Fuji just introduced the first very compact X-series digital camera, the Fuji XF1. As with all other members of its series, the XF1 is a premium model with full-manual controls, dual control-dials and a high-quality sensor. It has a larger-than-usual 2/3″ sensor which is actually the same 12 megapixels EXR CMOS sensor used by Fuji X10 reviewed here.
In a clear demonstration of their ability to produce unique cameras aimed at photographers, Fuji created the world’s smallest digital camera with a mechanical zoom lens. This 4X optical zoom lens is equivalent to 25-100mm and has an ultra-bright F/1.9 maximum aperture at wide-angle, dropping to a dim F/4.9 at the long end. Amazingly, the lens, zoom ring included, retracts into the camera body to make it 33mm thick when powered off.
Fuji remains the only manufacturer to feature mechanical zooms, which are infinitely precise and completely quiet, on their digital camera. The pleasure of using a mechanical zooms is the ability to frame exactly as desired, instead of jumping between discrete steps. In addition to the mechanical zoom, the Fuji XF1 incorporates a true mode-dial and two control-dials. A 4-way controller provides direct access to functions at each cardinal point. There is also a unique shift function button which activates alternate functions for 6 camera buttons, making this the most customizable fixed-lens camera ever.
The BSI-CMOS sensor of the XF1 gives it a sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 3200 at full-resolution and up to 12800 at 3 megapixels. It can also capture full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS and shoot 12 megapixels images continuously at 7 FPS. Given the zoom is mechanical, zooming is available while recording video. The back of the camera is equipped with a 3″ LCD with 460K pixels.