Fujifilm GFX100 Mirrorless Digital Camera Review

What We Love. Even if you’re not partial to those heavy, bulky medium format bodies and the massive image files they produce, the Fujifilm GFX 100 will undoubtedly endear itself to you. Fuji’s newest flagship to its GFX line has been designed with the highest performance in mind, surpassing the Fujifilm GFX 50R that came before it. At $9,999, practically twice the cost of the 50R, this was wholly expected. However, it was still a satisfying improvement shooting with this camera, after having to slow our process down with the 50R. On top of its whopping 102MP sensor, phase detection across the entire sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilization, its X-Processor 4 and that very impressive autofocusing system it adopted from the X-T3, this camera is also incredibly feature-rich. Those features include its rugged build, weather-sealing, extra photographic effects, F-Log recording, great battery life and many of the video recording formats you could ever want. To round it all out, despite it being bulky and heavy, this camera is also surprisingly simple to use.

What We’d Change. We only wish that Fuji designed this camera with ergonomics in mind as well. A whole day’s worth of shooting with this camera, and our wrist and forearm were sore the next day, even with just the Fujinon GF 23mm F4 R LM WR mounted on it. It was even worse with the Fujinon GF 100-200mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR on, as the sizeable weight and considerable size made it harder to hold the whole thing steady while shooting. It doesn’t help that the front grip is a bit shallower than what’s necessary for a firmer hold. But then again, with the breathtaking photos this camera produces, that seems like a small price to pay and is also easily remedied with a sturdy tripod. We only wish that it has better AF tracking in low light. If your subject is in shadow, even in broad daylight, this camera will have a hard time finding that subject’s face, let alone their eyes. So you’ll have to switch gears to make sure you get the ideal focus you want.

Pick This Up If… you want a medium format that won’t set you back more than $10,000. This is one of the best medium cameras in the world right now, even if it isn’t the most comfortable to use. Its image quality alone will get you some of the most impressive portrait, fashion, landscape and wildlife photos you’ve ever taken.

INTRO

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/280 | ISO 1600

To put it simply, the Fujifilm GFX 100 is among the best and most powerful cameras on the market right now. And, if you’ve been itching to switch systems or invest in a medium format body, it should be on top of the list of bodies to consider.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 158mm | F/5.6 | 1/150 | ISO 3200

Fuji’s newest flagship to its GFX line is a remarkable camera, and certainly worth its $9,999 price tag, if you have the money for it. It not only delivers extraordinary image quality with great dynamic range, accurate color rendition and very minimal artifacts, but also boasts many features out of which you’ll get a lot of use – whether you’re taking still images or shooting videos.

It’s certainly not cheap, but this camera pays for itself, even if you’re not really doing photography professionally. Again, as long as you can spare the silver. Read our review to find out exactly why.

GEAR USED

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 158mm | F/5.6 | 1/320 | ISO 3200

We tested the Fujifilm GFX 100 with two Fujinon GF lenses – the Fujifilm FUJINON GF 23mm F4 R LM WR for our wide-angle needs, and the Fujifilm FUJINON GF 100-200mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR for our telephoto needs. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to test it with a standard zoom or a portrait lens. However, these two lenses were enough to assess just how powerful this camera is.

Most of our shots were handheld, except for the Milky Way shots, which we relied on our old yet trusty Manfrotto BeFree tripod to shoot.

KEY FEATURES

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/320 | ISO 50

  • 100MP+ 43.8mmx32.9mm diagonal length large format CMOS sensor
  • FUJIFILM G Mount
  • X-Processor 4
  • Weather- and dust- resistant; operation to as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
  • JPEG (Exif Ver.2.3), 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)
  • DCI4K for Movie Mode: 4096×2160 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps, in Film Simulation modes
  • Body weighs approximately 49.4oz. (1,400g)
  • 3.2 inch, Aspect Ratio 4:3, Approx. 2.36 million dots Tilt-Type (Three Direction), Touch Screen Color LCD Monitor (Approx. 100% Coverage)
  • Uses SD Cards (UHS-II recommended)
  • Equipped with dual slots
  • Uses up to two NP-T125 high capacity batteries for approximately 800 photos (with Auto Power Save ON)

