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Fujifilm Finepix X100

Fujifilm Finepix X100 APS-C camera

Old school values revisited

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Field of view

The rest of the camera is logically laid out. A function button next to the shutter release is pre-set to bring up the ISO option menu, although it can alternatively be set to preview the depth of field or set the self-timer. The only problem with the controls is that the jog dial on the back – on my review sample, at least – was far too weedy. Put enough effort in to turn it and there’s a danger you’ll end up prompting a menu onto the screen. It’s problem similar to that of the Olympus E-PL2.

Fujifilm Finepix X100

Both optical and electronic viewfinders are on-board along with the LCD panel option

The menu button in the middle of the jog dial is also almost flush with the wheel itself, making it difficult to press it precisely. These aren’t unique or unprecedented problems, but it’s annoying to see them on a camera that costs almost as much as a Nikon D300s.

The viewfinder has some interesting tricks up its sleeve. You can use it as a traditional optical viewfinder, in which case part of the frame is occupied by the top right of the lens and you’ll obviously suffer the effects of parallax distortion.

Moreover, the viewfinder only covers 90 per cent of the sensor’s field of view. Even so, you still get, an exposure meter and shot information. Push the lever on the front of the camera, and a mirror flicks across, giving you a miniature, 0.47in EVF (electronic viewfinder). This provides you with a view of precisely what the sensor sees.

The flexibility is useful, although my personal preference is to use the optical viewfinder, which feels faster. The alternative is to rely on the 2.8in screen on the back, which is handy for framing more pre-meditated shots. This panel consists of 460k pixels and has superb contrast. Blacks aren’t quite as deep as they are on the AMOLED displays championed by Samsung, but there’s still plenty of detail and colour.

Fujifilm Finepix X100

RAW shooting has its own dedicated button

Of course, all of this is meaningless if the X100 takes bad pictures, but ISO testing revealed surprising results. The sensor inside the X100 is a 23.6 x 15.8mm CMOS chip. It’s the same size sensor that you’ll find in most consumer DSLRs, so low noise seemed a reasonable expectation.

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