The Fujifilm X100VI | Could the almost perfect be improved?

Summary

Note: For those of you who already know a lot about the new Fujifilm X100VI or the X100 series as such, here is a brief summary of my very personal opinion on this camera.

The Fujifilm X100VI is not only a gem, but also a very serious camera. Especially for street and documentary photographers (however you define that for yourself), the X100VI offers a hell of a lot. It’s small, lightweight, unobtrusive and yet very capable. A fantastic, 40 MP sensor, very good overall performance, IBIS and all 20 of Fujifilm’s phenomenal film simulations make it an incredibly versatile tool. A classic reportage focal length with at least decent maximum aperture and very good image quality round off this picture.

The X100VI is of course the best X100 to date and in certain points a massiv update. If you want it, can afford it and know what you can do with such a camera, hey, don’t waste another thought. Just get it… if you get one. 😉

But I would still advise anyone who doesn’t really know the X100 series to inform themselves well and also to understand the limitations of these cameras. Even the X100VI – as good as it may be – is not for everyone and not for everything – hype or not. It is and remains a camera for a certain type of photographer.

So, for those who don’t know much about it or who want to go into the details, below a very detailed review. Get yourself a coffee and feel free to read it all or just jump to the points that may be of particular interest to you.

Shortcuts to the main sections:

The HeritageBody and designThe viewfinderThe lensTech and specs (Sensor, IBIS, Processor, Menu and software, Film simulations, Video, SD-Card slot) – The autofocusThe battery (life)Pros and consConclusionsWho is the X100V for?What could be the next step?Very final words90 X100/S/F/V/VI images

Prologue

The Fujifilm X100VI is here. Wow! That is certainly a reason to be excited. And I am excited! Nevertheless, I will start my post with an open secret and a critical question. Both are however somehow related to the X100VI.

  1. I would have preferred a Fujifilm X-Pro4 at this point.
  2. Is it possible to improve an actually almost perfect camera?

Point 1 is the open secret. As happy as I am about a new X100 camera, I would have been slightly happier about a successor to the X-Pro3. In my opinion, the X100V was the sexiest digital camera ever built. It’s unique and fantastic. But when it comes to flexibility, its bigger X-Pro sisters were for a long time the more important cameras for me. And harmonising the X-T and X-Pro series with the same sensor and the same processor would have been the smarter step in my eyes. At least that’s what I thought when this new X100VI was introduced. Let’s see if I’m still of the same opinion at the end of this review.

Point 2 refers to the title of my review of the X100V. There I described it as already almost perfect. So, does the new Fujifilm X100VI really offer the added value that could justify switching to it? After all, the new camera is no bargain. Fortunately, I was able to sell my X100V very well even 10 days before the official announcement of its successor – thanks to the actual hype!

The Heritage

I don’t need to write a lot about the origins of the Fujifilm X100VI at this point. I’ve done that enough here on the blog. It is now the fifth incarnation of the original X100 from 2011 and consistently continues the evolution of its predecessors – externally restrained, but technically sophisticated. By the way, the X100 was released exactly 13 years ago today.

In my opinion, the X100S and perhaps far more so the X100V have been the most important updates in this series so far. The S turned the charming but functionally quirky original into a truly functional camera. The V, on the other hand, was and is so mature that it no longer has any real weaknesses. The X100F was probably the first very successful evolutionary stage. I skipped the X100T, as I saw no reason to go for it as an update.

So what can come next? Just the cherry on the cake? Another episode in the megapixel race? Or is there more? Maybe even way more? Let’s find out…

Speaking of heritage, in honour of Fujifilm’s 90th birthday, here’s a loose compilation of 90 images, each taken with one of my X100 cameras since 2011.

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Body and design

The body

I start with a very simple point. At first, second and third glance, the Fujifilm X100VI looks like the X100V. These two cameras actually look like identical twins, maybe with the difference of having piercings or something.

And that’s a good thing. Because it remains one of the most beautiful cameras on the market, perhaps the most beautiful. Only if you look very closely can you see minimal adjustments to the design at best. I will briefly return to some of these really small changes in the following sub-chapters.

If you were to use a scale and callipers, the 43 grams more weight and 2 mm more thickness (body 0.5mm, lens 1.5mm) would be measurable. I didn’t notice this when I picked up the camera for the first time.

Yes, it’s Made in China. So what? Many technical things we use on a daily basis are. The camera looks perfectly made and also feels very high quality.

The material and the ‘coatings’

I no longer have both cameras to hand at the same time, but I didn’t notice any difference between my silver version and the previous silver X100V. Since the introduction of the new aluminium finish with the X100V, I have found it to be almost perfect. It’s sooooo beautiful! 🙂

The tilt screen

I think there is only one change here compared to its predecessor. On the X100VI, the display can now be folded down by up to 45 degrees (instead of 35 degrees previously).

And what else? I stand by my statement from the review of the X100V and would like to quote it again here:

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce the coolest flip-up display I have ever seen on a camera? It’s so flat and invisibly integrated into the body that you won’t even notice it. And yet you have one when you want one.”

In my mind’s eye, I can just see the Leica Q3 hiding bashfully behind the wardrobe. Sorry, that one had to be… 😉

I would like to emphasise one small but crucial point here again. As with the previous version, the eye sensor is automatically deactivated when the display is opened. Smart move… because we don’t have eyes on our chest.

