Fujifilm announces March ship date for FinePix X100 high-end compact camera

Summary:Fujifilm finally announces pricing and availability for the hotly anticipated FinePix X100 high-end compact camera.

The most buzzed-about camera at Photokina last year is finally set to debut in the U.S. Fujifilm North America has officially announced that its high-end FinePix X100 will begin shipping next month. Though it has been spotted online for pre-order, the hotly anticipated camera didn't have official pricing or availability until today's announcement, which confirmed the steep $1,199.95 price tag.The gorgeously retro-styled X100 is poised to compete with the likes of the Leica X1, with its 12 megapixel APS-C SLR-sized sensor and similarly rangefinder-styled design.  Here's a quick specs comparison between the two:

Fujifilm FinePix X100 Leica X1
Price $1,199.95 $1,995
Sensor 12.3 megapixels, APS-C CMOS 12.9 megapixels, APS-C CMOS
Lens 35mm equiv, f/2 36mm equiv, f/2.8
Shutter speed 30-1/4000 sec 30-1/2000 sec
LCD 2.8-inch, 460,000 dots 2.7-inch, 230,000 dots
Viewfinder hybrid optical/EVF None
Sensitivity ISO 100-12800 ISO 100-3200
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, 50MB built-in
Movie Mode 1280x720 None
Dimensions 126.5x53.9x74.4mm 124x32x59.5 mm
For more info on the Fujifilm FinePix X100, check out:

FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES THE FINEPIX X100 PREMIUM DIGITAL CAMERA

BUILT BY PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Captures Extraordinary, High Quality Images with a Combination of Modern Technology –

APS CMOS Sensor, Fixed Focal Length FUJINON Lens and Debuting the World’s First Hybrid Viewfinder – All Presented in a Classically Beautiful Design

Valhalla, N.Y., February 8, 2011 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the U.S. debut of its FinePix X100 premium digital camera which will begin shipping in March. Inspired by the groundswell of requests by professional and advanced amateur photographers from around the world, Fujifilm has developed a digital camera that was specifically engineered to appeal to this group’s desire for capturing the highest quality images through a high-performance, beautifully crafted compact digital camera.

The FinePix X100 is a high precision digital compact camera that combines modern technology with a traditional camera design to deliver the ultimate in image quality. Featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor (12.3 megapixel), a FUJINON 23mm Single Focal Length Fixed F2 lens, a 2.8” LCD 460K, and the world’s first Hybrid Viewfinder, the FinePix X100 captures exceptionally high quality images.

“It has always been important for Fujifilm to introduce products that are in a class of their own and with the FinePix X100, we have achieved that level,” said Go Miyazaki, division president, Imaging and Electronic Imaging Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. The combination of a hybrid viewfinder, large APS-C sensor and a precisely matched prime lens, make this camera unique to anything else in the market, and is presented within a rangefinder design that makes it an instant modern classic.”

Quality Within - Custom 12.3 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor

The FinePix X100 features a custom 12.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS high-performance sensor, internally optimized and developed exclusively for this model. Optimization of the angle-of-incidence in conjunction with the specially developed lens maximizes light gathering efficiency extending to the perimeter of the sensor for a sharper image with exceptional clarity. When shooting HD movies, the combination of the large-sized sensor and the large aperture F2 lens, lets users create a soft out-of-focus image — a capability not available in conventional compact cameras. The ideal combination of a fixed focal length lens, high-sensitivity sensor (approximately 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact*) and a high-performance image processor captures extremely high quality images from low sensitivity to high sensitivity. In standard form, the planned ISO range is from 200 to 6400, but this can be expanded to include 100 and 12800.

The newly developed EXR Processor takes EXR processing to new heights. Combined with the high-sensitivity sensor, the EXR Processor achieves the highest resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range ever produced by a FinePix digital camera for the ultimate in image quality. The high-speed CMOS sensor read-out and the EXR Processor’s enhanced focusing system contribute to the high-speed AF performance, while the combination of the optical viewfinder and extremely low shutter lag time enhance the image capture experience.

A Quality All Its Own – High-performance 23mm F2 FUJINON Lens

The FinePix X100 comes with a new FUJINON non-collapsible lens structure that expands the realm of photographic expression with sharper resolution from the center to the corners. It has a 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) F2 lens, with eight elements in six groups. One aspherical glass molded lens. The adoption of the non-collapsible lens structure with minimized lens length not only contributes to the compact size, but also eliminates telescoping of the lens when the power is on. It’s ready to start taking photos the moment the user turns it on. In addition, the lens features not only the large F2 aperture value, but also an optical architecture that maintains a high degree of resolution even when closed by 1 to 2 stops. The adoption of a 9-blade aperture diaphragm combined with the large F2 aperture and high-quality optics lets users take photos with a beautiful circular soft out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. With macro shooting capability as close as four inches, users can explore the fun and fascination of close-up photography. The built-in ND filter (equivalent f-stop reduction of three) can be switched ON/OFF via simple in-camera settings.

Quality You Can See – World's First Hybrid Viewfinder

The true enjoyment of photography begins with the thrill of seeing the world through a viewfinder. The new Hybrid Viewfinder has been developed to reintroduce users to this essential camera experience. It combines the window-type “bright frame” optical viewfinder found in rangefinder-type film cameras such as the classic 135-size or medium-format cameras, with the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in most compact or mirrorless digital cameras. By integrating a prism for the 1,440,000 dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder, the Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of electronic shooting data. It can also be used as a high-quality electronic viewfinder to compose or playback shots. With this ability to instantly switch between optical and electronic viewfinder modes using the simple “one touch” control, the new Hybrid Viewfinder offers users expanded freedom in the composition and enjoyment of photography in a wide range of challenging shooting conditions.

