Fujifilm X100 Review

 
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Fuji X100 Performance


Timing and Performance

Mixed performance from the Fuji X100.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

~3.2 seconds

Time it takes to turn on and capture a shot.

Shutdown

~0.4 second

How long it takes camera to turn off before you can remove the memory card.

Buffer clearing time
12 seconds after 10
Large/Fine JPEGs*
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
18 seconds after 8
RAW files*
25 seconds after 8
RAW+ L/F JPEG files*
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Startup time was quite slow compared to most cameras, at 3.2 seconds. Shutdown was pretty fast though. Buffer clearing times were sluggish.


Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

~1.5 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

~1.5 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

~0.6 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching was also sluggish.


Shutter Response (Lag Time)
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
0.403 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Multi AF mode
0.421 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting.
Full Autofocus,
Single-area AF mode
Flash enabled
0.541 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, with the lens already at the proper focal distance setting, auto flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.014 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.425 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.
Manual Focus
0.231 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

The Fuji X100's autofocus was about average for a camera that uses contrast detection. The Fuji X100 produced full-autofocus shutter lag (with the subject at a fixed distance) that ranged from 0.403 second using Area AF mode (center), to 0.421 second using Multi AF mode. These times are quite a bit slower than most consumer SLRs, but only slightly slower than the average CSC these days. Enabling the flash increased lag a bit to 0.541 second, because of the preflash metering involved. Prefocused shutter lag was very fast, at only 0.014 second. This is much faster than any SLR (no mirror to move out of the way), and similar to the best digicam prefocused speeds. Continuous AF mode lag tested at 0.425 second, and manual focus lag was 0.231 second.


Cycle Time (shot to shot)

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG

1.18 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots with no signs of slowing, 3 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

1.50 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, 13 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + L/F JPEG
1.38 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 7 shots, 18 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous 5 fps
Large Fine JPEG

0.21 second (4.66 frames per second);
10 frames total;
12 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 10 frames.

Continuous 5 fps
RAW

0.21 second (4.67 frames per second);
8 frames total;
18 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames.

Continuous 5 fps
RAW + L/F JPEG

0.21 second (4.70 frames per second);
8 frames total;
25 seconds to clear*

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 8 frames. Note that using an UHS-I 45MB/s reduced clearing time to 20 seconds.

Flash Recycling

3.7 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III 30 MB/sec 8GB SDHC card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and noise reduction settings can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Single-shot cycle times were quite sluggish compared to most SLRs and CSCs. We measured 1.18 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, 1.50 seconds for RAW files, and 1.38 seconds for RAW + JPEG files.

"Continuous 5 fps" mode speeds were however quite good, at about 4.7 frames per second for any quality or file type. The Fuji X100 also offers a "Continuous 3 fps" mode, but we didn't test that.

Full resolution buffer depths were not very generous for JPEGs, fixed at only 10 frames. When a RAW file is included, buffer depth was 8 frames which isn't bad for the class of camera. Buffer clearing is quite slow with our standard 30MB/s card, though using a 45MB/s UHS-I card did help reduce worst-case buffer clearing time by about 20%.

The flash recycled after a full discharge in 3.7 seconds, which is pretty good.


Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

6,866 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds were reasonably fast, quick enough that you probably won't feel the need for a separate card reader. (Note that this test was performed with a SanDisk Extreme III 30 MB/sec SD card: Slower cards would likely show slower transfer times.)


Bottom line, the Fuji X100's performance was a mixed bag. Startup time and mode switching were rather sluggish, while autofocus was about average for contrast-detection. Prefocused shutter lag however was very swift, though manual focus was a bit slow. Single-shot cycle times were sluggish, but burst mode speeds were surprisingly good. Buffer depth when shooting JPEGs was disappointing, but not much lower with RAW files.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Below average battery life for a mid-sized camera.

Operating Mode Battery Life
Still Capture,
(CIPA standard)
300 shots

The Fuji X100 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for power, and comes with both a single battery and charger. The CIPA rated 300 shots per charge is below the capacity of most Compact System Cameras, and much lower than a typical digital SLR. (Fuji does not state which viewfinder was used to obtain that rating.) We strongly recommend getting a second battery for your X100 if you plan any extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Fuji X100 has about 20MB of internal flash memory available for storage and accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Fuji recommends Class 4 or faster cards for recording HD movies.

Image Capacity with
20MB internal memory
Fine Normal RAW
(12-bits)
4,288 x 2,848
Images
(Avg Size)
4
4.9 MB
6
3.1 MB
1
19.0 MB
Approx.
Comp.
8:1
12:1
1:1
3,072 x 2,048
Images
(Avg Size)
6
3.2 MB
12
1.6 MB
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
12:1
-
2,176 x 1,448
Images
(Avg Size)
12
1.6 MB
23
840 KB
-
Approx.
Comp.
6:1
11:1
-

We strongly recommend buying a fast, large capacity SDHC/SDXC memory card; at least a 4GB card, preferably an 8 or 16GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings or when shooting RAW or video files. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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