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Thursday, 01 September 2011

Comments

Woot! As much as I'd like an X100 for myself to supplement the M6, what I really have a need for right now is a relatively inexpensive travel camera I can share with the wife. I was pretty much resigned to getting a G12 or the new P7100, but their poor OVF implementation turns me off. This new X10 might be the sweet spot for me!

Looks like a nice camera. As an old F10 & F30 fan, I'm pleased that Fuji is getting into the high end of compact cameras

"G12 killer"? Well, not for someone like me.

No articulated screen - no sale.

The protruding lens, even collapsed, compromises belt/pocket carry.

While others will value the speed at the long end, I prefer a longer tele.

Chacun à son goût

Moose

I really can't imagine buying a camera that size with a P&S sensor. Kind of the worst of both worlds, to me.

Fuji makes great lenses, but I wouldn't call them noticeably better than Sony at lens production. Sony absorbed a lot of Minolta workers, and their factories and lens designers are certainly high caliber.

Well, it's darn cute. But the X100 is already too small for my big hands, so this will never work for me.

My gosh, it looks tiny!

Sexy little beast.

"Sure is handsome."

Are you talking about the camera or the model holding the camera?

Mike: I own a Canon G12 camera. I hate it. I gave it to my 13 year old daughter... her hands are small enough to use it without inadvertently changing settings. The ergonomics of the G12 are easily the worst of any camera in this category. You need elf-sized fingers to hold it. The new Fuji's (and, to be fair, the Nikon P7000 series) leave a space for your thumb at the top right on the rear of the camera. Bravo. I'd damn near buy it for this feature alone.
Can't wait to actually hold one...
Marshall

Are you paying attention Nikon and Canon engineers? Break that $499 barrier for your enthusiasts' compacts and give us some real innovation!

Somebody else can have the camera; I want the sultry Keanu Reeves look-a-like.

Bryan,
Just the camera. [s]

Mike

I've looked in vain for any sign that there are electronic displays or information in the optical finder of this camera. I hope there's at least some indication of where the focus spot is! Otherwise, it's use will be pretty limited.

I think I'm a buyer! And I'll ditch the GF-1 with its' (poor) EVF and its' (large) kit zoom.

It's cute, but the markings on the zoom ring annoy me; 28, 35, 50 etc. They must mean millimetres, but what they do not mean is the focal lengths the lens can be set to, except by referring by comparison to the angles of view on a 35mm camera.

Odd that, because if you've never used a 35mm camera the numbers won't mean a lot to you, and if you have you are most likely to be able to correlate the actual focal length with a given angle of view.

This kind of nonsense is only encouraged by those lazy writers in photo magazines who will tell you that, say, an old 50mm lens "becomes" a 75mm lens through the simple act of attaching it to an APS-C camera rather than a 35mm one. It must be very confusing for beginners.

That apart, and I suppose it's a minor point that just needed a long explanation, it seems just about pocketable, it has a useful zoom range and it's the second new compact in a week to have an actual, proper, viewfinder. Yep, it looks like a G12 killer to me too.

Incidentally, while chatting to a non enthusiast friend tonight, he explained how he had recently bought a digital compact. The screen seemed fine in the shop, but of course as soon as he tried to use it outside on a sunny day he was reduced to guessing and hoping. I suppose that if he had been allowed to try it outside first perhaps he would have rejected it, and this is how they manage to sell them.

This will be my new recommended camera for people who ask me for a good portable camera advice.

It's only me who thinks that these in-hand camera photos look like a fake montage?

It's a fingernail sensor, but a 50% bigger fingernail than the S95/G12 at least. And f/2.8 fully zoomed in is pretty sweet.

Mike:

Verrrryyy interesting camera. I love the mechanical cable release socket and the integration of the mechanical zoom ring and on/off switch points to a design by actual photographers - yay!

With m4/3, NEX, and NX filling the interchangeable-lens compact market, I think it would be nice if Fuji produced a series of innovative high-end fixed-lens compacts, starting with the X100. Like their historic range of medium-format cameras (but much smaller). My X100 has quickly become my main camera, with my Nikon D80 relegated to portraits and backup.