The button and wheel layout

The layout of the controls on the Fujifilm X100VI has changed only minimally compared to the X100V. In detail, I can actually only see two changes. Firstly, the design of the switch for the viewfinder has been slightly adapted. The red line there is now missing and the knob for switching has also become slightly different. Secondly, the delete button has been moved from quite far left to the centre below the hot shoe. This makes it easier for the thumb to reach – and easier to use the shortcut for formatting the SD-card without accidentally activating the eye-sensor.

I like this layout a lot. There aren’t too many buttons so that the camera doesn’t look overloaded. But there are still enough that I can configure it to suit my needs.

Weather sealing

This point remains unchanged. The new Fujifilm X100VI is weatherproof if you use the AR-X100 adapter ring and a suitable 49mm protective filter.

Is this a cool solution? No, of course not. But it is also everything but a tragedy and therefore I am absolutely fine with it. The only thing that’s a bit weird about this is that Fujifilm doesn’t include the ring and the filter directly with the camera. That would be really appropriate.

Incidentally, you also need this AR-X100 for the original lens hood. That’s why some of you – and me as well – may already have it. And I don’t want to hide the fact that there are also other solutions to protect the lens. For example, you can use the WCL-X100 or the combination of the (unfortunately currently sold out) Model V lens hood from Squarehood and this filter, which is shown here several times. This is currently my favourite lens hood.

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The viewfinder

I have not been able to discover or notice any changes in the technical specifications or in the use of the viewfinder compared to its predecessor. I would therefore like to keep the following brief.

The EVF

As with the Fujifilm X100V, the new X100VI has a 0.5-inch OLED colour viewfinder with a resolution of approx. 3.69 million dots. The magnification is at a factor of 0.66 (at 50mm equivalent focal length), which is appealing for this small camera. I have no further information and therefore assume that it is the same EVF as before.

Is that OK? Is that enough? It certainly is for me. I don’t really see the urgent need for a significantly higher resolution in such a camera. It would probably have increased the costs again and possibly also the battery consumption. So, fine for me as well.

The OVF

In my opinion, this is exactly the same as the previous model: A Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display, a coverage of frame area vs. capturing area of approx. 95% and a magnification of approx. x0.52.

I still sometimes like the ability to switch to the optical viewfinder. And yes, this is what makes the X100 and X-Pro series so unique. But to be honest, I don’t really need it. In practice, I have to admit that I use the EVF most of the time. I would be fine without an optical viewfinder, but still with the same rangefinder-like form factor of these two cameras.

The Eyepiece and Dioptre Adjustment

Here, too, everything has remained the same and is sufficient for my eyes. The settings range from -4 to +2 dioptres and the adjustment wheel sits well and is not so easy to adjust accidentally. The eyepiece seems to be the same as well and perfect for me.

I have to say once again that, unlike the X-Pro3, the dioptre compensation settings for the EVF and OVF are the same and work for both my eyes. That makes me very happy! This point really bothers me massively with the X-Pro3!

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The lens

Optically

In my review of the X100V, I raved about the last lens update. This has significantly improved the imaging performance of the camera in general and especially at close range with open aperture. The lens has turned out very well and offers a beautiful rendering. Maybe not perfect, but you shouldn’t expect that from such a very compact lens. For physical reasons, of course, it cannot provide the image quality of a Sigma Art or a Leica SL lens. But it really is very good!

However, the big question now immediately arises: how will the lens perform with the new 40MP sensor? To cut a long story short: great. I see superb image quality and apparently no problem for the lens to handle the resolution of the sensor.

Is my statement scientifically sound? No, of course not! 🙂

But I see it in practice and I can at least compare the images with the Fujifilm X-T5 and some of the very best lenses in the X lens line-up. And the X100VI and its small 23mm lens do very well here. To be honest, I’m actually a little surprised at how well it performs with the new sensor.

Just two more things, and not new to the X100 series: The silent leaf shutter and the built-in 4-stop ND filter are and remain often underestimated killer features of the X100 cameras.

Mechanically

This is where my enthusiasm and my well-known love for the X100 gets its first little dent. The mechanical design of the lens falls short of the optical design. Focussing is not silent and even sounds a bit louder to me than before. But maybe I’m wrong here, I don’t know for sure. Due to the design, the AF also jumps back and forth a little when searching for the focus point. Overall, it reminds me a little of the XF18mm F2 – even if it’s not quite as loud as that one and of course without the chattering of the aperture blades.

Is that a bad thing? Um, at least it’s not a very good thing. As many people know, the XF18mm F2 is still one of my favourite lenses – despite its weaknesses. However, I’ve always wished for an MKII version of this lens that was mechanically improved and silent. And that’s the case here too. They had four years to redevelop this lens. I don’t know if a linear motor would have been possible. However, the small “Fujicrons” (XF23 F2, etc.) prove that it can be done quietly and quickly even without one.

Yes, all that was no different with the X100V and I hardly complained. But time passes and it feels more strange with this brand new camera and in 2024. Somehow it doesn’t do justice to this sensor and this processor, but slows them down.

The WCL-X100 II wide angle lens converter

The WCL-X100 II is quite important for me – others won’t be interested in it at all. I am an outspoken wide-angle photographer and would always have preferred to have an 18mm lens on the X100 cameras. But you can’t have everything. I can live quite well with 23mm, but I’m very happy that with this wide-angle converter I at least have a way to get my favourite focal length after all.

