The Fujifilm GFX 100s Long-Term Review
A powerhouse medium format digital body camera from Fujifilm, offering creatives an accessible approach to high quality professionalism across the board.
The sensor is no joke. The GFX 100S offers a legendary color science that delivers the beautiful tones it is renowned for time and time again. A high-powered camera for the medium format digital world.
The GFX 100S boasts 102 megapixels across a medium format sensor body with 6-stops of image stabilization and nearly two dozen film simulations. That's the Twitter-length elevator pitch that should perk up the ears of any camera geek. However — a spec sheet alone isn't enough for professional photographers to create an overwhelming magnetism. It comes back to the feel and overall experience of making images. That's what I'd argue professionals value more.
What We Love:
Loads of Data with the Large Sensor
Works at speeds of up to 0.16 sec in light as low as -5.5EV.
102MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor combines with the X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU to deliver images of astonishing quality and professional 4K/30p video.
One of the best medium format digital cameras made accessible for the average media consumer.
Product Type: Medium Format Digital Camera
Best For: Professional photographers entering the medium format universe with a focus on studio portraits, slower lifestyle scenes, and a knack for image with sharp clarity.
GFX 100S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Body
If you're looking for a 35mm full-frame sensor DSLR, this is the high resolution camera to get! The Fuji GFX 100 has a 1.7 X bigger sensor than the competitionBuy for $5,999.00
A Camera That Goes Beyond the Status Quo…
I took the GFX 100S across various productions worldwide to push my personal and client work to new heights. What impressed me the most was that while not perfect, there are very few compromises made with this medium format monster. As a photographer, one might feel they can create anything with this camera, but various limitations exist. As much as Fujifilm will crank their marketing to make this camera seem like the most obvious choice for professional creators, we're still talking about a camera worth over $6,000 with premium lenses that land north of $2,000 each.
Keeping these variables in mind, let's dive in and explore how much actual value this camera brings.
There's a heft to the GFX 100S that reminds me of my old Nikon D800. With the dimensions of a premium full-frame camera, this steers away from what makes the Fujifilm X-series so unique. However, it feels great in the hand where your middle finger sits in this comfortable notch, allowing your index finger to trigger the shutter easily. The grip has plenty of room for most hands to clutch onto where the optional metal grip plate may not feel necessary.
The overall look of the camera is immaculate. Flip to the top, and you start to see more of that classic Fujifilm signature — especially with the always-on sub LCD monitor. Like the GFX 100 from 2019, you can customize this display to reveal metadata, control dials, or histograms. I never found the fake-control dials handy; they often feel more challenging to discern. I stuck to the settings view for most of my time, and it worked perfectly.
The camera body features a single-mode dial with six customizable profiles and a stills/movie switch. This setup doesn't remind me of that epic photography experience I've come to know and love from Fujifilm, especially when I'm traveling the world and like to explore my surroundings. However, back to context, this camera is not one I'd bring on a romantic photo walk in a new city. The 100S is a workhorse in the studio or for a professional production with the expectation of working fast and turning over results.
The real value of any Fujifilm camera lies in building recipes you can rely on for most of your image-making experience. I can quickly sift through various coloring options for a particular setting that suits my needs. This mode dial compliments the professional shooting environment and makes getting to where you need to be quicker. It might not pull on those retro heartstrings, but there's no denying how much value it brings to the studio.
The back of the camera has a 3.2" LCD with an acceptable 2.36M dots capable of tilting up, down, and to the right. The screen makes it easy to compose unique shots, specifically at a lower angle. Unlike other modern Fujifilm X-series solutions, the focus switch sits at the back of the camera, and I think I prefer this location. My right thumb can swiftly switch between focus modes where my left hand never leaves the lens. Additionally, you have a healthy set of buttons that feel dense and responsive to navigate the camera.
Image Quality & Experience
A notable feature I couldn't wait to talk about — the new stabilization unit. You can shoot handheld at a tenth of a second and still get great shots. While some people may say the camera's heft makes this more manageable, you have to factor in the size of this sensor corner to corner and that even the tiniest shift throws off your image. It's a significant achievement for a camera like this to have such good stabilization for photography.
The addition of Nostalgic Negative is something I didn't know I needed in my life, but this film simulation has quickly become one of my favorites. This look's bump of saturation does some exciting things with the reds but doesn't dial up the contrast in a way that Classic Chrome or Classic Negative would. It's something that I found myself going back to a few times. My only issue with this simulation is that Fujifilm hasn't found a way to bring this to their X-series cameras. I'd be shooting with this all day on my X100V if I could.
