FujiFilm X100VI review: Overhyped? Somewhat. Overpriced? Perhaps. Perfected? ALMOST.

FujiFilm refines its ultimate compact camera, and it's in a really good place right now.

by Justin Choo


  • ND filter, high shutter speed for day shoot
  • IBIS improves night photography
  • 40MP allows for tighter crops
  • Capable video features
  • Unique hybrid OVF


  • Expensive for what it delivers
  • Small battery
  • IBIS unit moves even when switched off
  • UHS-I SD card slot in 2024
  • Additional purchases needed for water resistance

The FujiFIlm X100VI is dripping with hype, which usually sounds like a semi-red flag for the discerning. While it’s not for everyone, the TL;DR here is that the new X100VI is ultimately as good as they make it out to be. 

Never before has a digital camera garnered this much hype in recent history. In an era where smartphones do pretty much everything most people will need camera-wise, the idea of a point-and-shoot camera sold out at launch is nuts — especially when this camera was to alleviate the demand for its predecessor. FujiFilm launched the X100V in 2020, and for the past four years, you have barely been able to find it in shops due to demand. Many turned to aftermarket sources, where prices can be up to twice the recommended retail price. 

DNA unchanged since the beginning

Silver may be prettier, but black is more stealthy. (taken with Canon R8)

For whatever reason, the camera has attracted many followers through social media in recent years. With its film simulations and retro vibe, the camera seems tailor-made for this crowd. It’s a fascinating spectacle, considering that the X100 series of cameras has remained unchanged since its launch in 2011 as a left-of-field alternative camera with a large APS-C sensor. 

At the time, mirrorless cameras were the ‘disruptors’ (the buzzword didn’t exist back then) trying to find their niche. Sony had the NEX-3, Nikon had their V1, Pentax had the Q, Olympus had their EP-3, Panasonic had the GF-3, and even Samsung had the NX200.

This category offered the versatility and image quality of interchangeable lens cameras and the compactness of a bridge camera (what they called enthusiast cameras back then). The X100 was jarringly different and more expensive as well.

Premium price is nothing new

When the X100 first launched in 2011 at SGD1,699, it was the only camera in this price range — typically the domain of intermediate users — where you can adjust all controls at your fingertips. And it only had one focal length.

The upside of these old-style clicky dials is that you can make adjustments by feel alone. (taken with Canon R8)

The reality is that FujiFilm has always priced the X100 family at a premium over the competition with comparable specs, and the X100VI is no different, which is why beginners are generally advised to get a regular system camera instead to maximise their dollar.

That said, no camera is like the X100VI, and the closest competitors aren’t quite the same: the Ricoh GRIII and the Leica Q3 don’t have a hybrid, rangefinder-style viewfinder, and the control layouts are different.

Upgrades: are they any good?

The X100VI introduces several noteworthy improvements; in a way, it is an X100VI with FujiFilm X-T5 guts. 

1) Flexibility to crop your pictures

40 megapixels lets you crop in quite a bit, so long as you’re not showing the pic to pixel peepers anonymous. (Provia film simulation)

The biggest one is the higher-resolution 40MP sensor, which offers enhanced image quality and in-body stabilisation (IBIS) rated at six stops, which allows for more flexibility in low-light conditions and handheld shooting. 

For users of the X100V who have no issues with the resolution and handling for low-light shooting, this upgrade will be pure luxury unless you want a little more creative freedom — the higher resolution lets you crop into your photos and gives you more flexibility. 

FujiFilm also adds a digital teleconverter for a convenient way to shoot at 50mm and 70mm equivalent by digitally cropping the photo. Smartphone camera users will immediately feel at home with this, and thanks to the 40MP sensor, you can still get quite a bit of detail at the 70mm focal length. Of course, please note that you won’t get the same perspective as an actual 70mm lens.

You might be thinking, why is it necessary when I can crop the picture before I post it on social media? Aha, the point of this camera’s DNA is that you don’t need to. Straight out of the camera and straight into the cloud.

2) Stabilised for low-light photography

The IBIS mechanism is new to the X100 line, and it’s understandable why it took this long to develop. Despite the complexity, the trade-off is relatively minor — 2 mm thicker and an additional 43 grams of weight. 

I don’t think they could have gone heavier or thicker; this is the edge of what makes a comfortable form factor. One-handed shooting is a little trickier, but you can always get a thumb grip or grip accessory. Is it a fair trade-off, though? I think it is.

