Fujifilm X-S1 Review

4.5
February 9, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 4.5Mb.

The Fujifilm X-S1 produced images of excellent quality during the review. It handled noise well, with a little noise appearing at ISO 800 and then becoming progressively worse at the faster settings of ISO 1600 and 3200, along with a smearing of fine detail. The headling-grabbing settings of ISO 6400 and 12800 are both actually shot at a reduced resolution (medium and small respectively) and they're noisy too. Chromatic aberrations were very well controlled, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The 12 megapixel images were just a little soft straight out of the camera at the default sharpen setting and require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera sharpening level.

Macro performance is excellent, allowing you to focus as close as 1cm away from the subject when the lens is set to wide-angle. Commendably barrel distortion is well controlled even at the 24mm focal length. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate overall exposure, although there is noticeable vignetting at 24mm. The anti-shake system works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. The maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds allows the cameras to capture enough light for most after-dark situations.

The EXR modes offer a choice between shooting at full 12 megapixel resolution in High Resolution (HR) mode, or a 6 megapixel image in the Low Noise (SN) mode for shooting without flash in low light conditions, or the Dynamic Range (DR) mode to achieve an optimal balance between shadows and highlights. The Pro Low-Light scene mode produces better image clarity at high ISO levels at the expense of a loss of fine detail, while the Pro Focus mode effectively throws the background out of focus for portraits. The Motion Panorama mode works largely as advertised, making it simple to take hand-held low-light and wide-vista shots, although there is a clear ghosting effect around any moving subjects.

Noise

There are 8 ISO settings available on the Fujifilm X-S1. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

JPEG RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 
   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The Fujifilm X-S1's 26x zoom lens provides a focal length of 24-624mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

24mm

624mm

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little bit soft at the default sharpening setting, and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Fujifilm X-S1 has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (4.51Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (3.00Mb) (100% Crop)
   
12M RAW (18.8Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Chromatic Aberrations

The Fujifilm X-S1 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review. Just a little purple fringing was present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Chromatic 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Fujifilm X-S1 offers a Super Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 1cm away from the camera. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject in Macro mode (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Fujifilm X-S1 are Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro, and any of those modes combined with Red-eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (24mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (24mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (624mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (624mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. Neither the Auto or Red-eye reduction mode caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Fujifilm X-S1's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 100. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Image Stabilisation

Image Stabilisation is Fujifilm's name for anti-shake, which in the X-S1 works via a sensor-shift mechanism. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/12th / 24mm
     
1/15th / 624mm

EXR Mode

The Fujifilm X-S1 offers three EXR options. Resolution Priority (HR) mode uses all 12 megapixels to capture the highest resolution image. High ISO & Low Noise (SN) mode combines adjacent pixels to create larger photodiodes and improve low-light quality in the resulting 6 megapixel image. D-Range Priority (DR) mode simultaneously takes two images and then combines them to produce a 6 megapixel image with increased dynamic range. Here is an example which was shot using each EXR mode.

Resolution Priority (HR)

100% Crop

   
High ISO & Low Noise (SN) 100% Crop
   
D-Range Priority (DR) 100% Crop

Dynamic Range

The Fujifilm Finepix X-S1 has three dynamic range settings - 100% (on by default), 200%, and 400% - and an Auto setting if you want to let the camera take control. These settings gradually increase the amount of detail visible in the shadow and highlight areas, with the side-effect of more noise appearing in the image. Note that you can't actually turn this feature off.

100%

200%

   

400%

 
 

Pro Focus

The Fujifilm X-S1's Pro Focus mode makes it easier to achieve a blurred background, perfect for portraits where compact digicams traditionally struggle.

Pro Focus Off

Pro Focus Off (100% Crop)

   

Pro Focus On

Pro Focus On (100% Crop)

Pro Low-Light

The Fujifilm X-S1's Pro Low-Light scene mode produces better image clarity at high ISO levels, with the camera automatically taking a series of four high sensitivity/low-noise shots in quick succession which are then combined together using in-camera processing into an image with less noise than the single exposures. The main drawback is a noticeable softening of fine detail.

Pro Low-Light Off

Pro Low-Light On

Motion Panorama

The Fujifilm X-S1 allows you to take panoramic images very easily by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera does all the processing and stitching, and there are three views available. The main problems are that the resulting image is of fairly low resolution - 1080 pixels high and 5760 pixels wide for the 360 degree image - moving objects are recorded as "ghost" images, and different lighting sources cause obvious vertical streaks to appear.

120 Degrees
Full-size Image
 
180 Degrees
Full-size Image
 
360 Degrees
Full-size Image

Film Simulation

The Fujifilm Finepix X-S1 offers 8 different film simulation modes to help repliatce the look of your favourite film stock from the past.

Provia / Standard

Velvia / Vivid

   

Astia / Soft

Black & White

   

Monochrome + Yellow Filter

Monochrome + Red Filter

   

Monochrome + Green Filter

Sepia

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, wide-angle, manual, super-zoom, RAW, fujifilm, cmos, 24mm, 10fps, finepix, fuji, 7fps, 26x zoom, sensor, xs1, xs-1, x-s1, Fujifilm FinePix X-S1 Review

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