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3 Reasons Why Fuji Failed With The GFX 50s

By Justin Heyes on October 8th 2016

When the Hasselblad X1D was announced it didn’t take long for the rumors to start flying about Fuji‘s medium format offerings. Given the relationship between Fuji and Hasselblad, with Fuji having a hand in creating Hasselblad‘s H-series of medium format cameras, the GFX 50S was always going to be a possible eventuality. The GFX exceeded photographers’ dreams of a full frame by offering a medium format digital camera for an ‘affordable’ price, but is the hype-train already derailed? Here are my three reasons why Fuji failed with the GFX 50s.

phase-one-capture-one-pro-9-3-medium-format

The Sensor

One of the main reasons photographers shoot Fuji mirrorless cameras – despite the lack of third-party support – is the dynamic range and level of detail that the X-Trans sensor can produce. When developing the GFX, Fuji could have gone with their X-Trans Sensor or a more traditional Bayer CMOS. In my opinion, I think they went with the more cost-effective solution to keep around the proposed under $10K price point (no word yet on the actual shelf price). The same reason why their entry level systems like the X-A3 have a CMOS – to keep cost down over the more expensive X-Trans Sensor.

[Rewind: Comparing The Fujifilm GFX 50S To The Hasselblad X1D | At First Glance ]

Back in the heydays of film, photographers had a choice of sizes from 110 to 8×10 and various formats in-between. Any professional photographer worth their salt was shooting medium format or larger. Formats like 35mm were considered small formats and synonymous with amateurs. Fast forward to today, the 135 standard reigns supreme and carries the “Full Fame” crown; with any format smaller considered to be “amateur”. Coincidentally, anything larger than the 24x36mm border is considered Medium Format.

The sensors both in the Fuji GFX and the Hasselblad X1D are not medium format in the absolute traditional sense, but more akin to 127 roll film (a small format), whereas the smallest medium format, in the traditional sense, is 645 (5.6 × 4.15cm). By the same definition, there are no true medium format digital cameras, only slightly larger than “full frame” cameras; but that doesn’t have the same connotation as Medium Format. The closest thing to true 645 that is on the market is Phase One’s 100MP XF camera at 5.37×4.04 cm, or Hasselblad‘s sensor in the H6D-100c.

fujifilm-medium-format-gfx

Shutter Speed

Besides providing a shallower depth of field, medium format cameras benefit from leaf-shutter lenses. Focal plane shutters have two curtains that chase each other to expose the sensor whereas leaf-shutters expose the whole frame at once by opening a series of blades (leaves).

The GFX has focal plane shutter with a flash sync speed of 1/125 of a second, which is laughable. Some would argue that leaf-shutter lenses are not necessary for this day and age, as they are expensive to produce and the lack of high shutter speeds like 1/4000 of a second. The benefits of leaf-shutter lenses are the ability to sync flash at 1/500 of a second or more without relying on high-speed sync strobes or ND filters.

With the rise of small, battery-powered strobes like the Phottix Indra and the Profoto B2, high-speed sync (HSS) has come to the forefront of the industry. As many photographers have already learned from our Lighting 101 and 102 courses, HSS can allow you to go beyond the 1/200 of a second (or similar) flash sync that a focal plane shutter provides (at the cost of battery life and inconstancy in the quality of light).

The argument is that leaf-shutter cameras are expensive, but Fuji has had experience creating an affordable fixed lens leaf-shutter cameras with their GW690 or more recently with their fantastic X100 series. A fixed lens rangefinder style medium format would have been better than the awkward DSLR-esque body of the GFX 50S.

fujifilm-medium-format-gfx-4

Design

I will be the first one to admit that the Fuji GFX looks like a dog, like a bad combination of the X-T2 and the Phase One XF. There have been pictures floating around comparing to the GFX 50s to the 5D Mark IV and the Nikon D810. For a medium format camera, it is about the same size of these flagship DSLRs, and this is where Fuji missed the boat.

fujifilm-medium-format-gfx-5

One of the benefits of a mirrorless camera come from its size and weight benefits over their DSLR counterparts. The Fuji GFX doesn’t benefit when it is the size and weight of a flagship DSLR. The GFX has the drawbacks of a mirrorless camera (slower AF & EVF) with the added drawback of a DSLR (size and weight). Hasselblad’s first mirrorless, the X1D, on the other hand, can fit in the same volume of the body of Pentax 645Z with the 45mm f/3.5 lens attached. It looks like a camera you can walk around with and hand hold.

hasselblad-X1D-medium-format-camera-kishore-5

Conclusion

There are rumors that Fuji is coming out with and adapter for legacy lenses and leaf-shutter lenses, but at this point, it is only hearsay. Fuji’s first venture in the slightly larger than full frame medium format digital realm could give a stagnate niche a second life, but it could prove difficult when they start with a slightly gimped product.

