Today, during press briefings at the bi-annual and vast photo-trade event in Cologne, Photokina, Fujifilm have drawn a line in the sand with their new mirrorless camera system, stating: “The game has changed. Medium-format re-invented. Large sized sensor and large-diameter realise the highest image quality in the history of Fujifilm”
We’ve been hearing murmurings of the mirrorless medium format camera coming from Fujifilm for some time now and Photokina seems like the natural place to make the announcement – event though they have been beaten to the chase in this new sector by Hasselblad and the X1D. So what is it that we need to be excited about? Quality? Well if the last few years have taught us anything about Fujifilm’s mirrorless camera technology, that is that it’s pretty damned amazing and has been the catalyst for an increasing number of professional photographers switching to the format.
Price would be another indicator of why this announcement is so exciting. Hasselblad’s cameras are not cheap by any means and the X1D is no exception. Read on for full details, largely lifted directly from the presentation that took place today in Germany the day ahead of doors opening at the show.
President Kenji Sukeno announced the development of the mirrorless digital camera system “GFX” to the audience, promising that the new system will deliver the highest image quality in the history of Fujifilm electronic imaging. The company will release mirrorless digital camera FUJIFILM GFX 50S which features the FUJIFILM G Format 43.8 × 32.9mm sensor with 51.4 megapixels and six lenses that will be introduced under the new FUJINON GF Lens series of interchangeable lenses early in 2017 for professional photographers and photo enthusiasts alike.
Over the course of its history, which extends over a full 80 years, Fujifilm has developed and manufactured photographic films with advanced image resolution and outstanding color and tone reproduction, an extensive range of professional cameras under the consistent philosophy that “a camera is a tool for producing art,” and high quality FUJINON lenses which forms an indispensable part of camera systems. All of these technologies have been collated to develop the GFX.
The new GFX boasts a medium-format sensor to achieve the highest level of image quality and a completely new kind of mirrorless system, and its new companion FUJINON GF lenses.
Adopting a larger format gives Fujifilm’s new system the ultimate enhancement to its ability to capture “texture quality,” “stereoscopic effect” and “aerial feeling,” which cannot be attained even by substantially increasing the sensor’s pixel count.
Since the launch of the X Series, an increasing number of photographers have expressed their hunger to achieve the ultimate in photographic expression with the X Series’ signature color reproduction. The GFX camera system with “G Format” is Fujifilm’s response to that wish.
The new medium-format mirrorless camera, the GFX houses the all-new large diameter “G Mount” and incorporates a large 43.8 × 32.9mm CMOS sensor. Boasting the effective pixel count of 51.4 million, the camera promises superior sharpness and image quality that will satisfy even the highest level of professional photographer, shooting commercial, fashion or fine-art images. The sensor’s 51.4 megapixels can be adapted to various aspect ratios, including 4:3 (default), 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17, which were available in film cameras of the large- and medium-formats.
The camera uses the “X-Processor Pro” imaging processor, which provides Fujifilm’s outstanding color and tone reproduction at an extremely high level. The result is the ultimate capability in photographic expressions that Fujifilm can deliver thanks to its extensive knowledge in medium- format cameras and large-format films.
Compared to conventional medium-format digital SLR cameras, the GFX is lighter weight, achieving a far more compact form factor. With regards to functionality, the camera follows in the footsteps of the X Series by featuring numerous physical buttons and dials, and is designed with an ergonomic grip, shaped carefully and optimised for the camera body and lenses. This new model becomes Fujifilm’s first model to use a detachable electronic viewfinder, which can be removed when using an external monitor or wanting to make the system lighter still.
In addition, an optional adapter makes it possible to fit the EVF in any angle, giving greater freedom in the choice of shooting angle. Other optional accessories that will be released at the same time of launch in early 2017, including a Vertical Battery Grip, which enhances functionality when shooting in the portrait orientation.
The camera also supports tethered shooting and will be compatible with various RAW conversion application software.
New Lens Range
A new range of FUJINON GF lenses, designed specifically for the GFX, have been announced specifically for the new G Mount. Taking advantage of the mirrorless system’s structure, the G Mount has the short flange back distance of just 26.7mm to shorten the back focus distance as much as possible. This promises to prevent vignetting to achieve edge-to-edge sharpness of the world’s highest level. The initial lineup on launch is to include the following six lenses:
1. Standard prime “GF63mmF2.8 R WR” (equivalent to 50mm in the 35mm format)
2. Wide-angle standard zoom “GF32-64mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 25-51mm in 35mm format)
Fast aperture mid-telephoto “GF110mmF2 R LM WR” (equivalent to 87mm in 35mm format)
Ultra wide “GF23mmF4 R LM WR” (equivalent to 18mm in the 35mm format)
Professional-use Mirrorless Camera System “GFX” 3/4
The lenses feature an aperture ring, a popular feature in the X Series, and have the new C (Command) Position on the ring to enable aperture adjustments with the Command Dial on the camera body. All the lenses feature dust and weather resistant construction that withstands operation at temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius, allowing you to take them outdoors with peace of mind. This gives these lenses a strong potential, suitable for professional use in tough conditions.
Pricing and availability
Unfortunately, no sign of pricing as we write this piece but keep an eye on the Hungry Eye Twitter feed as we will link to an update as soon as we hear!
The GFX System: Mirrorless Medium Format from Fujifilm