Fujifilm GFX 100 Review – The Fujifilm GFX100 sets new standards in mirrorless medium format – Packed with technological highlights
The GFX100 not only sets new standards in terms of resolution (102 megapixel resolution) , it also sets new standards in autofocus, the sensor-shift image stabilizer used for the first time in medium format, and even in the video function.
With the Fujifilm GFX100 the manufacturer has introduced its new medium format top model. The camera not only sets new standards in terms of resolution but also breaks new ground in terms of operation. I had the opportunity to try out the camera for a few hours and describe my impressions here.
At the heart of the Fujifilm GFX100 is the newly developed medium format sensor measuring approximately 44 by 33 millimetres, which with its 55 millimetre diagonal offers 1.7 times the surface area of a 35 mm sensor. For the first time in medium format, a back-illuminated sensor is used to improve the light yield of the 102 megapixels. But that’s not all: Fujifilm knows, of course, that higher resolution makes blurring visible more quickly, and is not only counteracting this with a spring-loaded shutter, but above all with the movable bearing of the huge image sensor. According to CIPA test procedures, the image stabilizer allows 5.5 f-stops longer exposure times without blurring compared to any image stabilizer.
It also features 3.76 million phase autofocus measuring sensors integrated on it, which is also a first in medium format. The autofocus should thus work about twice as fast as a contrast autofocus. The autofocus covers 100 percent of the sensor area and offers modes such as single image, zone and far/tracking. The algorithms should be the same as in the X-T3 and X-T30. The GFX100 is also capable of face and eye recognition and tracking, which is particularly appealing to fashion and portrait photographers. Face recognition should also be able to handle faces in profile and erratic movements in the image section with confidence. The fourth-generation X processor with 16-bit colour depth takes care of image processing. However, the camera can not only store raws with 16-bit color depth, but also develop 16-bit TIFFs from them.
The Fujifilm GFX100 has three displays and a detachable electronic viewfinder, which is included. The OLED viewfinder resolves a fine 5.76 million pixels and offers 0.86x magnification in 35 mm equivalent (sensor-related the magnification factor is 0.68x). The viewfinder can also be swivelled horizontally and vertically using an optional adapter solution. The rear screen is also movable, it can be folded up, down and sideways. With a diagonal of 8.1 centimeters, the LC display, which is even a touch screen, has a resolution of 2.36 million pixels. Directly below it is a 5.2-centimetre information display. On top of the camera there is also a 4.6 centimetre info LCD.
The case of the Fujifilm GFX100 is made of a light metal alloy and is of course sealed against dust and splash water. With dimensions of 15.6 by 16.4 by 10.3 centimetres and a weight of 1.4 kilograms, it plays in the same size league as professional full-format DSLRs despite the larger image sensor. Two NP-T125 batteries are used in the integrated portrait format handle, which should provide juice for around 800 shots, provided the LC display is used. Both recharging of the batteries and continuous power supply via power packs should be possible via the USB-C interface.
In terms of operating concept, Fujifilm is moving away from the traditional path of its previous medium format cameras and moving towards multifunction wheels instead of the previous dedicated analogue wheels with fixed setting steps for exposure time and ISO sensitivity. As a “consolation” for lovers of traditional operation, rotating wheels with values are shown on the upper info display. However, the optical coupling to the rotating wheels is less given. Otherwise, Fujifilm uses keys rather sparingly to make the camera more clearly arranged.
The video function achieves 30 frames per second in 4K resolution, either in 16:9 or 17:9, in the latter approximately 44 by 23 millimetres of the sensor surface are used, i.e. the full sensor width. This corresponds to an image diagonal of almost fifty millimetres and thus even outstrips many a professional video camera. The sensor is read for oversampling with 50.5 megapixels, which is supposed to improve the image quality. Internally, videos can be recorded in 4:2:0 with H.265 compression with 10-bit color depth, externally even with 4:2:2, and the GFX100 can also handle F-Log for post-production and HLG for HDR video recording. Those who want to give their videos a cinema look can also activate the film simulation Eterna. An external microphone connection is also available.
