More FujiFilm FinePix X100 vs. Leica X1 comparisons

Another set of images taken with the FujiFilm X100 and Leica X1 cameras. This time the EXIF data is available as well. RAW->JPG conversions from Lightroom and Silkypix are also uploaded:

There are more X1 vs. X100 comparisons 0n this Japanese siteflickr and the X100 forum.

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  • Sultan

    I ordered my X100. Hopefully it gets here soon. Sounds like a winner.

  • iluvhatemail

    its hard to compare when the composition and subjects are dull to begin with :D
    but yeah, the fuji looks good (probably because its in a permanent art mode) and its a bargain in terms of price. I wouldn’t buy either.

  • mo

    X1 blue sky is perfect blue, X100 has some green cast more like blue green sky, color saturation is too high on x100

  • M!!

    on the first pic (Flower pot): why is the X1 appeared to be overexposed and glared? ….. both the exposures are ISO 200, f2.8, Aperture priority AE, the X1 shot at 1/500 got overexposed and X100 shot at 1/350 had the right exposure.

  • J Shin

    What I am thinking is maybe a different philosophy about what “looks good”. Although Leica lenses are famous for supposedly higher apparent contrast, the X1 shows lower contrast in these images, and, prejudiced as I may be, I’m preferring the X1′s slightly washed-out look. (The photographer claims that the first picture’s washed-outness is glare, allegedly because of different quality of “coating”, BTW. Hmmm…)

    When I print slides, I hate the way they get printed with default settings by Fuji machines; the contrasts are turned up way high and all the highlight and shadow details disappear, and the machines don’t let you lower contrast. I have to pay extra to have it sent elsewhere or have the contrast lowered in Photoshop. I am seeing that problem a bit here, along with a preference for gorgeous reds and greens at the expense of other colors that is endemic to Fuji films.

    Otherwise, I can’t really see much of a difference at this magnification with these subjects. :-(

    • http://www.showperformance.com cwadsworth

      “Contrast” is completely a function of post nowadays. If you take a look at the RAW data the X1 can actually have lower contrast than the X100. For my comparison below, I edited the photos to get them “close” and spent some time giving some direction to viewers that they should NOT be comparing on subjective edits like color, contrast, sat and DR – all those elements can be worked to your heart’s content in post (although DR should be comparable). What I think makes the lens is the total rendering of the scene, detail and sharpness. By spending a lot of time equalizing each image in post my intention was to let the viewer concentrate on the more critical elements I mentioned.

      For example, the scene at the ping pong table was shot at f/5.6 with focus on the model’s face and eyes, yet the X100 renders more of the background out of focus with a nice smooth rendering that provided more of the 3D pop that Leica and Zeiss are known for. So, that was a big surprise.

      I also found very clear examples of the X100 out resolving the X1 – see the model’s fine facial features in the b/w shot.

      What it all comes down to is that the Fujinon lens is quite literally “there”. And IQ really was the last stand for the X1, given all the other benefits of the X100. I’ve shot the X1 extensively and love its IQ but after seeing these results with my own eyes, there is no way I could pick the X1 over the X100.

      But to each their own… ;)

  • leica

    The X1 is better.

  • grumps

    I think it’s great a lot of people jump on the band wagon. Woohoo for photography!

    Digital cameras have long been said are disposable (lenses being the keepers) or at least in many cases, sold on again! However, the fixed lens system, I ultimately see them as alternatives or those really who want the one up on compact cameras. I see them as too expensive an alternative!

    I’d rather wait and see what Nikon and Canon have to offer, and even Leica’s mirrorless solution. I hope others won’t feel like they need to rush either!

  • TaoTeJared

    There are a lot better comparisons out there. I have never seen an X1 so dull and the Fuji settings are at the extreme.

    It seems that both camera’s were pulled out of their boxes, turned on, and fired away.

    Flickr is filling up with photos that are really impressive from the people who are tweaking the settings in the camera and doing some basic post.

    Flicker pools: Fuji X100, Finepix X100 (great iso 6400 concert photos in last one)

    • http://www.showperformance.com cwadsworth

      Thanks Tao, those concert pics are mine. It was really fun to shoot.

      • TaoTeJared

        No problem. At a second glance, I didn’t mean to anything negative to the generous person who shot the original shots in the comparison. I’m sure they are a great photographer.

        You posted some great shots!

        • X1 v X100

          You don’t need to apologize to me. I agreed with your assessment of the prior comparisons which is why I did my own. Now if you were referring to my shootout then we need to have words… ;p

          And thanks for the kudos.

          Best,
          Chad

  • http://www.showperformance.com cwadsworth

    Try this comparison….

    • J Shin

      This is more like it. To illustrate what I mean about contrast being the key difference, take a look at the “Pie Queen”, and check out her forehead. Although, overall, the mid-tones in the Fuji is noticeably darker, the forehead/highlight is almost flat, and there is less detail in the hair to her left (our right) in the shadows. The X100′s contrast is too high for the subject. (The X1 also shows more detail in the hair, but this might be due to difference in focal plain.) The reflections in her eyes stand out also in the Leica, although this could be because she is facing a bit more to her left. The gums also show more gradation in the Leica.

      Again, I think this is probably a matter of software parameter that can easily be adjusted; could also be compression algorithm. If not, I’m definitely leaning toward the X1… I think it is true that Leica photos look better when you blow them up, and this does make a difference on how the photo feels even on 4x6s; as my partner says, “they look terribly meaningful for some reason.” It seems they translated this to the default setting of their digitals.

