Thoughts on the Fujifilm GFX 100s
What We Liked & General Thoughts
The GFX line of cameras has come a long way since the GFX 50s. Fujifilm's "better than full-frame" approach to medium format photography has them doing things with the medium format camera that not many have done in this space. Fujifilm has targeted areas such as making the GFX a competent motion camera, adding in IBIS, or giving it enough speed to make the GFX capable of handling action photography. Fujifilm's goal of creating a camera with a sensor more capable, ergonomics, and performance nearly as flexible as a 35mm full-frame camera yet retaining the advantages of a medium format camera has finally come into full realization in the GFX 100s. We are looking at a medium format camera that ticks all the boxes one would need in a high-performance mirrorless camera, with the advantages of medium format IQ, and we love it!
Fujifilm GFX 100s Features at a Glance
- 102mp 43.8 x 32.9 CMOS Sensor
- Fujifilm G Mount is compatible with a wide range of Fujifilm GF lenses.
- In-Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)
- Brilliant Color Accuracy and Reproduction due to 16-bit color depth.
- 10-bit F-log or 12-bit APPLE PReREs footage with 4k/30p recording
- Dual SD UHS-II Slots
- 0.5inch OLED 3.69 million dot Electronic Viewfinder
- Fast and efficient Image Processor: X-Processor 4
- Compact 900g weight and smaller footprint
Do you need all this resolution? Who is the GFX 100s for?
Should you consider adding the GFX 100S to your arsenal of camera gear? Over the past few years, we have seen the medium format niche become, well, less niche. Gone are the days where only top professionals use these illustrious cameras that cost as much, if not more, than a car. The democratization of medium format has brought these extremely powerful tools to the hands of the masses.
Perhaps one does not need everything the GFX 100S has to offer. I most certainly won't be using all 102 million pixels from the test files I produced any time soon. Perhaps a 3' print is in order, but other than that, the resolution the GFX 100S produced is not needed. Instead, the massive resolution numbers the GFX 100S delivers tells me something else about what this camera can do for any competent photographer out there. The sensor on the GFX 100S produces more information than I've ever gotten out of any camera at this price point. This opens up an entirely new world of opportunities in post-production. Does 102mp simple equal more pixels? No, the resolution of this sensor pair with 16-bit color depth is about information in the images. Recover shadows and highlights, tweak colors, push and pull the image any way you wish because you have the information to do so at your discretion.
So, who is the GFX 100S really for? It's not simply for the professional. The price tag allows it to be in a much wider range of photographers' bags than ones gathering a paycheck from it. I think that any gear head-oriented photographer looking to make the most out of their images should consider the GFX 100s. From landscape, architecture, street photography, and even action photography, the GFX 100S is flexible and resilient enough to tackle all of these tasks when appropriately handled. It leaves the creation up to you and removes the limitations of the resolution, color depth, dynamic range, and the like.
The Form Factor and Ergonomics
Some might miss the articulating EVF on the GFX 50s and 100 models, but I don't think I will. The overall design I found much more minimalistic than previous generations of the Fujifilm GFX camera bodies. I believe this direction in ergonomics might result from slimming the camera down to be more in line with a full-frame body. Compared to the previous GFX 100 this feels like a different camera... or at least half of one!
In addition to the 102mp sensor, The form factor is one of the most shining qualities of the GFX 100S. The GFX 100S feels solid in hand. There isn't anything on the camera that feels "flimsy," and going back to the EVF, the articulating EVF on older generations definitely felt a bit on the flimsy side. If you've used Fujifilm cameras in the past, the controls and menu system are nothing new. Fujifilm did a great job at keeping the consistent theme of menus and controls in the Fujifilm ecosystem the same, and the GFX 100s is no exception here.
The buttons here on the GFX 100S are pretty straightforward, making for a kind of "everything you need and nothing you don't" approach to the layout. I love the top screen on the GFX. The simulated dial, info, and histogram screens come in extremely helpful in various situations.
The Performance - Hardware
We can't state this enough here. Get a fast memory card! The GFX 100S uses dual SD UHS-II memory cards, and I can tell you firsthand that the speed of this camera is highly dependent on how fast it can offload its buffer onto the memory card. I was personally using a 128GB UHS-II memory card from Hoodman, which I've had exceedingly good luck with across the board for the past couple of years. It worked like a champ in the GFX 100S.
Fujifilm has done everyone a favor when it comes to batteries and moved to the W235-S, which is the same one used in the Fujifilm X-T4. Yes, all those batteries you've collected for previous GFX cameras will no longer work, but the new W235-S is slimmer, the form NP-T125, and comes in at 2200 mAh rather than the NP-T125's 1230 mAh. Longer lasting and a bit smaller to slim down the GFX 100S body, we think it is a good trade-off for having to replace your current GFX batteries if you need any. We highly recomend that anyone getting the GFX 100S also gets the Fujifilm W235 dual charger. It is a fantastic way to charge a couple of batteries at once, and it runs off of USB-c, making for easy on-the-go charging.
As far as speed and performance, We could get into all the nitty-gritty here, of which we won't. I'll simply note that between all of the medium format systems out there that we sell, it is pretty evident that GFX 100S is in a league of its own. They all have their pros and cons, but the GFX 100S takes it all when it comes to raw speed. The AF is snappy and fast in every situation we tested it in, and the processing speed is fast (provided you have a fast SD card). I never ran into the user interface glitch during testing. Every experience I had was seamless and intuitive. It is undeniable that the Fujifilm film is trying its best to make a medium format camera as fluid as some major 35mm Full-Frame competitors out there. I can tell you that they have done an excellent job at doing just that.
The Performace - Images
When it comes down to it, the GFX 100S images are breathtaking. The detail and latitude in the images are stunning. We have made the following gallery of sample images available to you. We want to share some raw photos directly from the camera to load into your editing software and try out.
Fujifilm has knocked it out of the park with the Fujifilm GFX 100S. The medium format world is no longer limited to landscape and architecture photographers and those willing to invest large sums of money to get every ounce of performance from such as system. The GFX 100S opens the doors for using a medium format camera in various scenarios and gets quite a bit closer to being as well-rounded as a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera. If you are considering a mirrorless camera on the higher resolution end of the spectrum, 35mm or medium format, you should strongly consider the Fujifilm GFX 100S.