Today is a big day for Fuji because the company unveiled its first digital medium format mirrorless camera with a 51.4 MP sensor, the Fuji GFX 50S. And not only that, but also a total of 6 medium format “G” mount lenses specifically designed for the new GFX 50S: GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR, GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR, GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR, GF 110mm f/2, GF 120mm f/4 Macro, and GF 32-64mm f/4R LM WR zoom lens. Both the camera and the lenses are in development and they are not finalized yet, but we can expect the company to start shipping the camera with a couple of lenses in early 2017. Although the pricing has not been announced yet, the company promised that the GFX 50S will be well under $10K, which will put it in competition with the Hasselblad X1D-50c. Many would consider this announcement to be groundbreaking and I believe it really is – Fuji decided to skip full-frame mirrorless altogether, focusing heavily on APS-C cameras and now medium format. With Fuji’s ability to design superb lenses with impressive sharpness, color and contrast characteristics, I have no doubt that the GFX 50S will be in demand.
I am personally excited about this announcement, because Fuji knows how to build amazing camera systems. I have been a big fan of the Fuji X system and having owned and used the Fuji X-T1 ever since it was announced, I cannot think of a better APS-C mirrorless system on the market. This is mostly due to the fact that Fuji has been very active in not only the development of strong camera offerings but also because the company has been delivering exceptional lenses for the system. The same cannot be said about Sony’s APS-C cameras, for example, which feel abandoned in contrast and in favor of the full-frame camera system.
Digital medium format cameras have traditionally been very bulky and expensive, but with both Hasselblad and Fuji jumping in on the MF bandwagon this year and showcasing the power of dropping the mirror mechanism altogether and doing so at sub-$10K price shows that those of us who need the ultimate image quality will have some great options. With a physical size of 43.8×32.9mm, the medium format sensors on these cameras are 1.7x larger than full-frame.
And if we factor in the current resolution, the physical size of each pixel is roughly 5.29 microns, which is noticeably larger than the 4.87 micron pixels we see on the Nikon D810 or the 4.51 micron pixels we see on the Sony A7R II. So there is definitely a lot more room to grow in such a large sensor size when it comes to sheer megapixels. And with the sensor size 4x larger than APS-C, it is expected to see a huge difference in image quality between the Fuji X-series cameras and the GFX 50S.
One thing to note, the aspect ratio of the Fuji GFX 50S is 4:3, similar to what we had previously seen on the Hasselblad X1D-50c. This is quite a bit different when compared to the 3:2 aspect ratio we normally see on both APS-C and full-frame cameras. While you could certainly change the aspect ratio to something different like 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17, to get the most out of the sensor on this camera, one would have to get used to shooting in native 4:3 aspect ratio.
When it comes to ergonomics, Fuji does not disappoint – the GFX 50S looks beautiful, somewhat similar in its appearance compared to other Fuji X-series cameras. I personally like the ergonomics on this camera better than on the Hasselblad X1D-50c, because we have dedicated dials for both shutter speed and ISO, while the aperture ring is going to be available on all G-mount lenses, similar to what we see on most Fuji X-series lenses. And it looks like there will be an option to add a vertical grip to the camera as well:
It looks a bit bulkier compared to the X1D-50c, but not by a huge margin. In fact, many prefer to have a larger camera on their hands, especially with large lenses mounted on it. Here is the side view of the camera, with a 63mm f/2.8R W lens mounted on it:
The biggest difference between the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the GFX 50S in my opinion is the shutter mechanism – the Hasselblad has a leaf shutter integrated into each lens, whereas the Fuji has a focal plane shutter that sits right in front of the sensor. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both. Flash shooters love leaf shutters, because they allow using crazy high flash sync speeds. Sadly, the Fuji GFX 50S is quite a bit crippled in this regard, with its slow 1/125 sync speed. On the other hand, the focal plane shutter on the Fuji GFX 50S opens up huge opportunities to bring other medium format lenses to life. With adapters, one could mount pretty much any medium format lens out there, even some really old classic film lenses. If you own a few of those classic Contax MF lenses, you will be able to use them with the Fuji GFX 50S, but not with the Hasselblad X1D-50c.