In terms of handling (screw thread), the thing is also fine for me, as I very rarely change it. In fact, it is usually fitted to the camera as standard and this MK II version is automatically recognised by the camera. Image quality has always been absolutely flawless with it and, according to my initial impressions, this is still the case with the 40 MP sensor. In this respect, everything is still OK for me.

However, the whole truth is that this combination is actually too big. In terms of size, this combination is almost on a par with the Summilux 28mm F1.7 of the Q-Leicas. Even compared to the Fujifilm XF18mm F2, it no longer cuts a good figure size-wise.

Not a real dealbreaker, but I would prefer it otherwise… preferably directly as a compact 18mm lens. But I repeat myself.

By the way, I never owned the TCL-X100 teleconverter. I was never interested in it and it’s much bigger again, so I wouldn’t even consider it. For others, however, this may be an interesting consideration.

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Tech and specs

Attentive readers will have noticed that although I have praised the camera so far in most points, there hasn’t really been much new in it. Almost nothing, actually. This changes significantly in the following points.

The sensor

Let’s talk about professionalism

OK, the sensor in the Fujifilm X100VI is not really brand new. It is the same backside illuminated X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor with 40 MP resolution we already know from the X-H2 and most recently from the X-T5. But for the X100 series, this is definitely a pretty huge update. Giving this small camera the same modern high-resolution sensor as the X-H and X-T series is at least a clear statement. The X100VI does not belong in the entry-level class of cameras but plays with the big boys and girls!

But was that necessary or smart? I think so! I don’t agree with some of the opinions circulating on blogs and on YouTube that this was overkill and unnecessary for a “hobby camera”. These judgements are partly based on the – sorry – somewhat arrogant opinion that only “real” model shoots or only highly elaborate landscape or product photography are “professional” and that “real professional products” are needed for this. For me, the X100VI is also a very high-quality tool and can be used „professionally” by photographers who need exactly what this camera offers.

Can the X100VI replace a Fujifilm X-H2S, a Sony A7VI, a Nikon Z8 or a Canon R5? Of course not! But that was never the intention of these little X100 cameras.

By the way, about other silly terms in certain reviews on the net – like “toy camera” – I can only say: The best way to deal with it is not even to ignore it. Got it?

Let’s talk about resolution

With the X-T5, I quickly put aside my first reservations about the introduction of the 40 MP sensor. I don’t see any serious problems with noise – in practice it seems to me to be roughly on a par with the 26 MP CMOS 4 sensor. Would it be better with 24 MP on an equally modern full frame sensor? Sure! But it wouldn’t fit in this camera and would also need a much larger lens. So that’s a completely hypothetical comparison that doesn’t work.

On the other hand, we get plenty of resolution. Especially with the X100VI with its fixed lens, the increased freedom for framing adds particular value. Even though I personally don’t use it that often for many reasons – actually not at all, to be honest – this “digital teleconverter” is now at least an option for some.

By the way: In contrast to the X100V, the X100VI no longer extrapolates the images to the nominal resolution of the sensor but delivers cropped images. Thus, with the equivalent focal lengths of 50mm and 70mm, we obtain a resolution of 20 and 10 MP respectively.

Let’s talk about what actually matters

But let’s be clear: the higher resolution is not the only and maybe not even the main highlight. It’s the sensor as such. This sensor is a real hit in many respects. Yes, we get a lot of detail, great colour rendition, a new base ISO of 125 and generally an outstanding image quality. Additionally, we get a shortest exposure time of 1/180000sec and a very fast readout time. This sensor is one of the most effective sensors on the market. Just my two cents.

I wouldn’t have written all this if the all-important detail was missing: image stabilisation. A sensor with this resolution without IBIS would have been more of a minus point for me. But fortunately, it is not…

To summarise, in my humble opinion, Fujifilm’s decision in favour of this sensor was exactly right. The image quality of that sensor is definitely something where the X100VI shines.

Let’s talk about sensor cleaning

By the way, another point that has rarely been mentioned so far. Fujifilm has now given the X100VI a sensor cleaning system despite the fixed lens. Problems have been reported here and there with such cameras. I read about this with the first Leica Q, but apparently it also happened with some of the X100 cameras.

I don’t think I’ve ever had any problems with it, but it’s certainly a smart move. At least it should help in most cases without having to send the camera in.

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IBIS

And this brings us to the by far most important new feature for me and the very reason why I blindly ordered the camera – even before it was announced: the IBIS with 5-axis compensation. At last!

I know that there are photographers for whom this is not a big thing in general and perhaps especially for this camera. For me, this is the ultimate game changer. The main reason to change the rating of this camera from almost perfect to very close to perfect. It’s the missing piece of the puzzle for the best digital camera ever!

The engineers have squeezed an IBIS with a stated efficiency of up to 6 f-stops into this camera without a really noticeable increase in size. For an available-light photographer, who also likes to be out and about in the evening and at night, this is an absolute dream! As I said, best new feature award for this camera!

Is the effectiveness really 6 f-stops? I don’t think so, but that applies equally to most other manufacturers’ claims according to whatever CIPA standard. In my estimation, it is somewhere around 3 to 4 f-stops in practice. In other words, with the camera firmly to my eye and a steady hand, I can shoot handheld up to about 1/4 second – maybe 1/2 second on rare occasions. But then it becomes a lottery and no longer satisfies high expectations of sharpness.

Still, even 3.5 stops make a material difference in low light conditions.

