At Photokina 2010 in Cologne, Germany, Fujifilm has unveiled details about the upcoming Finepix X100, a compact camera with a retro style and impressive specs to match. The company says this model, to be released in early 2011, will fill pro-photographers' need for a smaller back-up or substitute camera when a DSLR is inconvenient. With a 12.3 megapixel APS-C-based sensor and a fixed 23mm lens, the Finepix X100 will certainly be in the running for best pro compact on the market next year.
The classic aesthetic will certainly be a big selling point. This throwback design of the camera's exterior makes this camera a very stylish choice, but yet an ergonomic one as well. A magnesium alloy has been used to create the upper control deck and the bottom portion of the X100, making for a highly rigid and sturdy body. The dial controls on the top are also composed of metal, and can be used to adjusted settings manually even when the power is off.
One of the technologies that will make the X100 stand out is the new hybrid viewfinder, which is the "world's first fusion" of both an optical and an electronic viewfinder. According to Fujifilm, "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."
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's 23mm F2 Fujinon lens is also newly developed with a non-collapsible structure that keeps the size compact, as well as eliminating the need for telescoping when you turn on the power.
There hasn't been any announcement on price from Fujifilm, merely an expected release date of early in 2011. But expect the X100 to compete with similar compacts like the Leica X1 as well as other challengers that may emerge between now and then. As camera enthusiasts cry out for that perfect compact alternative, it will definitely be exciting to watch companies try to deliver.