      But I think $1999 is too steep. I’d rather wait for the “mirrorless solution”, and until then the X100 might do. The f/2 doesn’t hurt.

      • http://www.showperformance.com cwadsworth

        J Shin,

        You must not have read the preface on the shootout. Please go back and check it out.

        Also, if you want to see a lack of detail, compare the model’s face on the b/w photos, the X100 clearly out resolves the X1 here. And finally, the X100 is exhibiting a more shallow DOF (see the ping pong photo) with much nicer OOF rendering.

        You are correct about the highlight on the model’s head – good eye but I wouldn’t take that too seriously as both cameras seemed to exhibit roughly the same DR on average AND I had no access to RAW for the Fuji shots except for in camera while I used ACR RAW for the X1 version. So a bit of an unfair advantage for the X1.

        On my screen, looking at the high res originals, the X100 is equal in all comparisons and better in some. It really is quite clear. Anyone who thought the X100 was going to be soft is mistaken.

        • J Shin

          Fair enough. :-)

          Thanks for the well-done comparison!

        • J Shin

          By the way, I am not happy with the icons we are getting assigned. They don’t reflect my mood at all! :-)

          Now that I re-read your preface, I remembered what I was trying to say… more like questions, really.

          1. Since the same post filters were applied, if the Fuji shows higher contrast post, would you not say that it does have higher contrast pre, or by “default”? :-) Perhaps not the right word. I would turn down the contrast in the Fuji myself. Personal preference.

          2. If the contrasts do not match, higher-contrast image would look better resolved, no? I believe contrast and resolution are inseparable.

          Now, of course, supposedly, Leica lens designers sacrifice resolution for contrast, so the fact that the X1 has lower contrast AND lower resolution is not a good thing, whether it is software or sensor or what not. I’m used to comparing lenses to lenses. Having to compare combinations of lens, sensor, hardware, and software gives me a headache. :-)

          3. Shallow dof being preferable seems to me a personal/artistic preference. I tend to prefer lots of dof, even at the expense of contrast, sharpness, etc.

          Thank you again!

          • http://www.showperformance.com cwadsworth

            Question #1. Since the same post filters were applied, if the Fuji shows higher contrast post, would you not say that it does have higher contrast pre, or by “default”? Perhaps not the right word. I would turn down the contrast in the Fuji myself. Personal preference.

            Answer #1 I think it is almost impossible for me to determine which lens has better natural contrast – that is the state of images straight off the sensor. Especially since I don’t have access to Adobe Camera Raw support for he X100. What I can tell you is that I can make either camera look flat (low contrast with wide dynamic range) in RAW and then edit from there.

            Question #2. If the contrasts do not match, higher-contrast image would look better resolved, no? I believe contrast and resolution are inseparable.

            Answer #2 I think your question and answer is correct but your statement is not entirely true.

            Contrast definitely affects sharpness but resolution is the amount of detail a lens can resolve. If you add contrast to an image that does not render a detail (lower resolution), no amount of contrast is going to help. So what I am seeing in the images is that in some, the X100 is out resolving the X1 – see the model’s fine facial features (freckles) on the X100 shot vs the X1.

            #3. Shallow dof being preferable seems to me a personal/artistic preference. I tend to prefer lots of dof, even at the expense of contrast, sharpness, etc.

            Answer #3 Yes, it is personal preference but if you want a lot of DOF and a compact size then I think a camera like the LX-5 is a good call. Sharp lens with lots of DOF and small size.

            But the X1 and X100 give you the flexibility to have both shallow and deep DOF. Truth is they are both great cameras but like my friend says – “You get a free X1 built-in with every X100″ :)

            I have no doubt that Leica will come back with an even more compelling “X2″ but it might take them a while. In the meantime, if you were looking to purchase a new camera and were looking at both the X1 and X100, I’d have a hard time passing up the X100.

            And all that is said recognizing that the camera is not perfect. In fact I created a list of firmware corrections Fuji should make. Of course the X1 has its own list of problems and hopefully Leica gets that firmware update out the door soon!

            oh, here is my list of X100 issues: http://www.x100forum.com/index.php?/topic/154-laundry-list-of-general-issues-with-ver-1-firmware/#entry1133

            Read more on LeicaRumors.com: http://leicarumors.com/2011/03/11/more-fujifilm-finepix-x100-vs-leica-x1-comparisons.aspx/#ixzz1GbtMDZvZ

  • Joaquim

    For the budget the X100 is the winner. Didn’t see much difference and both are really sharp. The Fuji seems to have a really nice view finder and for the price of a leica you buy a X100 with some extras and get great image quality.

    I beleive that many people will choose the X1 just because it’s a Leica and will not consider X100 as a option just because the X1 is a “LEICA”. didn’t get that excited with the X1 after see this comperation with the X100.

    • Tim

      Yeah, people go for leica, it’s a LEICA!!! With still the old X1 firmware! Yeah, that’s LEICA! Yeah Leica, promising new firmware for about > 15 month’s now. Yeah, leica, Leica, LEICA!!! Realy, you should def go for a LEICA and o yeah, with that nice cute red dot. O, man a Leica, yes a Leica we should go for! I can’t wait to get me a LEICA! :)

  • broxibear

    Fujifilm Finepix X100 Hands-on Review in the streets here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-VoXxwGWYc&feature=player_profilepage

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