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Fujifilm X100S Review

July 2013 | By Barney Britton, Andy Westlake
Buy on GearShopFrom $1,299.00


Review based on a production X100S with firmware 1.03

When Fujifilm announced its FinePix X100 retro-styled compact at Photokina 2010, it instantly captured the imagination of serious photographers. With its fixed 23mm F2 lens and SLR-sized APS-C sensor, it offered outstanding image quality, while its 'traditional' dial-based handling and innovative optical/electronic 'hybrid' viewfinder gave a shooting experience reminiscent of rangefinder cameras. On launch its firmware was riddled with frustrating bugs and quirks, but a series of updates transformed it into a serious photographic tool. Certain flaws remained, apparently too deeply embedded into the hardware to be fixable, but despite this, it counts as something of a cult classic.

The X100S sees Fujifilm revisiting the concept, but while the external design is essentially unchanged, it's a very different camera inside. It uses a 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS sensor similar to that seen in the interchangeable lens X-Pro1 and X-E1 models, but now with on-chip phase detection promising much-improved autofocus speed. This is supported by a new processor, the 'EXR Processor II', which includes a new 'Lens Modulation Optimizer' function. According to Fujifilm this 'overcomes' lens aberrations such as diffraction and peripheral aberrations, and should give improved image quality at the largest and smallest apertures. The electronic viewfinder has been upgraded to a higher-resolution 2.35M dot display (from 1.44M dot); however this isn't the OLED unit used in the X-E1, but an LCD instead.

Two additional manual focus aids are available when using the EVF or LCD - a focus 'peaking' display that outlines in-focus elements, and an all-new 'Digital Split Image focusing' display that uses phase detection data from the sensor, and is designed to offer a similar experience to manual focus film cameras. In addition, the movement sensor on the manual focus ring has been upgraded to detect movement with greater precision - which Fujifilm says will make it more responsive.

The user interface gains all the improvements Fujifilm has made in its X-series cameras over the past few years, including an onscreen 'Q' menu to access major settings, and a much-improved tabbed menu system.

Fujifilm X100S key features

  • Fujifilm-designed 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
  • On-sensor phase detection autofocus
  • Novel color filter array designed to avoid color moiré, no optical low-pass filter
  • EXR Processor II image processor
  • Hybrid optical / electronic viewfinder with 2.35M dot LCD
  • Dedicated dials for shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation
  • Fixed 23mm F2 lens (same as X100)
  • Improved manual focus system (more responsive focus ring, focus peaking and split-image displays)
  • 2.8" 460k dot rear LCD
  • On-screen 'Q' control panel and tabbed menu system
  • Full HD 1080 60p/30p movie recording, (H.264 MOV - 36Mbps bitrate)
  • Socket for electronic remote release/stereo microphone

Aside from these headline features, Fujifilm is promising a whole host of smaller tweaks and improvements covering every aspect of the camera's design and operation - no fewer than 70 in total. Many of these address bugs and quirks highlighted by users and reviewers, demonstrating once again Fujifilm's laudable desire to listen to feedback and learn from it. Some controls have been subtly tweaked, movie mode is much improved, and small but important operability issues have been addressed.

Side-by-side with the Fujifilm X20

Here's the X100S side-by-side with the X20 that Fujifilm announced at the same time (we reviewed it earlier this year). The two cameras are very different beasts, of course, but share a lot of common features, and the family resemblance is obvious.

Here's the X100S alongside the co-announced X20 zoom compact. Both cameras feature X-Trans CMOS sensors with on-chip phase detection AF, optical viewfinders with detailed information overlays, and lots of external controls. Their on-screen user interfaces and menu systems are very similar too. The big difference is that the X20's fast (F2-2.8) 28-112mm equivalent zoom is coupled to a much smaller, 2/3"-type sensor.

Compared to Sony Cyber-shot RX1R

The X100S's most natural peer (forgetting the massive price difference) is Sony's RX1R, which offers a full-frame 24MP CMOS sensor and a similar 35mm (equivalent) F2 lens as the X100S.

The X100S is slightly taller and wider, but on the plus side, it has a better-defined grip, and of course that unique Fujifilm built-in hybrid viewfinder. Given that the RX1R is packing a full-frame sensor inside it though, the Cyber-shot is impressively compact.
From behind, its the X100S's viewfinder that represents the main difference between the two cameras. The rear control cluster on both models is pretty standard, but the RX1R does have a larger display (which partly makes up for the lack of a finder).
From the top, it is very obvious just how big the RX1R's lens is compared to the almost pancake design of the Fujifilm's 23mm F2. Both cameras have manual aperture rings, and external exposure compensation dials, but the X100S also offers a manual shutter speed dial. The RX1R features an exposure mode dial, in the same position.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 484
1234
smatty
By smatty (Jul 30, 2013)

As a 4 month long intensive photographer with the X100S and over 2 years with the X100, I took the time to comment on the DPREVIEW conclusion 'Cons' from my point of view in this thread:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51896120

2 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Jul 30, 2013)

An old friend who is the head of photography at a very large international NGO (they shoot Canon, mainly) bought the earlier version as it seemed to "tick all the boxes" (ugh) for a lightweight camera to issue for non-critical assignments. It didn't take them long to realise the camera was over-hyped and generally unsatisfactory on many counts. Now there's an "improved" version. We just keep falling for the same old marketing swindles.