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

57 Comments

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  1. Peter Piper

    The author is a clueless idiot. 645 film nominal film size is the same as the Phase One XF100. The film border makes it bigger, you IDIOT!

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  2. Todd Clustivik

    Did he really say this camera looks like a dog?  To my eyes it is a beautiful and refined looking camera body. As to his other critiques, I think many of the previous comments have addressed them quite adequately. Let’s just say for a lot pf photographers on a somewhat limited budget this camera and the added cost of the wonderful Fuji lenses put this solidly  in the realm of a dream camera.  One can only imagine the quality of landscape photography that could be achieved with this camera.

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  3. Tim Fisher

    Flash Sync’ speeds: Godox (Calumet / PixaPro and others too) and ProFoto have got around this with their flash units. For more, as I did this week, try the Fuji X Forum where there’s lots more on this camera.

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  4. David Shepherd

    This guy still on the writing staff?

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  5. Pablo Villegas

    Lol at your sensor paragraph! Are you aware that this Sony sensor is the leading sensor in the world right now? It’s only on the best quality cameras right now. 

    And yeah, no single medium format camera has had a focal plane shutter with a higher flash sync speed. But that’s why HSS was invented, you can sync up to 1/4000 of a second with this camera and HSS. 

    You should have stick to bein a gaffer, and that’s professional cinematographers advice. 

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  6. Kevin Zhou

    I totally disagree with you. I assuming that you have not even touched both of them.

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  7. Steve Blow

    Justin Heyes know nothing about Photography Sensor Industry.

    The King of sensors Sony Corp (also own Toshiba Sensor Div) dont want / not willing to produce Xtrans 645 sensor only for Fuji (high cost)

    Instead, They offered Fuji to use the same sensor as Hassy, Phase1, Pentax, to cut down Fuji cost, to gain competitive edge, since Fuji & Fujinon famous for good quality products & optics, shouldn’t be a problem.

    Roughly estimated, Sensor alone contribute 25% -40% production cost. So its WISE decision to use more affordable, mainstream sensor.

    Btw the Fuji GFX is Gorgeous.

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  8. Joe Crawford

    what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent review were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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  9. Chilirose Poland

    a gaffer ? in German thats funny…  

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  10. Brian Westfield

    LMAO. Guys. It’s obvious this is a troll attempt. And unfortunately it worked. 

    In all seriousness though, the YouTube reviews are starting to roll in now (May 2017) and clearly, this camera is nothing close the drivel presented here :)

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  11. Yisi Zhang

    looks like he has never used the camera. Lol. I just used it
    today. The photos are breath taking. Well done Fujifilm. Cheaper than Leica SL.
    With a larger sensor. Same weight. Almost same focus speed. Awesome iso performance.

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  12. Greg Poole

    Thank you to everyone who jumped in on this article to defend Fuji.

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  13. Rhys George

    I don’t think a lighting gaffer turned wedding photographer has any real experience to draw upon when reviewing a commercial camera format, a camera which he has not used, a camera format he doesn’t use professionally himself. Not only is this poorly formatted, click bait titled column not worth reading but its also entirely incorrect, opinion based guesswork with not even a minimal quantity of cognisance to warrant any merit what so ever.

     The officially confirmed accessories which make this a ground breaker are a 5×4 view camera adapter (so my horseman, bellows, rails and Schneider lenses are definitely coming out of retirement – good luck doing anything of the sort with the flimsy little Hassy) and the manufacturer guaranteed compatibility with older lenses through adaption both LS and standard lens construction.  

     All of the above makes the GFX 50s a very wise investment for commercial photography, the only irritation I have is the incompatibility with Capture one, in comparison to Lightroom and bridge combined to catalogue and do my raw processing its light years ahead. But Phase One acting in their usually defensive manner against any competitor medium format product will not be supporting the Fuji. Extremely disappointing to say the least. 

