Fujfilm’s hotly anticipated medium-format GFX system finally sees the light of day with the GFX 50s camera. We’re promised spectacular detail and unmatched color and light rendition. Yet, is Fujifilm gambling too high? With a price tag of $6,499 for the body and $1,499 for the “cheapest” 63mm F2.8 lens they’re aiming for the professional and affluent amateur market. But… is medium format a market with the rich choice of full-frame solutions and ever more sensitive imagers? Fujifilm doesn’t just promise high image quality, but “ultra-high” image quality.
With 51.4MP you can expect richest detail and sublimely out-of-focus images. However, the sensor is still quite a bit smaller than the film size on medium-format cameras of yesteryear, which had film frames of 60 x 45mm or even bigger, depending on the make of the camera. The iconic Hasselblad 500EL, used by American astronauts on the moon, had a 60 x 60mm frame size.
Hasselblad’s mirrorless X1D medium-format camera sports a 43.8 × 32.9mm sensor. Fujfilm’s new medium-format sensor has the exactly same dimensions, which is 70 percent larger than the 36 x 24mm image sensors on full-frame cameras from the likes of Canon, Nikon and Sony.
The camera body is modular-boxy with familiar Fujifilm ergonomics and control layout. Plus: the 54 million pixels with the relatively large size of each photosite (5.3µm in diameter, which is a very decent number considering how many pixels there are) should be appealing to landscape photographers, who often need to shoot in poor light, crop heavily and print their photos very large.
Fashion and portrait photographers will love the GFX 50S’s depth of field. Using the standard lens it is so shallow that Fujifilm has taken to calling it “stereoscopic bokeh,” presumably because there will be bokeh on a microscopic level both behind and in front of the subject / object.
Sure every new camera is a lot about marketing. Fujfilm ups the ante quite a bit though. Check out the many official videos highlighting the GFX system as a game changer that re-invents medium-format.
Quite a bit unpretentious Fujifilm promises its GFX 50s has the “world’s best image quality.” Period.
For specs and order details: