Fujifilm X-S1 vs Nikon P510 – Comparison (Sample images, Zoom Test, High ISO)

September 9, 2012

Fujifilm X-S1 and Nikon P510, two superzoom cameras on purple background

The Nikon P510 grab the ‘largest zoom P&S camera on the planet’ title, but it doesn’t mean that the whole package it the best all-around. In this review will put the Nikon P510 to the test again the Fujifilm X-S1 superzoom, a camera that already grabbed some excellent ratings across camera reviews’ websites. Not all superzoom are alike, and maybe we are lucky that it’s the case, because it makes choosing a camera easier. I must admit that I have some doubt whether the X-S1 will be able to win the people’s choice award because it’s certainly looks bulky compare to the alternatives.

The thing is that when image quality is concerned, the Fujifilm X-S1 EXR proven to be one of the best camera in its category, if not The best, this  might convince some people to get this camera over other superzooms, cameras which are more compact and have bigger zoom.  In fact, the X-S1 is even bigger than some entry-level DSLR cameras like the Nikon D3200 for example.  The camera weights 945g (inc. battery and card), which is almost almost 500g heavier than the Nikon D3200. So the question is how well the X-S1 can compete against the Nikon P510, lacking the user-friendly look and weight? – Let’s find out!


Fujifilm X-S1

The Fujifilm  X-S1  costs approximately $100 more than the P510. Still, it fits quite nicely in the superzoom category, but a DSLR-like camera and its size, bot design and weight is the evidence for that. The X-S1 was designed to appeal to advanced photographers who want to enjoy some of the DSLR benefits, but without the hassle of changing lenses. People who love a bigger camera ergonomics, but search for a more affordable camera that will give them some of the benefits of a DSLR camera. Those who care about the camera size will probably choose another camera, which is smaller and lighter than the X-S1.

Fujifilm X-S1 camera

Fujifilm X-S1 superzoom camera - looks like a DSLR


I assume that some will love this design, other will certainly not.  The camera weights 945 g and even a few mm larger than the Nikon D7000. It’s not huge, but those who are use to hold compact P&S cameras will probably find this camera bulky.

The most interesting part of this camera is the lens and sensor. The X-S1 uses a a large 2/3-inch sensor EXR CMOS sensor and EXR Processor to ensure high resolution and beautiful looking and detailed images.

Fujifilm X-S1 sensor size comparison diagram

Fujifilm X-S1 sensor size comparison diagram

The above diagram provided by cameraimagesensor.com gives us a good clue how large the X-S1 sensor is compare to other type of image sensors, including the Nikon P510 (first on the left), Sony RX100 (third from the left) and the Nikon D3200 APS-C size sensor (first on the right). We can see that the X-S1 sensor is much larger than the P510 sensor, but it’s still smaller than sensors that can be found on large-sensor compacts and DSLR camras.

This 12MP large sensor will certainly help the X-S1 perform better in higher ISO and provide a better image quality overall. In practice, we already are aware how good this sensor from reviews all over the web. JPEG image have punchy colors with lots of details and excellent contrast and dynamic range.

The sensor was optimized to match and lens high optical quality characteristics.  The Fujinon X-S1 is equipped with a 24-624mm (equiv.) F2.8-5.8 26x Zoom lens. This lens is made from Fujifilm’s highest ingredients and technology innovation, bringing cutting edge technologies to this point-and-shoot superzoom camera. The lens feature a large aperture (F2.8) at the wide angle. With a larger sensor, 0-blade aperture diaphragm  and a fast aperture you can even achieve quite nice defocused background. The lens utilizes aspherical lens, ED Lens and Electron Beam Coating (EBC) to deliver sharp and detailed image with minimum amount of chromatic aberration.

This lens will allow you to shoot almost any picture you can think of, starting with macro shots as close as 1cm, going to 24mm wide angle shots and up to taking photos of subjects which are far away from the camera. The Optical Image Stabilization mechanism (OIS) helps the effectively compensate camera shake, allowing you to shoot sharp images when using higher focal lengths and when shooting photos with slow shutter speeds.

Furthermore, the X-S1 features a high quality 1.44M dots EVF, have a 3-inch tilting LCD monitor and have plenty of buttons for fast access to popular camera settings like ISO and White Balance.

The X-S1 has some degree of weather sealing protection again moisture and dust. With 49-point AF system, you are sure to get accurate and fast focus.

