Mar 252013
 

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The Fuji X100s Review – The S Stands for Speedy by Steve Huff

NOTE: This Fuji X100s review is a real world use review which means I take the camera and use it for 2-3 weeks and then write my thoughts and share the images I have shot with the camera. If I run into trouble I say so. I list the pros and cons of the camera and do some comparisons along the way. Some of the photos here have been tweaked with Alien Skin Exposure. Some are direct from camera JPEG and some are direct RAW conversions. I will list what was done to each image. I have done this so you can see a sampling of all kinds of images in all kinds of situations including the use of filters and plain OOC pictures as well. Enjoy! (Product shots with Sony RX1)

The Fuji blues remain intact :) from RAW – no filters

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So you know…

You can order the X100s at B&H Photo or Amazon. You can also read my long X100 review HERE as much of what pertains to the X100 also pertains to the X100s. I will only be going over the major changes here as well as showing quite a few samples.

It’s heeere!

Hello hello hello! Here I am with the long awaited Fuji X100s review that so many of you have been wanting to read and see. It has been a couple of years since the beautiful but flawed Fuji X100 (which was one of my favorite cameras of all time) and here I am with what looks like an exact replica of the X100 simply named,  the X100s. But looks can be deceiving, and this X100s is much improved over the old X100 in just about every single way. Yes my friends, Fuji finally did get it right. Hope that was not a spoiler, and no the camera is not perfect but yes, this is a big improvement over the X100s, especially in the usability department.

“Road Block” – JPEG processed with Alien Skin Exposure

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The original X100 was and still is a gorgeous camera and while most X100 users love their camera, there were some that were too frustrated by it to enjoy it. It is true that it had slow AF speed and an overall feeling of lag when using it but for me it did not matter because the camera was beautiful in the design, the EVF/OVF was superb and the image quality  had some MoJo not far off from Leica land. But when using a current camera you love it and do not realize that just a year or two down the road its replacement will come and in most cases, this means improvements. It is how camera companies learn..by using us as their beta testers. The Fuji x100s is a result of feedback given by all of those who shot the X100, and that feedback worked and we now have the improved X100 we have been waiting for.

All for $1299, or almost a 3rd the cost of just a Leica 35 Summicron M lens! Yes, just that 35mm f/2 lens from Leica costs $3200!

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The X100s (just as the X100) as you may know is a fixed lens camera. You can not change focal lengths and you are literally stuck with a 35mm FOV using the 23mm lens built into the X100s. For $1299 you can get 80% of the quality of  a Leica ME and 35 Summicron which will set you back $8500 new. Not too shabby huh? I am not saying the X100s equals the file quality of the new Leica M, but for less than 1/6 the price, the X100s will make 90% of shooters looking for this kind of camera very happy. The quality is superb, even using OOC JPEGS and you can slide the camera into places larger ones can not go. What is not to like?

an OOC JPEG from the X100s with “S” color mode – I love the look of this from color to rendering

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But as I said, the old X100 also put out superb images but it was a bit on the slow and laggy side so Fuji worked feverishly to improve the X100s and boy did they improve it in ways that it really really needed. This is a case of “You talked..we listened” and Fuji has done what I never thought they could do. Produce a fast speedy, sexy and stealthy camera :)

The lens in the X100 is still the same, and this is a good thing. Click image for larger. This was a JPEG, not from RAW.

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SPEED – GIVE ME WHAT I NEED

With this all new X100s speed is the #1 improvement and in regards to Auto Focus, Fuji has now added phase detect Autofocus to the center of the frame and it engages automatically when it can be used. I am happy to see camera manufacturers start doing this. Sony added phase detect to their current line of NEX cameras and improved the speed of their AF by quite a bit when using compatible lenses. One of the weaknesses of many mirrorless cameras in the past has been slow or dodgy Auto Focus, especially in low light. I am happy to see this changing. I remember the very 1st mirrorless Micro 4/3 cameras and they were so so slow when compared to what we have today.

I have found  that the AF of the new X100s is about 2 times quicker than the X100 in good light (not scientific, just going by feel and memory). It is pretty much instantaneous  - aim, fire, bam! It just works. But all is not perfect! In low light the camera still hunts a little and in fact I had an easier time focusing in low light with my Sony RX1 over the X100s (yes, this is fact). Both were similar but the X100s hunted more and missed lock 2 or 3 times. BUT, this was low light and indoors, a struggle for almost any autofocus camera. I also had some issues getting it to AF on a certain subject, even when making the AF window a teeny tiny spot focusing patch. I had this issue with the X100, X-Pro 1 and X-E1 as well.

B&W conversion look pretty good too:

X100s, B&W conversion in Lightroom 4.4

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But overall, the AF is a huge improvement over the X100. The camera just feels super responsive in all aspects.

 

I will even say this: give the X100s some good light or decent light and it is an all out speed demon. It is not only the AF that has been improved though. In fact, Fuji claims over 70 improvements and while many of these are minuscule they all add up to make the new “S” the best Fuji digital camera to date. Yes, I just said that. The best Fuji digital to date. In my eyes it beats the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 in every area except of course the ability to change lenses.

“Sky High” – This one was from RAW, lowered contrast, lightroom 4.4

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The Fuji X100s also has been sped up in the overall responsiveness of the camera. Gone are any signs of sluggishness as the new processors take this baby to new heights in the speed department. Snap a picture and BAM, it is written to your card. Browse the menu and BAM there is no lag or delay whatsoever. The camera feels slick in use and while browsing menus. It is an all new camera in the speed department, just be sure to use a fast SD card in this baby. It will use it.

The meu layout and system are similar to what you had in the X100 with some new additions including;

Advanced Filter:

This is basically filters for your images if you are shooting JPEG. You can choose from Partial Color effects to soft focus, dynamic  tone, low key, high key, pop color, miniature and toy camera mode. These are similar to what we now see on the Sony NEX and Olympus micro 4/3 cameras. I tried them but did not care for them as they were a bit overdone.

Shutter Count:

You can now see how many shutter fires the X100s has had, very helpful in the resale market. All cameras should have this which acts as sort of the “Mileage” of you camera.

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SENSOR – X-Trans inside of the X100s

Fuji changed the sensor this time around and we no longer have the lovely and smooth 12MP sensor that was inside of the X100. Nope, we now have the 16MP X-Trans flavor of sensor and to many this is a huge welcome. I have read where some felt the X-Trans was a mistake because the last Fuji X100 sensor had some magic and I agree that is true to some extent because had its own unique look over the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 sensors. Now the X100s images have the same feel as the X-Pro/X-E1 as it is using an X-Trans sensor, but not sure what it is…maybe the lens that they were able to tweak for perfect performance with the sensor but I am enjoying the IQ from the X100s more than I did with the X-Pro 1 and E1.

I have heard many will say a sensor has nothing that will make it any different from any other sensor in regards to image quality. I disagree. The images that come from an X-Trans sensor do indeed look different than something that comes from a normal CCD or run of the mill CMOS sensor. In some situations the output can indeed appear flat with the X-Trans but in other situations it can be damn beautiful with a unique look that some will easily spot s that “Fuji” look. It also does decent with B&W conversions and the dynamic range is high but I have shot with just about every camera out there over the years and when comparing Fuji X-Trans images side by side with the big guns like Leica M, Sony RX1, D800, etc they do appear to be more flat or “digital” to my eye. That is OK though because the Fuji is much less expensive and still damn good and most shooters will never see it. It really is only visible upon side by side comparisons anyway and regardless, the results from the X100s will look beautiful as you can see with the samples here in this review.

HUGE DR is here to stay it seems. This is a trend I am seeing as all sensors progress. The sensor in the Sony RX1 has huge dynamic range. The Leica M sensor has huge dynamic range. The Nikon D800..same thing. As sensors get better and better, our images will start looking different due to the increase in Dynamic Range. What used to look a little hard, blown out or digital will now start to appear smoother and with more to the image in the dark and light areas, all due to increased DR. The X100s sensor has fantastic DR as well.

I used an Alien Skin B&W filter for the B&W conversion here. 

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The Fuji X100s Experience

When taking the camera out of the box you immediately hold it in your hand and it feels right. It looks right. It is thin, light, and feels solid for the most part (some parts are plasticky) but not over built. To many, this camera feels like the best camera they have ever held. The built in EVF/OVF is welcome and a sight for sore eyes, especially when other camera manufactures leave it out and then charge you hundreds of an external wart (Sony and Leica). The camera is slim, thin, light and pretty much all one really needs for fantastic photography. We also still get the shiny lens cap included :) It may not be a Leica solid feel or even feel as solid as an RX1 but it feels “right” just as the X100 did.

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Everything is here – the manual aperture dial on the lens, the shutter speed dial up top, the exposure compensation dial and the customizable buttons you can set up to your liking.

The Fuji X100s is a very mature camera, much more so than the companies own “PRO” camera, the Pro 1 which I did not care for so  much. Shooting the new 100S is intuitive, quick and problem free. When you see your preview snap up instantly you can tell if you nailed the shot and you also see those Fuji colors and Fuji signature.

OOC JPEGS are better than RAW right now due to no real RAW support yet

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Yes, the X100s experience is much better than the X100…much like Leica improved their M9 with a better, bigger, stronger and faster M, Fuji has now done the same with their best selling camera to date, the X100!

But the Leica is $7k just for the body. $10k for the body and a 35mm lens. The Fuji is $1299. Wow. Does it hold up to the Leica M? In some ways it can (this little guy can be sharp and has great high ISO performance and give its own look) but for the most it can not (and I would not expect it to) but the fact that it can even be compared in IQ is quite the amazing thing, don’t you think? Viewing files at 100% show you the files are not as rich or deep and you do lose some shallow depth of field possibilities over a full frame setup and they do appear more digital than those FF powerhouses but is that worth over $8500 extra? Hmmmmmm, you tell me. :) If you are not into the full RF experience like myself and many others who choose Leica for that and the glass, the X100s or RX1 is your next best bet, and the X100s has that something that just draws you to it.

As a matter of fact you could buy 7 X100s’s for the price of one Leica M setup and that is Crazy! I have a sneaking suspicion that Fuji will sell a TON of these, probably even more than the X100, and the great part? It is a full mature camera and can last you a long long time because there is really nothing wrong with it or anything to irritate you or bug you or cause you to have problems when you go out to take photos.

“Horror Movie” – Shot with the X100s in JPEG mode then ran through Alien Skin for the look I wanted.

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The Arrival of my own X100s

When the Fuji X100s arrived to me I first thought I was sent the X100 by mistake because it looks and feels just about the same. Besides the S on the front bottom right it would be tough to tell the difference between this and the old model. But there are differences that most X100 owners could spot just by handling the new X100s.

The dials are stiffer. The Buttons feel better and things like the Focus selector switch have been improved. The new EVF has double the resolution of  the old one and no lag or choppiness when viewing through it. We still have the optical view finder as well (which as with the X100, I still do not use due to problems with AF up close though this has been improved upon).

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Close focus distance has improved and you can now focus really close without even being in macro mode, as close as 0.21 meters. Fuji improved the location of the AF slider switch as well as giving us a new Q menu which I now use constantly if I want to change a setting because it is quick and easy. The built in “one button press” to activate ND filter is still here which is genius as it allows you to shoot wide open at f/2 even in bright sunlight. Fuji has even improved the already excellent high ISO of the X100 and makes a one stop improvement in this area as well. This may be the best at high ISO I have ever used. Period.

Wow. All while keeping the price the same!

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What is the real story of these improvements?

Well, after shooting the X100s for a while and having extensive experience with the original X100 it boils down to one thing for me as to where I really see these improvements in real world use and that is…

SPEED – From AF to operating speed this guy is fast. In all but low dim light the AF is super fast (but not quite OM-D fast) but when the light drops some the AF slows down and if it gets really dim, it will hunt and not lock. Still, the AF is speedy, the operation of the camera, menus, write times, etc – all super speedy now. This is a mature camera in the speed department and overall faster than the Sony RX1 (in good light) and any previous Fuji digital camera.

Direct from RAW, no PP, ISO 1250

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As for IQ, it is not far off from the X100 but seeing that it uses the new sensor the images will look a bit different than what you see in the X100. We have the same lens but with the new 16MP X-Trans we get that nice Fuji feel and look and with the fantastic lens on the X100s, the camera performs well. There is nothing to complain about in the speed or IQ areas of the camera. But what about other things? Are there any problems or quirks with the X100s?

This is a shot from RAW with the X100s – Adjusted sliders in Lightroom  4.4

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Well, I have found no major quirks or trouble with the X100s. Fuji really did listen and delivered a product that will please just about anyone and if you own or owned the X100 and really enjoyed it, you will fall in love with the X100s as it gives you everything you wanted in the X100 but didn’t have.

But the camera is not perfect.

There were a few times I could not get the AF to lock, in bright daylight when trying to focus on a small subject, like a leaf on a tree. Even making the AF area teeny tiny for a spot focus it wouldn’t do it. The RX1 had no trouble with the same leaf so not sure why the Fuji did. Also, I still had some OOF shots when using the OVF up close (but not every time) so I would still avoid shooting the OVF of your subject is really close. Finally, in low light the AF does hunt and is slow. Sometimes it will not even lock on. This is in pretty low light I am talking, say indoors, night time, house lights on. The RX1 beat the X100s in AF speed in my house at night. So while the X100s is super speedy most of the time (Superman) it is slower at night and low light (Clark Kent).

I also had two instances where the camera back focused and I have no clue why as I focused precisely on my subject and it locked but the resulting image was back focused a tad.

