Fujifilm announces pricing, availability for expensive X100

Is a large sensor, fast fixed prime lens, sophisticated (but not through-the-lens) viewfinder and retro design worth $1,200? Fujifilm's hoping you answer that with a big "yes."

The Fujifilm FinePix X100 isn't news. In fact, it's been "trade showed," previewed, twittered, and generally overexposed (if you'll pardon the expression) for months now. And yet, until today, we haven't had U.S. pricing or availability for it. The wait is over: it'll be available in March, and you'll be shelling out $1,195.95 for it. Yup, $1,200.

The irony of this post is that despite Fujifilm's buzz-generation machine, I haven't yet actually covered the camera, save the photos from CES linked here. So I'll rectify that right now.

From a market standpoint, the X100 is a bit of an oddball. In spirit, it seems closest to the Leica X1, another expensive rangefinder-style compact using an APS-C-size sensor. But the X1, while it doesn't seem to be officially discontinued, is out of stock at a lot of outlets and no replacement has been announced. I don't know whether that's a commentary on the X1's $2,000 price tag or the size of the market for a product like this.

I do think the potential X100 user may also overlap with those attracted to less expensive cameras like the Olympus E-P2 or Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2: they're rangefinderish-style cameras with a relatively large sensor that you can slap a nice prime lens on.

For reference, here are some specs on the cameras:

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