The Fujifilm GFX 50S stands out as the company’s first medium format GF series and it comes with some impressive features such as the 51.4MP Medium Format CMOS sensor that has a Bayer filter array. The sensor is a bit smaller in the surface area than the film medium format (having a size of 43.8×32.9mm) but the pixel count and the size is the same as the one of the other medium format cameras that you can find on the market with a 1.7x surface area for the full frame of the sensor.
Among the most important features to mention aside from the sensor we already talked about, there is the 3.69M-dot OLET Removable EVF, the 3.2” 2.36M-dot touch LCD which can tilt both horizontally and vertically, the AF-point selection joystick and the weather-sealing. Here are some of the other things you should know about:
– Film Simulation modes
– 1/125 sec flash sync speed
– 3 fps continuous shooting
– 1080/30p video capture
– Raw processing in-camera
– Dual SD card slots (UHS-II)
– A USB 3.0 socket and Wi-Fi
A New System
With the GFX 50S, Fujifilm introduced a new type of mount and when it was launched there were three types of lenses available for this camera, with three more planned to be released until the end of the year. This company tends to release new lenses on a regular basis so you will probably have a lot more choices in the future.
There are a lot of similarities to the X-series which is the high-end line but the GFX 50S doesn’t have the X-Trans sensor array, relying instead on the more traditional Bayer one as this one reduces the complexities that come with signal processing and this is quite important when we have such a large sensor.
Body and Handling
The plus of the GFX 50S when compared to the X-series is the ergonomic design and a more flexible camera if you are working in fields such as portraiture or landscape. It looks heavy and the camera is indeed large but it is lighter than some other models in this category such as the Pentax 645Z. It seems to be a larger version of the X-T2 from Fujifilm but it lacks the addition of a dedicated exposure compensation dial. That being said, both of them have the easy to utilize AF joystick, the locking dials, many custom buttons and the tilting LCD which this time comes with a touch screen.
The ISO dial is on the top plate and it has an Auto ISO setting along with a shutter speed dial that can also be set to auto. You can lock both dials and on the left of the EVF you get a switch that allows you to change focus mode between MF, AF-C and AF-S.
You have an exposure compensation button next to the on/off switch that can allow you to see the screen better in the dark and the dual hinge LCD permits shooting from high and low angles with more ease. The lack of an exposure compensation dial can be fixed through customization but you still need too much setting done to make it an efficient solution for every situation so maybe that might be a minus for your work.
The electronic viewfinder can be removed as it isn’t always useful and this is especially true since the EVF tends to have an image where moire and shimmering appear if you turn on the focus. Probably the sensor drops into a faster readout mode as it needs to do more than one thing and this can get annoying sometimes.
The NP-T125 rechargeable battery was the choice for the GFX 50S and it was rated by CIPA to 400 shots. That was done with a high usage of flash and image reviews so the real duration is probably quite a lot higher but that depends on your work.
This model uses a mechanical focal plane shutter and it is the first Fujifilm ILC which comes with an electronic first curtain shutter mode that aims to take out the risk of having shutter shock. You also have access to an electronic shutter that can be used on its own or you can set it to be triggered when you have really fast shutter speeds in the mechanical or electronic first curtain modes.
The menus are just as the ones coming in the APS-C branch such as the X-T2 so that can be a very good thing if you are already familiarized with the Fujifilm products. They are quite easy to navigate as the tabs along the side are intuitive and you have a My Menu tab where the most used settings are automatically saved. You can toggle the size of the Raw files and the operation speeds of the camera are quite on par with other products in the same family, making them great for a large array of tasks.
Ten buttons can be customized and with the AF joystick you can program them for other uses outside of AF point placement.
You have three customizable Auto ISO settings and each of them permits you to save a default ISO sensitivity, a maximum ISO and a shutter speed threshold. The sensor of the GFX 50S is 4×3 but you have a choice of many other aspect ratios such as 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 65:24, 5:4 or 7:6.
When it comes to the controls and user interface we can easily see the experience of Fujifilm and everything seems to be tested and refined over a long period of time. You get so many customization options, dedicated shutter speed, an ISO dial but there is no exposure compensation dial that was built in.
The comfort the camera offers depends on the lens mainly but the tilting LCD along with the AF joystick and the touchscreen again provide the user with a very versatile experience. When it comes to speed this camera is made for studio more than for anything else as speed isn’t something amazing here and due to the impressive resolution the studio is where it really shines. The noise levels in high ISO Raw files is very low, the Raw dynamic range is also remarkable and the colors are sharp and alive.