New Fujifilm lineup boasts first camera with hybrid viewfinder

by Kazuaki Nagata

Fujifilm Corp. announced Tuesday its new digital camera lineup for spring, including a model aimed at cultivating a new market for top-quality compact digital cameras.

With a leather-covered body and magnesium alloy top with jog dials, the retro-looking FinePix X100 is slated to hit stores March 5 and retail for around ¥130,000.

Despite its old-style looks, the 445-gram camera is equipped with some of the latest technology, including what the company calls the world’s first hybrid viewfinder.

Intended to reintroduce the joys of shooting photos through a viewfinder, camera buffs can use the optical viewfinder mode to get a clear view of the subject, and the electronic viewfinder mode to set the focus, exposure and depth of field.

The hybrid viewfinder is capable of displaying either mode by simply switching a lever.

The 12.3-megapixel camera has a fixed 23mm lens and Fujifilm’s latest picture processing engine, the EXR, which can minimize graininess in low-light situations.

“We would like to create a new market (for premium compact models),” said Takeshi Higuchi, who heads Fujifilm’s electronic imaging products division, adding that the company aims to sell at least 100,000 units in Japan.

Expected to face competition from popular mirrorless and interchangeable-lens cameras, Higuchi said Fujifilm made the X100 to exceed their quality, and “we think we’ve achieved our goal.”

Other new offerings include standard compact models, a water- and dust-proof camera and another that can shoot glasses-free 3-D pictures.