It’s noticeably more forgiving to shoot pictures at night. (Reala Ace film simulation)

The X100VI is quite forgiving when you shoot at 1-second shutter speeds handheld. IBIS makes taking portraits in dark places more manageable, and you can capture creative photos with moving subjects without a tripod.

However, when you turn off the camera, you can feel and hear the mechanism moving around, which is quite unsettling. I’m unsure if FujiFilm can lock it in place with a software update. To be fair, I dropped the camera once with the camera powered down, and it continued to function normally with no discernable issue with the IBIS, so at least it’s not that fragile. Please don’t drop yours.

3) Does this camera need video?

If you consider that the core design of this camera was conceived in 2010 or earlier with stills in mind, I’d be surprised they were thinking of a camera that could be a hybrid monster in a decade when the tech matures. 

The irony is that the X100VI is surprisingly excellent as a video camera now that it has an effective IBIS system onboard. Being able to shoot in 6.2K resolution is certainly overkill for most people looking for a casual camera, but carrying a camera with all bases covered isn’t bad. However, 6.2K and 4K HQ have a 1.23x crop, while  4K 60p has a 1.14 crop, which is pretty normal.

It’s not a sports photography camera by any means, but it does well enough in dealing with motion. (Reala Ace film simulation)

On top of that, you can use film simulations along with F-Log, and the onboard microphone also records with good clarity. In that sense, this (not so) little sidearm is great for travel and social media, isn’t it? The rolling shutter is visible, but I think it’s still usable, so long as you don’t get too ambitious. Think of scenic montages and all that moody stuff; this camera is more vibes than action.

If you want to hook up a microphone, know that the microphone jack is of the less common 2.5mm variety and is located on the camera’s right side. You must mount the ensemble to a gimbal or something similar to operate correctly.

4) A more capable everyday camera

In addition, the X100VI is equipped with a host of minor quality-of-life upgrades. Firstly, the LCD now flips down 45º compared to 35º in the X100V, giving you a little more top-down visibility while shooting from higher angles. 

The fifth-generation X-processor brings its AI autofocus features, including face and eye detection, identification of birds and vehicles, and the like. It’s not on the same level as Canon and Sony in terms of speed and stickiness, but it’s pretty effective for most use cases.

Pull it out for everyday shots — it can do it all; portraits even. (Reala Ace film simulation)

The X100VI now has a super-fast electronic shutter that can reach speeds of 1/180000. This feature is handy for controlling overexposure in extremely bright conditions. When paired with the trusty, built-in Neutral Density filter (4 stops), the X100VI is pretty versatile in handling a variety of lighting conditions, especially sunny ones — you don’t need to pack an ND filter along.

One (size fits all) for the streets

And that fact about the built-in ND filter is a prime example of what makes the X00VI lovable: If you want to document everyday life with a good camera, the X100VI has everything in one convenient, compact package. You don’t have to worry about whether or not your camera can do the job — bring it along and simply think about shooting pictures.

Even though it only has one lens, the X100’s 23mm lens has always been ‘sharp enough’. It’s not razor sharp to the point that people are fawning over it, nor is it bad enough that people take issue with its performance. For most people, the lens will be great. If you are a real stickler for sharpness, then this camera might not be your thing. Personally, though — and this is a preference thing — I feel that turning down the sharpness settings will give you a more pleasant, natural look associated with film photography. I mean, this is a retro-styled camera with retro film simulations. Just lean into it, dude. Let go of the pixel-peeping… let go…

Colours are big part of the X100VI’s charm. (Reala Ace film simulation)

The leaf shutter is silent, so you can be stealthy without switching to an electronic shutter. It can also sync with your flash at any speed, adding to its versatility for a studio-style photoshoot. It also has an effective onboard flash, which is great for old-school flash photography, if you are into that sort of thing. Do note that lens hoods and teleconverter lenses may get in the way of the onboard flash.

FujiFilm did not boost the 11fps mechanical burst speed this time, but does it need to be faster? The electronic shutter also gives 20fps, which is a nice bonus. It’s not traditionally how one uses a camera for street photography, so it’s a nice bonus. We’ll get to the limitations of this later.

Commitment to vintage

Shooting with the X100VI is also very different from most modern cameras, thanks to the controls and the viewfinder. The viewfinder and viewing perspective are offset, like a classic rangefinder camera, but the mechanics differ. The upside of this position is that it’s ergonomically more comfortable when you’re using your right eye to view. And if you don’t like the offset view, you can always switch to the EVF with one flick of the front-facing lever.

