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Fujifilm GFX 100S: 102MP medium format, cheaper than Sony alpha 1

The new GFX100 S is shipping in early March for $5,999

Fujifilm GFX 100S
Image by Fujifilm

Fuji are going “all in” in the medium-format game with their latest GFX 100S, packing a huge 102 megapixel sensor and a more compact body!

The 102 megapixel medium format sensor in the new GFX 100S is approximately 1.7x larger than a full-frame 35mm sensor, giving you an enormous canvas. Furthermore, this is the same sensor as in the flagship Fuji GFX 100.  

In addition, the new model also inherits the X-Processor 4 high-speed engine from the GFX 100 flagship model. However, the biggest advantage of the new model is the significantly reduced body size and weight. 

Medium Format in a Full-Frame Body

When it comes to weight – the GFX100S comes in at just 900g, which is about 500g lighter than the Fujifilm GFX100. The camera also measures 104mm in height and 87mm in depth.

In addition, the 5-axis in-body image stabilization mechanism offers 6 stop shake compensation, while phase detection pixels are spread across the sensor to enable fast and accurate AF.

GFX 100S medium format
Image by Fujifilm

Improved In-Body Image Stabilization

Fujifilm has implemented a newly-developed IBIS system in the new model. 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.

Additionally, the new IBIS uses high-performance gyro senor and acceleration sensor as well as an updated algorithm for detecting vibrations.

Compact, but Rugged

The camera’s casing is made of highly rigid magnesium alloy. Furthermore, the base of the lens mount is now thicker, making for a more robust and stable connection for heavier lenses. 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.

More Ergonomic Grip

Moreover, the handgrip has been shaped to make it substantially more comfortable and stable to hold the camera. When handheld, this reduces hand strains significantly, thus letting you shoot for longer periods of time. 

4K/30p medium format video

Well, let’s face it – you won’t be buying a $6K medium format to predominantly shoot video. However, for photographers that want to get some high quality video out of their new GFX 100S, there is some great news. 

You can record medium-format 4K/30P video in 4:2:0 10-bit video internally onto an SD card. When filming in 4K DCI (which is a 17:9 aspect ratio) the camera uses a sensor area measuring about 49.5mm diagonally, which is massive.

For reference, the RED Monstro 8K VV sensor measures about 46.31mm diagonally. 

On-board video codec options include H.264 and H.265/HEVC, while users have access to F-Log, which can give you excellent results in post after color correction and grading. Also, the GFX 100S supports Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) for quick HDR or SDR delivery. 

ProRes RAW external to Atomos Ninja V

In a similar fashion to the GFX100, Atomos will support 4K ProRes RAW recording via HDMI to their Ninja V from the new GFX 100 S model. 

Read more about the ProRes RAW option on the GFX100.

New Film Simulation

And since this is a new Fuji camera, we have to mention the Film Simulations. Fuji made their name with traditional film stock decades ago, most of which have achieved legendary status today. New for the GFX 100S model is the “Nostalgic Neg.” film simulation mode, characterized by high saturation and soft tonality.

Furthermore, it borrows colors and tones reminiscent of the “American New Color”, which emerged in the 1970s to replace monochrome photographs with color ones.

Pricing and Availability

The new Fujifilm GFX 100S medium-format camera is priced at $5,999 USD, which makes it $500 cheaper than the Sony alpha 1 full-frame camera. Deliveries are estimated to commence in late February/early March 2021. 

Pre-order the Fuji GFX 100S at B&H here.

Needless to say, medium format photography does require a whole new set of lenses, which are not cheap by any standards, so a comparison based purely on camera pricing is not really that relevant. 

However, it does put into perspective how much more affordable medium format photography has become today compared to just two years ago. 

You can learn more about the GFX100S by heading over to Fujifilm’s dedicated page for it here.

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