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Classic looks, new technology: Fujifilm's X100 gets release date and pricing


February 14, 2011

The FinePix X100 digital camera with hybrid viewfinder has been given a price and release date

The FinePix X100 digital camera with hybrid viewfinder has been given a price and release date

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Fujifilm North America has announced that its FinePix X100, that was unveiled at the Photokina trade show last September, is set for release next month. Aimed at professional or enthusiast photographers, the fixed lens, large sensor digital camera sports classic non-digital camera controls and a hybrid viewfinder that allows users to switch between optical and electronic modes.

In appearance, the new FinePix X100 has a certain Leica M9 look about it ... 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."

The top and bottom surfaces are 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."

In addition to the non-collapsible structure mentioned previously, the FUJINON 23mm Single Focal Length Fixed F2 lens has a macro capability as close as four inches, and the adoption of a 9-blade aperture diaphragm assists in capturing images with a circular soft out-of-focus or bokeh effect.

"The true enjoyment of photography begins with the thrill of seeing the world through a viewfinder," says Fujifilm. "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."

A prism for the LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical viewfinder allows the hybrid system to show both the shooting frame and electronic shooting data at the same time. The 0.5x magnification optical finder features all-glass elements and benefits from low chromatic aberration and distortion. The brightness of the supplied data in optical mode, which is constantly updated, is automatically adjusted according to the scene area.

At the press of a button, the user can switch to electronic viewfinder mode and benefit from "through the sensor" preview or playback of the digital image at a 1,400,000-dot resolution. Users are offered a choice between a 49-point auto electronic viewfinder focus area or a 25-point optical viewfinder focus area in addition to being able to select from five different focus area sizes in the electronic mode.

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.

The camera's 120 or 180 degree motion panorama mode is worth a quick final mention, with users being able to print results as A3-sized (11.7 x 16.5-inch) enlargements.

The FinePix X100 will be priced at US$1,199.95.

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Dear Mr. Fuji, I would dearly like to purchase one of your forthcoming Fuji Finepix X100 digital cameras - for the simple reason that it has a proper viewfinder. My only real concern is that, though this beautiful machine is designed with classic camera features, one of the most important of those may be missing from the final product. This, of course, is the leather case that should accompany each camera - as was the way in days of fine film cameras. I\'m sure that - if your minions actually allow you to read this - you\'ll agree with my view and ensure an adequate supply of matching leather cases are manufactured and included with each shipment. I trust that you\'ll also issue strict instructions to all your global retailers that these are to be included - free of charge - with all X100 purchases. Finally, Mr. Fuji, for those of us poor photographers who only speak or read the English language - PLEASE ensure that each X100 includes a complete, printed, Owner\'s Manual. And if a particular consignment of cameras is destined for overseas markets with a high percentage of English-speaking residents - like, for example, Hong Kong - please ensure a complete English Owner\'s Manual is included in each box. The current propensity for replacing proper User Guides with CD\'s - on the pretext of saving paper - fools no-one. Classic cameras - like your X100 - should be elevated above such penny-pinching cost considerations as Case badamp Manual inclusion with each unit. This will be your finest work, Mr. Fuji - don\'t demean it by being mean with the accessories...Best regards,Nick Herbert,Hong Kong.


I hope they come with a wad of AA or 2 C cells, instead of idiot proprietary battery packs - and can recharge while plugged into the USB - or a solar panel for the longer trips away.

Mr Stiffy
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