Despite the boxy design, Fujifilm has added a significant hand grip to the front of the camera. The front dial is replaced by a substantial knurled ring around the shutter button, which in turn displaces the On/Off function to a small switch alongside. We're not all fans of its position but thankfully it's well-positioned enough that we can't imagine it being inadvertently switched.

Despite its size, the GFX 50R fits well in the hand. The scaling-up of the front and rear grips has left them as substantial enough outcrops to buttress your hand against.


Like the 50S, the GFX 50R has a mechanical shutter, with the option to use an electronic first curtain, to reduce the risk of shutter-induced vibration. There's also a completely silent, fully electronic shutter mode but that big sensor has slow-enough readout that the rolling shutter effect is pretty dramatic.The lack of four-way controller makes the X-E3 an obvious reference point for the GFX 50R. The control layout is slightly different but the concept and interface are essentially the same. If you take the four directional swipes into account, the GFX 50R has the same number of control points as the 50S, just furthering the '50S in a different box' vibe.

Operation and Controls

Menus are a match for all recent Fujifilms, with easy to follow tabs along the side and a customizable 'My Menu' tab.

The quick-access 'Q' Menu can be also be reconfigured

The menus in the GFX 50R are the same as in other recent Fujifilm cameras: all the options are spread out across six section tabs, with a seventh acting as a customizable 'My Menu' tab.

There's also the familiar 'Q' Menu for semi-fast access to anything you've not assigned to a button. This can be customized and is touch-sensitive. If you operate the Q Menu using the touchscreen, the camera pops-up a swipeable strip of the available options. If you use the joystick and dials to navigate it, the camera simply scrolls through the options, without showing you your options.

The camera's Q menu lets you select sixteen settings you want semi-fast access to.

Turning the control dial scrolls through the options, tapping the screen pops-up a swipeable array of options.


The camera starts up reasonably quickly and overall operation speeds are adequate.

Customization

The GFX 50R doesn't have a four-way controller on the back but there are still plenty of direct control points.

There are a total of 10 physical buttons that can be customized on the GFX 50R, if you include the four direction swipes of the rear screen. Additionally, the camera's Q.menu can also be customized with frequently changed settings.

Each of the ten Fn buttons (2 not shown) can hold the following settings:
  • Image Size
  • Image Quality
  • Raw
  • Film Simulation
  • Grain Effect
  • Color Chrome Effect
  • Dynamic Range
  • White Balance
  • Select Custom Settings
  • Focus Area
  • Focus Check
  • AF Mode
  • Rapid AF
  • Face/Eye Detection
  • Drive Button
  • Self-timer
  • AE BKT Setting
  • Focus BKT Setting
  • Photometry (metering)
  • Shutter Type
  • Flicker Reduction
  • ISO
  • 35mm Format Mode
  • Wireless Comm.
  • Flash Function Setting
  • TTL - Lock
  • Modeling Flash
  • Mic Level Adjust
  • Preview DoF
  • Preview Exp./WB in Manual Mode
  • Natural Live View
  • Histogram
  • Electronic Level
  • Large Indicators Mode
  • Front Dial Switch
  • AE Lock Only
  • AF Lock Only
  • AE/AF Lock
  • AF-On
  • Lock Setting
  • Auto Image Transfer
  • Select Pairing Destination
  • Bluetooth On/Off
  • Playback
  • None

The options that can be assigned are essentially the same as those on the GFX 50S. There are a couple of differences (the 50R's dedicated Exposure Comp dial means you can't assign that option to a button), but in general, you have the same degree of customization.

Auto ISO

As has become standard on Fujifilm cameras, the GFX 50R has three Auto ISO banks, each of which lets you specify the lowest and highest ISO setting the camera should use, along with the shutter speed threshold that should be dropped to, before upping the ISO. Unlike recent X-series cameras, there's no 'Auto' shutter speed setting to relate this threshold to the focal length being used.

The Auto ISO implementation on the GFX 50R gives you three 'slots' to configure but, unlike other Fujifilm modes, doesn't let you set a Minimum Shutter Speed threshold related to the current focal length.

You can at least assign Auto ISO Settings to one of the camera's buttons, to make it easy to cycle between the three different sets of settings, making it relatively easy to switch between a preset defined to avoid hand shake and a faster one to prevent subject movement, or between settings chosen with different lenses in mind. It's not a terrible implementation for a camera that will primarily be used with prime lenses but we prefer to see focal-length-related thresholds and, ideally the option to bias these faster and slower.

Auto ISO can be used in full manual mode during both stills and video capture, and in conjunction with exposure compensation.

Battery

The GFX 50R uses the same NP-T125 battery as the GFX 50S, slotting in through the bottom of the camera. It's a 14Wh unit that will power the camera to a CIPA rating of 400 shots per charge. The usual caveats apply: it's quite common to get many, many more shots than this but the numbers are usually comparable between cameras.

The camera will tether over its USB socket but requires a separate power cable. It cannot charge over USB.