2 upvotes
calking
By calking (Jul 30, 2013)

Guess all the pros currently heaping praise on it must be totally wrong then because your old friend didn't care for the prior model. Why not try one yourself and then post something truly insightful.

18 upvotes
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

X100S is amazing camera: I made some videos by using Fujifilm X100S, if you get time see my videos, here are links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12nMvhLVsgw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNrPgVxiuaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSqJ8BotoaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMgYV764No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbniTwGxfKc

And this is my exclusive facebook page on my city Ahmedabad, all photos are taken by Fujifilm X100/ X100S:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/AhmedabadHD/105782226238881?hc_location=timeline

Kind Regards,
Kaushik Parmar Ahmedabad (India).

1 upvote
IMeasure
By IMeasure (Jul 30, 2013)

In a nut shell us users of the X100 had a long list of things we would like to fix regarding the camera. The X100s quite literally addressed them all. And even now with the X100s the small issues we have with this camera are already being addressed with firmware updates. Believe the hype about this camera it is a cracker. When you have one in your hand all you want to do is just hit the road and take pictures.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jul 30, 2013)

So the people at the ngo are idiots. People were probably peeved of because it did not zoom and they could not change lenses. Let photographers pick their camera's do not shove it in.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Sergiusbr
By Sergiusbr (Jul 30, 2013)

Maybe he is an old head without a brain. . .

1 upvote
Sergiusbr
By Sergiusbr (Jul 30, 2013)

Maybe he is an old head without a brain. . .

0 upvotes
Massimo Cristaldi
By Massimo Cristaldi (Jul 30, 2013)

Good review but the quality out of the camera is much better then the one you see here. Just grab a different RAW processor.

http://www.thevisualexperience.org/web/camera-image-quality-why-dpreview-may-be-sometimes-wrong/

2 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Jul 30, 2013)

There's no way round it, this is an expensive instamatic.

In this day and age buying a camera with a fixed semi-wide lens marks you out as having more money than sense.

3 upvotes
Philip Goh
By Philip Goh (Jul 30, 2013)

Since moving to FF, I've found that my favourite lens is the 35mm f/2. The X100s is a very very attractive camera.

7 upvotes
calking
By calking (Jul 30, 2013)

LOL -- guess all the folks who buy the Nikon A, Ricoh GR, Sony RX1 and for that matter, anyone who shoots mostly with a 24mm prime lens on APS-C are all senseless, eh?

Why don't you spend some time looking at the work product you see REAL photographers posting online with fixed focal length cameras.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Storky
By Storky (Jul 30, 2013)

Yes, totally agreed. And even for those of us with too much money on our hands, I would at least expect Fuji to also bring out a 85mm version as well.

0 upvotes
IMeasure
By IMeasure (Jul 30, 2013)

You can hardly call it an Instamatic, all the manual adjustments are there and more accessible and usable than almost any other camera. The manual focus doesn't just work it actually begs to be used.

3 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (Jul 30, 2013)

Having started photography in the early 70s with a Canonet QL17 40mm fixed lens rangefinder camera, this camera evokes a lot of fond memories. It really look like the QL17 except that it has a 35mm equivalent f/2.0 fixed lens. History is trying to repeat itself.

Shooting with a fixed 35mm lens camera has some advantages. It simplify the shooting process. One just zoom with the feet. Its a good way to master photography - master the focal length, in this case the 35mm angle of view. One has to learn how to maximise the capability of the camera and concentrate on composition and exposure.

No, this is not an expensive instamatic. Far from it. A modern point and shoot camera is. The aperture priority is real so is shutter priority and manual exposure. One can use them to their best effect.

35mm is adequate for most shooting although some prefer 28mm. One would be surprise it is excellent for a lot of landscape photos too. A good general purpose camera.

5 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (Jul 30, 2013)

35mm (equivalent) is a very useful focal length to have. It is almost equivalent to the human eye when looking at a direction. 28mm is when one is looking with both eyes. Some prefer 28mm for enviromental portraits where the surrounding tells a story or for group photos.

For that reason, I prefer shooting with my Canon 5D MkII with the Zeiss 35mm f/2.0 lens most of the time, ocassionally using my 24mm f/1.4L MkII when I need a wider view and the Zeiss 50mm f/2.0 Macro for closeups.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jul 30, 2013)

Actually your newbie comment doesn't ever deserve a response, but you do know that legendary photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson, shot with large aperture prime lenses similar to the 35mm f/2 on the X100s? And no Bresson didn't use an Instamatic.

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/968

0 upvotes
OzarkAggie
By OzarkAggie (Jul 30, 2013)

Actually if you shoot landscape the 35mm equivalent lens works very well, and with a 2600 line resolution you can crop a photo pretty hard and still get a printable image.

Your criticism is not only inappropriate but marks you as someone with more hubris than intellect.

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Jul 30, 2013)

and marike6 your comment shows what a poseur you are. I bet you think Leicas are good value too.

35mm is indeed a useful focal length, as long as it's not your ONLY focal length. What sheep you are

0 upvotes
Mcmx
By Mcmx (Jul 30, 2013)

The basic problem is, you started your post without having any idea what an instamatic is. Or if you do, you were just trolling. You can pick what is more embarrassing.

And now you followed it up with ad hominem attacks.How surprising.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Greg Gebhardt
By Greg Gebhardt (Jul 30, 2013)

The review is OK but you can't find the camera for sale anywhere.

