Fujifilm FinePix X100: Where the Hell Did THIS Come From?

Fuji X100 front

by Miserere

  

Your one-stop resource for all Fuji X100 information

  

NOTE: This article was originally published on September 19th 2010. Since then I have been updating it regularly as new information becomes available. To the best of my knowledge all specs and other information are correct.
Latest updates:

  • September 1, 2011th 2011 The follow up camera in this series, the X10 is introduced. See Fuji X10 Release notes.
  • June 29th 2011 (updated new firmware link specs section; added video of the Fuji X100 manufacturing plant and how it recovered after the earthquake)
  • June 20th 2011 (added link to best cards for the X100 in the specs section)
  • June 19th 2011 (updated Review section; added info on alternative batteries for the X100 in the specs section)
  • June 9th 2011 (updated Review section)
  • May 19th 2011 (updated Review section)
  • May 16th 2011 (updated Video section)
  • May 5th 2011 (updated Review section)
  • April 26th 2011 (updated Review section)
  • April 21st 2011 (added Fuji X100 firmware item to specs list)
  • April 15th 2011 (added Fuji X100 DxO Mark evaluation to Interesting Links; updated Review section)
  • April 11th 2011 (updated Review section)
  • April 4th 2011 (updated Review section)
  • March 29th 2011 (added links to order in Australasia; updated Review section with lots of items; updated shutter speed specs)
  • March 19th 2011 (updated Review section with lots of items)
  • March 13th 2011 (updated Preview section; updated Review section)
  • March 9th 2011 (updated Preview section with 5 new items; added a new video)
  • March 7th 2011 (updated release dates; added preorder link for Amazon UK; added new section: Where Will the British Fuji X100 Cameras Come From?)
  • March 6th 2011 (updated specs with link to Fuji X100 owner’s manual in English; added first X100 review to the Review section)
  • March 3rd 2011 (updated Interesting Links with Q&A session in Taiwan; updated sensor specs)
  • March 1st 2011 (updated Preview section with QueSabesDe preproduction field test; added buffer specs)
  • Feb 28th 2011 (updated Preview section with Flickr gallery by Mio Cade; added video from WhatDigitalCamera.com)
  • Feb 25th 2011 (updated Preview section with DPR samples gallery)
  • Feb 22nd 2011 (updated sync speed; updated lens aperture info; added video by Tyler Stalman)
  • Feb 17th 2011 (added item(s) to videos, previews and links sections; updated shutter speed specs)
  • Feb 16th 2011 (added price and availability in Japan)

  

Click to order the X100 NOW! (Doing so through our links will help EtL at no extra cost to you.)

  

Index

Fuji X10 Released
Introduction
Fuji X100 Specs
Fuji X100 Lens
Fuji X100 vs Leica X1
Size Comparisons
My Opinion
Mount and Price Info
My Opinion, Part 2
A Look Through the Optical Viewfinder
Photos of the X100
Videos of the X100
Where Will the British Fuji X100 Cameras Come From?
Previews of the Fuji X100
Full Reviews of the Fuji X100
Interesting Links

  

Introduction

If there’s such a thing as love at first sight in Photography, I just got hit by it. My oh my oh my…what a beautiful camera this Fuji X100 is. Styled after a classic fixed-lens rangefinder of the 60′s or 70′s, it’s actually a digital camera with an APS-C 12MP CMOS sensor and a fixed 23mm f/2 lens. And see that thing that looks like an optical viewfinder? It’s a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, which should keep both old- and new-schoolers happy. I had no idea Fuji was working on anything like this and was completely blind-sided a couple hours ago when I spotted the announcement. Given the flurry of activity on the fora and blogsphere, I am not the only one who is smitten with this beauty.

Fuji X100 back

Can you spot the ancestry in the Fujica GW670 and GW690 from the 70′s and 80′s? The kids over at the rangefinderforum.com are very excited and I can imagine many reviewing what gear they can sell to purchase this camera. I have no idea of what the price is going to be, or where in the World it will be distributed, but I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I find out. For now, check out the official X100 website and read the X100 brochure (PDF).

February 8th 2011: Fuji’s official X100 announcement.

  

Fuji X100 Specs

Sensor 12.3MP CMOS APS-C (Fuji say it is custom built; I believe it to be by Sony; UPDATE Mar 3 2011: Fuji insist it’s theirs)
Lens 23mm f/2(16), fixed (non-interchangeable), with 9-blade diaphragm and built-in ND8 (3-stop) filter.
Aperture set via ring around lens in 1-stop increments (1/3-stop increments available via rear lever).
Lens construction 8 elements in 6 groups (see optical diagram)
Minimum focusing distance 10cm (max. reproduction capability of 1:4.3)
Viewfinder Hybrid optical/electronic. Optical VF offers 0.5x magnification with 134% coverage with projected frameline and other information. Electronic VF offers 90% coverage using a 1.44 million dot LCD; eye relief is 15mm.
Focusing Autofocus via contrast-detect (AF area variable in size and position). Manual focus via lens ring (focus-by-wire) with rotation direction being user-defined.
ISO range Standard: 200 – 6400 (expanded: 100 – 12,800)
Max. shooting speed 5 FPS (3 FPS setting optional)
Buffer size 8 RAW, 10 JPEG
Shutter speeds 1/4000s – 30s (up to 60 min in Bulb)
Max. shutter speeds Dependent on aperture being used:

  • 1/1000s at f/2 – f/3.5
  • 1/2000s at f/4 – f/7.1
  • 1/4000s at f/8 – f/16
Shutter type In-lens 4-leaf shutter (in front of diaphragm)
Sync speed 1/1000s
Exposure modes Progam, Av, Tv, Manual and Bulb
Metering 49-point metering matrix
EV compensation -2.0EV – +2.0EV
Rear screen 2.8 inch 460k LCD (can be turned off)
RAW 12 bit RAF files (in-camera conversion available)
Movie mode 720 HD 24fps with stereo sound (Av available while shooting)
Software filters PROVIA, Velvia, ASTIA and B&W
Storage SD, SDHC or SDXC cards
(best card for the X100)
Body construction Magnesium alloy with metal dials
Battery type Rechargeable NP-95 Li-Ion
(info about alternative Fuji X100 batteries)
Filter size 49mm via optional adapter ring
Dimensions (WxHxD mm) 127 x 75 x 54 (x 34 excluding lens)
Weight 405g (445g with battery and card)
Accessories
Owner’s Manual (PDF) English
Firmware ver. 1.01, released 21st April 2011
ver. 1.10, released 24th June 2011 (get it here)
Release date Japan: March 2011
USA: May 2011
UK: March 2011
Rest of Europe: April 2011???
Latin America: ???
Australia: March 2011
Price Fuji has stated that around $1,000/€1,000 (source 1, source 2) $1,200/€1,000 (source)  

  

Fuji X100 top

  

Fuji X100 Lens

Fuji X100 lens diagram

A great camera with a crappy lens is pointless. I don’t know how good the X100′s lens will be, but it does seem the designers put some serious thought into it. I go into the fixed vs interchangeable issue further down, but I think right now this is a moot point because Fuji decided to go with a fixed lens design and that’s how we’ll have to use and judge the camera. The lens diagram to the right (click to enlarge) shows the location of the 3-stop ND filter, shutter and 9-blade diaphragm, which are all grouped behind the front lens group (light enters lens from the left and sensor is located on the right in this diagram). The advantage of an in-lens shutter such as this versus a focal plane shutter (which is found in DSLRs) is that it can be made smaller, thus lighter and quieter (and allow for higher sync speeds to boot). Together with the lack of a mirror, this should enable the X100 to be a very quiet camera.

