Fujifilm's come out all guns blazing at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. The announcement of the X20 compact camera, which updates the X10 from last year, represents an end to the white orb moans of the older model, while heralding the era of the X-Trans CMOS II sensor.
That's right, the obscurely named sensor, with its unique colour array that means the low-pass filter can be ditched for ultra-sharp images, now sits at the core of the X20. The 2/3-inch size CMOS offers 12-megapixels of resolution and it's the first time we've seen the Fuji-only tech make its way south of the larger APS-C versions as found in the also just-announced Fujifilm FinePix X100S.
This is good for a number of reasons. One, it ought to wave goodbye to the white orb issues of the X10 and other 2/3-inch sensor models. Secondly, the improved processing engine is said to produce images with 30 per cent less image noise, despite a 20 per cent increase in overall resolution. Those are some serious figures. But perhaps most importantly is the removal of the low-pass filter: this opens the door for sharper shots that could be hard for any other compact competitor to rival.
READ: Fujifilm X10 review
The Fuji X20 relies on the same body design and lens construction as its X10 predecessor. That means the 28-112mm f/2.0-2.8 lens isn't the slightly brighter-aperture offering as original rumours had suggested. However, it does include a Fujinon's HT-EBC coating to help minimise flare and ghosting.
Elsewhere there are other significant changes. The most notable is the inclusion of a digital panel within the X20's optical viewfinder which shows settings - a feature that the X10 lacked in its entirety. However, the optical viewfinder is still restricted to an 85 per cent field-of-view.
The X20's X-Trans CMOS II sensor also incorporates sensor-level pixels for phase-detection autofocus which, Fujifilm claims, enables the X20 to focus faster than before.
The new king of the compacts? We'll be bringing our hands-on first impressions of the Fujifilm X20 direct from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, as soon as we can get our gadgety mitts on one. Watch this space.