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The processor

Yes, the updated X-Processor 5, already known from the other cameras of the fifth generation, should also be praised. Even if that somehow goes under my radar. Sure, it certainly makes everything faster and smoother and probably also more energy efficient. But maybe I’ve already got used to it with the X-T5 or it’s somehow not so noticeable with this type of camera. In my mind, the X100VI is a bit like an old analogue camera. Except it’s not…

But yes, it’s great… thanks for the more of power!

As the processor naturally makes a significant contribution to the overall performance, these statements above are actually somewhat unfair. After all, the overall performance of this small camera is impressive. But more on that at the end…

However, as with the other cameras even with this latest processor, there is one small drawback. Unfortunately, the computing power is not sufficient to convert the calculation of the clarity feature into JPGs without a noticeably longer storage time. It’s not that bad, but you do have to wait round about a second.

I don’t know if better programming or just a faster process location could solve this…

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I’ll keep this short but very clear. In my opinion, the entire menu structure, its logic and even its readability is a point that Fujifilm should urgently address next. Not least because of many new features that have been added in recent years, the menu navigation and menu items are often difficult to understand, even for long-time Fujifilm users. The present implementation of the menu is certainly also the reason why there is currently no touch functionality here. How could there be? You couldn’t operate it in this form anyway!

For me personally, that’s not a real dealbreaker. I’m familiar with the menu and can handle it – somehow. But to be honest, the user experience is quite a bit frustrating in this respect – and could discourage new users. Interestingly, the separate Q menu already shows the direction in which simplification and user-friendliness should go. I don’t say this often, but the competition from Wetzlar actually does that much better. Just look at the new, clean menu of the SL3…

As with the Fujifilm XApp, a complete restart would perhaps be the best solution here.

The film simulations

Hallelujah! Hooray! Finally!

The good news first: the X100VI now has all 20! available film simulations integrated. This is great and means that I can finally access the full range of simulations. For me, this is actually an important point for the update, believe it or not. In practice, I use these film simulations as the basis for my various custom settings, which I have then further adjusted with additional settings.

Something that annoyed me so much that I actually wrote a separate blog post about it was the inconsistencies in the film simulations between the Fujifilm cameras. Until recently, I was shooting with the X-T5, the X-Pro3 and the X100V at the same time. All the latest cameras in each series. Unfortunately, not all three have the same film simulations on board. This led me to not include Nostalgic Neg and Bleach Bypass in my custom configurations, as these should be the same on all three cameras. Until today! OK, not quite today, but the coming FW updates have already been announced during the X Summit. So, the other cameras of the fifth generation are also due to get the Reala Ace simulation soon. Thanks to Kaizen!

Since Reala Ace is actually the only fairly new film simulation, I’ll go into it separately here. It was only recently introduced with the GFX100 II and is therefore – at least until the summer – exclusively available in this camera and the X100VI. But is it any good?

Understandably, I still have very little experience with it. But my first impression is: reserved, very cool! I will soon be making a post about the customised film simulations I use anyway. Probably more on that then…

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Video

I’ll be brief here: the video specs are much better than you would perhaps expect from such a camera and with IBIS it’s also usable. 6.2K 30P, 4K 60P and FHD 240p are really impressive. So if you ever need it, you’ll get something out of it. Nevertheless, I don’t see video as the decisive feature for this camera and will probably never use it. I’d rather get my iPhone out of my pocket… but it’s just me. I think others will be very happy about these video updates.

What about overheating? I have no idea. I wrote my own opinion on this in the review of the X100V and never had any problems. However, this information should be provided by others. I haven’t heard anything substantial about this yet either.

I don’t really film with these cameras, especially not for long. I suspect that there will definitely be clear limits here. This is not a dedicated film camera! There is not even a button to start filming directly.

SD card slot/USB-C

Just single slot

Yes, it’s still just a single slot. For professional and critical work, this could be an important point for some. I would also have welcomed a second slot, but for me this is OK so far. Interestingly, I have never had a defective memory card in my life.

Incidentally, the SD card is inserted the other way round than before (i.e. with the logo facing the rear panel) – which makes it easier for my head.

The supposed “UHS-I disaster”

Apart from that, some reviewers complain that the X100VI is still only equipped with a UHS-I controller. OK, I don’t understand Fujifilm here either, because a UHS-II controller certainly costs almost nothing. And it would have prevented a minor PR disaster in some reviews.

But let’s be honest for a moment! In practice, this really doesn’t matter!

On the one hand, I can of course continue to use my best and fastest UHS-II cards with the X100VI and thus retain the fast readout times on the computer. Furthermore, as already mentioned, this is not really important for the (normal) operation of the camera.

OK, writing the data logically takes longer since UHS-II could be three times faster. So despite the memory buffer, you can’t achieve the possible 11 fps with uncompressed RAW files for several seconds with this camera. So what? Who on earth takes this kind of crazy series with such a camera? And for a few continuous shots – even at these 11 fps and for 2 or 3 seconds – it actually works. Incidentally, the camera continues to work without any problems when writing the data and is not completely blocked – as is the case with some competitors. It is also possible to take more pictures while writing.

Not once in my 13 years of using these cameras have I been slowed down by the write speed to the SD card. I have also not experienced any problems with 4K video recordings.

So, much ado about nothing here. 😉

USB-C

The X100VI also has a USB-C port (3.1), which can be used to quickly charge the battery, read out data and communicate with the RAW STUDIO software.

