Fujifilm X100V Review

Today’s Fujifilm X100V review is about all the features of the digital camera and what I like about it and who this camera is interesting for in the first place.

My previous knowledge

I have been taking pictures for more than 15 years and am at home in landscape and architecture photography. During this time I have mainly photographed with Canon APS-C SLR cameras. In addition, I have used the Fujifilm X100S, X100T and X100F. Therefore, I am well familiar with the X100 series. You can find my review of the Fujifilm X100F here.

My main camera is currently a Sony Alpha 7 III. You can learn more about my current photography equipment here.

Differences between the Fujifilm X100F and the X100V

What are the differences between the Fujifilm X100V and its predecessor X100F?

New sensor

The X100V now houses the newer X-Trans IV sensor with 26.1 megapixels. Among other things, the sensor has 2 megapixels more than Fujifilm’s X-Trans III sensor.

New lens

The focal length of 23 mm has remained the same, but Fuji has completely redesigned the lens once. There is now one more aspherical lens in the lens. The image quality is said to be better – especially in the close-up range the sharpness is said to have improved.

Weatherproof

In combination with the separately available Weather-Resistant Kit (filter adapter and protective filter), the X100V is now weatherproof. This means that the housing is sealed and the lens is then protected against dust and splash water.

New viewfinder

The viewfinder now has a higher resolution of 3.69 MP instead of 2.36 MP. It can also operate at 100 frames per second.

Slightly changed operation

There are also changes in the operation. The wheel for selecting exposure time and ISO has been improved and the dial on the back has been removed. Navigation is done via a joystick.

New film simulation

In addition to the film simulations previously included with Fujifilm cameras, Eterna has now made its way into the X100 lineup.

Improved video features

In addition to 4K resolution, it is now possible to connect an external headphone via USB-C. Full HD can now be recorded by the X100V at up to 120 frames per second.

Fujifilm X100V Test: Features

But now we come to the actual test of the Fujifilm X100V. I have been shooting with this camera for about 3 months and have been able to try out a lot in that time. I use the X100V with the Haoge LH-X54B lens hood.

Fujifilm X100V Review
Fujifilm X100V Review

Size and weight

The X100V is smaller and lighter than most system and SLR cameras, but also larger and heavier than most compact cameras. If you don’t use a lens hood, then I think the term jacket-pocket capable is very apt.

The weight and good build quality make the camera look very solid. Nevertheless, it’s not too heavy to always have it with you.

Operation

The Fujifilm X100V is similar in design to a rangefinder camera. It is offered in silver and black. I opted for the black version. The viewfinder is located on the top left of the body – more on that in the paragraph after next.

For the settings of aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation, there are separate wheels, which are roughened and easy to operate. The ISO setting is integrated into the shutter speed dial, which works well so far.

The dials for aperture, ISO and exposure time also have an A for automatic. So you can also operate the camera in semi-automatic mode, which is otherwise set on other cameras via the dial for program automatic.

So when I want to use the A(V) mode, I set the ISO and the aperture, but set the wheel for the exposure time to A for automatic.

The other way around, I can also select A for the aperture wheel and preselect shutter speed and ISO instead to use T(V) semi-automatic.

If you’re already familiar with the Fujifilm menu from other Fuji cameras, the operation here is quick to pick up. Personally, I don’t miss the previous dial on the back. I also use the Q(uick) menu regularly. There is an overview of almost all current settings. These can be quickly adjusted here.

Haptics

The Fujifilm X100V feels very good in the hand. I find the grip secure without being too large. I don’t feel the need to add any extra rubber or a thumb rest here. This is also because the X100V is not overly heavy.

Viewfinder

The viewfinder on the X100V is now the same as on the Fujifilm X-Pro3. It has a round eyecup and is placed on the top left of the body. This way you won’t press your nose flat when looking through it.

For many photographers, the viewfinder is the real highlight of the X100V, because it’s a hybrid viewfinder. It can operate as both an optical and electronic viewfinder. A lever on the front of the camera lets you switch between the two views.

When you operate the viewfinder in optical mode, you see a selection frame for the image section. In electronic viewfinder mode, as with a system camera, you see the image from the sensor. In my article about SLR or system camera you will find the differences between both viewfinders right at the beginning.

I really appreciate this hybrid viewfinder. When I feel like a complete analog feel, I turn off the display and shoot only with the optical viewfinder. If I want a reasonably accurate preview of my image and want to see the final image in square and black and white right away, for example, I use the electronic viewfinder.

Autofocus

Since I rarely shoot really fast subjects, all cameras actually do a perfectly adequate job here for me. The Fujifilm X100V also had no problems during the period of the test. The autofocus practically always hit the mark.

I also photographed in less light during the blue hour, but the focus was still sharp in every picture.

As usual, specific zones or individual points can be selected for AF, just like the entire image as an alternative. There are also AF modes for single shots or tracking AF for moving subjects.

A new feature of the X100V is the autofocus for portrait shots with eye detection. This detects the person’s pupil and focuses on it. In the test, this worked well several times. However, I have to say that Sony does a slightly better job here, especially in lower light. In my opinion, however, the AF capabilities of this eye detection are perfectly adequate for 90% of all photographers.

