Fujifilm X100S Review

5.0
March 14, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

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#1 nick192

My Nikon (D5100 + 35mm f/1.8 + 85mm f/1.8 = $1000) definitely does better than these images. I don’t understand what is this “Essential” hype is all about :|

3:19 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#2 paolo

PERFECT!!!

3:30 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#3 JohnC

nick192 - the X100s is silent, and smaller than a DSLR, 2 things that many users will be happy to pay for (myself included).

4:02 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#4 vauve

Size and silence are not essential aspects for most of photographers. My Nikon D7000, Nikkor 35mm, f/1,8 takes much better images. And waiting for the D7100, no low-pass filter…

4:57 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#5 James

It is a fancy camera. Increase of AF focus and image quality is perfect to buy this camera, compared with X100/X2/DP2m.

4:58 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#6 hexx

also nick192, how much is 23mm f/2 F mount lens?

5:00 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#7 MattD

nick192 - A lot depends on the user. At 6’4” and not small built, I will quite happily carry my D800 and 24-70 around all day, but it’s definately not a light camera.
Also I have to be a bit extra sneaky for candids as people do seems to notice a dslr pointed their way, where as with something like the x100s they are a lot less likely to notice.

5:23 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#8 Jörn

Thanks a lot for your article and all the example-pictures! I like the X100(S)-concept so much!

5:59 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#9 Rick

Geez, guys. Live and let live. Some people own several cameras. Why can’t a X100s be one of them?

6:40 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#10 Thorfinn

I am shur my next camera is a x100s
with a Luigi case, perfect for a old guy like me
i have been taking photos the last 50 years
and this is almost where i started :-)
But now digital.

7:23 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#11 Lukus

I very much doubt the same photos but taken with a D5100 would look any better…

7:37 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#12 John

The D5100 is no match at high ISO..

8:07 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#13 JS

MattD - Not everyone needs or wants D800 and 36Mpx. X100s is for PHOTOGRAPHERS, not for mpx obsessed freaks, enjoy your equipment…

8:12 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#14 jake

@JohnC well said, 100% agreed.
@ nick192,if you shoot lowlight street , then you may understand how important it to be silent and inconspicuous.

8:49 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#15 jake

thanks for the review but you forgot to compare it to the Sony RX1 and Sony NEX7.

8:51 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#16 Urbanshoot

@nick192

Saying that an Nikon 5100 is producing better IQ than the X100s is awsome…

The X100 (1st generation) was producing better IQ (high ISO) than my 5DMII…and the X100s with the new X-Trans is far better than the X100…

So please show me a shoot at 1600 ISO with your 5100 to prove what you said…

10:48 pm - Thursday, March 14, 2013

#17 Mad Hungarian

Extremely pleasing to my senses.

1:46 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#18 Armitage

@nick192, I am not a photographer, I mainly use these cameras to take photos of my family. I’ve iterated through a number of Nikon DSLRs and I love them, but they are too cumbersome, even the smaller ones. Initially, while it was a novelty, I used to use my D7000 a lot but I rarely take it out anymore. A small camera with fantastic quality like x100s is a much better camera for me because I will take a lot more photos with it.

1:51 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#19 sunburn

i think some people are missing the point of this camera and simply looking at a bunch of numbers - the article clearly states that the audience for this niche camera is particularly beneficial for street photographers where subtlety may be needed whilst maintaining high quality images of the APS-C sensor..

would be great for travel photography would be great too as lugging a 20kg kit isn’t exactly ideal..

i shoot with a leica M9 and imo the x100s is a very good alternative option..

2:11 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#20 sunburn

this camera isn’t meant to replace a DSLR so why compare them?

it’s like comparing a motorcycle to a four wheel drive, they both get you to the same place just differently - each has their own pros and cons for different people…

2:27 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#21 newoldmate

I had the original x100 and it was terribly boring, not to mention it was riddled with flaws.

This new one looks to fix some of those flaws, but its a bit late now Fuji and its too expensive.