Frame.io

The X100VI supports the cloud service “Frame.io | Camera to Cloud” directly – i.e. without additional devices. This allows photos and videos to be uploaded directly to Frame.io. If it can be done, why not – nice thing. I certainly won’t need it. As far as I know, this will also be rolled out to other fifth-generation cameras via a firmware update. I think it will make more sense there.

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The autofocus

I was already quite happy with the autofocus of the X100V. Sure, it’s no comparison to that of an X-T5 or even an X-H2S with a Fujifilm X LM lens, but hey, for my area of application with this camera it was OK. Now, logically, Fujifilm has claimed for the Fujifilm X100VI that it should also benefit from the new processor and software. This should give it a better, faster and more reliable autofocus.

Fujifilm also added AI-supported object recognition. As far as this point is concerned, however, it doesn’t really matter to me. OK, it’s quite nice, although to be honest I am only interested in better face and eye detection. I don’t photograph cats, dogs and trains… but others might. So that’s good too!

Faster or “snappier” autofocus, on the other hand, would of course also interest me. That would also be very helpful in documentary and reportage situations. So, I was curious, but also a little sceptical. After all, I honestly assumed that the design of the lens was the obstacle to faster autofocus and not the software. But now the interesting question: Is the AF better and how much better?

Yes, the AF is better. But you have to take a differentiated view and shouldn’t raise your expectations too high. Personally, I will certainly be fully satisfied with it in 99% of all situations. But I still wouldn’t have rejected further improvements.

AF-C

To a limited extent, you can now even use AF-C – let’s say – reasonably well. But can you really use this AF to reliably track your wildly running dog or your super lively four-year-old child? No way! At least not anywhere near as with modern system cameras and appropriate lenses. Anyone who claims that is fooling themselves and others.

No, I haven’t tested it extensively because I never need it anyway. But I dare to say that even without such tests. This simply won’t work and that should be clear to anyone who wants to buy this camera.

AF-S

AF-S is quite good though. It’s fast, reliable and slightly better than on the X100V, I would say. But you shouldn’t expect too much here either. It’s not lightning fast, it’s just normally fast… and it’s hunting a bit. 😉

Face and eye recognition

Let me summarise this as follows: Yes, it works quite well in principle. Of course, not like with the top cameras on the market, but it’s OK. However, essentially it’s only useful in AF-S. With AF-C and moving objects, we have the aforementioned problem that the lens mechanics do not bring the performance of processor to the street. Nevertheless, I am glad that face detection has now been implemented properly and is at least sufficient for my specific needs.

The battery (life)

Yes, I am of course one of those who hoped that the engineers at Fujifilm could somehow squeeze the NP-W235 battery into the X100VI. Not only because I find this improved battery life, as currently on my X-T5, very impressive and helpful. My second concern was actually compatibility with the newer GFX and X models. So, I still have to fiddle around with two different chargers and batteries.

At first glance for a non-engineer, it actually looks like it could have worked. But maybe the memory card wouldn’t have fitted in, or the sides would have been too thin. I don’t know…

Otherwise, according to Fujifilm, the battery life should be about the same as before despite the higher resolution sensor and IBIS, probably also because of the more efficient processor. After a few days of use, I can’t yet seriously confirm this or not. Even without permanent IBIS, I had the very subjective feeling that the battery was drained a little too quickly for my taste. But I’ll have to update this here in a few weeks.

Be that as it may, I’m sticking with it. I would have liked to see the larger battery of the other models here too. Of course, that’s not a real problem either. The batteries are very small and I still have 5 left… 😉

What about a charger? Well, familiar topic… and still annoying.

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Pros and Cons

Yes, I am biased since I somehow love this camera, as I loved the X100V, the X100F,… Nevertheless, here are the points on the plus and on the minus side, halfway objectively.

What I like

  • It looks gorgeous 🙂
  • IBIS (++)
  • Latest sensor and processor generation (++)
  • Improved general performance (++)
  • Small, lightweight, yet powerful (++)
  • All actual film simulations (++)
  • The lens (optically) (++)
  • Cool and slim flip-up display (+)
  • Sensor cleaning (+)
  • Slightly Improved autofocus (small +)

What I don’t like

  • The lens (mechanically) (-)
  • The old battery (-)
  • The menu (-)

What COULD be disappointments of this update

Apart from the three above, I cannot see any real and serious weaknesses of the Fujifilm X100VI as such. However, for the sake of fairness and transparency, I will at least list the points that could be considered a missed update or missed improvement.

  • A great new 18mm F2 or F1.7 lens
  • No directly weather-sealed construction
  • No double SD card slot
  • No internal memory
  • No new EVF and LCD with higher resolution
  • No automatic closing mechanism for the battery compartment
  • No charger included

Everyone has to see for themselves what they think about these last critical points.

Personally, I think most of them are somewhat irrelevant or there must have been good reasons for not implementing them (cost/effort). With one exception perhaps: an internal memory would have been a cool thing and a huge point on the plus side. Fujifilm may have missed an opportunity to stand out from the crowd here.

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Conclusions

Some general thoughts

Is the X100VI as it is now a surprise? Not really for me, especially as the previously leaked rumours were very exact. I was a little worried beforehand that it might not have IBIS – but fortunately it does.

Before the rumours were confirmed, I also thought about what Fujifilm could have done with the X100VI. Naturally, I could imagine a number of things that wouldn’t have been wrong. A different lens, for example. I myself would have absolutely loved an 18mm F1.7 – that’s just my favourite focal length. I could also have imagined the adoption of cool solutions such as a battery integrated into the body, as in the Leica Q and SL series. Or a second SD card slot. Or internal memory. Or, or, or… of course, many things could have been changed.

