Action Cameras

Opinion: Why the Fujifilm X100VI is prime of my digicam want listing

As Stuff’s resident imaging expert, I’ve tried more than my fair share of cameras and photography-focused smartphones – but few have got me excited quite like the Fujifilm X100VI. This retro-themed rangefinder has been doing the rounds in one form or another for fourteen years now, and the latest generation is arriving at the perfect time.

It’s because the 90s era is vintage now, apparently. Commuters are wearing wired headphones and plugging into into clickwheel iPods. Compact cameras are a regular sight at club nights. Nokia-style brickphones are suddenly popular with more than just the elderly and the prison population. It’s cool to rock retro tech, instead of a single device that does everything.

The 100 V should’ve ridden this nostalgia wave, fuelled by TikTok and Instagram Reels – but Fujifilm couldn’t keep up with demand. Component shortages brought on by a global pandemic will do that. It was all but impossible to get your hands on one, leaving older models to change hands on eBay for north of $1000 dollars. Fuji is promising much wider availability this time around.

Do I think there’ll be lines outside camera stores on launch day on the scale of Swifties queuing for Eras tour tickets? Probably not – but you can’t argue there’s simply nothing else out there quite like the X100.

A Ricoh GR III doesn’t have the same retro appeal; the Sony RX1R II is almost a decade old and long since abandoned by its maker; and I’m not on good enough terms with my bank manager to afford a Leica Q3. The Nikon Z F is simply a system camera dressed up in throwback styling. None have the Fuji’s delightful hybrid rangefinder. I’m a sucker for Fuji’s nostalgic film simulations, too.

That should mean it won’t just be long-time photography fans willing to break out the credit card on the 28th of February. Expect this camera to become a common sight on your social media feeds in just a matter of weeks.

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