The GFX100 connects wirelessly to other devices via Bluetooth and WLAN. For the first time in the GFX series, WLAN is also supported on fast 5 GHz. Geotagging via smartphone, a smartphone remote control as well as image transfer to smartphones, but also PCs is no problem. Tethered shooting is also supported, for example with Adobe Lightroom or Capture One Fujifilm, which is available in a free and a paid version. The Fujifilm GFX100 is available since November 2019 at a price of almost 11,000 euros.
The GFX100 sensor has a resolution of 102 megapixels. That’s a lot, even given its surface area of 43.8 x 32.9 mm. If you were to use only the 35 mm 35 mm format (crop to 36 x 24 mm), you’d have more than 60.8 megapixels left – more than any 35 mm camera currently available. The pixel density corresponds to that of Fujifilm’s X-T3 and X-T30 APS-C cameras. So it is good that it is a sensor in BSI technology that lets as much light as possible pass through to photodiodes. Its conductor tracks made of copper (in contrast to the usual aluminium) allow a fast readout of the enormous amount of data.
Shooting such finely resolved images without blurring is not easy. Fujifilm knows this, of course, and has built a sensor shift image stabilizer into the GFX100 (in contrast to the two 50-megapixel models in the GFX series). This is used with all lenses that do not have a built-in image stabilizer. GFX lenses with longer focal lengths that have a built-in stabilizer with movable lenses use only the stabilizer in the lens. It is possible that Fujifilm will deliver a combined operation with later firmware updates, this is not yet certain. With lenses without built-in image stabilizer, the body’s internal stabilizer performs very well and, according to Fujifilm, should allow up to 5.5 f-stops longer exposures from the hand. Thus, one can easily take pictures with the camera without a tripod. And even with videos, the stabilizer compensates for fine shakes or small wobbles, so that high-resolution 4K videos can be made from the hand.
In general, Fujifilm has done everything possible to keep vibrations and other influences away from the sensor. For example, the GFX100 is very elaborately designed with a housing within a housing. The outer housing consists of three die-cast magnesium parts: Front and back as well as upper part. An inner housing consisting of two die-cast parts is screwed into this. Its front part holds the bayonet, the rear part holds the image stabilizer unit with the sensor. The lens and sensor can therefore be mounted in perfect flatness to each other and are therefore independent of the outer housing. In the front part of the inner housing (directly behind the bayonet) the unit for the slotted shutter is mounted. This is spring-mounted in an aluminium frame to completely decouple the shutter from the sensor unit. To capture 102 megapixels, you obviously have to do a lot as a manufacturer. The user does not notice anything of all the effort, except that the quality of the photos is right.
The entire handling is completely problem-free for the user after a short familiarization period. The GFX100 operates quickly, quietly and unobtrusively – just like other current mirrorless system cameras with much smaller sensors and less resolution. The powerful electronics shovel the large amounts of data onto the memory cards in the shortest possible time and Fujifilm meets the increased power consumption with two very large batteries (10.8 V, 1,250 mAh). These should theoretically provide for up to 800 photos according to CIPA standard. During our test phase we hadn’t come close to this value, after about 150 pictures the first battery was empty. But the camera was also turned on a lot without taking pictures, for example to study the menus or try different settings and view shots. Also included were some 4K videos. The batteries are discharged one at a time and the camera works with only one battery. This means that if necessary, one of the two can be charged externally while the other is being used for photography. Likewise, the camera can be recharged during recording pauses via an additional USB battery pack, provided that this supports PD (Power Delivery). It is not possible to operate the camera with empty batteries using only a power bank. For continuous operation in the studio, the GFX100 has a 15V power supply connection.
