DigitalCameraReview.com
Fuji X100S and Fuji X20 First Look Preview
by Laura Hicks -  1/22/2013

Fuji X100S

The Fuji X100S, a compact fixed lens camera, sashays onto the scene as a successor to the X100. It comes fully equipped with an advanced 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II Sensor and improved EXR Processor II.  Although the internals have been deeply reconfigured, the X100S maintains the same body as the X100. The X100S uses a FUJINON 23mm F2 lens that promises great quality - especially in low light situations. In addition, Fuji states that this camera is equipped with the world's fastest autofocus in this class.

The X100S has both an LCD screen (optical viewfinder) and an electronic viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder uses a 100% coverage, extra high resolution, 2.36 million dot high definition LCD panel. 

In addition, the X100S also features an Intelligent Hybrid Autofocus system that allows the camera to switch between phase and contrast detection to achieve the best image. Digital Split Image function is now available on the X100S. It uses the X-Trans CMOS II Sensor's built-in phase detection pixels to display dual images that can be manually focused by the user. Also, the Focus Peaking function that highlights high contrast areas of subjects for precise focusing is a standard feature on the X100S.

Lastly, Fuji listened to their customers. They left the "Q" button feature that allows users to quickly call up a wide range of frequently used settings.

At CES, I had the opportunity to check out the X100S. It has a retro body design that is pleasing to the senses. Whether you are holding the texturized body or touching the cool metal, the X100S is the embodiment of a tactile experience. It is also solid and well-built. The camera responded quickly and had very good image quality. The f/2 lens was crisp and offered a great depth of field, but one of the most amazing parts of this camera was the electronic view finder (EVF). It was one of (if not the best) EVF I have ever held to my eye. And finally, Fuji includes continued firmware updates similar to that which you would see for the iPhone. What does that mean to you? If the company decides that the camera will benefit from additional functionality that is utilized by upgrading the firmware, but you have already purchased the camera, all you have to do is a firmware update and you will have the same functionality as the newest release.

Fuji expects to have the camera available by the Spring of 2013 for $1300. I can't wait to get the X100S in my hands for a full review to see if it's worth the money!


Fuji X20

The new Fuji X20 digital camera offers quite a few improvements on the already popular Fuji X10. It comes equipped with an advanced 12MP 2/3 inch X-Trans CMOS II Sensor and the EXR Processor II to deliver the world's fastest autofocus speeds in its class. The X20 also receives a new, advanced optical viewfinder. Additionally, a highly randomized and unique color filter array on the new sensor eliminates the need for an optical low-pass filter. The X20, like the X100S, has been given an Intelligent Hybrid Autofocus system that allows the camera to switch between phase and contrast detection to achieve the best image. It also has the same Focus Peaking function that highlights high contrast areas of subjects for precise focusing while using manual focus mode.

The Fuji X20 uses the premium FUJINON F2.0-2.8 4x manual zoom lens. The lens also offers Super Macro Mode where users can get as close as 0.39 inches from a subject. The X20 has a 2.8-inch LCD screen with 460k dots. Like the X100S, Fuji also left the "Q" button function on this camera which allows users to easily access frequently used menu items. 

To give users even more creativity in their images, the X20 features Fujifilm's proprietary Film Simulation Mode which includes ten film options. The camera also has Advanced Filter functions for additional artistic functionality, including Pop Color, Toy Camera, Miniature, Dynamic Tone, Partial Color, Soft Focus, High Key and Low Key.

I was also able to spend some time with the X20 at CES 2013. My first impression of this camera is very good. The body of this camera looks strikingly similar to the X10 with only a few minor changes. The f/2.0-2.8 lens has a fantastic minimum aperture. The X20 has a lot of physical buttons and dials which feeds my need to have control over my camera. The mode and exposure dial are my favorites. The camera has a built-in flash as well as a hot shoe. And for those of us that can't seem to break away from holding a camera to our eye, an optical view finder is present.  Both the LCD screen and OVF are bright and crisp.

I think the X20 has greater appeal to the enthusiast than does the X100S (even though the X100S is a sweet camera). With the 4x zoom and a super macro feature, the X20 has positioned itself to become a top rated compact camera for 2013.

The X20 will be available in the Spring of 2013 for about $600. I look forward to checking out this camera and letting you know how it stacks up.