Hands-on with the new 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100S

Hands on with the new 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100S

Coming (relatively) hot on the heels of the groundbreaking GFX 100, Fujifilm’s latest medium-format camera brings 100MP to the masses, at an MSRP of $5,999. That’s not small change, by any means, but for those photographers hungry for resolution (and for the latest sensor tech) the GFX 100S will be a more attractive – and probably more practical – option than its immediate predecessor.

We’ve had a preproduction GFX 100S in our hands for a few days: keep reading to learn more about Fujifilm’s newest medium-format camera.

102MP Medium-format (44 x 33mm) BSI-CMOS sensor

At the heart of the Fujifilm GFX 100S is the same 102MP sensor as its big brother, the original GFX 100. Quite apart from the extraordinary resolution, this dual-gain sensor also offers on-chip phase-detection (with 100% coverage) and meaningful improvements in terms of noise and dynamic range compared to the 50MP sensor used in the GFX 50S and 50R. Autofocus speeds are really impressive for a medium-format camera, and not too far behind some more ‘mainstream’ full-frame cameras (though this does depend on the lens used).

The fact that this sensor is now available in a camera costing ~$6,000 will be counted as very good news for anyone invested in or curious about the GFX system who balked at the cost of the GFX 100. To help keep the GFX 100S as compact as possible, Fujifilm has redesigned the shutter unit. The new shutter is 22% lighter and 16% smaller than the shutter in the original GFX 100, and is pleasantly quiet in operation.

New compact IBIS unit

Remarkably, as well as matching the resolution of the original GFX 100, the 100S also offers one of that camera’s most useful features – inbuilt image stabilization. The mechanism is different, though. Again, Fujifilm has designed a more compact stabilization unit, to keep the overall size of the 100S within reasonable limits. Fujifilm claims that the new IBIS mechanism is 20% smaller and 10% lighter.

The GFX 100’s stabilization was a real help when shooting at or close to 1/fl, but we’ve never been completely convinced by Fujifilm’s claim 5.5EV of correction (after extended use with various lenses, we couldn’t reliably get close to that). That seems to have changed somewhat with the 100S, and despite it being more compact, Fujifilm claims stabilization effective ‘up to 6EV’. Plenty of images in our sample gallery were taken at 1/fl, so this new mechanism is seriously impressive.

Part of the improvement comes from the fact that unlike the GFX 100, the GFX 100S’s IBIS system can work in concert with the optical stabilization system in some Fujifilm lenses.

DSLR-like ergonomics

Wheres the GFX 100 feels like a real block of a camera, the X100S handles more like a slightly overbuilt DSLR, even down to the very conventional PASM dial on the upper left of the top plate. The massive 1.8in upper status screen is retained though, which is great.

And like the GFX 100, this screen stays ‘on’ even when the camera is powered off. This takes a bit of getting used to, but means that even when the camera is off, you can check the status of key shooting settings at a glance. You can also opt for the screen to show a graphical representation of shutter speed and ISO dials, or a histogram.

3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder

One downgrade (potentially) compared to the GFX 100 is in the 100S’s electronic viewfinder. The most obvious difference is that it’s fixed, rather than being removable. We suspect that won’t bother the majority of photographers, for whom the resolution drop from 5.67M-dots to 3.69M-dots will likely be more impactful.

This view also shows the redesigned AF joystick, just to the right of the LCD screen. The new design is meant to be more ‘grippy’ and offers 8-way manipulation of your autofocus area, compared to the 4-way allowed on the GFX 100.

3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder

Despite the lower resolution compared to Fujifilm’s flagship, the GFX 100S’s EVF is easily sharp and detailed enough, and offers a good magnification of 0.77X. This, plus the decent 85fps refresh rate makes it competitive against most of its mirrorless peers for everyday photography.

This shot shows off the relative compactness of the GFX 100S, which handles very much like a lot of full-frame DSLRs and some of the larger ILCs (it’s smaller in some dimensions than the Panasonic Lumix S1R, and is only 2 grams heavier). Bear in mind though that unlike a lot of its peers, there is no provision for an additional vertical control grip. If you need 100MP and vertical controls, you’ll have to cough up $4,000 more for the GFX 100.

