Compared to... Olympus E510

Although both the Olympus and the FujiFilm have a similar number of megapixels, they have very differently-sized sensors. The Four Thirds sensor in the E510 has almost exactly four times the surface area of the sensor in the S100FS, which means each of its photosites can potentially have four times the surface area. If we (imprecisely), assume that the entire area of each photosite is light-sensitive, then at the same exposure settings, you'd expect the Olympus to have four times as many photons of light to count at each site. This really comes into play as the sensitivity (ISO) rises and the exposure times get shorter and shorter.

So how does the S100FS fare at a medium-high ISO setting?

Studio scene comparison (ISO 800)

  • Fujifilm FinePix S100FS: Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation

  • Olympus E-510: Olympus 14-42mm Zuiko, Aperture Priority mode, ISO 800, Modified Image Parameters*, Manual white balance, +0.3 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Fujifilm FinePix S100FS
Olympus E510
ISO 800, 1/350 sec, F5.6
ISO 800, 1/320 sec, F7.1
5,299 KB JPEG
6,959 KB JPEG

Again, despite having a sensor a quarter of the size, the S100FS holds up pretty well against the E510, even at ISO800. More noise reduction is being applied on the FujiFilm images, which is resulting in some loss of detail and a reduction in color saturation. Detail levels remain comparable in the high-contrast areas such as the label text on the bottlenecks, suggesting relatively sophisticated noise reduction is being applied.

The artifacts around the paperclips has become exaggerated, however, showing that the otherwise very credible performance of FujiFilm's Super CCD technology (and related image processing), has its limits.