Other than that I have nothing negative to say about the camera.

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New Manual Focus Modes – Peaking and Split Image

The X100s also comes with some new tricks up its sleeve in regards to manual focus. Fuji added peaking but in the beginning I did not really know why. I mean, this is meant to be an AF camera. We can not add old manual lenses to it where peaking is really needed so I would guess that MF would only be used in tough to AF situations. If that is the case there is now Focus Peaking when you switch it to manual focus mode and after using it…WOW! It works fantatsic. The peaking is very pronounced unlike it is in the new Leica M (where it is very weak) and when it is in focus you will know it. I sat around in my kitchen one night messing with the peaking and it was a joy to manually focus, so so so much nicer than the old X100 which was useless in MF mode IMO.

So the peaking gets an A+!

There is another way you can manually focus the X100s and that is by using “Digital Split Image” and is almost..almost “rangefinder” like. Basically you look through the EVF or use the LCD and you line up the image. When the horizontal bands are lined up you fire and should be in focus. After trying it out I really enjoyed this way of focusing as well!

So the Split Image gets an A!

This is good news because there will be a time when a Fuji X100s owner is trying to shoot (in a pub, dark location, etc) and the camera will not AF correctly. We can now slide it to MF mode and easily and quickly achieve manual focus. Superb!

 Once all of this technology is perfected in a kick ass Fuji X body look out. If Fuji ever did this in a full frame body with quality glass and the ability to mount Leica glass? Wow. As it is now I still feel the APS-C sensor lacks a bit when compared to the Sony RX1 and Leica M in the mirrorless world but every year Fuji pulls something new out of their hat. Will be interesting for sure to see what they do in the years ahead.

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High ISO shooting – NO NOISE AT 3200? REALLY?

I have been seeing some say that the X100s has NO NOISE up to 3200. Well, this is not really true but if you shoot JPEG you will be very pleased with the noise levels. If you shoot RAW and turn off all NR you will still be pleased but will have a little more noise to deal with though Fuji does seem to add NR even to RAW files. What you see below is a JPEG from the camera. NR was set at -2 in camera (you can not turn it off) and I used  the “S” color mode. What you see may astound you! This was in my moms kitchen at 11 pm at night with one light on above the table (the kitchen light).

Just a test snap here…remember, the true test of high ISO performance is shooting in low light, when one would use high ISO. Not studio shots with lighting and using NR. That is in no way a real test of high ISO. Still, the X100s is kicking some serious booty in this department. Click the image for the full size OOC files. These are truly DIRECT OOC, from my SD card to this site. Below that is my HIGH ISO torture test between the X100s, RX1 and Leica M 240.

ISO 3200

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and ISO 6400

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You can also see my Leica M review where I tested the X100s against the Leica and Sony RX1 at high ISO as well as low ISO. You can see  that test HERE and the X100s appeared to win as far as noise goes. BUT, Fuji implements some in camera NR that can not be turned off, so this may indeed be why it wins. The Sony and Leica in that test had ZERO NR but I have realized Fuji applies some NT no matter what to the files. Below is a JPEG torture test comparison. I am using JPEGS for this test because the Fuji X100s RAW files are nor fully compatible with LR 4.4 yet. Keep in mind the Leica is not so hot at JPEG, the Sony usually is and the Fuji is as well:

The High ISO TORTURE TEST!

Dark conditions, ISO 6400, FULL OOC JPEGS from the Fuji X100s, Sony RX1 and Leica M. This is how high ISO should be tested because it is most likely a situation in where you will need it. Using studio lights to test ISO is silly as that will not tell you how a sensor will perform under conditions when you need these ISO’s.

As you can see when you click on the images for the full size, the Fuji applies some level of NR. It can not be turned off but I have it set to -2. the lowest it will go. This still creates mushiness that I hate. The Leica M has zero NR as does the Sony. Remember, this shot was in DARK conditions on a late night flight. Each lens was set to f/2, camera to 6400 and the shutter speeds were still low. This is a test for NOISE levels at 6400 in dark conditions.

First, the Fuji. Click each image for full size OOC JPEG file. Fuji had minimum of -2 NR (It can not be turned off)

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Now the Sony RX1 – Zero NR

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Leica M 240 – Zero NR – This camera can show banding at 6400 

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Having 6400 capability on a camera is nice but in reality, not needed. These  crazy ISO’s really rarely get used in real life. I counted the number of shots in my photos from 2012 that were shot at 6400 or higher. I counted a few but they were test shots for reviews! I did not use 6400 or higher for ANY personal shots in all of 2012. They were all 3200 or below and the good news is, any camera APS-C or larger today can give you wonderful ISO 3200 results.

Full size files from RAW

It still seems that Lightroom 4.4 has an issue with Fuji X100s files. They fixed the issues with the X-Pro 1 files but the X100s still has some watercolor effect going on. Here is what you can expect until that is fixed if you are using Lightroom 4.4. Below is a full size file from RAW and you can click it for the full size but keep in mind that the odd results at 100% in the leaves is from Lightroom, not the camera or sensor. If you use Lightroom, I suggest shoot JPEG until the issue is fixed.

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You can see detail and sharpness but there is also that oddball watercolor issue due to the RAW converter not being compatible yet. Once it is this issue will go away. The Fuji has no issue with sharpness or detail especially since there is no longer an AA filter in this camera.  I found the lens is a little soft at f/2 and sharpness up by 2.8 and reaches max sharpness by f/4. You can get nice shallow DOF with it is you shoot up close to your subject but you will not get full frame shallow DOF or creaminess. Still, you do not really need all of that and what you get out of the X100s is very very pleasing to the eye..colors are nice, sharpness is nice, and it somehow gives you the warm and fuzzies just shooting with it. The built in EVF/OVF makes ALL of the difference in the world and EVERY camera should have one instead of a wart on top.

Portrait at ISO 2500 at 2.8 – direct from camera – yes, ISO 2500 without any lighting (the room was actually very dim)

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RAW vs JPEG, two full size files

Many have been talking about the “watercolor” effect of the X100s RAW output when using Lightroom 4.4. I have been asked to put up two of the same file, one JPEG and one JPEG converted from RAW. Below are the two images. Can you spot the RAW file? (HINT: 1st one is from RAW, 2nd is an OOC JPEG, using LR 4.4)

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Is there ANYTHING bad to say about this X100s?

Well, I tried and tried to drum up something and all I can think of is I wish it had a bigger battery, wish it had faster AF in low light and wish it had image stabilization with HD video as well as fast focus for video. I tried to shoot video with this using AF and it was a no go. Motor noise and slow/dodgy AF just did not work. So video is a no go for me with the X100s. The battery is not really an issue as I have 3-4 on me when shooting (they are cheap on Amazon) and the AF in low light is solved by using peking or split image MF, which works extremely well. If I could have one wish for the next X100 it would be to see a full frame version with even faster AF for low light. THAT would be the best camera ever in the world of 35mm fixed lens cameras.

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Is this the new Leica M?

I keep hearing things around internet land where some are calling Fuji the new Leica. You guys know I shoot Leica and I love  the M camera system and I am also the 1st to say that it is overpriced for the masses. The fact is that Leica makes a gorgeous camera system and if it is something one can afford it is a joy to shoot, hold and use. The results are up there with the best though it is not the best there is. I love my Leica M (gallery here) and for me there is nothing on the market that compares to shooting with an M rangefinder, notice I said “for me”. The X series from Fuji is nothing like shooting a Leica M in use, handling, framing, or output/quality but every year Fuji seems to get closer. It does have Leica inspired styling and great output but the files are not up there with the full frame M. Again, $1299 vs $10k..so this should not come as a surprise. Just the facts and I only bring it up because I see some out there saying this camera beats a Leica. Maybe an X2, but not an M.

an OOC JPEG

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But! I do give Fuji credit because they are releasing cameras that are very “Leica-like” and these cameras are very unique on the market as well. They are priced right and perform with great quality output. The X bodies had some issues out of the gate but I think Fuji is onto something big here as they just keep getting more and more photographers on board who swear by them and the X100s is as good as it gets in the X world.

Fuji as a company really seem to get it, and they may just be like the new Leica when it comes to designing beautiful and functional cameras that will deliver the goods, all for MUCH less than a Leica and in the future they may just release a full frame body that can take Leica lenses for 1/3 the cost. We shall see.

Pros and Cons of the X100s

Pros

  • Still the same size and design of the X100
  • MUCH faster processing and camera has no real lag
  • Improved AF speed in good light making it very snappy
  • New Manual focus modes are a nice welcome, and work well.
  • New Q menu with easy access to all settings
  • Built in ND filter really comes in handy
  • Improved high ISO making this quite amazing at high ISO
  • Same lens but said  to perform even better due  to enhancements
  • Improved EVF, no lag and clearer image with more resolution
  • Can close focus even closer without engaging macro mode
  • High Dynamic Range
  • $1299 price tag is great for what this camera can do
  • Knobs and dials are now stiffer
  • They seemed to have fixed the Mac OS/SD card error bug
  • No lens aperture rattle

Cons

  • AF still lags in lower light and sometimes will not lock
  • Close focus with OVF still not super reliable
  • Wish you could turn OFF noise reduction completely
  • Lens is slightly soft at f/2 but still performs good

 

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Final Word

As  you can see my cons list is small. Yes, I slightly prefer the old X100 sensor and look but that is just my tastes and preference and may be because that is what I am used to. The new sensor is highly capable as well and this is the best Fuji digital camera to date, period. It is fast and feels like a mature camera. No more quirkiness to work around and the experience of shooting is a pleasure. While it cant quite compete in output with the Sony RX1, a camera most similar to the X100s, it has its own style and flavor of IQ for much less and is more responsive and fun to use (love the built in EVF/OVF) and some just may prefer it. The X100 was and is a much loved camera and the X100s will be as well. In fact, I bet it will sell even more than the X100. It is well worth the cost and a better camera than the previous 100. If you enjoyed the 100, you will LOVE the X100s.

I would own it if I did not already own an RX1, and while I prefer my RX1 I can state that the X100s is a gorgeous little camera that when placed in the right hands can and will produce stunning results. It is well worth the cost. As for Bokeh lovers, the Fuji will give you much more DOF than something like an RX1 as well. For example, you can see my RX1 gallery HERE and you can notice the shallow DOF you can achieve with it. The X100s will not get you there if you are looking for it because it has a 23mm lens which will give you more DOF over a 35mm lens of the same aperture. Sometimes this is a good thing. The X100s also has an APS-C sensor where the RX1 has a full frame sensor.

All in all, the X100s may be the hottest camera of the 2013 year. Giving you stellar results for a fraction of the cost of the big boys. I congratulate Fuji on creating what I feel is hands down, their best digital camera to date.

You can order the X100s at B&H Photo or Amazon.

Canceled flights – X100s – Alien Skin Exposure conversion

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  306 Responses to “The Fuji X100s Review – The S Stands for Sexy, Speedy & Stealthy by Steve Huff”

  1. thanks for the review.
    I really love this camera, but i usaully shoot using a 28mm.. did you ever try the additional lens to transform the 35 in a 28?

    • I think you have the photos taken in your mom’s kitchen switched? The 6400 seems to have much less noise than the 3200 does.

      I like your reviews. Can’t wait for my x100s to arrive.

      Funny how everybody compares this APS-C to the FF Sony and Leica. Says enough about this camera and where Fuji is going. In that respect the claim that Fuji is the new Leica might be true? Not in the department of image quality maybe, but certainly in the department of vision.

    • “It is how camera companies learn..by using us as their beta testers.”

      Disgusting attitude. This is how Fujifilm makes billions of dollars profit, from not allowing an upgrade for their customers, but charging them again for what they call a new camera. Why not hand in your x100 and get the x100s for 50 dollars?

      • Because the Fuji X100 is in its own right a GREAT CAMERA. I sold mine for $600 bucks to buy an X pro, and would do it again in a minute. Just needed more than a 35mm only, but in my humble opinion the files from my X100 were better than my 5d and the X pro files are even better. Quit being a cry baby. Keep your X100, it is capable of extraordinary results.

  2. Great review which I have basically skimmed and will have to go back and read thoroughly later.

    I think Fuji have managed a minor miracle by becoming a camera company that people really want to like. They are producing retro-style cameras that have a reason – beyond hipster appeal – for their retro-ness (is that a word?) namely to appeal to those us who like physical shutter dials, physical aperture rings and real optical viewfinders. They have recognised that much as some of us might admire the capabilities of cameras like the OMD, we are never really going to LOVE the feel of tiny squishy buttons or looking at the world through the TV screen of an EVF. Absolutely no criticism of Olympus intended here – it’s all horses for courses. But kudos to Fuji for sticking to their guns and recognising their niche.

    I’m going to be buying into the Fuji system, the only question being whether I go for the old X100 or the new X100s. Fact is that here in the UK, the new camera is exactly twice the price of the old. For those of us new to the system, the question is whether that differential is really worth it. Not sure how to resolve that one! Thanks again for the review.

    • Hi Colin, I want to sell my X100 and I live in London. Let me know if you want to buy it. I have listed it on Amazon under the seller name – superfastexpress.Please message me there and we can take it forward. – Mahesh

  3. Thanks for the review. I think I’m keeping my X100 for now.

  4. Great review with great images!
    Thanks I really got a lot out of this.

    I think I’ll order 1 now.

  5. Steve,

    Great review and wonderful images. I received my x100s late on Friday, and with a blizzard here on Saturday, I didn’t get to shoot much this weekend. But just around the house, I concur that the “S” does stand for speedy. Everything on this camera seems to be improved, and after having been an x100 enthusiast, I do appreciate Fuji listening to its users. I look forward to spending some time with this gem. In the meantime, it’s FF or bust for Fuji!!

