CES 2013: Fuji Adds Two New X Series Cameras

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LAS VEGAS—Fujifilm added two new cameras to its X series family today, although both are upgrades to existing models rather than completely new designs. The X100s takes the popular rangefinder-styled X100 and replaces its image sensor with the same 16-megapixel X-Trans design that was introduced with the X-Pro1 at least year’s show. Its lens is 23mm f/2, which is a 35mm-equivalent in terms of full-frame photography.

The camera promises to deliver improved autofocus speeds due to built-in phase detection—as fast as 0.08-second in good light. Slow focus was one of the criticisms of the otherwise well regarded X100. The camera is rated to start and shoot in about a half-second, has an advertised 0.01-second shutter lag, and can shoot continuously at 6 frames per second.

The camera has a hybrid viewfinder that lets you switch between optical and electronic viewing, and now offers focus peaking as a focusing aid. Fuji also promises increased resolution—by up to 25 percent—due to the X-Trans design, and a 30-percent reduction in image noise.

Building on the camera’s rangefinder-inspired design, the X100s has a new focusing aid that replicates the double-image focusing by which rangefinder shooters swear. Fuji is calling it the Digital Split Image function, and it displays dual images that will turn into a single image when the shot is brought into focus. The resolution of the hybrid viewfinder’s EVF has been increased from 1.4 million dots to 2.4 million—the sharper resolution should also help to increase manual-focus accuracy. The rear LCD is unchanged—it’s still a 2.8-inch model with a 460k-dot resolution.

The camera can shoot in 14-bit Raw or JPG format, and if you choose the latter you’ll have access to a number of film emulation modes that correspond to Fuji’s classic lineup of emulsions. These include Velvia, Provia, and Astia slide film, as well as Pro Negative Standard and Pro Negative Hi, based on Fuji’s Pro H negative films. There are also three black and white filter effects—one each to emulate a yellow, red, and green filter. There are also art filters—including pop color, a toy camera mode, a miniature mode, partial color mode, and soft focus emulation.

In terms of video, the X100S can capture 1080p60 footage at a 36Mbps bitrate. The camera is available in a chrome finish with black leatherette, and is compatible with same accessories as the X100—including the wide-angle conversion lens. 

Fujifilm X20

The X20 features the same 28-112mm f/2-2.8 manual zoom lens of the X10, but now uses a new 12-megapixel 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS sensor for image capture. The optical viewfinder is of the same quality of that of the X10, but it now features a Digital Trans Panel overlay that displays information about current shooting settings. Like the X-Trans sensor in the X100s, X-Pro1, and X-E1, the color filter array is a six-by-six grid rather than the traditional Bayer four-by-four design. This eliminates the need for a low-pass filter, reduces the instances in which color moiré appears, and increases sharpness.

The camera is powered by an EXR Processor II, which is twice as fast as the one in the X10. It can start up in about half a second, fires off shots at 2 frames per second, and records a 0.01-second shutter lag. Its autofocus speed is as fast a 0.06-second thanks to a hybrid phase and contrast detect system. It can focus as close as 0.039-inch in macro mode, although you’ll have to use the LCD to do so—it isn’t possible to get accurate image framing with the optical finder when focusing that close. It supports the same film emulation modes as the X100s, and can also capture Raw images. Video capture is at up to 1080p60 quality at 36Mbps.

The rear LCD is 2.8 inches with a 460k-dot resolution. There are a number of physical controls on the camera, including a manual zoom lens, a mode dial, and an Exposure Compensation dial. Focus peaking is supported as a manual focusing aid when using the rear LCD, but there is no Digital Split Image function like you get with the X100. The camera will ship in in black or chrome, but pricing and availability have not been announced.

Both cameras go on sale in March, the X100s will retail for $1,299.95, while the X20 will be priced at $599.95.

In a tidbit of analog news, Fuji is also adding a new camera to its Instax family of instant film cameras. Similar to a Polaroid, the Instax Mini 8 captures images that develop before your eyes. The new camera captures 2.4 by 1.8 inch photos—3 by 2 inches when you include the white border, and will be available in black, white, pink, blue, or yellow versions. You can choose between film with white borders or a new rainbow color framed stock. The camera will be available in early 2013 for $99.99 and the rainbow-bordered ISO 800 film will sell for $10.99 for a 10-exposure pack.

By Jim Fisher, PCMag


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