There’s no getting round it: the Fujifilm GFX100 is priced approach out of the attain of most of us.
At a shade beneath £10,000 (and that’s earlier than you’ve even thought of a lens), it’s by a giant margin the costliest digital camera in Fujifilm’s whole vary, and fairly probably the priciest digital camera that’s ever been reviewed on these right here humble pages. And but, review it we’ll – as a result of the GFX100 is such an fascinating and distinctive prospect.
As a weighty medium-format digital digital camera with over 100 megapixels at its disposal, you would possibly assume it’s designed for the studio – whack it on a tripod, get a background, a bunch of lights, a prepared mannequin and hey presto, you’re Rankin. In reality, Fujifilm has included a lot of the options you’d discover in its smaller mirrorless X collection fashions, together with the user-friendly likes of face detection and eye autofocus, making this completely usable as a avenue photography-friendly walk-around digital camera in addition to a studio or panorama workhorse.
Does that actually make it price as a lot as a small automobile, although? Let’s discover out.
Design: Big boi
It looks like Fujifilm needs to make the GFX100 really feel price each penny of its asking value. It’s a giant, heavy unit, with an additional grip on the backside for extra snug portrait mode taking pictures (and with area for an additional battery), a tilting 3.2in touchscreen and a detachable OLED viewfinder.
The mode dials of different Fujifilm cameras are gone, changed by an enormous, detailed LCD panel on high. This panel stays “on” even when the digital camera is powered down, and offers at-a-glance data on the ISO, shutter pace, aperture and publicity compensation settings, which is sweet. Many may need most well-liked bodily dials, we suspect, and greater than as soon as I discovered myself taking pictures at a completely inappropriate ISO setting as a result of I’d twiddled one of many different dials attempting to alter the aperture. Still, it’s one thing you’d get used to over time.
There’s a second show detailing settings beneath the display screen, too – so when you’re in search of the present settings, they’re by no means prone to be distant.
The GFX100 is completely hand-holdable, in contrast to some medium-format cameras – largely as a consequence of its two pleasingly chunky grips. That mentioned, it’s nonetheless loads heavier and extra awkward than any APS-C or full-frame mirrorless digital camera; in truth, it’s a good bit greater than Fujifilm’s different medium-format digital fashions. Transporting it about in a traditional bag is usually a little bit of a palaver, particularly if you wish to deliver multiple lens alongside for the trip.
Features: a user-friendly haul
Medium format has historically been the protect of “critical photographers” – the kind of photographer who prefers to do every little thing manually with a purpose to preserve the utmost ranges of management over the outcomes.
Those of that persuasion are, after all, welcome to tweak every little thing to their coronary heart’s content material right here – however it’s additionally totally geared up for the person who’s extra excited by pointing, taking pictures and letting the digital camera deal with every little thing else.
There’s 5-axis in-body stabilisation to mitigate the results of your wavering fingers, which works nicely and offers you a number of stops’ grace when taking pictures and not using a tripod.
There’s the identical great autofocus system as seen within the Fujifilm X-T3, which options touch-to-focus on the display screen and face and eye detection for a lot simpler portraits. It’s brilliantly correct, if not fairly as lightning-quick as on the smaller digital camera. You could miss the odd snap because of this, however consider the a lot bigger lens parts that have to be manoeuvred into place right here and you may most likely forgive that.
The battery life can also be spectacular, most likely right down to the truth that you’ll be able to whack a few the suckers in there then get taking pictures and principally overlook about charging for at the very least a day or two.
Image high quality: Revolutionary decision
The large sensor and its 102MP decision give the GFX100 qualities you received’t discover on APS-C and full-frame mirrorless cameras.
For starters, the bodily measurement of the sensor makes it simpler to realize a shallow depth of discipline, even in conditions the place different cameras would render just about the complete scene in sharp focus. Slap on a quick lens (I used to be despatched, amongst others, Fujifilm’s 63mm f/2.8) and you may take improbable portraits with beautiful bokeh, at distances you couldn’t on a digital camera with a smaller sensor.
A big sensor normally means improved low-light efficiency too, however the sensor’s pixels are extraordinarily tiny right here (a consequence of getting to suit over 100 million of them in a 43.Eight x 32.9mm area) and their light-gathering skills aren’t notably stellar. In quick: the GFX100 does a good job in dim situations, however it’s probably not designed with that type of work in thoughts.
What it does beautifully. when utilized in good lighting situations, is element. Honestly, I don’t suppose I’ve ever used a digital camera that resolves this a lot element – simply check out the 100 % crops of the cat’s eye and flower in our pattern pictures to see what’s out there. This unbelievable decision means you’ll be able to create prints of monumental, wall-filling sizes from the photographs, or alternatively crop pictures down and nonetheless preserve a larger degree of element than most different cameras ship earlier than cropping.
You additionally get nice color, distinction and the remaining from the JPEGs, with the power to make use of Fujifilm’s glorious “movie simulation” modes to provide your pictures the look you’re after straight from the digital camera. And after all you’ll be able to shoot in RAW in order for you most enhancing capabilities after the very fact – simply bear in mind that almost all images will probably be nicely over 100MB every.
Finally, we should always point out the video, which is ok. It’s undoubtedly a stills digital camera first, however its 4K and 1080p choices do produce sharp, detailed and clean outcomes (there’s some rolling shutter evident – as you would possibly anticipate given the sensor’s measurement), and if you wish to shoot occasional motion pictures alongside your images there’s not a lot to moan about right here.
Fujifilm GFX100 verdict
While reviewing the GFX100, I saved attempting to work out who it was really made for.
Super-dedicated panorama photographers, certain – however in at present’s web-first world there aren’t a lot of them round, and even fewer with ten grand to burn. For the overwhelming majority of us, the sheer degree of element right here isn’t one thing we want, particularly when the trade-off is a really heavy digital camera and a really mild financial institution steadiness.
There’s no denying that that is an distinctive digital camera that takes improbable pictures whereas being refreshingly simple to make use of, however 99.9 % of individuals can be higher off with one thing like Fujifilm’s personal X-T3 (round £1350), a improbable digital camera at a fraction of the worth, or Sony’s 61MP A7R IV (£3500), which guarantees large ranges of element in a considerably smaller, lighter and cheaper physique.