The new FinePix X100 12.3 Mega-pixel digital camera has a definite Leica M9 look … but Fujifilm says that “the combination of a hybrid viewfinder, large APS-C sensor and a precisely matched prime lens, make this camera unique to anything else in the market, and is presented within a rangefinder design that makes it an instant modern classic.” We have to admit – we love this camera – the well wrapped technology is exactly what we believe point and shoot is all about. Don’t get deceived by the super neat retro casing, this shooter has some serious new technology under the hood.
The chassis is made from die-cast magnesium alloy, the dials and rings are milled from metal and the chassis has been finished in leather-like accents. The upper dials allow the user to program camera settings without powering on the camera, and the large 12.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor has been internally optimized and exclusively developed for the X100. Its ISO sensitivity runs from 200 to 6400, but this can be expanded to ISO100 to ISO12800, giving the camera “approximately 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact.” The distinct lack of interchangeable lenses is a disappointment, Fuji has refused to rule out lens options in the future, but for now the camera is stuck with a pretty spectacular 23mm f2.o lens.
Fuji reckons that “The true enjoyment of photography begins with the thrill of seeing the world through a viewfinder, the new Hybrid Viewfinder has been developed to reintroduce users to this essential camera experience. It combines the window-type ‘bright frame’ optical viewfinder found in rangefinder-type film cameras such as the classic 135-size or medium-format cameras, with the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in most compact or mirrorless digital cameras.” For us this camera absolutely cements this sentiment.
One of the technologies that makes the X100 stand out is the new hybrid viewfinder, the world’s first fusion of both an optical and an electronic viewfinder. Fujifilm say “by using integrating a prism for the 1,440,000 dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder, the Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of shooting data”
“There’s an indescribable pleasure that peering through a viewfinder provides. And now Fujifilm have taken this further with the launch of the newly developed Hybrid Viewfinder. Whether you’re framing your shot through the Optical Viewfinder (OVF), or Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), your eye will not only see the subject and scene, but also a range of shooting data projected by an integrated high-definition LCD panel. This perfect marriage of intuitive analogue operation and state-of-the-art digital functionality gives birth to the discovery of new dimensions of enjoyment behind the lens of the ultimate compact.”
A simple one-touch button allows for switching between the optical and electronic viewfinders, making it easy for the user to adjust depending on environment or requirements. While many camera enthusiasts will prefer the optical viewfinder, thanks to this new hybrid system you also enjoy the benefits of the data provided via the LCD display like aperture, shutter speed, and white balance.
The FinePix X100 sports a special high-performance CMOS sensor that was developed by Fujifilm in-house especially for this model. According to the company, the new 12.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor has about 10 times the sensitivity of the other Finepix compact cameras. Fujifilm says that this, combined this with the new EXR processor, makes for the very best possible image quality.
The X100 can record 720p high definition movies which, when using the aperture priority setting, can take advantage of the soft, defocused background effect. Onward viewing on a big screen television is catered for via an included mini-HDMI connector.
LCD: Boasting a bright, high contrast LCD with the convenience of a wide viewing angle, the 2.8-inch 460,000 dot LCD monitor provides a simple preview of the shooting data in addition to showing the same content as the electronic viewfinder. X100 captures images with an aspect ratio of 4:3, and the large LCD screen provides an ample screen with additional outer “frame” where the shooting information is displayed without blocking your view of your composition.
The camera’s 120 or 180 degree motion panorama mode is worth a quick mention, with users being able to print results as A3-sized (11.7 x 16.5-inch) enlargements.
Even the accesories are retro-ubercool, the leather case has none of the oh-so-common bright branding slashed all over it, it is subdued and stylised. X100 FULL SPECS