Few digital cameras have caused as much stir as the retro-styled compact now available in the United States on a limited basis. The Fujifilm FinePix X100 joins the Leica X1, Sigma DP1x and DP2x, Sony Alpha NEX-3 and NEX-5, and micro four-thirds cameras like the Olympus PEN E-PL2 and E-P2 or Panasonic DMC-GF2 in a newer class of mirrorless digicams. I used or owned the DP1, DP2s, E-P2, GF1, and X1.
However, like the Leica X1 or Sigma DP series, the X100 is eccentric—the lens is fixed and cannot be changed. Who on earth would buy a digital camera without telephoto? I, for one. Many professional photographers for another. I’m no pro, but I have specific needs as a journalist for which the X100 is ideally suited. The Fuji is the only camera I own. Whether or not it will be sufficient for my needs, or possibly yours, is question answered by continuous use. For now, I offer my first impressions and explain what are this camera’s major benefits.