After two years, Fuji has introduced the replacement to its popular FinePix X100 compact camera, and it has trawled through users’ feedback to make 70 improvements to the new Fuji X100S. Like the Fuji FinePix X100, the Fuji FinePix X100S has an APS-C format sensor, but its resolution has been boosted from 12.3MP to 16.3 million pixels – the same as the Fuji X-Pro1. The really big news, however, is that the APS-C format X-Trans CMOS II sensor has the same colour filter arrangement as the Fuji X-Pro1. Unlike most cameras that use a Bayer pattern of red, green, green and blue receptors (usually referred to as RGGB) arranged in a 2 x 2 grid, the X-Trans CMOS II device uses a 6 x 6 RGGB filter array pattern, with a random arrangement of colour filters within each block of 36 photo receptors. This means that the sensor is less prone to suffer from moiré patterning, and as a result Fuji is able to omit the anti-aliasing filter that overlays most digital camera sensors. The benefit of this is that the camera is able to produce sharper, more detailed images. Fuji has coupled this sensor with a new EXR Processor II, which the company claims helps the Fuji X100S produce images with around 30% higher signal to noise ratio than those from the Fuji X100. This processing engine has also enabled the Fuji X100S to have a maximum continuous shooting rate of 6fps for up to 29 images at full resolution, and a shutter lag of just 0.01sec. In addition, raw files are recorded as 14-bit instead of 12-bit, Full HD video (1920 x 1080) footage can be recorded at up to 60fps rather than 720p footage at 24fps, and the maximum sensitivity setting has been pushed up 1EV to ISO 6400……
We liked the retro design and control arrangement of the Fuji X100. Its image quality is also good, but it is surpassed by that of the Fuji X-Pro1, which is capable of producing pictures that aren’t far off those from some full-frame cameras. The fact that the Fuji X100S has an evolution of the X-Pro1’s sensor is very exciting, and we are really looking forward to putting it through its paces. We’ll be updating this hands-on review as soon as we can, so watch this space.
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