I’ve now been a proud proprietor of a Fuji GFX 100 medium format digital digicam for 3 months now. So, was all of it I hoped it might be?
At this time, I’m beginning a sequence of articles reviewing my expertise taking pictures with the Fujifilm GFX 100 as my major digicam for the final three months. As appears to all the time be the case once I begin speaking about Fuji cameras, all my ideas and ramblings can’t be contained in a single article with out maintaining you at your laptop computer lengthy sufficient to develop roots. So, I’ll do my finest to interrupt up the evaluate into three components so as to get a full, deep dive into what it’s like to truly use the digicam in the actual world versus simply repeating the spec sheet.
I ought to say that whereas, as a photographer, I like new cameras as a lot as most shooters, I don’t usually prefer to spend an excessive amount of time speaking about them. I nonetheless bear in mind the times once I was simply beginning out, and I clearly bear in mind how simple it was to fall into the entice of considering that my talent stage as a photographer could be decided by my gear moderately than my creativity. Alongside the way in which, you study that technical points are just one slice of being knowledgeable photographer and the time period “skilled” is in relation to the general product you present and your capability to generate revenue, not how a lot room you’ve left in your bank card to afford new gear.
That’s to not say that sure cameras aren’t higher at sure issues than others. I simply wish to point out that as a reminder, particularly to these with extra restricted assets, that your worth as a photographer will not be decided by the price of your digicam.
However, as I write a weekly column for Fstoppers, I do discover myself discussing the newest and best gear sometimes. Often, it’s as a result of I actually love a sure product and may’t wait to inform individuals about it. Or as a result of I’ve made a buying mistake and I’d prefer to go alongside details about a digicam that I want I had identified earlier than investing in a system myself. So, what sort of evaluate will this be? You’ll need to learn on to seek out out.
Within the case of the Fujifilm GFX 100, I feel it’s even tougher to get an in depth evaluate, as a result of at slightly below $10,000, it’s not a digicam that everybody goes to have the ability to personal. So, you naturally will get lots of evaluations primarily based on solely a restricted quantity of use of a borrowed unit, moderately than first-hand accounts. I wrote my very own initial review three months in the past, however have had lots of time with the system since then. So, for that motive, I assumed it is likely to be useful to share my up to date perspective on the digicam having had it now for 3 months and having used it professionally on a number of events. And, I would add, selecting to not use it and as an alternative choosing different cameras in different conditions.
Three months is simply on the candy spot the place I’m now not within the “holy cow, it’s 100 MP” section, however not but on the level the place the digicam ceases to have the ability to amaze me. I’ve discovered lots about it, however I nonetheless don’t know every part. Listed here are my ideas to date.
Why I Purchased It in The First Place
You may get the specs of the digicam wherever on the internet. And I’ve already written a whole article on why the Fujifilm GFX 100 made enterprise sense prior to now. So, I’ll solely provide the bullet factors right here.
I’m knowledgeable photographer who focuses on promoting campaigns, particularly way of life, health, and activewear campaigns, the place the topics transfer shortly and dynamically.
My purchasers usually want high-resolution pictures with the intention to reproduce the photographs, each in full and in numerous crops, throughout all media from billboards, to in-store shows, to digital use. 102 MP offers them lots of latitude.
As a result of I usually must hire Phase One or Hasselblad medium format our bodies for my shoots, proudly owning a medium format system of my very own permits me to monetize my gear funding and hire my gear to my very own productions, thus offsetting the price of the digicam.
I like Fuji cameras. Whereas I’ve used Nikon professionally for years, my private “enjoyable” cameras have virtually all been solely Fuji. I hoped to discover a system that will merge the enjoyable taking pictures expertise of my X-T3 or X100S with the decision required by my purchasers.
There’s much more to why I purchased the digicam, however you’ll be able to learn the earlier article for that, and I’d as an alternative prefer to focus this sequence of articles on how the digicam really performs within the subject. The great, the dangerous, and the ugly. Hopefully that may assist you to make the choice on whether or not that is the suitable digicam for you.
Picture High quality
As marketed. Probably the primary spec that caught your consideration whenever you heard in regards to the Fujifilm GFX 100 was the 102 MP sensor. The thrift shopper in me wish to say that the consequences of 102 MP are overblown. However, I can’t. Getting dwelling to view these pictures is, properly, wow. When every part comes collectively, the photographs that roll off of this digicam actually are second to none.
I’m probably not a pixel-peeper, however you don’t actually need to be to see the distinction. Even my mom, who couldn’t care much less about images or cameras, however has seen virtually each photograph I’ve taken for the final 15 years commented after seeing my first shoot with the brand new digicam: “wow, it actually does make a distinction!”
Apparently, past the sheer megapixels and the brand new recreation I play known as “how far can I zoom in earlier than I lose element,” one of the vital sudden advantages I’ve observed is how correct the colour copy is. I shoot in uncooked. In Fujifilm simulation phrases, I usually go away the digicam in the usual Provia profile, however realizing I’ll do any related colour changes in Capture One.
If I’m being utterly sincere, my first response after taking pictures with the digicam was that the colours appeared barely off. However, I might quickly study that it solely appeared that approach. I do know this, as a result of I then went again to shoot the digicam side-by-side with my Nikon which I’ve used for the final 15 years and whose colours have come to appear “proper” to me. My plan was to create a method adjustment in Seize One that will robotically convert my Fuji GFX 100 pictures to the extra hotter base tones that come from my Nikon.
