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Fujifilm GFX100 II – My First Impressions and Quick Autofocus Test (vs GFX100S)


So guys,

here is part 2 of my initial impressions of the Fujifilm GFX100II and GF55mmF1.7.

In part 1 we covered the lens. Now it’s time to look at the GFX100II.

How did I get my hands on that gear?

Well, Fujifilm had one of its Italian Roadshow gear presentation in the lovely town of Trento just 30 minutes car drive away from my home. Luckily they already had the new gear :).

I was able to spend a total of 30 minutes with it. Not much, but enough to get some initial impressions of it (not a review, of course).

Fujifilm GFX100 II – My First Impressions (vs GFX100S)

The main star of the Fujifilm event was of course the Fujifilm GFX100 II.

And as such, I had to wait quite a while for other guys to finish their testings before I could get my hands on it.

Curiosity – A temptation for Full Framers

I had a quick conversation with the two guys who tested it before. Both are not Fujifilm GFX shooters (they shoot other systems like Canon mirrorless, Leica, etc).

And both went to the event only for the GFX100 II, to try to understand if it could be the one camera that makes them do the switch.

This is exactly Fuji’s main goal: attract people using other systems into the GFX system.

And it seems to work, as according to data we collecteded here on FujiRumors, for 39% of people who pre-ordered the GFX100 II, the GFX100II will be their first GFX camera.

For sure both guys who tested it were pleasantly surprised. Sadly I’ll never find out if they will do the switch, though.

Welcome to Beta

First things firsts: it was clearly a beta firmware.

For example: moving the focus point in live view or when reviewing the images was very laggy and nowhere near as responsive as on my GFX100S.

It happened that I moved the focus point for three times and nothing happened intially, but then suddenly the focus box made a jump of three focus points following my clicks. This was quite frustrating at moments and since my GFX100S has none of these issues and the GFX100II has an even faster sensor and processor, this is clearly a beta firmware issue.

That’s why, if already moving the focus point was laggy, I would suspend all judgement also regarding the autofocus, even though I will share what my results where down below.

Build Quality and Ergonomics

Given the limited time I had (about 30 minutes) and the beta firmware, I clearly can’t give you a final and full review. But I have some impressions I want to share, also in comparison with my Fujifilm GFX100S.

  • build quality:
    definitely tends towards the premium side. It might not be an 16 hours long hand polished Leica, but the feel is the best I ever had on any Fujifilm so far
  • excellent ergnomics:
    it has a PSAM dial, sure. But if you don’t mind that (or even prefer that), then the Fujifilm GFX100 II will reward you with an excellent grip, lots of well placed and nice to press function buttons, great care for the details (like the angled top screen for better visibility)

Dynamic Range (vs GFX100S)

  • I could not play around with the RAW files (I am still on Capture One 22) nor did I have the time to make a proper and valid side by side comparison with my GFX100S. But I can say this: when I asked the Fujifilm rep about dynamic range for stills, he told me that they have tested it once they got the camera, and they concluded there is a 1/3 to 2/3 stops of increased dynamic range for the Fujifilm GFX100 II vs GFX100S.
  • My guess is that this DR increase will be visible at ISO80, but it remains to see if at higher ISO values there will be still a DR advantage for the GFX100 II or if maybe the GFX100S will be better at high ISO. Because usually a faster sensor readout leads to less dynamic range. We will know when Photons to Photos will release their charts

Autofocus (vs GFX100S)

Tricky one, because I was using a pre-production camera and I had not time to make proper side by side comparisons with the GFX100S.

However, I shot a series of 8fps burts with the Fujifilm GFX100II and GF55mmF1.7. I also shortly made bursts with the GFX100II and GFX100S using the GF45mm.

