Fujifilm Finepix X100 Next to the Leica M3

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Fujifilm’s Finepix X100 and the classic Leica M3. Needless to say, the X100 is one classy looking digital camera. It just started shipping this past weekend in Japan, and should begin arriving elsewhere in the very near future. If you want a closer look at the camera’s features, check out the 124 page owners manual that recently found its way online.

There’s also a neat promotional video that gives a brief rundown of the camera:

Be warned though — stare too much at this camera and you might be compelled to shell out the $1,200 it costs to own it.

Update: Here’s another comparison from a top-view:

(via 43rumors)

Image credit: Leica M3 versus Finepix X100 and X100 versus M3 top plates by Nokton

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand why I am the only one who is upset about this design plagiarism.

  • Matt

    Well Leica wasn’t doing anything exactly cool with it. Just glad someone took advantage of it.

  • Tyson Call

    What do you mean? They make the M9, M7, and MP cameras. This is a blatant rip-off.

    Steinbeck isn’t doing anything with his stories, doesn’t mean that I should copy them.

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  • sbfw

    Have we all forgotten that Leica wasn’t the only company that made rangefinders that look like this? Canon, Nikon, Konica, Minolta and Fujica (Fujifilm), just to name a few. It actually looks a lot like the Fujica GW690 except for the silver on the top and bottom.

  • Dominick Delli Paoli

    get over it already – Fujifilm should be commended for bringing this to us! Quite possibly the best thing to happen to Digital Photography since the D3

  • Tyson Call

    So your argument is that because Canon, Nikon and Konica copied Leica in the past it is okay today?

  • Tyson Call

    Why would a fixed-lens fashion accessory be the best thing to happen to photography since the D3? I’m not trolling. I really just hold a contrary opinion. Care to explain?

    This camera is for people who like the romance of shooting film but are to lazy to actually do it. They want to look like they do.

  • ernie

    Good artists copy , Great Artists steal. I for one am waiting for just such a camera. Years ago they did a study to find out what focal length was used by Zoom Photographers – right around 35 mm was where most of the photographs were taken.

  • Alen

    I feel like I’m in the Lexus commercial. Claiming BMW copied their style, when in fact it’s the other way around. I say, who cares, they all copy each other and make money, you go online and complain. What’s it to you? And since when can someone copyright a look of something. Maybe coke should sue pepsi for stealing their can shape. Come on man. It’s a great step for photography. Great for Fuji.

  • Dominick Delli Paoli

    Its not fashion – did you care to read the website about the tech specs? Its everything the Leica X1 is but better.

    Your 100% right about the romance aspect, and I applaud them for being so bold to create this. Fujifilm has been around for a while – this is not some fly by night company. I think you have a negative view on the world. Who cares what other people do – I do appreciate your point about people “posing” but in this case its convenience that trumps nostalgia.

  • foobar

    It has metal dials and the top and bottom are silver, so it *has* to be a design rip-off. That feels a bit like calling every car a rip-off that isn’t a mercedes benz.

    Come on, a few decades ago thousands of cameras looked like that and I’m glad that something as classy as this has finally come to the digital age without costing $9k like a Leica M9.

  • br

    I agree these cameras are beautiful, and I would love to own one.

    but I can’t figure out why they cost so much. the overall design is a throwback to the way so many cameras were made.. but now they cost so much more? don’t get it.

  • Tyson Call

    You shouldn’t speak about things you know nothing about.

    It is not the other way around.
    Leica was the original, others were imitators.

    Yes, you can copyright the way something looks.

  • Tyson Call

    The reason that thousands of cameras looked like that is because they were copying Leica’s M series.

  • Tyson Call

    True. But a lens does not have to be permanently affixed to be 35mm.

    You do most of your driving at 65mph, but you wouldn’t buy a car that only goes one speed would you?

  • Tyson Call

    The X1 is a failure. It is slow to operate, is overpriced, and lacks a real viewfinder. A more accurate comparison would be the Panasonic LX5 or Micro 4/3rds cameras, all of which are cheaper and offer interchangeable lenses and equal performance.

