Andy Westlake examines the fourth generation of Fujifilm's classic fixed-lens rangefinder-style compact
Fuji X100F review: Image quality
With the same 24.2-milion-pixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor as the X-Pro2 and X-T2, the X100F gives similarly fine image quality. For the most part, the lens delivers easily enough detail to satisfy the bump in sensor resolution, unless you shoot at close range and large apertures. X-Trans uses a more complex colour filter array over the light-detecting pixels in a bid to reduce imaging artefacts, so the image files look different from conventional Bayer sensors. They tend to show unusually low chroma noise, but this can come at the expense of detail in low-contrast regions of the image.
With the lens set to its optimum aperture of f/5.6, the X100F comes close to its maximum theoretical resolution of 4,000 lines per picture height. Notably, there’s very little in the way of the aliasing and colour moiré patterns that plague conventional sensors without optical low-pass filters Resolution falls only slowly with ISO, and even at ISO 6400 the camera is delivering over 3000lph. But things rapidly fall off at the higher settings, to below 2700lph at ISO 25,600. Shooting raw can extract a little more resolution, but not much.
With the same sensor and processor as the X-Pro2, the X100F delivers very similar results in our Applied Imaging dynamic range tests. At low ISOs, values in the 12EV range indicate that there’s plenty of scope for recovering additional detail in shadow regions of raw files without them being blighted by excessive noise. The measurements fall monotonously as the sensitivity setting is raised, indicating increasing levels of noise. Very low values at settings of ISO 12,800 and above suggest that almost all shadow detail will be overwhelmed by noise, as confirmed by our test scene shots.
ISO and noise
At low ISO, the X100F brings excellent image quality, with lovely colours and impressive detail rendition in JPEGs, although fine monochromatic detail can get lost to noise reduction. There’s barely any drop in image quality at ISO 400, but noise starts to have a clear impact at ISO 1600 and above. At ISO 6400 and ISO 12,800 the colours are noticeably desaturating and shadows getting decidedly muddy, but even so, the image quality is more than good enough for less critical uses such as social media. The two extended settings look pretty ugly, with very little colour or detail; however, switch to the Acros black & white mode, and ISO 25,600 becomes eminently usable. Fujifilm’s JPEGs are so good that there’s relatively little to be gained from raw in terms of noise and detail, but it can be possible to tease a bit more out in some cases.