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Fujifilm X100V | Hands-On First Look in London

Back in September of 2010 Fujifilm announced their first X-Series to the market with the X100 premium compact and since then we have seen the S, T and F models released and I am lucky enough to share with you today their fifth-generation model with the X100V. I headed to Fujifilm’s House of Photography in London to get hands-on with a pre-production sample.

Key Features

  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS IV sensor
  • 4K recording at 30p
  • X-Processor 4 Image Processor
  • Second generation 23mm now with 2 aspherical elements
  • Up to 11fps continuous shooting
  • Extended sensitivity output down to ISO80
  • 3.69 million OLED Color Viewfinder
  • 3" tilting touch LCD monitor
  • 4 Stop ND filter

Housing the latest generation of X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 the X100V is capable of capturing 26.1-megapixel images in both Jpeg and 14 bit RAW. Using a back-illuminated design maximizes the resulting image quality along with the dynamic range all without the need for a low pass filter. The powerful X-Processor 4 also helps to ensure a quick and smooth process thanks to new algorithms boosting the autofocus speed to just 0.02secs, which also capable of locking on to subjects down to -5 EV.

Weighing in at a respectable 478g with battery and card the new design we see the premium x-series compact take on a style reminiscent to those of Leica’s. Subtle improvements like the locking pull-up ISO dial, the clean edges of the top and bottom plates milled from single pieces of aluminium, improvements to the camera’s grip and a slight change to the design of the lens barrel all help towards better and more comfortable handling.

This is also the first X100 series camera to feature a weather-resistant build letting you worry less about your kit when out in harsher environments. The only thing you need to be aware of is to achieve this level of protection you will need to add the optional AR-X100 adapter ring and the PRF-49 protection filter due to the lens’ external focus movement.

The lens is a significant improvement when compared to the previous models and still utilises that 23mm focal length but the X100V now has an upgraded mark 2 lens. With a wide aperture of f/2 we get sharper and better contrasts in the resulting images thanks to the extra aspherical element within its design. Looking at the images in full res not only shows how crisp and clear they are but also how beautifully sharp the edge to edge of the pictures are too.

The ISO range has been increased with a native range of 160 – 12,800 and an extended range from 80 - 51,200. We see a built-in 4 stop ND filter sees a 1 stop improvement over the predecessor along with 17 film simulation modes which now include Classic Neg and Eterna.

Burst shooting increases to 11fps or approximately 30fps via the electronic shutter and a 1.25x crop, The buffer at 11fps can handle up to 38 jpegs and 17 raw images which helps make the camera very adaptable for many different subjects.

The X100 offers the ability to shoot non-cropped 4K movies up to 30p or step down to Full HD and gain a frame rate up to 120 for all your super slow-mo footage. Hooking the camera up to an external recorder via the HDMI port lets filmmakers take advantage of the 4.2.2 10-bit output giving far better editing in post when compared to the internal 4.2.0 8-bit format. Whilst shooting in video you still have access to all the film simulation modes including the popular Externa profile.

Vast improvements to the advanced hybrid viewfinder enable users to quickly and easily switch between the 0.52x magnification or the optical viewfinder or the 3.69M dot OLED electronic viewfinder when using the switch housed on the front. With a 95% frame coverage, the optical viewfinder provides parallax-correcting frame lines giving an uninterrupted view of the world as it is, while the camera’s electronic viewfinder delivers a real-time representation of the image as it is being created.

The 1.62m dot 3 inch LCD is the first of its kind in this series of camera thanks to its two-way tilting touch design which made shooting low and high shots much easier and provided a much more intuitive control via the touch interface.

Battery life is quoted up to 420 shots when using the optical viewfinder or 350 via the electronic yet while outshooting my battery’s life was hardly dented so I would expect to get far more than these quoted amounts.

On the side we see the USB type C port for transferring your images and also charging the camera, this also doubles up as the socket to connect the adapter to allow you to plug in headphones for audio monitoring whilst shooting in video mode.

Previous accessories of the X100 series like the adapters and converters are fully compatible with this new model meaning users already in the X-series compact world can easily switch across.

Fujifilm have called this “The One and Only” and whether you see this as the Mark 5 or V model there are significant upgrades that new and previous users to the X-series system will want to get hands-on with. Whether shooting street or travel photography or if you just want something a little more compact compared to a CSC or DSLR, the improvements to the resolution, focus speeds, the design ergonomics, that tilting touch LCD screen, the higher burst shooting and the 4k movie mode just to name a few really leave you with the latest generation of tech inside the iconic and premium x-series compact.

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