Unlike most other cameras, The X100VI uses what FujiFilm calls a hybrid OVF to recreate a vintage shooting experience — you’re looking through actual glass. You’re also supported with modern comforts in the form of an electronic overlay of your settings. It’s not an actual rangefinder, but not everyone would want that experience.

It’s easier to sneak around with a small camera. (Astia film simulation with custom settings)

But the advantage of doing it this way is that you can frame your shot while anticipating things — e.g., waiting for someone to walk into the shot — out of the corner of the frame. 

Before FujiFilm’s film simulations, the groupthink amongst enthusiasts was to shoot in RAW and make your tweaks. Fuji’s digital take on classic films is so likeable that photographers started to think about shooting in JPEGs in casual settings because the out-of-camera vintage-style photos were so pleasing to the eye. It’s all about fun but without the work.

The X100VI is also the first camera after the flagship GFX100 II to have the new Reala Ace simulation, bringing the simulation count to 20. For many, just picking through these simulations will undoubtedly liven up your pictures in a unique way, but what’s better is that you can tweak these looks further and save them under your custom settings. 

For total beginners, the process can be pretty time-consuming (you don’t see a real-time change in the look as you tweak the settings), but there are shortcuts. Sites like Fuji X Weekly make things more accessible as a repository of ‘homecooked’ recipes that you can copy and adapt for your purposes.

Wait, is this a great ‘beginner’ camera?

Truth be told, you get more for your money buying a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. But sometimes, people want something simple and relatively compact. It’s a sentiment that isn’t exclusive to regular people. For photographers, the X100VI is the equivalent of a toy camera — it’s a camera they can have fun with and take photos without worrying about spending hours tweaking them on their computer. And for smartphone photographers limited by their phone’s capabilities, a camera that could potentially offer the same point-and-shoot experience but with its quality pushed to 11 sounds like a logical upgrade. 

So, can the X100VI be a good camera for an absolute beginner? Sure, why not? It’s not the usual recommendation, but it’s worth considering if you understand what you are giving up by not going the conventional route.

Aside from the 20 simulations, you can add more of your own recipes. Great for those who love to tweak. (Sepia film simulation with custom settings)

You also have to accept that there’s a learning curve. The navigation system takes some time getting used to, as it’s not always intuitive. However, most, if not all, mirrorless cameras are the same; either way, there’s a process you need to go through. Thankfully, there are guides for this sort of thing. Here’s one from YouTube, for example.

Furthermore, the X100VI was designed primarily with tactile, vintage-style controls. With experience, you can even change settings without looking, relying purely on muscle memory and tactile feedback. However, you can reduce reliance on these vintage-style controls and utilise the two regular command dials, which modern cameras do.

There’s no magical auto button, but the X100VI does have an automatic mode, which you access by twisting a few dials. Set the aperture, ISO, and shutter dials to the A position so the camera can manage its shutter speed and exposure. Then, you twist the aperture ring to determine the background blur (bokeh), which makes sense as most casual users will think about controlling the bokeh and letting the camera handle everything else.

Not everything is perfect

Note that some compromises are needed to keep the camera compact. The pancake lens presents a low profile, so it’s easy to fit the camera in a jacket pocket. However, this also means that the command ring dial on the lens barrel is right next to the aperture ring, and it’s not uncommon to turn the command ring when you adjust your aperture unintentionally. 

The battery is relatively small, and I find that battery life is certainly an issue if you intend to spend hours shooting; i.e. a second battery is a necessity, adding to the cost of the camera. You can extend the battery life by using the OVF predominantly, but it’s not a solution you offer others when the question arises — a second battery would be excellent. 

The other thing is that if you intend to use this on a tripod, the mount is very close to the battery door. If you want to use the tripod often, a baseplate like one from Smallrig might be a good idea.

There’s something endearing about the out-of-camera photos. (Provia film simulation)

UHS-I for SD card is cutting it close. FujiFilm, if you’re going to increase the camera price anyway, then go the whole hog and upgrade the card slot. You now have more megapixels to crunch; you entice users to shoot high-resolution videos; you have a modestly decent burst speed and AI-assisted autofocus, encouraging users to be more adventurous with their subjects. But they all come with a caveat due to the UHS-I slot. It becomes apparent that some of these enhancements are excellent bonuses rather than core features — for those occasional moments. 

It’s OK if you shoot single shots in JPEG, but the moment you write more data, it becomes clear that the camera takes a while to catch up. To be fair, the camera isn’t supposed to be a pro workhorse, either. It’s really a point-and-shoot. If you only stick to single shots and JPEG output, the camera whizzes through quickly.

