The Fujifilm X100V ($1,399.95) is the fifth iteration of the company’s chic, retro-styled compact camera. As with earlier entries, it includes a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, an SLR-sized image sensor, and a wide aperture prime lens. This version offers a few welcome upgrades, including new optics, a better viewfinder, weather protection, and a tilting LCD. That makes it an overall better camera than the X100F, and one that is certain to compel owners of older models to upgrade. It also makes the X100V a PCMag Editors’ Choice.
A Familiar Design, Improved
The X100 series has evolved from a handling perspective over the years, but its basic look and feel are unchanged. You can get it in your choice of all black or a two-tone black and silver look. The viewfinder sits in the corner, offering your choice of an optical or through-the-lens electronic view, and the lens is a fixed prime with a moderately wide angle of view.
Acros, f/9, 1/4-sec, ISO 640
The image sensor is as large as you’ll find in Fujifilm’s mirrorless camera systems and entry-level SLRs. Because of this, the X100V isn’t tiny to the point that it slides into a small pocket, but it will certainly find a home in the larger confines of jackets.
It measures in at 2.9 by 5.0 by 2.1 inches (HWD) and is rather dense, packing 1.1 pounds into its frame. The body has a modest contour to serve as a grip, and offers dial-driven tactile controls, hammering its old-school aesthetics further home.
For the first time, Fujifilm has included dust and splash protection. It certainly ups the desirability for travelers and documentary photographers who want to make images in rain and shine alike. You’ll need to add the $45 AR-X100 adapter ring to prevent drops from getting into the lens, and adds a standard 49mm filter thread to the lens.
Acros, f/8, 1/60-second, ISO 1600
There are third-party solutions too. NiSi sells a clear UV filter that attaches to the lens without the need for the AR-X100 adapter ring; it costs $39 and is designed smartly, so that you can still use the slip-on metal lens cap with it attached. The company also sells a holder for rectangular glass filters, including a graduated neutral density filter for landscape work, in kits starting at $50.
The lens has new optics, but the same 23mm focal length and f/2 maximum aperture as older models. The image sensor isn’t as big as a film frame, though, which means the angle of view matches that of a 35mm full-frame prime.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/2,000-second, ISO 160
It’s a moderately wide view, a bit tighter than the main lens on most smartphones or competitors like the Ricoh GR family and Fujifilm’s own XF10. You can get an add-on lens for the X100V to broaden its view to 28mm, and there’s another one to tighten it to 50mm; each is priced around $350.
I’ve not had the opportunity to try either conversion lens, but they are well regarded in terms of quality. They certainly add some bulk and cost to the camera, though. If you prefer a wider angle of view, or a tighter one, your needs may be better served by an interchangeable lens model. The market for fixed-lens cameras simply isn’t robust enough to support variations of every focal length under the sun.
Acros, f/2, 1/750-second, ISO 640
You’ll spend more on an X-Pro3 and an appropriate prime lens, but you might find the premium to be worthwhile to get your preferred angle of view. From an imaging and handling perspective, the X-Pro3 is as close as you’ll get to the X100V with an interchangeable lens design.
Fujifilm’s cameras have a very film-camera feel when it comes to controls. Instead of using a Mode dial to swap between aperture, shutter, or manual exposure control, the X100V has dedicated controls to set its aperture, shutter, and ISO. It can also be set to work like most digital cameras—there are front and rear control dials too, just like you find on a Nikon or Sony.
The model badge and Fujifilm branding are printed on the top plate, to the left of the hot shoe. The shutter speed control dominates the right; it can be set from 1 to 1/8,000-second in full-stop increments, and includes an A position for automatic control, as well as Bulb and Time settings. In Time mode, you can set the shutter for exposures as long as fifteen minutes.
ISO control is nested in the shutter dial, with its value visible in a cut-out window. To set it, you’ll pull the knurled ring straight upward; it then turns freely. You can set it from ISO 160 through 12800 at third-stop precision, or use A for automatic control and C to move ISO control to the front command dial.
