Fuji X100S review

Fuji X100S review

Fuji X100S Review: the Fuji X100 proved popular with enthusiast photographers looking for a high-end compact camera that produces images on a par with a DSLR.

In her Fuji X100S review video, our head of testing takes an in-depth look at what this X100 replacement has to offer.

Fuji X100S | Crucial sensor upgrade

While Fuji has promised 70 improvements on the X100S, the the big news is that its APS-C format X-Trans CMOS II sensor boasts the same colour filter arrangement as the Fuji X-Pro1.

In her Fuji X100S review video, Angela Nicholson takes a look at the new Fuji camera’s image quality, performance and and key specs to see if it’s the right camera for you.


Fuji X100S Review Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Angela Nicholson, head of testing for Future’s photography portfolio and in this video I’m going to be looking at the Fuji X100S.

Like the X100 it replaces, the Fuji X100S has an APS-C format X-Trans CMOS II sensor inside it, however it has 16.3-million effective pixels instead of 12.3 million and Fuji has used the same sensor design as is in the X-Pro1.

This sensor doesn’t have the standard Bayer colour filter, but uses a random arrangement of colour filters within each block of 36 photo receptors, and this makes the images less prone to suffering from Moire interference.

As a result Fuji has left off the the anti-aliasing filter that is normally used to avoid moire patterning, and this enables the camera to capture sharper details.

As it’s a so-called compact camera the 23mm f/2 lens on the Fuji X100S is fixed and it gives a 35mm focal length equivalence of 34.5mm – which is a great choice for street and documentary photography.

As you can see the Fuji X100S has the same retro design as the X100 and exposure is set using this aperture ring, shutter speed dial and exposure compensation dial.

When the dials are both set to A, the camera takes control over the exposure. When just the shutter speed dial is on A, the camera is in aperture priority mode, while shutter priority is selected by setting the aperture dial on A and selecting the shutter speed you want to use.

Fuji has worked on improving its automatic focusing for the X100S, and although there’s usually a small, but noticeable backwards and forwards adjustment, the hybrid focusing system usually gets the subject sharp pretty quickly. It even copes well with quite low light.

The continuous autofocusing is also reasonably fast and smooth, but it’s rather hampered by the fact that the AF point is limited to the centre of the frame.

The X100S can be set to focus manually via this switch, and there are a couple of new features available to help you get the image sharp.

First off, the X100S is the first camera to feature a digital split image and when this option is selected the centre of the screen or viewfinder is turned monochrome and divided into bands.

When the image in these bands aligns, the subject is in focus. It’s reasonably effective, but it’s not always easy to see what’s going on.

I prefer to use the focus peaking option. When this is active, the focused areas are outlined with white and black. I find this pretty easy to use, but there are times when it would be helpful to be able to choose different highlight colours.

The X100S can record images as raw or JPEG files or both simultaneously. There’s also a collection of 10 film simulation modes that give JPEG images a particular look. Provia, for instance is the default or standard setting, its a good choice for many situations, but there’s also Velvia when you want more vivid colours with higher saturation, and Astia for a more subtle, natural result.

Though the film simulation modes can be used when shooting raw and JPEG images, the Advanced filters can only be applied to JPEGS. However, it’s nice that the camera automatically switches to shooting JPEGs when a filter is selected, and you don’t need to delve into the menu to change file format.

Like the X100, the X100S has a nice solid build and although the grips are fairly minimal, it feels reasonably secure in your hand. The control arrangement is the same as on the X100, but this button is now marked with a Q rather than Raw and gives access to the quick menu. This menu provides a quick route to 16 of the most useful features for speedy adjustment. You just navigate to the one you want and select the setting using this dial.

Although the direct-view optical finder can display key information like the exposure values and AF point, I prefer the electronic finder as it shows the image as it will be captured – and it gives a nice clear view with plenty of detail.

While the X100S might intimidate novice photographers, enthusiasts will find there plenty to get excited about and the exposure controls are a joy to use. Perhaps even more importantly, its also capable of capturing superb, well-exposed images with lots of sharp detail and pleasant colours.


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