Fujifilm GFX 100S Review

Camera Reviews / Fujifilm Cameras i Now Shooting!
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Fujifilm GFX 100S
Resolution: 102.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: Medium format
(43.8mm x 32.9mm)
Kit Lens: n/a
Viewfinder: EVF / LCD
Native ISO: 100 - 12,800
Extended ISO: 50 - 102,400
Shutter: 1/16000 - 3600 sec
Dimensions: 5.9 x 4.1 x 3.4 in.
(150 x 104 x 87 mm)
Weight: 31.7 oz (900 g)
includes batteries
MSRP: $6,000
Availability: 03/2021
Manufacturer: Fujifilm
Full specs: Fujifilm GFX 100S specifications

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Fujifilm GFX 100S Review - Now Shooting!

by Jeremy Gray
Originally Posted: 01/27/2021

Updates:
03/08/2021: First Shots added
04/01/2021: Field Test & Gallery added

Click here to jump to our in-depth Fuji GFX 100S Hands-on Product Overview

 

Fujifilm GFX 100S Field Test

One of the best values in the high-end camera segment

by Jeremy Gray | Posted 04/01/2021

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 35mm (28mm equiv.), f/8, 0.6s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujifilm has consistently expanded and improved its GFX medium format camera system since it first launched with the GFX 50S in early 2017. In the last four years, Fujifilm has added the GFX 50R, GFX 100 and now the GFX 100S to its camera offerings.

Looking at the GFX 50R is enlightening when considering the GFX 100S. Like the 50R, the 100S builds upon an existing camera model by offering the same image quality while altering the camera body design and reducing the price. While the GFX 50R uses the same 51.4-megapixel image sensor of the original GFX 50S, the GFX 100S features the same fantastic 101.2-megapixel image sensor as 2019's GFX 100. Concerning price, the GFX 100 costs $10,000, while the new GFX 100S launched for $6,000. That's a significant difference, but it does come with some compromises, of course.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/4, 1/50s, ISO 3200.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The GFX 100S includes some compromise in terms of overall usability, but an area where it doesn't is image quality and performance. In fact, some aspects of performance are improved with the new, more affordable GFX camera. Does the GFX 100S tap into the best aspects of the GFX 100, or does the camera lose too much in the process of being scaled down? Let's find out.

Key Features and Specs

  • Medium-format GFX mirrorless camera
  • 102-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • 3.76 million phase-detect autofocus points covering nearly 100% of the image area
  • Quad-core X-Processor 4
  • 16-bit RAW files
  • 5 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K/30p video
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • 3.69M dot OLED EVF
  • 3.2" tilting touchscreen
  • Weather-sealed camera body
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • $6,000 USD body only
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/11, 15s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

GFX 100S body and design: Smaller than the GFX 100, but with some compromises

Before diving into the specifics of the GFX 100S camera body, particularly concerning how it compares to the GFX 100 and the GFX 50S, let's see how it compares to full-frame competitors. The GFX system has larger image sensors than full-frame cameras but smaller sensors than some other medium-format cameras. Given its overall form factor and price point, the GFX 100S competes more against high-resolution full-frame cameras than it does against something like the Phase One IQ4 150MP, which costs more than most passenger vehicles.

The GFX 100S is Fujifilm's most 'normal' looking GFX camera yet. The GFX 50S is SLR-inspired, but has a large bulge behind the rear display. The GFX 50R has a minimal grip and rangefinder-esque look. The GFX 100 looks like a pro DSLR with its integrated vertical grip.

Consider the full-frame Sony Alpha 1, a more expensive mirrorless camera than the GFX 100S. I know that the A1 and GFX 100S are different cameras for different audiences, but let's consider the physical dimensions. The GFX 100S is 31mm wider, 7mm taller and 17mm deeper than the A1 while weighing 163g more. That's not a significant difference. Let's consider another full-frame mirrorless camera, the Panasonic S1R. The GFX 100S weighs 2g more than the S1R and is 1mm wider, while 6mm shorter and 10mm thinner. The GFX 100S is slightly larger than the Nikon Z7 II, but the GFX 100S is 115g lighter and 20mm shorter than the Nikon D850 DSLR camera. I know I'm throwing many dimensions and weights around, but the primary point is that despite its larger image sensor, the GFX 100S is not significantly larger than many full-frame mirrorless cameras.

The GFX 100S has a nice front grip. It is quite deep and offers a good hold of the camera.

How is the GFX 100S in terms of overall usability? There are some great aspects to the camera's design. I've already discussed how the GFX 100S is not a large or heavy camera, even compared to mirrorless cameras with smaller image sensors. Beyond that, the GFX 100S's overall control scheme is good.

The GFX 100S has a traditional SLR-like design, similar to the GFX 50S and unlike the rangefinder-inspired GFX 50R. Unlike the GFX 100, the 100S doesn't have an integrated vertical grip. Further, unlike the 50S, the new 100S cannot accept an optional vertical grip, which I find disappointing. That aside, the overall shape and feel of the GFX 100S is great.

Using a top function button, you can swap between these three display modes on the top display.

