Fuji X100 hybrid Viewfinder (something we would love to see inside a MFT camera)


I am sure many of you are curious to see how the Fuji X100 hybrid viewfinder works. And by the way, we were told that Olympus is working on very similar concepts. For example with the use of semitransparent OLED viewfinders. Fuji said: “We cannot say whether other companies are going to follow in our footsteps, but in view of the speed with which other manufacturers’ technology is currently adopted, it’s possible this might happen.” But those are just rumors so enjoy the video!

The Fuji X100 should cost around $1.000-1.2000. Click here to signup at Amazon to be notified when it becomes available for preorder.

P.S.: Fuji is part of the Four Thirds group!

  • Eric

    If it could be done with an interchangeable lens then great, I would love to see one as well. However, if it’s not possible I’m fine with basic EVF’s. I just hope Panasonic keeps pushing for better and better EVF’s. As good as the EVF is in the G series I can’t wait to see what they have in a few years.

  • AL

    Cool! Definitely looking forward to an interchangeable model!

  • Andrew Reid

    This is going to be a huge seller.

    It may even make others realise that innovation is what makes a profit, not incremental updates and extending of profit margins on old technologies. *Cough… Canon… Cough… Nikon!*

    • Wife

      *cough… huge seller?… cough…
      cough… not… cough… at… cough… that… cough… price*

      • It will be big. Then the price will drop. THEN it will be huge.

  • How can you have an mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with an optical viewfinder? It’s impossible, you have to change something in the viewfinder itself (look at the film-based rangefinder!)

    So the “others” that Fuji is mentioning in the interview are regular DSLR which could use (and benefit a lot from) this technology. But that is a market I’m not interested in.

    Finally, that price point for the X100 is silly. If it’ll be successful, it means that photographers are getting completely crazy. Look at what else can you buy with that money! It’s a lot! What that fixed-lens can offer you more that that? A freaking hybrid viewfinder? Well, cool, but the purpose of the camera is to take pictures, the viewfinder is just an aid for that purpose, and thus very secondary. If you enjoy just looking at the viewfinder, buy a binoculars instead!

    The technology Fuji has that I’m really looking forward to have in a m43 camera is the phase autofocus on the sensor. That would be a game changer (and the X100 doesn’t have it), allowing a DSLR-fast autofocus on these small cameras.

    • GH2 & 14-140 Contrast AF is faster than many Phase DSLRs on the market right now.

      • Not dSLR’s PDAF per se.

        CDAF of GH2 + 14-140 combo is faster than PDAF of crappy Canikon zooms. Unfortunately, most of the Canikon zooms belong to the category.

        I had to force myself to recognize finally the hard fact that since I shoot mostly with ZD 12-60 I’m terribly spoiled by its blazingly fast PDAF. But, yes, your mom’s dSLR + average zoom are going to be noticeably slower.

    • Godot

      The (likely) price is very high, but it’s a necessary step along the way to large-sensor compacts getting more common/mainstream.

      If enough early adopters are willing to bite the bullet on this one, we should see comparable cameras at half the price within a couple of years. Or maybe it will be yet another dead end. Nobody really knows, but my guess is this will work out well for Fuji, people will love it, and more large-sensor compacts will follow at more palatable prices.

      In a world where the low-end DSLR is now cheaper than the high-end compact (before it actually happened, most people thought it would never happen), a super-premium compact costing twice as much as an LX5 or G12 doesn’t seem out of line to me.

      As for the desire for hybrid VF on an interchangeable lens system, put me with everyone else. The hurdles are massive, so even if someone finds a way to do it, it will make the X100 look like a bargain.

    • “How can you have an mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with an optical viewfinder? It’s impossible, you have to change something in the viewfinder itself (look at the film-based rangefinder!)”

      Can’t you just add frame lines like leicas? I mean, on EVF mode you get scene image from sensor plus info (like panasonic GH line), on OVF mode you get optical image plus frame lines (like leicas) with info..


