Matt Trentacoste was talking about this bad boy on Twitter the other day, and I’ve been passively thinking about it ever since. In short Fujifilm is releasing a compact camera that has some high-end image specifications. I suspect you’re going to see more and more of this going forward. While SLRs are great, they are a big and bulky and hard to carry around. If you could get comparable image quality out of a smaller camera, it would be a game changer for the professional camera market.

So before you read too much more, check out the official site for the Finepix X100.

What I like About This Camera

Here’s a quick list of what turns me on about this camera:

  • It has a fast f/2.0 aperture which is great for most shooting scenarios
  • The retro look of the case is pretty hot
  • It looks like you adjust the aperture using the dial on the lens – also a throwback to how cameras used to be, and equally as hot
  • ISO from 200 – 6,400 (extendable to 12,800)
  • 720p video
  • Ability to choose 3:2 aspect ratio of 16:9
  • Optics with 6 groups and 8 lenses (1 aspherical glass molded lens included) – probably means it’ll be really sharp
  • Hybrid viewfinder – it’s optical, but has digital stats overlaid on it
  • Ability to switch to RAW with a dedicated button

Pretty great specifications.

What I Don’t Like

Looks peachy on first glance, but there are a few things I don’t like.

  • f/2.0 is fast, but not fast enough to hand hold shots inside of a typical bar at most ISOs. If ISO 3200 – 6400 are usable and relatively noise-free, it might be possible. But given that it’s an APS-C sized sensor, I suspect you’ll see quite a bit of noise at 3,200 and 6,400, which means no hand holding in those scenarios. Given that there are Canon cameras in the $500 range with a f/2.0 as well, it would have been nice to see f/1.8 or f/1.4 out of this lens.
  • Prime lens with a 35mm focal length. This is probably great lens for walking around, but pretty poor for doing any portraits. Not sure how practical this camera is without a zoom. They haven’t announced any other lenses either, so seems very limiting to me
  • Only 300 shots per charge – good enough for most scenarios, but not a very pro number

What I Think

This camera is hot. Unfortunately at a price point of around $1,199 USD, I don’t think I’m going to bite. I love all of the specifications, but the 35mm focal length is not very useful for a general purpose lens. It’s interesting as a walk around camera if you’re primarily interesting in cityscapes, but I don’t think it’s very useful for families or portraits.

That said, it comes out in March, so it’ll be available when I’m in New York City hopefully. I’ll definitely play around with one and see what I think. If I have enough beers before hand, who knows, maybe you’ll see it here first.

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