In the last Photokina 2018 Fujifilm already it announced the development of a new model of the X series to complete its range of medium format. Today, a few months later, its launch is made official: Fujifilm GFX 100. And as expected, it has a sensor with a resolution of 102 megapixels and a strong body becoming a milestone in the history of the Japanese manufacturer.
Of course, if we have quoted the ” large format ” it is because in principle we are talking about a medium format camera. Of course, that is applying the usual equivalences in the chemical/analog era. However, as Fujifilm told us, today this equivalence has lost its meaning.
The fact is that the sensor of the GFX 100 measures 43.8 x 32.9 mm with 55 mm diagonal, which according to Fujifilm is always the largest sensor that exists today in the market (not counting digital backups, only full cameras). Hence, they call it “large format” instead of medium format (or super full-frame as they were called, jokingly, in Photokina 2018).
Be that as it may before it appears on the market (by the way, on June 27) we had a brief encounter with the GFX 100 in a photography studio located in a popular Madrid neighborhood. And although it was brief, and (to tell the truth) we are not used to cameras of this type, it was enough to be able to show you some first samples and share our impressions.
The reason behind the invention of Fujifilm GFX 100
The idea when developing the camera was, according to Fujifilm, to create a high-resolution model that could be used freehand and, with it, invite studio photographers to leave it. And we can say that they have achieved it because of course, it is a large and heavy camera, but no more than a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II or a Nikon D5.
It does not even seem much older (we say it seems because it is an eye comparison) than an Olympus OM-D E-M1X, which also has a design with a built-in grip although it is still a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds sensor. In any case, in our hands, we notice its forcefulness but it does not seem at all excessive in weight ( 1.4 kilos with the viewfinder and two batteries) or in dimensions. As we said about the GFX 50R, it seems incredible that it is a camera of medium format large Format. In addition, we found the ergonomics excellent, with a fairly comfortable grip (of course much better than that of the GFX 50R) that allows a safe and effective grip.
In the test we had two of the first objectives of the family that went on the market (Fujinon GF 63mm ƒ / 2.8 R WR and GF 120mm ƒ / 4 R LM WR Macro) and the set seemed very balanced . Especially with the first clear, because with the second the team already acquired a difficult weight to use by hand too long. For the rest, the touch is good and what is most striking is the almost total absence of selection dials . Especially in the case of a Fujifilm that has made this an identity sign. However, the firm has opted to innovate by creating a new way to use the camera that, in principle, seems confusing. And, we say, it has no speed dial, nor ISO, or even shooting modes.
Well, at least it does not have physical ones, because in the large screen located in the upper right area you can make virtual dials appear that are very colorful and are handled with the front and rear control wheels. On the other hand, in the upper left area, there is a wheel for shooting modes but it is not used in the usual way. So in principle, all this makes you face the GFX 100 with a little respect, but it is true that once they explain how to use it (or you read the instruction manual), the system is simple and quite comfortable. Of course, the design incorporates the grip allows you to shoot vertically in comfort because the buttons are duplicated.
For the rest, a small support screen has also been incorporated in the lower part of the rear LCD (which by the way is foldable). The idea is that we can see the shot without any hindrances but, at the same time, without losing sight of the main settings. Therefore, although it is true that the camera looks a lot like an X-T3 “but large”, it is noted that Fuji engineers have made a new design to create a different driving experience, something that, of course, It is appreciated.
Performance and image quality Specifications of Fujifilm GFX 100
Our contact was quite short so we could hardly test the AF system (according to Fujifilm, it is the fastest GFX so far), nor if the promise to stabilize the image is fulfilled up to 5.5 steps (the Stabilizer is one of the great novelties), but at least we did briefly test the burst.
Thus we obtained a series of 13 photos at maximum resolution (in RAW format plus JPEG of maximum quality) with a considerable speed, which gives an idea of the processing power for such a model. Obviously, we cannot draw definitive conclusions, but at least it is a first impression that has convinced us.
We are not going to deceive you, it is not about cameras that we handle regularly and, therefore, we do not have much to compare. However, we are convinced that the Fujifilm GFX 100 is going to have to speak among professional photographers. A sector that can now have a new and versatile tool very interesting, to shoot both inside and outside the studio at the amazing resolution of 100 megapixels (RAWS weigh more than 200 Mbytes each) and for a “reasonable” price.
We use the quotes, again, because evidently, 10,999 euros (only the body) are not “turkey mucus”. However, the best way to assess whether it is an expensive or cheap price is by comparing. Thus, it should be known that the cost is greater than that of the Pentax 645D, which could be one of its direct competitors (although it is true that this model is already quite old) and cost 8,000 euros in its launch. On the other hand, those ten thousand euros are less than half of what a Hasselblad H6D-100c or a Phase One XF IQ4 150MP, stratospheric cameras, can cost.