Fuji are claiming the lens is optimised for performance in the f/4 – 5.6 range, but that is true of most lenses (i.e., they perform better 2 – 3 stops down from wide open). What they don’t say is how the lens performs wide open, and as a street shooter that is something I care about. I hope they’re not using marketing-speak to tell us it’s very soft wide open!

Learn more about the lens here.

  

Fuji X100 vs Leica X1

The X100 will be competing against the Leica X1, which lacks a viewfinder, but otherwise shares a similar ethos. Not only does the Fuji provide an optical viewfinder, it also provides the benefits EVFs provide. The X100 also has a faster lens, f/2 versus the f/2.8 of the Leica. Their dimensions are very similar, with the X100 being about 15mm taller. But the one question everyone is asking is…will the Fuji cost $2,000 like the X1, or will it be affordable to mere mortals. Sadly, I expect it to be built in small quantities, be on perpetual backorder, and cost North of US$1,500. I’d love to be wrong, but this isn’t Panasonic, Olympus or Canikon we’re talking about, but Fuji, a small player in the non-P&S digital market.

For those wondering about the size similarities I threw together this composite showing them side by side; click for larger size.

Leica X1 vs Fuji  X100 size comparison

Leica X1 (left) vs Fujifilm FinePix X100 (right), to scale.

  

Size Comparisons

I thought it might be useful to compare sizes with other cameras in its performance class (though some are not in its price class…I’m looking at you, M9). Left to right the cameras compared are Sigma DP2, Leica X1, Fuji X100, Olympus E-P1, Leica M9, Samsung NX10 and Panasonic G2. All are shown to scale, and you’d do well to click for a larger version.

Fuji  X100 size comparison with Sigma DP2, Leica X1, Olympus E-P1, Leica M9, Samsung NX10 and Panasonic G2

Fuji X100 & Friends. All cameras shown to scale.

Another size comparison; this time, from left to right, it’s the Epson R-D1s, Fuji X100, Leica M9, Canon 550D/T2i and Nikon D90.

Fuji  X100 size comparison with Epson R-D1s, Leica M9, Canon 550D/T2i and Nikon D90

Fuji X100 & Friends. All cameras shown to scale.

  

My Opinion

In their publicity materials Fuji state they queried photographers to build a camera from the ground up that would meet their needs and desires. Why it’s taken a camera company 10 years to do this is beyond me. And it’s not like this type of research would cost millions of yens, you just have to spend a couple of days reading through wish-list posts on forums and blogs. I myself wrote a post requesting a simple, straightforward compact DSLR from Pentax back in November 2008 (read it here). Really folks, it’s not. That. Difficult! We want small, we want manual controls, we want a good viewfinder.

Fuji have delivered on all these requests, but have made one mistake, which time will tell how big it was: The lens is fixed. I don’t want to condemn this camera just because the lens is fixed, that’s not what I’m saying, but I do want to point out that a fixed lens will limit your pool of potential clients to those who find your chosen focal length adequate for their needs, and use it often enough that a fixed focal length isn’t a big deal. Back in the 60′s and 70′s there were a good number of such rangefinders sold, like the Olympus 35 DC and RD (40mm f/1.7), Konica C35 (38mm f/2.8), Canon Canonet G-III 17 (40mm f/1.7) and others that I can’t remember right now; the point is, they sold pretty well to the enthusiasts who wanted a rangefinder but couldn’t afford an interchangeable lens system like the Leica M. Because there were a number of brands building these cameras the photographer had a choice of focal lengths and speeds to choose from, although (from rough memory) the focal lengths were in the 35-45mm range and the lens speed f/1.7-2.8. Right now we have exactly two APS-C fixed-lens cameras to choose from, and they both have the same focal length (equivalent to 35mm in FF terms). The Fuji does offer a more attractive f/2 vs the Leica’s f/2.8, but we’re missing 2 or 3 other contenders in the field.

But those film fixed-lens rangefinders I speak of are over 30 years old—today we have a different mentality regarding fixed lenses. DSLR have become so affordable that now almost anyone can acquire one and build a lens system. Everyone expects interchangeable lenses. This leads me to think that Fuji will price this camera high because those people who would be willing to pay $700-1,000 (the micro-4/3 crowd) wouldn’t be interested in a fixed lens, while those that appreciate and value the pros of a fixed-lens camera (and have been waiting years for something like this) will pay anything anyway, so why not charge them a premium? Actually, it might not even be a premium—the camera may sell in such low numbers that it will have to be expensive in order to make Fuji a profit.

And price point is one of the mysteries here and a factor that Fuji may be able to exploit to its advantage. You see, right now there is an enormous price gap between MILCs (micro-4/3, Samsung NX and Sony Nex) and digital Leicas. A new rangefinder(ish) camera could happily nestle itself in between both, providing better workmanship than MILCs but also mass-production cost-saving strategies lacking in Leicas.

I get the feeling that Fuji are sniffing out the market with this camera, and if sales and customer satisfaction are positive, they’ll consider either releasing another model with a different focal length or maybe going the full monty and releasing an interchangeable system.

My message to Fuji: You needn’t have been so cautious! Let me give you a recipe for success: Release the X100 as an interchangeable lens body + 23mm f/2 lens kit for $2,000. Announce that within 6 months you will be releasing a 16mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.7 for under $1,000 each and that you “are considering other focal lengths”. One caveat: The body would have to accept M mount lenses via a converter. Do this and I can guarantee you wouldn’t be able to build X100′s fast enough to meet demand. And you’d sell lenses too. Sure, lots of buyers would just want the body to mount their beloved M lenses on it, but so many more would like the benefits of autofocus your lenses would provide, not to mention they’d be APS-C friendly focal lengths with digital coatings.

I’m not saying this camera will not be a success, because I think in its own small way it will. But I’m afraid it’s not going to make Fuji enough money for them to believe they can roll out a full interchangeable lens system based on the concept, which is a shame because that’s exactly what most people would have wanted them to do.

  

Mount and Price Info from the Horse’s Mouth

Updated Sept 21st 2010, 07:00.

An e-acquaintance, Falk Lumo, has been at Photokina and had a chat with the guys at the Fuji booth:

I asked why not with a lens mount? Answer: We want see how this one sells first. I asked: but you know that if this version does not sell it may be because it has no mount? Answer: no, is it so…?

I hate being right sometimes. These guys really didn’t know they could have taken the compact camera market by storm? If it’s true they spoke to many photographers when designing this camera, they didn’t speak to the most important one: me. Seriously, I could have explained to them in 5 minutes why they should not release a “test the waters” camera and just jump into the deep end.

As for the price:

Obviously, the X100 was made to compete against the Leica X1. With the optical viewfinder as its bonus. I asked if its cheaper than Leica X1. Answer was hesitant. Eventually they gave me “1000″ as a ballpark number which would be about 2/3 of a Leica X1.

That would be US$1,333, which is a lot better than what I expected. I hope this is true!

  

My Opinion, Part 2

Updated Sept 21st 2010, 10:30.

