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Fujifilm X100S Review Collection

When the Fuji X100 first came out, it was a dream camera for many “older” shooters, like myself. The retro-good looks, large sensor, and a fixed prime all sounded great.

Personally, I don’t quite trust first-generation releases when it comes to electronics and I held back purchasing one. The fact that every store in Singapore was having a 3-week waiting period when it first launched made the “lust” die down quite a bit.

Regardless, the slow auto-focus issue was a big deal for since manual focusing wasn’t mechanical on the original Fuji X100 (see previous reviews here and here).

Updated Fuji X100S

Almost 2 years later, Fujifilm has decided to re-do the X100 and basically came up with the X100S, which I see more as the “final release” of the original version.

x100s

Let’s start off with what the Fujiguys have to say about the X100S:

If you’re wondering what the complete list of improvements are:

1. 16-megapixel sensor, up from 12-megapixel
2. X-Trans CMOS II sensor eliminates need for Optical Low Pass Filter
2. The resolution has improved to match Full Frame domain sensors
3. The Signal to Noise ratio improved to be on a par with Full Frame domain sensors
4. Phase detection pixels allow 0.07 sec Auto focus
6. 1080p 60fps full HD movie
7. Improved start-up time. From 2.0sec to 0.9sec
8. Continuous Shooting from 5fps up to 6fps
9. Number of consecutive frames while using Continuous Shooting from 10 frames to 31 frames
10. Improved Shooting Interval from 0.9 seconds down to 0.5 seconds.
11. EXR Processor II Lens Modulation Optimiser reduces diffraction
phenomenon and peripheral aberrations.
12. EXR Processor II features X-Trans processing & new noise reduction.
13. Outputs 14bit RAW files
14. EVF has a 2.35 mil dot LCD
15. A new protective coating on the surface of the view-finder window prevents fingerprints and smudging.
16. The handling and response on focus ring has been improved.
17. The shooting range of the OVF has been expanded from 80cm-∞ to 50cm-∞
18. The world’s first MF system ‘Digital Split Image’. It uses the phase detection to show accurate focus peaking.
See demo: http://youtu.be/_fJDX1hzUIg
19. ‘Focus Peak Highlight’ function helps you to check the focal plane.
See demo: http://youtu.be/PMdQpgOzd4o
20. In Movie Shooting, it is possible to choose 3 kinds of focusing modes
MF/ AF-C and AF-S.
21. Expanded AF shooting range from 40cm – infinity (X100) to 21cm – infinity (X100S). *not on Macro mode
22. Quick (Q) Button for speed and instant access to shooting menus.
23. Multi Tab Menu easy and fast navigation
24. Two new Film simulation functions added: Pro Neg.Std and Pro Neg. Hi
25. ‘F-simulation bracketing’ function – one shot can produce 3 different Film Simulation images which can be pre-set.
26. ‘Advanced filter’ mode
27. ‘Multi Exposure’ function. While viewing your first shot on EVF or LCD as overlay, you can shoot a second shot.
28. ‘Shutter Counter’ counts every 100 shots.
29. The shape of viewfinder window changed to help prevent dust build-up
30. The strap attachment rings are double coated with stainless-steel layer
31. Improved the shape of ‘Viewfinder lever’
32. Improved the layout of ‘Focus lever’ (goes MF > AF-C > AF-S now)
33. Improved the operability of the ‘MENU/OK button’
34. Improved shape of the ‘Q button’ (was previously the RAW button)
35. Improved the shape of ‘Front Ring’
36. Improved the torque of ‘Exposure dial’
37. Improved layout of ‘Shutter speed dial’
38. Improved the design of Battery-chamber
39. Improved the shape of Hot shoe
40. Max ISO from 3200 to 6400 *ISO AUTO Mode
41. WB shift available in any mode
42. Variation of aspect ratio 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1
43. Improved functionality in MF mode
44. Able to reset the setting separately
45. No formatting on the setting when updating FW
46. Change the default LCD information setting -> standard
47. Reset function added for every custom mode
48. Information of all F-simulation modes
49. Add ‘MARK FOR UPLOAD TO’ MyFinePix.com
50. Support ‘Eyefi Connected’
51. Holding Q-button is short-cut function
52. Remove ‘ISO AUTO’ to Shooting Menu
53. Change the location of ‘AF area select button’
54. Change the sub-function of ‘AF area select button’
55. Change the sub-function of ‘AE button’
56. Add the sub-function of ‘Fn button’
57. In Playback mode, add the ‘Information function’
58. In low light scene, LCD display becomes smooth.
59. After release the shutter button, immediately switch to playback mode.
60. After release the shutter button, could immediately use some key.
61. After bracket shooting,immediately switch to palyback mode.
62. When holding shutter button, LCD doesn’t freeze.
63. Support the SD-card used Macintosh.
64. In low EV scene, the exposure of LCD will adapt.
65. In Manual Exposure, the histogram will adapt.
66. In Post-viewing, eye sensor function can work
67. Support external microphone and electric release.
68. Change the information of setting external Flash
69. The ND filter is now available in panorama mode.

