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Fuji boldly changes direction

Fuji has been in the pho­tog­ra­phy game in all sorts of ran­dom ways for quite some time now. As a maker of film, they also pro­duced some excel­lent “niche” cam­eras such as the 6x7 rangefinder. In the dig­i­tal world, they have fared less well in the pro­fes­sional space. Their S3 was a Nikon F80 film cam­era, rigged up Fuji elec­tronic guts. The S5 was a D200 in all phys­i­cal respects as well except for their sen­sor, which was basi­cally the same sen­sor in the S3. Per­son­ally, I owned an S3 and really loved it. It had excel­lent dynamic range and pro­duced won­der­ful colour ren­di­tion… but lets face it, the busi­ness of using a com­peti­tors body with your elec­tron­ics likely isn’t a high-margin game.

So Fuji has (I assume) likely decided to get out of the high stress SLR game and has gone niche again — and I’m thank­ful for it, as I think they have the poten­tial to shake up a few mar­kets in the process. The X100 is basi­cally a hybrid rangefinder/point-and-shoot and from the specs, it seems like they have got­ten the best of both worlds. The cam­era incor­po­rates a new hybrid optical/digital viewfinder, as well as an LCD viewfinder on the back of the camera.

Leica should be very scared, and Fuji seems to have man­aged to dis­till every­thing we like about the M-series cam­eras (rangefinder, com­pact, fast f/2 lens, man­ual oper­a­tion) with all the advan­tages of a point and shoot (LCD viewfinder, HD video, APS-C sized sen­sor, auto-focus, lower cost, macro shoot­ing!!). It even looks like a Leica. If I didn’t already have a great deal invested in my M8 and asso­ci­ated lenses, I would buy one of these on the first day it was released. Any­one who doesn’t know about the com­pact size, and other advan­tages to shoot­ing with a rangefinder should seri­ously look into it.

Fuji X100 press release at


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