It looks like a classic rangefinder, yet it features Fujifilm’s latest EXR technology and, controversially, a fixed-focus, non-interchangeable lens. So has the FinePix X100 really been worth the wait? We find out
Like most photographers who saw the early prototypes of the X100, I couldn’t wait to use it and even considered buying one. Having now spent some time with the camera, it certainly has its charm and has more than proved itself on its image quality. However, the general handling is not quite as flawless as I had hoped. The novelty of the viewfinder does wear off, although if I had to choose between losing the optical or EVF functionality I’m not sure I’d want either to go as both came in useful at some point.
For anyone with a real love of cameras, you can’t help but enjoy shooting with the X100 and it is ideal for street photography, travel or documentary-style shooting. For a fixed-lens camera it is quite expensive, but those looking for similar features will most likely be considering a compact system camera, so we have tested the X100 as one here.
I think, perhaps, in the spirit of commercialism, there is room for two additional cameras in this form: one, lower priced, with possibly a standard EVF, a smaller body and smaller sensor; and one larger, premium model with a bigger, fully metal body, a full-frame sensor and removable lens.
Fujifilm FinePix X100: Focal points
The X100 features a standard hotshoe to allow the attachment of one of two Fujifilm external flashguns
The hybrid viewfinder allows an optical view or, at the flick of a switch, a full electronic view from the sensor
Shutter control dial
The shutter control sits on its own metal dial on the top plate, with an A setting to allow for aperture priority or program operation
The multi-directional pad also features a rotating outer ring and central menu/OK button
Fixed 23mm f/2 lens
The lens is a fixed-focus Fujinon f/2 unit with a 35mm equivalent focal length. It features a manual aperture ring and electronically controlled focus ring
EXR dynamic range
The dynamic range can be boosted to bring more detail to the highlights and shadows with the increased 200% or 400% settings, but these require a minimum of ISO 400 to use
Uniquely for a compact, fixed-lens camera, the X100 features an APS-C-sized sensor that is more commonly found in DSLR and some compact system cameras
The X100 allows 12-bit raw capture in its native RAF raw format and comes with Silkypix raw processing software for extensive development options