In view of the recently announced price of US$1,000–1,200, I need to change my conclusions. This price puts this camera in a whole ‘nother segment: The affordable luxury segment. $1,000 is pricey for a second camera, but not unethical, and for a main camera (assuming it lives up to its promise), it’s practically affordable, especially if you compare it to similar focal length offerings from the competition (Sigma DP, micro-4/3, etc.). I can see those who appreciate what this camera has to offer buying one as a main camera and then having a MILC for wider and longer focal lengths. If you’re a street shooter who lives at 35mm-equiv., you might never even need anything else. HCB spent most of his career with what was essentially a fixed-lens 50mm camera, so this isn’t as crazy as it seems. And at this price, if Fuji decide to release other focal lengths, I can very well imagine buying two at your preferred fields-of-view and calling it a system.

My only worry concerns the corners Fuji might have had to cut to bring it in at this price. Am I being too pessimistic here? :-D I really don’t mean to—I’m glad this is the price!

How does the X100 compare in price to its competition in the large-sensor compact mirrorless camera segment? Find out here: Is the Fuji X100 Really that Expensive?

  

A Look Through the Optical Viewfinder

Updated Sept 22nd 2010

Fuji  X100 through viewfinder

Looking through the Fuji X100's hybrid viewfinder.

Fuji X100 viewfinder

Fuji X100 OVF.

As you can see, this is a very elegant design. The central frame delimits the area to be captured by the sensor. To the left, just outside the frameline there is an EV scale telling you how bright/dark the camera thinks your exposure is. Possibly more useful is the simple histogram in the bottom left, whose position I hope can be customised—I’d place it in the top-left most corner of the VF, outside the framelines. At the bottom of the VF we see, from left to right, the shooting mode (Av in this case), shutter speed, aperture (highlighted because we’re in Av) and ISO. Much more interesting is the scale above these settings and just below the frameline: It’s a distance scale! The lens itself focuses by wire making a standard distance scale impossible, so this might be the next best thing. From this image we can see the lens is focused at around 1.5m and I imagine the white bar indicates the DoF (depth-of-field). The only problem is that if you’re focused at 1.5m with an aperture of f/5.6 on a 23mm lens shooting an APS-C camera, your DoF is actually from 1.19m to 2.19m. The DoF indicated in the image would be approximately correct for f/11. I suppose the marketing department took a few artistic liberties here. Dodgy marketing material notwithstanding, I find this a great idea that, once again, photographers have been requesting from camera makers for the better part of the last decade. Just a little tip to Fuji: Add an “m” somewhere so people know straight off the scale is in meters, not in feet. And while you’re at it, allow the option to set it in feet for those North Americans who struggle with SI units.

Completing the VF tour, we note the whitebalance temperature on the outer top-left of the frameline, while to the right is a number that could be the shots remaining on the card, and the ‘L’ and ‘F’ might stand for ‘Love Fuji’. Finally, that white line across the VF is an electronic level! Rotate the camera anticlockwise here to bring the blue line, ahem, in line with the white line and your photo will not have a tilted horizon, to the joy of millions of photocritics the forumsphere over.

From the Fuji brochure we know that some of this on-screen information will be optional, as will be the electronic level. The brightness of the displayed info will be adjusted automatically to fit the prevailing conditions, ensuring that info is always visible no matter how bright our scene is, and also making sure it doesn’t blind us when we’re shooting in darker environments.

Something I’m sure a few of you will be curious about is the FoV of the VF. If the central frame is a 23mm FoV, then the whole VF offers a 16mm FoV, which is 24mm-equiv. Interesting choice…

When switching to EVF mode the OVF is closed up with a little shutter so we can’t have an EVF+OVF view.

You can read more about the viewfinder on Fuji’s site.

  

Photos of the X100

Here are some photos taken at Photokina of the actual camera (click for larger). All photos are ©Stephen Shankland.

Fuji X100 at Photokina 00 Fuji X100 at Photokina 05
Fuji X100 at Photokina 01 Fuji X100 at Photokina 02
Fuji X100 at Photokina 03 Fuji X100 at Photokina 07
Fuji X100 at Photokina 04 Fuji X100 at Photokina 06

  

Videos of the Fuji X100


Fuji X100 manufacturing plant recovering after the earthquake.


X100 FAQ with the Fuji Guys.


Preproduction Fuji X100 at Amateur Photographer.


Fuji X100 hands on preview at WhatDigitalCamera.com.


Fuji X100 Hands on with Tyler Stalman.


Unboxing the Fuji X100, by CNET Asia.


Kayce Baker, Director of Marketing Fujifilm Imaging Division USA, presents the X100 at CES 2011.


Looking through the X100 viewfinder at CES 2011, by Engadget Spain.


Kayce Baker talks a bit more about the X100 at CES 2011.


See and hear the aperture and shutter working (note: shutter sound is electronic and simulated by the camera, but it can be turned off), by the Fuji Guys.


Hear the Fuji X100 in “silent mode”, with all electronic sounds turned off, by the Fuji Guys.


See and hear the dials being turned, by the Fuji Guys.


Fuji X100 promo video.


Fuji X100 promo video #2.

  

Fujifilm – Press Conference at Photokina 2010 from Olivier Laurent on Vimeo.

  

British Journal of Photography – Interview with the Fujifilm FinePix X100′s designers from Olivier Laurent on Vimeo.

  

Fujifilm FinePix X100 – preview by British Journal of Photography from Olivier Laurent on Vimeo.


Fujifilm FinePix X100 prototype hands-on at Photokina 2010 by Engadget.


The Fuji Guys present the Fuji X100.


Fuji X100 hands-on with WhatDigitalCamera.com.


Qik – Fujifilm Finepix X100 first look preview video by Which? Technology.


Fujifilm X100. Photokina 2010: Tutti Fotografi magazine.

  

Fujifilm X100 from Zoom Denmark on Vimeo.

  

Where Will the British Fuji X100 Cameras Come From?

I received some interesting information from one of our readers in the UK, Julian Evans. He has preordered his X100 and when he contacted his supplier, he had a curious conversation with them about the provenance of their supply of X100 cameras:

Further to this, some interesting comments made [by] the supplier with whom I have my pre-order for the X100 and accessories.

According to them (they’ve asked me not to say who they are as they can’t now guarantee an X100 to any new pre-orders in the first UK batch) Amazon will not be getting X100s direct from Fuji. In fact Fuji won’t supply them to Amazon. My supplier believes that Amazon are buying the cameras in from American dealers. This would explain why the Amazon release date is in April. The UK release date is still in March according to Fuji.

Also, anyone buying an X100 from a Fuji dealer will get superb after sales extras from Fuji. Apparently they will be contacted directly to see how happy they are and answer any questions they may initially have about the camera and then, 11 months later, Fuji will collect the camera and carry out a full ‘health’ check and update software etc at their expense.

They want people to get the message that is a very serious piece of kit that they take great pride in and want every owner to be completely happy with.

We provide this information with no guarantee that it is accurate or correct, but we don’t have any reason to believe Mr Evans is lying either, so digest at your discretion.

  

Previews of the Fuji X100

Here are some previews of the X100 collected from around the web:

  

Full Reviews of the Fuji X100

All the reviews of the Fujifilm X100 that we think are worth reading:

  

Interesting Links

Related posts:

  1. Fujifilm Introduces FinePix X100 Official Specs
  2. The Fujifilm X100 Spike: Or Why Everyone Is Interested in this Camera
  3. DPR Previews the Fuji X100
  4. Is the Fuji X100 Really that Expensive?
  5. Ian Wilkinson Reviews the Fuji X100, Part 2: Real World Use Shooting Children

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108 Comments

  1. This camera looks awsome indeed!

    -”•No mention of RAW capabilities, but I can’t imagine it will be a JPEG only camera.”
    There is a “RAW” button in the lower right corner of the back panel, so you can cross this one out :)

  2. our fuji rep here said it will cost 999usd

  3. Is your X1 comparison to scale? According to dpreview the X100 is 127mm wide, and the X1 124mm, so I guess it’s more plausible than I thought at first look… and this means the X100 is smaller than I was imagining.