      • El Aura

        Of course you can add frame lines, but the longer the lens gets the tinier your frame becomes. Most people consider the Leica M series viewfinder to be useable only for lenses between 28 and 75 mm (and at 75 mm adding an external magnifier is already recommended).

        And have a look a the actual physical size of the X100 and M9 viewfinders and compare them with an actual GF2 or EPL-2 body size. Add to this that most lenses for the M9 actually block part of the viewfinder.

        The three reasons why we will not have optical viewfinders for interchangeable m43 cameras are:
        1) Non-zooming ones show too small views for longer lenses
        2) Physical size of a decent optical viewfinder is simply to large, in particular if you added zooming viewfinders
        3) The cameras are not large enough to place the viewfinder at a sufficient distance from lens to avoid the lens from protruding into the view.

      • Godot

        Rangefinders have a limited number of frame lines for a handful of focal lengths within a fairly narrow range, and precisely zero zoom lenses. Lenses outside that narrow range come with their own viewfinders.

        How would frame lines work for an interchangeable lens system with everything from 7mm UWA and 8mm fisheye to 300 mm tele (so far), many of them zooms?

        And how is one static OVF going to allow you to frame everything from fisheye to super-tele?

        So now the OVF has to zoom, and it needs some kind of (electronic?) frameline system to accommodate a vast range of focal lengths.

        Even if all that is possible, it looks to me like a much bigger challenge than simply continuing to push EVF technology forward to the point that lag, blackout, etc. are non-issues. On the one hand you’re pursuing an established line of work, on the other reinventing the wheel in a way not guaranteed to succeed.

    • Vlad

      I think it is a pretty fair price. Check how much it will cost you to buy an EP-2 plus the Pana 20mm and an EVF. And to be fair we should even add an OVF.

  • Joey

    yeah, not sure why everyone is so excited by this, no DOF preview, longer focal lengths will have parallax error’s, agree with others, whats need are better EVF’s (through the VF-2 is pretty decent still room for improvement)

    • +1

    • Those parallax errors would occur not just on long focal lengths (typically 135mm+) but also on closeup shots.

      Probably explains why my Voigtlander M-Mount lens (and most Leica lenses as well) were designed to have a minimum focus distance of nearly 3 FEET, while my Voigtlander m43-mount lens can focus just 3 INCHES away.

    • +1

    • Igor

      First of all, the people like me are excited about the FujiFilm returning back on the market of the APS-C cameras. Some old-school photographers are excited about a “rangefinder”-like digital camera imitating the dials they used to have. Some serious photographers are excited to see a possible Second compact camera in their bag which doesn’t cost a fortune, as Leicas, and with more modern features (such as hybrid VF, auto-focus, etc.) I’ve just bought GF1 and I’ll wait till X200 ;-)

    • Jonathan

      It’s an EVF as well as an OVF so it does give DOF preview.

      Other than that, it displays the focus distance and an available depth of field diagram (for the actual lens settings) on the VF. This is something I haven’t seen any other camera do.

      As for parallax, since the frame lines are an LCD image projected on the OVF I see no reason why they could not be shifted (the camera knows the distance the lens is focused to). I didn’t see any reference to this on the website but they would be silly not to do it. You can always shift to the full EVF display so this is a moot point.

      This is a brilliant solution for a FIXED LENS camera. There is no way this can be done for m43, certainly not for use with adapted lenses that do not transmit focal length and focus distance information to the camera.

      • Zaph

        “This is a brilliant solution for a FIXED LENS camera. There is no way this can be done for m43, certainly not for use with adapted lenses that do not transmit focal length and focus distance information to the camera”

        “This is impossible”

        Pfft, I’ve already come up with an idea that could work internally for interchangeable lenses (at least for a few focal lengths optically – like for m43 you’d likely do 24 / 40 / 50 – for the 20mm, and the 12mm and 25mm on the way (you could add framelines to 24mm for the Pana 14mm, and framelines to 40mm for the Oly 17mm) . If I can come up with things like that I’m sure the Oly and Pana techs can too. But it’s unlikely that they will, because not enough people actually want one to warrant the $$$ to build one.

