Fujifilm X100VI review: don’t mess with a winner

Fujifilm’s latest premium compact might look the same as its predecessor, but packs some stealth upgrades inside

Fujifilm X100VI camera held up to a person's face
(Image: © Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Fujifilm X100VI might look the same as ever, but it is hard to fault that when the design is as stunning and well-constructed as this camera. The X100VI is still a joy to use with its hybrid viewfinder and manual dials offering more tactile photography. Inside thankfully there are a few more reasons to upgrade – a new 40MP sensor, new processor and IBIS boost the X100VI’s stills and video, and the initial samples I have shot are excellent. A downside – the price of the X100VI is the highest yet, making this a tough decision when you can get better tech for less, but without the iconic design.

Pros

  • +

    Beautiful retro design and excellent build quality

  • +

    In-body image stabilization

  • +

    Much improved video quality

  • +

    Big 40MP stills

Cons

  • -

    Premium price

  • -

    6K video has a crop

  • -

    Adapter ring an additional purchase

  • -

    Battery life is still poor

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The sudden overnight popularity of the X100V took everyone in the camera world a little by surprise, but I think none more so than Fujifilm, which has spent the time since scrambling to get enough copies in the hands of all the people who want one. 

Launched in 2020 as the fifth iteration of Fujifilm’s premium compact camera, it wasn’t until almost two years later when TikTok influencers sent the price of the Fujifilm X100V skyrocketing overnight and its supply chain into freefall. Not helped by the Covid-19 pandemic causing supply chaos around the globe – the queue to buy an X100V stretched into a six-month-plus long waiting list. 

Hopefully with some lessons learned and some more ambitious manufacturing targets, Fujifilm is back to give the X100 series another go with the Fujifilm X100VI.

For a little context, the Fujifilm X100VI is a compact camera, meaning it has a fixed lens design, and is well – compact. Its premium vintage aesthetic is made for street and travel photographers who want a pocket-friendly camera that is as beautiful on the outside as the images that it takes. The X100 range is also one of the few true rangefinder designs still being made, with the much pricier manual focus only Leica M11 the only other option with an optical viewfinder.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

What’s changed with the X100VI from the previous model? Well, externally, not that much, but when you have a viral success like this on your hands, you don’t want to rock the boat too much. The body and 23mm lens are identical to the X100V, with all the major improvements hidden inside the camera. The X100VI sees a big bump in resolution from the X-Trans 5 sensor from 24MP to 40MP, with video now topping out at 6K. The new X-Processor 5 also powers better autofocus with subject recognition and tracking for faces, eyes, animals, birds, and vehicles.

Now, I should confess that my everyday camera for the past year has been the Fujifilm X100V, and it is safe to say – I’m a fan, and I have been very excited about the sequel since hearing the first rumors. But like most X100V owners, my question is – is there enough in the Fujifilm X100VI to make me upgrade?

Fujifilm X100VI: Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sensor40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR Sensor
ProcessorX-Processor 5
LensFixed Fujinon 23mm F/2.0 II (35mm equiv)
Viewfinder3.69M-dot OLED EVF / OVF Hybrid
Screen3.0-in 1.62M-dot 2-way tilt touch LCD
Burst speed11fps (manual shutter), 20fps (electronic shutter)
Image stabilizationIn-body stabilization only, 6.0 stops
Video6.2K30p, 4K60p, HD240p, 4:2:2 10-bit, F-Log, F-Log2
MemorySingle UHS-1 SD slot
Weather resistantWith optional AR-100 Adapter)

Fujifilm X100VI: Price

At $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,899 the X100VI is a $200 / £250 / AU$500 premium over the launch price of the X100V, although there are some marked improvements in the sensor and processor, and adding IBIS goes someway to justifying this price rise (current global inflation is also not helping matters).

This price firmly places the X100VI compact as a premium product, and it is really dependent on whether you put enough value on the classic design, compact size, and great build to pay the outlay. The Fujifilm X-S20 or Sony a6700 are two cameras that spring to mind if you are looking for small cameras with excellent value. Even recent discounts have seen the classically styled Fujifilm X-T5 drop lower than this price point, and while a different kind of camera, it is more camera for the money.

But, if you are looking for a compact rangefinder exactly like this elsewhere – you aren’t going to find it. The only other like-for-like competitor is the full-frame Leica Q3, but at over three times the price, makes the X100VI look like a bargain.

