In the best of lighting situations, the Fujifilm X100s is right on par with the Olympus OMD EM5. Take it into low light though, and you’ll have more trouble. Also consider the fact that the X100s also lets the user control how large the focusing point is. The smaller the point, the slower the focusing will be. When the point is larger, then you’ll have more area to work with and it will be easier for the camera to focus as well.
Despite this being a point and shoot camera, we didn’t experience much shutter lag if any at all.
The Fujifilm X100s is one of the highest performing point and shoot cameras currently on the market. But we hate calling it a point and shoot–instead we prefer the moniker of, “fixed lens camera.” The real world test results support this belief as the lens is extremely sharp and also does an excellent job in keeping down distortion, chromatic aberration and other problems–unless you’re really looking for them.
The company has also mostly addressed the issues with the auto focusing performance that plagued the X100 but that were mostly fixed with firmware updates. The X100s focuses at almost the speed of the Olympus EM5 OMD, but in low light suffers considerably. Another factor to keep in mind is how large the user makes the focusing point/area.
The battery life of the X100s is quite excellent. We’ve shot with it for a number of hours starting in the early afternoon and spanning into the wee hours of the next morning with the battery still able to keep clicking and only faltering in the coldest of weather the next morning. In otherwise casual use though, we’ve easily gone for a week without needing to charge it. The excellent battery performance of the X Pro 1 is now in the X100s. Street photogs: breathe a sigh of relief.
The lens attached to this camera is a 23mm f2 optic. One could call it a pancake lens if they want–but it is permanently attached. In full frame terms, this camera will render a 35mm field of view with an f3.5 aperture when shot wide open.
This lens is sharp wide open–but we’ve seen better out there. Granted, these other lenses are detachable–and this camera still has some excellent optics. It reaches its peak at around f5.6 and when a flash is added to bring out the specular highlights, you’ll be absolutely astounded at what type of details can be pulled from the images.
Fujifilm didn’t bother updating the lens, but we think they should have due to the bump in megapixels. Additionally, some users might complain about the purple fringing that we found to be probematic in the higher contrast areas. Granted, if you’re shooting in RAW we still encourage you to use Adobe Lightroom to get rid of fringing. It rarely happens, but when it does, it’s really bad.
The lens also suffers from a tiny bit of distortion, but you’ll mostly see this when focusing up close and personal on an object. Otherwise, there isn’t much to complain about with this lens.
The Fujifilm X100s wasn’t exactly designed for video capture, and to that end we’re not even sure why the company decided to put video capture in the camera. It is capable of shooting video at 60fps or 30 fps at 1080p HD. Before recording, the user can set the aperture, but not the shutter speed. Manual focusing is also possible. However, one that that really bugs us is that fact that the ND filter cannot be activated while in video mode. Videographers use ND filters in order to maintain the correct exposure while shooting video, and it would have been a nice addition on top of manual control. Additionally, you cannot change settings during recording.
While the video captured with the X100s can look good, we’re baffled as to why it wouldn’t allow for full manual control. This is also probably why it is hidden in the drive menus.
The Fujifilm X100s’ RAW files are not only extremely versatile, but also jaw-droppingly good. The files are nearly devoid of image noise at the higher ISOs, but they do indeed require some minor editing to get rid of all image noise. Any noise that is there though is almost negligible. At certain times, you can see banding in the blacks, but that’s also quite rare.
As far as RAW file versatility goes, the X100s’ files are almost as versatile as the X Pro 1’s and can even start to edge into full frame sensor territory.
Once the ND filter is applied, we saw a little bit of quality loss–but it’s nothing that a little bit of post-production can’t fix.
JPEG file output was also very good, however we still must state that the best quality that comes from this camera is in the RAW files.
Additional Sample Images