Speaking of all day... battery life! The team at Fujifilm has BLESSED us by using a single battery that they introduced with the X-T4. It makes for a great user experience for anyone, like myself, who lives and works in the Fuji ecosystem. They rate the battery for about 460 shots, which I'd say is pretty accurate. I need roughly two batteries for a 12-hour day when I'm not shooting tethered.
This sensor is no joke. You can capture uncompressed 16-bit raw files with this rich tonality and micro-contrast, offering incredible depth to any photo. The color information offers a beautiful tonal when capturing melanin-rich skin, which is a feature I particularly love and appreciate. The sensor will undoubtedly elevate your work for anyone working in fashion, portraiture, weddings, or landscapes, especially if you're coming from an X-series camera.
After pixel-peeping the images, each photo's information was richly uncompressed and continuously offered incredible amounts of data to work within the editing room. It's complicated to poke holes in the IQ of this camera and what it brings to the table.
Autofocus is another place that seems to have gotten a healthy upgrade from the last GFX system I've used. Face and eye detection work reliably in well-lit environments; however, as the contrast drops, I started to see the eye detection lag, while the face detection held reliably. It isn't as sticky as you'd see on something like a Sony Alpha 1, but the difference is by no means earth-shattering.
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Drawbacks & Challenges
When I look at an impressive camera like the GFX 100s, at some point, I can't help but think how a camera like this can improve for the future beyond just throwing more megapixels. The viewfinder and LCD on the back feel like they should've shipped with higher resolutions to match the brevity this camera brings.
The protrusion on the left side that houses the Quick Menu button felt a little odd at times, where it seemed either a little too low or too big. It felt like it was unnecessarily pushing against my hand during extended operation.
Moving onto some things that I feel more assertive about, the directional pad on the back looks like a disc-based joystick but operates more like their traditional directional pads. There were many times when I would want to bring the focus point back to the center, but it would awkwardly shift directions or vice versa. I felt this was an inferior feature and wished Fujifilm had crafted it differently.
Next, as we've come to expect with Fujifilm cameras and image stabilization, while they're great for photography, the algorithm seems to work against natural movements you'd want for video. Additionally, this camera ships with a micro-HDMI port despite its size, a port that is far too flimsy and should be rightfully omitted, in my opinion.
I do wish this camera had at least one slot for a higher speed card of some kind, be it CF Express or XQD.
Lastly, the GFX logo seems out of place on the side. It was almost as if it were an afterthought, but that may just be me.
At first glance, the Fujifilm GFX 100s looks to compete with cameras like the Canon EOS R5 and Sony Alpha 1. There's so much on the table between the three, though it comes down to what consumers value most. There's only one camera on this list that shoots north of 50MP. There's only one camera on this list that shoots over 4K without the worry of overheating. And that might not be a strong differentiator for the platform-agnostic, it still has some power with those that grew up with Canon being synonymous with creativity.
When paired against the competition, the GFX ultimately wins because of its ability to create high-resolution images with speed. The 16-bit RAW files are a huge win for those that want beautiful tonality. The body's strong ability to capture a dynamic environment is what makes the 100S far more appealing than the Hasselblad X1D II, where visual acuity is held back by how quickly it can perform. Ultimately, there's no one clear winner in my eyes; it just comes back to what you value most for your image creation. Is the GFX for everyone? No. But there's no denying that widening the offering in digital medium format and providing more choice in the market is excellent for consumers.
Even with the marketing noise about what this can do in video and recording in ProRes RAW, the Fujifilm GFX 100s, in my eyes, is not a market disruptor. It is important because it marks an inflection point for the company where digital medium format photography has become significantly more accessible for professional image creators. This device is as vital as it needs to be. For years, I've carved out a career with a crop sensor camera creating award-winning images worldwide and meeting some phenomenal humans along the way. At no point did I feel like I needed a medium format sensor to be better.
However, when companies like Fujifilm aggressively lower the barrier to entry into this technology, people like myself that begin to see more and more success might be lucky enough to look at a camera like the GFX 100s and think sh*t… what if? What if we were to introduce a new tool that brings so much to the table it objectively raises the ceiling in which we practice our medium? That's what the GFX 100s is. It's a tangible example of the continued democratization of creative technology. Or, in simpler terms, it's just f*cking brilliant.
What It Has:
Lens Mounts: Fujifilm G Mount
Sensor Size: 43.8mm X 32.9mm
Focuses on subjects as quickly as 0.16 sec, even in light levels as low as -5.5EV
3.2 inch Tilt-Type (Three Direction) Touch Screen Color LCD Monitor
What It Does:
102MP, back-illuminated large-format CMOS sensor
X-Processor 4 quad-core CPU
Record 4K/30p footage in 10-bit F-log or 12-bit ProRes RAW
Updated autofocus bring
Dimensions: (W) 150.0mm × (H) 104.2mm × (D) 87.2mm