Review: Fujifilm X100V – Like Shooting With An Endless Roll of Film

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The Fujifilm X100V is like shooting with an endless roll of film. Actually, it’s like shooting with up to seven endless rolls of film. You can capture as many frames as you wish on each roll, and change the film anytime you want. Kodachrome 64? Yep! Kodak Portra 400? Absolutely! Fujicolor Superia 100? No problem! Kodak Tri-X 400? That one, too! Do I need to list seven films? Actually, I could list 80! You’ll just have to decide which ones you want. Once loaded, your supply will never run out. There’s no need to send it off to a lab, as your pictures come out of the camera already developed. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. This is what it’s like shooting with the X100V!

The point is, you load the “film” that you want to shoot with, and then you shoot! Change anytime you want. Download the files onto your phone, tablet, or computer—crop or touchup if you wish—and you’re done! No waiting for the film to come back from the lab. No sitting for hours in front of a computer editing RAW files. There’s no need for any of that. You have pictures that appear film-like or resemble post-processed RAW images, yet they’re straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. It frees up time to do what you love: photograph. The X100V is about capturing, one fraction of a second at a time. It’s not about the other things that bog you down.

You might ask, “What sets the X100V apart from other Fujifilm cameras?” That’s a great question, and I hope this review answers it for you. There’s a good chance, if you are reading this, that you’re considering purchasing this camera, and you are trying to decide if it’s right for you or worth upgrading from an older model. I hope that this article will be helpful to you in your decision.

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The Fujifilm X100V is fixed-lens, fixed-focal-length compact mirrorless camera. It has a 26-megapixel APS-C X-Trans IV sensor. It’s fairly small: approximately 5″ wide, 3″ tall and 2″ deep. It weighs about a pound. It’s mostly weather sealed, and can become weather sealed by adding a UV filter to the front of the lens. It has an MSRP of $1,400.

Fujifilm X100 cameras are incredibly well designed, fusing form and function. The X100V resembles a classic 35mm rangefinder. It might be the best-looking digital camera ever made. People stop me frequently to ask about it. The most common question: “Is that a film camera?” The X100V’s striking design is a conversation starter. 

As you probably know, I create film simulation recipes for Fujifilm cameras (and if you didn’t know, you do now). These recipes mimic different films or aesthetics through customized JPEG settings. Something that sets the X100V apart from other Fujifilm cameras are the new JPEG options, such as Clarity, Color Chrome Effect Blue and B&W Toning, among several other things. Unsurprisingly, the new Classic Negative film simulation, which has received much praise, is just incredible! Perhaps even more important is the ability to save white balance shifts with each custom preset. All of these things are what separates the X100V from older models, providing an improved user experience and the opportunity for improved picture aesthetics. Right now, the X100V, X-Pro3 and X-T4 are the only Fujifilm cameras with these features. For the JPEG shooter, the X100V is a nice step forward from previous versions.

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The original X100 through the X100F all shared the same lens, but Fujifilm redesigned the lens for the X100V. It looks pretty much the same, and it’s still 23mm (35mm equivalent) with a maximum aperture of f/2. What’s different is the sharpness of the lens, as it’s now razor sharp across the entire frame no matter the aperture and no matter how closely focused you are. Essentially Fujifilm eliminated the “flaws” of the old lens. Otherwise, it’s still quite similar in performance. Also, autofocus has improved over the previous model.

One unfortunate change is that Fujifilm removed the D-Pad from the back of the camera, replacing it with touch-screen gestures. The touch screen is nice I suppose, but I prefer not to use it. That’s just me. What works for you might be different. There are enough customizable buttons and controls that losing the D-Pad isn’t a huge deal, but I prefer the setup of the X100F over the X100V in this regard. And speaking of the rear screen, it now flips up and down, similar to the one on my Fujifilm X-T30.

