Fujifilm GFX 50S - We Show You How Small It Is and How It Will Feel In Your Hands and More!

March 17, 2017

John Warkentin from the michaels camera Social Media Team discusses a range of topics with respect to the brand new Fujifilm GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless Camera.

The feel of any camera in one's hands is paramount to enjoying shooting with it. The GFX 50S really delivers the goods in this area! Size and weight just feel right for anyone used to shooting 35mm with DSLR's

But great feel and usability would be meaningless if the images don't live up to expectations. Our early impressions working with the GFX 50S images have put smile on our face and John touches on this and explains some of the comparison tests he has run against the leading high resolution DSLR's and their top tier 24-70mm lenses.

Apologies for the audio on this video. Shooting on a new camera and a few settings must have been mixed up. We try our best to get these things all done in one take no matter what and we trust a few technical problems don't detract from what we have to say.

Much more to come on the amazing Fujifilm GFX 50S.



(John Warkentin)

John Warkentin here from the Michael’s Camera Social Media Team.

As you can see I’m seated here in Michael’s Camera’s world famous camera museum.

I’m surrounded by cameras, and I’ve got a complete table full of cameras as well.

But let’s cut to the chase: Why are we here?

We’ve got the brand new Fuji GFX 50S.

Now, this is a digital mirrorless medium-format camera.

I’m excited about it; I think you’re going to be very excited about it as well.

So, what I wanted to do was give you a little bit of a size comparison, and just a very, very quick overview of this camera.


Most important part of this thing; is this is medium-format, that is manageable in one hand, and it’s just like a little bit more of a grown up version of all the other Fuji cameras.

If you’re familiar with the Fuji XT-series, you’re going to be right at home with this camera.

As a matter of fact, I was up and running, shooting pictures within 5 minutes of getting this camera into my hand; it’s that easy to use.

[Points out all dials and the aperture ring on the lens]

You’ve got top mounted dial right here for the ISO; top mounted dial right here, for the shutter speed; and the beautiful Fuji lenses which have on the barrel of the lenses, your aperture ring.

So, here we are here. [Shows the aperture ring on the lens, with clicking sound in the dial]

Let’s try to show this to the camera.

Beautiful smooth control to take your aperture, in this case, on the 32-64 lens zoom, from f/4 all the way down to f/32; and they just feel beautiful in the hand.

This is an extremely easy, large camera – when I say large as in high resolution and large format, as in; it’s got a big sensor in it. We refer to it as medium, but anyway.

This is really easy to use.

It feels good in the hand; it’s not that heavy; and, as you can see (and this is why I’ve got all these other cameras here), it’s really not all that large.

So, what sort of person might be interested in this camera?

Well, anybody who really wants to take their photography to the next level.

You’ve got 50 megapixels of finely detailed information coming off this sensor.

So, you might be coming from the world of Canon; so here’s the Canon, ah, this is the new Canon 5D Mark IV, but most of the 5D series Canon bodies are all the same size, and that’s got Canon’s 24-70 mm lens.

So, let’s compare these two.

[Holds up the Canon and the Fuji to compare size]

Let me just sort of hold this thing here; put the Fuji in this hand, and put the Canon in this hand.

So, we’ll hold them up – not a heck of a lot of difference in the length of them.

Let’s hold the two bodies together here; do them back-to-back like this. [Holds bodies against each other]

As you can see, not a lot of difference in the width of the bodies, and in the depth; maybe the back display on the Fuji is a little bit more.

In the hand; I really can’t tell the difference together in the weight.


So, let’s compare this to Nikon’s full-frame offering.

Now, this is the 36-megapixel D810, with their new 24-70 mm lens; which is, as you can see, the Nikon lens is a little bit longer than the Canon. Actually, it’s quite a bit longer.

Again, weights pretty well similar; and here we have it with the Fuji. [Holds up Nikon and Fuji to compare length of lens]

So, you’re not paying a penalty to go to medium-format with the new Fuji GFX 50S; it’s right around the same size, as your existing full-frame, digital SLRs.

And, any of the other manufacturer’s full-frame offerings are all about the same size.

And, of course, you can even get larger in the full-frame, if you want to go to the 1D series bodies with Canon.

This is dramatically larger than the Fuji.

[Holds up Canon 1D to compare to Fuji]

And, of course, there are professional photographers going around, doing their job, and all day long carrying these cameras.

So, this is not unmanageable.


Now, medium-format from yesteryear was like this! [Holds up a Pentax camera with lens]

Now, that is big!

So, this is an old Pentax 645, I believe, and I’m not even sure what the lens is on this; I haven’t even looked at it.

I’m not even going to concern myself with that.

But, notice the difference in size here!

