It was February 5th 2019 when we were surprised by Fujifilm North America’s feed on Instagram. The Japanese retro-camera specialist announced the release of their new product called “Fujifilm X100V”. Yes, this is a new successor of the previous X100F that to be honest, is still on top of our favorite compact camera list. However, with many additional features and upgrades on the new Fujifilm X100V, it’s very expected that Fuji will still be dominant in retro-style camera market, at least for 2020 and couple of years onward.
New Fujifilm X100V Review
We’re always a big fan of Fujifilm product, especially with its retro design, amazing built quality, and its exceptional image quality. Yes, those are the things that keep us stick on Fuji team for quite a long time. Well, indeed, if we talk about design and build quality only, there is Leica as another favorite. But, from price point of view, Fuji wins at so many levels. Even if Leica also has distinctive image quality, but Fuji’s color profiles and filters are just… simply keep us to stick on their side. So, without further a due, here is out first thought about the new Fujifilm X100V.
Significant and Notable Upgrades from Previous Series
We don’t know why, somehow, we can’t hold our excitement to review this new camera. Of course, it’s because this camera is our personal favorite to carry around. In fact, X100 line has always been the first option to carry to almost everywhere since the original X100, X100S, X100T, and X100F. The camera is compact and lightweight, so that we can just slip it into our jacket pocket or bag. And one thing that we like of using it is how easy to pull a compact camera like X100 series out of the bag, making it best for street photography. And the good news is that this legacy will still be continued to the new Fujifilm X100V, along with pretty much upgrades.
Comparing the front side of the X100V with previous X100F, we can barely notice the difference. Both cameras look almost identical with similar design, coloring, as well as materials. But, when we move to the rear side, there is notable difference. Yes, the screen of X100V is now tilting! And it is also features with super sensitive touch screen. Based on Fuji’s official release, the new screen is 1.62M-dot touchscreen LCD panel. And with the new tilting mechanism, the camera offers more ease especially when shooting in high or low angle. Moreover, some controls are possible to be executed directly on screen such as picking up focus point, swiping between frames, and doing zoom in and zoom out.
Redesigned Lens and Viewfinder
From the body, we move to the lens that looks fairly similar to X100F, at the very first glance. But, based on Fuji’s information, the lens is in fact, has been pretty much redesigned. Now it uses 23 mm F2 lens. With this kind of lens, X100V offers wider aperture and better performance in close up shooting.
Another upgrade can be found on the viewfinder too. The new X100V is now equipped with hybrid viewfinder that was firstly introduced on the new X-Pro3. Hybrid means that this camera is not only having optical viewfinder, but there is also electronic viewfinder that can be pulled out when user intends to use it. So, we can choose either using optical viewfinder or using more modern Electronic Viewfinder. Using optical viewfinder of course will effect on longer battery life as it does not consume many power.
New Weather-Shield Camera Body
Tilting monitor is not all. Another upgrade on the camera body is that now it is weather-shield. Well, Fuji explained that the body is not 100% weather-shield, especially on the lens. If you see closer to the front side of the lens, there is a part that moves forward and backward when we do re-focusing. Due to this movement, it causes small gap on the front side of the lens that makes particles possible to slip in. This is when the camera can’t be claimed as 100% weather-shield. However, Fuji has brilliantly solved this issue by offering lens extension that will cover this small gap, and makes the camera 100% weather-shield.
Aside from weather-shield capability, there are several othes changes on the body. Material-wise, X100V is now using aluminum allow on top and bottom plate. This is a quite jump from the previous magnesium body, especially because the new aluminum material makes the weather-shielding function possible. This is one good move that has to be appreciated from Fuji. Control dials and buttons are still similar to the previous X100F, only with an addition of Fn button that can be customized, and the USB-C port for charging the camera, doing file transfer, as well as connecting to the headphone. Even though it’s not that significant, don’t forget about the joystick control that is inherited from X-E3 as well.
New Sensor, Inherited from Fuji’s Premium Mirrorless
Unlike other compact cameras, Fujifilm X100 series is undoubtedly placed on different level. It fills the premium market, competing face to face not only to other premium compact like Ricoh GR series, but it also competes with other mirrorless product on ton the same price point. So, no wonder if Fuji puts up its best technology on this camera.
Starting from the sensor, X100V has new redesigned sensor that was also featured on other Fuji’s premium mirrorless X-T3 and X-Pro30, in which both of them are interchangeable lens-camera. For those who are not familiar with this, the sensor is now using back-illuminated XTrans CMOS 4 sensor with 26.1MP resolution. This is combined with the latest “X-Processor 4” to result high-speed image processing with 20 fps burst shooting, making this camera is the fastest and most advanced X100 series.
Autofocus and Video Performance
We’ve talked about the new lens previously. And on good thing from this new lens is it also brings new autofocusing technology and refreshed video recording capability. Starting from the AF system, a borrowed mechanism from X-Pro3 is implied. This is a phase detection autofocus system with 325 focus points all over the frame. Focus tracking is responsive, and you can move between focus point simply by touching the screen.
Secondly, we’re talking about video recording feature of the new Fujifilm X100V. Compared to the previous X100 series, the “V” has most advance video features. Standard 1080/60p format is available, just like on X100F. But, if we want to shoot in higher format, 4K video is available too, even if it’s just limited to 30p.
Battery Life and Price of New Fujifilm X100V
Power-wise, the camera can last till 420 shots when we use OVF, and 350 when we use EVS. However, this score may be different depending on usage intensity and many other aspects. So, if we want to extend battery life, using OVF is recommended.
To conclude this review, we all agree that the new Fujifilm X100V is very capable compact camera that deserves many attentions. The camera features recent technology that is wrapped in such compact body and nicely done design. And for street photography, there should be no question raised. However, if we can suggest, it will be much more considerable if Fuji adds in-body stabilizer and higher resolution for 4K video, remembering that many other competes at the same price point are offering this.
So, for you who are interested to own this camera, price estimate for the brand new Fujifilm X100V is 1399 USD. Although the product may not be distributed in some countries yet when this article is posted, but 1399 USD could be your prior reference before you actually decide to purchase.