     Anyone seriously considering purchasing this camera already works in a capacity which results in them having a greater understanding of the need for a camera such as this, unlike the individual who wrote the article above. A PhaseOne at this stage is the only other option for my current workflow, but the opportunity to get this much camera for such a small price in comparison with its medium format stable mates cannot be passed up. 

     Unlike the arcade machine repairing, wedding photographer Justin Heyes I’ll be renting this camera upon its release from my camera supplier and actually USING it for my own workflow and passing judgement then and only then.

    If this camera delivers on Fujis promises then for a commercial professional like me the decision to add a medium format camera for slightly more than the price of two of my DSLR bodies With a few accessories is a simple one.

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  14. Dan

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  15. Max Hartzenberg

    Maybe you should go back to building arcade machines.

    “One of the main reasons photographers shoot Fuji mirrorless cameras – despite the lack of third-party support – is the dynamic range and level of detail that the X-Trans sensor can produce.”
    I can think of a million reasons the hundreds of thousands of street photographers out there carrying x100’s and xpro’s in their jacket pockets bought them that has nothing to do with DR.

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  16. Bruce Allinson

    The sync speed is poor but at least it will sync! The Hasselblad wont even work with our view cameras as it has no e shutter. As for the 125th sync on the GFX  the cheap easy fix for the sync speed is the H lens adaptor then use all our old H lenses and shutters with 800th sync speed – I love the Blad and don’t like the look of the GFX much but I have ordered the camera that works and can do the job – I’m looking forward to delivery of my new Fujifilm GFX 50s –  Oh and 127 has always been medium format, some of us are old enough to remember that anything bigger than 35mm is medium format by your reckoning anything smaller than 6×7 is small format!

    I have news for you – you live in a world of being miles off target and huge disasters – Maybe your love of food could get a job serving burgers next leaving the photography to photographers then you could write expert blog posts about diet and nutrition !

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  17. Jacques du Toit

    How much did hasselblad pay you to write this garbage. I really hope you are completely removed from slrlounge before everyone else rather leaves due to moronic writers like yourself.

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  18. Craig Mason

    geez – biased much. Quick grab the tissues I’m having a melt down cause I hate the new Fuji camera, SO FREAKING WHAT… Seriously if we all liked and used the same gear life would be efing boring.

    It’s clear your a Nycon user or something else (don’t really give a shit), why – because (and maybe one day when your learned enough you’ll understand) it doesn’t matter what gear you use – IT’S HOW YOU USE IT.

    Wow – what a waste of 5 minutes that was…. ZZzzzzzzzz

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  19. Harri Wickstrand

    Max flash speed 1/125 says it all. No thanks, this is not for me!

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  20. Chris Dodkin

    LMAO – idiot!

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  21. John Flury

    [John Flury has deleted this comment]

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  22. David Shepherd

    This Click-Bait article is still up?

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  23. Korey Napier

    The Hasselblad X1D is about the most uninspiring camera in terms of design in my opinion. It looks like a square box with a grip on the side. The Fuji GFX actually looks like a proper camera. As for size, a medium format camera the same size (and lighter) than full frame DSLR’s is pretty incredible. Also, the cost of a Phase One 100MP XF is like, 50 grand, right? The Hassy is around $30,000. I don’t think it totally makes sense to poo poo the size of the sensor in the GFX when it costs a fourth of what the Hassy is and a sixth of the Phase One. At $8,000 with a lens, it’s a complete game changer.

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  24. Doug Dolde

    What a bullshit article

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  25. David Peacock

    I’m always saddened when i see a title of an article where it’s claimed that a company “failed” or made “fatal” mistake. It’s like the author is standing at the end of a diving board over a dry pool saying “Look at me! I’m an idiot!”. Often the new models and designs are stepping stones to better products and often open up new avenues and niches in a market.

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  26. Tom Stanworth

    I hate to say it, but was this written with tongue in cheek? To respond to the three ‘fails’ in full would take too long, but here’s a summary:

    1) the Xtrans sensor offers absolutely zero benefits in terms of resolution and dynamic range over a AA filterless Bayer sensor. Sounds like the marketing people have had you!

    Xtrans actually offers some significant disadvantages and quite a few people have avoided Fuji entirely because of the Xtrans arrangement. Poor colour resolution and quality handicaps when using Adobe software? Xtrans solved a problem (moire) that is not much of a problem since software solutions helped and sensor resolution increased. In short, it solves a problem that has already been solved and we’re just left with the downsides. And the marketing.