        • Jonathan

          Multiple frame lines as well as parallax correction have been available for many years on Leica M cameras, but those lenses are mechanically coupled. Those lenses were made in very specific FLs to match those frame lines or, unless they come with their own OVF (in which case, as far as I know, you lose range finder coupling. Even if you don’t you would use one VF for focusing, another for composing… brilliant).

          It wouldn’t work with m43 that are not mechanically (or electronically, in case of adapted lenses) coupled. If you have an idea that would work on m43 then chapeau, you’re wasting your talents on this site.

          I hope it works with zooms as well, because most of the lens offering is based on zooms and it will always be this way (check out the Oly 43 reflex lens lineup).

        • hd72

          Coming up with a solution that only works in a few instances, and even then not without its drawbacks? There is a simple answer to all this convolution, complexity, and confusion can be summed up in three little words:

          E. V. F.

          • Zaph

            Yes, EVF is the way to go (it’s 2011 after all), but it’s not “impossible” to have an optical viewfinder that works for multiple focal lengths. Search for “Universal turret” on Ebay and you’ll see one way of doing it.

    • jim

      While this is not a rangefinder camera, viewing through it will have the same effect as viewing through a rangefinder camera like the Leica M’s. Famed National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard explains the differences between seeing with a Single Lens Reflex and a rangefinder camera better than anything else I’ve come across:

      “With an SLR, you are looking at your subject through the optic; you are literally seeing what the picture is going to look like. You have a device that will show you your depth of field, the area that will or will not be in critical focus. This is particularly true for me, because I’m often shooting at the maximum aperture of the lens, the aperture you actually view through. This helps you see how areas of color are affected. It can tell you if that blue has a hard edge, or if it’s somewhat soft and blended into something else.”

      “When you look through a rangefinder, though, everything is sharp. The rangefinder window is by and large a focusing and framing device that lets you pick a part of the subject you want to be in critical focus. The only real way you can tell how the rest of the picture is going to look is by experience, or maybe a quick look at the depth-of-field scale on the lens itself. I think the rangefinder frees you up in a certain way. You are probably going to work a little looser in a structural sense, because everything is clean, clear and sharp. When I look through an SLR, I think I’m a little bit more aware of compositional elements, of the structure of the image. With a rangefinder camera, I’m seeing certain spatial relationships.”

      – Page 41 of “William Albert Allard The Photographic Essay.”

    • Vlad

      yeah, not sure why you don’t check your info before asking why everyone is so excited.

  • A grand for X100 makes perfect sense considering what fools shell out for Canon G12, the Lx5 and the Leica version of LX5…

    Good cameras aren’t cheap, for the most part.

    • admin


    • Gino

      $400 (LX5 price) is not that bad, advanced compacts always been in this price range. So far X100 is closer to exotic show off thing than to real world camera.

      • Vlad

        Whatever, dude. The cameras in the price range you are talking about don’t have anything that deserves to be called a VF and no APS-C sensors.

  • fixed prime lenses are fine … if this wasn’t going to be £1000 I’d have one. But for that money – you can get a great PEN kit (E-P1 + 14 + 17 + 20 for example)

    dig the idea of a rangefinder like this though – it could be a serious kick at the Leica!! (the few users, not the many polishers and cabinet fillers)

    • As I understood the concept, the X100 is going to have excellent optics and IQ and etc, in an exclusive package. This is a classical low volume, highly visible product – mostly visible in the commercials and advertisement.

      If IQ/etc would prove to be good, God knows, even I might be seduced by the package.

      http://www.finepix-x100.com/en/story/craftsmanship + http://www.finepix-x100.com/en/story/craftsmanship-2

      I’m slowly warming up for a compact camera, and if X100 wouldn’t blow it, then I might consider it on par with m43 (in which I primarily attracted to the pancakes).

    • Vlad

      dCap, it is unfair to compare to an old Olympus model. This way we can compare to some 10 year old camera and everything will look expensive. Try to compare to the E-P2 plus EVF plus OVF plus something like the Pana 20mm.

