It’s relatively early days but Fujifilm’s GFX100 II seems to set the bar for digital medium format cameras. Its autofocus system is way beyond what we’ve seen before from the format and its subject detection introduces a newly level of flexibility.
Phase detection autofocus system and Subject Detection
8fps continuous shooting
What is the Fujifilm GFX100 II?
The Fujifilm GFX100 II is Fujifilm’s flagship medium format camera and the true replacement for the original Fujifilm GFX100. It features a new 102MP high-speed BSI sensor called ‘GFX 102MP CMOS II HS’ and the same X-Processor 5 engine that is in the Fujifilm X-T5, Fujifilm X-H2S and X-H2. Although the new sensor doesn’t have a stacked design, it has double the data readout speed of its predecessor. This, combined with the newer processing engine, boosts performance all-round, enhancing aspects such as the continuous shooting, autofocus, and video recording capability.
The GFX100 II is also the first GFX camera to feature AI-based subject-detection autofocusing.
Camera type: Medium format mirrorless
Announced: 12th September 2023
Sensor: 102Mp Medium format (43.8 x 32.9mm) CMOS with Bayer colour filter array
Maximum image size: 11648 x 8736
Processor: X Processor 5
Lens mount: Fujifilm G
Autofocus system: Intelligent Hybrid AF (contrast AF / phase-detection AF) with up to 425 selectable AF points
Subject Detection AF: Human Eye/Face or Animal, Bird, Automobile, Motorcycle & Bike, Airplane, Train
Viewfinder: 0.64-inch 9.44-million-dot OLED with 1x, 0.94x, 0.89x, 0.83x or 0.77x magnifications
Maximum Continuous Shooting rate and burst depth: 8fps for 1000+ Jpegs, 325 compressed raw, 302 lossless compressed raw or 76 uncompressed raw
Sensitivity range: Stills: ISO 80-12,800 expandable to ISO 40-102,400, Video: ISO 100-12,800 expandable ISO 25,600
Image stabilisation: In-body 5-axis giving 8EV compensation, Plus Digital IS and IS Boost for video
Video formats: MOV: Apple ProRes 422 HQ, Linear PCM (Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling), Apple ProRes 422, Linear PCM (Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling), Apple ProRes 422 LT, Linear PCM (Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz, sampling), HEVC/H.265, Linear PCM (Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling), MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Linear PCM (Stereo sound 24bit / 48KHz sampling), MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, AAC
Video compression: All Intra, Long GOP
Max video resolution: 8K (8192 x 4320) at 24p, 23.98p, 8K (7680 x 4320) 29.97p, 25p,24p, 23.98p, 8K (8192 x 2968) 24p, 23.98p
Film Simulation Modes: 20 modes: Provia/Standard, Velvia/Vivid, Astia/Soft, Classic Chrome, Reala Ace, Pro Neg.Hi, Pro Neg.Std Classic Neg., Nostalgic Neg., Eterna/Cinema, Eterna Beach Bypass, Acros, Acros + Ye Filter, Acros + R Filter, Acros + G Filter, Black & White, Black & White + Ye Filter, Black & White + R Filter, Black & White + G Filter, Sepia
Storage: 1x CFexpress and 1x SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II
Battery: NP-W325, Normal mode: 540 images or 60min 8K 29.97p
Dimensions W x H X D: 152.4 x 117.4 x 98.6mm
Weight: 1,030g including EVF, battery and card
Fujifilm refers to the GFX100 II as a large format camera, but strictly speaking, it’s a medium format camera. That’s because it has a sensor that measures 43.8 x 32.9 mm, 1.7x bigger than the standard 36 x 24 mm of a ‘full-frame’ camera. This gives the camera an advantage for detail resolution, noise control and dynamic range.
As I mentioned, this is the first time that a GFX-series camera has featured AI-based subject-detection AF developed through Deep Learning technology and the latest prediction AF algorithm original found in the Fujifilm X-H2S. The faster readout and processing speed of the GFX100 II also enables it to offer continuous shooting rates up to 8fps (frames per second). This combination makes it the most versatile GFX camera to date, giving it greater potential for capturing images of moving subjects.
Fujifilm has also uprated the video capability of the GFX100 II so it can capture 4K/60P 4:2:2 10-bit videos internally and for the first time in a Fujifilm GFX model, there’s support for 8K/30P. It also features various Apple ProRes codecs and cine recording formats plus F-Log2 with expanded dynamic range, timecode synchronisation an array of ‘Video Format’ options to suit various cine recording formats, such as Premista, 35mm, and anamorphic setups.
In addition, the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot function promises a 400MP image creation, which could be useful for commercial photography. HEIF format is also available for better image quality and smaller file sizes compared to JPEG – albeit with reduced compatibility.
The GFX100 II also has an Ethernet port alongside a full-size HDMI Type A port and a USB-C terminal. These facilitate seamless connections with external devices, supporting cloud service “Frame.io Camera to Cloud” and timecode synchronisation with ATOMOS AirGlu. The USB-C port can be used to facilitate direct recording to an SSD.
Video recording times can be extended by mounting the optional Cooling Fan FAN-001 to help keep the camera’s temperature within its operational range.