3:46 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#22 Tony Teh

This is a good camera or not , it this worth to take a DSLR with prime lens or not?
It is all base on the person need and want.
If i am the event photographer or wedding photographer, i would choose DSLR not because X100s cannot deliver decent photo but the economic to hold camera for whole day with flash, the long battery life keep me going from hours to hours and reliable focus speed in dim light or low light situation.
Other than that, X100s is not everyone camera due to flexible is not there, it is a fixed lens (23mm F2) and luckily got wide converter (allowed the camera to capture 28mm F2 in 35mm format) but missing the zoom.
For me, this is a killer camera because simple reason, i love what Fuji deliver in JPEG format with the auto white balance which is my taste and other more such as contrast, sharpness and color rendering which also factor from auto white balance. Ans surprisingly with sample image ISO800 still very clean.
Would i compare to DSLR with prime? or compare to more expensive Ranger Finder such as Leica M?
It is all on your hand and your style

(Camera doesn’t make photo shine but the hand behind are)

4:18 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#23 gunzzel

Many good points here. To those who persist in comparing this camera to dSLRs: They are different experiences - totally!  I used to have a D800 and a bunch of primes. I shoot mainly documentary and street, so the heft and conspicuousness of this gear more often than not caused me to not take photos. It was a bad fit for my style, so I sold it all.
The X100 I now own goes everywhere with me. And I’ve become a better photographer as a result of having no lens choices to make-  my compositional skills have improved. It’s remarkably versatile - but you must think before you shoot.  I am keen to upgrade to this version for the speed benefits as well as the improvements in IQ!
Fuji are also an incredibly responsive company. This is another advantage over the Big Two.

5:29 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#24 Vlad

One more camera for people who believe that DUST does not exists, or even if it does, it will not affect their camera. Never. Dust did not get inside the camera when it was assembled, and it will never ever get inside later when replacing a battery (piston effect) or through many unsealed small opening around knobs and switches. Never. Thus no need to ever access the sensor and clean it, right? Apart from that: great camera, agree.

7:10 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#25 John

Vauve, This camera is not aimed at “most photographers”, and if you shoot street a lot, yes, size and silence are important constraints.

Though I think I’ll wait until theres an X-Pro Fullframe instead.

9:37 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#26 Urbanshoot

Too expensive ???

A leica M9 + Summicron 35 F/2 = +- 8500 euros….

A Fuji X100s = 1099 euros….

Please note that I’m not saying that the X100s is better than the M9…but in some point it is better like high ISO and DR…

As a street Photographer it the gear that I was waiting for…as I’m not so rich to get a M9…

And shooting in the street with my 5DMII was more and more difficult so thanks Fuji to release this marvelous Cam.

11:00 am - Friday, March 15, 2013

#27 Giklab

Great review, but what’s up with the ISO 3200 and 25k shots? The former are blown and the latter underexposed.

As already said, not a camera for everyone. I’ll be getting excited when this tech finds its way into other Fuji cams (X-E1 and Pro1 successors).

1:18 pm - Friday, March 15, 2013

#28 Phil D

A small thing but the night reference images are not visible?

8:03 pm - Friday, March 15, 2013

#29 wyephotography.com

I really like my X100. I can live with its little flaws, and they are little. That lens, the colour, incredible.

The sample photos here are not taken in wide dynamic range mode. In this mode the dynamic range is beyond anything I have used, including quite a few pro cameras. No more blown out clouds in bright blue skies.

Because the dynamic range is so high, the jpgs come of the camera a little flat, add some contrast and they just come to life, they just pop. The jpgs are so good I don’t now shoot RAW.

The X100 is the landscape photographers dream.

9:31 pm - Friday, March 15, 2013

#30 sgoldswo

It makes me laugh when I read that these cameras are only for street photographers. I’ve happily shot events with the X100 and the X-pro1 and got good results (in fact 35mm is just about the perfect focal length for a crowded event).

In any event, hopefully my X100S will be with me tomorrow…

10:02 pm - Friday, March 15, 2013

#31 Gallery90

Agree that folks should keep in mind that this a niche camera—though I think many more folks would be surprised at how much the X100/X100s will do for them.

I have a couple of DLSRs and a bunch of lenses.  I also shoot with an M9.  But I got an X100 on day 1 here in the U.S. and totally enjoy it.  If there is one camera I toss in my backpack or in the trunk of my scooter—it will usually be the X100.  When I travel, I usually pack two ways; (a) M9 with five lenses and the X100, or (b) X100 and the X10.  Notice how the X100 ends up in both those scenarios?  (The DSLRs stay at home.)

I’m looking forward to the functional and IQ improvements of both the X100s and X20.

1:48 pm - Saturday, March 16, 2013

#32 paulie

RICK is right…to each his own.  however, if everyone is going to draw comparisons from other cameras, they should be comparing apples to apples.  this means cost, size, mp’s, etc.  to compare a SONY RX1, or any of the aforementioned Nikon/Canon DSLR’s, to the fuji x-100S just isn’t a logical approach.  they ALL have the pros and cons, so it comes down to preference and whats important to the purchaser.  i have a canon 7D and obviously that is a great camera, but its 2x the size, 2x as heavy, and 2x the price when you add a lens.  so therefore for me, the 7D has its applications, and the x-100s will have it’s own, different ones.  and thats that.

