This weblog column may be a little hard to write as I am chortling and it affects my ability to type.
The reason for the glee is that I have my hands on a bran-new fresh sample of the Fujifilm X-100F camera and two days in which to wring it out. I am like a P - Plater with his first Bugatti Veyron.
Okay, I have to hand it back but I am going to find out if it is a worthy successor to the Fujifilm X-100 camera I already own. This isn't just idle gear-fiddling - if it is a substantial improvement it is going to cost me money later down the track. If I drop it in the mud it is going to cost me right now...
Okay, the physicalities first - Let's turn the camera right around.:
It is very much the shape of the X100, but with the difference that there is a smidgen more depth to the body - It is accommodating an NP-W126S battery rather than the old NP-95 of the X100. You get a wider grip at the right hand side. Here's the batteries - the NP-W126s has the orange dot.
There are subtle body changes everywhere but the sum of them is to make you think you are handling the predecessors - they have been careful with that. You also get the same lens that you had before, but it is matched to a new sensor and processor and now delivers 24 mega pixels vs the 16 of the X100S and X 100T. My X-100 runs at half that number, so there is a big difference right away.
The LCD screen at the back is larger - and has led to an emphasis upon the RHS for the controls.
You get an external microphone port in the cable locker of the new X100F - the old X100 compels you to fire the shutter with a mechanical release. Electric ones are easier.
The scroll wheel around the multi-control button is long gone, and the buttons have a better feel. The real advance is the joystick at the top of the button tree - it lets you steer the AF points about the screen or viewfinder with great ease. An advantage over the previous cameras. The rear thumb wheel has replaced the jog button. It can be used to do a variety of tasks.
The LHS panel with the focus selector is VASTLY improved. Note how you now slide from Manual focus to Single auto-focus at the two limits of the switch...rather than fumbling in the dark trying to find a centre position detent. The continuous auto-focus is less used and it deserves the central spot.
There's the cleaned-up LHS at the back. All the buttons shifted right and the screen grown out to fill the space. The wishers who wanted Fujifilm to articulate the screen in this design were disappointed, but I think that the smoothness of the back and the fact that there is nothing to a catch and break makes up for it. You get a bit more eye-clearance looking into the viewfinder if you are wearing spectacles.
Tune in tomorrow when we move round the front of the camera and see what new bits have been added.