The photos of the camera make my inner shutterbug salivate.

28-112mm-e, 2.0-2.8: very good, although 24-140mm-e 2.0-2.8 would be better (yes, it would make the lens a lot larger).

Zoom ring with power switch and marked focal lengths - brilliant. The specs don't tell us if the zoom ring is mechanical or electrical.

Plain back front: finally, someone gets it.

The sensor is larger than that on the G12/S95.

The OVF is on the left of the rear - excellent.

US$699 - ouch.

As far as I can see there's no provision for a lanyard on the lens cap. However, there a hood is available so when out shooting just use the hood for protection and put the cap somewhere safe.

Fuji should have made the grip deeper - it wouldn't make the camera any thicker.

Hopefully the user interface isn't a disaster inherited from the X100.

If Sony can put an EVF on the NEX-7 why can't Fuji put on one the X10? I'm not a great fan of EVFs, but 100% coverage is a lot better than 85%.

At 112mm-e f/2.8 you've got a really useful 10mm aperture (useful for blurring backgrounds). The link below takes you to a snap taken with a 10mm aperture.

http://mandenomoments.com/dillon-schache/e3e287979 That's taken at 28mm actual (45mm-e), which is the same as the X10 at 112m-e. The subject distance would be much greater if taking this shot with the X10, so if my brain is working properly the background blur would be basically the same but the shot would have a different feel.

Strikes me more as a Pentax Q killer, with a sensor (if I'm not mistaken -- nobody's ever accused me of being a math head) just about twice as large as the Q's, and with about the same number of pixels. In fact, I'm not sure if there's any other compact out there with a sensor this size. Maybe the rumored Nikon? I've sworn off further gear acquisition, but I noticed a tremor in the GAS when saw this post.

JC

What does SOTA EXR mean?

This is also a successor to the well-loved but orphaned Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2 (2004). 2/3" sensor and same design aesthetic; Fujinon (2.0-2.8) lens instead of Leica DC Vario-Summicron (2.0-2.4); and OVF not EVF.

My gosh, now that I got my GAS almost cured.

The next five years are going to see some really nice digital retros- something along the lines of an X200 WA...

Hmm I only see one photo of the camera and two photos of a hmm.. guy :-)

Kelvin,
Sorry. Fixed now.

Mike

On July 25th, Thom Hogan posted an article titled, "Size Matters?". If Nikon developes a 2.7x sensor, how does that compare with the 2/3 sensor of the X10? I admit, all this sensor size talk is way over my head. Thanks.

"This is also a successor to the well-loved but orphaned Panasonic DMC-LC1/Leica Digilux 2 (2004). 2/3" sensor and same design aesthetic; Fujinon (2.0-2.8) lens instead of Leica DC Vario-Summicron (2.0-2.4); and OVF not EVF.

Posted by: Teahousemusic "


My exact thoughts as well.

I don't get excited about digicams much anymore but I'm making an exception in this case. The ads play it off as a fashion accesory but if the X100 and the things Fuji's engineers learned from the X100's users helped to birth this camera, I think we're looking at a very capable camera that would serve a lot of folks well.

I'm excited to get my hands on one of these.

Jim

Very nice. Same size sensor as the Sony F717 and those weren't bad even back then. 28/2.8 on that size sensor has even shallower DOF than a kit zoom on a DSLR (or m43 or NEX) which isn't saying much, but not bad. I really wish more manufacturers would put tilting LCDs on cameras. Yeah, it's got a peephole, but when you want to confirm what it's focusing on or use live view for any other reason, the tilting LCD makes a world of difference. But otherwise, pretty promising. And it's right around the same size sensor as the rumored Nikon mirrorless; one site even suggested this could be the mysterious source of sensors for Nikons mirrorless, which would be interesting.

I just feel like all P&S sized sensor cameras are about the same. This is probably going to take pictures that are about the quality of my $200ish Canon 780is. Maybe a little less shutter lag. But otherwise, why would I buy it?

