The Fujifilm GFX 100S is the logical next step in the development of the company’s medium format lineup: a 100MP sensor in a single-grip DSLR styled body. But don’t mistake predictability for complacency: the GFX 100S is an awful lot of camera.
Inside its comparatively compact body, the GFX 100S carries the 102MP BSI CMOS sensor from the original GFX 100 mounted within a smaller, more powerful image stabilization mechanism. By blending technology from the GFX 100 with components from the APS-C sensor X-T4, Fujifilm has created a very powerful camera at a comparatively affordable price.
- 102MP BSI-CMOS 44 x 33mm medium format sensor
- Image stabilization system rated at up to 6EV
- Continuous shooting at up to 5 fps with C-AF
- 4K video at up to 30p with HDMI output of 10-bit 4:2:2 or 12-bit Raw footage
- Multi-shot 400MP mode for static subjects
- 2.36M-dot rear touchscreen with two-axis tilt
- Fixed 3.69M-dot OLED EVF with 0.77x equiv. magnification
- Lossy, lossless or uncompressed Raw in 16 or 14-bit
- Twin UHS-II SD card slots
- NP-W235 battery, rated at 460 shots
|Out-of-camera JPEG using the Provia film simulation.|
ISO 6400 | 1/100 sec | F11 | GF 120mm F4 Macro
Photo by Carey Rose
Despite offering most of the capability of the twin-grip GFX 100, the 100S is significantly less expensive. It’s available now for a recommended price of $5,999.
More compact body
|The use of a smaller battery and fixed viewfinder have helped significantly slim-down the GFX100S (left), relative to the original 50MP GFX 50S (right).|
Fujifilm has applied a lot of the downsizing efforts that went into its more rangefinder-like 50R camera here in the GFX 100S, resulting in a camera that’s appreciably smaller than the original GFX 50S and the dual-grip GFX 100. However, the company says that in contrast to the 50R, a DSLR-style body, with the viewfinder assembly on the top of the camera, was required in order to make the inclusion of an image stabilization system practical.
The GFX 100S has a control layout very similar to that of the original, dual-grip GFX 100, with a large LCD top plate display and a comparable number of custom buttons. A conventional mode dial and movie/stills switch replace the GFX 100’s button-within-a-dial arrangement on the camera’s left shoulder.
Core to the GFX 100S is the inclusion of in-body image stabilization. Just as Fujifilm has been able to continue to miniaturize the IS systems used in its X-H1, X-T4 and X-S10 models, it’s also been able to reduce the size of the mechanism from the original GFX 100 to allow it to fit in a smaller body.
Despite the size reduction, the new mechanism is more effective than the one that precedes it: rated to correct up to 6EV of shake. This is half a stop more than the GFX 100’s rating and is possible with more lenses, giving a rated 1EV improvement with most combinations. On top of this, the new system can synchronize with OIS lenses to maintain this level of correction even with longer focal lengths. This Sync IS system uses both lens and body IS to correct pitch and yaw, just as Panasonic, Olympus and Canon systems do.
|Fujifilm has managed to create an IS mechanism for the GFX 100S that is both smaller and more effective than the one in the original GFX 100.|
As usual, we find CIPA ratings (which only asses pitch and yaw correction) tend to over-state the benefit somewhat, but a 6EV rating should make it much easier to obtain the full benefit of the GFX 100S’s resolution. You can see the effect of this in our sample gallery, where we’re consistently getting high levels of resolution, even at relatively slow shutter speeds.
The image stabilization mechanism is also used to provide a sixteen-shot high-resolution mode. This moves the sensor between each exposure, first to ensure that a red, green and blue pixel has been captured for each location, then to do the same again at a slight offset. This both boosts the chroma resolution and the overall pixel count of the image. However, in our experience with the GFX 100, we found that the lack of any motion correction means it really only works for completely static subjects, such as artwork reproduction.
Eight-direction control nub
|The eight-way rubber control nub sits within easy reach of your thumb as you grip the camera.|
The four-direction joystick that’s featured on previous GFX cameras has been replaced by a wider, flatter textured nub, that allows diagonal control as well as vertical and horizontal.
