Exploring Fujifilm’s New Masterpiece, The GFX 100S II?

Fujifilm has once again disrupted the market with its latest release, the GFX 100S II. Boasting an impressive 102 megapixels, this camera is a game-changer for photographers who prioritize stills above all else. In this review, I will take a picture of this last release and analyze if is it Fujifilm’s new masterpiece.

For landscape enthusiasts like myself, the quest for the perfect shot hinges on capturing every detail, every nuance of light and shadow. Enter the Fujifilm GFX 100S II, a beacon of excellence in the world of medium format photography. With its 16-bit RAW files and unparalleled dynamic range, this camera delivers images that redefine what’s possible in landscape photography.

See the Big Picture with the FUJIFILM GFX100S II Digital Camera

Taking key functions from the flagship GFX100 II, including a 102-megapixel sensor, X-Processor 5 imaging engine, and AI-assisted autofocusing, and slotting them into an ergonomic body that weighs just 883g (1.95lbs), it offers passionate creatives the chance to expand their options and enjoy an immersive large format experience. The GFX 100S II combines cutting-edge technology with a user-friendly design, making it an ideal choice for various photography genres, including wildlife photography and bird photography.

Born to Perform

The FUJIFILM GFX100S II features a newly developed sensor and processor pairing. The camera houses a high-speed, 102-megapixel CMOS II chip, alongside the X-Processor 5 – leading to a new league of performance. Countless aspects of camera functionality are impacted, from burst frame rates to video recording. As the heart and brain of any camera body, a quality sensor and processor are paramount.

Fujifilm GFX 100S II - 1
FUJIFILM GFX100S II (Image: Adorama)

Flagship Build

The camera’s compact and lightweight design allows photographers to utilize large format quality in virtually any setting while keeping essential controls accessible and tactile. The GFX 100S II’s EVF adds the further pleasure of use, offering 5.76 million dot resolution and 0.84x magnification, making it easy to see even in bright outdoor scenes. Those seeking more robust handheld use can add an optional metal handgrip.

Focus on the Action

The FUJIFILM GFX100S II’s autofocus performance is built around artificial intelligence, bringing machine learning to the imaging process. New AF tracking capabilities keep a broad variety of subjects tack sharp as they move across the frame, during both stills and video creation. This is particularly beneficial for wildlife photography and bird photography, where capturing fast-moving subjects with precision is crucial.

Unparalleled Quality

When the finest details of a subject are as vital as the scene itself, reach for the FUJIFILM GFX100S II. It features a powerful in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system offering a benefit of up to 8.0 stops that’s perfect for confident handheld image making. The GFX System has long been a landscape photographer’s dream, delivering photos with magnificent detail, tonality, and dynamic range.

Production Ready

The FUJIFILM GFX100S II excels in professionally specified stills and offers immense filmmaking potential. You can create footage up to an industry-standard 4K/30p, utilizing the cinematic sensor size of the G format. Broader video quality comes by way of 4:2:2 10-bit in-camera capabilities, with an improved data rate of 720Mbps compared to the previous GFX100S, plus a wide variety of capture formats including ProRes and Blackmagic RAW through HDMI via a compatible external recording device.

More than any Fujifilm GFX camera before it, the GFX 100S II makes large-format image quality accessible and within reach for photographers. Make no mistake about it: $5,000 is still an awful lot of money to spend on a camera, but it is within the realm of normalcy and is a thoroughly straightforward camera to use (thank you, DSLR-like controls and excellent in-body image stabilization).

Fujifilm GFX 100S II - 7
FUJIFILM GFX100S II with Fujinon GF 55mm (Image: Adorama)

The GFX 100S II is $3,200 less than the Hasselblad X2D 100C — a fantastic camera in its own right. It is also tens of thousands less than the “step up” choice of a Phase One camera system, which is not easy to use but offers the best photographic image quality in the world.

Comparison: FUJIFILM GFX100S II vs. FUJIFILM GFX100S

The FUJIFILM GFX100S II builds upon the solid foundation of its predecessor, the GFX100S, by incorporating a more powerful processor, enhanced autofocus, superior EVF, and advanced image stabilization. These upgrades make the GFX100S II a more versatile and capable camera, particularly appealing to photographers and videographers looking for top-tier performance and image quality. While the improvements may not be drastic, they collectively enhance the user experience, making the GFX100S II a worthy successor.