I get some strange looks on the bus but Im pretty happy carrying my d300 in my pocket

Hmm, 85% VF, that might actually work. This might be the first snap-shot camera that I could actually use. What an odd week, first the NEX-7 that might be able to use my Leica lenses (with the dreaded adapters) and then of all things, a fixed lens camera (I have not found one I liked since the Diana-F)
I am a late adopter of digital, my D700 is the first one I found useful, and now suddenly two cameras that might find their way into my camera bag.

Fuji X100:Leica M9 as Fuji X10:Leica X1.

Take the premium brand and mark it for death by copying it exactly. It's a pretty transparent strategy, but hey, it just might work.

As a further abstract: Why can't America build cameras? We used to have nice industrial design for every techno gizmo... what has happened? Where is the real innovation?

If I am forced to live the rest of my life conflated to the industrial achievements of Japan and Germany for my photographic needs, and the gross similitude of said countries photographic zeitgeist, should I just buy a Deardorff now?

Friggin fantastic........... a Leica D2 type sensor ideal for me others find it all a bit dumb. If the lens and the 6mp sensor setup renders some great bnw images I am happy to imitate myself as a retro make believe photographer

Well isn't that nifty...

Well I hate to be a naysayer, but I remember drooling over the so much promised X100, and its fancy dancy website, and all it's retro promise. Then I got one. Boy, was it, is it, ever a mess for a photographer to use. Not at all simple. Not even semi-simple. So for all the promise I see in this camera, I would hesitate to even think it is what it appears to be until I held it and tried to use it for 10 minutes. Let's see if they really can keep it simple to use, unlike its big brother. And yes, I sent that X100 back to B&H, where it belonged!

"I think I'm a buyer! And I'll ditch the GF-1 with its' (poor) EVF and its' (large) kit zoom."

Oh, and for all the GF-1 fans, its sensor is a LOT bigger than the X10's. If you use the fixed 14mm, or 20mm, and buy a Voightlander finder (or Leica) of 28mm (for the 14mm) or 35mm (for the 20mm in 2:3 mode), it is a helluva an eyelevel street camera. Hard to beat for responsiveness, etc. This is what I kept when the X100 went back...

Oh...Fuji is getting a little more serious? I just chose an Olympus e-p3 over a Fuji x100 because of the bugs, "quirks" (back in the day we called those design flaws) I read about concerning the x100. I was also concerned about the unusually large numbers of used x100s I found on sale in the area.Think I goofed, for the E-P3 has more than its share of the same problems and comes with an inferior 14-42mm lens. And, as far as I can tell, the Oly is closer to a digicam than an entry level dSLR in function, ease of use/user friendliness, image quality, lens quality, (at least for the ol' slow, purple fringe 14-42mm), color noise, battery life, and menu organization. Surpasses entry level dSLRs in price though. At least with the x100, I'd have gotten a good lens and an up-to-date sensor.

At any rate, I am pleased to see what appears to be a bit more focus on smaller, lower priced cameras. Bodes well for the future, and just in time.

Here in Tokyo, it seems to me that about everyone has a dSLR. Used to be only older retired guys and a few serious enthusiasts under 30 lugged them around. Now I see more and more petite young women hauling around a Nikon D300 size cameras in their LV bag, with a Zeiss Planar 1.4/50mm attached. (No joke. Flickr-met friend has same. And here I was whining about the size of my D300.) Last week I happened by a downtown Tokyo festival with my new Oly toy and saw amateurs with D3s and equivalent Canons with lenses hooked on the front that would cost more than the average Tokyo man's salary. And about twice as much or more than the average Tokyo woman's salary. I knew then that it was getting to be time to separate myself from the fad, and despite the E-P3 being DR challenged (borderline defeated) in that contrasty sun, I was glad to be carrying it. Until the dainty little battery cried uncle and died. At least I didn't fill 4gb card.

So, what's this to do with anything? Nothing, except I am hoping the future is brighter for smaller, easier to carry/use cameras, that take at least OK photos without color noise in the shadows at base ISO. Too much? OK, forget the last and hope for a EVF that is consistent enough in use to represent something like the scene you can see with your eyes. Methinks we are still at the primitive stage in both areas, but I hold out hope. After all, we had good, small 35mm cameras, rangefinders or "P&S," that worked well 30 years ago.

