X100F vs. X100V Part I

First of all a little advertisement on my side. Make sure to follow me on my Instagram account for the best photographs of mine.

Secondly, this is gotten longer than I thought and I still have not covered every aspect one could. That is why I have decided to split this up into more than one post. This would get far too long otherwise.

In the next part I will go into the lens character, bokeh, close-up focusing at f2 with plenty of sample images taken with both cameras. As stated above, this would get extremely lengthy otherwise so bare with me and come back for that part as soon as I have it written and posted.

If you have any questions just drop a line in the comments below.

Hi there all my dear readers. I bet this is something many of you are looking for. As I still have both cameras on my desk, I´ll try to sum up the key differences and of course provide sample images of both cameras for you. A little disclaimer on my side. I am not sponsored, hired or paid by Fujifilm in any way. The words you will read are my personal opinion. The pictures are by no means taken in a super scientific way. I did though make sure to use the same settings on both cameras. If you should come across any kind of question, make sure to drop a comment. You can of course head over to my Instagram account and PM me there as well. I will make sure to answer every single question as good as my knowledge allows me.

Spoiler alert. At the end of this test and blog post, I will put my very beloved X100F up for sale.

Let us get started then, shall we?

I won´t go into the camera specs regarding lens, viewfinder, body and so on. You can read all about that on the Fujifilm page either itself or pages like DPReview and so on. In this part I´ll just show a few side by side photographs. Be sure to come back to part II where I will will show you more pictures. By then I will have had the chance to grab my tripod for some more exact comparison pictures.

There are three main differences I do want to go into though.

  1. The screen. On the X100F it is a fixed screen whereas on the X100V Fujifilm finally gave us a tiltable screen. This alone would have been enough for me to upgrade, as I love low POV´s.
  2. Weather resistance. Not weather sealing. It just adds to that little bit more confidence when shooting in harsh conditions. I have put my X100F back in my pocket due to some rain, as I was never sure if it would get into the camera. Do remember though that you will have to attach the AR-X100 adapter and a 49mm protective filter.
  3. In some cases the re-worked lens, which I am very glad that it stayed at the same 23mmf2

Not to forget the new Classic Negative film simulation and the other new jpeg engine tweaks that can be made, such as Colour Chrome Effect and Colour Chrome Effect Blue. Again. There are plenty of sites, which explain the new jpeg settings. Essentially, they are the same as on an X-Pro3.

We have a better control over the grain effect now as well. On the X100F, we could choose between weak and strong. On the X100V, we are now also able to select the grain size. For me this is a very welcome addition, as I just love to add a little grain to my images. Next what I would love is if I could add a slight vignette to the image directly in camera. Yes, I know, people want a super non-vignetting lens on the camera and then they add one in post. Pretty stupid really.

If you have been following my blog, you will surely have read my long-term review on the Fujifilm X100F. If not so, you can follow this link and take a look what I think. All those words are still true and will be for years to come. And yet, I did pre-order the Fujifilm X100V as soon as it was possible. Why? Simple. The Fujifilm X100V offers some major upgrades, which are important for my kind of shooting style. Manly number one and two named above. Of course, I am happy with the new lens design but must state once again that the first version was never a problem for me.

None the less, I will add some images comparing both lenses below for you to decide for yourselves if the extra cash is worth it for you.

Now let us delve into the key differences a little deeper, shall we?

  • The new tiltable screen

The all-new tilt screen. For me and my style of photography, this is one, if not the most important changes on the Fujifilm X100V. On every photo tour, vacation, street shooting session I will always choose a low POV for a shot and on the X100F it was and is a kind of hit and miss type of photography. Ever since I had the first X100, I wanted a tiltable screen and finally Fujifilm have given it to me. The best thing is that you don’t notice it at first. It sits so flush on the back of the camera. Bravo Fujifilm. This is an engineering masterpiece.

  • Weather resistance

The second adding is the weather resistance. Not weather sealing! As written above you do need some extra parts in order for the camera to be fully weather resistant. People have complained that Fujifilm should have designed the lens for it to be fully weather resistant without any extra gadgets. I agree with that partially. Yes, it would have been great but it definitely would have made the whole lens design a whole lot larger. Now let´s be honest to ourselves. We all love the X100 series for its compactness. A larger lens would have been contra productive. Secondly, many users have had or still own an older iteration of the X100 camera, many of us have the adapter ring, and a 49mm filter at home already. So what´s all the fuss about then?

