Preview of the Fujifilm X100VI

The successor to the worldwide popular, and rightfully so, Fujifilm X100V has finally been revealed! The new X100VI brings forth some very welcome features while staying true to what made the X100 lineup great. We’ve used it for a while and loved it! How was it? What’s new? What stayed the same? Is it worth upgrading? Will you even be able to get one?

Still Beautiful! Still Unique!

The X100VI builds on what made the entire X100 series of cameras attractive in the first place. The simple, yet beautiful design reminiscent of an older analog rangefinder has been improved upon with each generation, only to be perfected with the latest generation. The X100VI is unmistakable once you see it. The body still features slick straight lines with curved edges, metal, leatherette, a modern feel, and a vintage intuitive look. The design has been praised ever since the X100V came out in 2020, and thankfully, not much has changed with the sixth generation. All the buttons are still in the same place, all the mechanical switches and dials still work identically, and the overall feel has not been tampered with. Even the unique ISO dial introduced with the X-Pro2 and perfected with the X100V is still present. You know the saying, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it,” and boy, am I glad Fujifilm didn’t.

Metal top plate has stayed true to what makes the camera great.

The camera still feels great in the hand. Yes, the front grip is a bit shallow, but I find it a non-issue as the camera is so lightweight there is no problem using it one-handed. For those of you who like a deeper grip, an optional ergonomic one is always a possibility. The only mechanical switch that has seen a slight alteration is the front lever responsible for the hybrid viewfinder modes. Its function is the same, only the design has been streamlined a bit. It is shorter and lacks the red accent seen on the previous model.

We still get the same color choices as we did with the older models. A traditional silver body with a black leatherette or a fully black body. Some say silver is the only correct answer when they order one, some prefer the stealthy look of the black one. Both sides are correct, of course.

Slightly altered front switch.

It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts

We’ve already established not much has changed on the outside, fortunately. The most important changes have happened inside of the camera, and I must say, they are just as welcome as they are significant. The X100VI is the third camera on the market utilizing the 40-megapixel X-Trans 5 HR APS-C sensor, which many of us know and love. It brings the same beautiful detail as the X-H2 or the X-T5 do with the same performance in terms of low light. Of course, each and every one of us has our bar regarding noise/grain in our image that we’re willing to accept. Personally, I use this sensor up to its maximum native ISO of 12800, and I’m still very satisfied with the results. Compared to the X100V, we now get a lower base ISO of 125 and a faster electronic shutter speed of 1/180,000 s with nearly double the resolution. That alone is a considerable difference, but the upgrades have only just started.

The brain of the camera is the new X-Processor 5 capable of more computing power. This allows the X100VI to detect subjects like humans, animals, or vehicles rather easily. Tracking has also been much improved with object tracking now actually being reliable unlike with the previous models. More on the tracking and autofocus later, though. The X100VI still uses the same NP-W126S battery which, when used correctly, can bag you north of 800 images. Especially thanks to the new processor being 20% more efficient.

One slight difference in the body design is its thickness. It is a whole and absolutely backbreaking one millimeter thicker than the X100V. I hope you can sense the sarcasm in that sentence. The difference is so minor that just reading these four sentences took more time than I spent noticing the difference. What matters though is what the extra millimeter brings to the inside of the camera.

A Stable Sensor, Finally!

That’s right! The Fujifilm X100VI features IBIS! Granted, most photographers use the X100 series cameras for documentary or street photography where your shutter speed rarely drops below 1/200 s to keep your subjects, people, sharp. However, having a stabilized sensor opens up the capabilities so much. I was easily capable of getting a sharp image at 1/4 s shutter speed, where the still subject stayed nice and sharp while the passing bus turned into a smooth blur in the background. Low-light images have suddenly become much more attainable or much less grainy. No need to worry about your traditional 1/60 s to keep the image still. Bump that shutter speed down and lower your ISO. Video shooters might get something out of the IBIS mechanism as well.

The tilting screen makes a return.

