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Fujifilm X100S versus Fujifilm X20

The Fujifilm X100S and the Fujifilm X20 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public in January 2013. Both the X100S and the X20 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (X100S) and a 2/3 (X20) sensor. The X100S has a resolution of 16 megapixel, whereas the X20 provides 12 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Fujifilm X100S vs Fujifilm X20

The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X100S and the Fujifilm X20 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X100S – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X100S vs Fujifilm X20
Compare X100S versus X20 top
Compare X100S and X20 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X20 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Fujifilm X100S. Moreover, the X20 is markedly lighter (21 percent) than the X100S. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X100S nor the X20 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the X100S gets 330 shots out of its NP-95 battery, while the X20 can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-50 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X100S» 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 330 n Jan 2013 1,299- i
Fujifilm X20« 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.5 oz 270 n Jan 2013 599- i
Canon G15« » 4.2 in 3.0 in 1.6 in 12.4 oz 350 n Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G1 X« » 4.6 in 3.2 in 2.6 in 18.8 oz 250 n Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X100F« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X70« » 4.4 in 2.5 in 1.7 in 12.0 oz 330 n Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X100T« » 5.0 in 2.9 in 2.0 in 15.5 oz 330 n Sep 2014 1,299- i
Fujifilm X30« » 4.7 in 2.8 in 2.4 in 14.9 oz 470 n Aug 2014 599 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i
Fujifilm X10« » 4.6 in 2.8 in 2.2 in 12.3 oz 270 n Sep 2011 599- i
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 2.2 in 14.3 oz 300 n Sep 2014 1,195 i i
Leica X Typ 113« » 5.2 in 2.9 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 350 n Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Sep 2012 699- i
Panasonic LX7« » 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.8 in 10.5 oz 330 n Jul 2012 499- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X20 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 54 percent) than the X100S, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Fujifilm X100S vs Fujifilm X20

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X100S features an APS-C sensor and the Fujifilm X20 a 2/3 sensor. The sensor area in the X20 is 84 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 3.9. The sensor in the X100S has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the X20 offers a 4:3 aspect.

Fujifilm X100S and Fujifilm X20 sensor measures

With 16MP, the X100S offers a higher resolution than the X20 (12MP), but the X100S nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.80μm versus 2.20μm for the X20) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

X100S versus X20 MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X100S» APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X20« 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Canon G15« » 1/1.7 12.0 4000 30001080/24p19.911.516546
Canon G1 X« » 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X70« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X100T« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X30« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Fujifilm X10« » 2/3 12.0 4000 30001080/30p20.511.324550
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« » Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p----
Leica X Typ 113« » APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p----
Leica D-LUX 6« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p----
Panasonic LX7« » 1/1.7 10.0 3648 27361080/60p20.711.714750

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X100S vs Fujifilm X20

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X100S has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the X20 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X100S and Fujifilm X20 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X100S»2360 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X20«optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Canon G15« »optical n 3.0 922 fixed n 4000 2.1 Y Y
Canon G1 X« »optical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 4000 1.9 Y Y
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X70« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X100T« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X30« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 12.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n
Fujifilm X10« »optical n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 10.0 Y Y
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »2764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 11.0 n Y
Leica X Typ 113« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 2000 5.0 Y n
Leica D-LUX 6« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y
Panasonic LX7« »- n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 11.0 Y Y

The X20 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the X100S comes with a build-in prime. The X20 has a 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 optic and the X100S offers a 35mm f/2.0 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the X20 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the X100S. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

Both the X100S and the X20 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The X100S was replaced by the Fujifilm X100T, while the X20 was followed by the Fujifilm X30.

Review summary: Fujifilm X100S vs Fujifilm X20

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X100S or the Fujifilm X20 – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Fujifilm X100S:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (16 vs 12MP) with a 18% higher linear resolution.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (330 versus 270) on a single battery charge.


Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X20:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (12 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x70mm vs 127x74mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 92g or 21 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (54 percent cheaper at launch).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X20 emerges as the winner of the match-up (7 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

X100S 04:07 X20

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the X100S and the X20 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X100S»HiRec81/1004.5/54/55/5 Jan 2013 1,299- i
Fujifilm X20«HiRec77/1004.5/5-5/5 Jan 2013 599- i
Canon G15« »Rec76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499- i
Canon G1 X« »Rec76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799- i
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X70« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799 i i
Fujifilm X100T« »Rec81/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2014 1,299- i
Fujifilm X30« »-76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Aug 2014 599 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i
Fujifilm X10« »-76/1004/53.5/54.5/5 Sep 2011 599- i
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i
Leica D-LUX Typ 109« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Sep 2014 1,195 i i
Leica X Typ 113« »--3.5/5-4/5 Sep 2014 2,295 i i
Leica D-LUX 6« »--4/5-4/5 Sep 2012 699- i
Panasonic LX7« »HiRec75/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2012 499- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If the camera you are interested in is not available, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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