We wanted to switch things up with this camera review and offer you more than just our opinion. Oftentimes, photography sites review gear and leave out one of the most important aspects of the review: user experience and field tests. This video is a one-part tutorial, one-part hands-on review of the new Fujifilm GFX 100S paired with the Fujifilm GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR Lens. We’re going to give you a guide and walk through each of the shots that we’re going to be creating so you can learn not only about the camera system but also about how we arrived at the final images.
Video Review of the Fujifilm GFX 100S and Fujifilm GF 80mm f/1.7 R WR Lens
This is my first time powering up this camera, which is a practice I wouldn’t recommend for those of you going into professional shoots, but for this video and to challenge myself, I enjoy unboxing and putting the camera to work immediately on a portrait shoot with our model Sarron. This allows me to test how it will perform under pressure and how easy it is to navigate. Unfortunately, at the time of releasing this video, we’re probably not going to get a chance to look at the actual RAW files because Lightroom and other editing apps don’t support them yet.
Ergonomics & Menu Design
One of the first things I wanted to check out was the image quality settings. I shoot large RAW on my Canon DSLR so I quickly realized if I don’t change these settings I would be dealing with large image files that would will up my memory card. I decided to shoot Superfine JPEG+ RAW. The other thing I love about Fujifilm cameras is their film simulation options. No other camera company has this option, and even ones that have come close don’t really have the accuracy to emulate real film styles. I love how simple their menu systems are, even coming from a completely different camera system, I find it easy to navigate and learn in a small amount of time.
Focus & Sharpness
I thought it would be perfect to test the AF system in a complex scene where the camera might struggle to find the subject. I chose to use multi-purpose AF and turned on the face and eye detection, these two paired together worked perfectly for this single subject shoot, even with all of the distracting elements in my frame. I don’t expect the focus system on this camera to be able to keep up with the latest, greatest mirrorless camera, but if you’re strictly comparing it to medium format options, it easily takes the cake.
Do you Need a Medium Format Camera?
I’m not a huge fan of medium format cameras because they do offer a ton of resolution, but they also have a lot of drawbacks in terms of the shooting and image creation process. Medium format is all about intention, the anticipation of moments, and perfecting the capture, while DSLRs give you a lot more flexibility and allowance for missing moments. Coming from shooting fast-paced weddings where things can happen in the blink of an eye, it can be hard to justify spending almost $6,000 on a medium format camera only to wait for huge image files to process and as a result maybe miss a moment. I will say, of the medium format cameras I’ve tested in the past, this does a great job balancing mirrorless and the detail, resolution, and depth of medium format. This camera is meant for true artisans and lovers of the art form of photography.
I’m actually going to take it out with my family to do a few more test shots, and then when I can get the images into Lightroom and process the RAW files I’ll do a follow-up video and tell you what I think about the dynamic range of the image files.
Fujifilm GFX 100S Review: Final Thoughts
This is a camera from an artist’s perspective that I would actually consider buying. It offers such a unique value proposition compared to other mirrorless cameras. In the past, I’ve shot quite a bit of medium format cameras and the digital backs are very inconvenient – lugging them around, using them the way that the cameras work really slows down the process and it felt like I was giving up too much just simply for the depth and dynamic range in detail. Now, for some photographers, that makes complete sense, because that’s all that they need. In this camera, we’re getting the convenience of mirrorless, better focus systems, better speed, and we’re getting five frames/second – this to me is the best of both worlds.
Fujifilm GFX 100S Sample Images
You can pre-order the Fujifilm GFX 100s for $6,000 USD.