Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography

Fujifilm X100VI, the perfect street’s pocket camera

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Posted on Mar 28, 2024
Updated on Apr 9th, 2024

Note: This will be an “ongoing” review, as I will update the content as I have new considerations to add.

The unique feature of the Fujifilm X100 Series

I’ll summarize if no one has ever heard of the Fujifilm X100 series: these are fixed, non-interchangeable optical cameras.

The 23 mm f/2 is equivalent to a 35 mm in full-frame format. The camera has an unmistakable vintage look, making it feel like a real analog camera.

The presence of physical dials for adjusting the exposure triad—aperture, shutter speed, and ISO variation—also merits mention. There is also an exposure compensation dial when using the camera with semi-automatisms, such as the aperture priority and shutter speed priority mode.

The camera has three other unique aspects for this category:

  • A hybrid viewfinder can be optical / Galilean with a small digital electronic preview.
  • A central shutter (which allows a very high Flash synchronization time)
  • Including a four-stop ND filter that can be turned on and off at will.
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X100VI, My Second Camera In The Series

I want to start by saying that the X100VI is my second camera in the X100 series after the X100T, which I have had for almost ten years. I previously reviewed it in this article (one of the most read on my site!).

I waited long before updating my previous X100T, partly because I had the X-Pro 2 camera next to me. Now, I have the X-Pro 3 and the X-T3, X-T4, and X-H2. The X100F and X100V updates were exciting but not too striking for me.

Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography
Diary, Rijeka, Croatia, March 2024

With the X100VI, I have exactly what I wanted: a miniaturized version of my X-H2 (obviously with many more limitations). The two cameras can work together: I find the same APS-C sensor with 40mp of resolution, the same algorithms with AI support for face recognition, the same film simulations (although I look forward to the update of the X-H2 that will bring the Reala Ace simulation to the camera), and also the image stabilizer on the sensor.

On paper, therefore, the X100VI is the perfect camera to carry around. It was in the last month that I had it: I was lucky enough to find it at a retailer in my city already a few days after the presentation, and since they were selling super fast, I didn’t think twice and bought it.

The Camera To Have Always With You

Since that day, the camera has always been with me: it is comfortable to carry the X100VI around and train your eyes to take pictures daily. It was an exciting month for me, during which I found many inspirations from Joel Meyerowitz’s work: I bought his latest book, “A Question of Color” (I will discuss it in detail in a future article) and, thanks to a gift, followed his online masterclass.

I like Meyerowitz’s work regarding everyday life, street photography’s inspiration, and the ability to find visual and photographic interest even in seemingly trivial things.

Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography
Green, Yellow, Blue, 2024 | Reala Ace Film Simulation

The Aesthetic Of The Fujifilm X100VI

From the camera’s stylistic point of view, I compared it with my previous X100F, noticing many changes: the shapes are a little sharper and more angular. The finish of the silver X100VI is more matte than my previous X100T, and I must say that at the beginning, it gave me more of a feeling of plastic than the finish of the X100T.

It should be noted that the upper shell of the camera is not made of real metal but is painted plastic with this matte silver finish.
Note: As mentioned in Maximus’ comment, I’ve also checked online, and Fujifilm states that the top plate is “Aluminium.” Well, it’s better to discover this. I’m almost sure that the X-T3 and X-T4 I had instead were just plastic with silver paint.

We will have to see if the new camera will stand the test of time well: my previous X-T3 and X-T4 have shown obvious signs of use on the upper shells despite always being stored inside bags or backpacks.

What’s New On The X100VI From Previous Cameras

The most significant leap for this camera is the sensor, autofocus, and image stabilizer.

The sensor is the same 40mp sensor found on the X-H2 and the X-T5.

This sensor’s yield is excellent; even at the highest ISOs, the noise is always relatively low (I rarely shot higher than ISO 6400).

One of the features I’ve used the most in the last month with the Fujifilm X100VI has been digital cropping, which allows you to get a 50 mm at 20 mp resolution or a 70 mm at 10 mp resolution. The nice thing is that you can set your focus ring as the teleconverter, making it “almost” like a zoom.

Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography
Storm approaching, Croatia, 2024 | I used the digital teleconverter to create a 70mm lens equivalent for this photo.

I find this feature fascinating because, in practice, it’s as if I always have three additional lenses with you.

Especially the 50 mm at 20 mp resolution is not so far from an X-Pro 2 with 24 mp or the X-Pro 3 with 26 mp.

Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography
Opatija, Croatia, 2024 | I used the digital teleconverter to create a 50mm lens equivalent for this photo.

The 70 mm to 10 mp file is also very usable. I remember that my first DSLR was the 6mp Pentax ist*D, and then I used the Pentax K10 and Canon 40D for many years, which had 10 mp sensors. I did many of my first jobs with these cameras, even weddings. We are now very spoiled by these very high resolutions, and we forget that the final resolution only counts based on the output of our photos.

