A closer look at the medium format mirrorless which made its debut at Photokina 2016

One of the most exciting announcements at Photokina 2016 came from Fuji, who announced that it was going to be entering the medium format market for the first time with its GFX range of cameras – the first of which will be known as the GFX 50S.

So far all we’ve seen has been working prototypes, but we should expect to see full production samples of the camera by early next year, with a release date also expected in the first quarter of the year. Pricing is said to be well under $10,000 to include a body and one of the new lenses.

Here’s a look at some of the key features of the new camera system to help you get to grips with the announcement.

1. Fuji GFX 50S: Sensor


Perhaps the most important feature of the new system is the sensor – which is a new format for Fuji at medium format. The 43.8 x 32.9mm has a 51.4MP resolution to give images which are 8256 x 6192 pixels. That’s 1.7x larger than 35mm or full-frame camera.

Not only that, but Fuji has designed the sensor to have specifically shaped micro lenses, and with a large pixel size to help increase light pick-up.

The sensor is a “multi-aspect” sensor, which means you can shoot in a variety of aspects, giving you the freedom to shoot exactly how you want to. You can shoot in the native 4:3 at 51.4MP, but also at 3:2, 16:9, 65:24, or 1:1. No matter what aspect ratio you shoot at, you’ll have a decent resolution to work with.

2. Fuji GFX 50S: Mirror


Or rather, there is no mirror and that’s important. Not only does it help to keep the overall size of the camera down – it’s still big, but not that big – but Fuji also claims that no mirror makes for better image quality.

That’s because by removing the mirror, you also eliminate mirror shock, the tiny vibrations which can show up as image blur on your images – which can be particularly noticeable when shooting at such a high resolution.

3. Fuji GFX 50S: Shutter


The GFX 50S will be the world’s first medium format camera to feature focal plane shutter.

This means that you can use lenses which are both designed for focal plane shutter, and the more traditional leaf-shutter lenses. Not having a leaf shutter in the camera itself means that lenses can be smaller and lighter, something which also helps to keep the size and weight of the system down.

What’s more, the fastest shutter speed you can expect from the newly designed unit is 1/4000th second, much faster than you might expect from typical medium format cameras.

4. Fuji GFX 50S: Lens range


Of course Fuji has had to design a host of new lenses to go with its new sensor, and at launch, the company expects to have three ready to go. There will be a 63mm f/2.8 prime lens, which is the standard lens. There will also be a 32-64mm f/4 zoom lens and a 120mm f/4 Macro lens.

By the end of 2017, there should be three more lenses at a range of different focal lengths.

5. Fuji GFX 50S: Accessories


There will be a range of accessories to use with the GFX 50S, including two different types of viewfinder.

One comes in the box and can be clipped onto the body of the GFX 50S and used as a normal viewfinder, while the other is tilting, allowing you to use the camera at waist level. There’s also an external screen which is useful for studio work, as well as the option to tether shoot – again useful when working in a studio.