My First Day Out with the Fujifilm X100V
After spending what felt like a million zillion hours watching reviews about the Fujifilm X100V on YouTube it was time to spend a few hours using it.
I had the camera less than a week and with the weather resistant lens cover and hood attached, out I went.
The trip was the first chance to get to know the camera and experiment with the much revered Fuji film simulations. Before heading out I refreshed myself on basic photography theory and looked through the X100V user manual. But the most important thing was to have fun and get to know the camera.
I didn’t want to over-challenge myself, nor did I want to spend the day on auto mode.
I usually favour aperture priority as I prefer to base decisions around depth of field rather than shutter speed or ISO. Though, I realise I need to master the full exposure triangle.
In the past my inexperience let me down at the beginning of a South African holiday when I learned aperture priority isn’t good for capturing animals. All the furry animals appeared fuzzy in the pictures.
But we learn by doing.
For the day out I chose to take a lesser explored trail into the Mourne Mountains, County Down, starting out from the Silent Valley carpark up to Moolieve Mountain and Wee Binnian.
Admittedly, I was unsure of the names until I looked them up afterwards.
The Easy and the Hard
First the easy
Handling the Fujifilm X100V is a dream.
I’ll write a first impressions post but for now I think the camera is a superbly built piece of technology that’s a joy to hold and use. On a neck strap it sits comfortably and I only had to steady it stepping over obstacles and uneven ground.
Access to the main controls is the best I’ve ever experienced since Fujifilm use traditional-style dials on many of their cameras. Both the optical (OVF) and electronic (EVF) viewfinders are high quality but I found myself relying more on the EVF as it lets you see what the scene with your chosen Fuji film simulation and exposure settings.
The histogram displayed on the EVF is something I've come to rely on more and more.
And the hard
Many people assume only professionals shoot in RAW mode. However I usually rely on RAW because it offers greater opportunities to fix my mistakes in post editing.
One of the attractions to the Fujifilm system was the reputation around film simulations and the quality of JPEGs. Shooting more in JPEG appeals because I could spend less time trying to improve shots on the computer afterwards and instead try to get the image right first time.
Shooting in JPEG means you need to work harder to get the settings correct in-camera. This was my main challenge of the day and why I relied more on the EVF.
The Fujifilm X100V does not have inbuilt body stabilisation so I was conscious of needing to get the shutter speed right and hold the camera securely during shots.
High in the Mourne hills I was buffeted with strong winds, making steady hand-held captures a challenge. In the end, it was easy to keep the shutter speed to at least 1/100 second. I didn’t miss the absence of IBIS.
The biggest help on the day was setting the exposure dial to ‘c’. This switches the exposure function to the front command dial and allows for easier adjustment during composition.
So the hardest part of the day was getting the exposure right in-camera.
The Kingdom of Mourne is so beautiful you could easily use up two batteries in no time.
In the Three Trees image I got the sky completely wrong. Significant clipping in the highlights was fixed in Lightroom CC to bring back some blue.
The next few pictures were fine with just a little more colour brought in afterwards.
Again a little clipping in the highlights addressed with the auto button in Lightroom CC.
My biggest lesson of the day was to keep an eye on the histogram in the EVF when composing a shot and make the adjustments needed to avoid clipping in shadows or highlights. This was important with bright sky and clouds.
I also learned JPEGs, thankfully, are still capable of editing adjustments although your options are limited compared to RAW files.
In conclusion the Fujifilm X100V is a wonderful camera, and my only real camera. I sold a Canon 80d on eBay to help pay for it without regret.