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.

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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.

caP­ture Set­tingS:

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.

lenS Mount:

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.

aF SyS­teM:

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.

ex­Po­Sure con­trol:

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.


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.


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.

Pre­view by Paul bur­rows

The retro styled Fujifilm GFX 50S bears more than a pass­ing re­sem­blance to sta­ble­mates in the XT se­ries.

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