Fuji GFX Image Quality


Color

Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Bright colors with with very good hue accuracy.

ISO Sensitivity
50
100
200
400
800
In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located toward the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center. Mouse over the links to compare ISOs, and click for larger versions.

Saturation. The Fuji GFX produces images with bright, pleasing colors using the standard film simulation (Provia) at default settings. The camera pushes most colors by small amounts, dark red and dark orange by moderate amounts, but undersaturates aqua just a bit. Default mean saturation at the base ISO of 100 was 113.2% (13.2% oversaturated), which is a bit higher than average these days. You can of course tweak saturation and/or select a different film simulation mode if the default is not to your taste. Mean saturation was quite stable up to ISO 25,600 but fell as ISO was increased from there, ending up at 103.6% at the maximum extended ISO. Most consumer digital cameras produce color that's more highly saturated (more intense) than found in the original subjects. This is simply because most people like their color a bit brighter than life.

Skin tones. The Fuji GFX rendered pleasant Caucasian skin tones that were just a touch on the pinkish side when white balance was adjusted to match the light source at base ISO, because of the moderate push in reds. Results were quite pleasing, though, with a natural and healthy look. (Here, too, the GFX's saturation and/or film mode options may come into play for some users, letting them tweak the color of skin tones if they find the default rendering a bit too saturated for their personal tastes. Note that Fujifilm claims their Astia film simulation produces "true-to-life" skin tones.) Where oversaturation is most problematic is on Caucasian skin tones, as it's very easy for these "memory colors" to be seen as too bright, too pink, too yellow, etc.

Hue. The Fuji GFX produced only a few color shifts relative to the ideal reproduction of hues, and has excellent hue accuracy overall. Of note is the almost no yellow to green shift that we often see from digital cameras. The largest shift is in cyan toward blue, however we think it's a deliberate choice by camera engineers to produce better-looking sky colors. Average "delta-C" color error after correction for saturation at base ISO was only 3.78 (lower numbers are better), which is very good, and hue accuracy remained better than average across the ISO range. Hue is "what color" the color is.

Click to see GFXFAR2I0100.JPG Click to see GFXOUTBMP1.JPG Click to see GFXhSLI000100NR5D.JPG
See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sensor

Exposure and White Balance

Indoors, incandescent lighting
Auto and Incandescent white balance were quite warm, but very good results with the Manual setting. Above average exposure compensation required.

Click to see GFXINBAP2.JPG Click to see GFXINBTP2.JPG
Auto White Balance
+0.7 EV
Incandescent White Balance
+0.7 EV
Click to see GFXINBMP2.JPG
Manual White Balance
+0.7 EV

Indoors, under typical incandescent lighting, color balance was quite warm using the Auto setting, with a fairly strong red/pink cast. Results with the Incandescent white balance setting were also very warm, with a strong yellow/orange cast. The Manual white balance setting was quite accurate, though. The Fuji GFX required +0.7 EV exposure compensation here, while most cameras need about +0.3 EV for this scene. Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.

Outdoors, daylight
Very good color and exposure outdoors.

Click to see GFXOUTBMP1.JPG Click to see GFXFAR2I0100.JPG
Manual White Balance,
+0.3 EV
Auto White Balance,
0 EV

Outdoors, the Fuji GFX produced very nice color at default settings. The GFX's required +0.3 EV exposure compensation for our "Sunlit" Portrait shot. This is better than average exposure accuracy, as most cameras need +0.7 EV to keep the face bright for this shot, but it did lead to a lot of blown highlights in the mannequin's shirt and flowers. Skin tones were pleasing, with a healthy-looking pinkish cast that's not too overdone with Manual white balance, and Auto wasn't much different (though not quite as bright for some reason). The Fuji GFX did a very good job with our high-contrast Far-field shot, clipping very few highlights at default exposure, however the exposure looks slightly dim overall. Deep shadows contain excellent detail with low noise except in the darkest tones. Color was pleasing with the Auto white balance setting, though just a touch cool. See the "Extremes: Sunlit..." section below to see how the GFX's Highlight/Shadow Tone and D-Range settings deal with harsh lighting like this.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Resolution
>4000 lines of strong detail.

