Who should buy the Fujifilm X100V
The rangefinder was a take on simplicity and quality. It was made as a reaction to the addage that the only good camera was a large camera. In fact, it can be argued quite convincingly that Leica’s claim to fame stemmed from their success in manufacturing fantastic smaller rangefinder style cameras that were able to deliver stunning images.
How the rangefinder cameras worked
To make a long story very very short, the rangefinder was able to shorten the distance between a lens and the film by using a different system to nail manual focus. The rangefinder system uses a double lens range match system to attain a desired focus.
Most varieties of rangefinder show two images of the same subject, one of which moves when a calibrated wheel is turned; when the two images coincide and fuse into one, the distance can be read off the wheel.
V equals 5 (Fuji’s take on vintage)
So for the whole line of X100 cameras you do not have to go far to see where Fujifilm took their inspiration. But what Fuji has done is add a technological spin to an old idea. The simplicity/quality concept that was the goal of this rangefinder style is now brought into the 21st century. What is oh so much fun is that Fuji realized earlier on that the vintage style look and feel of these cameras was not something to be ignored.
Fujifilm’s high tech twist
The result is a vintage hands on look and feel camera line with a high tech twist. Fuji’s take on the rangefinder is a super high quality image digital convenience with the hands-on dial system of old. Therefore, it goes without saying that after coming out with five iterations of the same camera, Fujifilm is doing something right.
Upgrades X100 v2, X100T, X100F, and Now X100V
Fuji has added a little more to each new model each time new versions are introduced. So much so that many were wondering how Fujifilm could possibly improve? What could Fuji add to a pretty well optimized digital rangefinder camera? Surprisingly, they have come up with many useful imnprovements. Lets look at what they are:
Most notable improvements
- Featuring a new 23mmF2 lens
- Advanced hybrid viewfinder
- Optional weather resistance (via optional AR-X100 adapter ring and the PRF-49 protection filter)
- 2-way tilting rear LCD screen
- Update of the X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4
- An added stop to the internal ND filter
Other improvements worth noting
- Even more attention to detail and finish (it is nice)
- A more comfortable lens barrel
- Touch controls
- Vintage ISO dial ( à la Canon AE-1)
Improving the most important (My two cents)
I think fuji made some great decisions on this camera by improving some important key features that, quite frankly, on any camera, are always welcome imporvements. To take advantage of the X-T3 quality image sensor and processor is definitely a bonus as the Fujifilm X-T3 has definitely shown its capacity to create stunning photos.
Check out the photo portfolio gallery and the instagram by clicking here. Most pictures were taken using the X-T3. See specs and captions
Fixing the bottleneck (A better IQ lens)
Fuji increased resolution on the new camera’s 23mm f/2 lens. This lens, according to Fujifilm, now gives you
“lower distortion and improved close focus performance”
It goes without saying that, no matter what form of technology you might have processing your image, the goal is to process the best light possible. This is only possible with a stellar lens plain and simple. So, for me, increasing lens quality will, without exception get you on my good side. On the X100V focal length and aperture were already perfect but for IQ, I think there is always room for improvement on a lens.
Conversion and compatibility
Cool things that were kept was compatibility with legacy WCL/TCL conversion lenses. There is nothing worse than upgrading and finding yourself stuck with accessories that are rendered useless on your newer model camera.
The sensor is now the same back illuminated X-Trans CMOS4 and X-Processor 4 from the flagship X-T3 for greater focus, IQ, and face and eye detection performance. This, to me, is extremely welcome because I cannot tell you the extent to which both the combination of the new processor and sensor changed my outlook on Fujifilm cameras. They really changed the game and made Fuji a contender, even when comparing to other full frame camera options from Sony, Canon and Nikon.
That hybrid viewfinder
What Fuji considers a real bonus is their hybrid viewfinder. This has also been improved. You can chose between a .52X optical viewfinder or a 3.69M dot OLED EVF. The EVF offers 95% frame coverage. Fujifilm also have continued on the concept of the ERF which is a hybrid of the the OVF and the EVF offering an optical preview with an EVF to the bottom right. I have owned the X100F and can tell you now that this feature of the camera, for me, was rarely used. It is an either/or situation. This contributes to the steeper price of the X100 line and does not add a whole lot of added value to the camera in my humble opinion. It is good to see that it is improved but, I personally would rather just see a highly improved EVF.
X100 V video functions
All the great video features of the X-T3 can now be found in this little camera.
- 4K video at up to 30 frames per second
- 120 frames per second at 1080p (high bitrate for slow mo)
- 10-bit, 4:2:2 color externally via the HDMI
- Eterna film simulations to video
Coupled with a better lens and a tilt screen, I think that this camera can have a great deal of really interesting uses. Having a high quality compact APS-C sized sensor, one lens, photo and video camera in one’s pocket is quite a big deal and should not be overlooked.
My personal assesment and conclusion
When looking at any camera I always come to the questioning of; who would want to buy a camera and why buy that camera instead of another? I guess the easiest way to let you judge is to list who I think it is for and who I think it isnt for. After that I can let you make the decision
Who is it for
- Street photographers
- Lifestyle photographers with an eye for extra image quality
- Posers (it is truly a beautiful camera)
- Fine art photographers that need something to go everywhere
- Bloggers with a need for beautiful blog image content
Who it is not for:
- Fashion photographers
- Event photographers
- Vloggers. It now has a tilt screen but not a flip screen (too bad)
Other options to the X100V
For those wanting to stay in the Fuji ecosystem I believe that the XT30 equipped with the low priced yet high quality 27mm f/2.8 might be a really attractive offer for you. Giving you roughly the same size, way more features and the possibility to always upgrade to other workflows and types of photography via the interchangeable lens mount.