At Photo Plus NY, we also had a brief conversation with Mr Makoto Oishi of Fujifilm Corporation, who has been involved in the design and planning of the new Fuji GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera. As you may already know, Fuji was the second to introduce the medium format mirrorless camera, after Hasselblad made the headlines a few months ago by introducing the Hasselblad X1D-50c. Both feature similar 50 MP medium format CMOS sensors and compete directly with each other in this new market segment. Previously, Pentax was the only company to offer a medium format camera in a similar price range of under $10K (see our Pentax 645Z review), but it cannot be really considered a competitor, since it is a medium format DSLR, which differs vastly in terms of size, weight and ergonomics. The new Hasselblad and Fuji mirrorless cameras are certainly game-changers in that regard, being so compact and lightweight. While full-frame mirrorless cameras can be comparable in size and weight to smaller full-frame DSLRs, the same cannot be said about what Hasselblad and Fuji have done with their mirrorless offerings – the difference between them and something like the Pentax 645Z is just too drastic.
So when John and I were cruising through the isles on the expo floor, we saw quite a bit of interest from public in both the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fuji GFX 50S. Since Fuji has not yet finalized the camera system and its pricing, the company mostly hid their medium format pre-production models under thick glass, so in order for us to get a closer look at the system, we had to request an interview with the Fujifilm management. It was a bit hard to secure a spot in between the many meetings Fuji was hosting with the media, but we were able to get into a remote area of the expo to have a more intimate conversation with Mr Makoto Oishi, who was kind enough to talk about the GFX 50S and the new Fuji medium format lenses:
It is exciting to see that the system will sell for less than $10K for both a camera body and a lens. If Fuji manages to keep the price of the GFX 50S lower than $8K, it would be impressive and if the company pushes it even lower towards $6K, I can see many photographers investing in such a system – I would probably be one of them. I love the Fuji X system and own the Fuji X-T1, so if the GFX 50S turns out to be an amazing camera for my landscape photography needs, my Nikon D810 might go on vacation for a while!
Good times! Now give it a few years and these cameras will probably drop below the $5K range, which is really exciting…