WHAT'S IN THE BOX

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 105mm | F/5.6 | 1/40 | ISO 50

  • Li-ion battery NP-T125 (x2)
  • Battery charger BC-T125
  • Interchangeable electronic viewfinder EVF-GFX2
  • Body cap, Metal strap clips (x2)
  • Clip attaching tool
  • Protective covers (x2)
  • Shoulder strap
  • Cable protector
  • Hot shoe cover (Body/EVF)
  • Connector cover (EVF)
  • Sync terminal cover
  • Owner's manual

BUILD QUALITY & DESIGN

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/11 | 1/80 | ISO 1250

Unlike the much higher quality build Fuji’s other cameras received, the Fujifilm GFX 100 may at first feel like it might be made of lesser quality materials. However, rest assured that this is made of magnesium alloy. Considering its substantial weight of 1,400g or 3.09lbs – that’s with EVF, two batteries and a memory card included, using any other material would probably make it impossible to keep that weight down. Any heavier, and you’d probably hate using this camera for almost any type of shooting.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/400 | ISO 50

On top of that, magnesium alloy is one of the toughest metals out there, which means that Fuji’s promise of a rugged body is easy to believe. Obviously, we haven’t dropped the camera to test this, not even accidentally. And, it’s definitely not indestructible. However, we’re sure this camera can take a few beatings without breaking, which makes it perfect for any type of shooting in the field.

To add to that durability, Fuji also gave it 95 points of weather sealing not only to keep dust and moisture out, but also to combat extreme temperatures. The GFX 100 is guaranteed to withstand up to 104°F and down to 14°F. Though when we were shooting videos in the desert on a hot summer’s day during which the temperature went up to 109°F, this camera didn’t even waver.

ERGONOMICS

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/400 | ISO 50

Though we’ll tell you now that the Fujifilm GFX 100 will definitely give your arms a workout, especially if you’ve got a lens as big and bulky as the Fujifilm FUJINON GF 100-200mm F5.6 R LM OIS WR. At 6.15 × 6.44 × 4.05 inches and 3.09lbs, this isn’t a camera you’d want to be walking around with while you’re traipsing in Europe or trampling about in the wilderness. Not that you can’t, but you probably shouldn’t. This is, without a doubt, a professional’s tool, something to be taken seriously; and its size is partly to blame for that.

It doesn’t help that its front grip is a tad shallow – or at least, it’s not deep enough for you to get a good and secure hold on the camera. This isn’t as noticeable when you’re just carrying the camera or when you’ve got it mounted. However, when we were handheld shooting with a telephoto lens mounted, we constantly had to find creative ways to find leverage in order to stabilize the camera long enough to get a couple of sharp shots in. That’s not a good thing if you’re shooting wildlife and sports when every second matters.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/640 | ISO 50

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 79mm | F/5.6 | 1/150 | ISO 50

In addition, most of the controls on this camera are clustered together on the top panel and immediately next to the LCD, leaving plenty of space on the right side. That’s a bit weird, and at times inconvenient since you might have to look at the buttons to know you’re operating the right one, instead of just intuitively reaching for them without taking your eyes off the viewfinder.

MENUS & DISPLAYS

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/400 | ISO 50

On the upside, Fuji hasn’t changed its menu much. This is the same menu you’ll find in other higher-end Fuji bodies, just perhaps with the tiniest body-specific variations. That’s a good thing, not only if you’re invested in the Fuji family and you’re used to its menu, but also because Fuji’s menu is one of the simplest to figure out and easiest to navigate of all the camera systems. If it ain’t broke and all that. So, even if you’re not a Fuji user, you’ll figure out the Fujifilm GFX 100’s menu fairly quickly.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 90mm | F/5.6 | 1/200 | ISO 1250

The main thing to remember right now is that there are two most essential menus here ­– the Main menu, accessible quickly through the Menu button next to the LCD screen on the right, and the customizable Quick menu for quick access to your most used settings, to be opened by pressing the Q button on the thumb rest. Before taking your camera out for a shoot, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with these menus, as well as personalize the Quick menu, as this will let you have a more streamlined shooting experience.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/8 | 1/80 | ISO 100

There are three displays here – the 3.2-inch tilting LCD screen, the customizable rear information monitor, and the multi-function monitor. These displays are bright, particularly the LCD screen and the rear display. In fact, pay close attention to those two when you’re doing astrophotography, as you might have to darken them a little or drape a thick cloth over them when your shutter is open.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 119mm | F/5.6 | 1/170 | ISO 1250

The LCD screen is extremely tilt-able as well, tilting in three directions – 90 degrees up, 45 degrees down and 60 degrees right. We only wish we could tilt it to the left as well, which is useful for many shooting situations. We also wish that Fuji has taken cues from Canon and given this touchscreen display menu operability. As it is now, it lets you adjust focus, activate the shutter, and zoom in and out.

