Fujifilm GFX 50S Review: Mirrorless medium format camera with 50 Megapixels – Fujifilm GFX 50S with three lenses presented in detail
With the GFX 50S, Fujifilm wants to enter the market of mirrorless medium format cameras according to Hasselblad. The camera has a 50 megapixel 44 by 33 millimeter sensor. Weighing less than 800 grams, the GFX 50S is said to weigh less than a professional full format DSLR and cost less than 10,000 euros including the standard GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR lens. In addition to the three GF lenses available since 2017.
Fujifilm is skipping the full format and adding the GFX 50S medium format camera to the X system cameras as a professional alternative. This makes Fujifilm the second manufacturer after Hasselblad to launch a mirrorless medium format system on the market. The GFX 50S and the first three lenses GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR, GF 32-64 mm F4 R LM WR and GF 120 mm F4 R LM OIS WR are available since 2017.
Fujifilm jumps directly from the APS-C format of the X system with 24 megapixels resolution to the medium format with a 43.8 by 32.9 millimetres sensor, that is 44 by 33 millimetres rounded, with a resolution of 51.4 megapixels. So the 35mm format skips Fujifilm and aims to deliver the highest image quality in Fujifilm’s history. The Japanese manufacturer claims to have found out that about 30 percent of X-System photographers would like to have a higher resolution. This is supposed to be achieved with the medium format sensor that is 1.7 times bigger compared to the 35mm full format. Fujifilm sees the APS-C format as already having reached the end of the line at 24 megapixels. The new GFX system is expected to inherit the DNA of the X system, which is reflected in both the design and operation of the GFX 50S. The CMOS sensor, however, uses a classic Bayer color filter pattern and not X-Trans technology. The image processing should be very restrained for highest post-processing requirements. If you want, you can still use Fujifilm’s 15 film simulation modes, including Provia, Astia, Velvia and Classic Chrome.
Both the GFX 50S housing and all lenses will be splash and dust proof and frost proof to -10 degrees Celsius. The G bayonet of the GFX measures 65 millimetres in diameter and is four millimetres thick. Twelve electronic contacts will not only support the GF lenses, but also other medium format lenses by means of adapters. The flange focal length is only 26.7 millimetres, the lenses can even reach just over 16 millimetres from the sensor. However, some space must be left for the focal-plane shutter. Fujifilm has chosen this for several reasons: on the one hand, it allows particularly short exposure times of up to 1/4,000 seconds, and on the other hand, it allows lenses without a central shutter to be used. However, Fujifilm does not rule out offering lenses with a central shutter in the future. However, the flash sync speed of the central shutter is only 1/125 second. The focal plane shutter is supposed to work very quietly and with little vibration, and shocks caused by a mirror impact, which would reduce the resolution, are logically not present in the mirrorless system camera.
The body is said to weigh only 800 grams without lens and EVF, making it lighter than some professional 35mm DSLRs. The housing is ergonomically shaped, an optional portrait handle is available. Lockable rotating wheels on the top allow direct adjustment of exposure time and ISO sensitivity (ISO 100 to 12,800). The new C-position (C as in Command) deactivates the manual wheels if desired and allows you to set the recording parameters with the front and rear rotary dials. A joystick allows easy movement of the autofocus point. The large lithium-ion battery can be removed from the side, and there are also numerous interfaces such as USB 3, a remote release connector or, for example, a microphone input and a headphones output. However, the GFX 50S records videos in Full HD resolution at most, not 4K. The opposite memory card slot offers two SD slots.
Extremely innovative is the concept of the attachable electronic viewfinder. This is included in the scope of delivery and, when plugged in, fits into the design as well as a fixed viewfinder. This gives the photographer the choice of how small and light or large and functional the GFX should be. The viewfinder will loop through the X-System compatible hot shoe. A multi-angle adapter will also be available as an option, which allows the viewfinder to be swivelled sideways and folded upwards. The rear screen is also foldable. As with the X-T2, the mechanism not only allows folding up and down, but also laterally for portrait perspectives. Furthermore, an HDMI control monitor can be connected without any problems. The GFX is also suitable for tethered shooting in the studio. In addition, the medium format camera offers an OLED status display on the top side, which informs about the settings made even when the camera is switched off.
