Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fuji Releases APS-C Compact Rangefinder


That's all I can say about this camera. It's bleedin' gorgeous. The optical viewfinder is fantastic and was a novelty I had kinda' hoped would have made it into Micro 4/3's cameras.

Fuji is explicitly stating that this camera is intended for a high-end market, be it professional or enthusiast. They're not releasing final pricing info, likely because they don't know, but they're shooting for the $1,000(US) range. If the body is as well-made as reports indicate, this will undercut the Leica X1 by FIFTY percent. It won't be competition for the M9, what with the integrated lens, but the X1 has certainly been obviated, and Sigma should certain be concerned for the future of their DP-series of cameras. Afterall, the sensor in those is more an experiment than a final product, and they will only undercut the Fuji by a couple of hundred dollars.

That being said, Fuji hasn't exactly been playing in the high-end market lately. Their most expensive camera is less than $400, and the last pro-level camera they made, as far as I know, is the S3 way back in 2005. And, as this review shows, it was far from a stellar performer. Even the EOS 20d outperformed it. The follow-up S5 was a similar story. It was outperformed by everyone, and was like its predecessor, apparently a Nikon body. At least it had the good graces to be cheaper.

With that in mind, Fuji is obviously not messing around. Even if we assume that Fuji is retarded, the raw materials in the camera speak of quality. A fast, prime lens. A bulletproof metal body. A rangefinder that only a few people in the world care about. And the icing on the cake, the largest sensor that Fuji has worked with in nearly half a decade. Combined, those ingredients all but guarantee images that are at least decent.

So, yeah. Gorgeous.

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