Its lower profile makes it easy to nudge the AF point around or navigate menus without too much risk of accidentally pressing it inwards which, as before, resets the AF point or confirms the current menu setting.
Additional Film Simulation mode
The GFX 100S gains a 13th Film Simulation mode: Nostalgic Neg. Fujifilm says this is based on the distinctive look achieved by American color film photographer Stephen Shore.
‘Nostalgic Neg’ aims to offer slightly amber-tinted highlights, cyan-ish skies and saturated reds along with deep shadows to provide another option for retro-looking images. As usual, the effect is relatively subtle, giving an attractive option without spilling into overly intense ‘Instagram-filter’ territory.
|The GFX100S uses the smaller NP-W235 battery from the X-T4 but still boasts a decent battery life rating.|
The move to a smaller body format also sees the GFX 100S make use of a smaller battery, compared to the GFX 100. It uses the same W235 battery first introduced with the X-T4, which is a fair bit smaller than NP-T125 used in the previous GFX bodies. Despite the reduction in physical size and electrical capacity, the GFX 100S is rated for a pretty reasonable 460 shots per charge using the LCD, per CIPA standard tests.
As always with CIPA ratings, the number reflects very demanding use, and we’ve found we regularly get more than twice the stated number of shots from most cameras. However, the numbers are broadly comparable between mirrorless cameras, so it’s reasonable to expect you’ll get more than 1/2 as many shots out of the GFX 100S as you would from the 800-shot-per-charge rated twin-battery GFX 100. This is likely to be enough for a lot of situations, though wedding photographers are likely to find themselves wanting to pocket a spare. A two-battery charger is available for such users.
The X100S will recharge over its USB-C socket but there is no provision whatsoever for a vertical control or battery grip: there’s the GFX 100 for that.
How it compares
Beyond this, much of what the GFX 100S offers is a match for its larger sibling: 102MP Raw files in 14 or 16 bit with a choice of lossy, lossless or no compression, DCI or UHD 4K video at up to 30p and up to 400Mbps, with the option to output uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 or a 12-bit Raw stream over HDMI. Impressively, for a camera with a 100MP sensor, the GFX 100S can shoot at up to 5 fps with continuous autofocus, despite the continued use of UHS-II SD card slots.
As always, the key consideration is that the GFX has a sensor that’s 68% larger than a full-frame sensor, which means it receives around 2/3EV more light when shot at the same exposure values as a full frame camera. The ISO system means those images appear the same brightness, but the additional light provides better image quality, generally with lower noise levels and higher dynamic range.
|Fujifilm GFX 100S||Fujifilm GFX 100||Hasselblad |
X1D II 50C
|Sony a7R IV|
|Pixel count||102 MP||102 MP||51MP||60MP|
|Image stabilization||Yes (up to 6EV, and lens sync)||Yes (up to 5.5EV)||No||Yes (up to 5.5EV)|
|Continuous shooting||5.0 fps||5.0 fps||2.7 fps||10.0 fps|
|Viewfinder size/res||3.69M dot OLED / 0.77x||5.76M dot OLED / 0.86x||3.69M dot OLED / 0.87x||5.76M dot OLED / 0.78x|
|Rear screen||Two axis tilt 3.0″ 2.36M-dot touchscreen||Two axis tilt 3.2″ 2.36M-dot touchscreen||Fixed 3.6″ 2.36M-dot touchscreen||Tilting 3.0″ 1.44M-dot touchscreen|
|Max shutter speed||1/4000 sec||1/4000 sec||1/2000 sec (leaf shutter)||1/8000 sec|
|Video||4K/30p up to 400 Mbps||4K/30p up to 400 Mbps||2.7K/30p||4K/30p up to 100 Mbps|
|Dimensions||150 x 104 x 92mm||156 x 164 x 103mm||148 x 97 x 70mm||129 x 96 x 78 mm|
Although the GFX 100S’s maximum shutter speed, durability rating and 1/125 sec sync speed all match the GFX 100, Fujifilm says the new mechanism reduces shutter lag from 0.09 sec to 0.07 sec.
Body and controls
The GFX 100S uses a similar control approach to that of previous GFX cameras, primarily relying on its twin command dials for most control, and using an exposure compensation button rather than a dedicated dial (though, with a bit of work, you can assign it as an option when you press the rear dial).
