I owned a motorcycle and wanted a lighter kit for touring. I changed my gear to Fuji interchangeable for weight savings. I had already owned the original X100. I stayed with the Fuji system for about 5 years. I have since stopped motorcycling and returned to Nikon DSLR. I have owned every model of the X100. Here are my impressions of the X100V., measured by a small sample but validated (I hope) from my long term Fuji experience.
1. The camera is much more responsive from startup times to writing to the card and overall operation. Touch focus and shoot is almost instantaneous (more about that later).
2. The feel of the camera in the hand is largely the same with more “sharp” edges and a more square shape than the prior models. For me, the X100 demands a thumb grip and I have ordered the Lensmate folding one. Using a thumb grip makes handling any X100 much more comfortable.
3. The menu is quite complex and not intuitive. On prior models I could navigate around with ease from familiarity. That is not the case now.
4. I am not a fan of the touch screen for general use. It does substitute itself for the old 4 way controller with quick up, down, right, left touch movements. As a personal preference, I will move the touch controller functions to the Q menu. It’s just as quick and to me, it simplifies use of the camera. I have reduced the number of Q items to 8 from the original 16 for simplicity. I prefer using the Q menu. Finding the different options for customizing the touch functions requires different menu locations and is a hassle. The touch function will make sense for me for discrete street shots and low level shots. I would have preferred another 4 way controller. Old habits die slowly.
5. Only after reading the manual did I learn the camera can only be USB charged by connection to a computer. The green charging light blinked (battery error message) when connected directly to a USB hub plugged into the house. I haven’t tried charging using a portable power supply, and if this won’t work it is a disappointment. I recommend a house charger for simpler battery charging. I don’t like having the camera tethered to a cable for charging. I might knock it over and there seems to be heat generated that for all I know could cause issues.
6. The port cover seems fragile and I’m not confident it won’t degrade “weather-proofing”. On an iffy day, I’ll seal it with gaffer tape. The same goes for the top plate microphone ports.
7. One can now easily choose aperture, shutter speed and exposure compensation from changing the custom camera controls. This is great.
8. Several of my X100’s required warranty service. My new X100F needed a new board shortly after purchase. Hopefully this model has worked out the kinks.
9. The Fuji dedicated hood system is nice but very expensive. In the past I used the excellent hood from JVC. The X100V JVC model costs $13 and the Fuji model costs $80 and I assume there is no difference in functionality. With the Fuji hood, the original lens cap does not fit (too large). On my JVC hoods the lens cap fit over the hood.
10. There is nothing unique (aside from high cost) about the Fuji UV protective filter, and a good B+W or Hoya filter will do the trick just as well at a much lower cost.
Closing Initial Thoughts
I have 5 images hanging in my office. Two of them were taken with an X100. One of my go to uses for the X100 is long exposure photography. The camera’s functionality is perfect for this, and I don’t have to lug a heavy tripod and fuss with a difficult wired or un-wired remote shutter. I enjoy the new Eterna film simulation, it matches the “Cinematic” presets I use so much in Capture One. The Acros and Chrome simulations are also favorites. This is a shooter’s camera with great capability. It’s a joy to experience.
The .jpeg files are, as always, more than excellent. The following were captured with the Acros film simulation. Louis.
I purchased a Beston battery charger on Amazon for $24. It comes with 2 compatible batteries. Total cost of Fujifilm equivalents would be approximately $150. At full charge, the Beston batteries register only a 75% charge in the camera. The camera retains full capability using these batteries, good enough for spares. The charger brings the Fujifilm batteries to 100% charge.
Nisi makes a nice dedicated hood with a UV filter built in that apparently allows use of the dedicated lens cap. The cost is $39 and it is compatible with the camera’s slotted mount. The Fuji hood is nice but takes up more space than the Nisi will in the bag. It’s on the way from Amazon.
I like using the Lee 7/5 filter system with the X100 (and other cameras). For the X100 the system coincides with the camera’s small size. The filters are very good.
For a strap, I am using a simple Leica strap. Leica’s attachment rings are eminently more functional then split rings, requiring no tool to attach as a split ring does. And I despise split rings that get out of shape from muscling them on using different tools. I do have a dedicated wrench for split ring attachment, purchased on B&H but as is normal for me, I cannot find it. I toyed with using a hand strap, but I like having the camera at the ready around my neck.
