In an exclusive meeting with at this year's CES, Adrian Clarke of Fujifilm told us that the company has been 'surprised and delighted' by reaction to the X100 - the innovative, retro-styled high-end compact camera announced at Photokina 2010. Featuring a 12MP CMOS sensor and fixed, 35mm (equivalent) f/2 lens, the X100 also features a hybrid, switchable optical/electronic viewfinder.

Clarke told us 'of all the feedback that we received from the public, the vast majority was positive'. When asked why the X100's lens is fixed at 35mm, Clarke explained that this decision was taken because 35mm is a 'recognised standard focal length - not too wide, but not too long'. It seems that it was also - at least partly - an engineering decision. According to Toshishisa Iida, other lens options were looked at, but the X100's 35mm equivalent Fujinon lens gives 'optimal edge-to-edge resolution', allowing photographers to get the most out of the X100's 12MP CMOS sensor.

'Interested in exploring the mainstream'

Although they refused to be drawn on details of future plans, Clarke and Iida did tell us that Fujifilm is interested in putting products into the current gap in the market which exists between its range of compact cameras and low-end DSLRs. 'There is no doubt that the X100 will be a niche product', Clarke told us 'but of course we are looking at ways of exploring the mainstream'.

However, according to Iida, Fujifilm has no plans to upscale its EXR sensor technology for use in APS-C format cameras like the X-100. 'The benefits of EXR in dynamic range and low light performance are only relevant to small-sensor compacts.'

The Fujifilm X100 is still on course to be available in March, at an estimated SRP of €1000/$1200.