Meet the Fujifilm GFX 50R – Compact digital medium format mirrorless camera

Fujifilm has finally brought their GFX 50R compact rangefinder style digital medium format camera to the Philippines.

Meet the Fujifilm GFX50R - Compact digital medium format
The Fujifilm GFX 50R

The GFX 50R is a weather sealed rangefinder style digital camera that uses Fujifilm’s G-Mount that houses a 51MP CMOS medium format sensor and X-Processor Pro. It has a 2.36 million dot, 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen display and an EVF display with a 3.69 Million dot display.

It is capable of shooting up to 3 fps with an ISO range of 100 up to 102400 and a shutter speed of 360 seconds up to 1/16000 sec.

Inside is the exact same sensor found in the Fujifilm GFX 50S and the competing Phase ONE and Mamiya Medium format camera but with Fujifilm’s own image processing and algorithms.

Meet Fujifilm GFX50R

Back side!
Back side!

At first glance, the GFX 50R looks like a bigger X-Pro 2 or a bigger X-E3 with a slimmer rangefinder style form factor. When I first held it in my hands, I was surprised at how light it is compared to how it looks. It weighs around 690 grams without the battery and accessories.

From a far the camera looks like it can take a beating. This is reinforced once you finally hold the camera in your hands as it feels solid and hefty but lightweight. It is weather sealed which means it can withstand and still operate under light rain and in temperatures up to -10 degrees Celsius.

At the back of the body is the EVF, the tilting display, autofocus toggle, rear command dial, joystick and several buttons.

The display is a touch screen that tilts up or down similar to the X-T30.
top side!
Top side!

On top is the top plate with the microphone, GFX 50R branding, hot shoe and microphones. Beside it is the Shutter Speed dial, Exposure compensation dial, drive mode button, on-off switch and the shutter release button with the front command dial.

At the bottom!
At the bottom!

At the bottom is a reinforced tripod screw mount, a rubber hatch that hides the DC-IN port, USB Type-C port. On the other side is the battery hatch.

Left side
Left side

On the left side is the Diopter dial, a rubber hatch that hides the remote control port and the left strap lug.
right side!
Right side!

On the right side is a rubber hatch that hides the micro HDMI port and the dual SD card slots with UHS-II support. Beside it is the grip and the right strap lug.


Because of the larger form factor, the 50R is easier to hold and manage even with larger lenses like the GF 100-200 f/5.6. The button  and dial placements are easy to reach even when shooting one handed with short fingers. Our only nitpick is the new power on/off toggle and the front command dial below the shutter release button are both easy to hit.

Performance

The more we used the camera, the more we grew to love it as we got to know its strengths and weaknesses. It is built to be a compact medium format camera that you can carry around with you with the focus on ultimate image quality. Because of the large size of the sensor, it takes a longer period for the shutter curtains to completely fill the sensor along with the large amount of light data gathers has slowed down the camera to 3 frames per second but with stunning images when viewed full size or when pixel peeping.

Another effect of the larger sensors is the ability to shoot with a longer lens but with a wider field of view of a shorter lens. When framed or composed the same, the image looks drastically different because the of the stronger compression and the shallower depth of field of a longer lens that creates the ‘medium format’ look that is sorely missed by professionals who used medium format film.

The result is stunning images with unmatched detail and dynamic range!


As you will see in the images below, the 51MP images are not just sharp but are detailed even when zoomed in. And you can zoom in quite far. The Dynamic range as well is class leading with up to three stop shadow and highlight recovery. This is impressive as recovering detail, color and contrast from highlights is impossible even from most full frame cameras. 

It is clear that the ultimate image quality is what this camera was made for and thus compromised in other areas.

Camera Samples

Medium Format full width - Voigtlander 58 f/1.4 adapted
Medium Format full width – Voigtlander 58 f/1.4 adapted
Meet the Fujifilm GFX 50R - Compact digital medium format mirrorless camera
35 mm Full Frame crop mode 
Pigeon full size
Pigeon full size – GF 100-200 f5.6
100 percent crop pigeon
100 percent crop pigeon
Seagull full size - GF 100-200 f/5.6
Seagull full size – GF 100-200 f/5.6
Seagull 100 percent crop
Seagull 100 percent crop
Indoor - GF 100-200 f/5.6
Indoor – GF 100-200 f/5.6
Low light handheld - GF 100-200 f/5.6
Low light handheld – GF 100-200 f/5.6
Low light handheld with Shadows recovered in post
Low light handheld with shadows recovered in post
Church full size – GF 45mm f/2.8
Church 100 percent crop
Church 100 percent crop

Fujifilm GFX 50R Specs

Body Type: Rangefinder style
Mount: G-Mount
Sensor: 51MP CMOS, 44 x 33 mm Medium format sensor
Processor: X-Processor Pro
Tilt Display: Tilting 3.2-inch 2.36 Million dot TFT LCD touch display
EVF Display: 3.69 Million dot display with 100 percent coverage, 0.77x magnification
ISO: Auto, 100-12800 (expandable up to 102400)
Autofocus: Contrast Detect, Single point, Continuous, Tracking, Face Detection
Shutter Speed: 360 seconds up to 1/4000 sec (mechanical shutter), 1/16000 sec (electronic shutter)
Continuous drive: up to 3 frames per second
Still file format: RAW + TIFF, JPEG (Super Fine, Fine, Normal)
Video file format: up to 1080p 30 fps in MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
Microphone: Stereo
Speaker: Mono
Storage Tye: Dual card slot with SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-II support
Ports: USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, microphone port, headphone port, Remote Control port
Weather Sealing: Yes
Battery: NP-T125 lithium-ion battery
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,
Others: GPS,  Colors: Black
Diameter and Length: 160.7mm x 96.5mm x 66.4mm

Weight: 690 g without accessories, battery and memory card
Price: PHP 259,990

Quick thoughts

Fujifilm GF50R with the GF 100-200 f/5.6 and the GF 45 f/2.8
Fujifilm GF50R with the GF 100-200 f/5.6 and the GF 45 f/2.8


The GFX 50R is the camera a lot of people who used to shoot medium format film has been waiting for in a tough and solid weather sealed body.

It is for methodical photography like landscape, studio, portraiture and in certain situations it can work for street and documentary photography. It is not for sports, action and wildlife as the max frame rate is 3 fps and the buffer isn’t deep enough for a long burst of shots.

We were able to forgive all those misgivings because when used at its field of strengths, the image quality is just unbeatable in resolution, detail, contrast and color.

It is not the fastest camera around nor is it the most versatile but if you are looking for a compact camera with unmatched image quality, then the GFX 50R is worth looking at.

What do you guys think? Will you be getting one?

Author: Marshmallow

Marshmallow Android is BT Ireland’s Head of Sales for Republic of Ireland domestic multi-site companies, indigenous MNCs and public sector accounts. He is responsible for the direction and control of all sales activity in the region. He has over 10 years management experience from high growth start-ups to more established businesses. He’s led teams in Ireland, India and China across various industries (ICT, On-Line Recruitment, Corporate Training and International Education).