Fujifilm GFX 100S vs Nikon D800
The Fujifilm GFX 100S and the Nikon D800 are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2021 and February 2012. The GFX 100S is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D800 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a medium format (GFX 100S) and a full frame (D800) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 101.8 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 36.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm GFX 100S and the Nikon D800? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm GFX 100S and the Nikon D800 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D800 is notably larger (15 percent) than the Fujifilm GFX 100S. Moreover, the D800 is markedly heavier (11 percent) than the GFX 100S. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
Concerning battery life, the GFX 100S gets 460 shots out of its NP-W235 battery, while the D800 can take 900 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15 power pack. The power pack in the GFX 100S can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||150 mm||104 mm||87 mm||900 g||460||Y||Jan 2021||5,999|
|2.||Nikon D800||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||900||Y||Feb 2012||2,999|
|3.||Canon R5||138 mm||98 mm||88 mm||738 g||320||Y||Jul 2020||3,899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||135 mm||93 mm||64 mm||607 g||500||Y||Feb 2020||1,699|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100||156 mm||144 mm||75 mm||1320 g||800||Y||May 2019||9,999|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||161 mm||97 mm||66 mm||775 g||400||Y||Sep 2018||4,499|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||148 mm||94 mm||91 mm||740 g||400||Y||Sep 2016||6,499|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||148 mm||97 mm||70 mm||766 g||..||Y||Jun 2019||5,750|
|9.||Leica SL2-S||146 mm||107 mm||83 mm||931 g||510||Y||Dec 2020||4,895|
|10.||Leica SL2||146 mm||107 mm||42 mm||953 g||370||Y||Nov 2019||5,999|
|11.||Nikon D850||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299|
|12.||Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|13.||Nikon D610||141 mm||113 mm||82 mm||850 g||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999|
|14.||Nikon D800E||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||900||Y||Feb 2012||3,299|
|15.||Nikon D700||147 mm||123 mm||77 mm||1074 g||1000||Y||Jul 2008||2,999|
|16.||Pentax K-3 III||135 mm||104 mm||74 mm||820 g||800||Y||Mar 2021||1,999|
|17.||Sony A1||129 mm||97 mm||81 mm||737 g||530||Y||Jan 2021||6,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D800 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the GFX 100S, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm GFX 100S features a medium format sensor and the Nikon D800 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D800 is 40 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 0.79 and 1.0. The sensor in the GFX 100S has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D800 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 101.8MP, the GFX 100S offers a higher resolution than the D800 (36.2MP), but the GFX 100S has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.76μm versus 4.88μm for the D800). However, the GFX 100S is a much more recent model (by 8 years and 11 months) than the D800, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GFX 100S has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Fujifilm GFX 100S implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the GFX 100S for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 58.2 x 43.7 inches or 147.9 x 110.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 46.6 x 34.9 inches or 118.3 x 88.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 38.8 x 29.1 inches or 98.6 x 74 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D800 are 36.8 x 24.6 inches or 93.5 x 62.4 cm for good quality, 29.4 x 19.6 inches or 74.8 x 49.9 cm for very good quality, and 24.5 x 16.4 inches or 62.3 x 41.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The GFX 100S has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
Unlike the D800, the GFX 100S has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (YESMP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Fujifilm GFX 100S has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 50-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D800 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-25600.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Medium Format||101.8||11648||8736||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|2.||Nikon D800||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.3||14.4||2853||95|
|3.||Canon R5||Full Frame||44.8||8192||5464||8k/30p||25.3||14.6||3042||95|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100||Medium Format||101.8||11648||8736||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/30p||..||..||..||..|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||none||..||..||..||..|
|9.||Leica SL2-S||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.1||3504||95|
|10.||Leica SL2||Full Frame||46.7||8368||5584||4K/60p||..||..||..||..|
|11.||Nikon D850||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100|
|12.||Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|13.||Nikon D610||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94|
|14.||Nikon D800E||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.6||14.3||2979||96|
|15.||Nikon D700||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2303||80|
|16.||Pentax K-3 III||APS-C||25.6||6192||4128||4K/30p||..||..||..||..|
|17.||Sony A1||Full Frame||49.8||8640||5760||8k/30p||..||..||..||..|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GFX 100S provides a higher video resolution than the D800. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the GFX 100S has an electronic viewfinder (3690k dots), while the D800 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the GFX 100S has a higher magnification than the one of the D800 (0.77x vs 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm GFX 100S and Nikon D800 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||3690||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100||optional||Y||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.0||n||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||3690||n||3.2||2360||tilting||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||optional||Y||3.2||2360||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||3690||n||3.6||2360||fixed||Y||1/2000s||2.7||n||n|
