Fujifilm just officially announced the highly anticipated 100-megapixel medium-format GFX100. This camera is most certainly a beast designed for professional photographers who need a beast camera. It has it all, including ridiculous resolution that’s far beyond what the majority of people need. It’s an all-around amazing camera, as it should be for the $10,000 price tag. While that price might seem high, it’s actually not when you consider that a 100-megapixel Hasselblad costs nearly 50 thousand dollars and a 100-megapixel Phase One costs around 30 thousand. The Fujifilm GFX100 undercuts those by a significant amount, an understatement if there ever was one. Heck, I remember when the 40-megapixel Pentax 645D was introduced, and it was celebrated as the cheapest medium-format digital camera ever made, with an MSRP of “only” $10,000. While the GFX100 is by far the most expensive camera in Fujifilm’s lineup, it’s actually quite a bargain for those who can afford it.
This new camera is clearly intended for a small number of photographers. For the vast majority of people, the GFX100 is extreme overkill. There are people that do need this tool, and those people know who they are. Fujifilm hopes to entice them to buy into their system. My guess is that Fujifilm won’t make much, if any, money from this camera, but they’re hoping to sell some lenses, which is where the real profit margin is. The question is whether or not this camera is worth the extra price over the GFX50R or GFX50S, which can be had for much less and are nearly as good. I personally would love to have any one of them, but they’re well outside of my budget.
Something interesting that I wanted to share (that’s remotely relating to all this) is this last weekend I saw some beautiful large prints of amazing landscapes, such as the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier. Many of these prints were 2′ x 3′, some were a little larger. They looked great! When I stepped close to examine the pictures, say within 18″ of the prints, they were noticeably soft. From three feet away they looked amazing. Most people wouldn’t take the close look that I did and they’d never notice the softness. I have no idea what gear was used to capture those pictures. What I do know is that images captured from cameras like the Fujifilm X-T30 wouldn’t even be soft at those print sizes, unless I used a lesser lens or poor techniques. It makes me wonder how many people really need 50-megapixels of resolution, let alone 100-megapixels. Surely there are some who make wall-sized prints that will be viewed closely and they need a camera like the GFX100, but by far most do not. Most photographers would get pretty much the same exact results from the Fujifilm X-H1, since they’ll never print large enough to take advantage of the extremely high resolution sensor. Still, different people have different wants and needs, and this camera will fulfill that nicely for that small group. If you are one of those in that group, June 27th, which is when the GFX100 will be released, will be a great day for you.