Retro Revolution


The hybrid rangefinder camera is an invention of Fujifilm, first introduced with the revolutionary X100 camera. The styling of the camera is 100% vintage, but these cameras represent cutting-edge technology. It’s a brilliant fusion of optical and electronic viewfinder (EVF). The cameras feature an optical viewfinder that has electronic shooting information overlaid on it, including traditional-looking "bright lines" that outline how much of the frame is captured. A flip of a switch turns on the EVF, allowing you to see exactly what the sensor sees with the addition of the shooting info.

Fujifilm X-Pro1

Currently, the hybrid market consists of only two cameras, the Fujifilm X100S and X-Pro1. The main difference between these cameras is that the X100S is a fixed-lens camera, while the X-Pro1 is an interchangeable-lens camera that can be used with Fujifilm’s X-series lenses.


Sony recently broke new ground by adding full-frame sensors to relatively small mirrorless cameras. The newest cameras to Sony’s arsenal are the a7 and a7R. On the outside, the a7 and a7R have the same retro look, but on the inside the differences lie. The a7R features a 36-megapixel sensor, no low-pass filter and contrast-detect autofocus; the a7 sports a 24-megapixel sensor with a low-pass filter.

Sony a7

Fujifilm’s newest camera, the X-E2, is an update to the highly regarded X-E1, which is basically the X-Pro1 without the hybrid finder. The X-E2 takes the form factor of the X-Pro1 and adds some of the X100 technological advances such as on-sensor phase-detection AF for faster, more accurate focusing. The X-E2 also takes Fujifilm’s line of X-mount lenses, as well as just about any other type of lenses with adapters. The little sister to the X-E2 is the X-M1, which omits the viewfinder and adds a tilt-screen LCD for composition. Fujifilm’s newest camera, the X-T1, is closer in form to a DSLR than a rangefinder, but retains the the features of the XE-2 with a larger centralized EVF and a few different dials and knobs for quick access to exposure settings. It’s also weather sealed — a first for any of the Fuji X cameras.

The Olympus PEN E-P5 has a vintage rangefinder look that borrows from the styling of Olympus PEN F 35mm cameras produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but has thoroughly modern features like built-in Wi-Fi. There’s no built-in viewfinder, but an optional EVF can be mounted to the hot-shoe.

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