I spent some time evaluating the performance of the X100S’s sensor and it turns out that the X-Trans CMOS II sensor is no different than the original X-Trans CMOS sensor in terms of ISO performance. The only difference between the two is the built-in phase detection pixels on the second version of the sensor. Performance-wise, both are identical, as can be seen from the below comparison to the Fuji X-E1.
Fuji X100S vs Fuji X-E1 (ISO 200-800)
Here is a comparison between the two cameras at low ISOs between 200 and 800:
Both look about the same to me from ISO 200 to 800. There is a very slight difference at ISO 800 with the X100S grain looking smoother.
Fuji X100S vs Fuij X-E1 (ISO 1600-6400)
Both handle noise very well, but the X100S seems to be a tad cleaner at ISO 1600, 3200 and 6400. Note that the grain size on the X100S seems smaller, which is especially noticeable at ISO 6400.
Comparisons to Other Cameras
Since the performance of the X100S is very similar to other X-series cameras, I did not bother with providing comparisons to the Nikon D800, Canon 5D Mark III and Olympus OM-D E-M5. I have already done that in my previous reviews, so if you want to see the comparisons, please see my Fuji X-E1 review. In short, the X-Trans sensors are amazing and the image quality is pretty comparable to full-frame cameras, especially when comparing JPEG images.
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