Articulating Rear LCD

On the rear of the GFX 100S is a 3.2″ 2.36M-dot Dual Axis LCD. The display is touch-sensitive, and articulated in the same way as the GFX 50S and GFX 100. It can tilt up and out, and an additional hinge on the right side edge allows the screen to be tilted out partially when the camera is used in the vertical orientation.

Battery

In another concession to size, the Fujifilm GFX 100S uses a smaller battery than the GFX 100, and in fact it’s the same NP-W235 battery that is used in the X-T4. Despite its smaller physical size, battery life (per CIPA) is very good: Fujifilm claims that a full charge should be good for 460 exposures, and (as always) we’d expect that in normal use, the actual number will increase significantly.

Twin SD card slots

Hidden under a door in the grip are slots for twin SD cards. The Fujifilm GFX 100S supports SD cards up to the UHS-II standard, and can capture images continuously at up to 5fps, with continuous AF (provided you’re shooting 14-bit stills; 16-bit drops to single drive only). If you’re shooting the largest Raw or TIFF formats on the 100S, it’s best to pony up for the fastest UHS-II memory cards you can buy – the added speed is absolutely worth it.

Fujifilm recently added a multi-shot high-resolution mode to the GFX 100 via firmware, and the 100S ships with this mode straight out of the gate. While quite limited in application (we’ve found that even slight movement somewhere in the scene can create issues) this gives photographers the option of creating 400MP files. This isn’t something you’ll need to do often (or maybe ever) but it could be a useful feature for museums or industrial archiving, and for still-life work intended for extremely large reproduction.

4K/30p video

In addition to stills, the GFX 100S can also capture video, at up to 4K/30 with no crop. This is the same basic spec as the original GFX 100, and like that camera, the 100S comes with a full complement of ports for connectivity – HDMI and USB C, plus headphone, microphone and flash sync.

The ports are hidden behind a rubber door. Fujifilm claims the same level of weather-resistance in the GFX 100S as the original GFX 50S. As such, its magnesium alloy body is widely sealed against dust and moisture incursion, and should stand up to use outdoors in tough conditions.

Hands on with the new 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100S

So that’s the Fujifilm GFX 100S! in our opinion, based on our initial impressions, Fujifilm’s latest medium-format camera might be its most attractive yet, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Hands on with the new 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100S

Coming (relatively) hot on the heels of the groundbreaking GFX 100, Fujifilm’s latest medium-format camera brings 100MP to the masses, at an MSRP of $5,999. That’s not small change, by any means, but for those photographers hungry for resolution (and for the latest sensor tech) the GFX 100S will be a more attractive – and probably more practical – option than its immediate predecessor.
We’ve had a preproduction GFX 100S in our hands for a few days: keep reading to learn more about Fujifilm’s newest medium-format camera.
102MP Medium-format (44 x 33mm) BSI-CMOS sensor

At the heart of the Fujifilm GFX 100S is the same 102MP sensor as its big brother, the original GFX 100. Quite apart from the extraordinary resolution, this dual-gain sensor also offers on-chip phase-detection (with 100% coverage) and meaningful improvements in terms of noise and dynamic range compared to the 50MP sensor used in the GFX 50S and 50R. Autofocus speeds are really impressive for a medium-format camera, and not too far behind some more ‘mainstream’ full-frame cameras (though this does depend on the lens used).
The fact that this sensor is now available in a camera costing ~$6,000 will be counted as very good news for anyone invested in or curious about the GFX system who balked at the cost of the GFX 100. To help keep the GFX 100S as compact as possible, Fujifilm has redesigned the shutter unit. The new shutter is 22% lighter and 16% smaller than the shutter in the original GFX 100, and is pleasantly quiet in operation.
New compact IBIS unit

Remarkably, as well as matching the resolution of the original GFX 100, the 100S also offers one of that camera’s most useful features – inbuilt image stabilization. The mechanism is different, though. Again, Fujifilm has designed a more compact stabilization unit, to keep the overall size of the 100S within reasonable limits. Fujifilm claims that the new IBIS mechanism is 20% smaller and 10% lighter.
The GFX 100’s stabilization was a real help when shooting at or close to 1/fl, but we’ve never been completely convinced by Fujifilm’s claim 5.5EV of correction (after extended use with various lenses, we couldn’t reliably get close to that). That seems to have changed somewhat with the 100S, and despite it being more compact, Fujifilm claims stabilization effective ‘up to 6EV’. Plenty of images in our sample gallery were taken at 1/fl, so this new mechanism is seriously impressive.
Part of the improvement comes from the fact that unlike the GFX 100, the GFX 100S’s IBIS system can work in concert with the optical stabilization system in some Fujifilm lenses.
DSLR-like ergonomics

