Fujifilm and Hasselblad made some big waves in the photography community when they announced their GFX and X1D mirrorless medium format systems. But at 50MP there was not a huge boost in resolution over some of the higher resolution 35mm cameras. Many posed the question of what the point was in moving to one of these systems when the boost in image quality was negligible to most eyes.
But it seems this quip may be short lived…Sony recently announced three new medium format sensors that companies will be able to order in 2018; the IMX211 (100MP), IMX411 (150MP), IMX461 (100MP). According to a report over on Mirrorless Rumors, the upcoming Fujifilm GFX100s and Hasselblad X2D are ‘certain’ to feature the IMX461, the smaller of the three medium format sensors. This sensor is more than just a resolution upgrade over the current 50MP version too – its faster and can handle more advanced video capture.
Among the upgrades, this sensor is capable of shooting 6FPS, an improvement over the 3FPS the 50MP models are limited to. As well, these cameras are getting a significant upgrade in the video functionality, up from 1080p to shooting 4K at 30FPS. We don’t imagine many of you will be buying a medium format camera to shoot video, but it is a nice upgrade if you need it in a pinch – or who knows, maybe this will open up a whole new market for video filmmakers who want the ‘medium format look.’
There is no official word from either Hasselblad or Fujifilm about plans for cameras featuring these new sensors. However, it would seem like a fairly obvious opportunity for the two companies to further differentiate the next generation cameras from their 35mm full-frame competition. If the sensors become available in 2018 as reported, then we could see these next generation GFX and X1D cameras in mid to late 2018 or maybe early 2019. The current GFX50s and X1D are solid cameras as is, but this sensor upgrade could no doubt help the companies by making it harder to justify sticking with a DSLR over one of these mirrorless medium format systems.
It will be interesting to see how this turns out. We will be following this for sure, so stay tuned and we will update you if any further information comes to light.