The control layout is nice, as well. There's a large, easy-to-read e-ink top display that shows all critical shooting information. To the right of the display are two buttons. By default, the button nearer the back of the camera changes what is shown on the top display. You can cycle between the default information, a dual command dial display and a histogram. In the case of the virtual dial display, you can use the front command dial to cycle through ISO and the rear command dial to adjust shutter speed if you're in an appropriate shooting mode. In this display, the aperture, shooting mode and exposure compensation are shown beneath the virtual dials. The button near the front of the camera is used to enable eye-detect autofocus.

The buttons are, of course, customizable. The two function buttons on the top of the camera, for example, can be used to adjust nearly any setting, including exposure compensation, image size/quality, Film Simulation, white balance, focus area, focus mode, bracketing, metering, image stabilization, self-timer, various AE/AF locks, and much more.

The control layout on the back is good. Although, I accidentally hit the 'Q' button a few times during my time with the GFX 100S. The EVF, while fine, is also a bit disappointing due to its lower resolution and magnification compared to the fantastic EVF on the GFX 100.

The 'Quick Menu,' accessed through a dedicated 'Q' button on the rear of the camera near the thumb grip, is also customizable. To adjust this menu, you simply long press the Q button when a function is highlighted. It's a straightforward menu to use and customize. I will say that it's a bit too easy to accidentally press the 'Q' button when using the camera, but that's a minor complaint. If others have the same issue, you can disable the Q button and turn one of the top function buttons into a Q Menu button.

The locking mode dial is well-designed on the GFX 100S. Where the GFX 100 lacks a traditional mode dial altogether, the GFX 100S brings it back. There are six custom slots on the mode dial as well. Next to the mode dial is a switch to toggle between stills and video mode, and on the rear of the camera near the mode dial is a Drive button.

The GFX 100, to its detriment, ditched a traditional mode dial. The GFX 100S brings it back.

The rear display is essentially unchanged between the GFX 100 and the new 100S. It is a 3.2-inch touchscreen with 2.36M dots of resolution. It isn't a tilt/swivel display but is still useful in the field. The display tilts 90° up, 45° down, and 60° to the right, meaning it works well when shooting in portrait orientation.

What is changed in terms of displays is the electronic viewfinder. Gone is the detachable EVF of the GFX 50S, and likewise, gone is the large high-resolution EVF found in the GFX 100. The GFX 100S has a 3.69M dot EVF, whereas the GFX 100 had a 5.76M dot EVF. The GFX 100S' EVF also has less magnification (0.77x) than the GFX 50S (0.85x) and GFX 100 (0.86x). The EVF in the GFX 100S is still good, but more resolution and magnification would have been great. As I wrote in my hands-on preview of the GFX 100S, the EVF is one of a handful of areas where Fujifilm has removed or changed features to hit a lower price target.

The tilting rear touchscreen is useful, although a tilt/swivel design would've been a great addition. That's alright, can't have it all.

Like the GFX 100, the GFX 100S doesn't have a dedicated control pad. I like the directional buttons on the GFX 50S because they're great for menu navigation, and you can convert them into four function buttons when shooting. Without a directional pad, you can't do that with the GFX 100S. The joystick has a grippy bumpy surface, but I found that the movement can be mushy and inconsistent.

The EVF downgrade and lack of a vertical grip option are net negatives. However, the GFX 100S is a good camera body overall. It is a compact camera considering its sensor size, and the overall control layout is great.

Image Quality: Same fantastic image quality as the GFX 100

For any medium-format camera, the star of the show is the image sensor, and the GFX 100S excels here. The camera uses the same 102-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor as the GFX 100, and it delivers fantastic image quality.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/8, 1.1s, ISO 100.
This is a stacked image of seven images. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Source raw files are available in the Gallery.

Of course, as I always mention when discussing the GFX system, 'medium format' means different things to different brands. Where full-frame means something obvious and consistent, the use of 'medium format' is less consistent. The GFX 100S, and all other GFX cameras, include a smaller image sensor than something like a Phase One camera system. The GFX 100S has a 43.8 x 32.9mm image sensor, which is 1.7 times the size of a full-frame "35mm" image sensor, but smaller than the 54 x 40mm sensor in a Phase One medium-format digital back.

The GFX 100S, like the GFX 100, does get a bit closer to the larger medium-format cameras in terms of file quality. The GFX 50S/R records 14-bit RAW images, while the GFX 100(S) records 16-bit RAW images. The GFX 100S also offers quite a bit in terms of ISO flexibility, with a native ISO range of 100-12,800, which is expandable to 50-102,400.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/8, 1/80s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Sharpness and colors

