This post is by Yaroslav Altunin from No Film School

Fujifilm has been a solid player when it comes to APS-C cameras. The Fujifilm X-H2s and X-T5 are excellent cameras at different price points that offer superb image quality, a creative shooting experience, and a design language that makes you want to show the camera off.

There’s a reason I call Fujifilm the King of APS-C. I own an X-H1, and it has been a wonderful part of my toolkit.

But on the other end of the sensor spectrum lies the GFX series. A medium-format camera system that, in my opinion, has exceeded the likes of Hasselblad. The Fujifilm GFX 100S offered a larger-than-life sensor and video features that made it an attractive tool for narrative filmmakers.

Now, we have the Fujifilm GFX100 II, or “The Second” as it’s being called and no matter how much it wants to be a medium format tool for photography, it’s a cinema camera at heart.


The Second Coming

Top view of the GFX100 II

Okay, maybe the biblical comparison is too over the top, but I think the updated feature set this camera brings to the market deserves some praise. I had a chance to preview the GFX100 II at NAB 2023, and I was impressed, to say the least.

The design takes more cues from the chunky GFX 100 than the GFX 100S and feels great in the hand. Inside is a new 102-megapixel high-speed sensor that measures 43.8mm by 32.9mm and 55mm diagonally which is 1.7x the size of a standard 35mm full-frame sensor.

Fujifilm’s fifth generation X-Processor 5 image processing engine is powering this large sensor, which the company claims will double the readout speed compared to the previous generation processor. Because of this, creative should see increases in high-speed shooting, continuous shutter mode, autofocus, and video.

Fujifilm GFX100 II w/ external fan.

With a base ISO of 80, the GFX100 II has the lowest noise levels of any GFX camera. The new sensor also has better-optimized photosites, which increases the light-gathering efficiency at the edge of the sensor. This should improve both image quality at the edges and increase AF accuracy.

The ISO range of 80-12,800 can be expanded to 40-102,400 with a shutter range of 60mins to 1/4000sec when using the mechanical shutter and 60mins to 32,000sec when using the electronic shutter. These are 16-bit, high-dynamic range, raw images with a low noise.

Hardware-wise, creatives will find IBIS of up to 8-stops with compatible lenses. There’s also a 1.0x viewfinder magnification, a high-magnification, high-definition 9.44-million-dot EVF, and a larger sub-LCD tilty touch screen on the back.

But what’s really impressive is how fast you’ll get these images. When Burst shooting, performance increased to 8.0 frames per second over the previous generation’s 5 fps when using the mechanical shutter.

This turns a medium format camera into something that can finally capture action and sports on top of the usual stuff like fashion, commercials, and landscape.

Much like all the new tools on the market, the GFX100 II includes AI subject-detection autofocus from the X-H2S, developed with Deep Learning technology. However, we get an updated prediction AF algorithm for the new GFX so it can track and detect animals, birds, and vehicles. In addition, we can now add other fast-moving objects like insects and drones.

The Things Filmmakers Need

Side view of the Fujifilm GFX100 II

However you want to look at the Fujifilm GFX100 II, it feels built for film from the ground up. Yes, it’s a medium-format photography system that punches almost as fast as smaller cameras, but it has a bigger sensor. Yet, its new video features are just dying to shoot a movie.

Much like the X-H2s, filmmakers can now record 4:2:2 10-bit ProRes (422, HQ, and LT) internally. Plug in an HDMI Type-A cable, and you can send 12-bit 4:2:2 ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) to a compatible recorder.

All these flavors can be recorded at the full width of the massive 55mm sensor in 4K/60p to either a CFExpress Type-B or an SD card (depending on your resolution, framerate, and codec). This can go up to 8K/30p with a bit of a crop.

All at a suspected 13+ stops of dynamic range (final numbers are TBD).

Fujifilm X-H2s using Frame.io

When shooting internal ProRes, creatives can also record h.264 and ProRes 422 Proxy files simultaneously to streamline post-production.

But here’s what makes this new tool production-ready.

The new GFX comes with Frame.io built-in. There is no need for an external battery grip anymore. I mean, there is a battery grip, but it’s just a battery grip now.

So, not only can creatives make use of the cloud-based post-production workflow without additional gear, but when utilizing Atomos AirGlu BT, the GFX gets timecode capabilities.

On top of that, the GFX100 II also comes with Ethernet and USB-C, which unlocks direct-to-SSD recording in addition to supporting Frame.io. Other video features include object priority AF, waveform and vector scope monitoring, and a recording flag visible around the live view area.

Lens Choices

Fujifilm GF 55mm f/1.7

The only issue that comes with shooting on such a large sensor is your lens choice. This is why Fujifilm has provided multiple crop and aspect ratio options ready for cinema.

Lens-wise, creatives will find the GF line a perfect companion to the camera. A new Fujinon GF55mm f/1.7 R WR was also announced with this camera. At f/1.7, that’s one of the fastest modern medium format lenses on the market.

Fujifilm GF 110mm & GF 30mm tilt-shift lenses

There are also two new tilt-shift lenses. The Fujinon GF30mm f/5.6 T/S and the Fujinon GF110mm f/5.6 T/S macro. While not the right choice for every shot, they do provide some unique composition opportunities.

Kipon Baveyes Mamiya 645 to GFX 0.8x focal reducer.\u200b

If that won’t fit your production, filmmakers can also utilize the Vista Vision Fujinon Premista lenses.

Still not your jam? Get a Mamiya (or Hasselblad) to GFX focal reducer from Kipon, and a whole new world of medium format lenses opens up.

Is This Camera For You?

The Fujifilm GFX100 II (or The Second) is as product-ready as you’ll get with medium format without renting an ARRI Alexa 65.

And for $7,499.95, that feels like theft.

Even with the market as saturated as it is, I’ve dreamed of a Fujifilm cinema camera for the past five years. I knew it was the only way to get the depth of an Alexa 65. The original GFX 100 and 100S were as close as I could have gotten.

Now, I have The Second, and I can’t wait to shoot on it.