A Long Weekend with the Fuji X100V

Part of the reason I switched camera systems to Fuji back in 2018 was that I wanted a smaller set-up. I thought I had achieved this when I bought the 23mm f2 Fujicron lens. I loved the quality of the lens and found I used it more than the 18-55mm “kit” lens and the 35mm full-frame equivalent quickly became my favourite focal length. However, it was still a “camera bag” camera, rather than a “pocket” camera, which meant I was not taking out as much as would have liked, especially on bike rides. This planted the seed in my mind about getting a Fuji X100V camera (Amazon affiliate link) and seeing the size comparison on camerasize.com convinced me – the camera with lens is smaller than my X-T2 and 23mm f2 lens. To make sure it would be the right decision, I used Fuji UK’s free loan service to borrow one for a weekend. To maximise the loan period I borrowed it over the Easter weekend, meaning I got a four-day loan, instead of two, Fuji also sent the camera a day early, so I had it for even longer.

My first trip out with it was for a bike ride and some street photography in Coventry city centre. I used it an excuse to check out the new Nauls Mill linear park, which is a nice way into the city centre – hopefully they will do a similar job at Spon End, which is our usual route. Photographically the trip was not that successful, but the camera was great – so small and discreet. I just needed to work on my street photography courage. I did get a nice bike portrait though in the revamped tunnel under the ringroad.

On the Saturday, I met my friend Partho, and his trusty hound Otto, for a photo walk around Birmingham. It was liberating only walking around with a tiny camera and as Partho also shoots Fuji I was able to lend him my 23mm f2 lens. As usual, Otto stole the show, we had to keep stopping for people to fuss over him.

I felt like I was getting more confident with street photography, the little X100v certainly helped – I can see why they are so popular. However, my favourite photo from the walk was this lamp. There was so much more to explore in Birmingham, so in the future, I will try to fit in some evening photo walks after I finish work on my office days in Birmingham.

In addition to specific photography excursions I also wanted to see how the X100v fitted into my life as a dad – it had to be good for taking photos of the boys! Of course, it was! The picture quality is better than my X-T2/23mm f2 lens combination, the autofocus is more reliable and it is such a small and portable package. When I am about and about with the boys I can just shove it in a pocket when I need to attend to a little fall or snack request etc. The photo of Henry at the top of this post is one of my favourite photos of the year so far.

The only problem with the X100v is that I cannot buy one anywhere! After trying it out, I had decided I would buy it as a reward for passing my next AWS certification exam (which I hope to take in the next few weeks), but I think that if I find one in stock I just need to buy it! I have alerts set up in loads of places and I am top of the list for one at my local camera shop. It would be great to have it for some trips we have got planned over the summer.