  4. I’m probably one of the people who won’t mind having a fixed lens on this camera. I could see the FinePix X100 complementing my Leica M8 for traveling. While interchangeable lenses would be nice, I would just end up carrying two lens systems instead of one. One reason I like the Leica (and this newcomer) is to manage the bulk and weight of the system, so a fixed lens suits me just fine. Obviously this comment is from a very different point of view than your article: I’m only looking at my camera bag here, you are commenting what might happen with the overall market. I’ll wait for some more Photokina news and indication on the price point before I’m willing to speculate on that.

    So, the X100 seems to be a pretty nice camera. Let’s see if it will deliver and how the market will like it.

    • The fixed lens is not a deal breaker for me either, but it does give me pause to think. It all does depend on the price, though. Rumours coming from Japan say US$1,400-1,750, which is very high for a single camera with a single lens for the majority of shooters. However, if it were sold around US$1,000, that would bring it in line with the Oly E-P2 + EVF or the Panny GF1 + EVF (+ 1 prime lens), in which case it would highly competitive.

      In the first scenario we’re talking main camera pricing, in the second it’s secondary camera pricing. If the camera had interchangeable lenses, I would consider it as a main camera and build a system around it, but with a fixed lens it becomes something else, much like what you said about it complementing your M8. How many people will spend $1,400-1,750 for a “complement” camera? How many would have spent $1,400-1,750 for a main camera? I think the answers are “few” and “many”.

      Let’s wait to see what the price is and, more importantly, how well the camera works. If it has AF and handling as good as the Oly and Panny MILCs, and IQ as good as the Sony NEX’s, then it stands a chance. But if it has AF like the Leica X1, the handling of the Sigma DP’s and worse IQ than micro-4/3, it’ll be dead on arrival.

  5. I’m confused by all the talk that a fixed lens is somehow “better.”

    “While interchangeable lenses would be nice, I would just end up carrying two lens systems instead of one.”

    Couldn’t you just choose the ONE lens you needed/wanted, and not buy others? That’s the equivalent of a fixed lens camera, isn’t it? I do understand how G.A.S. works, though. I’m a victim. I can imagine convincing yourself that you would “need” all of the lenses….

    The one logical argument i’ve seen in favor of a fixed lens is that the viewfinder could then be optimized for the one focal length. No need for zooming frames or multiple framelines. But, as this is presumably going to be marketed to Leica/Bessa/Ikon rangefinder users, framelines aren’t such an issue. And, as this has projected information in the viewfinder, they needn’t be mechanically implemented or switched.

    I’m just hoping this is the first step in a progression similar to Konica’s path with the Hexar AF and then the Hexar RF.

    • Yep. This is the digital version of the Hexar AF. If the hybrid VF works well with manual focus I think we have a winner. The Hexar RF with interchangeable lenses and hopefully affordable full frame can’t be far behind.

    • “The one logical argument i’ve seen in favor of a fixed lens is that the viewfinder could then be optimized for the one focal length.”

      Another advantage of a fixed lens is that the sensor can be optimized for the lens, which is what Fuji is doing here. Since they know exactly what angle the light rays will be hitting the sensor at, they use offset microlenses away from the center of the sensor, optimizing sensitivity and reducing vignetting.

      Also, a fixed lens allows them to seal the body and better protect from environmental factors, and allows them to get the viewfinder as close to the lens as possible (where some larger or longer lens might obscure it).

      A final advantage I’ll mention is that there is no wait time for the lens to expand or contract when powering the camera up or down, it’s ready to shoot immediately. That’s also true of prime lenses on an interchangeable lens system, but not of zooms mounted on either type of system.

  6. The camera looks different in the photo of the woman holding it, than it does in the other photos. The lens says 35/2.0 instead of 23/2.0 and the AF-S, AF-C, MF markings are in a different spot. huh.

    • And the flash looks different too, doesn’t it? These are likely prototypes from different time periods which accounts for the external differences. There’s a conspiracy theory out there saying the one marked with 35mm is another version of the X100 with a 53mm-equiv. lens. Or it could just be that Fuji initially thought we were not smart enough to figure out that a 23mm on APS-C is a 35mm-equiv. and decided to plaster that on the lens, like Ricoh does! :-)

  7. it is a beautiful camera. Fuji traditionally does an excellent job with cameras and lenses. There’s nothing at all wrong with a fixed lens (dependent upon affordability). I notice you mention this an d the Leica as being the only 2 in this category but show a DP2 in size comparison. OPerhaps you meant 3…or 4 as Sigma also makes the DP1.

    • Leica X1 and now Fuji X100 are the only APS-C fixed-lens cameras currently produced. The Sigma DP series has a 1.7x crop sensor, but I showed it in the size comparison because it’s one of the large-sensor compacts in the market today. By “large sensor” I understand larger than the 1/1.7″ sensor in cameras such as the Canon S90 and G11, Samsung EX1 or Panasonic LX5.

  8. Has anyone who wears glasses put their eye to the viewfinder, and if so, can you use the OVF with eyeglasses? The reason I ask is that as an eyeglass-wearer who loves the OVF on his Olympus E-P1, I had assumed the viewfinders on other cameras were just as good with eyeglases. Imagine my surprise when I tried a leica and couldn’t see the brughtlines in the viewfinder. I hope that the engineers and designers at Fuji wear glasses!

  9. I think you will find that a 1.7 crop and a 1/1.7 are not the same thing, (the Canon 7D has a 1.6 crop factor). The Sigma DP1, DP2 are in fact APS-c sensors.

    • I’m not sure what you mean, Charles. I know perfectly well that a “1.7x crop” is not the same as “1/1.7 inch”; where did I say the opposite?

      As I’m sure you know, the Sigma DP cameras use the Foveon sensor, whose dimensions are 20.7 x 13.8 mm, making it a 1.7x crop sensor. APS-C sensors are about 24 x 16mm (1.5x crop), except for Canon, who uses 22.3 x 14.9 mm sized sensors (1.6x crop). Most people draw the line with Canon’s 1.6x, with smaller sensors no longer being called APS-C. Feel free to consider the Foveon sensor APS-C, but you might get into some fights at the fora :-)

  10. This is the closest thing I have imagined in my mind yet to take shape at an affordable price to replace my beloved Leica M mated with a 35 cron. Time will tell but it’s a step in the right direction.

  11. Any word on type of auto-focus? Is it just going to use contrast?

    • Oh yes, definitely contrast-detect AF. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; Panasonic and Samsung have wicked-fast contrast-detect AF…as long as you stay out of AF-C… :-(

  12. Job for you mate – can you put an Epson R-D1 in the comparison line-up please?

    This might help:

    http://www.richcutler.co.uk/r-d1/r-d1_01.htm

    Cheers, Cotty

    • Good call, Cotty. I’ll do that when I have a moment. I also want to add an APS-C DSLR into the mix.

