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Supersize sensor for epic results
The ‘beyond-large-format’ sensor GFX100S gives a unique look and perspective for monumental footage
F or truly lavish cinematic productions, larger sensors can deliver a unique perspective. That’s why the best filmmakers and cinematographers opt for the biggest sensors they can when shooting their majestic masterpieces. Nothing else will do. It’s all related to the unique perspective and depth-of-field you get with the large lenses, required to fill the acreage of an oversized sensor. Smaller-sensor cameras can approximate the shallow depth-of- field by using superfast lenses, but it’s impossible to fake the special combination of focal length, depth-of-field and bokeh that a larger-sized sensor produces. It’s not just for sweeping vistas, as this perspective has been deemed perfect for mid-length and portrait shots for decades. There’s just a certain look and feel to the images, giving them an iconic charm that oozes quality. In stills photography, these larger sensors have always been called ‘medium
If you need a camera that can also record incredibly high-resolution stills – good enough for global advertising campaigns to go along with your cinematic film– then there really is nothing else in its class. It is two very capable cameras in one body. The video spec is impressive, as the GFX100S records in stunning DCI 4K in real 23.98p/24p/25p or 29.97p at up to 400Mbps in 10-bit for up to 120minutes – all to an internal SD card. There are 4K and Full HD options, too, with a choice of All-Intra or Long GOP compression, H.264 and H.265 inMOV and H.264 inMP4. And if you want the ultimate in quality and flexibility in grading, the camera outputs 10-bit 4:2:2 or 12-bit video Raw to an external device like an Atomos Ninja V, which can record the signal in ProRes Raw, among other codecs. Although grading is obviously an option to put your own signature on the footage, the FujifilmGFX100S has 19 built-in Film Simulationmodes. These offer numerous creative options, andmany emulate some
format’ to distinguish them from the original 4x5in and 8x10in plate cameras. In filmmaking, Super 35 has been the norm for decades, and now 35mm full-frame sensors are havingmore of an impact. But the 43.8x32.9mm sensor of the new Fujifilm GFX100S is 1.7x bigger than that, which is what makes it so very special. While Hollywood DOPs might opt for a very pricey ARRI Alexa 65 or Alexa LF as their large-sensor main camera, these are big cinema cameras that need to be operated by a full crew. They also need a sizeable budget and space to be usable. In complete contrast, at £5499, the 4K GFX100S medium-format camera is not only a fraction of the cost, but has a body that’s actually smaller and lighter than some 35mmmirrorless cameras. It records 17:9 or 16:9 from the full width of the sensor, resulting in an imaging surface that is greater thanmany of the large-format cinema cameras. It’s a look made for big- screen cinema, but at a fraction of the cost.
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