Canon Powershot S100 vs Fujifilm FinePix X10 Comparison Review

The two latest serious compact cameras, the Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10, compared to see how they perform and which one is best for you.

|  FinePix X10 in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10
Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10 side by side.

We recently reviewed the new Fujifilm FinePix X10, and the Canon Powershot S100, both new cameras offer larger than normal sensor sizes, both offer 12 megapixels, and bright f/2.0 zoom lenses. However, the similarities quickly disappear when you see them, with the X10 featuring an optical viewfinder, a brighter f/2.0-f/2.8 compared to the Canon's f/2.0-f/5.9. Another difference is the price, with the Canon Powershot S100 available for around £380, and the Fujifilm FinePix X10 available for around £499.

Canon Powershot S100 vs Fujifilm FinePix X10 Features

Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10
Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10

Canon Powershot S100 vs Fujifilm FinePix X10 Features Compared:

Outlined below are the main specifications and differences of each camera, with the better feature highlighted in bold:

Canon Powershot S100 Fujifilm FinePix X10
12mp Backlit CMOS Sensor, 1/1.7inch 12mp EXR CMOS 2/3inch sensor
5x optical zoom lens - 24mm - 120mm, f/2.0-f/5.9 4x optical zoom lens - 28mm - 112mm, f/2.0 - f/2.8
3 inch screen, 460k dots 2.8 inch screen, 460k dots
- Flash Hot Shoe
- Optical viewfinder with dioptre correction
Full HD Video mode, stereo sound Full HD Video mode, stereo sound
Optical (Lens based) Image Stabilisation Optical (Lens based) Image Stabilisation
Burst Mode: 10fps at full resolution Burst Mode: 7fps full resolution 10fps at 6mp
Manual Control, RAW Manual Control, RAW
ISO 80 - 6400 ISO 100 - 12800 (6400 at 6mp, 12800 at 3mp)
3cm Macro mode 1cm Macro mode
i-Contrast and HDR modes built in EXR Dynamic Range Modes (6mp)
Lens control ring Exposure compensation dial, Focus control switch
CIPA Battery rating: 200 CIPA Battery rating: 270 (higher if LCD off)
Size: 98.9x59.8x26.7, Weight: 198g Size: 117x69.6x56.8mm, Weight: 350g
Silver, Black Black
  Manual zoom ring

Both cameras offer similar features, with the Canon giving a wider zoom lens as well as additional telephoto reach. For someone wanting quicker access to manual controls and support for external flash, the Fujifilm camera provides more with more controls and buttons, as well as a flash hot shoe. The macro performance of the X10 is better as well, however continuous shooting isn't as quick, but it can be used in any mode, while the S100's high speed shooting mode is a specific scene mode. Battery life is also better on the Fujifilm with the S100's battery life being further depleted if you use the built in GPS.

Canon Powershot S100 vs Fujifilm FinePix X10 Handling

Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10
Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10

Controls -
The Fujifilm FinePix X10 has roughly double the amount of external buttons and controls compared to the Canon Powershot S100, this gives you quicker access to controls such as exposure compensation and with dedicated dials for focus you can set options even when the camera is off. The X10 features a great textured body, and an impressively squashy thumb grip.

Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10

Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10

Menus - The S100 has fewer buttons than the camera it replaces, the Canon Powershot S95, however it does add some much needed rubber hand grips at both the front and the back. This lack of buttons means you do need to access the settings on the screen of the camera, and this can be done using the Fn button on the back, or by using the control wheel around the lens. The X10 on the other hand provides the majority of controls on the camera with external buttons and dials, so that you can spend less time in the menus. This is generally a good thing as the Fujifilm menus aren't the most logically designed in the world, for example even though the majority of photography settings are in the photo menu, some of the more advanced photography settings are kept in the setup menu (such as some RAW settings).

Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10
Canon Powershot S100 and Fujifilm FinePix X10

Battery Life - The S100 should give 200 shots according to CIPA standards, however using GPS will dramatically reduce this life, so a spare battery is strongly recommended. The X10 should give 270 shots according to CIPA standard, however this can be increased to 560 shots if you turn the LCD off and use the optical viewfinder instead, giving you excellent battery life!

Speed - 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, so that consistent results were produced, we also made sure to test all the cameras at the same time to ensure the cameras were being tested under the same conditions.

