First Impressions: Fuji GFX 50s
I love Fuji cameras.
I am a shameless X100t owner as well as user of the #fujiframez hashtag, and when I heard Fuji was doing a mirrorless medium format camera I was super amped to check it out - my enthusiasm was knocked back somewhat when I found out about the purchase price ($6,500). Safe to say that for my uses the GFX is currently in the "rent rather than buy" price range, but for any working stills photographers I can definitely see it being a valuable investment.
LensProToGo.com thankfully carries the GFX and was so kind as to let me take it for a brief spin, which was the weekend before NAB. I must be honest and say that I didn't get to try out absolutely everything I would've liked to given the nature of that weekend, so we'll need to do a part two.
First Thing - The Ergonomics
The GFX feels like a natural evolution of the X100t - the menus and controls are generally similar, with a few added features due to the larger body. The shutter speed and ISO dials are lockable by pressing the small button in the center of the dial, and a screen has been added behind the shutter release.
The size of the GFX definitely felt closer to a DSLR like my Canon 6D than the small X100t - this isn't a pocket camera. That being said, it didn't feel overly bulky or uncomfortable to operate, everything always felt easy to access and it was very comfortable to hold.
A few features seemed slightly more difficult to access (wi-fi transfer for one), but it admittedly could be that I just didn't spend enough time in the menus setting custom functions.
Second Thing - The Look
Good golly miss Molly this sensor is huge. It's a beautifully large sensor, packing all of Fuji's magic color science. Medium format definitely has a distinct quality that just can't quite be imitated with normal Full Frame sensors, and the GFX is no exception. The lens I had access to was the GF 63mm 2.8, and it's a beautiful portrait lens. Honestly even with the large sensor it feels a little tight for a walk-around lens, so for part two with the GFX I would love something wider, closer to a 35mm FF equivalent.
The GFX does a fantastic job of handling mixed color temperatures, rendering skin tones, and maintaining detail in shadows/highlights. It also has potential for enormous prints due to the ultra high-res sensor.
I shot Raw+JPEG with the same settings I use on my x100t - Classic Chrome, -2 highlight, -2 shadow. I then would transfer the JPEG to my phone, do a quick pass in VSCO or the RNI films app, and post to Instagram. The whole workflow is incredibly simple, and it's crazy that you can get this quality of image straight from camera to social media so quickly.
The images in this post are all from the raw files being imported to Lightroom and tweaked using VSCO presets as starting points, but you can download some of the original files below if you want to play with editing them yourself.
The GFX is definitely a camera that I regretted having to ship back. I look forward to getting some more time with it to push around the ISO limits and try some other lenses, but overall I would highly recommend this camera.
The biggest perk to this camera is having a huge sensor, strong raw files, and a ton of resolution in the palm of your hand, while still having the easy wifi transfer from the x100 allowing you to send stills straight to social media at blazing fast speeds.
One qualm is that there aren't a ton of options for native Fuji lenses yet, but I'd be curious to see what older medium format lenses people end up slapping onto these cameras.
I'll definitely be looking to bring the GFX in on any jobs where quality stills are a high priority - it's my favorite digital stills camera by a long shot.
If you want to play with some full-res straight out of camera GFX files Click Here!
If you're interested in taking the GFX for a spin hit up LensProToGo.com, and use code ebourcier15 for 15% off your rental!
I'll be doing a video soon on my #fujiframez workflow with my X100 on youtube - watch for it!
What do you think of the GFX? Will you be buying one?