The GFX 100S fits nicely in the hand, with a thin layer of dense rubber providing a good amount of traction to a well-shaped hand grip, though photographers with larger hands may find the middle-finger indentation a little too small and close to the front of the camera. The solid grip is important because although the camera is smaller than the likes of a Nikon D850, it can start to get quite heavy once you’ve mounted something like the GF 110mm F2 lens on the front.
The top display panel can be set to show either shooting information, a graphic representing shutter speed and ISO dials, or a histogram. The camera maintains separate settings for stills and video, and the display can be inverted to show black text on white if you find that clearer than white on black. A small ‘lamp’ button on the side of the viewfinder illuminates the panel for use in low light.
The GFX 100S, unlike the GFX 100 or GFX 50S, has a fixed built-in viewfinder. It’s a 3.69M-dot OLED panel with 0.77x magnification (with a 50mm equivalent lens mounted). This is a pretty big display with pretty decent resolution. ‘Boost’ modes in the camera’s power settings let you increase either the refresh rate or the resolution.
The rest of the interface is very similar to that of recent Fujifilm models. Buttons can be customized by holding down the ‘Disp/Back’ button, and the ‘Q’ menu can be modified without the need to delve into the full menus. Menu options let you decide whether the Q menu is displayed on a grey background or overlaid on top of the camera’s live view. Different contrast levels for the interface and menus are available, including a night vision preserving red and black color scheme for working in extreme low light conditions where it’s easy to get dazzled.
|The GFX100S (left) is a significantly smaller camera than the original GFX 50S (right), and as part of this downsizing, it gives up the shutter speed and ISO dial. In return you get a significantly larger, customizable, top-panel display.|
We’ve been impressed with what Fujifilm has achieved with the GFX system so far: most of the lenses are superb and the cameras bring a level of mass-market polish and usability that hasn’t always been a feature of medium format cameras (Pentax’s digital ‘645’ models being the notable exception). But cameras in the GFX line have almost risked being victims of their own success, in that this level of usability has invited comparisons with more mainstream full frame cameras, which in some respects are more versatile.
In testing we found that the 50MP sensor of previous GFX cameras didn’t offer a major image quality benefit over the best full-frame cameras of the time, but the move to a 100MP chip changed that. In use, we’ve found the smaller size and more powerful IS of the GFX 100S means it offers nearly all the capabilities of the original GFX 100 in a package that’s more accessible and more usable.
|Out of camera JPEG using the Nostalgic Neg film simulation.|
ISO 100 | 1/320 sec | F4 | Fujifilm GF 45mm F2.8
Photo by Carey Rose
It’s still not cheap, of course. Larger sensors are harder (and thus more expensive) to produce, they require larger, more expensive lenses, and the consequent lower sales volumes just serve to push up the unit price in what risks becoming a vicious cycle. But our experience of the GFX 100S is that you do gain something meaningful for that extra expenditure.
Getting the GFX 100S down in size (and price) does mean you lose out in some respects, compared with the full-sized GFX 100, but none that are overly detrimental. For instance, the battery is significantly smaller than the ones the larger camera uses, though the battery life rating appears pretty solid and doesn’t appear to be achieved by being over-keen to drop into battery saving mode, or anything else sneaky that might undermine performance or user experience.
The viewfinder is perhaps the other significant step down in spec, compared to the GFX 100. A total of 3.69M dots is fewer than in the finders of the cameras such as the Panasonic S1R and Sony a7R IV, but it’s the same as the 50MP GFX models, and Fujifilm appears to make good use of that resolution in live view, rather than only using the full resolution in playback mode, as some cameras do.
|While the GFX 100S won’t match full-frame cameras for autofocus responsiveness, its autofocus can be very accurate, especially with portraiture and eye-detection.|
ISO 320 | 1/60 sec | F3.2 | GF 80mm F1.7
Photo by Richard Butler
Fujifilm’s lenses, while optically impressive, aren’t always the fastest to focus (though there’s some variability within the range). So, despite the inclusion of on-sensor phase detection, the GFX 100S won’t offer the levels of AF responsiveness you’d get from a Canon EOS R5, Sony A7R IV or Nikon Z7 II, for portraiture, for instance.
