A few notes on the Fujifilm X100v…

Or the little bastard as I call it.

Fujifilm’s latest iteration of the X100 series the V, is a camera that polarises my own thinking. On one hand it’s the perfect camera for everyday use, for travel and the ergonomics of it are spot on.

On the other, despite vague similarities to a Leica M, it’s the total antithesis and a camera that frustrates me due to the complexity of the menu systems and frankly the too many menu and button options available

I picked one up a couple of months ago as I was intrigued by it & having had previous models I was keen to try the latest version. It’s such a popular camera at the moment that it’s in quite short supply, both on the new & used market and my own used copy cost me top dollar.

Having finally got one in my hands I took an almost instant dislike to it. There’s a false automation to almost anything you do with it that annoys me.

Each time you switch it on or off it twitches and pulses in the hand. Each time you focus it, it twitches and makes noise. It’s something I’d never noticed in any camera I’ve owned before and it took a little getting used to.

On the other hand the weight & size are something that really appeals to me. On my recent trip to Spain I found it so easy to carry and being small it takes up next to no room at all.

It’s half the weight of my M10-P body (without a lens) which makes a hell of a difference when you’re travelling.

Talking of modern technology one feature I really like about it is the USB charging.

USB charging has me totally converted – it means I simply plug the camera into a battery pack and it charges, brilliant! My Nikon ZFC also offers this and it’s a brilliant addition to camera body tech.

However, it’s not all sweetness and light for me.

Being away from home and able to download files to a phone or iPad for a quick edit to share is great, however not being able to see the inbuilt JPG preview makes transferring RAW files a bit of a pain in the ass. My M10 transfers RAW files with a preview – Shame the X100v doesn’t.

Personally I find there are too many film simulation & JPG options making it awkward to set the camera up easily. I don’t shoot JPG & have no interest in doing so to be honest. All I need is a decent RAW file that I can see easily.

Having film simulations and all of the options available makes the Fuji camera the perfect JPG camera – but that’s not what I’m interested in.

As I’ve already mentioned the constant fidgeting of the camera when turned on, turned off & the AF lens movement when focussing is really annoying.

RAW file quality. I’ve never really been a fan of Fujifilm RAW files. I find them a little too crunchy compared to other files and the X100v files are no different. I find they need quite a fix in LR to really make them work.

So how does the little bastard fit for me?

As already mentioned the size and weight are excellent.

Converting files to black and white make it a little less stressful in terms of the myriad of options available and for me, losing it, dropping it, having it stolen means it doesn’t break the bank like the loss of the M10-P I have would.

Being a fixed focal length it also makes things simple. If I pick the V up to go out or go away with I’m not thinking about other lenses choices. I just pick the camera up, throw a spare battery in my pocket and off I go.

So why the little bastard?

Well that’s pretty simple – it’s currently the camera that stops me thinking about an M10M or a Q2.

It does most of the things I want it to – albeit a little clunky at times. I can live with the image quality as most of the time I convert to black and white and for most of what I shoot the quality of the file from it is good enough.

Will it stay in the camera bag?

That’s a tough question – for the time being the novelty of it will keep it close by. Longer term I think I’ll get fed up with the operation of it and of course as good as it is, it will never replace my M10-P.


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