Fujifilm X10 Canon S100
Shutter Reponse <0.05 0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
0.15 0.35
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.20 0.40
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 0.9 2.1
Shot to Shot (without flash) 0.9 1.8
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.0 3.0
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 7fps (7 shots then 2fps) Norm: 2fps
10fps (8shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) N/A 1.8s
Continuous Shooting (RAW) 6fps (6 shots then 1.4s between shots) 0.8s

Tested at full resolution the camera will shoot at 7fps using JPEG, or 6fps using RAW. A quicker 10fps mode is available with the image size reduced to Medium (6mp). Shutter response, when pre-focused, is practically instant, with virtually no measurable delay. Focusing is equally quick, with very fast focusing on wide and telephoto. Switch on time is good when you switch on "Quick start mode", and the On / Off switch around the lens makes it very easy to switch on without having to look at the camera, and shot to shot time is good.

Canon Powershot S100 vs Fujifilm FinePix X10 Performance

We've taken a number of sample photos in a variety of settings to show you the image quality produced by the cameras, with the photos taken in the same location at the same time, you can view them full size by clicking the "High-Res" link. Additional sample photos are available in each cameras review.

Canon PowerShot S100 Sample Photos

Fujifilm FinePix X10 Sample Photos

Flash Performance - The X10 has a much weaker flash than the S100, instead relying on a boost in the ISO setting to compensate. This gives a more natural picture, but the photo is not as bright as the Canon. Both cameras feature options to expand dynamic range, with the S100 giving iContrast options as well as 3-shot HDR. The X10 gives an EXR Dynamic Range mode which due to the sensor design takes photos at a reduced resolution of 6 megapixels.

Canon PowerShot S100 Lens test images

Fujifilm FinePix X10 Lens test images

Zoom - The Canon gives more telephoto reach, as well as a wider view. The X10 starts at f/2.0 and goes to f/2.8 at the telephoto end, while the S100 is f/2.0 at the wide end, but f/5.9 at the telephoto end, requiring longer exposures under the same conditions.

Both cameras show purple fringing in extreme areas of contrast such as those shown in the photo of the trees above, with the X10 showing more in the centre of the frame than the S100, while the S100 shows more in the corners of the frame. In the majority of photos this isn't an issue.

Macro performance is better on the X10, allowing you to be closer to the subject, however the S100 still gives good performance.

ISO Noise Comparison:
The Canon Powershot S100 features a 1/1.7inch backlit CMOS sensor, while the Fujifilm FinePix X10 features a 2/3inch EXR CMOS sensor that is slightly larger than the Canon's camera. The Canon also features a DIGIC 5 processor for improved low noise performance.

Canon PowerShot S100 ISO test images

Fujifilm FinePix X10 ISO test images

Actual pixels comparison: ISO100 and ISO3200:

Canon S100 ISO100 Fuji X10 ISO100
Canon S100 ISO100 Fuji X10 ISO100
Canon S100 ISO3200 Fuji X10 ISO3200
Canon S100 ISO3200 Fuji X10 ISO3200

There is similar performance from both cameras right up to ISO3200, with both cameras giving useable images at ISO3200, which is impressive considering the cameras both have small sensors compared to mirrorless or digital SLRs. Beyond this, the X10 gives additional scope for low light photography with its EXR sensor.

Detail / WB Performance: The S100 shows strong detail in textures, with the X10 showing some moire, and slightly softer images overall. There are subtle differences in the cameras performance under different lighting, with the presets giving good results when the auto white balance doesn't perform as expected.

Canon PowerShot S100 White-balance test images

Fujifilm FinePix X10 White-balance test images

Video - Both record Full HD with optical zoom and stereo sound. Both offer slow motion / high speed video recording. The X10 features film / colour options, while the S100 features wind noise reduction, and iFrame compatible video recording for use on iPads. Quality from both cameras is good, with the X10 giving manual control over optical zoom.

Value For Money - The Canon Powershot S100 is £380 vs £500 for the Fujifilm FinePix X10 - both cameras are quite expensive considering you can get a compact system camera such as the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 for around £380 with kit lens, and this comes with a significantly larger image sensor, and the ability to change lenses. However, the kit lens does not have as large an aperture as the S100 or X10, nor do they offer built in GPS. Other serious compacts are also cheaper generally, a number of them can be seen here, however as the newest contenders, these cameras offer something unique, GPS in the S100, and the manual controls and design of the X10.

