Fuji has announced the GFX 50S II medium format camera and it’s only $3,999
Well, the rumour was true. Fujifilm has now officially announced the new GFX 50S II medium format mirrorless camera and the price is only $3,999 (or £3,499 in the UK). The compact (for a medium format interchangeable lens system) camera shoots 51.4-megapixel images, with a very wide dynamic range and a shallow depth of field that full-frame shooters can only dream of.
It boasts five-axis in-body image stabilisation that provides up to 6.5 stops of holding power. It also features Fuji’s Pixel Shift Multi, which lets the camera shoot 16-images and combine them into a single raw file for maximum tone and detail.
The GFX 50S II comes in an even more compact package than the original GFX 50S and with a more compact $3,999 price tag, too. Even if you go for the kit lens option, which comes bundled with the 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR lens, you’re still only paying $4,499 – the same price as the GFX 50R (body only).
|Fujifilm GFX 50S II
|51.4-megapixel 43.8×32.9mm BSI CMOS sensor
|Yes, up to 6.5 stops
|425 phase detection
|100-12,800 (50-102,400 extended)
|Max shutter speed
|1/4000 (Mechanical) / 1/16,000 (Electronic) / 1/4000 (Electronic front curtain flash)
|Up to 3fps
|3.69m-dot 0.5″ EVF
|2.36m-dot 3-way tilting touchscreen LCD
|Internal video modes
|Full HD (1920×1080) at 29.97, 25, 24, 23.98fps at 36Mbps for up to 120 minutes.
|10-Bit 4:2:2 or 12-Bit RAW over HDMI
|Dual UHS-II SD card lsots
|USB Type-C (USB 3.2 Gen 1×1)
|2200mAh battery (Fujifilm NP-W235)
|900g (with battery and memory)
The 51.4-megapixel sensor measures 43.8 x 32.9mm with a pixel pitch of 5.3 microns. This means that despite the high resolution, each individual photosite is larger than those found on full-frame systems like the Canon EOS R5 (4.39 microns) or the Sony A7R IV (3.76 microns) for maximum light-gathering abilities. It means less noise and more dynamic range.
It’s actually reported to be the same sensor as found in the original GFX 50S, although with Fuji’s latest and significantly improved new X-Processor 4 processor. The GFX 50S II adds a new film simulation over the original – Nostalgic Neg, originally developed for the GFX 100S – although like the GFX 50S there’s no 4K video. It’s limited to 1080p at up to 30 frames per second, although you can shoot for up to 2 hours continuously now instead of 30 minutes.
As with its predecessor, the GFX 50II features a contrast-based autofocus system. The hybrid conrast and phase-detection system is still reserved for the higher end GFX 100 models. But there’s a new “Rapid AF” option on the GFX 50S II, which they say speeds up the contrast based focusing and also makes it more accurate by utilising the new IBIS system. The new processor also allows for newer, faster algorithms with more accurate face/eye defection over the GFX 50S.
Despite the new faster processor, though, you’re still only going to get 3 frames per second in continuous shooting mode. If you want more than that, you’ll have to go up to the GFX 100S. Mechanical shutter speed goes from 1/4,000th of a second up to a whole hour, with the electronic shutter capping out at 1/16,000th of a second.
When it comes to the overall body design, as mentioned, it’s quite a bit more compact. It’s now not that much larger than your typical full-frame mirrorless camera from somebody like Canon. It features the same 3.69 million dot EVF that comes with the GFX 100S but unlike the GFX 50S EVF, this one is fixed into the camera and cannot be removed.
All in all, there seem to be three huge changes with the GFX 50S II over the original.
- It’s smaller, more compact.
- It has 5-axis IBIS with 6.5 stops of capability
- It’s cheaper
If you’re an existing GFX 50S owner, the big question is whether or not you want IBIS badly enough. For those who’ve been thinking about the GFX 50S, going for the GFX 50S II instead seems like a bit of a no-brainer, unless you really want the more versatile EVF of the original GFX 50S and are willing to pay an extra $1,500 for it.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II is available to pre-order now for $3,999 body only, or $4,499 with the new 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR lens. If you’re already a Fuji medium format shooter that just wants the lens, that’s available to pre-order for $999. All items are expected to begin shipping in late September.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.