Fujifilm GFX 100S vs GFX 100 vs GFX 50S - Head-to-head Comparison
The new Fuji GFX 100S is the second 100-megapixel medium-format mirrorless camera that Fujifilm have released, following on from the GFX 100 that was launched in mid-2019.
Smaller in size than the GFX 100 and only a little bigger than many full-frame DSLR cameras, with a price-tag of £5999 / $5999 the GFX 100S is also much more affordable than the GFX 100 and not that much more than the 50-megapixel GFX 50S model (which will be discontinued and replaced by the GFX 100S).
So what exactly has changed in the 18-months since the launch of the GFX 100, and is the older model still worth considering? Also, how does the GFX 100S compare with the model that it's effectively replacing, the GFX 50S?
We take a closer look in our detailed head-to-head comparison of the Fujifilm GFX100S versus the GFX100 and GFX50S.
The image sensor inside the new GFX 100S is exactly the same 102 megapixel CMOS sensor as the one used in the flagship GFX 100 model.
It also has the most powerful X-Processor 4 processor, again shared with the higher-end camera.
The GFX 50S uses a 51.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and the older X-Processor Pro engine.
The native sensitivity range of all three cameras - GFX100S, GFX100 and the GFX50S - is ISO 100 to ISO 12,800, which is expandable to 50-102,400.
RAW Bit Depth
While the range-topping GFX 100 and the new GFX 100S both support 16-bit RAW files, the older GFX 50S model only supports 14-bit RAWs.
Both the GFX 100S and GFX 100's video mode features a highest quality rate of 4K/30p with no crop at up to 400Mbps bitrate in 16:9 or 17:9 aspect ratios.
This can be recorded in 4:2:0 10-bit F-log internally to an SD card or 4:2:2 12-bit ProRes RAW via the HDMI port to an Atomos Ninja V Recording Monitor.
The older GFX 50S only supports 1080/30p, not 4K.
The new GFX 100S has exactly the same hybrid autofocus system with both phase detection and and contrast detections points as the GFX 100.
There are a whopping 3.76 million phase detection autofocus points covering almost 100% of the frame.
In the Single point AF mode there are up to 425 selectable AF points arranged in a 25x17 grid. Alternatively, the GFX100 and 100S can be set to 117 points in a 13x9 grid, and the size of the points can also be varied.
In addition to Single point AF, there’s Zone AF which allows the AF points to be selected in 3x3, 5x5 or 7x7 groups, and Wide/Tracking AF.
The GFX 50S only has a contrast-based AF system, which results in much slower performance, so if auto-focus speed is paramount then one of the GFX 100 models is the best option.
The new GFX 100S is the fastest of the three cameras, offering a respectable 5fps continuous shooting speed when using the mechanical shutter for up to 16 frames in a single burst.
The GFX 100 also offers the same pleasingly fast continuous shooting rate of 5fps but only for 14 frames.
The GFX 50S lags behind somewhat, only being capable of shooting at 3fps for up to 13 frames.
All three GFX cameras have a mechanical focal plane shutter that offers the same fastest shutter speed of 1/4000th second and a longest exposure time of 60 minutes. There's also an electronic shutter which provides an even faster shutter speed of up to 1/16000 sec.
Body and Design
The new GFX 100S takes a radically different approach to the 18-month old GFX 100, retaining many of the same core features but instead focusing on being much more compact and portable than its studio-focused big brother.
So instead of weighing in at 1400g and measuring 156.2x163.6x102.9mm, the GFX 100S weighs only 900g and measures 150x104.2x87.2mm, 6cm (2.3in) shorter and 500g (1.1lb) lighter than the GFX100.
Overall, it's an impressive 30% smaller than the GFX 100 in mass, and Fuji claim that the GFX 100S is only 160g more than a typical 35mm full-frame camera.
This drastic reduction in size has largely been achieved by removing the GFX100's built-in vertical grip.
The GFX 50S measures 148x94x91 mm and weighs 920g, very similar to the new GFX 100S.
Despite this, the GFX 100S still manages to include an IBIS unit that's even more effective than the one on the GFX 100 and exactly the same 102 megapixel medium-format sensor.
