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Video: Fujifilm FinePix X100 digital camera


Zak, Crutchfield writer and photo enthusiast, tries out the retro Fujifilm FinePix X100 digital camera and puts it through its paces.

Zak: I've got the Fuji X100 digital camera here, and you can probably tell at a glance that it looks a lot like old cameras do. And that's certainly on purpose. And it takes its design aesthetic from older rangefinder cameras from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

But that's not what this camera is all about. The thing that I like about it best, as a photo enthusiast, is it puts the important controls right up front for you. You've got aperture control on the lens. You've got a shutter speed dial up here — exposure compensation — these are basic shooting controls that sometimes get lost in menus and click wheels and stuff on other cameras. This one puts it right there for you so you can control a lot of your shooting without taking your eye away from the viewfinder.

Of course a camera is only as good as its lens, and Fuji made a fantastic lens on the X100. It opens up to F2, which is pretty fast, and it'll let you get some of those shots in low light you're looking for. Also, it'll render backgrounds out of focus. And this lens has fantastic bokeh, which is the quality of out of focus elements of your picture. So you've got your subject in focus and then what's behind it out of focus. It's not the same with every lens. Some of them have kind of harsh edges to them. Everything you take with this one the backgrounds just melt away and look fantastic.

Perhaps the most different thing about the X100 is its viewfinder. It's a brand new viewfinder Fuji designed, and it's a hybrid optical and electric viewfinder. You can access all your menus and even get a preview of the shot you just took without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. And you can see here when you push the lever, a little screen will actually slide up to cover the optical viewfinder and that screen is your electronic viewfinder. You can also shoot it like a point and shoot looking at the back screen and you can set that up to trip this little eye sensor. When you change your mind and bring your eye up to the viewfinder again, it'll blank out the screen and then show you what's going on in the viewfinder.

Of course the most important thing is image quality and Fuji gives you outstanding image quality with this camera. One reason that is is its integration of the fill flash. Fill flash is of course this little flash that's built into the camera here. Most cameras have them. It's best for blasting out shadows when you're shooting out during the day. The tricky part usually is blending the ambient light with the fill light coming from the flash. This camera, somehow — I'm not sure how they did it — but it does an outstanding job of just blending the ambient light with the fill light and making a natural looking flash photograph that you might not have even known the flash was on.

If you've got any questions about the Fuji X100 just give us a call.

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