Fujifilm goes big with a mirrorless medium format camera
Fujifilm has decided to make a big announcement at Photokina ... medium format big, in fact. The firm has revealed it's entering the medium format market with a new mirrorless camera system, GFX. The first camera in the series, the GFX 50S, will launch in early 2017 and feature a 51.4-megapixel sensor measuring 43.8 x 32.9 mm.
While Fujifilm X-series cameras like the X100T, X-T2 and X-Pro2 are great cameras and have proved very popular, their APS-C sensors do limit potential image quality. As such when Fujifilm set out to create a camera, it says it knew a bigger sensor was needed, and even a move to full frame wasn't going to cut it, so it jumped straight to medium format.
The first GFX (or G Format) camera, the GFX 50S will feature a 43.8 x 32.9 mm CMOS sensor which is 1.7X larger than "full frame" sensors, and the same size as that in the Hasselblad X1D. With an effective 51.4 megapixels, Fujifilm says this will not only offer the resolution, detail and image quality that professionals demand, but also the ability to shoot in different aspect ratios without sacrificing quality. Ratio options include 4:3. 3:2. 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17.
Using a mirrorless setup means Fujifilm was able to restrict the size of the GFX 50S, and indeed it appears comparable to some full frame DSLRs. Another added benefit of not using a mirror is that mirror movement can result in a loss in sharpness. The new G mount also makes use of the mirrorless design by having a short flange back distance of 26.7 mm which helps prevent vignetting.
Design-wise the GFX 50S inherits a lot from the X-Series, and features plenty of physical buttons and dials. On the back there's a rear monitor which can be angled, and the camera can also use a detachable viewfinder. This EVF can again be angled depending on what you are shooting. Optional accessories will include a vertical battery grip.
Understanding that a camera system is nothing without its lenses, Fujifilm will be launching with six G mount lenses. These include a 63-mm F4, a 32-64-mm F4 zoom, a 120-mm F4 macro, a 110-mm F2 mid-telephoto, a 23-mm F4 ultra-wide, and a 45-mm F2.8 standard prime.
While there's exact word yet on pricing, we are told the GFX 50S will cost "well under US$10,000" when it is released, and will come bundled with the detachable viewfinder.