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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Hi folks,

This one came out of left field. 8) From this press release:
    FUJIFILM announces development of Digital Camera FinePix X100

    PHOTOKINA 2010, COLOGNE, GERMANY, September 20, 2010 - FUJIFILM Corporation is pleased to announce the new FinePix X100, a high-grade digital compact camera featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor, a Fujinon 23mm fixed focal length lens and a newly developed Hybrid Viewfinder, due for commercial release in early 2011.

    The FinePix X100 is aimed at the professional photographer or keen enthusiast looking for exceptional quality pictures from a compact camera. It is designed to appeal to the millions of DSLR users who need a slim back-up camera for high quality in-fill shots when the use of a bigger SLR system is either inconvenient or impractical. Or, of course, it can be used as a professional's only top-end camera, if size and versatility are the primary considerations.

    Fujifilm has closely studied the current line-up of professional cameras and feels that there is a strong need for a compact high-quality (APS-C based) camera as a counterpoint to an SLR. Using the experience of working with generations of photographers using famous emulsions like Velvia, Provia, Astia etc., Fujifilm engineers distilled this knowledge into months of careful study to create the perfect compact-sized professional camera.

    The priority for this model is picture quality, so it was decided to make the highest quality possible lens and sensor combination, built from the ground-up. The lens chosen is a fixed, prime F2 lens, made by Fujinon, manufactured to perfectly match the APS-C custom sensor. Added to this is the newly-developed EXR Processor, which combines all the latest image processing technology Fujifilm has technology built up over the years.

    Other cameras on the market look to fill the need for the ultimate ‘compact’ professional camera, but the Fujifilm development team believe that, having listened to the marketplace, the FinePix X100 offers a number of technical developments that will set this camera apart from other contenders. The main technologies employed in this camera are as follows:

    Hybrid Viewfinder (New Development)

    The Hybrid Viewfinder on the FinePix X100 combines the window-type “bright frame” optical viewfinder found in high-end film cameras such as 35mm or medium-format cameras, and the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in fixed single lens or mirrorless digital cameras. By using integrating a prism for the 1,440,000 dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder, the Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of shooting data. Of course, it can also be used as a high-quality electronic viewfinder to compose or playback shots. With this ability to instantly switch between optical and electronic viewfinder images with simple “one touch” control. The new Hybrid Viewfinder offers users expanded freedom in the composition and enjoyment of photography in a range of challenging shooting conditions.

    While digital compact cameras have become ever slimmer and more compact in recent years, composing and viewing shots on large, higher resolution LCD panels on the back of the camera has become the mainstream practice for today's users. On the other hand, shooting with an optical viewfinder is the standard practice for conventional film cameras and the preferred method for large numbers of digital camera owners. Many prefer the finder to be as close as possible to the eye so the user can focus attention exclusively on photo composition to get a clear view of the subject without distraction.

    While traditionalists prefer the clear, sharp view of an ‘optical’ finder, modern electronic displays, giving data like shutter speed, aperture, white balance, exposure correction and sensitivity can aid the photographer tremendously. The new Hybrid Viewfinder on the FinePix X100 aims to give the user the ‘best of both worlds’.

      Image
      Conceptual diagram

    Further specifications for the Hybrid Viewfinder are as follows:

  • The reverse Galilean optical finder with a 0.5x magnification features all-glass elements made from high-refractive index glass and demonstrates low chromatic aberration and distortion.
  • In optical viewfinder mode, the brightness of both the “bright frame” and text data is automatically adjusted according to the brightness of scene area, ensuring that shooting information is always easily and clearly viewable.
  • Displayed shooting data is constantly updated according to changes in shutter speed, exposure, sensitivity and other settings.
  • In electronic viewfinder mode, the photographer can preview the picture or playback the result with the “through the sensor” image review. Available with one-touch switching ease, this capability enables the user to preview and confirm exposure settings, depth-of-field effects, white balance, and macro shots.

