A timely update: The Fujifilm X100VI gets quality of life upgrades

Another check mark for not changing a winning formula

by Justin Choo

What’s the best recipe for hype? I’m pretty sure FujiFilm doesn’t know enough to do it for every camera, but they certainly have one winner with the FujiFIlm X100 series. If there was any product where you should stick unabashedly to the mantra of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, the X100 VI is exactly that one.

The X100 VI looks almost identical to the X100V — you certainly could say it’s basically the same camera since in all honesty, the only way for most lay people to tell is to stare at the name on the top. If the classic romantic notion of a street photography camera is one that can hide in plain sight, then hiding the latest X100 in a sea of older X100 cameras is actually quite poetic.

But what matters is the stuff under the hood (including lens hood if you’re looking for a pun), and in this sense, there is a reasonably noticeable upgrade: it’s still an APS-C sensor, but now you have 40.2 megapixels so you can crop in a little more — always a useful ‘hack’ if it doesn’t come with a compromise in image quality, something that the tried and tested 23mm F2 lens delivers.

It’s not ideal but you can get away with a bit more with the new sensor.

The new CMOS 5 HR sensor paired with the X Processor 5 along with the latest subject detection AI and AF algorithms (same 425-point hybrid AF) ensure that the X100 VI can keep up with the extra processing as well as providing a reasonably quick AF; as first impressions go, the X100 VI is pretty snappy. The new X100 VI also has 6 stops IBIS with a motion blur detection gyro sensor,  which adds to the forgiving nature of the camera, this is probably the most noticeable trait for those who are familiar with the X100 V. And for bright days, just punch in the built-in ND-16  filter — all in all a great package if you just want to take pictures and not fumble with equipment.

On top of that, you get 20 film simulations including the new Reala Ace first made available on GFX100 II.

The inclusion of the IBIS isn’t that detrimental to its size and weight; 6-stop IBIS for an additional two millimetres in height (55mm vs 53mm) and 43 grammes of weight over the X100V (521g vs 478bg) is a worthwhile tradeoff and the camera is still perfectly comfortable in the hand.

The upgraded video capabilities is also significant; the camera now supports up to 6.2K 30p, 4K 60p oversampled and DCI 4K 30p (17:9, 4096 x 2160) along with 4:2:2 10 bit depth. You also get touch tracking AI and support for Frame.io camera to cloud.

The OVF is slightly different; 0.66x magnification vs the old 0.52x, while the electronic viewfinder uses a 3.69m-dot OLED. Having the optical option is a central part of its charm, as looking through glass with a wider POV while you compose lets you anticipate things before they happen. There’s also a 3.0″ 1.62m-Dot tilting touchscreen so you can shoot from low angles.

For X100 V owners who are thinking of upgrading, the good news is that your current adaptors will work on the new camera as well.

The X100 VI will be priced at SGD2,499 and pre-orders start from 28 Feb to 31 Mar 2024 at authorised Fujifilm dealers. For Malaysia, it will be priced at MYR8,888 and the preorder starts from 20 Feb to 3 Mar 2024.

If you’re feeling up to it, there is a limited edition piece bearing the traditional logo and little FOMO-quality features such as a titanitum shutter button and soft release, limited to 1934 pieces worldwide to commemorate the company’s founding in 1934. It will be priced at USD1,999 and you’ll need to get in touch with authorised dealers if you want to snag one for yourself. But given how hyped the X100V had been, this is probably going to be tough so adopt your best ‘you snooze you lose’ mentality and jump in early (probably the same for the regular ones, actually).

Updated for clarity and additional information.