    As for the sensor being too small, is FF too small compared to APS-C? Then question is ‘is it big enough to make a difference over FF’ and the answer is a clear ‘yes’. Have you ever shot with a 51MP 44×33 and compared it to 36MP FF gear? Crank up resolutions to 70-100MP and the differences will grow some more. Fuji is thinking ahead.

    2) No leaf shutter? As you know leaf shutters are in lenses, so Fuji can always release a couple of leap shutter lenses at any time if there is significant pick up from professional studio shooters. This is not Fuji’s initial target market however. It’s much broader than that. A fixed lens camera would be fun, but hardly a broad-reaching product. Fuji might produce such a camera in time, but it would only make sense when 44×33 sensors are cheap enough to make the camera sanely priced for a one lens wonder. Fuji is smart enough to realise that 44×33 is a now a new standard ‘full frame plus’ format and is making a grab for it.

    3) Too big? Seriously? The tiny X1D will be lovely with primes and short zooms, but less lovely with tele-zooms. Fuji’s choice of size is a good middle zone to cover a wide range of optics, ensuring decent balance. Few people would complain about the size and weight of a D750 with 51MP, because the GFX is comparable. It is also half the weight of the 645Z.

    What about the many positives that come with the release of the GFX? I’ve blogged about this exact topic today and the market will change very quickly….

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    • Ricky Perrone

      Yeah I was thinking all of these things as I read this as well. Its a silly almost entirely baseless blog post written solely to grab attention.

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  27. Josh Leavitt

    Funny, I actually considered all of your perceived failings of the GFX 50S to be it’s greatest assets.

    1) Sensor: Yes they’re going with the traditional Bayer sensor, and I don’t consider that a bad thing at all. As you said, it will keep costs down. But more importantly it will give Canon, Nikon, and Pentax users a familiar look when the RAWs are imported to Lightroom or Photoshop. This will be a critical selling point because Fuji aims to lure existing full frame customers; and they’ll need to keep these customers in their comfort zone when acquiring this system. The Trans-X is unique, vibrant, and fun to shoot, but also horrible for post-processing.

    2) Shutter Speed: 1/125 is perfectly fine as long as it keeps the cost down, which it will. HSS work just as well as Leafs for studio work, and cost several thousands of dollars less.

    3) Design: I think designing this with the heft and bulk of an FF DSLR was brilliant. Once again, this will make many FF customers feel right at home when holding it. The X1D might be smaller, but also has a fixed screen – that’s a deal breaker for a lot of people in this day and age.

    Fuji could have designed a camera that could compete with Phase One and Hassy if they wanted, but it would be thousands of dollars more. The whole point of the GFX was to deliver a product that could provide the ultimate IQ experience at a price that 80% of professional photographers could afford.

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  28. Abiatha Swelter

    “Formats like 35mm were considered small formats and synonymous with amateurs”

    That’s just wrong. Many professional photographers carried 35mm cameras. Leicas and Nikons were mainstays of photojournalism for decades. And, equally, for decades, amateurs used medium format cameras (usually in the form of a cheap Brownie-type cameras).

    Whether the sensor is actually the same size as a 120 frame is not really relevant. All that matters is the result. At no point do you mention the actual quality of the pictures these cameras produce.

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  29. Mark Carpenter

    The Fuji GFX 50S is looking like it will be a great camera for it’s intended market. It will bring the cost of digital medium format down to a level that smaller studios and photographer’s will be able to afford. I don’t look at this as a walk around camera, and I don’t think it is meant to replace your DSLR. It is clearly aiming at the digital medium format market and is expected to do so at a much lower price point.

    Fuji understands the limitations of of the X-Trans sensor, and it would have not been well received in the by professionals using raw converters like Capture One or Lightroom. Some features of these programs are designed around the bayer sensor and do not work when you change the pixel arrangement.

    There is a dynamic range trade off for megapixels. When you increase the megapixels of a camera without increasing the sensor size you lose dynamic range. The larger sensor allows you to have a high megapixel camera along with incredible dynamic range. If it even comes close to what the Hasselblad can do it will be a winner in that respect. Skin tones are just amazing on a Hasselblad, and it uses a bayer sensor! I don’t think any DSLR can even come close to the color of a Hasselblad.

    There’s no way Fuji can produce a full frame medium format without sending the price through the stratosphere. That is a sensor size that no other camera manufacturer makes and for good reason.

