Fujifilm Finepix S100FS Review - Digital Photography School
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Fujifilm Finepix S100FS Review

Fujifilm has a long-established fan base for its interchangeable lens digital SLRs, based on a Nikon body, but in recent years has tended to concentrate on its fixed lens digicams. The Fujifilm FinePix S100FS confirms this situation spectacularly.

Fujifilm Finepix S100FS Review.jpg

The camera captures 11.1 megapixel images onto a 17 mm CCD, via a substantial Fujinon 14.3x optical zoom lens, stabilized with a lens-shift arrangement. Viewing is via a turret-mounted LCD or a rear 6.4 LCD screen; the former is particularly sharp and useful for focus determination when ambient light is too bright for the rear screen, although the latter gains from an angular movement that swings 90 degrees up and 45 degrees down.

The camera captures in RAW or JPEG but cannot store an image in both simultaneously. Weighing nearly a kilo, this is serious near-DSLR territory.

Fujifilm Finepix S100FS Features

In case you were wondering, the FS in the model name stands for ‘Film Simulation’ and there’s a heap of features to substantiate this claim.

The S100FS is the first fixed lens digital to have an extended Dynamic Range feature similar to that of film. Three shots in a row can be shot with 100/200/400 per cent variation. To explain: this suppresses white flaring and black patches in scenes with high contrast, while also delivering good levels of contrast in flat indoor or overcast exterior pictures where a wide dynamic range is not needed.

Another attraction is the camera’s ability to take three shots in sequence — with a novel twist. Called FSB (Film Simulation Bracketting), as you press the button the camera takes three shots in sequence with characteristics that simulate Fuji’s well-regarded Provia and Velvia transparency films plus a final one with a ‘soft’ look.

Naturally, this bracketing feature extends to a three shot run with exposure variations of an f stop each.

Straightforward continuous shooting is also well served: you can bang off seven shots at a speed of 3 fps or (with reduced resolution) 50 shots at 7 fps.

With a fixed lens of enormous zoom power, one of the DSLR’s bugbears — dust intrusion — is removed, thanks to the composite body and lens structure.

Aside from the accepted auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority modes, there are manual and 14 different scene settings. Plus two custom modes.

Auto focus can be handled in single AF, continuous AF, manual focus and one-push manual AF.

If you need it, the camera has a face detection system that sets optimal focusing and exposure for faces, with the camera held vertically or horizontally.

Startup time

Not bad. Three seconds from power up to first shot; subsequent shots about two seconds apart.

Distortion

The bad news is that pronounced barrel distortion occurs with the zoom set to the wide end and some pincushion distortion is evident at the tele end. But don’t forget: this is a hell of a zoom!

The Verdict

This is possibly the ideal camera for those who want a DSLR but without the hassle and expense of additional lenses to make it sing and dance.

Make no mistake: this is a serious shooter and one that I and many others would be keen to use on all our photo projects.

Quality: fine, sharp and naturally coloured images.

Get a Price on the Fujifilm Finepix S100fs at Amazon

Fujifilm Finepix S100FS.jpg

FUJIFILM FINEPIX S100FS VITAL STATISTICS

FUJIFILM FINEPIX S100FS

Type: Fully automatic, fixed lens digital compact camera.

Lens: Fujinon f/2.8-5.3/7.1-101.5 mm (28-400 mm as 35 mm equivalent). 2x digital zoom.

Focusing Range: W/T 50 cm/2.5 m to infinity; macro W/T 10/90 cm to 2.5/3.0 m. Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000 second, Bulb.

Metering: Multi zone (256), averaging, spot.

Exposure Control: Auto, Program AE, shutter and aperture priority, manual.

Sensitivity: Auto, ISO 100/200/400/800/1600/3200/6400/10000.

Sensor: 17 mm CCD, 11.1 million pixels.

Image Size: 4032×2688, 3840×2880, 2816×2112, 2048×1536, 1600×1200, 640×480.

