Photography News 99 - Web

FujifilmGFX 50R

Used corner

Small might be beautiful, but big can often be better. This month, we turn the used spotlight onto a medium format bargain, the Fujifilm GFX 50R

GOING BACK A few years, shooting medium format digital was the province of the pros and bankers with big bonuses, as cameras cost well into five figures. They weren’t that user-friendly, either. All that changed with the Fujifilm GFX 50S, Hasselblad X1D and Pentax 645Z – all based around the same high- megapixel sensor. Each manufacturer took its own route when it came to design, but the key thing was that photographers could enjoy medium format in cameras that handled really nicely and were relatively affordable. The rest is history. The way the market has flip-flopped recently means you can buy a medium format camera for less money than a top- flight, full-frame DSLR or mirrorless. Although, of course, they are very different beasts. The GFX 50R was the second model in Fujifilm’s medium format range, following the GFX 50S. While both featured the same 51.4-megapixel sensor, the GFX 50S had a more boxy feel and slip-on EVF. The GFX 50R was a nod back to the brand’s film rangefinders, with a top-plate that closely resembled the smaller format X-Pro1. The GFX 50R was a simple animal to find your way around, with clearly marked controls and easy-to-navigate menus. For Fujifilm X Series owners, the transition was dead simple. One thing the GFX 50R needed help on was its grip. There was a

SPECS ›  Used guide prices GFX 50R £1800-£2100 body only, GF 32- 64mm f/4 R LM WR £1400-£1700

›  Sensor 51.4 megapixels, Bayer array 43.8x32.9mm

›  ISO range 100-12,800, expansion to 50, 25,600, 51,200 and 102,400 ›  Shutter range Mechanical: 60mins to 1/4000sec, 4secs-1/4000sec (P mode) Electronic: 60mins to 1/16,000sec, 4secs-1/16,000sec (P mode) ›  Drive modes 3fps maximum ›  Metering system 256 zone, spot, average and centre-weighted ›  Exposure modes PASM with compensation +/-5EV in 0.3EV steps ›  Monitor 3.2in, 2.36k dot OLED, touchscreen, 100% coverage ›  Viewfinder 0.5in, 3.69 million dots, 100% coverage ›  Focusing TTL contrast AF. Single point, 13x9, 25x17. Zone AF: 3x3, 5x5, 7x7 from 117 areas on 13x9 grid ›  Video Full HD 1920x1080 29.97/25p/24p/23.98p ›  Storage media 2xSD slots ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 160.7x96.5x66.4mm ›  Weight 775g body with battery and card ›  Contact

MODERN CLASSIC The GFX 50R’s exterior is styled on Fujifilm’s film rangefinder cameras, but inside beats a heart of high-tech wizardry and imaging excellence

raised thumb rest on the rear to help get purchase and a contoured bulge on the front, but it’s worth allowing budget for an L-grip with a larger contoured grip for more secure handling. There are plenty of third-party options available. Aside from its headline 51.4-megapixel sensor in a compact body, it was a richly endowed, typically Fujifilm machine with plenty of mainline and custom features. But an in-body image stabiliser was missing. This came in later, appearing on the GFX100. Although, a few GFX lenses – including the 120mm f/4 macro, 45-100mm f/4 and 100-200mm f/5.6 – have built-in OIS. The camera’s nerve centre is the right side of the top-plate, with the

on/off switch, lockable mode/shutter speed dial, drive button and exposure compensation dial. The latter was not lockable, but a C position meant compensation could be administered via the rear control dial. On the rear, there was an articulating touchscreen, focusing control and features like AF ON and Q button, that brought up an editable menu of features. Considering the relatively large surface area the Fujifilm designers had to work with, they could have been more generous with some buttons, but they work well enough. Generally, though, the GFX 50R is a lovely camera – it has an individual character. I’ve used it on and off the tripod, and despite its bulk and the lack of an image stabiliser, handholding at slower shutter speeds is perfectly feasible. However, there is a bit of shutter shock, even with the electronic front curtain shutter. The shutter is built to last at least 150,000 actuations. Using the 32-64mm f/4 standard zoom, shooting at 1/15sec handheld is usually successful. There is an electronic shutter, which is silent and vibration free, but it can suffer from rolling shutter effects.

CONTROL CENTRAL Core camera settings can all be adjusted from the GFX’s right side, with the unmarked function button set to adjust ISO Should you need to, there is the option of shooting at 3fps – you get around 13 Raws before the buffer fills up and you need to let the camera catch up. If you enjoy features like extensive focus bracketing – there are auto or manual options on the GFX 50R – you need to allow time for images to be written to the card, even with the fastest SD cards. The GFX 50R’s autofocus can be a mite twitchy, with its contrast-detect- AF-only system meaning the lens will go through the point of focus and then back again. It takes an instant to lock on, but you soon get used to it. Accuracy is good, though, and a

DOUBLE UP Dual SD slots are provided, with the usual save options available via the Save Data Set-up menu

ON SHORE Taken on Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk, with the GFX 50R and 120mm lens. Exposure was 1/850sec at f/8 and ISO 400

Photography News | Issue 99


Powered by