Conclusion

What we like What we don't
  • Stunning images in terms of both resolution and tonal quality
  • Image stabilization makes it easier to get full benefit of 100MP resolution
  • GF lenses live up to the resolution demands
  • Autofocus is swift and accurate by medium format standards
  • Impressive video quality and specifications
  • Viewfinder is highly detailed and compatible with existing tilt/articulation accessory
  • Twin batteries give solid 'in the field' endurance
  • Chargeable/operable over USB
  • Control dials feel small and cheap
  • Autofocus performance isn't impressive compared to smaller format cameras
  • Portrait orientation grip is slim and slippery
  • Portrait orientation controls don't mimic normal orientation layout
  • On-sensor AF causes banding, slightly limiting usable dynamic range
  • We found it hard to find a dial setup that worked smoothly

From the point of view of image quality alone, the GFX 100 is the best camera we've ever reviewed (though its larger sensor 150MP peers should out-perform it). The new BSI sensor and higher pixel count of the GFX 100 puts clear water between it and even the best smaller sensor cameras, and if you need the kind of detail that the GFX 100 offers, there's no more affordable way to get it. On top of this, its in-body stabilization, autofocus performance and well-designed user interface make it significantly more flexible (and usable) than other medium format competitors.

Out-of-camera JPEG.
Adapted Olympus OM 90mm F2 Macro | ISO 100 | 1/125 sec | F9
Photo courtesy Neil Buckland

The GFX 100 is larger than its 50MP predecessors, in part due to the inclusion of a portrait-orientation grip. The portrait grip itself is disappointing, apparently designed for hands a different shape from those of people who use the camera in landscape format. The advantage, though, it that it provides space for a second battery. This further expands the camera's 'beyond the studio' credentials.

And it's certainly true that the GFX 100 is much more adaptable than most cameras with sensors of the same size or larger. This doesn't suddenly mean that the GFX is going to be seen on the sidelines of major sporting events or even become the camera of choice for the majority of wedding photographers. But its ability to support you when you find yourself shooting outside the familiar surroundings of the studio and off a tripod reduces the need for a second camera. In turn, this could extend the range of jobs you can practically undertake, which could help see the camera pay for itself.

The GFX 100's responsiveness and feature set allow you to get the most out of 100 megapixels even when you leave the studio behind you. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw 11.
Fujifilm GF 63mm F2.8 | ISO 100 | 1/2000 sec | F4
Photo by Carey Rose

Handling-wise, the GFX 100 is something of a mixed bag. Its interface has a level of mass-market polish that its medium format rivals simply don't have. But, conversely, its dual-function pressable dials feel cheap and can make it difficult to find a simple, direct way of controlling exposure. It's a similar story with autofocus: its quicker and more flexible than any other medium format camera but you shouldn't expect the speed and responsiveness of full-frame systems. With that taken into account, it does a good job of delivering the shot you need in lots of circumstances. However, 100MP of detail gives an unflattering insight into how difficult it is to achieve perfect focus consistently.

Its ability to support you outside the studio and off a tripod reduces the need for a second camera

Also making a big impression as we reviewed the camera are the GF lenses. Fujifilm said it had developed the system with 100MP in mind and that statement appears to be confirmed by the results we've seen. They don't appear to be as fast to focus as the best full frame lenses but they're generally responsive enough to let the GFX 100 look very good compared with its medium format peers.

Out of camera JPEG, shot using the DR400 mode to incorporate more highlight information. It's unusual to find such a feature (or such attractive JPEGs) in a camera of this type.
Fujifilm GF 45mm F2.8 | ISO 400 | 1/320 sec | F7.1
Photo by Richard Butler

Do you need a 100MP camera? That's probably a question for you, your business' accountant and some carefully-considered cost/benefit analysis. But if you conclude that you do, then nothing else offers so much image quality, so readily, in so many situations as the Fujifilm GFX 100.


What we think


Carey Rose
Reviews Editor
The Fujifilm GFX 100 is among the finest cameras I've ever used. It comes with absurdly good image quality and resolution, and yet, in most respects it responds like Fujifilm's X-series APS-C cameras. Would I photograph an entire wedding with one? Because of its bulk and large file sizes, perhaps not. But could I photograph an entire wedding with one? Absolutely. And that is something I never thought I'd be able to say about a camera with a larger-than-full-frame sensor.

Barney Britton
Senior Editor
The GFX 100 is the first medium format camera I've ever used – film or digital – which doesn't feel like a compromise. In almost all respects, the GFX 100 handles like a professional DSLR, but with all of the benefits of mirrorless, plus excellent 4K video capabilities and the unimpeachable image quality offered by a cutting-edge sensor. It's not perfect, and it's not cheap, but if I was a working professional photographer I'd buy a GFX 100 in a heartbeat.

Compared to its high-resolution peers

There are 44 x 33mm-sensor medium format cameras from Fujifilm, Ricoh and Hasselblad on the market, of which we think the Fujifilm GFX 50 models are the most capable all-round. Lenses aside, though, we didn't find these offered a huge benefit over the best full frame cameras, whereas the GFX 100 clearly does. It soundly sees off its 50MP peers in terms of detail capture and sensor performance. Add to this the greater battery life, faster autofocus and the benefits of image stabilization and the advantages of the bigger camera are clear. And that's without even considering the 100's video capabilities.

The Phase One IQ4 150MP is a medium format camera and back built around what is essentially a larger version of the sensor in the GFX 100. The Phase One's 645-format sensor produces the resolution, tonal quality and DR improvements you might therefore expect. However, it does so in a camera that's slower to operate, with significantly less usable autofocus and in a format that is less comfortable when not tethered to a computer. If you need the quality it brings, the Phase One will outperform the Fujifilm, but if you can put up with the (sensational) image quality of the Fujifilm, then its smaller size, image stabilization, increased battery life, attractive JPEGs and video capabilities make it a much more flexible tool for considerably less money.

Having said that the GFX 100 significantly outperforms full frame cameras, we should still consider the Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R, since it's able to shoot and combine multiple shots in order to offer resolution and light capture (and hence tonal quality) comparable to a larger sensor. But, while it does so in a smaller, lighter body and doesn't have any phase detection elements to limit its usable dynamic range, its multi-shot mode only gets its best results when tripod-mounted, and applied to static subjects (and its use of electronic shutter limits its use with strobes). For most high-res applications, the GFX is the simpler, stronger, and yes, more expensive option.


Scoring

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn more about what these numbers mean.

Fujifilm GFX 100
Category: Professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Connectivity
Value
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The GFX 100 is a highly specialized tool, and yet one that Fujifilm has worked on to make as flexible and capable as possible. It offers very high resolution, supported by good glass and image stabilization to let you exploit that resolution far beyond the studio. It's not an all-rounder like some of the high-res full-frame mirrorless cameras can be, but it does things you wouldn't expect of a 100MP medium format camera.
Good for
People who need 100MP and top-notch image quality in and out of the studio.
Not so good for
Anyone needing speed or convenience rather than pushing for the boundaries of attainable image quality.
90%
Overall score