There are plenty of videos about this camera on YouTube. I’d just talk about my own opinions and feelings. Generally I like it a lot. A few key points:
- 35mm full frame equivalent focal length
- Fixed lens
- Hybrid viewfinder (electronic and optical)
- NOT a pocket camera
- Great film simulations
I immediately opened the box after receiving it from B&H. The unboxing photos were taken by Sony A7R Mark IV with FE 35mm f1.8 lens (very cheap and high quality – highly recommend it). X100V is very good looking, which Fujifilm is particularly good at. I personally like the two-tone body better than the black one.
This is the first non-Sony digital camera I’ve ever used. So it took me a while to figure out how to navigate in the menu items. The “Q” menu has fast settings including different film simulations. I like the way it adjusts ISO – pull up the dial and it’ll adjust the ISO, or it’ll adjust shutter speed. There is no mode selector like “PASM” dial in Sony cameras. The camera will recognize the mode by your setting.
The viewfinder is very interesting – you can switch between optical view finder (OVF) and electric view finder (EVF). With OVF you get more than 100% coverage of what you have in the photo, with an overlay of some basic information. But you don’t know how your photo will look like. Kind of a surprise when you see the final photos and I like that. With EVF you have 100% coverage, and what you see is what you get. Apparently EVF will use more power.
One thing about OVF is that I often forget to reset the exposure compensation dial.
Film simulation: It’s probably the best postprocessing built in the body on the market. It has a lot of presets and my favorite one is Classic Negative (which the last generation X100F doesn’t have). It’s like magic, making average photos stand out. It also has 7 custom presets you can set. Some inspirations about those presets on fujiweekly website.
When I use Sony A7R IV, I always need to post process my photos in Lightroom. With Fuji X100V, I just use the JPEG files directly from the camera with film simulation on. But with APS-C sensor and fixed lens, it serves best as a secondary camera, or a fun camera. Any serious photography where it demands higher resolution or wide-angle/telephoto lenses, I still need to carry A7R.
Talking about carrying around X100V, it’s by no means a pocket camera, unless you are wearing a jacket all the time with big pockets and you don’t mind the pocket bulging out. It doesn’t fit in the pocket in pants or jeans. However it’s still much easier to carry around than the Sony Camera, even with the FE 35mm f1.8 lens. X100V is very low profile, which is an advantage for street photography – you don’t want to draw too much attention on the streets. It didn’t bother me when I walked around San Jose CA downtown for over an hour on my neck, with the very thin stock stripe. Most people didn’t even look at me.
The optical quality of this lens is superb. There are some reviews on YouTube you can check out. I recommend this one from Andrew & Denae. They have done a lot of videos on Fuji gears and they are very honest reviewers. So far I only took photos in daylight or around sunset times. I haven’t tried using it at night so I can’t say what imaging quality is on this APS-C sensor.
Here are some samples I took on the first day I received the camera and also around San Jose downtown. Due to the pandemic, San Jose downtown is kind of rundown at the moment. I enjoyed the time I spent with this camera and I was very happy with the photos. I’ve been very self conscious about carrying around a big camera to do street photography and this camera really gets me back on the street to take more photos.
San Jose Downtown
35mm full frame equivalent lens is very hard to cover the full picture of the building. However I caught the moment when the sun was shining on half of the building and there was a clear line between the shadow and the highlight. The symmetric composition is powerful to show the beauty of architecture.
I wanted to test the anti-glare ability of the lens on X100V and also how the camera would process this high contrast scene. And X100V did excellent on this. The contrast between the traditional architecture and modern ones in the background tells the ongoing transition of San Jose downtown.
Again this photo shows how well the camera handles glares with direct sunlight. 35mm lens is not very easy to use, as we can see I couldn’t fit “San Pedro Square” into the photo, but it’s easy to infer. The warm and soft sunlight during sunset absolutely makes this photo more charming and welcoming.
I took these two photos without anyone noticing me doing that and they are powerful to show the problem of homeless that San Jose downtown suffers from (as well as most big cities in the States).
I just love the color of white building in sunset light. Fuji definitely understands how to use color to tell stories and how to please people. The color feels so warm, but the hard and straight lines of the building are telling a different story. It looks like a painting.
I want to show X100V handles the shadow pretty well under high contrast situations. Well the highlight was blown out, but there are plenty of details in the shadows.
I also took some photos around Sausalito downtown, but none of them are worth showing. They were just a side product of sightseeing, instead of taking photos with the intention to find beauties and tell stories by streets, architectures and people. But I still like the fact that I can have much higher quality photos than those from my iPhone.
In total, I am in love of this camera. I can’t wait to go out with it and look for more opportunities of street photography. And this camera is well suited for that job. However it can’t be your only camera if you’re serious about photography under different scenarios. Some situations just can’t be well handled by X100V, even with accessories to expand the focal lengths – one charm of this camera is its small presence and attaching accessories to it seems to be contrary to it.