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Fujifilm Has Just Announced the GFX100 II and We Were There!

Fujifilm Has Just Announced the GFX100 II and We Were There!

Fujifilm’s newest camera and a series of lenses have, after many rumors, finally been unveiled! The successor to the outstanding GFX 100 is finally here, and it packs a punch! What is new? What is better? Is it worth the upgrade?

The New and Improved "Digital Large Format"

Fujifilm has just successfully finished its latest X-Summit, this time in beautiful Stockholm, Sweden. The event took place in the well-known Fotografiska gallery next to a beautiful Peter Lindbergh exhibition, but that was not the reason we flew here. We’re here to have a look at the intriguing new photographic goodies Fujifilm has just announced, try them out, and tell you all about them. 

First and foremost, the new Fujifilm GFX100 II is an all-new camera set to replace the original 102-megapixel GFX100. It comes bearing a whole new 102-megapixel CMOS II HS sensor with a twice-as-fast readout speed, considerably improved AF capabilities, and faster frame rates. The sensor is placed in a new and redesigned body, feeling heftier and sturdier than the GFX 100S. Some of the lost benefits of the first-generation GFX 50S cameras are back, including the option of a vertical battery grip and a removable viewfinder compatible with a tilt and swivel adapter.

A massive customizable sub-monitor for all your information. Notice the AI Detection icon.

The top plate of the body is now slanted towards the photographer, giving you an even easier view and access to the top controls and a rather large sub-monitor. This new screen can now show much more information than the previous square ones seen on the original GFX or the latest X-H2(S) cameras. But speaking of large, let’s talk about the viewfinder.

A Truly Impressive Viewfinder

It is quite possibly the best viewfinder I have ever seen and/or used. It is massive! With a life-like magnification of 1x and a seriously impressive resolution of 9.44 million pixels. Looking through the viewfinder feels like you are truly using what Fujifilm calls a large-format digital camera. It has actually reminded me of using a pentaprism mounted on a Hasselblad 500. The image is bright, vivid, sharp, and clear from corner to corner. When paired with the GF 63mm f/2,8 R WR, the view from the viewfinder is identical to the real world. Using the camera vertically and having my other eye open gave me a 3D view of the scene with no distortion.

Other physical features that have changed are the fact that the shutter can now cycle at the rate of 8 frames per second and the change of one of the SD card slots to a much faster CFExpress Type-B option. Considering the speed of the shutter and the size of the files, it makes perfect sense to avoid being bottlenecked by a slower memory card. 300 Mbps of the UHS-II standard just does not cut it anymore. That being said, the buffer size has been doubled, so now, you are able to shoot approximately 300 compressed raws without slowing down.

The IBIS system has been noticeably improved. Up until now, the cameras only relied on using the gyroscope built into the body. The GFX100 II combines the gyroscope data with a readout from the sensor. This effectively raises the ability to keep your camera steady up to 8 EV depending on the lens. 

Rear controls lack the d-pad, but the buttons are plentiful.

The rear LCD has kept Fujifilm’s favorite three-way tilt, which many photographers love, but it does extend a little bit further away from the body to allow for the use of the FAN-001 active cooling accessory. The reason is the GFX100 II’s video capabilities. Full-sensor width 4K 60p video (15 ms readout speed) if you want to utilize the beautiful bokeh of a large sensor camera and get as much detail as possible in your footage. The other options include 8K 30p and a multitude of standard and anamorphic formats. The entire camera is controlled by the X-Processor 5 and powered by the well-established NP-W235 battery. That can be expanded up to three batteries at once using a vertical grip.

Sped Up and Beefed Up

The autofocus performance has been improved due to the faster sensor, which can finally track multiple different kinds of subjects, like we’ve seen in the X-H2(S) or the X-T5. The camera detects faces easily, as well as entire bodies, and even body parts. I was surprised that it even tracked a subject’s shoe when I was just aiming the lens toward the ground to have a look at the back of the controls. Some impressive algorithms are at work here that recognize even details as these.

Fujifilm has really put an emphasis on sports and wildlife, and it seems like the autofocus will actually work well enough to keep up with fast-moving subjects as long as you have a fast-moving lens. That combined with the newly announced GF 500mm f/5.6 coming in 2024 should make for a perfect combo for a wildlife shooter.

The resolving power of the new sensor paired with the new GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR lens is stunning. Shot today using a Profoto B10X Plus strobe. 100% Crop, Reala ACE film simulation, and lightly edited in Lightroom CC.

An Absolute Multi-Format Beast for Video

The newly developed 102-megapixel CMOS II HS sensor has improved in video terms considerably. As I've mentioned above, it can shoot full sensor width 4K 60p video with an impressive readout speed of 15 ms for minimal rolling shutter effect. 8K 30p video can be shot with a crop of 1.42, but that is only one of the reasons why the GFX100 II means business when it comes to video.

