Never have I seen a camera enter the market like the Fujifilm X100 with so many professional photographers drooling over the shiny body, sumptuous curves and brilliant intellect.
The Fujifilm Finepix X100 proves to be brains, with a newly developed hybrid viewfinder and large APS-C size sensor, beauty, seen in the retro rangefinder design, and brawn, most always described as solid and robust. Adding to this, limited production and availability have created a steadily intensifying allure.
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I too have a strong desire to wrap my hands around the Fujifim X100, look deep into the vewfinder, flip back and forth between optical and electronic modes, twist the manual dials, and start pressing all the right buttons. I absolutely love that the Fujifilm X100 is aimed at putting the fun and creativity of analog shooting into digital photography while introducing new technologies that produce splendid image results.
- Classic Rangefinder Design – Robust magnesium alloy construction
- Manual Dials and Controls for Aperture, Shutter and Exposure Compensation
- Built-in Flash and Hot Shoe
- Large 2.8 inch LCD screen – 4:3 aspect ratio – 460,000 dots
- One of a Kind Hybrid Viewfinder – Optical and electronic viewfinders at the flip of a switch
- 12.3 Megapixel – Large APS-C size CMOS Sensor
- EXR Image Processor
- Fujinon Prime Lens – Fixed F2 23mm (35mm equivalent)
- Built-in Neutral Density Filter
- JPEG and RAW File Formats – quick access one-touch button
- HD Video – 1280 x 720 pixels – 24 frames per second – Stereo sound
Body and Styling
The Fujifilm X100 is a beautifully designed camera. Fashioned after rangefinders of the past, loved and missed, the X100 is a classic blend of past and present. The top control deck and bottom plate are made from high-precision magnesium alloy giving the camera a robust and solid strength and feel while the chassis is finished in high-quality leather. The Fujifilm X100 feels just right in your hands, heavy enough to feel solid while light enough to never want to put it down. The nearest resemblance of current cameras is the Leica M9, however the Leica X1 is most similar in operation.
The metal dials on the top control deck add to the manual functionality providing quick access to shutter speed and exposure compensation while aperture settings can be controlled on the lens ring. The back of the camera has all of the quick access buttons you’d expect to find plus a handy one-touch RAW shooting mode button. A lever on the front makes switching from optical viewfinder to electronic viewfinder a breeze.
The most interesting and unique innovation of the Fujifilm X100 is the hybrid viewfinder providing both an optical and electronic viewfinder mode at the flip of a switch mounted on the front of the camera body. The viewfinder itself is a large window into your photographic world and given the choice between bright – optical mode with digital information overlay and electronic viewfinder mode, creating your desired composition is a fast, efficient and pleasurable.
Large APS-C CMOS Sensor
The 12.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor is ten times the size of sensors found in typical compact cameras. Combined with a high performance EXR image processor and a fixed focal length Prime Fujinon Lens, the Fujifilm X100 produces images of exception quality in all lighting situations. The strength of the large sensor is particularly relevant in low-light photography where little to no image noise will be found. This is a camera that is prepared to shoot anything at anytime optimized for edge-to-edge brilliance.
Prime Fujinon Lens
The Prime Fujinon 23mm (35mm equivalent) Aspherical Lens has been built from the ground up to work in perfect unison with the large image sensor providing ample brightness and high contrast sensitivity. Images are captured with accurate optical clarity and in high resolution. The lens system is non-collapsible and non-telescoping, designed to be ideal for a compact camera and unobtrusive shooting. Images are sharp, clear and full of that trademark Fuji color.
Creativity and Ease of Use
Fuji is tagging the X100 as ‘The Professional’s Choice’ and with a plethora of quick access manual dials and controls, large sensor, quality optics and classic rangefinder design, it appears to be becoming just that. The Fujifilm X100 is focused on putting fun, creativity and style back into photography. Twisting dials and making creative choices is what it’s all about.
The biggest complaint against the Fujifilm X100 is that the user-interface is overly complicated and not user-friendly, as well as other glitches in the firmware. However, Fuji has announced that a firmware update addressing those issues will be available soon.
*Fujifilm FinePix X100 Firmware Update Ver.1.10 now available
The Professional’s Choice
Cool, retro, solid, sexy and shiny, the Fujifilm X100 proves to be not just another pretty face but a professional photographer’s tool to be reckoned with. Easily slipped into your pocket and ready to rock at any time, in any lighting situation, the X100 is a perfect date for holidays, parties, events or an evening walk. Street photography, portraits and landscapes all translate well into accurate, clear, sharp, high quality images.
Taking the Fujifilm X100 into your hands, gazing through the viewfinder, twisting the dials, and gently pressing the shutter release button is possibly the closest you’ll ever come to dancing with images.