Friday, January 20, 2017

Fuji announces the new medium format GFX 50S camera

Just in case you missed the point at the New York black tie gala to announce the new Fuji GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera, you were greeted at the door with an enthroned display of the camera and its complement of lenses.

This is a major new camera for the Fuji arsenal, and after my initial inspection of the samples they had on hand it looks like it's going to be a real winner. The camera is comfortable to handle, the heft feeling more like a full frame DSLR than a medium format camera.

At the heart of the GFX camera system is a 43.8 x 32.9mm 51.4MP CMOS sensor capable of 14-bit stills with a 14-stop wide dynamic range as well as a broad sensitivity range of ISO 100-12800. When coupled with the X-Processor Pro image processor, it produce files with extremely wide dynamic range and high resolution, as well as an extended sensitivity range of ISO 50-102400. Apparently, the X-T2 will remain the video flagship for Fuji, for the video in the GFX can record only up to full HD 1080p/30.

A variety of new aspect ratio formats have been added to those found on the other X camras. These include some of the traditional medium and large formats, such as 4:3, 1:1, 65:24, 5:4, 7:6, 3:2, and 16:9. I miss the square format of my old Hasselblad 120mm film cameras. So, for me, the 1:1 on a large sensor camera is particularly attractive.

Anyone already familiar with using one of the current X cameras, like the X-T2, will be right at home with the controls on the GFX. Even the Q-menu looks exactly the same. 

The sensor on this medium format camera is a bit smaller than other medium format brands resulting in a lens conversion factor of 1.27.  For instance, the 63mm f/2.8 being released with the camera is equivalent to a 50mm full frame lens.  Along with the 63mm two other lenses will be available at the same time:  The Fujifilm GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR (25-51mm 35mm Equivalent), and GF 120mm f/4 Macro R LM OIS WR (95mm 35mm Equivalent)

The top of the camera looks a lot like a larger version of the X-T2 with the added benefit of a read-out screen. 

Looks like Fuji has created a real winner with the special formatted camera -- a perfect balance of sensor size with handling, cost, ease of use, and practicality. It could easily become the new standard to which other manufacturers will subscribe.

The Fuji GFX 50S mirrorless camera is scheduled for release in February or March at a price for the body alone at $6499.  While expensive, this puts it at the lower end of prices for digital medium format cameras. 

If you are planning on buying this camera or lens, you can help support this site at no extra cost to you by clicking the link and purchasing from one of our affiliate sellers listed below -- and thanks for your support.

The Fujifilm GFX 50S camera body can be ordered from:  BH-Photo    Amazon    

You can also order the camera in New York from the pro shop of FOTOCARE

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