But the fact that the GFX 100S offers anywhere near the responsiveness of mainstream full-frame cameras, and outputs not just acceptable, but excellent out-of-camera JPEGs is another major step forward for medium format usability. Add in image stabilization that means you don’t have to obsess about stability to realize the camera’s full resolution potential, and you have a camera that can be used in a wider range of circumstances than has previously seemed possible for medium format.
|In-body stabilization that syncs with lens IS means you can get 100MP worth of detail without a tripod, without stopping to control your breathing or having to agonize over a steadiness/detail loss trade-off of using a higher shutter speed.|
We’ve seen plenty of posts questioning whether cameras such as the Nikon Z7 II or Sony a7R IV will offer an appreciable upgrade over last-generation high-res DSLRs such as the Nikon D850. In general that’s a difficult question to answer, because while there are benefits to the newer cameras – they tend to be smaller, provide access to the latest lenses (and manufacturers’ future lens developments), offer better video and include features such as eye AF – we don’t usually see major image quality benefits from the cameras themselves. The GFX 100S appears to provide that image quality benefit, as well as all those other things that the latest mirrorless cameras offer.
Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you’ll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.
Unsurprisingly, the GFX 100S’ image quality is practically indistinguishable from that of the GFX 100, which which it shares a sensor and image processing pipeline. We shot some test images of our studio scene to confirm this and are confident that the results are identical, so we have used the GFX 100 images to represent both cameras.
This is a good thing: the larger sensor, compared to full-frame means that the Fujifilm receives 2/3EV more light per whole image at matched exposure settings, which means improved tonal gradation and noise performance for any tone in the image. Our test-scene is well lit enough that you can’t always see the noise aspect of this difference,.
The larger sensor also helps provide excellent. The camera’s 100MP resolution means that less expensive cameras can only exceed its detail capture in their , which require near-static subjects. The GFX 100S also has a multi-shot mode but it’s extremely sensitive to movement, to the extent that it’s difficult to get a good result with out nominally static test scene and tripod setup.
Even though we doubt too many GFX 100S users will be planning to shoot JPEG, we find its output can be very attractive, in terms of color and. This allows attractive previews to be delivered immediately, even if your delivered product includes processing your shots to exploit the potential of the Raw files.
Dynamic range is also a match for the GFX 100. The larger sensor gives a boost over its full-frame rivals. If we compare high ISO images to ones shot using the same exposure at a lower ISO setting, we can see there’s very little difference, which suggests there’s very little electronic noise to be overcome by adding amplification. This opens up the option to keep the ISO setting down and brighten later, to avoid the reduction in dynamic range that typically occurs as you raise the ISO.
If you look closely at the pixel-level noise you’ll see that, with fixed exposure, noise steadily decreases with increasing ISO until ISO 800, after which it remains the same. This is because of the sensor’s dual gain design. It switches to a high conversion gain mode at ISO 500 for cleaner shadows, at the cost of slightly reduced dynamic range. Beyond ISO 500, there is no practical benefit to increasing the ISO setting, save for properly exposed JPEGs.
Digging into the deepest shadows of 16-bit Raw files (where you’d expect any bit-depth benefit to present itself), there’s no visible advantage over 14-bit files. However, unlike the GFX 100, the GFX 100S’ files appear to blend in the phase-detection rows perfectly: there’s no striping even after a huge shadow lift, meaning the camera’s full DR can be exploited without risk of artifacts.
The GFX 100S’s autofocus system is very similar to those of the original GFX 100 and the X-T4, which means it’s better than earlier Fujifilms but looking more and more outdated in comparison to the cameras released since those models arrived.
As you’d expect, you can select anything from an individual AF point up to the full area, with the camera picking the subject. There’s also a subject tracking mode, which usually does a reasonable job of following subjects as they move within the frame. Separate from this is a face/eye detection system, which can be toggled at the press of the joystick.
Unlike the best modern systems, face/eye detection isn’t integrated with the general tracking modes, so if the camera loses your subject’s face for a moment, you can’t be confident that it will still try to focus on them (it may find another face or try focusing on your selected AF point in instead).
