Viewfinder and Rear Screen
The headline feature on the X100 series cameras has always been the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, and the X100V’s viewfinder sees upgrades in both optical and EVF specifications. Optically, the X100V gets a small updgrade to a 95% coverage optical finder with 0.52x magnification. The electronic finder also gets the first upgrade since the X100s, with a resolution bump up to 3.6 million dots at 0.66x magnification, from the 2.4 million dot finder of the X100F.
The X100V’s hybrid optical viewfinder
The hybrid finder is rare in the camera world, giving the user the option of an optical finder similar to an AF rangefinder or a traditional mirrorless experience with the electronic finder. The optical finder shows a view a bit wider than the 35mm equivalent field of view of the attached lens with frame lines showing what will be captured. The frame lines will move to adjust for parallax when shooting closer up to ensure that your framing stays as accurate as possible. These frame lines cover about 95% of the frame to be captured.
A third mode can be activated when using the optical finder that shows a small electronic enlarged area of where your focus point is. This allows you to confirm critical focus while using the optical finder. As mentioned earlier, the viewfinder modes can be changed by pushing or pulling on the small lever on the front of the camera. Below shows the three different views.
The hybrid finder definitely adds a cool dimension to the camera. The optical finder allows you to anticipate action when doing street shooting or reportage, but I found it to be somewhat dark in lower light. Also, precisely placing focus can be a challenge. As such, I tend to use the EVF for most of my shooting, as I think the overall experience is superior in most situations. That optical view is excellent in bright outdoor light, though, so I will often use that when shooting outside.
The EVF is reasonable in resolution, but I found the dynamic range of the electronic viewfinder to be a little behind some of the other EVFs in cameras released in the past year or two. Turning on the Natural Viewfinder mode helps this, but as this mode doesn’t apply any film style to the view, you are left with a rather flat image as a result. Overall, it’s a good EVF for the size of camera that this is, but it won’t compare to the amazing EVFs that are present in high end mirrorless cameras from 2020 and 2021.
The tilting rear screen of the X100V
One of the most notable changes the X100V sees over all the previous X100 bodies is the addition of a tilting rear screen, and I think it’s the single biggest positive change in the camera. The X100V is a great camera for candid shots, and I find the tilting screen aids this function tremendously, allowing for easy waist level shooting.
The tilting screen is extremely well integrated into the camera body. The screen sits flush with the rest of the camera back when closed, and aside from a small notch on the left side to pull the screen out, you’d never know the screen isn’t a fixed model. This implementation does limit the amount the screen can tilt, with only about a 30 degree downward tilt for shooting overhead, but it does allow for a full 90 degree upward tilt for low shots. I love that they finally added a tilt screen to the X100 series, and it makes the camera much more usable.
The screen itself is a 1.6 million dot 3″ display, and is nice and clear with good contrast and color.
Autofocus and Performance
The X100V features the same X-Trans IV image sensor as the X-T4 and X-Pro 3, and as such inherits the same phase-detect autofocus system. The X100V’s sensor has 425 total focus points, evenly distributed across almost the entire image frame. Focus accuracy is excellent.
The X100 series has never been known for blazing fast autofocus, and that continues with the X100V, though focus is fast enough for most reasonable needs. Changing focus from near minimum focus distance to more distant subjects takes a little less than a second. Changing focus on subjects that do not differ much in distance is a fair bit quicker and can feel quite snappy. The lens makes some noise while focusing, but it isn’t overly obtrusive unless you are shooting in very quiet environments. If you use the filter adapter with a filter, this noise is muffled by the filter and becomes much quieter.
Like all recent mirrorless cameras, the X100V has a face and eye detect focus algorithm, and it does quite well for the most part. While the speed of the lens limits how well the camera can keep up tracking very fast action, the eye detect system does a nice job at placing focus right on the eye when shooting more static or slower moving people. For casual street photography or environmental portraiture, the X100V’s eye detect does a nice job hitting focus. It isn’t a match for the latest from Sony and Canon, but it doesn’t really have to be for the type of photography one is likely to do with the X100V.
