Check out the new Fuji X100
Fujifilm may be a company that’s currently best-known for its prolific production of compact cameras, but in reality it has a long tradition of making somewhat left-field, unique cameras aimed at serious enthusiasts and professionals. The company regularly sought out market niches in the days of film, from its Fujica 6×9 format rangefinders, through the GA645Zi medium format ‘zoom compact’, to the TX-1 35mm panoramic rangefinder (better known in Western markets as the Hasselblad XPan), all of which still command premium prices on the used market today. In the digital era it has concentrated mainly on its innovative SuperCCD sensor technology, employing it to provide class-leading dynamic range on cameras such as the S5 Pro and the EXR series of zoom compacts. Along the way it has made some genuine cult classics, including the F30 and F31Fd compacts which earned a reputation as excellent low-light performers.
The X100, though, is something totally different. It’s a beautifully-designed rangefinder-styled camera that squeezes an SLR-size APS-C sensor into its compact body, and sports a fixed, fast F2 maximum aperture semi-wideangle lens with a classic 35mm-equivalent field of view. It uses traditional analogue control dials for shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation, alongside an electronically coupled (‘focus-by-wire’) manual focus ring. But the biggest story is its innovative and unique hybrid viewfinder, which combines a conventional direct-vision optical viewfinder with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, offering the best of both worlds plus a few unique tricks of its own.