Fujifilm X100S (15.7oz./445g with fixed lens, battery and card, about $1,300). enlarge. I bought mine at at this link to it at Adorama; this link to Amazon is also a great place to get it. My biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.
Top, Fujifilm X100S. enlarge.
Back, Fujifilm X100S. enlarge.
Bottom, Fujifilm X100S. enlarge.
Sample Image Files
Sharp Seafaring. X100S, ISO 200, f/5 at 1/150, standard saturation. © original NORMAL MEDIUM (8MP M 3:2 N) file.
Great people color and fill-flash balance: Dada and Ryan snapped by Dad on the Safari ride, 22 April 2013, Monday. Fuji X100S, Flash ON, Auto ISO 400, Auto DR, 1/200 at f/5.6, standard saturation. © camera-original MEDIUM NORMAL JPG (M 3:2 N) file.
Fuji X100 (2010-)
The Fuji X100S is a newer version of the superb Fuji X100, which I bought back in 2011 and have used ever since as my primary camera when shooting family and candid photos in available light. No DSLR or LEICA can match the X100S' uncanny ability to match its built-in fill-flash to ambient light for natural results. The X100 also has better ability to pull great color, exposure and auto white balance out of any crazy lighting situation, and nail it all dead-on on the first shot with no twiddling, than any other camera I've used.
The X100S is the same as the X100, which was already the world's best available-light camera, and adds more resolution to the electronic viewfinder, more pixels to the image sensor, faster electronics so everything works faster, a faster AF system and a stereo mic for you vidiots. The fast f/2 lens, is unchanged from the X100 — because it is already perfect.
A new "Q - Quick Menu" system from Fuji's other cameras helps makes settings faster.
The AF mode switch is improved, since Fuji finally figured out to put the useless AF-C mode in the middle, so it's easy to slide all the way between M and AF-S in one stroke without taking your eye from the finder.
Fuji claims cleaner high ISOs by one stop, and that seems about right — and the original X100 was already the cleanest 1.5x (DX) sensored camera I owned. The X100S now will let you set AUTO ISO to grab as high as ISO 6,400, which is more than enough for anything reasonable; heck, I can snap constellations in the night sky hand-held with the X100S.
Close-focus distance in the regular AF mode now gets a close as 0.21 meters, from 0.4 meters in the X100. This is another big little improvement; I often had to mess with setting the MACRO mode on my X100. This comes as a benefit of faster autofocus; the X100 and X100S limit the close-focus distance in the regular mode based on how long is reasonable for the camera to have to rack the lens all the way in and out between infinity and close-focus distance, so the X100S' faster autofocus allows a closer minimum autofocus distance in the regular AF modes.
The X100S now adds stainless-steel inserts in the strap lugs.
The X100S' lens is fixed, never needing to extend or retract; it's always ready to shoot.
The X100S also adds what Fuji calls a "Digital Split Image Display" for manual focusing, as well as a focus peaking display. The manual focus ring barely works on the X100, so I presume it's not that great on the X100S either, regardless of the fancy displays. No worries; no one actually uses the manual focus ring. For manual focus, select MF with the slide switch, then just tap the rear AFL-AEL button to spot-focus. You don't need to hold it; one tap and the X100S does the rest! It's just like the smart ignition switches on better cars: one short tap and the car starts itself without having to hold it.
Fuji claims a new Lens Optimizer that corrects for softness due to diffraction at smaller apertures.
New is a total exposures counter, found in the menu system. Now people dumb enough to buy at retail will know how many "test shots" have been fired at the sales counter by strangers before they bought what they thought was a "new" camera.
The battery hole is now more restrictive, so there are fewer wrong ways to insert the battery.
See my exhaustive Fuji X100 Specifications for most of the details. Here's some of what's significant about the X100S in particular:
16.3 million pixels APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
L: (3:2) 4,896 x 3,264 / (16:9) 4,896 x 2,760 / (1:1) 3,264 x 3,264
M: (3:2) 3,456 x 2,304 / (16:9) 3,456 x 1,944 / (1:1) 2,304 x 2,304
S: (3:2) 2,496 x 1,664 / (16:9) 2,496 x 1,408 / (1:1) 1,664 x 1,664
EXR Processor II
Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)
FUJINON 23mm F2 ASPH lens
Intelligent Hybrid AF (with the world's claimed fastest AF speed of 0.08 sec.)
