Photography News 69

Camera test 48

Photography News | Issue 69 |


Features  102megapixels, five-axis IBIS, function options Handling  It’s heavy and big, but it actually handles well Performance Consistently spot-on exposure and focus Value formoney 22/25 Lots of megapixels for lots of money Overall 92/100 A serious camera for serious photographers 22/25 24/25 If you need 102 megapixels and have £10K to pay for the privilege (and that’s before any lenses), there’s no denying the Fujifilm GFX100 is an amazing camera capable of awesome image quality. It’s rich with great features, handles well despite its heft and is inspiring to use in so many ways. And the rewards are enormous when you get in front of a screen and process its images. 24/25

Above and right The rear sub monitor that sits below the monitor comes in handy when the camera is up high on a tripod, for example. It’s also handy because it helps declutter the monitor display, so you get a cleaner view for composition

Above There are no shutter speed or ISO dials on the GFX100, but you get virtual equivalents controlled via the front and rear command dials. The sub monitor can also display a large live histogram or camera settings information – menu shown top left here

would suit me better, but I like the way controls are mirrored for convenient switching between upright and horizontal shooting. The camera’s AF and exposure systems work very well, giving excellent results time after time. Auto white balance also performed well, notably in artificial lighting. I noticed this because I used the GFX 50R alongside the GFX100 for part

of this test and the latter was more consistently accurate. I didn’t see the benefit of shooting 16-bit Raw capture on the scenes I was faced with and I overexposed, underexposed and made dramatic changes during processing. That’s not to say there isn’t potential here, because having somuchmore data at your disposal is a good thing. But the camera’s 14-bit skills are so good, you

probably need to be working to the most exacting standards in the most challenging lighting to see the benefit of 16-bit. For most photographers, 14-bit is perfectly good and, with the compressed Raws being around 80MB, that makes workflow easier. And speaking of workflow, if you’re thinking of investing in this camera, get your work processes, your computer and storage sorted

first, because you’re dealing with large amounts of data. A compressed 14-bit Raw is around 80-90MB which, when processed, becomes a 350MB 16-bit TIF that measures 11,648x8736pixels,soyoucanprintto 98.6x73.9cm (38.8x29.1in) at 300ppi – and that’s before any interpolation. Once you’re geared up for it, though, you can revel in the quality that this camera is so very capable of.

Pros Image quality, handling, overall exposure and focusing performance, high ISO ability Cons It’s still a £10K camera

Performance: 14-bit and 16-bit capture

Original image

Original image

Very few digital cameras offer 16-bit capture except expensive medium format cameras. All smaller format mirrorless and DSLR cameras capture in 14-bit or 12-bit, with some offering both. The Fujifilm GFX100 joins the very exclusive 16-bit club. The theory is that the more bits you have, the more colours/tones and smoother tonal transitions you get. This is good for serious editing, where you may be really stretching the shadows or trying to get more fromhighlights. If you capture in 12-bit, you have 68 billion colours and in 14-bit you get four trillion. Move up to 16-bit and the potential is for 281 trillion colours. (This is determined by 1x2=2, 2x2=4, 2x4=8, 2x8=16… and so on 16 times, which gets you to 65,536. Then 65,536x65,536x65,536 (for each colour channel of red, green and blue) and you get 281 trillion.) Whether the human eye, the software, the monitor display and the printer can work in 16- bit is another story, but in this reviewwe’ll just skirt round those considerations for now. The GFX100 lets you shoot 14-bit or 16-bit Raws and you can save them to card uncompressed orwith lossless compression.Both uncompressedRaws were around 210MB, whereas compressed Raws are around 110MB in 16-bit and 80MB in 14-bit. I tested the GFX100 in 14-bit and 16-bit in both compressions shooting sunsets, night scenes,



16-bit 0

14-bit 0

IMAGES Wind turbines at sunset were shot with a 120mm f/4 lens on the GFX100. The exposure was 1/2000sec at f/8, ISO 100. Exposure brackets were made in 14-bit and 16-bit Raw. This shot was underexposed by 2EV on the metered 1/500sec at f/8 reading

16-bit -4EV

14-bit -4EV

dark interiors and sunlit landscapes with correct exposures, but also over/underexposed shots. I used LightroomandCaptureOne for Raw processing to see if there were any obvious benefits. It is a testament to the GFX100’s 14-bit capture skills that the benefit of 16-bit is minimal or not discernible at all. However, if

you’re shooting extremely contrasty scenesandmakinglargeadjustments to highlights and shadows, you may see the benefit of 16-bit capture. Ultimately, though, there is probably no point using 16-bit, because 14-bit is outstanding and the Raws have huge potential for stunning images.

IMAGES IWMDuxford interior shot with the GFX100 fitted with a 23mm f/4. A bracketed series in 14- and 16-bit Rawwas taken and saved as uncompressed Raws. Here, we show at 100% the correctly exposed shots and the -4EV shots, which were corrected using Lightroom

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