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Fujifilm X100 verdict: The next one should be great

If you have the bucks and you want the best photo quality possible, the Fujifilm FinePix X100 delivers. But definitely try before you buy to make sure the focusing systems won't make you crazy.

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From a market standpoint, the pricey Fujifilm FinePix X100 is a bit of an oddball. Though we traditionally call models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 or Canon PowerShot G12 "large sensor" compacts, their CCDs are relatively tiny compared to the APS-C-size CMOS in the X100. ILCs like the Sony Alpha NEX or Samsung NX series have APS-C sensors, but they're higher resolution with smaller photosites. The X100 also sports a prime lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length, while the less expensive, more mainstream-focused compact models incorporate zoom lenses; no matter how short the zoom range, a prime will usually deliver superior sharpness and clarity. But you can stick a nice prime on those ILCs as well.

So what does the X100 deliver? Stellar photo quality and disappointing performance in a tanklike semicompact body with a cool but frequently frustrating operational design, all for a high--but circumstantially justifiable--price.

Read the full review.