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X100S vs X100 vs Canon 5D Mark III

RESULTS ARE IN! (<—click link to see, but be sure to test yourself first!)

Time to play stump the photographer (you)!!

A lot of people have been asking many questions about the new Fuji X100S– several of which I’ve tried to (and will continue to) answer on my ongoing Pros and Cons page. Two of the common questions relate to– image quality, specifically compared to the previous X100. And there is also question about what the stated ISO ratings really mean, in terms of whether we’re really comparing apples to apples, given what kind of exposure values the camera is giving compared to the rest of the world of cameras/film. So, I’ve run a little test to look at both things at once. Only, this is more like a pop quiz! Take your best guess and leave it in the comments below! I will come back in a couple days and reveal the correct answer.

I’m comparing between the X100s, the X100, and the Canon 5D Mark III (with Canon 35 L). Now, I know that there could be doubts as to what Canon’s rated ISO really is, compared to everything else– so this is not the final judgement on the ISO ratings of any of these cameras, but if you’re familiar with any one of these cameras, than this comparison may have some value. The merged image is what really reveals the comparative detail, tones, and cleanliness these cameras are providing. These are all shot as jpeg SOOC, so there is the variable of each camera’s internal processing, but as a primarily jpeg shooter (with Fuji cameras), I decided to run the test in this way. One more note on the internal processing– I will say that I have the X100S set to a NR of minus 1 (versus the default of 0).

All cameras were shot at the same WB and all at 1/100 sec, f/2.8, and ISO 3200 and then resized to all match. I will also note that the wonderful painting by the incredible artist, Karl Haglund, is coated in very thick oil paint–with actual texture to it, so this is not some level object with no real detail. Now leave your guesses as to which is which in the comments below!





 What’s your guess? Let us know in the comments below! I’ll return with the answer in a couple of days!

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93 Responses

  1. Doug

    In order, I’d guess …

    #1 = X100S
    #2 = Canon + 35L
    #3 = X100

    I feel strongest about #2 being the Canon.

    March 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

    • FYI- I’ve posted the X100S results!

      March 8, 2013 at 8:06 am

  2. #1 – 5DIII
    #2 – X100s
    #3 – X100

    March 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

  3. Brian

    #1 – X100S
    #2 – 5DmkIII
    #3 – X100

    March 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

  4. #1 – 5DIII
    #2 – X100s
    #3 – X100

    That should be about right… !?!
    and if the first two switched places, i would not blame anyone either 😉

    March 6, 2013 at 11:17 am

  5. zenfr

    #1 = X100
    #2 = Canon + 35L
    #3 = X100S

    March 6, 2013 at 11:51 am

  6. binsjohn

    #1 5D MkIII
    #2 X100S
    #3 X100

    • The X100 is likely to have the worst detail, so it would be #3.
    • The color rendition of #2 and #3 are the closest, so it would seem they would be from the same manufacturer.

    March 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

  7. Sweet

    #1 – x100
    #2 – 5d
    #3 – x100s

    very obvious

    March 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm

  8. Cognoscenti

    I don’t even know why you bother to do this absolutely ignorant comparison.

    I don’t think you know what you are doing.

    March 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    • Thank you for your insight. It’s quite helpful and informative.

      March 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      • Cognoscenti

        Setting NR to NOT default for X100S. Why? Just to make your new affection, X100S to look great in comparison.

        Besides your stupid shadow lifting for Fuji cameras at #2 and #3, don’t fool anyone.

        And get your focus right on #1 with 5DIII, and with X100 on #3.


        March 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

        • Man, you are just so wrong in so many ways ( I can only say so much, as I don’t want to reveal answers yet). As I said, these are straight out of the camera. I didn’t lift any shadows or edit them in anyway. And I did get the focus right. There are differences in sharpness. The merged photo are 100% crops at ISO 3200– and don’t forget the different resolving powers of the 3 cameras 12mp, 16mp, and 22mp. The larger two are downsized to match the 12mp. And the reason for the -1 NR is because I found that at higher ISOs, the X100S was applying more NR than on the other cameras. I have it set to be more similar. I’m not automatically biased towards any one of these cameras, buddy. I’m not trying to make one look better than another.

          March 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

        • Murat

          hey cogno virus; 1st is not canon.. read forum first.. you are dumpiest… i wish brain told u that instead of giving explanations u don’t deserve

          March 6, 2013 at 11:21 pm

  9. Bashar


    March 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  10. Michael Roche

    #1 5DII
    #2 X100s
    #3 X100

    March 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

  11. tristan


    March 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

  12. X-Factor

    1- 5Dll
    2- X-100s
    3- X-100

    March 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm

  13. X-Factor

    1- 5-Dii
    2- X-100s
    3- X-100

    March 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm

  14. #1 – 5DIII.
    #2 – X100s definitely.
    #3 – X100.

    March 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

  15. Wolfgang

    1. X100
    2. X100S
    3. 5DIII

    March 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

  16. Cam

    1. X100s

    2. 5D Mark III

    3. X100

    March 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

  17. chaosboi

    1- X100S
    2- Canon
    3 – X100

    March 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm

  18. Jimbo

    1- X100
    2- Canon
    3- X100s

    March 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

  19. Steve

    just curious, when will you let us know the results

    March 6, 2013 at 5:17 pm

  20. Brian –
    I posted my answers, then saw the whole thing on my Facebook page. I deleted it from there (boring to the majority of by FB family & friends), then worried that it may have been deleted from here. It’s so frustrating when the global system won’t let you do one thing without doing another.

