“These images were taken over a few days in Brooklyn between jobs, and then on a road trip from there to Montreal,” says photographer Benedict Evans, telling us that having the use of such a capable image-making tool was what inspired him to hit the road. “Having X100V in my bag was the motivation for the trip – why not get out of town and see what I come across along the way?”
Ordinarily, Benedict spends his days in his Brooklyn-based studio, shooting portraits of a hugely diverse range of subjects. He believes this is what has honed his skill for seeing things differently. “Some of the most interesting projects for me are the ones where I’m being asked to see the remarkable in something that I may otherwise have never encountered or looked closely at,” he explains. “Having to search for that way of seeing can yield unexpected approaches and pictures, and that can be incredibly rewarding.”
When asked about using X100V, Benedict immediately highlights how easy it was for him to make images with it. This ability to streamline his creative process is something Benedict particularly values. “X100V’s design makes sense to me in such a way that when I’m working, I can spend an absolute minimum amount of time paying attention to it. The less I’m aware of a camera, the more I like it,” he explains.
“I put the ISO and the shutter speed on auto, and have my left hand on the aperture ring and my right thumb on the exposure compensation dial or the Focus Lever on the back, and I can make images look exactly the way I want them,” reveals Benedict. He also praises X100V’s versatility in being able to create fantastic images, whether shooting in full auto or full manual modes.
Another big hit for Benedict was the way the camera looks. “There’s certainly an appeal to this camera, because it’s a beautifully designed object. I love good design and I find it extremely satisfying when form clearly follows function in a beautiful, unembellished way. I think X100V is a good example of that.”
This love of X100V’s design extends to the unimposing qualities that make creating images with it a pleasure. “I love that it doesn’t have a logo on the front of it, so your subject isn’t looking at a huge brand name while you shoot. I have the all-black one and it looks very sharp and yet understated,” he tells us, adding that X100V’s near-silent shutter complements this discreet style. “If I’m at a dinner or some other social situation and want to make a picture while someone is talking, I can do so quietly without drawing any attention to myself.”
Benedict’s overall view of X100V is one of fond familiarity, combined with cutting-edge excitement. “X100V is a digital piece of gear that feels like a camera, not a piece of electronics. That’s so important, I think,” he says. “It’s compact, it’s fast, it has all physical manual controls, and the pictures have that FUJIFILM quality that I love – really good dynamic range and a slightly ‘filmic’ quality.
“X100V feels like the evolution of a design philosophy that I subscribed whole-heartedly to some time ago, when I first picked up the original X100, because it felt so intuitive to use,” he reveals. “For me, there’s little better than finding a camera that doesn’t require me to change how I shoot.”
But most of all, Benedict tells us the thing that makes this camera so good is the thinking behind it. “I would recommend this camera to pretty much anyone, and I frequently do – this and all the X100 iterations that came before it. It caters to everyone, from the casual point-and-shooter, to the enthusiast, to the professional. This camera was clearly designed by people who do what their product is created for,” he enthuses.
“X100V gives you access to the wonderful design philosophy and stunning image quality that FUJIFILM cameras all have, in a compact package with no compromise,” he concludes. “For all the different reasons I’ve mentioned, it’s the only camera I grab and put in my bag every single time I leave the house.”
It’s compact, it’s fast, it has all physical manual controls, and the pictures have that FUJIFILM quality that I love
About The Photographer
Benedict Evans is a Brooklyn-based portrait photographer who, in addition to working with a long list of celebrities, has created images for some of the world’s most recognizable brands and publications.