Fujifilm X100S Compact Digital Camera

We have been proud already with the late X100 of Fujifilm for its Leica-like 60’s retro look plus the highly compact fixed-lens system. However, in an attempt to answer many queries and improvement requests, the Japanese company released its new breed of the X100 by adding ‘S’ to it, and as for me, it may stand for the word ‘superb,’ ‘super’, or probably ‘speed’ which is the most appropriate for me. There’s no joke if you hear its price hitting up to $1,300 more or less, and for those novice photographers who are not yet ready to get back from packing a range of lenses, you better start learning.

The Fujifilm X100S is no doubt well built from the top to bottom. Though it mimics almost perfectly the build quality of its antecedent, I personally love the die-cast magnesium material used on the top and the bottom plates of the camera. The ‘leather-like’ body feel is technically a polyurethane, and the texture can really be mistaken as a genuine bovine leather. All the controls are virtually metal in finish, and the rollers/dials are but firm enough for pros who’d want to take advantage of a more serious fixed-lens game.

One big change to the Fujifilm X100S when compared to its predecessor—and the most interesting, probably—is the new hybrid viewfinder. What this does is that users get the advantage of choosing between an optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder. At first I thought the word ‘hybrid’ really meant a fusion of the two types of VF, and I was keen to learn how interesting it is. The optical version of the viewfinder gives professionals the advantage of looking clearly as how the lens looked, and the EVF on the other hand features a 2.3million dots for clear view with a bunch of real-time controls and pre-visualization to speed up electronic adjustments. The optical viewfinder seemed to perform better on my tests at least to the speed factor, but using it is very tricky especially when you are doing close-up and macro shots.

Being a compact camera with a fixed-lens, the Fujifilm X100S boasts a Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens that gives a 35mm-equivalent focal length of a real-life 35mm in measure. Being fixed and hence no capability of zooming, the X100S is obviously a camera for pros who are better on composition rather than cropping and zooming into the subject. The lens in itself is also smaller and more compact when compared to that of the predecessor, and with the inclusion of a single double-sided aspherical element plus some coatings, the lens really did well with sharpness, aberration, and contrast detection even under tricky situations. Since the camera now has no anti-aliasing filter, the lens also did very well with avoiding the feared moiré effect.

Instead also of the late 12.3MP sensor, the Fujifilm X100S now uses a 16.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which means users gain more flexibility in large-scale printing and cropping images when post-processing. There’s also the addition of the X-Trans technology for improving sharpness without aliasing, and with the help of the EXR Processor II, the X100S is indeed capable of shooting under low light when almost no difficulty. Noise is also very impressively controlled even at ISO 6400, a measure that only a few other cameras can really feature.

There’s also the Intelligent Hybrid AF which automatically detects scenes or speed for choosing between phase or contrast detection, and what’s more interesting in this, the camera also features a ‘digital split image’ to further assist users in taking shots under manual focus mode. The camera is said to be fast in focusing at 0.08seconds, can wake up at 0.5 seconds, and can take shots consecutively at 0.5seconds interval. I actually tried this feature as well, and though I still say that the speed is very much identical with that of a pro DSLR, the performance is still superb for a compact camera like this.

Since the Fujifilm X100S is designed more for the professionals, the usual mode dial is much different now that the camera houses a separate dial for exposure compensation, a dial for shutter speed, and the dial for manual focusing and aperture value which are found on the lens barrel itself. The dials can be a lot easy to use, but the increments is not really good for those who want to fine-tune their controls. Also, if you want to use a ‘time value’ mode, you can switch the aperture ring to ‘A’, and the same method goes for the otherwise.

The Fujifilm X100S is a very superb camera that can deliver outstanding images ready to compete with those produced by full-frame DSLRs. The images are very sharp, the dynamic range is superb, the colors are well saturated but just enough to make them look alive, and the depth of field is also very reasonable. Low-light shooting is also an asset of this camera, wherein noise is greatly controlled without compromise to details. The Fujifilm X100S is a great camera, but its controls and manual complexities mean that it is only good for extreme professionals on the run.

Fujifilm X100S Compact Digital Camera Price in the Philippines: Approximately Php 58,000.00

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