It is quite reassuring to know that your gear can withstand at some water from above or a fountain nearby for instance. There have been situations where I put the X100F back in the bag or coat pocket due to some rain. I remember being in Ireland where I had the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF16-55 2.8 with me. My wife and I were caught by surprise as heavens opened up the gates. Did it bother me? No. I took a wonderful photograph of my wife. These are the exact cases where I am very happy that the new Fujifilm is weather resistant.

  • The Lens

I think this is the part, which will interest people more than others. Therefore I will give this part a little more love even though I was always very happy with the lens on the X100F.

Before the X100V hit the market there was a lot of talk on the net about the lens. People wanting a different focal length, a wider aperture, a longer focal length and a sharper lens. Well, Fujifilm has re-worked the lens and they have done this in the best manner they could have done. At least that is my personal opinion.

On the Fujifilm X100V, we still get the Fujinon 23mmf2 lens, which I for my sake have become more than fond of. This focal length is me. A friend of mine constantly calls me Mr. 23mm, or Mr. X100 that´s just how much I love this focal length and camera. Once again, if you have not read my long-term review on the X100F, I urge you to do so and you will quickly understand why he calls me by that name. Whenever I go on vacation and only bring or brought an X100 series camera with me, it took not even an hour for me and I started to see in 23mm. Or be that 35mm in 35mm terms.

Let me get this straight, the “old” Fujinon 23mmf2 lens was never a problem for me! I have taken my best pictures with that lens. Yes, it is soft close up at the widest aperture of f2. 
Long distance photographs are not the problem though. 
Yes, we do see a major upgrade on this field and of course, I am happy about it. 
Once again, this was never a problem for me.

On all four iterations of the X100 line, the 23mm lens was and is a lens with a very special character to it. I can´t really explain in words what it is. However, for my eye it is there. And you know what?

Fujifilm have kept the character on the new lens

Do I mind it being an f2 lens again? No. A very clear NO. Why? Easy, f2 hits the sweet spot between being able to gather enough light for those night shots, it hits the sweet spot for just the right amount of shallow depth of field if I want it and the lens is still as compact as I have become to love it. Best of all. All my previous accessories are still usable. 

What about those close up shots then? You will definitely see a difference on both pictures and you will see the “glowing” effect which the old Fujinon 23mmf2 lens produces. If you don´t mind this then the X100F is still one of the best single focus lens cameras out there.
Below are just a few quick snaps to show the difference at f2.

  • The missing D-Pad

At first, I was quite upset that Fujifilm did not add the D-Pad to the X100V. Damn, I thought. What about those three missing FN buttons? The top one on the X100F´s D-Pad is by default the Drive Mode button. Well, what I did was to set up the X100F without use of the three D-Pad buttons to see if I would miss them on daily use. I didn´t and got used to not having it very quickly. After using the X100V now for some small amount of time I actually quite like it the way it is. I don´t hit the buttons by accident. By the way, the same goes for the revised placement of the Q-Menu button. Bravo Fujifilm. Well done.

  • The Viewfinder

Fujifilm changed the Viewfinder on the X100V. Let´s get this straight. This was never a problem for me. The existing viewfinder on the X100F was plenty good enough. For my style of photography, I only used the EVF. In some very, very rare cases, I would use the OVF. Once again, I will not go into all the technical details regarding the camera as you can read all that on other sites. 

What is to say about the new viewfinder on this X100V? Well, it is a little larger and yes, it is noticeable. Same goes for the refresh rate and the colour accuracy and most of all the viewfinder brightness. It is as close as it gets to looking through the OVF.

Only if you have both cameras in your hand and switch from one to another you will notice this.

What I do want to say, is that for people wearing glasses like myself, the viewfinder on the X100V is nicer to use. Is it a deal breaker that the OVF/EVF aren’t up to the highest technical standard on the X100F? Absolutely not!

This all might read itself that the changes are not really worth it? I don´t mind the old sensor, nor the EVF/OVF on the X100F. Not even the lens, which many complained about. Well, you might think. Why then did I spend all that money on a brand sparkling new Fujifilm X100V if I was happy with my X100F? Easy, the tiltable screen and weather resistance. Speaking to a friend and Fujifilm photographer himself I stated that I would upgrade straight away if Fujifilm would incorporate those two changes. Rumour sites had hinted that the screen would be tiltable which was number one on my list. While watching the presentation on YouTube I was writing to my friend via WhatsApp and as they mentioned the weather resistance, I was sold. “Take my money” I wrote to him. A few minutes later, I had typed an email to my local dealer and pre-ordered my X100V.

Now, a few weeks later I am as happy as could be. This new camera is even more than I had hoped for.

It´s like an X100F on steroids

Now what is my conclusion for all you dear readers and potential buyers out there then? 
Are you deciding on getting an X100 line camera? Then read on and I will give you my very personal buyers guide.

