We’ve always asked whether
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.