  6. Steve,
    again a great review putting the camera through it’s paces. Great value and it has No1. spot on my list of recommends, when folk ask me why I now have somewhere to point them, thank you.

  7. Great review, we waited for it. Glad you are so positive about this camera, although you may cause a run on them and we will have to wait. By the way, although it was supposed to be released now, B & H and Amazon dont show it available yet. One question: when shooting stills is the camera stabilized, and if not what effect could the lack of stabilization have? Thanks for the great work.

  8. Subject isolation on a 23mm f/2 crop sensor is not that great unfortunately (equivalent DOF to a FF 35mm f/2.5 lens). I’d rather get an improved XE1(s?) and the nice Fuji 35mm f/1.4. This is a nice little mirrorless but too expensive for what it offers. At least with the RX1 you get a fantastic f/2 FF camera albeit with much higher cost.

  9. Lovely review!
    I never be so confidence like this when I want to buy a camera.

  10. Hi Steve,

    How do you think it compares to the Leica X2 as a low light tool?

  11. i have been shooting Leica since 1989 (M4-2, M6, M8) and Fuji since 1991 (GSW690, XPro-1) and these two companies shine for me above anything else! They have a similar design philosophy and have a great history of responding to what photographers say they really want in a camera. The difference is of corse Leica and Fuji have their own look and one is much more expensive and the other is not. We can all agree Fuji is to be congratulated for offering excellent cameras geared to street style photography at great prices. This is great for photography in that students and those without much cash can still get good results and have a traditionalist experience in camera layout and operation. I hate new cameras that try to act like iphones. Canon and Nikon dont get it anymore. Leica and Fuji do! I hope Leica and Fuji sell all they can make. They deserve our business!

  12. It seem one can summarize your insightful review as follows. When it comes to form factor, usability, IQ, high ISO, and most importantly price, the Fuji has no equal.

    This camera pays more homage to something like an Olympus 35sp than a Leica M. That it is compared to a Leica M is high praise.

    This camera really excites me.

  13. I really find your reviews honest and of course through your eyes. Personally I am using both the kit and now Leica glass on my X PRO 1 . The combination is stunning to me of course. With that I would not move off this unless I could afford an M. Oh. Darn I can! However would rather just buy more glass for the X PRO 1. So much in all the reviews give this FUJI X a lot of maybe’s but for whatever reason mine is simple to hold, use, and understand. I believe the Sensor and Leica lense combination is unique and works for me.

    • I am still waiting for Steve’s tests with Leica glass on X-pro1 :-(

    • My understanding was that there were serious IQ issues shooting Leica/Zeiss glass on the X-Pro 1. Edge softness, smearing, etc. — largely due to the retrofocus design disparities.

      Haven’t tried it myself — the XF35mm f/1.4 is such a spectacular lens, optically, that I haven’t felt the need. Even the slightly “softer” XF18mm f/2 lens is still a strong performer overall, in the right hands.

      Wait till the X-Pro 2 arrives (or X-Pro 1s). That will be the camera to ‘own’.

  14. Hey Steve, did you try AFC in low light? It works better than AFS on the X-E1 in this situation I find…

  15. Hi Steve
    I like your real world tests a lot. But you always compare cameras to LEICA M (9). The Fuji has a fixed lens. How would you deal with a Leica without being able to change the lens? Not everbody is 35mm lover. At least me not.
    Best regards
    Wolfgang

    • Didn’t compare to the M9 here. I mentioned it against the M 240 because there are some out there wanting to see comparisons and telling me the Fuji is better. Totally different camera as I clearly state in this review. But people want to see it.

    • Wolfgang,

      My thought exactly….I owned a Fuji GSW690 and it is a great camera with probably the sharpest medium format lens in the business. Yet I sold it. My photogaphy needs a bit more stealthyness and a lot more flexibility and a lot less weight. So GSW690 went and OM-D came.

      Now a 35mm, x100s is a great idea for some. As is micro 4/3 for some. I shoot landscape mainly and the nice part about shooting landscape is that your subject does not hike of into the distance so speed is not of the essence but DOF is. If speed is of the essense (as for sport) a lightning fast contrast autofocus equiped, E7, D4 or 1Dx would be the way to go.

      Every camera is a compromise between affordablity, workability, performance en flexibility. No camera is a “Eierlegende Wolmilchsau” (German for Egglaying WollMilkPig). Maybe the FF Nikon D800 is closest, to be frank, but that would be to heavy for my purposes (financial and mass wise) and quality wise I have seen some issues with that camera.

      “Having 6400 capability on a camera is nice but in reality, not needed. These crazy ISO’s really rarely get used in real life. I counted the number of shots in my photos from 2012 that were shot at 6400 or higher. I counted a few but they were test shots for reviews!”

      Therefore I couldn’t agree more with this quote from Steve. Not for a Leica M240 since an M240 will be shot with anything up to what Steve 90mm maybe 135 but that’s it. Now Nikons and Canons are shooting with up to 1200 mm glass (and beyond) and that is were high iso performance is important. Keeping Kimi or Michael in focus with a 800 mm requires fast shutter times, a lightning fast autofocus (yeps it functions at 5.6), a blistering fast frame/second rate, and all in all high iso can save the day but for the more contemplated shooting done with a Leica no big deal. If I were Leitz I wouldn’t have bothered with ISO settings over 3200 at all. For all the rest (even for concert photography as you proved on a Seal tour) who needs “crazy high iso”……

      Greets, Ed.

  16. Thanks for great review Steve.

    Just one comment – people often claim (and it may well be true) that Fuji overstates the ISO setting in order to appear better in side-by-side tests (and other manufacturers may do to – a bit of a race to the bottom).

    However, if when testing you were to use the same aperture and shutter speed, then it would be possible to ignore the reported ISO setting on all the cameras in the test and just look at the quality of the results. Wouldn’t that solve the problem?

    (I notice that your high ISO sample f/2 ISO 6400 gave shutter speeds of Fuji:1/50th, Leica 1/45th, Sony 1/30th. So if Sony is correct (rather than under-reported then both Leica and Fuji are overreported by a lot)

    • Actually I found them to be pretty close. If I matched the shutter speeds manually I think they would have been similar. I don’t really worry about things like that, I just use it as is and see how it performs.

      • Even at 1/30s, the Sony’s photo looks brighter than the Fuji’s. I wouldn’t say they’d look similar with the same settings. Seems to be 1 stop difference at least.

      • Oops, looks like my logic is wrong. Please ignore the previous message.

        • Ahh, I wish Steve still had the X100 and X100S so he could post one of his guess-which-one side-by-side comparison polls. Those are always so much fun and informative. “Was that photo shot by an M9 or a Polaroid?”

  17. It is the new “accessible” Leica I reckon, as you say Steve $10k v $1k is frankly a no brainer unless you’ve just won the lottery.

    Zack Arias reckons so too, superb review from him also on the X100s. The great thing about Fuji as opposed to virtually ALL other companies is their proactive response to customers requests via firmware. There is no other camera maker out there right now that can touch them in this respect IMHO.

  18. Gotta wonder why virtually ALL my posts get moderated. Never use bad language EVER, never abuse any other poster EVER. Hmmm.

  19. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for another timely and thorough review. I have to admit I kept checking the site over the last 24 hours with anticipation. A symtom of incipient GAS I suspect.

    One thing I am still wondering is whether this makes sense as a pocketable option for when I am not taking a CSC and lenses with me on a trip?

    When I look at the size and weight of this camera, and the limitations of a fixed 35mm type lens (even with the 28mm converter), I tend to end up hoping for unreasonably great low to mid-ISO IQ from the X20.

    After trying a drastically reduced price X-100 at a local shop, I am convinced the controls are laid out in a really effective and intuitive way for someone who isn’t willing to give up the eye level finder on a relatively small camera.

  20. Thanks, Steve, for another great review.

    How do you like the dial buttons on the backside? I found them a little difficult to press and they had some play before they actually hit something, when holding it for 5 minutes.
    Apart from it, I can see why people are comparing it against Leica: street photography, journalism, reportage, all possible with a small form factor which people don’t notice or don’t take seriously as SLRs everyone knows for 40 years or so.
    As for street, one gets the advantage of same DOF with a smaller aperture (more open) compared to FF, thus better suitable in low light situations.

    What’s sad is that Fujifilm gets many things right in their digital product line. But for film they just announced another price hike, while still selling amazing analog RF cameras.
    Do you still have the GF670? That would be some crazy comparsion, wouldn’t it.

    However, all the best and don’t let those trolls make your life miserable.
    Cheers, Frank

  21. Looks like a wonderful little camera! The improved autofocus makes it much more attractive than its predecessor. I hope Fuji will make a black version, but without the big price increase of the black X100.

  22. Hi Steve – I just got an X100S as a potential replacement for my old X100, and your review is absolutely spot on. My overall feeling at the moment is that though I appreciate the usability advances (especially MF), the basic IQ is pretty much the same (in fact the X100 files are just a little bit sweeter) and the AF is still not 100% reliable. So far I am respecting the X100S, but not loving it.

    Before my deadline expires I am now wanting to try out an RX1…

    • Oh boy,be warned it`s dangerous territory ;). Once you have seen these RX1 files on your screen there is no going back to aps-c, unless it`s a Foveon sensor.

    • Nice to hear a balanced opinion from a user that doesnt boil down to love/hate. Thanks Sulis

  23. Great review. Did you ever wish that the X100S had Image Stabilization? Thanks.

  24. The Fuji is so much cheaper than the Leica that you ought to be able to find yourself a better place to live than that trailer.

    • Great post, Chad. I like your sense of humor!

    • The trailer is just the guest cottage for Fuji shooters. Steve gets to live in the Leica-engineered mansion in front. Typical German common sense having the water heater right outside the bathroom.

      I’ve been so enjoying all the pictures you shot in this setting. So atmospheric with the peeling paint and overgrown weeds. Gives the camera a great workout with unconventional subject matter that isn’t so attractive (humans excepted.)

      Or are they humans? Maybe the Fuji has a big weakness. It doesn’t repel zombies. yet.

  25. Any thoughts on the speed of the X100s low light AF performance compared to the NEX-6 with the kit lens?

  26. Looks like more and more comes down to the quality of the sensor, then glass. (or vice versa)

    The conveniences and the cost of the X100S is great, but the more I look at all these new cameras, with some exceptions like the RX1, the less I am impressed as far as imagery goes. A lot of old cameras and lens give a really nice look to them. The imperfections and sense of 3-D-ness is evident in a lot of over the hill systems.

    • I agree 100% regarding the “3-D-ness” comment. I love my fuji x100. Sold it and waiting on X100s. I have an M3 with a Summicron 50mm lens and I am amazed how a 50 year old lens can still outperforms many lenses in this category. I have been very critical of the M9 and Leica digital as I believe they are over priced but the lens they make are incredible. When I look at a photo shot on my M3 using Velvia the sense of depth in very noticable.

    • Same here. The more they improve the sensors and the processors, the more digital and flat the images look. The images from the original X100, however, did have some magic to them sometimes. Based on the samples from the X100s I’ve seen so far, that magic seems to be lost.

  27. I got mine on Tuesday. After about a week, and a 1,000+/- pics, I really love this camera. I’ve been carrying an RX1 around with me for the last 3 months, but never really connected with it. I think the viewfinder is the reason why. I just can’t get myself to hold the camera out in front of me like it’s an iPhone. Even after I added the EVF, it still doesn’t feel ‘real’ like the X100/s did/does. There’s something downright magical about snapping a pic with the OVF, and having the ‘processed’ pic appear in your eye. I fell like I’m connecting more with the images.

    IQ isn’t superior to the RX1, but it’s damn-close for me. I shoot mostly B&W, so having OOC jpegs that look this good is great. The camera also fits in my briefcase/pocket better than the RX1…especially if the EVF is attached. I like the comparison to the X2 a lot better than the M. And for that…I think it does beat it by quite a bit.

    • I couldn’t agree more. It’s the smartest OVF ever. It’s not the biggest, but I never once found myself having an issue with its size. It truly is a thing of beauty. And I also love the instant playback. Love it!

  28. Great review, nice shots too! Did you do anything special on the ferris wheel shot? I really like it, looks a bit like film? Or is it just because of the very nice sunlight? Anyway I really really like that shot! :).

  29. Hi Steve, great review as usual, from the heart and really useful for real world photographers like me and millions others. One question if I may, based on your time with the OM-D how do you think the X100s would compare to shooting with the OM-D and the excellent Oly 17mm f1.8 lens? My main camera is the OM-D, but all the wonderful reviews and the great images appearing on the web for the original X100 and the new s are making me wonder if this could be the ideal walkabout camera.

    If you, or any other X100(s) users can comment I’d really appreciate it.

    Thanks, James

    • Hi James

      I had an x100 and sold it for an OMD. My take on your question is:

      x100/x100s is more portable…no doubt.

      I like the files out of the OMD better and this was one reason I changed. I find the Fuji files too soft and I felt they were flatter in comparison. I can not comment on the x100s files but x100 took more work in PP than my OMD in LR. Just my experiences so others I am sure would say otherwise.

      Looks like AF is the same now with these improvements.

      MF looks to be much improved in x100s and that was a MAJOR factor, apart from others I sold it. It was useless IMO and had a poor form factor for doing so with such a small lens barrel.