Without lenses the most beautiful camera is useless. Fujifilm lunched six of them in 2017. They are designed to provide the highest optical imaging performance and, according to Fujifilm, are primarily corrected optically rather than electronically to minimize image errors such as distortion, vignetting or color fringing. Together with the camera, three lenses are available since 2017. The GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR is the standard lens, it offers the same angle of view as a 50 mm 35 mm lens. In addition, the GF 32-64 mm F4 R LM WR is a zoom lens with an equivalent focal length of 25 to 51 millimetres, which is primarily intended for landscape photography. The third lens in the bundle is a macro with a magnification of 1:0.5, and the GF 120 mm F4 Macro R LM OIS WR even offers an optical image stabilizer. The small image equivalent focal length is 95 millimetres. In mid-2017, the GF 110 mm F2 R LM WR will be followed by a high-intensity portrait lens (35 mm equivalent to 87 millimetres with a depth of field equivalent to an F1.6 high-intensity 35 mm lens) and the GF 23 mm F4 R LM WR will be used for ultra-wide angle (18 millimetres equivalent to 35 mm) landscape photography. Finally, at the end of 2017, according to current plans, the GF 45 mm F2.8 R WR will add a 35 mm (35 mm equivalent) reportage focal length to the lens range.
All lenses are not only splash-proof, dustproof and frost-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius, but also offer an aperture ring with lockable automatic position as well as lockable C position, in which the aperture can be controlled via the camera’s rotating wheels. The manual focus ring will operate as in the X-System “fly-by-wire”, i.e. it will transmit electronic control commands to the autofocus motor. For the set of the GFX 50S including the standard lens GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR, Fujifilm by the way aims at a price of “clearly” less than 10.000 Euros. In some markets price even less than eight thousand, which is a real challenge to Hasselblad and Leica. A similarly affordable digital medium format camera, but only with a mirror, is currently only offered by Ricoh with the Pentax 645D and 645Z.
The GFX 50S is an 825 gram medium format camera with a 50 megapixel resolution CMOS sensor measuring 44 by 33 millimeters. This is also used for example in the Pentax 645Z or the Hasselblad X1D. The sensor offers 1.7 times the area of a 35mm full format sensor, the diagonal is larger by a factor of 1.27. To convert the focal length of the lenses to the 35 mm equivalent, you have to multiply it by the factor 0.79. The GFX 50S is the first mirrorless medium format camera to offer a focal plane shutter that allows up to 1/4,000 short exposure times, independent of the lens. It was designed for 150,000 trips. In addition, there is an electronic shutter with shutter speeds of up to 1/16,000 second. To reduce shutter vibration, which can reduce the resolution of the GFX 50S especially at shutter speeds from 1/30 to 1/125 second, the mechanical shutter can be combined with the electronic shutter. The flash sync speed is 1/125 second by the way.
The housing of the GXF 50S is splash and dust protected and frost-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius. Its design and operation is based on Fujifilm’s X system cameras, so changing it requires relatively little adjustment. However, the medium format camera is definitely larger and has a more ergonomically shaped handle. On the top side are mechanical wheels for setting exposure time and ISO sensitivity, each of which also has a C-position. Once set, the parameters can be adjusted using the front and rear control wheels on the camera handle. The rear screen can be folded up and down and sideways. It measures 8.2 centimetres diagonally and has an extremely fine resolution of 2.36 million pixels. This is a touch screen that not only allows the focus point to be set with a fingertip, but also allows the menu to be called up, for example. The contrast autofocus works with 127 focus points and allows up to 425 focus points. A joystick on the back of the camera allows the focus point to be adjusted.
However, with 2.36 million pixels, the end of the line has not yet been reached, as the electronic viewfinder even reaches 3.69 million pixels. With a magnification of 0.85 times it is very large, the diagonal viewing angle is 40 degrees. The viewfinder is detachable and is supplied. The accessories include an angle adapter that allows the unit to be swivelled sideways by 45 degrees and angled upwards by up to 90 degrees. The viewfinder and screen are complemented by a 3.25-centimeter LC display on the top of the camera that shows current recording parameters.
The video function offers only Full HD resolution at 24 to 30 frames per second and 36 Mbps data rate. Image processing is provided by the X-Pro2 and X-T2 processor Pro. In addition to the JPEG format, it is of course also possible to save in raw data format, whereby lossless compression can be switched on here. The raw images can be developed in the camera and then saved as TIFF. In the memory card compartment there are two UHS-II-compatible SD card slots, which can be written either sequentially, in parallel (backup function) or separately with raw and JPEG. The newly developed lithium-ion battery is said to allow up to 400 shots in energy-saving mode. By the way, the film simulation modes typical for Fujifilm are also on board. The new “Color Chrome” function should be able to faithfully reproduce the color depth and contrast of very color-intensive subjects even in difficult lighting situations. The GFX 50S also has WLAN.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S is available since March 2017 at a price of just under 7,000 euros from selected specialist dealers. Fujifilm offers the EVF-TL1 angle adapter and a portrait battery handle as accessories. The VG-GFX1 offers the controls in the usual place, even when the camera is rotated 90 degrees, and the handle can be fitted with the same battery (NP-T125) as the camera to extend battery life.
