Fujifilm FinePix X100 hands on

UPDATE: We've had a second chance to get some more pictures of the camera at CES in Las Vegas (7 January) so we've added them in with this set so you can see more of the camera up close. Unfortunately the camera still isn't a working model and Fujifilm didn't have any more details to add to the original story.

 

The bods on the Fujifilm stand at Photokina 2010 have done their level best to make sure that nobody gets a hands on with the Fujifilm FinePix X100 rangefinder styled compact by nailing it onto a tripod. Fortunately, that wasn't enough to stop Pocket-lint fighting off the crowds to bring you our our verdict on this professional/enthusiast grade $1,000 device so far.

First up, those expecting a Leica-type experience are going to be disappointed and this might well be one of the reasons nobody was allowed to pick the X100 up. The chassis looks fantastic but on closer inspection is much more plastic than one might have hoped for. Whether the weight makes it feel cheaper to the touch remains to be seen.

Fortunately, that's where the downsides of the experience end. The stand out, knock your socks off feature of this sexy little unit is the hybrid viewfinder. Whether in bright frame or electronic mode, it's absolutely clear as a bell. In a time where live view modes are all the rage, it's excellent to see a camera which has taken care to make sure that both modes of lining up your shots are as well taken care of. One flick of the lever on the front takes you between the viewfinder types with a rather cinematic slow black clap.

While the X100 seems to house quite a deal of manual control, the number of buttons are kept down with a good mix of the traditional looking dials. There are ones for the aperture and exposure control on the top, one for fine tuning of the viewfinder and also a jog wheel at your thumb as well. All the same, there's still space for function buttons which you can custom assign.

Throw in the leather case and flash accessories and, while you might not be carrying around a £4,000 camera, you've still got bags of style and what should be some pretty hot performance as well.

This article was first published on 21 September 2010.