Last week Fujifilm announced the newest addition to their GFX line of mirrorless cameras, the GFX100S. At first glance, it appears to be a more compact version of the powerful yet portly, GFX100. Both models use the same image processor and medium format sensor. However, a closer look at the specs reveals considerable differences. Here’s our comparison of the Fujifilm GFX100S vs GFX100.
Sensor & Image Processor
The BSI-CMOS sensor shared by both cameras offers a whopping 102 million effective pixels. The sensor measures 55mm diagonally, and is technically a medium format sensor. However, given their effective pixel count, Fujifilm describes both cameras as large format.
The GFX100 and GFX100S both use the X-Processor 4, the same quad-core processor used by the X-T4. In conjunction with the sensor, the processor enables the cameras to deliver stunningly detailed visuals. Both cameras output ultra high resolution 16-bit (RAW & TIFF) imagery. The level of detail in every photo is impressively intense.
The wide dynamic range of these cameras means that every image is tonally rich, with low noise even at a high ISO setting. For stills, both cameras have an extended ISO range of 50-102,400. Meanwhile the continuous shooting rate is 5fps when using the mechanical shutter.
Fujifilm is known for their unique color reproduction, and both cameras also allow you to experiment with 19 film simulation modes for alternative coloring in your images.
IBIS & Autofocus
Fujifilm marketed the GFX100 as the world’s first camera with a 55mm sensor to feature 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS), and a hybrid autofocus system with 100% sensor coverage. The GFX100S shares these features, along with some enhancements.
Firstly, the IBIS has been upgraded for the GFX100S. The GFX100S IBIS system is 20% smaller and 10% lighter than the system used in the GFX100. It also offers up to six stops of compensation, versus 5.5 stops in the GFX100.
Meanwhile the autofocus is mostly unchanged, although still remarkably powerful. The hybrid contrast and phase-detection system covers 100% of the sensor for a fast, reliable autofocus. It enables the cameras to focus in very low-light conditions (-5EV). Additionally, face and eye detection is available for more accurate focus on your subject, even if they’re standing in a crowd of people.
There is however, one improvement to the GFX100S’ autofocus. Fujifilm have reportedly revised the focusing algorithm so that the camera does a better job of maintaining focus while tracking a moving subject.
Build is the biggest distinction between the GFX100S vs GFX100. The GFX100 has a bulky, square body. When fitted with batteries, a memory card, and its removable, higher-resolution EVF, the camera weighs 49.4 oz (1.4kg). It’s slightly lighter than the Canon EOS-1DX and has a built-in vertical grip, yet it’s still not ideal for long periods of handheld use. However, it wasn’t really designed for that. Medium format cameras are typically reserved for professional application in a studio and on a tripod.
Conversely, the GFX100S offers the same high-grade capabilities in a more portable build. The camera weighs 31.7 oz (0.9kg) when fitted with a memory card and battery, and resembles a full-frame mirrorless camera more than the typical square-shaped medium format build. It also has a deep, ergonomic grip and intuitive button layout. With the GFX100S, it feels like Fujifilm is trying to redefine the expectations of medium format cameras. And they may have succeeded.
One benefit of the GFX100’s larger build is the rear sub monitor. The small OLED display complements the LCD, allowing you to use a separate screen to monitor the histogram or exposure compensation.
However, both cameras feature a tilting 3.2-inch LCD screen, along with an LCD monitor on top of the camera. It can also display the histogram and exposure compensation. Additionally, only the GFX100S features a customizable PASM dial.
Another advantage of the GFX100 is its battery life. The camera can use two NP-T125 li-ion batteries simultaneously, giving it an impressive 800-shot life. The GFX100S uses a single NP-W235 battery and has a 460-shot life.
Both cameras also feature a USB port, HDMI output, 2 SD card slots, and headphone and microphone ports.
Ultra high resolution, medium format cameras like the GFX100 and GFX100S are primarily designed for still photography. However, they still offer great video capabilities.
Both cameras can capture full DCI 4K 10-bit 4:2:0 video at 30p. When using the HDMI output, the cameras can deliver 4:2:2 10-bit video. Additionally, the cameras support F-Log and HLG for more color grading flexibility in post-production.
When the GFX100 was released in 2019, video specs like this were not found in medium format cameras. Nearly two years later, the GFX100S and GFX100 still offer the best video specs of all medium format cameras.
The video capabilities are perhaps more meaningful on the GFX100S. The lightweight body makes it far easier to carry around. By no means is it a vlogging camera. However, the portability makes it better suited for hybrid use. Especially when you consider its price tag.
Other than build, price is the biggest difference between the Fujifilm GFX100S vs GFX100. The GFX100 costs $9,999, while the GFX100S can be pre-ordered for $5,999.95. Considering their similarities, this is a considerable price disparity.
The GFX100S is priced in the same range as high-end full frame cameras like the Nikon D5 and Canon EOS-1DX. In fact, it’s even slightly cheaper than Sony’s new full frame flagship, the Alpha 1. This immediately qualifies the GFX100S for a larger consumer market than a typical medium format camera.
Comparing the Fujifilm GFX100S vs the GFX100, it’s clear that the GFX100S is the better camera. It offers all the key advantages of the GFX100 in a more compact, ergonomic build. That’s not to mention the enhanced IBIS and significantly lower price tag.
Overall, it’s a fantastic medium format camera that offers unprecedented value. Available for pre-order now, it already promises to be one of 2021’s most exciting camera releases.