    High Speed Sync (HSS) is necessary in bright daylight when you want to use a wide open aperture. This situation doesn’t exist In the studio because the ambient light in the studio is controlled. 1/125 of a second is probably the fastest sync speed obtainable with such a large focal plane shutter. The shutter only needs to be fast enough to overcome the ambient light when using strobes, and 1/125 of a second should easilly acomplish this in a studio.

    A fixed lens would have been out of the question for a studio camera, especially one with a price point higher than most DSLR’s

    One benefit to the focal plane shutter over the leaf shutter is that it is thin, allowing the sensor to be placed closer to the lens. This improves the sharpness of the lens. In a studio setting, I will take sharpness over sync speed any day.

    Unlike SONY who seems to have planned obsolescence engineered into their products. Fuji’s customer service is second to none. They offer software updates years after production has ended, long after most manufacturers want to acknowledge that they even made the camera. Also unlike SONY they don’t outsource the repairs, their cameras don’t overheat and corrode from the inside.

    The GFX 50S will never have the broad range of lenses that Nikon or Cannon’s DSLR’s do, and it doesn’t need too. Its market is going to be for those who need extremely accurate color and high resolution. DSLR’s have action, birding or on the fly in a wedding markets covered pretty well and I don’t expect that to change any time soon. Imagine packing the 70-200 equivalent at a wedding? It would be 119-340 along with its larger opening would have to be huge! No this isn’t a practical DSLR replacement, but should be an incredible studio camera.

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    • Joe Rooney

      Leaf shutter lenses have the shutter mechanism built into the middle of the lens, while a focal plane shutter is directly in front of the sensor. The Hasselblad X1D has a shorter flange back distance than the Fuji, so the back of the lens is closer to the sensor with the Hasselblad than the Fuji.

      The other advantage of a leaf shutter is when using flash outdoors. The modern Phase One and Hasselblad leaf shutter systems are capable of syncing flash at 1/1600 second and 1/2000 second respectively. That’s far better than HSS. You lose significant flash power in HSS applications, and that becomes just as limiting as the sync speed.

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  30. c.t. grass

    The traditional 645 format image size is 5.6×4.2cm, not 6×4.5cm.

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    • Jonathan Sager

      I agree the statement in the article is completely inaccurate and should be revised. It’s very misleading. IQ100 is full frame 645.

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  31. Robert Barnes

    X-Trans IS more expensive to produce as it requires a different production line that amortizes its costs over a much smaller production run.
    As for a greater DR, I have seen no evidence that it provides anything more than the underlying Sony architecture already delivers in Bayer form.

    I do agree that leaf shutters are a massive advantage.
    The possibility that they will support LS Hasselblad lenses via an adapter is encouraging but it remains to be seen whether or not AF will work well.
    What IS an entertaining idea for me is a Canon EF lens adapter with a built-in teleconverter.
    The TC would increase the image circle to cover the sensor and give us access to great lenses such as the TC line-up.

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  32. Warped Trekker

    Please correct the article. X-TRANS is just a specific filter placed on top of the CMOS sensor to arrange the RGB pixels. There is nothing more expensive about X-TRANS vs. Bayer. Manufacturers just place a thin filter layer on top of the CMOS sensor to whatever RGB layout they want the camera to use.

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  33. Andrew Leinonen

    I’m pretty sure every serious professional considering a camera like this heaved a huge sigh of relief when they found that this camera didn’t have an X-Trans sensor.

    With cameras like this, workflow is king. The idea of dealing with a 50+ MP X-Trans file is the stuff of nightmares (or at least overfilled hard drives and whirring CPU fans), and it is unlikely to deliver the critical quality that the audience desires. All the high end RAW converters do a pretty good job of dealing with the characteristic artifacts of Bayer arrays because they’re so well studied, but nearly none of them can render X-Trans without some combination of smudgey detail, aliasing, or wormy artifacts when viewed at critical magnification. And if you don’t care about the 100% quality of your images, why bother with a 50MP camera in the first place?

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  34. Michael Hunt

    This is such clickbait garbage. The camera has barely been announced, you haven’t held it, you haven’t used it. You’re bringing up terrible points for the sake of generating ad views. This is the problem with rubbish like this – it’s written for the sake of having posted something, instead of being something that should have been written. Next time you have a thought like this, stop and think on it for a few days.

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  35. Silvestro Crino

    So… I disagree with every single one of your points…. from the camera looking like a dog…. to your childish discussion that “its not a true Medium Format” camera…. to your even more childish comment that the camera is a failure when it hasn’t even been released yet…. the whole thing was just poorly reasoned opinion masquerading as an article….