Valhalla, N.Y., September 19, 2016 – In response to unprecedented interest from professional photographers, FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announces the development of the new medium format FUJIFILM GFX mirrorless digital camera system that will deliver unmatched and exceptional image quality. The innovative GFX system will reach a new Fujifilm photographic standard, and support its ongoing commitment to providing the total imaging solution for photographers.
Photographic Excellence and Innovation
Over the course of its proud history that extends over 80 years, Fujifilm has developed
and manufactured photographic films with advanced image resolution, outstanding
color reproduction and tonal qualities to meet the needs of professional photographers as well as photo enthusiasts. Fujifilm offers an extensive range of professional cameras under the consistent philosophy that “a camera is a tool for capturing your creative vision,” and high quality FUJINON lenses are an indispensable part of that commitment. All of the technologies and expertise of Fujifilm have been amassed to develop the new GFX, which uses a medium-format sensor to achieve the highest level of image quality and a completely new type of mirrorless system, and its companion FUJINON GF lenses.
FUJIFILM GFX 50S
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S mirrorless digital camera will feature the new FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor with an astonishing 51.4MP resolution and six FUJINON GF Lenses that will be introduced sequentially in early 2017.
Professional-use Mirrorless Camera System
As a long-term manufacturer of photographic films and medium-format film cameras,
Fujifilm was always aware of the impact that different formats have on photographic expressions. Using a larger format gives an ultimate enhancement to a camera’s ability to capture “texture,” “depth” and “dimension,” which cannot be attained even by substantially increasing the sensor’s pixel count.
Since the launch of the X Series, an increasing number of professional photographers
and photo enthusiasts expressed their desire to achieve the ultimate photographic expression with the X Series’ signature color reproduction. The GFX camera system with the G Format is Fujifilm’s response to their requests.
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S 51.4MP sensor can be adapted to various aspect
ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17, which were available in large and medium format film cameras. The GFX 50S will use the high-performance “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor to provide Fujifilm’s outstanding color and tone reproduction at an extremely high level. The result is the ultimate capability in photographic expressions that only Fujifilm can deliver thanks to its extensive knowledge in film and medium-format cameras.
Revolutionary Design Concept
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S revolutionizes the concept of medium-format cameras, and compared to conventional medium-format digital SLR cameras, the GFX is lighter in weight, and achieves a far more compact form factor. With regards to functionality, the camera follows in the footsteps of the X Series by featuring numerous physical buttons and dials, and is designed with an ergonomic grip, shaped carefully and optimized for the camera body and lenses.
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S will feature a detachable electronic viewfinder, which users can remove when using an external monitor or wanting to make the system even lighter. In addition, an optional adapter makes it possible to fit the EVF at any angle, giving greater freedom in the
choice of shooting angle. Other optional accessories that will be available at launch include the Vertical Battery Grip, which enhances functionality when shooting in the portrait orientation. The camera also supports tethered shooting, which has become an essential part of the professional photographers’ workflow, and will be compatible with various RAW conversion application software.
Newly-developed FUJINON Lenses
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S will use newly-designed FUJINON lenses with a new lens mount for highest performance and image quality.
A new lineup of FUJINON GF lenses, designed specifically for the GFX, supports the new G Mount. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has the short flange back distance of just 26.7mm to shorten the back focus distance as much as possible. This prevents vignetting to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness of the world’s highest level.
The initial lineup will include the following six FUJINON lenses:
- Standard prime “GF63mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 50mm in the 35mm format)
- Wide-angle standard zoom “GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 25-51mm in 35mm format)
- Mid-telephoto macro 1:0.5 “GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR” (equivalent to 95mm in 35mm format)
- Fast aperture mid-telephoto “GF110mmF2 R LM WR” (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format)
- Ultra-wide “GF23mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format)
- Wide “GF45mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)
The new FUJINON lenses will feature an aperture ring, a popular feature in the X Series, and have a new C (Command) Position on the ring to enable aperture adjustments with the Command Dial on the camera body. Each lens will be dust and weather resistant, built to withstand operation at temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius allowing photographers to take them outdoors with confidence in challenging weather conditions.