Settings I’ve set:

  • 8fps mechanical shutter
  • release priority: the camera will take 8 images per second no matter what. I could have set it to “focus priority”, where it will only take an image when the camera thinks the image is also in focus, but I wanted to stress test it
  • subject: my wife with the stroller walking towards the camera
  • Boost: autofocus priority
  • face/eye autofocus enabled
  • GF55mmF1.7 used at f/1.7

Settings I’ve missed to check:

  • IBIS: I think IBIS was enabled. Not sure which mode, though. Probably “continuous” given how stable the image was in the viewfinder. I prefer the “shooting only” mode as I feel it works better than “continuous”.
  • I wish I had IBIS turned off, because I shot at fast shutter speeds anyway so IBIS was useless and I would have eliminated any risk of motion blur introduced by the IBIS itself (especially on a pre-production camera without final firmware)


  • first advantage for the GFX100II over the GFX100S: much longer bursts. I used UHS-II SD-Cards only, but the bursts on GFX100II were much longer than on my GFX100S, showing that one of the big limitations on the GFX100S is the internal camera buffer. Evidently the GFX100S has a limited internal storage. As Fujifilm told us during the X summit here, the GFX100II comes with a solid 128GB internal buffer storage
  • My GFX100S at 5fps could not shoot nearly as long bursts at the GFX100II at 8fps

New Algorithm magic

  • the GFX100II started tracking my wife from much further away than my GFX100S.
  • I noticed that the GFX100S could get distracted by people in the background and jump to their faces (sample in full size here and crop here)
  • the GFX100II did not get distracted by other people in the frame. It did stick to my wife no matter how many people were around

What’s Sharp – My Standard

It’s important to give context to the results. So here is my standard:

The last one I have shared is pretty much the least sharp result I got.

Tracking Performance with GF55mmF1.7

  • I shot a burst of 40 images with (pre-production) GFX100II and GF55mmF1.7
  • 17 images where sharp
  • 11 images slightly out of focus
  • 12 images where not enough in focus for me

What I noticed: most of the images that were not really sharp, were those where my wife was standing far away (about 32 feet – 10 meter away). The closer she got, the better the GFX100II nailed focus.

Autofocus Conclusion vs GFX100S

Fujifilm has officially said that the GFX100II will give you 21% sharper images over the GFX100S (I guess at equal settings and burst rates of 5fps).

I guess we will have to trust them on this one.

For me personally it is hard to make any solid conclusion. Especially considering the beta nature of the GFX100II I handled. So I would expect final prodution samples not only to move the focus point smoother, but also to manage autofocus better.

But getting almost 50% sharp images at 8fps with release priority (not focus priority) with a non linear motor lens like the GF55mmF1.7 shot at f/1.7 only is not bad at all.

So, combine a vastly improved AF algorithm that recognises subjects more easily from further distance with longer bursts (even with SD-card only) and 8fps per second, and you’ll end up with a keeper rate I can only dream of on my GFX100S.

Sure, we are not on par with the 80%+ accuracy of the X-H2S has when tracking birds even with busy background. But the GFX100II is probably not the Nr.1 choice for wildlife photography anyway.

And also keep in mind: my testing was done in a hurry (I wanted to let also other guys try the camera) and without going over all the settings properly (as described above). So do not take my accuracy rating as the final judgment and the absolute turth abotu this camera.

Overall conclusion

The problem of the Fujifilm GFX100 II is that the Fujifilm GFX100S is still a very capable camera. And if, like me, you do mostly landscape photography, then, especially with the current massive rebate, the GFX100S is still a wonderful option.

So, if you own a GFX100S for landscape photography, I would recommend to stick with it, unless every bit of dynamic range is important for you. In that case, if it turns out that you really get 2/3 stops increased dynamic range with the GFX100II as the Fujifilm rep told me, then you might want to upgrade anyway.

As far as autofocus goes, my first impression is that given the overall improvement, not necessarily in terms of 8fps, but more in terms of the new AF algorithm, I could find a wider use case for my GFX system (more family images) if I’d add the GFX100II to my system.

And here is another problem: my X system is also so good, that I don’t know if I need better autofocus on my GFX system.

But if I was on GFX system only, I’d upgrade from GFX100S to GFX100II for the new autofocus algorithm alone.