For the opening day of CES 2013 Fuji is grabbing all the photography related headlines with the update of a couple of their most popular cameras. In fact they are making quite a habbit of this since last years opening was dominated by the X-Pro 1 news. The X100S and the X20 replace the X100 and X10 respectively, two cameras that have proven incredibly popular as 'pocketable' solutions for pros. Having owned the X100 myself I'm pretty excited by the upgrades but I'll get to that discussion a bit further on. Let's hammer out the fresh specs to begin with.
- · 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor
- · EXR Processor II
- · High Definition Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF / EVF)
- · FUJINON 23mm f/2 lens
- · Intelligent Hybrid AF (with the world’s fastest AF speed of 0.08 secs (*1))
- · Start-up time of 0.5 secs
- · Shutter time lag of 0.01 secs
- · Shooting interval of 0.5 secs
- · High-contrast and wide viewing-angle 2.8-inch Premium Clear LCD (460K dots)
- · Super Intelligent Flash
- · Burst shooting rate of up to 6 frames per second at full resolution (max. 29 frames)
- · Focus Peak Highlight function
- · Digital Split Image display
- · Artistic filters
- · Full HD movie recording (60fps / 30fps)
When the X100 was first launched it created a real storm with its retro looks, the APS-C sensor, the f2 prime lens. There were however quite a few bugs in it but to their immense credit Fuji worked to fix many of them very quickly with a huge firmware update. The main complaint though was the slow and inaccurate AF system and I'm really happy to see that Fuji have clearly concentrated on fixing this. They're not just claiming an improvement, they are claiming it's now the worlds fastest AF! Like Sony's latest NEX cameras, Fuji have incorporated phase detect AF as well as contrast detection and the camera will intelligently switch between the two types depending on the lighint situation. Considering they are leading the specs of this camera with the bold 'worlds fastest' claim they must be confident in this new system. The new EXR processor also promisses 6fps processing speed and grealty increased operation speeds in general.
On the sensor side of things the X100S gets an APS-C X-Trans II sensor from the X-Pro 1 , considering it will be matched with a prime lens and a newer processor though this little combination should surpass the image quality of the already excellent X-Pro 1 !
Another major complaint of the X100 was the poor manul focus mode and again it looks as though Fuji have spent the time to really tackle this problem. The solution they have come up with is a new focus peaking mode which outlines the in-focus edges on the LCD screen as well as a new split image mode which shows two overlayed images to be lined up, something like a rangefinder mechanism for the digital age I guess!
I have to say I'm pretty excited to try this camera. There was a certain magic about the X100 that very few cameras posess, it's something that's quite tricky to put a finger on but despite all its foibles I always had a smile on my face with the X100 in my hand. The X100S seems to improve on the X100 in every way you could hope for and at the same time maintain the fabulous styling and hopefully that extra je ne sais quoi. You can read my review of the X100 HERE and I found the image quality to be very very good, the prospect of improving on that again in a faster package is really something to look forward to.
- · NEW Advanced Optical Viewfinder with a Digital Trans Panel
- · NEW 12 megapixel 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor
- · Intelligent Hybrid AF in 0.06 seconds (*3)
- · Improved EXR Processor II
- · High quality fast f/2.0-2.8 lens
- · 4x FUJINON manual barrel zoom lens
- · 2.8inch High Contrast LCD monitor (460K dots)
- · Pop-up Super Intelligent Flash
- · Fast start-up time of 0.5 seconds (*４), shutter time lag of 0.01 seconds
- · Super Macro mode (1cm)
- · Motion Panorama 360
- · 8 Advanced Filters
- · Q button for frequently used menu items
- · Function (Fn) button
- · NEW GUI showing the focal distance, aperture value and shutter speed in sync with the zoom ring or command dial rotation
- · Advanced SR Auto mode with 64 shooting patterns
- · Full HD video (60fps)
- · Manual focus during video recording
- · Output for Stereo Microphone (sold separately)
- · Focus Peak Highlight function on the LCD screen
- · Available in all black or two-tone black and silver
- · 4 types of shutter sounds – Lens Shutter, Focal Plane Shutter, Mirror Up and Silent Shutter
The previous X10 was a fantastic little camera for someone who wanted the absolute best IQ that a point and shoot could offer. It had all the manual functionality that an enthusiast or pro would want and it packaged it up in the retro style of the X100 but significantly smaller. The X20 takes the same look, adds a silver version and updates the X10 with a new sensor. It also adds the focus peaking of the X100S and retains the same 28-112 mm lens from the previous version. Fuji claims greatly improved AF speed (with phase detect AF) and also 20% better high ISO performance. One very cool feature is the inclusion of a new viewfinder display that shows all your exposure settings. Such a feature is usual on a DSLR but I can't personally think of any point and shoot cameras that offer this with an optical viewfinder. Looks like a solid little camera to me!
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