Technology

Fujifilm’s X100v Adds A New Lens And Tilting Screen To A Classic Design

FujifilmFujifilm today announced the fifth entry in its X100 series, the X100V, updating the company’s take-everywhere camera with a new lens, a new sensor, a tilting rear LCD, and more. The X100V now shares the same 26.1-megapixel X-Trans IV CMOS APS-C sensor as the X-T3, X-T30, and X-Pro3. And it includes the new film simulations and other software tricks (including in-camera HDR and clarity adjustment) that debuted on the X-Pro3. The X100V ships later this month in black or silver for $1,399.99. That’s $100 more than what its predecessor, the X100F, sold for at launch.

As usual, the X100V maintains the retro, rangefinder aesthetic and host of dials and manual controls for which Fujifilm is known. With the upgraded sensor also comes upgraded glass: Fujifilm says the X100V’s 23mm f/2.0 lens exhibits less distortion than previous X100 cameras and has improved close focus performance, though the focal length and aperture are both unchanged. Corner sharpness is also better, according to the company. The internal neutral density filter now features four stops compared to three in prior models. Any wide and tele converters that worked with the X100F will fit on the X100V without issue.

The X100V’s body has switched from the magnesium alloy in previous X100 cameras to aluminum with a satin coating. Few would be able to tell any difference just by looking at it; the design is very similar to the X100F, with some sharper lines in places. For the first time, the camera’s body is weather resistant. However, the lens is not — so you’ll have to get Fujifilm’s adapter and stick a lens filter on if you want to shoot in the rain or other inclement conditions.

The other big design change is the rear display, which can now be tilted up or down. Despite that new capability, the LCD still sits flush against the back of the camera in normal use. As with Fujifilm’s other recent compact cameras, the four-way D-pad has been removed, so you’ll use the focus joystick and touchscreen for navigating through the camera’s menus. Speaking of focus, Fujifilm says the X100V can focus down to -5EV, which is equivalent to the X-Pro3’s -6EV (since that’s tested with a 34mm f/1.4 lens).

The Q button has also been shifted to a better spot than before that’s less prone to accidental presses. At the top of the camera, adjusting the ISO is much easier; you just lift up the outer ring of the dial, select the setting you want, and press it back down to lock in your ISO.

The X100V’s hybrid viewfinder also catches up to the X-Pro3, with a 3.69-million-dot OLED EVF for situations where you don’t use the optical viewfinder. (You can still put a small electronic frame at the lower right of the OVF to preview images or check your focus.) Autofocus performance is excellent and fast, much like the rest of Fujifilm’s current lineup, and the X100V sets itself apart from its predecessors with eye and face AF. Continuous shooting is rated at 11 fps with the mechanical shutter or up to 20 with the electronic shutter. But this isn’t the camera to get for fast action; it’s for carrying around and capturing everyday moments.

Similarly, the X100V is capable of shooting 4K footage at 30 fps, but ultimately it’s more of a stills camera. Videographers and vloggers are better off sticking to the X-T3 since you’ll need to plug external gear into the X100V’s HDMI port to get the most from its video mode. But you’ll appreciate Fujifilm’s fantastic autofocus system if you do decide to shoot some occasional video clips.

I fired off a few shots with the X100V in New York recently, but will need more time with the camera to see if the revamped lens really makes a difference and can avoid softness when shooting wide open. It’s still as fun to use as ever, though, and I’m a big fan of Fujifilm’s newest software enhancements. The Classic Negative film simulation is beautiful and upholds Fujfilm’s reputation for gorgeous JPEGs, and in-camera HDR gives the X100V some of the computational photography smarts that our phones already have — but with much better image quality.

The X100V basically stuffs the X-Pro3’s specs into the eye-catching X100 body design — albeit with a fixed lens and without the X-Pro3’s strange, controversial flip-down rear LCD. Unlike with that camera, Fujifilm didn’t take any bold risks or make any drastic changes here. It simply modernized a camera that many photographers have already fallen for — no doubt hoping that some people are ready to upgrade their X100S, X100T, or X100F. (What’s Fujifilm going to call the next one?)

February is set to be a busy month for Fujifilm; the X-T4 is expected to be unveiled later this month and is rumored to feature in-body image stabilization for the first time. To this point, the X-H1 has been the company’s only camera to feature IBIS.