2 upvotes
techmine
By techmine (Jul 30, 2013)

or for that matter on display in BB or Fry's etc. Same problem is with Ricoh cameras and any other Fuji cameras. I have stopped buying cameras based on just the reviews; online.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (Aug 1, 2013)

Just too bad the fuji distributor in the US is not given his allocation, or maybe in a worse scenario, Fuji is trying to create an artificial shortage.

Try buying the camera in Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong. There seem to be plenty going around. And have a holiday in Bali or Krabi, Thailand for some great photo opportunities.

The US is not the only place to buy cameras.

However, don't consider buying cameras in Bali or Krabi. They are just great holiday destination with interesting landscape and beaches.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
luc dewaele
By luc dewaele (Jul 30, 2013)

The Fuji x100s is the best camera for a photographer to start a career and for a professional photographer to query his visual language. Maybe it's also the best tool to end up a professional career: 'back to basics' is guaranteed.
The fuji x100s is my best investment ever. I can furnish my blog daily with images, which could have never been produced without this camera. It's also a way of making professional pictures, without being considered as a pro...

11 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (Jul 30, 2013)

Maybe you could post this again, preferably in comprehensible form.

4 upvotes
luc dewaele
By luc dewaele (Jul 30, 2013)

Yes, I know my English is far from perfect. Maybe my pictures could explain better...

5 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (Jul 30, 2013)

I like the blues of this camera.

0 upvotes
l_d_allan
By l_d_allan (Jul 30, 2013)

Based on the "Noise and Noise Reduction" chart, the X100S has significantly better high iso noise than the Nikon D4, Canon 5dm3, and other full frames. I find that a bit hard to believe. Am I missing something?

1 upvote
jacketpotato
By jacketpotato (Jul 30, 2013)

X100s ISO should be halved to get actual ISO.

Ie. X100s ISO 1600 is actually ISO 800.

3 upvotes
Tech Whiz
By Tech Whiz (Jul 30, 2013)

@ jacket- Sorry, but these values are always standard. The value set by International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Point not taken.

4 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Jul 30, 2013)

"Per pixel" noise measurements always give benefit to lower pixel count bodies in their comparison tool, but are not representative for "per image" comparisons. Which you can do yourself.

And second, the demosaïcing process of X-trans files seems to add quite a bit of smoothing and filtering too, which makes them look more like processed in camera jpegs, than converted RAW files, even with all NR set to zero.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Tech Whiz
By Tech Whiz (Jul 30, 2013)

@ I_d_allan: I too felt that at higher ISO the X100s giving better images than the D4, the D4 images becoming somewhat more warm in nature where the X retains the colors well. But its hard to believe still unless you have shot with both. Its truly difficult to believe.

2 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (Jul 30, 2013)

@jacketpotato
That is a bit too drastic when it comes to the X100S! These tests often don't take the T-Stop of the lens into account. But in direct comparison to the X100 (perfectly comparable due to exactly the same lens with the same T-Stop) I'd give the X100S 1/2-Stop too optimistic ISO value.

3 upvotes
smatty
By smatty (Jul 30, 2013)

I allowed myself 3 month with my X100S to review it against my X100 and pretty much came to the same conclusion and list of benefits on the X100S.

I did not even touch video on either one, though. But thanks for the reminder that this feature is somewhere hidden in there ;-)

Here is my X100 vs. X100S - 'was it worth the upgrade?' review:

www.FujiXfiles.com

In direct comparison between the X100 and the X100S I saw about a 1/2 stop difference in ISO sensitivity between the two. The X100S beeing about 1/2 stop less sensitive at similar aperture and shutter time.

I wonder if Fuji has ever said anything about the phase detection AF and if it can still be improved to lock in more situations in future FW updateds? That would be a nice extra goody to look forward to :)

3 upvotes
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

And this is my exclusive facebook page on my city Ahmedabad, all photos are taken by Fujifilm X100/ X100S:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/AhmedabadHD/105782226238881?hc_location=timeline

Kind Regards,
Kaushik Parmar Ahmedabad (India).

5 upvotes
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

I am proud owner of Fujifilm X100, and I am using it since last two years, I have a had privilege to use X100S for 15 days, and I really love this new X100S, I now do not like old X100.

I have gone through with your review two times now and I am fully convinced, this is great review, it is deep review! Now I would like to let you know guys that, I am interested to use X100S' video function, I really like videos created by X100S, yes of course we can not have videos like Panasonic GH2 (I own Panasonic GH2), but for me I found videos are not bad, it really produce decent videos. I made some videos by using Fujifilm X100S, if you get time see my videos, here are links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12nMvhLVsgw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNrPgVxiuaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSqJ8BotoaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMgYV764No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbniTwGxfKc

1 upvote
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

Hi! Greetings! This is Kaushik Parmar from Ahmedabad (India). I am regular visitor of DPReview. I am a huge fan of Fujifilm and I was waiting for your review on X100S, and finally I fond it today, so much exited! And I am glad you guys give "Gold Award" and X100S deserve it, well done Fujiflm!

I really enjoyed this extensive review, so much hard work you guys have done and full marks to all if you guys, keep it up!

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Jul 30, 2013)

This camera has got lots of SWAG.

If other cameras were like people, this is what they will say...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kfu0KNNd3Q4

.

