Photography News 69

Camera test 45

Photography News | Issue 69 |

accuracyandagreaterworking range in the case of face detect. Autofocus speed is impressive, and accuracy, too, even in poor light and low-contrast scenes. On occasions the AF would work like a conventional contrast detect system where the AF goes past the focus point and then back again to lock on, but more often than not the system went straight to the focus point. Fujifilm’s usual array of different size single AF zones and multi-zones (3x3, 5x5 and 7x7) gives plenty of potential to suit different occasions and subject types. While there has been huge innovation inside the camera, Fujifilm hasn’t forgotten about its exterior and the GFX100’s bodyform is very different from the other models in the GFX system. The GFX100 is styled more in the fashion of a deep-bodied full-frame DSLRwithan integratedvertical grip and controls, including a focus lever, are replicated, so you get the same shooting experience whether you are shooting horizontally or vertically. The design of the body, handgrip and control layout does make using the GFX100 a pleasure, but the heft and size of the body and its matching lenses will not suit everyone. Having an integrated grip has made roomfor twobatterieswhich, in combination, have enough capacity for up to 800 shots, obviously depending on conditions and the shooting set-up. The camera does work with just one battery loaded and the USB-C socket supports charging by powerbank. Two SD card slots are provided and these are UHS-II and Video Speed Class 90 compatible. With the large files, you need fast cards to make the most of the camera’s shooting speed, which in continuous high speed shooting mode gives 5fps. Using a 250MB/s SD UHS-II card, I got 19 Raws (you only get 14-bit Raws in continuous shooting) at 5.5fps before the camera slowed up and the buffer took 20 seconds to clear. In fine JPEG only, I got 98 shots at 5.5fps before the camera slowed up. A big design innovation on the GFX100 compared with the two other GFX models is its lack of physical dials. On the top-plate LCD sub monitor you see virtual ISO and shutter speeds, and changing settings is done by the rear and front command dials. If you prefer, the sub monitor can show a simple live histogram or just core camera information like mode, shutter speed and so on. In this view, the actual A big design innovation on the GFX100 compared with the two other GFX models is its lack of physical dials

Performance: ISO The GFX100 has a back-side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor so light reaches the light receptors without having to negotiate its way through the electronics, which helps with efficiency and high ISO performance. The GFX100’s native ISO range is 100 to 12,800, with expansion possible down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 102,400. I shot Raws

(uncompressed 16-bit) and JPEGs using the GFX100 at every ISO with noise reduction set to zero and usedCaptureOnewithdefault noise reduction for processing. Certainly, there is little doubt that the GFX100 delivers an impressive high ISO performance, with speeds up to ISO 1600 looking really clean. Viewed on-screen at 100% there’s

negligible noise at ISO 1600 and even ISO 3200 and, while there is some impact on fine detail at the latter speed, it’s not much all. This speed is perfectly usable for critical shooting. Noise levels increase from ISO 3200 upwards as you would expect, but at no time is it so heavy as to be unusable. However, it is true that rendition of fine detail suffers more at ISO 12,800. Venture into the region of high expanded speeds and noise increases, and with it the impact on finedetail andareasof eventone look more blotchy, but that is no more than I would expect at ISO 25,600 and beyond.

For comparison, I took some side-by-side shots with the Fujifilm GFX 50R, which has the same native ISO range, but has a 51.4-megapixel conventional front- illuminated sensor with 5.3 μm cell size (compared with the GFX100’s 3.76 μmcells). Looking at the comparison shots both at 100% (and with the GFX 50R’s images at 141% to give the same subject size as the GFX100’s files), I think it is fair to say that the noise performance of the pair is similar and impressive at both ISO 3200 and 6400. This is a credit to the more tightly sensor packed GFX100BSI sensor.


ISO 100

ISO 800

ISO 1600

ISO 3200

ISO 6400

ISO 12,800

Images This low-light scene was shot with the GFX100 fitted with the 32-64mm f/4 lens and mounted on a Gitzo Systematic 4 tripod. The exposure for the ISO 100 shot was 2.6secs at f/11. This set of Raws was processed in Capture One and shown at 100%

ISO 3200

ISO 51,200

ISO 102,400


GFX 50R - ISO 3200

GFX 50R - ISO 6400

GFX 100 - ISO 3200

GFX 100 - ISO 6400

Images The GFX100 has a back-side illuminated (BSI) sensor, while the GFX 50R and 50S have front illuminated sensors. BSI sensors in theory give better high ISO performance but in the case of the GFX100 that benefit might be offset by having so many more light gathering photosites packed into the same surface area. Shooting with the GFX100 and GFX 50R side by side and using the same Raw processing parameters showed that both cameras are very capable high ISO performers. Viewed at the same subject size, the GFX100 was marginally superior, but there was little in it

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