Michael Topham takes a tour of Fujifilm’s latest premium fixed lens compact
Fujifilm X100V: At a glance
- 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor
- X-Processor 4
- 23mm F2.0 lens
- Hybrid Viewfinder (OVF&EVF)
- Two-way tilting touchscreen
- 4K video at 30fps
- Compatible with legacy conversion lenses
Hot on the heels of its latest entry-level mirrorless release, the X-T200, Fujifilm has unveiled its fifth model in its iconic and stylish X100 series. The all-new Fujifilm X100V replaces the Fujifilm X100F from 2017 and introduces a number of improvements to make it the most advanced premium fixed lens compact in Fujifilm’s history.
Top of the list of new and improved features are a redesigned 23mm F2.0 fixed lens, a two-way tilting screen and advanced weather resistance – things we’re told Fujifilm has received many requests for from existing X100 users.
We recently laid hands on the X100V at Fujifilm’s X-Summit 2020 live broadcast in London where we got a chance to study it in detail and form some early impressions.
Fujifilm X100V: Features
The X100V is the latest X-series camera to inherit Fujifilm’s 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor and quad-core X-Processor 4, which are used in the X-T3, X-Pro3 and X-T30. Together they deliver a sensitivity range of ISO 160-12,800 (extendable to ISO 80-51,200), along with continuous shooting rates of 11fps with the mechanical shutter, 20fps with the electronic shutter, or 30fps with a 1.25x crop.
To compliment the X100V’s sensor, Fujifilm has designed a new 23mm F2.0 lens for the X100V that promises better resolution, lower distortion and improved performance in the corners and at close focus distances. The good news is that the improvements to the optics have had no influence on the size of the lens, meaning it remains fully compatible with existing adapters and legacy conversion lenses.
Photographers can use the wide conversion lens (WCL-X100 II) or tele-conversion lens (TCL-X100 II) to extend the X100V’s fixed 23mm focal length (equivalent to 34.5mm in 35mm terms) to a 28mm equivalent (0.8x) or 50mm (1.4x) equivalent lens.
In addition to weather sealing around the body and viewfinder, Fujifilm has designed a weather resistance kit for the X100V (£99) to enhance its operability in poor weather. The adapter ring (AR-X100) and protection filter (PRF-49) make the X100V fully weather resistant and for UK customers this kit will be sold at half price (£49.50) when purchased with the camera.
Like its predecessors, the X100V features a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. In its optical mode, the finder continues to provide parallax-corrected frame lines, along with detailed overlaid exposure information, but now offers wider 95% coverage and a higher 0.52x magnification. As for the EVF, this has been upgraded to offer a clearer viewing experience with a 3.69-million-dot resolution, 0.66x magnification and improved contrast and brightness.
The X100V’s autofocus performance goes one better too. It can now focus down to -5EV in low light and spreads no fewer than 2.16-million phase-detection pixels across the surface of its sensor. Users can select from 117 AF points laid out in a 9×13 formation, which can be increased to a 425-point layout consisting a 17×25 grid.
Furthermore, the X100V provides enhanced face and eye detection and is equipped with Fujifilm’s focus limiter function that can be used to set the lens to a specific range of distances, which can be useful when the distance to the subject photographed remains consistent and fast focus is required.
Other new additions include built-in 4-stop ND filter, which improves on the X100F’s built-in 3-stop ND filter, and a wider selection of film simulation modes. These include the Classic Negative mode that made its debut in the Fujifilm X-Pro3.
Videographers benefit from having the ability to record 4K video at 30p or Full HD at up to 120fps. Those who’d like to record in 10-bit, 4:2:2 can do so via the X100V’s HDMI port, it has a 2.5mm microphone input at the side, and film simulation modes, such as Eterna, can be applied to video footage.
Another welcome improvement is the X100V’s improved battery life. This lasts for 350 frames when using the EVF, or 420 frames using the optical viewfinder (OVF). With a USB Type-C port at the side, users have the option to charge on the go, and just as you’d expect, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is built-in to enable wireless transferring and remote control with devices running Fujifilm’s Camera Remote app.
Fujifilm X100V: Build & Handling
The X100V shares the same charm and elegance with its predecessors, however there are quite a few differences that aren’t immediately obvious. With regard to its build quality, the top and bottom plates are now manufactured from single pieces of aluminium, resulting in a much cleaner and crisper finish around the edge of the body than previous versions.
The aluminium covers, which are built around a magnesium alloy frame to uphold a high level of robustness, are also exquisitely finished in a satin coating, with the all black version being anodised rather than painted to give what Fujifilm calls a ‘deeper black finish’.
On the top plate, the X100V, like the X100F, benefits from an ISO dial that’s built around the shutter speed dial. It’s rather similar to the arrangement you’ll find on Fujifilm’s X-Pro3 in that the outer portion of the dial is lifted to adjust the ISO value, but it’s also vastly improved in the way it doesn’t have to be lifted and rotated simultaneously. Pull the outer ring up and the ISO dial can be rotated freely with your thumb before it’s pushed back down to lock it in place. It’s a much-improved design that we can see other X-series models benefiting from in the future.
At the rear of the camera some further changes have been made. The most significant is the new two-way tilting 3in, 1.62-million-dot touchscreen that replaces the fixed screen of old. By designing the screen unit incredibly thinly, users get the benefit of a tilt screen with no additional bulk – indeed you wouldn’t really know it’s a tilt screen if it wasn’t for the cut-out at the bottom corner of the body that makes it easier to pull out.
Touchscreen control extends to the quick menu, however the X100V doesn’t support navigation of the main menu by touch like we’ve recently seen on Fujifilm’s entry-level X-A7 and X-T200 mirrorless cameras.
The other change at the rear is the absence of a four-way controller. Instead users are encouraged to use the joystick and the Menu/OK, playback and DISP/Back buttons that are aligned beneath. A quick menu button remains, but this has been shifted to the right a little to prevent accidental thumb presses.
Though the thumb grip is said to have been refined, the feel of the X100V in the hand when you’re shooting is almost identical to its predecessor, the X100F.
Fujifilm X100V: First Impressions
It’s clear that with the X100V, Fujifilm has listened carefully to what existing X100 users have had to say and responded by making a series of valuable improvements to key areas of its operation and design.
If the examples we were shown of how the new lens resolves sharpness is anything to go by, we can expect the X100V to produce far better image quality in the corners, plus with the addition of weather resistance, photographers will no longer be afraid of using it, or feel forced to switch to a different camera when the weather conditions takes a turn for the worse.
Adding a tilt screen will be of huge benefit to street photographers who like to shoot inconspicuously from the hip and other tweaks such as improving the hybrid viewfinder, refining ISO control from the top plate and giving it an even more premium finish are likely to allure existing X100 users into thinking about an upgrade. We instantly fell in love with the X100V in the short time we used it and can’t wait to test it and put it through its paces in a few weeks time when we receive our review sample.
Fujifilm X100V: Availability and pricing
The X100V, which will be made in black and silver will cost £1299 when it goes on sale. The silver version will be available first and is expected to hit the shelves and online retailers from the 27th February. The black version of the X100V is expected to follow a little later and be available from the 12th March.
The X100V weather resistance kit, which includes an adapter ring (AR-X100) and filter (PRF-49), will cost an additional £99, however it’ll be sold at half price (£49.50) in the UK when it’s purchased at the same time as the camera.
An optional premium leather case (LC-X100V) will also be available for the X100V, which has been designed to compliment the classic design, whilst providing access to the camera’s battery and memory card compartment. The black case will cost £79.