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 – Performance

After a couple of weeks shooting with the GFX100, what’s impressed me most is how little it feels like a medium-format camera. Obviously it’s not as blisteringly quick as Canon and Nikon’s similarly-sized pro sports models, but it’s more than fast enough for the majority of subjects. It’s also unexpectedly easy to use.

Fujifilm GFX100 Tower Bridge

The GFX100 delivers ground-breaking mage quality for its price, while being easy to use. GF32-64mm F4 at 53.6mm, 1/180sec at f/8, ISO 200

Previously, I’ve got used to writing about how you need impeccable photographic technique to make the best use of high-resolution cameras. But with its PDAF, IBIS and vibration-free shutter, the GFX100 makes it implausibly simple to get sharp, blur-free images time after time while shooting hand-held. This brings far more fluidity and mobility to your photography, which can be invaluable when you have a brief window of stunning light to exploit, for example.

Fujifilm GFX100, GF100mmF2 R LM WR. 1/420sec at f/7.1, ISO 100

Of course, a high-resolution sensor is nothing without a decent lens in front of it, and special mention has to be made of Fujifilm’s supreme optics. I used the GFX100 with the GF110mm F2 R WR portrait lens, the GF120mm F4 Macro R LM OIS WR, and the GF 32-64mm F4 R LM WR wideangle zoom, which are all practically flawless. Indeed the latter might just be the finest zoom I’ve ever used, and capable of rendering fine details right into the corners of the frame, even when viewing files close-up onscreen.

100% crop from bottom right corner

The image of Mount Fuji above was shot with the GF 1o0mm F2 R LM WR, and to get an idea of just how much detail is recorded in the foreground trees, here’s a 100% crop. This may not look like anything much different to other cameras, until you realise that when viewed on a standard 96dpi monitor, this is akin to staring up-close at a print somewhere around 3 metres wide. Oh and it’s taken from the extreme bottom right corner of the frame.

Fujifilm GFX100 close-up

Fujifilm GFX100 + GF 120mm F4 Macro, 1/400sec at f/4.5, ISO 100

Here’s another example of the GFX100’s stunning resolution. This is an extreme crop of a lucky snap of a honey bee, taken with the 120mm f/4 macro. It would happily print to 10 x 8 inches, despite representing only about 7% of the overall image area.

Fujifilm GFX100 landscape image sample

The GFX100 gives astonishing image quality, with immense levels of detail and vast dynamic range. GF 32-64mm F4 at 32mm, 1/240sec at f/8, ISO 200

Metering is generally very accurate, and it’s easy to see in the viewfinder when you’re in danger of either clipping highlights or underexposing, and adjust accordingly. Aside from the sensor’s staggering levels of detail, it also records vast dynamic range, giving you scope to expose for the highlights even in extremely high-contrast situations, then simply bring up the shadows in raw processing. At low ISO settings the GFX100 gives results that comfortably surpass even the best full-frame cameras, as well as its current 50MP GFX models.

Fujifilm GFX100 high-ISO portrait

High-ISO image quality is very good indeed. GF 120mm F4 macro, 1/200 sec at f/4, ISO 8000. Thanks to TimeLine Events, model: Charlotte

The sensor is no slouch at high ISOs either, and a big advance on the older 50MP cameras; I’d have no hesitation in selecting its highest standard ISO 12,800 setting when necessary. The in-body IS also works very well, and means you don’t have to worry about keeping shutter speeds high simply to avoid camera shake. However if you’re doing a lot of low-light shooting a full-frame system would probably make more sense, due to the widespread availability of high-quality fast primes.

Fujifilm GFX100 IBIS example

Here the IBIS allowed me to stop down for depth-of-field while shooting hand-held. GF32-64mm F4 at 32mm, 1/4 sec at f/16, ISO 100

Fujifilm’s in-camera colour processing is peerless, with a whole suite of attractive film simulation modes to choose from. For colour I tend to prefer Astia, or ProNegS for portraits, while Acros delivers wonderful black & white images. Unfortunately Adobe software doesn’t yet replicate these profiles, but it’s sure to sooner rather than later. Auto white balance is pretty much perfect, and I rarely felt the need to diverge far from the camera’s judgement when processing raw files.

Fujifilm GFX100 portrait sample

Fujifilm’s ProNegS mode gives a wonderfully natural-looking colour palette to this portrait, complemented by smooth skin effect processing. GF110mm F4 Macro, 1/150sec at f/4, ISO 400. Thanks to TimeLine Events, model: Yasmin

Portrait photographers should certainly appreciate the Smooth Skin Effect setting, which essentially lowers the contrast of moderately fine detail to give a more flattering complexion (rather like setting the new Texture slider in Lightroom to a negative value). Just be aware that this affects every tone in the image, not just skin, so landscape photographers (for example) will want to turn it off.

We’d like to thank TimeLine Events for setting up the portrait samples used in this review.

  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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