Let's cut to the chase. The GFX 100S captures super-sharp, highly-detailed images with excellent resolution. As you've seen in our First Shots for the GFX 100S, the 100S matches the GFX 100. This is, of course, unsurprising given that the cameras have identical imaging pipelines.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 43mm (34mm equiv.), f/8, 0.5s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Image quality is about more than just sharpness. Color and tonality matter just as much. In this regard, the GFX 100S is also great. Tonal transitions, from shadow to highlight regions and everywhere in between, are very good. Likewise, the GFX 100S produces images with pleasing colors. I especially like how the camera handles blues and greens, especially when you enable Color Chrome in the menus. Of course, the camera really shines when you process RAW files, but it's nonetheless important for a camera to produce great JPEG images, and the GFX 100S performs very well here.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 56mm (44mm equiv.), f/8, 6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 56mm (44mm equiv.), f/8, 6s, ISO 100.
100% crop of the above image. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 56mm (44mm equiv.), f/8, 6s, ISO 100.
100% crop of the above image. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

High ISO

Despite having a very high-resolution image sensor with a lot of pixels, the GFX 100S' backside-illuminated sensor does well at higher ISO settings. There's a noticeable decrease in fine detail as you increase the ISO, of course. Still, the image quality remains good, especially if you view the image at smaller sizes, and 102 megapixels give you plenty of room to play in that respect.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 48mm (38mm equiv.), f/8, 1/40s, ISO 6400.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 48mm (38mm equiv.), f/8, 1/40s, ISO 6400.
100% crop of the above image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The quality of the noise is also quite good. The noise is fine-grained and consistent, and the camera doesn't exhibit much color noise, which is harder to remove during noise reduction processing than luminance noise.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/4, 6.5s, ISO 12,800.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file. The GF 32-64mm f/4 is not well-suited to night photography, but this is an illustrative example of high ISO performance, nonetheless.
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/4, 6.5s, ISO 12,800.
100% crop from the above JPEG image. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/4, 6.5s, ISO 12,800.
100% crop from the original RAW file processed using ACR default settings. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Raw file flexibility

The GFX 100S has great dynamic range. When the dynamic range isn't enough, and you need to expand it during processing, you can perform significant adjustments to shadows and highlights without degrading image quality. It's effortless to work with the GFX 100S' RAW files.

In terms of measured dynamic range, we refer to Photons to Photos. The GFX 100S has just over 12.2 EV of dynamic range at base ISO, which is 0.3 EV more than the GFX 50S and about 0.6 EV more than the Nikon Z7 II and Sony A7R IV at base ISO settings. How does the GFX 100S compare to a larger-format medium-format camera like the Phase One IQ4? The 151-megapixel Phase One IQ4 150MP digital back offers 13.1 EV of dynamic range at its base ISO.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 49mm (39mm equiv.), f/16, 1/3s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Overall

The GFX 100S delivers excellent image quality. In terms of sharpness, the camera bests any full-frame camera on the market. It does the same concerning dynamic range. Further, overall tonality, color and RAW file flexibility are fantastic with the GFX 100S. Its image quality is one of its greatest strengths, especially compared to similarly-priced full-frame cameras.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/11, 0.6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Autofocus and performance: Much better in real-world use than the GFX 50S

Autofocus

The autofocus system in the GFX 50S is decent when viewed in a vacuum. However, when compared to the GFX 100S, the 50S feels incredibly slow. The GFX 100S has impressive autofocus speed and overall performance thanks to its hybrid autofocus system.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/4, 1/50s, ISO 2000.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The hybrid AF system features 3.76M phase-detect autofocus pixels, and the resulting autofocus is quite quick. Where the GFX 50S may hunt and struggle, the GFX 100S excels, especially in low light and other challenging situations. That said, the GFX 100S is not as fast as modern, high-end full-frame mirrorless cameras, but it is not that far off either. The GFX 100S is significantly better than the GFX 50S in terms of autofocus performance and noticeably less capable than the latest and greatest full-frame cameras in terms of AF speed and subject tracking.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/4, 1/50s, ISO 3200.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Performance

Much like with autofocus, the GFX 100S is faster than the GFX 50S but slower than full-frame rivals. Considering its 102-megapixel image sensor, the GFX 100S' maximum shooting speed of 5 frames per second is impressive, but it's still not up to the task of photographing demanding action sequences. The buffer depth is also a hindrance in these situations, as this camera tops out at just over a dozen images. While shooting continuously, RAW image quality drops from 16-bit to 14-bit, which is worth considering. Another area where the GFX 100S, like the GFX 100, struggles a bit is EVF blackout when shooting. Even if 5 fps is enough for you to track action, the viewfinder blackout can make that challenging.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/4, 1/50s, ISO 1000.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

The GFX 100S is much faster than the GFX 50S, not only in terms of shooting but also with respect to playback and menu navigation. The GFX 100S is just a snappier, more modern-feeling camera. It's a more polished performer.

Shooting experience

In the Field

Earlier, I discussed dynamic range and how the GFX 100S performs better than most full-frame cameras but poorer than medium-format cameras with larger image sensors. This leads to a worthwhile discussion about what the GFX 100S is, who it's for and how it compares to other cameras on the market.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/8, 1/90s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

I think the GFX 100S is competing against full-frame cameras, rather than something like the Phase One IQ4 in the medium-format space. This is for a few reasons. At $6,000, the GFX 100S is not inexpensive by any means, but it's not far off from high-end full-frame cameras and costs less than the 50MP Sony A1, for example. At $6,000, the GFX 100S is also a fraction of the cost of a large medium-format camera system.

