UPDATE: I finally have my X100V and have been shooting with it for a few days now. All the points that I speculated below turned out to be 100% true. The new camera has better focusing ability, a sharper lens, and the new Classic Negative film simulation looks great! After I have more time with it, I’ll update this post with more about my experiences using new V, but I can tell you now that it is immediately clear the the X100V is a far better camera than the X100F in every way.
I wasn’t going to do it and I tried to resist. I attempted to convince myself that eyeing up the new Fujifilm X100V camera was just a case of G.A.S (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). My current X100F is a great camera, after all. There’s no need to get the new iteration. Alas, I have decided to go ahead and order the new camera.
To be clear, I do not yet have this camera in my posession, nor have I been able to use it. I only pre-ordered it at B&H. I’ll be sure to write about the new one after having a chance to use it.
I have been shooting with Fuji cameras for about 3 years now. Fuji was my introduction to mirrorless cameras and I have since left behind DSLRs completely with my Nikon fire sale last summer. But I am a recent user of the X100 series. I wish I would have got in to this system sooner because I have LOVED shooting with my X100F since I purchased it in Fall 2019.
It’s such a great camera for every day shooting. I use my X100F for shooting around the house, family events, and as my walk around camera while travelling. When I am hanging out with my 6 month old daughter, I often have a camera at the ready so I can capture some of the fun. This camera has been perfect for that!
The 23mm f/2 lens gives me an excellent 35mm full frame equivalent field of view which is a happy medium for everyday shooting. Not too wide, not too telephoto. Sometimes I wish I had a bit more reach or wider field of view, but that’s the trade off and 35mm is a fairly decent middle ground. Plus, the f/2 maximum aperture is fast enough for most shooting conditions to get enough light to your sensor without pushing ISO up too much.
I also love the hybrid viewfinder! It is a totally different experience shooting with a hybrid viewfinder than with a DLSR or mirrorless EVF. It has the “fun factor” that Fuji camera are so good at providing.
It’s great for shooting everything from people to landscapes. Simply put, this camera is compact and fun to shoot with.
Why I Resisted The X100V
When the X100V was announced, I didn’t figure that I would upgrade. When the specs came out, the new camera initially was underwhelming when compared to the still great X100F. I had a two main reasons why I initially had no interest in this camera.
My first hesitation is the image quality. The new camera has the newer sensor and processor of the X-T3 while the older X100F has the older sensor shared with the X-T2. That’s great to have the new sensor tech, but in reality there isn’t much of a difference in image quality between the two sensors. When I moved from my beloved X-T2 and upgraded to the X-T3 and I honestly saw minimal image quality differences. So I figure the same will be true with the older X100F and the new X100V. Image quality is not a reason to upgrade.
The next hesitation was the lack of a D-pad. Oh boy, is this is a hot topic on the forums! It’s totally a preference thing, but I am in the camp that is very disappointing with Fuji’s trend to remove this from their cameras. I really like having the D-Pad. Mostly just for use as customizable function buttons. I know you can make screen swipes do the same thing, but I didn’t like that on my X-T3. swiping for functions can be very clunky to use. It’s not like they made the body smaller. So I don’t understand what this trend to remove the D-pad is all about. Aesthetics, I guess.
Why I Decided to Upgrade to the X100V
My hesitations aside, after looking at the specs a little more I eventually came to the decision that the X100V is a worthy upgrade. This camera is spec’d out with some great quality of life features that are going to make shooting with this camera even better than the X100F. Here are the reasons why the new camera is right for me.
Changing the ISO on the X100F was a bit clunky. The dial to change ISO was the same dial used to change shutter speed. That’s no different on the new camera, but the dial has been redesigned. On the older camera you would have to pull up of the dial and move it to the ISO value that you need. The thing about that is you needed to keep holding the dial up as you turned. With the new X100V, you also have to pull up on the dial to change ISO, but you don’t have to hold the dial up. You simply lift the dial and it stays up while you change the ISO to the value that you need. Then you push the dial back down and get back to shooting.
If this sounds like a small change to you, it is. However, I can tell you that it is a welcome change. Especially when you have a flash or flash trigger mounted.
The X100V has added a touchscreen! This is very welcome. All my cameras have had a touchscreen since upgrading to my X-T3. So when using my X100F, it isn’t uncommon for me to try to change the focus point by tapping the screen. To no avail, of course. So again, a touchscreen is another quality of life addition.
Fuji also gave this camera a flippy screen. That will be nice to have available, but this isn’t the type of camera where I personally need a flippy screen.
This one is big! The electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the X100F suuuuuuucks. I mean, it’s really bad compared to what’s out today. For reference, I have Sony’s A7III and A7rIII in addition to my X-T3. Those are the EVF’s I was used to when I purchased my X100F and those EVF’s are pretty darn good. So the new 3.69 megapixel EVF (upgraded from 2.36 megapixels) is a very welcome upgrade that will make shooting with the X100V a much nicer experience.
The optical viewfinder (OVF) is also upgrades with more coverage and slightly better magnification so that is welcome too!
The X100 series finally has a new lens! Mark II! This is the only really big upgrade in the new camera, in my opinion. I don’t know what has been changed in the Mark II lens. I am not knowledgeable in nor interested in the engineering of the gear we use. However, I am very interested in practical use and the word on the street is that the new lens is sharper and focuses better than the older one, especially in close up situations. This is huge for me because I use the X100F camera in close situations all the time. I like getting close enough to fill the frame with my subject and if this camera gives me a better keeper rate, then sign me up!
The autofocus of the X100F is fine, but it could be better especially when shooting fast and unpredictable subjects such as my daughter around the house or children at my family sessions. When I am trying to get cute photos of my daughter especially, I try to get close and the autofocus definitely struggles. The X100V also sports the same autofocus system as the X-T3 with 117 phase detection points covering 99% of the frame. I have no issues with autofocus with my X-T3 no matter the shootin conditions, so having that same system in this camera is quite the advantage.
Most of the time, I am right there with those who say that upgrading your gear won’t improve your photography. However, in this case I think this new camera actually will.
The upgraded lens and autofocus are the two primary reasons why I decided to get the X100V. During the past months shooting with the X100F, I noticed that shooting could be challenging at times. There’s a good amount of hunting autofocus and missed focus. Especially when shooting small children like my daugter, who doesn’t like to hold still. I believe this new camera will help me to get a better keeper rate so I don’t have as many missed shots.