We’ve al­ways asked whether

Camera - - ON TRIAL -

any video-maker is re­ally go­ing to want a dig­i­tal medium for­mat cam­era when there are so many more work­able al­ter­na­tives. Cheaper too. How­ever, size and weight are less of an is­sue with the mir­ror­less mod­els so Fu­ji­film’s GFX 50S has po­ten­tial here. The de­tach­able EVF is a plus… you just don’t need it if you’re us­ing an ex­ter­nal mon­i­tor. In this con­fig­u­ra­tion, the GFX fits com­fort­ably into any rig or you have an even more com­pact (and lighter weight) hand-held ‘run-and­gun’ cam­era.

It’s a bit sur­pris­ing there’s no 4K op­tion - par­tic­u­larly as you could shoot 8K video with this sen­sor – and this is likely to put off the video pros. How­ever, for pho­tog­ra­phers who want to shoot video, the GFX 50S has a bit to of­fer. It records Full HD or HD clip at 25 fps or 24 fps (PAL stan­dard, but the NTSC speeds are avail­able too) with stereo sound and a bit rate of 36 Mbps which, to be frank, isn’t much to write home about these days. Movie mode is se­lected via the drive menu and then start/stop is via the shut­ter but­ton. The max­i­mum clip length is 29 min­utes and 59 sec­onds. Both a stereo au­dio in­put and out­put are pro­vided, and both are stan­dard 3.5 mm mini­jack ter­mi­nals.

Stream­ing to the cam­era’s HDMI con­nec­tor is avail­able (8bit, 4:2:2 colour) with a ‘HDMI Rec Con­trol’ which sends start/ stop com­mands to the ex­ter­nal recorder when the shut­ter but­ton is pressed. Au­dio lev­els can be ad­justed man­u­ally and left/right level me­ters are dis­played in the mon­i­tor. The ‘Film Sim­u­la­tion’ pre­sets are avail­able, plus the ad­just­ments for colour sat­u­ra­tion, sharp­ness, high­light tone and shadow tone. Cu­ri­ously, the touch AF con­trol is dis­abled in the movie mode, but con­tin­u­ous aut­o­fo­cus­ing with face de­tec­tion and track­ing is pro­vided. Man­ual fo­cus is as­sisted by a mag­ni­fied image and a fo­cus peak­ing dis­play. Ex­po­sure con­trol is fully au­to­matic (and the max­i­mum sen­si­tiv­ity set­ting is ISO 6400) with +/-2.0 EV of com­pen­sa­tion avail­able for mak­ing any ad­just­ments.

This is pretty ba­sic fare in terms of func­tion­al­ity, but the GFX 50S re­deems it­self – at least a lit­tle – with the quality of its video footage which is ac­tu­ally very good in terms of sharp­ness, dy­namic range and low light performance. As with the ‘APS-C’ cam­eras, there isn’t a flat F-Log colour pro­file (for eas­ier colour grad­ing eas­ier in post-pro­duc­tion), but the in­creased dy­namic range of the big­ger sen­sor makes this less of an is­sue here.

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