Fujifilm offers three lenses to match the GFX 50S. The new G bayonet was developed especially for the camera. It has a diameter of 65 millimetres and a flange focal length of 26.7 millimetres; the rear lens of the lenses can even approach the sensor by up to 16.7 millimetres. The bayonet is made of stainless steel, whereas brass is used on the lens side, which according to Fujifilm ensures a stable connection. In order to guarantee the future-proofness of the lenses, they are already designed for 100 megapixels. The lenses have an aperture ring with a C and an automatic setting, as well as a locking button to prevent accidental adjustment. In the C setting, the aperture is adjusted using the control dials on the camera. Like the camera, all lenses are splash-proof and dustproof as well as frost-proof down to -10 degrees Celsius, as also mentioned above in this article.
The GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR is a particularly compact (84 x 71 millimetres) and 405 gram lightweight standard lens, the angle of view corresponds to a 50 mm 35 mm focal length. The optical structure consists of ten elements arranged in eight groups. An ED lens should provide high resolution performance despite its compact design. Front lens focusing suppresses image error variations at different shooting distances. The lens will cost just under 1,600 euros.
The GF 32-64 mm F4 R LM WR is a double zoom. With a small frame equivalent focal length of 25 to 51 millimetres, it covers the wide-angle range. The optical design consists of 14 elements in eleven groups, with aspherical lenses, ED and Super-ED glass elements to provide high imaging performance at the level of fixed focal lengths. Focusing is achieved by an internal lightweight element that is moved by a linear motor. The GF 32-64 mm should cost just under 2,500 euros.
The GF 120 mm F4 R LM OIS WR offers a maximum magnification of 1:2 as a medium telephoto lens and macro, as well as a 35 mm equivalent focal length of 95 millimetres and an attractive bokeh according to Fujifilm. The optical construction consists of 14 elements in eleven groups, including three ED glasses that prevent chromatic aberrations. Focusing is done by a floating lens system driven by a linear motor. According to Fujifilm, the optical image stabilizer also allows up to five f-stops longer exposure times without blurring. The front lens has a water and dirt repellent fluorine coating. At just under 2,900 euros, it is the most expensive of the first three lenses.
Using two different adapters available as accessories, additional lenses can also be connected. The H Mount Adapter G allows the use of nine Super EBC Fujinon HC lenses and a teleconverter originally developed for the Fujifilm GX645AF medium format camera. Although autofocus is not supported, electronic aperture control is. The central shutter of the lenses can also be used, which enables flash sync times as short as 1/800 second. The adapter is equipped with a tripod thread, so that even the heavy lenses can be used well balanced with a tripod. The View Camera Adapter G is a view camera adapter for older Fujinon lenses that were designed for large format. With the help of the bellows unit, the large image circle of the lenses can be ideally used for tilt shift effects.
|Model||GF 120 mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro||GF 63 mm F2.8 R WR|
|Price (EIA)||2.899,00 EUR||1.599,00 EUR|
|Bayonet connection||Fujifilm G||Fujifilm G|
|Focal length||120.0 mm||63.0 mm|
|Luminous intensity (maximum aperture)||F4||F2,8|
|KB full format||irrelevant||irrelevant|
|Lens system||14 lenses in 9 group incl.
|10 lenses in 8 group incl.
|Number of aperture blades||9||9|
|Close-up limit||450mm||500 mm|
|Image stabilizer available||yes||no|
|Filter thread||72 mm||62 mm|
|Dimensions (diameter x length)||89 x 153 mm||84 x 71 mm|
|Lens weight||980 g||405 g|
This chart is for the remaining model.
|Model||GF 32-64 mm F4 R LM WR|
|Price (EIA)||2.499,00 EUR|
|Focal length range||32-64 mm|
|Luminous intensity (maximum aperture)||F4 (continuous)|
|Lens system||14 lenses in 11 group incl.