Lastly, I like to house the X100v in a case. For me, the best cases are Kaza cases. They are handsome, inexpensive and very protective and light and add to the camera’s ergonomics. Such a beautiful and capable camera needs to be shielded from inevitable drops and bag chatter.
.jpeg images from the camera continue to impress
Here are pictures of the Nisi UV filter/hood installed on the X100v. The original Fujifilm lens hood fits snugly, more snugly in fact than it fits on teh camera fully stock.
I haven’t taken many images this week from being extremely busy. I hope to fix that on Sunday. Tomorrow I have some work to do on our house renovation.
This evening I took a few long exposures. I have a specific blog post from tonight discussing these images.
A few architectural images and a seascape processed with VSCO film. I am finding the new lens to be quite sharp. This shows particularly in the architectural images.
Velvia simulation .jpeg images. White balance auto gave some issues. Had to adjust in Capture One. I don’t care for the colors I got straight from the camera using Auto WB. I much prefer the native colors from the sensor of my Leica M10 both jpg and raw. Correction! I had white balance set to a custom temperature in the camera from my earlier night shoot. Jpegs from the next day’s shoot were excellent.
These geese were shot from the bow of a boat on Narragansett Bay in mid- day sun. The geese were flying away from the sun. NegPro .jpeg, processed in Capture One for pleasing colors. Blacks lightened to reveal the impressive detail in the flock that passed just ahead of the bow. Natively, the NegPro substantially deepens the colors and contrast. I like this simulation. While I was cautious on my shooting angles, the Nisi hood does a good job of stopping lens flare. I think I switched quickly to shutter priority to capture these images. I quite like them.
A few more .jpeg images from this day on the water. I am perfectly content shooting in this format and messing with the different film simulations. I do like the touch screen for changing simulations.
Apeture priority, F2.5ish, Flash on TTL setting, jpeg image, night conditions into a shop window. Processed with Capture One, one click Cinematic 12 preset
These images were shot in darkness conditions at F2, ISO 1600. The shutter speeds ranges from 1/4 second (sloop in the harbor with lights) to up to 1/60th of a second, handheld using the strap to stabilize with downward pressure on my neck. On some of the shots I set the exposure compensation to -1 or so (could not see the setting) and it resulted in noise from underexposure. I set the camera to Acros, Red, perhaps not the best setting for these conditions. I fiddles with the images a bit in Capture One, raising the shadows quite substantially (there was plenty of headroom) and increasing the whites.
The following images were shot mid-day at beautiful Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge, Middletown RI. The shot of the fishermen was almost directly into the sun, it was left of the image’s top corner and the lens controlled flare very well using the built-in ND filter.
I am really enjoying the results from this camera. The lens is very sharp and renders beautifully. The Nisi lens shade is holding up very well. I love how compact the X100 is, but it shoots way over its weight and size. As always, these images were colored to taste using Capture One. Those out of the camera were absolutely fine, but I love the deep greens and blues from the Cinematic presets in Capture One. There was plenty of headroom in the rock shadows to give more interest to the shots.
Another silhouette from Sachuest Point
I continue to grab the X100V when I take along a film camera. It allows me to use a small bag and enjoy the Fuji’s sparkling image quality. I think (from the deep saturation in the flag shot) I had the camera set to vivid. Unsure though. These shots were taken in the late afternoon on the way to and at Second Beach, Middletown RI. The shot of the flag and the grinding stone reminds me of the excruciating grind our country is in the midst of. There were lots of surfers on the beach today despite the tepid waves. They were too far offshore for me to capture anything of interest with the Fuji’s wide lens. I photographed a father and son team on my Rolleiflex after they asked and am halfway through a roll of Ektar on the Rollei, my absolute favorite camera. The Rollei is a people magnet. Auto white balance did not work too well on the flag image and I corrected it with the eyedropper tool in capture one. There was excess warmth, perhaps from the camera adapting to the shadows. The flag to the naked eye had this yellowish tint in the usual white stripes, so that is not a white balance problem in the camera.
My friend Bob Hamel, captured on the fly (from the hip) without getting my camera bearings. I forgot ISO was set at 160 and didn’t check aperture, so this image was 1/20th of a second at F2, and from yesterday I had the exposure compensation set to +1 (probably a good thing). On top of that I missed focus – it’s a Domke ad! I set the camera to Acros green just before taking the shot.