Fujifilm’s new X100T premium compact camera makes manual focusing a breeze

fujifilms new x100t premium compact camera makes manual focusing breeze 01
Fujifilm created quite a stir when it first introduced its X100 premium compact camera at Photokina 2010, almost exactly four years ago. Now, just ahead of Photokina 2014, Fujifilm is releasing another premium successor, the X100T.

While the X100 wasn’t the first-ever fixed-lens camera to use a large imaging sensor, it was unique in two ways. First of all, the original X100 started a series of premium cameras in Fuji’s X-series that’s become immensely popular not only for their gorgeous retro looks, but also for their innovative technology. Eventually, the X-series also spawned the introduction of a new line of mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses that now consists of several models including the original X-Pro 1 and X-E1, as well as the recent X-T1 which is aimed at professionals and “prosumers.”

Secondly, what sets the X100 apart from other digital cameas was its hybrid viewfinder that combine both an optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder. This technology eventually made its way into the X-Pro 1 interchangeable-lens model, but hasn’t found widespread application with other manufacturers so far.

Related: Fujifilm X30 unveiled with electronic viewfinder, improved battery life, and more

The X100 was eventually replaced by the slightly more refined X100S – a DT Editors’ Choice camera that we simply love – in early 2013, and now Fujifilm has announced the third model in the series, the X100T. Just as the changes in outward appearance from the X100 to the X100S were subtle, the X100T hardly gives away that it’s an entirely new model, were it not for the slightly refined button layout and slightly larger display (now measuring 3 inches) on its back as well as the ‘T’ label on its front.

The rear sports a new, larger 3" display and slightly refinded button layout.
The rear has a new, larger 3-inch display and slightly refined button layout.

The real changes, once again, lie underneath. The most notable feature of the X100T is its reworked hybrid viewfinder, which claims to make manual focusing even easier than before. Besides the switchable optical/electronic view, the X100T’s viewfinder also supports what Fujifilm calls an “electronic rangefinder.” In reality, the feature is far from being a true rangefinder view (which shows overlapping images that need to be aligned, to achieve proper focus) but rather an electronic insert into the optical view that facilitates critical focusing on a specific point in the image.

The 'electronic rangefinder' displays an electronic focusing aid into the optical viewfinder.
The “electronic rangefinder” displays an electronic focusing aid into the optical viewfinder.

In addition to this new focusing method, the X100T now offers live parallax correction during focusing, by shifting the (electronically displayed) image frame-lines in the optical viewfinder mode according to the focusing distance. This way, the X100T prevents the final image to show a hugely different crop than what the user was seeing through the viewfinder when composing the image, which usually happens at close focusing distances due to the viewfinder and lens being offset vertically and horizontally from each other.

Live parallax compensations makes sure the final image shows the same frame as the viewfinder.
Live parallax compensations makes sure the final image shows the same frame as the viewfinder.

Another change to the X100T’s viewfinder concerns the resolution of its electronic viewfinder, which is now just over 1 million pixels, providing a more detailed preview image. Apart from that, the manual aperture ring that surrounds the lens now supports setting the aperture in 1/3 stop intervals, which should give professionals and enthusiasts more control over the exposure, as well as depth-of-field.

The main changes have been made to the viewfinder and the aperture ring.
The main changes have been made to the viewfinder and the aperture ring.

A new electronic shutter mode in the X100T now supports shutter speeds as fast as 1/32,000 of a second, which allows the user to take pictures at the widest aperture setting of f/2 even under very bright light. The lens itself is the same 23mm f/2 model that has proven itself in the X100 and X100S; this is a fixed-focus prime lens, so there’s no zoom abilities other than you physically moving close to a subject or object. The sensor also remains a 16-megapixel APS-C chip with Fujifilm’s proprietary X-Trans II color filter layout that was already used in the X100S.

As most current camera models do, the X100T supports Full HD movie recording at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24 frames per second. Unlike most other cameras, though, the X100T allows the use of the optical viewfinder during video shooting. Wi-Fi is also integrated into the camera, so you can use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control and send pictures wirelessly to other devices.

The Fujifilm X100T will be available in a choice of silver and black color in mid-November 2014 for $1,300.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras have quickly become the preferred interchangeable lens camera for many photographers, both beginners and professionals. Today's models offer great performance and loads of features -- here are our favorites.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.

Light on price but rich on features, these are the best cameras for students

Need pro-level features on a budget? The best cameras for students mix advanced features with a more palatable price point. From $2K entry level full frame cameras to $600 budget picks, here are five of the best cameras for students.

Earn more likes on your photos with the best cameras for Instagram

Looking to snap better Instagrams? Instagram doesn't demand high-resolution files, but upgrading your camera can deliver better bokeh and low-light quality. Here our the best cameras for Instagram.

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.

These are the best action cameras money can buy, from GoPro to Garmin and more

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.

Wet or dry, these rugged waterproof cameras capture your every adventure

Rugged cameras are designed to withstand nature's elements. These waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof shooters can go wherever you take them, making them the perfect travel companions.

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…

When you're ready to shoot seriously, these are the best DSLRs you can buy

For many photographers the DSLR is the go-to camera. With large selection of lenses, great low-light performance, and battery endurance, these DSLRs deliver terrific image quality for stills and videos.

Selfie-taking millennials told to stop trampling about in Dutch tulip fields

Enthusiastic selfie snappers have been causing damage to fields of tulips in the Netherlands, with local growers complaining of travelers trampling over the flowers in search of the best shot.