It has now been three years since Fujifilm introduced its GFX medium format system to the market. Since then, the company has gained a lot of traction by releasing a number of top notch lenses for the system, as well as a total of three medium format cameras. The Fujifilm GFX 100 is the latest and the most capable of the three, featuring a 44x33mm high-resolution 100 MP sensor supported by the first-of-its-kind (for medium format) 5-axis image stabilization system. Fuji engineers put quite a lot of effort into the GFX 100 to differentiate it from all other medium format cameras on the market. It sports on-sensor phase-detection autofocus (world’s first for MF), dual UHS-II compatible SD card slots, dual battery compartment, programmable OLED information screens, a powerful processor capable of handling 4K video recording – all tucked in a weather-proof, magnesium alloy camera body. Simply put, it is the most complete and the most feature-rich medium format camera on the market today.
At $10K, the Fuji GFX 100 is an expensive camera – that’s some serious green for a very serious camera. However, when compared to its competitors that want to charge $20-30K+ for their MF cameras, the GFX 100 looks quite reasonable. And once you factor in all its features and advantages, you will realize that the camera has no real competition on the market today, and looks like it will stay this way for a number of years in the future.
I have been shooting with the GFX 100 for the past four months now, so I have quite a bit of experience that I want to share with our readers in this review.
When Fujifilm and Hasselblad debuted their 50 MP mirrorless medium format cameras, many photographers wondered if the system was worth moving into, considering that there were full-frame cameras with similar resolution. On one hand, these cameras offered excellent image quality, but on the other hand, they were slow to focus, had limited lens selection and had all kinds of bugs and issues that needed to be ironed out. For many photographers, it just did not make sense to move up to medium format only to end up with a larger system with compromises.
However, with the release of the GFX 100, Fujifilm showed the real potential of its medium format system, and what we can expect from it in the future. With a 100 MP sensor, in-body image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, intuitive menu system, long battery life and weather-sealed professional body, the GFX 100 instantly became a highly desirable camera that ticks all the checkboxes, matching or exceeding the features of some of the very best full-frame cameras on the market today.
It is important to note that there isn’t a huge difference in size between full-frame and medium format sensors – this is especially true for sensors used on Fujifilm GFX, Hasselblad X1D and Pentax 645 series cameras. Take a look at the below illustration to compare sizes of sensors:
Unlike APS-C and full-frame, medium format does not strictly define one particular sensor size. As you can see, the sensor on the Fuji GFX 100 (just like on the GFX 50S / 50R, Pentax 645Z and the Hasselblad X1D-50c), is significantly smaller compared to the medium format sensor found on a camera like the Hasselblad H6D-100c. In fact, while both Fujifilm GFX 100 and Hasselblad H6D-100c have 100 MP sensors, the latter has a bigger sensor size (and hence bigger pixel size).
One should understand that moving up to “medium format” can differ quite a bit depending on what size of medium format sensor they choose. There is also a huge cost premium involved when moving up to the largest 53.5mm x 40mm sensors. For example, the Hasselblad H6D-100c retails for $33K, over 3x more than what the GFX 100 goes for. Think of the sensor size on Fuji GFX, Hasselblad X1D and Pentax 645 as crop-sensor medium format, because that’s what it really is…
This is the reason why Fuji decided to put its resources towards APS-C and medium format cameras, skipping full-frame entirely. While moving up from an APS-C camera to medium format represents a drastic difference in image quality, the difference is much smaller when moving from full-frame to crop-sensor medium format. The main difference at the moment in resolution – the highest resolution offered by full-frame cameras is 60 MP at 3.76µ pixel pitch (Sony A7R IV), whereas the Fuji GFX 100 is simply a 100 MP version with the same pixel pitch (in fact, if it wasn’t for the 4:3 aspect ratio of the system, it would have been a 90 MP 3:2 sensor). This is why it simply did not make sense for Fuji to invest in a full-frame system.
2) Fuji GFX 100 Specifications
Main Features and Specifications:
- Sensor: 101.8 MP, 3.76µ pixel size
- Sensor Size: 43.8 x 32.9mm
- Resolution: 11,648 x 8,736
- Native ISO Sensitivity: 100-12,800
- Extended ISO Sensitivity: 50, 25,600-102,400
- RAW File Bit Depth: Up to 16-bit
- In-Body Image Stabilization: Yes
- Weather Sealing/Protection: Yes
- Processor: X-Processor 4
- Mechanical Shutter: 60 minutes to 1/4000
- Electronic Shutter: 60 minutes to 1/16000
- Storage: 2x SD slots (UHS-II compatible)
- Viewfinder: 5.76 Million-dot OLED Color Viewfinder
- Viewfinder Coverage: 100%
- Speed: 5.0 FPS
- Built-in Flash: No
- Autofocus System: Phase / Contrast Detection AF
- Autofocus Points: 3,760,000
- Focusing Modes: AF-S, AF-C and Manual
- LCD Screen: 3.2 inch, Approx. 2.36 Million-dot Tilting LCD
- OLED Displays: Top and Rear
- Touch Functionality: Yes
- Video Recording: Up to 4K @ 30p
- WiFi / Bluetooth: Yes / Yes
- GPS: No
- USB Slot: Type-C (USB 3.0)
- Battery Type: 2x NP-T125 Li-ion Battery
- Weight: 1,400g (Body, EVF and Batteries)
- Dimensions: 156mm (W) x 164mm (H) x 103mm (D)
- Price: $9,999 MSRP
A detailed list of camera specifications is available at Fujifim.com