Fujifilm GFX 50R, or Medium Format Temptation, or fighting GAS

The GFX 50R is the second Medium Format digital mirrorless camera from Fujiiflm and it is one more good reason why you might feel the effects of GAS. With solid rumors, starting to merge in the most realistic and credible set of information, regarding the announcement of this new medium format camera, many of us, Fujifilm users, started to dream about accessing the world of digital medium format photography. Thank you, Patrick from Fujirumors, for your continuous support and hard work, letting us know as soon as humanly possible, everything that can be known, about the most expected future Fujifilm products. I invite you all to follow Fujirumors, to get in touch with the latest news and be part of a nice, growing community of Fujifilm addicted photographers.

Now, back to this GFX 50R; what we know so far can be found here. What is it? It’s the soon to be announced new digital mirrorless medium format camera from Fujifilm and it could be your first medium format camera. For others, it could simply be another medium format camera, but what’s important can be summarized, as follows:

  1. The second Fujifilm medium format camera offers the best image quality you’ve ever seen;
  2. It shares the same 2.000 USD medium format sensor with the existing GFX 50S;
  3. It can shoot in many aspect ratios and crop format (great to be used with amazing Full Frame manual focus lenses);
  4. It has a rangefinder style design, for all those who love this type of camera architecture (I know I love it);
  5. It is the cheapest digital medium format camera, with a rumored price around 4.500 USD;
  6. Because of point no. 5, it can be your entry into the world of high-resolution, super image quality, incredible dynamic range photography, (see also the point no. 1), for both professionals and enthusiast photographers, who desire to step up the game and really bypass the old debate “APS-C vs Full Frame”, by climbing directly to the “no rival” level of medium format photography.
  7. If you care about real image quality and heard about the “mirrorless war”, where Canon and Nikon prepared new full frame mirrorless cameras, you’ll be out of the “conflict zone”, settled into the “peace and freedom zone” at high altitude, with your Medium Format camera.

Let’s make one thing very clear (see the point no. 6): out of all consumer-oriented digital camera manufactures, none of Sony, Panasonic, Olympus, Ricoh and the giants Canon + Nikon has a Medium Format digital mirrorless camera. No one! And Fujifilm has two models, one of them being the cheapest medium format camera, out there. It makes you think, compare and maybe… decide. 🙂

Now, about GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), because the imminent announcement of this Fujifilm GFX 50R (as the most affordable medium format camera) will surely make you think, dream and check your budget (or at least, start calculating and forecasting). Is it for you? Do you really need it? Unless you are a fully professional photographer, working in the field of fashion/studio/portrait, or landscape photography, maybe this camera isn’t for you (unless you are really rich and you don’t care about calculating budgets).

Let me help you (and myself) by showing a quick, comparative calculation: The affordable GFX 50R versus the alternative, Fujifilm X APS-C. I have used the prices (in euro) from my favorite store, in Belgium, but you can easily transform them in your favorite currency. Here we go:

A simple, decent medium format photo bag from Fujifilm, would be, in my opinion, a camera, plus 1 prime lens and 1 zoom lens. What we have?

  1. GFX 50R = 4.500 (rumored)
  2. GF 32-64mm F4 = 2500
  3. GF 110mm F2 = 3000

The total could be 10.000 euro, without talking about accessories, like remote control, spare batteries, lens filters, etc.

Now, if you would have 10.000 and ready to invest in a Fujifilm kit, let’s have a quick look at what could be the equivalent, if you stick to the Fujifilm X world (APS-C). Just for your information, with the X cameras and the XF lenses, you could do everything that the GFX does, even more, like sports photography, wedding, street (any type of photography where low light conditions and fast-moving subjects require fast AF with PDAF technology). So, the X system still has a lot of advantages, not to mention portability. Here we go:

  1. X-T3 = 1500
  2. X-H1 + Grip = 1800
  3. XF 16-55mm F2.8 = 1100
  4. XF 50-140mm F2.8 = 1400
  5. XF 16mm F1.4 = 900
  6. XF 35mm F1.4 = 510
  7. XF 56mm F1.2 = 900
  8. X100F = 1300
  9. XF 90mm F2 = 890
  10. X-E3 + XF 23mm F2 = 1200
  11. XF TC1.4X = 375

The total is a similar 10.175, but you have here 4 cameras (one with IBIS and grip), 2 professional zooms, 5 fantastic prime lenses and one teleconverter. For the same value you could also get professional Fujifilm gear, like:

  1. X-T3  =1500
  2. XF 200 F2 = 6000
  3. XF 16-55mm F2.8 = 1100
  4. XF 50-140mm F2.8 = 1400

You can play with these combinations all day long. But they are trying to make a point. It is always a pleasant way to fight a big GAS wave, while letting a smaller one take its place. 🙂 You dream of GFX 50R, but it’s impossible for you? Get the amazing X-E3 + XF 23mm F2.0 WR! 🙂 Beyond joking, those calculations can help one make up his/her mind, while truly assessing the real need in photography. You can save a lot on your budget and be 100% satisfied, only if you know exactly what are your needs, expectations, preferences and style. The most expensive product is not for everyone and it is legitimate to be this way. Enjoy the freedom and May the Light be with us all!

All photos and text – © Sebastian Boatca 2018 / www.sebastianboatca.com

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4 Comments

  1. Excellent article. I also like the GFX-50R idea a lot and will follow this release closely. I currently use a Fuji X-E3 which I absolutely love, but the image quality of the GFX is just in a completely different class again.

    Somewhere in the rumors there was also talk that Fuji would introduce a “pancake” or compact lens with around 50 mm focal length together with this camera. That would be really awesome!

      1. I own x-e3 with 27mm,35 2.0, 56 1.2 and 18-55 2.8-4.0. I’m dreaming too for 50R with pancake lens but assumed that the combo will be over 5000 euros, i think i’ll quit also because to build up similar lenses line-up it will cost me a fortune. I also always dreamed about XT and now XT3 seems very affordable, but at same time, i am really happy with x-e3, so i think i will stay.
        Maybe i’ll get XF10 for portability…thanks for great post.

        1. Thanks, Francesco. The articles compares the GF world versus the X. There is still huge potential from APS-C; hard to believe that someone could say “my creativity in photography reached a limit, because of sensor size”.

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