Fujifilm adds another compact to its X series of "pro" cameras, the smallest-in-the-line XF1. Targeting photographers who want something stylish and small but full-featured and with presumably higher quality than a typical point-and-shoot, the XF1/X10 dichotomy seems to mimic Canon's strategy with the PowerShot S95/S100 and the G series.
It incorporates the same sensor as the X10 and has several feature advantages, including a larger LCD, faster burst shooting, and longer battery life but it lacks an optical viewfinder -- typical for the more compact enthusiast models -- and the lens isn't nearly as nice. While it starts off a third of a stop faster and a little wider angle, the X10's lens has a wider aperture throughout much of its focal range. Plus the X10 has a seven-bladed aperture compared to the XF1's six blades. Fujifilm does say it uses a new HT-EBC (High-Transmittance Electron Beam Coating) on lens surfaces, but for what it's worth, the X10 uses a Super EBC.
Wrapped in snazzy faux leather over an aluminum body, the XF1 has a similar twist-to-turn-on lens as the X10, but Fujifilm has ostensibly improved its operation so that you can leave the lens extended but still in standby. It has a new user interface that allows you to quickly map the functions of the six buttons on the back of the camera, and the jog dial on the back will allow you to quickly adjust both shutter and aperture without switching modes.
I hope the XF1's successor will have a faster lens; that really looks like it'll be the weakest aspect of the camera, which otherwise has decent specs -- and looks pretty and pocketable for the crowd who doesn't care about a viewfinder. I'd much rather have f2.8 and be able to shoot at ISO 3200 than be forced to bump to ISO 12800, which is likely even less unusable. The lens operation is similar to the X10, which I'm not a huge fan of but lots of people don't mind.
A lot of the camera's attraction will depend on how good and consistent the photo quality is; if it can produce nice shots despite the lens, then it will likely be pretty compelling.
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