Start-up time: 500 ms.
Shutter delay: 10 ms.
Minimum interval between shots: 500 ms.
High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8-inch Premium Clear LCD (460K dots)
Super Intelligent Flash
Burst shooting rate of up to 6 FPS at full resolution (31 frame buffer)
"Digital Split Image" display
Artistic filters – yawn.
1080/60p and 1080/30p video with built-in stereo mic.
NP-95 Li-ion battery
126.5 x 74.4 x 53.9mm / 5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1in (Minimum thickness: 31.0mm / 1.2in.)
15.7 oz. (445g) with battery and memory card.
07 January 2013
See my exhaustive Fuji X100 Review. The X100S is the same thing, with only minor changes, as well as more pixels and more speed.
The X100S almost always nails perfect color and tone in every shot, on the first try. In these samples, I simply handed my X100S to my wife, and she had at it. Even at its default settings, I get a far higher number of keepers compared to my fussy DSLRs and LEICAs.
Not only are color and tone perfect even when handed to a non-photographer, set to its auto-AF-area select mode, the non-photographer (or self-portraits at arm's length) always seem to be in perfect focus, too.
Color and Tone
Oh man, is it sharp! These samples are from NORMAL JPG files, not RAW and not Fine JPG files:
Fabric. X100S, ISO 200, f/8 at 1/480. © camera-original LARGE NORMAL (L 3:2 N) JPG.
Crop from above 16MP image at 100%. © camera-original LARGE NORMAL (L 3:2 N) JPG. If this is 6" (15cm) on your screen, the entire image would print at 50 x 33 inches (125 x 85 cm) at this same magnification.
Valves. X100S, Auto ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/340, +2 color. © camera-original Large (16MP) JPG file.
Also note the complete lack of any visible distortion above.
Sharp enough for you? 5355 at 16 MP. X100S, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/680, +2 saturation. © full-resolution NORMAL LARGE (16MP L 3:2 N) file. (run through Perfectly Clear at defaults.)
Fuji uses triple-voodoo to do this:
1.) Ultra sharp fixed 23mm f/2 aspherical lens.
2.) Sensor uses a bizarre color filter matrix that dispenses with the need for an anti-alias filter.
3.) Fuji's in-camera processing retains the full sharpness of the raw data; no need to have to shoot raw for full sharpness.
High ISOs look great, even compared to full-frame cameras. Fuji uses very different sensors and DSP than everyone else, and whatever magic juju they're using is working. High ISOs are sharp, clean and colorful:
Red Pipes. X100S, Auto ISO 6,400, f/2 at 1/38, +2 color. © camera-original Medium Normal JPG file.
Look good, clean and sharp? Did the X100S handle the dark subject and not blow-out the zillion-times brighter bushes outdoors through the windows? Well, it's all this, and it was cropped and then blown-up from the center of this SMALL NORMAL JPG file!
Complete image from which above was cropped. © camera-original Medium Small (4MP) JPG file.
The X100S' 23mm f/2 ASPH's bokeh is beautiful! Out-of-focus backgrounds just melt away like chocolate; the Fujinon's bokeh is so much better than the nasty bokeh of the LEICA SUMMICRON-M 35mm f/2 ASPH:
Highlight and Shadow
The Fuji X100S not only is sharp, but look how it effortlessly handles huge ranges from light to dark, and it is doing all this in my default settings with built-in flash and AUTO Dynamic Range. These shots are simply point-and-shoot with no twiddling or special modes needed:
If this was shot on any other brand, something would have been over or underexposed and lost. The X100S nails this difficult lighting on every shot.
Likewise, I don't know of any other camera that can balance natural fill-flash and recover all the highlights like this, and do it all automatically.
Sharp? Crop from above 16MP image at 100%. © camera-original 16MP LARGE NORMAL JPG. If this is 6" (15cm) on your screen, the entire image would print at 50 x 33 inches (125 x 85 cm) at this same magnification.
What's really impressive is if you're used to trying to shoot these sorts of heavily-backlit scenes on film or other digital cameras; it never looks this good even after a load of fiddling. With my X100S, I point-and-shoot, and get these perfectly natural images. Whoo hoo!
The built-in flash os better than others because it's always ready to fire. It never needs to pop-up or is subject to breaking-off; it's integrated in the body.
