Fujifilm x100s Review

The Fujifilm x100 is a unique compact camera coming from the famed x100 installment. Its design is set to fuse the old and new features of the company’s products in a retro fashion to meet the needs of the photographers. The Fujifilm Finepix x100s still keeps the traditional control system which is the flagship feature for the x100 series.
However, it has also been revolutionized with some cutting edge features like the 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor that parts it from the rest of its competitors in the photography market. We are therefore going to provide you with a detailed Fujifilm x100s review.

Fujifilm x100s

General Specifications

We’ll go straight to the specs of this unique gadget.

Type: Fujifilm Finepix x100s Hybrid Viewfinder, Intelligent Hybrid Auto Focus
Resolution: 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
ISO:
Fixed ISO: 200-6400
Auto ISO: 400-3200
Shutter Speed: In the program mode; ¼-1/1000
Other modes: 30seconds
Time mode: 1/4-30 seconds
Continuous Shooting Range: 5 FPS for one to two seconds
Size: 74.4mm x 126.5mm x 53.9mm or 2.9in x 5.0in x 2.1in
It has a minimum thickness of 31mm or 1.2in.
Weight: It weighs 439.8g translating to 15.515oz inclusive of the battery and card.
Media Storage: It has a 20mb internal storage.
Supports SD, SDHC or ADXC. Preferably, SanDisk or Fujifilm Cards.

Pricing options:
• Price in Fuji Store: $1100
• New on Amazon: $1099.00
• On Sale: $1300
• Used: $600-$900 on eBay.
• Refurbished: $1290

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Key Features

This new version of the x100 series has some serious specs behind its robust skin. At its core is the newly established 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor that has considerably improved its image quality. The hybrid viewfinder on this gadget gives it an edge over its competitors such as the Leica m9. The x100s combines an optical and an electrical viewfinder hence its hybrid nature. This feature has significantly increased the shooting experience.

The Fujifilm x100s also brags of an extremely fast Hybrid Auto Focus system with an inbuilt phase detection pixels. In addition to that, it is the first of its kind to bring out the digital split image feature for a more accurate focusing. The new EXR Processor II has seen to the massive increase in the response time. The quiet leaf shutter which it borrows from its predecessor is still marvelous.

The camera maintains the ringed lens that plays a role in the setting of the aperture and dialing the shutter speed. Additionally, the ring allows exposure compensation. The x100s has also kept the film simulation effects and the outer crafting that feature a leather-like design.

Image Quality and Performance

In this section of the Fujifilm x100s review, we will scrutinize the performance of the camera. The autofocus which was anticipated from the previous x100 didn’t live up to our expectations. However, the x100s improves on this big time. It poses competition to the mirror-less compact system cameras in the market. Apart from the few glitches such as delayed lock-on in very dark conditions, the AF is a great feature on the x100s.

The manual focus has also been improved with the help of the two focus-assist modes. The peaking mode first outlines the object of focus followed by the digital slit image mode. The focus ring has also been adjusted to have a shorter throw for precision.

The X-Trans sensor is a superb piece of technology applied to this gadget. Its integration with the 23mm f/2 lens promises photographers an excellent detailed shooting. Color rendering on the Fujifilm x100s is just breath-taking. The selling point in the camera is the immaculate performance of the ISO. At ISO 6400 you’ll be dazzled at the images you get. It also supports the noise reduction feature which some have found a little too much for JPEG images.

The dynamic range is also great in bringing out shadows in a latitude of 3-4 stops. All things considered, the camera gives us little to complain about; perhaps the over-exposure which can be overcome so easily.

Design and Controls

This Fujifilm x100s review will show you how the design of the camera doesn’t change from predecessor x100. It has however been tweaked in particular areas to improve its handling. The Q button, for instance, has been borrowed from the X-Pro1. In the x100s it opens a quick menu display from where ISO, dynamic range and film emulation among others can be edited.

The Autofocus activation button has also been shifted from the left of the LCD to the 4-way scroll wheel. That little modification has made it possible to shoot with just one hand. The button for the adjustment of the exposure has been tightened since it was easy to turn it accidentally when shooting with the x100.

The rangefinder camera is very compact and gives the user a solid feel when in use. The dials for controlling the shutter speed, focus mode, viewfinder, and exposure have been stiffened for better dexterity. The only hitch witnessed is the fact that the tripod plate seals off the memory card and battery slots.

PROs

• There is an improvement in the autofocus as compared to the previous X100.
• The controls have been significantly tweaked to allow better focusing and shooting experience.
• The hybrid viewfinder is a game changer for this camera.
• The leaf shutter, as well as the 35/2 lens, are worth it for the x100s.
• It has an inbuilt ND filter.
• With the x100s you can set 1/3 stops for your shutter speed and the aperture.
• A more responsive focusing ring.
• Improved ISO performance resulting in better sensitivity.
• The addition of the in-camera multi-exposure mode.
• Switching between the auto focus and focus mode is just great with the x100s.

CONs

• The noise reduction can be an issue while shooting JPEG images with the ISO 3200 or 6400. In light conditions, it can be overdone such that the picture gets that plastic look.
• The Q button carries many functions but controlling the ND filter isn’t one of them. Accessing the ND filter on/off option is quite hard as it is buried deep in the menu.
• The tripod plates seal off the batteries when in use. This can be a pain at times when you have to change the battery or memory card in emergencies.

Recommendations

Based on its qualities, the Fujifilm x100s camera is suitable for travel, candid photography and can as well make a perfect family or personal camera. The camera is also applicable in street photography due to its viewfinder feature and sturdy design. The handling of the x100s in harsh conditions is entirely unmatched by any other DSLR or compact cameras. It has qualities that beat other lens-less full-frame DSLR which are twice as expensive.

However, those owning the former x100, it is not the best option as they share similar features. The former is just a bit slower.

Verdict

The camera is quite simple, has an inbuilt flash and all the lenses one may require for photography. It is worth a go if you have a thing for the viewfinder cameras. Also, make sure your manual focus skills are off the charts to push this camera to its high limits. It is also quite affordable based on a number of features it packs. We hope you enjoyed our Fujifilm x100s review. You can share it with friends or give us your feedback on the review.

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