So what more do you need? – This camera certainly brings premium features to point-and-shoot cameras, and the X-S1 is really a unique camera among other Superzooms.


Nikon P510

It maybe not fare to write about the X-S1 first, because I have a filling that some of you are already sold to the Fuji. In terms of featuers, the X-S1 really looks like the best of the best, however, the Nikon P510 has its own advantages and it’s a very popular superzoom camera, and for a good reason too.

Nikon P510 superzoom camera

Nikon P510 superzoom camera

Nikon P510 superzoom digital camera grabbed the media attention due to its amazing 42x optical zoom, or better to say, because of its 1000mm focal length reach.  It’s easy to be sold to this camera if you are searching to buy a digital camera with the biggest zoom on the market, the P510 will give you that. As an enthusiast photographer, I know that we should look at all the camera features before we make a decision.

The Nikon Coolpix P510 is the most expensive superzoom in Nikon’s lineup, but costs less than the high-end compacts (ie. P7700). The camera is compact and certainly lightweight when you compare it to the X-S1.  This is probably among the best travel cameras you find on the market today.  It features a 16MP sensor with 921K-dots 3-inch tilting LCD, Full HD video recording, built-in GPS, 99 af points, EVF and can shoot at 7fps in burst mode (up to 5 frames).

The P510 is more intended for the mass market, novice photographer who search for a good superzoom camera and don’t mind investing a bit extra to enjoy more features and a very high zoom.  The P510 is a great camera but not perfect. it’s image quality is not as impressive as the popular Canon SX40 HS, but still was able to win against the Sony HX200V. It’s lens is not as fast as the Fuji X-S1 (f3-5.9), there is no option to shoot Raw and it feels a bit plasticky.

The Nikon P510 biggest selling point is the 42x optical zoom. Some people will based their decision on this factor alone. Image quality was is good, but not as the best of the competition. The sensor on the P510 is smaller than the X-S1, which of course gives the X-S1 an edge before I even start talking about image quality (next section).

We need to remember that the X-S1 is approx. $100 more expensive than the P510. That something that needed to be taken into account too.  You shouldn’t get me wrong, the P510 grabbed quite a lot of positive rating on many camera reviews’ websites, but the question is again, should you buy the P510 over the X-S1, assuming that you can afford getting either cameras?



X-S1 vs P510 – Image Quality Comparison

magnifying glass on imageAs far as image quality is concerned, the X-S1 has an advantage of having a larger sensor and fewer pixels, which means much smaller pixel density.  Fuji certainly done wise not going with a more pixels and staying with it seems a good balance between detail and image quality.

Using imagine-resource.com comparometer, I compared images of both the X-S1 vs P510 side by side, and also in various ISO settings. Here’s my observation conclusion:

  • ISO 100 – both cameras produce nice and clean looking image. The X-S1 seems to have more punchy warm colors compare to the Nikon. Nikon is known for its warm tone images. Nikon also result in more details due to its higher megapixel sensor. [Tie]
  • ISO 200 – Nikon has more details. The Nikon seems to produce a bit sharper image. First I thought it was because of slightly in accurate focusing, but after seeing the second image It seems that the Nikon image is indeed sharper, but nothing to be concerned about. Slight noise starts kicking in  [Tie]
  • ISO 400 – Slight advantage for the X-S1 in terms of noise [Advantage X-S1]
  • ISO 800 – Nikon uses stronger NR. Both suffer from quite a mount of noise, but still IQ is good [Advantage: X-S1]
  • ISO 1600 – X-S1 more color patched noise patterns. Lots of noise. I prefer the output of the P510 [Advantage: P510]
  • ISO 3200 –  this time the P510 suffers from color patchy noise patterns in brighter areas, (look at the face area), X-S1 in mid-tones, more details on the P510 (look at the hair) [Tie]


Up to ISO 400 both camera perform very well. I really love the output of the Fuji. You can see that even at ISO 6400 the camera maintains high contrast and punchy colors, which looks much better than the Nikon dull ones at higher ISO. With the Fuji you can even make good quality small prints using ISO6400!

If I have to choose a winner, I will give the crown to the Fujifilm X-S1.