Fujifilm X100VI: Design & Handling

If you have used a camera in the X100 series before then you should feel very at home with the X100IV. The design is nearly identical to the X100V that came before it. Aside from the name engraving reading VI instead of V, there are only two other minor differences I can spot – the film plane indicator is slightly moved by a few millimeters, and the lever in the front has been slightly designed and lost its red highlight.

But as I said in my introduction – the repetition in design is certainly no bad thing, as the X100 series is just a stunning camera that not only visually harks back to rangefinder film cameras from the film era but the X100VI is also built to a premium standard that feels amazing in the hand. I should own up here and say I bought my X100V mainly as I was initially smitten with the design, and have not regretted my purchase.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Fujifilm remains committed to dials on its cameras. There are two dials up top, one handles exposure compensation, and the other shutter speed. This shutter speed dial also has a clever trick though where you can lift and twist to change the camera ISO. It works really well, and I find it oh-so-satisfying. The aperture is handled by the ring on the lens, which has two raised textured handles and I find it easy enough to turn with one finger. The lens clicks at each aperture stop are quite audible if you don’t want to take your eye off the viewfinder.

But you don’t have to worry about any of these if you just want to point-and-shoot – all the dials have an auto setting, or you can mix and match manual with auto to shoot in aperture priority or shutter priority modes. And like with other Fujifilm cameras, if you would prefer some manual control but not use the dials, you can delve into the settings and set the camera up to cycle through aperture and shutter speed using the thumb and finger wheels instead, just like a modern camera. 

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

The lens is also unchanged from the X100V – although it was redesigned for that camera, which itself was an outstanding revision with incredible sharpness. While I think the 23mm focal length is absolutely spot on for a compact camera as it works for travel, street, and some environmental portraiture, I would have maybe liked to see if the aperture could have been nudged just that little bit wider to just expand low light performance and creativity with shallow focus – but I’m just being picky.

There is also a control ring on the lens – while you can set this to a number of different functions in settings, by default it controls the camera's digital zoom. That's digital zoom, not optical, so the camera will crop the image for a smaller pixel count. Where the X100V’s 24.1MP sensor made digital cropping’s effectiveness a little more limited, the new 40MP sensor in the X100VI almost seems made for this very feature – with 50mm (20MP) and 70mm (10MP) crops still holding a lot of resolution.

The lens is compatible with the existing wide and tele lens converters released alongside the X100V – although unfortunately, I do not have these to test out. One significant frustration for anyone who wants to put a filter on the front of their lens is an additional $49 purchase of a filter adapter ring (AR-X100), this is also the only way to make the lens fully water resistant. I use polarizing filters and Tiffen's Black Mist filter on a very regular basis, so it does irritate me for what is quite an expensive camera already, that this is not something that Fuji feels it should start including in the box.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

One of the major highlights of the X100 series is the hybrid optical viewfinder – one of the last remaining optical viewfinders in a world full of EVFs, and it is just such a lovely experience to use. Due to the rangefinder design, the viewfinder doesn’t perfectly line up with the sensor, but there is a digital box projected in the optical viewfinder that shifts depending on shooting distance so you know exactly what is in your shot. I find it both incredibly clever and simplistic, it does take some getting used to initially, but after a while, I find it becomes second nature. 

But if you prefer to use an electronic viewfinder, then a quick flick of the front lever switches the viewfinder to a 3.69 million dot OLED EVF, which is great for checking images or how film simulations look – although I can’t quite understand buying this particular camera and using this over the OVF.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

The screen is a 1.62 million dot LCD panel. Vloggers might be disappointed to hear that the screen still doesn’t flip around so you can see yourself while you record. The screen does tilt 90 degrees and still sits beautifully flush with the camera body, but I would love it if this camera borrowed the tilt mechanism from the X-E4 where it lifts up and over the top of the camera as I regularly found myself wishing I could selfie with the camera. Maybe next time. 

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

The one very minor quibble I have with the build is with the grip, although thankfully it is more substantial than say, on the X-E4, there is still not a huge amount to cling onto, and your little pinky finger will be lost with what to do with itself. I don’t think a slightly increased hump would altogether shatter the defined compact camera aesthetic. 

Fujifilm X100VI: Photo Performance

I am so very impressed with the image quality from the X100VI. The precedent that the X100V had set with its outstanding image quality had set some lofty expectations, but I am pleased to say that the X100VI meets or exceeds them. I shoot a lot with the Fujifilm X-T5, so I know the quality that the 40.2MP APS-C sensor can achieve, and I am very happy that the X100VI meets the same high bar. 