Of course, these old film cameras, they had a mirror box in them. These are (simple) lens reflex cameras.

So, we compare, again, the sizes here, and this is a lot heavier.

So, you can see that Fuji’s mirrorless technology has miniaturised the camera, and made it much, much easier to use.


This is a beast to hold. [Holds up the Pentax]

This is, the ergonomics are not so great on this old film camera.

Whereas, the Fuji just feels great in the hand. Oh, there’s a huge difference in weight. You just put the one down and the other up. [Laughs]

I could easily walk around all day with this. [The Fuji]

It just feels so good.

You’ve got a joystick on the back here so that you can move around the images; you’ve got a touch screen.

I don’t know if I can take a picture, I don’t know if I have a memory card in this.

Unfortunately, I can’t take a picture right now with it.

I can probably shoot something and maybe bring it up on the screen.

[Shutter clicks]

Oh, it does show up. I think I can zoom in.

[Shows review screen to camera]

Oh, maybe not. I think because it’s not on the memory card, I can’t zoom in.


Let’s take a look at the sensor.

[Removes lens]

So I’m just going to quickly turn it off and pop the lens off, and there we are.

[Holds up camera with no lens, to show large sensor]

So, there’s brand new G-mount on this camera; and as you can see as you look inside, there’s a very large sensor.

We can compare that to our full-frame 35 mm format sensor.

I don’t have a mirrorless camera.

Maybe I need to turn one of these on here.

Let’s quickly put this camera into bulb mode.

[Removes lens from Canon]

And we will pop the shutter up.

So, there’s the Canon’s mount, and looking inside the little box of it, and you can see that the Fuji’s sensor is dramatically larger.

There’s the Canon camera’s sensor is 36 mm across, the Fuji’s is 44 mm across.

So, a bigger sensor means larger photo (sights), which means more light gathering ability for each of those photo (sights), and smoother, better gradations in your pictures, and higher dynamic range.

The proof is in the pudding.

I’ve been shooting quite a few test shots with the Fuji camera, and I'm really blown away with the amount of dynamic range in the files, and of course, with the quality of the lenses.


Now, I’m just going to put on the 63 mm – this is basically a 50 mm in Fuji’s terms: there’s a crop factor for these cameras, but it’s the reverse of what we’re normally used to with, you know, smaller format 35 mm style digital SLRs. The crop factor, to get your effective focal length from the Fuji, is 0.79. So, this 63 mm lens is a 2.8-speed lens – that works out to approximately 50 mm.

So, this is your normal lens.

[Attaches lens to Fuji]

Now, that’s a little bit smaller than the zoom, it weighs a bit less.

And now, this is extremely easy to hand hold.

So, this would be sort of your average, you know, your street shooting sort of scenario, if you like a 50 mm.

Now, there are some wider lenses coming down the pipeline; and there are also image stabilised lenses.

So, that brings up the 120 mm macro f/4.

So, this is your macro lens, and a portrait lens all in one; and this is image stabilised.

Again, not that heavy in the hand.

This lens, I would venture to say, weighs less than the Nikon 24-70.

But, with a superb image stabilisation system, you’re going to be able to get away with longer shutter speeds, hand held.

Ah, the reports I’m reading is that it’s easily good to 4 stops.

And, that’s important, because, at the (longer) focal lengths, any vibration from your hand holding is going to affect your pictures.

And of course, with a 50-megapixel sensor, it’s even more important to have the camera very, very stable.

So, having 120 mm lens that is stabilised is really going to enable you to shoot rock-solid, hand held portraiture, even in challenging light.


Now, challenging light brings up another interesting point: the high ISO capabilities of this camera are incredible.

I’ve been shooting around the store, just under the ambient light in the store; you know, fluorescent fittings, halogens, what-have-you; and I’ve got a lot of shots that have been at ISO 2000, and when I’m looking at these things at pixel depths, like 100% zoomed in, in Lightroom on my screen – they are looking like ISO 100 shots from my Canon 5D Mark III – they’re just beautiful, clean files.

And they sharpen up so well!


I’ve had a chance to do some lens testing to compare the Nikon 24-70 on the D810; the Canon 24-70 on the (5DSR) – keep in mind this is the Mark IV – but on the 5DSR; to the Fuji with the 32-64.

So, I’ve gone through the complete aperture range, looking at some cityscapes from the roof of Michael’s Camera; we’re going to share some of these results with you very soon.

But I just want to give you a little (capsule) explanation of what I’ve seen.

The Fuji lens – the zoom, the only one I’ve done in this very detailed testing with – the Fuji lens has very, very low distortion; much straighter vertical lines than the Canon and the Nikon offerings.

