The Fujifilm GFX 50s II vs GFX 100s | Which Is Best For You?
Looking to enter the digital medium-format ecosystem? These two Fujifilm cameras offer what you need. But which one is right for you?
For the photographer looking to graduate into digital medium-format imagery, these two cameras—the GFX 50s II and GFX 100s—are the first two worth considering. However, they differ in application from their $2,000 price gap, which may lead you to believe. They share identical bodies, and if it weren't for the subtle branding on the 50s II, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Let me take this one step further; you could look at two images from these respective cameras and likely, not tell the difference. With that said, how do you choose? How would you decide which of these two cameras would serve as the right upgrade for your work?
I've been shooting on the GFX system in some capacity over the last four years, and this year, I moved my professional work entirely to this GFX 100S. Shortly after this move, I got ample time to the 50s II, which was convenient as it allowed me to formulate a more prosperous opinion on how they stack up against each other. The decision on which of these cameras you should get ultimately comes down to the speed of your work over your patience. That is to say, the slower your subject matter is and the more patient you are as a creator, the more likely it is that the GFX 50s II is a better investment for your work. Conversely, if you shoot dynamically and your patience is closer to that of a prepubescent child, the GFX 100s will make for a better creative tool.
GFX100S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Body
- Loads of data with its large sensor.
- 102MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor.
- 4K video.
The More Accessible
GFX50S II Mirrorless Camera - Body
- Highly responsive autofocus
- Stellar IBIS
The Fujifilm GFX 100S
GFX 100S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera Body
A powerhouse medium format digital body camera from Fujifilm, offering creatives an accessible approach to high quality professionalism across the board.
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.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II
GFX 50S II Medium Format Mirrorless Camera
A striking camera tool at an affordable price, this camera deserves a spot in the Fujifilm lineup. But is it the right camera for you?
The Fujifilm GFX 50s II is a formidable camera that houses a medium format sensor with striking color reproduction at an affordable price. However, behind the modern body sits an older, dated sensor. This reality might shift consumers into two tribes — those that see it as an incredible value and those left wanting more.
The GFX 50s II captures images at a smidge over 50 megapixels. The 100s capture them at 102 megapixels, but because of the different techniques of these sensors, the dynamic range and noise performance are remarkably similar. The 100s has the unique ability to shoot 16-bit RAW files compared to 14-bit files on the 50s II, and this may be important, so I'll revisit this later in the article. While both sensors share the same size and dimensions, the 50s II has a half stop more of stabilization than its bigger brother at 6.5 stops, but this may not be enough to tip scales in a meaningful way.
On top of the same physical body, it's nice that these cameras share the same 3.69M dot OLED viewfinder and 3.2" LCD, although I wish the LCD had a bit more resolution. And importantly, both cameras share the same 19 film simulations and color modes, which is great for users.
Where the cameras diverge is speed and video. The GFX 100s has back-side illuminated sensors with phase-detect autofocus, whereas the 50s II is not a BSI sensor and sticks to a contrast-based focusing system. First, this translates to the 100s being much quicker to focus, especially in lower light situations. Second, it likewise means that it can record up to 4K30P with RAW video output and a bevy of other video features, whereas the 50s II can shoot no further than 1080P. I don't see either of these options optimal for video work. It's a nice-to-have even in the 100s, but most people prefer their photography capabilities.
One last difference, and maybe the deciding factor for some, the Fujifilm GFX 50s II comes in at $4,000, a total of $2,000 less than the GFX 100s, which means that you can get a body and a lens for less than a 100s body. That speaks volumes to many creatives.
Choosing the GFX 100s
Why would you take one over the other? Let's look at the GFX 100s first — this is a camera that once again has the same physical size sensor as the 50s II. Although it produces twice the resolution, it maintains the same ISO and dynamic range as the 50s II because of the BSI technology. In a like-for-like technology situation, lower-resolution sensors have better light gathering ability than higher resolution sensors. Nevertheless, the 50s II has a four-year-old sensor that doesn't employ the advancements of back-side illumination.
On top of this, the phase-detect autofocus system is noticeably faster, especially when you opt in to using features like face and eye detection. The technology in the 100s works as well as it does in something like the Fujifilm X-T4, where it's reliable in most situations even though it may lag behind other brands in the camera space, like Canon and Sony. Keep in mind, though; this is still a massive, medium-format sensor that's 70% larger than full-frame, so that performance is still phenomenal against the field.
The GFX 100s can capture 16-bit raw files meaning that it has considerably more color information per channel than the 50s II. The thing to keep in mind here is that anything beyond 10-bit is pretty much unnoticeable to us by default. However, when you process your files, shift colors, and adjust curves, you stretch and compress these color channels, and the difference between them can become more noticeable. So in simpler terms, the GFX 100s gives you a higher ceiling to play with your colors in post-production and push your creative vision. Between the two, this is the camera to get if you shoot quickly, hope to shoot in changing environments, and further proof your photography. And sure, let's include medium format videography as well.
What the GFX 100s does is open up the bandwidth, this widening if you will, for your creativity. Suppose you're more of a maximizer than a satisfier when it comes to the tools you use. In that case, you'll gravitate to this camera because it gives you noticeably better performance that you may take advantage of through your creative journey. With that said, if you know what you plan on creating, you might conclude that the GFX 50s II is plenty enough for your work.
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
Choosing the GFX 50s II
This camera lacks speed, though resolution makes up for value. You have a camera here that can produce vibrant files, have access to incredible GF glass, give you that medium-format look ALL THE WHILE, saving you at least $2,000! That's a lot. For instance, one can buy the 50s II, a lens, and a worldwide plane ticket for the price of a GFX 100s. That's highly attractive if what you capture often finds itself in reliable light and doesn't move around.
Don't get me wrong, you can capture people and portraits with no problem, but if your subject begins to shift rapidly, you'll have to switch to manual focus and develop that muscle. It's not impossible but it demands practice. Now, if you move to landscapes, architecture, products, macro, and, hell, even astrophotography, the 50s II can be plenty and help you get into creating much sooner. It's easy to default to the "better" option, but you have to be willing to ask, better for whom? Don't blindly follow the spec sheet and file sizes. If you look at what you shoot, you may find yourself in a place where the GFX 50s II is more than enough of a camera for your creative work.
GFX 50S II Medium Format Mirrorless Camera
Looking for a Medium Format camera surpassing its counterparts? Fujifilm GFX 50S II has a sensor 17x bigger than the average and incredible image stabilizationBuy for $3,199.00
With the GFX 100s and 50s II, Fujifilm has two formidable offerings for those looking to dive into medium format digital imagery. These tools work exceptionally well and can elevate the work you create so long as you match the specs with your creative vision. Choosing between them is honestly asking more about you and your work than these cameras can do. I've hammered this point a lot across my articles and videos, but I'm going to repeat it, look at what you create, where you do it, and how often in a critical way, and you'll know exactly which of these two cameras is suitable for your journey.