Canon Powershot S100 vs Fujifilm FinePix X10 Verdict

Both cameras have excellent image quality, with subtle but noticeable differences and strengths and weaknesses in different areas. Both cameras provide image quality that would be suitable for high quality work, however it's in their actual operation that the most noticeable differences are found, in areas such as handling and speed, as well as battery life.

For someone who wants a compact camera with high image quality then the Canon Powershot S100 has both in abundance. It's one of the smallest serious compact cameras available, and has excellent image quality. The S100 features GPS, and is around £100 cheaper than the X10, so could save you some money, although some of that money will most likely need to be spent on a second battery if you plan on using GPS. The Canon Powershot S100 is most definitely pocketable, fitting even into tight jean pockets, something that can't be said for the X10. It would be nice if the S100 was a little quicker at focusing and if you could use the high speed shooting in any mode, not just in a dedicated scene mode.

Fujifilm FinePix X10

  The Fujifilm FinePix X10 is a gorgeous camera and feels great in the hand with responsive performance.
The Fujifilm FinePix X10 is for someone who wants speed and physical controls and the X10 is a gorgeous camera to use, quick to switch on, fast at focusing and has instant shutter response. It's physical controls and tactile feedback begin when you switch the camera on by turning the zoom control around the lens and from there the good handling continues with an excellent design and sturdy camera body. With an optical viewfinder and lots of external controls this would make an excellent street photographers camera. While we gave the X10 a recommended award in our review, as the X10 is currently one of the most expensive serious compacts available, if you have the money available, then the X10 makes an excellent choice and deserves an Editor's Choice award.

Read our full Canon Powershot S100 Review
Read our full Fujifilm FinePix X10 Review

Fujifilm FinePix X10 Specifications

Max Aperturef/2 - f/2.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 112mm
Optical Zoom4x
Image Sensor
Pixels12Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4000
Pixels (H)3000
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size2/3 inch
Sensor Size (width)8.8mm
Sensor Size (height)6.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.8in
Screen resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • M
  • TTL
ISO sensitivity100 - 12800
White balance
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Auto
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeNP-50 Li-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)270shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsLi-ion battery NP-50, Battery charger BC-45W, Shoulder strap, Lens cap, USB cable, CD-ROM, Owner's manual

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Photographs taken using the FinePix X10

Dady! Photo!The Store Bicycle1 meter near the heaventhree BucketsThree CarafesChop ChopTight Fit!

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Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England

Quote:or someone who wants speed and physical controls" as that suggests the other camera is lacking in that department when it isn't

There`s no hot shoe so its lacking big time.
Review seems a bit brief..other reviews on the net complain about a crazy alphabetical filing system (not date or as taken order), some quirks, sensor not having a wide dynamic range etc. Shame, looking for a good street camera with optical viewfinder....
Read our full Canon Powershot S100 Review
- The S100 has a few less buttons than the S95 (about 2 if you count the video button)

Read our full Fujifilm FinePix X10 Review, it's more in-depth
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
Its a bit of an odd comparison Josh

Would have been better comparing the S100 against other like for like, Leica V-Lux 30, Ricoh GR

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9. Nikon Coolpix S1200pj and so on.

Quote:Shame, looking for a good street camera with optical viewfinder....

Yep, its here Smile
Sus 15 3.2k 9 England
"most definitely pocketable, fitting even into tight jean pockets"

How many of us here do you think wear tight jeans?!
Proper viewfinder and a manual zoom : it's a no brainer. Put simply I'm not an arm's length photographer so the Canon is useless to me. The Fuji is everything a compact should be and well worth the extra.
I would like to see a few images taken with each camera at high ISO as the coloured mosaics dont really tell you all that much.
This is a great review and the comparison pictures really helped my decision to buy the S100. Both look great, but I prefer the colors in the Canon samples. Thanks much.

Quote:I would like to see a few images taken with each camera at high ISO as the coloured mosaics dont really tell you all that much.

The full reviews of each camera have more sample photos, thanks Josh
X10 has the "Orbs" issue which you did not highlight in your review.

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