The Last Resort

A dozen years later, I still marvel at the retro-styled camera that launched Fujifilm into the digital mirrorless era. The X100 became an instant classic, with its fixed lens, leaf shutter, large sensor (for the time), dual digital and optical viewfinders, manual controls, and rangefinder-likeness (with respect to design). Four iterations to date—and removal of FinePix branding after the first generation—no other shooter in the series quite matches the magic and novelty of the original. Using the X100 was like that first love; none other is quite as exciting, or as intoxicating.

The photos hold up, too, as I’d like to think that the Featured Image indicates. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 23mm (35mm film equivalent); 4:02 p.m. PDT, May 29, 2011.

If I rightly recall, the location is the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., which is about 201 kilometers (125 miles) north of my San Diego apartment. I had driven there for the day to attend the ninth annual D: All Things Digital Conference. Then-Wall Street Journal technology columnist and D9 cofounder/cohost Walt Mossberg had invited me.

The post’s title pays homage to the last song on The Eagles’ 1976 classic album Hotel California. Excerpt:

Some rich men came and raped the land
Nobody caught ’em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes
And Jesus people bought ’em

And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun
Sinking in the sea

Do have a listen and draw any inferences that you like.