3 upvotes
Tandua
By Tandua (Jul 30, 2013)

13 PRO

17 CON + (less DR etc etc)

Imho = bronze

3 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Jul 30, 2013)

It's not as simple as just weighing the number of cons against the number of pros. One has to consider the consequences of each pro and con with respect to one's own photographic needs. Obviously, the reviewer thinks that those 13 pros far outweigh the 17 cons.

4 upvotes
Flowing
By Flowing (Jul 30, 2013)

You shouldn't judge a camera just by looking at the last page of the review and counting the pro's and con's and the points on the list have different weights. For me an 'excellent image quality' is a much more appreciate PRO than a 'fiddly button' CON.... and frankly most of the CONs are things that could have been done better, but that have much less impact on the user than the PROs. Know what I mean?

1 upvote
bluevellet
By bluevellet (Jul 30, 2013)

A lot of cons for a gold award.

6 upvotes
Tandua
By Tandua (Jul 30, 2013)

yes.a lot of cons never seen before for a gold award?

bronze award is right value, don't?

1 upvote
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

Once you will use it you will come to know why GOLD has been given! You can see my work, I posted links. Have a nice day!

3 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Jul 30, 2013)

The shadow dynamic range issue is really very disturbing. I've stuck to film cameras all these years, until recently, because of DR issues.

For example, I frequently under-expose faces, in strongly backllit conditions, for the sake of atmosphere, and I need as much shadow DR as I do highlight DR as I can get (particularly for the sake of eyes). That, skin tones, + OOC JPG quality are what had me finally move away from film. I would have immediately pre-purchased the X-Pro 2, except for this review. I'm astonished that fuji have seen fit to reduce DR they are famous for.

Fuji see this as improving shadows, but I don't buy that. It's a loss of irretrievable detail and capability. Consumer vs Enthusiast/semi-pro.

In the X-Pro review, putting shadows to -2 extended the shadow DR even more but isn't shown here. The fact that the X100s has the same settings doesn't mean that we can resurrect the shadow DR capabilities of the previous cameras. If we can then I can put aside my concern.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jul 30, 2013)

In honesty the shadow recovery is nothing short of miraculous whether you refer to the X100S or X-Pro1. I've never even noticed a difference in real world use of both.

The X100S has better DR than almost every other APS-C camera on the market - it may or may not be worse than the X-Pro1 but I'm not sure I would lose sleep over it.

2 upvotes
itsastickup
By itsastickup (Jul 30, 2013)

Not according to this review. Look at the graph. It's the same as any other APS-C. And compare to the X-Pro 1 with Shadow at -2 in its review; which, as you say, is miraculous. That isn't tried here, so we don't know.

Are you talking of RAW? RAW is something I wish to avoid if at all possible. The case for RAW in these cameras, even for the X-pro 1, is not straightforward.

1 upvote
calking
By calking (Jul 30, 2013)

You might try shooting RAW and post processing your high-contrast images for that missing shadow detail you allude to instead of basing your entire experience of DR on an online review, graphs, and sample photos. While the X- series cameras offer some of the best DR available, NO camera can be relied on to give you infinite detail in both dark and white with OOC JPGs.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Tech Whiz
By Tech Whiz (Jul 30, 2013)

I am using the X100s, and there are some more really advantageous Pros worth considering.
1. The X100s can shoot at an insane flash-sync speed. Can even shoot at 1/4000 shutter speed. Capturing stage with fast moving subject is no problem with this device.
2. Has a built-in ND filter allowing you to keep your aperture wide open even in broad daylight to create amusingly shallow DOF

3. This machine can click making almost no-sound. Very suitable for capturing theatre/ Concerts and Street

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Tandua
By Tandua (Jul 30, 2013)

I don't understand...

From drpreviw
"Our tests show that the X100S clips to black more suddenly than previous X-Trans cameras though, giving about two stops less dynamic range in the shadows. Fujifilm has confirmed that "

Fuji confirmed x100s has less dynamic range in shadows tone compared previous model (x-pro1 superior, and x-e1 too)

dpreview say:
"and in real-world use, the shadow contrast tweak is not noticeable when comparing the X100S with its competitors."

interpretation:
"competitors" different word to say...x-pro1 and x-e1 do it better...but x100s compared with different brand camera is superior

why x100s sensor (born after x-e1 and x-pro1 with af superior) is inferior in DR?

2 upvotes
BernardRoughton
By BernardRoughton (Jul 30, 2013)

Excellent & very thorough review. Well done Barney, worth the wait!

2 upvotes
iRadio07
By iRadio07 (Jul 30, 2013)

I have used the X100 for the last two years mostly for B&W. I have since 3 monthes the X100s and I am very pleased with the X-Trans sensor, the results in B&W (raw + LR4) are quite outstanding . The X100s for B&W photographers is clearly a "monochrome" camera alternative !

See some exemples : http://my-finepix-x100s.blogspot.com

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

I agree with you. I made some videos by using Fujifilm X100S, if you get time see my videos, here are links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12nMvhLVsgw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNrPgVxiuaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSqJ8BotoaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMgYV764No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbniTwGxfKc

And this is my exclusive facebook page on my city Ahmedabad, all photos are taken by Fujifilm X100/ X100S:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/AhmedabadHD/105782226238881?hc_location=timeline

Kind Regards,
Kaushik Parmar Ahmedabad (India).

