Fujifilm's GFX 50S Medium-Format Mirrorless Camera Costs $6,500

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Jan 19, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    What would you say if I told you that was actually a bargain? It wasn’t too long ago that you had to pay over $10K, $20K, or even $30K to delve into medium-format photography, but now, that is no longer the case. What was once the exclusive domain of elite fashion and architectural shooters is now an option for many hobbyists and other non-professionals thanks to cameras like the GFX 50S and Pentax 645Z. Obviously, the appeal here is producing massive, 51.4-megapixel images—and I thought I was set when I got my D800e a couple years back, which “only” captures 36 MP…

    Fujifilm has announced that its GFX 50S is set to hit stores in "late" February for $6,500 (body-only). While that price may seem steep, it's considerably lower than a competitor like Hasselblad's X1D, which sells for roughly $9,000. Fujifilm's new shooter features a massive 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor (43.8 x 32.9mm), an X Processor Pro (same one that's on the X-Pro2 and X-T2), a 117-point autofocus system, as well as a high-res electronic viewfinder and 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen. Oddly enough, there's no 4K video support, with the GFX 50S only capable of capturing 1080p at 24, 25 and 30fps. That's going to be disappointing for users who were hoping to record Ultra HD content with this camera.
     
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  2. nightanole

    nightanole [H]ard|Gawd

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    8256 x 6192. Now it doesnt seem like a huge amount of pixels, its 4k with a 2x digital zoom.
     
  3. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well, it's greater than 8k, but the news here isn't the resolution, sensor size, or price, as the Sony 50MP 645 crop sensor this Fuji uses has been around for quite a while, and Canon ships a 50MP 35mm camera for under US$3k that's better than this Fuji camera (or any medium format camera) in every way except the sensor size/quality and access to lenses with fast shutters.

    The big news here is the combination of the above and the size, along with it being Fuji putting this camera system out. What this means is that you can get a (relatively) affordable mid-resolution (Sony ships a 100MP medium format sensor too, that's widely used, but is too large for this camera) medium-format body that is compact and is developed by one of the larger camera companies, and further, by Fuji who is doing an excellent job at building mirrorless cameras that are competitive with DSLR technology.

    What I'm looking at with this system is how well Fuji advances the autofocus, something 35mm DSLRs have perfected when it comes to tracking during burst shooting, and something that mirrorless cameras in 35mm and smaller formats have perfected when it comes to portraiture, with Sony's Eye-AF being an example. Note that this first camera is likely to have very middling AF, being limited to contrast detection, but since the sensor is sourced from Sony, we're likely to see future versions that have some form of PDAF tech, something Fuji has been very good at exploiting.
     
  4. PhotoBobBarker

    PhotoBobBarker [H]Lite

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    [QUOTE="IdiotInCharge, post: 1042766897, member: 67030"but the news here isn't the resolution, sensor size, or price, as the Sony 50MP 645 crop sensor this Fuji uses has been around for quite a while, and Canon ships a 50MP 35mm camera for under US$3k that's better than this Fuji camera (or any medium format camera) in every way except the sensor size/quality and access to lenses with fast shutters..[/QUOTE]

    And that is where most people get it wrong. The BIG deal here is that this brings medium resolution medium format imagers to the "masses" Medium format cameras have several advantages. You can either have a high resolution with the same amount of noise artifacts as a 35mm, or you can have a "medium, like the one above" resolution with practically no noise at all. That is why when looking at cameras most people who by a camera based on "how many megapixels it has" going about it completely wrong. Given equal technology, a identical size lower resolution imager will ALWAYS have better low light performance than a higher resolution imager. That right there is the bread and butter of Medium format camera.


    When looking for a camera first decide what you want to use it for. if you aren't planning on making life size prints or cropping the hell out of the image, anything over 8-10 Mp is excessive (even if it does look good for the marketing). Then decide if you are wanting a sport camera (high speed shooting at fast moving things), or more of a portrait camera (most wildlife, street photography, shooting in low light). That is where you decide on what features to look at.
    For sports type, you need to look at focus speed and tracking. You don't need lots of autofocus points (in high speed photography you don't really have time to mess with 60-80 AF points).
    For portrait work there are really mostly 3 things to look for; focus accuracy (and the ability to adjust it), extremely low image noise, and a suitable number of AF points (or manual focus) to be able to compose the image the way you want).
    Obviously once you get to the point of spending the money on something like this.. Or a lowly 5D Mk III... You already know what you are looking for.
     
  5. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That isn't it at all. Have you not heard of the P645D, let alone the P645Z mentioned in the article?

    Medium format, at it's best today, has only two real advantages: a larger sensor that has more dynamic range at the lowest ISO settings, and native (or well-adapted) use of medium-format lens ecosystems.

    And for most uses, it's the lenses that count, particularly lenses that have central shutters for high native sync speeds to take advantage of all of that resolution for moving subjects (people), and for technical lenses that make the most advanced tilt/shift/perspective correction lenses available for 35mm systems look like toys.


    (I'm not going to respond to the rest of your points- nothing really to argue there)
     
  6. buttons

    buttons [H]ard|Gawd

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    Having moved from Nikon D600 to an X-2e and back to a D750 -- this camera has me pretty excited. With that said, i do not believe i need anything better then a D750 until maybe retirement... i am too busy to really enjoy photography.
     
  7. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I'm still not really excited- not for my languishing personal photography, at least- given that the equivalent investment would net me a 5D IV with a set of pro zooms that would put the capabilities of this camera to shame for anything I'd do. As much as this camera is more of a mass-market appeal than anything before it, it is still extremely limited due to price and lens selection.

    The cool part is less what Fuji's new system brings to the table today, but the potential therein, in my opinion.
     
  8. Aki

    Aki Limp Gawd

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    My body is ready... Kidney for sale.
     
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  9. MN Scout

    MN Scout [H]ardness Supreme

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    I love the visual compression provided by true medium format. There is a look there that is difficult to match in 35mm digital land. I have a Mamiya Twins Lens Reflex camera that shoots 120 film on a negative size that is 56mm x 56mm. The pictures it produces are just amazing. With film in the digital age, it is all about how well you can scan the pictures, and whether that scan is enough for the size picture you want to print. Certainly I'm not going to be getting 50 megapixel scan from it. Though my look and depth of field and quality will certainly challenge this Fuji camera.
     
  10. AK0tA

    AK0tA Gawd

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    Very cool I enjoy the medium format but way out of my budget, my Nikon D5100 and the good lenses take very nice pictures for me.

    I will stick with my Yashika-D for my medium format fun because I love old school and the challange.
     
  11. Incontentia Buttocks

    Incontentia Buttocks [H]Lite

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    Pixel pitch works out to 43.8/8245 = 5.3 microns which is about the same as the Nikon D800 (36Mpx), so while it's technically a medium format camera because the sensor is larger than the nominal 35mm sensors, it doesn't offer a larger pixel compared to 35 mm sensor of comparable Mpx so noise won't be much improved over the D800. In theory at least. We'll see what DxO labs comes up with.
     
  12. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

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    But those pixels are nice and fat, they'll catch lots of light and take very clear pictures in low light.

    That a bargain for such a big sensor as well.

    The last days of mirrors are upon us, and that's good. Now that processors can give us a high frame rate in a digital viewfinder there just isn't any need those moving parts.
     
  13. aokman

    aokman Gawd

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    Its not about the resolution, that is just a side effect of the sensor size. Medium format is about the format itself... It has a very different look and feel to the images.