With the 102-million-pixel GFX100, Fujifilm has made the most practical ultra-high-resolution camera yet. Andy Westlake explores what this means.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Fujifilm GFX100

Features:
Build/Handling:
Autofocus:
AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
Image quality:
LCD viewfinder:

Pros:

  • + Absolutely superlative image quality comfortably surpasses any full-frame camera
  • + In-body stabilisation allows practical hand-held shooting in most lighting conditions
  • + Superb viewfinder and screen gives excellent experience when composing images
  • + Stunning JPEG processing with excellent colour and detail

Cons:

  • - Control layout is less coherent and engaging than Fujifilm’s other cameras
  • - Small buttons and dials are fiddly to operate
  • - Uncomfortable vertical grip, with different control layout to main grip

Product:

Fujifilm GFX100 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£9,999.00 (Body Only)

Fujifilm GFX100 – Build and handling

In terms of design, the GFX100 resembles a pro-level full-frame SDLR, with an integrated vertical grip to accommodate a pair of hefty MP-T125 batteries, and a duplicate set of controls for portrait-format shooting At 156.2 x 163.6mm x 102.9mm and 1400g in weight (including both batteries), it’s very similar in size to the full-frame Nikon D5 or Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. With two separate magnesium alloy shells, one for the outer body and another to protect the core imaging components inside, it’s also built to withstand tough conditions, being dust- and water-resistant and freeze-proof to -10 °C. This all makes it much more robust and easier to handle than conventional medium-format DSLRs.

Fujifilm GFX100

This top view shows the GFX100’s rather unconventional controls.

Strikingly, the GFX 100 does away with the analogue shutter speed and exposure compensation dials that are a hallmark of Fujifilm’s other cameras. Instead it employs pairs of electronic dials on each grip to control shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation, with the aperture set using a ring on the lens. There’s no conventional exposure mode dial: when the aperture ring is set to its A position, a button beside the top LCD cycles between shutter priority and program modes; otherwise it toggles between aperture priority and manual. Holding this button down for a couple of seconds also locks the shutter speed. A large dial on the top-plate switches between stills and video modes, allowing optimised settings to be retained for each.

Fujifilm GFX100

An unlabelled button beside the top display changes exposure modes

The rear LCD is touch-sensitive, which can be useful for setting the focus point and browsing through images, and in particular for operating the onscreen Q menu. However it’s a touch laggy, and can’t be used to navigate the main menus. So while it’s nice to have, it’s not as useful as those we’ve seen on recent high-resolution full-frame models such as the Panasonic S1R and Nikon Z7.

Fujifilm GFX100

The LCD is touch sensitive, which is great for positioning the focus point or changing settings via the onscreen Q Menu.

Fujifilm has, however, made some uncharacteristic errors with regards to the handling. The control dials, buttons and joysticks are all tiny, and very difficult to operate with gloves. The main grip is nicely sculpted with a thick rubber coating, but the vertical grip is just a slim slab of bare metal, making it distinctly uncomfortable to hold. The control layout is also inconsistent between the two grips, with the exposure compensation and AE-L buttons in different places; this is compounded by the fact that so many of the buttons are unlabelled. Meanwhile the portrait grip AF-selection joystick is difficult to locate as it’s recessed behind a ridge on the back. This really shouldn’t be the case on a professional camera costing £10k.

Fujifilm GFX100

Unfortunately the portrait grip is awful, with no rubberised coating and a different layout to the main grip

However there’s plenty of customisation on offer, and with a little tweaking the camera’s most egregious handling flaws can be mitigated. Most importantly, setting the exposure compensation button mode to Switch means that the rear dial continues to operate this setting until you disable it again, regardless of whether you turn the camera on or off. Even at its best, though, the GFX100 doesn’t really handle how a professional camera should. This stands in stark contrast to the similarly-shaped Olympus OM-D E-M1X, which works like a dream, with large easy-to-use controls and a vertical grip that closely mirrors the main one. But the GFX100 has a sensor that’s more than six times as large, so the image quality is incomparable.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Fujifilm GFX100 - Features
  3. 3. Fujifilm GFX100 - Build and handling
  4. 4. Fujifilm GFX100 - Viewfinder and screen
  5. 5. Fujifilm GFX100 - Performance
  6. 6. Fujifilm GFX100 - Image quality
  7. 7. Fujifilm GFX100 - Verdict
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