Fujifilm North America, a US-based subsidiary of Fujifilm Corp, announced Jan 9, 2012 (US time), that it will enter the market for mirrorless cameras.
Also, Fujifilm North America introduced the "Fujifilm X-Pro1" mirrorless camera at a press conference that took place prior to the 2012 International CES, which runs from Jan 10 to 13, 2012.
The company will release the mirrorless camera in the US in February 2012 and in other parts of the world including Japan in late February 2012 or later. The camera will be priced at about US$1,700. And the prices of the three interchangeable lenses that were announced this time will be about US$650 each.
Eliminating lowpass filter
Fujifilm suggested commercialization of a mirrorless camera at a press conference that it organized in October 2011 for introducing the "X10" high-end compact camera. The X-Pro1 will be launched as the "X series," which includes popular "X100" and X10 released in March 2011.
The X-Pro1 is the first lens-interchangeable digital camera in the X series. And the standard employed for its interchangeable lenses is the "X mount," which was developed by Fujifilm. Its flange focal distance is as short as 17.7mm.
The X-Pro1 comes with the "X-Trans CMOS," an APS-C-size CMOS image sensor. Its pixel count is 16.3 million. It does not have a lowpass filter, which lowers resolution.
"We realized a resolution equivalent to that of a single-lens reflex camera equipped with a 35mm full-size image sensor," said Masatake Matsumoto, general manager of Fujifilm's Electronic Imaging Products Division.
In general, image sensors have a Bayer color filter, which reproduces each color with four (2 x 2) pixels. But the X-Trans CMOS uses 6 x 6 pixels to prevent the generation of moire and pseudo color and eliminate the need for lowpass filter.
Also, the company realized a high-speed image processor by using the newly-developed "EXR Processor Pro."
3 single focus lenses to be released at first
As in the case of the X100, the X-Pro1 has a "hybrid finder." But it is equipped with the "Hybrid Multi Viewfinder," which supports multiple angles of view, unlike the X100, which has a single focus lens. The magnification ratio of the Hybrid Multi Viewfinder's optical system automatically changes in accordance with a lens to be mounted: 0.37 for wide angle and 0.6 for normal angle.
In addition, the angle of view is displayed on the LCD panel inside the finder. The size and pixel count of the LCD panel are 0.47 inches and 1.44 million, respectively.
Fujifilm developed three interchangeable lenses as "Fujinon XF Lens" for the X-Pro1. They are "XF 18mmF2 R", "XF 35mmF1.4 R" and "XF 60mmF2.4 R Macro." Also, the company plans to release a super-wide-angle lens and a zoom lens within 2012 and a high-end single focus lens and another zoom lens in 2013.