Fujifilm X100VI review
Image: supplied.

Fujifilm X100VI review: I want this excellent camera


Would you consider buying a Fujifilm X100VI, a standalone camera, in 2024? Where once this was commonplace, the smartphone has, for the most part, changed a whole industry. Now, we use our smartphones to take those happy snaps.

Some years ago, I compared my old digital camera and my latest smartphone, with the phone winning. I recently tested the Fujifilm X100VI to answer the question: would I buy a standalone camera in today’s age?

Fujifilm X100VI review

Fujifilm X100VI features explained

Pared back to its absolute basics, the Fujifilm X100VI is a weather-resistant camera that has a fixed focal length, a 40.2-megapixel sensor, and a built-in flash for good measure.

On the back. the X100VI has a three-inch screen as well as a separate viewfinder that you can put to your eye. The viewfinder effectively shows 95% of what is electronically captured and provides digital information on the photo being taken, as well as memory and battery information. A diopter adjuster also allows you to set the viewfinder focus so glasses-wearers can adjust for use without glasses.

X100 VI viewfinder
Viewfinder and screen. Image: Angus Jones.

Helpfully, the screen can tilt up or down to let you capture photos at various angles while still being able to see a preview.

Unlike the previous model (V), the VI has a mechanical image stabilisation system that helps with still and video images. It’s a big upgrade that helps steadier shots without a tripod.

While megapixels aren’t everything, it’s the quality of the X100VI’s 40MP sensor that stands out. It measures 23.5mm x 15.7mm in size, which is much larger than what you’ll find in a phone, thus providing superior results. Combined with the camera’s fixed 23mm Fujinon lens, supported by a maximum f2.0 aperture, the photos are stunning.

Despite the fixed lens, there are some ways to access more focal lengths. You can use optional conversion lenses to provide either a 28mm or 50mm focal length when you need more options.

A feature I thought at first was a gimmick is the film simulation modes. Traditionally, a photographer would use different film types to achieve different results. For example, sepia, black and white, documentary magazine look, old-fashioned photo styles, cinematic, etc. This feature lets you change the photo style to be more artistic.

Video recording is possible up to 6.2K/30p. Put simply, you could record in 4K to make maximum use of your 4K TV at home and record those favourite memories in crystal clear resolution. Subject tracking also helps keep a sharp focus when people, animals or objects move.

The Fujifilm XApp lets you control the camera remotely and transfer media. If enabled, your smartphone will also provide a GPS location for the metadata of each image captured.

Fujifilm X100VI specifications

Image sensor23.5mm x 15.7mm (APS-C) X-Trans CMOS 5 HR with primary colour filter
Lens  Fujinon single focal length lens
Focal length: 23mm
Maximum aperture: f2.0
DimensionsWidth: 128mm
Height: 74.8mm
Depth: 55.3mm
Weight: 521g (including battery and SD card)
Price (RRP)From $2,899
Official websiteFujifilm Australia
Warranty3 year

Would I buy a real camera instead of using my smartphone?

I am not a photographer by trade; I do not fully understand the manual settings and might never learn to use them properly. My experience with this camera is in full auto mode. With this in mind, was I happy with the results? Would I buy it?

Let me cut straight to the answer. Yes, I would buy the Fujifilm X100VI. Regretfully, I had to return the sample unit Fujifilm provided me. Afterwards, I went online, only to find that the camera had sold out, with the earliest retail availability two months away.

At $2,899 RRP, this camera is expensive, right? However, look at the top-of-the-line smartphones from Samsung and Apple, reaching similar prices with maximum storage configurations. Regardless, people do not hesitate to buy them.

So the question is: how much is capturing a memory worth to you?

Why is a camera better than a smartphone for photography?

Modern phones have just about everything, including high-resolution cameras that can share photos instantly. But is a smartphone the best choice when capturing life’s precious moments? There are several reasons why a dedicated camera might be the superior option.

Image quality

One of the most significant advantages of a standalone camera over a smartphone is image quality. While phones have certainly improved in this area, they still can’t quite match a good camera’s clarity, depth, and colour accuracy. Whether you are capturing landscapes, portraits, or macro shots, a camera can produce stunning images with finer details and less noise.

Optical zoom

Have you ever tried zooming in on a smartphone camera only to find your image becomes pixelated and blurry? That’s because most smartphones rely on digital zoom, which essentially crops and enlarges the image, resulting in a loss of quality.

Some of the most premium phones, like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and Apple iPhone 15 Pro, have some levels of optical zoom, which retains image quality. However, most devices don’t have the same level of flexibility as a dedicated camera.

Most cameras come with optical zoom built-in or support interchangeable lenses with more zoom options. This lets you get closer to a subject without physically moving nearer without sacrificing image quality.

Keep in mind that this is a general rule of thumb, as the Fujifilm X100VI uses a fixed lens limited to a 23mm focal length. If you need more flexible optical zoom options, the Fujifilm X-T5 supports interchangeable lenses.

More customisation

Again, some phones offer reasonably in-depth manual camera settings like aperture and shutter speeds. Conversely, a dedicated camera flexes its intended purpose by enabling even more customisation and control over settings.

Beyond the core settings of aperture, shutter speed, ISO gain, and white balance, you have even more control over image formats to help you in the editing suite. Plus, being able to attach an external flash makes it easier to improve lighting conditions without overexposing subjects.

Storage and organisation

With a dedicated camera, you can easily organise and manage your photos without cluttering your phone’s storage. Memory card slots make it easy to expand your storage capacity as needed. Dedicated camera software often provides more robust tools for sorting, tagging, and editing your photos, making it easier to find and share your favourite shots. Many current cameras also support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, streamlining the sharing process.

Using the Fujifilm X100VI

Picking the camera up, you feel its weight and quality. It looks and feels like an old-school camera before they were made of plastic. The frame and dials are made from machined aluminium. Buttons and dials are large, allowing quick access to the most common manual settings. Automatic settings are clearly marked with a red “A”.

To test this camera, I took photos in full auto mode. I compared the images to those taken with the Oppo Find X5 smartphone in auto mode. You will see a difference in the field of view, but otherwise, you be the judge and see if you agree with me on the quality of the Fuji images.  

Who is the Fujifilm X100VI for?

The X100VI was designed as a point-and-shoot camera for professionals and enthusiasts. In a sign of how much people love this camera, the previous model sold out, and this model has also sold out. It’s easy to see why: the camera does such a good job, even in the hands of amateur photographers like myself. This is also why I want to buy one, as even its auto mode produces such great results.

Suppose you are looking for lens flexibility or optical zoom. In that case, this is probably not the camera for you. The X100VI does have digital zoom, though, and the image quality enables plenty of post-processing flexibility.

I never went into this review believing I needed or wanted one, and I was blown away by the results. I went from my smartphone pictures that looked great to pictures taken with the X100VI that were so clear and detailed it was almost like going from black-and-white to colour.

Fujifilm X100VI
Shooting with the Fujifilm X100VI after using a phone camera for so long was like going from black-and-white to colour for the first time.
Value for money
Ease of use
High quality photos in auto
Camera build quality
Film simulation modes
No optical zoom