Fujifilm's New Top End Medium Format

bythom gfx100iiwithts

Today Fujifilm announced the GFX100 II, a revision of its original top end medium format camera. At US$7500, this reflects a significant (25%) discount from the suggested retail of the previous model, while adding/changing quite a bit. To wit:

  • A faster 102mp sensor (2x the read-out speed)
  • X-Processor 5 (from 4)
  • Frame rates now 8 fps (from 5)
  • 4K/60P (from 4K/30P) and 4:2:2 10-bit internal (from 4:2:0 10-bit)
  • 8K video
  • Subject tracking autofocus
  • Improvement of sensor IS to 8 stops (from 5.5)
  • EVF of 9.44m dots (from 5.76m), still detachable and tiltable, and now 60 fps with less lag
  • A change of storage cards to CFexpress Type B + SD (UHS-II) from dual SD
  • Ability to record stills and video to external SSD
  • A move to an optional battery grip instead of built in
  • Full size HDMI (no longer micro), supports 8K, 12-bit raw
  • A change to the NP-W235 battery
  • A new Reala ACE film simulation

All these seemingly smaller things seem to add up to a very large change overall. The new version, while not adding pixels, seems to gain at virtually every pain point of the previous model. Which is a good thing, as the original version (not 100s) did have a number of issues that irritated users, particularly given the price they paid for the camera.

I hesitate to write this, as some Fujifilm fans will get upset and send my missives targeting my In Box, but Fujifilm has had a pretty productive last 18 months; I'd say their cameras are no longer trying to catch up, but are now basically in the peloton again. Maybe even leading out the APS-C and MF pelotons. This should keep the other competitors on their toes, which is a good thing. 

Along with the new camera, Fujifilm also introduced their first medium format tilt/shift lens. The 30mm f/5.6 tilt/shift lens is about a 24mm equivalent, while the 110mm f/5.6 tilt/shift macro is a bit over an 85mm equivalent. These two lenses look like excellent additions for the landscape (30mm) and product (110mm) photography community. Along with the two tilt/shift lenses, Fujifilm also announced the 55mm f/1.7 lens that was also on their previous Road Map. The new Road Map includes a powered wide-angle zoom and a 500mm lens.

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