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Fujifilm GFX100S Chops $4000 Off Fujifilm GFX100, Cuts Size and Weight, Costs Less than Sony A1! Plus Commentary

Important to my B&H loaner support — buy your Fujifilm GFX100 via links on this site.

The amazing Sony A1 yesterday.

And now the Fujifilm GFX100S, where the 'S' seemingly stands for 'smaller' size/weight/price and/or "savings". Both cameras ship in March 2021 and I plan on reviewing both (in diglloyd Medium Format and diglloyd Mirrorless respectively, though my equipment budget might not allow both simultaneously.

Fujifilm GFX100S at Fujifilm.com and press release further below.

How to afford both a Sony A1 and a Fujifilm GFX100S, I dunno, except by selling gear. But since the top two cameras in the market will soon be those two, I really have to own both for review work—constantly borrowing is just not viable. Last May, I bought a superb sample of the Fujifilm GF 50mm f/3.5 for $500 (samples that good come along rarely), thinking I would make use of it by the next year. Now I have to figure out how to make the finances work. You can help me by subscribing in full.

Is the 35mm format vs medium format contest finally launched?

The GFX100S is all about size and weight and pricing. Which is more than enough to justify calling it a major breakthrough at $3000 less than the big brick Fujifilm GFX100—about $6000.

Still, there is no question that the Sony A1 is a far better all-arounder. But 100 megapixels for less money than the 50MP Sony A1 should give any landscape photographer pause.

We’re talking about a 100MP sensor in package not much different than a Nikon D850, a sort of Holy Grail that might well drive fairly large numbers of photographers to finally make the medium format transition.

In other words, the high-end camera market now means choosing between the ultimate flexiblity of the Sony A1 versus the medium-format GFX100S, with everything else dropping out of the picture for many if not most serious photographers. If buying into a system, why bother considering anything else on the market at this point? The two top players clearly have made the investments, with the only viable other player playing catch-up.

Size/weight

Quite compact. And at 900 grams, the Fujifilm GFX100S weighs LESS than a Nikon D850.

Fujifilm GFX100S:  900g (with battery, storage card)
 Fujifilm GFX100: 1400g (with batteries?)
      Nikon D850:  915g (with battery?)
       Leica SL2: >900g (835g without battery)
    Canon EOS R5:  738g (with battery, storage card)
     Sony A7R IV:  665g (without battery? If so, ~760g)

Fujifilm GFX100S, front view

Fujifilm GFX100S In-Body Image Stabilization

While I’ve said that I’d be happy to live without IBIS on a smaller/lighter 100-megapixel camera body, Fujifilm has managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat:

Up to 6.0-stops of five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) mechanism means users can produce images of ultra-high resolution hand-held

Which is great, because IBIS can be really useful things shooting at dusk; see Making of a Handheld Panorama with IBIS at 1/10 Second: Earth Shadow From Above Barcroft.

Same sensor

The same sensor is used in the Fujifilm GFX100S as in the Fujifilm GFX100. That means the same terrific detail and image quality. But it also means that PDAF banding could be an occassional issue, and that converting one to monochrome probably is not a great idea (because of the PDAF pixels).

Phase detection pixels are spread across the sensor to enable fast and accurate AF...

While I understand the need for fast and accurate AF for most customers, I’d rather be without it for landscape shooting. A dream would be a true monochrome sensor (“Fujifilm GFX100M”)—then with a pair of 100MP cameras both my quality desires and range-of-application wishes would be heartily met.

EVF and rear LCD

The Fujifilm GFX100S EVF is somewhat disappointing at only 3.69 megadots with 87 fps refresh, a far cry from the 9.44 megadot EVF with 240 fps refresh of the Sony A1. C'mom man, gimme a break—that’s 2.5X the pixels at 2.7X the refresh speed.

The GFX100S rear LCD is 2.36 megadots, which is way better than the crappy low-res 1.44 megadot rear LCD of the Sony A1. Still, I’d take that Sony EVF every day, since that is what I shoot through.

Connectivity

The Fujifilm GFX100S has USB 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps—decent but far from ideal. The Sony A1 has USB 3.2 Gen 2 10 Gbps and gigabit ethernet and high-speed WiFi. A bit disappointing for Fujifilm, but since I don’t use any of that, I don’t care.

Getting one

Important to my B&H loaner support — buy your Fujifilm GFX100 via links on this site.