      2 other reasons for me were ICL system on the OMD and the something I would never have picked up but has grown on me is the flip screen. As Neil Buchanan Grant has mentioned on here a couple of times, when you use it, it will allow you an extra bow in terms of images you can get.

      I did really like the original x100 but just some aspects to fiddly, prefered the output of the OMD and I rarely shoot with a 35mm aspect!

      But none the less a great carry around camera which is versatile, looks cool and can produce great photos! IMO why not keep the OMD, not buy the 17mm lens (just go some of the others) and have x100s for back up.

      • Thank you Andrew. Your thoughtful comments reinforce the idea that I’ve been nurturing for a while. It’s coming down to a heart versus head problem now (and funds ultimately). The £1,000 (UK) that the X100s costs will pay for some very nice glass on the OM-D. My head says get the glass, my heart is pulling me to the Fuji store…

        • buy the x100s….wait until you have started using it and see where the balls land! You may decide to splurge and keep both!

        • Naturally I would go for the glass on the OM-D. Two reasons.

          1) Flexibility. For instance a 12-35 on the OM-D gives you near perfect images IQ wise in the range of 24 to 70 and it’s weather sealed as well.

          2) Simplicity. People like HCB and William Egglestone only used one camera type for nearly all their photography. Both use(d) Leica btw, and William has a nice collection of M’s in a big box. If you shoot with 2 cameras you have to learn to master 2 and that frankly can be a bit of a royal pain in the you know where, especially these days.

          So if you are happy with the OM-D (I am) just stick with it and invest in glass. Remember the most important aspect of a good picture is what in front of the lens, not what’s behind it.

          Greets, Ed.

          • Hi Ed, yes you’re right. After replying to Andrew’s post above my brain unfroze and I remembered the the Lumix 12-35 which really got me thinking properly.

            Andrew if I had access to a regular group who bought and sold camera gear I might well be tempted to get the X100s just like that – try it out and if it doesn’t work sell it on, but camera’s for me have to be a longer term investment.

            Thanks to both of you, James

          • I agree Ed re having 2 different systems. In have an M6 for film along with OMD and even then I have to re-learn a few things about the OMD if been using the M6 for a while.

        • If I would be in the happy position to spend 1000 pounds I would by the M-Zuiko 75/1.8 plus the new Macro lens

          • Thanks for your input Wolfgang, but I’m looking for that more candid 35mm lens size not the telephoto end. For me the 75mm sits in between useful zoom distance – I prefer my longer lenses to have more reach, although I’m sure it’s a wonderful lens.

    • Hi, one month ago I was in the same boat as you. As a OMD happy owner debating myself between 17f1.8 vs x100s I love 35mm focal equiv. I already had a 25f1.4 (my fav), 45f1.8, 14f2.5 and ended up buying a 17f1.8 lens, found it a very interesting lens. By then I put the same question to Steve regarding IQ differences vs x100 and told me “the Fuji is a little sharper though at f/2 the Oly may be sharper. Different systems, both excellent. The OM-D and 17 is much faster though.”
      I decided on 17f1.8 and no regrets so far though 25f1.4 lens still is my favourite, when x100s get cheaper I’ll probably buy it.

      • Thank you CC – I wonder do you find yourself switching between the 17mm and 25mm lenses much, or is the 25mm that much better you find yourself sticking with it more and more. If I don’t spend £1000 on a new camera, then both the 17mm and the 25mm Summilux are affordable, even with a few pounds left to replace my aging Canon compact when even the OM-D is too big.

        • 25mm PL is fantastic. Like CC it is my main lens i use particularly at night. Not huge but 1.4 vs. 1.8 on my 45mm makes some difference in low light.

          i have 12mm f2, 25mm 1.4 and 45m 1.8….75 would be nice but just don’t think id use it enough.

        • Sometimes it is difficult to choose which one stays at home, 25mm has beautiful bokeh and very good DOF ability to detach the photographable subject, but on street photography sometimes it crops more than I wish vs 17mm angle, it depends on how far you are from.

          3 weeks ago my son was born and I became father by the very first time so currently especially indoors 25mm is sticked to OMD and is a portrait joy.

          OMD with 17mm is more pocketable vs 25mm so when I go on street photography and want to be on a smaller combo I take 17mm to more environmental photography and in narrow places it has some advantage vs 25mm. I think you won’t go wrong with either it depends mainly on FOV preferences, each one with its strengths and disadvantages.

          About X100S I prefer to wait it become more accessible or maybe in future a Fuji full frame, meanwhile my backup camera on travel is another rangefinder: medium format film Mamiya 7II and that is pure pleasure.

        • Lol, taking one step forward or one step back would give you the same results. Zoom with your feet.

  30. Great review Steve. Thank you for including OOC JPEG and Raw images so that we can get PP issues out of the equation. My X-100 (just sold) was my fave camera of all time (started with a Yashica Rolleiflex copy back in ’62). I like my OMD for a system camera and my little pocket Sony X-100 a lot, but nothing comes close to the satisfaction of shooting with the Fuji. I hope Amazon will ship my new 100s soon. Wonderful that Fuji kept the price the same with all their incredible improvements. This is a company that really gets it.

    • Don: You just made my day. I shot a vintage Rolleiflex back in my college days (’90 for me). Loved that camera. I get a strong similar vibe from the X100s, so much so that I ordered one a few weeks back. I know you didn’t paint a correlation between your Yashica and love of the X100, but I’m going to assume it’s there so I feel I have company. :D

      I’ve been using a Nikon D200 since 2006, and I never connected with it. Can’t wait to get my X100s.

  31. Dear Steve,
    thank You so much! (You might have heard…some stone fell from my heart ;-). Your was the third and a very important review to read to me. I am a big fan of the X100 series (Fuji, great work!), so the “S” step is un understandable one from my point of view. Thank You once more and wish You all the best!

    FUJI, please work hard on the precise RAW convertor!

  32. Thanks for a great review.

    I don’t upgrade cameras very often. Indeed, I still have a contax n1 and ND with almost all (& i mean all, incl. the 400 apotessar) the (great) zeiss glass to go with it (&sadly never used any more). My m8 and d700 get used a lot, and between them cover my needs. However, this Fuji is one of the few cameras which tempts me as an affordable addition. The rx1 almost tempts me, but I can’t get my head around the viewing scenarios.

    Anyway…I might take the plunge on the x100s…thanks for the review

  33. I’ve always like your reviews and still do but your “slight” love affair with Leica has driven me up the wall at times…. until I have discovered that there are now the Fuji-Fan Boys so don’t change, we need balance in the universe :)

    Good straight down the line review, I read it for interest sake as I own the X100s and the M9 (35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M) and your views on the x100s couldn’t be more accurate… except!!!!

    One more thing wrong with the X100s.

    Fuji smeared themselves with dumbness on the X100 and now the X100s, magical viewfinder, can’t attach and eyecup?

  34. I, for one, am just sitting here waiting for my X100S to arrive. It is the first new or used camera for me in a decade! I have plugged along with the Nikon D2H bodies all this time but now the AF tracking and 8fps is no longer a priority for me. Nice review and I can’t wait to try out my copy and make my own judgments. To be honest, I did not totally agree with some of your high praise on the M 240 and Noctilux. To me, some of the images just looked flat and were not appealing at all. But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Rock on, Steve!!!

  35. I owned the x100. Great camera, but I just have trouble “seeing” in 35mm focal length lenses. I prefer 50mm only because that relates better to how I see the world. Just can’t do the wider focal lengths. Crazy, I know. So I feel Fuji does a dis-service by not offering this in 50mm focal length equivalent. I guess I’ll have to go to the XPro1 (I don’t like the little TV screen viewfinders…..)

    Does anyone else have this trouble?

    • If you buy an x pro I think you will be VERY glad you did. The 35mm f 1.4 is quite a bit better than the 23mm on the X100 in my opinion.

      • Much, much better. The XF35mm f/1.4 has been compared favorably in many quarters to the contemporary Leica Summicron 50mm f/1.4.

        There have even been a few photogs who have purchased the X-Pro 1 JUST so they could get their hands on, and shoot with, that lens!

        • Just a detail comment, Robert: I believe it’s the Summuilux 50mm 1.4 lens. At least, I learned that for Leica only Summilux lenses have the 1.4 aperture. Think I read it either here from Steve or on kenrockwell.com.

          • Sorry. You’re right of course. Summilux. I always mix those up with almost dyslexic regularity. :)

            Thanks for the correct.

        • That 50mm Summilux is the most incredible lens I have ever used. Borrowed, though, I can’t afford to own it….. Sorry off topic, I know.

    • An x200 with an équivalent 50mm would be the dream for me. Of course, there is the xpro and xe1, but the feeling is not the same. I’m a bit surprised to see 35mm considered as THE standard. For a fixed lens, 50mm is a better choice : more versatile in my point of vue.

  36. I would have liked to have seen the three 6400 shots with NR turned on especially since it already is on the x100s. Not sure what the logic was there.

    • My thoughts to Chas.

      I know the NR can’t be turned off as the settings are as follows: -2, -1, 0, +1 & +2. I’m not sure why Steve didn’t set all 3 cameras to NR 0 for the 6400 shots. I’m sure he had a good reason though?

      Great review, Steve

      Really enjoyed reading your take on the X100s – which I’ve purchased and have been using over the last few days. As I cannot afford Leica, this is the best camera currently avaiable with a built in viewfinder which I just love.

      Cheers

      Steve

      • Well that would be impossible. The Leica does not have any option for NR at all in camera. Just doesn’t have it and that is a good call as NR smears details and ruins good images. The Fuji has the settings like you said, but can not be turned off. The Sony has OFF and LOW and NORMAL. I never ever ever use NR with any cameras and always turn it off if possible. Not sure why Fuji did not give that option. But Sony and Leica were OFF (again, Leica does not have the option for it) and the Fuji as low as it could go.

  37. stabilisation with leaf shutter is useless … i can hand hold my x100 at 1/4s with no major problem

  38. Great review, as usual, Steve.

    You mentioned in your Olympus 17mm f1.8, that if you didn’t already have the RX1, you would pick up the Olympus 17mm. So how does the x100s compare against the e-M5+17mm (or the Panasonic 20mm), in terms of image quality and AF speed?

    Keep up the great work!

    • Well, the Oly is a more versatile camera because you can change lenses. Its is faster in AF (slightly) but especially in low light. It has a swivel LCD, touch screen, and a slew of fine lenses. Fuji IQ is nicer to my eye but OM-D is no slouch. All depends on what you prefer.

  39. I read that you couldn’t quite put your finger on why, but that you preferred the X100s output slightly more than the X-Pro 1 or X-E1 output, and that this was perhaps because of a better tuned lens. I’d like to add here that this could also very well be because the X100s doesn’t actually use the same sensor! The two cameras with interchangeable lenses uses an X-Trans sensor, and the X100s (and X20) uses a fresh, new X-Trans II sensor design. This new design has likely caused some changes to high ISO output, color rendition, perhaps even sharpness. :)

  40. Steve,

    Great review as always! One question from a guy who reads EVERY manual, be it just a ball pen I bought!

    You mention the problem with autofocus in connection with near objects and OVF. In the manual ;-) I read about the option “Corrected AF Frame” (page 78). As far as I understood this might be an option to improve hitting the right focus point in case of near objects and OVF.

    Am I right? Would this solve the “close focus issue” you encountered?

    Thanks and best regards
    Holger

  41. Hello Steve,

    thanks for this informative review.

    I would like to add some comments based on having owned two X100 and lately an X-E1, which I sold when I was delivered the M but used alongside the M9 and MM.

    First: noise. It is easy to see that the X100s (or, better, the x-trans 16 mpix sensor) shows little or no noise at 1600 and 3200 iso. But, according to an Italian magazine which put the x-pro 1 to the bench, the nominal vs measured iso values for the x-trans 16 mpix sensor are as follows:
    1600 iso = 987 iso measured
    3200 iso = 1470 iso measured
    6400 iso = 1870 iso measured
    According to the above, when the camera is set to, say, 3200 iso, it captures an underexposed 1470 iso shot which is then given back brightness by the in-camera electronics. So, at 3200 iso the sensor delivers “1470 iso noise” (or close to that, given the “curve lift” performed in-camera) and at 3200 iso the sensor delivers “1870 iso noise”. It is still a very good result in terms of “final shot noise”, but it is also true that almost any modern camera is able to deliver noise free 1470 iso photos.

    The side effect of the above is the “digital look”, which is the second issue and you mention that as well. The “underexposure + plus curve lifting + nr” performed by the camera at almost any iso level gave my x-e1 pictures an unpleasant digital look which I fully recognise in the x100s samples you posted within your review, with colors often overall “brownish”, not fully realistic and lacking the separation you can find in other camera’s output.

    The software lift performed on native files has in my view another side effect: Lightroom in my experience is not properly able to “reverse engineer” the x-e1 files, in the sense that sliders movements have subtly different effects compared to what I would get with other cameras’ files (I use LR since version 1 with all the cameras I own and owned).

    Over the last two years I owned two x100, one “first batch” and the other “late”, an x-pro1 for a very limited time and an x-e1 for 5 months. After having reviewed respective image quality, I concluded that the x100 delivered the best files by far and large.

    Maybe this new x100s will be better, but if it is anything similar from the x-e1 I believe that for the price of less speed the old x100 is still the better bet.

    Best regards,

    Mauro

    • Wow. I own the X100 and I use LR4 to process my photos. Your comment gives me pause about selling the X100 and getting the X100S. On the other hand, in the end, it is all about the printer in terms of final image quality.

