Can’t find a Fujifilm X100VI? What are the alternatives?: Digital Photography Review

Several retailers reported the Fujifilm X100VI was sold out on launch day.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2023. With the 2024 release of the Fujifilm X100VI, we have updated the story to include the new camera.

After TikTok virality made the X100V hard to find, with used prices reaching upwards of three times retail, Fujifilm said it had increased production of the X100VI to meet pent-up demand for its fixed lens retro-inspired cameras. But it seems the Fujifilm X100VI is already proving to be more popular than expected – the camera is selling out at many online retailers on its February 28 release date and retailers do not have an estimate on when restock will be available.

Buy Fujifilm X100VI now:

Instead of a shipping notice, some customers who had preordered the camera at B&H were greeted with an email informing them that «the response to this new camera launch has been tremendous and well in excess of Fujifilm’s projections.»

US retailer Best Buy told some customers to expect another wave of supply by the beginning of April.

Across the world, many vendors were doing the same, telling pre-order customers that day-of-launch demand had exceeded supply with no ability to provide an extended timeline from Fujifilm on when another batch of inventory would arrive at retailers.

If you’re in the market for a small large-sensor camera with a 35mm equiv (or similar) lens and don’t want to wait for restocks or would rather find an alternative, we have some options to consider.

The next-best option

With the arrival of the X100VI, used Fujifilm X100V may start to come down in the near future.

The Fujifilm X100V is a lovely camera: the fifth in a series we’ve always liked and a recipient of our Gold award for the net effect of the improvements that have been made to the version. For the past several years the X100V has been nearly impossible to buy from retailers (without paying a substantial premium over the list price).

With the release of the X100VI, we may finally start to see used X100V cameras start to show up below their original $1399 MSRP. If that happens, and you’re okay with forgoing IBIS or the other features in the newer model, it could be a good value proposition that still gives you a small, hands-on street/travel camera with a 35mm equiv lens.

There aren’t as many differences between the V and the VI as you might expect, so it’s worth considering if the price is right.

Buy Fujifilm X100V used:

Mirrorless options

We’ve looked at X100 substitutes before, trying to see whether there were any substitutes you could cobble together using a small prime lens on a mirrorless camera. At the time Canon’s 22mm F2 lens and the Olympus 17mm F1.8 (which was rebadged as the m.Zuiko digital 17mm F1.8 following OM Digital Solutions acquisition of the former Olympus imaging division) offered the best ways to gain the 35mm equivalent range.

However, with Canon discontinuing the EF-M line, that only leaves the Olympus as the best choice if compactness and matching the X100 field-of-view are your priorities. The Olympus also happens to be the nicer of the two lenses: faster to focus and with a snap-back focus clutch and styling that’s more in keeping with the Fujifilm.

It may be a challenge to find an appropriate camera for the Olympus. OM System does not currently sell the PEN range in the US, so used options are all that remain. European customers have the option of the E-P7, which offers a more hands-on interface and classic styling, so it is perhaps worth a look.

Ricoh’s GR IIIx is one possible alternative. It has an APS-C sensor, but a slightly tighter 40mm-equiv. F2.8 lens. It’s much smaller than the Fujifilm and lacks anything approaching its hybrid viewfinder.

If you’re less size conscious, there are 23mm F1.4s from Viltrox, Tokina and now Sigma, available variously for E, L and X-mounts, or the Fujifilm 23mm F2, which still sticks out a bit if you can still find an X-E4. We think by the time you get to a Sony a6x00 body and a Viltrox 23mm F1.4, you’ve gotten so far from the small, enjoyable and desirable ethos of the X100 that you should start looking for landmarks and remind yourself of where you were trying to get to.

Fujifilm’s 27mm F2.8 offers a 40mm equiv. option but it’s slow (in most senses) and not especially cheap. We see a similar story for Nikon’s Z-mount 26mm F2.8: it’ll look nice on a Z fc, but the tighter view and slower aperture put us off. Panasonic’s 20mm F1.7 II has its charms but it’s pretty slow to focus and like the Olympus 17mm lens, it’s not obvious which body it should be mounted on.

Fixed-lens alternatives

There aren’t other current fixed-lens models offering a 35mm equiv. lens in front of a large sensor, but Ricoh’s GR IIIx comes close, with its APS-C sensor and 40mm-equiv F2.8 lens. It’s much smaller than the Fujifilm and lacks anything approaching its hybrid viewfinder, but it’s a lovely camera to shoot with and has its own devout following.

If a wider-angle view of the world is more your thing, the non-X Ricoh GR III comes into play, as does the fabulous (and fabulously expensive) Leica Q2 and Q3. They are all lovely cameras, though the Leicas are pretty substantial and both Ricohs benefit from a pocket of spare batteries.

Second-hand options

The X100F offers a lot of what the X100VI does. The second-hand prices of the ‘F’ had crept up, with the X100V model being in short supply, but the arrival of the X100VI may change things

Widen your net to second-hand options and the choices become significantly broader, albeit with the added risk of the product not being as pristine as promised, not necessarily having any warranty and possibly not existing once your payment has cleared. Caveat emptor, and all that. Large second-hand dealers such as MPB and KEH give some peace of mind, but you may have to pay a little more with companies that know what the market rate is.

Buy Fujifilm X100F used:

Obviously, the best substitute for a lovely new X100VI is a ‘previously loved’ X100V, but if they still remain scarce, the X100F is the next best thing. It means a further step down in technology: you lose out on the slightly nicer new lens, the adjustable screen and the 26MP sensor, but the ‘F’s 24MP sensor is a pretty good substitute.

It becomes harder to recommend models much earlier than this. We don’t say this to outrage the still happy X100S or X100T owners, but the 16MP sensor shows the challenges of processing X-Trans in all but the most compliant software, you’ll lose the joystick, revert to a smaller battery and are buying a camera that’s got years of unknowable use behind it. As for the original 12MP X100, it was a groundbreaking camera in its day but that day was nearly a decade-and-a-half ago. Some DPReview editors owned and loved the first X100, and it holds many happy memories for them, but too much has improved since then to seriously recommend one today: retro styling is much more appealing than dated performance.

The Sony RX1R II uses a full-frame sensor but otherwise offers a configuration similar to the X100VI: a small body with a 35mm F2 lens. However, don’t forget to pack extra batteries.

So what else is out there? You might find a Sony RX1, RX1R or RX1R II. These were full-frame compacts with 35mm F2 lenses and could deliver beautiful images. But the first two models were slow-to-focus, even for 2013, so we recommend steering clear now. The RX1R II improved things a little with phase-detection AF and even found room for a pop-up viewfinder. Sadly the battery life was atrocious so it’s worth being aware of what you’re letting yourself in for.

What would you recommend?

We have distinct reservations about all the available options. The Ricoh GR IIIx probably makes the best understudy for the X100VI: its lens is slower but it’s also smaller and less expensive and great fun to shoot with. Beyond that, it depends on what you can find second-hand.

Buy GR IIIx now:

Ultimately, though, while some of the options we’ve shared can offer the 35mm equiv. coverage of the X100VI, and some can match the hands-on, photographer-friendly experience, none have anything to match Fujifilm’s unique hybrid viewfinder and none combine all of these factors in such an attractive package. So, sadly, we’d conclude the best alternative to buying an X100VI today is to add your name to a list for when one becomes available, or perhaps wait for used Vs to come down in price.

Source link