Fujifilm launches mirrorless digital camera “FUJIFILM GFX100S”

2021-01-27

Mirrorless digital camera featuring the world's highest*1 102MP large format sensor
-A compact body packed with high-performance image stabilization mechanism and fast / accurate AF function
-Advanced portability broadening the range of shooting situations that can be captured with superior image quality on a next level

Fujifilm GFX100S, rear view

TOKYO, January 27, 2021 ― FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is pleased to announce that the “FUJIFILM GFX100S” (GFX100S) will be released in late February 2021 as the latest addition to the GFX Series of mirrorless digital cameras equipped with a large format sensor*2 about 1.7 times the size of a 35mm full-frame sensor.

The GFX100S is a mirrorless digital camera that uses the world's highest*1 102MP large format sensor and unique color reproduction technology to deliver superior image quality on a whole new level. Its compact and light weight body, weighing just 900g*3, packs up to 6.0-stops of five-axis image stabilization mechanism*4 as well as an autofocus (AF) function with a high level of speed and accuracy. It delivers portability that is unprecedented for a digital camera carrying an image sensor bigger than 35mm full-frame sensors, broadening the scope of photographic situations for its users.

The GFX100S is a innovative mirrorless digital camera that offers superior image quality easier than ever before. Rich tonal reproducibility and shallow depth-of-field unique to the large format sensor realizes three-dimensional definitions. It is a perfect choice not only for professional photographers who want to take advantage of the large sensor for added photographic expressions but also photography enthusiasts who wish to enjoy the world of 100MP images while hand-holding the camera.

The GFX100S is a mirrorless digital camera that is equipped with the world’ highest 102MP sensor and the high-speed image processing engine “X-Processor 4” which are used in the GFX Series’ flagship model “FUJIFILM GFX100” (GFX100). Its compact body weighs just 900g, approximately 500g lighter than the the GFX100. The inclusion of up to 6.0-stops of five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) mechanism means users can produce images of ultra-high resolution hand-held.

Phase detection pixels are spread across the sensor to enable fast and accurate AF. The ability to attain focus on a subject quickly and accurately increases the camera’s portability. The GFX100S model can cater to a wide range of scenes thanks to its excellent operability, dust and weather resistant, and the capability to operate at temperatures as low as -10℃. Furthermore, the camera enables video production in premium image quality, thanks to its capability to record smooth 4K/30P video in rich tonality.

Fujifilm will continue to offer the joy of photography with the GFX Series including the new GFX100S, the X Series of APS-C sensor cameras, and an extensive lineup of interchangeable lenses.

1. Product features

(1) Superior image quality on a whole new level with the use of a 102MP large format sensor

  • The GFX100S is equipped with the same 102MP large format sensor used in the GFX Series' flagship model, “GFX100.” It takes the level of image quality to a whole new level by combining the sensor with the high-speed image processing engine “X-Processor 4,” “FUJINON GF lenses” that bring out an astonishing level of image resolution, and the color reproduction technology fostered over many years in the photographic film business. Enlarged images clearly illustrate the camera's capability to capture every detail in sharpness across the frame.
  • The GFX100S features a back-illuminated image sensor with excellent light-receiving performance. Despite the ultra-high sensor resolution, the camera takes advantage of its wide dynamic range to achieve rich tonality and low noise. Clipping in highlights and shadows is reduced to create images in three-dimensional definitions as seen by the naked eye. The shallow depth-of–field unique to the large format sensor also renders the background out of focus for smooth bokeh.
  • The GFX100S offers the new Film Simulation mode “Nostalgic Neg.”, characterized by high saturation and soft tonality. This mode uses colors and tones reminiscent of the “American New Color”, which emerged in the 1970s to replace monochrome pictures with color photography as the mainstream style for photographic fine arts.

(2) Compact camera body for excellent portability

  • The optimized layout of in-body devices complements the use of IBIS and the introduction of a smaller shutter unit, resulting in a compact camera body weighing approximately 900g and measuring 104mm in height and 87mm in depth.
  • The casing is made of highly rigid magnesium alloy. Added thickness around the base of the lens mount, which is subject to greater load, has made the camera body highly robust. The dust and weather resistant structure that withstands operation at temperatures as low as -10℃ means the camera can be used in the toughest of shooting conditions. [diglloyd: that’s cold, but I’ve shot down to 0°F = -18°C].
  • The grip has been shaped to make it substantially more comfortable and stable to hold the camera. For example, it reduces hand strains significantly when using a large zoom lens for a comfortable shooting experience.

