Four Weeks with the X100V

Started Jul 19, 2021 | User reviews thread
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kaphinga Veteran Member • Posts: 3,981
Four Weeks with the X100V

I am primarily a Micro 4/3 shooter, but I have been Fuji-curious for a long time, and have been wanting some form of the X100 ever since it was first introduced ten years ago. I finally figured that I wasn’t getting any younger and I might as well give in to the desire. I ordered an X100V in May, and it arrived four weeks ago. This is a summary of my first impressions, along with some random images.

First off, the often repeated cliche about the X100V is correct. It’s the kind of camera that just makes you want to go out and photograph. It’s all about the joy of /capturing/ images — not about fiddling with dials and not about post processing, although you can certainly do those things, too. The beauty of the X100V is not about any particular feature you can list on a spec sheet; rather, it’s about how all the parts work together so beautifully. It’s a beautifully designed camera.

Tilt Screen
Love, love, love the tilt screen! My original Olympus EM-10 had a tilt screen, and the later models moved to a twist screen. The tilt screen is perfect for waist-level shooting in urban environments, and I am so happy to have a tilt screen again.

The tilt screen came in handy here.

I like the separate dials and rings for shutter, aperture and ISO, but I am using it a bit differently than I expected. For the most part, I am defaulting to Auto everything, and then adjusting as necessary before I bring the camera to my eye before each shot. So, I will adjust individual elements as I am thinking about what I am going to shoot. By the time I raise the camera to my eye, the only thing I might adjust is exposure compensation. It’s a very different experience.

Viewfinder Options
It’s nice to have multiple options for framing an image — OVF, EVF, or touch screen. Still trying to sort out when I prefer each method. The tilt screen combined with touch-to-shoot is great for shooting from the hip. The rangefinder style OVF is nice for capturing motion because I can see a little bit outside the frame. The EVF is nice for making exposure adjustments.

Fixed Focal Length
The fixed focal length is fine. Sure, there are times when a zoom would be nice, but overall I have adjusted pretty quickly.  I knew going into it that 35mm equivalent is a good focal length for me. I also knew that the 28mm equivalent on something like a Ricoh GR was a total no-go. On the other hand, I certainly wouldn’t mind having an 85mm equiv or thereabouts to pair with it — I am thinking that my EM5.3 + 45mm f/1.8 might pair just fine  for now.

I cropped a bit here, but overall the focal length is pretty comfortable.

Autofocus is solid enough for my purposes. I am not a wildlife or sportshooter, and skateboarders are about the fastest subject I deal with.

The light was not the greatest here, but I was happy that I was able to capture the skateboarder with relative ease on my first attempt at continuous autofocus.

Leaf Shutter
I am just beginning to play around with the flash and the leaf shutter. Being able to use the built-in flash faster with a shutter speed than 1/250 opens up a lot of possibilities.

I do miss IBIS sometimes. It’s all okay, though. I just know that I can’t manage the crazy handheld shutter speeds that I can do with my M4/3 gear.

Film Simulations
I have gone pretty deep into the rabbit hole of film simulations. It definitely takes a while to figure out which ones work in which lighting conditions. It’s almost like “pre-processing” instead of “post-processing.” The simulations are making me think more about the lighting conditions and the mood I want to evoke right there on the spot as I am shooting, not back at my computer several hours later. Of course, I am shooting raw, too, and so I still have the option of changing things later if I get it wrong in camera. In the aggregate, though, I am spending a lot less time post-processing the Fuji images.

Acros R - SOOC

Wish I could remember which film simulation I was using here.

ND Filter

There aren't any waterfalls around here, and so I tested the ND filter with a storm drain.

Bluetooth automatically sync’s the the camera’s time from my phone. Also, geotagging happens automatically. I don’t have to launch an app, start geo-tagging and then having to remember to /stop/ geo-tagging. The connectivity isn't perfect, though.  The process of transferring files to your phone remains a hassle.

I will have to confess that I have bought a lot of accessories for the X100V. Some have worked out better than others.

  • The filter adapter (JJC version) is essential.
  • I am pretty much using a clear filter instead of a lens cap.
  • The B+W polarizer was more expensive than I expected at just under $50.
  • Love the simplicity of the Gordy wrist strap.
  • The Lensmate thumbrest isn’t working for me. I have small hands, and the thumbrest is just a little out of my reach.

Miscellaneous Small Touches
There are some appealing little touches on the X100V. Some of them sound trivial, but it adds up:

  • The horizon level is unobtrusive and intuitive. There’s a nice horizon level that displays all the time, and then I can press a button to add an up/down level.
  • The electronic indicators in general are not as distracting as they are with Olympus. (That’s always been a big beef of mine with Oly. I can’t count the number of compositions I have screwed up because there’s some flashing light that that has obscured something around the edge of the frame.)
  • The menus aren’t totally intuitive, but they are more straightforward than Olympus, by a long shot.
  • There’s a little orange dot on battery that shows which way to insert it into the camera. No more squinting at the contact pins to see which way to insert the battery.
  • I just discovered a feature called White Balance Lock, which is useful for preserving the white balance in a sequence of shots. Also, it makes setting a custom white balance a breeze. Very cool.

What Could Be Better

What Fuji calls “Spot Meter Lock” really just toggles between your current metering mode and Spot Metering. I wish that Spot Meter Lock would also lock the exposure.

It’s too easy to inadvertently rotate the exposure compensation dial as you are removing the camera from the bag. I wish there was a little lock pin on that dial.

When I connect the camera to the Fuji raw processing app, the camera always switches to JPG only and overrides my JPG+RAW setting. This has gotten me into trouble a couple of times. At first I thought that I had inadvertently reset something, but then I realized that the Fuji X-Raw app was doing it. Now, I know that I have to reset to JPG+RAW after I play around with the raw processing app.

Next Steps

One of my happiest shooting experiences was taking taking street portraits with an iPhone 4 back in the day.  The old phone had a 35mm equivalent lens, and I loved the focal length and the direct way of shooting. The image quality, of course, pretty much sucked.  One of my motivations in getting the X100V was to combine some of the directness of the iPhone experience with the better image quality of a dedicated camera.

An old iPhone shot from 2011. This is what I want to get back to doing, just with better IQ.

For now, I am still struggling photographing people. The problem, though, is not the camera.   Part of the issue, I think, is that the rise of social media and face recognition have made people much more suspicious of being photographed.  Also, Covid is a factor on several fronts.  Festivals and large gatherings of people are just not happening right now, and my social skills have declined after a year in relative isolation.

I am confident, though, that patience and practice will eventually help to overcome these hurdles.

All in all, though, I am a very happy camper. The camera is a joy to use, it's beautifully designed, and it’s perfectly suited to working in an urban environment.

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 kaphinga's gear list:kaphinga's gear list
Nikon D750 Fujifilm X100V Olympus E-M5 III Olympus E-M1 III Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Fujifilm X100V
26 megapixels • 3 screen
Announced: Feb 4, 2020
kaphinga's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Fujifilm X100V
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