First Impressions: Fujifilm GFX 100 (And Why It Needed IBIS)

The Fujifilm GFX 100 features a 102MP sensor with image stabilization and backside illumination.

Last week, Fujifilm invited us to a top secret briefing on the west side of Manhattan where they unveiled the long-awaited addition to the company’s Medium Format Mirrorless camera lineup: the Fujifilm GFX 100. We had seen renderings of the GFX100 before and even got to fondle a mockup of it in Las Vegas during WPPI, but this is the first time that we got to spend some hands-on time with the genuine article itself, albeit in pre-production but near-final trim. The star of the Medium Format GFX 100 show is the brand new 102 MP sensor that is not only backside illuminated but also stabilized. In fact, it’s the first medium format digital camera to have image stabilization on the sensor.

Gear Used

We tested the Fujifilm GFX 100 with the Fujinon GF 63mm f2.8 R WR, Fujinon GF 110mm f2 R LM WR, Fujinon GF 250mm f4 R LM OIS WR, and Profoto studio lighting and light modifiers.

 

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Fujifilm GFX 100 are taken from the official Fujifilm press release.

MODEL NAME

FUJIFILM GFX 100

Number of effective pixels

102 million pixels

Image sensor

43.8mm×32.9mm Bayer array with primary color filter

Storage media

SD Card (-2GB) / SDHC Card (-32GB) / SDXC Card (-512GB) UHS-I / UHS-II / Video Speed Class V90 *1

File format of still image

JPEG (Exif Ver.2.3)*2, RAW : 14bit / 16bit RAW (RAF original format), RAW+JPEG, 8-bit /16-bit (10-bit output in 16bit file) TIFF (In-camera Raw Conversion Only)

Lens mount

FUJIFILM G mount

Sensitivity Standard output Extended output

AUTO1/AUTO2/AUTO3 (up to ISO12800) / ISO100~12800 (1/3 step) (Movie: AUTO / ISO200~12800) ISO50 / 25600 / 51200 / 102400 (Movie: ISO25600)

Exposure control

TTL 256-zone metering, Multi / Spot / Average / Center Weighted

Exposure mode

P (Program AE) / A (Aperture Priority AE) / S (Shutter Speed Priority AE) / M (Manual Exposure)

Exposure compensation

‘-5.0EV – +5.0EV 1/3EV step (Movie: -2.0EV – +2.0EV)

Shutter type

Focal Plane Shutter

Movie recording File format
Movie compression File size

Frame rate Recording time

MOV (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264, HEVC / H.265, Audio : Linear PCM / Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling) All Intra/Long-GOP
* All Intra can be used with following settings.
DCI4K/4K 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps

Full HD(2048×1080)/Full HD(1920×1080) 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 200Mbps
[DCI4K (4096×2160)] 29.97p / 25p / 24p / 23.98p 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps up to Approx. 60min. [4K (3840×2160)] 29.97p / 25p / 24p / 23.98p 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps up to Approx. 60min. [Full HD (2048×1080)] 29.97p / 25p / 24p / 23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps/50Mbps up to Approx. 80min. [Full HD (1920×1080)] 29.97p / 25p / 24p / 23.98p 200Mbps/100Mbps/50Mbps up to Approx. 80min. * For recording movies, use a SD memory card with UHS Speed Class 3 or higher.
* For recording movies in 400Mbps, use a SD memory card with Video Speed Class 60 or higher.
* Recording movies in 400Mbps can be done with DCI4K/4K 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p.

LCD monitor

3.2 inch, Aspect Ratio 4:3, Approx. 2.36 million dots Tilt-Type (Three Direction), Touch Screen Color LCD Monitor (Approx. 100% Coverage)

Terminal
Digital interface HDMI output Other

USB Type-C USB3.2 Gen1x1
HDMI Micro connector (Type D)
ø3.5mm, stereo mini connector (Microphone)
ø3.5mm, stereo mini connector (Headphone)
ø2.5mm, Remote Release Connector
DC IN 15V Connecter *Compatible with AC-15V (Optional) Only Hot shoe
Synchronized terminal

Dimensions

Including EVF

156.2mm (W) × 163.6mm (H) × 102.9mm (D) / 6.15in. (W) × 6.44in. (H) × 4.05in. (D) (Minimum Depth : 48.9mm / 1.93in.)
Excluding EVF
156.2mm (W) × 144.0mm (H) × 75.1mm (D) / 6.15in. (W) × 5.67in. (H) × 2.96in. (D) (Minimum Depth : 48.9mm / 1.93in.)

Weight

Approx. 1,400g / 49.4oz. (including EVF, battery x2 and memory card) Approx. 1,320g / 46.6oz. (including battery x2 and memory card)
Approx. 1,155g / 40.7oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)

Ergonomics

The Fujifilm GFX 100 is a beast of a camera. Liken it to anything to Canon and Nikon’s highest-end offerings–but make it medium format. The photographer going for a camera like this is akin to the photographer that Canon and Nikon used to target years ago at the higher end. Said companies used to offer two high-end cameras: one for speed and one for resolution. The Fujifilm GFX 100 is designed to do both but at a ridiculously higher level of resolution. You can get that from the design.