Edge to edge, images are sharp and detailed, with excellent contrast. Fujifilm's color science is some of my favorite and in the standard Provia simulation colors are very pleasing, with a good balance of natural color and saturation. Although, if you don't like it, then luckily there are 20 other simulations to try.

If you check out our lab tests below then you'll see that noise at higher ISOs has taken a hit over the X100V due to smaller photosites on this higher megapixel sensor – in reality, this is far less of a noticeable effect. I spent a lot of time out at night shooting the neon lights of Tokyo with this camera, and even at ISO 6400 or 12800, images are perfectly usable. I was also shooting on my X100V and side by side, images from the newer model don't look any noisier to the naked eye.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

There was some pre-launch speculation around whether the older lens could resolve all 40 megapixels (not all Fujifilm interchangeable lenses can) but images are very sharp and clear. Peeping in the corners there doesn’t seem to be any obvious softness or vignetting in JPEGs even when stopped down to f/2.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Autofocus is much improved versus the X100V, which is not saying the X100V is bad by any stretch, but using the two cameras side-by-side makes the older model feel quite a bit slower. Autofocus on the X100VI is very quick and very silent, in continuous focus the camera had no issue holding a focal point as I moved the camera around or my subject wandered about the frame.

As well as human faces and eyes (also in the X100V), the X100VI’s autofocus also now recognizes a range of other subjects including animals, birds, cars, and other vehicles. Some of these feel less essential on a 23mm fixed lens camera, but they are nice to have. Vehicle tracking has worked very well in testing, although due to a lack of animals nearby while testing the camera in inner-city Toyko, I haven't fully explored this – although as a regular X-T5 shooter, I can vouch for Fujifilm's usual tracking.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Battery life continues to be a big weak point for the X100 series. It was my main gripe about the X100V, and although the processor is meant to improve efficiency, it really hasn't moved the needle that much. In a few intensive days of shooting while traveling, I was easily burning through a battery or two. So it is almost a requirement to to invest in some several spares. The camera can also be recharged on the go using a power bank, but this isn't the fastest process, but might just about keep you topped up. 

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Film simulations are one of the top selling points for Fuji cameras and Fujifilm has taken the number of film simulations up to 20 – adding the Reala Ace simulation to an X-Series camera for the first time. Film simulations are a lot of fun on their own, and a really quick way to stylize a photo right out of the camera – and for the more creative, a great building block for film recipes to make even more complex and accurate film looks. 

For recipe makers, I am happy to report that the custom menu has been improved to not only open on your current custom number but also have the option to go back to default settings at any point. There are still only seven slots though, so pick your favorites.

Fujifilm X100VI: Sample Images

These images were all shot over the course of a few days in Toyko, covering a mix of a few miserable days of rain, some brief spots of sunshine, and nighttime scenes. All photos were shot in JPEG using custom film recipes, taken directly from the camera, and have not been edited.

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)

Fujifilm X100VI: Lab results

For our lab data comparison we compared the X100VI directly with its processor, the X100V, to see what impact the new 40MP sensor has made. We're also including the Ricoh GR III as an example of another APS-C fixed lens compact camera. The Leica Q3 would have been another interesting comparison, but we've yet to lab test it. Instead we're including the Nikon Z fc as it has the same sized sensor as the X100VI, similar retro styling, and is comparably sized if fitted with a pancake lens like the Z 26mm f/2.8.

We test resolution using Imatest charts and software, and dynamic range and signal to noise ratio with DxO Analyzer.

Resolution (line widths/picture height):

(Image credit: Future)

Fujifilm's switch from a 26.1MP to 40.2MP sensor was always going to pay dividends when it came to resolving fine detail. The X100VI leads the pack at all sensitivities and is able to capture noticeably more detail than the X100V.

Dynamic range (EV):

(Image credit: Future)

All four cameras are closely matched when it comes to capturing dynamic range, however at higher sensitivities the X100VI falls slightly short of the old X100V, capturing around 1EV less dynamic range between ISO 3200 and 12800. More pixel-packed sensors will benefit resolution, but can have a negative impact of dynamic range, and that's what we find here.

Signal to noise ratio (decibels):

(Image credit: Future)

This test compares the amount of random noise generated by the camera at different ISO settings as a proportion of the actual image information (the 'signal'). Higher values are better and we expect to see the signal to ratio fall as the ISO is increased.