Strong detail to
>4,000 lines horizontal
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
>4,000 lines vertical
Camera JPEG
Strong detail to
>4,000 lines horizontal
ACR converted RAW
Strong detail to
>4,000 lines vertical
ACR converted RAW

Our laboratory resolution chart reveals sharp, distinct line patterns all the way up to the 4,000 lines per picture height limit of our chart from both in-camera JPEG and ACR converted RAW files, though the in-camera JPEG shows stronger aliasing in the form of luminance moiré starting at about 3,800 lines. Both show some color moiré/false colors although at different frequencies, however the ACR conversion shows less luminance moiré, likely because lighter sharpening was applied than the in-camera default.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sharpness & Detail
Very sharp images at default settings, with only minor edge-enhancement artifacts appearing along high-contrast edges. Very mild noise suppression is visible in the shadows at base ISO.

Excellent definition of high-contrast elements, with only minor evidence of edge enhancement. Subtle detail: Hair Noise suppression tends to blur detail in areas of subtle contrast, though detail remains strong in the darker parts of the model's hair here.

Sharpness. The Fuji GFX captures very sharp images by default, though there are still some minor edge enhancement artifacts visible along high-contrast edges such as the relatively thin sharpening "halos" around the lines and letters of the bottle label above left. Excellent results here. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.

Detail. The crop above right shows incredible detail with only mild detail loss due to noise suppression at base ISO. Very few individual strands of hair merge together even when local contrast is low and as shadows deepen, and chroma noise appears to be very effectively controlled. We do however see "jaggies" and other aliasing artifacts thanks to the lack of an optical low-pass filter, though this is becoming common. Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears.

RAW vs In-Camera JPEGs
As noted above, the Fuji GFX produces incredibly sharp and detailed JPEG images at default settings. Let's see how an Adobe Camera Raw conversion compares.

Base ISO (100)
Camera JPEG, defaults
RAW via Adobe Camera Raw

In the table above, we compare an in-camera JPEG taken at base ISO using default noise reduction and sharpening (on the left) to the matching RAW file converted with Adobe Camera Raw 9.1 via DNG Converter 9.12 using default noise reduction with moderate but tight unsharp masking applied in Photoshop (USM of 250%, radius of 0.3 pixels, and a threshold of 0).

As you can see, the ACR RAW conversion did indeed retain some fine detail that was lost in the in-camera JPEG, although overall contrast and saturation is lower at default settings. In the mosaic crop, we can see ACR retained much of the offset printing coloration that is present in the bottle label, although some of the coloration appears to be false or exaggerated. In contrast, the in-camera JPEG crops shows almost no coloration, likely the result of the GFX's very effective chroma noise suppression. You can also see that ACR produced much better contrast in our tricky red-leaf swatch while not boosting the saturation as much as the JPEG engine. As is usually the case, noise is more visible in the ACR converted JPEG at default NR settings, however it is remarkable low.

Bottom line, the Fuji GFX produces stunning JPEGs straight from the camera, though as is usually the case, you can produce even better results when working with RAW files and a good converter.

ISO & Noise Performance
Outstanding high ISO performance.

Default High ISO Noise Reduction
ISO 50 ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800 ISO 1,600
ISO 3,200 ISO 6,400 ISO 12,800
ISO 25,600 ISO 51,200 ISO 102,400

The Fuji GFX's images are very clean and incredibly detailed with almost no drop in image quality up to ISO 800. At ISO 1,600, noise reduction efforts are a little stronger as you'd expect, but noise is quite low and fine detail is still outstanding. ISO 3,200 is the first ISO step to show a significant drop in fine detail due to noise and the effects of noise reduction, however detail remains quite good. At ISO 6,400 detail is still very good but luminance noise becomes more noticeable, however the noise is still very fine-grained, and chroma noise is still well-controlled. Image quality at ISO 12,800 is still pretty good, though noise grain is of course more visible and some mild chroma blotching can be seen in the darker areas. Image quality drops off more rapidly at ISO 25,600 and above, with progressively more visible noise grain, stronger blurring and more noticeable noise reduction artifacts. Image quality at ISO 25,600 is not bad, but fine detail at ISOs 51,200 and 102,400 is quite soft with heavy luminance noise accentuated by sharpening artifacts, as well as chrominance noise in the form of large yellow and purple blotches. Still, high ISO performance is outstanding, among the best we've seen from any camera.

We're pixel-peeping to the extreme here though, which isn't always representative of what you see in prints. As always, see the Print Quality section below for maximum recommended print sizes at each ISO.

Extremes: Sunlit, dynamic range and low light tests
Mediocre dynamic range in JPEGs at default settings. Very good low-light performance.