To achieve this impressive feat, the GFX 100S features a redesigned shutter unit and a brand new IBIS unit, while taking advantage of a smaller, but very efficient lithium-ion battery (the same one used by the X-T4 APS-C camera).
It has a highly robust grip, with a comfortable in-hand feel, that makes it exceptionally easy to hold for extended periods of time.
On top, there's a PASM dial with six programmable custom options on the left-hand side plus a switch that lets users quickly change between still and movie mode.
On the right is a 1.8-inch LCD panel which can be customized to show key EXIF settings - like shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity and exposure compensation - and set to display the status of key functions or available capacity on storage media.
If you're a bigger fan of traditional controls rather than PASM dials, the GFX 50S offers dedicated ISO and shutter speed dials on its top-panel, as well as a small LCD screen.
At the rear it looks just like one of the recent X-series cameras, with a familiar, uncluttered interface that marks quite a departure from the GFX 100's control layout.
It also doesn't have the GFX 100's built-in battery grip with secondary controls and small LCD panel - indeed, Fujifilm have gone even further by deciding not to offer a battery grip at all for the GFX 100S.
Both the GFX 100 or the GFX 100S have in-body stabilisation (IBIS), whereas the GFX 50S doesn't offer this feature at all.
The 100 megapixels cameras both have a 5-axis stabilisation system.
The GFX100 offers 5.5 stops of compensation, with the new GFX 100S beating it by 1/2 stop to offer 6 stops of compensation, despite having a smaller IBIS unit.
The GFX 100S and GFX 50S both share the same 3.69M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder. The magnification on the GFX 50S is higher though - 0.85x versus 0.77x on the new GFX 100S.
The GFX 100 camera clearly beats both the other two models by having a class-leading 5.76M-dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.86x magnification.
Additionally the EVF can be completely removed from the main camera body on both the GFX 100 and and 50S models, whereas it's fixed in place on the new GFX 100S.
All three GFX models have a 3.2-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen with 2.36M-dots and 100% coverage that can be tilted in three directions - forwards by 90-degrees, downwards by 45 degrees and, at the press of a button, 60-degrees out to the side.
All three cameras have dual memory card slots, both of which support the super-fast UHS-II memory card standard.
The Fujifilm GFX 100S uses exactly the same NP-W235 battery as the X-T4 APS-C sensor camera, rather than the TP-125 battery used by the GFX 100 and the GFX 50S.
This is good news if you're an X-series user looking to jump up to medium-format, but less welcome for photographers already invested in the GFX system.
The NP-W235 offers a CIPA-rated battery life of up to 465 shots on a single charge in normal mode, versus 400 shots for the TP-125, so the GFX 100S offers the best battery life of all three cameras when using a single battery.
The GFX 100 offers the clever trick of being able to use two batteries at once, though, so ultimately it has the best battery life at around 740-800 shots.
The GFX100S and also the GFX 100 can also be powered and charged via a USB-C connection, which is useful if you're out and about and have a compatible powerbank to plug the camera into. The GFX 50S doesn't offer this feature.
Unlike the GFX 100, there is no battery grip option for the GFX 100S.
The Fujifilm GFX 100 currently costs £9,999 / $9,999 body only, although we may see that fall following the introduction of the GFX 100S, as incredibly it's priced at £5,999 / $5,999, a whopping 40% cheaper than the cost of its big brother.
The GFX 50S had an RRP of £6199 / $6499 on launch three years ago, but nowadays it has a street price of around £4899 / $5499. As with the GFX 100, we'd expect those prices to fall further in the coming months following the introduction of the GFX 100S.
The new GFX 100S is a much smaller, much simpler and crucially much cheaper camera than the GFX 100, yet in some ways it even slightly out-performs its big brother, most notably burst shooting and its IBIS system.
Compared with the GFX 50S, it's clear that the GFX 100S marks a big step forwards from its 3-year old predecessor, especially given the similar pricing, so unless you can find a good close-out deal on the 50S or you prefer its more manageable 50-megapixel files, we'd advise going for the 100S.
So what do you think? Would you choose the new GFX 100S instead of the flagship GFX 100 or the previous GFX 50S model? Leave a comment below!