That thing looks pretty specialist. Who’s it for?
Anyone with US$6500 going spare – and that’s for the body only. For that money, you could get the pro-level Nikon D5 DSLR and a lens, with change. But then the GFX 50S is a medium-format camera, rather than full frame, and medium format never comes cheap. Plus, the D5 has a mirror – and the GFX 50S doesn’t.
What’s wrong with mirrors?
Nothing, if you’re in a studio. Out and about, though, mirrorless cameras tend to be a lot lighter – and that’s very much the case with the 50S. Even with a sensor that packs a surface area 1.7x bigger than full frame, it weighs in at around 1.2KG with a standard lens. Sure, that’ll still be a fair lump in your satchel (and it’s hardly a compact), but that’s seriously portable for a 51.4MP shooter – largely thanks to a magnesium alloy shell.
But who’d take a US$6500 camera on the streets?
We’ve been wondering that, too. For those willing to risk it, though, there’s plenty of tech on-board: that 43.8mm by 32.9mm CMOS sensor means big pixels and stellar low-light snaps, while the X Processor Pro imaging engine is penned to deliver Fuji’s nifty Film Simulation colour in stunning quality.
In fact, image quality generally should be astounding, medium format or otherwise. Think: billboard scale snaps. Oh, and it’ll also shoot full HD video footage.
Does it have one of those electronic viewfinders? They’re not always reliable.
It does – and it should be. See, the 0.5in panel packs 3.69M dots, making it quite the fine display. A sold-separately tilt adapter can increase the viewing angle from 45 to 90 degrees, while a 3.2in high-definition touchscreen on the back offers another interaction route, too.
It looks like it’ll be seriously tricky to use, though.
Actually, despite its price, Fuji is keen to emphasise how easy the 50S is to use. Buttons and dials are all in the places you’d expect them to be, while a 1.28in LCD monitor on the top offers up easy shooting details.
What’s more, a 117-point autofocus system – paired with a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 seconds (which will go to 1/16000 if you use the electronic shutter) – should mean that every snap is sharp. Which is what you want when you pay this much for a camera.
I’m guessing lenses won’t come cheap?
Certainly not: available in early March, the cheapest lens for the GFX 50S – the GF63mm – has a list price of US$1500. Still, for that cash you do get a seriously nice piece of glass – and a smart one at that: each of the GF series lenses is capable of supporting a sensor of up to 100MP, so it’s seriously future-proof.