FUJIFILM GFX100 II – Mini Documentary with Sample Footage

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The new FUJIFILM GFX100 II large format camera was announced a while back, promising to be a prominent candidate runner-up to our CineD camera of the year 2023. Why is it so special to deserve this consideration, you may ask? Well, uniqueness is the name of the game here. Having a larger than full-frame sensor on a camera that can record in up to 8K in ProRes HQ quality internally is not something we have seen before.

We already covered the GFX100 II extensively by conducting an exclusive interview with the leaders of the product planning team, and a full camera review was published as well. In my review, I highlighted the diverse recording formats, resolutions, and the ability to record to an external SSD, next to a completely new feature that allows 2x anamorphic recording. (Not only de-squeezing in preview as other cameras do). Well, specifications aside, how does it feel to run & gun with the camera?

The FUJIFILM GFX100 II, is a very capable camera indeed
The FUJIFILM GFX100 II, is a very capable camera indeed. Image credit: CineD

Missing in my review

What’s missing in order to complete the task of “knowing the camera” better is a lab test (coming up very soon), engaging footage using a 2x anamorphic lens (to explore the 2x anamorphic recording), and last but not least, a “normal” mini-documentary like we usually do to really “feel the camera” and observe how it behaves in the field.

Back in summer, I met with Yokoe-san who was kind enough to allow me to spend a few hours together with him. Yokoe-san’s goal is to “bring Japanese nature to your living room” by creating small and beautiful terrariums. (More details about his company can be found here).

My idea was to deploy the new FUJIFILM GFX100 II in its most minimalistic way, meaning, mostly handheld (I used a tripod only for the main interview). I set the camera on its highest recording quality (WITHOUT cropping the image) to “Cine 5.8K”, which, in a way, is my favorite because of its given 2.35:1 aspect ratio. My main lens for this shoot was the FUJIFILM GF 35-70mm lens. It’s not a fast one by any means, yet it’s a relatively compact, good all-rounder lens that also happens to be modestly priced.

GFX100 II highest resolution non-cropped mode
GFX100 II highest resolution non-cropped mode. Image credit: CineD

GFX100 II summary

As I delved deeply into various filming modes, resolutions, and more in my review, I also highlighted the camera’s ergonomics. This aspect is extremely important for me when running & gunning. If I have to summarize it all, I have to say: I truly like what comes out of this camera! That being said, I wish that the internal noise reduction could have been further controlled beyond the available “-3”. Noise in the footage is not necessarily always a bad thing as it can greatly contribute to the picture aesthetic most of us are after. In this regard, I sometimes find the camera to be “too smooth”. In terms of handling, operators with large hands will enjoy using this camera.

All in all, FUJIFILM did a remarkable job in creating a “Swiss Army Knife” camera, one that can be used in so many kinds of productions. (The versatility of this camera is really outstanding). Next, I would love to see FUJIFILM opening up to third-party lens manufacturers by allowing them to license the FG mount protocol. In doing so, they could offer the GFX line of camera users a much broader lens selection, essential for the success of the camera format.

On the go with Yokoe-san
On the go with Yokoe-san. Credit: CineD

Before closing this article, I would like to thank Ayumi Shimaura-san for connecting me to Yokoe-san and assisting me with translation. I would also like to thank our editor, Jay Choma for doing a marvelous job in editing a small, lovely story from the ordinary footage I shared with her.

Tech info: Filmed with FUJIFILM GFX100 II, 5.8K/24p, ProRes HQ, F-Log 2. LUT by

What do you think about the FUJIFILM GFX100 II? Did you ever consider using a large format camera in your productions? Please share with us your comments in the section below.


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