What’s Really Going on with the Fuji GFX 100 II? | The PetaPixel Podcast

This week on The PetaPixel Podcast, the team is joined by camera expert Jim Kasson who explains what he found in testing the new medium format Fujifilm GFX100 II and why it matters.

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The Fujifilm GFX100 II’s ISO 80 Mystery Has Been Solved

On Monday morning, PetaPixel published an in-depth look at two puzzling aspects of the Fujifilm GFX100 II medium-format camera. The first is that the camera shoots using a 12-bit ADC precision mode when shooting at its highly-touted eight frames per second drive mode. The other confusing part of the camera is that it appeared to be producing inexplicably good engineering dynamic range performance at its new native low ISO 80 setting.

By Monday morning, Kasson had been unable to figure out what was going on with the GFX100 II at ISO 80. It had been a bit of a bugbear for the expert.

However, that night, Kasson had cracked the code.

“I could kick myself. The answer is obvious. At ISO 80 those folks at Fujifilm have dropped all the data below the nominal black point, slicing off the left half of the histogram, and cutting the measured read noise in half of what it would normally be. For shame, Fujifilm. For shame, Jim. I should have figured this out long ago,” Kasson writes.

Alongside discussing what the GFX100 II does at ISO 80 on The PetaPixel Podcast, Kasson has published a follow-up blog post that explains more about black-point subtraction.

“I’ve never seen a camera do what the GFX100 II does, which is subtract (part of) the black point for one ISO setting, and not perform the subtraction for the other ISO settings. I struggle to imagine what was going through the Fujifilm engineers’ heads when they decided to do that,” writes Kasson.

As far as real-world photography is concerned, should photographers still shoot at ISO 80?

“Now that we know more about what the GFX100 II does at ISO 80, should we use that ISO setting? I think so, but if you start to see shadow color shifts with heroic lifting, it’s probably a good idea to switch to ISO 100 and use the calibration tools in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw,” says Kasson.

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