Assessing AF performance of a camera like the GFX100S is a challenge: it’s probably the most adaptable, most usable AF system to be employed in a medium format camera, but this still falls a fair way short of the standards set by the latest mirrorless cameras elsewhere in the market if you consider ease-of-use, speed and consistency.
Subject tracking is good, rather than great, and although the face/eye detection system can deliver perfectly focused results, we haven’t found it consistent or dependable enough to completely rely on. We’d expect it to do well in situations where your subject is posing for you and can be directed to look at the camera, but in more casual settings it can suddenly lose track of the eye it had previously identified. It’s easy enough to hit the joystick to revert to a single AF point if this happens, but it’s frustrating once you’ve become accustomed to latest systems from Canon, Sony or Nikon.
The bigger issue we encountered, though, was the inconsistency of AF speed between lenses. Whereas some GF lenses focus smoothly and relatively quickly, others are significantly slower.
Ultimately it seems to be the price that you pay for the larger chunks of glass that need to be moved, and the use of optical designs that presumably prioritize optical performance over AF speed. For all the promise implied by 5fps shooting, there are some lenses (such as the 80mm F1.7) that when mounted on the GFX 100S, serve to remind you that you’re still using a niche, specialist camera.
That said, those lenses and the AF system do a good job of delivering images focused and sharp enough for you to appreciate the camera’s 100MP resolution. It won’t give a perfect performance when shooting our test scene, but it’ll repeatedly deliver results that can only be distinguished from perfect in side-by-side, pixel-level analysis.
Like the GFX100, the 100S is a surprisingly capable video camera. I say surprisingly because large sensors tend to mean large numbers of relatively large pixels which, absent any clever/expensive technologies, tend to count against fast readout speed. Fujifilm’s solution appears to be line-skipping: only reading certain lines out from the sensor, to speed up the process and reduce the rolling shutter effect. This gets it to a fairly reasonable 27ms for both its DCI and UHD 4K modes.
Line-skipping has the disadvantage that it’s more prone to moiré and won’t yield the full low-light performance of the GFX’s large sensor. However, it does allow the camera to use the full field of view of the lenses mounted, and provide the shallow depth-of-field that you can achieve with large sensors and bright lenses.
Most of what’s particularly good about the GFX100S’ video capabilities have been borrowed directly from the X-T4: a good range of bitrates and codecs, including 10-bit Log options, with a user interface that allows a good separation between the settings being used for stills, meaning it’s easy to swap between stills and video. It’ll output a Raw stream to an external recorder if you can live with the size/weight and additional processing that requires.
The GFX 100S’ Raw video output is reduced down to 3840 x 2160 pixels and is taken from the full width of the sensor. The camera is limited to a minimum of ISO 1250 and, as usual for Raw video, producesthan the camera’s more processed output. Rolling shutter is comparable to the in-camera footage. The footage currently offers no Raw-level control over ‘ISO’ or white balance control in Final Cut Pro.
In video mode the autofocus doesn’t have a subject tracking option, other than face/eye detection, whose reaction to losing its subject isn’t always predictable. With a single point AF point you can tap to refocus and control speed and responsiveness and, as usual with Fujifilm, you can use manual focus mode and press the AFL button to perform a single AF acquisition to ensure you’re in focus at the start of the clip.
We certainly wouldn’t choose the GFX100S over a more video-focused camera, such as the Sony a7S III or Panasonic S1H, but it’s a more-than-solid performance for what’s usually a secondary function on a high-resolution camera.
|What we like…||What we don’t…|
The most succinct assessment of the GFX 100S is that it’s capable of producing the best image quality under $10,000, at the time of writing. If gaining the extra image quality it offers over full-frame is valuable to you, we suspect you’ll be happy to work around any of the GFX’s shortcomings, relative to less expensive cameras, just as you’re willing to accept the price difference.
Conversely, if you’re wondering about whether the lower-resolution viewfinder or slower AF than the latest full-frame bodies can be justified at this price, then the excellent image quality it offers perhaps isn’t quite as central to your personal list of priorities. Having used the camera extensively, I think both perspectives are valid.
While we were working on this review, our test unit occasionally locked up after shooting images. The images were saved but the battery needed to be pulled before the camera would respond.