Only the large housing and the high weight remind you of course at any time that you are dealing with a large-format photo-bolide. The camera alone weighs 1.4 kg with 2 batteries and the interchangeable electronic viewfinder. Added to this is the lens, which of course is neither particularly small nor light with the large image circle of 55 millimetres. The GF32-46mmF4 lens that I used in the test weighs another 875 grams, for example, which is a total of just under 2.3 kilograms. Nevertheless, I must say that I (actually a lover of small to very small cameras) enjoyed my day with the GFX100 a lot and I didn’t mind the weight at all. The camera lies super in the hand, which you would perhaps not expect from the photos alone. The handle does not protrude too far, but it is very well shaped, so that the fingers can easily “claw” into it. With the 32-64mm zoom, the balance is so well balanced that you can carry the camera with the four finders of your hand alone, without having to hold your thumb against it. If one then takes the camera to the eye, a “croissant” makes sure that the thumb supports the camera without having to tighten it at all. You may find it hard to believe, but the quite large and quite heavy camera is therefore suitable for one hand.
The housing surface also contributes to the good grip. Fujifilm has opted for very modern, apparently relatively smooth surfaces, at least you won’t see any leather-like grain. In fact, the main grip area and everything that looks dark in the photos is covered with a rubber-like, very grippy coating and feels very comfortable. The grey areas on photos are actually painted metal. Here, Fujifilm has also chosen a very handy matt varnish, so that the camera is also very easy to handle in portrait format. Fujifilm’s designers have thus succeeded in creating a contemporary, not old-fashioned, but rather timelessly modern design, which is also helped by the two-color design, which is also super ergonomic.
The developers have also taken a bold step in terms of operation. Fujifilm actually stands here for a particularly “traditional” (“old-fashioned” is not something I can say in our website anymore. Readers can get really angry……..) operation with turning wheels for ISO number and exposure time. This may be good and practical for some users, but it does have its disadvantages. For example, such control elements cost a lot of space, which is then lacking for other things.
Sample image, taken with the Fujifilm GXR100, original (scaled by our image server).
0.7 megapixel crop from a 102 megapixel sample image. The sharpening artifacts come from the automatic image processing of our image server, which we unfortunately cannot fully depict here.
Fujifilm has therefore completely dispensed with this in the GFX100 and instead used the space on the left side of the case for a large mode/drive selector. On the right shoulder, on the other hand, a comparatively huge second display is enthroned, which offers plenty of space for all kinds of displays. It can assume three different states:
- In the first case, all important status information is stored on it, which is the mode I prefer at this point and which I have used primarily.
- Possibility two is aimed at lovers of analogue dials: these are then displayed virtually, which I also find quite a successful approach. The front dial, operated with the index finger, then sets the exposure time (labeled “S. S.” for Shutter Speed). The rear thumb wheel sets the ISO number. In addition, the aperture is displayed and a scale for exposure compensation. So the most important information graphically very appealing at a glance, what more do you want?
- A third mode displays a huge histogram only. You can have one, but you certainly don’t have to at this point. The other two display modes should be the more useful in practice.
To the right of the display is an unlabeled, larger button that is used to switch the exposure mode, i.e. normally between program and aperture priority (the aperture priority is activated by moving the aperture ring on the lens away from the A position). A smaller button switches through the three display modes described above, so they can be selected in a flash without detour via the menu. A third button switches the display illumination on. The shoulder display simultaneously changes the display from negative to positive. So if you find the positive presentation more beautiful, simply leave the lighting on. This should not have a serious impact on electricity consumption. By the way, the status display keeps its last indication (in white-on-black) even when the camera is “switched off” (actually it’s in standby), so it doesn’t seem to swallow much power.
Under the monitor, the GFX100 has another wide status display. This is also configurable, there are four different modes, which I will not go into detail here. But what I really liked at this point was the possibility to fade in the exposure compensation scale. So I can see immediately when I switch on the camera, quite clearly how the exposure compensation is set.
