When asked to test the new Fujifilm GFX100 II mirrorless digital medium format camera in the field, I felt some excitement and was looking forward to the arrival of the camera.
As soon as I opened the box, I couldn’t help but admire the stunning finish and sturdy build of the camera. It felt great in my hand and was accompanied by a battery pack that matched its beautiful design. Since I was capturing wildlife in constantly changing weather, I appreciated that the camera body was both dust and weather resistant, which came in handy during overcast shooting conditions.
During my photography sessions using the GFX100 II camera, the camera was paired with the Fujifilm GF 250mm F4 LM OIS WR prime lens and the Fujifilm teleconverter GF 1.4X TC WR. I was happy to discover that the camera has a resolution of 102MP, which allowed me to make some small adjustments through cropping.
I found the camera’s button layout to be very user-friendly, as it allowed me to customise it to my preferences. I was able to quickly locate and adjust the buttons during shooting without any difficulty. The camera has a wide variety of buttons, and I particularly liked the placement of the shutter and ISO buttons, which I found easy to access and use intuitively while shooting.
The menu provides a wide range of options and choices that can be easily personalised to meet your specific needs. Additionally, there are multiple image quality settings available, including the ability to shoot at 8 frames per second with both a mechanical and electronic shutter.
The camera features a large format BSI CMOS sensor with a high speed of 102 MP and X Processor 5. It also has the option of 60.8 megapixels in ES mode. During my field test, I was impressed with the 8 fps high-speed function. When an Eastern Osprey unexpectedly dived into the water, I had a variety of images to choose from and was able to capture the perfect shot of its wings in an upward position thanks to the boost and fast frame rate.
The autofocus system is impressive and offers a wide range of AF settings to choose from. When it came to focusing on wildlife, I made some adjustments to the AF settings. The AF mode provides various options, including Single, Zone, Wide Tracking, and All. For wildlife, I opted for Zone. Additionally, in the AF-C Custom Settings, there are six customisable options, and I chose the second one that ignores obstacles and keeps tracking the subject. The AF-C custom settings also offer tracking sensitivity, speed tracking sensitivity, and zone area switching options.
You now have more options to choose from when selecting a subject for your photography. You can choose from animals, birds, automobiles, motorcycles, bikes, airplanes, and trains. Additionally, you have the option to turn off subject tracking altogether. Personally, I chose to track birds and animals. I was impressed with the accuracy of the tracking when capturing flying birds. The images produced were sharp and detailed, making for great shots.
When using face/eye detection, you have the option to select either the left or right eye. This feature can be particularly helpful when working with animals such as kangaroos.
The 8-stop in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) proved to be an incredibly useful feature for handheld photography. With the ability to use lower shutter speeds in low light conditions, I was able to capture high-quality images with minimal noise, even when shooting with high ISO. Additionally, the improved dynamic range of 30% further enhanced the overall image quality. I took some beautiful images during early morning light, featuring beautiful pink and peach shades.
I was impressed with the image quality, which was enhanced by the improved 16-bit raw- quality files. However, it must be noted that the editing software has not yet been updated with the latest camera raw format at the time of writing. I can’t wait to view the raw files when it’s available. The JPEG images were stunning and had exceptional detail and superb colours. Upon zooming into the large 102MB files, the detail was clear and amazing, which makes it perfect for printing extra-large images. If you want smaller files, you can shoot at 60.8 MP. I have observed that when capturing images in excellent lighting conditions, the quality of the pictures is outstanding, and the level of detail is truly remarkable.
I love shooting short movie clips and having the ability to switch to movie mode with just one button click was amazing. It was great to be able to see my subject through the viewfinder and start recording by pressing the shutter button. This feature was particularly helpful as I usually wait for interesting moments before starting to record. I was completely amazed by the quality of the low-light videos I captured; the colours were stunning.
To sum up, my experience using this camera was fantastic. Its comfortable and ergonomic design made it easy to hold and operate. The buttons were strategically placed, which allowed me to concentrate on capturing the perfect shots. Compared to the previous model GFX100, this camera is a considerable improvement, particularly when it comes to its AF focus, tracking, and burst shooting capabilities. These features are especially beneficial for wildlife photography. I found it helpful to have the option to customize the AF settings to suit the specific needs of wildlife photography.
The bird images were detailed and showcased the intricate feather patterns beautifully. The exceptional image quality was thanks to the 102MP feature, which was particularly useful for capturing challenging wildlife.