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The Fujifilm X-S1 is the latest X series camera from Fujifilm, who are currently market leaders in the Bridge Camera market, with cameras such as the HS20EXR selling well, as well as having a wide range of ultra-zoom cameras with SLR styling. The X-S1 is their premium camera with a heavy focus on image quality.
The 12 megapixel 2/3 inch EXR CMOS sensor is the same sensor used in the Fujifilm FinePix X10, so noise performance is expected to be the same or similar to the X10 and it features 9 aperture blades designed to enhance bokeh / out of focus areas.
There are 4 aspherical lenses, aiming to deliver sharp image quality with rich resolution while keeping the camera small enough to carry it around everywhere with you. The lenses are spherical, aspherical and ED x2. The ED lens help prevent chromatic aberrations and muddy colours when shooting with the lens at its longest. All the lens elements have been treated with multilayer Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) to reduce ghosting and lens flare.
ISO100 - 3200 is available for shooting at full 12 megapixel resolution, but can be extended up to ISO 12800, with a reduced image size. There is also a wide dynamic range, up to 1600%.
The X-S1 can shoot 360° panoramas, which are taken using a right-left or up-down sweeping method and are stitched together in-camera. The camera can also shoot full 12 megapixel images at nearly 7 fps (max. 8 frames) or shoot at 10fps at 6 megapixel resolution (max. 8 frames). There are a range of film simulations available, including: PROVIA / Standard Mode, Velvia / Vivid Mode, ASTIA / Soft Mode, Monochrome Photography, B&W / No Filter, B&W / Ye Filter, B&W / R Filter and B&W / G Filter.
There are 4 different auto bracketing functions: AE (can be set in ±1/3, ±2/3 and ±1 EV steps), ISO Sensitivity (Setting is possible in ±1/3, ±2/3 and ±1 EV steps), Dynamic Range (100%, 200% and 400%) and Film Simulation (PROVIA, Velvia and ASTIA).
The X-S1's built-in RAW data converter lets you view and edit your results without the need for your PC. The conversion of RAW data not only takes into account exposure compensation, white balance and other in-camera image quality control settings, but also lets the user apply Film Simulation modes in the converter mode.
The X-S1 shoots full 1080p HD videos and can be connected to a HD TV for viewing on a large screen. The camera can also be connected to an external stereo microphone to achieve stereo recording. Other movie recording modes include high-speed recording, freezing the action at up 200fps! High Speed Movie can be recorded at the following speeds and sizes: 200fps (320 x 112 pixels), 120fps (320 x 240 pixels), 70fps (VGA 640 x 480 pixels).
- 12 megapixel 2/3 inch EXR CMOS sensor
- 24mm wide to 624mm ED telephoto lens, f/2.8 at the wide end
- 12 group, 17 element lens, 4 Aspherical Lenses, Super EBC Coating
- Optical image stabilisation
- 3 inch, 460k pixel tilt screen
- Large EVF, 1.44million dots
- 1cm Super Macro
- ISO100 to ISO3200 at full resolution
- 7fps continuous shooting at full resolution
- 10fps continuous shooting at 6 megapixels
- RAW Support, PASM Manual Controls
- Full HD video, 30fps with stereo sound, microphone socket
- 360 Panorama mode
The focal length you are shooting at is displayed on the barrel of the lens, along with 35mm equivalents. Placed on the front of the camera is a focus mode selector lever allowing you to switch between AF/S (Single AF), AF/C (Continuous AF) and MF (Manual). If you are moving up from a compact camera, the number of buttons may be quite daunting initially. They are all well spaced-out and easy to press.
The camera has a generous rubber grip to hold onto at the front and a large rubber grip at the back for your thumb. To make sure you can get a firm grip on the camera, you can hold the zoom tightly with your left hand thanks to the large rubberised zoom control on the lens. When using the lens at a long length and shooting up or downwards there is clearly zoom creep, which you need to watch out for. All lids for cards, batteries etc. are sealed to prevent moisture and dust getting in and the lens hood is made from metal.
Larger buttons on the back are designed to improve access to controls, as well as a second Fn button. The EVF has built in eye-detection to allow the camera to switch automatically to the EVF when the camera is brought up to your eye. The LCD screen tilts, making it easier to shoot at difficult angles.
The menus are well designed and easy to navigate. The battery has a CIPA rating of 500 shots, meaning it will last for a good day or two of shooting. We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average.
|Shutter Response||0.05 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.3 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.1 secs|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||1.1 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.1 secs|
|Continuous Shooting (JPEG) - Low||2.9 fps|
|Continuous Shooting (JPEG) - Medium||3.6 fps|
|Continuous Shooting (JPEG) - High||3.8 fps|
|Continuous Shooting (JPEG) - Super High||7.3 fps|
|Continuous Shooting (RAW) - Low||0.9 fps|
|Continuous Shooting (RAW) - Medium||0.8 fps|
When shooting in continuous shooting mode, or taking many shots quickly in non-continuous shooting modes, the camera was able to keep up a decent rate of fps for the first four or five shots but really slowed down after this.
