Fujifilm X100V review: The best compact street photography camera
In that regard, if you’re looking at APS-C cameras in general, it can’t quite stand up to Sony’s A6600 or the Nikon Z50. While the lens is fast enough and the noise levels good enough for most shooting situations, really dim rooms might give you trouble — especially considering the lack of built-in stabilization.
That said, though, it’s certainly the best compact APS-C camera in low light. Considering that it has a bit more resolution than those mirrorless models (and thus smaller pixels), quality is very acceptable at up to ISO 6400. Beyond that, you’ll need to get the exposure right or you won’t be able to boost shadows much without producing a lot of noise.
As I’ve said before, Fujifilm’s film simulations are not a toy-like afterthought as with other brands. The X100V has the same ones as the X-Pro3, including the new Monochromatic Color and Classic Color simulations. With the quality of those and Fujifilm’s JPEGs, purists can get the look they want right out of camera and keep post-processing to a bare minimum.
Up until recently, no one would have taken the idea of shooting video with an X100-style camera seriously. That all goes out the window with the X100V, though, which is now the best compact on the market for video.
You can shoot 4K at up to 30 fps and 1080p video at 120 fps for ultra slow-mo. The camera supports decent maximum bit rates as well, at up to 200 Mbps, so you won’t get gnarly compression artifacts.
Video autofocus is also much improved, tracking faces and subjects with decent accuracy. However, it doesn’t hold up well compared to Sony’s compact models, especially the RX100 VII. Also, you’ll want to tweak the AF speed setting before you start shooting, as it’s a bit slow by default.
The X100V supports 10-bit output to the external HDMI port, though you’ll have to be careful with the fragile mini-HDMI jack. You can also shoot using Fujifilm’s F-Log profile to max out the dynamic range. As mentioned, it has a mic input and headphone output via the USB-C port, but you’ll need adapters for both.
I attached a Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR to the X100V and captured some 10-bit ProRes video. It certainly gave me more video-editing flexibility, as you’d expect. However, I doubt many folks will attach bulky external recorders to a camera this small, so while it’s nice to have, I’d question the benefit.
Rather, I see it as a better choice for discreet street videography, as nobody would likely even think that you’re shooting video. It has some nice potential for little slice-of-life street films, using the black and white mode or other film simulations.
The lack of in-body stabilization means that shooting video handheld is a challenge, though. Unless you have very steady hands, you’ll need either a tripod or stabilizer, both of which rule out shooting discreetly. Also, I wish that Fujifilm had used a regular 3.5mm microphone input that doesn’t require an adapter, as the built-in stereo microphone is terrible.
I didn’t experience any overheating problems shooting video with the X100V myself, but other reviewers and commenters on Engadget’s X100V YouTube video have. It’s not unusual for small-body cameras to overheat while shooting 4K video, particularly in warm weather, but the problem appears to be widespread with this particular model. I’ve reached out to Fujifilm for more information and will update the review if I hear back.
Fujifilm has spent years perfecting the X100 series and, as a result, the X100V is a beautiful camera that’s a joy to use. At the same time, it represents the biggest upgrade yet from a technical standpoint, helping Fujifilm really lap the competition in this market.
Fujifilm cameras are fantastic for people photos, making it ideal for street photography. And the camera is sharper, by far, than it’s ever been because of the higher-resolution sensor and much-improved 23mm f/2.0 lens. The tilting screen makes street photography much easier, it’s now weather sealed and is a much better video camera. That’s on top of numerous other small improvements.
The X100V really has no peers, unless you want to spend a lot more money on Leica’s $5,000, full-frame compact Q2 or Sony’s $2,400 RX1R II. More realistically, Ricoh’s $900 GR III also has an APS-C sensor with 24 megapixels of resolution and a fixed 18mm f/2.8 lens. However, it can’t hold a candle to the X100V for image quality, handling and durability.
In fact, your best bet as an option to the X100V is Fujifilm’s X100F, which you can now find for $1,100. Considering the extra features on the X100V, though, I’d recommend digging up the extra $300 to get this model. It has the technical prowess to go with the excellent handling and good looks, so if you’re into street photography, it really can’t be beat.
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