    12.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor
  • The FinePix X100 features a custom CMOS high-performance sensor, internally optimized and developed exclusively for this model.
  • Optimization of the angle-of-incidence in conjunction with the specially developed lens maximizes light gathering efficiency extending to the perimeter of the sensor for a sharper image with exceptional clarity.

  • When shooting HD movies, the combination of the large-sized sensor and the large aperture F2 lens, lets users shoot a soft out-of-focus touch (bokeh) - a capability not available in conventional compact cameras.
  • The ideal combination of a fixed focal length lens, high-sensitivity sensor (approx. 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact*1) and a high-performance image processor captures exceptionally high-quality images over the entire sensitivity range from low to high ISO settings.
  • The high-speed CMOS sensor read-out and the EXR Processor's enhanced focusing system contributes to the high-speed AF performance, while the combination of the optical viewfinder and extremely low shutter time lag enhance the pleasure of every shot.
  • *1 Comparison with other FinePix compact camera models.

    23mm F2 Fujinon (Aspherical) Lens
  • The newly-developed lens offers a focal length of 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) and a widest aperture of F2. Made from molded glass, the lens contains 8 elements in 6 groups.
  • The adoption of the non-collapsible lens structure with minimized lens length not only contributes to the compact size but also eliminates telescoping of the lens when the power is on. It's ready to start shooting the moment you turn it on.
  • Exploiting the merits of fixed focal length lens, this lens delivers sharp resolution of the total image from the center to the corners. In addition, the lens features not only the large F2 aperture value, but also an optical architecture that maintains a high degree of resolution even when closed by 1 to 2 stops.

      Image
      MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) Curve
  • The lens uses a 9-blade aperture diaphragm. A large F2 aperture and high-quality optics let users take beautiful photos with a soft out-of-focus (bokeh) effect.
  • The lens enables macro shooting as close as 10 cm.
  • Featuring a built-in ND filter (equivalent f-stop reduction of 3), the lens can enhance depth-of-field even in bright shooting conditions by enabling the aperture to be kept wide open. Shutter speed can also be reduced to capture waterfalls, or any shot where intentional blur is required.

    EXR Processor (Newly Developed)
  • When combined with the high-performance lens and high-sensitivity sensor, the newly developed EXR Processor achieves the highest definition, sensitivity and wide dynamic range image quality of any digital camera produced by Fujifilm.
  • Throughout development of the processor, Fujifilm has re-examined every aspect from response to the circuit structure, and achieved a significant leap in signal processing performance for a more responsive and faithful reproduction of the image.
  • The graphical interface (style and rendering of the LCD information) has been upgraded in the newly developed LSI to enhance the user experience and to improve the clarity of the information presented.

    Design
  • Inspired by the beauty and form of classic cameras from the past, the FinePix X100 combines all the latest technical digital innovations in a beautiful, traditional chassis which oozes class and prestige.
  • The ergonomics of the design offer the perfect balance between compact convenience and user-friendly operation.
  • The camera controls have been carefully thought out to give the photographer simple and speedy access to aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc, to allow maximum creative expression with minimum hassle. Custom modes can also be used for a one-touch change in settings.
  • The upper control deck/bottom surface has been cast from magnesium alloy (semi-solid metal casting) to contribute to a high-precision camera body with high rigidity.
  • All dials on the upper control deck are fabricated from metal. Adoption of traditional ’manual‘ dials lets the user confirm the position of the settings without turning on the power.
  • Premium quality is evident in every detail. The chassis has been finished with high-quality leather accents and is a delight to use and a pleasure to hold.

Wow! There's also a glossy PDF brochire (4.5MB) available here.

Of course the fixed focal length will limit the appeal for some so I guess the most important piece of information will be the price. But heck, an f/2 23mm lens (35mm equiv) in front of an APS-C CMOS sensor isn't to be sneezed at and that hybrid viewfinder sounds fascinating. I think I want one... :D

Bob.

Edit: Thread title amended.