A greatly modified and perhaps more modern and/or purist overall concept would also have been possible. The X-E4 seems to have gone a bit in this purist direction. Apparently without much success though. If I could have wished for certain changes individually, that would surely have been great. But since I couldn’t do that, I’m happy that the concept of the X100V has been adopted virtually unchanged. For my needs, this camera definitely works fine.

So, am I disappointed? Nope! I like this one, but I think I also would have been fine with a more radical approach. At least if it had been smart.

Verdict

I feel a bit of a fool every time I review a new Fujifilm X100 camera. I always write something about the “best little digital camera in the world”, the “sexiest digital camera ever” or “the one camera I would take to a desert island”. That probably wears off and eventually sounds untrustworthy. And now I’m coming round the corner again with such tones. Only: this time it’s finally true! Again… 🙂

No, I haven’t taken any drugs and of course I am aware that there are a number of cameras that are technologically or conceptually superior to the X100VI – on paper anyway. I even own some… but that’s not the point here. 😉

As mentioned before, Fujifilm has done a lot right here with its smart evolution, a hell of a lot. This camera is extremely versatile as a photographic tool and at the same time it’s incredibly performant. And thus actually proved that you can make the almost perfect even better…

If you don’t care about perfect or imperfect, there is another “feature” of the X100VI that needs to be mentioned. This camera is simply MEGA FUN! It’s cool as it is and taking photos with it is generally a pleasure. But it is also technically so good that the fun is even greater.

I put it in my pocket, and I am happy to always have it with me. I take it in my hand, and I have fun. I look through the viewfinder, and I am in my own world. I look at the photos, and I am amazed. It all works for me!

So, what is it now?

For what it is, the Fujifilm X100VI is again getting closer to the ideal! But is it perfect now? Of course not, nothing in the world is! Well, maybe my Cacio e Pepe recipe comes close, but that’s again a totally different story.

As of today, the Fujifilm X100VI is my ONE CAMERA – ONE LENS SOLUTION. And it is still the sexiest digital camera on the market.

But I don’t want to hide the fact that a few points (especially lens construction, menu, autofocus, battery) disappoint me at least a little.

This camera now costs €1800. I would have wished that after four years, one or two things that are not that perfect had actually been addressed. And I would also have considered it a statement of particular value if the camera had also come with a charger, the adapter ring, the protective filter, a lens hood and perhaps a really cool and useful camera strap. Just saying…

Putting these somewhat critical remarks aside:

The X100VI should be seen for what it is – rather than for what it is not. With this in mind, have fun with it!

Back to the shortcuts

Who is the Fujifilm X100VI for and who should probably update?

Although I love them, I have never recommended any X100 to anyone who has asked me which camera they should buy. With this question, it’s almost clear that the X100 is rather not the right camera. No matter how much hype there has been about it recently, I’m sticking with it. You really need to be a certain type of photographer and know what you’re doing with a camera like this. Unless it’s your second or third camera… or you just see it as a hip accessory.

If you are such a photographer, you maybe want to have this sexiest digital camera ever. And it is a huge and logical update for anyone who owns – let’s say – an X100F or older. For owners of an X100V the question is a bit more tricky. Is IBIS a very important and decisive feature for you? Do you want the latest film simulations? Do you want/need the best performance such a type of camera can give you? Then get it! Otherwise, ah, well, you might not have to, because the X100V is already awesome.

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What could be the next step?

An idiotic question, isn’t it? Especially at the end of a review of a recently released camera. But strangely enough, this question came to mind immediately with the X100VI – not at all with its predecessor. But I’ll take a quick look into my crystal ball anyway.

As for the future, I only can imagine two ways forward. Firstly, there could be the evolutionary path to an X100VII with more or less cosmetic changes and some technical updates. I don’t know whether I would still jump on this bandwagon. The X100VI is simply too good for that. A little better here and there would be no reason for me to update.

Or there could be the big step of an X200 with a totally revolutionary concept, a totally new lens, etc. OK, maybe with the relevant genes of the X100 series. I would probably be on board then and would really like to give my thoughts to it. In my view, this is the only way this camera line can go. The current hype will fade… and we should even keep questioning things that are actually very good and courageously dare to rethink them.

That’s for sure a dilemma that Fujifilm will not have to worry about this year.

Very final words

What will become of the X-Pro series and what will I do with my X-Pro3?

Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to the first part of that question. All I have left is hope, but I’m beginning to have some doubts. For the second part, I have a sad but pragmatic answer.

The Fujifilm X100VI will probably replace my X-Pro3 in practice. Not necessarily because it is the better concept, but simply because it is now the technically better camera. By updating and harmonising with the current technologies (IBIS, sensor, film simulations) of the X-T5/X-H2, this is simply the logical step. So, my complementary, congenial duo will probably no longer be X-T and X-Pro, but X-T and X100. That’s just the way it is…

Will I sell my X-Pro3? Damn, I don’t know. I don’t want to collect cameras. But when I pick up this camera with the XF18 F2 and go out, I’m also in my own world. Maybe I’ll treat myself to the absolute luxury and keep it until… well, we’ll see.

What else?