Right. I'll shut up.

Hmzzzz, I guess a new Non-Texas Leica....I could transport that thing inside my GX680 :-)......cool.

Greetings, Ed

I'm waiting for the X1.

Dear Paul (and GH),

I don't have a clue what the quality of the Canon 780is is. But small sensor cameras can produce excellent results. They ain't all created equal, any more than big sensor cameras are.

I wouldn't make any predictions about this one, one way or the other. But, I owned a three-year older Fuji with essentially the same size sensor (the S100fs) and a good half dozen or so of the photos that I'm selling in 17" x 22" size on my website were made with that camera.

Some examples:

http://ctein.com/Liquid_Sky.jpg
http://ctein.com/Mall_Roof.jpg
http://ctein.com/Reflections_Montreal.jpg

http://ctein.com/Dam_1_Falls_Pano.jpg

(okay, so that last one's a three-frame panorama, but it makes a gorgeously detailed 44" wide print)

Anyways, may make great pictures, may make crappy ones, but don't prejudge by its size.

(Mebbe I'll arrange to get one to test-- could be interesting setting it against my EP1... Mike, whaddaya think?)

pax / Ctein

I am a 99% film user but have just bought a secondhand G9 as a snapshot, carry around all the time camera. If this was available last week, I think I would have bought one. I especially like the manual zoom control.

I think it looks odd without a manufacturer's logo on the front, or is this just a prototype on view?

Let's hope it can be properly zone/scale focused for serious work...

One to cry for, maybe...

Large bright viewfinder to ensure you capture exactly what you see.
Featuring a wider than normal viewing angle (20°) ensuring you see more of the picture that you're taking, and 85% coverage meaning you see scenes through the viewfinder just as nature intended.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can't make sense of these apparently self-contradictory statements from their advertisement. Can someone please explain to simple-minded me how they can all be true?

The stand out feature for me is the mechanical zoom; I've never owned a digital zoom compact as I've always found them so cumbersome to use, compared to the immediacy of an SLR.

It's funny to think that Pentax tried to introduce the world to Power Zoom SLR lenses in the 90s and the world went 'meh'. Now Panasonic are trying the same again with their Lumix X lenses. 'Meh', I say.

It's good to see that Fuji appear to have put a great deal of thought into designing this camera, not only on aesthetics, but also as a tool for photographers.

The small (sorry, "large") sensor doesn't really put me off right now: it's expected for cameras in this class. I already have a Sigma DP1s and that has a large sensor but, man is it awful to use - so I rarely do.

Ed

Maybe we can call this one a Rhode Island Leica ;-)

It looks like it'd fit inside my Texas Leica (G690). Or maybe I could use it as an auxiliary finder on the 690?

I cannot see the point in having OVF without ANY shooting info. No focus point, no ISO, no aperture, no compensation, no time, simply NULL. My God, even my Mamiya C330 has focus confirmation (and paralax indicator) in the "viewfinder" ;-) Note, that X10 does not have focus ring around the lens barrel. This means, that you even cannot prefocus it on LCD and then shoot with OVF.

Seriously. thank God cameras are getting attractive again. I know...not what they're for...but still.

This thing is like that new FIAT 500, cute as a button with "Buy Me" written all over it. In 2-3 years, it will be cheap enough on the second-hand market for me to buy.

Yawn.

Fuji CL?

Look good but have the zoom OVF has any in focus indicator and any idea where the focus point is? Any fixed focus and fixed exposure button.

You know the video even showed a very lecia (or old camera) bag and lens hood. Why not go to the top and do it properly.

A good manual camera allow the use focus point plus lock focus and/or local exposure button to control the camera. Simple thing, but it helps a lot when you need. Not sure I can do this with this camera. If not, may have to pass.

(Do away with the LCD on the back would be even better, if anyone dare to do it and produce one colored version and one b/w version, instead of cutting pix to 6MB etc.)