The reverse Galilean optical finder with a 0.5X magnification features all-glass elements made from high-refractive index glass and demonstrates low chromatic aberration and distortion.

In optical viewfinder (OVF) mode, the brightness of both the “bright frame” and text data is automatically adjusted according to the brightness of scene area, ensuring that shooting information is always easily and clearly viewable. Also, the displayed shooting data is constantly updated according to changes in shutter speed, exposure, sensitivity and other settings, so that the user's eye never has to leave the viewfinder. In electronic viewfinder (EVF) mode, the photographer can preview the picture or playback the result with the “through the sensor” image review and high-resolution 1,440,000-dot quality. With a flick of the one-touch lever, the user can switch to EVF to preview and confirm exposure settings, depth-of-field, and white balance – an especially useful capability when shooting macro shots and other scenes that are hard to confirm with only an optical viewfinder.

Quality of Beauty – Stunning Retro Design

The FinePix X100 features a beautiful, high-quality design inspired by the classic look and feel of traditional film cameras. The top cover of the upper control deck and the bottom surface have been die-cast from magnesium alloy (semi-solid metal casting), contributing to a high-precision camera body. All dials and rings are precision milled from metal. The ergonomics of the design offer the perfect balance between compact convenience and user-friendly functionality. Traditional ‘manual’ dials lets the user confirm the position of the settings without turning on the power. The camera’s controls have been carefully thought out to give the photographer simple and speedy access to aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation…etc, allowing maximum creative expression with minimum hassle and enabling the user to view settings – even when the power of the camera is turned off. Custom modes can also be accessed with a one-touch settings change. The chassis has been finished with high-quality leather-like accents and is both a delight to use and a pleasure to hold.

RAW Quality – Image Enhancement Functions

Capturing the scene in RAW format is easy with just a press of the readily accessible RAW Button on the back of the camera. Photographers can use the built-in RAW Development function to process the RAW data in-camera using the camera's image quality settings. In addition to Fujifilm's original Film Simulation Modes that give photos the distinctive look of Velvia, PROVIA and ASTIA color reversal film emulsions, X100 expands the scope of photo expression with Monochrome Mode that can be fine-tuned with R/Ye/G filter settings. Separate adjustment of shadow tones and highlight tones lets users reproduce the rich tonality of high-contrast subjects.

Added Quality – The FinePix X100 also offers these additional features:

EVF/OVF Focus Area: The FinePix X100 offers users the choice between the 49-point auto EVF focus area or the 25-point OVF auto focus area as well as the selection of 5 different focus area sizes in EVF mode. Depending on the needs of each scene, the FinePix X100 offers easy focusing by design.

HD Movie mode: Lets users capture the action in 720p high-definition detail. Just like taking still photos, users can capture movies with aperture-priority AE and enjoy a soft, defocused background effect. In addition, the built-in HDMI Mini connector allows users to easily and directly connect the FinePix X100 to high-definition TVs for showing stills and movies with plug-and-play ease.

Motion Panorama: With the built-in Motion Panorama function, it is easy to capture 180° and 120° panoramic photos. Later users can print the results as pin-sharp A3-size (11.7” X 16.5”) enlargements and share the enjoyment of high-quality panoramic photography.

Multi-Bracketing Functions: The FinePix X100 has four types of bracketing functions: AE, ISO, Dynamic Range and Film Simulation. One click of the shutter captures 3 bracketed images of the scene so the photographer knows he’s captured the moment.

Star Quality – Premium Accessory Lineup

The FinePix X100 has these additional elegant accessory options:

Luxury Case: To perfectly compliment the look and premium quality feel of the X100 camera body, a retro leather "quick shot" case with matching strap has been designed to fit the X100 like a glove. Made out of luxurious leather it has been designed with uncompromising attention to detail, ensuring the ultimate ease of use and practicality.

Lens Hood and Adapter Ring: Precision milled from metal, the lens hood and adapter ring will be available as a set. The adapter ring is also compatible with commercially sold 49mm filters.

Auto Flash (TTL – Through The Lens): EF-20 (Guide Number:20) and EF-42 (Guide Number:42) will be newly added to the TTL flash lineup.

Pricing and Availability

The FinePix X100 digital camera will be available in March 2011, and will be priced at $1,199.95.

*Compared with other FinePix compact camera models.

About Fujifilm FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division sells consumer and commercial photographic products and services including film, one-time-use cameras, online photo services and fulfillment, digital printing equipment and service. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras. The Motion Picture Division provides motion picture film, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides binoculars, and optical lenses for closed circuit television, videography, cinematography, broadcast and industrial markets. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. markets a range of Fujifilm products and services. For more information, please visit www.fujifilm.com/northamerica, or go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.

FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, digital printing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was among the top 20 companies around the world granted U.S. patents in 2009, and in the year ended March 31, 2010, had global revenues of $23.5 billion*.

Topics: Hardware

About

Janice Chen is an editorial consultant and has been covering technology for over two decades. Serving as editor in chief at CNET and Computer Shopper magazine for many years, she oversaw product coverage for the CNET and ZDNet websites. She has appeared on most of the major morning TV news programs and was featured weekly on CNN Headline... Full Bio

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