Fujifilm confirms rumours with announcement of “GFX” mirrorless medium format camera system

So it wasn’t wishful thinking after all; Fujifilm announced today the development of a medium format digital camera, based on the mirrorless technology so well-received in its X-series cameras, like the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and, most recently, the X-T2.

The “GFX 50s” camera will feature the new FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor — That’s 1.7 times the size of full frame 35mm — with 51.4MP resolution, which can be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17., familiar to those of us who used large and medium format film cameras.

Six Fujinon GF Lenses will be introduced, beginning in early 2017. Initially, they will include (see photos above):

1. Standard prime “GF63mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 50mm in the 35mm format)
2. Wide-angle standard zoom “GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 25-51mm in
35mm format)
3. Mid-telephoto macro 1:0.5 “GF120mmF4 Macro R LM OIS WR” (equivalent to
95mm in 35mm format)
4. Fast aperture mid-telephoto “GF110mmF2 R LM WR” (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format)
5. Ultra-wide “GF23mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 18mm in 35mm format)
6. Wide “GF45mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 35mm in 35mm format)

The GFX 50S will use the high-performance “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor, which will have some heavy lifting to do with the files that this camera will produce.

The camera also features a detachable electronic viewfinder, with optional adapter for vertical shooting, will be weather resistant, a boon to landscape photographers who will likely line up to buy this camera, and Vertical Battery Grip accessory will enhance functionality when shooting in portrait orientation. Tethered shooting has been considered in the design and software compatibility.

Photographers have been clamouring for a mirrorless medium format kit — reduced weight and no mirror slap vibration to worry about — and Fuji has stepped up to the plate.

I know that my recent trip to England benefited greatly from the more compact, lighter load (not to mention the excellent results of the Fuji X-Pro2) that I could fit neatly into a shoulder bag. Following X-series design, the GFX is said to be ergonomically balanced and features “numerous physical buttons and dials.” So, how much for this contestant in the medium format arena? Watch out Hasselblad and Phase One! Fuji  says “way under” $10,000 including 63mm lens.

Be still, my beating heart.

Update: the GFX’s shutter in motion.

Raymond Parker

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