The general performance of the camera is quite good, with a reasonably quick startup, low shutter lag and quick writes to the SD card. The camera can shoot at bursts of up to 11 frames per second with the mechanical leaf shutter, or up to 20 frames per second with the electronic shutter. This can even be pushed to 30 frames per second if you can live with a 1.25x crop. This is great in theory, but the buffer fills very quickly, yielding just 17 RAW images before slowing down considerably. As such, if using the burst drive mode, you’ll want to time your bursts accordingly.
9 thoughts on “Review: Fujifilm X100V”
Nice review, and a special thanks for mentioning the compatibility of the WCL-X70 with the X100V, as well as the DIY mod to make it automatically recognized by the camera. I had a WCL-X70 gathering dust on the shelf, and it’s now working well with my X100V. Thanks!
Thanks. Glad it was helpful!
Thanks for the very nice review Jordan.
I wish you had time to review Eos M6 mark ii with 22mm F2 (pancake, very pocketable combination) or with 32 mm 1.4 lens.
I am in between X100V and M6ii .
My travelling businessman side needs a pocketable everyday camera and my more enthusiast side needs more choices in lenses. And I should add the family use of videos to the list of needs.
I have a Sony 7 iii that I really enjoy when I am in pure vacation. However it gets too heavy and bulky when added lenses and I need an additional camera bag when I walk on the streets for discovery. Yes I know it is not comparable to the SLRs but I am getting old.
I think it comes down to what you really want out of the smaller camera. For a single lens solution to just pop in a jacket pocket, it’s hard to do much better than an X100V. I think if you want a smaller interchangeable lens camera, something like the a6400 makes more sense…there are some really nice smaller lenses like the Sigma primes, and you can use your existing FE lenses as well.
The M6 II is a great camera from what I’ve seen. But I don’t know how much sense it makes to get a different system to your Sony. Especially since I don’t see Canon investing too much more in EF-M.
these are the right questions and considerations.
The end results with my Sony A7 iii are more than satisfying, on the other hand, the process of taking pictures is not so much fun. I also consider to go to A7 c (being more compact in size) and use my lenses.
Not being everyday photographer, the Sony menu is a challenge. I learn and then forget again where to find things. At one point, you turn to “Auto” to catch things, which is upsetting.
If I go to Fuji or to Canon, I will sell Sony & FE lenses and buy an adapter for my old K (Pentax) lenses.
I have not known any Fuji user who was complaining from their camera. X100( ) is very popular and for good reasons (as you have explained).
The possible discontinuation of EF-M is not scary for me. It already have the lenses that I would need, plus, if I really need, with the adapter option, the whole Canon lens arsenal offers enough. My major hold is rainy days, the lack of weather seal.
I guess what I am looking for is the hands on user reviews.
Thanks again for the review and taking time to answer me.
I also thank you for helping me to make my decision on A7 iii at the time. It served the purpose well, when I was shooting my daughters Volleyball games. It was a joy when you set the parameters and shoot. The speedy game at the low light of the high school gyms was no problem.
Do you have any opinions on the TCL lens shot wide open? I’ve seen heaps online how it is really soft on the earlier x100 cameras so I would like to know if the new lens on the V will mitigate it’s wide open deficiencies…
Another great review, Jordan. Just wondering if you never found time to review the Ricoh GR iii, or you don’t feel it’s enough of a competitor to X100 type P&S?
I seem to have missed out on how useful it could be for a specific kind of purpose, albeit not as versatile as the X100V.
It seems built for street, candid, and travel work. The GR iii x has a new 40 mm lens with a crop mode. A review will be much appreciated!
Hi Jordan, nice work here. I am fairly new to the 100V, which I like especially for the film simulations. I don’t shoot a whole lot of portraits, I’m more interested in landscapes and showing people outdoors. One aspect of photography that escapes me is sharpness. Let’s say I am photographing a 100-year-old barn from 75 feet. What settings would give me the sharpness image? Gordon Ovenshine, Pittsburgh, Pa. Some people say two stops for wide open, other suggest f/11.
You want to shoot at an aperture that will give you the depth of field needed without going too small. f/11 on an APS-C camera like the X100V is going to start softening the image due to diffraction. I still use f/11 if needed for depth of field, but it won’t yield the sharpest image. On the X100V, the lens is sharpest between f/4 and f/8, so I’d shoot at f/5.6 if there isn’t any foreground detail as well, or stop down to f/8 or even that f/11 if needed to get everything you wish in focus.