Fujifilm GFX 100S review

The Fujifilm GFX 100S brings moderate format and makes it accessible to all with amazing 102MP resolution, and a reasonably affordable prices.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S is the fourth model of the GFX series. It is based on the 102MP sensor of the GFX 100. It is however, one-ups its predecessor by incorporating an even smaller DSLR-style body with better image stabilization. It also comes at a lower cost than the prior model.

In our review of the Fujifilm GFX 100 back in the year 2019 we described it as “groundbreaking”, and the same can be said for its successor, the Fujifilm Fujifilm GFX100S however, with very different reasons. It is able to bring medium format photography outside of the studio and make it a slightly more popular.

Going mainstream can also mean making the camera slightly cheaper. It costs about half than its predecessor, the GFX 100, the new Fujifilm GFX100S can be priced that is lower than some professional-grade full-frame mirrorless cameras, such as Sony A1. Sony A1. There have been compromises in order to reach this price point, but there is no way that any of these compromise the camera’s performance. In some ways it’s the GFX 100S is actually better than its predecessor.

SPECIFICATIONS

Sensor 102MP BSI-CMOS 43.8×32.9mm medium format Image processor: X Processor 4
Lens mount: Fujifilm G
Autofocus A smart hybrid, with 425AF points
ISO spectrum: 100 to 12,800 (exp. 50-102,400)
Video: Uncropped 4K/30p
Viewfinder: 0.5-inch 3.69 million dot EVF, 0.8x magnification
Memory card 2x UHS-II SD
LCD 3.2-inch 2-axis tilt screen 2.36 million dots
Maximum burst 5-fps Mechanical shutter
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, mini HDMI, mic, headphone
Size: 150 x 104 x 44mm
The weight is 990g for body alone (with card and battery)

KEY FEATURES

Its Fujifilm GX100S model is significantly less compact camera than the predecessor that was that of the GFX 100 – smaller than the 50S GFX even with style that resembles a DSLR, but not the rangefinder style similar to the GFX 50R..

Despite the reduction in size, Fujifilm has managed to keep in-body image stabilization intact through reducing its size for the device by 20% when compared to that of the GFX 100 (and making it 10% lighter) like Fujifilm has done with smaller cameras in the X-series, such as those in the the X-T4 and the X-S10. As it is reducing the IBIS mechanism Fujifilm has also been able to make it more effective too It’s rated at the level of six stops to compensate for shake in camera contrasted to 5.5 stops of correction found on the GFX 100. In addition the image stabilization system can work with stabilized lenses to keep the corrective level when the focal length is longer too.

With the sensor and image stabilization system the GFX 100S is able to take high-quality images of 400MP employing a pixel shift mode , which was introduced to GFX 100 via a firmware update.

A smaller body is also a compromise on the battery capacity, however. Instead of the larger NP-T125 packs that came with the older GFX bodies Fujifilm has chosen to use the NPW235 pack which was released in the XT4, but it still has an CIPA rating of of 460 photos per battery.

If you’re looking to upgrade their older models to the GFX100S, the inclusion of a standard mode dial will provide an enormous relief. It has the standard 1.8-inch status display at the top of the screen to show the parameters of shooting, but it could be modified to show the virtual dials added with the new GFX 100.Advertisement

Instead of the typical 4-way joystick controller that’s on the back of the camera, we have an eight-way nub with a texture that allows diagonal movements in addition to the standard vertical and horizontal directions. We’re calling it a “nub because it’s not so tall as the joysticks found on older GFX cameras. Also, its size is small, which means that you won’t accidentally press it (which could reset the settings for AF-point selection and camera settings). But, its extra directional movements require some time to become accustomed to.

To reduce costs To keep costs low, to keep costs low, the Fujifilm GFX 100S comes with the fixed OLED EVF that has resolution of 3.69 million dots and the magnification is 0.77x (as as compared that detachable 5.76-million dots EVF on the GFX 100). However, the rear LCD monitor remains exactly the same 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen that is mounted on triaxial mount. This allows the screen to be moved up to 90o upwards as well as 45o downwards and 60 degrees to either side.

The GFX100S has the ability to take 100MP images at speeds of up to 5fps using continuously autofocus capability, the GFX100S is capable of being a film camera. 4K/30p internal recording at 10:2:0 (with the possibility of bit rates of up 400 Mbps) with the entire size of the camera is possible as is the possibility of F-Log or HLG 10 bit ProRes RAW in 4:2:2 or 12 bits with an external recorder, similar to its predecessor. Video recording in 16 bits is accessible through HDMI to the most recent Atomos Ninja V recorder. What the GFX100S has improved over the previous model is in length of the movie clips – it’s an increased recording time that is 120 minutes, instead of 60 .

While the GFX 100S has the same maximum shutter rate, speed of shutter, longevity and sync speed of the GFX 100, Fujifilm claims that the new mechanism will reduce delay to 0.07 seconds instead of 0.09 seconds.

