Hands-on First Look Review of the 102MP Fujifilm GFX 100S Camera

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Hands-on photo of the Fujifilm GFX100S

Our friends at Imaging Resource, which is Digital Photo Pro’s sister site, were among the first few journalists to get their hands on the highly anticipated new Fujifilm GFX 100S and they came away impressed. In an extensive first look review of the forthcoming 102MP medium format camera, Imaging Resource Reviews Editor Jeremy Gray calls the Fujifilm GFX 100S “an excellent camera and a great value in the medium-format space.”

Below is a rundown of some of Gray’s key first impressions of the GFX 100S, which was announced by Fujifilm a little over a week ago, after getting a chance to test out a pre-production version of the camera. We’ve also included a few of Imaging Resource’s real-world images of the Fujifilm GFX 100S. You can read the full IR review and see Gray’s test shots over at Imaging Resource.

But first, here are the key features of the Fujifilm GFX 100S, which will go on sale in March 2021 for the surprising price of $5999. The previous model, the GFX 100, sells for $10,000.

  • 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
  • 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
Hands-on photo of back of Fujifilm GFX100S
From 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.

Design & Build

“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,” according to Imaging Resource’s first look review.

“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. As a longtime GFX 50S user, a big loss is that the GFX 100S cannot accept a vertical battery grip.”

Autofocus & Performance

“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,” the Imaging Resource early review states.

“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. 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.”

Fujfilm GFX100S comparison image
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.

Conclusion

“You get a lot of camera for the money, ” the review concludes. “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. 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.” (Read Imaging Resource’s full hands-on preview of the Fujifilm GFX100 S here.)

Check the price and availability of the Fujifilm GFX 100S at B&H.

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