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How GFX100S Fits Into the GFX System
With similar features to FUJIFILM GFX100, but in a streamlined body, find out how GFX100S compares to other bodies in the series
Now that the dust has settled on the release of the new FUJIFILM GFX100S, let’s take a look at how it fits into the GFX system as a whole. With four models in the current lineup, there are a lot of bases covered, and each camera body offers something unique for different types of photographers. However, each one is built around the same G Mount, with access to the wide – and growing – range of GF lenses. For photographers who are committed to achieving the greatest image quality, that means there’s a truly versatile range of tools.
So, let’s take a look at what makes the new model different from its predecessors, and how they differ from each other, too. For a quick comparison, take a look at the table at the end of this article.
Resolution, Sensor, and Color
GFX100S uses the same sensor as the original GFX100 body, a 43.8×32.9mm, back-side illuminated 102-megapixel chip with a Bayer array primary color filter. The physical size is identical to the sensors in GFX50S and GFX50R, but those cameras have a 51-megapixel resolution. So, while GFX50S and GFX50R can make extremely high-resolution images of 8256×6192 pixels, if you’re looking for ultimate detail, GFX100 and GFX100S are the way to go, making files of 11,648×8736 pixels. What’s more, the latter two cameras also have a 407-megapixel Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode that combines 16 exposures to make massive pictures containing 23,296×17,472 pixels – perfect for archival, product, and still life photography. When it comes to sensitivity settings, there’s no difference between the models, with a native ISO 100 to 12,800 range, expandable to 50 to 102,400.
On top of pure resolution, all GFX cameras boast Fujifilm’s unique Film Simulation modes, allowing photographers to apply distinctive tonal and color profiles to their images based on classic film stocks. GFX100S has 19 Film Simulation modes, including all of the classics like PROVIA/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, ASTIA/Soft, and Classic Chrome, PRO Neg.Hi, PRO Neg.Std, Classic Neg., Nostalgic Neg., ETERNA/Cinema, and ETERNA BLEACH BYPASS, but also introduces a new mode, Nostalgic Neg., with its roots in the look of ‘American New Color’ from the 1970s and 1980s. Other options include a full suite of monochrome modes, with ACROS, Black & White and a variety of color filters replicating the look of red, yellow or green colored filters, and a Sepia setting. Other models don’t have this complete set of Film Simulation modes as standard.
All GFX cameras feature great options for moviemaking, but while GFX50S and GFX50R achieve Full HD 1920×1080 resolution at 30p, GFX100 and GFX100S represent even more complete tools for filmmaking. Both offer a maximum of DCI 4K 4096×2160 resolution at 30p, as well as regular 4K at 3840×2160. There are also other useful modes, such as Full HD in DCI 2048×1080 as well as regular 1920×1080. What’s more, while GFX50S and GFX50R limit recording time to 30 minutes, GFX100 and GFX100S can record non-stop video for 60 minutes at 4K resolution and 80 minutes at Full HD.
GFX100 and GFX100S build on these capabilities with various professional moviemaking features. These include 10-bit 4:2:2 recording to an external recorder via HDMI, use of the F-Log profile for easier editing, Apple ProRes RAW output, and a Hybrid Gamma Log mode for use with HDR TVs and other devices.
GFX100 and GFX100S’s superfast X-Processor 4 also provides a choice of bit rates, from 100 Mbps to 400 Mbps, so you obtain fantastic image quality without overwhelming file sizes. You can even use lower data rates to suit different subjects or workflows.
For high-resolution sensors, image stabilization proves vital for critical sharpness when working handheld – this is another area where the newer GFX100 and GFX100S bodies excel. A first for large format bodies, both have a five-axis in-body image stabilization unit allied to the sensor. That supplies 5.5 steps of stabilization on GFX100 and 6.0 steps on GFX100S, thanks to its redesigned IBIS unit. Image stabilization also corrects vibration in video for a smoother picture when moving the camera.
GFX50S and GFX50R can also benefit from stabilization, but you need to pick a GF lens with optical image stabilization (OIS). This list currently includes: FUJINON GF120mmF4 R LM OIS WR Macro, FUJINON GF250mmF4 R LM OIS WR, FUJINON GF45-100F4 R LM OIS WR, and FUJINON GF100-200mmF5.6 R LM OIS WR.
Size, Weight, and Design
In this area, there is probably the most divergence within the GFX system. In fact, the size and weight of each body differs, offering benefits for different applications and different styles of photography. The smallest and lightest is GFX50R at just 1.70lb (775g) with its battery and a memory card installed. It’s also the most distinctive in design with its rangefinder styling and an integrated EVF on the left-hand side that allows users to keep one eye on the surroundings of their frame.
GFX50S, GFX100 and GFX100S are more similar in design, with a large DSLR-style handgrip and central viewfinder. GFX100 has an integrated vertical grip, making it the largest and heaviest of the group. Thanks in part to features such as its redesigned IBIS unit, GFX100S is also surprisingly small and light at only 2lb (900g). As a result, it still offers all the functions of GFX100, but its smaller size gives it an incredible blend of portability and power.
All GFX cameras use an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and there’s also a slight difference here. Though GFX50S, GFX50R, and GFX100S’s 3.69 million dot OLED EVFs provide a great view, they’re not quite as detailed as the display on GFX100, which has a 5.76 million dot OLED model. With GFX 50S and GFX100 enabling the EVF to be detached, an optional tilting EVF – EVF-TL1 – can be added to compose more easily from chest level. GFX50R and GFX100S have fixed EVFs.
When it comes to controlling the cameras, there are also notable differences in style – mainly in terms of the number of physical dials. While GFX50S and GFX50R draw inspiration from the mechanical dials on FUJIFILM X Series cameras, GFX100 and GFX100S boast a more streamlined design. GFX100S has a traditional PASM mode dial, whereas GFX100 features a physical lever – both of which can be used in Virtual Dial mode. This is where the top-plate LCD screen shows images of dials that can be adjusted with the camera’s command dials.
Another major difference between GFX system models is how their autofocus functions. While GFX50S and GFX50R use a through-the-lens (TTL) contrast AF system, GFX100 and GFX100S feature an Intelligent Hybrid Phase Detection system that mixes TTL contrast AF and TTL phase detection AF. Both systems have advantages, but combined they offer the best of both worlds, allowing complex subject recognition and tracking, as well as precision focus on fast-moving subjects. Both systems allow users to focus right up to the edge of the frame and, while this is normal for contrast detection AF, GFX100 and GFX100S use 3.76 million phase detection pixels that are spread right across the sensor.
If you need to make sequences of photos at high speed, the differences in frame rate and buffer depth should interest you. High burst rates aren’t the traditional preserve of larger format cameras, but GFX50S and GFX50R allow a respectable 3fps for up to 13 frames when using lossless compression RAWs and, if you’re using JPEGs, you can keep going until the card is full.
With their new X-Processor 4 imaging engine, GFX100 and GFX100S ramp up the speed, with 5fps performance. This means they can keep up for 14 lossless compression RAWs or 41 JPEGs on GFX100, and a fractionally higher 15 lossless compression RAWs or 42 JPEGs on GFX100S. This represents an unprecedented speed for larger format bodies and makes them suitable for far more subjects.