I asked a couple months ago whether Fuji would be the one to kick off the coming medium format revolution? With today’s announcement of the Fuji GFX system in development, we’re closer to finding that out.
The Fuji GFX 50S is coming early 2017 (no price yet) and will feature a 51.4MP sensor that measures 43.8 x 32.9mm. This yields a roughly 0.79x crop factor (compared to a 35mm frame/sensor) and is the same size sensor that is found in the Hasselblad H5D series that use CMOS sensors (and it’s quite possibly the same Sony sensor found in the Pentax 645Z).
Alongside the GFX 50S camera body, Fuji also announce six new Fujinon GF lenses that include:
- GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR (~18mm)*
- GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR (~35mm)
- GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR (~50mm)
- GF 110mm f/2 R LM WR (~87mm)
- GF 120mm f/4 Macro R LM OIS WR (~95mm)
- GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR (~25-51mm)
*Since most of us still think about field of view in 35mm terms, I’ve noted the 35mm equivalent focal lengths in parentheses above.
Fuji limits the full spec rundown. Instead, we get a glimpse of the camera and the power it may offer.
From the info and images released, however, we can glean that it offers a detachable electronic viewfinder. It also has a weather sealed design – and all lenses bare the WR tag to aid in the camera’s weather resistance. It looks like it will offer a sensitivity range of ISO 100-12,800 and a max shutter speed of 1/4000s. The x-sync speed appears to be 1/125s.
The short flange distance of 26.7mm should make adapting other medium format lenses a possibility with virtually all medium format systems prior to this having flange distances greater than 60mm. Of course, Fuji is coming out of the gate with a solid line of native lenses as well.
At this point, I think we just need to know the price. If it’s $10K, it becomes a niche camera that many would like to have and a few pros and enthusiasts will use and love. If it’s sub-$5K (where it needs to be), then I’ll officially declare the medium format revolution underway. While I’m wishing, I’d like to see the camera packaged in a kit with a lens (perhaps with 63mm) for $5,000.
Fuji hasn’t necessarily been one to throw down the gauntlet on price when considering its X-Series. In fact, they are a bit premium at launch even though they are feature-rich. If the GFX 50S comes out in the $7-8K range, that would put it squarely on target with the Pentax 645Z, which isn’t a bad place to be but still remains far enough from the magical sub-$5k price point to really stir the pot. In that event, I think we have to wait on Sony (they’re all using Sony sensors anyway) to come to the medium format rescue and really shake up the market.
Stay tuned. This is gonna be fun.