Fuji GFX 100 Review: Summary
The Fujifilm GFX 100 is a powerful tool designed to yield detailed images in extreme resolution. It is the first mirrorless camera in the world to feature a 100 MP BSI CMOS sensor, and it is the first medium format camera to feature both IBIS and phase-detection autofocus. It is built like a tank and has enough weather sealing to withstand all kinds of weather conditions. In short – it is a high-end camera designed for professionals, the same way other top-of-the-line cameras like Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II are.
Fuji engineers wanted to really make their top camera shine, so they put everything they had in their arsenal into the GFX 100 to make it the most capable and the most versatile medium format camera on the market. They were surely able to achieve that, as the GFX 100 really stands out from the rest of the competition in almost every way – there is no other camera on the market that can even remotely match its capabilities. Without a doubt, the Fujifilm GFX 100 an exceptional tool for landscape, architecture and studio photographers.
However, in their quest to push for the best features and functionality, I am afraid Fuji engineers compromised the ergonomics of the camera. The GFX 100 is a complete ergonomic overhaul when compared to its predecessors, but sadly – not in a good way. As I detailed on the second page of this review, the GFX 100 has so many ergonomic issues, that they were alone sufficient enough for me not to consider upgrading to this camera from my GFX 50S. Some of the problems are very basic, such as lack of rubber on the vertical grip, while others beg the question: why?
Why are there nine unlabeled buttons? Why is the joystick so small on such a large camera? Why were the navigation buttons removed, and who thought it was a good idea to replace them with a joystick? Why are five buttons stacked on top of each other and have different sizes? Why did Fuji use such small front and rear dials that feel so cheap on a $10K camera? Why were the retro dials (which are the hallmark of Fujifilm cameras) removed? Why is the exposure compensation button placed in the worst possible place, making it hard to find without looking at the top of the camera? Why don’t the buttons illuminate at night? I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Fuji did so many things right, but simple ergonomics is where the camera fails big time. The Fuji GFX 100 is a hybrid that is strangely excellent and terrible at the same time. Even as an experienced Fuji shooter since the first days of X-series cameras, I struggled with the controls and the buttons of this camera, something I really did not expect to experience from Fuji, out of all companies. Heck, even the Sony A7R IV felt more intuitive compared to the GFX 100, which is surely not a compliment!
I might be too harsh towards the GFX 100, but considering that it is the top-of-the-line camera, I sure hope it is not where Fuji is going to be taking the GFX line in the future. As a current owner of the GFX 50S (which I love), this worries me greatly, as I would hate to see an easy-to-use camera transition to a camera with a chaotic layout, unlabeled buttons, and crappy handling.
Overall, the GFX 100 is a camera with a split personality. On one hand, it has remarkable image quality, superb autofocus performance, excellent battery life, and a very useful IBIS system. On the other hand, it is an ergonomic mess that really needs a complete overhaul…
Where to Buy
As always, you can support our efforts by buying from our trusted partner B&H Photo Video. As of 11/20/2019, the Fuji GFX 100 sells for $9,999.
Fuji GFX 100
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
- Image Stabilization
- Battery Life
- Image Quality
- High ISO Performance
- Size and Weight
- Metering and Exposure
- Movie Recording Features
- Dynamic Range
- Ease of Use
- Speed and Performance
Photography Life Overall Rating
Table of Contents