      You know, I’ve been this close to purchasing an R-D1 so many times, but just couldn’t bear to spend $1,500 on a used camera with no technical support in the US and with an ancient sensor (by digital standards).

  13. Did I miss this: IS/OIS/SR?

    • Not that I’m aware of. It would be nice if Fuji could add stabilisation via the sensor before release, but I doubt they’ll do that. It gives them something to improve in future versions and convince early adopters to buy a new one.

      Oh god, I’ve turned into a marketing director!!!!! :-D

  14. I want one really badly. It’d my point and shoot.

    And it had better look like the promo pics, and not the one the girl is holding. The text on the lens looks big and cheap, and the AF type selector is distracting with those big white letters on the front.

    Otherwise it’s as sexy as a camera gets. Looks WAY better than the Leica X1.

  15. ‘I’m not saying this camera will not be a success, because I think in its own small way it will’

    Given that 35mm (and 50mm) is such a popular focal length, I’m not sure your reasoning for the above. I think Fuji are going to rolling in it, if they can deliver on what they’ve promised with this camera, and can see them delivering either a 50mm equivalent, or a slower zoom version (hopefully tri-elmar-style) down the line.

    I can understand peoples disappointment that this is not interchangeable lens, given the cost of M8′s/ M9′s & RD1′s, but to argue the x100 will be only a limited success without interchangeable lenses I think is wide of the mark.

    I do see the Fuji opening things up in the digital rf market, and as conservative as Leica is, I can imagine they’ve gotten quite used to the currency rolling in from M9 sales, and won’t give up their share of the market without a fight.

    Myself, I find this is the most exciting digital camera announcement, and can easily see the x100 taking its place alongside my film M’s. In fact, for what I shoot this is the only digital camera I need, and I shall happily continue to shoot 35mm & 120 in my M’s and other film cameras.

    If it were to replace my M’s, I’m a guy with simple needs and would be quite happy with 35, 50 and 90mm options. Others I’m sure may want 28mm and 21mm, but don’t see why Fuji can’t offer them something too.

    All in all, an interesting announcement and I look forward to pre-ordering mine.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Damien. The part you quote from my article was written when the consensus was that the X100 would sell in the $1,500-1,700 range. Now that it seems it will be closer to $1,000, I am convinced it will be a success if, and this is important, it can deliver AF as snappy as the Panasonic G1/2 and IQ as good as the Sony NEX, not to mention DSLR-like shutter lag (i.e., unnoticeable). People who weren’t convinced by the micro-4/3 offerings will want this camera, and many who did cave in and bought a MILC could convert if the IQ is there and the hybrid VF performs as promised.

      Fuji should not try to compete with Leica; that’s a lost battle. Instead if should attract all those frustrated photographers who would like something like a Leica, but at an affordable price. These people outnumber digital Leica buyers 1000:1 at least. I said it in the article: there is an untapped market in between consumer MILCs and luxury Leicas. The buyers for that market are not soccer mums looking for a P&S, but advanced photographers looking for a reliable tool, and I think we would be willing to pay a fair price for such a camera. And there are a lot of us out there.

      • Ditto on the shutter lag. Interchangeable lenses would be nice too, but I suspect that blows away the pretty reasonable $1,000 pricetag.

        But I’m more interested in your comments on Leica. Great optics, OK cameras (considering their price) and definitely not very marketable outside of a few small circles.

        I was ecstatic when the M9 came out, and disappointed when my existing cameras continued to blow the M9′s high ISO performance out of the water. True, you can get sub-f1.0 Leica glass, but a $5,000 lens on a $7,000 camera that still only makes a 35mm-ish file? C’mon. I’d rather buy a top-of-the-line SLR and a couple of high-end lenses.

        I’m a working pro, and if Fuji can pull this off, especially with an interchangeable lens model (even if down the road a bit), I’m on the hook for a couple of these and I know a couple of others who are too.

        The workhorse digital cameras I’m using now have something like a 40ms shutter lag, an optical viewfinder, manual focus, and are eminently usable up to about ISO 12,800.

        Please, please, please get me close to that in a rangefinder – even if fixed lens – and you’ve got me.

        Talk about a walkin’ around camera. Maybe then I can finally retire my M3.

        • Will,

          You want my comments on Leica? In short: The Leica M9 is camera that is non-viable for the majority of shooters it could be useful to (street photographers), so it doesn’t register on my radar. Its price, even if used with cheaper Voigtlander lenses, is simply too high for the average amateur photographer.

          The Photography world has been clamouring for a working man’s Leica (even if it isn’t a rangefinder) and this Fuji X100 is maybe the closest we’ve got. The Epson R-D1 was a good idea, but it used ancient sensor technology (by digital standards) and wasn’t marketed outside Japan. At every major show for the past couple of years I kept waiting for Epson to announce an R-D2 camera with a modern 12MP CMOS sensor that would have Worldwide distribution and support, but it never came. There are so many good things on that camera to love…it’s such a shame…

  16. When you said “love at first site” did you mean web-site or love at first ‘sight’?
    For me, it was love/lust at first sight.
    Got the same juices flowing as with my Konica Hexar (very similar concept)
    Best,
    MLMD

  17. One of the real benefits of this camera — of course I’ll sell my pets to perverts if necessary to get one — will come if ih kicks Leicasonic in its infinity lock and get them to recognize that serious photographers like optical viewfinders.

    Imagine, if you would, even an LX5 with no useless flash but instead with an optical viewfinder that has a zooming bright frame and parallax correction (both of which have existed for about 50 years in film rangefinder cameras), in the standard Leica-now-Fuji location so you can take pictures without mashing your nose into the camera. (Then, if you put threads at the front of the lens, for a nice little filter and hood . . .)

    I haven’t seen yet whether the X100 has filter/hood threads. Anyone know?

    • I wish I had pets to sell to perverts…what a thought! I agree on VF location; I have a big nose and find DSLR’s uncomfortable. The new Leica M9 Titanium has electronic framelines, similar to the X100, so now it’s easier than ever to parallax correct them and have them any size you want, not just discrete FL steps. I don’t think you can fit all that into an LX5 body just be taking out the flash, but maybe in a slightly larger body…like the X100′s for example…oh wait, that’s what they did! :-D

      As far as filter threads go, I’ve looked at all the photos and have not found evidence of them. The cameras at Photokina were preproduction models, so the lack of filter threads may not mean anything. I can’t imagine Fuji would be silly enough not to add filter threads to their lens; people still use filters and hoods in the digital age.

  18. I can’t get over how many otherwise-intelligent bloggers are posting, “oh, but why couldn’t they have just added an interchangeable lens mount?” as if that were some trivial addition that simply could be snapped on like a Lego.

    This ‘simple addition’ would have increased the development difficulty and cost by an order of magnitude, making the camera’s introduction more risky. Most likely, it would have detracted from the camera’s aesthetic appeal as well — if you look at the fixed-lens and interchangeable-lens versions of most rangefinder cameras from the ’50s (Retinas or Vitessas, for example) the interchangeable-lens version is invariably bulkier, clunkier, and less elegant.

    As someone said earlier, this camera seems targeted squarely at the street-shooter subculture — the people who loved their Hexar AFs and never took the 35 Summilux off their battered Leica M2s. Finally there’s a digital camera for them! Me? I’m more of a 50mm guy… oh, well, maybe next Photokina…

    • Ranger, I’m not sure if I’m one of the “otherwise-intelligent bloggers” you’re referring to, but I’ll reply just in case. If you read my opinion section, you’ll see I recommended Fuji to charge $2,000 for the camera if they made it with an interchangeable mount. The extra cost covers the R&D of designing a new mount and electronic interface, part of which is subsidised by lens sales. No, it’s not simple, but it can be done, and somebody will eventually do it and make a ton of money by hitting an untapped market. Until then, we’ll just have to play with the Fuji X100 and see how that pans out.

