Fujifilm X100 Digital Camera Review$1,199.95
Lens & Sensor
The "kit" lens (which is to say, lens that is permanently attached to the camera) is a 23mm f/2.0 Fujinon lens, designed specifically for the X100. If you remove a small metal ring on the front of the lens, you will expose filter threads, which you can use to attach a lens hood or an optional 49mm filter adapter ring.
The lens is surrounded by both a manual focus ring and aperture control.
The Fujifilm X100's image sensor is one of the biggest selling points of the camera. Its fixed lens and compact body may be common in the world of point-and-shoot cameras, but an APS-C sensor is traditionally reserved for SLR cameras only. The X100 falls into a small group of compact cameras with APS-C sensors: primarily the Sigma DP2 and Leica X1. This particular APS-C sensor was custom-designed by Fuji to work in conjunction with the lens.
The APS-C sensor is larger than the Micro Four Thirds standard and similar sensors in mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. It's also a great deal larger than the tiny sensors in most point-and-shoot cameras. It's why the X100 has performance to rival an SLR, despite the compact form factor and lack of a lens mount.
The unique hybrid viewfinder is certainly another main attraction on the Fujifilm X100. A toggle switch on the front of the camera allows you to easily swap between an electronic and optical viewfinder. Even when using the rangefinder-style optical viewfinder, there's an electronic overlay that displays basic shooting information. If you want to know more about the X100's Reverse Galilean configuration and prism design, you can read about the viewfinder in excruciating detail on the official X100 site.
While the technology is certainly exciting, the user experience is what really counts. In this department, the viewfinder delivers in spades. It's comfortable, convenient, and gives a great view of your subject. The toggle in the front works well—we won't deny that we spent a lot of time switching between the two modes just for fun. It's definitely an awkward way to view your images in playback, but it's a great way to line up your next shot.
Given the technology that went into crafting the superb hybrid OVF/EVF, the quality of the 2.8-inch LCD is actually quite surprising. Fujifilm didn't seem concerned about saving space (the LCD sticks out nearly an eighth of an inch), but the risk pays off. The screen is bright, crisp, and vivid. It's also surprisingly resilient to fingerprint grease and glare. A small View Mode button allows you to switch between live view, viewfinder, and sensor-activated viewfinder.
The small flash is located above the lens and is rated for a range of about 50cm–9m (1.6 ft. – 29.5 ft.). There are plenty of options associated with the flash, including fill flash and slow-sync, but it's still just a small built-in flash. If you're interested in a more powerful or higher quality flash, you can use the TTL-compatible accessory shoe.
The X100 has very small handful of ports. In a small compartment on the right side of the camera, you'll find a proprietary USB connection and miniHDMI output. On top of the camera is an accessory shoe for attaching an external flash. We were surprised by the lack of a regular composite or component AV connection.
The X100 ships with a rechargeable lithium-ion NP-95 battery. The battery is rated for about 300 shots. That number obviously varies greatly depending on whether you use live view, OVF, or EVF. The battery shares a robust compartment with the memory card slot on the bottom of the camera.
Strangely, the battery charger ships with a removable piece that is the only thing allowing the NP-95 to fit in the charger. The piece is unlabelled, unintuitive, and prone to falling out. It's certainly a strange choice on Fuji's part.
The primary recording media for the Fujifilm X100 is SD/SDHC/SDXC flash memory cards. The camera also has a small amount of internal memory that you can use to store a couple of pictures in a pinch.