There's never a problem with red-eye because it's never so bright that it excites red-eye. THe only way to see red-eye might be to strong-arm the X100S to the wrong settings, and force it to ISO 200 in dim light at a fast shutter to eliminate all ambient light from the exposure, and shoot at close range. As I shoot, using the flash as fill and letting the X100S set the ISO and Dynamic Range, it's always flawless.
The built-in flash is perfect. It balances with whatever light there is, from daylight to moonlight, perfectly, and always on the first shot without ever needing any twiddling. It's far better than compact or DSLR flashes, some of which can do some of this well, but none of which can balance well in all light. I never have to fiddle with the flash level; it's always dead-on in every light, and never overpowers the subject.
See Katie? Without the flash shot into the sun here, she'd only be a shadow. The flash lit her, and lit her without looking like a flash was used.
Distortion is invisible.
For scientific use, it's complex and will require advanced tools to correct completely.
Aluminum wall. X100S, Auto ISO 200, f/4.5 at 1/140, +2 color. bigger.
Here's how close it gets:
Rockwell's watch, 20 April 2013. Fuji X100S, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/850. © camera-original Medium Normal JPG file.
And here is how sharp it is:
Crop from above Medium Normal JPG (8MP, M 3:2 N) at 100%. If this is 6" wide on your screen, the complete image would print at 24 x 36 inches (60 x 90 cm) at this magnification. © camera-original Medium Normal JPG file.
Macro performance is excellent! It gets super-close, and it's super-sharp while doing it.
Notice how shallow is the depth-of-field; the hands and watch crystal are way out of focus, but the watch face is so sharp that it clearly shows the face's surface texture and fine milling, even on the flat parts!
I don't bother with the special Macro mode; it seems to work just as well with out bothering to switch into it.
At f/2 at macro distances there is some veiling (haziness) from spherical aberration. It goes away stopped down (like to f/4).
There is no significant spherochromatism. Also mislabeled "color bokeh" by laymen, the Fujinon 23mm f/2 ASPH doesn't add colored fringes to out-of-focus highlights:
A/V Selector, 17 April 2013. Fuji X100S, ISO 200, f/2 at 1/30.
At macro distances at f/2, there is some veiling from spherical aberration, but no spherochromatism.
Normal JPG 3:2 images are about 4.2 MB LARGE (16 MP), 2.1 MB MEDIUM (8 MP) and 1.1 MB SMALL (4 MP).
The good news is that the default DPI is set to 72.
The bad news is that Fuji still doesn't title cards when it formats them; they remain as "Untitled."
The new Shutter Counter is grossly inaccurate. Mine now reads 700, with only 388 frames actually shot. It started correctly at zero, but additionally counts other things like power cycles and so forth, so Fuji hasn't yet worked this one out.
The X100S is the world's best digital camera for travel, family and candid photography. It is so much better handling and gives far better images under a far broader range of conditions than any DSLR, mirrorless, compact or even LEICA camera. There is no contest, the X100S wins.
The X100S, complete with a superb lens and flash, sells for half the price of a lensless full-frame DSLR, which most of the people reading this site buy every other month as they are introduced. This Fuji is a masterpiece, and much better made than a $3,000 DSLR, for a fraction of the price. If you're thinking about it, just get an X100S. I did!
If you already own the X100, there's no need to go buy the X100S unless you want more speed. It's essentially the same thing, with many things fine-tuned or fixed from the original flawed X100 design. The original X100, while loaded with idiotic design flaws like a battery that goes in four ways (three of them the wrong way), is still such a superior camera that it sings even with all its flaws, and now the X100S rectifies many of the flaws that the X100 never should have had in the first place — like resetting all your menu selections every time you update the firmware.
If you use your X100 all the time as I do, it's a no-brainer that you'll love the new X100S as much as I do simply because of the nicer electronic finder and everything running faster. See also Is It Worth It. There are so many small to moderate improvements, like the better AF switch and closer real-world focusing without needing the macro mode, that makes the X100S is a gotta-have for those of us who shoot it all the time.
I don't own any of the other interchangeable-lens Fujis anymore; they serve no real purpose when the X100, and now X100S, do what the other Fujis do, but better. The X100S is simpler and has a built-in flash and all the lenses you need already built in with no need for twiddling.
My biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially these directly to it at Adorama where I got this one, or at Amazon, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.
More Information top
Help me help you top
I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.
The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.
If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.
As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!