|16.||Pentax K-3 III||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||Y|
One feature that differentiates the GFX 100S and the D800 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The GFX 100S reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the D800 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the GFX 100S is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm GFX 100S and the Nikon D800 both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The GFX 100S writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the D800 uses Compact Flash or SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. The GFX 100S supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the D800 can use UHS-I cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Fujifilm GFX 100S and Nikon D800 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||-||3.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Pentax K-3 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
It is notable that the GFX 100S offers wifi support, while the D800 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
The GFX 100S is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Fujifilm. In contrast, the D800 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D800 was succeeded by the Nikon D810. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Fujifilm GFX 100S better than the Nikon D800 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm GFX 100S:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (101.8 vs 36.2MP) with a 65% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.77x vs 0.70x).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2360k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a full-flex screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (150x104mm vs 146x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 100g or 10 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Reflects 8 years and 11 months of technical progress since the D800 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D800:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (900 versus 460) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2012).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GFX 100S is the clear winner of the match-up (25 : 7 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm GFX 100S and the Nikon D800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GFX 100S or the D800 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm GFX 100S||5/5||..||90/100||..||5/5||Jan 2021||5,999|
|2.||Nikon D800||5/5||+ +||82/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||2,999|
|3.||Canon R5||4.5/5||..||91/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2020||3,899|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T4||5/5||+ +||..||5/5||5/5||Feb 2020||1,699|
|5.||Fujifilm GFX 100||4.5/5||+ +||90/100||5/5||4.5/5||May 2019||9,999|
|6.||Fujifilm GFX 50R||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2018||4,499|
|7.||Fujifilm GFX 50S||..||..||85/100||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2016||6,499|
|8.||Hasselblad X1D II||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2019||5,750|
|9.||Leica SL2-S||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Dec 2020||4,895|
|10.||Leica SL2||4/5||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2019||5,999|
|11.||Nikon D850||4.5/5||+ +||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299|
|12.||Nikon D810||5/5||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|13.||Nikon D610||4/5||+ +||87/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,999|
|14.||Nikon D800E||..||..||84/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||3,299|
|15.||Nikon D700||..||89/100||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2008||2,999|
|16.||Pentax K-3 III||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2021||1,999|
|17.||Sony A1||5/5||o||93/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2021||6,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Fujifilm GFX 100S vs Nikon D800
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Nikon D800|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm G mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2021||February 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 5,999||USD 2,999|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Nikon D800|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||43.8 x 32.9 mm||35.9 x 24.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||1441.02 mm2||861.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.8 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||101.8 Megapixels||36.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||11648 x 8736 pixels||7360 x 4912 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||4.88 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.06 MP/cm2||4.20 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 6,400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||50 - 102,400 ISO||50 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||X-Processor 4||EXPEED 3|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||95|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.4|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||2853|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Nikon D800|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3690k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||2360k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fully flexible screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Nikon D800|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||4 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens stabilization only|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||Dual UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Nikon D800|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 3.2||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm GFX 100S||Nikon D800|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||460 shots per charge||900 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
150 x 104 x 87 mm
(5.9 x 4.1 x 3.4 in)
146 x 123 x 82 mm
(5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in)
|Camera Weight||900 g (31.7 oz)||1000 g (35.3 oz)|
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