Fuji FinePix X100 First Impressions

So, as you will have spotted by now, last night I attended the South African launch of the Fuji 2011 lineup and there making its first appearance on our shores was a sample of the Fuji FinePix X100. Choosing to let the crowds go first I waited till near the end of the evening to get some solo time with the camera and thought I could share with you my first impressions of it. We hope to get to do a full review of it soon.

Styling

If you take a quick glance at the X100 you can be forgiven for thinking it is a Leica or similar, classical styled rangefinder camera. It is in fact a very beautiful camera that reaches into your your chest, grabs your heart and pulls you back through time by a few decades as you pass the retro shutter dial, exposure compensation dial, aperture ring, focus ring… but before you can cry “STOP! I don’t know how to load film anymore!” you spot the LCD screen on the back.

In terms of styling I love the retro dials, I think dials are more instinctive and faster to use.

Having used a Leica M3 before I was a little surprised when I picked up the X100 and – having prepared myself to pick up a heftier camera then the Sony A33 I had with me – found my arm almost shooting up with something that is a fair bit lighter than I was expecting. That does not mean it is not well built though.

Handling

While I spent some one on one time with the camera it was not long enough for me to speak about it in the department too much. I found the menus to be very Fuji like and not as refined perhaps as I would like but I only dived in their once for a brief look for something I couldn’t find which could be biasing my opinion.

Focusing manually seemed a little slow but again it was a dark and not much time spent on what setting you can adjust for this.

All in all, the little bit I played with it still meant I left wanting one… really, REALLY wanting one.

We hope to bring you a full review soon. In the meantime, the image posted in this post was taken with the sample unit last night. The crop is roughly a 100% or actual pixel crop of the full image.