If you want to head out into the street to take photos, should you take the Fujifilm X100V with you? You’ll certainly look the part, as this is another stylish compact camera from Fujifilm. But are the X100V’s photo abilities as good as it looks?
I’ve been using this little camera for a few months now. So if you want to find out what it’s like to use, then read our review of the Fujifilm X100V.
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Fujifilm X100V Overview and Specifications
The Fujifilm X100V follows the same formula as its predecessors. The company wanted to create the best compact crop sensor
It has a fixed focal length, great low-light performance, and a rangefinder shape. And all were designed with the street photographer in mind.
The X100V has certainly come with worthy upgrades of the previous model. Being the 5th generation, Fuji has listened and learned what photographers want. Now it has weather sealing, an articulating touch screen, a new ISO dial, and 4K video capabilities.
This is also one camera that has an impressive look with a hint of vintage nostalgia. The Fuji X100V is made with top-class materials and comes in two colors—silver and black. No matter the color, the Fujifilm X100V is up there with the most pleasing cameras from a design perspective. Simply put, it’s a work of art.
Who is the Fuji X100V for?
The Fuji X100V serves both amateur and professional street photographers. It will also appeal to travel photographers. The X100V gives a sense of nostalgia and warmth that not many cameras today achieve. Basically, it makes me want to head out and take photos.
With a 35mm equivalent field of view, this camera will appeal to anyone documenting the environment, candid moments, and day-to-day capture. This focal length is also considered to be ideal for portraits.
Given how discreet this camera is, it is also a wise choice for the hobbyist who is always on the go. It is quite easy to keep in a small bag or even in your pocket,
It’s worth mentioning that the Fuji X100V isn’t the cheapest camera in its range. It is aimed at the enthusiast and the professional-level users as a second shooter. Or for those who prefer to use a prime lens rather than zoom alternatives.
That is why it can also be an amazing fit for film photographers who praise these limitations. The X100V is likely to be the digital alternative to their old rangefinder systems with manual controls, a rangefinder style, and film simulations.
Let’s dive into the specifics of what makes the Fuji X110V one of the best in its category.
Sensor and Image Quality
The Fuji X100V uses the latest generation 26 MP APS-C sensor by Fujifilm. It is definitely a step up in resolution from the previous models. It’s the same technology used in the X-Pro3, one of Fujifilm’s flagship models.
The X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 provide exceptionally detailed image quality. I mainly use this camera for street captures. And despite the crop format, the resolution of the X100V is quite impressive.
This might be related to the X100V’s completely redesigned lens. The 23mm f/2 pancake lens has eight elements in six groups. The big upgrade, aside from the faster autofocus and mechanics, is shooting wide open at f/2 with sharper results than the previous models.
Corner and even the center sharpness show an improvement throughout all apertures. It shows a nice and consistent quality from edge to edge. And the built-in 4-stop ND filter comes in handy when shooting in sunny conditions.
The image quality is one of the key factors why I prefer to use this model, instead of its other alternative, the X100F. The Fujifilm X100V beats the X100F by miles in this department, especially when looking at infinity focus.
There’s minimal chromatic aberration, but that’s the nature of using the APS-C format. And the vignetting and color fringing is hardly noticeable. Any of these would take a trained eye to spot. And it’s easy to fix in post-production.
When looking at low-light performance, all the benefits of Fuji’s ISO invariant sensor make sense. Even when using relatively high ISOs like 3200 or 4000, the images feature very moderate noise. Although the maximum ISO 12800 is really pushing the sensor’s limits. So you can expect quite a bit of noise.
It’s worth noting the dynamic range of the X100V is spectacular despite the APS-C format. I tend to underexpose my images slightly for the way I edit. There is a great recovery in details, and the grain is negligible when lifting the shadows excessively.
In terms of editability and holding information, the X100V’s RAW images are great. Even when you compare them to full frame alternatives like the Leica Q2 and Sony RX1.
Fuji cameras are often praised for their straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The X100V features the built-in color chrome effect and other classic film profiles. These are fun additions for those who prefer compressed formats. If editing isn’t really something you enjoy, these come in handy.
Focusing and Burst
The X100V has another upgrade from the previous models—a hybrid autofocus system. It’s a combination of a contrast detection system and a 425-point phase detection AF.
The speed is great and the autofocus is very responsive. But it can struggle a little in darker conditions. Despite Fuji’s claim on the -5EV focusing capabilities, this camera is not the strongest in almost completely dark environments. This feature is significantly improved from previous models. But if you’re not shooting in daylight, you might have to switch to manual focus.
The face detection and tracking AF is also impressive.
