TikTok’s favorite camera just got a refresh — and it's nearly impossible to get your hands on one

Fujifilm X100VI camera.
(Image credit: Fujifilm)

You could say I’m somewhat of a camera nerd. After all, I did preorder the new Fufjifilm X100VI fixed-lens camera eight minutes into its February 20 unveiling. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite quick enough to ensure access to the highly-coveted first rounds of cameras that went out late last week.

With preorder numbers reportedly exceeding 650,000 units in China alone, the Fujifilm X100VI is almost certainly the most preordered digital camera in history. 

Reddit users are collating X100VI order data

To track the status of orders, Reddit users have collated an enormous Google Sheet where fellow Fujifilm enthusiasts can share details about when they placed their order, from whom, and what their current order status is. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority are marked as “back-ordered.”  

Taking this data with a grain of salt since trolls are always lurking about, it ultimately paints a picture of a camera company wholly unprepared to meet the enormous, yet not terribly surprising, demand for a new product. 

To secure a camera in the first batch from B&H, the Reddit sheet seems to suggest that you would have had to order within the first three minutes of the camera’s announcement. In all my years nerding out about digital cameras, I’ve never witnessed anything like this.

Fujifilm X100VI camera.

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

So, what's the deal? Why are people going nuts for a camera that doesn’t even have a zoom lens? 

The X100 series has long been a favorite of hardcore photography enthusiasts. The camera’s styling, controls and user interface all mimic that of a film camera. The built-in lens is a sharp, fast 35mm equivalent affair, perfect for street, travel and even portrait photography.

Plus, it’s reasonably lightweight and compact, with a sensor that’s significantly larger than anything you’ll find in today’s top smartphones. This makes it a great choice for lowlight photography as well. 

With Fujifilm’s legendary analog “film simulations” baked in, it’s easy to see why so many folks love this little camera. For years, it remained popular yet available. That changed with the fifth iteration. 

The X100V launched in February 2020. And for the first several years of its life cycle, finding one new didn’t take much effort. 

Then came the TikTokers.

At some point in 2023, the X100V began trending on TikTok — Gen Z seemingly discovered the camera overnight. And they were obsessed, so much so that for the majority of 2023 and into 2024, the X100V has remained out of stock and unavailable everywhere, with used copies consistently selling for more than MSRP on eBay. 

Fujifilm is leaving customers and shops in the dark

Fujifilm X100VI camera.

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

Monthly output numbers [are] at around 15,000 units. With potentially a million or more worldwide preorders, it’s possible that folks will be waiting months rather than weeks

I’m all for new generations discovering and embracing traditional photography — s opposed to smartphone computational photography — and the overnight success of the X100V truly warms my heart, as does the interest in the X100VI. What irks me is that Fujifilm didn’t better anticipate demand. 

That said, the historic Japanese brand did move production of the camera to China to increase outflow. However, a recent Nikkei report puts monthly output numbers at around 15,000 units. With potentially a million or more worldwide preorders, it’s possible that folks, myself included, will be waiting months rather than weeks for our cameras to ship.

Did Fujifilm prepare any cameras before the launch? And which markets are most likely to receive the first several batches? We don’t know. 

What I do know is that Fujifilm isn’t doing a great job of keeping customers or shops informed regarding delivery estimates, which is leading to a lot of frustration. Camera shops both small and large are being overwhelmed with preorders and inquiries. 

I contacted my local shop to ask what the wait time might be for an order placed on March 1 and was told eight or more months. I’m hoping those estimates are conservative. But it sounds like folks who have yet to order an X100 VI may not be able to get their hands on one for a very long time. 

Fujifilm X100VI — the wait continues

Ultimately, I’m fine waiting — absence makes the heart grow stronger. Besides, I already own one of Fujifilm’s older models, the X-E4, which offers almost all the same film simulations. So while Fujifilm sorts out its less-than-ideal camera launch, I’ll be happily snapping away. 

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Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.