Fu­ji­film’s Big Bang… The Medium For­mat Tra­di­tion Con­tin­ues

ProPhoto - - NEWS -

long his­tory of mak­ing his­toric an­nounce­ments at Pho­tok­ina, but 2016 may go down as one of the big­gest. It’s not often that a hall full of con­fer­ence-hard­ened jour­nal­ists ap­plaud the fea­tures of a new prod­uct, but it ac­tu­ally hap­pened on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions as Fu­ji­film pulled the wraps off its all-new GFX cam­era sys­tem. GFX is a mir­ror­less dig­i­tal medium for­mat cam­era sys­tem to ri­val Has­sel­blad’s X1D, but it’s full of neat lit­tle de­sign fea­tures that have also been the hall­mark of its ‘APS-C’ X Mount sys­tem.

Why has Fu­ji­film gone down this route rather than, say, hav­ing a full-35mm sen­sor sys­tem? The com­pany has a long tra­di­tion of mak­ing in­ter­est­ing – but not al­ways loved – 120/220 roll­film cam­eras, in­clud­ing the bril­liant GX680 6x8cm for­mat SLR. The ‘G’ in the new sys­tem’s ti­tle pays homage to this her­itage, but Fu­ji­film also thinks the time is right to “re-in­vent the dig­i­tal medium for­mat cam­era sys­tem”.

The GFX sys­tem is based on a new lens mount – called, log­i­cally, the G Mount – and a 43.8x32.9 mm sen­sor which is more than likely fab­ri­cated by Sony, but has been de­signed by Fu­ji­film, in­clud­ing the mi­crolenses. Fu­ji­film says the sen­sor has been “fully cus­tomised” by its engi­neers. The first cam­era body is called the GFX 50S – the ef­fec­tive res­o­lu­tion is 51.4 megapix­els – which im­plies that there will even­tu­ally be a GFX 100S, us­ing a ver­sion of Sony’s 100 MP ‘44x33’ sen­sor. At first glance, the cam­era body looks more like a big rangefinder de­sign – there’s a hint of the GW670 – and you dread, for one mo­ment, that it doesn’t have a built-in viewfinder. It doesn’t… but in­stead it has a de­tach­able EVF which will be supplied with the cam­era and, once fit­ted, makes the GFX 50S look just like a D-SLR. The de­tach­able fin­der earned some ap­plause, but there was more when it was demon­strated that it not only tilts, but ro­tates… so you can still have a tilt when shoot­ing ver­ti­cally. Like­wise – and as on the X-T2 – the LCD mon­i­tor also tilts in both di­rec­tions (more ap­plause).

Three Fu­ji­non GF lenses will be avail­able when the sys­tem launches in early 2017 – a 63mm f2.8 prime (equiv­a­lent to 50mm in the 35mm for­mat), a 32-64mm f4.0 zoom (equiv­a­lent to 25-51mm) and a 120mm f4.0 1:1 macro (equiv­a­lent to 95mm). Fol­low­ing soon af­ter will be a 45mm f2.8 (35mm), 23mm f4.0 (18mm) and 110mm f2.0 (87mm)... and there’s more to come down the track. All the an­nounced lenses are ready, Fu­ji­film as­sures us, for 100 MP and be­yond. All have fully weath­er­proofed bar­rels and, of course, the cam­era body is also sealed as is the op­tional ver­ti­cal bat­tery grip. The GFX bor­rows quite a bit from the X Mount bod­ies, in­clud­ing di­als for shut­ter speeds and ISO set­ting, but new is the in­clu­sion of a top-deck read-out panel. The lenses have tra­di­tional aper­ture col­lars so, as on the likes of the X-Pro2 and X-T2, the auto ex­po­sure modes are se­lected by turn­ing these and/or the shut­ter speed dial to their ‘A’ set­tings.

Only a pro­to­type was on show at Pho­tok­ina; the likely timetable for the sys­tem’s roll-out will be to have pro­duc­tion cam­eras and lenses at next year’s CP+ Show in Ja­pan (Feb 2017) with de­liv­er­ies start­ing some time af­ter this. Pric­ing is likely to be highly com­pet­i­tive… Fu­ji­film is pre­dict­ing that the GFX 50S with the de­tach­able EVF and 63mm standard lens will sell for un­der US$10,000… ac­tu­ally “way un­der” the com­pany says. The lo­cal pric­ing is still be­ing con­sid­ered, but it will be less than Has­sel­blad’s X1D and com­pet­i­tive with the pro-level full-35mm D-SLRs. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.fu­ji­film.com.au

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.