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  36. Scott Walter

    Why write an article like this with a camera that isn’t shipping and that you haven’t personally used? Let’s wait until next spring when we can get our hands on it before calling it a failure. There is plenty of time for Fuji to make significant changes before its released to manufacturing.

    I usually think of SLRLounge above the click bait style articles. I guess not anymore.

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  37. Run Le

    1. Not using X-Trans guarantees failure? Then all manufacturers fail other than Fujifilm. 2. The GFX targets high end DSLR market, not medium format market. Which DSLR user wants a camera with shutter speed limited to 1/500s? In fact I find Hasselblad X1D which targets mass market with a 8999 price tag to be a poor marketing decision. 3. Look is subjective. Weight is a good 150g less than 5D3 or D800, with a larger sensor. So that guarantees failure? The GFX is so well executed that trolls are coming out with ridiculous arguments. In my opinion, Fujifilm got everything right so far. Let’s hope they get the pricing right.

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    • Justin Heyes

      Modern leaf shutter cameras like the X100T can sync flash up to 1/4000 of a second at f/4. I know quite a few professional photographers would gladly welcome a DSLR that could sync flash at 1/500 of a second.

      The GFX 50s is 800g vs Canon 5D Mark IVs 890g (Including battery, CF card and SD memory card) and Nikon D810s 880g

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    • Run Le

      Ya excellent example, X100T, a compact. Tell me which MF camera with leaf shutter can have shuttle speed up to 1/4000s? There are so many off camera high speed flash sync solutions at a low price, which can allow flash sync up to 1/8000s. Fujifilm is dead on with decision to opt for focal plane shutter, as they want to be in line with DSLR users. Ok that’s not 150g lighter, but GFX, with bigger sensor, is still lighter or at least same weight with DSLR. Is that all you can dig? Think harder to come out with better arguments

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    • Joe Rooney

      The Hasselblad X1D syncs flash up to 1/2000 second. So does the Hasselblad H6D. HSS sync solutions don’t even com close to being as versatile as that. With HSS on the Profoto B1, you lose one stop of flash power for every stop that you go over the native sync speed of the camera. With Fuji’s 1/125 second sync speed, to get to the 1/2000 sync speed of the X1D, you’d lose four stops of flash power. That means a 500 w/s Profoto B1 would output a maximum of about 30 w/s at 1/2000 second HSS on a Fuji, while the Hasselblad could take advantage of the full 500 w/s at 1/2000 second. I know which camera system I’d rather take on location to use with strobes, and it sure wouldn’t be the Fuji.

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  38. Brandon Ward

    The only failure about a camera system that hasn’t yet launched is the time wasted by “articles” such as this one. Good click bait but I wish I had those 30 seconds back. Way to call “failure” from behind a screen on a camera you probably haven’t even seen in person yet.

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  39. Carlos Echenique

    The plural of “leaf” is “leaves”, not “leafs”. While I agree that the X1D is the more aesthetically pleasing camera of the two, it suffers from a major drawback despite being mirrorless: little or no lens adaptability outside of leaf shutter lenses. The GFX is also an engineering prototype, yet everyone acts like it is finished product. No one makes an X-trans sensor in this size, yet. The only game in town is the Sony CMOS sensors. This niche is going to be like Formula E racing: all cars are the same except for paint job, sponsor logos and drivers. Skill determines the winner, not engineering. You may want to wait until the horse race actually starts before declaring a winner.

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    • Joel Germain

      One rep front fuji actually explained why they didnt use xtrans sensor. Ita because of the size of the information and latence it would bring to the camera. I dont know the technical stuff but apparently, xtrans are good as small sensor, they are not yet adaptable “in a confortable way” to larger size camera.

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  40. Jacques du Toit

    But on a different note, it is funny to see how quickly writers are to say that a product is a fail because it doesn’t meet their ideas.

    Would love to see what happens with 5D Mk IV and the FUJI GFX sales over the year.

    Reviewers tend to be a little misguided at times. As well as peoples expectations. Look how many people complained about the 5D IV because of specs of video. Instead of saying it is a beautiful stills camera with the ability to take decent video albeit with older technology. The DJI mavic got hell because reviewers didn’t know that they had to focus, which is why I am against reviewers at times, because how do you review something if you don’t know what you are reviewing.

