Monday, January 7, 2013

Fuji X100S And The Question On Everyone's Mind

Fuji is at CES, along with a number of other companies, and they brought with them the much-anticipated update to the X100: the X100S. It has 100% more S than the previous camera.

The camera appears more or less identical to the original X100 as regards design. The big news is of course the mind-blowing 16Mp sensor for the X Pro and X-E1 is hiding inside. I wonder if they have also upgraded the lens in any way, since it was a bit soft at times on the old 12Mp sensor, and increased resolution would only accentuate these issues. They don't specify anything on their website, so I can only assume that the lens is the same. We can't have everything, I suppose, as $1,300 is a competitive price.

The sensor upgrade was a foregone conclusion. While it is nice, what everyone is really interested in is whether Fuji has fixed the autofocus issues. They claim it is the fastest in the industry. I will believe that when I see it, since almost every camera company on the planet has been able to claim this title at some point in the past couple of years, and it is always a disappointment. That said, I'm sure that it is an upgrade, since Fuji was already among the worst, so they really had nowhere to go but up. And importantly, the AF was really the only critical flaw of Fuji's earlier cameras -- everything else was at least good-- meaning that Fuji is highly motivated to concentrate on it.

The X100S is an interesting camera. It would be a downright exciting camera if not for Fuji's history of poor AF. If they have those issues under control, than the X100S could turn out to be the fixed-lens camera to beat for 2013. Now comparing it to the Sony RX1, which was released in 2012, then things get tricky.

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