Would I still have preferred a great new X-Pro4? Rather, uhm, yes… maybe somehow not instead, but definitely in addition. I’m still convinced that a really cool, radical X-Pro4 would cover a niche that would be economically attractive. Come on, Fujifilm… let’s do some “Camera Punk” again! 😉

P.S. By the way, I call the camera X100VI (vee-eye) 😉

Back to the shortcuts


A small photographic heritage: 90 very different images that have one thing in common: They were all taken with one of the Fujifilm X100 cameras – from 2011 until today. As a tribute to Fujifilm’s 90th birthday, the 13th birthday of the original X100 – and as a small memento of the last 13 years of my photographic life… 🙂

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37 Comments

  • Hi Peter,

    Thanks for an excellent review (and I’ve read several others). I will not be updating my X100V at this point. I’ve decided to try out a Q2 and see how that fits for me. Like you, I also have an X-Pro3 and an X-T5 and I’ve enjoyed them a lot. I gave up my Leica CL to pay for the X-T5, but I’m finding I’m missing the results I got from that camera with the Sigma 18-50mm. So if the Q2 works out, then I’ll sell the X100V (even though I love it) and the X-Pro3 to pay for it. Of course, once I do that, then Fuji will come out with an X-Pro4 and I’ll have to rethink everything again:)

    • Hi Rene,

      thanks for reading and your kind words. I’m very curious to see how you get on with the Q2. I’m also attracted to these Qs, especially because of the fantastic lens. But whenever I pick one up and try it out, somehow it just doesn’t do it for me.

      Peter

      • Hi Peter,

        I’ll be sure to let you know. I expect to get it in the next week or so on a 14 day trial. I’m also attracted to the quality of the Q2 lens as well as the focal length as I find the 35mm of the X100V a little too narrow.

          • 28mm is too wide, that’s why many Q/Q3 owners sold their Leica. Well, it’s a personal preference. But with 35mm – i can shoot simply 90-95%, of everything. It’s THE universal focal length, to rule them all, if ever. 🙂

          • Hi Marc,

            with all respect, but 35mm is perhaps THE universal focal length for YOU. For others – including me – it is simply too narrow and for them, 28mm is THE universal focal length, the one to rule them all. And this 28mm is also the reason why many Q/Q2/Q3 buyers have bought this camera – including me. 😉

            Peter

      • Hi Peter,
        As promised in my post above, here’s my initial thoughts on the Q2. It’s a lovely camera that feels good in my hands and makes we want to use it. It makes great photo files. For example, one of our local colleges was having a spring botanical show and I went to try out the Q2. I got a couple of fantastic shots of orchids using the Q2’s macro mode (just a simple dial twist): handheld, f2.8, 1/80s at ISO100. It matches/betters files from any other camera I’ve owned from Fuji, Nikon, Mamiya, and Pentax. I’m still getting used to shooting at the 28mm focal length, but that is turning out to be a fun learning experience. On the downside, even used (which is what I bought), it’s pretty expensive for me, so I have another week of testing before I have to decide whether to keep it.

        I’ve been enjoying all the commentary on this post!

        • Hi Rene,

          Thank you for your contribution and your comments on the Leica Q2. You won’t believe it, but I bought the Q3 last week. I just have to see if it’s the one that makes all the other cameras redundant for me. I’m going to try it out for a few weeks and then report back on my decision. I won’t want to use both systems at the same time.

          Peter

  • Dear Peter, you wrote an excellent review. I love it. This is the best one I have read so far. Not only because of its depth and detail, but also because it prompts self-reflection on smaller X100VI weaknesses. Lastly, I appreciate the collection of your all-time pictures.
    Congratulations! I will definitely recommend your X100VI in my blog, Florian.

    • Dear Florian,

      thank you for reading and also for your praise. I wondered a little whether I wasn’t being a little too critical here and there. But somehow I think that Fujifilm should also listen to its mostly very loyal users and not be too “uncaring” with updates. I was surprised by a few rather unnecessary things. As if they simply didn’t want to take a closer look… or thought the thing would sell anyway. I don’t really think so, because the people at Fujifilm are normally known to be very accurate and very thoughtful. Many thanks for the link… I’m curious to see whether you’ll buy it and what you’ll write about it.

      Peter

  • This is the best and least biased review I’ve read. It coincides exactly with my feelings about the camera after about a week of use.
    It’s my first Fuji so I’m still figuring out the best way to set it up.

    I do shoot pictures of my cats, and like you said, the autofocus doesn’t cut it there, at least not when they are moving towards you or away from you. I feel like the lens can’t keep up there, because the focus box mostly displays where it should.
    Nonetheless, this is not specifically what I got this camera for, and what I did get it for, it seems to do quite well. For everything else I am fortunate to have other camera’s at my disposal.

    Enjoy the camera (it sounds like you already really are!). I will as well!

    Beautiful set of photos by the way. Very inspiring!

    • Hi Arian,

      first, thanks for your kind words! Very funny, by the way, about your cat. I actually meant it rather tongue-in-cheek when I wrote about the dog and the little child. But of course there’s something serious about it. There are definitely voices that sell the AF as being good for who knows what. It’s really OK for what it is and for what the camera is. But of course you can’t really track moving objects with it… that’s why I actually wanted to make that clear. Apart from that, I wish you lots of fun with it. It’s already a pretty and really great device…

      Peter

  • The best real world review of the VI I have read. As someone who has currently has a Fuji G100S, XH2, XT5, and an X100V, I have ordered the X100VI and will sell my X100V. I have also decided to sell the GFX100S, as the smaller Fujis are now more than adequate for my needs.

    I also would have preferred an XPro4 for lens interchangeability, but I think the XT5 is close enough.