Usability is also of critical importance to photographers. The GFX 100S looks like and handles like a traditional interchangeable lens camera. It is easy to carry around, and the control layout is familiar. Although not nearly as swift in use as something like a Sony A9, the camera is reasonably agile. When compared to a Phase One, the GFX 100S is super fast. You can pick it up and use it with ease, even for extended periods.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 42mm (33mm equiv.), f/11, 1.5s, ISO 100.
Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

When I first shot with the GFX 50S, I accepted sluggish performance, especially when considering autofocus, in exchange for excellent image quality. I had to change my shooting workflow to get the most from the camera. That's not the case with the GFX 100S. There's no compromise here in exchange for the amazing image quality. Autofocus is reasonably quick, you can shoot at decent speeds and overall performance is great. Plus, the GFX 100S has in-body image stabilization, which makes it even easier to use.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 59mm (47mm equiv.), f/8, 1/3s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

An area where the GFX 100S continues to come up short compared to full-frame cameras is lens selection. While the Fujinon GF lens lineup has been consistently improved in the last few years, it is still not nearly as diverse as the lens lineups from full-frame manufacturers. The widest lens is a 23mm f/4 prime. The fastest lens is the new 80mm f/1.7. The standard zoom is a 32-64mm f/4, which isn't as fast or useful as a 24-70mm f/2.8. The longest lens? It's a 250mm f/4. There's no fast zoom lens, there's no super-telephoto optic, and there aren't any in the immediate pipeline. While the GFX 100S, like the GFX 100 before it, is surprisingly quick and agile, the lenses aren't currently available for it to be a great choice for action, sports, or wildlife. I have successfully shot wildlife images with the GFX 100 and the GF 250mm f/4 lens, but it wasn't easy.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 58mm (46mm equiv.), f/8, 0.5s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

In 2019, the GFX 100 broke new ground in terms of image quality and performance for the GFX system. Prospective customers had to pay dearly for that performance ($10,000 is a lot of money). The GFX 100S is $6,000, which is $500 less than the original launch price of the GFX 50S. To be clear, $6,000 is not an insignificant sum of money, but the amount of imaging performance you get for $6,000 is very impressive.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/16, 0.6s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Can you find better image quality elsewhere? Sure, but not in any existing full-frame camera system, and certainly not for a price anywhere near $6,000. Can you get better autofocus and shooting performance than the GFX 100S? Absolutely. But not with the same image quality. The GFX 100S represents a special blend of image quality, performance and value that you will not find anywhere else.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/8, 5s, ISO 250.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Fujifilm GFX 100S Field Test Summary

The GFX 100S delivers incredible image quality and good performance

What I like most about the GFX 100S

  • While the body design includes some compromises, the overall control layout is good
  • Not large or heavy for a medium-format camera
  • Incredible image quality
  • Impressive performance for a medium-format camera
  • A fantastic value
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 59mm (47mm equiv.), f/8, 1/5s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

What I dislike about the GFX 100S

  • Underwhelming EVF
  • No vertical grip option or EVF tilt adapter compatibility
  • Continuous AF and shooting performance is a bit sluggish
  • The GFX system still lacking certain lenses

The Fujifilm GFX 100S is a remarkable achievement for Fujifilm. While the company had to cut a few features in pursuit of its aggressive price target for the camera, the GFX 100S doesn't lose any of the fantastic image quality of the GFX 100. The GFX 100S also doesn't discard any of the GFX 100's impressive performance, which is great for a medium-format camera even if some aspects of performance come up short relative to fast full-frame cameras.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm (51mm equiv.), f/16, 0.5s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

Ultimately, image quality is the star of the show. But it's important not to disregard usability and versatility. The GFX 100S delivers medium-format image quality in an easy-to-use, relatively lightweight package. The GFX 100S has no business being this impressive for its price. Is the camera still costly at $6,000? Sure, but it is worth every dollar and then some for photographers demanding the utmost in image quality. The GFX 100S is not a lesser version of the GFX 100. In many ways, it's the better – and much more affordable – choice.

Stay tuned for my Fujifilm GFX 100S Field Test Addendum, where I will discuss the GFX 100S' video performance and take a closer look at image stabilization.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm (25mm equiv.), f/8, 1.4s, ISO 100.
This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw. Click for the full-size image. Click here for the RAW file.

 

• • •

 

Fujifilm GFX 100S Product Overview - Hands-on Preview

by Jeremy Gray

In 2019, Fujifilm announced the GFX 100 medium-format mirrorless camera. The 102-megapixel GFX 100 offered consumers many 'world's firsts.' It was the first mirrorless camera with a 100-plus megapixel image sensor, the first medium-format camera with in-body image stabilization, and the first 4K-equipped medium-format mirrorless camera. However, breaking new ground can be expensive, and the GFX 100 launched with an accordingly high price point of $10,000.

From its front, the Fujifilm GFX 100S looks much more like a GFX 50S/R than the tall, gripped GFX 100.