      • come on, 2000€ ? thats way to risky. its meant as fixed lens, i think its cool.

        seems the lens is made of plastic, otherwise they would have mentioned metal lens etc.

        things i would like:

        black !!
        50mm 1.4 equivalent
        920k screen
        different button layout, i mean three buttons for the screen ? and a dedicated raw button ? is anyone shooting jpeg with this ? ^^

  19. Nice review from Photokina.
    The X100 is on top of my list!
    As mentioned above the launch of a total new lens-system is a very difficult job. Look at the M9 with it’s Red-Edge-Problem with lenses wider than 50mm. Fuji isn’t forced to do such risky introductions, but Leica had no choice due to thousands of existing wide-angle lenses.
    And look at Ricoh and how long it took to add a 28mm Lensor for the GXR which is a closed and optimized system for each existing focal length.

    But hey, what kind of shutter will be used? Central or fp? It would be important for noise and flash-syncro. But no information about this point……..why?

    Cheers
    Bernie

    • Bernie,

      There is no info on the shutter, but the Fuji reading material mentions a choice of “shutter sounds” the user can choose from. This made me smile for two reasons: 1) it’s corny :) , and 2) it means the shutter is so quiet Fuji thought they needed to add a fake sound to let people know the photo has been taken. I’m all for quiet shutters!

      If Fuji goes for an interchangeable system, they have the benefit of designing all their lenses from scratch to meet the sensor’s specs and particular requirements (like the 4/3 consortium do), which will be a lot easier than Leica having to make a sensor respond geometrically like film for many different lenses that each throw light in their own particular way.

      • i think, all they have to do is make a mount that accepts all other mountsvia adapter, even µFT

        make two or three own lenses, and make adapters for all different kinds of bajonetts

        simple as that, the viewfindes seems to be 24mm .. thats suspicious .. 24 – 35 – 50 ?

        i think maybe they will give us an interchangable body, and just kidding us, when attaching a prime lens to the body and play like its meant as fixed lens ?

        but thats a special lens with a special sensor, made for the lens, no system camera can beat that …

  20. “There is no info on the shutter, but the Fuji reading material mentions a choice of “shutter sounds” the user can choose from. This made me smile for two reasons: 1) it’s corny , and 2) it means the shutter is so quiet Fuji thought they needed to add a fake sound to let people know the photo has been taken. I’m all for quiet shutters!”

    Being able to program shutter sounds is a bit alarming to me- that might mean than instead of a fast electro-mechanical one, it’s built into the software, like most P&S d-cameras, which are pretty slow. Can’t imagine they’d use a non-mechanical shutter with an APS-C sized sensor, however.

    RE: Fixed lenses: I remember when the Hexar AF came out- there was also the Nikon 35Ti, and Contax T*. All high end fixed focal length cameras. Hexar, the cheapest of them, came out with a number of great innovations that made the fixed focal length (and upper shutter speed) less of a liability. Perhaps the hybrid VF will be similar with the X100.

    If the shutter release is fast, and it has great bokeh, I’m all over it.

    • At some point the industry is going to have to produce a viable software shutter…but now is probably not that point, so I expect there will be a mechanical shutter on this camera, worry not.

      As for the shutter release being fast, Fuji has said they wanted to make the camera fast and responsive with little lag, so I am hopeful it will be closer to a DSLR than a P&S in speed.

  21. I’ve been looking at getting my own nice camera for a while, then my father bought a D90. I always figured I’d be all about the zoom, but as it turns out most of my best photography comes from his 50mm prime lens. I’m pretty sure this is my next camera, I’m—you said it best—smitten.

    This is four times the price of my last camera—also a finepix, but about as far removed from this as a $250 camera should be. I wonder what the Canadian availability and pricing will be?

  22. If the price comes in around a grand, I’m in fixed lens or not. A large sensor in a small body is what I’ve been looking for. Zoom makes you lazy anyway. As one poster said, a lot of my best come from a 50mm prime.

  23. this replaces my beloved olympus xa with a16 flash, my rollei 35S. my leica m6 and my leica digilux 2. it will replace my olympus ep2 for travel. However, please fuji

    - make the shutter SILENT
    - we dont need 99 af points just one damn good af point
    - make auto iso work like ep2
    - make it in black and grey as options
    - face detect focus and exposure work fast
    - make manual focus feel like it should
    - have a faster lens like f1.4 or f1.7
    - have iso6400 noise free and very detailed
    - show the distance scale on the lens for pre-focus work
    - make sure flash works with slow shutter sync
    - make the battery last for 1500 shots.
    - make it less than us$1k

    this will be the ultimate street camera. and yet work well as an environmental portrait lens/camera with the fast lens.

    i think i can do 80% to 90% of my shooting with this camera.

    • And would you like 1 or 2 sugars with your coffee? Cream? ;)

      Some of your requests could easily and cheaply be implemented, others….not so much. I think the camera is pretty much set right now and won’t differ in hardware specs from what we saw at Photokina, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Fuji have already started designing the followup model, and some of your requests might make it into that one.

  24. I have one request, make the back LCD flush with the body and remove that ugly black frame around it. Otherwise very well done.

  25. I’d buy it anywhere under $1,500, above that I am feeling pain. I am all about great picture quality in a small package. If it is a fixed lens, OK.

    Who is making the sensor?

    I hope they make this camera and then move on to a full frame rangefinder with auto focus separate lenses and that will take m lens. I just can’t justify a Leica M9 at $7k, and I would be very uncomfortable carrying around 10k worth of camera (camera and len(s). But – I want the highest quality images I can get. In the mean time, I am hauling around my Canon 5d with the Zeiss ZE lens. That meets all the criteria, except being small. A full frame rangefinder body anywhere up to $2,500 and then Zeiss m lenses for $1,000 each would be a great package.

    Thanks for the great review. I am in line to get an X100 asap!

  26. The fixed lens has two distinct advantages
    to my mind.

    Firstly, it can be matched to the sensor.

    Secondly, it removed the need for dust
    protection, wave filters and the like.

    But Fuji sensors are much prized by
    wedding and portrait photographers
    because of their ability to manage
    dynamic range.

    The X100 seems to be a street shooter.
    It’s a reportage camera. This is a new
    arena for Fuji digital.

    I think Fuji would do well to rapidly
    add some supplementary lens system
    to this model.

    The wide angle and telephoto
    attachments for the FinePix E-900
    work very well, although the E-900
    isn’t in the same class.

    If Fuji can make a portrait lens
    attachment and demonstrate that
    it works by releasing sample images
    then I think this camera could be a
    game changer for them.

    Stephen

  27. The shutter does not even need to just be the software type shutter. They could use a very large but quiet leaf shutter, same type of mechanical shutter that is actually used in P&S cams. Also, they could just as well make the sensor themselves. Normal CMOS sensors (not back illumiated) are easier to make than CCDs, and if Fuji could make CCDs with bizarre photosites (See Fuji’s Super CCD), I don’t see why Fuji will not make its own CMOS sensors.
    For AF, they could use an on-sensor phase detection method that they have already implemented for their compact F300EXR for this cam.