The first X100

If you have one, keep it. This is one very special, quirky and sluggish camera with lots of soul. If you have some cash to spare and want one as a third, fourth or fifth camera. Get one!

The X100S

In my opinion the worst of all. I´d rather stick with the original X100. Not much else to say really.

The X100T

This is the budget buyer’s camera. You get plenty of tech, the D-Pad to move your focus point around, Wi-Fi and the wonderful 16MP X-Trans II Sensor. 

The X100F

If you want a little more resolution, faster AF a better viewfinder and the Joystick plus the D-Pad you are advised to get the X100F. This is still an extremely capable camera with loads of character. Battery life is better than on the first three models as it uses the same NP-W 126s battery as all your other X-Series cameras. In addition, you get to use Fujifilm RAW File Converter X that lets you edit the pictures on your computer screen but using Fujifilm´s great internal raw converter.

The X100V

If you are a tech head, want the latest and greatest, want the better lens, weather resistance and the tiltable screen then this is the one for you. And of course, you need the extra cash. For me personally the tiltable screen and the weather resistance where enough for me to upgrade. Yet, it will be very hard for me to part with my very, very beloved X100F, which has been with me for so long, and on several trips around the globe. Be that on business trips or private vacations. It has grown on me like no other camera before. The X100V is stepping in some very big footsteps.

The final word.

Is the X100V worth the extra cash? Hell yes. It sure is. This is the most refined X100 line camera and this time I really am not sure how Fujifilm will be able to improve it any more. Will they? I am sure they will. But for now, and I hope for a long, long time I will stick with the silver Fujifilm X100V and hope that it will perform just as well as my beloved X100F has done in the past.

Thanks once again for your time. I hope you enjoyed the read and do come back.

Your Stockografie

 

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4 Comments

  1. Nice passionate writeups on X100 and more – thanks for the nice read time!
    Eeeh, when is part II coming?

    I have a few questions if no bother answering:

    a. Is the bokeh of the X100V any harsher than the previous generations?
    b. Is the X100F “overdialed””? Too many buttons getting in the way? The ISO dial useful or not?
    c. Does the simpler layout of the X100T holds any special use charm vs the F and V? (…you see, it seems I can only afford a used T 🙂 and it would be a pain to stretch towards a used F…)
    d. I read in the V’s dpreview.com that “the camera no longer relaxes back to showing the infinity-focus framelines and focus point when you release the shutter button” – do you find this an issue for street use?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Michail,

      Thank you very much for your wonderful words and of course for taking your precious time to read my blogpost.

      Regarding your questions I will try and answer them to my best.

      a. not at all. Bokeh is just as beautiful as on the other X100 cameras.
      b. No, not really. The buttons on the F are actually pretty well placed. They never bothered me or my style of photography. Especially as the are so customisable. The ISO Dial is very useful as you can change the ISO very fast if you want.
      c. That is a difficult one. The T is still a wonderful camera which will produce very charming pictures. You can search my blog for posts on the T. It has a good layout and it is user friendly. If it is a pain to stretch out for an F I would go for the T. It’s a great camera.
      d. That I will have to test. As I use the EVF 99,9% of the time it is not really an issue for me. I will test it though.

      Thanks
      Stockografie

  2. Thank you for replying! 🙂

    Now, nitpicking at the dpreview compare scene (with all its limitations, even more so for the X100 series) I think I see a 1/3 to maybe a maximum of 1/2 stops better noise performance on the F and X-pro3 (V?) sensors on high ISOs. Does your experience confirms this? Or am I talking nonsense and the newer models perform much better in RAW? I feel a difference of 1/2 a stop is not huge despite no OIS/IBIS helping the shots. Your experience?

    I understand that the newer models do perform much better than the T when shooting JPG in low light as the higher mpx count along the improved engines mitigate most of the “waxy skin” issue the older models had. Going with the T I expect to have to fight the issue from time to time shooting in RAW+JPG. Have I got it right or again talking nonsense?

    Thanks again! !

    • Hi again,

      To be absolutely honest with you, I have never really cared about high ISO performance and it has never been a big test criteria for me. All Fuji cameras produce wonderful images. Even the X100 was very usable at ISO 3200. What I have noticed is that colour accuracy is better than on the X100F.
      Next is that I usually shoot in jpeg and just use the raw files to create new jpegs out of the camera using Fujifilm´s wonderful film simulations. Thats just my way of shooting.

      I wouldn’t bother too much about the high iso performance on any modern camera.

      What I can confirm is that the X100T does produce waxy skin tones when using the jpeg files at higher ISO values. From the X100F onwards that is much better.

      Cheers
      Stockografie

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