    • Wow. I own the X100 and I use LR4 to process my photos. Your comment gives me pause about selling my X100 and getting the X100S. On the other hand, in the end, it is all about the printer in terms of final image quality.

    • This confirms my experience. I prefer the X100 files over the ones from the XE1 as they allow much more PP. IMHO the files from the XPro1 and XE1 are quite a bit overhyped. As much as I liked the form factor, UI and “feel” of the XE1, it did not grow on me and went back to the marketplace. Now I might not be the typical market participant as I prefer output from AA free sensors and my favorite cameras, the M9 and DP Merrills, all suck in DXO tests. I even prefer the crisp OMD files over the Fuji X sensor ones.

    • This is exactly what I think about this sensor….I played with some files from xpro1 in LR4.4 and for me it’s really difficult to play with the slides like I do with my OMD files.

      P.S: Mauro , mi potresti dire di che rivista si tratta, grazie.

    • Absolutely incredible post Mauro! I mean really fantastic.
      I learned more about the x100s’s files in your post than any review I’ve read yet( sorry Steve lol).

    • Since X100 did exactly the same but at even lower ISO (1000) values I can’t see the point.

  42. Steve:
    Always enjoy your reviews. The X100s sounds great. I have the X100 and enjoy it immensely. As excellent as the X100s is, I’m still sticking with my x100. Why? with the latest firmware, many of the quirks in the X100 have been adequaely taken care of. Also, theX100 AF is now fast enough for me for most of my shooting. And the most important reason? Well, Steve, you said it best:

    “Yes, I slightly prefer the old X100 sensor and look but that is just my tastes and preference and may be because that is what I am used to.”

    To me, that is the key issue – the glorious Fuji 12mp sensor, and that Fuji look.

    Thanks for reaffirming what many of us X100 owners have suspected.

  43. Good review Steve…..Can I gather the x100s is shipping in US have had mine on order from Amazon since Jan 8 still waiting …..and waiting.

  44. Awesome review! Just got the X100s and wonder if anyone have the same issue. In Live View mode (which isn’t used much) I do noticed that there is light bleeding from the bottom left of the black bar. Anyone else have this? Same issue on some of the the x-pro 1 as well from some forum I read.

  45. Sony got the glass/sensor right, they missed it on the body (specifically the viewfinder and lack of a shutter speed dial). Fuji got the body right but missed it on the sensor/glass (not full frame). Leica got the body/glass right but missed it on the price.

  46. Steve, would it be possible to see side by side examples of both the X100 and X100S to demonstrate the unique look of the X100 compared to the look of the new X100S?

    Both cameras, used on a tripod, same scene, same composition, same settings.

    Thanks.

  47. Steve.. Enjoyed the review.

    Does focusing speed/accuracy improve when shooting in dim light and switching from SAF to CAF? If so, how does it then compare with the RX-1?

    Thanks…

  48. Having shot with the x100s for the past 3 weeks I think your review is bang on, I had my first hitch with the AF failing to lock under mixed lighting the other day, locked on the 3rd attempt, I also find that LR4.4 isn’t doing a good job with the RAW files, they seem too sharp sometimes and I find I need to reduce from the 25% default, reds, orange and yellows seem a bit strong too.

  49. I hope you boy’s are up to date on your tetanus shots with all that tramping around in that dilapidated house! Seriously, love my x100 and love the output on this new bad boy…Fuji has some very artistic rendering and something makes these files less clinical and more exciting than the M or the RX1. I will still get the M, as I love full frame and believe the Leica raw files can be tailored to different preferences with some PP. I have my eye on Fuji and could pop for another before too long. P.S. You should take some pictures with that “no trespassing sign” you took down. You rock Steve!

    • There wer no signs and that house has been empty for 14 years, awaiting its demise. The state owns it and could care less, they just want it to collapse and fall.

      • Steve, I live in the far west suburbs of Chicago and there are many cool rural broken down barns, silos and homes and I check everyone out I can, when I can. Not sure where you visit in Illinois, but would love to hook up with you if you ever plan another rural shoot. I like that you find that interesting and creative, as I do too.

  50. Steve – insightful review as always. If you had to choose between the X100s or the OM-D with comparable lens – which do you prefer??????

    • Tough as the OM-D has capabilities the X100s can not think about – other focal lengths and faster speed, touch screen articulated LCD, and some fine glass to go with it. But IQ may be more pleasant from the X100s. Id go with the on I liked the iQ from the most as they are both a joy to use.

      • I have both now as well Steve. AG, it’s a tough call. Both are so nice to use in different ways. Personally I prefer the 4:3 format as well over 3:2. The 3:2 ends up getting clipped or ends cropped when going to print as the 4:3 format fists 8×10 or 16×20 better. I love the Fuji’s because its just so different from most other cameras and a great little package. Smaller and lighter as well.

    • OMD w good glass will cost you more. I have both and am selling the fuji. For me, fuji’s low light focusing is slower for indoor action (kids). If you’re zen shooter, it’s a very lovely camera.

  51. Hi,

    Could you confirm that the “aperture dance” is gone in the x100s

    Here, a video showing this annoying issue of the x100:

    http://youtu.be/Pn4yrqNzipM

    Best regards,

  52. That domestic dispute article in the paper he is holding up is quite sad… “… charged with bouncing his wife’s head off the console of their car”

  53. I keep reading that the X100/s is great outdoors since the built-in ND allows shooting wide open and the flash is great for some fill.

    How does this compare to using the RX1 outdoors? Do you have any problems shooting wide open when it is sunny? Have you tried using the flash for fill?

  54. Steve,

    One other note that was not included in your review, is Fuji offers Great future firmware support for updates and improvements.
    So don’t be surprised if they improve certain auto focus, and other aspects of this camera in time to come.
    Fuji rules in that department.
    The rest, Sony, Leica, etc don’t come close to please their customers in that department.

  55. Low light AF speed compared to NEX-6…? Same question but in open sunlight…?

  56. I can’t stop looking at the shot of the electrical receptacle…X100S is a very special camera indeed. I think I may have to buy one!

  57. Why did you moderate my post out? Can you not take a little mild criticism? Did I not say ‘Awesome post’ enough? Or congratulate you enough for ‘a great review’?

    Given how innocuous my post was, I get the suspicion that you may have a very fragile ego. I had hoped you were a little more robust and perhaps interested in getting better at reviewing.

  58. Hi Steve, great review!
    You mentioned you are not going to own the X100s because you have a RX1 already .What if you don’t own a RX1, you will pick RX1 or X100s?

    • If money was a concern I’d go with the x100s and be happy. The built in VF helps it and the slim profile is nice as well. It may not have that last ounce of performance that the RX1 has, or the shallow DOF capabilities, or the FF sensor but it is still a wonderful camera.

      • IF money is a concern, I think the X100 is the real steal. Still a great great camera with an output as good as the X100s and 12MP are plenty.
        The AF after the latest FW update is “good enough”.

  59. I have been looking forward to this review with bated breath! Steve was the guy who convinced me to buy the Leica X1, the Fuji X100, and now, the Fuji X100S. (Disclaimer: I am prone to hyberbole.) The Fuji X100S is the best all-around digital camera to date. My number one achilles heel was that I could not use auto-focus in low ambient light. It’s contrast detection would hunt for high contrast outside of the focus points, causing missed shots. Because of this I had to rent an Nikon D800 for an indoor wedding shoot (it costed me a pretty penny). No more. I can now use the X100S for an all-purpose camera. Really? An X100S for a wedding? Well, because it has a fixed lens, it does have limitations but my sentiments about using the X100S for a wedding is echoed by Zach Arias. I will be buying the Fuji X100S as my only camera for my photo tour business in NYC.

    • David,
      Just curious–what do you mean by “photo tour business?”

    • “The Fuji X100S is the best all-around digital camera to date.”

      “(Disclaimer: I am prone to hyberbole.)”

      I’ll say.

      • Put the disclaimer in front of my statement (not after). Now you got it right. ; ) “It’s not what you say but how you say it”. – Jasper Johns

  60. Just a note about the guys in internet land saying this is the new Leica (Zack & Hobby).

    I don’t think you are really disagreeing. They are arguing the x100s will be the tool of choice as an auxiliary, personal camera for working professionals and that the cost of the M is prohibitive. They don’t claim at any point the IQ exceeds the new M.

    They are also both masters of off camera lighting and an integrated ND filter and leaf (synch at any speed) shutter is a dream for there signature styles.

    They both have Leica experience and Zack’s working camera is a Phase One.

    Many seem to be either extrapolating too much from there blogs or selectively quoting.

    Anyway – great article again Steve, my wallet is twitching :)

    • Certainly Land Rover didn’t seem to mind that Zack Arias shot a campaign with them with his X-Pro 1 and not a Leica M.

      It’s been said to death, but at the end of the day — and at a certain point — great images are a combination of the photographer’s vision and his/her technical skill. Most of these higher-end cameras today will get the job done for a commercial client…if you know what you’re doing.

      So shoot with what feels right to you.

    • Exactly! I think those that got riled up when Zack said that Fuji is the new Leica needs to read the bar story. It’s comical but methodical in explaining why he got to that conclusion. It’s not about him getting more hits and in no paragraph in his review that he said fuji trumphs Leica in IQ, built or whatever tech stuff you might think.

      My impression of the guy is that he is a photographer’s photographer. He talks about how he loves what he can do with the camera to get his photo as against what the camera can do for his photograph.

  61. Hey there Steve, thanks for your review, I’ve been following your site for a long time, I’m seriously thinking about buying this camera now after reading what you wrote. I bought the Sony Rx100 after reading your review, I love it, what a great little camera. I live in Bali and its a great place for taking photos, with the Rx100. I love the compactness and portability.
    So thanks for all your hard work, keep it real,
    All the best Kevin.

  62. Really love the reviews Steve. Can’t decide between the RX-1 and the new Fuji. I can get the Sony at quite a discount at the studio and was wondering if you’re still feeling it’s the best of the two.

    David

  63. If anything, I am disappointed that Steve’s review of the X100S is over. I was so looking forward to it. Now that I’ve read it, I feel like all the hot-air-anticipation gas has been let out (like a sugar high come crashing down). What is there to look forward to: a RX2 or a XPro2 review? I don’t know. I’m just depressed right now because I don’t see any drool worthy cameras in the pipeline that Steve might review. In the meantime, I just need to buy myself the X100S and start shooting photos. This is the best post-Steve cure that I know of.

  64. Love the images. X20 review anytime soon?

  65. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Great review as always!
    2 qs: battery life: how many pictures can you take / battery approx?
    Card read write speed; what brand / speed / class Sd do you use?

    Thanks!

    • Battery life seems the same as X100. Maybe 250-300 shots before my battery died, using EVF, some chimping. I use Sandisk Extreme Pro cards as I find them reliable and fast.

  66. Given that this forum generally speaking, contains a large percentage of Leica Fan Boys, (sorry, Leica Enthusiasts!) it may have been helpful if Steve ventured into areas Fuji endeavoured to improve and develope with this camera X100s, where Leica may or may not have. Clearly, there are similarities and vast differences, starting with the price (of course). In an era where everything tends to gravitate towards “Sameness”, perhaps Fuji might be congratulated for doing something slightly differently. I have always liked Fuji Cameras, (amongst others of course) and my trusty E900 is still in very fine form though that might be giving away my age! A Full Frame Fuji Challenge to the RX1 would be worth staying up for, so bring it on!

  67. Good review, But what is that strap?!

  68. Great review of a great camera.
    Still in love with my X100, and when it falls apart, i’m buying the s.
    But in Europe a lot more expensive then in the US, almost 1700,-$

  69. The new Leica Story

    Steve first of all thank you very much but this nice and complete review of this new fuji.
    Now to be back to the sentences from “Zack and Hobby” I think (I’m sure..) that their intention was not to compare apples and peers but more to say for that the Fuji has the same sexy appeal than the Leica…
    It’s exactly if I would compare a brand new “Golf GTI” with a brand new “Porsche carrera GT”….you will have a lot of driving pleasure with the “Golf GTI” and this car will perform very well but this car will not reach the performance of the “GT” and it is normal as it is 2 different toys….

    But for the one that (myself include) can’t spend 10000$ for a “Leica M + 35 Summicron” then this new Fuji X100s is the toys that will give us the same pleasure than the Leica but with different results and again like Steve said hopefully that this is the case otherwise why spending (too many) more money for the Leica..?? Only to say I’m shooting with a Leica…hum I don’t think so…

    And to be honest if I had 10000$ to spend on a camera I can tell you that I will take without hesitation the Leica M but as I can’t I’m fully happy by choosing this X100s as it give me what I’m looking for in term of photography.

    To conclude don’t take literally that “the Fuji is the new Leica”….

  70. i use a leica x1, i only saw x100 once, it was surprising to observe same “cosmetic” problems on both cameras:
    the letters on the buttons were fading (both cameras were used longer than 1 year). i saw x2 the buttons, they seemed to be the same. i hope it is better for x100s.

    • I know I would hate to see the lettering on buttons go on my camera(s) in heavy use. It’s just unacceptable. How else would you know what the button is for?

  71. Tom about one hundred comments up.

    Yes I do have problems with a fixed 23 albeit 35mm lens . It is too wide for me.
    I was at a school assemply this morning and even the Xe1 with 35mm was too far away and I got lots of parents heads.

    But anyway closing in on head and shoulders with the 35 seems to intrude into the models personal space too much for me. Yes if the X100 had a 50mm 1.8 lens I would buy.

    • David,
      Just curious–what do you mean by “photo tour business?”