    Anyway, in case my original post went missing — I also posted on your DPReview thread.
    #1 – Fuji X-100s
    #2 – Canon 5D MkIII
    #3 – Fuji X-100

    Great idea. Congratulations for doing the first-ever comparison that actually makes sense in the real world.

    March 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm

  21. Tom

    #1: 5D MKIII
    #2: X100S
    #3: X100

    March 7, 2013 at 1:26 am

  22. Stu Levine

    #1 X100s
    #2 X100
    #3 5D MKIII

    March 7, 2013 at 2:26 am

  23. William

    #-1 x100s
    #-2 5D III
    #-3 x100

    March 7, 2013 at 2:29 am

  24. I`m using 5d mk3 with 35L now and used x100 and x-pro1 in the past:) Looking forward to x100s now, so probably will buy it. Just wanted to thaks to you for your thoughts about x100s;)
    My guess:

    1. 5d
    2. x100s
    3. x100

    BUT when i`m looking at WB (is it auto?) of these shots, i`m thinking of Canon at shot #3:)))

    March 7, 2013 at 3:20 am

  25. teyssier

    For me :

    March 7, 2013 at 5:59 am

  26. Ian

    1. 5D-III
    2. X100s
    3. X100.

    March 7, 2013 at 6:12 am

  27. 1 = 5DIII
    2 = x100s
    3 = x100

    March 7, 2013 at 6:59 am

    • Results are now posted! …oh, you already knew that!

      March 8, 2013 at 8:13 am

  28. pawelm

    1. 100
    2. 100s
    3. 5DIII

    March 7, 2013 at 7:10 am

  29. jon

    1 – x100 – More noise, looks a bit muddy.
    2 – Canon – canon colours ie strong reds/ orange and oversharpening of default jpgs
    3 – x100s – Dynamic range (window highlights retain colour information), neutral colours and natural details (not oversharpened).

    Im probably well off, normally rubbish at this type of thing! looking forward to seeing the results.
    Cheers jon

    March 7, 2013 at 7:42 am

  30. Jule

    This is fun!
    As the WB is set to “same” the Fujis superior auto WB is of no use. However #1 and 3 has about same “interpretation of light”, that will be the Fujis. Details on the paintet canvas seems to be in the order 2>1>3, allthough one can easily be fooled by small sharpening diff.
    1: x100
    2: Canon
    3: x100s

    thx again. :)

    March 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

  31. Jule

    make that:

    1: x100s
    2: Canon
    3: x100


    March 7, 2013 at 12:22 pm

  32. jo-1

    nice idea but are you really judging the quality of a camera on sRGB resized 600×900 pixel files from jpeg?

    That’s like judging the quality of a sports car with winter tires :-)

    For ma a point less comparison – at 600 x 900 pixels any current camera will look just fine enough for internet use – would have been nice to include a current smartphone picture as comparison and I guess most would not have seen a big difference either.

    thx for the test and for the idea. If internet usage is your goal then none of these cameras are really needed IMHO

    If you intend to do more then internet usage a carefully treated RAW file would be my reference and my personal favorite.

    March 8, 2013 at 12:29 am

    • Jule

      We are not judging the quality, we are judging the differences. Oh and having fun 😀

      Kind Regards

      March 8, 2013 at 2:05 am

    • Yup, what Jule said.

      March 8, 2013 at 8:03 am

  33. Marco

    I’d bet on the second one comimg from the canon….dunno about the other two!

    March 8, 2013 at 6:43 am

    • Thanks, I’ve posted the results at the top!

      March 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

  34. steve

    so x100s is not as good as x100

    March 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    • Not sure what makes you think that. I’m curious.

      March 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

  35. checked the results, I was wrong, but overall they all look pretty good

    March 8, 2013 at 6:11 pm

  36. kmhb

    #1 canon

    #2 X100

    #3 X100s

    March 18, 2013 at 8:59 am

  37. My guess is :
    #1: X100s
    #2: 5DIII
    #3: X100

    March 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  38. Beni

    Agree with wolfgang,
    1. X100 – little bit darker
    2. X100S – better
    3. 5DIII – too yellow

    March 19, 2013 at 12:03 am

  39. bhan

    #2 is canon,DOF is more shallow
    #1 x100, lower mpix, higher details (maybe)
    #3 x100s, higher mpix, lower details (also maybe)

    March 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

  40. 1. x100s
    2. 5D3
    3. x100

    Based on depth of field and resolution.
    Yes, I will check the results now 😉

    March 23, 2013 at 4:43 am

  41. Dave

    #1 lacks dynamic range in the sky and the obstruction (a speaker?) in the lower right hand corner.
    In the merged comparison, #2 shows the most texture and #3 appears to lack texture. However, the high level detail comparison is for different parts of the painting so we may be looking at an apples to oranges comparison.
    #1 100
    #2 canon
    #3 100s

    March 23, 2013 at 10:37 am

  42. Roman

    1. X100s
    2. 5DIII
    3. X100

    March 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

  43. jaro

    1 Canon
    2 X100
    3 x100s

    March 25, 2013 at 3:25 am

  44. Philip Lam

    1 Canon
    2 X100S
    3 X100

    August 8, 2013 at 1:32 am

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  47. Carl

    1. X100s
    2. 5DIII
    3. X100

    November 2, 2013 at 9:21 am

  48. Ossi

    1. Citroen C5
    2. VW Golf IV
    3. Airbus A380


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  58. Omprakash Das

    1. Fuji X100S
    2. Canon 5D
    3. Fuji X100

    September 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

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