Continuous Shooting: 7 shots at 3 fps; 50 fps at 7 fps (2048×1536 pixels). Movies: 640×480, 320×240 at 30 fps.

Formats: JPEG, RAW, WAV, Motion JPEG. DPOF and PictBridge compatible. Flash range = Auto, red-eye reduction, forced off and on, slow synchronisation.

Flash Range (ISO 800): W/T 60 cm/2.5 m to 2.5 m/90 cm, macro W/T 30/90 cm to 80 cm/1.3 m.

Viewfinders: Turret 5 cm LCD (200,000 pixels) plus 6.4 cm LCD (230,000 pixels).

Storage: Removable SD/SDHC/xD-Picture Card memory card (none supplied).

Interface: USB 2.0, PAL/NTSC AV output, DC input.

Power: Rechargeable lithium ion battery, AC adapter.

Dimensions (WHD): 133.4×93.6×150.4 mm.

Weight: 918 grams (without card, battery).

Price: $699.95 USD.

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category.

Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

  • http://www.tyleringram.com Tyler

    I actually recently received this camera from Fuji as a prize for winning a Photo Scavenger Hunt contest here in Vancouver. 14x optical pretty nice without having to change lenses!

  • http://kamera-gue.co.cc Kamera gue

    While S100FS has a great balance between performance and price, I’m still waiting for the S100FS replacement, which will use an EXR sensor. I guess it will be named FinePix S200EXR, and could be a direct competitor to Lumix G1/GH1 and/or Samsung NX. Hope it will be announced this march at PMA.

  • http://www.garshol.priv.no/blog/ Lars Marius Garshol

    Unfortunately, you left out the most important piece of information about any camera: sensor size and type. Fortunately, DPreview.com has the good: 2/3″ Super Type CCD. That’s 8.8mm by 6.6 mm, making it a 4.1 crop factor. The smallest DSLRs have a crop factor of 1.6, so this is a very small sensor.

    You don’t mention low light performance, but from the above I’d assume it’s not very good.

  • Sam

    To Lars…
    The smallest DSLRs would be a 2 crop factor. (Four thirds and micro 4/3 sensor)
    The S100fs is just the biggest of the small sensors and it performs pretty good considering its size.
    Low light performance wasn’t mentioned here but you will find from other reviews that it performs quite well. Definitely better than any of the other ‘small sensor’ cameras currently available. Some reviews have even considered it almost equal in detail retention to a DSLR up to about 800 ISO…and acceptable at 1600.

    Just thought I would fill in the extra info.

  • R. Campbell

    What does W/T mean and how do you interperate it.?

  • JOHN

    fuji fs100 is a hundred percent a verry versatile camera in all aspects. thanks to fuji

  • Tommy

    It’s almost one kilo in mass! It won’t be easy to carry around for me

  • http://www.lettingscyprus.com andrew

    excellent camera

  • Paul J

    I have this camera and it is a good camera. It does have its downside CF/PF but you can get round this. It is a heavy camera but I don’t mind that. I have taken some very nice pictures with it. I too am looking to see how the new s200exr turns out.

  • Double A Ron

    I’ve taken some very nice pictures with this camera though it shows some terrible lens fringing at times.

  • Kassey

    I bought this camera when it was first released and haven’t looked back. I’m a keen amature photographer and traveller and this camera has been everywhere with me and it’s something I couldn’t live without when I travel now. I also used it for my sisters wedding (asked to be main photographer) and some stunning pictures came out. Absolutely love this camera. :)

  • http://www.totalqualityphoto.com Steve Solomon

    Season’s Greetings!
    As a former user of this camera, I can say that Fuji does make Quality equipment! This camera was well-made, and had very good ergonomics. That said, you cannot escape physics, and as others have mentioned, this is a small sensor device, so if you print large (above, say, 11×14), your results will not equal a DSLR (APS-C) sensor.in terms of sharpness, dynamic range, and detail. For 4×6 prints or web work, it is very nice indeed.

  • John

    Yes , the FS 100 FINEPIX is a vesatile camera. But Ithink there is a problem about memory XD card. Is this memory card is obsolete? If it is what memory card is compatabile to the camera? Thanks

  • Barrie Smith

    To john

    the camera will take the current SD SD and SDHC cards.

Some older comments

  • Barrie Smith

    December 1, 2012 09:37 am

    To john

    the camera will take the current SD SD and SDHC cards.

  • John

    November 30, 2012 08:37 pm

    Yes , the FS 100 FINEPIX is a vesatile camera. But Ithink there is a problem about memory XD card. Is this memory card is obsolete? If it is what memory card is compatabile to the camera? Thanks

  • Steve Solomon

    November 30, 2012 04:53 am

    Season's Greetings!
    As a former user of this camera, I can say that Fuji does make Quality equipment! This camera was well-made, and had very good ergonomics. That said, you cannot escape physics, and as others have mentioned, this is a small sensor device, so if you print large (above, say, 11x14), your results will not equal a DSLR (APS-C) sensor.in terms of sharpness, dynamic range, and detail. For 4x6 prints or web work, it is very nice indeed.

  • Kassey

    October 21, 2010 07:32 pm

    I bought this camera when it was first released and haven't looked back. I'm a keen amature photographer and traveller and this camera has been everywhere with me and it's something I couldn't live without when I travel now. I also used it for my sisters wedding (asked to be main photographer) and some stunning pictures came out. Absolutely love this camera. :)

  • Double A Ron

    July 28, 2010 03:11 pm

    I've taken some very nice pictures with this camera though it shows some terrible lens fringing at times.

  • Paul J

    August 7, 2009 02:22 am

    I have this camera and it is a good camera. It does have its downside CF/PF but you can get round this. It is a heavy camera but I don't mind that. I have taken some very nice pictures with it. I too am looking to see how the new s200exr turns out.

  • andrew

    May 16, 2009 11:19 pm

    excellent camera

  • Tommy

    March 10, 2009 11:49 pm

    It's almost one kilo in mass! It won't be easy to carry around for me

  • JOHN

    March 10, 2009 05:43 pm

    fuji fs100 is a hundred percent a verry versatile camera in all aspects. thanks to fuji

  • R. Campbell

    March 6, 2009 08:14 pm

    What does W/T mean and how do you interperate it.?

  • Sam

    March 6, 2009 01:38 am

    To Lars...
    The smallest DSLRs would be a 2 crop factor. (Four thirds and micro 4/3 sensor)
    The S100fs is just the biggest of the small sensors and it performs pretty good considering its size.
    Low light performance wasn't mentioned here but you will find from other reviews that it performs quite well. Definitely better than any of the other 'small sensor' cameras currently available. Some reviews have even considered it almost equal in detail retention to a DSLR up to about 800 ISO...and acceptable at 1600.

    Just thought I would fill in the extra info.

  • Lars Marius Garshol

    March 5, 2009 04:49 am

    Unfortunately, you left out the most important piece of information about any camera: sensor size and type. Fortunately, DPreview.com has the good: 2/3" Super Type CCD. That's 8.8mm by 6.6 mm, making it a 4.1 crop factor. The smallest DSLRs have a crop factor of 1.6, so this is a very small sensor.

    You don't mention low light performance, but from the above I'd assume it's not very good.

  • Kamera gue

    March 4, 2009 11:57 am

    While S100FS has a great balance between performance and price, I'm still waiting for the S100FS replacement, which will use an EXR sensor. I guess it will be named FinePix S200EXR, and could be a direct competitor to Lumix G1/GH1 and/or Samsung NX. Hope it will be announced this march at PMA.

  • Tyler

    March 4, 2009 06:42 am

    I actually recently received this camera from Fuji as a prize for winning a Photo Scavenger Hunt contest here in Vancouver. 14x optical pretty nice without having to change lenses!

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