- Model name: Finepix X100
- Focus Type: Autofocus / Manual
- Format : APS-C / Crop Sensor
- Purchase options: Amazon | Adorama | B&H
- 12.3 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor
- New EXR Processor at the heart of the image processing system
- Retro rangefinder camera looks
- Hybrid viewfinder
- Compact fixed lens body design with analogue dials for aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation adjustments and a electronically coupled manual focusing ring.
- Built in flash
- 2.8” LCD screen with 460,000 dots resolution
- 720p video recording
The FinePix X100 created quite a buzz when it launched back in 2010. In fact it brought back the memories of a retro range-finder looks combined well in a compact fixed lens body packing the refinements of optical and technological progress the camera world has seen in the last few decades. It is most definitely a collector’s camera, serving only the needs of a connoisseur looking for retro-looks and the functionalities of an excellent hybrid viewfinder in a fixed lens body. Let’s delve into the specifications of the X100 and it performance in real world to learn more about it.
The sensor and the image processing system
Fuji has bundled the X100’s APS-C sensor with a new EXR Processor and their proprietary HR (High Resolution technology), DR (Wide Dynamic Range Technology) and SN (High sensitivity & low noise) technologies. The result is a much improved sharp performance, better low light performance and wider dynamic range in the photos (at least as Fuji claims it to be). In real life the low light performance is quite good.
The hybrid viewfinder
When launched the X100 featured the world’s first hybrid viewfinder which interpolated an optical viewfinder and an electronic one on top of each other. There is a small level at the front which controls whether you want to see the optical or the electronic view finder. The optical viewfinder can switch to a electronic mode for giving you the playback option. Select that option and once you have taken a picture the playback option shows you what you have captured. The electronic viewfinder has a 1,440,000 dot resolution and offers 100% coverage. Since the corresponding viewfinder range of the OVF is 90% there is always a visual jerk when the viewfinder switches from optical to manual as more of the frame is covered.
The LCD screen
The smallish 2.8” LCD monitor has a resolution of 460,000 dots and 100% frame coverage.
Continuous shooting speed
The X100 shoots at a continuous high of 5 fps. Additionally one set it to continuous low and it would shoot at 3 fps. The main advantage of using the X100 is its fast auto-focusing capability that makes it possible to keep shooting without having to wait for the camera to do its post processing or waiting for the buffer to write on the card. However please note that the experience has been entirely shooting on JPEG. RAW formats do take a considerable amount of time to process.
Videos & stills
The X100 shoots both RAW (RAF formats) and JPEG and can also be used to shoot both simultaneously. At 3:2 resolution it shoots 4288 x 2848 pixels resolution. It also shoots 720p HD videos in H.264 MOV format while recording stereo sound via the built-in stereo mic.
The impressive feature of the X100 is its auto-focusing (single). It is by far one of the best compact cameras with such great AF-S performance. This is particularly effective when it comes to shooting fast moving subjects, kids, pets, cars and anything which is mobile. The X100 unlike a rangefinder and a DSLR is not plagued by focus-shift problems. The information is fed to the system via the sensor and as such the whole system is simple, quick and accurate. However the AF-C feature of the camera is not that great. Just as its more illustrious brother the X-Pro 1 the X100 does not perform very well when it comes to motion tracking in AF-C mode. There is a manual focusing ring on the X100 as well but it is very slow to respond, making it almost unusable in real life situations.
The X100 comes with a built-in memory of about 20MB. Impractical for any type of shooting one have to depend on its compatibility with SD/SDHC/SDXC cards in order to shoot and store images.
The X100 is sensitive from ISO 200 through 6400. However it can be bumped to 100-12800 on expanded mode. The large f/2 built-in lens does help the fact that it can take decent shots in low light conditions.
The built-in flash of the X100 has a guide number of 4.5 (m, ISO 100). It has an effective range of 50 cm – 9 m. The best thing about the flash is it ability to fill in the shadows even in the trickiest of lighting conditions. While in direct sunlight it does a great job, it is also quite good when used in ambient light.
What are missing / wish list
The X100 is not something if you want a fast continuous auto-focusing. If you love shooting videos, then the lack of the quick continuous AF will most definitely ruin your video experience. Also it does not shoot full HD, only 720p HD. The X100 also does not have the near life like color reproduction. As such when shooting flowers, landscape you will always be left wanting that the camera does not create the same color accuracy. Additionally there are no options to shoot compressed RAW. Only 19 megabytes bulky RAF files are possible to be shot.
