Fujifilm GFX videos offer insight into what we can expect from their medium format mirrorless camera

Dec 30, 2016

John Aldred

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.

Fujifilm GFX videos offer insight into what we can expect from their medium format mirrorless camera

Dec 30, 2016

John Aldred

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.

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Fuji’s GFX 50S medium format camera got a lot of attention when it was announced at Photokina in September. But, it was also still shrouded in quite a lot of mystery. They wouldn’t let us have a look at it outside of its glass cabinet, and certainly not test it out. Even the official GFX page on the FUji website doesn’t really have a whole lot of information now.

We know it’s medium format, mirrorless, has a 43.8 x 32.9mm 51.4MP sensor and will have an array of impressive looking lenses available. We also know that there’s a vertical grip available for it, for those that shoot portrait orientation often. Fuji have been teasing us with some videos, though. The first two appeared in September during the GFX announcement, but several more we released just a few days ago.

First is Belgian photographer Piet Van den Eynde, who test drove the new GFX on a trip to India. Piet talks about the increased dynamic range and huge resolution as two of the main advantages of this medium format camera.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6KFm1sVYfI

Piet says that those making the transition from Fuji’s smaller sensor cameras like the X-T2 will feel comfortable with the GFX. The two cameras share a similar control layout design. DSLR users will also appreciate the ease with which you can change apertures using the command dial.

Japan based photographer Itaru Hirama was also challenged to shoot with the GFX to photograph a dancer in the studio. Itaru was surprised at the ease of use and versatility of the camera.

YouTube video

Seeing dance photography as a “creative jam session”, Itaru dances with his subjects as they do. The GFX seemed to have no problems keeping up with either his movement, or the pace at which he was shooting.

Photographer Yinghui Wu from China tested a prototype of the GFX 50S and GF lenses for some landscape phtoography. Landscape photography is one of the areas where digital medium format photography traditionally shined. So, this really illustrates how it compares to some of the larger medium format systems out there.

YouTube video

While the above video is mostly music, the images do a lot of talking. The colours, tonality and detail in the results are extremely impressive. It seems to have no problem keeping up with medium format’s landscape reputation. It also looks like it handles the cold weather just fine, too, shooting in temperatures as low as -6°C (21°F).

It’s more than a little obvious that users will want to see how the GFX handles during a wedding. So, allow Spanish photographer Natan Sans to demonstrate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsLDZ8trMPI

Natan believes that shooting two different formats is practical. One for the spontaneous, fast paced photos that capture the moment. For this, Natan will continue to use his X-Pro2. The other for maximum quality and detail for specific photographs and poses.

A lot of film shooters used to feel the same way. They’d shoot medium format for the posed images, and 35mm for the more documentary style candids. So, having a relatively small and compact system like the GFX makes this a very viable option, once again, for wedding photographers.

Finally, there’s Swedish photography Serkan Günes, with a video previous that kinda reminds me of The Shining. Also shooting landscapes, Serkan travels to Swedish Lapland for snow covered vistas. Photographing snow is always challenging. There’s often so little detail, with stark contrast between bright highly reflective snow and near black shadows. It doesn’t seem to cause much of a problem for the GFX, though.

YouTube video

With detail in both the brightest snow, and the darkest shadows, the tonal range is just beautiful. And if you were worried about the GFX’s weather sealing, it looks like you needn’t have bothered. It seems fairly impervious to both the cold frozen snow, and the melted water. I probably wouldn’t set out to test its limits, but I wouldn’t worry about taking it out to shoot in the rain, either.

By all apperances, it’s a worthy step up from Fuji’s X system cameras, in a form factor that suits those who prefer the larger size of a DSLR. Aside from this and the Hasselblad X1D, medium format cameras are typically very large, larger than most want to handle in day to day shooting. I’ve shot with the Hasselblad H3D-39 many times in the past, and it’s not a form factor I could see myself using for everything.

The GFX, though, is another matter entirely. I could certainly see myself carrying one of these around all day, and using it wherever I might otherwise use a DSLR. Awful pricey, though. At an estimated $8,000, it’s an upgrade that even most hardened pros would have to think long and hard about. There’s still no official release date yet beyond “Early 2017”, but you can read a little more about it on the Fuji GFX website.

How about you? Have you been thinking about switching to mirrorless medium format? Hasselblad X1D or Fuji GFX? Have you already taken the plunge and stepped up to the X1D? Are you regretting it since the announcement of the GFX? Let us know in the comments.

[via Digital Trends]

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John Aldred

John Aldred

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.

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2 responses to “Fujifilm GFX videos offer insight into what we can expect from their medium format mirrorless camera”

  1. Liam Avatar
    Liam

    I had watched these videos the other day and quickly realized that my initial conclusions where correct… this may well become a great landscape camera but for what I need, the Hasselblad with its leaf shutter is by far the better option.

  2. Andy Bennet Avatar
    Andy Bennet

    A 10000 ” tronchos” el cuerpo va a ser que no….. Lo siento tampoco voy en un Mercedes y jamás me compraré un rolex….