Fujifilm GFX 50S Review: Modern MF
The Fujifilm GFX 50S is the first camera in the company’s new medium format GF series. It uses a 51.4MP Medium Format CMOS sensor with a Bayer filter array. Like its smaller sensor X-series siblings, it offers retro-styling and direct controls in a well-balanced (albeit large) mirrorless body.
At 43.8 × 32.9mm, the sensor in the GFX 50S is smaller in surface area than film medium format. However it is identical in size and pixel count to those offered in the current crop of medium format digital cameras on the market (with the exception of the Phase One XF and the Hasselblad H6D). The sensor is 1.7x the surface area of full frame.
- 51.4MP medium format CMOS sensor (43.8 × 32.9mm) with Bayer filter array
- 3.69M-dot OLED Removable EVF
- 3.2" 2.36M-dot touch LCD tilts horizontally and vertically
- AF-point-selection joystick
- Film Simulation modes
- 1/125 sec flash sync speed
- 3 fps continuous shooting
- 1080/30p video capture
- In-camera Raw processing
- Dual SD card slots (UHS-II)
- USB 3.0 socket
How does it fit in?
The GFX 50S is an entirely new system and uses the brand new 'G' mount. At launch, three lenses will be available (with three more to ship by year's end). If you're turned off by the limited lens choice, don't be, in just five years, the company added 23 lenses to the X-mount lineup, turning a young system into one with lots of choices. So we'll likely see more GF lenses announced relatively soon.
Our Fujifilm Photokina interview alluded to the fact that the company has felt ready to go bigger for some time. This makes sense: with numerous brands operating in the Full Frame arena, it seems sensible to leapfrog that format all together. It's also a good way to keep product lines from cannibalizing one another.
The camera clearly shares a lot with its high-end X-series siblings, but not their X-Trans sensor array. Rather the GFX 50S uses a more traditional Bayer sensor array. The justification: Bayer reduces the complexities of signal processing, which is important when data is coming from such a large sensor.
With the GFX 50S you have the promise of an outstanding ergonomic experience - one in which company's X-series cameras are known for - coupled with a large sensor capable of lovely “Fujifilm” color renditions. The question is can it live up to this promise?
Stacking it up
Fujifilm is hoping the GFX 50S will find its way into the hands of commercial shooters working in fashion, portraiture or landscape. Of course, there are quite a few cameras on the market satisfying the needs of photographers in those disciplines. We've compared the GFX 50S to quite a few in the table below. But cameras like the Pentax K-1 and Sony a7R II also make for worthwhile comparisons.
EOS 5DS R
|Pentax 645Z||Hasselblad X1D|
|Sensor size||43.8 × 32.9mm||35.9 x 24.0mm||35.9 x 24.0mm||43.8 × 32.9mm||43.8 x 32.9mm|
|Max resolution||8256 x 6192px||8688 x 5792px||7360 x 4912px||8256 × 6192px||8272 x 6200px|
|Min ISO||ISO 100
|ISO 100||ISO 100|
|ISO 12,800 (Expand 51,200)||ISO 204,800
|Max frame rate||3 fps||5 fps||5 fps||3 fps||2.3 fps|
|Autofocus system||On-sensor Contrast Detect||Dedicated 61-point AF sensor w/ 41 cross-type||Dedicated 51-point AF Sensor w/ 15 cross-type||Dedicated 27-point AF sensor w/ 25 cross-type||On-sensor Contrast Detect|
|Metering||On-sensor metering (256-zone)||150k-pixel (RGB+IR) metering sensor||91k-pixel RGB||86K-pixel RGB||On-sensor metering|
|LCD||3.2" 2.36M-dot tilting||3.2"1.04M-dot
|3.2" 1.2M-dot fixed||3.2" 1.04M-dot tilting||3" 920K-dot|
|Viewfinder||Electronic 3.69M-dot (removable)
|Optical w/ 0.71x mag||Optical w/ 0.7x mag||
Optical w/ ˜0.75x mag
|Dimensions||147.5 x 94.2 x 91.4mm||152 x 117 x 76mm||146 x 123 x 81.5mm||155 x 117 x 122mm||150 x 98 x 71mm|
|845 g||880 g||1,550 g||725 g|
|Price (body only, MSRP)||$6500||$3700||$3300||$8500||$8600|
Price, lenses and availability
The Fujifilm GFX 50S is available now for a body-only price of $6500. Currently, three lenses are available for the system (though availability seems to vary by region). They include the GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR for $1500, the GF 120mm f/4 Macro R LM OIS WR for $2700, and the GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR Lens for $2300.
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