FUJIFILM GFX 50S Key Features:
- 51.4MP Medium Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor for superior sharpness and image quality for all professional photographers
- Can be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17
- FUJIFILM “G Mount” with short flange back distance of just 26.7mm
- “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor
- Detachable electronic viewfinder
- Weather and dust resistant; operates as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit \ -10 degrees Celsius
Availability and Pricing
The new FUJIFILM GFX system will be available in early 2017 in the U.S. with pricing to be announced at a later date.
* Design and specifications may be subject to change without notice.
All this is very exciting. I cannot wait to get my hands on both the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fuji GFX 50S. I am planning to write comparison reviews between the two once they both become available.
Dear Nasim (or anyone else),
I know that on the GFX the 100mm is approx 87mm FOV in 35mm terms, etc etc, but how is this calculated exactly?
Nasim, where do you find 1/125th sync speed? DPR has the full announcement from Fuji and there’s no mention of sync speed in that. I checked the Fuji site and they don’t mention sync either.
Sean, no need to look at specs – if you look at the top of the camera, you will see a star next to 125 shutter speed, which indicates maximum sync speed.
I could be talking out of the top of my head here but apart from the mirror/larger size can’t see how the Pentax 645Z doesn’t already deliver the same spec already, far cheaper and with old LS lenses also available at quite a low additional cost?
Alan, I have used the 645Z and I loved everything about it, except its size and weight. This is a whole different ballgame – the size of this camera is very small for its sensor and its weight is around the same as a lightweight full-frame DSLR. This one, along with the Hassy are game changers.
Good point about the size and weight, but at maybe £3000 cheaper for the body? the Pentax still looks good value! All depends on how important the sync speed will be to the photographer?
Still leaves room for my 24mp fujifilm ” X50 ” with a 24-135 built in leaf shutter lens – sort of a X30 on steroids! – well I can dream can’t I?
Was pricing announced?
What is the color depth? Hopefully 16 bit…
It’s using Sony’s 50 MP CMOS sensor, which is 14-bit. For the longest that was a limitation of CMOS sensor. However, Phase One’s 100 MP sensor is CMOS and 16-bit (I’m not 100% certain, but I believe Sony makes that one as well). IMO, that was a bigger spec than 100 MP!
Thank you, that brings another questions. How much improvement in IQ can be expected if FF cameras went 16 bit? I bet it would noticeable…
I was waiting for this one and I’m very very please it being available from early 2017 !
The 1/125 sync. speed is not really acceptable, fortunately for my kind of photography
not a problem. I love the photographic feeling that Fuji gave us with the X system
and they won’t disappoint us with the “G” .
It will be interesting as to where it’s price point will be. It will be competing with not only the Hasselblad X1D, but also the Pentax 645Z which has been in the below $10K range for several years now and has a good foothold in this market. Also quickly will they be getting their announced lenses on the market. This is an area where the 645Z is way ahead of the Fuji and Hasselblad.
I am interested!
I was SO excited…but then my heart sank at 1/125 sync speed. ;-/
Exactly, complete deal breaker for me. What’s the point of all that MF goodness and then cripple the sync speed – even if they matched my Nikon’s 1/250 second it would still not be the tool i require…
Am electronic shutter would have been a great option. They are cheap to impliment, and I know they support and speeds up 1/500. My old Nikon D50 had it, which was pretty low on the totem pole.
Please do your homework before saying you “know” something. The D50 had a CCD sensor, which can use a global electronic shutter. This enabled the flash sync at 1/500th. Today’s CMOS chips are much better at high ISO but until now are not able to use a global shutter. So electronic shutter is not usable with flash AT ALL in today’s cameras. The GFX 50S might well support electronic shutter (sure hope so), but it wouldn’t help the flash sync speed.