Acros, f/5.6, 1/60-second, ISO 1250
You’ll also find the shutter release on top. It’s the standard two-stage type, with a half-press engaging autofocus and a full press snapping a photo. The On/Off toggle surrounds it, and the release has a thread so you can add a rounded soft release accessory or trigger the camera with a mechanical remote cable.
The EV adjustment dial and programmable function button round out the top controls. The EV dial doesn’t lock, but requires a bit of effort to turn, cutting down on unwanted changes to scene brightness. It can be set three stops in either direction, and has a C setting to move the function to the front command dial.
Acros, f/16, 1/8-second, ISO 640
By default, the unmarked function button sets the camera’s metering pattern. It’s not something I change that often, so I opted to reprogram it to toggle the in-lens neutral density filter. The filter cuts out four stops of light, so you can use longer shutter speeds to blur motion, even when working in sunlight.
The rear is comparatively sparse. Drive/Delete and AEL/AFL buttons are above the LCD, with plenty of space between them so you can find either by feel. The rear command dial is in the same row, positioned further to the right. Menu/OK, Play, and Display/Back are to the right of the display, below the eight-way joystick used to navigate menus and adjust the focus area.
Acros, f/2, 1/1,500-second, ISO 640
The Q button is off to the side, near the top of the ridge that serves as the rear thumb rest. It launches an on-screen control menu for direct access to up to sixteen camera functions. It’s navigable via touch or physical controls—the eight-way joystick swaps between options and the rear command dial changes the settings.
If you don’t like the default choices you can change what’s there—I added direct control over the in-camera film grain simulation, as an example. You can also cut down the number of options shown to twelve, eight, or four.
Hybrid Viewfinder and Tilting Display
The hybrid viewfinder is the hallmark of the X100 series, and one that sets it apart from every other fixed-lens camera on the market. With the X100V it’s changed a little bit, sharing the same components used by the X-Pro3.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/950-second, ISO 160
The result is a bright optical finder with a wide 0.5x magnification rating. It shows a portion of the image outside the view of the lens, with a projected frame line showing what’s in your shot. The lines shift when focusing close, to compensate for parallax. Your active autofocus point, as well as exposure information, is projected as well—all in crisp, bright text.
A flip of the front toggle switch changes the viewfinder to its electronic mode. If you’ve used earlier versions of the camera, you’ll notice the improvement here immediately. The EVF is now an OLED, instead of an LCD, so it refreshes more smoothly and offers punchier colors. Its image is larger to the eye than the optical view, 0.66x, and shows the scene just as the sensor and lens do.
Acros, f/2, 1/600-second, ISO 640
Both autofocus and manual focus are available with either viewfinder mode. If you opt to go with manual focus with the optical view, a small electronic screen pops up in the bottom right corner. It shows the view from the sensor, necessary as the optical finder always shows the world in clear focus.
I appreciate Fujifilm taking the time to make manual focus possible using the optical viewfinder, but it’s not that practical to use. It’s not as quick or easy to set focus as with a manual focus rangefinder patch—the type used by the Leica M10—and the X100V’s autofocus is plenty speedy. If you do want to set focus manually, you’ll have a more pleasant experience using the full-size EVF or the rear LCD.
Speaking of which, the X100V’s rear display has been upgraded in a very significant way. For the first time it’s mounted on a hinge, giving it ample upward, and a little bit of downward tilt. Even with the added articulation, it sits perfectly flush against the body—there’s an indentation on the body and a corresponding notch on the side of the screen so you don’t have to fumble too much when pulling it away.
The articulation is especially useful for times when you want to capture a scene from a lower or higher angle—you won’t have to get down on your knees to see the screen for low shots, and you can still see what’s in frame when holding the camera above your head. The EVF is automatically disabled when the screen is pulled out.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/90-second, ISO 160
Display quality is strong. The screen is 3 inches with a 1.62-million-dot resolution. It’s bright enough for most situations at its default setting, and can get brighter for use in very bright conditions. Touch is supported—you can tap to set a focus point or to make an image, and you’re also able to map commands to swipe gestures.
The screen’s touch functions work when you’ve got the camera to your eye, too. It acts as a control for the focus point. I use my left eye with a viewfinder, so the touch pad control is useless to me—my nose bumps the screen too often. You can restrict the function to one or two quadrants of the screen if you’d like, or disable it entirely.