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ray Sachs
By Ray Sachs (Jul 30, 2013)

"Auto ISO is available when using manual exposure, but disappointingly it doesn't respect the exposure compensation setting in this mode, which reduces its usefulness...........(Pentax Ricoh is the only company to explicitly offer such a Shutter + Aperture priority mode)"

This may be strictly true but the reality is that other manufacturers offer the same functionality in manual mode - they don't give it a separate mode with its own place on the mode dial, but you can do the very same thing. I have an RX1 and a Nikon Coolpix A that both have that functionality incorporated into the M mode (the Nikon has the most overall useful auto-ISO setup I've ever used).

But the basic point is right that Fuji falls down (hard!) by omitting this function. And a top minimum shutter speed of 1/125 is better than not being able to set it, but just barely. Ricoh's 1/250 and Nikon's 1/1000 are both far more useful...

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Gazeomon
By Gazeomon (Jul 30, 2013)

'There is little need to shoot RAW'. ?, Are You talking to Yourself here? I don't care what You think You need to shoot. A $1300 camera to shoot jpg's. Who is kidding who?!

6 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (Jul 30, 2013)

Whom.

15 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (Jul 30, 2013)

I guess I am kidding myself too, then. I am using this camera to shoot JPG's. With excellent results. The JPG's are fantastic.

6 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (Jul 30, 2013)

Funny sign "I'm sorry". But i think you shouldn't even excuse yourself for anything.

If anything, readers should say "We're thankful".

11 upvotes
tee1000
By tee1000 (Jul 30, 2013)

You're right.
Thanks dpreview.

5 upvotes
Eigenmeat
By Eigenmeat (Jul 30, 2013)

Can DPR do a formal comparison between ACR and Iridient on X-Trans. ACR does not seem to do Xtrans justice, no matter your sharpneing work flow. This is especially try for foliage and low contrast details.

See example here:
http://www.thevisualexperience.org/web/processing-x100s-raw-with-iridient-developer-part-2/

4 upvotes
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (Jul 30, 2013)

The tradeoff is that Iridient has more problems with chroma noise. As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch.

2 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 30, 2013)

Hmm more cons (a very long list) than pros and closely looking at the IQ of RAW vs competition, can't see how it gets an 81% score and gold award?

3 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (Jul 30, 2013)

A somewhat lengthy list of little niggles doesn't negate the list of pros. And the pros are superb, as are the results. I guess that's why.

2 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

poor detail past ISO 400 or away from center of the frame is not superb for a camera that cost over a $1,000 in 2013

3 upvotes
Tubed_Jazz
By Tubed_Jazz (Jul 30, 2013)

Great review, thanks!
However, in your summary pro / con listing I would like to have seen some of the pro's associated with the leaf shutter included (you've identified a couple of con's!).
It's silent (something you commented on in the body of the review) and the ability to sync flash at all available speeds. The latter is a wonderful feature and really helps in strongly backlight situations.
For me the shutter is worth the gold award on its own!
Cheers, Jeff

5 upvotes
Craig Atkinson
By Craig Atkinson (Jul 30, 2013)

This is an excellent camera. I'd disagree with the ergonomics being better than the Ricoh GR. The Fuji Jpegs are over smeared but the RAWs are great. The general handling of light is the best I've seen from any lens.
And update and comparative review of the Xpro1 would be good, given Fujis stand that it won't be updated this year.

3 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

If you can go without retro styling, cool viewfinder, extra dials and buttons maybe grab a $1,000 cheaper EOS M with 22mm F2 lens. You get a fun touchscreen, much better detail, smaller size for pockets.

6 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (Jul 30, 2013)

Trying to booster a completely different camera makes little sense.

7 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

Well there is a good chance people looking at this camera are looking for a compact APS-C sensor cam with very good image quality with a small 35mm lens. If that is the main concern then its a no brainer to get one that is more compact with better image quality and 4x less expensive. If main concern is dials, viewfinder, styling, then it is a mute point. Makes sense?

7 upvotes
rallyfan
By rallyfan (Jul 30, 2013)

No. It doesn't make sense.

If your point were "moot" rather than... mute, the statement might make some sense.

You'd still be incorrect.

8 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

Right, no sense. Same as $299 EOS M having more detail at 3200 sensitivity than $1,299 X100S at 1600 doesn't make sense.

Yet X100S will sell well and be applauded for high ISO ability.

Prices charged for cameras, prices people will pay, what is most important in a camera for people all does not make sense.

You can hardly see the dot for the i in Paul Smith at ISO 800 with the X100S where you can in 4 year old APS-C cameras at 1600 or 3200. Same sensitivity the girl's face shows poor detail with edge enhancement and noise reduction - both JPEG and RAW.

5 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jul 30, 2013)

Odd, I find the detail on my X100s up there with my D800E. The real story here is that the X100s needs different RAW processing to get the best out of it.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

I would love to know where you get the Canon eos m has enter image quality

0 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

maybe if standing twice as close with X100S using same focal length and using low ISO sensitivities.

I generally like Fujifilm cameras, even have family that works for them, couple of their classic models in my safe I will never get rid of - but this is what it is.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

Just repeating yourself doesn't make it true. Again - where you get the idea. Of course you are also ignorin all other aspects like aF, viewfinder , etc but we can still start with this claim.

1 upvote
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

Just repeating yourself doesn't make it true. Again - where you get the idea. Of course you are also ignorin all other aspects like aF, viewfinder , etc but we can still start with this claim.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

Just repeating yourself doesn't make it true. Again - where you get the idea. Of course you are also ignorin all other aspects like aF, viewfinder , etc but we can still start with this claim.

