Fujifilm X100V Review

Fujifilm X100V review
Review

Price when reviewed

£1299

$1399
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Our Verdict

Fujifilm has retained the high-quality feel, retro looks and traditional exposure controls that we love about the X100 line but made the X100V a little more versatile and up to date with a tilting touchscreen that makes composing images and adjusting settings that bit easier. The fixed focal length lens isn't for everyone, but it's a nice bright optic that captures plenty of detail. It's not the sort of compact camera that you slip in your jeans pocket, and its price is pretty steep, but it's a joy to use.

For

  • Traditional exposure controls
  • Hybrid viewfinder built-in
  • Fast high-quality lens

Against

  • High price for a fixed lens camera
  • Fixed focal length lens

What is the Fujifilm X100V?

The Fuji X100V is a compact camera and the fifth model in Fujifilm’s widely respected X100 series. Inside it has the same 26.1MP APS-C format sensor and processing engine as the manufacturer’s recent enthusiast-level interchangeable lens cameras, the Fujifilm X-T4, X-T3 and X-Pro3. This means that it can capture the same quality images albeit using a fixed 23mm f/2.0 lens with an effective focal length of 35mm.

It has a high-quality build and traditional exposure controls along with a hybrid viewfinder and a tilting touchscreen. It’s not for everyone but it’s a camera that some will fall in love with.

Specification

  • Camera type: Compact
  • Announced: 5th February 2020
  • Sensor: 26.1Mp X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor
  • Processing engine: X-Processor 4
  • Lens: Fujinon 23mm f/2 (35mm equivalent)
  • Sensitivity range: ISO 160-12,800 expandable to ISO 80-51,200
  • Viewfinder: Optical: Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display, 95% coverage and x0.52 magnification, Electronic: 0.5 inch 3,690,000-dot OLED with 100% coverage, 0.66x magnification
  • Screen: Tilting 3.0-inch 1,620.000-dot touchscreen LCD
  • Autofocus system: Intelligent hybrid with up to 425 selectable AF points
  • Continuous shooting: Mechanical shutter: 11fps, Electronic shutter: 30fps with 1.25x crop
  • Max video resolution: DCI 4K (4096×2160) at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p, 200Mbps/100Mbps, for up to 10min
  • Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 128.0 x 74.8 x 53.3mm / 5.04 × 2.94 × 2.10inch (minimum depth 32.7mm/1.29inch)
  • Weight: 478g / 16.9oz including battery and SD memory card, 428g / 15.1oz body only

Fujifilm X100V Price and Release Date

The Fujifilm X100V is available in silver or black and both have a launch price tag of $1,399 / £1,299. It went on sale in March 2020.

Fuji X100V review
Features

We normally associate compact cameras with small sensors but the Fuji X100V has the same sensor as is Fujifilm’s most recent interchangeable lens cameras including the recently announced Fujifilm X-T4 and the older X-Pro3 and X-T3.

As this chip is coupled with the same X-Processor 4 processing engine, the image quality won’t come as a huge surprise.

Around the front there’s a new fixed Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens, which will be a turn-off for some and a huge turn-on for others. The sub-full-frame sensor means the lens has a focal length equivalent to 35mm on a full-frame camera, which is a popular choice for street and documentary photography. The f/2.0 aperture also means that backgrounds can be blurred when you want them to be and you don’t need to push the sensitivity (ISO) up when light levels fall a little.

This upgraded optic has a new optical construction that includes two aspherical elements in the middle to help increase resolution.

The X100-series’ hybrid viewfinder has proved an attractive feature and an upgraded version has made its way into the latest camera.  The electronic element has 3.69million dots and a maximum refresh rate of 100fps along with higher contrast and a wider colour space than its predecessor.

Despite this improvement, it’s the change to the rear screen that’s likely to be of more interest to many potential buyers. This has been upgraded to a tilting 3.0-inch 1,620.000-dot touchscreen.

As for video, the Fujifilm X100V can shoot UHD and DCI 4K footage at 30p. It can also record Full HD video at up to 120 fps, which is great news for anyone looking to slow down action.

There’s also a micro-HDMI port that enables 10-bit 4:2:2 recording to an optional external recorder.

Read our Fujifilm X100F review

Fuji X100V review
Build and Handling

Because it has a sensor that’s the same size as the chips in many interchangeable lens cameras, the Fuji X100V can’t be super-small, but the 23mm f/2 lens is impressively dinky, helping to give the camera a slim profile and enabling it to fit in a coat pocket.

The overall feel of the camera is excellent, but you’d expect that at the price. Fujifilm has milled the top and bottom plates from aluminium for extra durability and a touch of class. My only concern is that the front and rear grips are a bit on the shallow side. If I were to invest in the X100V, I’d look into getting a third party grip to make it feel a bit more secure in my hand.

Fuji X100V review

Taking Control

Like previous X100 models, the X100V has traditional exposure controls – there’s a shutter speed dial on the top-plate, with a sensitivity (ISO) dial integrated within, an exposure compensation dial and an aperture ring on the lens.

In a small but significant change from the X100F, the X100V’s sensitivity dial isn’t spring loaded, so when you lift it to adjust the setting it stays up and ready for adjustment until you push it down.

The exposure compensation dial is conveniently placed on the back-right corner of the top-plate and as it has no lock you can adjust the setting quickly and easily. However, you need to check the setting if you carry the camera in a bag between shots. Thankfully, I didn’t find the dial gets moved easily when the camera is carried on a strap over your shoulder or across your body.