      • Sorry, that was a mis-directed post David. What I wanted to ask of you, Steve and anyone is whether Fuji might release a mild telephoto conversion lens for the X100s, like they have done with the wide conversion?

        • I have no idea but it seems like they should, many have been asking for such a lens.

          • I saw an interview with a Fuji employee who said that they had been developing one but weren’t happy with the image quality so they only released the wide angle converter. So they have one half-way through development, whether they finish it off, who knows.

  72. Hi Steve,

    I saw on the DPReview forum (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3453211#forum-post-51155677) that the ‘magic’ of the X100 photos is missing in the X100s photos. Do you agree with this? Can this possibly been caused by the X-trans sensor or the minor changes Fuji made on the lens? Because the lens is changed to avoid the flare, you had with the X100. However, I personally loved this flare ‘bug’.

    What about the MF? This was not usable with X100. Is this new way of MF quick, e.g. when photographing on the street or your kids?

    I still doubt, buy or stay with X100. It’s quitte hard.

    • I was burned at the stake when I said a few times I felt the X-Trans sensor was “flat” and a but dull and that I preferred the X100 to the X-E1 and X-Pro 1. Now others seem to be seeing it as well. There is a different look and only you can decide which one you like. The original 100 sensor was sweet..organic almost. The new one concentrates more on DR, sharpness, and less contrasty images it seems. In certain light they can be dull/flat. In other light they can be gorgeous.

  73. Very good review Steve, now I really, really think about replacing my X100 with X100S. I guess it’s time to check what X100 goes for on eBay :)

  74. Hello Steve,
    you gave me difficult times with this review:D I can buy new black X100 (complete package) for less than X100S now.
    I prefer X100 image feeling more, AF of X100 is not that fast, but it is reported to be quite OK with latest firmware (and if AF of X100S is still not good in lowlight, it should not be that big deal).
    Are that other improvements of X100S (operation speed, usability of MF peaking) really such big steps forward, that it is really better to buy X100S? I can not decide now, can you help me? :D

    • Flip a coin? Always works. You’ll feel you have made the wrong decision anyway, whichever “rational” method, aided by experts opinions, you choose.

      Alternatively, you could start making pictures, with the best camera available: thie one you have right now.

      • Thanks Michiel :D
        Funny, how things happen sometimes :D I did it – I flipped coin and X100 won (and my heart won:D ) But my rational me said – man, just wait, check the forum once more, maybe somebody answered your question… :D
        And of course I could just use my old trusty D70, but as it gets more and more deadly bites by my young wolfdog, it will not be lasting for long, so I decided to buy something more pocketable and less prone to sharp teeth attacks :D

  75. Hi Steve, should I sell me NEX 7 and get this instead? Wondering if IQ is better…thanks, Faisal

  76. Thanks for the review, Steve. I own an OM-D and an RX1. I’ve been disappointed in the (very) low light autofocus of the RX1 and thought that perhaps I would get the X100s if the autofocus was significantly better than the Sony. Apparently it isn’t; at least it isn’t impressive enough for me to be an early adopter of this new Fuji. Lust and hunger aside for the “next best toaster,” I already have plenty of camera…

    Thanks, again. I always appreciate your real-world tests and well-formed opinions.

  77. i dont understand why sony and other makers cant put up dedicated shutter dials?

    PASM is the devil. dedicated aperture + shutter is an elegant, practical solution. being able to control Av vs Tv “offline” – before shooting or even turning on the camera, is brilliant.

    in my arsenal now of X100, RX100, and RX1, the Fuji is still the most fun to use. (OMD was sold due to handling)

    • I agree with your basic point. However, the RX1 at least has a dedicated non-modal shutter wheel which along with aperture on the lens makes shooting in manual mode with floating ISO really fast and easy. You get to control the trade-offs. I shoot the RX1 almost exclusively manual mode and use higher shutter speeds than with stabilized cameras.

      • Same with OMD.

        • Not quite the same – the RX1 allows exposre compensation settings to work in manual mode. This is not true for the OMD (or the Canon 5D3). I love my OM-D but I usually shoot it in aperture or shutter priority where exposure comp works. Because exposure comp works in manual, the RX1 is only camera I’ve shot manual 98% of the time.

  78. Steve,
    I just bought a X100S on the back of your’s, Zack Arias’ and Dave Hobby’s reviews but am really struggling with it.
    I have upgraded from a Sony NEX 5 (the original!) but for some reason the colours jpgs SOOC from the NEX look so much more vibrant and pleasing than the X100s.

    Is there something wrong with my X100s’ settings/colour (default everything atm) or is this the difference between Sony colour vs Fuji Colour?

    I am perplexed and a little disheartened at the moment – I really want to fall in love with the X100S

    • Sony sensor vs. X Tran perhaps? There were times I liked my x100 but 50% of the time felt the colours were a bit too soft. Was quite variable.

      Might take some getting used to.

      • Thanks for your response Andy, and it seems like it’s a sensor/default settings thing.

        I have pushed up the ‘colour setting’ to +1, highlights and shadows to +1 and the camera seems to produce more pleasing JPGs.

        And boy has it been a pleasure getting use to this camera! Another day of experimentation on the street and I’m thoroughly impressed (yet still learning!)

        The stealth of this camera is crazy! Combined with the wide focal length means I can shoot from the hip, point in a general direction and get something pleasing.

        More to learn, but this love story shall continue.

        Again, thanks Steve for your review!

  79. Funny thing, sometimes I find the comments more interesting then the review. Must agree with David Hunter “If anything, I am disappointed that Steve’s review of the X100S is over. I was so looking forward to it. Now that I’ve read it, I feel like all the hot-air-anticipation gas has been let out (like a sugar high come crashing down).”

    This last review, I found is sort of anticlimatic. Don’t know what I was expecting, but . . . On the otherhand the Leica M review hasn’t left me. Like a great dream one wants to carry through with during the day.

    Anyway thank you Steve once again for going through the efforts. One question for you Steve or anyone else, does the X100s feel any better built then the X-Pro 1? If there is one thing that I am disappointed with in the XP1 is the cheap feel of it. If only Fuji had made the metal case a little more substantial, maybe the X-Pro 2.

  80. Steve,
    A bit confused about your comments regarding bokeh. I am a big fanatic of that. Are you saying this camera cannot produce it as well as the RX1? Is it capable of producing it?

    Please advise.

    • You can still get shallow DOF and Bokeh but not nearly as much as you can from a camera like the RX1 because the X100s uses a 23mm lens, and the wider the angle the MORE DOF you get (less shallow, less bokeh) – the key is to get close to your subject. It has always been smaller sensors = more DOF (less “BOKEH”) and larger sensor cameras like Full Frame = more shallow DOF (More Bokeh).

  81. Great review. Thank You :)

  82. Steve,
    Great review.
    Will the x20 follow?

    • I think I will try out the X20 as well. Looks promising for the small sensor all in one camera segment and I loved the X10. Soon!

      • Great news that you will be trying out the Fuji X20. I loved the little X10 (fantastic value for money), and look forward to your review. Any idea when that will be?

  83. Steve,

    if you had an X2 would you sell it to buy an X100S – is the X100S IQ better?

  84. Steve, your site must be bursting at the seams. Good work!

  85. That’s the computer moderator.

  86. It’s like the Blackadder episode, where mentioning “Macbeth” caused scribents present to perform a little dance. Very funny.

  87. Steve,

    I am not sure if you mentioned it, I may have missed it but I have read the X100s RAW files are now recorded in 14bit rather than 12bit – is this true? If so its fairly a big thing to mention.

  88. Steve, your reviews are getting more humorous and the variety and quality of images you shoot is amazing. Won’t be selling my X100 soon but this does sound very good.

    One thing how is the ND filter a one button access? I don’t see it as the (previously configurable) RAW button is now the Q button and I don’t see ND in the Q menus.

    In low light why not use the X100 method of switching to AF-C? Works well.

  89. Thanks for the great review. I’m on the fence between this and the Olympus om-d only because I need a fast af {for kids} and the om-d has it. Since I can’t try the x100s in the store, what are your thoughts on these two and the af speed?

  90. One main benefit of the X100s compared to the M is not only price ( which is huge) but it is much more stealthy, innocuous. A couple of years ago I was in Rome and saw guy with a silver M9 trying to shield his camera from notice as he was walking through the streets. He must of had a lot of recognition and he looked really uncomfortable – sure he did not get as many photos as he would have liked. I don’t think most would have that problem with the X100s. Seems like a really great travel camera.

  91. Steve, I think what I meant was;(asking) what is the intrinsic quality (if any) that is different in the X100s compared to the Leica Brand? I believe that there definitely is “something”, which Japanese Designers do, which set them apart from” traditional ” European concepts. For example, the Subaru STi WRX and Skyline GTR type cars, are “different” to the likes of Porsches and Aston Martins and Ferraris. I feel that this distinct and palpable difference might be too often dismissed, thus consigning very good to excellent Japanese designs to “imitation/copy” status, which would be a mistake.
    Intellectual Property of the Leica kind, is unique and impossible to replicate and the Japanese are perfectly aware of this and their appoach would be to come up with something “different”, which is why (for example) a Corolla is “different” to a Focus in feel and the way they drive. Interesting Times indeed, now that Globalization means that regions and cultural distinctions, as applied to Technology, has meant that the gap is forever getting smaller and smaller. Would you care to review the Leica S2?
    That would be well worth staying up for as well!

    • Well I did not read their reviews just yet. I never read reviews until after i do my own so I am not swayed by others. I did have emails coming in telling me “so and so says Fuji beats Leica M”! and things of that nature. You would not believe how many e-mails came in like this :) I will go to read those other reviews later tonight.

  92. I’ll never buy another Fuji :(
    The reason being they completely screw their customers by heavily discounting models shortly after introduction.

    Case in point, I bought an X-Pro1 for $1699. Fuji discounted it to $1399. Today you are lucky if you could sell a body for $800 second hand.
    I sold mine with 35mm and 18mm primes and grip for $1600.

    I bought a XE-1 with zoom for $1399.
    Now they have the XE-1 on sale with all 3 primes for the ridiculous price of $999!!!

    This may help get other people into Fuji but it completely screws the resale value for people who want to change cameras or lenses.

    At least Leica and Sony have this model correct…

    ET

    • The XE-1 w/ zoom is still $1399. B&H just has an amazing rebate if you buy the primes at the same time as the body. The X-Pro1 is still $1399 body only. Fuji has held it’s value as good as most non-Leica cameras. I sold my x100 for almost as much as I paid for it a year later.

    • I don’t think you can get the XE-1 AND the three primes for 999$ (I looked at the B&H rebates). Or else, show me how…

    • The X-E1 without a lens is currently $999. With the zoom it is still $1,399. There are various deals in effect, like you can get all three primes and the zoom for $1,721, but that is in addition to the cost of the camera. Two primes and the zoom is $1,272 in addition to the cost of the camera.

    • To me Sony seems worse given that they release new models at a frightening rate. Look at how many SLT and NEX bodies have been released. I can’t help but think that with releases this frequent that Sony has a very well defined roadmap of when and where they plan to introduce each new must-have enhancement. At least with the X100S it seems like Fuji packed in everything they could.

      I guess the Sony lenses probably hold value better since there are fewer releases.

      Early Adopter Tax is always a concern in consumer electronics. The product will still be there down the road so you just need to fight the ‘gotta have it now’ urge – easier said then done.

    • The reason that Fuji X series cameras lose their value, is because they are relatively cheap cameras to buy new. Add to that the cheap build/feeling and the many quirks and most people just don’t want to pay that much money for a crapy Fuji toy. A reasonable introduction price for the X100s would be somewhere around 500 dollars. Cameras like the various Leica’s, Nikon D700, D800 and D3s are still selling for top dollar. That’s because they are high quality machines. You can feel it and you can see it when you hold such a camera. It’s build to deliver and to last. The Fuji cameras cost much less to make.

      • All digital cameras lose their value. The Leica M8 is often discounted at a higher percent than the Fuji X100 as is the D700, etc. I sold my X100 a year later for 10% less than I paid.

        The Fujis have been in great demand and are built quite well… they also make some of the best glass there is. What the person above was referencing was a specific B&H promotion with multiple lens purchases.

        Either way, cameras are not an investment. You buy what you like to shoot and shoot it… and many, many people strongly support the quality of the Fuji’s.

        Leica speaks for itself, but Nikon has a reputation for a high defect rate and very slow turn-around but overall, all manufactures make very good cameras… well, maybe not Holga…

  93. I’ll be keeping my x100 for now. I’ll wait for the X-pro1 replacement, hopefully with optical viewfinder and in chrome/silver. If only Nikon made a FE2 style DSLR in silver and compatible with their current lenses, I’ll be in retro heaven.

    • O yeah, it’s such a delight to look through the viewfinder of an old Nikon FM! What the f*&^k happened? Why can’t anybody produce a truly decent camera anymore? We need a simple, reliable and robust machine. All metal build, 24Megapixel full frame sensor with good high ISO results and high DR, no AA filter, no image stabilization, a big bright viewfinder like i.e. the Nikon FM, a few knobs and dials for setting shutter speed, ISO and aperture and one or two (fully) customizable buttons and maybe even a mirror. Add some newly (well) designed super sharp but compact AF/MF primes and we’re there. How hard can it be?

  94. Steve, please, did not You try the Silkypix Raw convertor Fuji give with the X100S? I wonder how the results would look like.
    Until the guys in FUJI are not able to convert the RAW files correctly, I will not buy the “S” upgrade…this belongs tu FUJI staff.