0 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

Raist3d, compare here Canon 650D (same sensor and processing) with X100S. Compare on Imaging Resource - EOS M vs X100S. Better at detail in all cases at least up to 3200 and plays the same role. Compare EOS M at 3200 vs X100S at 1600....or EOS M at 1600 vs X100S at 800.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

Sorry for all the posts. The dpreview site was going me an error when it was still posting the text. No intentions of repeating.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

Sorry but these comparisons do not use a better raw converter for xtrans like capture one or iridient but adobe which is know to still smear out detail. So yes, I you must use Lightroom/ace I can see your point.

2 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

Where is a source posted with JPEG images from recommended converter?

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

You can do that homework- Capture One 7 is free for 60 days (!) and Iridient is free except is water marked. Download the raws yourself from Imaging Resource.

That said, this is just dealing with the statement you made. I will agree with you for $300 USD the EOS M is a very nice proposal. Do keep in mind the reason the EOS M is so cheap is because it's discontinued *and* a market failure. But I also agree that, that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad for someone.

Funny though you talk about a "fun touch screen" and ignore the many other advantages in usability the X100s proposess. BTW, not everyone likes touchscreen- easier to change something by accident imho- but that's all besides the point.

3 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Jul 30, 2013)

@ Raist3d

I think you will find that he mentioned some of the form factor attractions of the Fuji in his very FIRST post.

1 upvote
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Jul 30, 2013)

I looked at the Image quality compared to in Raw...
Am I missing something, or are all the samples from the FujiX100s super soft in all ISO's by comparison to the Ricoh GR and the Coolpix A?
Please somebody compare the different cameras in Raw and tell my that I am mistaken, because even the Fuji X100 is muuuuch sharper.

13 upvotes
dengx
By dengx (Jul 30, 2013)

It's Adobe's default output.
It looks much, much better in other RAW converters like C1 or Iridient or dcraw.

6 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jul 30, 2013)

You are. It's superior to those cameras when properly processed

3 upvotes
Asylum Photo
By Asylum Photo (Jul 30, 2013)

Adobe's X-Trans conversion straight out of the box leaves a lot to be desired, unfortunately. So it falls short in "standardized" tests. When all of the above are optimized, things line up better. As others have said, other processors (C1, Aperture, Iridient, RPP, DCRaw, etc) all get a great amount of detail out of the sensor.

3 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Jul 30, 2013)

"Am I missing something"

No you are not.

Just read again the "X-Trans explained" page. X-Trans is inherently softer since it uses not 2x2 (Bayer's RGGB), but 6x6 pattern. IOW, right there you have decrease of the resolution. Some of it is recovered, but it still can't do miracles.

The difference is highly visible in pixel peeping, but IRL (in real life) it is pretty negligible.

1 upvote
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Jul 30, 2013)

So, what all are saying is disregard the soft files that are part of the test because this is not indicative of the performance...

Disregard the fact that the test was not performed with the new center to edge sharpness target which was used in the Ricoh Gr and Coolpix A test...

Disregard the fact that the dynamic range is lower than both the Ricoh GR and the Nikon A (As Barney Britton stated in his review it's more than enough because Fuji said so)...

You don't need to shoot Raw as per Barney Britton because the Jpegs are so good, even though this is not seen in the samples (since when did Ken Rockwell take over DPReview)...

There seems to be a lot of disregarding in this test, in favor of the FujiX100s

3 upvotes
Debankur Mukherjee
By Debankur Mukherjee (Jul 30, 2013)

This camera has very good high ISO performance compared to Nikon or Canon.......good job from Fuji......

1 upvote
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Jul 30, 2013)

Only if you like smeared files, lacking detail.
Take a look at the Raw files from ISO 1600 up, everything is soft and smeared, by comparison to the competition. I don't get it?
It is way softer than even the FujiX100.

13 upvotes
IchiroCameraGuy
By IchiroCameraGuy (Jul 30, 2013)

Lots of noise reduction happening jpeg and raw. Not as good

6 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (Jul 30, 2013)

Certainly softer than the competition and the cleanness is coming from more NR on the RAW rather than being a better sensor. Looks like the lens is not as good as it should be either when you look at low ISO shots.

4 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jul 30, 2013)

Agreed. The DPR comparisons fail to demonstrate what the camera is capable of. An example of a "fair" test using identical settings producing an "unfair" or at least inaccurate result

2 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Jul 30, 2013)

Dear Dpreview Staff,

could you please please Pooolllleaaaaaasse, comment on the Fuji X overstating ISO on JPEGS? I didn't see any mention of it in your review (sorry if I missed it)

There are numerous claims by very credible photographers on Dpreview forums that Fuji is overstating JPEG ISOs on their Xtrans sensors (i.e. the camera tells you it's ISO6400 where it's really more like ISO4000 on other cameras for instance)

Unfortunately no credible reviewers (such as yourself) ever comment on this as far as I know.

Sure would help a bunch to hear from you about it.

Thanks in advance.

5 upvotes
P@l
By P@l (Jul 30, 2013)

Review page 11:

"By our tests, the X100S's measured sensitivities are within 1/6EV of indicated, which is within the tolerance allowed by the ISO specification. In other words, ISO 100 indicated = ISO 100 ..."

17 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (Jul 30, 2013)

Thanks P@l

I don't know how I missed that.

