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Fujifilm FinePix X100

Dennis Hissink
Photokina report
Friday 24th, September 2010
Posted by: Dennis Hissink

New report Photokina - Fujifilm announces the new FinePix X100, a premium digital compact camera featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor, a Fujinon 23mm fixed focal length lens and a newly developed Hybrid Viewfinder, due for commercial release in early 2011. The Fujifilm FinePix X100 is aimed at the professional photographer or keen enthusiast looking for exceptional quality pictures from a compact camera. The Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera is designed to appeal to the millions of DSLR users who need a slim back-up camera for high quality in-fill shots when the use of a bigger SLR system is either inconvenient or impractical.

Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm FinePix X100
Fujifilm has closely studied the current line-up of professional cameras and feels that there is a strong need for a compact high-quality (APS-C based) camera as a counterpoint to an SLR. Using the experience of working with generations of photographers using famous emulsions like Velvia, Provia, Astia etc., Fujifilm engineers distilled this knowledge into months of careful study to create the perfect compact-sized professional camera. The priority for the Fujifilm FinePix X100 model is picture quality, so it was decided to make the highest quality possible lens and sensor combination, built from the ground-up. The lens chosen is a fixed, prime F2 lens, made by Fujinon, manufactured to perfectly match the APS-C custom sensor. Added to this is the newly-developed EXR Processor, which combines all the latest image processing technology Fujifilm has built up over the years.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 features a Hybrid Viewfinder
The Hybrid Viewfinder on the FinePix X100 combines the window-type “bright frame” optical viewfinder found in high-end film cameras such as 35mm or medium-format cameras, and the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in fixed single lens or mirrorless digital cameras. By 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. The Fujifilm FinePix X100 can also be used as a high-quality electronic viewfinder to compose or playback shots, with the ability to instantly switch between optical and electronic viewfinder images with simple “one touch” control. The new Hybrid Viewfinder offers users expanded freedom in the composition and enjoyment of photography in a range of challenging shooting conditions.

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Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm FinePix X100 digital camera
While digital compact cameras have become ever slimmer and more compact in recent years, composing and viewing shots on large, higher resolution LCD panels on the back of the camera has become the mainstream practice for today’s users. On the other hand, shooting with an optical viewfinder is the standard practice for conventional film cameras and the preferred method for large numbers of digital camera owners. Many prefer the finder to be as close as possible to the eye, so the user can focus attention exclusively on photo composition, to get a clear view of the subject without distraction. While traditionalists prefer the clear, sharp view of an ‘optical’ finder, modern electronic displays, giving data like shutter speed, aperture, white balance, exposure correction and sensitivity can aid the photographer tremendously. The new Hybrid Viewfinder on the Fujifilm FinePix X100 aims to give the user the ‘best of both worlds.’

Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm FinePix X100 - 12.3 Megapixel camera
The new Fujifilm FinePix X100 features a custom CMOS high-performance sensor, internally optimized and developed exclusively for this model. Optimization of the angle-of-incidence in conjunction with the specially developed lens maximizes light gathering efficiency extending to the perimeter of the sensor for a sharper image with exceptional clarity. When shooting HD movies, the combination of the large-sized sensor and the large aperture F2 lens, lets users shoot a soft out-of-focus touch (bokeh) - a capability not available in conventional compact cameras. The ideal combination of a fixed focal length lens, high-sensitivity sensor (approx. 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact ) and a high-performance image processor captures exceptionally high-quality images over the entire sensitivity range from low to high ISO settings. The high-speed CMOS sensor read-out and the EXR Processor’s enhanced focusing system contributes to the high-speed AF performance, while the combination of the optical viewfinder and extremely low shutter time lag enhance the pleasure of every shot.

Fujifilm FinePix X100 with 23mm lens
The newly-developed lens offers a focal length of 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) and a widest aperture of F2. Made from moulded glass, the lens contains 8 elements in 6 groups. The adoption of the non-collapsible lens structure with minimized lens length not only contributes to the compact size but also eliminates telescoping of the lens when the power is on. It’s ready to start shooting the moment you turn it on. Exploiting the merits of fixed focal length lens, this lens delivers sharp resolution of the total image from the centre to the corners. In addition, the lens features not only the large F2 aperture value, but also an optical architecture that maintains a high degree of resolution even when closed by 1 to 2 stops. The lens uses a 9-blade aperture diaphragm. A large F2 aperture and high-quality optics let users take beautiful photos with a soft out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. The lens enables macro shooting as close as 10 cm. Featuring a built-in ND filter (equivalent f-stop reduction of 3), the lens can enhance depth-of-field even in bright shooting conditions by enabling the aperture to be kept wide open. Shutter speed can also be reduced to capture waterfalls, or any shot where intentional blur is required.

Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera design
Inspired by the beauty and form of classic cameras from the past, the Fujifilm FinePix X100 combines all the latest technical digital innovations in a beautiful, traditional chassis which oozes class and prestige. The ergonomics of the design offer the perfect balance between compact convenience and user-friendly operation. The camera controls have been carefully thought out to give the photographer simple and speedy access to aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc, to allow maximum creative expression with minimum hassle. Custom modes can also be used for a one-touch change in settings. The upper control deck/bottom surface has been cast from magnesium alloy (semi-solid metal casting) to contribute to a high-precision camera body with high rigidity. All dials on the upper control deck are fabricated from metal. Adoption of traditional ‘manual’ dials lets the user confirm the position of the settings without turning on the power.

Fujifilm FinePix X100

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