Acros, f/2, 1/12,000-second, ISO 640
There’s some redundancy here—the eight-way joystick does the same thing—but that’s the story of the X100V in general. It gives you a few different ways to do most things, and you can choose what works for you.
Wired and Wireless Connectivity
The X100V sports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can connect it to an Android or iOS device in minutes. It works with the Fujifilm Cam Remote app, a free download, so you can use your phone to control the camera or to transfer images wirelessly. If you have Adobe Lightroom on your tablet, you can also copy photos directly from the camera via its USB-C port.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/850-second, ISO 160
There’s a single memory card slot; it supports SDXC media, but tops out at UHS-I transfer rates. It’s only something to fret about if you plan on using the camera for burst capture—and even then, images write to memory cards quickly enough. It’s the only piece of tech that seems out of date in an otherwise feature-packed product.
Despite using the same battery, the X100V improves life versus the X100F. Its sensor and processor are more power efficient, so it’s rated for up to 420 shots using the optical finder or 350 using the EVF.
Acros, f/2, 1/170-second, ISO 640
Other functions, like video, wireless transfer, and playback matter too, but most photogs will get through a day at the museum or in the city on a single battery. On-the-go charging via USB-C is an option, so you can just carry a power bank to top off in the field. You can buy a spare NP-W126S battery for about $65, and third-party alternatives are out there for a lot less.
There’s a hot shoe, so you can add an external flash if you want. The X100V also has an in-body flash, capable of syncing with the in-lens shutter at speeds as short as 1/4,000-second. Some competitors, including the Ricoh GR III and Sigma dp1 Quattro, don’t include a flash.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/1,800-second, ISO 160
In addition to USB-C, which works for data transfer, charging, and as a headphone jack using an optional adapter, there’s a micro HDMI port for video output and a 2.5mm jack for a wired remote control or microphone. Most mics use a 3.5mm connection, so you’ll probably need an adapter.
The X100V’s autofocus system is on-sensor. Early models relied entirely on contrast detection—slow, but accurate—but more recent entries have moved to a hybrid system that uses both contrast and phase detection for quicker, but still precise, focus.
The camera acquires focus and captures an image with as little as a 0.05-second lapse. There is some visible physical movement of the lens group, though, which means that there’s some sound when focus is engaged, and if you’re trying to move from close-up to distance you can expect a delay, somewhere between 0.15 and 0.33-second.
Burst capture is available at speeds faster than you’ll probably need from a camera with a fixed 35mm prime lens. With the mechanical leaf shutter the camera tops out at 11fps, accompanied by a quick click-click-click sound as shutter opens and closes. There’s a silent electronic shutter too; it ups the capture rate to 20fps.
Acros, f/2, 1/450-second, ISO 640
The buffer isn’t huge, but it’s good enough for about 20 Raw or 40 JPG shots before the capture rate stutters and slows. It takes between five and ten seconds to clear all the images to a memory card.
At top speed, the autofocus is locked after the first shot. When you have the camera set to continuous focus, the burst rate slows to 6fps, still quite brisk for the type of action you’ll likely capture with this lens. The limitation here is the speed at which the lens elements move—if you’re trying to get shots of your pet or child running straight toward the lens, you may seem some softness as the focusing elements try to keep pace.
Acros f/2, 1/14,000-second, ISO 640
As for focus options, you can manually select from a point or group of points, or let the camera decide what to focus on. You can turn on face and eye detection if you’d like, and you’ll have freedom composing images as focus coverage extends almost to the edge of the sensor.
The image sensor inside the X100V is new to the series, but not to the world. It’s the same 26.1MP BSI CMOS imager that Fujifilm has used in cameras dating back to the X-T3. It has an X-Trans color array, a native base ISO 160 sensitivity, and can be set as high as ISO 51200 when needed.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/2,000-second, ISO 160
Out-of-camera JPGs are among the best you’ll find. Fujifilm includes a number of in-camera color options, most named after different analog films. The camera’s standard look is Provia, and captures images that look similar to the default settings on most cameras.