Think I should stop reading reviews at 1 AM in the morning :)

1 upvote
Mikhail Tal
By Mikhail Tal (Jul 30, 2013)

Barney do you ever get fed up with people whining about the reviews?

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 30, 2013)

Fortunately, I feed only on bile. But credit to the commenters on this review - compared to some other interactions, people are being very pleasant, and I appreciate it. I shall have to find something else to eat...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Bamboojled
By Bamboojled (Jul 30, 2013)

Barney, it's interesting that I did not see the very chart you are standing in front of in the Fuji X100s review.
Although this chart was used in the Ricoh and Nikon test to show corner lens performance...What gives, considering that you have been using this camera almost exclusively for the past few weeks as you stated in your review?
I would think that a camera that gains the Gold award, and is stated as not even needing to shoot Raw would get the same stringent testing as the other cameras in this price point...

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 30, 2013)

Oh, it got very stringent testing, let me assure you... but some of the back-end work (boring stuff like coding, skinning and deployment which is much harder to do than to say) for this new studio comparison scene is still being perfected. Which is to say - we'll have the shots ready for you soon, but not yet.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
RickD
By RickD (Jul 30, 2013)

Great review, thank you. I am astonished that a camera this size gives ISO performance and IQ apparently = my D4. This may be the "digital Hexar" I have been hoping for. I can't wait to check it out in person. Keep up the good work.

1 upvote
Digitall
By Digitall (Jul 30, 2013)

X100S review!? ALLELUIA!
ohh a nice camera too!

3 upvotes
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Jul 30, 2013)

ARTIFACTS?
========

Did not DPReview look for or encounter these issues?

http://diglloyd.com/blog/2012/20121206_1-FujiXE1-artifacts.html

Thanks in advance.

3 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (Jul 30, 2013)

Somewhat like the images from the old S5 when using the 12mp setting.

2 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jul 30, 2013)

Probably not: diglloyd is a hack with a beef about fuji. I can't take anything he says about any fuji camera seriously. The problems are over exaggerated or fabricated

1 upvote
plevyadophy
By plevyadophy (Jul 30, 2013)

@sgoldswo
If you read Diglloyd often enough you will learn that he is very demanding, detailed/thorough in his testing, and more than a little fussy about image quality.

But a hack he is not, nor exaggerations or fabrications does he do.

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jul 30, 2013)

Geez make us wait while you make an awesome sign! i never! ;)

2 upvotes
Adrian Tung
By Adrian Tung (Jul 30, 2013)

I don't get why this is a con: "Focus must be acquired for every exposure in AF-S mode (use AFL to get around it)"

Isn't that practically how all cameras behave in single shot mode, unless you engage some form of focus lock (e.g. manual focus, AF-L, etc)?

0 upvotes
joejack951
By joejack951 (Jul 30, 2013)

No, most cameras don't need to re-lock focus as long as you keep the shutter button half pressed. That's quite an odd thing for Fuji to do.

2 upvotes
Adrian Tung
By Adrian Tung (Jul 30, 2013)

Sorry, I don't follow. Let's say I decide to focus on a subject (with any camera), I half-press the shutter. It focuses and confirms lock. Then I fully press to take the picture. Now when I half-press again, it's going to attempt to focus and lock again.

Am I missing something here?

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (Jul 30, 2013)

Yes, and it happens right after you fully press the shutter. As joejack951 said, on many cameras you don't have to release the shutter button fully. You can keep it half-pressed and press it again to prevent the camera from re-focusing.

2 upvotes
chj
By chj (Jul 30, 2013)

I was thinking the same thing as Adrian. Never knew I could keep it half pressed. Thanks for the tip.

2 upvotes
Adrian Tung
By Adrian Tung (Jul 30, 2013)

That's interesting, I wasn't aware of such a feature either.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 30, 2013)

It used to be one of the small, annoying differentiators between low and high end SLRs. These days, I only notice when a camera doesn't let you do it. But some people I'm sure will never be aware of the 'feature'. I suppose it comes down to how you use your cameras.

1 upvote
Roland Karlsson
By Roland Karlsson (Jul 30, 2013)

hehe. I tried my K-5 and G10, both had the feature. And I have never known about it. Hmmmm ... for G10 it was kind of hard to use though, It was very easy to let the button up too much.

You never stop learning. Thanx!

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Jul 30, 2013)

I really think this should be on Fuji's firmware "todo" list.

0 upvotes
Davidgilmour
By Davidgilmour (Jul 30, 2013)

No mention of the fact that the X-100 JPEG colors are nicer than the X-100s JPEG colors? Why?

1 upvote
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jul 30, 2013)

Thats strictly a matter opinion.

Just like IMO oly's XZ-2 colors are nicer vs the X20...which means they may be better then every X camera!

Is that the truth....who knows....but its an opinion of someone that doesnt own a XZ-2 and has a XE-1

2 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (Jul 30, 2013)

Good review.

I found the real world shots in this review to be very helpful in giving readers an idea just what the camera can do. The original X100 was a winner but the damn blade problem was real and a downer for those who had to deal with it. I give Fuji full credit for repairing the early cameras that had the problem AND making sure newer models didn't have that issue. The X100s looks like a real winner and I would not hesitate to pick one up.

Thanks for the review. Well done.

