Fujifilm has launched the FinePix X100, described by Fuji as "a high-grade digital compact camera featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor, a Fujinon 23mm fixed focal length lens and a newly developed Hybrid Viewfinder, due for commercial release in early 2011."

According to the company, the new FinePix X100 is aimed at the professional photographer or keen enthusiast looking for exceptional quality pictures from a compact camera.

Going up against the Olympus Pen and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds models, as well as offerings from Samsung and Sony, the new camera will come with a very retro rangefinder feel to it.

Aside from the new design, Fujifilm are keen to boast the new "Hybrid Viewfinder" on the FinePix X100 that combines the window-type “bright frame” optical viewfinder found in high-end film cameras such as 35mm or medium-format cameras, and the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in fixed single lens or mirrorless digital cameras.

The Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of shooting data say Fujifilm by using a prism for the 1,440,000 dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder.

Users will be able to switch between optical and electronic viewfinder images with simple “one touch” control say the company.

The FinePix X100 will come with a 12.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS Sensor and the ability to shoot HD movies and a burst rate of 5 frames per second. You'll also get a 2.8-inch display on the back.

The newly-developed lens offers a focal length of 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) and a widest aperture of F/2 which will be the standard lens in the box. 

No word on pricing or availability as yet.

Check out our hands on photos of the X100, live from Photokina