  95. Thank you for the review Steve, I have mine (X100s) since 4 days now, I am very pleased with the results, I had a X100 for two years, You are right, the output is a little bit harder but the DR is spectacular, if you like it smoother like the X100, you can still custom your own preset in Lightroom. The AF is faster in most conditions (only if Hight Performence is on) and the manual focusing is realy good. ;-) eric

    Look here some examples : http://my-finepix-x100s.blogspot.com

  96. Looks very nice BUT if that’s as close as you can get to the little chick and bunny I’d rather use a Leica D Lux 6. I’m happy with a fixed lens as long as I can get a good close up. If not it’s too limiting for me.

  97. I don’t understand. Steve you say “My X100S just arrived” in your first look video and here you say “I would own it if I did not already own an RX1″. I thought the X100S was yours as well the RX1.

    • Yes it was mine as I paid for it, $1299 just like everyone else. But as I have stated here many times, I can not keep every camera I buy to review. It was sold a week before I posted the review. It was bought so I could review it but I can not afford to keep it. but if I did not have the RX1, I would have. :)

      • Thank you. I just become fan of your site and your youtube channel very recently I was not aware of this before. Thank you for the clarification.

  98. I have some questions, if you do not mind:

    1. How many turns does it take to move the focus of the lens from infinity to say 3 meters?
    2. In MF is the size of the focus area adjustable, like it is in AF-S?
    3. In AF-C mode how is the AF mode working for subjects coming towards the camera or away from the camera? Is focus tracking fast enough for these situations, like when taking pictures of an approaching car?

  99. Hmm, the files are even flatter than the original x100? That was one of my pet peeves along with the slow autofocus and to be honest, I didn’t really love the lens on the x100 either. What I did love was the form factor and hybrid viewfinder, which I still think is probably one of the most important innovations we’ve seen since digital came along. Fujifilm is really thinking outside of the box and I love that they actually listen to their customers.
    All they need now is a full frame camera and I’ll buy back in…

  100. Thanks Steve for a superb real world review! The 100s just has to be currently the best camera in the world pound for pound or dollar for dollar :) My DP1 Merrill will easily kill it in terms of IQ but the 100s will get more of the shots more of the time thanks to its ease of use :)

  101. Steve love your reviews. It was your review of the x100 that helped convince me to buy it a few years back and more recently your review of the Sony RX100 to add that to my collection.
    Love both, the latter for nights out as it is far more portable.
    I have a problem though. I can’t decide whether to upgrade to the x100s from the x100. Can you assist? I get the impression you like the images slightly better from the x100 and I can handle the slower AF…just. Better (usable) manual focus would be a bonus though and operability. (Oooh and the RX1 sounds so tempting, but so much more expensive, no viewfinder built in and I love those Fuji colours, besides just received the Fuji wide conversion lens by post today).

    What to do….

    Steven B

    • Don’t upgrade. See my comment below. See no major difference after using both side by side.

      • Thanks for your advice Moritz. Will help my friend who was thinking of buying one who currently has an x10.
        Been looking at the RX1 now after Steve’s enthusiasm for it but after what Lars says below think I’ll stick with my trusty x100 for now.

        Steven

  102. Hi Steve

    Am I right in thinking that although the Leica M 240 does not have presets for NR e.g. -2,-1, 0,1, 2 etc, in does have an inbuilt way off addressing unwanted noise in certain shooting situations e.g. a certain amount of noise becomes apparent when using higher ISOs particularly with dark surfaces. To address this problem when using slow shutter speeds in combination with high ISOs, the Leica automatically takes a second black picture. This noise present in this second picture is then digitally subtracted from the data for the final picture.

    So in a way the Leica has an inbuilt NR function which it applies as the camera deems appropriate.

    Cheers

    Steve

    • Leica has no option whatsoever in any menu to activate or turn on any NR but if you shoot a long exposure the camera will automatically use NR (from what I understand, have not done any yet) but as for normal NR it has no option nor does it have ANY NR options because it does not use any.

  103. Steve thank you for all the hard work. I waited for your review before paying for X100S just to be 100% sure. Guys stop comparing/mentioning M and RX1. X100 is great so just move your as*es from your comps and go out taking pics.

  104. nice review, awesome looking camera. It was your review on the X100 that swayed me and I purchased it. Love it. So far from what I’ve seen online I can say the newer model looks great but I do prefer something about the look of the X100 photos so I’m sticking with that. I have my canon DSLRs if I want speed and fast focus, I can work around the quirkiness of the X100 just for the images

  105. Thanks Steve, for this and all your great reviews. Do you believe that when Raw support becomes available for the X100S, that this flat images you described might look more full?

  106. Hello Steve I think you know more about this I have read here http://www.dpreview.com/previews/fujifilm-x100s/5 that the X100S’s X-Trans sensor does a decent job with the organic textures in our studio scene (fabrics, feathers and so on) but close examination of the very finest detail shows that high-frequency vertical and horizontal lines are somewhat muddled, and artifacts are visible on close inspection. Above ISO 800, this effect is no longer noticeable. Even at ISO 800, there is almost no visible noise in the X100S’s JPEGs, and detail capture remains very high. But I am looking all your photos of the x100s and nothing of artifacts on very very close inspection like they say jaaa

  107. I find it odd that you chose to compare it to the new Leica M & not the Leica X2, which is its direct competitor. Was it simply because you don’t have an X2?

    Personally I love Leica. I ‘get’ it. But I can only assume anyone choosing the Leica X2 over the new Fuji X100s is only doing so for the Leica namesake. If the X2 had a 35/2 summicron & OVF that would be another story. But it doesn’t. And it should’ve.

    I also think when the fuji FF comes (and it will come), I truly think that will be the nail in the Leica coffin. With focus peaking & split image focusing for manual focus, and the ability to mount Leica glass, you’d have a hard time making a case why Leica is the better option. I’m sure some will still cling to “its the rangefinder focusing” argument.
    Nevertheless, the great thing is that hopefully fuji’s innovation & pricing will force everyone else to step up their game.
    And anyone who hasn’t played with the x100/x-pro1′s OVF hybrid viewfinder- you really don’t know what your missing.

  108. Just don’t get the hype about the s. The X100s is not a big step forward in my experience.

    Have about 30.000 clicks combined on a black and a silver X100. Just got the X100s and did about 500 pictures with it.

    Yes it is a tad faster, but despite the more usefull MF there is almost no difference. With the latest firmware the X100 became quite good. The X100s is only better when using the ring on the lens to MF. What I usually do is use the AF-ON Button and leave the camera in MF at all times. When with the X100 in bad light you have to press it 2 or sometimes 3 times to lock on the right subject with the X100 very often it is twice as well. In good light it is much quicker, but the X100 was not bad there either.

    So in bad light, when AF is most helpful the improvement is very limited. The speed improvements overall are nice but I have not missed pictures because of the speed of my two X100 (except for AF in bad light – which will only slightly improve).

    So all in all a lilttle upgrade, nothing more. Would definitely NOT recommend to upgrade, I am considering returning or selling my X100s. I would even go as far as recommding a used or on-sale X100 without the s over a X100s!

    That said AF on both is nothing compared to a DSLR anyways, long way to go for such cameras in that area.

  109. I just pre-ordered. I love my DSLRs, love borrowing my friends OMD (I will likely own one of these when the next rev comes out!) — but for me, with this camera, the MAIN appealing item was the leaf shutter. I am an off camera fiend and this will be in my bag of tricks and used often. The fact that the IQ is great (I dont care to pixel peep as long as the IQ is quality espc at higher ISO and the fact that its got a very useable AF you can count me in as a purchaser. I get pretty lost in commendts above so many people trying to find out WHAT IS THE BEST THING I SHOULD BUY!?? Its pretty tiring to read .. but I can tell you that I am surprised there dont seem to be many raving about syncing at 1/4000th! (with a sync cord of course!)

  110. As an OM-D user for the last 6 months, and now in possession of an x100s, I can say that someone needs to make the love child of these two cameras…

    The image quality in the Fuji is fabulous…the files are rich and juicy with lots of latitude. I also love the compactness of the body and the real feel of having a real aperture ring and shutter speed button (which are all handled electronically in the OM-D).

    But boy do I miss the experience of the OM-D when I’m shooting with the x100s – the speed of the AF, the feel in the hand, the responsiveness. I also prefer the 50mm perspective (with the Lumix/Leica 25) to the 35 equivalent on the Fuji.

    Both great cameras, but very different experiences…

  111. Dear Steve,
    An important note to add would be that the x-trans sensor is now fully supported (with quite nice results) by both Capture One and Lightroom.
    Thus, I’d assume the x100s should be mere weeks from receiving full support.

  112. what is different between Fuji x100s to leica x2
    please explain
    thanks

    • That is all listed in my X100 review. Basically, no viewfinder for the X2, X100s is faster in all aspects, much better in low light, faster lens, cheaper. X2 is slower to AF, high ISO is not the best as of 2013, lens is slower at f/2.8 and you can not focus close at all. No viewfinder unless you buy the external EVF.

  113. Hi Steve,

    This review convinced me that the new X-series cams are a significant improvement over the previous versions. However, the 35mm lens on the X-100s was too limiting for me, so I picked up the X-20 instead.

    OMG, compared with the start-up time it took me to learn how to use the OM-D last year, this is a no brainer. I wan’t really sure it would have the IQ I wanted, but it exceeded expectations.

    I am limiting myself to a very specific film-like look for now, and thought you might like to see how the output from the X-100s’ little 2/3″ brother holds up. Here’s a link to some examples from my first 24 hours with it:

    http://gerafotografija.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/fujifilm-x-as-a-replacement-for-tri-x-film/

    Cheers!
    Arėjukas at gerafotografija

  114. Hi Steve, 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. Your website, composition & blogs are wonderful – thanks. Your articles on Leicas are soooooo tempting me buy one…….I don’t think I can resist much longer! Cheers, David

  115. Thanks for a great review as usual. I have been using both X100 and X Pro1 for my travel work. I tried Sony RX100 this summer and was amazed by the quality and decided that the Sony RX1 would be the right camera for me… BUT after a couple of weeks I regret a bit – yes the Sony RX1 create stunning results, but I miss the hybrid viewfinder, and a hidden secret of the APS format – depth of field; for travel photography 35mm 2.0 is fantastic – but when you get close – with portraits the DOF is so narrow that 2.0 is almost useless, the focus box is big and easily miss the all important eye, but with APS size you gain a couple of inches or centimeters, get the eyes in focus and background blurred – at 2.0; in other words physics stand in your way… nothing to do with the camera – Fuji X100s might just be the perfect choice, and I regret a bit having spend over $3000 (with view finder) Good job Fuji… I keep my Fuji X1 Pro and love it and expect a Xpro1s soon.

    Kind regards
    Lars

    • Hi Lars,

      Why not stop the RX1 down to f4 and just up the ISO a little?

      I think 35mm lens is not good for headshots anyway – to much distortion to the face. Perfect for environmental portraits though.

      I’ve been flip-flopping between getting the X100s and the RX1 (I have an X2 at the moment and it’s way too slow).

      I saw Steve’s quick test of the X100s/RX1 and Leica M and the X100 looked significantly softer at f2 than the RX1 – I’m not sure I’d be happy shooting with that level of softness

      What do you think?

      • Paul, absolutely – as long as you have light. I shot my RX1 in M mode 1/125 and F stop as required with Auto ISO taking care of the rest. Changing from ISO100 to 400 is no big deal, but from 1600 to 6400 is something else – softness yes, but less of a problem than noise, camera shake or out of focus. Softness, just add a little sharpening. If you are not convinced, I’d be happy to sell you my RX1 so I can justify buying X100s.. hehe

      • Bunch of my stuff at my flickr page – both RX1, RX100 XPro1 X100 D3 and D800..

        • Dear Lars,
          Just had a peek at some of your Flickr RX1 pics and they look awesome. Looks like you’re getting more proficient at using it too. I was thinking of upgrading my x100 to an x100s but am not convinced the upgrade cost is worth it (see above). Have an RX100 and that is great and would consider the RX1 but the lack of vf and some of the comments incl yours put me off. However awesome pics and Steve is so enthusistic about it. For now though will probably stick with my x100 which I love. What you asking for the RX1? Hee hee.

          Steven

          • Steven, I live in The Philippines, I have no idea how a transaction would work out, but with EVF, extra charger, Gariz half case and 3 batteries $2800 :)

            • Wow that’s actually a good price and very tempting indeed….;-)
              Let me know….

              • How’s it going with the RX1 Lars. Grown to love it yet? Couldn’t you use manual focus to get better headshot focus?

                Was so close to buying a 100s in the week…..

  116. I never owned the original X100 because of the slow auto focus and sticky aperture blades issue, so when the new X100S was announced I immediately placed a pre-order on it. I received my new camera on March 23rd and beyond learning how to use it and where to find things in the menu – I LOVE IT!

    Finally the perfect compact and discrete camera with stunning output that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (talking about you Leica). Thank you, Fujifilm.

  117. Hey Steve-just read a review on fujirumors and it stated the x100s at f2 is practically unusable at f2-beyond 10 feet it’s a bit better…by f4 its just fine-thoughts?-Ive just ordered one last week :(

  118. bought it and hope to see what it can do

  119. One of the neat features of the 100s that hasn’t been mentioned is the ability to include monochrome (with a choice of 3 filters) along with two other film simulations when shooting in the film bracketing mode. It’s great to get a B&W shot automatically along with my color shots without having to change menu settings to switch back and forth. I suspect that one could also bracket in monochrome with 3 different filters, but haven’t tried that yet. I like the high contrast monochromes I get with the red filter simulation. I can’t really be sure since I have sold my X100, but I think the 100s colors are flatter than what I remember from the X100 sensor, as Steve and others have suggested. I do love the build quality, intuitive menus, and feel of using this camera more than any other I have used, it’s a joy to shoot.