Enough to operate. Now for the picture quality. It’s great. Not only the sheer number of pixels is spectacular. The 102 megapixels also work really well. Noise is practically not an issue, and even at higher ISO levels, shots are still surprisingly good. Fujifilm has a really good grip on noise. The same goes for the detail preparation. The autofocus is also up to date. Thanks to hybrid autofocus with 3.76 million pixels, focusing is fast and reliable. Focusing with the existing GFX lenses should be 1.5 to 2 times faster compared to the two previous GFX cameras, which only had a contrast autofocus. In addition, a modern face and eye autofocus is available and can be individually configured to the shooting situation. The autofocus can be selected manually via the joystick (there are actually two, but depending on the landscape or portrait position, only the respective one is active) or via touchscreen (even when looking through the viewfinder). In group shots with several recognized faces, you can switch between the recognized faces to really focus on the main person. The depth of field is of course brutally small with such a large sensor. More often than not, I preselected a suitable small aperture on the GFX100 to get enough depth of field. The dynamic range is super. Of course, the Fujifilm-typical dynamic range settings are also available. I like to use the DR200 and DR400 to achieve high contrast images. When we shot in the glaring sunlight with lots of shadows, the situation was frequent. Fujifilm has also incorporated film simulations into this professional camera. My favourite is the Velvia film simulation, which is a little bit vivid-coloured, i.e. more intensive colors.
200-MByte raw files
The 102 megapixel photos of the Fujifilm GFX100 are almost exactly 200 MByte in size as raw files, without the JPEGs that might have been taken in parallel, which also weigh another 50 MByte in superfine quality. This makes some demands on the further processing. This is a lot, but nowadays it is actually easy to handle. Video filmmakers struggle with completely different amounts of data. But the images also need to be viewed and edited.
The current version of Adobe Lightroom Classic does open the raw files. However, there is currently no official support and the quality is currently (as of January 2020) not good either. In addition, even on quite up-to-date and powerful PC hardware, it takes a long time to display raw files in full resolution.
Phase One has also announced support for the GFX100 for its Capture One raw data converter. At the GFX100 launch event, a version that supported the GFX100 including tethering (camera remote control) was already running. However, the Capture One version that you can currently download does not yet support the GFX100.
There is practically nothing to criticize about the Fujifilm GRX100. The operating concept of the Fujifilm GFX100 is, if one gets involved, good and contemporary (nice that the GFX100 is not “retro” for once). Autofocus and speed set new standards for this sensor size and pixel number. The camera operates, if one wants it, like a beginner or middle class camera; because all necessary automatisms are available. But even the professional will find everything he needs, even for 4K videos at 30 fps using the full sensor width. At the same time, the camera including lens is still portable and can be used without a tripod even at the high 102 megapixel resolution thanks to the image stabilizer. With the GFX100, Fujifilm has really made a big hit.
Firmware updates and six GF lenses – Phase AF Compatibility
With the GFX100, Fujifilm is introducing for the first time in medium format, phased AF measuring points integrated on the image sensor, which are designed to double the autofocus speed compared to contrast autofocus. In order to fully exploit the potential, the lenses also need to be adapted, which will be done with the new firmware 1.10 for the following six of the current eight GF lenses:
- GF 45 mm F2.8 R WR
- GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR
- GF 120 mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro
- GF 250 mm F4 R LM OIS WR
- GF 32-64 mm F4 R LM WR
- GF 100-200 mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR
The firmware updates can be downloaded from the Fujifilm support website and installed by yourself using the instructions provided there. Those who do not think they can do this themselves should ask for help from Fujifilm or their dealer for customer support.
