Fuji X series ..Fab or Funky? Part 3

Fuji X series ..Fab or Funky?

The new Fujifilm X-S1 bridge-camera launched late December 2011 is to be the latest Pro-Sumer (semi-Pro) offering that is the natural replacement for the venerable and much loved S100fs.

Being approximately the same size as an entry/mid level DSLR, it big, reasonably heavy and not for the faint hearted.

Sporting the same sensor as the X-10, with a 26x zoom, the expectation is for image quality to be close or equal to entry level DSLR’s.

From the initial user reports at Dpreview it would seem that the potential is there with some crackingly sharp shots. Unfortunately this camera appear to suffer from two extremely bad production flaws. One of which we saw with the X-10 that being the dreaded white orbs.

Probably of significantly more drastic a note is the reported barrel droop when the zoom lens is fully extended. This creates de-collimation of the lens. In other words the light-path is decentred in the lens making telephoto shots less than sharp and in some instances very soft and slightly out of focus.

Other user reports have suggested slow AF and write times as well, with a number of early adopters opting to return the camera and replace it with something different. But by far the most alarming reports are reserved for the lens droop.

Below is a quick test shown in the FujiFilm talk forum at Dpreview that illustrates the problem. Courtesy of Paul Till.

While there is a small shift in the camera body in this image it still serves to illustrate the problem.

The Full discussion on this can be found here.

I will leave you to read this article and make your own decision regarding this phenomenon.


  1. Have you see review of x-s1 on photographyblog.com?
    Greeting Steven


  2. Yes I have.
    Unfortunately photography-blog’s reviews are less than helpful.
    Yes they do like the camera and they dont like the price. Nor do I. Its more than several good intermediate level DSLR’s.
    There review isn’t worth much. The X-S1 is an EXR camera. Its main design feature is EXR. This is the mode it should be shot in 90% of the time. That way you actually get the benefit of the EXR system.
    Whats the point in testing a camera that’s not running in its primary mode.
    Their sample images look horrible and that to be expected when not tested properly.

    Still they did like the camera and pointed out some of it better features. Sadly they never bothered doing more than that or they would have picked up on some of its many flaws.

    Hopefully its early enough in the production cycle to get these issues sorted out. If not then the only hope this year for a good camera is going to be the HS30.

    From the test images I’ve seen so far of the HS30 it may well stomp the X-S1 in the performance stakes. Time will tell.


  3. I agree with you. I would not trade my fuji HS20, I can not wait review of fuji hs30.
    Greeting Steven

4 thoughts on “Fuji X series ..Fab or Funky? Part 3

  1. check about lens drop enginers say it is with in the tolerance allowable, wont effect photos. As far as the orbs effect you can work around it using star busrt filter.


    1. The engineers may well say its within tolerance, however several XS1 owners report soft images at full zoom.
      This is larger than what you would expect as the natural f ratio lessens for the lens. My HS20 is brighter and sharper than the XS1 at full zoom. At Dpreview this has been noted by owners from several different countries.

      You could possibly use a starburst filter, by why would you do this to negate a flaw in the sensor. The updated Fuji firmware did exactly that by adding a starburst effect, however it doesn’t remove the hard white disc seen in the XS1 images.

      The bottom line is why would you pay DSLR prices for a camera that is clearly flawed, has been recognised as such by Fuji and owners are able to get the faulty lens/ sensor unit replaced. Remember that with the XS-1 the sensor and lens are all part of one unit so both get replaced.


  2. its sounds like it is a typical asian engineers answer to their failings to have solve a tricky promblem. they dont like to waste if thats possible.It will be hard for them to accept their engineers are at fault.


    1. Yes I have to say I wondered how much saving face has been going on in the background. Fuji has been incredibly reluctant to even acknowledge any of the faults in their cameras, and that seems to be the case for all their product, not just the top tier cameras.


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