Fujifilm’s XF1 marries full manual functionality with retro cool style
posted Monday, September 17, 2012 at 12:01 AM EST
Fujifilm, a recent leader in classic camera designs, brings even more retro into its X-series of digital cameras with the new Fuji XF1. And we're not just talking about the attractive throwback look, complete with your choice of three classic (albeit synthetic) leather colors wrapped around its aluminum body (pebbled black, smooth tan or red). The Fujifilm XF1 puts a strong emphasis on old-school manual control, including a Mode dial with PASM and other exposure modes, as well as a 4x manual zoom lens (25-100mm equivalent) designed to be almost fully retractable into the camera body. That's right, the XF1 is fully pocketable and portable - measuring 4.2 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches -- and it's clear Fujifilm intended to fill the gap in its X-series lineup with a flexible, all-purpose, everyday shooter for advanced consumers and professional photographers.
There's a lot to be excited about on the surface of the Fujifilm XF1. But the next spec may worry you: The XF1 employs the same 12-megapixel, 2/3-inch EXR-CMOS sensor as its predecessor, the X10. We liked a lot of what we saw with the X10 when we tested it earlier this year, but it had one fatal flaw--the dreaded "white orbs" (blooming specular highlights) that were pretty much impossible to miss in bright highlights of shots taken with low ISOs. Fujifilm sent out a firmware update this summer designed to reduce impact of this problem, and then began physical sensor replacements for users who sent in their cameras. We assume those new sensors are in the Fujifilm XF1, but we've not yet had the opportunity to try one, so we won't know for sure the new sensors completely fix the problem (and whether they have any other effects on image quality) until we get one in for testing.
The Fujifilm XF1 will be available in black, tan or red in October 2012 for US$500, a price that Fujifilm hopes opens up the X-series to a broader audience. Coordinating cases, in full retro styling, will also be available at or near launch, the company says.