Fujifilm X100S review
Premium compact cameras are often billed as lightweight companions to a DSLR, but few people would spend £1,000 on a backup camera. That means the Fujifilm X100S needs to appeal to photography enthusiasts enough that they make it their primary camera, which is a tough challenge for a camera with a fixed lens and no zoom function.
Even so, it’s a challenge the X100S rises to admirably. It’s exquisitely handsome, with a rangefinder design that holds its own against classics such as the Leica M series. It isn’t only the looks, however: like those cameras, the X100S has dials dedicated to shutter speed and exposure compensation, plus lens rings for aperture and manual focus.
The only control this camera doesn’t put at your fingertips is ISO speed, but it’s still pretty quick. A customisable Fn button is assigned to ISO speed by default, and the rear wheel allows quick adjustment. The behaviour of the Auto ISO mode is customisable, with options to set the default and maximum sensitivity and the minimum shutter speed.
Other dedicated buttons cover white balance, drive mode and autofocus point, while a Q button reveals a grid of 16 functions that are accessed using the navigation pad and rear wheel.
The show-stealer is the viewfinder. There’s a large electronic viewfinder with a crisp, 2.36-million dot (XGA) resolution, but a quick flick of a lever makes it disappear to reveal an equally large optical viewfinder. Being able to switch so easily between the two is a huge asset: the optical viewfinder works best in bright conditions, and comes into its element when providing an uninterrupted view during burst shooting; the electronic viewfinder is better in low light, and also gives a preview of exposure, white balance, focus and depth of field.
The camera switches automatically from the optical to the electronic viewfinder when adjusting manual focus. There’s a choice of focusing aids, too, including a peaking mode that highlights areas of sharp focus, plus a Digital Split Image mode that recalls the split-screen focus systems used by film SLR cameras. The optical viewfinder includes an electronic overlay display, allowing both viewfinders to display a wide array of information including a histogram, a virtual horizon and the active autofocus point.
It’s a reasonably fast performer, with responsive autofocus and the ability to capture photos at a shade under one per second in normal use. Burst shooting is at 6fps; we measured 5.6fps in our tests, which lasted for 44 JPEGs or eight raw frames before slowing to the speed of the card.
|Camera megapixel rating||16.0mp|
|Camera screen size||2.8in|
|Camera optical zoom range||1x|
|Camera maximum resolution||4,896x3,264|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||127 x 54 x 74mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||Li-ion|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||300 shots|
|Aperture range||f2 - f16|
|Camera minimum focus distance||0.10m|
|Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)||35|
|Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)||35|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/4,000|
|Maximum (slowest) shutter speed||30s|
|Bulb exposure mode?||yes|
|RAW recording mode?||yes|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 2EV|
|ISO range||100 - 25600|
|Selectable white balance settings?||yes|
|Manual/user preset white balane?||yes|
|Progam auto mode?||yes|
|Shutter priority mode?||yes|
|Aperture priority mode?||yes|
|Fully auto mode?||yes|
|Burst frame rate||6.0fps|
|Secondary LCD display?||no|
|Tripod mounting thread?||yes|
|Data connector type||proprietary USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Full printed manual?||yes|
|Software supplied||RAW File Converter|