One of the X100V’s greatest features is the leaf shutter and fill-flash. Leaf shutters are typically found on expensive medium-format gear, and you rarely see them on other cameras; however, Fujifilm has included a leaf shutter on their X100 series. A leaf shutter works like an iris. There are blades, similar to aperture blades, inside the lens that open and close. It opens from the center outward, and for this reason you can sync it to the flash at much higher shutter speeds than traditional focal-plane shutters. Besides that, it’s nearly silent. Fujifilm has programmed the camera to perfectly balance the built-in flash with whatever lighting is available. The camera almost never gets it wrong, it just seems to know the perfect amount of light to add to the scene. The results are very natural looking, and the pictures don’t scream that a flash was used.

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A cool feature that I find helpful is the built-in four-stop neutral density filter, which decreases the light into the camera. It’s helpful for utilizing a large aperture in bright conditions, for showing motion using a slow shutter speed, or for selecting a higher ISO for a grittier look (yes, this is a thing). The X100F has “only” a three-stop ND filter, and the extra stop on the X100V can make a big difference.

If you’ve ever used an X100 camera, you know that it’s incredibly fun, which is why it’s so popular. This is many people’s “desert island” camera—if they could only choose one, it would be this. The X100 series is what photographers shoot just for the joy of it. There are some who use it as their only camera, and I did that for awhile with the X100F, but the fixed-focal-length lens does limit its practicalness a little; I think for many people it is a great tool to go along with an interchangeable-lens camera. Despite its limitations, this camera is for those seeking the pure joy of photography.

The Fujifilm X100V is a great travel camera. It’s small and lightweight enough to not get in the way, so you can take it everywhere. One camera with one lens is often all you need. It’s good for street photography, portraits, weddings, snapshots of the kids, landscapes—it can be used for pretty much any genre of photography. While travel and street are what it’s often touted for, I find that 90% of the time, no matter what I’m shooting, this is the only camera I need and use. I reach for the X100V almost every time!

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There is that 10% of the time when the X100V isn’t the right tool for the job. If I need a wider or more telephoto lens, I don’t use this camera. It’s important to understand that, while the X100V is nearly perfect, it has shortcomings and limitations. Every camera does. You could use the X100V as your only camera, and some people do, but I don’t recommend it. At the same time, if you own an X100V, your other cameras are going to collect a lot of dust. You’ll have to decide if it’s better to just buy one of the Fujinon 23mm lenses instead of buying a camera with a permanently attached lens. Personally, I appreciate the X100V and can’t imagine giving it up. I plan to keep it until it stops working, which I hope is a long time from now.

People like to talk about image quality in camera reviews. I suppose that’s important, but not nearly as important as it once was. You’d be hard-pressed to find a camera nowadays with poor image quality. I can attest that the image quality from the X100V is outstanding! One thing that separates Fujifilm from other brands is their dedication to the camera-made JPEG. That’s not to say all other brands have junky JPEGs, only to say that Fujifilm has in my opinion the best. I don’t think it would be possible to create all of the different film simulation recipes that I’ve made using any other brand. I’ve printed as big as 2′ x 3′ from the 26-megapixel JPEGs and it looks very good, even when viewed up close.

I’m a stills photographer, and that’s who the X100V is geared towards. My wife, Amanda, is more of a videographer (she’s an integral part of the Fuji X Weekly YouTube channel), so I gave her the camera to create a video with, which just so happened to be the very first time she used this camera. The video specs are very good on the X100V, but it does have one significant limitation: it overheats easily when recording 4K. The camera doesn’t have any image stabilization, either, which makes it a little more challenging to use. It’s not really intended for the videographer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used as a cinema camera. Video quality is quite good on the X100V, and as long as you keep the clips under two minutes and give the camera a short breather here and there, it does fine. You’ll have to use a tripod, gimbal, or have a steady hand to keep it from shaking too much. The short video below was recorded entirely with the X100V hand-held using the Eterna film simulation to demonstrate what you could do with this camera.

The Fujifilm X100V is a great camera that combines form and function, delivering beautiful film-like photographs without fuss. It’s a joy to use—probably the most fun camera I’ve ever owned! Load it with your favorite film simulation recipes and just shoot. It’s that experience that makes this camera so wonderful.

