Last night, I attended the launch of Fujifilm's latest compact camera, the X100VI (or X100 version 6). Listening to Fujifilm Australia's Shaun Mah, I confess I didn't know how successful the X100V (X100 version 5) had been, Shaun admitting that the company had been unable to keep up with demand and in fact stopped taking orders for the camera!

So, the accountant in me wonders if you have such a successful product, why stop producing it? Then the photographer kicks in, observing that the new model was probably already well into the design phase when the model V was released and that time and technology wait for no human: Fujifilm has to keep up with the market and as good as the X100V is, the X100VI is even better!

In the hand, the X100VI is beautiful to hold. It feels substantial. The finish is actually very beautiful. Yes, I'm running advertising alongside this article, but all I suggest is that you hold one yourself and see if you agree. If the model V was a cult camera, I can see no reason why the model VI won't continue the trend. People obviously love the way you turn a physical dial to set the camera's settings and despite modern automation, nothing has changed a photographer's requirement to deftly control the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation, all available externally on the X100VI. 

So, where this small camera (521 g) with its 23mm f2.0 lens (approximately 35mm equivalent on a full frame sensor) fits in with our smartphones comes down to a simple requirement: image quality. Why would you carry a separate camera when your smartphone will give you a similar angle of view? The majority of the world will not, of course, but the majority of the world are snapshooters, not photographers. As a reader of this newsletter, you know the difference and it's the same answer you carry a DSLR or mirrorless camera with you. As good as smartphones are, a proper camera is better and if the focus of your activities is photography, why wouldn't you carry a small camera like Fujifilm's X100VI?

So, what's new? First up, Fujifilm's latest 40.2-megapixel sensor is making an appearance. Fujifilm claims the X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor has an enhanced image-processing algorithm that boosts resolution without compromising signal-to-noise ratio. Second, there's a new in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system to keep images sharp and videos stable. The five-axis IBIS mechanism offers up to 6.0 stops of compensation. And third, it's easier to connect the camera to your smartphone with the new Fujifilm XApp, so transferring and sharing your images is a snack.

The camera also features AI autofocus subject detection and eye tracking, so even when shooting from the hip you're going to nail the focus. And if you like to get your exposures exactly right in camera, there are 20 film simulations based on Fujifilm's legendary film emulsions to help you.

The asking price for the new Fujifilm X100VI is $2899 (or $3499 for a special collectors' limited edition celebrating Fujifilm's 90th anniversary year), but according to the website, even the pre-orders are sold out!

Long live analogue style photography in a digital world! It seems a new cult camera is born!