  • anti

    Intelligent AF with boobs detector @ 0:39 :)

    • admin


    • Tservo

      Awesome, it went back and forth between them. I guess those shirts saying that’s not where their eyes are, are all wrong :D.

    • This is what i call intelligent AF algorithms!

  • popeye

    x100 it’s look so cool, better sensor + EVF. even the lens is very good .. fujinon had some history in that . i thionk the price is more than right for all does stuff.. unfortunately everything came with fixed lens. i wait for someone to give us same kind of gear but with interchangeable lens.. ill hope that will came first from panasonic cos already have it one ( gf1 + 20mm + 7-14mm )

  • inteliboy

    wow, a non-m43 camera is posted here and gets completely rolled. surprise.

    This large sensor viewfinder-style camera with a hybrid viewfinder is exactly what many many photographers have been asking for (well, those who can’t afford leica…).

    I still shoot film, and the x100 is going to be my first digital camera (yes, I’ve been waiting this long for something like the x100 to crop up). That is unless, Pana/Oly hit the market with a rangefinder style camera in the next few months. In that case it’s going to be a large sensor vs interchangeable lens decision.

    • Henrik

      Only Admin knows what Oly has in store for ya ;D. Maybe his knowledge will decide the faith of the Fuji ;D.

    • tobi


      I’d prefer an interchangeable lens system, but if nothing is available (that means al least pre-order, Panasonic!) by the time I secured enough funds I’ll be of and I bet never sorry for it.


  • You know, in the 1800’s, the head of the US Patent office said that “everything that can be invented, has been invented”.

    I can’t help thinking that when people say “it can’t be done”, “it’ll never happen” and “it’s impossible”, some bright guy in a white coat proves them wrong.

    Usually sooner, rather than later.

    • Godot

      Even if something can be done, it doesn’t mean it should be done.

      Maybe a hybrid OVF/EVF for m43 is feasible, but is it really worth inventing if there’s no clear path to doing it and it requires a gigantic R&D effort? Let’s imagine tangentially related advances make it easy to do in, say, five years. But by then, it may well be that EVFs are so good that nobody will care.

      It reminds me of digital backs for film SLRs (e-film and such). Back when everybody wanted one, it was essentially impossible. It would probably be feasible today (though surely not “very easy”), but very few people would want one. Why bother when you can have a DSLR for $400, or use an m43 camera as a “digital back” for your collection of old lenses?

      • Mr. Reeee

        M4/3 as a digital back for old lenses.
        That’s Brilliant!

        I have a few older AI Nikon manual focus lenses that I’m dying to use. It’s too bad that M4/3 does the 2x thing, making my Nikkor 20mm f2.8 into a 40mm.

        I’ve resisted buying a DSLR simply because of the SIZE and weight of the damn things! Every time I go to B&H to check out the Nikon DSLRs I walk out laughing at them! M4/3 is just right, size-wise, weight-wise.

        Since all these digital cameras are electronic, why on earth hasn’t anyone had the vision and nerve to rethink the old camera form factor, even with interchangeable lenses? I still love (and occasionally use) my old Nikon CoolPix 4500 swivel body camera.

        • Godot

          I love the size of my old FE2, but when all’s said and done it’s a pretty heavy old hunk of metal. Still, I prefer the *shape* of it over modern DSLRs, and oddly enough the GF1 comes surprisingly close to matching it, despite lacking the prism hump.

          Crop factor is an annoyance, to be sure. As you imply, a legacy wide-angle is essentially pointless on m43.

          There have been lots of experiments with form factor; just look what was going on with digital cameras around the same time as your 4500 was new. Either they didn’t really add anything, or people resisted them out of inertia, I really don’t know… maybe a bit of both, depending on the experiment.

  • Nathan

    No interest in rangefinders. Rangefinders are nearly useless for macro, nearly useless for telephoto. The only place they’ve ever been good is street and travel photos. Leica may have fans for their M series, but the range of focal lengths their users equip range from about 28 to 80mm total.

    Anything longer is impossible to frame, anything shorter is similarly impossible.

