Fuji GFX 50S Review: Summary
When I obtained both the Hasselblad X1D-50c and the Fuji GFX 50S for testing, I wanted to put the two systems side-by-side and see which one I would prefer over the other. I have been waiting for a solid new generation mirrorless system for my professional work for a while now, and after seeing that both Hasselblad and Fuji entered the medium format market, I decided to invest in the system that proves to be better and more reliable in the long run.
A medium format system is not cheap by any means, so I wanted to take my time in testing both heavily in the field, without rushing my purchase decision. There was a clear difference between the two systems – Hasselblad X1D-50c seemed to target a different market than the Fuji GFX 50S with its leaf shutter lenses, beautiful design and simplified user interface. It also costs significantly more ($2500 to be exact for the camera body alone), with XCD lenses also priced significantly higher when compared to Fuji’s GF line of lenses. So on paper, the Hasselblad was going to be a higher investment by default, something I was willing to consider if it proved to be a better overall system.
However, after months of use of both camera systems, I came to the conclusion that the Fuji GFX 50S is a far better camera to invest in when compared to the X1D-50c. Not only because of its superior feature-set (more responsive EVF, faster and richer AF system, tiltable LCD screen and a very robust menu system with tons of options), but also because it proved to be a more reliable tool.
Top that with better overall image quality (see the previous page for ISO invariance tests), vastly superior battery life, ability to adapt third party lenses and far less blackouts and lags in comparison, and I really don’t see any area where the X1D-50c is functionally better. The X1D-50c is a beautiful camera without a doubt, but that’s pretty much its only strength. It has an unbearably long start-up time, poor battery life, poor feature set, and constant bugs, making it a very frustrating camera to work with.
Knowing that both systems would most likely ship with plenty of bugs and imperfections (which is expected from a newly-started system), I wanted to give plenty of time for manufacturers to address critical problems. Fuji had a few critical issues to address related to focusing, but its firmware was already strong to start with since it was mostly adapted from other X-series cameras. Hasselblad, on the other hand, started clean and had a lot of work ahead of it. I am happy to report that Fuji addressed all the critical issues on the GFX 50S via firmware updates, so the camera has been functioning very reliably.
Unfortunately, it seems like Hasselblad has a lot of work ahead of itself to make the X1D-50c comparable to the GFX 50S. With so many basic features missing from the camera, it will probably take many more months for Hasselblad to make the camera even remotely comparable to the GFX 50S. And who knows, maybe Hasselblad does not have any plans to make the X1D-50c comparable to the GFX 50S in the first place…
I am happy to say that I am now a proud owner of the Fuji GFX 50S and a few GF lenses – this is the camera system I am going to be using going forward for my landscape photography needs. I am planning to start evaluating all GF lenses through detailed reviews, so if you also decide to invest in the GFX system, you will probably be enjoying all the content that’s coming up.
Where to Buy
As always, you can support our efforts by buying from our trusted partner B&H Photo Video. As of 02/10/2020, the Fuji GFX 50S sells for $5,499.
Fuji GFX 50S
- Build Quality
- Focus Speed and Accuracy
- Image Quality
- High ISO Performance
- Size and Weight
- Metering and Exposure
- Movie Recording Features
- Dynamic Range
- Ease of Use
- Speed and Performance
- Battery Life
Photography Life Overall Rating
Table of Contents