First Look – Fujifilm GFX 50S
The wraps are off Fujifilm’s new mirrorless digital medium format camera system and it looks set to revolutionise the category with its size, capabilities and price.
Get in line now. Deliveries of Fujifilm’s new digital medium format mirrorless camera start at the end of February and the pricing is keen. Here’s an overview of what you’ll get for your money (and it’s a lot) ahead of our full review in the next issue.
“Customised” by Fujifilm in terms of the design of the microlenses and the handling of the data from the photodiodes. Sonyfabricated CMOS with an imaging area of 32.9x43.8 mm with an effective pixel count of 51.4 million which gives a pixel size of 5.3 microns. No optical low-pass filter. The bigger pixel size delivers an enhanced signal-to-noise ratio and better sensitivity which is equivalent to ISO 100 to 12,800 with extensions to ISO 50 and ISO 102,400. RAW capture gives 14 stops of dynamic range. Ultrasonic vibration for self-cleaning
Dedicated ‘X Processor Pro’ engine – but the same generation as used in the X-T2 and X-Pro2 – delivers 3.0 fps continuous shooting at full res, 1080p video recording at 25 or 24 fps and in-camera processing for functions such as the ‘Film Simulation’ picture presets.
Plenty of options here starting with JPEGs at three compression levels and two image sizes. Maximum image size is 8256x6192 pixels and there’s a total of seven aspect ratios – 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, 5:4, 7:6 and 65:24 (i.e. the ‘true’ panoramic ratio). RAW files are captured with 14-bit RGB colour (RAF format) and there’s the option of RAW+JPEG recording. RAW files are automatically captured with 12 MP thumbnail JPEGs. In-camera RAW-toTIFF conversion.
Magnesium alloy covers with full sealing (at 58 points) against dust and moisture plus insulation to allow shooting at temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius. Large main dials for shutter speeds and ISO setting, with front and rear input wheels. Top panel monochrome read-out panel. Unlike on the X-T2, exposure compensation consigned to a rear-mounted button with setting via the rear input wheel. Battery compartment adds depth, but overall the GFX 50S is still smaller than either the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II or Nikon D5. EVF is detachable which drops the body weight down to just 825 grams.
New G mount is a stainless steel three-claw bayonet fitting on the camera body (brass on the lenses) with 12 contact pins for fully-electronic communications. External diameter is 76.5 millimetres, internal is 65.0 millimetres. Flange back distance is 26.7 millimetres. Mirrorless design allows a minimum back focusing distance of just 16.7 millimetre which delivers considerable flexibility when it comes to lens design.
Contrastdetection system using 425 measuring points arranged in a 17x25 pattern. Single-point, Zone and Wide/Tracking modes. Choice of 17x25 and 9x12 point patterns for single point selection. Focus point ‘joystick’ selector carried over from the X-T2 and X-Pro2. Zone mode options are 3x3, 5x5 and 7x7 point clusters.
Based on a 256-zone metering system (from the imaging sensor) with multi-pattern, centreweighted average, fully averaged and spot measurements. Program, aperture/shutter-priority auto and manual control modes. Up to +/-5.0EV compensation and auto bracketing over two, three, five, seven or nine frames at up to +/-3.0 EV/frame.
Detachable module using an 0.5-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 3.69 megadots. Magnification is 0.85x (35mm equivalent) and the display is adjustable
for brightness and colour. Five lens elements in eyepiece which has strength adjustment and a proximity sensor for auto switching between the EVF and the LCD monitor screen. Optional tilt adaptor EVF-TL1 provides tilt and swing adjustments.
Large 8.1 cm LCD panel adopts the three-way tilt adjustments introduced with the X-T2 plus there’s adjustments for brightness and colour balance. Image can be enlarged by up to 16.7x to assist with focusing. Resolution is 2.36 megadots and touchscreen controllability extends to ‘Touch AF’ tap-to-focus.
Full HD 1080p recording at either 25 or 24 fps (PAL standard) with stereo sound, giving a bit rate of 36 Mbps. MOV format with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression. HD 720p recording also available, but no 4K option. Processing options include the ‘Film Simulation’ presets.
HDMI VIDEO OUT:
Uncompressed video (8-bit, 4:2:2 colour) available for recording to an external device via Type D Micro HDMI connector.
The world’s first focal plane shutter specifically designed for a digital medium format mirrorless camera (although, of course, the GFX 50S is the first such camera anyway). Speed range is 60 minutes to 1/4000 second with flash sync up to 1/125 second. Rated up to 150,000 cycles. There’s also an ‘electronic first curtain’ shutter to reduce vibrations or a fully-silent sensor-based shutter which extends the top speed to 1/16,000 second and eliminates all vibration.
DUAL MEMORY CARD SLOTS:
For SD, SDHC and SDXC cards. Both slots support UHS-II and UHS-I speed devices. Can be individually assigned to file types.
New NP-T125 lithium-ion pack is good for 400 exposures according to Fujifilm. The optional VG-GFX1 vertical grip holds an additional battery pack and can be used for recharging. There’s a monitoring facility for the age of the batteries, scaled from zero (youngest) to four (oldest).
USB 3.0 via Micro USB terminal, Micro HDMI (Type D), 2.5 mm connector for wired remote trigger, 3.5 mm minijacks for stereo audio in and out, PC flash terminal, DC power input.
‘Film Simulation’ presets (including ACROS and Classic Chrome), ‘Grain Effect’ and ‘Colour Chrome Effect’ processing, ‘Lens Modulation Optimiser’, five auto bracketing modes (AE, ISO, white balance, dynamic range and ‘Film Simulation’ presets), multiple exposure facility, intervalometer, tethered shooting, built-in WiFi, copyright info and dual-delay self-timer.
Three GF Series lenses are available immediately, another three by the end of 2017. Given Fujifilm’s track record with the XF lenses, there’ll be more in 2018 with a longer telephoto probably heading the list. All the GF lenses are all weather-proofed. Current line-up is a 63mm f2.8 standard prime (equivalent to 50mm), 32-64mm f4.0 zoom (25-51mm) and a 120mm f4.0 macro lens (95mm). On the way is a 23mm f4.0 ultra-wide (18mm), a 45mm f2.8 wideangle (36mm) and a 110mm f2.0 short telephoto (87mm).
In addition to the battery grip and tilt adapter for the EVF, there’s an adapter for Hasselblad’s H-Mount lenses (which are made by Fujifilm), giving the GFX system a lensshutter option. There’s also a stereo microphone, view camera adaptor, the EF-X500 on-camera flash (launch at Photokina 2016) and a hardwired remote release.
The retro styled Fujifilm GFX 50S bears more than a passing resemblance to stablemates in the XT series.