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Last edited by Bob Andersson on Tue May 17, 2011 8:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:13 am 
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Yeah, saw this earlier today. It looks amazing. Obviously waiting on price and samples but I'd dare say it should be pretty top notch. I'm guessing it's not going to be cheap but doubt it'll be Leica X1 expensive! Possibly something I might be interested in picking up, we'll see.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:01 am 
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Hi Welly,

I hope you're right but I have this uncomfortable feeling that premium Fujifilm products have been pretty expensive in the past. And arguably, if the camera performs as well as the press release suggests, as the FinePix X100 has a higher specification than the Leica X1 it could actually cost more... :evil:

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:47 am 
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A really pretty camera. I like the retro look to some cameras these days such as this and the Oly Pens.

This seems like definately a 2nd or maybe 3rd camera option for people who can afford it. Yeah the lens looks like a nice one, f2, built in ND filter, presumably designed for that specific sensor etc - but I think it all depends on the price. If it's Leica money, then no. It's difficult to imagine what price range this will fall into.

I'm really curious to hear about how that viewfinder performs in practice though

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:33 am 
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I love this retro look!
Looks like my old Ricoh Zf1.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:09 am 
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Haven't been impressed by many cameras lately, but this is different!
Honestly, if it lives up to expectation I will consider trading in my 7D for one of these if needed. Sure it has its limits, but this seems like such a joy to use. A camera to have on you at all times.

This is the first camera that I think rivals a Leica M for much less money. (If the $1700 guess-price is right.) Does a beter job at it than the X1 in any case.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:26 am 
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How did I miss this earlier? Definitely some nice features in there!

My first instinct is to compare it against the E-P1 with 20mm f/1.7 lens fitted as the nearest combination. Fuji give the X100 body dimensions (excluding lens and "other protrusions") which is fractionally wider and taller than E-P1, but marginally thinner. So in size you could say they are practically the same. The lens appears to be slightly smaller all round based on the image as no dimensions are given.

I like the sound of the overlaid detail on live image. And the built in ND is a great idea!

My guess is this will come in below X1 price, purely because they aren't Leica! I'd guess a target street price comparable to latest m4/3 with lens. While the X100 does provide an impressive sounding spec list, compared to the EVILs you wont have the ability to change lens which may count against it however nice a fixed combo it is.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:35 am 
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Short video on Youtube: X100

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:42 am 
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I want 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:56 am 
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I like the hybrid VF. I've always felt the EVF to have significant qualities the OVF doesn't offer. Combining these qualities is a very good thing. Something I hope will be done more and will be developed further.

The limitation of a fixed lens is less appealing of course. Personally I had hoped that Fuji would develop a micro 4/3 sensor based on their Super CCD technology with a megapixel count that would be low enough to guarantee excellent high ISO performance (or a higher MP count combined with a good pixel binning technology allowing to achieve the same excellent high ISO performance at the same lower MP count). With that the interchangeable lenses of micro 4/3 would give you a compact camera with the flexibility of not only a 35mm/F2 lens but a much wider range, which I would prefer. You're in much more need of high megapixel numbers if you're forced to crop in PP. If you have an interchangeable lens/zoom range available that allows you to frame the shot the way you want the end result to be pre-shutter you need a lot less pixels giving the opportunity of a lot better high ISO performance, which I think many will appreciate.

PS
I can't be sure from the images but it looks like this camera again has a hole in the shutter button allowing for screw-in mechanical remote shutter releases. I think every camera should have such a button.

Ben
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:10 pm 
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I like it! Don't want it, but I'll certainly see if I can test one for a couple of minutes once it's out.

- Bjorn -

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:15 pm 
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That's some crazy s***,man! :D

( = I love this camera )

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:26 pm 
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It's gorgeous :shock:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:04 pm 
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I wonder if they will use leaf shutter or clothed shutter like the Leica M. If it's true, it will add another reason for buying it. :P


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Hi folks,

I'm delighted to see so many of us in agreement about this camera.

There's now a micro-site, still a little incomplete as I write, for this camera which you can access by clicking here.

    Image

Enjoy. 8)

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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