon. Fuji knows how to produce amazing quality.

I use the Fuji X-Pro 1, the X100's big brother, for everything from travel photography to landscapes to portraits. It is an awesome camera. However, It isn't as fast and responsive as my D300. But it is light and fun. Best for travel, I think.

I don't think it's worth taking this statement seriously... at all.
The other statement in this article that makes me laugh is the DSLR being king of architecture.
It doesn't come anywhere near being Queen; we use LF view cameras for proper architecture.

Chad West's picture

No, the DSLR isn't dead. But I'm assuming what he meant was that the DSLR could be "dead to" the majority of laymen who buy a DSLR because they believe it's the only way to get a good professional looking picture. In the "you are sooo dead to me" sense.

Well, the DSLR may soon be dead but not because of a camera with a fixed (not zoom) 23mm lens. The XPro1 may be one of the cameras that will kill the DSLR (eventually), since it accepts interchangeable lenses. Apparently the new firmware has made it even more desirable.

Patrick Hall's picture

I was in Dubai when this camera was released and I can vouch that Mr. Arias was infact really blown away when he first used it. I personally don't always get the mirrorless fixed lens movement but looking at the photos Zack and the McNally crew were taking, this camera is pretty dang impressive.

On another note, Zack is hilarious and if you want a funny read, head over to his blog and read this synapses of what a pub full of camera manufacturers would look's surprisingly pretty accurate ha.

Now if Fuji would get back to updating that S5 D200 camera with the crazy highlight recovery then we might all have something to get excited about.

This guy says : if you are a blogger, if you are a journalist, ... this camera is made for you. It is what everybody says here. He never said if you are a photographer ... BTW I found a complete wedding reportage made with the X100S. Very nice :


If anyone wants to sell a highly depreciated D4, I'm in the market. ;-)

Nic Cage's Hair's picture

I think the wording should be, "

Zack Arias Claims That The DSLR Is Dead as An Urban Shooter As A Result Of The Fuji X100S". That would have been much more acceptable and less ludicrous than his original statement.

I think the Ricoh GR will KILLLLLLL the Fuji X100S for street shooting ;-)
It's such a nicer unobtrusive size/color...

Yannick Driever's picture

hum realy love Zack, but saying that dslr is dead...not really ;-) in serval years if a whole new dslr with a another huge sensor and great glass comes out, he will claim that micro 4/3 and medium format is dead??? :-p no seriously at his stage in his career I would be more carefull on surfing on a hype beaucause he got a new camera.
But anyway, make your photos with what you like/have ! The important think is still the end result and not with what it was made :)

I showed this video to my Nikon D4 and it told me it would kick his ass. I just laughed.

Useful indeed if you are in for a lightweight quality camera (from the looks of it). However, the weight of my DSLR and lens still don't discourage me from carrying it around. I simply get beautiful images that the Fuji can't compete with in regards to image quality and sharpness.

Who is zack arias? I just took a look at his porftolio and found only amateurish snapshots.

This guy is so wrong it's not funny. Lets see him say that to my national geographic photographer friends trying to get that shot in Bali or Tanzania with the x100s. I am so tired of these so called celebrity photographers who seem to forget that they have nothing to do with the creation of light. This same guy hates to do any touch-ups in Photoshop, one of the most valuable tools to photographers. Look people i got news for you, the photos with the most emotional bang for the buck are those taken with the simple 5.1 phone camera without angling flash, shutter speed controls or ISO settings. Get a grip, photographers are not that important anymore because everyone with a phone is and the photos are great, just go to facebook or google plus.

Joey Tranchina's picture

I think you've attempted to make a case for Instagram, which has certain virtues. To claim that Instagram is all there is to photography, is the statement of someone who has not learned to see. To a blind person the subway and l'Louvre sound different but look the same.

File this with "The DSLR is dead."

He is the spokesperson for Fuji. He spoke at PDN about the X100. 'Nuff said.

Leica has always made really great bodies, combined with the optics... Sure. But do you have the same flexibility where it's needed al the time. No, clearly not.

So it's not a matter of whether a DSLR is dead, it's a matter of what you choose to carry for a given task. And.... it's always been the case. If you have the dosh to fling around on a medium format, a DSLR, and a small footprint camera.. Congratulations, you have made a better choice in life partners than I..