UPDATED, NOVEMBER 2012: Launched in March 2011, the Fujifilm FinePix X100 was the first model to grace the company’s premium-grade ‘X-series’ range. Packing an APS-C sensor, hybrid viewfinder and fixed 35mm lens into a rangefinder style body, the X100 lacks the proprietary X-Trans sensor of more recent X-series models. Does it still have something to offer? We find out in the What Digital Camera Fujifilm FinePix X100 review…
Fujifilm FinePix X100 review – Image Quality
Here are a small selection of images taken with the Fujifilm Finepix X100, for a full selection please visit our Fujifilm Finepix X100 sample image gallery.
Tone & Exposure
Tonally on the Fujifilm Finepix X100, images displayed a smooth graduation through the range with plenty of detail in the mid-tones, helped by the EXR processor. Metering is calculated with a TTL 256 multi-zone metering system, with the choice of Multi/Spot/Average metering modes. In Multi, the metering system coped extremely well under a range of lighting conditions, delivering consistently well-exposed images. In some cases, it was necessary to just underexpose a touch to produce a slightly more pleasing result – though this was only by 2/3rds of a stop.
White Balance & Colour
If you’ve used Fujifilm’s colour film emulsions in the past, then you’ll be with some of the Fujifilm FinePix X100’s Film Simulation modes – the default mode is Provia/Standard, which is intended for a wide variety of subjects. Then there’s Velvia/Vivid – the film stock was a popular choice for nature and landscape photographers, and the extra punch in colours is noticeable. For Portraits, there’s Astia/Soft, which gives the subject slightly more subdued colour and contrast. If you’re unsure which to use, then you can set the Finepix X100 to shoot 3 versions of the same shot. There’s also a whole collection of B&W settings, with the choice of either standard B&W or Sepia, along with the option of yellow, red or green mono filter setting.
The auto white balance performs consistently well, while there’s a broad choice of WB presets: Custom, Color Temperature, Fine, Shade, Fluorescent Light-1, Fluorescent Light-2, Fluorescent Light-3, Incandescent and Underwater.
ISO sensitivity and Image Noise
The standard ISO range of the FinePix X100 runs from 200-6400, and while it’s also possible to shoot at both ISO 100 and 12,800 you’d need to be happy with a JPEG file and not a RAW.
Results through the ISO range are incredibly good – and some of the best results we’ve seen from an APS-C sized chip. Up to even ISO 3200 results display minimal levels of noise, allowing you complete freedom to work in low-light with confidence without flash. Even at ISO 6400 noise is kept very well under control and will allow you to produce decent quality prints. It’s only at ISO 12,800 where the saturation falls off a touch and noise encroaches that images degrade, but it’s still impressive considering the sensitivity.
Currently the only Raw converter to process the Finepix X100’s Raw files is the bundled MyFinePix Studio 2.1 Raw converter – a version of the Silkypix Raw conversion software that offers a lot of control for a free package, though in time you may want to use more intuitive options, such as Lightroom 3 or Photoshop CS5 to convert your files.
Comparing an unadjusted Raw file alongside a JPEG showed that the JPEG file had a bit more contrast applied, which was most noticeable in the shadows, while there was also more punch thanks to the extra saturation. The level of sharpness was also noticeable, but the Raw files can be pushed further and offer greater flexibility.
Sharpness and Detail
The amount of detail resolved by the Finepix X100’s 12.3MP APS-C sensor is extremely impressive, allowing you the confidence to produce prints at A3+ an above. The sharpness of the lens was also very strong, producing pin-sharp shots across the aperture range, with hardly any sign of fringing or vignetting when wide open – an excellent optic.