The Fuji X100V’s face detection autofocus and the 11 fps burst rate are handy when capturing candid street photography. The Fujifilm X100V comes with an 11 fps burst rate while using the mechanical shutter and 20 fps in electrical shutter mode. This is more than I need, but it is an amazing addition to candid shots and street photography.
Using UHS-II cards, the buffer is even more spectacular. It’s rated at 17 RAW files for the buffer to fill. The good thing is that there is no menu or camera lock-up while the buffer is clearing. This camera isn’t aimed at sports photographers, but it could be used by one.
Another feature that I regularly use with this camera is zone focusing and manual focus. I often do street photography, so for me, it’s super useful. B it’s a built-in feature and there are no metrics on the lens, so it doesn’t give the pure feeling of analog photography. But it’s still a handy approach.
Another bonus from this lens is that it has a minimum focus distance of around 10-15 cm. This is awesome, especially for distorted portraits when shooting street scenes.
When people mention the Fujifilm X100V, video isn’t the first thing they think of. But it is competent for video.
It has 4K/30p and F-log capability and some other nice elements for video enthusiasts. There’s even a 120 fps mode at 1080p for slow-motion shooting. It can also record a 10-bit 4:2:2 color externally with the HDMI port. This is quite an impressive feature for flexibility in post-production and color grading.
Personally, I wouldn’t buy this camera solely for its video purposes. There are drawbacks such as the disabled ND filter in video mode or the lack of stabilization. Yes, sadly, there is no IBIS (in-body stabilization) or lens stabilization when taking videos. So without a gimbal or tripod, it certainly has its limitations.
Body and Handling
The Fujifilm X100V has really compact dimensions at 5.0 x 2.9 x 2.1 inches (128 x 75 x 53 mm). It weighs 478 grams. It’s half the size of the average DSLR and the build quality is excellent. With an aluminum finish and a sturdy, synthetic leather grip, the camera feels solid in hand.
For my very average hands and me, the dials and buttons fit perfectly. They are also customizable so you can personalize your settings for greater accessibility. You can choose between 64 different tasks to function buttons. These are the many reasons why Fuji X100V is my ultimate street photography partner.
The X100V body has a retro rangefinder look with a dedicated shutter speed and
I love that everything you need is at your fingertips without having to dive into the camera menu. And that’s true whether your camera is on or off.
The 2-way tilt screen is another nice addition to the X100 lineup. It makes getting shots from different vantage points easier. Nobody wants to lie down in the middle of the street, right? I use the flippy screen even when I’m shooting at wedding ceremonies, as the X100V is my favorite backup camera.
The bright 1.6M-dot LCD touch sensible LCD is quite responsive, which is very useful when shooting in focus peaking mode. It’s a great competitor to the 3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder. It’s completely up to the photographer’s preference whether you want to hold it up to their eyes. If so, you can switch between optical and electronic viewfinders.
Weather sealing is also a welcome addition, but sadly it comes with one catch. You have to purchase an additional filter separately to unlock this. For me, this kit is worth it for peace of mind.
In terms of battery and card slots, the X100V lacks the dual SD slot but has an NP-W126S battery with a longer lifespan. It usually takes around 420 images to drain the battery. But it’s closer to 300 exposures if using EVF, from my experience. For me, this is enough for a few hours. But I always take an extra battery when going out for a photo shoot.
The first competitor is the famous Ricoh GR III. This camera is even smaller than the X100V and has a great snap focus feature. It’s super light so you can take it anywhere. The files are great to edit, but sadly, there’s no built-in viewfinder. Without this or a tilt screen, it can sometimes be hard to shoot—especially for street purposes.
A more expensive alternative is the Leica Q2, which offers elegance and superb image quality. This gorgeous camera utilizes a fixed 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens with stabilization. If you don’t mind the price point, it’s certainly worth a shot to be a part of the Leica community.
As a third variant, Sony’s Alpha 7C offers a spectacular full frame sensor with an interchangeable lens mount and 5-axis stabilization. Again, this is a more expensive full frame camera body. But with the option to change lenses, it could be enough to tempt you.
Lastly, you can also opt for a Fuji X-Pro3, which is the X100’s bigger sibling. It’s also a rangefinder-style camera with the option to change lenses. Bigger isn’t always better, but the Fuji X-Pro3 does have many benefits over the X100V. Especially if you need the flexibility of different focal lengths.
The Fuji X100V is the camera that I really look forward to taking out and using. It gives you everything that you want in a street and travel camera. It’s compact, built well, and has an eye-pleasing retro look. And the image quality is on par with some top-end cameras.
They’re certainly built to last thanks to their design and firmware updates. I highly recommend this great little camera, as it has become my go-to camera during cocktail hours at wedding ceremonies.
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