9:15 pm - Sunday, March 17, 2013

#33 canberra

I own a d300s an a 17-55. with a baby and travel I opt for the x100s than a FX upgrade.

Tell the truth in the week and a bit I have had the camera I have used it a LOT more than I have used my SLR.

I agree eath has its own use but for what I need at the moment the X100S does an A+ job. Also the high ISO.. I dont have an issue even at 6400 where 800 on the D300s was its peak.

I am still trying to learn how the X100S works and focus. I cant seem to always get a sharp image, the assist AF moves all the time when I frame a picture and if I was to follow it the picture is not in focus. What am I doing wrong?

Someone should do a how to use video :)

Also does your X100S battery fit in any order like the X100 did? I thought they fixed this but FUJI said thats how it is in the X100S. I find this strange.

PS. I would tell you to use 95MB/s cards on this camera.

1:14 am - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#34 canberra

I own a d300s a 17-55 with a baby and travel I opt for the x100s than a FX upgrade.
Tell the truth in the week and a bit I have had the camera I have used it a LOT more than I have used my SLR. I agree each has its own use but for what I need at the moment the X100S does an A+ job. Also the high ISO. I don’t have an issue even at 6400 where 800 on the D300s was its peak.
I am still trying to learn how the X100S works and focus. I can’t seem to always get a sharp image, the recommended assist AF moves all the time when I frame a picture and if I was to follow it the picture is not in focus. What am I doing wrong?
Someone should do a how to use video :)
Also does your X100S battery fit in any order like the X100 did? I thought they fixed this but FUJI said that’s how it is in the X100S. I find this strange.
PS. I would tell you to use 95MB/s cards on this camera.

2:59 am - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#35 Jonas

I already have an X100, and from that experience with these advantages of the X100s that nails nearly every flaw of the X100 and goes beyond merely “patching” the problems, I don’t think the price is actually high.

It may be out of your price range, yes, but you get MORE than you pay for. It’s the same price as what I paid for my X100, and about 70% of what you pay for a Leica X2, a camera this one easily surpasses.

It’s getting crazy what you get can get for the money these days. This is pro quality that competes with a full-frame DSLR for many thanks to the convenience, and this for just $1300.

9:37 am - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#36 Pavel

I don’t think I’ve seen better pictures out of a compact camera… at least on my PC screen they look top-notch

4:47 pm - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#37 Darcy Moore

Thanks for your review. I particularly, after shooting with my brand new X100s in bright sunlight today, appreciated the tip about ND filters.

I purchased this FujiFilm camera for street photography and as a possible travel solution to small carryon luggage allowances. I also have bad #GAS. I am planning to use an eye-fi card and iPad to make a complete lightweight kit.

NB The latest 4.4 RC for Lightroom now supports .RAF files: http://darcymoore.net/2013/03/18/raw-fujifilm-x100s-and-adobe-lightroom-4/

11:36 am - Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#38 Kyndel

Fine test, but I expected that there was a statement about the progress in the RAW conversion, as we all know is a weakness.

I know the efforts that are under progress,but have also read thecritique, and

....It was hoped had come forward, as it is a very interesting camera and pocket friendly-I am very tempted,but I think I will wait untill this is solved

6:28 pm - Thursday, March 21, 2013

#39 Waldemar

X100S is no doubt great a camera, but there is new Nikon Coolpix A coming with CMOS 16 MB sensor and 28 mm lens and it would be great an idea to see how these two cameras fair with each other.

10:52 pm - Thursday, March 21, 2013

#40 mywebstuff27

i agree with Rick…live and let live….Nikon this, Canon that…it all boils down to the photographer’s preference…who cares…a lot of brands make a lot of great cameras…to each his own

3:59 am - Sunday, March 24, 2013

#41 Juan Schmidt

I don’t understand why some people advertise this as a stealth street cam. I find it rather bulky. It is not inconspicuous, no camera is.

Photographing on the street will always attract attention with any cam. Believe me, I shoot streetpics with a LX3 and people easily notice that.

A big drawback for me is the fixed lens, because I easily get bored with the bland 35mm angle. And if dust creeps in, you have to return the cam for it to be fixed. So fixed lens = impractical.

Also for street pics it’s way too expensive, people can get angry, and you don’t want someone to trash your 1300 dollar cam on the street.

That’s why I usually use these cheap little secondhand cams for streetwork like LX-3 of GF-3, that have a bit of zoom or interchangeable lenses. And if you want an electronic viewfinder you can use an LCD loupe of 35 dollars.