Still the Same Lens Whether You Like It or Not

The 23mm f/2 lens with its incredibly silent leaf shutter introduced four years ago is back. Its optical and resolving capabilities were discussed in detail when the X100V came out, and everything still applies here. It can utilize the resolution of the sensor beautifully and to its maximum potential, so there was no need to alter it in this regard. Using the exact same lens does hold the camera back a little in a different way, though. The autofocusing speed of the lens is also the same, which means moving from the minimal distance to infinity takes the same amount of time. Don’t get me wrong. It is not a slow-focusing lens at all. But it is not fast either. Once the camera acquires a subject, it can track fairly well, as long as the subject isn’t running towards your camera. The motor sometimes simply has a problem moving quickly enough to keep up with the subject. 

The same goes for using just a single point in AF-S mode. It can acquire focus pretty fast. But moving from a subject further back to one close to you can take half a second. We’ve seen this with the X100V, and the X100VI is no different. My best guess is that this is the cost of keeping the body and the lens so compact. Still very much usable for most scenarios but don’t go shooting sports or dog races expecting to be able to get frontal running shots unless you prefocus.

Only a millimeter thicker but now featuring IBIS.

Pretty Damn Good for Video Too, Mostly

X100 series cameras were never truly intended for video use. They are photographer’s cameras. The small body mixed with the built-in lens, and a smaller battery usually means short recording times both due to the battery dying or even shorter due to the camera overheating. That being said, the sensor and the processor are capable of some serious video specs so why not enable them anyway? And Fujifilm did. 

The X100VI is capable of recording 4K video up to 10-bit, 4:2:2 internally at 60 fps, or if you lower the fps to 30, you can even record 6.2K. These video specs are near-identical to the X-S20, or the X-T5. The only difference is the HDMI output. The X100VI cannot output raw video. You can connect an external microphone but only using the smaller 2.5mm audio jack. So yeah, it can record pretty good video, just expect it to get fairly warm, and don’t expect to be able to record for extended periods. This is a stills camera first and foremost.

The unique hybrid viewfinder is back.

Fujifilm Lied To Us

When we finally got to see Fujifilm’s latest medium format offering, the beautiful GFX 100 II, a few months ago we were introduced to a new film simulation called Reala Ace. It combined the color tones of the Provia simulation with a smoother contrast and less aggressive shadows. At that time, we were told that all of that was thanks to the capabilities of the newly developed 102-megapixel medium format sensor of the GFX 100 II. Luckily for us though, that has proven to be false, as the simulation has now found its way to the APS-C cameras. Yes, the Fujifilm X100VI comes with the Reala Ace film simulation out of the box. There is no official word on the simulation being retroactively brought to the X-T5, or X-H2 models via a firmware update, but it would be a most welcome update.

Still Unattainable? Or Finally Available?

Fujifilm claimed that the reason the X100V cameras were so hard to come by was an issue with the hybrid viewfinder being made by a third party and not being able to keep up with the demand. Many believe that was the reason the X-Pro3 has been discontinued without a clear replacement on the horizon. Well, Fujifilm has now apparently moved the production of the hybrid viewfinder in-house to make sure there are going to be plenty of units ready to ship as soon as possible and to keep up with the demand. So, while none of us can with 100% certainty say the supply will be large enough, it seems that the days of seven-month-long wait periods are over.

Fujifilm X100VI. An extra letter to tell the difference.

Hard to See Any Downsides

The design is still beautiful, the specs are even better than before, and it seems that the availability issues have been sorted. Looks like Fujifilm has got a winner on its hands. Will you be getting one? Will you be upgrading? Or maybe the used market for X100Vs is finally going to offer decent prices. One thing is certain. I’ve already preordered mine. In the few days I had the pre-production unit it made a lasting impression, and now, I have to have one. It’ll complement my X-T5 perfectly. If only it had a second memory card slot. Still, the X100VI is a fantastic camera.

What I Liked

  • 40-megapixel X-Trans 5 HR sensor
  • IBIS
  • Improved AF and tracking
  • Same weather-resistant body
  • Same intuitive controls
  • Tilting screen
  • USB-C charging
  • Reala Ace simulation
  • Sharp images
  • Silent mechanical shutter
  • 1/180,000s electronic shutter

What I Disliked

  • Still only a single card slot

Credits: FStoppers