Click to see GFXOUTBMP0.JPG Click to see GFXOUTBMP1.JPG Click to see GFXOUTBMP2.JPG
0 EV +0.3 EV +0.7 EV

Sunlight. The Fuji GFX struggled with the harsh lighting of this test at default settings at the base ISO of 100 (which should be best case). We preferred the +0.3 EV exposure overall, because the exposure at +0.7 EV exposure compensation was too bright with far too many clipped highlights. Even at default exposure (0 EV), quite a few highlights were blown in the mannequin's shirt and flowers. There are quite a few dark shadows as well, though they contain good detail and relatively low noise with the default Provia film simulation. (Note that some other higher-contrast film simulations such as Pro Neg. Hi and especially Velvia frequently blow highlights and crush deep shadows, clipping them abruptly as can be seen in some of our Gallery shots.)

Overall, the Fuji GFX's JPEGs performed below average here without the help of any highlight and shadow adjustments, nor any dynamic range enhancement applied (see below). The good news is the blown highlights and detail in dark shadows in the above test scene are easily recoverable in the RAF RAW files, so the dynamic range captured by the GFX's sensor appears to be excellent.

Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)

Click to see GFXOUTB_FACE_OFF.JPG Click to see GFXOUTB_FACE_EYE_OFF.JPG Click to see GFXOUTB_FACE_EYE_AUTO.JPG
Face Detect=Off,
Eye Detect=Off
Face Detect=On,
Eye Detect=Off
Face Detect=On,
Eye Detect=Auto

Face Detection
The Fuji GFX not only offers face detection to optimize focus and exposure for human faces, but also eye detection, and you can even specify which eye gets priority (right, left, or auto).

As you can see there are only subtle differences in exposure above with all of them still underexposed in the face, which is disappointing. Focus appears to be better, though, but at f/8 it's pretty difficult to discern a significant difference here. In hindsight, we should have taken this series at a wide aperture. Still, given the GFX's very high resolution and the format's more shallow depth of field, this feature should come in handy to help focus on the eyes in portraits when shooting at wide apertures.

Contrast Adjustment
The Fuji GFX does not offer a traditional contrast adjustment. Instead, it offers Shadow and Highlight Tone settings, which let you adjust contrast in highlights and shadows independently. There are seven settings each on the GFX, ranging from -2 to +5.

Far-field Highlight and Shadow Tone Comparison
Highlight:
-2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4
Shadow:
-2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4

Shadow and Highlight Tone. Above you can see the effects the seven settings for Highlight and Shadow Tone control on our high-contrast Far-field shot. Mouse over the links to load the associated thumbnail and click on the links to visit the full resolution image.

Note how the Highlight settings mainly affect the brighter portions of the image, while the Shadow settings impact the darker areas. Both settings can be used simultaneously, giving more flexibility to tune the tone curve at both ends compared to a single contrast setting. Nice.


Far-field D-Range Comparison

D-Range is Fuji's name for their dynamic range enhancement technology. D-Range designed to preserve hot highlights, by exposing for highlights and then boosting mid-tones and shadows. There are three levels: DR100 100% (default), DR200 200%, DR400 400%, as well as an Auto mode which can select DR100 or DR200. DR200 is available at ISO 200 and above while DR400 is available at ISO 400 and above, so all the examples above were taken at ISO 400. Mouse over the links above to load the corresponding thumbnail image. Click on the links to get to the full resolution images.

As you can see the images above, the Fuji GFX's higher D-Range settings were effective at toning down highlights without impacting shadows and midtones significantly in our Far-field shot. As they say, though, there's no free lunch, because improved highlight retention comes at a cost of increased noise. This is because the camera's sensitivity needs to be raised to take advantage of the D-Range feature, though that's really not much of penalty because the GFX's ISO performance is so good. (Note that the Fuji GFX does not offer a multi-shot in-camera HDR mode.)

Dynamic Range Analysis
We've recently switched to using DxOMark's dynamic range results because cameras were starting to exceed what we could measure ourselves with a standard Stouffer T4110 step chart, however DxOMark no longer publishes test results for Fuji sensors so we have no DxOMark results to share.

Looking at base ISO RAW files, though, it appears that the Fuji GFX's peak dynamic range is excellent; very similar to the Pentax 645Z but better than the best full-frame camera tested thus far (the Nikon D810). And if we look at the Photons to Photos website, their "Photographic" dynamic range results (which are not directly comparable to DxOMark's numbers) confirm the GFX indeed offers excellent dynamic range.


