Yesterday Fujifilm announced a few new things at their “X Summit” in London. The most consequential one for me was the announcement of the X100V. It’s the fifth generation of the X100 series and it’s going to be my next camera.
I’ve been in love with the concept of the X100 series since shortly after I started shooting with Fujifilm APS-C cameras but it always had too many crucial drawbacks for me to consider actually buying one.
The first lens I bought for my X-E1 way back when, was the XF23mmF1.4 R. I purchased it because after inspecting the photos I had taken with the XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM kit lens, I saw that most of my shots were in the 22–24 mm range and I wanted something with a wider aperture to play around with. The 23/1.4 is still the lens I shoot with the most. I absolutely love it.
The lens in the X100 series, while decent, simply didn’t have the same versatility. Corner sharpness wasn’t very good at f/2 and shooting at close focus distances wide open resulted in very soft pictures. Coming from the XF23mmF1.4 R, that’s simply not something I would be able to accept.
(As a side note, the same drawbacks of the X100 lens also apply to the XF23mmF2 R WR lens, albeit not in the severity as found in the X100 series lenses up until now. It’s the reason why I sold the lens again after having used it for a few months.)
I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate this on my Fujifilm cameras. I have it on the X-Pro2, on the X-T3, and I had it on the X-T1. I take a camera with me almost everywhere I go in any weather. Be it for a trip downtown or going hiking with my dogs. The cameras and weather sealed lenses have handled everything I’ve thrown at them so far and I had hoped Fujifilm would’ve added this to the X100F already, but no.
Now, the new X100V is properly weather sealed once you put a protective filter on the lens and that gives you an extremely compact package that you can take anywhere.
Maybe you like it maybe you don’t, I like having it and dislike not having it on the X-Pro2. To get this in a camera as small as the X100V is just a nice bonus that only increases the camera’s usefulness.
After the announcement, I read the excellent preview written by Jonas Rask and immediately knew that it would be very hard to pass up on the X100V.
Then the first review by Chris and Jordan of DPReview TV was published and that completely sealed the deal. It’s worth a watch.
An observation regarding Fujifilm’s product policy
Chris Nichols and Jordan Drake mentioned something interesting in the video. Fujifilm has put almost all features found in the very recently released X-Pro3 into the X100V. More than you’d typically expect for what is essentially a compact large-sensor camera. Even the video features are solid for the most part.
This really made me happy because it shows that Fujifilm is essentially following Apple’s (and particularly Steve Jobs’s playbook) for positioning and releasing products:
Instead of artificially separating their product lines to prevent cannibalisation, by limiting the feature sets compared to the flagship products, they let their products cannibalise themselves instead of letting products by other manufacturers do so. This creates true choice for customers and—to me—is a sign of respect for the customers by the company.