Image and lens quality

Out-of-camera JPEG.
ISO 160 | 1/180th sec | F2

With a familiar sensor, we didn't expect anything out of the ordinary in terms of how the X100V's JPEGs and Raw files look, but there are some new settings to play with and the new lens is noticeably improved.

Key takeaways:

  • Broadly similar detail capture and ISO performance to the older X100F
  • High ISO JPEGs show slightly better detail retention at default settings
  • New Color Chrome FX Blue processing mode is inherited from the X-Pro3
  • The redesigned gives noticeably better results than the original, at all subject distances

Studio scene

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

Raw

To start, the X100V looks pretty similar to its predecessor in terms of detail capture, with Ricoh's GR III showing a bit more aliasing from its very sharp lens and the Leica Q2's 47MP of resolution giving it an unsurprising advantage. There are many areas where the X100V turns in noticeably better results than the F, but others where the older camera looks fractionally better. This is almost certainly down to differences between the two cameras' lenses, and we'll take a closer look at their performance later in the page.

As the ISO values climb, we can see similar performance across the APS-C cameras, with the Leica Q2 showing noisier results at the pixel level – and interestingly, even when downscaled to the same resolution – but the Fujifilm results do look like there's some kind of noise reduction going on. As we push the ISO values even higher, the Fujifilms begin to pull ahead of the other options here, but we'd generally hesitate to shoot above ISO 12,800 anyway.

JPEG

The X100V's JPEG engine does a pretty good job of sharpening at its default settings, though the text shows off some fine-detail artifacting. The Ricoh's processing doesn't quite get rid of moiré, but really, all of the APS-C cameras are pretty close in fine detail rendering across the scene. JPEG color is a big differentiator for the Fujifilms, with both X100's showing more vibrant and pleasing colors next to the rather muted tones from the Ricoh and Leica.

As the ISO value climbs, all cameras do a good job suppressing color noise while leaving behind some luminance noise. Even with the Leica downscaled to the same resolution as all the others, the X100V looks good, but the Q2 holds on to more detail in part because of its higher native pixel count. The X100V does a slightly better job holding onto low contrast detail than the F, and they both look better than Ricoh's GR III, which is losing detail but leaving behind a lot of luminance noise in comparison.


Color Chrome effects

Fujifilm first debuted the first 'Color Chrome Effect' in the GFX 50S medium-format camera, and added 'Color Chrome FX Blue' into the recently released X-Pro3. Both are present on the X100V, and we thought we'd provide an example of what these settings do.

The idea behind the first Color Chrome option is to boost contrast in already saturated areas of a given photo; this is most readily apparent with red tones. Color Chrome FX Blue, as you might expect, impacts the cooler tones in an image. You can, of course, combine the two if you like.

Here's an image with strong red and blue tones, and we've introduced both Color Chrome effects to it at 'Weak' and 'Strong' levels, per the menus.

Color Chrome Off Color Chrome Weak Color Chrome Strong

Lens quality

One of the big updates on the new X100V is that the lens has been completely redesigned; on the inside, anyway. It's almost identical on the outside to remain compatible with the company's existing WCL-X100 and TCL-X100 wide-angle and telephoto lens adapters. A new optical formula adds with one more aspherical element than its predecessors, and its built-in ND filter is stronger, at four stops compared to the previous models' three.

And overall, it's quite a good upgrade. At infinity, the lenses on both the X100F and X100V are pretty well-matched in the center, but the V is noticeably more consistent edge-to-edge, even at smaller apertures. At approximately ~1m (39.4"), the X100V shows again similar sharpness but slightly smoother bokeh overall. Down to ~0.5m (20"), the X100V shows greater consistency edge-to-edge again, and there is almost none of the X100F's characteristic haziness that starts to intrude around this distance-to-subject.

Lastly, nearer to the cameras' minimum focus distances, the X100V essentially does away with all of the haze that plagued the older camera's lens, but interestingly, has slightly less resolution while doing so. Overall though, you get much more usable images from the new lens design on the X100V.

If you're hungry for more details, head on over to our dedicated shootout article.

Check out our full X100V lens analysis