Exposure metering

Since I’ve been shooting with the X100V, I’ve been impressed with the very good exposure metering. I shoot mostly RAW, so I don’t get anything out of the extended dynamic range setting, as it only affects JPGs. Unless the dynamic range in the crop is exceptionally high, the camera almost always exposes so that the highs are just barely not overexposed.

Excursus: Expose to the right

I usually use this technique called expose to the right myself, no matter which camera I use. Basically, it’s about getting the highest possible image quality out of the camera. I make an exposure in AV mode and then use exposure compensation on the following shot to shift the exposure to the right so that the image is exposed as brightly as possible without the highs fraying.

In post-processing the RAW file, I then adjust the exposure to my liking. If I exposed the image a little brighter when I took it using this technique, I then choose a slightly lower exposure value when I develop the RAW.

The result is better image quality, especially in the depths, because there is less noise.

With other cameras, I have to gradually approach this ideal exposure. The X100V almost always exposes according to this scheme. I am very happy with the results.

Battery life

According to the CIPA standard, the Fujifilm X100V can take 350 pictures on one battery. It feels like the battery lasts considerably longer than the X100T, for example. While I had three batteries for the X100T, I only have two batteries for the X100V. As a rule, I rarely have to change the battery during a photo tour.

Display

A new feature is the tilting display. I enjoy shooting with the camera in front of my belly and looking at the display from above, just like in analog 35mm or medium format times.

The screen is sharp enough and still easy to see even in brighter ambient light. The construction for the tilt makes a solid impression, I don’t worry about durability here.

Picture quality

As written above, I mostly shoot RAW, occasionally JPG. The image quality is very good, especially for an APS-C camera. The new lens does its part in making the results sharp images. The new rear-exposed X-Trans IV sensor has even a bit more dynamic range than before – which I really appreciate.

Overall, I’m very pleased with the image quality. What I find impressive is how little noise the X100V produces, even at higher ISO settings up to 3200. It’s then less of a digital noise and looks more like film grain at ISOs above 6400.

Video

I have to admit that I have practically not bothered with the video features of the X100V at all. I also believe that you choose this camera because you want to shoot with it and video is not necessarily the main focus.

That said, Fuji has continued to improve the video capabilities and now offers 4K. In Full HD, up to 120 frames per second can be recorded. The output for headphones via USB-C is also a concession for videographers.

Particularly exciting: recipes for film simulations

There’s one thing I’ve come to particularly appreciate since buying the Fujifilm X100V. It’s the additional film simulations available for free on Fuji X Weekly and elsewhere.

Fujifilm cameras are known for their good JPG files. This is also the case with the X100V. Thanks to numerous settings, it is possible to create your very own image styles here within the camera. Other photographers spend hours setting these settings so precisely that the result is a fairly accurate simulation of certain analog films.

These „recipes“ usually consist of 10-15 parameters that you then set in your own camera. They can then be saved as image styles in C1-C7 and even named. I currently have a recipe for Kodak Portra 400 and one for Ilford HP5 Plus saved there. It’s incredibly fun to shoot only JPGs with these recipes and not post-process anything.

There are numerous film simulation recipes available for the X100V’s X-Trans IV sensor. Many of the X-Trans III recipes are also usable.

Alternatives to the Fujifilm X100V

There are relatively few alternatives to the Fujifilm X100V. As a compact camera with an image sensor in APS-C size and a fixed focal length, only the Ricoh GR III comes into question. However, this has a lens with a focal length of 28 mm (35 mm equivalent) and is a bit less fast with an aperture of 2.8. On the other hand, the GR III has an image stabilizer.

Conclusion of my Fujifilm X100V review

I like the Fujifilm X100V very much. The camera feels quality and sturdy, so I can take it anywhere without an extra bag. The focal length is suitable for a lot of subjects. It is possible to shoot landscapes, architecture, reportage as well as weddings and portraits with it.

There are hardly any criticisms of this camera. The image quality is high, the autofocus works quickly and reliably, and the exposure metering works accurately. The display and battery are also very good. Only an internal image stabilizer would be a useful additional feature. However, that would probably make the camera larger and a bit heavier, which is unlikely to please many friends of the X100 series.

I simply enjoy the X100V. There are some cameras that inspire you to take pictures. The X100V is one of them. Besides, except for the Fujifilm X-Pro3, which is much more expensive with lenses, there are few digital cameras that feel so analog. Not only does the overall look and feel contribute to this, but the ability to use the many film simulations also plays a part.

If you’re thinking about getting the Fujifilm X100V, the 23mm (KB 35mm) fixed focal length is exactly what you’ll have to deal with in the long run. You need to think about whether you can live with just that focal length. So my recommendation is to shoot exclusively in that focal length with your current camera for a while to find out if that suits you. If so, then the X100V is a great camera for you.

Do you have any questions about the camera? Are you already using the Fujifilm X100V and want to share your experience with it? Write me in the comments!