Fujifilm X100s: First Impressions

Categoria: English Pubblicato: Giovedì, 18 Aprile 2013 Scritto da administrator

 

Fabric Standard settings, 1/60, f/2.8, Iso 1600 PP Lr4.4. (Sant'Andrea della Valle, Roma)

But there are differences, and they’re many. But all is hidden under the outer shell of the camera. As soon as you push the shutter button you immediately discover that there’s something different. Something that, in a single word, can be described as “responsiveness”.  The X100s turns on immediately, focuses immediately, writes pictures on your card immediately...long story short, it’s a speedy camera! No dead times, or waitings. The X100 (without the S), in it’s first release, suffered a lot all of these areas. With time Fujifilm had brilliantly remedied to all of these aspects making its  fixed lens compact camera a mature product, fully enjoyable under all the operating aspects. This time though,  the designers have made the most of the indication of its users, and proposed a mature product right away. The X100S so it is not a review of the preceding model with some minor generic updates. It’s a camera deeply redesigned in all of what concerns the image writing.

 

As for the front of the camera, in which only the shape of viewfinder lever allows to distinguish between the two cameras, even in the back of the camera the differences are minor. (on top the X100S, below the X100).
The Raw button has now become the Q button (it allows you to Quickly show and modify the most important settings) and the swap between the AF and the Drive button is a very welcome update. Thanks to this simple change you can now change your AF position using only your right thumb, as you usually do on all the modern professional cameras.
The “made in Japan” label has also been moved and we don’t understand why, and honestly we don’t care.

New sensor, new image processor, new LCD, new Hybrid Autofocus System, new manual focus assisted modes, new menu system, now similar to the one of the existing X series cameras. Even the lens has a new coating. So...anticipating (as always) the conclusions, we can immediately say that the X100s is camera that concentrates all best of the X series line.  The image quality is at the same level of the X-Pro1 and X-E1. There may be little differences but the only reason can be found in the different level of optimization of the different lenses and to their different flange distance. They’re similar also in the menu system and controls. The Hybrid viewfinder is the one that Fujifilm users already know and if there’s any difference I didn’t find it yet (The EVF is different, on paper), and I apologize for that.

Fujifilm X100 1/105, f/2.8, Iso 1600, Jpg OOC (standard settings)

Fujifilm X100S 1/75, f/2.8, Iso 1600, Jpg OOC (standard settings)
Despite a little difference in the exposure, due to a different choice in the metering, the X100 and X100S files appear to be very similar when seen on a browser at the 800x800 web resolution. We are happy to see that the color consistency remains unchanged, even with the huge generational gap between the sensors and the image processors.

Fujifilm X100 1/105, f/2.8, Iso 1600, Jpg OOC Crop 100% (Standard serttings)

Fujifilm X100S 1/75, f/2.8, Iso 1600, Jpg OOC Crop 100% (standard settings)

However, as soon as you enlarge the picture you can easily see the difference between the two sensors. As per Fuji words, the sharpness of the X100’s lens was designed to give its best at medium apertures (from F4 onwards). With the X100s instead even at the widest apertures you can see incredible details compared to the past. This is possible thanks to the new sensor, without any lowpass filter, and the new coating of the lens. But let’s focus on the news that tickle the most the imagination of photography enthusiasts and lovers of this kind of cameras. Let’s start from the Autofocus and all the manual focus features...

The X-Trans CMOS II sensor...what?...the sensor? Weren’t we talking about the focusing? Indeed!...As I was saying, the X-Trans CMOS II is different from the one used on X-Pro1 and X-E1, not for the image quality (that remains he same), but for the addition of some features that improved the focusing capabilities of the Fujifilm X100S. To make it short and simple...inside the sensor, in addition to the classic pixels (that capture the light) , there are other pixels that allow to use the Hybrid AF system, that combines the contrast detection focus with the phase detection focus.  Obviously the selection between the two possibilities is assigned completely to the X100S’s logics.

Fujifilm X100S 1/200, f/5, Iso200, Raw PP LR 4.4.
The good thing is that the last version of Adobe Lightroom is fully compatible with  X100S’s Raf files.
There’s no need to wait, this time.

Not only the Af, but also the “Digital Split Image” and the “Focus Peak Highlight” can exist thanks to this new technology. I personally think that manual focusing with this kind of cameras is completely pointless, especially when the Af is a very good one, and that’s the case with the X100S. But there’s no doubt that many enthusiasts still feel gratified by manually focusing. I’m also convinced that, once mature, this new technology will be used in the next generation of Fuji’s interchangable lens cameras. In any case, wether you like to manually focus or not, it clear that both the “Digital Split Image“ and the “Focus Peak Highlight” are very usable and useful. The Peak Highlight is a well known system, already adopted by many cameras produced by other brands. It’s easy to understand how it works, it’s something like an highlighted edge indicating the “on focus” areas. The Digital Split Image is instead a completely new system. It’s the digital version of the “old” split image. It is worth trying it at least once in a lifetime.  To allow a better user experience, and to make even more enjoyable these new systems, the manual focus ring has also been redesigned in its feeling and responsiveness and is now much more effective than the one seen on the X100.

Anyway, to better understand these new features I recommend to visit the official website. http://fujifilm-x.com/x100s/it/allure/#5 Ok, stop, we’re at the end of this quick report. I think I’ve told all of what I've been able to get from the short experience I had with the X100S. The X100 was the beginning of a new era and the X100S is probably the best Fujifilm X series's product until now. It’ll be a pleasure to keep shooting with this camera with the excuse that I have to better understand the camera.A pleasure because, let’s say it clear, the X100S is without any doubt one of the best-looking cameras ever released. As usual, the photo-gallery includes various shooting conditions and different workflow for the files.

Fujifilm X100S 1/160, f/9, Iso200, Raw PP LR 4.4.


Fujifilm X100S 1/160, f/9, Iso200, Raw PP LR 4.4.


Fujifilm X100S 1/160, f/2.8 Iso200, Raw PP LR 4.4.

 

Fujifilm X100S 1/160, f/9, Iso200, Raw PP LR 4.4.

Fujifilm X100S 1/250, f/2, Iso250, Jpg OOC

Fujifilm X100S 1/240, f/5.6, Iso 200, +2/3 EV Raw PP LR 4.4.

 


Fujifilm X100S 1/250, f/4, Iso 200, Raw PP LR 4.4.