I am a “hybrid” photographer, making my way between celebrity portraiture, editorial shots for magazines and more personal projects.
For several years, I had been looking for a camera that would combine both the image quality and rendition of analog Medium Format cameras and the latest mirrorless technologies, which are really useful for photographers. I wanted to keep instinct and pleasure in photography and associate it with the right amount of technology. And then I discovered the GFX100, the first of its name. So transitioning to the GFX100S was a very natural process, and I found in it all the advantages that had made the first GFX100 my ideal partner to play with – notably a wide dynamic range and a sensor size that gives the pictures an unparalleled sharpness and a spectacular color rendition. The new one is smaller and I find its all-black finish even better-looking.
For this series, I had a blast walking around in locked-down Paris, during late fall, meeting my friends at home or in the almost empty streets of eastern Paris. I had my GFX100S and the new GF80mmF1.7 lens. No tripod, only natural light, and pushing the camera towards slower shutter speeds. This setup proved to be even more versatile than I thought: the stabilization offers a better management of (unwanted) movement blur, the camera is able to push ISO sensitivity without any problem at dusk, and I loved the snappy auto-focus of the GF80mmF1.7 lens (with the very convenient eye detection), as well as its delicate, almost creamy bokeh. The GFX100S is also less obtrusive than its predecessor, as it is lighter: it’s a really good point when you walk all day long taking pictures! It also seemed to me that the new battery, though more compact, is more powerful.
I would like to detail how I feel about the Fujinon GF80mmF1.7 lens’ quality. It’s fast at f/1.7, and it feels very nice in your hand: the aperture ring is wide and robust enough to prevent accidental changes when you move. The weight and balance of the whole camera-lens setup are very important. With the GFX100S and the GF80mm, this balance is great: it’s not too front-heavy.
Wide open, I was really amazed by the image quality. Sharpness is excellent with plenty of details, and there is no distortion and no chromatic aberration to be seen.
I also enjoyed the rendition of the new “Nostalgic Neg” filter. It’s perfectly in line with the color palette I like to work with in post production, so it’s ideal to get a more accurate idea of the picture I’ll take, in real time, on the tilting LCD screen of the camera. I also used a lot the “Monochrome G” Film Simulation, which reproduces a green-filtered black and white: it was really useful for the photos we pictured as black and white.
Still thinking about mobility, the LCD screen can be a very efficient alternative to tethered shooting. It’s a really accurate (3.2” diagonal and 2.36 million dots) touchscreen and you can tilt it: it can be very convenient to take some specific pictures.
In post-production, the RAW quality is mind boggling, and it might turn some photo retouchers crazy. It opens possibilities I wouldn’t even have imagined before I discovered the GFX100. It’s a pure delight!
It might seem like a small detail, but I also love the USB-C port. It’s really convenient to recharge the battery anywhere. I remember a shooting I made in the USA: I didn’t have the proper socket adapter, and all my batteries were depleted (I had been too light-headed to think to recharge them on the night before). All I had in my bag was my Mac’s charger, and I really thanked Fujifilm engineers for thinking about the USB-C port!
All in all, it’s a pack of technology and know-how, specific to Fujifilm, which made me use the GFX100 and now the GFX100S for most of my professional work. And I even caught myself thinking I could also use this new camera for my more personal projects, which I used to shoot on various analog cameras.