SPEED & AF PERFORMANCE

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 158mm | F/5.6 | 1/150 | ISO 400

With up to 5fps of continuous shooting, the Fujifilm GFX 100 is certainly faster than the GFX 50R. In addition, it boasts the same phase detection autofocusing system as the X-T3, which is Fuji’s way of saying that it’s impressive without, for some reason, having to mention how many phase and contract detection points its sensor has.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/450 | ISO 400

And, it is impressive… to an extent. With good lighting, the AF and tracking system on the GFX 100 is decently accurate and fast on continuous. It’s even better if you’re on Single Point mode. However, in low light, the tracking gets erratic, at times completely missing the subject, even with Face and EyeAF on. It doesn’t even take that much – this happens even when your subject is in shadow in the middle of the afternoon on a bright day. That’s how our experience has been during our tests, and we often had switch to Single Point AF when our subject is in shadow.

The good news is, unlike the GFX 50R, there’s hardly any signs of rolling shutter here. That’s a massive improvement that gives this camera an edge when shooting sports or wildlife.

METERING

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 158mm | F/5.6 | 1/1900 | ISO 640

The Fujifilm GFX 100 uses the same 256-zone metering system as the GFX 50R, offering the same four metering modes: Multi, Spot, Average and Center-Weighted. These modes are very accurate, with the Multi metering mode offering the best results for most situations and the Average mode coming in close second. In high-contrast situations, however, Spot metering is your best bet, though adjustments might be needed as this tends to blow out highlights when you’re metering on a dark area.

STILL IMAGE QUALITY

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 158mm | F/5.6 | 1/60 | ISO 320

It’s in the quality of the images the Fujifilm GFX 100 delivers where this camera really makes up for that middling low light performance of its AF system and subpar ergonomics. This camera produces incredible images with crisp detail, very minimal artifacts, and accurate color reproduction. It’s all thanks to that X-Processor 4, which Fuji claims delivers “the world’s highest level of image quality,” combined with that back-illuminated sensor that has a whopping 102 million effective pixels.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/280 | ISO 50

Expect this camera to capture details not many popular full-frame and medium cameras could, boast lower amounts of noise, and greater dynamic range. We’ve managed to get a lot of details back from blown out highlights and really dark shadows, with impressively low noise levels, whether that’s on a silhouetted subject at sunset or on a night sky with the Milky Way on full display.

Alongside that remarkable performance is its in-body image stabilization, something that the GFX 50R painfully lacks. It isn’t the best stabilization out there, as we did experience a miniscule amount of shake on some of our low light shots, so you still have to account for the possibility of that when shooting at slower shutter speeds. However, it’s still a useful feature to have.

Much like the GFX 50R, however, it also has all your favorite image aspect ratios, including square, 5:4 and 7:6, if you like to emulate the film medium format cameras and give a touch of nostalgia to your images.

ISO PERFORMANCE

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 30 | ISO 500

The Fujifilm GFX 100 boasts the same standard sensitivity as the GFX 50R, which is ISO 100 to 12,800, which can be extended to 50 to 102,400 – that’s an improvement next to some of Fuji’s higher end APS-C cameras. And, much like the GFX 50R, this camera handles noise extremely well.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

ISO 100

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

ISO 6,400

The difference between these two cameras is that even at 3,200 and 4,000 ISOs, the Fujifilm GFX 100 has extremely low noise levels, allowing your images to look sharp and clean even at these high ISOs. You’ll start to see some luminance and chromatic noise around 6,400, but even then, they’re kept at the very minimum. In fact, the difference in noise levels between 100 and 6,400 isn’t that big, and would probably go unnoticed by a less discerning pair of eyes. Considering that many camera start to show obnoxious amounts of grain and chroma around 6,400, that’s saying a lot.