The new GFX 100S keeps all these groundbreaking features and incorporates them into a lighter, smaller and more affordable package. The Fujifilm GFX 100S captures the spirit of the GFX 50S but with decidedly modern and more advanced execution.

The imaging pipeline, including the large 102-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and X-Processor 4, is maintained. The GFX 100S promises either the same or, in some cases, even better performance than the GFX 100 and fits it all into an impressively compact form factor. Compromises have been made, but after having gone hands-on with a pre-production GFX 100S, it's a very compelling camera. It is the successor to the GFX 50S many users have been hoping for.

Fujifilm GFX 100S Key Features

  • 102-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Native ISO range of 100-12,800
  • 16-bit raw files
  • New Nostalgic Negative Film Simulation
  • 3.76 million PDAF autofocus system covering nearly 100 percent of the image area
  • The same autofocus performance and speed as the GFX 100
  • New, smaller and more capable five-axis in-body image stabilization system
  • New smaller focal plane shutter mechanism
  • Quad-core X-Processor 4
  • 5 fps continuous shooting, 64GB DRAM
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy camera body
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • Top and rear sub displays
  • New controls, including top Mode dial
  • Tilting touchscreen display
  • 3.69M dot EVF (0.77x, 85fps refresh rate)
  • 4K/30p video recording
  • 12-bit ProRes RAW 4K/30p video, 4:2:0/4:2:2 10-bit (SD/HDMI)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Turning to the back, the GFX 100S is more like the GFX 50S/R than the GFX 100, due in part to the AF joystick and overall button layout. The GFX 100S has a different EVF than previous GFX cameras, employing the same EVF as the X-T4, which is a downgrade compared to the excellent EVF in the GFX 100.

GFX100S design and handling: A significant departure from the GFX 50S, but not a universal improvement

Where the GFX 100 was a radical departure from the design of the GFX 50S and even more so from the rangefinder inspired GFX 50R, the GFX 100S is a return to the general form and design language of the original GFX 50S in many ways. With that said, the GFX 100S has a fair bit in common with the GFX 100, too, despite looking quite different.

Comparing first to the GFX 50S, the GFX 100S has the same SLR style. The GFX 100S is thinner, losing the bulge behind the rear display. The result is a big improvement in terms of feel and appearance. The GFX 100S is more refined as a result.

The GFX 50S (left) vs the GFX 100S (right). The GFX 100S is a bit shorter, has about the same width and has the same overall grip shape and general design as the GFX 50S.

In terms of overall weight, the GFX 100S weighs about 20g less than the GFX 50S. The GFX 100S is slightly wider, slightly shorter (assuming the GFX 50S has its EVF attached), and is thinner due to the lack of bulge behind the display, which is where the GFX 50S has its battery compartment. The GFX 100S uses the same NP-W235 battery as the X-T4, which can fit inside the GFX 100S' front grip, eliminating the need to place the battery behind the rear display.

Speaking of the rear display, the GFX 100S has the same tilting 3.2" display as the GFX 100. The LCD has approximately 2.36M dots and can tilt in three directions. You can easily tilt the display up and down. You can hold a button on the left edge of the display to tilt the left edge up, making it useful when shooting in portrait orientation on a tripod. The total motion range is 90 degrees up, 45 degrees down, and 60 degrees to the right.

The GFX 100S has a tilting rear display. The display can tilt up, down and to the right.

The slimmed-down stature comes with compromises of varying importance. As a longtime GFX 50S user, a big loss is that the GFX 100S cannot accept a vertical battery grip. The GFX 50S has a fantastic optional battery grip, which might be the best and most comfortable grip I've ever used, and it is disappointing that the GFX 100S doesn't include the option to add one.

Further, the GFX 50S has a removable electronic viewfinder, which not only allows the camera to be slimmed down either for use in the field or for packing away in a bag but also allows for the use of an optional EVF tilt adapter. The GFX 100S' more traditional EVF is fixed in place, eliminating these options.

The GFX 50S (left) has more accessory options than the GFX 100S (right). The GFX 50S can accept a vertical battery grip, which is excellent, and can utilize Fujifilm's EVF tilt adapter, which is also a great accessory. These are both significant losses, in my opinion.

In terms of control changes, like the GFX 100, the GFX 100S doesn't include directional buttons on the back of the camera. On the GFX 50S, the directional pad can be used for menu navigation, and each direction is programmable to a function, which is useful. The GFX 100S instead has a joystick, which is used for moving the autofocus point while shooting and for menu navigation. You can also use the touchscreen to navigate the menus.

The GFX 100S also loses the dedicated ISO dial found on the GFX 50S but gains a larger top display that can show a digital ISO dial. The top display on the GFX 100S is fantastic, by the way, as it can show a lot of information, including a live histogram, and it's easy to read in a variety of lighting conditions. The display is 1.8" diagonally and has a 303x230 resolution.