In addition, there have been reports of shutter mechanisms failing, to which the company has responded:
‘At the moment, the failure rate of GFX100S for any type of issues is in line with other GFX/X series cameras. With regard to the reports of mechanical shutter failure, we have heard of such incidents, but in a very limited number. We urge our customers to contact our local repair center if they have questions or concerns.’
The camera was reviewed and scored on the assumption that these issues will be addressed – and after hundreds of exposures we haven’t had any shutter problems – but both risks are present at the time of publication.
The GFX 100S’s autofocus system is neither as slick nor as fast as its most recent full-frame rivals. In some applications this will enforce a slower (perhaps more considered) way of shooting that arguably makes sense when achieving the best possible image quality is the goal. However, there’s no denying that a faster, more dependable face/eye detection system would be a benefit for portraiture.
Fujinon 80mm F1.7 | ISO 200 | 1/125 sec | F5.6
The reduced size of the body, compared with the original GFX 100 is likely to be more of a benefit to many photographers than the reduction of battery life that comes with it. This is unlikely to be a camera with which you’ll take hundreds of snapshots in a day, nor one with which you fill card after card from the touchline of a sports field, which meant we didn’t find ourselves having to worry about recharging.
The viewfinder does what it needs to do: it’s not so big or detailed that it’ll make the experience of using it feel special (something Pentax 645 users will know all about), instead the GFX 100S feels like an everyday camera when you’re shooting, but delivers sensational files when you get home.
Fujinon 30mm F3.5 | ISO 100 | 1/680 sec | F6.3
The slower autofocus means it’s unlikely to be many wedding shooter’s only camera, but it’ll do group shots or posed images extremely well and is a surprisingly capable video camera when necessary (though that’s a situation in which battery life and heat build-up may begin to limit you).
Ultimately it all comes down to how much you want that image quality boost. How much is a ~2/3EV jump in tonal quality and the ~30% increase in linear resolution over the best full-frame cameras worth to you and your photography? The GFX’s combination of well-polished interface, in-body image stabilization and quick-for-its-type autofocus mean it’s perhaps the most usable medium format camera yet made, and it will regularly deliver its full image quality. For us, that’s enough to justify some loss of speed and flexibility, and earns the GFX 100S a Gold award.
Compared to its peers
The Hasselblad X1D 50c is slightly smaller than the GFX 100S and is built around the use of leaf shutters, allowing higher flash sync speeds, but the Fujifilm is better in every other respect. The 100S offers higher resolution, is more responsive, faster to focus and has better battery life. Fujifilm’s lenses are less expensive, usually brighter and generally produce nicer bokeh, thanks to their high blade-count aperture mechanisms. The Fujifilm’s video and JPEG output are also much better.
Comparisons against its full-frame peers follow a similar pattern: the Canon EOS R5, Sony a7R IV, Nikon Z7 II and Panasonic S1R are all quicker cameras with faster AF systems and all offer focus tracking and eye-detection functions that work more dependably than the Fujifilm. They’re also all smaller and less expensive than the GFX. However, none of them can match its image quality. The Nikon’s base ISO of 64 lets it come close to the tonal quality and dynamic range of the GFX but at significantly lower resolution. The Sony and Panasonic offer multi-shot high res modes if your subject is static enough, but the Fujifilm will offer 100MP of beyond-full-frame image quality in a wide range of circumstances. If you need a camera that does a bit of everything, full-frame is probably the way to go, but if IQ is your absolute priority, the choice is easy.
Please do not reproduce any of these images without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review).
Pre-production sample gallery
Photos are from a pre-production camera. At Fujifilm’s request, original Raw files are not available for download.
Fujifilm GFX 100S scoring
Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category. Click here to learn about the changes to our scoring system and what these numbers mean.
Fujifilm GFX 100S
Category: Professional Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
The Fujifilm GFX 100S is the smallest, least expensive way to achieve image quality beyond what full-frame can currently offer. You lose some responsiveness and flexibility in return for that, but as an image-making tool the GFX is excellent. It’s also a surprisingly capable video camera but its smaller battery risks being more limiting than it is for stills shooting. Impressive in the studio and beyond.