UPDATED, NOVEMBER 2012: Launched in March 2011, the Fujifilm FinePix X100 was the first model to grace the company’s premium-grade ‘X-series’ range. Packing an APS-C sensor, hybrid viewfinder and fixed 35mm lens into a rangefinder style body, the X100 lacks the proprietary X-Trans sensor of more recent X-series models. Does it still have something to offer? We find out in the What Digital Camera Fujifilm FinePix X100 review…
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Review
One of the main appeals of the Fujifilm FinePix X100 is the classic design it’s been cloaked in. The Fujifilm FinePix X100 is a lovely looking camera with a retro appearance that has an obvious nod to rangefinder cameras like the Leica M-series, and a two-tone black and silver finish.
Proportionally it has a footprint a little larger than a Compact System Camera such as the Panasonic LUMIX GF2, with a bit more height due to the inclusion of a viewfinder.
You’re left in no doubt that as soon as you pick it up that the Fujifilm FinePix X100 is a incredibly high-quality, precision instrument. The top-plate has been constructed from a strong and lightweight die-cast magnesium that’s also used on the base of the camera. Its very comfortable to hold, with a small but well proportioned handgrip, though you’ll probably find your little finger supporting the underneath of the camera. Weight-wise it’s just the right balance of being heavy enough to ensure confidence that it’d take the odd knock (not that you’d want to), without weighing too much that it’d become tiresome over a day hung round your neck.
Round the short neck of the lens is a manual focus ring and aperture ring that both use the same lightweight, die-cast magnesium as the top-plate. The aperture ring produces nice, positive clicks as you change aperture, while the manual focus ring is finely machined and weighted just right. There’s no built-in lens protector, but there’s a push-on lens cap that has a felt lining inside – another nice little touch – while on the front of the body is a switch to flick between the optical and electronic viewfinder that’s perfectly positioned for you middle finger to reach.
The top-plate features a shutter speed control and exposure compensation dial that have little finger grips and just about the right amount of resistance to extend that overall luxury feel of the Fujifilm FinePix X100. In between those is the on/off switch with the shutter button nestled inside, which also features a traditional screw cable release attachment. There’s also a small function button, with its control assigned in the menu of the Fujifilm FinePix X100, while there’s also a hotshoe that accepts Fujifilm’s two new flashguns already mentioned.
Positioned on the far left on the rear of the Finepix X100 is the hybrid viewfinder, with an eye-sensor just to the right to active either the electronic or Reverse Galilean viewfinder. Then along the left-hand side are buttons for Play, Metering, AF and View Mode, while on the other side of the screen is the scroll-wheel/d-pad to navigate and apply most of the X100’s settings. All are constructed from plastic, so it would have been nice to have seem some metal elements been used here too. Above the focus lock/exposure button is the Command Control which can be used for a variety of controls, including adjusting aperture in 1/3 EV steps in Manual exposure and zooming in on the focus area during manual focus.