Digital Cameras Guide
Fujifilm Announces New X100S & X20 Cameras with X-Trans Sensor
Fujifilm has announced the successors to their high-end X100 and X10 cameras with the X100S and the X20. Both cameras come with Fujifilm's newly developed X-Trans CMOS II sensor, which Fujifilm says can increase resolution by 25% and reduce image noise by more than 30%.
We've elaborated at length over Fujifilm's X-Trans technology before; in short thanks to the removal of the optical low-pass filter the sensor can produce a clearer image with exceptional clarity and minimal graininess even at high ISO speeds (the only drawbacks being occasional color smears and difficult raw processing - see our recent review of the Fujifilm X-E1 for details).
Update: The X100S will cost US$1299.95, while the X20 will cost US$599.95, this makes the X100S more expensive than the X100 which was US$1199.95 at launch. Both will be available at the end of March.
Two years ago, Fujifilm launched the highly popular X100 and came back to the public eye in a big way. The X100S is its update, it comes with the same design and 23mm F/2 fixed prime lens (35mm in 35mm equivalent), but introduces a higher-definition hybrid viewfinder and new 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II image sensor and processor.
The new X-Trans sensor has built-in phase detection pixels for auto-focus speeds as fast as 0.08 seconds. The EXR Processor II offers a faster start-up time of approx. 0.5 seconds, and a shooting interval of 0.5 seconds. In addition, shutter lag is only 0.01 seconds, so it seems like Fujifilm took to heart all the photographers who complained about the X100's lag.
Fujifilm is also introducing the "world's first" Digital Split Image feature which displays dual images on the left and right, which can be lined up for manual focusing. Another feature to aid in focusing is Focus Peak Highlight, which highlights high-contrast areas for precise focusing. Just like with the X100's hybrid viewfinder, users can switch between optical and electronic viewfinders. The X100 comes with a 2,360K-dot LCD electronic viewfinder.
The lens consists of 8 elements in 6 groups, and includes a high-performance double-sided aspherical element and highly-refractive converging glass elements, which deliver a high level of detailed performance with minimal aberration, excellent sharpness and beautiful color reproduction. FUJINON's proprietary HT-EBC coating is applied to effectively control image flares and ghosting.
Other benefits of this lens are the beautiful, soft, round-shaped bokeh that is produced from the 9 blade lens diaphragm. In addition the lens allows you to get as close as 10cm from your subject in macro mode and comes with a built-in 3-stop ND filter. The X20’s Full HD Movie (1920 x 1080) can shoot at 60fps at a bit-rate of 36Mbps.
Externally, the X100S is mostly the same as the X100, save for the extra 'S' on the front of the camera. The menu system has been also updated to incorporate a Q “Quick” button (saying goodbye forever to the Raw button) which allows you to quickly call up frequently-used menu items such as ISO setting and Film Simulation modes. In addition, the Fn (Function) button allows users to assign functions frequently used while shooting, for convenient use at the touch of the button.
The X20 is the sequel to the X10 and inherits its lens and design, while introducing a brand-new X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and newly-developed Advanced Optical Viewfinder. The X20 will be available in both black and two-tone black and silver.
The X20's optical viewfinder, which has 85% coverage, features a new Digital Trans Panel, which displays the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focusing area and other shooting information. The Advanced Optical Viewfinder syncs with the zoom lens, so that users can accurately frame shots while changing the focal length.
The new 12MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor has built-in Phase Detection pixels, promising the same quick auto-focus, start-up, shutter lag and shooting interval as the X100S. The X20 also comes with focus peaking, to help fine-tune manual focusing. The optical 4x zoom lens is fast, it has a wide-angle maximum aperture of F/2 and telephoto maximum of F/2.8.
In Super Macro mode you can get as close as 1cm from your subjects. Fujifilm says the image stabilization mechanism in the X20 can compensate for camera shake by up to 4 stops. preventing motion blur while stopping loss of image resolution and vignetting. Additionally, the X20’s lens incorporates 7 diaphragm blades which enable you to create a soft bokeh effect.
The X20’s Full HD Movie (1920 x 1080) can shoot at 60fps at a bit-rate of 36Mbps. The X20 also features a ‘Q’ button which can call up frequently-used menu items such as ISO settings and a ‘Fn’ (Function) button which allows users to assign features frequently used while shooting.