***

BTW, about lady carrying expensive big camera in LV bag, I walked on the street 2 weeks ago and noticed one young man are looking at his M9. He is obviously a bit nervous about how to use it. I walked a bit further, I saw another old man having his M9 swing in front of him. Sometime you are not sure what on earth is happening.

Most of these cameras are too small for my hands... Ergonomics must be unheard of in Japan.

It looks like a classic camera. It has five fixed lenses lenses inside. It is black. It has a bright optical viewfinder. It is a tool for decisive moments. Thank you Fuji.

Wonder if Fuji have thought of doing a version with the edges of the body "rubbed" to show the "brass" - now that would REALLY sell....

Hmm. So, what are the differences between this and the Oly XZ-1 (the current object of my pointless small-camera lust):

In the Oly's favor: smaller and much flatter, half a stop brighter, cheaper, better screen, compatible with a quality viewfinder (crappy little window finders are worse than nothing for me)

In the Fuji's favor: slightly larger sensor, CMOS rather than CCD (not sur if this is really an advantage), mechanical zoom, much prettier, better grip (probably), lots more external controls, more robust video options

Hmm. Doesn't look like the Fuji has enough practical advantages over the Oly to move it to the top of my list. That's a shame, because it's as pretty as the X100 while also being small and flexible enough to serve some purpose for me.

The chart Fujifilm posted at http://yfrog.com/nyp74vjj makes the sensor sound like has low light performance similar to Olympus's micro-four-thirds cameras. I suspect there may be some catch though.

Dear Len,

I agree that that is one of the worst bits of PR writing I've ever seen.

With complex non-SLR optical viewfinders, there is often very poor eye relief and viewing angle. Like looking through a telescope-- if you don't get your eye in exactly the right position, you don't see the whole field of view. Fuji is saying that this finder is more accommodating of eye position.

Also, with traditional "rangefinder" viewfinders, the field of coverage indicated in the finder is very inaccurate, especially if the finder is designed to show coverage for more than one lens focal length.

Consequently, the viewfinders err on the side of conservatism-- they indicate a smaller area of coverage than the lens is actually putting on the film/sensor. If you've got to err, that's the way to go. Folks mind having to crop a bit a lot less than they mind finding out the the subject they thought was entirely included in the photo wasn't. Fuji's claiming that this design gets closer to correct coverage than others.

At least, I think that's what they're trying to get across.

pax / Ctein

Why why why does no one expect Ricoh include a snap focus setting in the camera so you can easily pre-select the focus distance for street photography?

As for the OVF.
The digital camera I use up to now is obsolete Oly C-5050. And I must say, that despite it's mediocre quality I use it a lot, as I find it the only finder there is. Using screen instead can be done usualy only on the tripod-type, not moving subjects.
Unfortunately EVFs are not better. They have nowadays finally acceptable resolution, but still there are huge delays if only the light is not the best. Moreover the small-digital is a camera to carry always with you therefore ANY add-on finders popular for the moderns digitals for means:
a. you have to keep a finder in separate pouch and mount it on a camera before each situation to shoot.
b. (more likely) Either finder or hot-shoe destroyed within one week.
Neither is acceptable. I NEED OVF built-in within camera shape. And accually I would rather praise fuji to put labor hours to make it better than the competition offers. I wonder what are the effects of these labor hours (if it's a good finder the same way the 2/3 sensor is a big sensor there would be nothing to shout about)
Regards.

The 2/3" (11.0mm diagonal == 8.80 x 6.60mm) EXR sensor is equivalent to a 1/1.5" sensor which doesn't sound as big(!) but shows you how it compares to the 1/7"ish sensors in "enthusiast compacts" like the P7100/G12/LX5/S95/XZ-1.

This 1/1.5" sensor is about a third bigger than 1/1.7" sensor but still much smaller than an m43 or APS-C sensor. It is about two-thirds the diameter of the (mythical) 17mm Nikon mirrorless sensor (1/1"). Or about half the diameter of an Four Thirds sensor.

EXR lets the user make a flexible tradeoff between pixel count that even works in practice but the user model is different from Bayer sensors and confuses some. The UI for manipulating it on camera is confusing even for people who have a good mental model of the EXR system. A lot of reviewers haven't quite understood how EXR works and how to set it up for best results when reviewing it so they often only review the HR mode ("large images" where the sensor doesn't shine.

