» » Testing the Fujifilm GFX100: Here's what its 102-megapixel images are like

Testing the Fujifilm GFX100: Here's what its 102-megapixel images are like

 It's not everyday that you get to play with a 100-megapixel camera. That's been the reserve of Hasselblad and Phase One medium format cameras and a select few photographers. Until now, that is, as Fujifilm has finally put its GFX100 medium format on sale.

At a breakfast meeting in central London in late June, we got a few dozen minutes to poke around this brand new and final production medium format camera, to see how it handles, what its images are like and, well, whether it's worth the £10,000 body-only asking price (yes, it's a lot, but it's several times cheaper than its competition).

And if you're just here to see what a 102MP images looks like then scroll down to the last section, where you can see original and full-size crops of just how detailed this camera's images truly are.

Design: Easy-to-use, just like a DSLR/mirrorless
0.86x magnification 5.76m-dot OLED viewfinder (50fps / 85.7fps modes)
Rear LCD: 3.2-inch vari-angle screen, 2.6m-dot resolution
Top plate: 1.8-inch LCD for mode/dial views, histogram
Rear LCD plate (2.5-inch long) for quick settings view
In-body stabilisation (IBIS), 5-axis support
Weather and dust resistant build
Weighs 1.4kgs with 2x batteries
Dual SD card slots
To look at the GFX100 is no small camera. But that's a given. It's got a huge sensor inside - about four times the size of the sensors you'll find in the company's mirrorless line-up - to deliver huge depth of field and quality like nothing else.

There's an exquisite amount of thought to the camera, though, because with such a big sensor and so much resolution every care has to be taken to avoid any shake, including that from the camera itself. As a result, the GFX's sensor module is paired to the lens connection, while the body portion sits around this, separately, as an additional form of stabilisation, allowing the sensor to avoid shake. Even the shutter mechanism has its own shock adsorber, to ensure nothing is disrupted.

Fujifilm GFX100 image 1
Fujifilm GFX100 image 2
Fujifilm GFX100 image 8
This ingenious design looks somewhat odd, though. The magnesium alloy build is certainly hardy enough - it's also weather- and dust-sealed in 76 places - but that alloy colour looks, well, kind of plasticky. It scratches too - the samples we played with all had scuffs on the off-blue-grey finish.

In terms of size, the GFX100 isn't actually too different from a pro-spec DSLR. Think Nikon D5 or Canon EOS 1D X II. That's because it comes with two batteries that slot into the grip portion - unlike the earlier G50S where the grip was optional and the camera far smaller - giving a great layout for both portrait and landscape orientation use.

The GFX100 doesn't come with an affixed viewfinder, instead it includes a clip-on unit that slots over the hotshoe. Great for future updates, replacing if there's a problem, or simply removing if it's not your preferred way of shooting. As finders go it's exceptional, with a 5.76 million dot resolution across the OLED panel. The refresh rate, at 50fps, is fairly good - but we'd hope for something like 90/120fps in boost mode, which tops out at 85.7fps here.

Fujifilm GFX100 image 1
Fujifilm GFX100 image 2
There are a trio of screens on the GFX100 too. They're all for different purposes of course: there's the main one to the rear, while a long strip on the rear displays data, as does a larger top plate (which can also be illuminated).

The main rear screen is a 3.2-inch size with massive 2.6 million dot resolution, plus the screen can be pulled out and adjusted through portrait and landscape orientations. It's easy enough to pull out, but if the finder is still attached then it gets in the way of the screen view a fair amount. There are also considerable borders around the screen, as if it could be even bigger still - which would be great for the touch controls and looking at results in extra-large detail on the camera itself. 

The top panel LCD is where things get interesting. Fuji hasn't setup the GFX100 like you might think: there's no main mode dial, for example. Instead you can toggle between P/S/A/M modes (and ISO control) through a combination of physical adjustment - the GF lenses have physical aperture rings, including A for Auto and C for Control (we believe this is the terminology) - and, if you want, the two thumbwheel controls. Set the lens to C, for example, and you can use the thumbwheel to control aperture like you would on many DSLR cameras. In that sense the GFX100 can be setup however you please.

Fujifilm GFX100 image 1
Fujifilm GFX100 image 2
Fujifilm GFX100 image 3
That top plate LCD has three main displays it can toggle between too: there's all the shooting info, available at a glance; there's a dual dial setup, where ISO and shooting priority are shown as digital dials; and there's a histogram. Toggling between them is simply a case of hitting a small button to the side. The only 'mode dial' to speak of is the 'Stills/Multi/Movie' switch on the opposite side of the camera - which is unconventional, but we're sure you'll pick the most suitable one and that's where you'll stay, no accidental video capture or anything like that to worry about.

Overall, then, the GFX100 is large, but feels familiar. It's a lot like a Fujifilm mirrorless camera, really. Or a pro spec DSLR with a slightly different layout. That'll make it accessible to a whole raft of photographers we should think. No need to think of medium format as daunting then.

source : pocket-lint.com

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