By Eric Yang
on 4.25.11

Welcome to another Breakdown. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you seriously considered buying a Fuji point & shoot? If you’re an avid GP reader then we’re willing to bet a roll of Kodachrome Velvia it’s probably not the first compact to cross your mind. Nevertheless, this month Fuji will completely change your perception when the hotly anticipated (and do we mean hotly) Finepix X100 lands. Oozing with 60′s era purpose-built design, the X100 is rarely mentioned without the word Leica in tow — a good thing, considering this gem undercuts its Leica equivalent, the X1, by nearly 800 bones. Fuji has melded handsome rangefinder looks (granted, no rangefinder focus) and modern technology into a camera that does one thing not many cameras can claim: excite and motivate a shooter. Look for this one to end up in a lot of everyday carries. Of course, quiet/stealthy/instant operation, 35mm f2.0 prime lens, gargantuan APS-C sensor, in-camera RAW processing, 1/4000s shutter speed, internal 3-stop ND filter, and motion-panorama, doesn’t hurt either.

Breakdown after the jump. Look for our hands-on to land in the coming month.

A: Well Rung: Fast, easy-to-use Aperture ring for quickly dialing-in Aperture
B: I Drive A Hybrid, Thanks: Fuji’s all-new hybrid viewfinder combines a traditional (and super bright) optical viewfinder like high-end cameras and DSLR’s, but also combines an electronic viewfinder overlay to display critical shooting information. It’s kind of like a heads-up display, but in a viewfinder. This is game changing technology.
C: Dial It In: Like traditional rangefinders, the X100 features top-mounted dials. In thise case, for shutter speed and bracketing controls. Plus they’re made out of solid metal for a chunky, tactile feeling.
D: Hot Seat: Thankfully, Fuji knows you’ll want to add on an external flash (thankfully, one is built-in), and here a TTL flash-compatible hot shoe is right where you’d want it. Look here for sexy add-ons in the future. Voigtlander viewfinder anyone?
E: Upper Glass Citizen: High-end Fujinon optics make their appearance here. A perfect for all occasions 23mm (35mm equivalent) f2.0 prime lens means low-light performance — no zoom here, bud. Behind it you’ll find a jumbo custom APS-C sized sensor (normally found in DSLRs) that crushes anything a point & shoot can even dream of.
F: Brains & Display: 2.8″ 460,000 dot LCD display is a must-have and Fuji has integrated it nicely into the X100 case. Oh, and a fast, ultra-smart Fuji EXR processor means awesome RAW processing and other clever niceties.
G: Model Looks, Wrestler Body: Fuji has carved out a high-precision magnesium alloy body for reinforced strength, all Japanese construction and remarkable retro looks. A leather like-finish, metal etchings, and sex-appeal mean asking people to look at you for a photo will be a thing of the past.
H: Raw Bar: Well, button actually, but a one-touch dedicated RAW button means handy access for those critical shots. If you prefer to shoot Ronco style, by setting it and forgetting it, there’s in-camera RAW processing to JPEG. Fuji has even packed in varying camera modes that replicate classic Fuji film types.

Buy Now: $1,299 | More Info