The list was taken from this Google+ thread.

Focus peaking on the X100S is cool

As Is the Digital Split Screen MF

If you aren’t into video reviews, by the way, check out Neil Van Niekerk’s real-world, detailed review of the Fuji X100S. You can read the full review here.

I’m sure many of you wonder whether the X100S is for you or are you better suited for the X-Pro1 or the cheaper X-E1, here’s what Neil has to say about that:

© Neil Van Niekerk | Used with permission. http://neilvn.com/tangents

© Neil Van Niekerk | Used with permission.
http://neilvn.com/tangents

The Fuji X100s certainly has a distinct character of its own. If you need more than just the 35mm-equivalent lens, then you’re better off checking the Fuji X-Pro 1 which has similar wonderful image quality, or the Fuji X-E1.

The Fuji EX-1 with the kit zoom lens is about the same price as the Fuji X100s. So it is a strong contender for your attention. But the Fuji EX-1 doesn’t offer the Hybrid Optical Viewfinder.

The OVF is such an amazing part of the X-1 Pro and the X100s that it is something that would sway me. There is a slight lag with the EVF that is disconcerting to a long-time DLSR user that is used to the optical view in the viewfinder.

You have to get used to to the Fuji X100s to really appreciate it.

The camera handles very well, and the controls such as the aperture ring and shutter dial are beautifully crafted and properly placed. BUT, you have to get to know the camera, and you have to get to know the menu.

Read Full Review on Neil Van Niekerk’s Site

As I mentioned earlier, the main complaint to the original X100 was it’s auto-focus, and it seems like it’s been well rectified, as Zack Arias mentioned on his X100S review:

After my frist day of shooting with the new S I realized something. Fuji really listens to all of us. Every single complaint that many had about the original x100 has been addressed. Everything I have seen people request in the update is there. The autofocus is leaps and bounds beyond what it was.

Manual focus… get this… actually works! Image quality is fantastic. Same perfect focal length on the 23mm f2 fixed prime. It’s just an awesome camera.

– Zack Arias of zacharias.com

Mark Goldstein of Photography Blog gave it a stellar rating stating that:

Quite simply the new Fujifilm X100S is one of the best cameras that we’ve ever reviewed and joins its illustrious predecessor as a worthy winner of our coveted Essential! award.

– Mark Goldstein

Rangefinder and mirrorless camera fanatic Steve Huff has some really stellar image examples in his Fuji X100 review and summed it up as:

 … I do give Fuji credit because they are releasing cameras that are very “Leica-like” and these cameras are very unique on the market as well. They are priced right and perform with great quality output. The X bodies had some issues out of the gate but I think Fuji is onto something big here as they just keep getting more and more photographers on board who swear by them and the X100s is as good as it gets in the X world.

Fuji as a company really seem to get it, and they may just be like the new Leica when it comes to designing beautiful and functional cameras that will deliver the goods, all for MUCH less than a Leica and in the future they may just release a full frame body that can take Leica lenses for 1/3 the cost. We shall see.

– Steve Huff

Here’s his video hands-on video as well:

For those of you who have purchased the original one and wondered if it’s worth the upgrade, well, Dave Hobby from Strobist.com said this in his X100 review:

If you just use your X100 as an occasional, knock-around, travel-light camera, maybe stick with it. But do not handle an X100s because, just don’t. You’ll be powerless. But the more you use your X100 original, the more you should think about upgrading.

– Dave Hobby

 

Finally, let’s end this Fuji X100S post with an entertaining presentation by Kai of DigitalRev.

So, are you ready to jump on the fixed-lens, retrolicious Fuji X100S? Chime in below.

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