Fujifilm X100 VI review: A one-of-a-kind camera for street photography and travel

The 40MP sensor obviously delivers a big boost in resolution over the X100 V’s 26MP. The extra pixels are also handy if you need to crop in, which is a common requirement with a fixed wide-angle lens camera. And while the lens is the same as before, it’s sharp enough to resolve the extra detail.

If this sensor seems familiar, that’s because it’s the same as the one on the X-T5 and X-H2, so the image quality here is similar to those. In-camera treatment of JPEG and 10-bit HEIF files is handled well, with pleasant, accurate colors and a nice balance of noise reduction and detail. You can often share photos straight out of the camera, too, something that’s important to street photographers who do little to no post-processing.

The 14-bit RAW photos offer plenty of room for fine-tuning, even in bright or dark areas. However, if you underexpose shots and try to boost levels, noise can get out of hand compared to a full-frame camera.

Fujifilm X100 VI sample image galleryFujifilm X100 VI sample image gallery

The higher resolution doesn’t hurt image quality much at higher ISOs. Noise is well controlled up to ISO 6400, and you can go up to 12800 if exposure is set correctly. I was impressed with the quality when shooting in bars and other dark environments.

And of course, the X100 VI offers Fujifilm’s full array of film simulation modes. You can experiment with popular looks like Velvia, Eterna or Acros black and white, and still have a full-color RAW backup. As the only major camera company also selling 35mm film, Fuji’s simulations are the most pleasing and realistic.

The X100 VI’s excellent video specs are another bonus. It has nearly the same feature set as the X-T5, so you can shoot 6.2K at 30 fps with a 1.23x crop, or 4K at up to 60 fps with line-skipping and a 1.14x crop. The camera also offers sub-sampled 4K at up to 30p using the full sensor width, or high-quality 4K 30p with a 1.23x crop. Fujifilm also introduced 10-bit and F-Log2.

Fujifilm X100 VI reviewFujifilm X100 VI review

Samuel Dejours for Engadget

It took me a while to get used to the different modes and cropping levels. At 6.2K and 4K HQ, rolling shutter is pronounced so you’ll need to be aware of that. At the same time, full-sensor sub-sampled 4K is noticeably more low-res than the HQ mode.

Video autofocus matches what I saw with photos, meaning it was decent but not super reliable for moving subjects. The AI-powered AF did lock onto subjects, but again, couldn’t always keep up to flying birds, animals or vehicles.

Handheld video is now a realistic option with in-body stabilization. It worked well as long as I didn’t move around much, and offers a “boost” mode that smooths out jiggles further. Digital stabilization is also an option, but isn’t supported with the 6K or HQ modes, and doesn’t really reduce jolts for walking or fast movements.

Video quality is solid for a small compact camera, offering the same accurate colors you see in JPEG photo modes. Shooting in 10-bit F-Log makes it possible to adjust footage considerably in post or get creative. You can also shoot video using the film simulation modes if you want a specific look straight out of the camera.

Fujifilm X100 VI sample image galleryFujifilm X100 VI sample image gallery

Samuel Dejours for Engadget

Fujifilm has made all the right moves to keep the X100 VI’s popularity high by tucking a very competent street and travel camera into a beautiful retro-cute body. The extra resolution, in-body stabilization and new video features should be more than enough to tempt owners to upgrade.

At $1,600, the X100 VI doesn’t have a lot of competition — which is odd, given its success. Leica springs to mind with the Q3, though that costs a whopping $6,000. Another option is the $1,000 Ricoh GR IIIx, which also offers in-body stabilization and an ND filter. However, resolution is lower at 24MP and it lacks the X100 VI’s high-end video features.

Sony’s ZV-1 II is also in this compact category, but it’s mostly designed for video. Keep an eye on Panasonic, as it may release a new compact camera, according to recent rumors. In any case, if you’re in the market for a high-end compact and can afford the X100 VI, I wouldn’t hesitate — there’s a lot of camera inside that beautiful body.

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