CES 2013 Hands On: Fuji X Cameras

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LAS VEGAS—We already covered the specifications and new features of the Fujifilm X100S and X20 after the company’s press conference at CES, but now we also stopped by the booth to get some precious hands-on time with the new cameras. Neither has final firmware, so posting images captured with the cameras isn’t an option, but there were a couple features that I was eager to see in action. Externally these cameras are very similar to their predecessors—the biggest change being the addition of the Q button that was first seen on the XF1 point-and-shoot.

The focus on both cameras is very fast. Fuji had a test scene set up with a jungle theme and there was no noticeable lag in pressing the shutter, acquiring focus, and firing a shot. This was never an issue with the X10—but many reviewers and enthusiast photographers have lamented the focus speed of the X100. Light was ample on the show floor, so how the camera will perform as you pump up the ISO and open the aperture to get a good shot in lower light is yet to be determined.

The X100S has a special Digital Split Image focusing aid, which is implemented in a similar manner to the way a rangefinder patch is on a true manual focus camera like the Leica M9-P. Instead of seeing two distinct images that you must make overlap exactly to confirm focus as you would with a rangefinder, this focus aid breaks the center patch—shown in black-and-white in both the EVF and on the rear LCD—into four horizontal strips. Line them up into a single image and your shot is in focus. The sharp 2.4 million dot resolution of the EVF—upgraded from the X100′s 1.4 million dots—goes a long way to make this a useful feature. It’s a neat focusing aid, and one with which rangefinder shooters will feel right at home.

Fujifilm X100s : Digital Split Image Function

The X20 still uses a straight optical viewfinder, but it now has a digital overlay that displays shooting information. The current shooting mode, aperture, shutter speed, and other pertinent data is displayed in a strip at the bottom of the viewfinder. The information is in light, gray text—it doesn’t detract from the bright, clean finder, but the color makes it a bit hard to read. The firmware isn’t final, and while I couldn’t find a way to change the color of the information in the menu, there’s still a chance that this option will be added before the camera ships.

By Jim Fisher, PCMag


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