Wheres the GFX 100 feels like a real block of a camera, the X100S handles more like a slightly overbuilt DSLR, even down to the very conventional PASM dial on the upper left of the top plate. The massive 1.8in upper status screen is retained though, which is great.
And like the GFX 100, this screen stays ‘on’ even when the camera is powered off. This takes a bit of getting used to, but means that even when the camera is off, you can check the status of key shooting settings at a glance. You can also opt for the screen to show a graphical representation of shutter speed and ISO dials, or a histogram.
3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder

One downgrade (potentially) compared to the GFX 100 is in the 100S’s electronic viewfinder. The most obvious difference is that it’s fixed, rather than being removable. We suspect that won’t bother the majority of photographers, for whom the resolution drop from 5.67M-dots to 3.69M-dots will likely be more impactful.
This view also shows the redesigned AF joystick, just to the right of the LCD screen. The new design is meant to be more ‘grippy’ and offers 8-way manipulation of your autofocus area, compared to the 4-way allowed on the GFX 100.
3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder

Despite the lower resolution compared to Fujifilm’s flagship, the GFX 100S’s EVF is easily sharp and detailed enough, and offers a good magnification of 0.77X. This, plus the decent 85fps refresh rate makes it competitive against most of its mirrorless peers for everyday photography.
This shot shows off the relative compactness of the GFX 100S, which handles very much like a lot of full-frame DSLRs and some of the larger ILCs (it’s smaller in some dimensions than the Panasonic Lumix S1R, and is only 2 grams heavier). Bear in mind though that unlike a lot of its peers, there is no provision for an additional vertical control grip. If you need 100MP and vertical controls, you’ll have to cough up $4,000 more for the GFX 100.
Articulating Rear LCD

On the rear of the GFX 100S is a 3.2″ 2.36M-dot Dual Axis LCD. The display is touch-sensitive, and articulated in the same way as the GFX 50S and GFX 100. It can tilt up and out, and an additional hinge on the right side edge allows the screen to be tilted out partially when the camera is used in the vertical orientation.
Battery

In another concession to size, the Fujifilm GFX 100S uses a smaller battery than the GFX 100, and in fact it’s the same NP-W235 battery that is used in the X-T4. Despite its smaller physical size, battery life (per CIPA) is very good: Fujifilm claims that a full charge should be good for 460 exposures, and (as always) we’d expect that in normal use, the actual number will increase significantly.
Twin SD card slots

Hidden under a door in the grip are slots for twin SD cards. The Fujifilm GFX 100S supports SD cards up to the UHS-II standard, and can capture images continuously at up to 5fps, with continuous AF (provided you’re shooting 14-bit stills; 16-bit drops to single drive only). If you’re shooting the largest Raw or TIFF formats on the 100S, it’s best to pony up for the fastest UHS-II memory cards you can buy – the added speed is absolutely worth it.
Fujifilm recently added a multi-shot high-resolution mode to the GFX 100 via firmware, and the 100S ships with this mode straight out of the gate. While quite limited in application (we’ve found that even slight movement somewhere in the scene can create issues) this gives photographers the option of creating 400MP files. This isn’t something you’ll need to do often (or maybe ever) but it could be a useful feature for museums or industrial archiving, and for still-life work intended for extremely large reproduction.
4K/30p video

In addition to stills, the GFX 100S can also capture video, at up to 4K/30 with no crop. This is the same basic spec as the original GFX 100, and like that camera, the 100S comes with a full complement of ports for connectivity – HDMI and USB C, plus headphone, microphone and flash sync.
The ports are hidden behind a rubber door. Fujifilm claims the same level of weather-resistance in the GFX 100S as the original GFX 50S. As such, its magnesium alloy body is widely sealed against dust and moisture incursion, and should stand up to use outdoors in tough conditions.
Hands on with the new 100MP Fujifilm GFX 100S

So that’s the Fujifilm GFX 100S! in our opinion, based on our initial impressions, Fujifilm’s latest medium-format camera might be its most attractive yet, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments.Read MoreArticles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

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