From the time Fujifilm announced development of the X100 at the Photokina 2010 show, anticipation has been high for this retro-looking digital equipped with an APS-C sized sensor. The camera was nearing market entry when the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster hit, and production was halted for a time, but we've just received a review unit to put through its paces.
For those of you unfamiliar with the X100, its design mimics a classic rangefinder camera but includes a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, 12 megapixel CMOS sensor and fixed 23mm f/2 lens that shoots at 35mm (in 35mm film equivalents) owing to the sensor's 1.5x crop factor.
A 720 HD video /capability is onboard along with a 2.8-inch LCD monitor. Fuji styles the X100 as the "professional's choice," and if that gets you wondering about shooting modes you're barking up the right tree: program auto, aperture and shutter priority, full manual. That's it. No auto as we've come to know it in compact digitals; no scene modes, no face/smile/blink detection. Suffice it to say the X100 will not be everyone's cup of tea.
But if you like the look of Leica's M8/M9/X1 rangefinder digitals, you'll probably fawn over this Fuji. If you can find one, the 10.3 megapixel M8/M8.2 goes for about $4500+. The 18 megapixel M9 will set you back about $6995. The X1 - which most closely approximates the X100's feature set with 12.2 megapixels and a fixed 24mm lens shooting at the same 35mm equivalent with its APS-C sensor - will cost you $1995. The X100 rings up a $1200 tab, which will still probably take a lot of folks' breath away, but looks positively fiscally prudent compared to even the X1.
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