Most of the time users will choose the 6Mpx Medium mode with pixels doubled for either more DR or lower noise. So think of this as a 6Mpx compact. 6Mpx is perhaps the upper bound for handheld cameras anyway (did Ctein say that?) though I'm sure people will complain about too few pixels.

It's perhaps better to think of the X10 as a 6Mpx compact with potentially better low light noise performance or dynamic range perform than the other enthusiast compacts. The reviews will show if this turns out to be the case.

Optical VF has diopter adjust (a good sign). It's not Gallilean of course (like old rangefinders). It's modern design with 3 aspherical lenses plus dach [i.e. roof] prism for image reversion. It's (mechanically?) coupled to the manual zoom lens. The 15mm eye relief so perhaps enough for most glasses wearers but a couple more mm would be better. Unfortunately it has 85% coverage like the P7000/G12 VFs and unlike the rangefinders that went for > 100% (overscan so you can see what's out of shot with bright line framing marks). That said even the fixed lens X100 had only 93% viewfinder coverage. I wonder what the optical limitations that prevent them from going for overscan? I suspect it's the size of the optics in a non-galiliean VF to give both good apparent field of view (i.e. good coverage) and good eye relief. The Gallilean VF (with no exit pupil) avoids these issues but you can't make a zoom out of it.

As others point out no indication that there is any other info in the VF (like all the other enthusiast compacts). Perhaps when small OLED displays become cheaper well see OVF/EVF hybrids at this level? Fuji certainly know how to make them.

Dear Kevin,

"6Mpx is perhaps the upper bound for handheld cameras anyway (did Ctein say that?) though I'm sure people will complain about too few pixels."


No, I would never say anything like that! I would say just the opposite. I'd be happy to get 30-40 Mpx in a handheld camera and could make very good use of them, especially in these days of image stabilization and decent medium-high ISO's.

px / Ctein

Len Salem wrote:"Featuring a wider than normal viewing angle (20°) ensuring you see more of the picture that you're taking, and 85% coverage meaning you see scenes through the viewfinder just as nature intended"
---
If I correctly understand your concerns I think I can explain. 20° refers to the viewing angle which is angular size of the image you see when you look through the VF. It means, that when look at one corner of the image and want to look at the opposite one you have to turn your eyeball by 20°. And the viewing angle has nothing to do with angular field of view, which depends on the zoom setting.
Stating the same but different way, 20° means that you see an image of the roughly same size, as 6x7 slide viewed from 25cm distance (about 10"). 14° (which is what fuji claims that competiotion offers) means that the image is similar to the print of 50x37mm (little less than 2"x1,5") viewed at the same distance. Thus, the difference between 14° and 20° means the the image in the VF is roughly twice as big in terms of the apparent surface.

couldn't they have put framelines and an information display in this type of viewfinder the same way they did it on the x100? and make the viewfinder bigger, as big as the contax g-series? it's basically the same size as the x100 anyway.

i could go on, but it's not good for me. ;)

This is one hell of a good looking little camera! Wow! I want it, now! It would be a nice companion to my Panasonic G3. By the way, the Panasonic G3 is a really nice camera. So small and light, especially with the 20mm f/1.7 ASPH pancake. Great image quality too.

Based on the photos of the back of the camera, I think the "wider than normal viewing angle (20°)" refers to eye placement. The eyepiece lens looks much larger than usual, which should mean you should be able to see the full view even if you don't center your eye behind it quite as accurately.

This always has been a problem on cameras with real-image zooming finders (even very good ones such as the Contax G2) so if Fuji has solved that problem, it will be a significant improvement.

The comment on wider angle OVF: the size of the ocular lens depends on both the AFOV and the eye relief. Eye placement has more to do with the size of the exit pupil which will change with the zoom (given the change in magnification and the constant objective lens size).

