After working with ISO 100 on the Fujifilm GFX, I’ve confirmed a long time thought of mine.
Though your camera systems are great, I continue to become more and more concerned about where your camera system is going. When I first became enthralled with the Fujifilm system, the promise of full frame performance with an APS-C sensor held true. At the time, my Fujifilm X Pro 1 put my Canon 5D Mk II to shame. The Canon almost never came out with me and instead I’d have the Fujifilm adorned around my shoulder. But today, I can’t always say the same thing.
Part of this could be that Sony is your supplier, and there’s probably some sort of issue where they’re saving the best sensors for themselves as folks have predicted and said in forums for a long time. Despite the fact that the cameras themselves get better with weather sealing improvements, ergonomic enhancements, and other innovations that Fujifilm includes like the swipe features on the touchscreen. But I’d like to talk about the sensor.
I’m genuinely not sure that APS-C can match full frame’s handling of noise rendition at this point. To look at the 24MP sensor inside of a current Fujifilm camera (even the X Trans sensors) and compare it to the 40+ MP sensors at higher ISOs, we can see that full frame wins. In that case, you’d go for the GFX series. But with APSC, I think that one of the ways that you can continue to do more is by giving us lower ISO settings. Let’s start at an organic ISO 100 setting.
By studio photography I not only speak about portraiture and work in a studio, but anything involving a flash. Look around on Instagram and you’ll see that lots of the most creative studio style portraiture with your system is done with studio lights and all. So to make the most of those lights and the potential output, I think that we need lower ISO settings.
Folks may be asking, why? Well:
- Specular highlights that allow you get more details and use less flash power
- You have full control over the lights
- ISO 100 is traditionally the best starting point even for higher powered lights
- More possibilities of better dynamic range
- It’s been the industry standard for many years
When Fujifilm, Olympus and others started to put out cameras with sensors that started at ISO 200, I was very confused. To this day as I hold the Fujifilm XT100 in front of me that I’m currently reviewing, I still feel the same way. ISO 100 is the best starting point especially if you’re trying to shoot wide open with your fantastic lenses.
I’m not really sure that I need to state this with landscape photography, but I will. For landscapes there is no good reason to not have an ISO 100 setting. How many serious landscape photographers are using Fujifilm APS-C sensors? Probably not a lot compared to the GFX; but travel photographers who do landscapes sure are. ISO 100 could help them with a whole lot of things lie dynamic range for editing. Just imagine all those classic chrome shots! You’re traditionally supposed to underexpose a chrome photo and with this, you can get even more details and better depth.
Getting More Lens Sharpness
My last point in this argument that I think could go on for a long time is about your lenses. Arguably, you have some of my favorite on the market. But to get even more sharpness out of them even without flash, you’ll need ISO 100 to get more details. It’s sort of common sense and it has worked with your GFX system.
Essentially please give us:
- An X Trans sensor
- An X Trans sensor that can perform well at high ISOs up to 6400
- An X Trans sensor that can shoot as low as ISO 100 natively without the expansion
- All those great film simulations that you’ve given us before.