Best Fujifilm GFX 100 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020:
The GFX 100 medium format hybrid presents itself as a concentrate of technology and must assume its place as a standard bearer in the Fujifilm range. Are the results up to the brand’s ambitions? Answer in this test …
Announced in September 2018, then presented in detail in May 2019, the Fujifilm medium format GFX 100 hybrid complements the top range of cameras with large sensors. While the Japanese company already has the GFX 50S and GFX 50R in its catalog , the GFX 100 is presented with a list of superlative technical characteristics.
- 1 Best Fujifilm GFX 100 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
- 1.1 1. Fujifilm GFX 100 102MP Medium Format Digital Camera (Body Only),Black
- 1.2 2. Fujifilm X100F 24.3 MP APS-C Digital Camera-Black
- 1.3 3. Fujifilm GFX 50R Medium Format Mirrorless Camera (Body Only) FUJINON GF 63mm F/2.8 R WR Lens
- 1.4 4. Fujifilm GFX 50R 51.4MP Mirrorless Medium Format Camera (Body Only)
- 1.5 5. Fujifilm X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) – Black
- 1.6 CONCLUSION
Best Fujifilm GFX 100 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals & Sales 2020
A concentrate of technology
A magnesium alloy construction with an all-weather finish, a revised ergonomics that is more modern and in phase with professional needs, an autofocus with phase detection, face recognition, an electronic viewfinder of 5.76 Mpx or yet the mechanical stabilization of the 102 MP sensor is only a small part of the many advantages and functions offered by the GFX 100.
Fujifilm wishes to create a rupture in the medium format market which it considers sclerotic. His answer: the GFX 100. Faced with competitors like Hasselblad or Phase One, the manufacturer wants to get the medium format out of the studio. And in a certain sense, democratize it. The performances must be exemplary, in line with the requirements of 2019 on the high-end photography market.
Price, an argument that carries weight
However, if innovation is its spearhead, it is not the only one. Fujifilm wants to hit hard. Brutal, the brand breaks prices. If the competition also offers hybrids, the promised technical characteristics are not of the same level. And to find an equivalent number of pixels, you will have to spend more than triple that at Fujifilm.
However, the device is not really given. It is sold for almost € 11,000, in a naked version. This amount, which is far from the average budget of the general public, is rather advantageous for a professional specializing in art reproduction, product photography or prestige portraiture. The already well-developed G-mount optical fleet will finish driving the point home, again with attractive costs for this type of very specific product.
Fujifilm is well known to the general public for its Instax instant devices, but also for its range of hybrids with smaller sensors, in APS-C format. Among them, the X-T3 or X-T30 are among the best references on the market, in particular due to photography-oriented ergonomics and a neo-retro style . With the GFX 100, the Japanese change direction a little.
On the one hand, the “Fuji-style” ergonomics are very present. For regulars of the brand, getting your bearings will be easy. For others, it will still take time to adapt. On the side of the control buttons, their position, their function or their configurable aspect, nothing is missing. In the menus, the filiation with the previous models leaves little glimpses of differences.
A look that is lacking and a finish that can be improved
On the other hand, Fujifilm wants to position the GFX 100 as a modern device, ahead of its time. Or on the competition anyway. The vintage style is abandoned, welcome to a look that could be described as … singular. The leather finish is combined with a satin gray paint. The mixture of textures and colors is sure to divide. We inevitably get used to it, but we found it hard to adhere, like most of the people to whom we showed the device. Tastes are however personal and everyone will judge.
As for the finishes, without being bad, they can be improved. While APS-C boxes are less subject to these criticisms, the feeling of use can let feel a certain lack of quality. A character that we had already noticed on the other GFXs and which tarnishes the picture a little. To better understand this aspect, the example of the access hatches to the connectors is telling: in a slightly shiny rubber, they droop miserably once opened. But it is at closure that the example is most striking. Without click or lock, the haptic feedback is zero and leaves a low-end feeling.
To complement this desire for innovation, the GFX 100 sees two monochrome control screens appear, the display of which can be partially modified. The information is adapted to the mode chosen (video, photo, bracketing). In addition, on the upper screen, a scroll mode can link to the manual ergonomics of the brand’s other cameras. Finally, viewing a histogram is also possible.
The second screen, positioned at the back, is smaller. It contains most of the information already visible. This is a bit duplicate, but depending on the position of the device, some will appreciate. This secondary display remains effective, but in a reduced definition and thus contrasts with the high-end position of the case. The white-black contrast can be inverted, for better readability depending on the ambient light conditions.
The main screen of the GFX 100 with a diagonal of 3.2 “is tactile. It is tiltable in three directions. It is appreciable, but still less versatile than a ball joint. If the definition of 2.36 million points provides a very good display, we could ask for a little more: at first glance, the space does not seem to be lacking at the back and a larger diagonal would have been a plus.