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

ISO 12,800

It’s only at 12,800 where you’ll start seeing lots of noise and a bit of over-smoothing, and even then, the images are still plenty useable. It isn’t until past 51,200 where your images will look like they’ve gone through the wringer.

VIDEO QUALITY

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/110 | ISO 1600

As far as its video capabilities go, Fujifilm GFX 100 is a few steps up from its “budget” sibling, the 50R. While the latter skipped out on many of the video capabilities that are today considered essential – like 4K recording, IBIS and 60fps frame rate, the Fujifilm GFX 100 has all the necessary ones and then some.

In fact, it has almost the same movie recording capabilities as the mighty Fujifilm X-T3, only with a couple of differences – the GFX 100 is missing the higher 60p and 50p frame rates for 4K and DCI 4K formats, but it does have the IBIS that we missed on the X-T3. Both also come with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)/F-log recording, if you tend to do a bit of color grading to give your videos your own signature look.

Of course, this being Fuji, it also comes with all the film simulations including the beloved Eterna cinematic look, Color Chrome effect and monochrome adjustments, as well as that 400% boost in dynamic range.

The IBIS is definitely a godsend here. While it may not have been that necessary with the X-T3 because as Fuji pointed out, videographers would want to mount it on a stabilizer anyway, it’s certainly necessary in this case considering how massive and heavy this camera is. And, we found it to be very effective as well in drastically reducing shake. You’ll still want to duck-walk when walking and shooting videos at the same time, but that IBIS will certainly help a great deal.

As far as its AF performance in videos, we’ve found it to be mostly smooth, especially when transitioning from one subject to another. The only thing here though is, much like its AF performance when taking stills in low light, the autofocusing when shooting videos in similar lighting situations can prove erratic when you’re on continuous AF.

Our one other complaint here in terms of movie recording is that it’s missing that 120p or 100p high speed recording. Not even the 1080p has it in this body.

WIRELESS PERFORMANCE

The Fujifilm GFX 100 offers Bluetooth support so you can pair it with your device and transfer images via Bluetooth. It also offers WiFi connectivity so you can connect your phone to it and access some of its functions through the Fujifilm Camera Remote app. This app will not only let you transfer images, but also remotely control the camera for shooting. This feature is useful when reducing camera shake as much as possible which is crucial, and you don’t have to keep using the timer.

PROS & CONS

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 18mm | F/4 | 1/80 | ISO 1000

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Great AF performance in good lighting situations
  • Solid, rugged build
  • Extensive weather sealing
  • Menus simple and easy to navigate
  • Great battery life, even when shooting videos

Cons

  • AF and tracking performance in low lighting needs improvement
  • Poor ergonomics

FINAL THOUGHTS

FujifilmGFX100 Sample Image

Aperture Priority | 79mm | F/5.6 | 1/240 | ISO 400

If you’re looking for a medium format camera that offers supreme performance without the premium (in medium format standards) price, you must take a look at the Fujifilm GFX 100. What Fuji has here is a reasonable affordable contender in the medium format sphere that doesn’t compromise on performance, bringing medium format digital cameras back within the consumer market’s reach.

True, there are a couple of things we wish Fuji could have done better. That AF and tracking in low lighting situations could be better. And seeing as this is a heavy and bulky camera, Fuji could have improved its handling and ergonomics.

However, much of what the Fujifilm GFX 100 delivers not only more than makes up for those. But also makes it worth that price tag. This camera delivers a breathtakingly high-resolution image with incredible detail, great dynamic range and low noise levels, all in a body that’s rugged, weather-sealed and boasting a surprisingly long battery life. It’s also feature-rich when it comes to its video shooting capabilities, touting a variety of formats, frame rates and bit rates as well as film simulations and F-Log/HLG recording. And, because of those famously straightforward and easy-to-navigate Fuji menus, this camera won’t intimidate anyone who’s new to the medium format world.

If you’ve got the money to spare for this body and a couple of GFX lenses ­– and take our word for it; this may be an affordable camera as far as premium medium format bodies go, but you’ll still be spending thousands of dollars – the Fujifilm GFX 100 will definitely give you your money’s worth.

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