Also, if you use XApp to transfer files wirelessly, you’d do well to resize images (smaller files) within the app, or transfers will be painfully slow. (UPDATE: switching wireless connection to the 5GHz channel in the settings will speed up transfers significantly) Accessing the SD card with a card reader is better if you work with RAW files (why bother, though?). That said, XApp has useful features, like saving custom settings and tracking shutter counts.


If you’re looking to buy your first ‘serious’ camera, you might want to be sure that other options are off the table.

One way of putting the X100VI in perspective is to look at the alternatives. I have a full-frame Canon R8 paired with a 28 mm lens with the same purpose — a walkabout camera. The ensemble costs less and weighs less than an X100VI, though there’s no question that the X100VI is more enjoyable. However, if I need a job done, it matters less whether I take a Honda Vezel or a Toyota Altis for my next Grab ride.

1) If you like the film simulations

The entire FujiFilm X-series catalogue will accomplish this; you need to remember that the newer models will have more film simulations. The X-Pro series will scratch that itch if you’re into the hybrid viewfinder.

2) If you just like the vintage aesthetic

The field broadens with Nikon’s Zfc and Zf. The Zfc is almost a like-for-like FujiFilm X-series competitor with its APS-C format, with Zf filling the full-frame void. The downside is that their vintage-styled lens lineup is not as established as Fuji’s.

3) If you like a small form factor

The Ricoh GRIII has a smaller form factor — it’s actually pocketable (as opposed to ‘jacketable’) — and arguably, it has a sharper lens. Sony’s A6000 series camera also has the compact size down. And if you want a cutting-edge performer for the same ballpark price as the X100VI, you can swing for the latest A6700 with a prime lens, though it is considerably girthier.

4) If you want a cheap alternative

If you’re concerned only about photos, older digital bodies are perfect. The autofocus performance and video resolution options will be limited, but they are not deal breakers. You probably don’t need those features to begin with. Old Sony A6000s, the compact Olympus and Panasonic m43 bodies from the early 2010s, and the older compact FujiFilm bodies are all fantastic options. 

5) If you want modern tech 

As mentioned, I own a Canon R8, which offers a full-frame sensor, high burst rate, and uncropped 4k60p video in a very compact, lightweight body. It doesn’t have IBIS, but the better ISO performance somewhat compensates for that. The capable Canon R7, an affordable sports and wildlife camera with a 35mm f1.8 lens, will cost less than an X100VI. To be frank, any compact mirrorless from Nikon, Sony, etc., is great.

Part of the fun is doing camera cosplay

The square lens hood is best for not blocking the flash and the view of the OVF. (taken with Canon R8)

One good thing about keeping a form factor somewhat the same is that many accessories from the previous generation will still work with the current one. Except for some baseplate grips, you can more or less use most, if not all, of the accessories compatible with the X100V. While it seems silly to have teleconverters to change the camera’s focal length, the two offerings have a reputation for being high quality and are never scoffed at. 

However, the one that should be a necessity is a filter adapter. The reason for this — and a checkmark in the cons column — is that while the camera is generally weather-resistant, the front of the lens is not. So, to prevent water ingress, you need to put an adapter and a 49mm filter of your choice.

Should you buy the X100VI?

The X100 series, and the X100VI in particular, is exceptional in that the alternatives offer some of its features, but none do all. In other words, there is no like-for-like competitor. Even the Leica Q cameras aren’t the same. And until someone comes up with a like-for-like, the conversation will always address some aspect of the camera rather than the whole.

If you still feel that the fixed lens camera is right up your alley, get the X100VI if (1) you can afford it and (2) you can wait. The hype will die down enough to be able to buy one soon, be it directly or on the aftermarket.

If anything, you’ll be spoilt for choice going through the film simulations. (Astia film simulation with custom settings)

Chances are, you’re looking for a shooting experience as important as the performance — do you prioritise the journey or the destination? The X100VI, with its single lens, is no different from a river constrained by banks. The water has nowhere to go but forward with power and intensity.

People interested primarily in the outcome will think the X100VI is pure hype. Those interested in the journey will find joy in it. There is no right answer, of course, but from the looks of it, it’s ‘the journey’ that’s pulling the numbers in a slow camera market.

  • 8.6/10
    FujiFilm X100VI - 8.6/10

FujiFilm X100VI


The Fujifilm X100VI builds upon the firm foundation of the X100V with significant enhancements in image and video quality, stabilisation, and usability. Its classic design and modern technology make it an attractive option for photographers looking for a compact yet capable camera. However, the price and availability will always be a stumbling block.