Fujifilm GFX100 Data sheet
|Sensor||CMOS sensor Medium format 44.0 x 33.0 mm (crop factor 0.8
)102.0 megapixels (effective)
|Image formats||JPG, RAW, TIF|
|Color depth||24 bits (8 bits per color channel), 42 bits (14 bits per color channel), 48 bits (16 bits per color channel)|
|Metadata||Exif (Version 2.3), IPTC|
|Audio format (video)||LPCM|
|Autofocus mode||Phase comparison autofocus with 425 sensors, contrast autofocus|
|Autofocus functions||Single AF, Continuous AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF Assist Light, Focus Peaking, Focus Magnifier|
|Sharpness control||Depth of Field Control|
Viewfinder and monitor
|Monitor||3.2″ (8.1 cm) OLED monitor with 2,360,000 pixels, non-reflective, tiltable, with touchscreen|
|Info display||additional info display (top) with lighting|
|Video finder||Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 5,760,000 pixels, 0.68x magnification factor, dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt)|
|Exposure metering||Center-weighted integral measurement, matrix/multi-field measurement over 256 fields, spot measurement|
|Exposure times||1/4,000 to 30 s (automatic
)1/4,000 to 30 s (manual)
1/16,000 to 30 s (electronic shutter)
Bulb with maximum 3,600 s exposure time
|Exposure control||Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual|
|Exposure bracketing function||Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 9 shots, step size from 1/3 to 3 EV|
|Exposure Compensation||-5.0 to +5.0 EV with step size of 1/3 EV|
|Photosensitivity||ISO 100 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 50 to ISO 102.400 (manual)
|Remote access||Remote release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet|
|White balance||Auto, Cloudy, Sunny, White balance bracket, Fine tuning, Shade, Underwater, Fluorescent lamp with 2 presets, Tungsten light, from 2,500 to 10,000 K, Manual|
|Continuous shooting||Continuous shooting function max. 5.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 14 stored photos, 5 frames per second max. 41 consecutive|
|Self-timer||Self-timer with interval of 10 s, special features: 2 seconds self-timer|
|Timer||Timer/interval recordings with max. 999 recordings, start time adjustable|
|Recording functions||AEL function, AFL function, live histogram|
|Flash||Flash shoe: not available|
|Flash range||Flash sync speed 1/125 s|
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
|second memory card slot||
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
|GPS function||GPS external (permanent smartphone connection)|
|Power supply unit||Power supply connectionUSB continuous power supplyUSB charging function|
|Power supply||2 x Fujifilm NP-T125800
images according to CIPA standard
|Playback functions||Crop images, image rotation, protect image, highlight / shadow warning, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, zoom out|
|Voice memo||Voice memo (LPCM format)|
|Face recognition||Face recognition|
|Image parameters||Sharpness, contrast, color saturation, noise reduction|
|Special functions||Electronic spirit level, Grid fade-in, Pixel mapping, Zebra function, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles|
|Connections||Data interfaces: Bluetooth, USB, WLANUSB Type
:USB 3.2 SuperSpeedPlusWLAN
: available (Type: A, ac, B, G, N)
|AV Connections||AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
Audio output: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
|Supported direct printing methods||Exif print|
|Special features and miscellaneous||Ultrasonic Sensor CleaningInternal
Raw Data ConverterVideo
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 EV stepsVideo
Shutter Speed 1/4000 to 1/4 second5
axes Image StabilizerFilm Simulation Shooting SeriesDynamic Range Shooting SeriesISO Exposure BracketFocusExposure Bracket 1-10 steps max. 999 shooting zones
AF (3×3, 5×5, 7×7 fields of 117 AF points from a 13 x 9 grid)
Tracking AF with max. 18 AF fieldsAuto
scene recognition for white balanceLens optimizationMulti-exposure functionFlickerreductionInterframe
recordingTimecodeFilm simulation modes
(Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, PRO Neg.
Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Eterna/Cinema, Black & White, Black & White+Yellow Filter, Black & White+Red Filter, Black & White+Green Filter, Sepia, Acros, Acros+Yellow Filter, Acros+Red Filter, Acros+Green Filter)
Size and weight
|Dimensions W x H x D||156 x 164 x 103 mm|
|Weight||1.400 g (ready for operation)|
|standard accessory||Fujifilm BC-T125 Special Battery ChargerFujifilm
EVF-GFX2 (Electronic Viewfinder)
Fujifilm NP-T125 Special Battery Power AdapterCase CoverShoulder StrapHolder+ LatchCable ProtectionReplaceableElectronic Viewfinder EVF-GFX2Shoe Cover
Connection Cover (EVF)
Sync Terminal CoverOperating Instructions
|additional accessories||Fujifilm AC-15V Power Supply|