  1 fc
11 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
1/16 fc
No NR
ISO
100
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3s, f2.8
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50s, f2.8
Click to see GFXLL001007XNR.JPG
50s, f2.8
ISO
3200
Click to see GFXLL032003.JPG
1/10s, f2.8
Click to see GFXLL032007.JPG
1.5s, f2.8
Click to see GFXLL032007XNR.JPG
1.5s, f2.8
ISO
12800
Click to see GFXLL128003.JPG
1/40s, f2.8
Click to see GFXLL128007.JPG
0.4s, f2.8
Click to see GFXLL128007XNR.JPG
0.4s, f2.8

Low Light. The GFX performed extremely well in our low light tests, able to capture bright images down to the lowest light level we test at. The darkest level equates to about 1/16 the brightness of average city street lighting at night, so the Fuji GFX should be able to take well-exposed photos in almost any environment in which you can see well enough to walk around in.

Using the default high ISO noise reduction setting, noise is extremely low at base ISO 100 and very low at ISO 3200. The maximum native ISO of 12,800 is of course a bit noisy, but the noise "grain" is fairly tight and fine detail is still very good.

Automatic color balance performed well in low light, just a touch cool at one foot-candle, shifting to slightly magenta at 1/16 foot-candle.

We didn't notice any significant issues with hot pixels (there may be a few at ISO 100 but at this resolution it's difficult to distinguish them from specs of dust!), heat blooming or banding (fixed pattern noise).

We did however notice the Fuji GFX required shutter speeds of about 1/2 stop to just over 2/3 stop slower compared to other cameras for a similar scene brightness in the same lighting at the same aperture and ISO. We don't know if that has anything to do with the actual T-stop (transmission efficiency) of the Fujinon lenses we used or if the camera's sensitivity is overrated, or a combination of both, but it is something to be aware of.

Low Light AF. The Fuji GFX's contrast-detect autofocus system was able to focus in fairly low light. With our low-contrast AF target, the camera was able to focus down to about -2.5 EV, and with our new high-contrast AF target, the GFX was able to autofocus down to about -3.8 EV unassisted with an f/2.8 lens, which is very good. We test this on a sturdy tripod, though, so hand-held results may differ significantly. Unlike most cameras, the Fuji GFX does not have a built-in AF assist lamp.

How bright is this? The one foot-candle light level that this test begins at roughly corresponds to the brightness of typical city street-lighting at night. Cameras performing well at that level should be able to snap good-looking photos of street-lit scenes.

NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) Thanks to its much larger sensor, mirrorless cameras like the Fuji GFX tend to do better than point & shoots, but you still shouldn't expect a quick autofocus lock with moving subjects.

Output Quality

Print Quality
Stunningly detailed 30 x 40 inch prints up to ISO 3200; Usable 11 x 14 inch prints up to ISO 25,600; Nice 8 x 10 inch prints all the way until ISO 51,200!

Canon PRO-1000 Printer ImageISO 50 through 1600 images are stunningly detailed with amazingly clean noise characteristics as ISO rises, making the medium-format GFX capable of producing crisp, clear prints all the way up to 30 x 40 inches. Up to ISO 400, images are pretty much identical, and we only start to see a hint of shadow noise -- that appears more like a fine grain -- at ISO 800, which doesn't negatively affect print quality size. Throughout this ISO range, prints are super crisp with tons of resolution, and colors are pleasing and nicely saturated. A stunning print quality performance from the GFX!

ISO 3200 prints begin to display a bit more shadow noise, but the level of sharp, fine detail is still excellent all the way up to 30 x 40 inches. At lower ISOs, you could probably get away with printing even larger sizes, however 30 x 40 in. prints are the largest we test. Here at ISO 3200, we'd recommend stopping right at 30 x 40 inches; any larger and noise might become an issue.

ISO 6400 images display slightly stronger noise, but they maintain a film-like graininess, which isn't overly detrimental to print quality. At this ISO, the Fuji GFX still manages to produce an impressively-large 24 x 36 inch print. Detail is excellent, and despite the increase in shadow/background noise, it's not likely to have a negative effect given the typical viewing distance for a print of this size.