A previous comment I made about the X100 lack of overscan is NOT true. The X100 has overscan (perhaps 110% coverage) not 93% as I stated. I was using a friend's X100 over the weekend and couldn't get the framing correct thinking it was "underscanning". Mea culpa :-)

Some other general comments:

Elevator pitch for the X10 would be: a high-margin hipster compact with slightly larger sensor and better "manual" UI than the typical enthusiast compact.

It's a bit smaller (but not a lot) than the X100. Perhaps they chose a big model to demonstrate it (that's aquiline nose isn't helping) to make it seem smaller.

MANUAL 28-112mm fast zoom (across the whole range) F2.0-2.8. I see they didn't go for 24mm at the wide end same as Nikon and Canon: that's left for Samsung and Panasonic. But they are faster than Nikon and Canon. The downside of the manual zoom is no "zoom memory" on power up.

NO neutral density filter (the P7000/P7100 and G12 has one; so does the X100) useful for going using a wide aperture for smaller DoF in bright light. That's a shame given the wide lens (though the sensor is a bit small for good DOF) and ND filters are now routine in small "two aperture" P&S cameras. Was this just left out to differentiate the X10 and X100?

7-blade aperture

Shutter-release time lag of approx. 0.01 seconds (that's 10mS -- after any AF lag ... that's not spec'd). Great in Manual/MF mode and/or with AE/AF locked. 1/4000 sec slowest shutter (some of the other EXRs have been limited at the top end).

Power start-up within approx. 0.8 seconds using on/off switch built into zoom ring. Not too bad but it could be quicker but it makes the on/off switch easy to find. But of course means you don't have "zoom memory" between power cycles though you can set it directly manually (while it powers up ... by the time it's at your eye it would be ready to take photos).

The UI certainly takes some hints from the X100 and this would be the area they could make improvements of other competitors. After all good UIs are mostly a design cost rather than a big hardware cost.

Two top dial manual controls (PASM + two custom mode dial plus exposure compensation) and FN button (which I presume is like the X100 is customizable). Controls on the back look nicely laid out. SLRish button set along the left side of the display for auto-exposure, auto-focus and white balance control. On the right hand there an AE/AF lock, a the usual 4 way controller with dial and a back thumb-dial. There a display and RAW button at the bottom right. There is also a decent thumb rest on the outside edge of the camera rather than trying to land your thumb.

There is a auto/manual focus control on the front of the camera (for the left index finger). Both retro looking and a good place to put a lever switch.

The downsides: no shutter speed top dial and no aperture ring (or other assignable control ring like the S95) around the lens (that the X100 has).

Shame to bork the UI to differentiate your more expensive camera. The APS-C sensor and fixed versus zoom lens and OVF/EVF combo is enough differentiation. Users will miss these controls.

We'll see if the UI works as well as it looks. I wonder if Fuji has sorted out their UI (menu) design? There have been rather mixed reviews of the X100 menu design but people seem happy once it's set up.

2.8" 460K dot High contrast LCD display is only mid-range today where a 1M dot and OLED would have been nice.

Manual pop-up flash with pop-up switch on the left thumb. Nice UI with no surprises as there is no flash without manual intervention. Standard hot-Shoe flash. Are you listening Sony?

A commentator said: "If they get it out for the price of a G12 it will be a winner. That's the problem.

The MSRP price is $700 which is a rather stiff for a "small-large sensor compact" even with the street price dropping to $650 (though this is a hipster camera). It's bumping into DSLR, APS-C, m43 and the other compact system cameras. I think current pricing of a lot of these compacts needs a reset. $300 to $500 would in line, I think, with this at the top end. Compare this camera to the Nikon P7100 at $500 (or less once it ships), Panasonic LX5 at $450 (up from its lowest price) and the Canon S95 at $370 (and falling with an S100 around the corner?). The X10 will perhaps drop to $500 by end of life.

We'll see what people really think when it starts shipping and gets reviewed.

Oh, and no one is competing in the Canon S95 (and soon S100) pocketable "large-ish sensor" enthusiast sub-compact. That seems to be a worthwhile trade off for a 2/3" sensor (as opposed to a APS-C). Maybe next year from Nikon or Fuji or Sony?

This is a time of innovative disruption in the camera business. The next 10 years should be very interesting.

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