One of the few bright spots in 2020 was the debut of the Fujifilm X100V APS-C digital camera. In a year of excellent releases from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, and Sony, the X100V is the camera that I carry in my backpack and reach for in most situations.
Its specs are impressive, but this camera's appeal transcends its data sheet. At the top of the list is how I feel with it in my hands, ready to shoot. The only camera that rivals this affection for me is the Olympus PEN-F, and earlier camera of the year that I still use frequently. Both the PEN-F and the X100V make me want to take pictures. I search for subjects just to have the joy of shooting with them.
Creatively speaking, the film simulations in the X100V combined with the tilting LCD and optical/electronic viewfinder allow me to see the world in unique colors and tones that are far more exciting than the typical digital image. Whether it's a snapshot of a family member, a moment on the streets, or a stunning Sonoma County landscape, I feel like an artist every time I press the shutter button.
And then when I sit down at the computer to browse and edit the files in Capture One Pro, I am delighted by the image quality this camera produces. The Jpegs are beautiful and the RAWs are infinitely editable. Whether I'm at f/2.0 or f/11, ISO 200 or 3200, I'm pleased with what I see.
The X100V is the camera that I've used to document the pandemic in L.A. and S.F. It's the camera that I grab when I jump out of the car to capture something beautiful. And I feel absolutely comfortable with the Fujifilm when I'm out on the street.
My Honorable Mentions for 2020 are the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and the Nikon Z5 with its cool 24-50mm pancake zoom lens. I very much enjoyed testing both of those, along with the latest from Canon and Panasonic. But at the end of the day, the Fujifilm X100V is the camera that I own and use daily. And it is my pick for top camera of 2020.
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