Three years ago, two Fujifilm digital compacts, the X-100 and X10 sparked a new trend in cameras by melding classic, long-retired design with new technology. Among the innovations on the X100: a combination LCD-Optical viewfinder, which gave you both a taste of the old glass-and-film rangefinder world and the conveniences of digital. With the x20, in 2012, the smaller one put that taste of LCD in your eye, too.
In recent years, electronic viewfinders have become so good that their optical predecessors are unnecessary in all but very specialised cases, and Fujifilm cameras have largely been evolving away from optical at the top of the line. But the inevitable transition has never been more evident than with the X30, the latest iteration of the smaller, more affordable of the two originals. Today it graduates to a 2.6 million-dot OLED EVF, matching the resolution found on cameras like the Sony A7, which cost significantly more.
Additionally, the X30's tilting, 920,000-dot 3-inch LCD is larger, and twice the resolution of the X20's fixed screen. That's sharp enough that even snobby shooters might use the viewfinder less and less anyway.
Fujifilm has kept the key guts from the 2012 X20 unchanged. It has a 12-megapixel 2/3-inch X-TRANS CMOS 2 sensor, with some of the fastest autofocus in the world, plus the same 28-112mm (35mm equivalent, 4x magnification) f/2.0-2.8 lens.
Maybe the bigger story here is that after nearly two years, Fujifilm hasn't really tweaked its key imaging tech—not at the bottom of the line anyway. After this announcement, the most exciting compact cameras out there remains Sony's RX100 line, with their 1-inch backside-illuminated sensors that yield glorious results. It's not retro—it's just awesome.
The X20 will be available from September for £479. My how far we've come.