As usual, Fujifilm offers a large number of buttons and dials, which can often be configured using numerous functions. It is easy to get lost. Especially since, by default, certain choices of the brand can confuse newcomers. For the regulars, and as said before, there is no break with the other models of the brand, it is a good thing. With a little time, it is possible to configure a box in its image and which will be formidable.
In addition, the GFX 100 can be used directly in portrait mode. The grip is already fully integrated on the bottom of the device. At the same level as in the classic position, the main controls are doubled. Shooting in one direction or another is then done transparently. However, the change of coating between the imitation leather and the paint is not necessarily pleasant. The problem comes mainly from the curve of the low handle which is completely different from that of the main socket. And it turns out to be more angular and less pleasant. It’s a shame, even for a secondary position.
Finally, the handling of the GFX 100 is not as pleasant as desired. This is exacerbated by the size and weight of the hybrid. With a simple fixed focal length like the Fujinon GF63 mm F2.8 R WR , the 2 kg are almost reached. On the larger side, the GFX 100 measures more than 16 cm. Going out as we did in street photography mode is a real pleasure that will not fail to show up on your wrists or on your neck.
An exemplary electronic viewfinder
During the presentation in detail of the GFX 100 by Toshi Iida, the head of the optical and image department of Fujifilm, the speaker did not fail to kindly tackle his competitors and their “supposedly high-end” cameras with their insufficiently defined viewfinder . With 5.76 Mpx, the viewfinder offers a record definition introduced with the Lumix S1 and S1R from Panasonic. However, Fujifilm offers its personal touch with a magnification of 0.86x, higher than that of the aforementioned competitor. The viewfinder is detachable and can be replaced by an adjustable model sold as an option.
The viewfinder is very comfortable. Even if the sensation is not that of an optical viewfinder, we still feel that we are reaching a certain maturity of technology. Progress is always possible to approach a rendering devoid of defects. For example, a colorimetry which could be less flattering – even if the settings can be partly modified – and a greater reactivity whatever the light conditions. Three viewing modes are available. Priority can be given to resolution for better visual quality or to the display frequency for better fluidity. The third mode gives priority to the autofocus for more velocity.
Various functions and profiles
Dear to Fujifilm and praised by many aficionados, the exclusive creative profiles of Fufilm are obviously not forgotten. We find the classic Acros or Velvia and others. Several effects are available, such as adding grain or enhancing colors and contrasts. To reduce the amount of detail that the 102MP sensor can store, a filter that softens the rendering can be applied. The rendering is similar to the techniques used with split frequency (or frequency separation in French). It is, for example, particularly useful in portrait.
Full connectivity and dual battery
By targeting the professional market much less volatile than the general public in its acts of purchase, Fujifilm has provided the connectivity of the GFX 100. For power supply and transfer of photos, USB-C was chosen in its version 3.1, one of the fastest to date and compatible with USB PD. In the same vein, IEEE802.11a / b / g / n / ac Wi-Fi was chosen. Bluetooth is also part of the game alongside an HDMI, microphone, headset and a remote control jack. Finally, two SDXC ports are available. Some may regret the absence of an XQD port.
On the battery side, two are housed in the lower handle of the GFX 100. The box will work even if one of the two batteries is exhausted. Obviously, shooting during feeding is possible. Scheduled for 800 shots, it is difficult for us to precisely check the performance of autonomy in our test conditions. However, during our tests, we managed to chain several hundred images while filming in 4K, suggesting good results under normal conditions of use.
A swift autofocus
Fujifilm presents the GFX 100 as the heir to some of the technologies embedded in the X-T3 – which proved to be very swift in our tests. Phase detection or the processor is one of them. From the first photographs out of the box, the good performance of the whole is apparent. The autofocus is efficient and fast. The shots are linked.
It’s quite impressive, especially when you know that the sensor is 102 Mpx and that a raw file weighs more than 200 MB. The only element that will betray the incredible definition is the scrolling of the images on the memory card. It is done, here too, without blinking. But to achieve this speed, a preview in low definition is first displayed for a fraction of a second, so as not to interfere with navigation.
Once in our laboratory, our first feeling is quickly confirmed. The measurements are very good. Some boxes manage to offer even lower values, but this remains more than convincing. The start is above the second and is not one of the best references. However, it remains rather reactive.
More than 3 GB swallowed by the buffer
On the burst side, the promises are kept, with a little more than 5 fps. If the speed itself is not impressive – much more modest boxes double this score – it is clear that Fujifilm did things right, given the size of the files. With the most demanding parameters, no less than 13 consecutive images can be collected by the buffer memory, or more than 3 GB of data.
Eye tracking is a great help
At this point, and as time passes testing the GFX 100, we are less and less surprised. The performance promises promised by Fujifilm are there and are very similar to those of the X-T3 . During our previous tests, we found an ambivalent detection and monitoring. If the subject is a little too far away – over a distance greater than 4 or 5 meters -, the autofocus generally does not manage to take stock in our test conditions.