The X100V would make a great addition to whatever other Fujifilm camera you’re using, or it could be your gateway into the Fujifilm family. I don’t know if there are enough updates to justify upgrading from an X100F (although, to be clear, it is an upgrade), but if you have the original X100, X100S or X100T, you will likely find enough here to make the upgrade worthwhile. The X100V is a fantastic little camera, and I have no doubts that you’ll love it.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X100V Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X100V Silver   Amazon   B&H

The photographs below are all camera-made JPEGs captured on my Fujifilm X100V:

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Fujifilm X100F Review Blog

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38 comments

  1. mindartcreativity · August 16

    What a great review and it seems like it was a perfect choice for you. I also own an X100, the X100S and I really enjoyed using that camera. I absolutely love how you describe the X100V as a camera with 7 unlimited rolls of film. So true!

    Quote: ‘There is that 10% of the time when the X100V isn’t the right tool for the job. If I need a wider or more telephoto lens, I don’t use this camera. It’s important to understand that, while the X100V is nearly perfect, it has shortcomings and limitations. Every camera does. You could use the X100V as your only camera, and some people do, but I don’t recommend it. At the same time, if you own an X100V, your other cameras are going to collect a lot of dust. You’ll have to decide if it’s better to just buy one of the Fujinon 23mm lenses instead of buying a camera with a permanently attached lens.’

    Unfortunately this was true for me. I got the X-H1 with a 35mm F2 last year, because the 23mm on the X100 wasn’t the right tool for me anymore. I did use it sporadically (and it still produced great images despite its age and lower megapixels count) but the X-H1 + 35mm F2 was a mainstay in my bag. When the X100V was announced I did thought about getting it, however a few weeks prior the announcement I bought the XF 23mm F2. So my choice fell on the X-Pro3. I still lust after/have major GAS for the X100V as it is such a beautiful and capable piece of art. Every time I see a review or a photo of an X100 camera I feel the urge to take the X100S out of the drawer and get some snaps.

    I wish you many more happy snaps with the X100V 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 16

      I love the 35mm f/2 lens, it’s so great. The X-Pro3 with the 23mm f/2 really isn’t all that much different than the X100V, not significantly, anyway. You will have many happy years with that combo, I have no doubts about it! Thanks for the input!

      Like

  2. mdfarrow · August 17

    Thanks for this review. I currently have the x100t which I love. I’m currently thinking between upgrading to the x-pro 3 or x100v for my only camera. It’s a tough decision between the Longevity of interchangeable lenses or convenience.

    Any thoughts on if the x100v is more than enough as an only camera or is the xpro 3 the better choice?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 17

      I think that for a time you could be happy with the X100V as your only camera, but you’ll likely want to have an interchangeable-lens option at some point. If you can only have one camera, I would suggest the X-Pro3 instead of the X100V. If you can figure out how to have two cameras (maybe an X-T20, X-T30, X-T2, X-T3, or X-E3, for instance), then the X100V would be my suggestion. I hope this helps!

      Like

      • mdfarrow · August 17

        Thanks so much for the suggestion!
        The other camera I’m considering is the x-t3 as a value buy but this review makes me want all the latest film simulations and configurations! Tough choice ahead

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · August 17

        It is a tough choice!

        Like

  3. Khürt Williams · August 17

    Hi Ritchie,

    I wanted a Fuji X100F for a long time, and when the X100V was released, I was even more excited. But for me that “..90% of the time”, that fixed focal length 23mm APS-C focal length won’t do. It’s not wide enough for my landscape photography and useless for bird and wildlife photography.

    Regardless of how sharp that lens maybe, I could not justify another camera. Instead, instead of a $1200 point-n-shoot, I bought the XF27mmF.28 lens. It turns out my 10% is street photography.

    On the flip side, if the X100V met 90% of my needs, I would use just that camera and forgo having another camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 17

      I think most people would need a second camera, yet that other camera will spend a lot of time collecting dust. So is it really worth getting? My opinion: yes! But that’s because it is such a fun camera. For me that’s the answer, but for other people that might not be the answer. Everyone’s wants and needs are different. I think it would be difficult to justify the high price of the camera when a lens is much cheaper, and for the most part accomplishes the same thing.

