Price: $2500 with 35mm lens
THE LOW-DOWN: This 16 megapixel interchangeable lens camera uses an APS-C sensor, like most DSLRs, but with a classic optical viewfinder. The filter array on the sensor is unique to Fujifilm and is claimed to give better sharpness. The viewfinder uses Fujifilm’s dual optical/electronic viewfinder with the optical being a traditional bright line device and the electronic showing the image without parallax error. The body is beautifully designed and crafted with the aperture control via a lens ring and the shutter speed selected with a body-top knob. The shutter release is threaded for an old-fashioned cable release. Exposure compensation is also by a body-top knob. Film type simulation (Fuji films, naturally), dynamic range, highlight and shadow tone and noise reduction are all user controlled variables.
LIKE: Picture quality is lovely with jpegs having a distinctly film/analogue look. Dynamic range is excellent. The lenses (18, 35 and 60mm) are pin sharp with outstanding resolution. All the controls are smooth and luxurious.
DISLIKE: The camera is not as responsive as a DSLR and the 60mm lens is slow to focus and hunts around, even in situations with decent contrast. There is no dioptre adjustment for the viewfinder which meant that we — spectacle wearer — couldn’t use it. The user manual advises to buy supplementary adjustment lenses. In this day and age?
VERDICT: This is possibly the most mouth-wateringly beautiful camera on the market, comparable only with Fuji’s other X models and the Olympus Pens. Its price puts it up against more versatile DSLRs like the Nikon D7000, Canon 7D and Sony alpha77. On the other hand it can be seen as a plausible and much cheaper alternative to a Leica M9. If Fujifilm can fix the sluggish response and fit a dioptre adjustment to the viewfinder it could have a winner.