Fujifilm GFX 100 Review

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Fuji GFX 100 Preview -- Development Announcement

byJeremy Gray
Preview posted: 09/28/2018

Hot on the heels of announcing the Fuji GFX 50R, Fujifilm also announced that early next year, they will be releasing a 100-megapixel GFX camera. While details are short, there are numerous interesting things to discuss, so let's get started.

Note that for the purposes of this preview, we will refer to the camera as the GFX 100, although the name may not be final.

Key Features

  • 102-megapixel medium-format mirrorless GFX camera
  • Integrated vertical grip
  • Phase-detect autofocus pixels across the entire image sensor
  • World's first in-body image stabilization system for a medium-format mirrorless camera
  • X-Processor 4 image processing engine
  • World's first 4K-equipped medium-format mirrorless camera

Camera Body

As of now, we don't have full details on a finalized design for the GFX 100, but we do know that it will include an integrated vertical grip. The GFX 50S offered an optional vertical grip, which added a space for a second battery and a full suite of controls when shooting in a vertical orientation. The GFX 100 opts for a grip built into the body, much like you see on DSLR cameras such as the Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X II. The camera has a size and weight similar to a high-end DSLR as well, despite the image sensor being 1.7 times larger.

While we don't have official dimensions yet, looking at the body images provided by Fujifilm it appears the GFX 100 is roughly 5% wider than the GFX 50S, but a little shorter than a 50S with a battery grip attached. Interestingly, the 50R is wider than both of them. Like the GFX 50S and 50R, the GFX 100 will be constructed using a magnesium alloy body, and it stands to reason that it will feature a similar or improved level of weather sealing.

Looking at the prototype on display at Photokina in Cologne, the GFX 100 shares some design elements with the GFX 50S, much more so than with the GFX 50R. It's interesting to note that the integrated vertical grip appears to be bare metal, or at least not covered in the grippy material like the primary camera grip.

The top of the camera is also a bit different than the GFX 50S. Where the GFX 50S has dedicated ISO and shutter speed dials, the GFX 100 prototype has only one top dial. The 100 also gets a larger status display and a couple extra buttons on top. Other than that, there are many similarities in terms of button placement and control layout. The GFX 100 does not have the same protrusion behind the rear display, however, which is a nice aspect of the new GFX 50R and definitely nice to see with the GFX 100.

We don't have specifications for size and weight nor do we know if there have been any changes to the electronic viewfinder, rear display or top display, but it's clear that the GFX 100 will look to capitalize on the usability strengths of the GFX 50S while employing a sleeker aesthetic, like the GFX 50R.

GFX 100 development video

Image Sensor, Image Stabilization and Video

The star of the GFX 100 concept is a new 102-megapixel medium-format image sensor. The sensor will continue to be 43.8 x 32.9mm, which as mentioned above is 1.7 times larger than a full-frame image sensor. Fujifilm has not yet stated what the expected dynamic range performance of the sensor is or what the ISO range will be. Further, the sensor has phase-detect autofocus pixels across the entire image surface, a world's first as of September 25, 2018.

The GFX 50S and GFX 50R instead utilize a contrast-detect autofocus system, which has proven to be a bit sluggish at times, and does not cover the entire frame -- although it does come impressively close to full coverage. We do not yet know how many PDAF points the GFX 100 will feature, but the GFX 50S and 50R offer 425 CDAF points.

In what is another first, the GFX 100 will also offer in-body image stabilization, making it the first medium-format digital camera with IBIS. The lack of in-body stabilization is notable on the 50-megapixel GFX cameras, but Fujifilm is quick to note that as you increase resolving power, image stabilization becomes even more critical. It will be curious to see how well the image stabilization functionality works as it would be quite the feat to be able to reliably shoot 102-megapixel images handheld.

There is yet another breakthrough to discuss with the GFX 100. The GFX 50S and 50R can record only Full HD video at up to 30p, which falls well behind modern standards for digital cameras. The GFX 100 will be able to record 10-bit 4K video at up to 30p, a first for a medium-format mirrorless camera. This new feat is thanks not only to the new image sensor, but also due to the new X-Processor 4 image processing engine, which was just introduced in the Fuji X-T3.

GFX 100 prototype on display at Photokina 2018

Unanswered Questions

Ultimately, the Fuji GFX 100 unveiling is just a development announcement at this point and not a full reveal of the upcoming medium-format camera. We don't know for sure what it will cost, although Fujifilm is targeting a price around $10,000 USD. We also do not know precisely when the camera will be released, but Fujifilm is stating the GFX 100 will be available in early 2019.

Further, there are many specifications we don't yet know, including continuous shooting speeds, how the new phase-detect autofocus system will work, the specifics of the in-body image stabilization and what other usability or image quality improvements we can expect.

Stay tuned to Imaging Resource for more information on the GFX 100 as we learn more about the camera ahead of its early 2019 release.


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