    The range of distances also ranges from about 3 feet up. It’s a snapshot machine with all the flexibility of a disposable camera.

    I have a few rangefinders, they work fine for vacation. They are not photography tools, though.

    An OVF on an SLR with a hybrid viewfinder, though? Count me in if anyone ever builds THAT.

    • Vlad

      I beg to differ. I really do not see what’s your definition for a photography tool. Not to mention you contradict yourself:
      “they are not photography tools”
      “the only place they’ve ever been good is street and travel photos.”
      Not to mention the “place” you are talking about is in fact huge.

  • PF

    This is impressive and innovative tech — can’t wait to try it out.

  • Joey

    just to clarify i do see the appeal of x100, and may end up getting one as a digital alternative to my M3, maybe i’m missing something, but don’t see how the hybrid OVF is such a game changer?

    • Vlad

      It’s not a game changer. But it is two tools in the same package. Another appeal that many around me see (me included) are analog controls.

  • Mojojones

    The clarity of an optical viewfinder with the customizable information of an EVF! Despite the fact that it was just a handheld shot thru the viewfinder, I was actually wowed by the video. It’s bright, with fast shifting information display. Pretty darn impressive in my book. And of course a variable focal length OVF can be done. I’ve got two of them sitting right here: Contax G2s. they even works with a zoom (stepped, of course). I must say though, a “sweet spot” 35mm with optimized IQ on nicely styled body that has real photographic controls were you expect to find them (not buried in a menu) is all I need.

  • Levent


    The manual focus scale and built In depth of field calculator has been a feature of the Ricoh cameras (GRD1, GRD2, GRD3 & GXR) for a few years now.

    Due to the excellent manual control UI , I will probably get this Fuji to use along with my Ricoh which also has a great UI

    • Jonathan

      Thanks Levent, I didn’t know that.

  • Max

    EVF is fine. RIP optical viewfinders.

  • Mark

    Looks nice. This might well replace my GF1 + 20mm.

  • grzybu

    Well, even my old Canon A60 was able to zoom optical view finder, so it should be possible to do similar with m4/3. Of course in limited range, but should be fine for range i.e. 14-50 and that’s most popular range for small form cameras. For wide and tele lens you can always switch to EVF.
    It could be nice to have such solution especially if viewfinder will be able to show bit more than 100% of frame with nice frame displayed to show what real frame is.
    But it means that camera have to be bit bigger like X100 is.

    • Godot

      I’ve seen the zooming viewfinders in little Canon P&S cameras… yes, they’re kinda neat but the parallax error is extreme (the framing gives new meaning to the word “approximate”), and right now M43 EVFs are already better than a little tunnel that shows zero settings or focus info.

      All in all, great for a camera with a permanently mounted zoom lens, and it’s too bad so few P&S models have them now… but IMHO it would be of questionable value on an interchangeable lens camera that uses an already very good EVF. (Though it’s no surprise that even those tiny OVFs are disappearing… a few years ago I bought my spouse a little Canon because the OVF was a key feature for her. Yet in practice she found the LCD did the job and hardly ever used the OVF, and I strongly suspect the experience was not uncommon, manufacturers noticed, and decided to work on improving their LCDs rather than pursuing the OVF.)

      On the whole, my sense is that those who want a hybrid EVF/OVF on an interchangeable lens camera may get their wish, but it will probably mean buying a camera with a mirror and prism, because the mirror and prism is still the most elegant solution to the problem of accommodating a vast range of lens options in a single OVF. Maybe a Sony? The A55 seems halfway there, using as it does both a mirror and an EVF.

  • Rob

    Personally I’m excited about the design of this camera. Anyone who ever used a Leica, Contax or Ricoh, or any decent rangefinder, knows design can have tangible benefits and help integrate man with tool and free you creatively. I’m buying one.

  • Rob

    Put another way…I don’t need something better than my DSLR, I want something different and inspirational. I don’t think this will be a big seller. I think it will be a niche success and the price will remain fairly stable and drop less than 25% over the first 2 years.

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