(3) Newly-developed IBIS mechanism providing a powerful support for hand-held shooting

The GFX100S features a newly-developed up to 6.0-stops of five-axis IBIS mechanism. It is connected to the camera’s base board in optimized wiring to make the unit smaller by approximately 20% and lighter by approximately 10% compared to the IBIS unit in the GFX100. It uses high-performance gyro senor and acceleration sensor as well as an updated algorithm for detecting vibrations for better image stabilization than the GFX100. The ability to control camera shake during hand-held shooting for both stills and video brings an enhanced comfort to users.

(4) Fast and high-precision AF capturing a subject quickly and accurately

  • The GFX100S delivers fast and high-precision AF thanks to the high-speed image processing engine “X-Processor 4” and the image sensor that has 3.76 million phase detection pixels across the surface (approx. 100% coverage). The algorithm for movement prediction and face/eye detection has been updated to track a moving subject and people within the frame accurately, ensuring to capture decisive photo moments.
  • The camera attains focus smoothly even in near-darkness conditions down to -5.5EV*5, such as in a dark room or at night outdoors illuminated only with starlight, providing users with accurate AF in low light.

*5 When fitted with the FUJINON Lens GF80mmF1.7 R WR.

(5) Easy operability for a smooth shooting experience

  • The Mode dial, on the top panel of the camera body, offers six customizable positions C1 - C6. Users can register functions of their choice to each of the positions so that they can be activated swiftly for a smooth photo shoot.
  • There is a selector to instantly switch between the still and movie modes for added convenience in camera operation.
  • The newly-designed Focus Lever has adopted a flat shape so as not to cause physical discomfort even after many hours of use. It responds with enhanced sensitivity when moving the focus point, allowing users to autofocus quickly for the intended area in the frame. 
  • A 1.8-inch sub LCD monitor with excellent visibility is featured on the top panel, displaying key EXIF settings such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity, as well as the number of frames remaining while shooting stills and the duration of time remaining while recording video. The display can be customized for added convenience.
  • On the rear panel is a 3.2-inch main LCD monitor with approximately 100% coverage. It can tilt in three directions to facilitate high- and low-angle shooting, for which the use of the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is difficult.
Fujifilm GFX100S, top view

(6) 4K/30P video capability enabling high-quality video production

  • The GFX100S can capture smooth 4K/30P video, recording 4K/30P 4:2:0 10-bit video onto an SD card inserted, and supporting the output of 4K/30P 4:2:2 10-bit video via the HDMI port for greater color sampling.
  • In the DCI format (17:9 aspect ratio), commonly used by digital cinema cameras, the camera records video with a sensor area measuring about 49.5mm diagonally*6. The size, bigger than that of large sensors increasingly adopted by high-end cinema cameras*7, results in outstanding high ISO performance, shallow depth-of-field capability and wide tonal reproducibility. This makes it easier than ever before to produce premium-quality video footage with more detailed textures and three-dimensional definitions while even capturing the atmosphere of the scene.
  • The GFX100S supports the highly efficient H.264 and H.265/HEVC compression codecs as well as the “F-Log” mode that reproduces rich tonality and the “Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)” for recording high dynamic range (HDR) footage with ease. The bit rate can be set up to 400Mbps to produce video as intended.
  • When used with the “NINJA V”*8 by ATOMOS, the GFX100S can record video in the Apple ProRes RAW format. The RAW data, free of any in-camera processing, allows users to apply exposure adjustments and color grading with flexibility for fully-fledged video production.
  • *6 Referring to the area of the image sensor used for video recording. In the case of the GFX100S, when the 17:9 format is selected, the area measures approx. 49.5mm diagonally.
  • *7 Image sensors with the diagonal dimension of 43.2mm to 46.3mm.
  • *8 A product integrating a monitor and a recorder, made by ATOMOS.

Optional accessory Hand grip “MHG-GFX S”

Metal hand grip makes it substantially more comfortable to hold the camera, even when it is mounted with a large zoom lens, thereby reducing camera shake. The bottom part may be used as an Arca-Swiss plate, allowing use as a quick shoe mount when using a compatible tripod.

  • *1 For commercially available mirrorless digital cameras as of January 27, 2021, according to Fujifilm.
  • *2 An image sensor that measures 55mm diagonally (43.8 mm x 32.9 mm) and is approx. 1.7 times bigger than a 35 mm full-frame sensor.
  • *3 Including a battery and a memory card.
  • *4 When using the FUJINON Lens GF63mmF2.8 R WR.
Fujifilm GFX100S, rear view
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