Street Photography With the New FUJIFILM GFX100 II

FUJIFILM medium format bodies have attracted quite the cult following and for good reason. Their latest flagship model in the GFX range is available for purchase, but how does it hold up in street photography?

The FUJIFILM GFX100 II is the latest in the GFX line-up and it has some Fuji disciples drooling over it. Ever since the launch of the original GFX100, I have been enamored with the range and I shoot with my GFX 50R regularly. The 50R was the second medium format body I bought after an old Hasselblad, but I love the look and feel of shooting with that large sensor size. So, why did I say "how does it hold up in street photography?"

Well, medium format shooting (and I'll leave the debate of whether the GFX is "true" medium format for the comments) is generally a much slower workflow. Medium format bodies are rarely intended for use as a sports photography camera, but rather studio work, architectural, and landscape. Street photography can be slow and considered, but often, you need to snap quickly and be on the move. So, this video by Tyler Stalman puts the GFX100 II through its paces more than you might expect of a street photography test shoot!

What did you think of the results? Are you interested in getting this new flagship GFX? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Rob Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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Now I’m no street photographer but everyone I know who is and everything I’ve ever seen or read on the subject by all the experts tend to favour smaller more discrete cameras. Quite often micro 4/3rds or APSC and only occasionally full frame but never medium format especially one costing over 7.5K or 10K with lens! It appears to be a strange and very expensive choice for capturing those often fleeting decisive moments. If you like Fuji cameras then surely a more reasonable Fujix100V at a fraction of the cost would be the camera of choice. I cant for the life of me understand why anyone would think this was a good idea. Shooting majestic landscapes, or groovey studio fashion, hell yes, but for shooting some geezer jumping a puddle?
I’ve read some strange articles on this site and this one is right up there.

Well, we like what we like. I use an R5 with a grip. It's the only camera I have, so if I'm shooting wildlife, or street life, it's my big ole' camera. I have yet to be questioned. Well, a lady asked me what lens I was using, but other than that, no problem.

Besides, it's other people's money. Nobody should care if someone buys a Phase One to shoot pictures of their cat or a new Fuji medium format to shoot street scenes.

I shoot an R5 as well. People may not question but they do notice. It totally messes with the vibe of the pictures. Small primes go a long way. Problem with MF is that you’ve fully bought into a camera that other people cannot ignore. I would love to use one but not for street.

It depends where you shoot. Most of my street photography was done in and around New Orleans where every third person is taking a photograph of something. Having a camera in a tourist laden city is so common that people ignore them. Now, living in Winnipeg, it's a different story. I'm much more discreet as I can walk through the city for an hour or two and not see one person with a camera.

In the case of Winnipeg, I'll pick a spot and sit and let the scene come to me. It works.

I have the GFX50s, will there be a 100sll? I’m ready for a trade up, maybe the 100ll,🤷🏻

Shooting a 100 megapixel medium format camera 8 frames per second will require a super computer with terabytes of storage and over 100 meg per file let alone editing these files will easily produce 150 meg or more files. I have to agree with Eric, this is not the camera for "Street Photography" the Fuji 100V or any of the Leica Q series of full frame cameras would be far more suitable with a better shot percentage with facial recognition then the GFX 100ll. I am not saying 100 or 150 megabyte digital medium format cameras in a medium format cameras is overkill hardly, my question is simply is the sensor dimensions verses the population practical or are we just running the marketing gamete once again now in the Medium Format arena ?

Not a street photographer also and am a Sony user. The video shows the articulating screen and most important no use of a tripod also the fast speed of transfer to SD card. Does not look much smaller than my A7RV so that is not much. I have a nephew who as a Fuji and just captures Jpegs in all his world travels, really a lot. His images are great with to die for color, sharpness and clarity. The one kicker to make one go Fuji is the sensor has more green pixels the X-Trans sensor where colors seem to be better. All his images are right out of camera with no editing, that is what you need to talk about not so much the megapixels for everyone knows today it is the software that makes the image great. I think also the in camera settings that get the great color and everything, I mean I can set my in camera settings for just the jpegs also and use just the auto function also and get great images too but still if done side by side and no editing and right out of camera the Fuji would be better with colors. As far a video and 8k etc maybe a big deal but the stills have to be great to start with. Not till '17 when I got the A7RM2 with IBIS was I able to toss the tripod while on a tour in Antelope Canyon when I forgot the tripod plate did I try first hand held capture but just out of curiosity did a bracket 3 at +/- 2EV and every image was perfect when all other were using sticks, that is a key thing to bring out is IBIS also. Look Canon and Nikon are behind in tech but with models on the shelves of big box stores being the only models seen mostly is what keeps people buying and if buyers for stores put Fuji and Sony next to them it might be the end for them also. Megapixels do not really make a camera greater with today's software able to make an image any size anyway. The unedited colors will make your jaw drop every time and images and colorful cities will pop like 3D.

To get great colour jpegs from Sony cameras you should use Picture Profiles. Of course the downside is there are no presets (PP's are primarily for video of course) and creating your own is quite daunting with the hard to master (imo) settings.

Subject: Street Photography
Thumbnail: Handheld tilt-shift lens 🤦

who says you can't shoot street photography with a tilt shift?