Fujifilm FinePix X100 In-Depth Review
The X100's Fujinon 23mm F2 lens, being non-interchangeable, lies at the heart of the camera's imaging capabilities. It's a relatively complex design - 8 elements in 6 groups, including one dual-sided glass molded aspherical element - and Fujifilm says it's specifically matched to the sensor, which uses offset microlenses for better light-gathering towards the edge of the frame.
Although we're not able to bring you our usual studio lens test widget in this review, after looking carefully at many hundred of shots we're confident that we have a pretty detailed assessment of the lens's strengths and weaknesses. Our judgment is that it's a very fine lens indeed, capable of resolving a large amount of detail with a relatively low level of aberrations.
At long focus distances, the X100's Fujinon 23mm F2 lens performs very well. At F2 it's impressively sharp in the center of the frame, and this sharpness holds up pretty well to the 'short' edges of the frame. Beyond that the corners get progressively softer, with a drop in contrast and visible smearing due to halation. The corners progressively improve on stopping down; at F4 they're critically sharp. Sharpness then holds up well through to F11; at F16 the image is visibly softened due to diffraction.
This is shown in the rollover below - note that here we're using raw files converted using Adobe Camera RAW 6.4 with no correction for chromatic aberration.
Wide-open sharpness is also highly dependent upon focus distance, decreasing progressively as the subject gets closer. At intermediate distances - say 1-2m, where you're likely to be taking pictures of people - the lens is perhaps just a little soft and low in contrast wide open, but not problematically so in our opinion (it's more than made up for by the ability to shoot indoors without flash, and throw the background somewhat out of focus). Within the camera's 'macro range', images get very soft indeed at F2, with significant halation due to spherical aberration across the frame - we'll look at this in more detail later.
|F2, approx 1m subject distance||100% crop|
The X100's lens shows very low levels of chromatic aberration, and what little there is gets automatically corrected by the camera during JPEG processing. If you process the raw files using Adobe Camera Raw or SilkyPix some colour fringing from lateral chromatic aberration can become visible, but it's easy enough to correct when needed. In the sample below there's a little green/magenta fringing towards the extreme corner of the frame in the uncorrected ACR output, which has clearly been corrected in the JPEG output and can likewise be readily removed in raw processing.
|F8, JPEG||100% crop from camera JPEG|
|100% crop, RAW + ACR||ACR with -10 red/cyan correction|
Longitudinal chromatic aberration (colour fringing in front and behind the plane of focus) can also be visible if you go looking for it, but is rarely any kind of problem in practice. Again the camera's JPEG processing appears to suppress it by desaturating the colour fringing.
|F2, JPEG||100% crop from camera JPEG|
|F2, RAW + ACR||100% crop, RAW + ACR|
Distortion is exceptionally low - you have to go out of your way looking for it to see any at all. For the record, though, there's very slight 'moustache' distortion that can be visible if you place a straight line right across the long edge of the frame - this can be seen in the example below. This sort of complex distortion will generally require relatively sophisticated correction software if you want to remove it completely; the good news is that you'll very rarely need to, if ever.
The X100's lens shows impressively low levels of light falloff, aided by the use of offset microlenses on the sensor. By our measurements the extreme corners are just a stop darker than the center of the frame at F2, falling to 0.7 stop at F2.8 and a completely negligible 0.3 stops at F4. The falloff pattern is also very broad and even across the frame (as opposed to falling off a cliff at the corners), which means you'll very rarely be aware of it at all. This is illustrated in the rollover below.
To put this in context, the Leica X1 shows one stop of falloff at F2.8, and the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 shows 1.7 stops wide open. About the only near-competitor which can match the Fujinon in this respect is Samsung's excellent 30mm F2 for the NX system.
Nikon turns 100 years old today, and the company is celebrating with a wacky music video, some tributes to its history, and a new vision presented by president Kazuo Ushida.
Phottix just released the Premio Parabolic Umbrellas series, replacing their Para-Pro line with a stronger, deeper and better made set of parabolic umbrellas.
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
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 the worst effect on youth mental health.