Now Available: The Fuji GFX 50S
Fujis' medium format mirrorless camera, the Fujifilm GFX 50S, is now available for pre-order and will start shipping February 28, 2017.
Fuji vs. Hasselblad
With two eagerly-anticipated medium format cameras (the other being the Hasselblad X1D covered earlier), it is the best time to give a quick rundown of the GFX 50S and its best features.
- 51.4MP FUJIFILM G-Format 43.8 x 32.9mm Sensor (1.7x of 35mm)
- Three new FUJINON GF Lenses
- To be followed by 3 additional lenses later in 2017
- X Processor Pro & Full HD Recording @ 29.97p
- Weight: 43 ounces (similar to full-frame DSLR)
- Touchscreen LCD & Detachable Viewfinder
- Initial Lenses: GF 63mm, 32-64mm, 120mm Macro
Sensor & Lenses
The Fujifilm GFX 50S is powered by a 51.4 megapixel 43.8 x 32.9mm (same as the Hasselblad X1D-50C) CMOS sensor. The sensor has been configured to churn out a multitude of aspect ratios. These include 4:3 which is the traditional native format, 3:2, 1:1, 6:17, 4:5 and 6:7.
The new G-format sensor will see a new lens mount and a corresponding new line of lenses. Fuji has announced that they will launch six new lenses along with the camera. One of them will be the weather-sealed Fujifilm GF 110mm (87mm on 35mm format) f/2 R LM WR.
The Fujifilm H Mount Adapter G (coming soon) – allows you to use lenses H-Mount Lenses on the GFX camera body. By attaching this adapter to the GFX 50S, a total of 9 super EBC Fujinon HC interchangeable lenses and 1 teleconverter developed for the GX645AF can be used.
X-Processor Pro Processing
Fuji opted not to go the X-trans route for the purpose of managing the image processing aspect of his camera. X-trans is a highly capable image processing engine. It could very well be that Fuji did not want the pricing to be too high and therefore chose the less pricey option. Probably the reason they opted for X-Processor Pro.
Native ISO range of the GFX 50S is 100 – 12800.
The build quality of the Fujifilm GFX 50S is good. So is the weather sealing. Fuji has announced that the camera freezeproof to -10˚C.
The buttons and dials on the camera body can easily be accessed for menu-free operation. Mechanical controls are always faster than electronic menu based controls. Old timers especially film photographers will love this.
There is no built-in viewfinder, electronic or otherwise. The viewfinder is attachable separately. The external viewfinder is a little bit bulky, but you could choose not to use it and just compose using the rear LCD screen instead.
There is an adapter (EVF-TL1, sold separately) for using the electronic viewfinder (EVF) in multiple angles (90° vertically and swung ±45°). A vertical battery grip provides some extra juice when working out in the field.
A vertical battery grip provides some extra juice when working out in the field. The design supports tethered shooting. That should please studio photographers especially fashion and product photographers looking to utilize the higher amount of detail.
Drawbacks of the Fujifilm GFX 50S
Absence of a Leaf Shutter
The GFX 50S doesn’t have a leaf shutter. Something that its chief competitor the Hasselblad X1D-50C has.
The absence of a leaf shutter restricts a fast sync speed with your flash/strobe. The focal plane shutter on the GFX 50S can sync only at about 1/125.
The Hasselblad can go all the way to 1/500 and beyond, thanks to the basic construction of leaf shutters.
A thing that is going to work against the Fuji GFX 50S is its increased size. That, however, depends on whether you look at the GFX 50S as a purely mirrorless camera regardless of the sensor size, or a miniaturized medium format digital camera.
Mirrorless cameras are liked and preferred over DSLRs because they are lighter and yet give almost all of the benefits that a traditional DSLR offers.
The Hasselblad X1D-50C is certainly in tune with that understanding. The Fuji, however, is bulkier, despite being a mirrorless.
Some of the photographers who tested the pre-production camera, like Philippe Marinig, have vouched for that. Although, the Fujifilm GFX 50S is lighter than traditional medium format cameras.
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Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.
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