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Fujifilm X100S Ken McMahon, May 2013
 
 

Fujifilm X100S vs Nikon COOLPIX A Quality JPEG

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To compare real-life performance I shot this scene with the Fujifilm X100S and the Nikon COOLPIX A, within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings; you can see my RAW comparison on the next page.

Because the cameras have different fixed focal length lenses, I changed positions between shots, moving closer to the subject with the COOLPIX A to achieve the same framing and similar sized detail .

For this test the X100S was set to Aperture priority mode; all camera settings were left on the defaults.

  Fujifilm X100S results
1 Fujifilm X100S Quality JPEG
2 Fujifilm X100S Quality RAW
3 Fujifilm X100S Noise JPEG
4 Fujifilm X100S Noise RAW
5 Fujifilm X100S Sample images

The image above was taken with the Fujifilm X100S. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode and f5.6 was selected as this produced the best result from the lens. With the sensitivity set to 200 ISO the X100S metered an exposure of 1/640. As usual for this test, the camera was otherwise left on the default settings. The Nikon COOLPIX A also produced its best results at f5.6, where it metered 1/640 with the sensitivity set to 100 ISO. To produce the same exposure as on the X100S I set +1EV exposure compensation on the COOLPIX A, producing an exposure of 1/320.

Conditions on the day were weak Spring sunshine and this scene presents a little bit of a metering challenge with a large expanse of white wall as well as plenty of shadows. The X100S's Multi metering has responded pretty well, with an exposure that records good detail in the shadows without blowing the highlights.

The 16 Megapixel sensor in the X100S is an updated version of the same X-Trans CMOS sensor found in the other X-series models, the X-Pro1 and X-E1 with the addition of phase-detect AF points. As such, the quality should be similar and a first look at these crops confirms it. The overall quality is very good with plenty of detail and clean sharp edges.

In previous tests I've found the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 outperform APS-C sensors in the Canon EOS 7D, EOS M and Sony NEX-7 and these results certainly look to be on a par with those. The results from the lens also look very good, with consistent quality across the frame and no evidence of distortion or aberrations. One thing that takes the edge off an otherwise impressive performance is that fine image detail and edges can sometimes look a little jagged. The best example of this is in the final crop where the text on the bottom part of the sign looks quite bitty. You can see the same thing to a lesser degree on some of the text on the menu board in the third crop. This could be a result of the X-trans sensor's unique architecture, whatever the reason, it's about the only flaw in an otherwise excellent result.

Compared with the crops from the Nikon COOLPIX A, there's not actually a great deal in it. Like the X100S, the COOLPIX A's APS-C sensor produces results on a par with those from mid-range DSLRs. The detail looks a little bit softer than in the X100S crops, but not hugely so and, like the X100, quality is consistent from the middle to the frame edges.

My Fujifilm X100S RAW quality results on the next page will provide evidence of how much, if any, of the difference is due to processing. Alternatively, see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my Fujifilm X100S Noise results.

 

Fujifilm X100S
 
Nikon COOLPIX A
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 200 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO


Fujifilm X100S
results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise


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