The annual Camera Magazine Imaging Awards recognise excellence in the design and execution of imaging products. This year there are ten categories and to be eligible, products had to go on sale around Australia from 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019. In the medium format category, Fujifilm continues to shake things up.
Digital Medium Format Camera Winner: Fujifilm GFX 100
A mainstream 100 megapixels medium format camera? Now there’s something that wouldn’t have been thought possible not so long ago. But Fujifilm has succeeded in turning the digital medium format camera world on its head with its GFX series mirrorless models and, somewhat surprisingly, the GFX 100 works the concept even more effectively than its 50 MP siblings. In fact, it works so well, you’ll find yourself thinking, “Y’know, I can’t think how I managed with less than 100 megapixels resolution in the past”.
The GFX 100 qualifies as ‘mainstream’ on a number of levels, starting with the fact that it doesn’t cost the same money as an Alfa Romeo and so you won’t still be in debt when it becomes obsolete. And then it has a whole bunch of features that mean it’s not very much different from any D-SLR in terms of functionality and operation. Much of this is derived from a long list of ‘firsts’… apart from being the first 100 megapixels mirrorless digital medium format camera, of course. The GFX 100 is also the first with a BSI-type sensor, the first with in-body image stabilisation, the first with PDAF pixels, the first with 4K video (and obviously the first with 10-bit and F-Log or HLG), the first to achieve 5.0 fps continuous shooting and the first to use dual batteries on-board with in-camera recharging. It’s also the first 100 MP camera with a fully weather-proofed and insulated bodyshell. Wow! A 100 MP camera you can actually get wet and even use in sub-zero conditions. What’s more, thanks to the IBIS which gives up to 5.5 stops of correction for camera shake, you really can think about shooting hand-held. Then there’s 5.0 fps continuous shooting, 425-point phase-detection AF, a top shutter speed of 1/16,000 second, a detachable EVF with 5.76 megadots res, three-way tilting monitor screen with touch controls, all the ‘Film Simulation’ profiles and the normal set of ‘PASM’ exposure controls. In fact, there’s pretty well everything you’d get on the X-T3 except for the 33x44 mm format sensor packing a solid 102 megapixels. And, for the record, this sensor size is 1.7x bigger than full-35mm and 4.0x bigger than ‘APS-C’.
Best of all, while GFX 100 may look big and unwieldy, it actually handles like a dream thanks to a clever GUI and great ergonomics. In reality, it’s no more of a handful than either the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II or Nikon’s D5, but delivers rather more reward for effort. We’ve described the image quality as “beyond stunning” and that pretty well sums up the GFX 100 as well.