Further evolving our "Hybrid Viewfinder"
from X100 to add variable magnification
・Our Hybrid Viewfinder, which made a powerful impression when it debuted in the
X100, is the world's first viewfinder that combines the optical viewfinder (OVF) and
electronic viewfinder (EVF). Attracting high praise from many users, it has ushered in a new era in the history of compact digital cameras.
Since the launch of the X100, Fujifilm has received numerous requests for a digital camera that is equipped with the Hybrid Viewfinder and also supports multiple focal lengths. However, there was a big challenge to overcome.
・Similar to a camera lens, a viewfinder consists of several concave and convex lenses. A camera with a fixed focal length lens only requires a single set of viewfinder lenses for the specific focal length. However, if multiple focal lengths must be supported, the camera needs to have as many sets of viewfinder lenses in different configurations. It is also necessary to consider the light path of both optical and electronic viewfinders. Constraints of the camera's body size were another element of difficulty.
Determined to incorporate a Hybrid Viewfinder to the interchangeable-lens X-Pro1, Fujifilm explored several systems.
One of the criteria for a Hybrid Viewfinder, which switches between OVF and EVF, is to have a small difference in viewfinder display between the two modes
・The first system examined was to contract / expand the bright frame according to the angle of view. A similar system is already employed in other cameras. With this system, the bright frame in the viewfinder becomes smaller as it becomes more telephoto, while the optical magnification stays constant. The change of view when the viewfinder switches to EVF (100% viewfinder coverage) becomes too great, making the hybrid aspect (OVF / EVF) more of a disadvantage.
The next option was to attach a conversion lens in front of the viewfinder, or a magnifier behind the viewfinder. Carrying a magnifier is an effective option if the viewfinder was the OVF type. However, it would magnify the view in the EVF mode, rendering the viewfinder useless.
Attaching a conversion lens would compromise the camera's compact form factor.
Fujifilm also considered using a real-image viewfinder, like the one carried in X10. However, combining it with EVF would make it too large, as if carrying another zoom lens. Achieving OVF with greater clarity would also make it an unrealistically large size.
・Careful considerations led to the system of "adding a retractable viewfinder lens to adjust optical magnification". This system prioritizes the view in OVF while mitigating the design's impact on the size of the camera body. This is how the development work started for the world's first viewfinder that switches between wide-angle and standard focal lengths.