Canon S100 or Fuji X10 ?

In my winter 2011 recommendations, I had the Canon S100 as the compact camera of my choice. I've also been following closely the new Fuji X line, and now that the X10 has been out for a little while, time for a comparison.

First of all, let's see what they have in common:

  • bright F2 lenses, 24-120mm for the S100 and 28-112mm for the X10 , so pretty much the same here
  • full HD video capabilities
  • good under the hood software, both cameras process images pretty well
  • both are from real camera brands, which means a proper experience in lens manufacturing
  • 12MP sensors, but that doesn't really matter

Now let's have a look at the essential differences, starting with what's in favor of the S100 :
  • It is significantly smaller, and the lens folds flat when off
  • it has high speed video recording (240fps), a gadget surely but it can be fun if you shoot action with it
  • Cheaper, but at least 100$
  • better dynamic range on the paper

What does the X10 has for himself:
  • larger sensor, leading to better low light performance
  • bigger = better handling, I find the S100 a little too small for my long fingers. It's a matter of choice
  • normal video recording is at 30 fps VS 24 fps for the S100
  • 10 fps shooting
  • much faster to operate, in particular shutter response time is significantly better
  • built quality and looks, it does looks really good
  • better battery life (although not amazing either)
  • more manual controls

Looking at this summary, it looks like there won't be an obvious choice here. If the X10 seem to win in several areas, differences are minor. For example, ISO performance is better, but it's already very good on the S100
The most important part being the lens, both are a really good choice since both lenses are about equivalent, and smart. They avoided the ridiculous X72 zooms that ruin image quality and are totally useless.

Be sure of something: YOU WON'T TAKE BETTER PICTURE BY PICKING ONE OVER THE OTHER. It's purely a matter of ease of use, preference in regards to ergonomics. I'd say try them in store and pick the one that comes in hand best. However, you didn't read all of this to be told "go see in the next Best Buy". So here is my personal call:

I have DSLR, SLR, Medium format gear. If I am to buy such product, I want a pocket fitting camera for mountain biking, skying, etc. I also wouldn't like to put to much money in it. I would still pick the S100 . Differences are so little that the size and feature / $ ratio wins.

If It was to be my only camera, it would be the X10 . Because it reacts much faster, and having a delay between pressing the shutter and the picture being taken sucks big time. It also offer more manual controls, which for experimenting is nice. It's overal a little better, and looks much prettier which as irrational as it is, would matter a little. I also do have a little preference for the way it processed dynamic range: photo with heavy contrast tend to come up a little more flattering on the X10 for my taste, even though the S100 has in theory better dynamic range.

Be sure you don't make a mistake buying any of those 2 cameras. Also know that ergonomics and software on the X10 is better than on the $1200 Fuji X100!
 An other good trick: the S100 and S95 are the same. It's like getting the 2012 car instead of the 2011. It's just a marketing thing. So go find a S95 for cheaper :)

No comments:

Post a Comment