Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fujifilm X100S Camera for the experts - Quick look

Fujifilm X100S: A camera for the experts
Fujifilm X100S
Rs 74,999

Someone at FujiFilm really likes the retro look, so much so that the company is dishing out one Rangefinder lookalike after the other. But here is a disclaimer before you read any further: the FujiFilm X100S is an enthusiast camera and certainly not an expensive replacement for a point-and-shoot.

This camera has a single focal length lens which makes it great for portraiture, street photography and maybe some macro, but this camera has absolutely no zoom that amateurs relish so much.

Thanks to the retro design, the X100S is a sturdy piece of equipment like its predecessor, the X100.

There are dials on the top for shutter speed and exposure and a lens ring to shift aperture between F2 and F16. There is a 2.8-inch LCD, but no touch screen.

The X100S is quite easy to use. Set both the shutter speed and aperture to A and you have a full auto mode. For more manual control you can change one of the two or both.

The viewfinder shifts to electronic as soon as you squeeze the trigger. And just before the actual click you get a flashing preview of what your image will look like. You can also change the modes to use just the viewfinder, the electronic viewfinder or the LCD.

The USP of this camera and its differentiator from the X100 is its 16.3MP X-Trans CMOS II sensor with on-sensor phase detection auto-focus. Well, this is supposed to be much faster and we could feel it, quite literally. You can actually feel a whirring within the camera when it is trying to lock on to a subject. But this AF lacks a bit in macro mode and we often had to shift to manual focus to get really close to some tiny subjects.

But all this effort is not wasted as the results are stunning, with the colour reproduction being among the best we have seen in a while.

If you are one of those with a fascination for clicking flowers and faces, then this is just the camera for you. There is film simulation and other custom settings that let you make the best in both these scenarios.

But the sad part about this camera is its low-light performance and this is despite the F2 aperture and fixed focal length. Take this indoors and you might not get anything registered unless you go beyond ISO800. We clicked some indoor pictures in natural light at a shutter speed of 30 and aperture of F2. However, the picture started showing only after ISO400. Thankfully, the flash has many modes and option.

The video quality is good and the colour reproduction is really subtle here too. The only issue here is the lack of a dedicated video mode button. You need to go down the drive menu to select FullHD video, which can be a bit frustrating at times.

The X100S is a niche camera and it excels when asked to do some specific things. However, we don't recommend this to someone who does not understand the nuances of how to use a fixed lens camera. On the other hand, if you are an advanced user looking for a compact option then this is a good option.

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