    I have an F70EXR and I am quite satisfied with it. The DR is definitely something that was impressively useful, one that my other camera, a Canon S3, cannot replicate.

  28. guys have you seen the nex5 with the snap on fisheye. if this camera could do it with accessories. like for example a screw on or snap on fisheye, that would be awesome. is there any way they could add on a magnifier like 35-50mm / 35-100mm so its still fixed but you have that zoom on it and digitally work it? just a thaught anyways.
    how do you guys think this will compare to a canon 400d with a 17-85mm/50mm1.8. i do mostly street and portrait.

    • A lot of questions, Thal! I’ll go backwards: If Fuji get their act together with the image processing (and I see no reason why they wouldn’t), then this camera should give you the same IQ as a Canon 400D with a 23mm lens on it (I know there’s no such thing, but you get what I’m saying). It’s not about the IQ, it’s about the handling; some people won’t like how the X100 handles while others will love it and loathe the day they bought a DSLR. It’s all about preferences and personalities.

      As for the snap on optics, I’m sure there will be Chinese made TCs and wide-angle add-ons available on eBay soon after the camera starts shipping, but I don’t know if Fuji will produce one themselves. If they do, don’t expect it to be cheap.

  29. I wanna capture decent images while out on road-trips via the motorcycle. The Canon S95 is a good/fast point & shoot, and the G12 is the same camera, slower, with a view finder…. but the sensor is too small. Micro 4/3′s is still a novelty camera, better/bigger sensor, but still a wannabe DSLR (IMO). And I a DSLR may take up too much room on a motorcycle…..

    Then the Fine Pix X100 is announced, compact body, LARGE(er) sensor, retro, and with a view-finder! Just flat looks COOL, and must feel GREAT in the hands!

    For a few years now I’ve been asking-around/looking-for a quality digital camera with a single focal length WIDE lens. Zooming has made me lazy, wide angle allows the viewer to interact with the image, a fixed lens reduces the liklihood of lint, and quality of glass is better.

    I decided recently that I don’t have the skill to fully appreciate a $1,000 DSLR; only to ‘settle’ for a too big $500 DSLR with it’s cheap plastic “kit lens”; that was last night….. Today I have decided to wait for the Fuji Film X100 with it’s APS-C, view finder, and dedicated wide angle lens.

    -= Pat =-

  30. All it’s missing is a red dot!

  31. Fuji’s been beating around the bush that historically, they use fixed lenses to cut costs. From the current medium format GF670 to the old GS/GSW690 family, fuji’s known for using a fixed lens to provide a durable and economical camera system. It’s not an unusual decision. The GS/GSW690 was a camera system commonly used by professionals because of it’s durability and quality for the price. Hopefully if this camera isn’t priced in the upper (luxury) market then I suspect it will be a hit and a new product segment for the entire camera manufacturing industry.

    • Maybe to complete the cycle, they should revive the Fujica X-mount that they once had. It was a promising bayonet mount, with quite a few lens on its belt. Maybe they could use this mount, then also make new Fujinon lens with it.

      One thing that seems to be a cause for pity would be the fact that the Fuji S series DSLRs supported Nikon F-mount, but Fujinon did not make any lens that were Nikon F-mount compatible. Had there been any such lens, I would have gone out and bought one with my Nikon D90.

  32. Interesting camera for sure but everything will depend on the image quality from that lens and sensor. the techno-speak doesn’t mean much.Every camera maker does the same thing when promoting the latest and greatest. I’m really not sure what all the fuss is about concerning the retro styling. It doesn’t look any more beautiful than all the other old cameras out there including Fuji Films own film compact KLASSE. Leicas look much better. Even V-landers from Cosina maybe. My CL rangefinder is more retro!!!
    but….I do hope it turns out to be something special. The best thing is that it has dials. menus suck big time and are the single reason I don’t use my digital stuff much!

  33. Everything depends on the image quality from the lens and the sensor. Digital images have a habit of looking like…well…digital images. That is, by the time the light has been sucked into the electronics and pixelized there doesn’t seem to be much character left in the images.
    Everything tends to look flat like it’s sitting on the same plane. Rather like many CD’s were supposed to be the best thing ever but just are lacking in dynamic range. But lets hope Fuji can pull off something special.
    I don’t get all the fuss about the retro looks.
    Fuji Film have done this before with their KLASSE film cameras and there are any number of great retro looking cameras available..my CL and Leica look prettier than this. It isn’t very attractive to my eyes!! BUT
    I do like that Fuji are getting away from menus. Menus on digital cameras are the single reason I haven’t got excited about digital photography.
    And i do love that digital now has to create Velvia and Astia modes to duplicate film!!
    Ha!Ha! That’s really funny.
    Kodak will sell millions of cameras with a K for Kodachrome setting.

  34. Great reasearch job ! Thanks !! See, I love my little Ricoh GRD2. So much I got a tiny Elinchrome EL-Skyport radio trigger to sync it with bounce handheld flash. The tiny Ricoh has the most intuitive & best laid-out controls I have ever used in any camera, be it reflex or rangefinder, digital or film. Its tiny sensor is great for zone focusing, especially with the 21mm equivalent lens add-on, and does not seems to sacrifice any sharpness with at it. Sadly it is hopelessly noisy beyond ISO 400. So whenever I plan to go available-light-only or be able to use depth-of-field to separate subject from background, I have to drag along an EOS 7D and fast primes.

    Enter the X-100, promising and uber-corrected, fine-tuned by hand, fast 35 mm equivalent lens that just by itself would cost around 700$ (its closets practical comparison would be Canon 24mm 1.4 L, 1500$ ), a camera with real physical controls that stay put, CMOS with offset microlenses to correct vignetting, standard ISO 6400 sensitivity, dynamic range greater than the Finepix S5, 5 fps, and finally framing with a big bright optical viewfinder that lets one check the shot without having to remove the eye and disrupt the flow of visual thought…

    Is it really the same sensor used in Nikons D700/A300 ? Will we get Fuji to use DNG instead of forcing us to change workflows ? Will its contrast-detection AF be able to focus in candlelight as the 7D does ?

    • ¡Cuántas preguntas, Jorge! :-)

      I don’t think Fuji will use DNG, but I hope to be wrong. They are being very tight-lipped about who made the sensor for them, and I have no idea why. What’s the problem with stating who you source your sensors from? My bet is still that it’s a Sony sensor, but nobody (outside Fuji) knows for sure. When you asked the question I think you meant Nikon D7000, not D700, but it would be neither because the first is 16MP APS-C while the second is 12MP full-frame. The Fuji’s sensor is 12MP APS-C.

      If they can bring out this and other cameras in the series at around $1,000, and they perform well both digitally and optically, then I too would be inclined to see them as premium lenses with a camera attached for free.

      • You are right, the sensor probably is more akin to Nikons D90 3.3 MP/cm² pixel density. Dpreview considered the D90-s ISO 6400 “the blotchy nonsense that you might reasonably expect from working with such extreme settings” and “for emergencies only”, yet the X-100 is supposed to reach one stop more sensitivity, up to ISO 12.800… so there is no way to know yet !

        Regarding lens IQ I have been comparing MTF graphs with the Lumix G 20mm 1.7 Pancake lens. Both lenses are pretty darn sharp in the center, but the Fujinon drops apparent sharpness and, more important, contrast retention towards the corners, at a much slower rate when wide open. I also suspect the 23mm Fujinon will improve a bit on the Panasonic heavy vignetting due to sensor customized microlenses.

