So I have had the GFX 100s for a couple of weeks now. I will probably update this review with a more detailed review when I have spent some more time with this delightful camera. This is the first time I have used a medium format camera and for completeness I normally shoot a Sony A7RIV and Sony A1. I also have only shot landscape with the camera so have not looked at things like AF tracking and video functionality.
But lets start with a few ground rules for my reviews, I am not a techo wizard. I know how to take a photo and all the techno details often go straight over my head. Having said that, there are some basics which are important so lets get those out of the way.
102MP BSI-CMOS 44 x 33mm medium format sensor
Image stabilisation system rated at up to 6EV
Continuous shooting at up to 5fps with C-AF
4K /30p video footage
Multi-shot 400MP mode for static subjects
2.36M-dot rear touchscreen with portrait and landscape two-axis tilt
Fixed 3.69M-dot OLED EVF
3.76 million phase detect autofocus points covering nearly 100% of the image area
16 or 14-bit RAW Files
Twin UHS-II SD card slots
NP-W235 battery, rated at 460 shots
Body Weight 900 9rams
Weather sealed camera body
I was really nervous about the size of the camera, as a woman with smaller hands, I was worried about the size and also the weight. At first grip, it felt good in the hand. It is much smaller than the GFX 100 which is its predecessor and for its size does not feel too heavy. I am sure if I was carrying it around for a whole day, then I would need to improve my arm strength, but to be honest, I find that with most cameras, except for when I shoot with the Olympus range. The body is made from magnesium alloy so is light especially given what is under the hood in the sensor. What I really love is the screen on the top of the camera which you can change between old school dials for exposure setting, shooting settings and histogram, which is really neat. Coming from Sony, the menu system was easy to set up and made sense, however there are a lot of settings that I don't understand and will endeavour to work through. These are mostly colour settings and finite control of the camera settings. Will update when I work them out.
The layout of the function buttons at the back are intuitive, however, the joystick is a little fiddly.
I think the viewfinder in the Sony A1 smashes the GFX100s out of the park. So I expect that a future version will have a way better viewfinder. I really liked the portrait mode tilting screen as well as the landscape mode. I wish more cameras did this. It is also touch screen, which I really like.
Now this is one of my favourite things to talk about when it comes to this camera. Coming from Sony, the thing I like the least is the colour. Sony have nailed auto focus and the GM glass is spectacular, but the colour leaves a lot to be desired, so green!!! Well the GFX 100s is an absolute colour bomb. There is so much life in the photo and when you process it, you hardly touch a thing. The level of colour detail is astounding and we know that is what Fuji hangs it hat on. The tonal range from highlight to shadows is exceptional and the different colour settings based on old school film work a treat.
One of the absolute best things about this camera is the ability to shoot long exposures without bulb mode. In other words if you want to expose for 2 minutes then it will. The link to the Fuji app to control the shutter was great and works every time. It automatically links to the app every time I have opened it, which is way better than the Sony app which I find sticky and unresponsive. I must reiterate that I am not a tech wiz so the easier to use the better.
Given the size of the files and the sensor, I thought it would be more be "laggier". I do notice a lag compared to my Sony, but there is so much info to process. This, in my opinion is not a camera for anyone shooting action, sport or needs fast focus. It is a details camera which it does well. Would you use this camera for weddings, I don't think so. I am not a wedding shooter, but I would think it would be too slow,
I was pretty impressed with the IBIS when shooting at slower shutter speeds being hand held. I could get out to 0.5sec and still be pretty sharp, although any longer and the tripod was needed and they weren't crystal sharp.
Ok, so apart from colour, then this is where this camera shines. The image quality is unbelievable. The detail in each shot is impressive and I managed to get good crisp shots without the need to focus stack. Need to spend some more time with it, to really work through the depth in regards to the focus, but will update.
The backlit sensor is very "Sony like" but as there is so much more room, there is so much more detail. The ability to crop and move around the shot means you get a lot more picture to work with and moving from full frame to medium format this was one of the things I noticed the most. As the sensor is two thirds bigger than a full frame, you get two thirds more light and I really enjoyed this when shooting before sunrise in very low light. I would normally not look at these shots and really just get honed in on my composition, but I found that I could get some good shots. So something to think about when looking at this camera is its low light capabilities.
I have been using the 23mm F4 GF lens (18mm 35mm equivalent) and the 35-70 GF F4.5-5.6 glass. The 23mm is an incredible lens and I have to say comparable to the Sony GM glass. There is a limited range of lenses available for the GFX cameras, but Fuji have a roadmap to more lenses and are committed to the system.
I have a lot to keep learning about this camera including the all the finer settings around colour management and setting all the custom buttons to enable smoother working. Who is the Fuji GFX 100s for, I think this is the perfect landscape photography camera, product or studio work.
As a woman using the Fuji GFX 100s camera, my hands feel good, even though they are smaller and the weight is similar to that of my Sony system. Some of the buttons I have to stretch for but once I have spent some time programming the custom buttons I believe I can get a work around for that.
I have to spend some time getting used to the medium format and how that changes my shooting. Do I love this camera, yes I do.