The Fujifilm GFX 100: Can Medium Format Match the Demands of Wedding Photography?

When you think of medium format cameras, you do not generally think of them as working fast enough to keep up with the demands of wedding photography, but on the other hand, the Fujifilm GFX 100 is not a normal medium format camera. This great video discusses how well it performs for wedding photography.

Coming to you from John Branch IV Photography, this excellent video discusses using Fujifilm's GFX 100 camera for wedding photography. No doubt, the GFX 100 is an absolutely stunning camera that revolutionized medium format in several ways, such as offering more advanced autofocus that can handle a much wider range of situations. But of course, its most revolutionary offering was its price, which significantly undercut traditional medium format price levels. Still, wedding photography can place a lot of demand on a camera, and wedding photographers often prefer high-level cameras that offer consistently good performance, especially since there are no do-overs in the genre. On the other hand, one huge advantage is that at such a high level of resolution, you are left with a huge range of options when it comes to cropping and compositions, and that can even cut back on the number of lenses you need to carry. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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16 Comments

Kerry Roberts's picture

Guess everyone has forgotten all pro wedding photography use to be accomplished with medium format cameras - hasselblad and mamiya. Did not need to shoot high frame rates and 3000 images to get 150 great images or so for presentation/albums.

Tim Ericsson's picture

Or Bronica! Or Contax! What lovely beasts they were. But I can imagine that many professionals today (some of whom were children when digital eclipsed film) have grown up learning the shoot with the ability to autofocus quickly and take a nearly endless amount of images, so anything less would look like a major disadvantage.

In any event, I'm very upset to see Fuji create this camera. I'm very happy with my X-T series cameras and lenses and would very much like not to be seduced by these machines!

Indy Thomas's picture

Completely agree.
The notion that mad frame rates are mandatory for wedding photography is a narrative that has sprung out of feckless newbies “spraying and praying “.
We shot hundreds of weddings with MF and manual wind 35 SLRs. One learned the craft and used discipline to ensure that you got the shot and still had room on the roll for key moments.
One also knew how to manage film use so as not to run out of film before the end of the reception.

Matt Williams's picture

I don't think anyone's forgotten that, they just remember that times have changed and so have the expectations of clients. Show up to a wedding as the photographer holding a Hasselblad without having discussed it previously and see how well that goes. Especially when you have to explain afterward that you missed [whatever moment the couple thought was important] because you had already shot 12 photos and needed to change rolls.

Clients now EXPECT in-focus shots of all critical moments - they should, too, given the AF and frame rate capabilities of digital cameras.

I know wedding photogs who shoot with Contax 645's and Mamiyas but it is ALWAYS discussed with the couple ahead of time.

ignacy matuszewski's picture

you change backs instead. it was common practice to have 2 bodies and several film backs with an assistant giving you fresh setup. Also, when you're experienced you don't missfocus that much, few years ago i've been doing fashion and my lens of choice was 90TS-E. I had 80% of shots in focus, same as 5D3 with 85 1.8, or even better than 5D3 with 85L.

Mike Shwarts's picture

What people are saying is that weddings were shot with manual focus and manual winding MF cameras. If that was possible in the past, then this Fuji with modern AF and 5 fps should do the job. Unless there is a fast-paced dance at the reception, is there any need to fire 10+ frames per second? Even then, 5 fps should be enough.

As long as the AF is fast enough, even in low light, and there is an appropriate selection of lenses to meet the needs, there is no reason the Fuji can't be used.

Matt Williams's picture

The GFX100 is an incredible machine with some incredible technology - it's actually a bit odd because technology has almost always trickled upward (from small sensors to larger ones). BSI was originally in a tiny cell phone sensor (Exmor) and moved to APS-C (NX1) and FF (a7RII), IBIS started in a 2/3" (Dimage A1) then 4/3 (E-510), etc. But the GFX100 leapt ahead of the lower resolution MF sensors with BSI, IBIS, phase detection, etc. I assume this is likely because the 50MP sensor is from late 2013 or early 2014 and the 100 is new. So I hope that stuff trickles down into a new 50 or 60 or whatever MP sensor.

It's too bad the GFX 100 is an absolute disaster of design, though. I have never in my life seen so many unlabeled, identically-shaped buttons on a camera. And the lack of a D-Pad (an awful Fuji trend of late) is a complete joke when you see how much empty space there is in that area.

Edit: I take some of this back. There aren't nearly as many unlabeled buttons as I recall. The buttons are, however, way too small. "Disaster of design" is way too strong.

Dana Goldstein's picture

I'm not a wedding photographer, I shoot editorial portraiture, but I absolutely love the design and never found the buttons an issue. I had to get used to the lack of a D pad coming from the 50s but that didn't take long. Ergonomics are a very personal and somewhat unexplainable thing. I wouldn't say so much that it's a "disaster of design," maybe just that it is for *you*. YMMV :)

William Faucher's picture

Thank your for your input! Being in the market for a GFX100 myself, this has been interesting to read.

Matt Williams's picture

Ok, looking at pics now on B&H, I'm not sure why I remembered it quite the way I did. There aren't nearly as many unlabeled buttons as I remember when I briefly played with one. I do prefer them to say "FN1" or something but it's ok. I do remember the buttons being way too small, though. Can't imagine using it with gloves.

The D-Pad thing is the most egregious issue given the amount of empty space exactly where it would be. Fuji is getting rid of it on a lot of their cameras and I hate that.

So, I will retract that it is a disaster. I do wish it had retained the drive mode dial/ISO dial of the XT series on the left side, though.

One feature I absolutely *love* is the sub-OLED screen below the main LCD screen. Having that to display the histogram is brilliant.

Rhonald Rose's picture

Yep, I wish the dial modes were there :-) I like my GFX-50S because of that.

Les Sucettes's picture

Or, GFX50s and be happy...

Malcolm Wright's picture

I thought that genres of photography, like wedding photography, are more to do with the lenses used, not the camera body?
Surely that's the whole point of inter- changeable lens cameras. Provided the camera body has the lenses available (native, 3rd party or via adaptor) to tackle the genre you're good to go?
Buttons are for bells and whistles.

Percy Ortiz's picture

Wedding photography is not about the camera or the lenses, it is about the ability of the photographer to tell a story visually, anticipating moments and knowing where and how to be a fly in the wall. Photographers are more preoccupied these days with their equipment and learning a couple of tricks on a youtube video than composition and storytelling.

I did my first wedding back in 1992 as an assistant. My main duty was to be an ace with reflectors, either bouncing light or shading light or blocking wind or creating wind, I also had to carry not lenses but 1 extra camera body and 2 film backs for the photographer, one with b&w film and one with transparency. The photographer had only one lens, a beautiful Carl Zeiss that he used to baby and wouldn't let anyone touch. I think it was a 105mm if I remember correctly :P oh and yeah the camera was Mamiya RB67

I miss the old days...

Stuart Carver's picture

I mean I’m sure it’s great but surely a more comfortable setup is practical for an all day shoot.

Ed Sanford's picture

Nice video guy...