  • Size – X-S1 is larger and heavier than the P510
  • Weather sealing – The X-S1 is some degree of weather sealing (dust and moisture proof), the P510 isn’t weather-sealed at all
  • Construction – the X-S1 ha metal lens barrel for easy and smooth zooming mechanism
  • Sensor – The X-S1 has a larger CMOS sensor, P510 uses BSI-CMOS with more resolution. IQ wise, the X-S1 performed better overall, with punchy saturated colors, even at high ISO
  • Image Format – The X-S1 can shoot Raw, the P510 only JPEGs
  • Lens – the P510 have higher zoom range (41.7x vs 26x), the X-S1 lens is a faster at the wide angle (F2.8 vs F3). The P510 has a 6-blade iris diaphragm, the X-S1 has 9-blades
  • LCD  both have tilting LCD, P510 higher resolution (921K-dots vs 460K-dots)
  • EVF – X-S1 has a 1.44M-dots 0.47-inch  high quality EVF, better than the 201K-dot 0.2-inch eye-level EVF of the P510
  • Burst – the X-S1 can shoot at up to 10 fps in continuous shooting mode, faster than the 7 fps of the P510
  • Video – P510 can shoot 1080p30 same as the P510 at Full HD resolution
  • GPS – P510 has a GPS, X-S1 doesn’t
  • Battery Life – X-S1 can shoot up to 460 frames, Nikon P510 only 200 – makes the X-S1 battery life much better, last for more shots
  • Macro – X-S1 can shoot from a closer range 1cm vs 2cm of the P510 in Macro mode
  • Audio – the X-S1 has a mic jack for connecting external stereo mic, the P510 doesn’t
  • External Flash – the X-S1 support external flash via hot-shoe, the P510 doesn’t
  • Shutter Speed – X-S1 has much faster shutter speed of 1/4000 sec vs 1/2000 sec of the P510
  • Long Exposure – X-S1 30 seconds exposure vs 4 seconds of the P510
  • 3D Photos – the Nikon can shoot 3D photos, the Fuji cannot
  • High Speed Movies – the P510 can shoot high-speed movies, the X-S1 can’t


Sample Images

Fujifilm X-S1 Sample Images

Tortoiseshell Butterfly 001

Powis Castle -  008

Vivere nella natura


Gorgeous photos, brilliant color with amazing punch to it – Just love the Fujifilm X-S1 image quality!


Nikon P510 Sample Images

Macro Fleur

Graceful pelican


An evening landscape

Great looking photos! – however, after viewing hundreds of photos, I just can not ignore the Fujifilm colors. It seems that Fuji wanted to make a statement with this camera, making the colors looks so beautiful and well saturated, but not too much. Many people will just love how the Fuji renders the scene.


Fujifilm X-S1 vs Nikon P510 Zoom Test & Video Quality

Will finish with two videos that illustrate the optical zoom range of both cameras and the video quality.


Fujifilm X-S1 Sample Video, demonstrates the video quality (make sure you watch in HD or Full HD):

Brilliant IQ!


Fujifilm X-S1 Zoom test video:


Nikon P510 Sample video, demonstrates the video quality (make sure you watch in HD or Full HD):


Nikon P510 Zoom test video:




In general, the X-S1 is the better camera of the two when it comes to performance and advance features. What I really like about the X-S1 is the battery life, Raw, viewfinder, shutter speed, image quality and burst. On the P510 I love the big 42x zoom, GPS and high speed movies. It’s the time that you will think of what you want / need on your next camera.

There are quite a lot of differences between the two cameras. I personally wouldn’t mind giving up some of the zoom range in favor of the advanced features of the Fuji. I’ve shot with a DSLR and a 70-300 mm lens and it was more than enough for all my needs. Being able to shoot more than 600mm focal length is more than what many people need. I prefer having more advanced features and enjoy the X-S1 image quality (which I really like) and not having the biggest zoom on the planet.

Of course you might decide otherwise. Some of you might be tempted to get the P510 because of its GPS, 3D Photos and more compact body. Both are among the best superzoom we have right now. I personally think that Fujifilm has done a great job with the X-S1. I personally think that it’s the best superzoom camera right now, even without the biggest zoom. In fact, maybe it’s a good thing. After all, bigger zoom makes the lens construction more complicated and usually lead to less IQ.

I really love the X-S1, and I really think that you should certainly take a closer look at this camera. In my opinion, it worth the $100 price difference. It seems that I am sold to the X-S1 too after all.

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