As with dynamic range, the X100VI isn't able to match the X100V when it comes to image noise levels. Cramming all those extra pixels onto the same sized APS-C sensor means each individual photosite ('pixel') is smaller, and therefore marginally less light-sensitive. This in turn makes it more susceptible to generating noise.

Even so, the X100VI is still able to match the performance of the 24.2MP Ricoh GR III, and even beat the Nikon Z fc at lower sensitivities, despite the Fujifilm having a much higher pixel count. This test really serves to illustrate just how good the X100V is/was in terms of image clarity.

Fujifilm X100VI: Video Performance

Video performance has got a boost as well from the new sensor and processor. The X100VI tops out at 6K30p footage, although unfortunately, this has a 1.23x crop – this makes the 23mm lens a 28mm lens (or a 42mm full frame equivalent). The X100VI is also capable of 4K60p footage without a crop, or 1080p footage up to 240p.

The screen only has a 90º horizontal tilt, which does limit its usefulness for filming somewhat as it is impossible to flip the screen over for vlogging, although there is a HDMI port for connecting to a monitor. For audio – there is also a mic port, or you can use the USB-C port.

Video footage is very good – filming at 6K, there is a real sharpness to the footage. The IBIS also managed to hold my static shots nice and steady, panning was definitely improved as well, but some jerky movements did manage to slip in if I was overly vigorous while moving. Any movement heavier than a pan, and you are probably going to want to invest in a gimbal. 

The lens on the X100VI is probably the most limiting factor when it comes to video as fixed angle can’t achieve the same diversity and cinematic looks as interchangeable lenses with better compression on other systems. If video is your priority then there are more suitable cameras out there, including from Fujifilm – check out the X-S20 or X-H2. The X100VI is a fantastic photography camera that can also shoot very nice video when needed.

Fujifilm X100VI: Verdict

So Fujifilm’s uber-popular camera has returned with a few upgrades, although you might not know from looks alone. The X100VI keeps the same classic design as the model before – not a bad thing when the design is this stunning and well-constructed. It might not come across in pictures or words, but seeing (and feeling) really is believing when it comes to appreciating the X100VI.

While not much might have changed on the outside, on the inside it is a whole different story – a new sensor, processor and IBIS complete the internal update, and the new sensor takes the already renowned quality of the previous model and pushes it even further. Image quality is excellent, autofocus is much faster and video has been greatly improved. I am not sure if these improvements are enough for X100V users to upgrade, but those coming from older X100 systems will definitely find more value here.

A couple of sore points are the battery life, which has not really been improved from the previous model, which means buying a second battery for a full day out shooting is almost a necessity. Also, while this is a photography-first camera, a flip-down or up screen for vlogging or selfie-ing would have been a nice addition.

The cost has risen again over the previous model, and might be more than some are willing to pay for a fixed lens compact – so you really have to value this particular form factor and design over cheaper but similarly (or better) specced cameras that are just a bit bigger.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesAn updated sensor, processor and now IBIS – one of the most feature packed compact camera on the market ★★★★★
DesignIt might look the same as ever – but that means it is still a beautiful and well built camera★★★★★
PerformancePerformance improvements bring focusing, and image and video quality up to Fujifilm's best standard★★★★★
ValueThis classic design certainly comes at a premium – there are similar spec'd but bigger options for less★★★★

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

✅ Buy this if...

  • You want a camera that looks as good as the images that it takes
  • You want a big sensor camera that is still compact enough to slip into a pocket
  • You are happy to pay a premium for excellent design and build quality

🚫 Don't buy this if...

  • You want a simple point-and-shoot camera for larking about
  • You want a camera that can use multiple lenses for different perspectives
  • You want the best value-to-features ratio possible in a camera

Alternatives

Ricoh GR III

If you are not that fussed about the classic styling or the rangefinder-style viewfinder, then the <a href="https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/reviews/ricoh-gr-iii-review" data-link-merchant="digitalcameraworld.com"">Ricoh GR III is a compact APS-C camera that has won a following for its great image quality as well as its portability – it is much cheaper than the Fujifilm too, although isn’t nearly as technically advanced with many limitations like max 1080p video.

Leica Q3

The <a href="https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/reviews/leica-q3-review" data-link-merchant="digitalcameraworld.com"">Leica Q3 is probably the closest you can get to the X100VI, although it lacks the same classic look of the Fujifilm. But the Leica Q3 does manage to fit in a huge 60MP full-frame sensor, which made for some stunning images when I tested it. The major downside, it costs $5,995 which is well over three times the price of the X100VI.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1