Monday, December 20

The FinePix X100 - the street photographer's digital camera? Part 35.

As a street photographer, I've almost given up waiting for a small, discreet, digital camera with decent controls, and a optical viewfinder that I would be happy using for this sort of photography.

Having used digital compacts extensively I've come to the conclusion that I'm one of those weird people who will never be happy composing photos using an LCD at arm's length. A "proper" viewfinder is important to me.

Over the years, so many digital models have been launched that sounded promising - the Sigma D-something, the Olympus Pen-thing, the Ricoh G-doomidag and so on - but on closer inspection they all appeared lacking in one or more crucial departments.

All I want is a smallish digital camera with a short lens that focuses very quickly using autofocus, or allows me to set a manual focus instantly, and does not go "clack" when I press the shutter. And has an optical viewfinder, not an electronic one, and is not a stupid price like those Leicas. Are those outrageous demands? Certainly the technology is available, so presumably these must be niche demands!

It seems odd that although digital cameras have been readily available for about a decade now, people interested in street photography without the Leica budget are still resorting to using archaic old film cameras like the Olympus XA and the Hexar.

Maybe this Fujifilm FinePix X100 with the small, 35 mm fixed lens and built-in optical viewfinder will be the digital one. Maybe.

More details at the Wirefresh blog

It looks nice, doesn't it? Release date and price are still unconfirmed. The price is meant to be around £1000, I believe.


Fergus said...

Paul i couldnt agree more!

Whilst i will never stop loving shooting street with black and white/or colour film loaded in my 35mm camera there are times when im either skint and really watching the number of frames im shooting, instead of just shooting instictively, or when the light isnt too hot and im not wanting to burn film in less than great conditions.

I had a Ricoh GRD and it was a great little camera to have in your pocket and take anywhere but not having a proper viewfinder i dont feel like im really shooting street, im just kinda happy snapping.

I need to put the camera up to my eye!

But i think you're right, this must be a niche market, which is why its all so $$$ dang it.

Justin S said...

Yes. On paper at least, this little beauty ticks all the boxes and could be the long awaited replacement for my sorely missed contax g.
I'm saving...

Anonymous said...

God I hope this thing lives up to the hype and chat its been getting. It looks great, specs and usability look spot on and it will pass the under the jacket test with ease. May just be my first digi cam purchase.

Paul Russell said...

This camera was announced back in September. It would be nice if they got round to making some.

Stu Egan said...

Couldn't agree more, Paul. I bought a Ricoh GR III before Christmas, and have had this nagging feeling that something is missing. Just can't get used to it because of the lack of viewfinder; holding it at arm's length and looking at the screen feels wrong to me. I like everything else about it - the weight, the size, the lack of clack (so to speak), the speed, so I've bitten the bullet and bought a viewfinder that I can clip onto it. New ones are £100 (cheaper on ebay, obviously) which seems poor given that a) it's housed in plastic and b) the camera itself is currently retailing for about £350.

I really am in the wrong racket.

Paul Russell said...

Stu - yes, I understand that economies of scale or whatever means that viewfinders are expensive but they are quite painfully priced for two bits of glass and plastic compared to the complexity of, say, prime lenses that cost a similar amount!

David said...

I haven't yet purchased a viewfinder for my GRDIII, but I think it actually fits your needs. Add an accessory viewfinder, and it does have a "snap" mode that allows you to set a fixed focus length of 1m, 1.5m, 2.5m, 5m, or infinity. No delay on the shutter with that. The only drawback I find with it is that you can only shoot so fast before the "writing RAW to card" catches up with you.

Paul Russell said...

Fergus, Stu, David - thanks for your comments regarding the Ricoh. I did buy the GRD II about a month ago - there was a "new" one sitting in my local camera shop for £199. They must have been trying to get rid of it, and I took the plunge. It's a fun little camera. Haven't bought the viewfinder yet - I'd like to but it seems a bit expensive at half the price that I paid for the camera!

Ale- said...

ever tried a Canon G11?

The Photographer Indonesia said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)