A few details have already leaked out about Fujifilm’s two newest compact cameras. And, now it’s official. Called the X100S and X20, the new gizmos are expected to build on the popularity of Fujifilm’s previous generation retro-styled cameras.
When Fujifilm first unveiled its high-end X100 two years ago, it was, for the most part, well received. Its autofocus speed did, however, come in for a bit of criticism. But, that’s something Fujifilm has been working on, and then some. Not only has Fujifilm improved its autofocus, but it is also claiming to now have the world’s fastest autofocus, with an impressive speed of 0.08 seconds.
Rumours had been doing the rounds that Fujifilm would choose the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to release a new X200. But, just as Apple doesn’t necessarily bring out the Apple iPhone 6 directly after the Apple iPhone 5, Fujifilm has chosen the X100S as an alternative answer.
The X100S is an updated version rather than offering a complete overhaul. Fujifilm has stuck with the features that worked on the X100 – the 23mm f/2.0 Fujinon fixed prime lens and the cool, but retro, styling.
But there are two new features designed to improve on the original – a 16.3-megapixel APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS II sensor, along with an updated processor. There’s also a new, higher definition viewfinder system.
Improvements mean the overall speed of the X100S is better. The camera starts up in just 0.5 seconds thanks to the EXR Processor II, and photographers can shoot at 0.5 second intervals with a shutter lag time of only 0.01 seconds.
While lots of photographers claimed to be tempted by the X100 when it first came out, the Auto Focus problems put some off. If Fujifilm truly has succeeded in fixing that glitch, it should have a popular product on its hands.
The follow up to Fujifilm’s more pocket-friendly X10, the X20. Incorporating X-Trans sensor technology, it has a 2/3-inch version of the sensor, with a 12-megapixel resolution. The X20 is also expected to include hybrid phase-detection/contrast autofocus, which should speed things up with this model too. And, there will be 1080/60p video support with a manual focus.
Fujifilm is confident that improvements to the processing engine should mean 30 per cent less image noise and a 20 per cent increase in resolution overall. The X20 is available in a choice of two colours – either all-black or two-tone black and silver.
There’s a zoom lens with a new coating, which promises to minimize flare. The Phase detect focus is similar to Sony’s NEX-6 and 5R models, which should mean the auto focus is fast. Up until now, the Sony RX100 has been widely regarded as the world’s best compact. But could Fuji be set to take on Sony?
No details have been released yet about when the new models will be available, or about how much they will cost. But, we are expecting to hear more from Fujifilm at CES.