        And then there is camera size. Some people complain about the X-100 not really being a pocket camera… yet it is only 3.4 mm higher, 10.5 mm wider than a Pana Four Thirds GH1 + 20mm Pancake, while including a much larger APS-C sensor and bright optical hybrid viewfinder (and being 7.1 mm less deep).

        • Jorge, the sensor would not be like that in the D90, but the newer generation version found in the Pentax K-r and Sony A33. The Pentax K-r has superb high ISO performance, so I’m not worried about “blotchy nonsense” if Fuji’s EXR processor can get the job done.

  35. My first 35mm SLR was a Fujica ST801. Although I moved on to Nikons, I have a great appreciation for the Fujinon EBC coated lens – those early photographs are some of the clearest true-to-color pictures I have ever taken, and that early Fujica was so simple and rugged I wonder that I ever gave it up. Currently i do have a Fuji, a difficult-to-focus, but unique Fuji GS645W medium format. The lens is tack sharp.

    I can’t wait for the X100. I have been knocking lightly at the digital door, but still shoot lots of film. THIS new Fuji, though, looks to be worth the wait.

    Bring it on!!!

  36. I have my Panasonic LX3 for (mostly) indoor use and Fujifilm HS10 for (mostly) outdoor use where zooming is needed. I fall in love with this Fujifilm X100camera for it’s awesome classic retro feel and look forward to the expert review before I decide to get it.

    So far now, my main concern is the price – USD 1,000 (and maybe a little bit more) for my 3rd camera would be too expensive for me in the current economic situation. Will see how it goes, but apart from this, I have the Olympus ZX-1 as my second choice for my 3rd camera and if all goes well, it might replace my LX3.

    By the way I never use the so called “classic range finder” camera but I remember that when I was still a kid, in the 1980′s and early 1990′s, I did use those film camera with no zoom at all, but it has no manual control options what so ever, I remember it has this OVF and Shutter button, and that’s about it. Is this also considered as “range finder” ?

  37. Can you please show what you updated VS. last time? then we can easily check the updated parts

    Thanks a lot

    • That makes too much sense, Miles! :-D

      I’ll try to list the updates when I make them, although now that everything is known about the X100 I expect fewer updates. I will be adding a review section once they start being published.

  38. Another buy obsession coming my way, oh my…could it be I’ll capture an image with this camera, that I would miss with the EP-2? If it’s quick, delivers IQ in moonlight, doesn’t cause menu befuddlement, and VF delivers on the promise? Hard to imagine it would not increase the odds in my favor. Plus I’ll still have the Oly and lenses along in a smallish bag if desired. OMG.

    This is an intriguing site, BTW.

  39. I’ve just ordered mine… I’ve been told March 15th is the day they arrive in the UK and there will be just 100 of them… so get your order in quick. I think this camera is going to re-awaken the photographer hidden inside my jaded old head. I’ve been waiting a long time for something like this. I couldn’t justify the price of an M9 and the X1 just isn’t quite there. This, on the other hand, addresses all those issues that I have with the X1. Watch out Leica!

    • Just 100 units in the first shipment? Doesn’t seem like a lot, does it? Good luck dejading yourself :-)

      • No, I was surprised at the figure. According to the people with whom I have my order, they have asked for 10 units. They have three on order from folk like me (again I was surprised it was so few) but think they will probably only receive about 4 from Fuji. This supplier claims to be a preferred online Fuji dealer too.

        I think the numbers sound small but perhaps realistic given the (currently) handbuilt quality of the camera. Perhaps there a plan behind this. ‘The camera that everyone wants so badly that demand is exceeding supply’ makes for great copy. I guess they may be better able to gauge future sales when they know how many people actually want to part with the cash. From their point of view there must be a few unknowns – a fixed lens camera for a grand (albeit wonderful quality) when most mobile phones these days can produce a reasonable image; retro styling etc – I’d hate to take a guess at the numbers they may sell. How many Leica X1s have been sold? They’re entering a niche market as a new player. Perhaps it’s just caution.

        I’m buying one because I’ve recently sold all my pro gear after years of taking pictures for (mostly) agricultural clients. I no longer have the need for all that stuff. I was looking at buying an X1 but couldn’t bring myself to part with the money when the spec didn’t look that great. A lovely camera but not (to my mind at least) a ‘real’ Leica. I considered going back to film but I love the immediacy and cheapness of digital shooting. When I read about this camera and saw some of the images created with it I could see this was the kind of thing I have been looking for. But how typical a customer am I? What other sort of person will want a camera like this? I’m not sure and I’m thinking that Fuji aren’t that sure either, so they’re hedging their bets and keeping the numbers small to keep the interest going, generate publicity and build a new group of customers who react to the hype.

        That’s my theory anyway.

  40. My only hope is that this sells like hotcakes and prompts Epson & Cosina update the Epson RD-1 with a full-frame-sensor RD-2 and have the sense to brand it with the Voigtlander moniker. Give it a longer RF base, VF options to mimic Cosina’s Bessa line.

  41. Thanks for the friendly welcome, Miserere. I’m lagging a bit on RSS. Must be a good thing, whatever it is. Time to check it out.
    First, though, on the camera, I just gotta know how well I see through the finder in bright sunlight. I have a hunch that the manual focus will be nice, even if it is by wire, and am ready to take someone else’s word on it. One very subjective aspect of digital shooting that recommends a bit of caution on my part has to do with 1) how prone a camera may be to quirkiness of controls, and 2) unwieldy menus. My Oly Pen has glaring deficiencies in the above as far as I’m concerned, as an owner for a year and a half or so. Besides all that, it’s too cute for my taste.

  42. Amazon are offering the X100 on pre-order for £899 – the cheapest X100 price in the UK to date. They are also saying that the official UK release date is now April 11th.

    Link to Fuji X100 at Amazon UK

  43. I decided to stop thinking, and to go ahead and just take the plunge this morning–ordered it from J&R with estimated shipping date March 21. $1199 US. I’m #35 on the wait list of 50. It’s going to pair up nicely with the Mimaya MF rangefinder I think.

  44. I found a link to the X100 Owners Manual over on rangefinderforum.com. I believe the link will expire soon. It just worked for me.

    https://files.me.com/kylebarrow/dxsgl2

  45. The problem is that the lens is not zoom and the batteries are not standard.

  46. (x100)…most likely be available in early april and will start shipping to customers since they are able to recover the production line, start selling in april, that is the only thing it says, early april.

    http://digitaljournalofphotography.blogspot.com/2011/03/fuji-resume-x100-production.html

  47. A potential problem for X100 owners – something to be aware of.

    OK, I know this will make look dumb but here goes. My X100 started to have a problem with the macro setting. It wouldn’t do it and kept asking me to turn the camera off and on again. It still refused to function. I contacted Fuji and they were going to send me a pre-paid box to get the camera back for repair. Then it dawned on me…

    I had just received my adapter ring and lens hood. I had also added a standard 49mm UV filter. The filter has to be on the outside of the adapter, not next to the lens, or the lens can’t extend enough for macro. I should have known this really. However I did what I always do… filter on lens, hood on filter. I figured the adapter was for the hood more than any filter. Wrong.

    So if you buy the adapter ring and lens hood beware. You can cause lens malfunction if you don’t put the filter in the right place.

    Luckily my camera seems perfectly fine… phew.

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