For years Fujifilm has been making the finest fixed-lens cameras in its X100 series. With the fixed lens, retro styling, and unusual viewfinder, there’s nothing else that can compete with these street cameras. Now, two-and-a-half years after the release of the X100F, Fujifilm has revealed its follow-up, the X100V available for pre-order from Buydig.com. Let’s compare this fixed lens camera to the previous versions and see what’s new that might make you decide to buy one?
Fujifilm hasn’t gone back to the drawing board for the X100V. It looks very similar to the Fujifilm X100F. However, there are some tweaks and changes. First, the grip has been redesigned to be more ergonomic. It’s not a massive change, but it will make the Fujifilm X100V feel good in your hand. Second, the screen can now flip out away from the body, up to 90-degrees vertically, which will be useful for waist-level work. Third, there’s weather-sealing via attaching an adapter ring and protection filter sold separately.
Newly Designed LCD?
Sitting flush against the rear of the X100V is a new two-way tilting touchscreen LCD. This is a nice usability upgrade over previous models’ LCD screens, as they offered neither touch functionality nor any articulation. This simple two-way tilting design allows for easier shooting from low or high angles.
At first glance you might think the X100V’s lens is identical to the Fujifilm X100F’s. The focal length, a 35mm equivalent, is the very same. So is the f/2.0 maximum aperture and manual control ring. The difference lies in the construction. Although the eight elements arranged in two groups remain the same, two of those elements are now aspherical. On the Fujifilm X100F it was just one molded ASPH element. Aspherical lenses are a more oval shape and help to deliver a ‘flatter’ image appearance. This will make for more natural portraits from a relatively wide-angle lens. The new lens is also capable of resolving higher resolution, delivering lower distortion, and focusing closer to subjects. There’s also a built-in neutral density filter, capable of stopping down four aperture values. This is great if you want to utilize the f/2.0 aperture in brighter conditions that might otherwise be impossible due to excessive light. Compare this to the Fujifilm X100F that has this feature, but only to three stops.
When comparing the new Fujifilm X100V to older X100 models, the X100V comes with a newer sensor than the Fujifilm X100F. It’s APC-C sized, which is the same large scale you’ll find in many DSLR cameras. This gives additional creative control when it comes to blurred background and overall quality. It’s also an X-Trans CMOS type. Which is Fujifilm’s way of delivering a color filter to the sensor surface. While most sensors use a 4 color array, the X-Trans CMOS pushes that to a 16 color array. This removes the low-pass filter and avoids the very minor softness this can introduce, while assuring accurate color reproduction. The main thing about the X100V’s sensor is its slightly higher resolution – 26.1MP versus 24.3MP of the Fujifilm X100F. Also, it’s now capable of capturing video to 4K/30p in addition to the stills. In comparison, the Fujifilm X100T only has a resolution of 16MP.
The Fujifilm X100V’s fast face recognition lets it select autofocus points magically as you shoot from any position. The X100T has the same great face recognition AF system. Using the smallest AF point size, the user-selectable number of AF points jumps from 325 in the X100F to 425 in this new X100V model. While the X100F and this X100V also show you which eye is selected. The X100S and X100 lack facial recognition, which means you have to select AF points manually for best results. Facial recognition in the X100T, X100F and X100V is a huge time saver since you can point and shoot with no AF locking, recomposing or AF point selection needed. Since all the Fuji cameras are optimized for people photos and the lack of facial recognition really slows real-world people photography, the X100S and Fujifilm FinePix X100 are clearly lacking.