The Fuji lens has next to no chromatic aberration; I’m seeing a fair bit of purple fringing – purple and green fringing – in the edges of both Canon and Nikon’s top-tier 24-70s. It’s very noticeable.

It is correctable in Lightroom, and any other major RAW converter; but wouldn’t you rather have a lens that doesn’t have any of these chromatic aberrations, to begin with?

I’d rather not have to correct distortion and CA in software; I’d rather have a lens that’s just perfect from the get-go.

Lastly, corner shading – or vignetting as it’s often called – the Fuji lens, from f/4, as I start stopping down; I’m not seeing much of a change at all in corner shading; whereas, on the Canon and the Nikon, I’m seeing a fair bit.

So, right off the bat, we’ve got less distortion; less edge and corner shading; minimal chromatic aberration at all, shouldn’t even say minimal, next to none; and lastly, sharpness into the edges.

The Fuji lens is superb at the edges.

I’m just really blown away with that.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of these files with you because it’s just a whole new game to have 50 megapixels in an affordable, hand-holdable, package that you can just use like a regular camera and get superb results!

I think it’s something that people are going to want to come into Michael’s Camera; hold it in your hand, take a look at some files that we’re going to share – there are already a few on our Facebook group, the Michael’s We Can Help group – there are going to be more from these aperture range tests that I’ve done; basically, what I’ve done is, I’ve gone up and I’ve taken a picture of the landscape and I’ve shot the exact same exposure from f/4 to 5.6, to f/8, to f/11, to f/16. f/22, and f/32; and I’ve done the exact same thing at the widest settings on all three of these cameras.

And, that’s a great way to get to know the capabilities of a lens and camera combination.

It’s something I do every time I buy new equipment; I want to get to know how these things behave in a real world sort of scenario.

So, I take a picture of a cityscape; usually, there are buildings with sharply defined windows and brick work, and sometimes there are wires. So, it’s a great way to do it.

And so, I’m very excited to share some of these results.


Now, I’ve got a few other things on the table that I want to show you.

Like almost every modern camera, the Fuji does have an optional grip with it, so you can map this – you know, actually, let’s just see here. I’ll put it on. I haven’t done this yet, but I’ll just try it out.

So, there’s a little port on the bottom of the camera here, and then the grip lines up. Let’s just do that.

Oh, better take this off, there’s a cover on the grip as well.

[Removes plastic cover from grip terminals]

[Connects grip to body]

Problem solved.

… Alignment pin here… and here…

[Grip clicks in]

And where is our… ah, here is the screw.

[Screws grip in]

I might add, this grip does not weigh much.

The batteries are very beefy on the Fuji, so I think we’re going to see spectacular life – I’ve had no problems with it running out of charge.

And this is not adding an awful lot to the weight at all.

Now, I don’t think there’s a battery in the grip, but the batteries aren’t that heavy, they’re lithium ion.

But, for the portrait shooter, this is going to be spectacular.

Now, this brings up some other interesting questions: The Fuji LCD on this camera is tiltable – pulls out, goes in – so you can use this waist level, like so. [Demonstrates]

But also, it tilts in the alternate orientation, like so. [Demonstrates]

So you can use it in portrait mode.

Now, why is that important?

The aspect ratio of the files on medium-format cameras, like ah, even like this old film camera, is a little bit different than a 35 mm format camera.

These are 3:4 aspect ratios – they are very pleasing when used in portrait mode.

Now, normally when you shoot in vertical, or portrait, mode with a 35 mm format camera, and your intention is a print; you usually have to crop the file to another, more pleasing aspect ratio – so you’re throwing away a little bit of your resolution.

If you’re working with portraiture with a camera like this, you’re already at a very pleasing aspect ratio; there’s no need to cut the file down, top or bottom.

So, all those 50 megapixels are there for your fine art, vertical orientation printing needs.

We haven’t had a chance to print anything out yet, but I’ve got high expectations, and I’m sure it’s going to meet and exceed these things.

I’ve no doubt in my mind that we can probably do A0 prints or larger, and they’ll look spectacular.

So, hopefully, we’ll have something like that to show soon!

I also want to put this camera on my panoramic head and do some photo mosaics with it, and really take the resolution to the extreme.

So, all that, that’s all in the pipeline as well.

So, ah, we’ve got a fair bit to be excited about!

And, lastly, if you’re at Michael’s Camera tomorrow on Saturday, March the 18th, we’ll have the representative from Fuji here!

So, you can have a chance to get some hands-on play with the camera and speak to the expert.


So, I’m going to sign off now.

We look forward to seeing you in person at Michael’s camera, and we’re excited about the Fuji GFX 50S, and we think you will be too.

So, hopefully, you’ll enjoy the YouTube videos, and you can come in, in person, and you can have a play with this camera.


Take care, and we’ll see you next time.

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