First Impressions: Fujifilm GFX 50s Medium Format Mirrorless Camera

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For a few minutes at Photokina 2016, I was able to personally fondle the hottest camera announced at the show: the Fujifilm GFX 50s. This is a medium format camera targeted at the full frame 35mm camera user and is the second medium format mirrorless camera in the digital market. Oddly enough though, it isn’t designed to resemble a Mamiya 7 II or anything else from the film days despite the retro aesthetics. A number of jounalists and I were taken through a presentation where we were introduced to the team who worked on the camera’s design and specifications. Fujifilm’s intention here is to find a way to appeal to professional photographers and high end enthusiasts without competing in the pool filled with sharks that produce full frame 35mm sensor cameras.

So far: they seem to have the world’s attention.

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How Much Bigger is the Sensor in the Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Full Frame?

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At Photokina 2016, the medium format Fujifilm GFX 50S camera was announced. It features a medium format sensor that is larger than full frame 35mm sensors, but isn’t larger than full frame 645 format sensors. To see just how large they all are in comparison, we put them all in a comparison chart together. In truth, it’s really not much larger; but it is indeed larger than full frame and effectively targets the photographers that want something more.

In Digital Photography, The New 645 Format is Even Smaller

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If the trends in medium format photography have been any indication at all, then the idea of getting a truly large 645 medium format sensor is something to truly aspire to, but what most professional photographers may never accomplish. Years ago, back when film was king in photography, the 645 medium format size was something of a joke in some circles of photography. In photojournalism, it was a format valued for its smaller size yet larger negative than what 35mm film offered. Many professionals tended to want to reach for the 6×7 format instead. At this size, the photographer got a larger negative yet still retained a manageable size to work with. Photojournalistic applications tended to favor the 645 format.

But today, it sincerely seems like we’ve got what I’d like to call a new 645 format in some ways. At least that’s what Photokina 2016 makes it seem like.

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The Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50S has a 51.4MP Sensor

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At Photokina 2016, Fujifilm announced their new system called the Fujifilm GFX: their medium format camera system that has been long rumored. The new system sports a sensor size of 43.8 x 32.9mm; and the camera is being touted as something that is meant to be above full frame camera systems. This is being called the G format sensor and is 1.7x larger than 35mm. It has 51.4MP. At its full size, it as a 4:3 ratio. However, there are a number of different ratios available.

Oh right, and it’s mirrorless!

The new sensor has specially shaped micro lenses and has an optimized silicon process. It was indeed fully customized just for them. No word yet on who makes it.

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New Reports Say Fujifilm’s Medium Format Will Feature Interchangeable Viewfinders

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We have been following the developing reports regarding Fujifilm’s possible entrance into the Medium Format Mirrorless market, which as of right now still point to an official announcement on this upcoming Monday, September 19th.

Today some new and really interesting reports have surfaced saying that this new Mirrorless Medium Format camera will in fact feature interchangeable viewfinders, much like the old modular film medium format bodies of the past. This keeps in line with the thought that Fujifilm would be using its film-style looks that have helped make the X-Series stand out from the crowd.

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(UPDATED WITH SAMPLE PHOTOS) Phase One Has Two New Zoom Lenses From Schneider Kreuznach

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All images by Antony Spencer. Used with permission.

If there is any company that’s been pumping out medium format lenses as of late, it’s Phase One. Today, they’re announcing two Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring Zoom lenses for their XF camera system. With that said, they offer full frame 645 format coverage.

Both lenses sport a signature blue ring–kind of like how Canon has that big Red ring to signify that their product is an “L” lens.

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Hasselblad and DJI Release Medium Format Camera Drone

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Hasselblad and DJI are today announcing something that sees your puny 5D in a drone and scoffs at it. The companies took their M600 and A5D, then put them together into a package for the serious aerial landscape/cityscape/creepy prowler photographer. That right–50MP in medium format above the skyline.

The combination comes with six batteries, an advanced gimbal system, an a3 flight controller, the Lightbridge 2 Professional HD transmission system, a dust-proof propulsion system and app control. At the heart of this picture taking device is a medium format sensor with a modified 50mm f3.5 lens attached. That means that you’re getting a very wide angle (almost 35mm in full frame equivalency.)

 

Once we can find more information, we’ll update this post. So far, Hasselblad seems to be hitting home runs out of the park this year. We can only imagine what’s coming to Photokina.

Mercury Camera Promises a Truly Universal System

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Ever wanted to use your medium format Hasselblad lenses with your Bronica ETRS or something along the lines? Well a new Kickstarter called Mercury Camera wants to do something just like that. But it wants to go even further and let you adapt nearly any 35mm, medium format or large format lens with pretty much any negative or instant film back. To boot, you can also adapt any medium format digital camera back.

Just imagine the possibilities!

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