ED and aspherical lenses
|KB full format||irrelevant|
|Number of aperture blades||9|
|Close-up limit||not retrieved|
|Image stabilizer available||no|
|Dimensions (diameter x length)||93 x 116 mm|
|Lens weight||875 g|
Fujifilm GFX 50S data sheet
|Sensor||CMOS sensor Medium format 44.0 x 33.0 mm (crop factor 0.8
)51.4 megapixels (effective)
|Image formats||JPG, RAW, Tiff|
|Colour depth||42 bits (14 bits per color channel)|
|Metadata||Exif (version 2.3), DCF standard|
|Maximum recording time||30 min|
|Audio format (video)||LPCM|
|Autofocus mode||Contrast autofocus with 425 measuring fields|
|Autofocus functions||Single AF, Continuous AF, Area AF, Tracking AF, Manual, AFL function, AF assist light, Focus peaking, Focus magnifier|
|Sharpness control||Depth of Field Control|
Viewfinder and monitor
|Monitor||Monitor available, tiltable, with touchscreen|
|Info display||additional info display (top) with lighting|
|Video finder||Video viewfinder (100 % field coverage) with 2,360,000 pixels, 0.85x magnification factor, dioptre compensation (-4.0 to 2.0 dpt)|
|Exposure metering||Matrix/multi-field measurement over 256 fields|
|Exposure times||1/4,000 s (automatic
)1/4,000 to 4 s (manual)
1/16,000 to 4 s (electronic shutter)
|Exposure control||Fully automatic, Program automatic (with program shift), Shutter automatic, Aperture automatic, Manual|
|Exposure bracketing function||Exposure bracketing function with a maximum of 9 shots, 1/3 to 2 EV increments, HDR function|
|Exposure Compensation||-5.0 to +5.0 EV|
|Photosensitivity||ISO 100 to ISO 12.800 (automatic
)ISO 50 to ISO 102.400 (manual)
|Remote access||Remote release, cable release, remote control via smartphone/tablet|
|Picture effects||High Key, Low Key, Miniature effect, Pop color, Black and white, Selective color, Sepia, Softer, Toy camera, 7 additional image effects|
|White balance||Auto, Cloudy, Sun, White balance bracket, Shadow, Underwater, Fluorescent lamp with 3 presets, Tungsten light, Kelvin input, Manual|
|Colour space||Adobe RGB, sRGB|
|Continuous shooting||Continuous shooting function max. 3.0 fps at highest resolution and max. 8 stored photos|
|Self-timer||Self-timer with interval of 10 s, special features: additional 2 seconds|
|Timer||Timer/interval recording, start time adjustable|
|Recording functions||AEL function, AFL function, live histogram|
|Flash||no built-in flash availableShoe
: Nikon system cable
|Flash range||Flash sync speed 1/125 s|
|Flash functions||Auto, fill-flash, flash on, flash off, high-speed sync, slow sync, flash on second shutter curtain|
|Image stabilizer||no optical image stabilizer|
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
|second memory card slot||
SD (SDHC, SDXC, UHS I, UHS II)
|GPS function||GPS external (permanent smartphone connection)|
|Power supply unit||Power supply connection|
|Power supply||1 x Fujifilm NP-T125400
images according to CIPA standard
|Playback functions||Red-eye retouching, cropping, image rotation, image protection, playback histogram, playback magnifier, image index, zoom out|
|Voice memo||Voice memo (LPCM format)|
|Face recognition||Face recognition|
|Image parameters||Sharpness, contrast, color saturation, noise reduction|
|Special functions||Grid fade-in, Pixel mapping, Orientation sensor, Live View, User profiles|
|Connections||Data interfaces: USBUSB type
:USB 3.0 SuperSpeedWLAN
: available (Type: B, G, N)
|AV Connections||AV output: HDMI output Micro (Type D
)Audio input: yes (3.5 mm jack (stereo, 3-pin))
Audio output: yes (3.5 mm stereo microphone jack)
|Supported direct printing methods||Exif print|
|Housing||Splash water protection, frost-proof up to -10 °C|
|Special features and miscellaneous||Ultrasonic sensor cleaning Exposure compensation
+/-2 exposure bracket
ISO, dynamic range, film simulationSingle AF function
with 13 x 9 fields (viewfinder), 24 x 17 (LCD) AF field size selectable from 6 typesZone AF
with 3 x 3, 5 x 5, 7 x 7 fields of 117 fields on a 13 x 9 rasterTouch
AF film simulation
Provia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg. Hi, Pro Neg. Std, black and white, AcrosFilm grain mode
with 3 settingsPhotobook wizard
|Technical notes||The electronic viewfinder is removable and is included in the scope of delivery|
Size and weight
|Dimensions W x H x D||148 x 94 x 91 mm|
|Weight||825 g (ready for operation)|
|standard accessory||Fujifilm BC-T125 Special Battery ChargerFujifilm
NP-T125 Special BatteryFujifilm
VF-GFX1 (electronic viewfinder)
Bayonet Cover, Strap, Hot Shoe Cover, Sync Cover
|additional accessories||Fujifilm EVF-TL1 (Angle Viewfinder
)Fujifilm H Mount Adapter G Lens AccessoriesFujifilm
VG-GFX1 Rechargeable Battery Grip