I've long been a fan of Fujifilm's X100 series of cameras, the "T" model being my gateway drug into the Fuji X system. Fuji's X100V, the latest and greatest in the lineup, launched in 2020, seems near impossible to find even in 2023. So, what's a photographer to do? Try this instead.
The premise of the X100 series, including the latest X100V, is a retro-looking, small, pocketable street camera that sports a fast-aperture 35-ish millimeter lens, and while photographer and YouTuber George Holden's suggestion of an Olympus E-M10 and Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens doesn't have the neat party-trick of Fujifilm's switchable electronic/optical viewfinder, it certainly is small, pocketable, street-able, and definitely retro-looking. And, even if you go with a newer model that I've linked above, it will still come in under the price of an X100V with more flexibility overall as an interchangeable lens camera.
I've been singing the praises of Olympus cameras for a while, and having owned both an X100 camera and an E-M10 camera, while they operate quite differently, both offer a sort of "analog" feel to shooting that's absent from everything in the lineups from the big three (Canon, Nikon, and Sony). Don't get me wrong. The eye-detection autofocus, image quality, and overall capability of even something as silly and small as my Canon EOS M50 Mark II is leagues better than my E-M10 Mark II of X100T cameras were. Either of those two cameras brought me significantly more joy in shooting. Simply put, I enjoyed the act of shooting Olympus and Fuji, even if they weren't necessarily technically superior cameras.
One of the things that Holden points out is that many folks love the color simulations offered by Fujifilm cameras, and while I've always been a fan of the "classic chrome" look from the X-trans sensors, Olympus has a set of art filters all its own that can create a variety of different looks. While Fujifilm certainly makes it easier, Holden has pushed, pulled, and painstakingly tweaked his way to making Olympus files look like Fujifilm files, and shares them in the video above.
The bottom line is that you can spend years waiting for an X100V to come back in stock, or you can pick up a similar setup, save money, and start shooting today. As an avid fan of the E-M10 series and the X100 series, you can't really go wrong with either.
Do you have suggestions for a similar setup to the X100V? Leave your ideas in the comments below.
Yeah, I'd take a m43 interchangeable lens body over a fixed lens camera any day. The X100 was over priced and over hyped before this tiktokker price stupidity. Used X100V cameras are selling for over $2000. You can buy a used full frame Sony a7C with 2 lenses for that kind of money.
Is there something going on with TikTok and the X100? I'm not really well-versed in that.
Been using a EM-1 with the 17mm lens for years now. Gets the job done.
Also using with a 25mm.
I picked up a second hand X-Pro 2, with a pair of 23mm f/2 and 35mm f/2 lens. Been a blast using them, and it does need a different mindset coming from a Canon 5D camera both in using and also how to compose your shots.
The thing tho, why Generation Tiktok goes for this camera is mostly the leaf shutter and its ability to use the popup-flash in bright sunlight conditions. That together with it's film simulations and general retro look.
I agree you can save a lot of money with also something like an EOS M100 + EF-M 22mm, but currently the Fuji is the only camera that offers all of the above in one package and other manufacturers are missing this trend.
If I'm at the point where I'm going M100, at that point I'll just go M50 II or M5 for the more capable controls.
Maybe, but your alternatives are not a Fuji camera. :-)
I picked up a like new X-E3 and 27mm f2.8 lens that's pretty close to the X100 setup for under $1,000. Having tried a X100 I personally think this is a better option regardless of the price of both but to each their own.