Compared to the GFX 100, the GFX 100S has a similar button layout, but as noted, doesn't include the integrated vertical grip of the GFX 100. Like the GFX 100, and unlike the GFX 50S, the Playback button on the GFX 100S is located near the bottom right of the rear display. It's a much better spot than the awkward location on the GFX 50S. The GFX 100S also has a solid black color, like the GFX 50S/50R. The GFX 100 incorporates a two-tone black and gray design, which looks nice but doesn't fit with the Fujinon GF lenses' consistent styling.

The GFX 100S has a different eyecup than the GFX 50S and GFX 100. The EVF itself is different than both of those cameras as well, offering less magnification than the GFX 50S' EVF and less resolution and magnification than the excellent EVF in the GFX 100.

Like the EVF found on the GFX 50S, the GFX 100 also had a detachable EVF with a round eyepiece. The GFX 100S not only loses the detachability aspect, but the GFX 100S' EVF also has a rectangular eyepiece. The GFX 100S also has a lower-resolution EVF. The GFX 100 has a 5.76M dot OLED EVF, whereas the GFX 100S has a 3.69M dot EVF. The GFX 100S's EVF has 0.77x magnification and an 85 frames per second refresh rate. The GFX 100 and GFX 50S have better magnification of 0.86x and 0.85x, respectively. The GFX 100S' EVF is fine in use, but it's noticeably a step down from the fantastic EVF in the GFX 100. It's another instance of something lost in the pursuit of a lower price point.

To the left of the EVF on the GFX 100, the camera has a rotating dial to select between Movie, Multi, and Still image drive modes. There is also a Drive mode button. It's a strange use of the space. The GFX 100S, instead, includes a small switch between Movie and Still modes and opts for a full mode dial to the left of the EVF. This is a much better use of space and an improvement, in my opinion.

The GFX 50S (left) has more accessory options than the GFX 100S (right).

As part of its slimming down, the GFX 100S incorporates a new, smaller shutter mechanism and in-body image stabilization (IBIS) unit. The newly developed smaller IBIS system works better than the one found in the GFX 100. Whereas the GFX 100's IBIS topped out at 5.5 stops of compensation when using the GF 63mm f/2.8 lens, the GFX 100S's system tops out at 6 stops. Further, the GFX 100's system delivered up to 5 stops of compensation for every other GF lens, whereas the GFX 100S' ranges from 5 to 6 for other lenses, but it primarily offers between 5.5 and 6 stops of compensation. The new IBIS system weighs a bit less, too, shedding about 15 grams of weight. Finally, the IBIS in the GFX 100S can now sync with the optical image stabilization (OIS) found in the GF 120mm f/4, 250mm f/4, 45-100mm f/4, and 100-200mm f/5.6 lenses, something the IBIS in the GFX 100 cannot do.

In total, the GFX 100S is about 500g lighter and 30% smaller than the GFX 100. The IBIS system is 20% smaller and 10% lighter, a significant reduction that is critical to the GFX 100S' overall volume and design. The new smaller focal plane shutter mechanism is about 22% smaller and 16% lighter than the shutter found in the GFX 100. The new shutter has the same shutter speed range and durability rating of 150,000 actuations. Beyond size, an additional difference is that the new shutter in the GFX 100S has a slightly reduced release time lag (0.07s versus 0.09s).

The GFX 100S has a good design and feels great in the hands. The lack of a directional pad is unfortunate, but there's not necessarily a great place to put one either. The lack of ability to attach a vertical grip, although a result of balancing features with the desired price point (a great price point, by the way), is disappointing, as is inability to detach the EVF.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm, f/11, 2.5s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

Autofocus and performance: GFX 100 features galore

The GFX 100 represents a massive upgrade in autofocus capabilities and performance compared to the GFX 50S/R. Accordingly, given that it uses the same autofocus system, so is the GFX 100S. The GFX 100S has 3.76M phase-detection autofocus pixels, which cover nearly the entire image sensor. Compared to the GFX 50S/R, the GFX 100S delivers better autofocus speed and accuracy, especially when tracking subjects and shooting in low-light or low-contrast situations. The GFX 100S can focus in light as low as -5.5 EV. The GFX 100S is up to 200% quicker than the GFX 50R. Face/eye detection AF is also improved compared to the GFX 50-series models.

In real-world use, the GFX 100S autofocus seems every bit as good as the GFX 100. AF is quick and decisive, even in challenging situations. It's not as fast as the latest and greatest full-frame cameras, but it's impressive, nonetheless. It's also a lot faster than the GFX 50S I typically use. Where the GFX 50S often hunts, the GFX 100S does not struggle.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 43mm, f/11, 4s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.
100% crop of the above JPEG image. Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 43mm, f/11, 4s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

The AF doesn't lend itself to the GFX 100S being an action-oriented camera, and nor does the continuous shooting speed. With that said, the GFX 100S is quick, very quick when considering that it's a 102-megapixel medium-format camera. The GFX 100S features the same quad-core X-Processor 4 CPU as the GFX 100, resulting in the same maximum shooting speed of 5 frames per second.

However, there are caveats. When shooting continuously, RAW files are 14-bit, not 16-bit. Also, the buffer fills quickly and can take a decent chunk of time to clear. Considering the GFX 100S has the same guts as the GFX 100, you can refer to our GFX 100 lab tests to see what type of performance to expect from a production model GFX 100S.