The sensor is large. So large, that the 16:9 aspect ratio when recording 4K gives you a nearly identical frame size to the ARRI Alexa 65 at a fraction of the cost. And it does not stop there. The amount of different kinds of formats and lens circle sizes makes it perfect for adapting many different lenses and mounts from LPL, PL, through Premista to full-frame 35mm or 35mm 2x anamorphic, which can be desqueezed internally. All of this is possible in a multitude of codecs, including internal Apple ProRes, 10-bit 4:2:2, or even external 12-bit raw either in ProRes or Blackmagic using the full-size HDMI port. If a CFExpress card isn't enough for you, you can also record directly to a USB-C SSD drive.

In terms of dynamic range and tone curves, we get F-Log and 14+ stop capable F-Log2 starting at ISO 800. The inclusion of an Ethernet port allows for shooting directly to the cloud using the Frame.io service, as we've seen in the X-H2(S) with their FTP battery grips. Microphone and headphone jacks are, of course, present.

Screen captures of various possible recording formats and resolutions with their image circles.

Three fully programmable buttons right behind the shutter release.

GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR

One of the three latest lenses for the GFX system is a long-awaited universal prime with the full-frame equivalent of 44 millimeters. The GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR is great for portraiture, documentary work, street photography, and photojournalism. The aperture mechanism consists of 11 blades and is actually built into the focusing group to ensure smooth bokeh throughout the focus range. The studio shot seen above has been taken using the lens along with a 100% crop to show the incredible sharpness, even wide open.

Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR.

Finally a Tilt-Shift Option

Many have waited, some have adapted Canon or Nikon tilt-shifts, and some resorted to using cheaper alternatives, but there is no need for anything like that anymore. Fujifilm has finally unveiled not just one, but two tilt-shift lenses for the GFX system. The wide angle is the new GF 30mm f/5.6 T/S and the telephoto is the GF 110mm f/5.6 T/S. Both of these lenses are fully capable of resolving enough detail for the brilliant 102-megapixel sensor corner to corner, even when shifted fully. Their image circle is large enough to give you plenty of room to work. 

One of the main benefits of a first-party tilt-shift lens is the fact they are made specifically for the GFX cameras. They have the necessary electronics to communicate with the camera. You get great aperture control, but you also get exact readout of the tilt or shift both on the screen as you're composing the shot as well as in the EXIF data after the fact. This allows for truly precise and repeatable work. 

Both lenses are capable of rotating the tilt and shift sections independently, and both of the mechanisms feature a friction lock as well as a millimeter scale. 

Fujifilm GF 30mm f/5.6 T/S tilted, shifted, and standing on its supplied tripod support.

'More Than Full Frame' Actually Makes Sense

This was the catchphrase of the day. And after using the camera for a day, I do agree. The speed is finally up to the standard I'd be happy to use for my documentary work. The autofocus accuracy and reliability are very similar to my X-T5, and the image quality is unmatched. Yes, it is not as fast as a Nikon Z8 or a Canon R6 II. Don't get me wrong. But for a 102-megapixel medium format camera, it is damn impressive. What really blew my mind was the outstanding viewfinder with its 1x magnification and 9.44 million dots.

Fujifilm GFX100 II paired with the vertical grip and the GF 30mm f/5.6 T/S lens.

Another 100% crop of a naturally lit scene at ISO 400 using Classic Chrome simulation and light curves adjustments in Lightroom CC. Lens used is the new GF 55mm f/1.7 R WR at f/1.7.
Combined with the right lens, I can imagine using it very useful for a wildlife shooter, a photojournalist, a sports photographer, a serious filmmaker, a portrait photographer, or even as a main wedding camera. 
Ondřej Vachek's picture

Ondřej Vachek is a Prague based independent documentary photographer and photojournalist with multiple journeys to war-torn Ukraine where he covered everything from the frontline in the Donbass to the civilian life adapting to the new normal. Avid street photographer with love for writing and storytelling.

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It feels really painful to see the sensor totally exposed, with no protection...

It's going to need many wet sensor cleans to get rid of all the dust.

If you're careful and know what you're doing it's not that big of a deal. Sensors are easier to clean and keep clean than people often think. I wouldn't do it if I knew any harm would be done.

I experienced wet cleaning my Sony camera for the first time in nearly four years to remove some stubborn dust. It really was quite easy although I did need three swabs to get the job done. Most of the time my rocket blower does the job. My comment above was just supposed to be a bit tongue in cheek.

Do you have a sensor cleaning product that you would recommend? I got one from B&H but it kept leaving streaks on my sensor. It was kind of expensive too.

unfortunately most mirrorless cameras are like this. The company i work for just bought a sony a7s III for shooting our commercials and we already have dust on the sensor after light indoor usage. all mirrorless cameras really need a solution for protecting the sensor. I Sold one of my GFX lenses to a local and he said he had to pay 2500 bucks to have his sensor replaced in his GFX 100 because it got damaged. it's the one thing i loved about DLSR's was the at least the shutter would help prevent dust from gathering on the sensor. I have yet to understand why all mirrorless cameras don't put the shutter down when taking a lens off.

Cleaning a sensor is so easy and cheap now, I even make my own swabs.

How do you make your swabs? Do you make your own cleaning solution too?

Second, I would love to know more about this