A camera for the experts

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: June 2013

FujiFilm X100S
Price: Rs 74,999
Specs: 16.3 MP CMOS, 23mm, F2, 1/4000, ISO 25600, 1080p

Thanks to the retro design, the FujiFilm 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 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. We don't recommend this to someone who does not understand the nuances of how to use a fixed lens camera.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT? Ideal camera for advanced users who need a handy option.

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