In a significant change from previous models, the Fujifilm X100V doesn’t have a navigation pad on its rear. This means that its shortcuts options have been lost but there’s also more room for your thumb on the back of the camera. You can also reach the features you want very quickly via the Quick Menu which is accessed by pressing the Q button.

The Autofocus point selection and menu navigation duties are carried out by the mini joystick on the back of the camera. This is also present on the X100F but it seems like a duplication when the navigation pad is also present.

I’m happy with Fujifilm’s decision to bin the D-pad.

Read our Fujifilm X-Pro3 review

Fujifilm X100V review

Screen and Viewfinder

At first glance you might miss that the X100V has a tilting screen. The slim 3-inch 1,620,000-dot is flush with the back of the camera so it doesn’t spoil the profile or bulk-out the body at all.

A small tab towards the bottom left of the screen gives you a hint, it’s just a case of slipping a fingernail under and flipping out the screen.

I found that the tilting screen transforms the way I use the X100V. With previous X100 cameras I have shot almost exclusively using the viewfinder, with the X100V, I swapped between the screen and the viewfinder depending upon what I was shooting. The screen is ideal for composing low-level landscape orientation shots for example and it makes the camera that bit more versatile.

Although I wouldn’t want to get rid of physical controls, I like the option to use touch control. Fujifilm hasn’t made the X100V’s main menu touch-controllable, but the Quick menu is, which is handy.

While I prefer an electronic viewfinder because it shows the impact of the camera’s settings, there are some photographers who prefer an optical viewfinder. The Fujifilm X100V has both and you can swap between them with the flick of a switch on the front of the camera. The optical viewfinder has bright lines that indicate the framing, which can take a little getting used to, but it means you have the advantage of being able to see objects that are outside of or about to enter the frame.

Because the optical viewfinder is the direct view type, there can be a little parallax error, but it’s not a big issue. The electronic viewfinder shows the image from the lens formed on the sensor. It shows and accurate preview and has plenty of detail.

Read our Fujifilm X-T4 review

Performance

Fujifilm’s 26.1Mp X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 engine is a proven combination that produces delightful images from cameras like the X-T3 and X-Pro3. Happily, this continues with the X100V and the new lens design helps to extract plenty of sharp detail.

Noise is kept under control well and thanks to the f/2 aperture, you don’t have to start pushing the ISO that often. By ISO 3,200 the raw files start to distinguish themselves from simultaneously captured Jpegs by having a little more detail visible at 100%.

Low ISO raw files from the X100V have good dynamic range and should you need to, the shadows can be brightened by 3Ev or so without noise becoming a major issue or colours getting wayward.

As usual, Fujifilm’s Film Simulation modes are on hand and these enable you to get the colours you want straight from the camera. You can employ these while shooting with the optical viewfinder, but using the electronic finder or the screen gives you the opportunity to assess their impact before shooting.

Similarly, the 256-zone TTL metering system performs well in its Multi setting, but it’s handy to preview the image in the electronic viewfinder to ensure you’re getting the best result possible.

Fujifilm X100V Autofocus Performance

The X100V’s autofocus system makes a step-up from the X100F, but it’s not up to the standard of the systems in Fuji’s interchangeable lens cameras.

Interestingly, I found that in single AF mode there’s a very slight delay and sometimes a little backwards and forwards adjustment like the camera is using contrast detection focusing, but when shooting continuously in continuous AF mode, the X100V hardly skips a beat.

With an effective focal length of 35mm, the X100V’s lens isn’t the usual choice for sport or action photography, but I found the camera did a great job of keeping my dog sharp as he raced around playing fetch. The Wide/Tracking AF system can only keep up with him when he’s walking, but in Zone AF mode the camera kept him sharp as long as I had the active area on him.

The X100V’s Face and Eye Detection proves useful with still subjects, but I find it a bit unreliable with moving subjects.

Video

Again the lens and form factor of the X100V may not make it the natural choice of video camera, but it is very capable. It’s especially nice that the footage can match the stills if you want.

It’s worth noting that the built-in ND filter only works when you’re shooting stills, not video, so you’re likely to need a set of filters if you want to shoot with shallow depth of field.

There’s also no stabilisation built-in, but the small size of the X100V lends itself well to use with a motorised gimbal. If you don’t have a gimbal, use a tripod to prevent camera shake from spoiling your footage or consider shooting at a fast frame rate for slow motion playback to smooth out any wobble.

Fujifilm X100V Battery Life

The Fuji X100V’s battery life is rated at 350 images when the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is set to  Normal mode and 420 images when the optical viewfinder is in use. Alternatively, it enables up to around 55 minutes of 4K video to be captured at 29.97p or 75 minutes of Full HD video at 59.94p.

Sample Images

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Fujifilm X100V Image Gallery

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Verdict

Fujifilm’s X100 series of APS-C format compact cameras has been popular but there’s always room for improvement and updating. The switch to the newer 26Mp sensor was to be expected and this triggered the change to the lens, which reaps image quality rewards.

Removing the navigation pad makes the back of the camera bit cleaner without hampering setting adjustments significantly. The tilting touchscreen also adds a new dimension, making it easier to shoot from creative angles.

While the price is quite steep, the Fujifilm X100V is every bit a premium camera and it produces superb results in a range of conditions.

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