  • sbfw

    These cameras might be copying the Leica, but Leica does not have a patent on the design. Why? Blame the US and WWII for that one. At the end of the war, German patents were made public, so any patents Leica had were gone and copies were allowed. So, while a “copy”, it is not illegal. If it was, Leica would defend its patent. So, what is your point? True you can patent the look of something (the Coke bottle) but when such a patent doesn’t exists, does it really matter? The real question is, does this “copy” do harm to Leica? Probably not. Besides, at the time all the copies were made the body wasn’t as important as it is now.

  • bob cooley

    There are MANY cameras throughout history that have this basic design from a number of major manufactures.

    Take a look at the Nikon S2 (rangefinder), the Canon Canonet, etc etc. This was how most rangefinder cameras looked in the 50s and 60s (they had similar functional design in the 30s/40s – but the styling of the Fuji here is definitely with models from the late 50s to 60s)

    Leica continued their line, most other manufacturers moved on to producing SLRs. So this is actually just retro-styling, not an ape on the Leica.

    With most devices this complex, form follows function to a large degree.

    And it is very very sexy from a design standpoint.

  • Tyson Call

    I have and use many of the old cameras you are talking about. They were copying Leica’s M series which was even more popular than it is today.

    It is like a new band is around who all wears their hair in shaggy mops, and they all wear suits, boots and skinny ties. I say they rip of the Beatles style and you tell me there were lots of bands doing that like the Monkees.

    It would be one thing if you said that it was fine that that they ripped them off. But to flat out deny it is an entirely different thing.

  • Tyson Call

    I never said it was illegal. I implied it was lazy and cowardly to rely on another brand’s iconic trade dress. There won’t be a lawsuit. But I can avoid buying the product to encourage them to not be lazy. I love Fuji’s slide film. But here, they have disappointed by trying to snatch up all the people who want M cameras by underselling Leica.

    “Here, buy this, it looks like the thing you want!”

  • David

    Still would rather have the M3….but thats just me.

  • bob cooley

    Clearly you are a Leica fan, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They have nice optics and are fun to play with.

    But if you look at the history of the camera companies, they were all leapfrogging each other in design and technology just like they are today in the SLR market.

    Leitz came up with the first Leica 35mm rangefinder (which doesn’t look anything like any of these designs beyond the basic functionality). Then Zeiss/Contax Developed a more advanced rangefinder, then Leica came up with a nicer design with more functionality, then Zeiss, then Nikon joined the fray in the 40s and they all continued pushing ea other after that. This basic style of camera has been around since the 30s when Leitz and Zeiss were both building these style cameras.

    Contax developed the first pentaprism SLR in 1948 (the Contax S), and every film camera has looked the same pretty much since. I wouldn’t say that everyone else was egregious in ‘ripping them off’ – Its a matter of function driving design.

    And the competition to innovate and create more advanced functionality between the companies was (is) extremely important to keep the technology moving forward. Creating new designs is far less important, as the camera is just an imaging tool; what it sees is far more important than what it looks like.

    There are far more important things in the photography world (and real world) than this.

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  • H J Kobayashi

    It looks terrible! Am I alone in thinking this? Retro-chic rubbish. If it takes a good picture then its a nice piece of kit, but who needs the vintage styling?

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  • David

    Have you tried a leica x1? One word:Sharp

  • Will Lamond

    I want a digital rangefinder as I like the pictures I get from my film rangefinderes, the same feel is missing from my 7D – maybe thats a film/digital thing, who knows? I find the Leica cameras far too overpriced for what they achieve (in other words I can’t justify the outlay on my budget) – this is the only current alternative. I like it from a design point of view but can only form a real opinion once I get my hands on one – see what the images it takes look like. Until then anything else is just conjecture and biased bollocks.