On top of the Fujifilm GFX 100 is the heads up display with programmable buttons. There is also the on/off switch and the shutter button. Additionally, there is an exposure compensation button.

Along with the Fujifilm GFX 100’s grip are three buttons. While one is direct access to the lens bayonet swap, the other two are programmable. As we played with the Fujifilm GFX 100, something about it felt like a Leica, but more complicated when it comes to the customizable buttons.

Part of the drive mode cycle is located up top. One has to think of this like the XT3 in some ways. The same dial can access burst modes, still mode, movie mode, etc. All of these are written to the dual card slots.

The back of the Fujifilm GFX 100 has buttons, but a solid third of that real estate is designed for you to grip the camera. Of course, there is a joystick and other controls too. For the most part, these are fixed and not programmable.

 

Build Quality

Like the GFX 50S and the GFX 50R before it, Fujifilm designed the GFX 100 to be highly resistant to the abuses brought on by the elements, be it torrential downpour or blustery sandstorms. If you were wondering if the vertical grip on the Fujifilm GFX 100 is removable, it isn’t. In fact, the vertical grip area of the GFX 100 is actually part of the camera body itself to accommodate the stabilized 102 MP sensor. The Electronic Viewfinder on the GFX100 is detachable, unlike the EVF on the GFX 50R which was permanently attached.  If you opt to detach the EVF and will just be utilizing live view on the rear touchscreen, you’ll want to make sure to attach the hot shoe cover to maintain the weather sealing on the GFX 100, lest you risk weather damage through the exposed shoe. The Fujifilm GFX 100 felt reliable and robust in hand, with nicely proportioned grips that are comfortable to hold either in landscape or portrait orientation. Fujifilm included a pair of joysticks on the back of the GFX 100, the same ones that we’ve seen on the X-T3 and X-T30, that are perfectly placed near where your thumb would naturally rest when gripping the camera in either orientation. Gone are most of the physical mode dials that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing along the tops of the GFX 50R and GFX 50S, but this engineering choice made sense and the GFX 100 felt well engineered overall with all the controls on the back of the camera where you’d logically expect them to.

 

Ease of Use

Although the GFX 100 prototypes that we got to play with during the briefing are pre-production units, everything felt characteristically “Fujifilm” from the ergonomics to the menus. During our time with the cameras, we did experience a few lockups, but that’s not uncommon when using prototypes. Simply pull the batteries to power cycle the camera and everything was right as rain again. Besides getting acquainted with the new mode dials, or lack thereof, the overall shooting experience felt very intuitive and no different than using an X-T3 or the other GFX cameras.

The back of the Fujifilm GFX 100 has two screens. The standard LCD screen provides you with lots of the information that photographers want and need via a back screen. The bottom screen is more akin to what’s on top but displayed differently. Here, everything from Kelvin levels can be shown off.

This is one of the interfaces that the Fujifilm GFX 100 offers. The two buttons on the side of the display can be used to cycle through various settings and are programmable.

Autofocus

Although we only got to spend a limited amount of shooting time with the Fujifilm GFX 100, all of which took place in a studio environment, the autofocus on the brand new Medium Format camera felt snappy and accurate. Eye autofocus worked consistently and reliably as you can see for yourselves in the sample images below, although we did notice some autofocus confirmation glitches on the graphical interface that Fujifilm’s engineers assured us would be ironed out in the production model. While this isn’t going to outpace what Sony can do with their a9, the Fujifilm GFX 100’s autofocus is more than usable.

 

Image Quality

Since the GFX 100 preview unit that Fujifilm provided us is a pre-production sample running beta firmware, camera profiles are not yet available for Capture One, Adobe Lightroom, or any other RAW processing software. Therefore, all sample images featured within this First Impressions article are straight out of camera JPEGs. They were shot in a studio environment using Profoto studio lighting and light modifiers. As a matter of ethics, none of the sample images seen within this First Impressions article have been retouched so that you can assess the quality of the images produced by this camera for yourself. Again, we’re stating that these images are from a prototype.

 

First Impressions

While our time with the Fujifilm GFX 100 was all too brief, we came away impressed with Fujifilm’s latest Medium Format camera. It felt like the offspring born from a marriage between the GFX 50S and the X-T3 in all the right ways.

We look forward to evaluating the final production version of the Fujifilm GFX 100 comprehensively once review units are available, please stay tuned for our upcoming full review. The Fujifilm GFX 100 will begin shipping towards the end of next month and will set you back just shy of 10 Grand (MSRP US $9999.95), so start rummaging through the cracks of your couch to gather every last penny you’ve got. You’re going to want one for yourself.

Additional reporting provided by Editor in Chief Chris Gampat.