FUJIFILM GFX 50S – short field test

About a month ago, thanks to the FUJIFILM Ukraine, I had a chance a little bit to test the FUJIFILM GFX50s camera with any lenses. I chose FUJINON GF110mmF2 R LM WR and FUJINON GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR.

I’ll write the conclusion right away – I liked the camera. I liked it very much. It can be used in almost any genre (except for those that require super-telephoto lenses).

I’ve got the camera only for few hours with a battery charged about 75-80%. There is a lot of reviews in the Web, so I’ll write only about my own subjective impressions and feelings (in some cases – compared to X-E1, which I use almost constantly). I shot as I usually do when walking around the city. The weather was mostly overcast, several times it almost started the rain. I did not have time to deeply configure the camera for myself, so I set only basic parameters: IMAGE QUALITY – SUPER FINE + UNCOMPRESSED RAW, SHARPNESS and NOISE REDUCTION – 0, FILM SIMULATION – mostly PROVIA, WHITE BALANCE – (mostly) AUTO, DYNAMIC RANGE – 100%, AF MODE – S, Single Point. I didn’t take EVF Tilting Adapter and did not use the screen for focusing. Shooting modes – “Aperture priority”, “Manual mode”. ISO – AUTO and MANUAL. I selected the focus point manually using the Focus Lever (stick). All the images presented below are camera JPEG (some with corrected levels in highlights, some are only reduced using “Bicubic (best for smooth gradients)” mode without any corrections). For best view open full size images.

Cons first.

  1. Focus lever (stick). The screen extends outward from the case, and the lever (stick) is too close to the screen, so it is a little bit inconvenient when you need to move the focus point from the left side of the frame to the right – the finger clings to the protruding screen.
  2. The Shutter Speed and ISO setting Dials are not stop on last values, making it difficult to control without taking a look. X-E1 is much more convenient in these points.
  3. Battery capacity. The battery was not new and not fully charged. This was enough for about 150 shots. I do not know how long it charges, but for a serious studio session, at least one spare (or AC-adapter) is needed. For the street – 2-3.

There are several points that can be rather called «Features», not «Cons»:

  1. The «Exposure Compensation Button» is not so inconvenient as it is written in some reviews (perhaps because same correction scheme was on my old OLYMPUS E-3, although it was slightly more convenient on OLYMPUS). But the button is really small and the Dial is certainly much usable. I’m very used to Exposure Compensation Dial on my X-E1.
  2. «Play» and «Delete» buttons are not very convenient, but acceptable. Their position (in my opinion) is due to the studio works using a tripod.
  3. In many shots, the camera underexposed the image to varying degrees. Perhaps there are some additional settings for exposure compensation (as metering around focus point or something), that due to limited time, I did not found and set. At the same time, panoramic photos of city with «Rain ready» weather, thanks to this, look like exactly the same as in reality.
  4. The «Shutter» button is harder than I used to on other cameras (at first I even missed a few frames, because I thought that the button is not pressed). I wanted to take it to the «Cons», but then I decided that this is still a «Feature», just need to get used to it.
  5. The GFX50s is not supported by Capture One Pro. As, however, other medium-format digital cameras – Pentax 645z, Hasselblad, Leica S. Еhis is not a FUJIFILM but Phase One problem («Nothing personal, just business», I think). Although in most than 90% of commercial shooting, TIFF will be sufficient, I think.

Pros now. A lot of them, but I will list only those that I found during the testing. The rest can be found in the Web.

  1. Details. No comments. Although no. As a character said in one of my favorite films – “Masterpiece!” 🙂
  2. Dynamic range. I had no possibility to check it deeply because of the weather, but there is several representative pictures. Particularly, shadows are rendered very well.
  3. Noise. There is no noise for my. It’s appears with ISO 3200 and higher, but for most cases I do not see a problem with it, because mostly it look like a fine film grain.
  4. The autofocus speed in the street shooting is very well. I caught walking and running people with both lenses.
  5. Excellent sharpness and resolution on entire frame.
  6. My favorite aspect ratio is 4: 3. The most optimal, in my opinion, for everything, including stitched panoramas – fewer shots need to be taken. For portraits (from the front to the waist) – in general is ideal.
  7. Great viewfinder. Bright, big, fast. In comparison with X-E1 – the eye does not get tired at all.
  8. High quality tilting screen.
  9. Aperture rings on the lenses do not scroll beyond the last values. Values changing ​​felt clearly. It is very convenient and I would like to have it on my X-E1.
  10. Huge number of focusing points. On the one hand this is a plus, but on the other is not – quick diagonal moving the focus point from one corner to the other is not too fast.
  11. The camera is comfortable in the hand. The hand is not really tired after two hours of constant almost two kilos carrying. It can be said that it is relatively small. In comparison, for example, to the Nikon D850 or Canon 5Ds due to the lack of pentaprism hump. I should note that I compared it mostly virtually, because only Nikon D800 was in my hands long time ago.
  12. Additional LCD screen. Convenient, but I would prefer the Exposure Compensation Dial instead of him (and adjust the wheel with the scroll wheel).
  13. Dust- and moisture-resistant (no «water-resistant» definition in features represented) magnesium alloy body. If it’s safe to use camera under the rain for example – the issue remains open. “Unfortunately”, it was not possible to check it, because the rain during my walk never went 🙂

What can we say in conclusion? I want this camera! It is almost universal. And even more I will want the next model, which will be free of the weakness of the first model. I hope that I will have new chance to test the GFX50s more closely, in detail and in various genres with rest lenses.

Click on pictures to see full images and descriptions.

Copyright © 2017 Dmytro Aliokhin. All rights reserved.

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