Key Improvements and Differences:

FeatureFUJIFILM GFX100S IIFUJIFILM GFX100S
Sensor102MP CMOS II 44 x 33mm Sensor102MP CMOS 44 x 33mm Sensor
ProcessorX-Processor 5X-Processor 4
AutofocusAI-Driven AF with Improved Subject Tracking & DetectionContrast-detect AF with fewer enhancements
Viewfinder5.76m-dot EVF with 0.84x Magnification3.69m-dot EVF with 0.77x Magnification
Image StabilizationUp to 8-Stop IBIS + Pixel-Shift Multi-Shot ModeUp to 6-Stop IBIS
ISO SensitivityISO 80-12800 (expandable to 102400)ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 102400)
Video Capabilities4K30p at 4:2:2 10-bit, ProRes & Blackmagic RAW4K30p at 4:2:0 10-bit
Cloud IntegrationNative Frame.io Camera to Cloud FunctionalityNot available
Body DesignCompact, Lightweight (883g)Compact, Lightweight (900g)
ConnectivityHDMI, USB-C, Wi-Fi, BluetoothHDMI, USB-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Battery LifeApprox. 460 shots per chargeApprox. 460 shots per charge
Storage MediaDual SD Card Slots (UHS-II)Dual SD Card Slots (UHS-II)
Weather SealingDust and moisture resistantDust and moisture resistant

Pros of FUJIFILM GFX100S II over GFX100S

  1. Enhanced Processor:
    • The X-Processor 5 offers improved processing power, leading to better overall performance and efficiency compared to the X-Processor 4 in the GFX100S.
  2. Superior Autofocus:
    • The AI-driven autofocus with improved subject tracking and detection in the GFX100S II is a significant upgrade, providing more reliable and faster focus, especially useful in wildlife and bird photography.
  3. Higher-Resolution EVF:
    • The GFX100S II’s 5.76m-dot EVF with 0.84x magnification offers a clearer and more detailed viewfinder experience than the 3.69m-dot EVF of the GFX100S.
  4. Advanced Image Stabilization:
    • With up to 8-stop IBIS, the GFX100S II provides better stabilization for handheld shooting compared to the 6-stop IBIS in the GFX100S.
  5. Lower Base ISO:
    • The lower base ISO of 80 in the GFX100S II allows for cleaner images with less noise compared to the ISO 100 in the GFX100S.
  6. Improved Video Features:
    • The GFX100S II supports 4K30p video at 4:2:2 10-bit and offers ProRes & Blackmagic RAW capabilities, enhancing its appeal to videographers.
  7. Cloud Integration:
    • The native Frame.io Camera to Cloud functionality in the GFX100S II streamlines workflows, making it easier to manage and share footage.

Pros of FUJIFILM GFX100S over GFX100S II:

  1. Marginally Lower Weight:
    • The GFX100S is slightly lighter at 900g compared to the 883g of the GFX100S II, though this difference is minimal.

What About Its Competition?

Perhaps the GFX 100S II’s biggest competition is not a fellow medium-format camera at all. Maybe it is a high-resolution full-frame camera like the Nikon Z8 or Sony a7R V. These cameras, with 46 and 61 megapixels, respectively, promise more speed, versatility, and flexibility regarding use cases and lenses than the GFX 100S II. They also offer excellent image quality.

However, having shot with them all, the 102-megapixel Fujifilm cameras still win out, at least when I can give each camera the best chance to succeed, which means shooting at low ISOs and using a sturdy tripod. While the GFX 100S II, like its 100-megapixel siblings, is surprisingly adept at higher ISO settings, the camera is decidedly fussier than its full-frame competition.

The GFX 100S II Helps Turn the Question of Medium Format From ‘Why?’ to ‘Why Not?’

The Fujifilm GFX 100S II, along with the GFX 100 II, is the most usable medium-format camera available. With excellent stabilization, a familiar user experience, good Fujinon GF glass options, impressive AI-powered autofocus, and decent video, the GFX 100S II is more versatile than a $5,000 medium-format camera has any business being.

However, full-frame cameras that cost less or a similar amount surpass it in many ways. Still, full-frame cameras do not hold the advantage in photographic capabilities.

When it comes to pure image quality, when pixels transform from merely valuable to all-important, the Fujifilm GFX 100S II makes a powerful case to be the camera of choice. It will likely find its way into many landscape photography kits in the coming months, and with good reason.

Watch the promotion video of the Fujifilm GFX 100S II:

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