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You also get a vivid look (Velvia), and options with less contrast for portraiture (Astia) or lower color saturation (Classic Chrome). For black-and-white you can choose from a look that emulate Acros film, a standard monochrome, or a sepia tone. Virtual filters simulate the effects of a green, red, or yellow filter, so you have some flexibility in how different colors are depicted in your monochrome images.
New to the X100 family are Eterna and Classic Negative; the former is based on cinema film, while the latter takes its cues from Fujifilm’s popular Superia stock, a film that was loaded in many an SLR back in the ’80s and ’90s.
Acros, f/10, 1/60-second, ISO 2000
You can apply different levels of grain effects, and leverage a Color Chrome mode to help pull out details when making images of subjects with high color saturation—think about macro shots of flowers here. If you work in Raw format, you can process any image in-camera with any JPG effect, so you can create as many versions of an image as you want.
Image quality remains strong in dim light, even in JPG format. With default processing enabled, the X100V’s JPG output shows strong detail with little evidence of noise through ISO 1600. We see some smudging of fine lines at ISO 3200, and there’s some additional detail loss at ISO 6400 and 12800. You’ll notice some blurring of detail, even without zooming in to a pixel level, at ISO 25600 and 51200.
Acros, f/13, 1/30-second, ISO 3200
Raw capture is an option, too. You’ll net clearer detail, but also some more grainy noise, at higher settings. The larger advantages are freedom to adjust color and exposure, either via in-camera processing or third-party desktop software like Adobe Lightroom. The X100V’s Raw images hold a load of information, so you have the freedom to open shadows, curb highlights, and tone images to taste.
Fujifilm went back to the drawing board for the X100V lens. Its engineers kept the form factor the same, so owners of older models can use the same filters and add-on lenses. Even with the physical constraints, the new design nets images with noticeably sharper detail, and delivers crisp performance at close focus distance, something the older design didn’t manage.
Imatest shows resolution that we consider excellent for a 26MP sensor at f/2, about 3,100 lines. The field of focus is relatively flat, and the lens optics do a good job off-center, so resolution at the periphery of the frame is nearly as good.
Acros, f/5.6, 1/60-second, ISO 1250
Resolution ticks up slightly at f/2.8 (3,150 lines), and plateaus at f/4 (3,350 lines), f/5.6 (3,375 lines), and f/8 (3,300 lines), all excellent numbers. There’s a slight drop at f/11 (2,925 lines) and the minimum f/16 aperture (2,265 lines).
Focus is available as close as 3.9 inches, so you can get up close and personal with your subject. It captures subjects at roughly 1:4 life-size at its closest focus distance, and delivers excellent sharpness, even at f/2. Earlier editions of the camera exhibited a soft focus effect when focusing close.
The in-lens neutral density filter continues from previous models. When activated it cuts out four stops of light, so you can use longer shutter speeds in bright conditions. It’s helpful for landscape shots—it smooths out moving water in shots that include creeks and waterfalls, and is useful for showing motion blur in street shots.
Acros, f/2, 1/2,400-second, ISO 640
You don’t have image stabilization, though, so you’ll need to think about a tripod or find a flat surface to rest the camera upon if you’re going for an exposure longer than a quarter-second.
The X100V is certainly a stills-first camera—the video mode is almost hidden, accessible only via the Drive button. It’s at the bottom of the list, below the burst capture and self-timer settings.
Even so, the video specs are very strong. The camera records 4K footage internally to a card with 200Mbps compression and 4:2:0 8-bit quality. The micro HDMI port outputs clean 4:2:2 10-bit footage to an external recorder, though the camera looks silly with an Atomos Ninja V attached—the external recorder is practically as big as the X100V.
Acros, f/16, 1/4-second, ISO 640
You have the option of 4K UHD at a 16:9 ratio, or DCI at 17:9 at standard frame rates up to 30fps. You can push to 60fps at 1080p with sound. In-camera slow-motion is silent; it tops out at 120fps with 24fps playback, for a five-times slow-mo effect.
All of the same film simulations available in stills mode are there for video. You don’t get adjustable grain or color chrome, though. If you’re working with high-contrast scenes, the flat F-Log profile is included—it decreases color saturation and contrast so you have more freedom to correct color using desktop editing software, but it doesn’t look pleasing out of camera. Log footage needs to be color corrected before it’s viewed by your audience.
