Fujifilm FinePix S100FS Review
By far the biggest problem that the S100FS faces is chromatic aberation (CA). Fringing of one sort or another has been something of a traditional problem with FujiFilm cameras but the S100FS produces some of the most dramatic results we've seen from such a high-end camera from such an established brand. This is a big dissappointment because it is by far the most obvious image quality flaw and is utterly unneccesary (it could surely be removed in-camera using the Real Photo Processor).
We found often disturbing levels of CA in the majority of images we took. This led to us taking the unusual step of subjecting the S100FS to a simplified version of our lens tests. (Which is no simple task given its range), in order to characterise the problem.
The results are shown below, and offer a comparison with the Nikkor 18-200mm VR which is probably the best performing of the small number of super-zoom lenses available for DSLRs. This data is not comparable to the charts in our lens tests because we have hadto re-calibrate the vertical scale in order to stop the S100FS's results going off the chart.
The left-hand edges of the graphs represent the performance at the center of the lens and work their way to the edges. The Nikon lens result includes an extra data point because it was tested on a camera with a wider, 3:2 aspect-ratio sensor.
At 28mm equivalent focal length on the S100FS and 27mm equivalent on Nikon's lens, it's clear that the Nikkor is controlling CA much better, though the red channel creeps up towards the edges, resulting in red/cyan fringes appearing towards the edges of the frame. The Fuji has relatively high levels of both red/cyan and blue/yellow CA, resulting in green/magenta fringeing that is more noticable than either on its own.
Our tests showed that CA improves as the zoom extends: it is still very visible at 35mm equivalent, tolerable at 50mm equivalent and settles down to perfectly acceptable levels between 100mm and around 150 mm.
Here we see the results at 110mm equivalent on the FujiFilm and 105mm equivalent on the Nikkor. Again the Nikkor outperforms the S100FS but it doesn't try to cover quite such a wide focal-length range (27-300mm equiv, rather than 28-400mm equiv.), and costs more, just as a lens, than the complete S100FS. Add the cost of even a cheap DSLR and total will be more than twice the cost of the FujiFilm.
Unfortunately, from 200mm equiv. onwards, blue/yellow CA takes off spectacularly. It proceeds to get worse all the way up to the lens's extreme at 400mm. The above image shows the performance of both lenses at 300mm equiv. and demonstrates why we had to recalibrate the vertical scale to accomodate the S100FS's data.
These figures highlight a number of problems. The first is that the lens performs least well at both ends of its zoom range. This is not uncommon in zoom lense designs but is quite a drawback because most people shoot most ofen at one extreme of their zoom or the other. The 'sweet-spot' in which the S100FS performs well is in the 100-150mm equivalent range, which accounted for around 15% of the 480 real-world images we shot with the S100FS.
The other problem is that at some focal lengths (around 200mm equiv. for example) at which the CA is non-linear and rises dramatically at the corners of the frame. This makes it more difficult than usual to remove.
All of which is made all the more sad because the resolution data generated from the same tests showed that, while the performance at the two ends of the zoom are merely 'good', the resolution delivered between about 35mm and 300mm is superb. Click here to see the 28 and 50mm equivalent figures.
To give an impression of what this all really means for your photos, here are some examples taken at both extremes of the zoom:
|100% crop||28mm equiv, F8|
|100% crop||400mm equiv, F8|
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Foggy morning by LassiM|
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.