With a view to do that, I set the 2 cameras up side-by-side to the identical factor on the similar colour temperature. Then, I imported the photographs into Seize One, prepared to make use of the colour instruments to create a preset.
Two issues grew to become instantly evident. One, Nikon colours run extra yellow (hotter) than the Fuji. And two, a lot to my shock, it was really the Fuji that was offering me pictures a lot nearer to actual life. Spot on, as a matter of reality. Like, so spot on that I used to be actually holding the photographs up subsequent to the actual life scene and it was like taking a look at the actual factor, whereas the Nikon pictures (which I had grown to think about as regular) really had extra yellow in them.
That’s to not say the Nikon colour is dangerous. I’ve been basing my photographs off of their colour profiles for years, and I like them sufficient that I apparently really feel it in my bones with out deliberately searching for them. And, within the digital world, any digicam could be made to resemble another model of digicam with just a few minor tweaks in Seize One.
However I did discover it shocking and decidedly amusing to see simply how spot on the colour rendition from the GFX 100 actually was. I repeated the experiment with my X-T3 and X100S and obtained an identical accuracy. So, apparently, all these years my eyes have been educated to see the actual world in hotter tones than are literally current. Nothing essentially improper with that, but when your objective is to precisely reproduce colours, the Fujifilm GFX 100 is a superb place to start out.
I’m a type of bizarre individuals who continues to observe digicam evaluations on cameras that I’ve already purchased. Generally simply to kill time. Different occasions to verify my buy resolution. Generally, I even study new tips that I didn’t even know the digicam in my hand was able to.
I used to be watching one the opposite day, and the host identified that it’s tough to evaluate the Fujifilm GFX 100, as a result of it’s onerous to know what to match it to.
For example, some would say that $10,000 is lots for a digicam. However, these individuals are evaluating it to its smaller full body counterparts. $10,000 could be a heck of lots to spend on a Nikon D850 or a Sony a7R IV. However neither of these are medium format. So, in actuality, the cameras you might be evaluating it to could be extra just like the bigger Hasselblad or Section One techniques which might simply value you 4 or 5 occasions as a lot. In that gentle, $10,000 will not be solely not costly, it’s downright low-cost.
On the opposite hand, as a result of this digicam gives a design and capabilities which might be in contrast to any of its opponents within the medium format market, it’s a bit onerous to match it to these cameras as properly. It’s constructed like a DSLR with a battery grip versus the bigger brick format of most medium format digital cameras. It’s mirrorless. For crying out loud, it’s even obtained in-body picture stabilization. At the least on paper, it’s not even a good battle between the GFX 100 and its medium format rivals. On paper, that’s, though we’ll get to that in a second.
Evaluating It To The X-T3
I discussed earlier that considered one of my greatest motivators for purchasing the digicam is to recreate the expertise of taking pictures with my Fujifilm X-T3, a digicam which I’ve come to consider was constructed particularly for me, in a digicam with a bigger sensor.
In some ways, it succeeded. This digicam is flat out enjoyable to shoot with. Regardless of its better weight, I’ve taken it out on a number of events to make use of as a road/walkaround digicam just because it’s such a pleasure to carry that I wished to shoot one thing with it. The digicam positively takes a toll on my backbone after a number of hours dangling on the tip of my neck strap, however for shorter days out, it’s all the time there watching me as I stroll out the door, drawing me again to it like one of many Sirens of Greek mythology. It’s a digicam you simply wish to have with you.
However there are notable variations. I’m positive there was a logical motive behind eradicating the dials from the highest of the GFX 100 which might be current on each different Fuji digicam together with its medium format brother and sister, the GFX 50S and the GFX 50R. And I do know many individuals on the market (principally non-Fuji customers) will take heed to Fuji homeowners wax on about our love for the tactile really feel of Fuji cameras, and their eyes will roll into the again of their head. However, the factor is, these darn dials actually do make an enormous distinction.
Does stopping to rotate the dials atop my Fuji X-T3 make for a quicker taking pictures expertise than the short and straightforward to succeed in ubiquitous entrance and rear dials on my Nikon? No. In precise level of reality, regardless of how a lot I like my dials, I might be mendacity if I didn’t say that it was quicker to vary my settings with these two back and front dials on my Nikon D850. There’s a motive with Nikon and Canon and most different producers have had the entrance/rear dial setup for therefore lengthy. It’s simply plain environment friendly.
With the GFX 100 aimed extra on the skilled market, it does stand to motive that the engineers felt that they wished to offer common DSLR customers with a extra acquainted expertise. And, within the absence of dials, I’ve arrange my back and front dials on the GFX 100 to imitate the duties of the equally positioned dials on my Nikon D850. Why trouble to re-learn finger reminiscence?
However, there’s something lacking with the dearth of dials. There’s no logical or goal method to clarify it. It’s only a wholly subjective factor. Whereas the X-T3 or GFX 50S actually have that tactile really feel that brings me again to the fundamentals of images, the GFX 100, with its extra fashionable design, actually does really feel like a machine. The Terminator of machines. However, nonetheless, it does really feel much less distinctive in some methods than the opposite family members.
I feel that is why, whereas the opposite Fuji cameras are inclined to really feel like islands on their very own, the GFX 100 merely begs comparability to different cameras with an identical bodily construct, which means full body DSLRs or mirrorless digicam. This makes the fee/worth proposition much more tough to look at.
So, how does it examine in different areas? Examine in subsequent week for half two, the place I’ll focus on autofocus efficiency, burst price, and the way they have an effect on how you’ll be able to shoot in the actual world.