They didn’t “cripple” anything. They implemented a focal plane shutter which has the great benefit of being compatible with all adapted lenses. This is a huge benefit compared to the Hasselblad system which can only use leaf shutter lenses.
Sync speed on focal plane shutters is limited by the speed of movement of the curtains. There needs to be a moment where the shutter is completely open so the flash can be fired at that moment. Since that only happens up to a certain shutter speed (= sync speed) the faster speeds are not able to sync correctly, meaning the top or bottom of your image will remain black (the part where the shutter was covering the sensor when the flash fired).
The speed at which the curtain can move has a physical limit:
– there is very little room for acceleration and deceleration
– the shutter needs to last a long time so it can’t be moved too fast or else it will wear out too quickly
– the faster the shutter is accelerated and decelerated the more camera shake it will introduce
Making the sync speed one stop faster (in this case reach the 1/250th of Nikons) would require the curtains to move twice as fast. Shutters are a rather sophisticated part where such a progress is highly unlikely. And from a financial perspective it would make no sense to invest a lot of R&D into a part that will likely be obsolete in 2-3 years when global shutter CMOS sensors become available.
Now coming back to the Fuji: a medium format sensor is larger so if the (also larger) curtains travel at the same speed as the shutters of APS-C or FF cameras this will automatically mean a slower sync speed. If Fuji had managed 1/250th this would have been a spectacular feat of engineering. There’s a reason why the Pentax also syncs at 1/125th.
I understand your disappointment but you can’t blame Fuji for it, blame physics. Just hope they release 2-3 leaf shutter lenses for those people who need fast sync. Or support David Hobby in his wish for a leaf shutter lens adapter (see .
If a feature (or lack of) prevents you from doing something, then it cripples the functionality…irregardless of the reasons why. So yes, 1/125 sync speed cripples the camera because it prevents me (and many others) from doing things with flash without making compromises.
An electronic shutter would have solved that problem! Sony figured (correctly) that manufacturers using this sensor would want video capabilities as well, which electronic shutters aren’t good for. However, the ability to turn off electronic shutters is simple! The best solution would have implemented an electronic shutter for photography mode and switch to the curtain shutter in video mode.
Sorry to be so blunt (I’m German) but you quite obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. A non-global electronic shutter can not be used in concert with flash (with a few exceptions). A mechanical shutter (both focal plane and leaf shutter) can not be used for video. Do the math: 200,000 shutter actuations / 30 fps = 111 minutes of video recording until your shutter dies. Not great.
Here’s a summary for you, because you’re confusing your shutter types:
Non-global electronic shutter (like today’s cameras have): completely silent, no mechanical wear (great for time-lapse), enables extremely fast shutter speeds (for wide-aperture shooting in the sun), only option to shoot video, doesn’t work with flash, bad for action due to rolling shutter
Focal plane shutter (like almost all ILCs have): good for action, works okay with flash (but can party compensate through HSS), pretty loud, can cause vibrations
Leaf shutter (like many MF systems have and specialised cameras like the X100 line): great for flash photography, pretty silent, makes every lens more expensive/complex/larger, the fastest shutter speeds can’t be used with large aperture (bad for action photography).
Global electronic shutter (likely coming in 2-3 years): perfect (in theory)
“A non-global electronic shutter can not be used in concert with flash (with a few exceptions).”
Yet my 10 year old Nikon D50 (which has an electronic shutter) works extremely well with flash. As a matter of fact, it has a flash sync speed that’s twice as fast as the D5 and D810 (1/500). Specs: www.nikonusa.com/en/ni…s/d50.html
Yes, I know electronic shutters aren’t great for video, I clearly stated that in my first reply. That is why a dual shutter option would have been ideal. Camera mode would use the electronic shutter while video mode would use the curtain…again, I stated this before.
I partially agree with one thing you said though. One of us definitely doesn’t know what he is talking about alright! Sorry for being sarcastic (I’m Black).
Did you even read anything that I wrote?
