Fuji X100 High ISO RAW Image Quality
We look at RAW files converted with dcraw, an excellent freeware raw converter. dcraw usually offers timely support for the latest cameras, but more importantly, it does not apply any noise-reduction, sharpening or other corrections such as geometric distortion correction to the output files as some other converters do. There will always be differences between RAW converters, in terms of the sort of demosaicing algorithms they use (the processes by which they convert the separate Red, Green, and Blue data sets to an array of full-color RGB pixels), but dcraw seems to use a fairly generic algorithm that delivers good sharpness with relatively few artifacts, and can be counted on to not apply any noise reduction if you don't want it to.
See for yourself how the Fuji X100's high ISO RAW files compare to those from other recent, state-of-the-art APS-C sensors: the Canon 60D, Nikon D7000 and Pentax K-5. Click on any of the crops below to see the corresponding full-sized image.
As you can see, the Fuji X100's high ISO RAW files compete very well with the best of APS-C sensor DSLRs. Remarkable, when you consider the size difference compared to these DSLR cameras.
Below are crops from Fuji X100 high ISO RAW files compared to RAW files from some leading compact system cameras.
The crops above show the noise performance advantage the Fuji X100's sensor has over most CSC models. The Fuji even does better than the NEX-5's APS-C sensor in terms of noise, though the Sony has slightly higher resolution.