Fujifilm S100FS Review

 
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Fuji FinePix S100FS Optics


Lens

Zoom
A wide-ranging 14.3x optical zoom that starts at 28mm eq., with fair to good performance. Digital zoom performance is better than average.

28mm 400mm 2x Digital Zoom

The Fuji FinePix S100FS' optical zoom covers the equivalent of 28-400mm, a very useful and generous range. Results are only fair at wide-angle though: Details near the center of the frame are sharp, but the corners are soft and also show high levels of chromatic aberration. Results were much better at telephoto, although there is still some chromatic aberration and minor softness to be found in the corners. The camera's 2x digital zoom performed better than average, showing good detail, but noise and sharpening artifacts are understandably more visible when digitally enlarged.

Macro
A larger-than-average area in Standard Macro mode, but smaller-than-average in Super Macro mode, with good detail and resolution in the center. Flash is not useful for macros taken at full wide angle.

Standard Macro
(telephoto)
Standard Macro with Flash
(telephoto)
Standard Macro
(wide angle)
Standard Macro with Flash
(wide angle)
Super Macro
(wide angle)

The Fuji FinePix S100FS' Standard Macro mode produced somewhat larger-than-average minimum capture areas, with the area at wide angle (2.74 x 2.05 inches / 70 x 52 millimeters) being smaller than at telephoto (4.05 x 3.04 inches / 103 x 77 millimeters). Detail and resolution are both strong, but with moderate softening in the corners. The flash produced a good exposure at full telephoto, but at wide angle, the lens casts a dark shadow across most of the frame. The Super Macro setting performed fairly well, capturing a much smaller minimum area of 1.66 x 1.24 inches (42 x 32 millimeters). Detail and resolution are very good in the center, but there's even more corner softness than Standard Macro mode, which extends fairly deep into the frame. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) Closest focus distance in Super Macro or Standard Macro mode at wide angle is too close for use with the flash, so plan on using external lighting except for telephoto macro shots. (Even with external lighting, the shooting distance was so close that we had great difficulty getting light onto the subject: Note the bright edges and darker interior on the Super Macro sample above.)

Distortion
Moderate barrel distortion, though low pincushion.

Barrel distortion at 28mm is 0.9%
Pincushion at 400mm is 0.1%

The Fuji FinePix S100FS' 0.9% barrel distortion at wide angle is on the high side of average, and fairly noticeable in some images. Unfortunately, this is quite common for a high ratio, wide angle zoom lens that is not corrected for distortion by the camera's image processing. The test target shot above shows it less than our Far-Field test above, but distortion in the corners of the image can be quite pronounced at the lens' maximum wide angle setting. At the telephoto end, the 0.1% pincushion distortion is quite low, and not nearly as noticeable.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto).

Chromatic Aberration
Fairly severe at both wide-angle and telephoto.

Wide: High and bright,
top left @ 200%
Wide: High and bright,
top right @ 200%
Tele: High but dimmer
top left @200%
Tele: High but dimmer,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is very high at maximum wide angle, showing about 10 to 12 pixels of bright coloration on either side of the target lines. The effect is quite noticeable in high contrast areas in the corners of the S100FS' images, and extends quite far into the frame. At telephoto, the distortion is again high (about 8 to 10 pixels), but not as bright. Overall, this is one of the worst performances we've seen in terms of chromatic aberration in a while, and really compromises what is otherwise a fine camera. (This distortion is visible as a colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Moderate blurring in the corners of the frame at both wide angle and telephoto.

Wide: Moderately soft in the
corners (lower right).
Wide: Sharp at center.
Tele: Moderately soft in the
corners (lower right).
Tele: Sharp at center.

The Fuji FinePix S100FS produced soft corners of the frame at full wide angle, with the lower right corner being the softest. The effect was noticeable in some of its images. At full telephoto, corners are also soft. The center is quite sharp at both ends of the focal range. Note that these shots were taken with the lens aperture "wide open" (f/2.8 at wide angle, f/5.3 at telephoto), and corner sharpness usually improves when the lens is stopped-down a few f-stops.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Excellent accuracy with the LCD and EVF monitors.

28mm eq., EVF 400mm eq., EVF
28mm eq., LCD 400mm eq., LCD

The Fuji FinePix S100FS' LCD monitor and electronic viewfinder turned in virtually identical performances, providing essentially 100% coverage at both wide angle and telephoto. An excellent performance here.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm FinePix S100FS Photo Gallery.

Fujifilm S100FS

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