ISO 12,800 prints top-out at 16 x 20 inches; an amazingly large print for this ISO sensitivity. Color is still rich, and the prints still have nice contrast, but noise reduces fine detail in some lower-contrast areas, such as our notoriously tricky red fabric swatches. In other places, fine detail is still visible and quite sharp and clear.

ISO 25,600 images still manage to have very well-controlled noise, despite now hitting the GFX's expanded ISO range, but noise is stronger now and it's taking its toll on subtler, finer detail. An 11 x 14 inch print just passes muster, which is still quite remarkable.

ISO 51,200 prints reach a new benchmark: 8 x 10 inches. Never before have we had a camera capable of a usable 8 x 10 inch print at this ISO setting. At this print size, noise is surprisingly well-controlled and the print has lots of detail throughout. In the shadows, a combination of noise and noise reduction processing reduces fine detail to a degree as well as displays a somewhat mottled appearance in some areas. Colors are also slightly less vibrant. Overall, feel free to print 8 x 10's all the way up to this ISO!

ISO 102,400 images, alas, finally hit a point of too much noise and too little detail for us to consider acceptable. Perhaps a 5 x 7 inch print would work for less critical applications, but we'd avoid this ISO if printmaking is your end goal.

Wow! Talk about an absolutely stunning performance in our print quality analysis. The new 50MP medium-format Fuji GFX packs an incredible amount of resolving power and sophisticated image processing, making it capable of impressive prints at up to 30 x 40 inches (at least) all the way up to ISO 3200! Below ISO 3200, you could make even larger prints, but we hit the limit of our testing size. As ISO rises, the GFX displays excellent noise control, with a very gradual increase in noise; and the noise that we can see is very finely-grained, almost film-like. As such, the camera is capable of shockingly large prints, such as a 24 x 36 at ISO 6400 and even just hitting the mark for a quality 11 x 14 inch print at ISO 25,600. At ISO 51,200, the Fuji GFX takes the crown as king of the 8 x 10 inch print! Besting high ISO heavyweights from Nikon, such as the D810, which topped-out at ISO 25,600 for that print size, the GFX manages an impressively clean 8 x 10 at this super-high ISO level. At the maximum expanded ISO of 102,400, however, images are a bit too noisy for our taste, and this ISO should be avoided for quality prints.

About our print-quality testing: Our "Reference Printer"

Canon PRO-1000 Printer ImageTesting hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer, which we named our "Printer of the Year" in our 2015 COTY awards.

The Canon PRO-1000 has a lot of characteristics that make it a natural to use for our "reference printer." When it comes to judging how well a camera's photos print, resolution and precise rendering are paramount. The PRO-1000's more than 18,000 individual nozzles combine with an air feeding system that provides exceptional droplet-placement accuracy. Its 11-color LUCIA PRO ink system delivers a wide color gamut and dense blacks, giving us a true sense of the cameras' image quality. To best see fine details, we've always printed on glossy paper, so the PRO-1000's "Chroma Optimizer" overcoat that minimizes "bronzing" or gloss differential is important to us. (Prior to the PRO-1000, we've always used dye-based printers, in part to avoid the bronzing problems with pigment-based inks.) Finally, we just don't have time to deal with clogged inkjet heads, and the PRO-1000 does better in that respect than any printer we've ever used. If you don't run them every day or two, inkjet printers tend to clog. Canon's thermal-inkjet technology is inherently less clog-prone than other approaches, but the PRO-1000 takes this a step further, with sensors that monitor every inkjet nozzle. If one clogs, it will assign another to take over its duties. In exchange for a tiny amount of print speed, this lets you defer cleaning cycles, which translates into significant ink savings. In our normal workflow, we'll often crank out a hundred or more letter-size prints in a session, but then leave the printer to sit for anywhere from days to weeks before the next camera comes along. In over a year of use, we've never had to run a nozzle-cleaning cycle on our PRO-1000.

See our Canon PRO-1000 review for a full overview of the printer from the viewpoint of a fine-art photographer.

*Disclosure: Canon provided us with the PRO-1000 and a supply of ink to use in our testing, and we receive advertising consideration for including this mention when we talk about camera print quality. Our decision to use the PRO-1000 was driven by the printer itself, though, prior to any discussion with Canon on the topic. (We'd actually been using an old Pixma PRO 9500II dye-based printer for years previously, and paying for our own ink, until we decided that the PRO-1000 was the next-generation printer we'd been waiting for.)

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Fujifilm GFX 50S Photo Gallery .

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Fujifilm GFX 50S with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!



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