When the GFX 100 introduced in-body image stabilization, it was a big deal. It still is, frankly, as it's an impressive accomplishment and truly changes how you can use the camera. The GFX 100S takes this even further with its smaller, redesigned, and more effective five-axis in-body image stabilization system. The new IBIS has an upgraded gyro sensor and detection algorithm. It can also work in sync with OIS, something the GFX 100 is incapable of doing. During my brief hands-on time, the IBIS worked as expected and is impressive.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm, f/11, 3s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

The new shutter is not easy to appreciate when using the camera, but it's worth discussing. The focal-plane shutter is smaller and weighs less. Fujifilm was able to engineer a smaller shutter by changing the layout of the motor and gearbox. The new shutter has an improved structure for reducing shutter shock, contributing to a shorter release time lag. The shutter is smaller, sure, but no less durable. Fujifilm promises the shutter is good for 150,000 actuations, like the larger, heavier shutter in the GFX 100.

Image quality and shooting features: Same excellent image sensor promises fantastic image quality

Image sensor and image quality

Before diving into this section, I must first point out that you will be unable to download full-size images captured with the GFX 100S. I used a pre-production sample, and therefore we cannot share the image files. Further, as current software doesn't fully support RAW processing, I cannot share processed files. The images seen in this hands-on preview are resized JPEG files straight from the camera. If you want to see what this image sensor is capable of, and it's capable of a lot, I refer you to my Fujifilm GFX 100 Field Test for now. There you can download full-size images and RAW files from the Gallery and our lab testing. You should expect the GFX 100S to deliver similar imaging performance.

As mentioned, the GFX 100S uses the same 102-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor as the GFX 100. The sensor is 43.8 x 32.9 mm, making it about 1.7x larger than a full-frame image sensor. While a medium format sensor, the GFX series doesn't use the same size image sensor as a Phase One or a Hasselblad H System medium format systems, which utilize 54 x 40 mm image sensors.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 6400. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

The GFX 100S image sensor omits an optical low-pass filter to ensure excellent sharpness. Based on my time with the camera, it captures extremely sharp images, especially at low ISO settings. The native ISO ranges from 100 to 12,800, and across much of this range, the image quality impresses.

Although I cannot process RAW files yet, the GFX 100S records 16-bit images, something the GFX 50S/R cameras cannot do. Based on my experience with the GFX 100, I expect the GFX 100S's 16-bit RAW files to be very flexible during processing and deliver fantastic sharpness, colors, and tonal ranges. The dynamic range, especially at low ISO settings, should be excellent.

Fujifilm recently released a firmware update for the GFX 100 that added the ability to use a new Multi-Shot Pixel Shift mode. This new mode, which requires specific Fujifilm software to use, produces a 400MP final image. I will be fully testing this mode during an upcoming Fujifilm GFX 100S Field Test as soon as I can get a final production review unit.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 32mm, f/13, 4s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

Shooting features

Something not available in the Fujifilm GFX 100 is the new Nostalgic Negative Film Simulation. It's possible, although I think unlikely, that it could be added to the GFX 100 via a firmware update. Fujifilm is excellent with adding new features to its existing cameras via firmware, but I don't recall any instance of a Film Simulation being added later. For example, the GFX 50S/R never received the Eterna Film Simulation included in the GFX 100. The new Nostalgic Negative Film Simulation is a color Film Simulation inspired by the 'American New Color Photography' movement that began in the 1970s. Senior director of marketing and product development for Fujifilm North America's Electronic Imaging Division, Victor Ha, says of Nostalgic Negative, 'This Film Simulation mode adds an amber tone to highlights for a uniquely soft look and boosts saturation to shadows, while still preserving details, to deliver images that feel both familiar and unfamiliar all at the same time.'

Video: 4K/30p camera with the addition of digital image stabilization

The Fujifilm GFX 100S includes the same video features as the GFX 100, plus a bit more. The GFX 100S records both DCI 4K (17:9) and 4K UHD video at up to 29.97p with a maximum bit rate of 400Mbps. The camera records using the image area's full width for 4K modes and for 1080/60p video (17:9 and 16:9 aspect ratios are available).

The top of the GFX 100S is better-designed than the top of the GFX 100 thanks in large part to the revised mode dial design.

The GFX 100S has a new trick up its sleeve, however: digital image stabilization. When recording using Digital IS, there is a 1.1x crop, but that's the only difference. It will be interesting to see how the Digital IS performs during rigorous testing.

In terms of overall video features, the GFX 100S records in AAC/H.264/H.265(HEVC) codecs and has access to 19 Film Simulations. The camera records F-Log/HLG/ProRes RAW video formats, including 12-bit recording over HDMI. Using HDMI, the video is 4:2:2. When recording to the internal SD card, the video is 4:2:0. Video may have been something of an afterthought with the GFX 50S/R cameras, with the best video recording option being 1080/30p, but the video capabilities of the GFX 100S are impressive.