The GFX 100S comes with an additional film Simulation mode, bringing the number to 19. The mode is dubbed “Nostalgic Neg”, it provides a subtle amber tint to highlights and intensifies some colors to give it an older-style look.

BUILD AND HANDLING

The new shutter unit as well as the IBIS mechanism of the GFX 100S indicates that Fujifilm is able to move the battery to the single handgrip that is on the body, which allows it to loose the vertical grip underneath the body. This has led to an body that is smaller and lighter than other models from GFX, and which can be easily mistaken for a full frame camera. It’s 150x104x44mm in size, which is comparable to a full-frame DSLR such as Canon’s Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (measuring 150.7×116.4×75.9mm) and slightly bigger that those of the Canon EOS R5 (which is a bit bigger with 135.8×97.5x88mm).

With a weight of 900g, it’s 500g lighter than GFX 100, which makes it more comfortable to use in a non-studio setting – the norm for the modern medium format camera. But it’s heavier than a full frame camera and could be extremely tiring when used for long periods of time. In our tests it was necessary to take it off at least every 20 minutes to rest our sore fingers. Furthermore it is true that these GF lenses aren’t the lightest (physically as well as in optics) and add to the weight you’ll be carrying around in case you intend to utilize the camera to shoot street or travel photos.

However, the GFX 100S fits comfortably in your hand thanks to the grip’s textured rubber which provides great traction even though the middle finger’s indentation may seem too tiny for people with larger hands.

The control layout is common to all photographers and will include a classic PASM mode dial located on the left side of the top plate. There are also the normal twin control dials at the back and front on the right-hand side of the camera, and the majority of buttons are within reach of your forefinger or thumb. Although it’s not equipped with the standard ISO as well as shutter speed dials you’ll find on the majority of Fujifilm cameras, it has an extremely distinctive Fuji design in this.

However, the location that the Q button is located (to get access to the Quick Menu) could prove frustrating for certain. Similar to the Fujifilm X-T30 the Q button is located on the thumb’s ridge rest, and could result in accidental press. We didn’t experience any issues with this in our tests since the ridge was high enough to shield the digit of the switch.

We mentioned that this display’s top can be set to display shooting parameters, digital dials to control shutter speed, ISO or the histogram. It is also possible to set it to show all data in black on white, instead of the standard black and white in a case that is simpler to see. A tiny button on the left side of the screen (indicated by the lamp icon) will illuminate the screen.

In addition, you can alter the Q menu settings to be displayed with a gray background or overlayed on Live View frame. Physical buttons can be modified to suit the requirements of your business – virtually everything can be controlled including drive modes, meters, to settings for exposure and more. The interface is familiar to anyone who’s owned any modern Fujifilm camera.

Although the EVF has smaller resolution than one in the GFX 100, it’s sharp as sharp as a tack. If you’re unhappy however it’s possible to use the camera’s “Boost” modes let you boost the resolution and refresh rate , at the expense of battery time.

It’s interesting that Fujifilm has chosen to stick with two SD card slots inside the GFX100S rather than making use of faster storage such as XQD or CFexpress like some other manufacturers of cameras have used. However, both are equipped with speed cards , and this is sufficient for continuous shooting as well as the recording of 4K videos.

Because of USB-C ports it is possible to charge the battery charged on-camera. Additionally, it has an micro HDMI port, 3.5mm mic and headphone connectors as well as an PC sync port, and the 2.5mm remote port.

PERFORMANCE

The main selling point of this GFX 100S, besides the huge resolution is its tiny dimensions and stabilization of images. In theory, that means it is possible to shoot high shutter speeds on your handheld. We were able drop to as low as 1/8 seconds however, the results weren’t so sharp as we had hoped for. The claim of six stops of shutter speed benefit is calculated using the sensor’s pitch and yaw motions and is, in essence just a best-case number. When we tested this camera we saw closer to 4-4.5 stop of compensation but that’s still quite impressive considering that the results depend on your ability to keep the camera in place.

As with its predecessor, you’ll be able to make the most of that massive 102MP resolution with a single tapping. The most significant benefit with this type of resolution is the ability to crop images without sacrificing quality. All sample images shown here are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, and a few have been cropped significantly (like the butterfly below) and, needless to say, we were very happy with the results.

The dynamic range of the camera is amazing. We never had to adjust bracketing parameters in order to maximize the dynamic range. Add to that the tone and color that Fujifilm offers with its Film Simulations, this camera is ideal for portraits, landscapes, and still life.

Although many medium format cameras come with an autofocus that is a bit clunky We found the GFX 100S performs well. While it’s not as quick like what we’ve seen on Canon’s latest full-frame Mirrorless cameras, or in an Sony alternative, but it’s quite good when coupled by the GF 32-64mm aperture. It’s not perfect when there are multiple faces to concentrate at, yet it’s surprisingly fast when it’s only one thing to focus on. It’s true that AF rate will be dependent on which lens you’re using and, while the GF 50mm prime we used was quite fast however, using the GF 120mm f/4 will slow things down.