Building on its predecessor, the GFX100 II has a native low-end ISO setting of 80 and a new Film Simulation mode called ‘Reala Ace’, based upon the popular film emulsion.
There’s also in-body image stabilisation that is capable of delivering up to 8-stops of shutter speed compensation.
On par with the Sony A7R V, the Fujifilm GFX100 II has a 0.64-inch 9.44-million-dot electronic viewfinder. This can be set to give up to 1.0x magnification but in order to achieve that, the resolution has to be reduced from the maximum.
Like the first GFX camera, the GFX50S, the GFX100 II and the GF1100, the GFX100 II’s viewfinder can be removed. This gives you the option to use the camera without the EVF, but more significantly, it can be used with the optional EVF-TLT1 Tilt Adapter that enables the viewfinder to be raised through 90 and swivelled left or right.
There’s also a sub-LCD that shows key data and a 3.2-inch 2.36-million-dot touchscreen that can be tilted in three directions to make it of use in landscape or portrait orientation.
Build and handling
A large sensor necessitates a larger lens mount and camera body than a full-frame or APS-C format camera. Accordingly, the Fujifilm GFX100 II is a hefty camera, but thankfully the manufacturer has ditched the permanent (and oddly shaped) vertical grip found on the GFX100 in favour of an optional one, the Vertical Battery Grip VG-GFX II. Consequently, although it’s a bit larger, the GFX100 II looks more similar to the Fujifilm GFX100S and GFX50S II than it’s direct predecessor.
The camera’s built-in grip is large and comfortably shaped.
Like the Fujifilm GFX100S and GFX 50S II, the GFX100 II has a joystick on its rear next to the top right corner of the main screen. This falls within easy reach of my right thumb and facilitates swift AF point selection and easy menu navigation with its textured surface giving good grip.
Again like the GFX100S and GFX50S II, the GFX100 II has a Q button on its rear thumb rest to access the quick menu. In the past I’ve worried that this might get pressed accidentally when handling the camera, but my fears have been unfounded.
That being said, in the early stages of using the GFX100 II, it’s easy to forget where the Q button is because it’s often hidden by your thumb.
Thanks to its dual control dials, with one nestled below the shutter release and the other on the camera’s rear above the thumb rest, the GFX100 II allows quick exposure adjustments. In an improvement upon the existing cameras, the button that is set to access exposure compensation by default is easier to find. It’s at the right end of the row of three buttons behind the shutter release.
By default, the other two buttons in this row are set to activate Face/Eye Detection and Subject Detection. These can be customised to access other features and I’ll explore the options at a later date.
Screen and Viewfinder
I need to investigate the viewfinder frame rate, resolution and magnification options when I have the camera for longer, but my first experience with it is very good. At 0.64-inches across the diagonal, it’s about as larger as you want, any larger would make it hard to see the corners of the frame without moving your head. There’s also bags of detail visible.
Similarly, the screen gives a clear view. Its tilting mechanism also feels robust and it’s great to be able to use it to compose landscape or portrait orientation images at awkward angles.
At the time of writing, I have been able to use the Fujifilm GFX100 II briefly in Fujifilm’s House of Photography in London ahead of the camera’s announcement. This means that there were a very limited range shooting scenarios and subjects. However, I am at the X-Summit in Stockholm with the camera and I’ll be updating this Fujifilm GFX100 II review as soon as I can with further thoughts and images.
As you might expect with a 102MP medium format sensor, the GFX100 II can record an astonishing level of detail. Moreover, it excels in noise management, offering some of the finest results I’ve witnessed at ISO 102,400.
Generally speaking, the lower ISO levels are preferred, particularly in a studio environment equipped with flash facilities. However, given the GFX100 II’s enhanced portability compared to the GFX100, it stands as a versatile choice for various shooting conditions.
Given the GFX100 II’s increased versatility, it’s likely that it will be used outside of very controlled environments and the higher ISO settings could be called into action more often. That said, most users are likely to shoot at the lower values whenever possible. However, my early findings suggest that ISO 12,800 produces impressively good results.
There was a time when digital medium format cameras were most frequently used on a tripod but as they have got lighter and more responsive, they are increasingly used handheld. This makes the GFX’s image stabilisation system useful. Incredibly, I have an image or two that’s sharp despite the fact that I used a 1-second exposure, but with the new GF 50mm f/1.7 R WR, I found a shutter speed of 1/4 sec more reliable and I got around half my images acceptably sharp.
Fujifilm GFX100 II Autofocus performance
I have yet to test the GFX100 II’s autofocus system properly, but in the low light conditions of the Fujifilm office, it gets subjects sharp quickly and decisively. It’s also very quick to spot human eyes in the frame when the Face/Detection is activated, and it appears to do a very good job of tracking them. I will have the opportunity to test this over the coming days.
Fujifilm GFX100 II sample images
There’s plenty more testing to be done of the Fujifilm GFX100 II, but its already clear that its an exceptional camera. Its responses are better than any medium format that’s gone before and its focusing system seems familiar from the Fujifilm X-H2, X-H2S and X-T5.
Using a 102MP sensor means it can capture a huge amount of detail yet the noise control is also exceptional.