Singapore is one of the first countries in the world to launch the Fujifilm X100 for sale (at S$1699). And I have the privilege of testing one myself, thanks to a friend who went to buy it at the IT Show (reportedly sold out within 2 hours).
Shot on the X100 newspaper advert
This is what I gather from the quick 15 minute hands-on.
It's got the retro look and feel. The workmanship is excellent. It's built with a conventional photographer in mind, and certainly not for a modern techie.
The camera start-up and shutdown speed is rather slow. The AF is also not speedy. However, it delivers fast 5 frame-per-second rapidly fired with silent shutter curtain similar to compact cameras. The post-shot review speed is also very speedy.
The fix-focal length 23mm lens f2.0 exhibits extreme softness at close-up, as you can see in the sample below. Increasing to f4.0 reduces the softness. This softness does not show when shooting normal-distance images.
The electronic viewfinder resolution is excellent, certainly one of the better ones I've seen. The optical viewfinder is also generously large and bright.
I like the feature where I can switch the X100 into silent mode by holding the "Display" button. In silent mode, the flash is also disabled, along with all the operation sounds.
The lens cap is premium-built metal finish with velvet lining inside the cap to protect the lens.
I find that the aperture ring is too close to the body and so it's hard for me to adjust easily. The focus ring requires huge turning radius to adjust manual focus.
Putting aside all the technical limitations, I would love to get the X100 just to be seen using it, if I had spare cash. Otherwise, most of my existing cameras could do a better job in capturing images.