Today, Fujifilm announces the new X100V, the new successor to the extremely popular X100F. Over the years Fujifilm has tweaked the X100 with minor improvements here and there to keep photographers happy, and there are some big improvements with the new X100V, which we think make it a worthwhile upgrade. We had the chance to spend the day with a pre-production model and get some sample photos.
Design & Features
On the outside, the X100V features a newly designed body, though from some angles it’s hard to tell the difference. The back of the camera has a more minimalist design and does away with the D-Pad buttons. A touch & tilting LCD finally makes it into the camera and has a “full flat” design that makes it flush with the camera. It gets a slight upgrade in resolution to 1.62M and tilts 90 degrees upwards/~45 degrees down. The EVF, which is now an OLED display gets an eyecup redesign and features a resolution boost to 3.69M (up from 2.36). Up top, the X100V has a similar dial layout, but the ISO dial loses the “spring-loaded” design and changes it to a locking system. The dial now stays up when you pull up, and once you select your ISO, you push down to lock it in. The lens is still a 23mm f/2 but is a new design (more on that later). Users can also get the optional Adapter Ring and filter to make the camera dust/moisture resistant for all weather shooting.
Inside the X100V is a new sensor for the X100 line, and the same BSI 26.1Mp X-Trans 4 sensor found in the X-T3. The X-Processor 4 imaging engine improves low-light AF sensitivity to -5EV, enabling high-speed AF in even lower light conditions, like a scene lit only with candlelight. The X100V also gets an ISO range of 160-12,800 (80-51,200 extended), a boost in shooting speed (11fps vs 8fps), and the built-in ND filter is now 4 stops instead of 3. Battery life gets a slight boost in official ratings (372 vs 350 photos). Another welcomed change is the migration to a USB-C port from the standard Micro-USB we have seen in the past. USB-C is becoming more and more common amongst phones, tablets, and laptops so adding into this model only makes sense, and should allow for faster in-camera charging.
In the past, the X100 series hasn’t had much in terms of video capability, but the X100V changes that as well. It borrows a lot of video specs from the X-T3, and while it doesn’t shoot 4K/60, it can shoot 4K30 4:2:2 10bit externally, and 4:2:0 8bit in-camera (up to 10min). It also includes the Eterna film simulation mode, first found in the X-H1. You also get a high-speed mode which allows users to record 120 frames per second and 100p in Full HD (1920×1080).
The previous X100 series cameras have been comfortable to carry and use and have had a nice build quality to them. The X100V is no different, and with the removal of the D-Pad buttons, there’s no more worrying about accidentally pressing a button with the base of your thumb. With the layout being very similar to its predecessors, there’s not much of a learning curve with this camera. The slight relocation of the quick menu button can be inconvenient for some people. Being located on the edge of the molded grip where your thumb naturally sits makes it somewhat awkward to push when holding the camera in a “ready to shoot” position. The flush-mounted LCD, on the other hand, can easily be accessed with your left thumb or finger thanks to a nice little cutout in the bottom left corner. If you like using manual focus (for photo or video), the focusing ring has a much better feel to it compared to the X100F, with more resistance to the throw, allowing for more precise micro-adjustments.
Autofocus was quick to focus, and we didn't experience any hunting, even in lower light conditions. Continuous autofocus is improved over the outgoing X100F. The camera didn't have any issues tracking cars or people. Photographing some seagulls at a moderate distance resulted in a few photos with missed focus, but the majority kept the bird in focus. The new BSI sensor helps keep images looking clean at higher ISO's - even when shadows are pushed in post-processing. While it may not be as clean as some of the best high ISO full-frame cameras on the market, it's more than useable in most situations. While not having a D-Pad was a slight concern initially, we didn't find ourselves missing it much. Between the joystick and the 4 custom function "swipe" motions that you now have with the touch screen, it covers most of what people would need to change/adjust that's not on a physical dial or button.
What’s the point of having a lens that opens up to f/2 if it’s not useable at f/2? The 23mm f/2 on the X100F was a pretty good lens for most situations, but when you started getting close to a subject while shooting wide open, you quickly saw image quality drop off, even in the center. With the new 23mm f/2 MK II in the X100V, the difference is night and day. You can finally get close to a subject without having to stop down to f/4-f/5.6 and not lose out on all sharpness.
Test Chart - Approx. 1ft from camera.
The X100 series has always been a bit of a niche product, offering a fixed lens rangefinder-style point and shoot with some features that professionals love. With every updated model, there have been some minor and major improvements in performance and features. The new X100V stuffs in a lot of X-T3/X-Pro3 features into a small package that's perfect for traveling or street photography. With the major improvement of the lens, there's not doubt that this camera will be just as successful as the last 4 versions.
The X100V will be available in black and silver, and will hit store shelves on February 27th (Silver) and March 31st (Black). You can Pre-Order the X100V here