However, like the X-T30 hybrid tested in spring 2019, once the subject is positioned in the device’s comfort zone, it is difficult to fault it. Monitoring is generally very effective. To be completely fair, it should be noted that the autofocus sometimes lags behind the movement: the focus is then only between the eye and the ear, rather towards the temple . It is less visible with the diaphragm closed, but easier to detect at full opening. This result is also to be balanced under real conditions of use where the subject who poses generally makes fewer movements than during our tests.
Electronic noise management
Equipped with a 102 MP medium format sensor, the GFX 100 performs an atypical sensitivity increase. As standard, the maximum value is ISO 12,800. In range, the minimum sensitivity is ISO 50 for ISO 102,400 maximum. We could not test this last setting in our laboratory, because in our lighting conditions, it requires the use of the electronic shutter in order to maintain the same level of exposure. By using it, access to the highest sensitivities is refused. This behavior is found on the brand’s other cases.
The special feature of the GFX 100 is that it maintains very good electronic noise management up to ISO 1600. If reaching this value is not exceptional, achieving it with an image that is not very degraded is an excellent point. More generally, the alteration is more progressive. Here, a plateau seems to be crossed only from ISO 3200. On closer inspection, it can be noted that there is a drop in quality to ISO 1600. But apart from the flat areas of dark colors or particularly detailed materials, it is difficult to find faults.
The loss is then more frank, but the treatment applied by Fujifilm is very good. The smoothness remains measured and the perceptible noise rather delicate. The finer details (like on the cover of our book in the center of the scene) still lose details as we go up in sensitivity. But the rendering at ISO 12 800 remains correct. Thereafter, and whatever the selected sensitivity, the global identity of the image is respected, in particular thanks to a coherent colorimetry.
Latitude of exposure
To verify the scope of the work from an “artistic” point of view, we photographed our test scene over a range of +/- 10 EV and corrected the raw files with our editing software to obtain a similar exposure.
Particularly easy to burn , the highlights often require special attention. With the 102 MP sensor of the GFX 100, Fujifilm does not offer us any particular surprises in this regard. The loss of details begins at +1.6 EV when the limit is already reached. We finally consider that the value not to be exceeded to avoid damage is +1.3 EV. Apart from the highlights, it will be possible to find details beyond it more easily. The classic color loss in bright orange or pink tones will quickly occur at the same values.
400 Mbps for 4K Cinema
The video mode of the GFX 100 is very complete and offers many options. Small significant feature that Fujifilm has already been offering for a while, the presence of the 4K DCI format – not to be confused with the UHD that is wrongly called 4K in common parlance. Even on high-end boxes, the presence of this definition is rather rare. An FHD mode is also present. In all cases, the GFX 100 will not film beyond 30 fps, depending on the setting chosen. For the best quality, the maximum speed offered is an impressive 400 Mb / s. You will need to provide a sufficiently swift SD card.
Point to which is also attached Fujifilm, the absence of cropping in 4K is a nice advantage on which too many manufacturers ignore. The entire width of the sensor is therefore used, i.e. 11,604 px very exactly. F-log and HLG for postproduction or for the production of high dynamic content (HDR) are present. Sampling in 4: 2: 0 10 bit is possible internally while 4: 2: 2 10 bit is available for output. The compression mode used uses H.265 in the latter two cases. Finally, the audio is sampled at 48 kHz and encoded on 24 bits.
- Impressive sensor definition.
- Global responsiveness.
- Many customization options.
- Manual control buttons.
- Innovative management of the display and shooting modes.
- Image quality in photo and video.
- Sensitivity management.
- Electronic shutter.
- 4K DCI up to 400 Mb / s and 4: 2: 2 10 bit.
- Adjustable and touch screen.
- Exemplary electronic viewfinder.
- Stabilization of the sensor.
- All-weather finish.
- Full connectivity.
- Shooting during feeding.
- General appearance questionable (but it’s a matter of taste).
- The overall finish could have been improved.
- Hand held which lacks comfort.
- Unpleasant portrait handle.
- Weight and template.
- Starting time can be improved.
- Disappointing exposure latitude.
- Limit of face detection.
- Rolling shutter on video.
Fujifilm had promised an exceptional device that would honor the top performance of the X-T3 oet X-T30 with a much smaller size, and it is the case. The incredible definition of 102 MP goes like a letter to the post thanks to the technological concentrate integrated in the GFX 100. It is difficult to fault it. Its little brother, the GFX 50 Rgets old before time. In addition to offering a disruptive device on the closed medium format market, Fujifilm innovates by taking a new ergonomic turn, without forgetting its roots. If we can note some shortcomings, its real defect lies in perfectible finishes and in its handling which lacks comfort. Small gaps that are finally easy to forgive in front of the incredible recipe of the GFX 100.
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