Hands-On With the Flagship Challenging FUJIFILM GFX100S
FUJIFILM isn’t messing around with its latest flagship challenging GFX100S, they’ve made large format imaging as accessible as ever by incorporating a stonking 102MP sensor into a portable design. The result is picture-perfect images, stable 4K video, and groundbreaking autofocus that makes even the most average photographers happy snaps appear more professional than ever.
We had the opportunity to spend the day with the GFX100S to test how capable the camera is when it’s not in the hands of a professional photographer. Because, short of a professional photographer, there’s no better way to test out the strength of the 102MP sensor with class-leading autofocus than in the hands of a bloke who knows only the basics of photography. We think the results speak for themselves.
FUJIFILM GFX100S Specifications
Lens mount: FUJIFILM G mount
Video: 4K30; F-Log Gamma, 12-Bit Raw Out
Image sensor: 102MP 43.8 x 32.9mm BSI CMOS
Number of effective pixels: 102 million pixels
Sensor Cleaning System: Ultra Sonic Vibration
Image Processing Engine: X-Processor 4
We spent our time based out of the Park Hyatt, one of Sydney’s best hotels. We can’t think of a better place to spend some time with a flagship challenger than here. Where the views are spectacular, and your doorstep (or balcony) overlooks the most famous harbour in the world, stares directly at the Opera House, and sits right under the Harbour Bridge. It’s an EPIC spot.
First impressions of the GFX100S were strong, the bodies ergonomic grips are comfortable, and features such as the auto-switching viewfinder, massive three-directional touchscreen, and customisable dial function meant we were ready to shoot anything at a moments notice.
While the camera has outstanding mobility for a full-frame unit, we were impressed by the construction. Classic FUJIFILM quality results in a very solid body the remains lightweight at only 900g. It’s enough to remind you that this isn’t just your everyday ‘plastic fantastic’ point and shoot but stays very portable. Enough mucking around though, it was time to go and take some snaps.
Our setting for the day was the beautiful Sydney suburb of The Rocks. Originally established after the colony’s formation in 1788, it’s the oldest part of Sydney, and is referred to as Tallawoladah by the Cadigal people who are the custodians of the land it is set. Amongst the sandstone buildings are a maze of ally-ways and historical sites that present a perfect canvas for anyone’s creative lens.
The GFX100S was more than up to the task, passing with flying colours as the 102MP sensor, 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), and impressive autofocus capabilities combined to take our images from average to awesome in the click of a shutter button. Even with a limited amount of time to explore the myriad of features found within the camera’s software, we were able to capture breathtaking images of Sydney’s most historical suburb. And any mistakes were masked after the fact thanks to the 102million pixels we had on offer from the 44mm x 33mm imaging sensor that’s 1.7x larger than any other full-frame sensor on the market.
Portrait photographers will love the GFX100S ability to take your Instagram to the next level. When we combined the camera with the GF80mmF1.7 R WR lens we found ourselves creating 3D-like images with extraordinary amounts of Bokeh. We won’t scare you with our personal snaps, but the image above shot by Ivan Joshua Loh illustrates the effect to perfection. Many cameras on the market simply can’t compete with the GFX100S on a sensor to sensor basis, and as such, can’t produce large enough images to achieve the aesthetic effect of separating the subject from the background.
We’ll be covering the technical in’s and out’s of the camera once we have the chance to spend a little more time with it, however, it was the three-directional screen that took an already great camera and made it awesome. With the ability to touch the screen and set your focus point from any angle, there’s literally nothing this camera can’t shoot. We found ourselves going outside the box to find creative ways to shoot scenes from different angles. One’s that you typically wouldn’t find with a viewfinder.
As we walked around The Rocks exploring more and more of the camera’s ability we eventually found ourselves back down on the harbour where we were able to capture a number of shots featuring the Opera House and various boats chugging past. While it was a particularly overcast day (as our compressed images reflect) the camera took the day in its stride. Impressing us at every point along the way. We can’t wait to get our hands back on the GFX100S soon.
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