The X100 is in fact a range-finder styled fixed-lens compact camera. It is the first camera that featured a hybrid viewfinder. It definitely can be compared with a Leica, especially with a Leica M9. However when we compare the prices of the two the X100 costs almost ten times less than the Leica M. Another Leica model the X1 can be looked into by discerning buyers. It is also a great camera retailing at $2000 or thereabouts.
Should I buy it?
If you need great controls over your photographs, sharp images and vibrant colors, a DSLR such as a Canon EOS M or a Nikon D3200 can be a better choice. The interface of the X100 can be quite confusing for amateur and even professional photographers. Being a fixed lens of f/2 wide aperture, the X100 definitely is less tweaking and more to do with point and shooting. If you’re definitely interested in a light weight point and shoot at around $1200 then this is something that you can definitely look into. But if you’re not afraid to carry a bulkier camera then a DSLR is a better buy for sharp vibrant images and full HD videos.
Sample Images by Finepix X100 on Flickr
Finepix X100 Specifications
||12.3 million pixels|
|Image sensor||23.6mm x 15.8mm (APS-C) CMOS with primary color filter|
|Aperture||F2-F16 1/3EV step (controlled with 9-blade aperture diaphragm)|
(from lens surface)
|Sensitivity||Equivalent to ISO 200 – 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
Extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100 or 12800
ISO AUTO Control available
|Exposure control||TTL 256-zones metering, Multi / Spot / Average|
|Exposure mode||Programmed AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual exposure|
|Exposure compensation||-2.0EV – +2.0EV 1/3EV step|
(with mechanical shutter)
|(P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000* sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec. Bulb (max.60min.)
|Continuous shooting||Up to 10 /JPEG
Up to 8 /RAW or RAW+JPEG
5 / 3 fps selectable
|Auto bracketing||AE Bracketing (±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV)
Film Simulation Bracketing (PROVIA / STANDARD, Velvia / VIVID, ASTIA / SOFT)
Dynamic Range Bracketing (100%, 200%, 400%)
ISO sensitivity Bracketing (±1/3EV, ±2/3EV, ±1EV)
|White balance||Automatic scene recognition
|Self-timer||Approx. 10sec. / 2sec. Delay|
|Flash||Auto flash (super intelligent flash)
Effective range : (ISO 1600)
approx. 50cm – 9m / 1.6ft. – 29.5.ft.
|Flash modes||Red-eye removal OFF : Auto, Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Slow Synchro.
Red-eye removal ON : Red-eye Reduction Auto, Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash, Suppressed Flash, Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
|Hot shoe||Yes (dedicated TTL Flash compatible)|
|LCD||2.8-inch, approx. 460,000dots, TFT color LCD monitor (Approx. 100% coverage)|
|Movie recording||1280 x 720 pixels (24frames / sec.) with stereo sound|
|Photography functions||Select custom setting, Motion panorama, Color space, Film simulation, Auto red-eye removal, Framing guideline, Frame No. memory, Histogram display, Preview depth of focus, Focus check, Electronic level, One-touch RAW|
|Playback functions||RAW conversing, Image rotate, Photobook assist, Erase selected frames, image search, Multi-frame playback (with micro thumbnail), Slide show, Mark for upload, Protect, Crop, Resize, Panorama, Favorites|
|Other functions||PictBridge, Exif Print, 35 languages selection, Time difference, Quick start mode, OVF power save mode, Silent mode, Shutter sound select|
|Power||NP-95 Li-ion battery (included)|
|Physical Dimensions||126.5(W) x 74.4(H) x 53.9(D) mm / 5.0(W) x 2.9(H) x 2.1(D) in.
(Minimum thickness : 31.0mm / 1.2in.)
|Wt||Approx. 445g / 15.7oz. (including battery and memory card)
Approx. 405g / 14.3oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
|Operating Temp||0°C – 40°C|
|Operating Environment||10% – 80% (no condensation)|
|Guide to the number of available frames for battery operation||Approx. 300frames|
|Starting up period||Approx. 2.2sec. ( Approx 0.7sec at QUICK START mode)*4|
|Included Accessories||Li-ion battery NP-95
Battery charger BC-65N
USB cable for the FinePix X100
Metal strap clip
Clip attaching tool
CD-ROM (Viewer software, Raw File Converter etc. *5)
|Optional accessories||Li-ion battery NP-95
Battery charger BC-65S / BC-65N
Leather case LC-X100
Lens hood LH-X100
Adapter ring AR-X100
Shoe mount flash EF-X20 / EF-20 / EF-42