I feel that the days we need the extra optical teleconverter are gone. I remember I purchased the previous TCL-X100 teleconverter and reviewed it some years ago.
Honestly, I didn’t use it so often and was reselling it. I found it quite tedious to have to screw it in on and off to have the equivalent 50 mm lens. But those were other days since my X100T has only 16 mp of resolution!

New Autofocus On The Fujifilm X100VI

Another big feature of the X100VI is the new AI algorithms for focusing.
These were introduced with the new X-Processor 5 present from the X-H2s onwards and have now been brought inside the X100VI.

The use of these algorithms helps a lot with focus, especially in recognizing the subjects facing the camera. For my kind of photography, I tried face and eye recognition algorithms, always finding excellent results.

However, the problem remains linked to the lens’s speed of action, which I still find a little slow. On the one hand, there are AI algorithms that do a quick job of identifying the subjects, but on the other hand, the movement to bring the lens to that point of focus is still relatively slow. I think this is due to the technical limitations of the camera’s space. I would love a lens redesign with a linear focus mechanism for the next iteration.

New Film Simulation: Reala Ace

Reala Ace is the latest simulation film introduced by Fujifilm with the medium format camera GFX 100 II.

This is the first time this film simulation has been introduced on a camera with an Aps-C type sensor. However, Fujifilm has announced that all current cameras with X-Processor 5 will be updated and will receive this new simulation film in the future.

How to describe this new “Reala Ace” simulation? Fujifilm’s website refers to it as “true-to-life color reproduction and a hard tonality.” I found this simulation brilliant with the tones, with deeper blues but lighter yellows. Red is well-balanced with the right punch.

I’ve noticed that the black tends to be a bit “lifted” even when you have strong contrast, so it gives that analog vibe when you usually try to lift a bit the shade.

Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography
Trieste, March 2024 | Reala Ace film simulation with a slightly warmer tone gives a very pleasing result.

However, I want to highlight an essential point of these film simulations: the results on the type of color obtained are highly related to the photograph’s exposure and, above all, to the white balance you set.

If I take an overexposed photo, I will have more pastel colors. If I shoot underexposed, the color tones will be more intense. If I vary the color temperature on warmer tones, the colors will also be warmer.

So, in addition to choosing the film simulation you prefer, it will be essential to find the correct white balance and do exposure tests to notice the differences between the colors (I remember that these tests can be carried out quickly with Fujifilm’s free software, X Raw Studio).

Fujifilm X100VI Review From Professional Photographer. Alessandro Michelazzi Photography
First day of Spring, Lubjiana, Slovenia, 2024

Bonus: My Reala Ace Recipe

I will briefly recap the world of Fujifilm digital cameras for those unfamiliar with it.

Over the past 10+ years, every Fujifilm camera has included film simulations developed directly by Fujifilm engineers.
It’s about reproducing the look and feel of iconic films fairly faithfully. This concept has been born online, especially starting from Fuji X-Weekly, which shares the setup used to obtain a certain color and film look and feel. To achieve this, you will change the parameters in the camera, usually in the first menù I.Q. of the camera photography settings.

I want to share my adjustments for the new Reala-Ace simulation with you. My goal was to achieve more definition and saturation between the colors.

AM | Reala Ace 2024_01
(this setting works currently only on Fujifilm X100VI and GFX 100II )

  • Film Simulation: Reala Ace
  • Grain Effect: Off (I prefer to add in after)
  • Color Chrome Effect: Off
  • Color Chrome Fx Blue: Strong
  • Smooth Skin Effect: Off
  • White Balance: Auto Ambience Priority R:1 B:-1
  • Dynamic Range: Auto (note, to make this work, you have to set your ISO higher than 160 or use Auto ISO)
  • D Range Priority: Off
  • Tone Curve: H + 1, S + 1
  • Color: +3
  • Sharpness: -2
  • High Iso NR: -4

I mainly use the HEIF file format, which allows me to save more data at less compression than JPG.

What I Dislike

Like every camera and tool, no one is perfect. Currently, what I dislike:

  • The top plate finish construction. As mentioned above, I’ve recently discovered it’s aluminum, but I preferred the magnesium finish of the previous X100T.
  • The AI focus algorithms are fast, but the lens has the same previous speed when moving to the point. So, it is slower than the other 23 mm lens on the X-Series camera.
  • I would love a second slot for card backup, even if they used the Micro-Sd, as Nikon did with the Nikon Zf camera.

Points I Will Cover Shortly

Battery Life / Electronic & Optical Viewfinder / Button Customisation / Movie Quality / Jpg vs Heic / The X Raw Studio Program.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in the comments, and I will answer them and update the review.

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  • Maximus
    Posted at 20:07h, 31 March Reply

    I like your photos and use of colors and shadows. I will try your Reala recipe. Thanks.

  • Maximus
    Posted at 03:37h, 31 March Reply

    The top plate is not painted plastic; it’s aluminum. The X100T is magnesium.

    • Alessandro Michelazzi
      Posted at 10:38h, 31 March Reply

      Thanks for pointing this out. I’ve checked, and you’re right! I’ve corrected the statements above.

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