Is 100MP Overkill? Testing the FUJIFILM GFX 100

I've used older digital medium format cameras in the past but the FUJIFILM GFX 100 is the most powerful camera I've ever held in my hand. 

This video is part of a sponsored series. A few different manufacturers are paying us to make video tutorials using their products. In some cases, they are asking us to showcase certain features, but they are not paying us to "review" their products. 

For this shoot I was commissioned to shoot Mike duBois of duBois Metal Works for an editorial story about his business. My goal was to photograph Mike in his element and these pictures would supplement the written story. 

The camera I would be using for this shoot would be the 102MP FUJIFILM GFX 100 medium format camera. I've made a few other videos with other FUJIFILM cameras including their GFX 50S and GFX 50R cameras. I like them, but the GFX 100 felt special. At a price of $10,000, it better be right? But when you actually compare this camera to competing cameras made by Phase One or Hasselblad that cost over $30,000, the GFX 100 looks like a steal.

Most "professional" 35mm DSLRs have incredible features like stabilization, video, advanced autofocus, and weather sealing while high-end medium/large format cameras focus only on image quality. The GFX 100 falls right in the middle giving the user a larger, high-megapixel sensor in a robust camera body while retaining all of the best DSLR features. For 10 grand you are getting a 102MP medium format camera with weather sealing, sensor shifting stabilization, and 4k video recording. No other camera on the market has all of these features, especially at this price. 

I immediately enjoyed the ergonomics and simplicity of the camera. It was comfortable to hold, and I intuitively knew where the major buttons and features were.

For lenses I used the FUJIFILM GF 32-64mm f/4 and 110mm f/2. Both of these lenses performed incredibly well with face detection autofocus enabled. I'm not sure the camera missed focused a single time during the shoot. 

For lighting I used two Profoto B10s. Obviously Profoto was a sponsor of this video but I've always said that this is my favorite light of its kind. It's incredibly small, it can be used with battery or AC power, it has a color shiftable LED light that can be used for video, and it works with Profotos incredibly simple mounting system. As we all know, nothing that Profoto makes is cheap, but if your willing to pay a premium, you're going to get the most convenient strobe on the market. 

For many of the shots I used a simple zoom reflector to contain and direct the light, but for one of the shots I used a white beauty dish to get some interesting lighting. 

The final sponsor for this shoot was Manfrotto who supplied the 190 carbon tripod and XPRO 3-Way, Geared Pan-and-Tilt Head. Geared heads are more common in the product and architectural world but I accidentally left my Manfrotto ballhead back in Puerto Rico and I had to improvise. Luckily the XPRO 3-Way head has a quick release on each axis which makes large movements much faster. 

In 2005, right after I graduated high school, I got my start as a professional photographer shooting editorial jobs for a local magazine. It was fun to get back into it, especially with some of the newest, and most advanced equipment currently on the market. Did I need 100MP? Of course not. Realistically, 12MP is probably more than enough for most photography jobs. But, if resolution is extremely important to you, the FUJIFILM GFX 100 is probably the best camera for the money currently in this category. 

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43 Comments

Previous comments
Eric Salas's picture

Keep clicking grandpa. I have a full head of hair in the photo. Let me know if you need someone to walk you across the street later.

Terry Poe's picture

What are these before/after photos in the article about? Before/after processing? Shot with different cameras?

Making this guy slim!

Heath McKinley's picture

People who say “no one needs this many megapixels” most likely haven’t used a camera like this.

I regularly shoot with the Hasselblad H4D 200MS capturing 200 Megapixel files of original artworks for reproduction.

The Fujifilm GFX100 is made to suit a certain part of the photographic market.

Just because Ferrari’s exist doesn’t mean everyone has to drive one.

David Pavlich's picture

I could never afford a Ferrari, but I did drive one at a track. It was a gift from my wife; laps in a Ferrari which happened to be a 360 Modena. Yea, it was fun!

Tony Wu's picture

Everyone talking about how 100mp is overkill and is not needed is missing what was posted very early in the video. The large size allows for incredible flexibility when it comes to framing and cropping. You have a lot more options. No longer need to get in tight so you have enough detail. You have the option to crop in.

S M's picture

BUT YOU LOSE OUT ON COMPRESSION UNCLE T!

So… my comment to the presenters of this article is this: why the remarkable amount of post-processing applied to the LEFT-versus-RIGHT shots, hmmm?

For instance, shot № 1, with the guy sitting on a stool, the fellow's chest and gut was obviously photoshopped to be way smaller in the more-contrasty right image. No, that amount of distention was not caused by taking a breath in. And in particular, had the fellow actually taken a breath in, or let it out, the position of his head would NOT have been within-a-millimeter of exactly the same between frames. You know?

For instance, shot № 2, with the guy leaning against the cabinet, you will note that the RIGHT shot has been OBVIOUSLY photoshopped above the shoulder, including the yellow can. It is the only spot on the photograph that has substantial distortion. Indeed … there isn't even evidence of the fellow breathing in this shot, except for this made-up distortion. WHY?

For instance, shot № 3, there is absolutely NO difference in parallax, of position of arms, or relaxation (or not) of the fellow's diaphragm in breathing. Eyelashes exactly same. Only real difference seems to be a bit of photoshopping to drop the black-level and stretch the contrast a bit. As if it was shot from a single camera, not two of them.

For instance, shot № 4, with the fellow grinding the steel, with sparks-aplenty flying is quite different from LEFT and RIGHT shots, … except when you look closely, you can EASILY see that the right shot is the left shot, with extra sparks superimposed over it. In photoshop. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY for all the little sparks (in the 'background shot') to align exactly the same, from shot to shot, while having the extras added in, some time later, we presume.

So, I'm going to go on a limb here.
Were 2 cameras even used?
Is this just an article of synthetic fiction?
I'm disappointed, friend.
Seriously disappointed.

Just Saying,
GoatGuy ✓

Leith Phillips's picture

It's really simple. If you're a landscape photographer, you don't care about video, shooting portraits with lights or any of the stuff presented here. A 24-36MP sensor is all that is needed. However, if you want to print 1.5 metre wide panos with sharp detail at close viewing, then this camera is pure magic and about one sixth the price of a Phase One. This article didn't tell me things I wanted to know about the 100MP Fuji. It actually wasted my time.

For people saying that the only reason for this many mp is if your making monstrous size prints i can also see the use of being able to shoot a little loose woth your compositions and then fine tuning your cropping. To be able to crop extensively and still have a ton of mps to print with is a benefit especillay if you are shooting things that is a struggle to get a really fine tuned composition (for example making large fine art prints of wildlife. Being able to shoot a little loose around the animal especially during actions shots and then having mps to burn in refining your crop would be very useful)