Fujifilm GFX 50R Short Review
Fujifilm’s new GFX 50R is a digital medium format system that has all the makings of a camera that is approachable and accessible to consumer-level users (non-pros). At $4,499, it’s relatively affordable, considering medium format bodies typically cost $6000 or more at launch. At 775g, it’s also more lightweight than the top digital medium format bodies right now, including its predecessor, the GFX 50S. Finally, with its rectangular, rangefinder-style body and more minimal design, it’s easy to figure out and simple to use, even if you’re a medium format newbie.
Still, the GFX 50R isn’t your typical DSLR or mirrorless and shouldn’t be treated as such. Folks have complained about its only 3fps continuous shooting or its bad video quality or its slower autofocus, among other things. But the truth is, a high-quality medium format camera doesn’t operate the same as a high-quality full-frame. While the latter is practically built for speed, the former is designed for a more contemplative way of taking photos. It’s designed so that the photographer considers every composition and takes note of the smallest detail before pressing on that shutter, which is why many pros use it for high fashion, advertising, and landscape photography.
There’s also the matter of the sensor. Some have pointed out that this camera’s sensor is looking a little dated, and that today’s top full frames have sensors that rival—or even surpass—those of a medium format’s, but that isn’t quite as accurate. Granted, super high resolutions only really matter to photographers who are doing it professionally, but a medium format’s larger sensor STILL generally allows better noise handling, more dynamic range, and shallower depth of field, which are some of the reasons why photographers opt to shoot medium format in the first place. And the GFX 50R doesn’t disappoint in that regard.
With its affordable price tag, all those are more accessible than ever to folks who don’t have deep pockets. We’re not at all saying that this is a camera every photographer, whether they’re pro or a hobbyist, needs to have one in their camera bag. We’re saying that if they want to invest in a digital medium format camera, they can now get a great one that won’t break the bank, thanks to the GFX 50R.
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Fujifilm GFX 50R ISO Performance
With a larger 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor, it’s hardly a surprise that this camera handles noise extremely well. Besides offering an extended sensitivity range of 50 to 102,4o0, much like its predecessor, the GFX 50R also keeps luminance and chromatic noise very minimal until 12,800. And even then, you’d have to squint or zoom in to notice them. What’s more is that at 25,600, the images are still beautiful and very useable, though not for professional use.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Image Formats/Aspect Ratios
Perhaps one of the MANY features we love about the GFX 50R is the several different aspect ratios it offers its users. Besides the typical 1:1, 3:2, and 16:9 formats, photographers can also shoot at 5:4, 7:6, and the 65:24, leaving a lot of room for creative compositions. During our tests, just because we’re feeling nostalgic and needed a throwback to our 120mm shooting days, we opted to use the 5:4 and 1:1 formats more, but the 7:6 is just as attractive and the 65:24 is definitely useful when you’re feeling panoramic.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Film Simulations
While the GFX 50S doesn’t have Fuji’s newest film simulation, ETERNA, it does have the usual offerings as well as ACROS. Since this camera’s video capabilities aren’t up to par with today’s many new cameras anyway, we can understand why Fuji didn’t feel that adding ETERNA, a film simulation designed for videos, was a necessity.
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