  • Cristofa

    … no, you are not alone, but we do appear to be in a small minority!! This is 2011 for goodness sake – this is a digital camera – this could have been an exciting modern design – instead it looks like something you’d find at the bottom of a cardboard box in a yard sale.

  • Khalil Mitchell

    Think about it.. some retro looking camera with staggering technology within. This is James Bond type material.

    It would have been more so had it encompassed a zoom. Still, things like the auto focus selection grid bear a similarity with high end DSLR’s like the EOS 5D Mk2 (though you probably would only need such a focus system when using a tripod).

    I feel spontaneity is one of the most neglected aspects of modern photography. Having a portable, quality camera at hand to capture shots at any time. Mobile phone photography exemplifies spontaneity, but has no quality. Most modern quality cameras are DSLR and require a procedure before shooting (the willingness to carry it around, the taking out of the bag etc) so the decision to shoot often precludes the shot itself.

    For the type of lens required for spontaneous shots, 35mm serves the purpose. The interchangeable lens micro four thirds cameras more often than not never have their lenses changed by the owner, and when changed (depending on the lens changed to) the camera is certainly not portable.

    For portable spontaneity, the quality of this camera seems to out do the likes of the Olympus Pen and the NEX 5 (with the pancake, it’s only truly portable lens).

    The cost is the only issue. It has probably only been bumped up to over a £1000 to indicate to the buyer that it is a quality product. £800-£900 would have induced the same mind-set.

  • Ronan

    Because Leica doesn’t have a patent on their design. Mostly because other manufacturers have had that design out before Leica.

    Oh and Leica is overpriced, just like that x100.

  • pl capeli

    WOW READING over these comments about the x 100 from the perspective of someone who bought one a month ago i…its now october here in nyc the air has changed and the days become shorter…. i am never without  my  x 100.. its white balance.. iso perf over iso 800.. its fill flash color contrast color accuracy sharpness and detailed files are in a word incredible , to all of you back in april who judged a book by it cover

    dont you feel foollish ? one should hide ones fanboyism , it isnt a becoming attribute 
    leica is looking more and more like a botique dinosaur catering to camera jewelry wearers , and fuji is looking like a manufacturerthat can make a picturetaking machine of high quality…….it can even write filles to an sd card withoout exploding , [takethat leica fanboys !] cheers all

    when fuji makes an interchangable lens x100 type camera all bets are off and the camera world will change for the better

    if i sound like a fuji fanboy , i am….i became one about a week after i got my x100  

  • Divad

    Have you seen crappy photos from a Leica that are sharp? One word :Horrible.

  • Luca Formenton

    X 100 is great!

  • ChiILLeica

    Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. No one can ever improve on the M3. It was and is the greatest camera ever made. I have an M2 and I bought my girlfriend an M3. My god. It’s a whole different photographic experience. Plus, migrating from digital to film was the greatest thing I ever did. I love developing and printing myself.

    I love my X1 and would buy it over the X100, but the X100 has some clear advantages for many people and I can understand why they would choose it over the X1. The X100 IMO is a better camera than the X1, but the X1’s pictures have a definite edge (and I’ve looked at a thousand comparisons), and the menu system of the X1 is perfect simplicity. 

    The X100’s viewfinder is so innovative, exciting, and an absolute joy to use. That’s its best asset. The only viewfinder better than the X100’s is the M3’s. Besides that, the shutter sound (or lack thereof) is superb. It also has considerably better build quality than the X1 actually. I’m disappointed in the X1 there. I’ve sent mine in a few times for repair. 

    Major props to Fuji for the camera and I think they are nodding to Leica with the X100 name. In many ways, they are making the camera the X1 could have been. Leica cannot make the X100 because they don’t want to. They don’t want video. They don’t want the hybrid viewfinder. That’s fine. Fuji did. Now Fuji should make a full frame digital rangefinder too.

    We should all remember that Fuji and Leica used to have a nice partnership, similar to Leica and Minolta (CL/CLE) and the contemporary one with Panasonic.