Monday, 4 October 2010

Fuji X100 form factor - analogue digital?

fuji x100
I noticed this camera a few days ago.

Its a brand new digital design, but looks like an old Trip 35 or rangefinder. It has a fixed wide-ish angle lens and has the analogue style aperture and shutter controls.

I've been musing about this form factor for a while because the latest generation digital cameras have moved the most basic parts of photography to somewhat less intuitive control surfaces. Thats reasonable for a phone where the photography is a secondary component, but I'm less convinced for proper cameras.

By comparison, this high specification camera is very traditional in the way it uses the main controls (it looks like a repackaging of the considerably more expensive Leica X1), and I suspect it will be easy to use.

But the camera seems to have divided opinion between those that like the idea of simple controls and those who think this looks like a throwback to the 1970s.

I like the idea of the simpler interface and can't help wondering if someone needs to take the old Olympus OM2 or an equivalent as a new design point for a modern SLR. But I suppose that would be contrary to the modern direction towards digital mirrors and even more ways to insulate the photographer from the photographic process.
Olympus OM2
Actually, I realised I'd better put a picture of this type of SLR camera next to a modern one, to help get an idea of the difference in relative size. I've put a zoom lens on the Olympus to make it bigger.
D300 and OM1
Update: I spotted the DigitalRev tabular comparison of the X100 vs a couple of the digital Leicas and thought it's worth a link: Click the picture below for the jump.
from digitalrev article

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