Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V is the camera to get if you like the idea of a Leica rangefinder, but also want modern amenities like autofocus and video.

Pros

  • Improved lens
  • Dust and splash protection
  • Tilting LCD
  • Hybrid optical-electronic viewfinder
  • Dial-driven control
  • In-camera film looks and Raw processing
  • 11fps bursts
  • 4K video
  • Retro looks in black or silver

Cons

  • Omits optical and in-body stabilization
  • Lens filter required for weather protection
  • Limited to UHS-I transfer speeds
  • Autofocus not always immediate

The Fujifilm X100V ($1,399.95) is the fifth iteration of the company's chic, retro-styled compact camera. As with earlier entries, it includes a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, an SLR-sized image sensor, and a wide aperture prime lens. This version offers a few welcome upgrades, including new optics, a better viewfinder, weather protection, and a tilting LCD. That makes it an overall better camera than the X100F, and one that is certain to compel owners of older models to upgrade. It also makes the X100V a PCMag Editors' Choice.

A Familiar Design, Improved

The X100 series has evolved from a handling perspective over the years, but its basic look and feel are unchanged. You can get it in your choice of all black or a two-tone black and silver look. The viewfinder sits in the corner, offering your choice of an optical or through-the-lens electronic view, and the lens is a fixed prime with a moderately wide angle of view.

Dial-Driven Interface

Fujifilm's cameras have a very film-camera feel when it comes to controls. Instead of using a Mode dial to swap between aperture, shutter, or manual exposure control, the X100V has dedicated controls to set its aperture, shutter, and ISO. It can also be set to work like most digital cameras—there are front and rear control dials too, just like you find on a Nikon or Sony.

Hybrid Viewfinder and Tilting Display

The hybrid viewfinder is the hallmark of the X100 series, and one that sets it apart from every other fixed-lens camera on the market. With the X100V it's changed a little bit, sharing the same components used by the X-Pro3.

Wired and Wireless Connectivity

The X100V sports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, so you can connect it to an Android or iOS device in minutes. It works with the Fujifilm Cam Remote app, a free download, so you can use your phone to control the camera or to transfer images wirelessly. If you have Adobe Lightroom on your tablet, you can also copy photos directly from the camera via its USB-C port.

Autofocus

The X100V's autofocus system is on-sensor. Early models relied entirely on contrast detection—slow, but accurate—but more recent entries have moved to a hybrid system that uses both contrast and phase detection for quicker, but still precise, focus.

Proven Sensor

The image sensor inside the X100V is new to the series, but not to the world. It's the same 26.1MP BSI CMOS imager that Fujifilm has used in cameras dating back to the X-T3. It has an X-Trans color array, a native base ISO 160 sensitivity, and can be set as high as ISO 51200 when needed.

New Optics

Fujifilm went back to the drawing board for the X100V lens. Its engineers kept the form factor the same, so owners of older models can use the same filters and add-on lenses. Even with the physical constraints, the new design nets images with noticeably sharper detail, and delivers crisp performance at close focus distance, something the older design didn't manage.

Imatest shows resolution that we consider excellent for a 26MP sensor at f/2, about 3,100 lines. The field of focus is relatively flat, and the lens optics do a good job off-center, so resolution at the periphery of the frame is nearly as good.

4K Video

The X100V is certainly a stills-first camera—the video mode is almost hidden, accessible only via the Drive button. It's at the bottom of the list, below the burst capture and self-timer settings.

Even so, the video specs are very strong. The camera records 4K footage internally to a card with 200Mbps compression and 4:2:0 8-bit quality. The micro HDMI port outputs clean 4:2:2 10-bit footage to an external recorder, though the camera looks silly with an Atomos Ninja V attached—the external recorder is practically as big as the X100V.

Just About Perfect…If You Like a 35mm Prime

Fujifilm has pulled out the stops to make the X100V the best entry in the series to date. It's brought the lens design up to speed, so it delivers excellent resolution, matching the capabilities of the 26.1MP image sensor. Autofocus is faster and more capable than in previous iterations, and it now supports face and eye detection for stills and video.

The addition of dust and splash protection makes this the perfect camera to grab for a vacation or weekend abroad. Those concepts may seem alien at the moment, but we expect this model to remain current for at least a few years.