      Like

      • Khürt Williams · August 17

        These are all good points Ritchie. When I think about it further, I do have more than one digital camera. My iPhone 11 Pro with its three lenses ( 13mm, 24mm, and 51mm FF) is with me everywhere I go. And I have three 35mm vintage film cameras that are mostly dust magnets and display pieces. 😃

        Your post has provoked a lot of thinking. 👍🏾

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · August 17

        I have so many vintage lenses collecting dust right now. I need to get rid of half of them. Interested in any more display pieces to add to your collection? Just kidding (but, if you are….).

        Like

      • Khürt Williams · August 21

        After you post, a friend dropped off a “vintage” Sony DSC-S50 point-n-shoot from the 1990s. I reflected on my growing vintage collection and I want to do some house cleaning. Reduce it down to one 35mm film camera and one lens. Which body? Which lens? 😏

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · August 23

        Another suggestion: use some of your vintage gear as decor around the house. Then, you still have it if you ever want to put it back into commission.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Steve Labovitz · August 18

    I have an X-E1 with the 18-55 f2.8-4.0 that I bought years ago for a travel rig (street photography, landscapes, architecture). It’s far better for travel than my old Canon EOS rig, with way better photos. I’ve been thinking about replacing it with something newer, but can’t decide- do I simplify to the X100V, or should I get an XT-4 and start collecting glass?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

      That’s a tough one. If you’ve been happy with one lens for years, you might be happy with the X100V and its fixed lens. Tough call, though.

      Like

  5. growwithgaston · August 18

    Hello! I never shot with Fuji before (I’m a ten year Canon user), but I want a smaller camera that stays with me.

    I’m looking at my options and The X100V is one of them. The other one is the XT-30.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

      I have the X100V and the X-T30. Both are very good. I use the X100V 90% of the time, but there are some things that the X-T30 can do (because of the interchangeable lens) that the X100V can’t (because of the fixed lens).

      Like

      • growwithgaston · 27 Days Ago

        Thank you Ritchie!!
        How about image quality? That’s my biggest concern with the X100V (vs the X-T30).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · 27 Days Ago

        The image quality is the same. The lens on the X100V is fantastic and there are a few more JPEG options on it, but they’re the same image quality.

        Liked by 1 person

      • growwithgaston · 27 Days Ago

        Thank you! I thought that the X-T30 and X-T3 had a different sensor! I couldn’t find that information on Google so I just assumed it.. I can live with a fixed 35mm lens 🙂 I’ll look into the 100V during the next few days. Thank you for taking the time to answer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritchie Roesch · 27 Days Ago

        Yes, same exact sensor. You are very welcome!

        Like

  6. Steve Labovitz · August 19

    I got my first Canon (A-1) at age 14 in 1984, and shot Canon SLRs in 35mm and digital, plus had several digital point and shoots, including the pocketables. That came to a screeching halt in 2014 when I picked up a gently used X-E1. I will never go back. Only way I’d leave Fuji X is if I wanted to get into sports photography, which isn’t happening at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

      My first camera was a Canon AE-1. My first Fujifilm camera was an X-E1, and I haven’t looked back since. Take care!

      Like

  7. Craig Bergonzoni · August 19

    Great review! I might have to add a X100V to my collection.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Alonso Henríquez · August 19

    Hello again, Ritchie. I tell you that I am looking for a screen protector for my X100V and here in my country (Chile) I have only been able to find one originally conceived for the X100F. Could you tell me if the screen size of the latter is the same as the X100V. I get the impression that the frame or bezel of the X100V is more generous. I thank you in advance for your vital help. Big hug!

    Like

    • Ritchie Roesch · August 19

      It’s not the same screen. I have read that, depending on brand, X100F screen protectors will be anywhere from slightly to significantly the wrong size. I have read mixed reports on X-Pro3 screen protectors working on the X100V. I did find that this supposedly will work: Macolink Screen Protector for Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III. But I don’t have any personal experience.

      Like

    • R.Q. · 27 Days Ago

      There is a brand called JJC that is currently selling X100V screen protectors. The JJC version of the X-Pro3 screen protector also works on the X100V (I have it on mine currently). This brand is available on Amazon over here in the USA.

      Liked by 1 person

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