Fujifilm X-S1 Lens test images
Wide-angle | 1/400 sec | f/3.6 | 6.1 mm | ISO 100
10x zoom | 1/300 sec | f/5.0 | 61.8 mm | ISO 100
Full optical zoom | 1/75 sec | f/5.6 | 158.6 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/26 sec | f/2.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 100
Noise does not affect images at ISO 100, with only a very slight increase when shooting at ISO 200, ISO 400 and ISO 800, with images remaining sharp throughout this range. ISO 1600 is where a slight softening begins to appear due to the level of noise, with this becoming more apparent at ISO 3200. You can shoot with confidence that you're images are going to look good throughout ISO 100 - 3200, the typical ISO range found on a digital compact camera. The X-S1 can also shoot at ISO 6400 and ISO 12800, with image size limited to 6 and 3 megapixels respectively. The images produced and are only going to be suitable for sharing on the web, rather than large prints.
Fujifilm X-S1 ISO test images
ISO 6400 | 1/600 sec | f/5.0 | 19.7 mm
ISO 12800 | 1/950 sec | f/5.6 | 19.7 mm
The following images have been taken using some of the scene modes available. Landscape mode gives superb blues and greens, with portrait shots having excellent skin tones and no red-eye when using the flash.
Fujifilm X-S1 Sample Photos
Landscape | 1/600 sec | f/4.5 | 6.1 mm | ISO 100
Landscape with building | 1/500 sec | f/6.4 | 9.2 mm | ISO 100
Portrait | 1/100 sec | f/3.6 | 18.3 mm | ISO 200
More sample shots taken on the X-S1.
Fujifilm X-S1 Other sample images
EXR mode - D-range priority | 1/640 sec | f/5.0 | 6.1 mm | ISO 100
EXR mode - resolution priority | 1/600 sec | f/4.5 | 8.9 mm | ISO 100
EXR mode - high ISO and low noise priority | 1/18 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 3200
Branches | 1/550 sec | f/4.5 | 8.5 mm | ISO 100
Macro ice | 1/250 sec | f/5.0 | 49.1 mm | ISO 250
Trees | 1/210 sec | f/2.8 | 6.1 mm | ISO 100
Under the incandescent lighting in our studio, the auto white-balance (AWB) setting produces an image with a slight orange cast, with the incandescent preset performing slightly better. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB setting performs well, with the three different fluorescent presets giving a colour cast in the image.
Fujifilm X-S1 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/28 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/26 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/7 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 1 - fluorescent lighting | 1/8 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 2 - fluorescent lighting | 1/8 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset 3 - fluorescent lighting | 1/8 sec | f/3.2 | 9.6 mm | ISO 100
The X-S1 has a range of film simulations, examples of which are below.
Fujifilm X-S1 Digital filters
Film simulation - standard | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - vivid | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - soft | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - black and white | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - monochome ye filter | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - monochome r filter | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - monochome g filter | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Film simulation - sepia | 1/5 sec | f/4.0 | 30.0 mm | ISO 100
Video ModeThe X-S1 records at full 1080p HD at 30 fps, with optical zoom available during recording. Videos can also be shot at 70 fps (640 x 480), 120 fps (320 x 240) and 200 fps (320 x 112).
Value For MoneyThe Fujifilm X-S1 can be purchased for just under £600. Other cameras to consider are the Nikon Coolpix P510 with 42x optical zoom and 16 megapixel sensor priced at £399.00, Fujifilm FinePix HS30 EXR with 30x optical zoom and 16.0 megapixel sensor at £469.00 and the Leica V-Lux 3 with 12.1 megapixel sensor and 24x optical zoom at £689.00
Image quality is fantastic, with low levels of noise up to and including ISO 3200. A couple of issues include the camera struggling to focus occasionally, particularly on objects closer to it and continuous shooting mode slowing significantly after just a few frames. If you can look past these issues and have the budget available, the Fujifilm X-S1 is well worth the outlay.
|The Fujifilm X-S1 packs an impressive range of features and superb image quality.|
Fujifilm X-S1 Bridge Camera ProsExcellent zoom range
1cm minimum focusing distance
Great build quality
Full 1080p video mode
High-speed video shooting
Full manual controls
Excellent image quality
Noise performance up to ISO 3200
Fujifilm X-S1 Bridge Camera ConsInconsistent white-balance performance under studio lights
Price makes camera quite an investment
Focusing struggles on occasion
Continuous shooting rate slowed significantly after just a few frames
Occasional zoom creep
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Fujifilm X-S1 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/2.8 - f/5.6|
|35mm equivalent||24mm - 626mm|
|CCD pixels||12Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||2/3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||8.8mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||6.6mm|
|Screen resolution||460k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 12800|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||Li-ion battery NP-95|
|Box Contents||Li-ion battery NP-95, Battery charger, BC-65N Shoulder strap, Lens cap and Lens cap cord, Lens hood, USB cable, CD-ROM Owner's manual|