Eye tracking was not as good however, if you could concentrate perfectly on faces, it’s likely that the camera’s high resolution will have captured plenty of information to fall back on. If, however, you’re thinking of using this camera for wildlife or sports photography it’s continuous AF performance might not be adequate. The GFX 100S isn’t equipped to deal with anything swiftly moving, but slow-moving subjects can be able to be followed admirably.

GFX 100S NOSTALGIC NEG

“Nostalgic Neg” is a brand-new film Simulation that was introduced in the new GFX 100S. Similar to other Fujifilm simulations, it’s used during processing of on-camera JPEGs. When you take RAW it will depend on the raw processor you use to be capable of mimicking this look however raw processors may also have their own “looks and profiles.

A nostalgic Neg offers more of a warm look overall, with a slight reduction in contrast, but not a loss of intensity. Here are some examples of before and after provided by Fujifilm:

VIDEO

The testing of video was limited to a few chilly days in March’s beginning We weren’t able to test the GFX 100S under a variety of weather conditions, but it was enough to create a visual of what the camera looks capable of filming with.

* Take a look at our Fujifilm GFX 100S sample film below.

The big sensor of the GFX 100S gives footage stunning cinematic quality particularly when you shoot with wide apertures. We received the latest GF80mmF1.7 R WR lens with our camera sample and with an aperture of f/1.7 the bokeh can be very appealing. But this lens isn’t really optimized for video. It has autofocus that’s fast enough, but it is a bit noisy and jerky. It’s great for stills however, it is not the ideal choice for filming AF.

This is a combination of the body stabilization feature that is good for filming static but isn’t so great for camera movements, as it’s difficult to avoid getting a “choppy” appearance with slow pans. Much of this is dependent on the expertise of the camera operator (not ideal in this particular instance!) however, it’s fair to declare that if you’re using handheld camera movements, your movements must be fluid because the GFX100S does not intend to smooth over any imperfections in your method.

The camera is much better when mounted on a tripod, or maybe on an gimbal, but you’ll require a robust one to get it in a balanced position. In actuality, the GFX 100 feels better suited to a slow, more deliberate shooting style thanks to a sturdy support, controlled movement and manual focus. It’s not a camera for vlogging with it has in-body stabilization. If you’re interested in using motion-based camera and a run-and-gun photography style, then there’s lower-cost 4K cameras that accomplish the job better.

LAB DATA

We tested the laboratory results of our GFX 100S against a smaller medium format camera that is it’s the Hasselblad 907X and two full-frame, high-resolution mirrorless cameras such as The Sony A7R IV and the Leica The SL2.

It’s not a surprise that with 102MP available The GFX 100S is in a league of its own in terms of resolving high-quality detail. Incredibly, the Hasselblad is able to get very close to capturing images with the same level of detail as of the larger resolution A7R IV, which shows that it has the benefit of the added clarity offered by a bigger medium-format sensor.

Range of dynamic:(Image credit: Future)

Dynamic range is a measurement of the camera’s ability to capture extreme brightness ranges while retaining detail in the darkest and brightest regions in the picture. It is expressed as EV (exposure numbers, also known as “stops”).

The GFX 100S , as well as the Hasselblad 907X are equal in terms of their the dynamic range for lower sensitivity, but the Fujifilm camera can offer an advantage of two stops at ISO 12800 and higher. Although the fully-frame Leica SL2 can stick with the medium format cameras for low sensitivities, it isn’t able to provide the same range of dynamic that the GFX does once you get past ISO 800.

Signal to Noise ratio:(Image credit: Future)

This test measures how much random noise produced by the camera at various ISO settings in relation to the proportion of the actual information in the image (the signal). The higher the value, the better. we can expect to see the ratio of signal to noise decrease as the ISO is increased.

All four cameras yield similar results, however the Hasselblad does have slightly ahead with higher sensitivities. This could be because of its larger, more sensitive photosites being less susceptible to producing image noise than the more pixel-rich sensor of the GFX 100S.

VERDICT

It’s not difficult to understand why people would choose the GFX 100S over its predecessor that was which was the GFX 100. The older model has its advantages, but is now rather bulky and costly.

The GFX 100S lighter and smaller than other 100MP medium-format camera but but it’s significantly less expensive (it costs $5,999 or PS5,499 or AU$9,499) which makes it more affordable. It’s still expensive for a lot of photographers (even professional photographers) however it does show that photography in medium formats is becoming more popular.

Similar to its predecessor, the GFX 100S isn’t perfect – the autofocus capabilities isn’t suited to every situation for shooting and image stabilization does not quite meet what’s stated on the tin, however everything else is outweighed by the image quality you’ll get with this model. With outstanding dynamic range, tone and depth of color, stunning resolution, and the capability to crop as large as you’d like and print as big as you’d like the camera is well worthy of the investment to anyone looking for an extremely versatile medium format camera.

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