2:45 pm - Monday, March 25, 2013

#42 Dan

I own an M9 and a 50mm Summilux Asph and a Summicron. Arguably two of the finest 50mm and 35mm lenses available. So what you say. Well even owning an M9 with this great glass doesn’t stop me from seeing the options the x100s would give me. Even the M9 is a little large for some occasions and the x100s might just fill that void. Good work Fuji. You got a lot of Leica guys interest piqued with this new camera.

9:31 am - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#43 Bob Cooley

@vauve - Actually, the images out of my X100 are just as nice, if not nicer than my D7000 with the 35/1.8.

The X100 is just a more difficult camera to use - it, like its rangefinder forefathers, make you slow down a bit and shoot more thoughtfully. 

If I’m shooting an assignment where I am going to produce large prints or need the resolution for a magazine cover, I’ll pull out the D800, my D7000 sits in the bag most of the time as a backup body, but for shooting street scenes and candids, the x100 is king.

Silence and size do matter in street candids.

8:48 pm - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#44 Bob Cooley

@nick192,

For many pros, we already have ‘system’ cameras.

I already have a D3s, a D800, and a D7000 (for backup).

This camera is aimed at advanced enthusiasts who aren’t looking for a system, or for pros who already have one. 

I want something simple, small and elegant that is going to produce nice images while I’m walking around.  I can pocket this camera in a jacket, something I can never do with any of my Nikons w/ a pro zoom on the front (or even with a prime) - the bodies are just too big.

If you are a beginner or hobbyist, then this probably isn’t the camera for you.

I love my x100, and can’t wait for the x100s to be in stock…

8:56 pm - Tuesday, March 26, 2013

#45 David

Hi, I’ve been trying out the new x100s over the past week and have posted many pictures – http://www.dwwphotography.blogspot.com.au – so you can check them out. I have to agree with you, the upgrades are significant and worthwhile for regular shooters,, cheers, David

10:52 am - Monday, April 1, 2013

#46 Joel

Please compare for me the Leica Luxe M6 with this Fugi 100 S.  I am very impressed with the Fugi 100 S, but would like to know if it much better that the Leica Luxe M6. I am not familiar with these cameras, as I used a DSLR.

7:00 pm - Monday, April 8, 2013

#47 Richard

I have a D800 with many pro lenses, but I still want a small point and shoot.  Not to compare to the quality of the D800, but sometimes I want to carry smaller and lighter, still demanding some quality.  You will find that most pros (which I am not !) will have a simple/fast point and shoot next to their pro DSLR and lenses.

11:32 pm - Friday, April 19, 2013

#48 GeekyGal

For those who can’t seem to grasp what the hype is all about, you need to know that this camera caters to the group of people who want great pictures without loading up bulky DSLRs.

This retro-looking camera can be quite portable making it great for people on the go. DSLR-quality pictures without the excess baggage.

For those who are curious how the x100s stack up against its competition, take a look at the comparison chart found here: http://www.squidoo.com/fujifilm-x100s-review

You can see how it compares to the Leica x2, Sony RX1, and even the Fuji x-e1.

8:53 am - Saturday, May 4, 2013

#49 Oscar Luis

I had this camera for 1 month now.

Battery life is appalling.

Focusing is erratic.

Last week it crashed 3 times in a period of 2 hours (when using the built in flash).

Not all shutter speeds can be used with all apertures..

I want to like this camera but it will take some time to achieve real affection.

Try it before you buy!

good luck

8:31 pm - Sunday, May 5, 2013

#50 jon mccorkle

I drive a Chevy and I don’t criticize it for not being a Ford. This is a fixed lens camera for a certain type of shooter. Don’t compare it to an dslr or a 35mm size sensor. I own a Sony RX1 and I did not purchase it to make my dslr buddies feel better about their SIZE. I have an Olympus OMD as well and am very happy with it. I have a 4x5 view camera if any of you want to feel even better about yourselves….

8:35 pm - Monday, May 13, 2013

#51 Patrick pace

Great review. I use this camera for doc. And street it’s great. There is a extension lens for this camera taking it to 28mm eq.
Very usefull for street photos, increased dof and a little wide field.
By the way I received a paper manual with mine.
Patrick ,chile

4:34 pm - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#52 DAL

“Nick 192”
I too enjoy a Nikon D800 and several other camera bodies that include the Fuji X100S.  I think the fuss about “the essential” rating for the Fuji is quite simple from my perspective.  It is 1/3 the size, 1/4 the weight of my DSLR, it is easy to shoot with manual controls that allow instant through the viewfinder composition, offers superb IQ although not the equal of some full frame DSLRs, but the real deal is that it is actually fun to use, always with me where my DSLR is not, and simply does not intimidate people when having their photo taken. 

