Fujifilm's FinePix X100 ships March 2011 for $1,000, we go hands-on (update: video!)

It's fitting that Fujifilm's thoroughly gorgeous FinePix X100 kicked off this week's flood of Photokina releases, and now we've learned a few more precious details from the outfit's press conference. For starters, it'll be a non-zoom apparatus, much like Olympus' Zuiko-equipped concept that was also launched here in Köln. Fujifilm's Adrian Clarke noted that the decision to include only a 23mm f/2 fixed lens was made in order to not make image quality compromises that are necessary when allowing for a zoom. We're sure that'll strike some as displeasing, but those who aren't afraid of moving forward and back could probably care less. Furthermore, he affirmed that the company was aiming for a March 2011 ship date, with a retail price to hit near the $1,000 mark. That's hardly affordable, but Fuji's making no bones about this being a decidedly high-end piece.

After the presser, we were able to score some hands-on time with a pre-production model, and we have to say, this thing just feels like a thousand bucks. It's as solid as a stone, though light packers won't appreciate just how heavy it is. Regardless, the body exudes quality, and the grip was as comfortable as ever. Sadly, no fully functional units are present here at Photokina, but we're cautiously optimistic that we'll see one at CES. It's doubtful that Fuji will sell oodles of these given the limitations and price, but to the niche that's interested, things are looking up.

Update: We just stopped by the Fujifilm booth in order to grab some video time with this guy, and sadly, the model that they had on display lacked a sensor of any kind. However, the dedicated toggle switch to flip between the OVF and EVF is a lovely touch, as were the dedicated control dials up top. Have a look yourself just beyond the break. %Gallery-102872% %Gallery-102874%

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