If you like your gadgetry you will want nothing but the best equipment within your budget range. When it comes to cameras this means a great lens with good zoom, viewfinder, sensor, battery, memory, display, edit functions and a long spec list of the latest digital photography technology. Normally, such a wish list of the latest and greatest is wrapped in contemporary or even futuristic bodies that feature anything from solid black and chrome to bright colour patterns for younger and female buyers.
Imagine everyone’s amazement, then, when Fujifilm introduced the FinePix X100 back in March 2010. At first glance this was a sweet retro-styled camera made to appeal to the super design-conscious and those with a mean case of nostalgia for the 60s and 70s, but a glance ‘under the bonnet’ soon revealed that this was a modern wolf in classic sheep’s clothing. The X100 was not only crammed full of the latest in digital camera technology, it even featured as the launch model for a whole new range of technologies developed by the Japanese electronics giant.
These included a hybrid viewfinder, a 23mm fast aperture lens, an APS-C sensor and EXR-CMOS processor, making this 12.3 megapixel beauty a truly innovative piece of gear. Awards, critical acclaim and a legion of fans were fast in coming, prompting the company to launch the X100S, a scaled down model that has lost the large sensor and fixed lens but offers a 4x zoom lens that has so far met with approval. The most obvious common thread between the two is the retro styling; hold either model facing you and you could be looking at a classic camera from the 60s or 70s, but turn it round and the familiar fascia of a modern camera, complete with digital screen, reveals itself.
Besides appealing to an undeniable sense of nostalgia and collectability, the series offers the best of both worlds, combining the latest technical goodies with a look that is slim, light and so much more pleasing than the chintzy forms of contemporary styling. Think I’ll rush out in my Fiat 500C and get one!