In 2011, the Fujifilm X100 took the world by storm, offering the style of a Leica M but at a more affordable price. We test its successor, the X100S, with upgraded 16.3-million-pixel sensor. Read the Fujifilm X100S review..

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Fujifilm X100S

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Fujifilm X100S review

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£1,099.00

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Build and handling

The bodies of the Fuji X100 and X100S are the same size, weight and form, with the same button positioning. The X100S looks great, and is well made, with a solid metal top-plate and dials. ‘Made in Japan’ is etched onto the rear and bottom of the camera. The textured leather exterior both looks and smells the part. As on the X100, there is no pronounced handgrip or thumb grip for a firm hold, but the X100S is large enough and light enough that this doesn’t matter.

It is the ‘S’ on the frontplate that differentiates the X100S from its predecessor. There are also a few minor changes to the functions of some of the buttons: the raw button of the X100 is now a quick menu button, as on Fuji’s CSCs; while the drive-mode button has switched places with the AF button and is now on the left of the rear screen, rather than on the control wheel. AF-S and AF-C have also swapped places on the focus switch, with AF-S now at the bottom to make it easier to flick the switch to this setting from MF as AF-S is more commonly used than AF-C. These are all minor changes.

A function button remains, and can hold up to one exposure control at a time. By default, it is set to ISO. Handily, auto ISO can be limited to particular sensitivities, set to a default ISO, and a minimum shutter speed is permitted up to 1/125sec. Therefore, for general use, auto ISO can be relied upon.

Image: The X100S may well have a fixed 35mm focal length, but the wide conversion lens transforms the focal length to 28mm. There is virtually no impact on image quality, so the conversion lens is in effect a second lens

The fixed 23mm lens is just like a pancake lens, and therefore adds very little depth to the camera. The whole unit can just about fit in a trouser pocket. The aperture ring of the lens rotates in full aperture stops, with suitable resistance. A 28mm (equivalent) wideangle converter is available, and removing the front lens ring exposes the thread onto which it screws. There is an on/off option in the menu when using the converter, in order to view and compose the scene correctly.

Manual focusing is around twice as fast as that on the X100, with the X100S requiring half the number of turns of its focus ring to go from its close-focus distance to infinity. This has been achieved by doubling the encoder pitch of the electronic focus ring of the X100 and is a welcome improvement.

Given that this camera is likely to be popular with street and reportage photographers, a quick start-up time and response are vital to its effectiveness. Thanks largely to the new processor, start-up time has been halved to 0.5secs, which is the same as the X-E1. Shutter lag is measured at 0.01secs, and there is a shooting interval time of around 0.5secs, again halved from the X100. With the X100S and X100 side by side, the difference in speed is clear, and not an improvement to gloss over.

  1. 1. Fujifilm X100S review - at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Manual-focus assists
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. White balance and colour
  6. 6. Metering
  7. 7. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. LCD, viewfinder and video
  10. 10. Dynamic range
  11. 11. The Competition
  12. 12. Our verdict
Page 4 of 12 - Show Full List
  • Raymond Irons

    I recently purchased a new Pentax X5 which I used to photograph a wedding in York. The wide angle lens was excellent for groups and interiors and the film speed automatically changed when shooting indoors in low level light. The lens focussed all the way up to 4,000 mm for shooting wild life or any other use, such as photographing Angela Merkel in her office in Germany from the White Cliffs of Dover. Brilliant performer. Saves me from carrying my Hasselblad and a range of lenses. There are positives and negatives with every type and make of camera. This saves me time and space instead of having to change lenses.

  • David

    Great overview that is pretty accurate. I’ve had my x100s now for about 4 weeks, and as a previous x100 user, this is a real step up in image quality, iso range, AF, manual AF and ease of use. I have a Canon dslr that gives great images with right lenses, and in some circumstances it is better than the x100s. That’s the 60d with primes. But, for an all day multiple use camera with outstanding image quality, the x100s is very hard to beat. I havent tried the RX1 yet but plan too soon, although the price is right up there. I’ve been blogging about it recently at my blog click here to see…www.dwwphotography.blogspot.com.au if anyone is interested. I’ve posted many different pictures and even a high speed sync flash setup that works up to 1/4000th of a second.

  • ascu75

    I still think it is beautiful and would buy one just to sit on he side to stare at all day it is pure camera porn, ohhhhhhhh and it takes picture as well