  120. Hi Steve,

    Can you recommend either the X100s or the Olympus OMD E5? I know they are different camera’s and probably target different audiences but I would love to know if your on a island which one would you prefer to have.

    Thanks

  121. thx for the review…after a long wait and research XE-1, OMD, NEX 6.. etc..finally upgrading from point and shoot to Fuji x100s ..who needs zoom there are professional photographs taking pictures and posing all over web:-) i just Google it if i need one..for rest i have Fuji x100s

  122. Hey Steve,

    My old x100 used to have odd flare issues at night with strong light sources that pretty much made it unusable for nighttime long exposures, have you experienced anything like that with the new version?

    Thanks!

  123. hey steve, thanks for the review, man. i’m kind of on the fence between OM-D, and XE-1 and now considering the x100s. my situation is that i do PJ stuff and some street, and need a smaller kit than my FF setup. low-light and AF are important to me, along with IQ, but i’m concerned about the smaller m4/3 sensor in the OM-D as well as slow AF in the X-E1. with the x100s obviously the issue is fixed lens, other than that, the camera seems lovely. i would consider Nex-6 but not impressed with Sony’s lens lineup compared to Oly and the Fuji X series.

    my question is, what would you do in my situation? buy the OM-D, X-E1, or x100s?

    • Id go OM-D as long as you can swing a couple nice primes for it (25 1.4, 45 1.8, 75 1.8, 17 1.8, or 12 f/2 are all superb) – if not the X100s would get my vote. Im not a fan of the X-E1 and I am expecting an X-E2 soon with the improvements in the X100s being implemented.

    • Just to jump in… I have all three.

      Basically, the OM-D is great as far as functionality, very good lens choice, and very good image quality.

      As far as image quality, it can equal the X-E1 sometimes… but the X-E1 just out preforms it in lower light, higher detail, nicer noise pattern, etc.

      I love the Oly 12, 45, and especially the 75. The Pana-Leica 25 can be great also along with the various f/.95′s out there…

      The Fuji doesn’t have the native lens choice yet but the Fuji 14mm generally beats the Oly 12 in my opinion (although my copy of the Fuji has a flaky apt. ring).

      The Fuji can focus fast with the new zoom lens (linear motor) and is ok with the 35mm and 14mm the 60mm is slow.

      The x100s is everything that is promised but limited to a good 35mm lens. It’s fast (enough), focus is mostly good enough not to pose an issue, etc. etc. great small(ish) camera.

      So… personally, the Fuji’s potential image quality trumps all of the great things the OM-D offers if I’m going out to “make an image”… if I’m just wandering around snapping what ever that catches my eye, I sometimes grab the OM-D.

      If I might shoot a little video, know I might need to rely a little on the OM-D’s great Image Stabilization, etc. I might grab the O-MD… but 95% of the time I still grab one of the Fuji’s and forget about video.

      • well, see, that’s my condundrum… the XE-1 would be an easy choice if i was only concerned about IQ and shooting in good light. but for what i will likely use the camera for, AF speed is very important. my FF camera is a nikon d3s (w/24-70, 70-200, 50/1.4 and 85/1.4), so i’m a little spoiled by its low-light and AF capabilities. however, it’s big and bulky with the zooms.

        looking at the mirrorless options, it seems only the OM-D has the AF speed and lens options going for it–i’m thinking 17/1.8 and 12-35 to start, maybe 12/2 down the line–but then that’s $2500+ for a secondary camera system with less DR than an XE-1, Nex-6, or D7100. if i got the X-E 1, i’d probably just get the 35/1.4 to start, but better IQ wont help if the camera can’t focus when i need it to. An X-E 2 with the x100s’ AF would be sweet, but that camera doesn’t exist yet. which brings me back to X100s…

        • I really have no serious issues with the X-E1 focus… it’s not the fastest but it’s not slow (excluding the 60mm macro) and it’s accurate.

          The X100S is fast but I actually miss more shots with it … as most of the issues happens when using the Optical Viewfinder. Sometimes the focus confirmation box locks… not on the huge object it’s pointed at in the foreground, but on the tiny, unimportant object in the background. Since the X-E1 is only Electronic and realtime… I catch them more often. Obviously you can shoot the X100S in EVF mode but that kind of defeats the purpose.

          The X100S is much easer to but in a small bag though as it’s rather flat with flat lens. I can even put in my front pocket of cargo shorts, etc.

          Again, I went for all three… but the OM-D did come out several months before the X-E1. I used it quite often then but not since buying the Fuji.

  124. Hi Steve and the Fuji guys who are reading this blog,

    first of all thanks for the review, the x100s is indeed a nice upgrade to the x100.
    However, I can actually immediately think of several things I would like to see in the next iteration:

    1.) a full frame sensor + a true 35mm lens (to be able to achieve more subject isolation)

    2.) less buttons on the back (i.e. more streamlined, down to the essentials, there is too much clutter right now)

    3.) a redesign of the on/off switch, such that it does not protrude out of camera body (the way it is right now, it happens too often that the camera gets switched on by accident), as well as ditching the cheap-looking silver and making it the same chrome/silver color of the shutter speed dial

    4.) use a higher-quality synthetic leather for the body (the current one just feels too cheap)

    5.) increase the overall build quality, such that it feels more substantial in the hand (and getting rid of the plastic doors if possible)

    Some big names in the field have claimed Fuji to be the new Leica, and it is great that Fuji tries to go that way (it’s about time that Leica got some competition), but they are not quite there yet. Getting all the points I raised above fixed, which Leica already got right in the M-E and new M, would go a long way to get in the right direction.

    Roland

  125. I have a Ricoh GXR A12 28mm and A12 50mm with me , atm I am looking for a upgrade .

    So Steve , is this recommanded to selling my GXR (with both lens and body plus the VF-2 EVF) and get a X100s ?

    Will you call it’s a upgrade action?

    Patrick

  126. Dear Steve

    Today 9-5-2013 i bought from one Fujifilm X 100s.
    I read many reviews and i decided to buy this camera and let for a while my DSLR’s.
    Unfortunately the camera has a flair-ghosting failing.
    Semicircular radius are shown when i shot direct or side light sources.
    Here is a link from where you can download 5 photos, where you can see the flair lens failing.

    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?ehnzfceo7gm0pp1

    Could you please tell me if this is a real problem of the lens of this camera?
    I made some photos from the same position with my Canon EOS 5 MK II and 24-105/4L is and the photos are 100% clear without any flair or ghosting problems.

    Thank you
    Akis

    • Akis, I looked at your files and it looks like you have the same flair issue I had with my x100 (the first version). Ultimately, it was one of the main reasons I sold mine and why I was disappointed to hear that the x100s has the exact same lens.

      • Steve you mean that this is a natural failing of the lens?
        All the X100s lenses they have the same problem or its only mine with this
        failing? It’s unacceptable to pay 1200€ to lenses with these kind of problems.
        I am so disappointed from Fujifilm amateurism.

  127. Dezzmo you mean that this is a natural failing of the lens?
    All the X100s lenses they have the same problem or its only mine with this
    failing? It’s unacceptable to pay 1200€ to lenses with these kind of problems.
    I am so disappointed from Fujifilm amateurism.

  128. “I did not use 6400 or higher for ANY personal shots in all of 2012. They were all 3200 or below”. That’s because you are restricted by the technical limits of your camera. Check your photos of the year 2010. There will probably be even less ISO3200 photos and more taken at ISO1600. There’s just no camera yet that gives pleasing results at ISO6400. Maybe in two years we’ll be able to shoot at ISO6400 and get acceptable results.

    I find it slightly disappointing that the autofocus is still not what it should/could have been. Missing focus in perfectly good light is just not acceptable by todays technical standards. My Nikon V1 focusses fine in very dim light. And this is a much older and cheaper camera.

  129. Pity you don’t have a link for us in Australia… as I’m buying one and would like to ‘tag’ you.

  130. I ordered a 100s about 6 weeks ago from two different shops but neither has shipped and don’t seem to have them in stock or any idea when they’ll arrive. Does anyone know whats taking so long?

  131. Steve, I love the “Road Block” picture! It’s extremely cinematic and foreboding, could you tell me what you did to it in Exposure?

    • Thanks! I was driving in rural Illinois and came across a herd of goats. I started to drive towards them and they ran. I shot that through my windshield. In Exposure i used a preset – I believe it was the “Agfacolor Nue” under Color Fading.

  132. I bought the X100S in March of 2012 and while I loved it, it just didn’t get much use for it’s intended purpose which was to have a small camera to take with when out with the kids and for travel. It was find for most travel photos but utterly useless with the kids, the AF was just too slow.

    I hesitated to buy the X100s despite all the positive reviews but in the end I pulled the trigger and bought one this past April. All I have to say is I no longer have to log some of my wedding photography gear when out with the kids. X100s happily keeps up with them and the size is just perfect.

    Here are some pictures from a recent trip to Vancouver a few days after I bought it.

    http://samobeid.com/fujifilm-x100s-vancouver-street-shooting/

  133. Wasn’t able to read through all the posts, but in a direct comparison LR (latest version) was the worst RAW conversion SW for Fuji files available. Aperture was way better, as was SilkyPix, something called DC Raw and I believe Capture One was also superior. You can see the comparisons on fujirumors.com

  134. Fuji is the new Leica not because of its Leicaish-file-quality or handling or whatsoever. Just because:
    The people who laid out the Leica System on the map they can’t afford them anymore. Leica has become a boutique camera store, period.

    Fuji just made a camera like an M4 (or kind of) and its still affordable for us poor *photographers.

    *Definition: People who are serious about takin pictures, not people who just writing articles about gr8 camera-gear or trading cameras just for fun.

    This comment shouldnt taken to personal, ok. I like this site a lot!
    Cheers jkb :-)

  135. 7/29/13: Coming to this review / comments months late, but just have to add: If LR (ACR) is used to convert the Fuji files, you are dramatically missing what the X Trans sensor can do. Iridient Developer and Capture One Pro 7 are night and day better. Adobe hasn’t figured out the de-mosiac process yet. It’s horrible in comparison, color smearing, etc. Aperture is “ok”. Iridient Dev = omg.

    • Putting the whole de-mosiac issue aside, no matter what converter is used the files from the X-Trans sensor are duller, flatter and not as impressive to me as the old X100 files. Not even close for me. I just do not get along with the X-Trans no matter what is used. I use and test ALL cameras, ALL. The Sony RX1R for example slaughters the X-Trans. The Leica M easily beats the X-Trans. I even prefer my little Nikon V1 images and performance better than I do with any X-Trans sensor. That is my opinion after using and testing everything. I have tested the X-E1 6 times now, same thing every time. I am underwhelmed in the build, the feel, the speed, the lens cheapness, and yes, the flat output when compared to everything else. I even prefer the old S3 and S5 pro images over any of the X-Trans offerings. I have yet to see any X-Trans sensor images that wow me or move me. From anyone, and I have seen a ton. But again, just MY preference. If Fuji would have kept the same sensor in the X100s with all of the improvements, I would have bought two of them.

  136. The biggest gotcha with the X100s (and the presumably X100) is the limitation of 1/1000 @ F2.
    The lens cannot achieve the 1/4000 speed until F/8!!!

    This is a lot differeent compared to say an X-E1 + 35mm.
    The built in ND filter is there to help compensate, but this is a bit of a serious limitation in my opinion and had I known about it in advance, I’d probably have kept the X-E1 and bought a new 35mm for it.

    It’s basically the same speed as a Leica film camera, which is kinda 1950s…

    ET

  137. Nice shots!
    Love the ambiance feel that you reflect upon them.

    I’m sure you are the kind of person that will make great pictures out of a washed out camera :)

    Big question….
    These pics were processed heavily or slightly?
    My second question, should I wait for the XE2?
    Seems to me the XE2 will do the same with the ability to change lens!

  138. Great review thank you very much !

    Steve would you mind please telling us about your best settings for jpg ? What were your settings for those awesome jpg?

  139. I have an unusual question regarding the x100s. I am left eye dominant, and I’m concerned that the position of the viewfinder on the left side of the camera will cause problems for me. Specifically, I worry that my nose will be on the controls of the camera or that I will need to hold the camera at a slight angle to see through the viewfinder. I cannot adapt and use my right eye to compose photographs.

    • My nose hits the LCD. Probably depends on face characteristics, which vary.
      BTW, very good review and interesting comment chain. Got my x100s before reading it. But recently found this site, and am enjoying it generally.
      One comment re the whole “new Leica” thing.
      The X series with OVF’s are not the new Leica’s. The Leica is a randefinder, which does involve different feel and technique, including close-focus limitations. The Leica has always been expensive in comparison to other brands. I have been making pictures for a long time. Leica IQ in their M series lenses is very good. The saying for years has been, (when comparing Nikon and Leica back in the film days, “Japanese for resolution, German for contrast.” That still may be true. It is in high-end binoculars it seems.
      Given the high quality of the x100s and the M series cameras, and there shared use- niche, i am comfortable in calling the the X series, and my x100s the “poor man’s Leica”, despite a price tag of $1300 actually excludes the Fuji from use by the poor. I am middle class, and after some thought could buy the fuji. I could never buy the Monochrom (my dream camera).

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