2 upvotes
Ybor
By Ybor (Jul 30, 2013)

Fuji makes wonderful mirrorless cameras that have some funky quirky issues. They are better than Sony mirrorless line from my ownership and usage of both in past several years.

make sure you have a warranty because you may need it with a Fuji X camera. After saying this I say that the X100S is a useless model when you have the X-E1 and lens selection.

3 upvotes
Roger Nordin
By Roger Nordin (Jul 30, 2013)

I am sure the X-E1 is a nice camera. That said, it is a different beast than the X100S. The X-E1 does not have the supernice Hybrid viewfinder with an optical view option, nor does it have the wonderful silent leaf shutter with the magically fast flash sync speeds, that with a press-of-a-button ND filter (another missing feature of the X-E1) allows you to shoot outdoor sunlit portraits and fill-flash withs packed with loads of creamy bokeh.

2 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (Jul 30, 2013)

I think not - I own both, and the XE1 is great, but you can't get the XE1 in your pocket with a lens selection, nor can it match the heights of the IQ from the X100S

1 upvote
Kaushik Parmar
By Kaushik Parmar (Jul 30, 2013)

No no X100S can not be useless camera, indeed it is great camera. You can say that you are not comfortable with fix lens, so for you X-E1 is perfect.

I agree with you. I made some videos by using Fujifilm X100S, if you get time see my videos, here are links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12nMvhLVsgw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNrPgVxiuaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSqJ8BotoaU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMgYV764No https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbniTwGxfKc

And this is my exclusive facebook page on my city Ahmedabad, all photos are taken by Fujifilm X100/ X100S:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/AhmedabadHD/105782226238881?hc_location=timeline

0 upvotes
calking
By calking (Jul 30, 2013)

They're 2 separate concepts for different purposes. I'd wager that one won't be able to distinguish the X100s shots from an XE-1 with the upcoming 24mm f1.4 prime lens when Fuji releases it later this fall.

0 upvotes
Ybor
By Ybor (Jul 30, 2013)

People who need to put cameras in their pocket have far better choices. This group also are likely rank amateurs.

0 upvotes
andywhoa
By andywhoa (Jul 30, 2013)

Give me a full-frame sensor and a function to automatically set the focus to the hyperfocal distance of the selected aperture, and I'll give you $2,000. Weatherproof it and I'll give you another $300.

10 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Jul 30, 2013)

Pity Fuji does not like to put both viewfinder and articulated LCD on the same camera.

6 upvotes
kai333
By kai333 (Jul 30, 2013)

Wow, that's seriously impressive at ISO 6400...

10 upvotes
Ybor
By Ybor (Jul 30, 2013)

control your exuberance. the stated ISO and the actual are not on in the same.

6 upvotes
Ybor
By Ybor (Jul 30, 2013)

not one in the same as in different. excuse my misspelling. a well known fact but the X100s still does well in lower light with what it works with: smoke and mirrors.

0 upvotes
Asylum Photo
By Asylum Photo (Jul 30, 2013)

@Ybor

"By our tests, the X100S's measured sensitivities are within 1/6EV of indicated, which is within the tolerance allowed by the ISO specification. In other words, ISO 100 indicated = ISO 100 ..."

5 upvotes
Ybor
By Ybor (Jul 30, 2013)

By Asylum Photo (13 min ago)

@Ybor

"By our tests, the X100S's measured sensitivities are within 1/6EV of indicated, which is within the tolerance allowed by the ISO specification. In other words, ISO 100 indicated = ISO 100 ..."

Doubt this to be true. Sorry.

0 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Jul 30, 2013)

I'm Leica virgin but I touched for the very first time a X100S a few days ago and my heartbeat...

3 upvotes
Stephen Scharf
By Stephen Scharf (Jul 30, 2013)

Thank you, Barney! MUCH appreciated! :-)

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 30, 2013)

Pleasure - I was as keen as you to get this review on the site, I've been chipping away at it for bl**dy ages...

3 upvotes
PixelMover
By PixelMover (Jul 30, 2013)

Dear Fuji,

If you read this, please think about how many more additional units you would sell if you also sold a black version. Even David Hobby has gaffer-taped his silver version. Take a hint. People on all kinds of photo forums are asking for a black version. And please no silly Limited Edition version to help you sell your overpriced accessories. Just a plain black version please.

I promise I'll buy one! Really.

7 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (Jul 30, 2013)

Yes. But Fuji can't make enough of the Silver version to meet sales demand, I don't think their sales would be any better with also having a black version.

0 upvotes
DDWD10
By DDWD10 (Jul 30, 2013)

Good work, Fujifilm! The samples speak for themselves.

Excellent, thorough review!

0 upvotes
zeepyOne
By zeepyOne (Jul 30, 2013)

Should also add those to the con list:
1/ No black colour body option;
2/ Would be better if a bit smaller.

0 upvotes
Tee1up
By Tee1up (Jul 30, 2013)

LOL. Nice apology.

6 upvotes
Doma
By Doma (Jul 30, 2013)

Actually after checking the cons list I can say, most of them if not all are not considered cons at all..If I am to mention one thing I don't like about X100S it would be ; Fuji not providing it in BLACK..it just doesn't feel so good shooting with something that shiny in streets.

Great review, the best indeed(technically speaking)

2 upvotes
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (Jul 30, 2013)

This camera is a joy to use. Best camera I've ever owned.

5 upvotes
The City Lane
By The City Lane (Jul 30, 2013)

Likewise. Absolutely zero regrets since I purchased mine back in May.

1 upvote
Total comments: 484
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