+++ The Blog +++

X100S vs Canon 5D Mark III with 35L 1.4

RESULTS: If you haven’t given a guess, please skip the results linked here until you’ve made your best guess…


X100S vs Canon 5D Mark III with 35L 1.4 — can you tell which is which? I will update this page in a couple of days to provide you the answer! For now, please leave a comment below about your best guess or any thoughts you have!

These shown here are at 960 px wide. Or see even further below and download 2048px wide jpeg versions to get a much closer look.

FYI, in an attempt to match the two cameras as closely as possible, I used the following settings to get as close as I could– the Canon was shot at 1/100, f/6.3, and ISO 3200. The X100S was shot at 1/250, f/4, and ISO 3200 (to account for the crop sensor). Both shot with AWB and I tried my best to match the color in Lightroom 5 Beta. I also did some really minor tweaks to exposure (bumped up a little on the X100S because it comes out just a little darker), contrast, saturation, clarity, and a tiny tweak to sharpening/noise reduction to try to match the looks.



Download #1 at 2048px wide here

Download #2 at 2048px wide here

If anyone is wondering why I even bothered to do this comparison. It’s for two reasons. One– for fun. Yay! Two–because I’ve been seeing a fair number of people complain and express their disappointment about “smearing” or a “plastic” or “waxy” look to the new X Trans II sensor in the X100S– especially at higher ISOs. Many people may be talking about how the camera converts the RAW image to a jpeg within the camera, if they are shooting jpeg. I think this is a valuable demonstration to show that if you’re not loving that look– then shoot RAW and simply create an import preset in Lightroom to end up with the photos you love, without any kind disappointment. If a $5,000 combination of latest and greatest Canon body, with an infamously beautiful Canon lens that many folks consider their favorite in Canon’s lineup, can go head-to-head with the X100S like this– I think maybe it’s time to stop feeling so disappointed.

Leave your guess and comments below!


Be Sociable, Share!
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Reader

Facebook comments:

16 Responses

  1. Urbanshoot

    Hello Brian,

    1. Canon 5MIII
    2. Fuji X100s

    May 2, 2013 at 11:33 pm

  2. ergoforce

    What happened to the 3 striped shadows to the left above your head in the first picture?

    It is completly gone. Wasn’t the pictures taken under the same lightning conditions right after each other?

    May 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm

  3. ergoforce

    … and looks as the focal length for the second picture is a little bit wider.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:54 pm

  4. Karl Reed

    #1 S100, #2 5dMKII..

    The top picture has slightly deeper DOF.


    May 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm

  5. ergoforce

    oh I see now lightning changed. On the red rectangulare thing to the left of your shoulder. My left. :)

    May 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm

  6. Frenk

    Your Dropbox link is giving a 403 error, so I’m unable to view the higher resolution files.

    The 960px images are very close. But my guess would be #1 X100S and #2 Canon 5DIII. There’s some mottling pattern in the out of focus gradients that I’ve seen in other X100S images. This is just my uneducated guess.

    May 3, 2013 at 2:21 am

    • Does that Dropbox link work for you now? I made an adjustment and I think (?) it should work.

      May 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

  7. echo

    2-5DIII (I sure hope, because I have both and I know which costs more.)

    May 3, 2013 at 4:47 am

  8. I’m going to say the first image is the Fuji X100S and the second images is the Canon 5D-Mark III.

    May 3, 2013 at 11:57 am

  9. I’m going with x100 in the first shot.
    I suck at these but my initial reaction was that the 1st one looked like something I woulda taken with my 100S
    The highlight handling in the back is throwing me off.

    May 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm

  10. initial though is #2 is the X100s

    May 5, 2013 at 3:21 am

  11. JF

    top X100S. missing shadow above head and details are blurred compared to bottom photo.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm

  12. andy

    Well, there is an obvious way to tell which is which. In the second picture, the flags are in focus, so that suggests it’s the 5d given you shot it at f/6.3.

    The comparison is interesting, and I can see the point you’re trying to make, but I’m not sure it makes much sense. The 35mm f/1.4 is world-class in the 1.4/2.2 range. It gives you something there which the X100s will never give you.

    May 14, 2013 at 4:26 am

  13. James Lee

    Impressive results for both. Obvious tell is the closer compression of background with the 5D since the X100s is a 24mm lens vs. the Canon’s 35mm. Second image has very slightly greater compression so I’d say Canon 5DIII.

    June 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    • The X100S is the equivalent of 35mm FOV, so there is no difference in compression compared to the Canon 5D with 35mm.

      June 30, 2013 at 9:43 pm

  14. kameel

    Many lenses stopped down look pretty similar, especially once edited. The difference is how they shoot in the field and wide open. This is a super old post but i shoot with these two lenses, the 1.4l just handles more difficult situations better and can be coupled with much better bodies than how the x100s shoots.

    If you are always shooting beyond f 6.3, there is little reason even for a full frame camera, much less a 1.4 lens.

    June 28, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Leave a Reply to Randy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *