The embargo lifted on the new camera in the X100 series. The Fujifilm X100V! I haven’t had access to the camera and probably wont unless I buy it at some point, but here are my thoughts on the changes compared to the X100F.
I did own the X100F for quite a while. There is a lot to like about the camera, but there were some quirks I had found too.
I see the X100V as a true example of kaizen.
Kaizen is a concept referring to business activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. Kaizen (改善) is the Sino-Japanese word for “improvement”.Wikipedia.org
While iterative improvements have happened throughout the 10 year lifespan of the X100 series, I am most familiar with the X100F. So I’ll be talking about the differences between that and the new camera. A lot of the gripes I had with the camera appear to have been worked on with the X100V. Maybe just maybe they saw my videos, lol… but realistically, these were aspects that many people probably thought needed improvements on.
If you are interested in the X100V or X100F, here are my affiliate links to the cameras:
The X100V has been officially called weather resistant. Though, it requires the lens filter adapter AR-X100 plus a UV filter or similar. Besides the front focusing element of the lens that needs add-on protection, the remainder of the camera is gasket-ed to a similar level of the X-T3. That was a widely requested feature of the camera.
This is the first X100 camera to get an articulating back screen. From the look of it, they managed to make it very fitting with the original design of the camera. You only get horizontal tilt, but that’s fitting with the type of camera this is.
They add touch capability to the screen as well. That gives you an additional way to control the camera.
The OVF/EVF combo has the electronic side bumped up to 3.69 million dots. That should be really nice.
The lens on the X100F and previous models was one of my gripes. It is serviceable, but at least the copy I had suffered from color fringing (red/green and the purple fringing from what I recall). The videos I’ve see so far on the X100V said they improved on sharpness, but not sure on aberrations. I really hope they did improve on that but we will see. The X100V’s design is 8 elements in 6 groups (includes 2 aspherical elements). The X100F’s design is 6 groups 8 lenses (1 aspherical glass molded lens included).
Control and Ergonomics
Instead of the combo spring loaded pull-up ring for shutter speed and iso, the main top setting dial is a toggle. That should make it easier to use in practice. You can pull it up and it stays there until you push it down. Nice!
The d-pad button arrangement is gone. However, you can go through the menus with the directional nub or the touch screen. I’d have to try it out to see how that works in practice. I think it was a smart move for the sake of weather resistance and having the thumb grip area free of controls.
The grip appears to have a more substantial ridge in the front and back. Considering the brick shaped design of the camera I think that should help with holding. Though, it is again something only know by actually holding it.
The battery door appears to have been redesigned. I had a problem with the lock on the X100F. I ended up putting tape over the door lock, so hopefully the redesign solved that.
There is a USB Type-C port instead of micro USB. While I’m still in the land of micro USB mostly, I think it was a smart move to switch to the newer port design. Apparently, the USB port can be used as a headphone jack with the proper dongle.
The Q button is re-positioned. I had a problem with the position on the X100F. Hopefully the new position is better to avoid accidental button presses.
DCI 4K and normal 4K with 29.97 to 23.98 fps, but those modes are limited to 10 minutes of recording time per click. The bitrates can be 200 or 100 mbps.
There are two HD modes (2048 pixels wide or 1920) at normal framerates from 59.94 to 23.98 with bitrates from 200mbps to 50 mbps. These have a recording limit of 15 minutes per clip.
Threre is a HD (1920×1080) high frame rate mode of 120p or 100p with a bitrate of 200 mbps. That has a 6 minute recording limit per clip.
Overall, a nice addition to the camera compared to the previous one. The limits are a downer, but understandable considering the size of the camera.
Other Specification Changes
I’m not going to go over detailed setting or feature differences. These would require some actual testing to make an assessment on. It has a newer processor and likely some of the most recent features for Fujifilm cameras like enhanced face/eye detection.
The ND filter was changed from 3 to 4-stops, but apparently it doesn’t work in video mode. That’s a very odd omission. Maybe it’s just something they will add later on or in the production model versus the pre-production models that reviewers have had access to so far.
26.1 megapixel sensor with ISO 80 extended mode. I’m going to assume this is a technological improvement over the 24.3 MP sensor.
While it uses the same battery type (NP-W126S) as the previous version, it appears to have a bump in the number of photos per charge (350 to 420 estimated). That’s always a nice benefit. That must have come from efficiency improvements in the processor, power draw from the sensor, firmware coding improvements, and maybe the electronic screens.
Unchanged Or Missing
They did move the Q button, but not to the place I had suggested in my old review of the X100F. Of course, that depends a lot on engineering and preference of the majority. I had suggested between the AE-L and View Mode button. Maybe the different position is better. I’d have to try the camera out to see.
The tripod socket is still not in-line with the lens. I’m sure that is an engineering issue due to trying to fit in the same physical size as the original camera. It just would have been an added bonus thing.
As mentioned before, the d-pad buttons are gone. Something I’d have to try to see if it is better or worse.
The microphone port is still 2.5mm. I don’t understand this at all. They can’t find the extra space to put 3.5mm? Odd. I don’t get Fujifilm and their use of the 2.5mm port. That said, I would mostly use this camera for photography.
The lens elements were redesigned, but they used the same physical setup for autofocus where the lens will extend the inner portion back and forth (no word on if the AF motor is different). I personally would have preferred a longer lens that was fully internalized. My workaround and their workaround is the filter adapter. I get that they want the profile to be as thin as possible. Though, I wonder if added width makes a difference in practice for most people. This camera won’t fit in a pants pocket either way. There is an added cost in making the camera as weather resistant as possible.
Still has the single SD card slot. Again, this is probably due to engineering reasons or lack of interest from buyers. I’d go as far as to suggest dual micro SD card slots, but I’m sure a lot of people prefer the single normal SD slot. One is fine, but two is nicer. Yeah, I know dual slots is a polarizing feature. I have a NASA mindset with how I like backups of my backups, so when I can get two slots I really like it. (sadly all of my current cameras only have a single slot… you live with it.)
Apparently they don’t include an external charger with the X100V. How much are they saving by doing that? I don’t know. The X100F had a charger and could charge through USB. I’m assuming some features like the higher megapixel EVF, articulating screen, and gaskets for weather resistance added to production costs. A decent trade off if the initial retail prices ends up being the same as what the X100F was.
I’m currently not in a financial position to buy the X100V, but I think the additions they included make it very appealing to old or any potential new users of the X100 series of cameras. I could see considering this camera after reports of how the new model’s lens is with aberrations show up. I’m no pixel peeper, but color fringing is one of my most disliked image quality issues. I don’t like relying on software solutions either. They can help, but optical correction is much preferred.
At this point I’d actually prefer an EVF-only version of the X100V if that could drop the price a good amount. Or maybe even, dare I say, a monochrome version.