I explained to you above that your D50 uses a CCD sensor. Those had GLOBAL electronic shutters. But due to significantly better image quality today’s cameras use CMOS chips. Those DON’T have a global shutter (yet). Even the sentence that you quoted says “non-global electronic shutter”. Guess why the D5 and D810 have worse sync speed than your ancient D50? Because the D50 synced its global electronic shutter and today’s cameras need to sync their mechanical focal plane shutter (which is “crippled” by physics).
And I clearly explained to you that electronic shutters are the ONLY shutter you can use for video. The focal plane shutter (you called it curtain) CAN NOT be used for video. What you are writing is exactly the opposite of what is correct.
Since you like homework, I’ll give this to you to read as an assignment: www.onsemi.com/pub/C…9195-D.PDF
You may want to focus on the part about CMOS Global Shutters. There is a quiz tomorrow.
Hey, I’m missing your quiz…
Yeah, theoretically CMOS sensors with global shutters exist (and I knew that before your post). But since no camera manufacturer currently uses them, why bother even talking about them.
Anyway, this discussion is leading nowhere so I’ll end it here. I tried to help you understand how the different shutters work but if you don’t want to understand it my work here is done.
Well…you didn’t help me understand anything new. Actually, you tried to undo knowledge that I already had. You started off telling me that I didn’t know what I was talking about and that I needed to go do some homework, and you ended with they do “theoretically” exist.
Somehow you “knew that before your post”, which is puzzling, because if that were the case then your responses don’t make any sense.
I do concede that they aren’t used much outside of education and research. That said, Fuji is a company that has always pushed the envelope. It would have been great to see them do that again in this respect. THAT was my entire point. Oh…but you knew that from the beginning as well, right?
Thanks for the education!
I’ll just leave this right here… www.diyphotography.net/penta…ighting%29
I believe the GFX comes with electronic shutter.
They initially said it uses a curtain shutter. It’s still in active development though, so things may change. I believe this is the Sony sensor that everyone has been using though.
You have a link?
As usual, I find Fuji the most confounding of camera companies, and mostly not in a good way. When I investigated there system they provided beautiful cameras (XT-1!) and excellent lenses. They nailed the ergonomics and image quality. Unfortunately, though, they provided a woefully inadequate flash system. For what I do, it’s a non-starter. They appear to have addressed most of these issues in the XT-2. Then they roll out a medium format system with a 1/125 max sync speed. Too me, this is close to an eye-roll. As much as I respect what they are doing, this seems very short-sighted.
The conventional focal plane shutter makes every lens more affordable and this is not a bad thing!
The slow sync speed can be addressed with flashes that support power sync and HSS and it may get better in future generations of the camera. Both power sync and HSS are available for Fuji cameras for quite some time.
However the higher cost of lenses with the leaf shutter cannot be addressed with time or with technology advancements.
IMHO, Fuji has chosen this approach to lower the cost and to compete better against Hasselblad. It doesn’t sound too bad if I think of WHY they did this.
Excellent take…you sound very young for such a profound logic…
Dear Canon and Nikon,
Your days are numbered.
LOL, another nail in the coffin. And what does Nikon do for Photokina? They announce KeyMission cameras to compete with GoPro! That’s a ridiculous move considering that Photokina is such a major event. The whole world is watching for big news and neither Nikon nor Canon do anything about it.
Canon 5D MK IV is nice yet is more of the same. IMHO Canon M’s are subpar to the rest of the MILC.
Shouldn’t be nikon thinking in doing a Nikon Df mkII, FX (or medium format) mirrorless with half its weight?
Incredible with all the hate among camera collectors.
Thank you for all of your fine work. This is certainly an interesting development, as digital photography keeps expanding and changing. On a related matter, I have been intrigued by the Fuji X system, but have been reticent because of criticisms regarding problems with raw conversion. What if anything have you heard about this, and what do you think about this problem? Thanks for any time you give on your response.
Bama, it is definitely an overblown issue. I shoot Fuji and I love the results – you just need to be careful with the sharpening settings to avoid some areas from appearing like mud. You can use different converters, but I personally use Lightroom and have no problems with it. The Fuji X system is wonderful – their lenses are simply outstanding.