Acros, f/2, 1/17,000-second, ISO 640
Video is crisp and stable, as long as the camera is steady. There’s no optical, sensor-shift, or digital stabilization included, so you do see some jumps and jitters when working handheld. The autofocus system is responsive, but the lens shows some stutters and noise when setting focus, so I’d recommend using AF-S rather than AF-C for shots where you don’t need the camera to keep focus on a moving subject.
As for control, the dial-driven approach isn’t ideal for movies, especially if you’re relying on the internal microphone. You can turn on the Movie Silent Control interface, which moves video exposure settings to the touch screen. It’s useful for a lot of reasons, including the option to use a proper 1/48-second shutter speed for 24fps footage.
Acros, f/2, 1/1,100-second, ISO 640
As a video camera, though, the X100V is a little less than the sum of its parts. There are better tools out there if you’re a videos-first creative, all with interchangeable lenses. But when it comes to fixed-lens models, you won’t find one with a better video toolkit than the X100V—and I include the high-end, full-frame Leica Q2 in that evaluation.
Just About Perfect…If You Like a 35mm Prime
Fujifilm has pulled out the stops to make the X100V the best entry in the series to date. It’s brought the lens design up to speed, so it delivers excellent resolution, matching the capabilities of the 26.1MP image sensor. Autofocus is faster and more capable than in previous iterations, and it now supports face and eye detection for stills and video.
The addition of dust and splash protection makes this the perfect camera to grab for a vacation or weekend abroad. Those concepts may seem alien at the moment, but we expect this model to remain current for at least a few years.
Acros, f/2, 1/32,000-second, ISO 640
The tilting screen is a significant design change, and a good one. It makes the X100V even more appealing for handheld photography, opening up new perspectives and angles, without having to contort your body to get them.
And, perhaps most importantly, the X100V handles just as well as earlier models. Photographers who buy an X100 because they love its feel are going to love this one just as much. The dials, the hybrid viewfinder, the small form factor—they’re all still here.
Classic Negative, f/2, 1/550-second, ISO 160
It does mean that you should love, or at very least be enamored with the lens. Personally, I’ve just never warmed to the 35mm angle—it’s not quite wide enough, and not quite narrow enough for my tastes. Conversion lenses are available—if I was buying an X100V, I’d almost certainly use the wide-angle and telephoto conversion lenses extensively.
As for alternatives, you can get the Fujifilm XF10 or the Ricoh GR III for less, each with a wider angle 28mm equivalent lens. Neither has a viewfinder, though. The Panasonic LX100 II is also one to think about; it has an EVF and while it’s lens is a zoom, it’s a bright, sharp one.
Acros, f/8, 1/60-second, ISO 3200
In the premium space, Sony has the full-frame RX1R II available. Its ergonomics aren’t nearly as strong and its battery is paltry, but you can’t argue with the images captured by its 35mm f/2 lens and 42MP full-frame sensor.
If you’re willing to spend thousands, the Leica Q2 is a better design all around. Its 28mm f/1.7 lens is the widest and brightest in the class, and its 47MP full-frame sensor gives you ample room to crop. But it costs five grand, and most folks, even ones who are crazy about cameras, are turned away by the cost of entry. That leaves the Q2 as our Editors’ Choice in this category for luxury customers, with the X100V filling the slot for the rest of us.
Fujifilm X100V Specs
|Dimensions||2.9 by 5.0 by 2.1 inches|
|Sensor Resolution||26.1 MP|
|Sensor Type||BSI CMOS|
|Sensor Size||APS-C (16 x 24mm)|
|Memory Card Slots||1|
|Memory Card Format||SDXC (UHS-I)|
|Battery Type||Fujifilm NP-W126S|
|35mm Equivalent (Wide)||35 mm|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Display Resolution||1.62 million dots|
|EVF Resolution||3.69 million dots|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, USB-C, Wi-Fi, micro HDMI, Microphone (2.5mm)|
|Maximum Waterproof Depth||0 feet|
|HDMI Output||4:2:2 10-bit|