Objects of Desire: Fujifilm Finepix X100

March 10, 2011

By Dan Havlik

Where the GoPro HD 3D kit has a decidedly newfangled bent to it, the new Fujifilm Finepix X100 camera is old school all the way. The 12.3-megapixel X100 is the latest digital rangefinder-style model to enter the market in the last few years and it could be the most truly “retro” one yet. (If you like that sort of thing and we—generally speaking—do.)

One of the most attractive things about the X100 is its camera body, which is solidly metal with only a slight use of polycarbonate. The top and bottom of the X100 are made from die-cast magnesium alloy and all the dials and rings are milled from metal.

There are leather accents on the camera chassis, giving the X100 a luxurious look and feel. Along with the classic styling, the camera offers many traditional functions including a manual dial and easy ways to access aperture, shutter speed and exposure.

Along with its throwback appearance, the X100 offers some very useful modern features for the advanced photographer. For starters, the camera boasts a Fujinon 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens, giving the X100 some low light shooting chops and letting you produce lush bokeh behind your subject. Unlike some competing cameras, however, the lens on the X100 is fixed, i.e. it’s not interchangeable. It does have an aperture ring and a focus ring, giving you some helpful manual adjustments at your fingertips.

The X100 uses a DSLR-sized APS-C CMOS sensor and EXR processor with an inventive “hybrid” viewfinder, which lets you switch between optical or electronic functionality at the flick of a switch. And yes, that switch looks suspiciously like the self-timer lever on rangefinder cameras in days gone by.

The X100 also features a 2.8-inch LCD screen with 460,000 pixels of resolution. Old school meet new school.

Cost: $1,200
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