I have done the street scene with both cameras and carried four lenses to catch every opportunity in the past.  What I found is by the time I swap lenses, the opportunity is long gone.  With the smaller format I simply do not miss a shot and I enjoy a day on the road not lugging the big boy. 

Yes, the D800 takes a better photo and I will keep it and the “Trinity” lens set, but, my Fuji is my go to camera and it takes photos that if not pixel peaked to death and equal to many, many DSLR cameras without the hassle.  Hope you get a chance to see what the fuss is all about with the Fuji; it is a blast and will make you fall in love with photography all over again…promise.

8:38 pm - Saturday, September 21, 2013

#53 Vincent

How about taking some decent photos with the camera so we can see what it is capable of. I’m sure you can do better than the awful sample pictures you’ve presented. It’s kinda like demonstrating the capabilities of a musical instrument by bashing it against a wall. Sorry I’m not usually so critical but I had to say something!!

10:08 am - Friday, December 6, 2013

#54 John Lightgazer

A late comment.  I just ordered an X100S yesterday.  This review confirms I did the right thing for the right reasons. Thanks.

1:39 pm - Tuesday, January 21, 2014

#55 Andrew Littler

The Fujifilm X100S is a lovely, even if at times somewhat unreliable camera, but to claim that “the X100S offers the best build of any camera that we’ve ever tested” is boardering on the ridiculous. Your review of the X100S appeared in March 2013, previously you had reviewed the Leica M8.2, the Leica X1, the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and the Sony RX1, all of which have a superior build to the X100S. Compared to these the Fujifilm camera feels almost toy-like, although with use this initial impression is superceeded by one of admiration and compared to other cameras on the market the build is good, but not “the best”.

12:40 pm - Friday, April 18, 2014

#56 Morriss

I am seriously pumped about this camera, and will be ordering one soon.

I am seriously disappointed with the ignorance of many of the comments on this thread.

First of all, those who know photography know the limits of equipment.  For example, the D800 is not worth a darn in low light action situation (theater/dance) because it has too many pixels (too small for enough photons to hit), which causes excessive noise.  That is why the D4 uses a 16 mp sensor.  The X100s is a much better low light action camera than the D800.  In Nikon’s line the D3, D700, and D4 are all great choices for such work.  However, the added viewfinder space of a rangefinder and low noise at high ISO speeds makes the X100s appear to be a excellent choice as well.

Second, the reason the pros own a boat load of equipment is because they need it.  And the X100s, fills a huge needs list.  For example, if one is shooting staged outdoor action shots in full sun with a DSLR and needs to use fill flash he doesn’t have a lot of options. Actually, he has only one and that is using a bunch of speedlights to get over Nikon’s other wise 1/250th limit (especially when one is trying to use apertures in the 2.8 to 5.6 range in full sun ).  I would much rather use a Paul Buff unit with an umbrella and vagabon battery unit than 4 or 5 speed light 910s at $700 a piece.  Point is short of a $20,000 plus medium format rig, one cannot get a leaf shutter on a serious camera other than the Fuji.

In addition, if you have ever done an overnight hike in the mountains with a DSLR.  The option of using a X100s with both accessory lens is very appealing.

Finally, I have a D7100 which I bought for video purposes for use with a Ninja 2 and as a third back up to my professional grade cameras.  I don’t really like it at all.  As far as the Leica fans, I think that Leica’s are way cool; however, I guarantee you that the images produced by the M9 in the 28, 35, and 50mm focal lengths are not superior to the images produced by the X100s.  Sorry, but the test results don’t lie.  In addition, there is that pesty 1/180 flash synch.

Yep, it fills more than a few niches. 

11:40 pm - Saturday, June 14, 2014

#57 Rich

X100s seems like a great all around camera. Have a baby and always missing shots with NEX 5r. Had an old Nikon D50.

I was thinking of this camera for a great all around everything camera. Family, portraits, travel. I am wrong. Any other ideas. Hate not having a viewfinder

8:02 pm - Thursday, July 24, 2014

#58 Jake

You have to feel sorry for these diehard DSLR fanboys. I mean, they’re special overpriced, bulky, heavy cameras are now being outclassed in IQ and innovation by the relentless march of the mirrorless.

8:23 pm - Thursday, September 18, 2014

Entry Tags

compact, 1080p, 16 megapixel, lens, camera, full hd, 35mm, retro, f2, digital, 2.8 inch LCD, fixed, 23mm, rangefinder, x100s, fujifilm x100s, x100s review, fujifilm x100s review, Fujifilm FinePix X100S Review, Fujifilm FinePix X100S

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