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In demand, the Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera

In demand, the Fujifilm FinePix X100 camera

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 has arrived. I can’t remember a camera that has created such a buzz, especially when you consider it’s a $1,200 advance compact digital camera with a fixed lens.

Actually only a few have arrived. The camera, which has been delayed in getting to market, has appeared at such places as Amazon, Samy’s and B&H, but the stock on hand has been overwhelmed by demand.

I did see one recently offered at Amazon, “One left in Stock — Order Soon.” That’s all well and good until you check the price, $1,599. Did I read that correctly? It’s selling $400 above the regular retail price. Talk about inflation, I mean, supply and demand.

A few lucky consumers have received them, as some pre-orders have been filled.

The camera, which resembles a basic silver and black Leica, features a new hybrid optical viewfinder that sets it apart from the competition. It’s a classic blast from the past, the ultimate carry-around camera.

You definitely want to have a classic-type strap around your shoulder with this camera as you move along the streets picturing yourself as one of those classic street photographers from the past, shooting New York scenes on classic black-and-white film. The 23-millimeter Fujinon lens, which translates into a fixed 35mm equivalent focal length,  promotes this style of work.

The nostalgia is just starting to set in until you realize you’re shooting with a 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the newest designed hybrid optical viewfinder, 2.8-inch LCD screen and 720p high-definition video.

Simply, I would miss the zoom lens on this style of camera. I know those old-school Leicas never had a zoom lens. I draw the line here; I’m not going back to a fixed focal length lens and film. I’m all about convenience.

I had my first and only look at this camera at the WPPI convention in Las Vegas in February. It gave me the chance to look through the hybrid viewfinder, which is the real magic of the camera.

Looking through  an optical viewfinder with the camera held up to your eye is the way to take photographs; then seeing the image in the same viewfinder when you take the picture without having to turn the camera down to see the image on the back of the camera is the real beauty.

You realize how nice it is to get a quick preview of your shot and continue taking pics so quickly.

They’ve removed what photographers now call “chimping,”  the practice of checking your photos right after exposure using the LCD screen on the back of your camera.

Trust me; every photographer does it, amateur or professional. It is frowned upon in some circles. I’m not really sure why. I guess you  might miss a nice moment while dropping your camera to check your image.

Everyone takes a look at the images on the LCD screen on the back of the camera. After a few snaps with the Fujiflim FinePix X100, you realize this camera eliminates the problems because your eye never has to leave the viewfinder, because it will show you your image right after you take in the tiny hybrid optical finder. It’s a great new feature and caught my eye when I tried it out.

Are you ready to buy? Did I mention searching for one of these cameras on EBay? No problems finding one. Of course you may need to pluck down $2,000 plus postage. That’s $800 over retail.

Yes, I would like have one of these very cool and trendy cameras in my collection of gear. It probably isn’t going to happen any time soon.

The X100, with a chip smaller than a full-frame DSLR but larger than a typical point-and-shoot camera, makes a great walk-around camera with its fixed 35 mm lens. It’s also lighter than carrying around a second DSLR camera with a wide angle lens. For the professional, it might be a nice secondary camera on your shoulder.

Again, it’s the fixed focal length lens that really makes it a tough sell for me.

I need a little more versatility in a walk-around camera. A better choice of a camera this size would be the Canon G-12, Panasonic Lumix LX5, Olympus XZ-1 or Nikon CoolPix P7000. Buy one of these and you still have enough money for a nice DSLR like the Canon T3i or Nikon  D5100.

I made one last check and there seems to be a few of the cameras available.  It looks like Amazon actually changed its option to “In Stock,” and my check at the Samy’s Camera store in Santa Ana found one left on the shelf from a recent shipment.

Don’t forget the two extras for this camera, the LC-X100 leather camera case, which costs $130, and the LA-X100 lens hood, priced at $129, which are currently unavailable at Amazon, which says in a note, “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.” Good luck on your search.

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Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman

4 Comments

  1. June 2, 2011, 10:52 am

    Robert, zoom with your feet. Fixed focal length lens are sharp, small and light. And, unobtrusive. The image quality from this camera is so good that I have used it on assignment. Really, the only problem that I find with camera is that it is NOT a rangefinder, eliminating the ability to focus like a Leica. Manually focusing is a non-starter. Too bad, as this would make it a rival for the Leica M9.

    Don

    By: Don
  2. June 2, 2011, 12:45 pm

    […] Fujifilm FinePix X100 ….In Demand […]

  3. June 3, 2011, 7:27 am

    I intially thought this would be really nice but then found that you needed an adapter to put a filter on the lens. Since this is a fixed lens there is even more reason to protect it. Guess what Fuji charges $130.00 for the adapter and lens hood. A B&W lens hood by contrast is $30.00.
    What I found most amusing was the idea that people would pre-order and pre-pay for the camera. I advise people to wait until sites like Dxomark have done an analysis of the camera. This was good marketing by Fuji which created a demand and no sites are selling this at discount.
    Reviews have been good but that doesn't justify the price. The people who pre-ordered this are now trying to cash in on Ebay. With cameras people should generallly wait 1 year before buying for two reasons 1 Fuji has issued 2 firmware updates for this camera to date and 2. other manufacturers will introduce new products or technology changes such as a new sensor.
    I would rather wait for Nikon or Canon to due this design right. They both made rangefinder film cameras in the 60's that today sell for more than this Fuji.

    By: Mark
  4. June 3, 2011, 10:58 am

    Some of the criticisms DP Review (www.dpreview.com ) made in their review of it will be addressed in a firmware update just announced by Fuji: "'Fujifilm is planning to release a new version of firmware in the near future. The new firmware will include and respond to some of functionality posted by dpreview." DP Review liked the camera, but was bothered by some of the issues that should have been addressed pre-release. Seems most of them can be fixed with firmware updates.

    It seems like it has the potential to be a great street cam, though I wish it has a short mechanical zoom (28-55mm) like my old Contax TVS or like the Tri-Elmar Leitz lens. Zooming with your feet can be fine too! ~Pat Downs

    By: patrick downs

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