Hands On: Fujifilm Finepix X100 Digital Rangefinder

We look through the hybrid viewfinder of a prototype of Fujifilm's new high-end compact.

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We couldn’t wait to get our hands on Fujifilm’s new high-end compact, so when we saw it on the show floor here at Photokina, we jumped at the chance to touch it. Unfortunately, neither prototype model they had on display was equipped with the CMOS sensor. They were, however, using a simulated digital image to preview the method of switching between electronic and optical viewfinders. The process is simple and, at least in the simulation, happens fairly quickly.
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The X100 will be available in early 2011 for about $1,000, which is pricier than the Sigma DP2, but a bargain when compared to the Leica X1. Even though this is a proto, the build felt like near-final quality. The dials were all snappy and responsive.
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Feel is an essential element for a camera like this and it seems that Fujifilm has absolutely nailed it. The unit we worked with was mostly on a tripod, but the heft and solidity of the body itself is immediately apparent.
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Switching between viewfinder modes is handled by a switch, much like the one many film cameras use for their timer function.
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Because there was no sensor in the camera, we couldn’t quite get a feel for the fixed 23mm f/2 Fujinon aspherical lens. The Fujifilm reps on-hand, however, made it very clear that lens quality was of top priority, which is why they decided to skip the zoom.