The Fujifilm X100VI is one of the best compact cameras ever – but is it time for a X100-series shake up?

Front of the Fujifilm X100VI reflected in glass table
(Image credit: Future)

The Fujifilm X100VI, one of the most anticipated cameras for 2024, is here – and it hasn’t disappointed. It’s one of the best compact cameras ever, and it has us dreaming of what else Fujifilm could do with the X100 series. 

Destined to be the street photographer’s new favorite camera, the X100VI is a familiar take on the Fujifilm X100V, which took Tiktok by storm in 2023 to become the most sought-after camera in the world. 

The retro appeal remains, as does the 23mm f/2 lens, which has the full-frame equivalent 35mm focal length popular in reportage photography. It's a different story under the hood, though. This sixth-gen model – it arrives four years after its predecessor – is more powerful and capable in almost every area, giving photographers plenty of reasons to upgrade, or to pick up a Fujifilm for the first time.

Top plate of the Fujifilm X100VI

(Image credit: Future)

You’ll pay for the pleasure of using this camera – at $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,899, the X100VI is about 20% more than the X100V was at launch, although that camera has recently been selling for even more, four years after its release, thanks to a combination of its unprecedented popularity and opportunist sellers.

If you were on the waitlist for the X100V, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the X100V is no longer on sale; the good news is that you'll get early notification about the X100VI when sales start on February 28. The rest of us will have to wait and see how long it takes to get our hands on what is the new best premium compact camera for most people.

X-T5 power, fixed-lens compact body

In many ways the Fujifilm X100VI is a big upgrade from the X100V, but in other ways it’s also nothing we haven’t seen before. The X100VI essentially brings Fujifilm X-T5 tech to the X100 series of compact cameras, and that is a great thing.

We have the same 40MP APS-C sensor and X-Processor 5 engine for up to 11fps burst shooting, plus 6.2K video and Fujifilm’s best AI-powered subject detection autofocus, which can recognize people, animals, birds and various vehicles. In short, the X100VI utilizes a whole lot of Fujifilm's latest and greatest tech.

Rear of the Fujifilm X100VI

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that’s rated up to 6EV to keep your handheld shots sharp in a wider range of scenarios, which is a big deal for a camera that's designed to be primarily used handheld. Pair this with the 4-stop built-in ND filter and you can get some wonderfully creative slow-shutter-speed handheld shots, or simply slow the shutter speed down to improve image quality in low light.

All these improvements are packaged in Fujifilm's much-loved retro design with that superb hybrid optical/ electronic viewfinder – just two of the reasons why TechRadar ranks the X100 series as the best premium compact cameras available.

We're dreaming of what’s next for the X100 series

Fujifilm X100VI price and availability

The Fujifilm X100VI goes on sale on February 28, with a list price of $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,899. To mark 90 years of Fujifilm there's a special-edition model of the X100VI that's limited to 1,934 units – 1934 being the year Fujifilm was founded – with each model having its unique number etched onto its top plate. This special edition comes with a strap and different etchings, but is functionally identical to the standard X100VI and costs $1,934 / £1,934 / AU$3,499. Sales of this camera begin on March 28, while in the UK sales are exclusively in-person at the London House of Photography from April 6.

When I think about the higher-resolution 40MP sensor (the X100V has 26MP), my mind goes to the full-frame Leica Q3, which has a 28mm fixed lens and 60MP sensor and includes crop modes to recreate different focal lengths: 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm. It’s not quite like having five different lenses in one – this is still a 28mm lens – but you can crop into the wider-angle image, albeit a the cost of a few million pixels, with even the 90mm crop mode outputting respectable 5MP stills.

At 40MP, the X100VI offers greater scope for cropping into the image than the lower resolution X100V. We also now get an entirely usable 'digital teleconverter' for 50mm and 70mm crop modes – in short the X100VI is more versatile than the X100V. 

Better sensor tech is welcome, but it's got me thinking about the faith Fujifilm continues to show in the long-time favorite 35mm (effective) f/2 lens used by X100-series cameras, which to my mind at times isn’t quite wide enough for the scene unfolding in front of me.

Fujifilm X100VI connection ports door open

(Image credit: Future)

With those extra pixels it makes sense to utilize a wider 28mm lens instead, as the Leica Q3 and most smartphones do. You can then crop into the picture if desired for the 35mm and 50mm focal lengths. It’s harder to go wider from 35mm than it is to zoom in from 28mm – you’ll need to take a few steps back, or add a bulky wide angle conversion lens (or quickly take a series of vertical-format photos in a panorama). 

Give it time and Fujiflm fans might start asking for a new kind of X100-series camera – one with a different-focal-length lens. And to be honest I’m struggling to see where else Fujifilm could go next with the X100-series – the X100VI is such a capable camera, with specs and features that will make it feel powerful and current for years to come, that the series is arguably at the peak of its powers. One day we might see a range of X100-series cameras with the same tech but new lenses (some might prefer a more telephoto fixed lens and not a wider one like me); or heck, even a GFX medium-format model in the spirit of the X100 series. 

But talk of new models is for another day – for now I'm busy enjoying the excellent Fujifilm X100VI. For my early verdict on this sixth-gen model, do check out my Fujifilm X100VI hands on review, which unpacks the tech inside in more depth.  

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Timothy Coleman
Cameras editor

Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.