Ports, power and connectivity: GFX 100S uses a different battery

The GFX 100S writes images/videos to dual UHS-II SD card slots. Like the GFX 100, there's no XQD/CFexpress card slot. The camera includes the following ports: USB-C, Micro HDMI, PC Sync, 2.5mm remote release, 3.5mm microphone, and 3.5mm headphone. The GFX 100S doesn't include the AC adapter port of the GFX 100, which could be a big deal for studio photographers but is unlikely to matter much to most photographers. You can power the camera via the USB-C port using external power supplies.

The GFX 100S has many of the same ports as the GFX 100, but doesn't have an AC port. However, you can power the GFX 100S via USB-C.

In terms of power, the GFX 100S uses the same NP-W235 lithium-ion battery as was introduced alongside the Fujifilm X-T4. The battery is rated to deliver 460 frames per charge. This is 60 more shots than a single NP-T125 battery in the GFX 100, although that camera does accept two batteries. When recording video, you can expect about two hours of continuous recording. There is no video recording limit for the GFX 100S; instead, you are limited by storage or power.

Fujifilm GFX 100S versus Fujifilm GFX 100 and GFX 50S/R

GFX 100S versus GFX 100

The GFX 100S shares a lot in common but has significant differences from its 102-megapixel sibling, the GFX 100. The most obvious difference is visual, as the GFX 100S is much more compact than the GFX 100. The differences in form factor and desired price point results in the GFX 100S having a lower-res, non-detachable, and less impressive electronic viewfinder overall. It also means that where the GFX 100 has a built-in grip, the GFX 100S cannot accept an optional grip.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm, f/16, 12s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

On the plus side, the GFX 100S has a new smaller shutter mechanism and, more impressively, a smaller and lighter in-body image stabilization system that is better. The GFX 100S also has a different battery, which delivers more still frames per charge.

The list of what's the same between the $10,000 GFX 100 and the $6,000 GFX 100S is much longer than the list of what's different. Both cameras use the same imaging pipeline, including the fantastic 102-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor. The much-improved phase-detect autofocus system is also the same as is the good continuous shooting performance. And the 4K/30p video with no crop? The same.

GFX 100S versus GFX 50S/R

Like the GFX 100, the GFX 100S outstrips the GFX 50S/R in practically every way. The primary difference is, of course, the image sensor. 102 megapixels is a heck of a lot more than 50.1, and the GFX 100S includes a 400-megapixel Multi-Shot Pixel Shift feature. The image sensor itself is just better, too, offering 16-bit recording, improved dynamic range, and better tonal response.

The GFX 50S (left) has a different control layout than the GFX 100S (right). I prefer the buttons of the GFX 100S overall, although I do miss the directional pad found on the GFX 50S.

The GFX 100S also features the vastly improved phase-detect autofocus system, which is better across the board than the contrast-detect system in the GFX 50S/R. The GFX 100S also has improved continuous shooting performance despite having a higher resolution sensor. Plus, the GFX 100S has in-body image stabilization, which is a big deal and results in the GFX 100S being a more capable camera in a wider variety of situations. When considering the large difference in autofocus performance, the GFX 100S is a significantly more versatile camera.

Video is also a massive area of disparity between the GFX 100S and the GFX 50S/R. The GFX 50S/R records 1080/30p video, whereas the GFX 100S records 4K/30p video. The GFX 100S has many more video-centric features and functions as well, making it a legitimate video camera, while the GFX 50S/R is one of the last cameras I'd reach for to record video.

On the negative side, the GFX 50S has a detachable EVF and can accept an optional vertical battery grip, things the GFX 100S cannot do. But the GFX 100S has, in my opinion, a better overall design and control layout.

Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm, f/11, 4.5s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.
100% crop of the above JPEG image. Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR lens at 64mm, f/11, 4.5s, ISO 100. Original JPEG image file. Shot with a pre-production Fujifilm GFX 100S using pre-production firmware.

The case for the GFX 100S

You get a lot of camera for the money. The GFX 100, despite its high price, was a relatively good value in the medium format camera market. The GFX 100S then is an even stronger value. Admittedly, you lose some functionality and features in exchange for the $4,000 reduction in price, but for almost everyone, especially those looking to upgrade from a GFX 50S or GFX 50R, opting for the new 100S over the GFX 100 is an easy choice.

But is the GFX 100S worth upgrading to for existing GFX 50S/R owners? It's not obvious. I need more time with the GFX 100S to decide how much better it is than the GFX 50S I have used since the GFX system launched. I believe that the GFX 100S promises to be an excellent camera and a great value in the medium-format space.

With its 102-megapixel medium-format CMOS image sensor, the GFX 100S promises excellent image quality. Stay tuned to Imaging Resource for our full Field Test of the GFX 100S.

Pricing and availability: A potential steal at $6,000 and arriving soon

The Fujifilm GFX 100S will launch with an MSRP of $6,000 USD ($7,800 CAD). The camera is expected to arrive in March. It will be available in black and as a body-only option. An optional metal hand grip will also be available for $149 USD ($195 CAD).

 

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