With the 102-million-pixel GFX100, Fujifilm has made the most practical ultra-high-resolution camera yet. Andy Westlake explores what this means.
Fujifilm GFX100 – Verdict
It’s easy for us to get blasé about all the new cameras that pass through the AP office. While they’re constantly improving, they don’t often bring something completely new to the table. However, just occasionally one comes along that offers a step-change in capability, and the GFX100 is a perfect example. It completely redefines what’s possible in a sub-£10,000 camera.
It’s not just the jaw-dropping image quality that matters here, although the resolution and dynamic range are unparalleled for a camera of this size or price. It’s also the ease with which you can take full advantage of that astonishing sensor. Shooting with the GFX100 and getting high-quality 102MP files is really no more difficult than using one of Fujifilm’s APS-C X-system models.
Indeed where ultra-high-resolution medium format was once the preserve of the studio, the GFX100 is perfectly home on location. It’s not excessively large or heavy and is easy to shoot hand-held, while the autofocus is strikingly quicker than the current GFX 50R and 50S models. Landscape photographers should find it perfectly realistic to trek a couple of miles carrying the body and two or three lenses in a backpack.
The camera’s biggest drawbacks relate to handling, and specifically the tiny controls, mismatched grip layouts and uncomfortable portrait grip, which fall well short of what we’d expect from a £10,000 professional model. But these flaws become more forgivable when you look at the extraordinary output. This is a niche camera for sure, but for photographers craving the maximum possible detail without sacrificing mobility, it’s an absolute revelation.
An astonishing technical achievement and the best ultra-high resolution camera yet, but let down by some handling flaws