    • Hi jamie,

      thanks for your comment. I also sold my GFX100S and the lenses since I could not justify the costs for what I do and need… 😉

      Peter

  • I would have preferred a Xpro4 rather the X100VI as well. The nee features are „nice“ – but not really necessary. I guess this was simply a strategic decision by Fuji to ride the current TicToc-Wave of the X100. Why not?
    I hope there will be a new 18/2 at some point. I don‘t like the size and shape of the new 1.x Lenses (18/23/33). Heavy, bulky, unsexy. Do not fit to any XPro Body at all.
    Let‘s see what’s next at Fuji… 😉
    Br, oli

    • Hi Oli,

      yes, I would have preferred to have an X-Pro4 at the moment, too. The temptation to simply ride the momentum of the hype was probably too great. That’s understandable. Nevertheless, I still believe that an X-Pro4 is a good strategic decision. There’s only one thing I don’t agree with you on: I think the new features are far more than just nice. Sure, what is really necessary? But it makes the X100VI a much better camera…

      Peter

  • Dear Peter,
    thanks for your great review – my most favorite part are your all time favorite X100-photos. I just love your work and its storytelling quality. In addition, I appreciate how you handle Fuji colours which seems very consistent and attractive to me. Great encourgement to keep on shooting.
    Juergen

    • Hi Jürgen,

      thanks for reading and the praise, I’m pleased! I’ll do my best to continue on this path.

      Peter

      P.S. I haven’t forgotten your request for the recipes/custom settings. I’m working on the post, I’m sure it will come sometime this month.

  • Hi Peter,

    thanks for your great review of the cam, it is one of the best i read so far! One question: I am very sensitive for heat. Have you noticed any warming in the right are on the grip while normal usage in Photomode?

    Thanks in advantage and best regards

    • Hello Sebastian,

      Many thanks for the compliments! I think the heat development is very similar to that of the X100V. In photo mode and in practice I think it’s rather low anyway. I spent the whole afternoon yesterday and walked 15 km with it, always had it in my hand and I didn’t notice anything. Not heat anyway, rather warmth. In my experience, the warmest spot is where you put your thumb (without an additional thumb grip), below the rear dial next to the Q button. I don’t find it warm at all at the front of the grip. And in general, of course, it’s not like a laptop or something… you just notice a slight warmth. More on hot days, but really not hot, at least without long video sequences. I hope that helps you…

      Peter

  • The 800lb gorilla in the room is that this high end, fixed lens camera is now made in China, and yes, I know, your phone is made in China, but how many other high end cameras say “made in China”?

  • Google: “fujililm x100 dust on sensor” and ask yourself: do you still want a camera with non removable lens?

    • Hi Vlad,

      I don’t need to google anything, I’ve owned five different X100 camera models since 2011. And had no problems with it. Nevertheless, the X100VI now also has a sensor cleaning function. 😉

      Peter

      • Sensor cleaning function is always of limited efficiency (Olympus was best with this technology, but far fro perfect). Wonder why Fujifilm decided to use it if indeed the dust on sensor was not an issue ;>

        • Sorry, these are questions I don’t ask myself and worries I don’t have. Have fun with whatever camera you choose… 😉

  • Thanks for the review! I am also owning the x pro3 with a few nice lenses, among them the 18mm f/2 as well. I considered selling my Fuji lenses and going strictly for manual focus lenses from Voigtländer as I enjoy the 35mm Nokton a lot, but I will make it easy: keeping my lenses and camera. The x pro3 will do what my x100vi can’t do: using macro lenses and especially the 35mm f/1.4! Eventhough the x pro3 isnt very suitable for macro shots, it works good enough. I am happy with my x100vi, but would wish for better build quality and build materials. A version with the Titantium Duratect Coating would have been awesome!

    • Hello, ähem, Hans 😉

      thanks for reading and for your thoughts! How wonderful that we humans are so different, isn’t it? I have absolutely no interest in MF lenses, mo matter how nice I may find them. But they are completely unsuitable for me and my needs. And I don’t like the Duratech finish of the X-Pro3 at all. But that’s just the way it is. I hope you continue to enjoy both cameras. Incidentally, the same update as the X100VI would be enough for me for an X-Pro4: the 40MP sensor and IBIS. If I could just get rid of the rather pointless mini display at the back, I would be completely satisfied.

      Peter

  • Good morning
    I am an owner of Fujifilm XT20 with 27mm 2.8 pancake.
    I wanted to understand if the AF of the new X100VI is better or worse than my camera in terms of speed?
    Thank you

    • Hi Matteo,

      I neither own the X-T20 nor the 27mm lens, so I can’t answer that for you. But it’s probably very similar…

      Peter

  • Hi great review. At the beginning of your review you show the camera with a rectangle lens shade. Do you know of a camera case that will cover the rectangle lens shade vs. A round shade.
    Thanks
    Michael h

    • Hello Michael,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I don’t know of a camera case that fits it… but I don’t use that anyway, so I’ve never looked.

      Peter

  • Hi Peter, thanks for the review! I only placed an order last week so have a bit of a wait.

    We have different views on lenses. You want an 18mm but if the next iteration changed to that I wouldn’t be upgrading any more. My preference is for 35/50mm 😊

    I enjoyed your photographs, thank you!

    • Hi Ish,

      thanks for reading and for your comment. Isn’t it nice that we are all different. If everyone only shot with 28mm, the world would be a more boring place…

      Peter

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