The Fujifilm GFX 50R is a smaller, lighter, and significantly more affordable alternative to the company’s first GFX model, the GFX 50S. Fujifilm released it in October 2018. It would appear that medium format models are now getting the same treatment as full-frame cameras, which were formerly only available to photographers working in the professional market but are now very much within the grasp of amateur photographers.
Although many of the internal components are the same between the two cameras, the new model has a rangefinder-style design that is more similar to Fujifilm’s X-Pro and X-E mirrorless cameras than it is to the GFX 50S, which is designed more like a DSLR. Additionally, it weighs 145g less and has a thickness reduction of 25mm, and its current asking price is £1,000 (or $1,000) cheaper than the previous edition.
In a nutshell, it bridges the gap between high-end mirrorless and DSLR systems and medium format, and it has the potential to pique the interest of those who, in the past, would have believed that cameras of this type were out of their price range.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Features
The GFX 50R utilizes the same medium-format sensor used in the GFX 50S. This sensor measures 43.8 mm by 32.9 mm and offers an effective resolution of 51.4 megapixels. This is constructed with the normal Bayer RGB filter array rather than many X-series models’ more sophisticated X-Trans architecture. Still, it replicates that design in that no anti-aliasing filter should aid the retention of detail.
Fujifilm claims that the sensor can record 14 stops of dynamic range and output raw files or JPEGs or even have photographs converted to 8-bit TIFF files while still in the camera.
The company has also applied an ultrasonic vibration system to the sensor to help dislodge any dust particles that might otherwise appear in the images. This is probably just as well when you consider the size of the sensor and its relatively short proximity to the lens mount, which is 26.7 millimeters.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Build Quality
When we spend this type of money, we have high expectations for the quality of the building, and at least on paper, there aren’t many things that may throw us off. The body of the Fujifilm GFX 50R was developed with magnesium alloy cladding for stiffness, and 64 weather seals protect the insides from any potential dust and moisture infiltration, in addition to having the benefit of being freeze-proof down to a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. It’s reassuring to know that this degree of defense is on par with what the lenses developed for this system have provided in the past.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Autofocus
The autofocus mechanism on the GFX 50R is a replica of the one found on its more powerful sibling. Instead of merging phase-detection and contrast-detection systems into a single hybrid system, as Fujifilm has done with several other cameras in its lineup, this uses a contrast-detection AF concept.
Despite this, many things are familiar here, such as the Single Point, Zone, and Wide/Tracking choices, as well as the possibility to modify the size of the focusing points so that they are more or less appropriate for specific subjects.
When utilizing the Zone mode, you can specify the size of each Zone region. When using the Single Point mode, you can choose from any of the 425 individual points scattered over the screen. Do you need to focus manually or take advantage of continuous focus? Flipping a switch on the rear of the camera is all you require to use it.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Performance
The touchscreens included on earlier Fujifilm models were, in general, extremely enjoyable to use, and the same can be said about this particular model. The panel recognizes Touches effectively while making adjustments in the Q Menu, and it is just as simple to swipe through photographs to study them. Additionally, double-tapping images cause them to become somewhat magnified, which enables you to inspect the detail in them.
The only time the screen appears somewhat less responsive is when the user chooses the point at which the camera will focus. During this moment, there is minimal wait before the camera begins to take pictures.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Image Quality
It is pretty challenging to remain unimpressed with the degree of detail that has been included in the photographs since it is so outstanding. Even unsharpened raw files display a great deal of fine detail, but sharpened raw files and JPEGs captured directly from the camera provide a substantial improvement in this regard.
Naturally, considering how much the camera and just one lens would cost you, you’d be dissatisfied if you received anything less. However, the fact that you can attain this level of quality in a design that is reasonably easy to hold in your hand is what makes things so unique.
The absence of noise in low-frequency areas such as the sky is also outstanding, especially considering that this may sometimes be a problem even with newer full-frame cameras.
As you move up toward the center of the available ISO range, the level of detail in the image continues to be quite good. You will start to see noise around the ISO3200 mark, but it will still be low enough to fix it in post-processing. Although there is a slight decrease in saturation when increasing the ISO level, this behavior is not exceptional.
The fact that only three of the currently available native lenses have image stabilization means that you’ll have to rely on higher ISO settings than you might have to otherwise. Fortunately, the camera has a solid performance at high ISO, which is just as well because you’ll have to rely on those settings more often.
The use of wider apertures is also helpful in this regard. Still, if you wish to render a variety of subjects at varying distances in focus, you will need to be conscious of the shallowness of depth of field that wider apertures create.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Specs
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||8256 x 6192|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2|
|Effective pixels||51 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Medium format (44 x 33 mm)|
|Processor||X Processor Pro|
|Color space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 100-12800 (expands up to 102400)|
|Boosted ISO (maximum)||102400|
|White balance presets||7|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Uncompressed format||RAW + TIFF|
|JPEG quality levels||Super fine, fine, normal|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.3)Raw (14-bit RAF)TIFF (via Raw conversion)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Number of focus points||425|
|Focal length multiplier||0.79×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||0.61× (0.77× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||360 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/16000 sec|
|Exposure modes||ProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManual|
|External flash||Yes (via hot shoe or flash sync terminal)|
|Flash modes||Auto, standard, slow sync, manual, off|
|Flash X sync speed||1/125 sec|
|Continuous drive||3.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV, 2 EV steps)|
|Modes||1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 24p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC (dual slots, UHS-II supported)|
|USB||USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (via cable or smartphone)|
|Battery description||NP-T125 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||775 g (1.71 lb / 27.34 oz)|
|Dimensions||161 x 97 x 66 mm (6.34 x 3.82 x 2.6″)|
Fujifilm GFX 50R Verdict
The GFX 50R combines many qualities that make Fujifilm’s more established X-series cameras appealing, with a sensor capable of producing exceptional images. Even though it is not designed with the action photographer or filmmaker in mind, and it takes a significant financial investment, Fujifilm deserves recognition for democratizing medium-format photography more so than any other manufacturer.