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  41. Jacques du Toit

    I have never shot with mirrorless so not 100% sure on size and all those, but I am a fairly large guy, weighing in at about 125kg roughly 277pounds, and stand at 6’2. So what I am saying is I am large, and shooting the 5D Mk III is the best thing for me, because of size. I shot the other day with a 7D Mk II and could not believe how puny this thing was compared to my hands, making me struggle to find a way to hold it and not feel like it was slipping or anything.

    So basically what I am trying to say is, that if what is said about the size is correct, then the size is a plus point for me

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  42. Przemyslaw Maciolek

    Horses for courses. Pentax 645D/Z is perhaps the most ubiquitous MF system and it doesn’t have leaf shutter either (except for one specialised MF lens IIRC). Speaking of 645D, I do own one and if GFX50 is going to be the size of recent full-frame DSLR, I am totally into it.

    Regarding sensor size – even “MF” included everything from 6×9 to 6×4.5 back in the day. Yeah, I would love to have really significant sensor (4×5″ digital anyone?) But economics involved things are getting exponentially expensive

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  43. J Kotil

    Failed? Seriously? If you do not find that a tool doesn’t fit your work or how you are comfortable working – it’s not the tool’s failure that you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. You want a DSLR and even though it looks like one, it’s designed use is not to be one. The people who will seriously look at this will be those who shot medium format for years and couldn’t afford the $30-80k it costs today to get into Hassy or Phase One systems.

    Size? at some point the reality of limitations (overheating, protection, size of existing parts, durability, and physics) vs. cost is always at play. This will be a very expensive system to get into and it will probably never come close to matching the options of smaller systems. To build a basic kit will run $10k+. That is reality. My standard Nikon site shooting kit is north of that. They can’t afford to go out of business for an individuals arbitrary budget limit.

    There are only two resounding reasons to shoot medium (anything larger than FX/35mm frame) and that is the physics at play that causes a sharper fall off of out of focus areas and the 16bit color. The latter, 16 bit color being arguably the only massive difference and why one should really desire medium format. Dynamic range for smaller systems equals more color. When you have essentially 8x+ of more colors available in every shot from this camera. With lower bit color, you need widest dynamic range. 16bit – it is already baked in and dynamic range is not the measurement to be concerned with. More colors equals better sharpness, better contrast, transitions, better everything.

    This camera is great to see, but it will not fit my shooting style. It’s not any shortcomings of the camera – I could easily work with it if the lenses existed. Only FX DSLRs fit that bill for me. It’s a great move for a company that is filling a niche market. If it doesn’t fix the niche you reside in, than move on, keep making great images and applaud Fuji for stepping outside their comfort zone.

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  44. Jay Cassario

    I have to agree with everything Justin has to say here. The sensor size isn’t a true medium format, it is only slightly larger than your typical full-frame sensor. All you Fuji shooters know what that is, the sensor size that you all say that you don’t need. This GFX has the same size sensor as the Pentax645z which I have shot extensively. It is hard to tell that it is much larger than a full-frame sensor. With the lens selection that Pentax offers, only going as wide as f/2.8, you really don’t get to see anywhere near the same results that you are used to seeing with true medium format film cameras.
    The 1/125 flash sync with this GFX is def a tough one to get around, depending on the type of photography you do, and the size of the camera defeats the purpose of it being mirrorless… just like Justin pointed out. To be honest, if you’re a portrait shooter and excited about this camera, Fuji will have to offer lenses that are faster than f/2, and especially f/2.8 – f/4. If they can release a portrait lens that is f/1.4… then I’ll be impressed. But, if you have never shot with a camera that has this same size sensor, you would be surprised how little you can tell that the sensor is bigger. I think photographers are often confused that cameras with this size “medium format” sensor will yield results similar to the images they see coming from true MF film cameras. That is far from the what you will see.
    I look at this camera, especially if it’s over $8k (which I’m pretty sure it will be) as more along the lines of Fuji finally giving their customers a sensor larger than an APS-C. The funny thing is, all the photographers who have been preaching about how they don’t need a sensor any bigger than APS-C, are all of sudden jumping on this camera’s bandwagon. We will see how it does, only time will tell, but I honestly think that there are too many limitations for it to be worth it’s price, and big heavy lenses. If I were a Fuji shooter, I would have been happier with a true full-frame sensor without the liitations that this camera will have. We’ll see….

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  45. Run Le

    Market will decide who will be successful, not any writer. Cost is the #1 factor. If Fujifilm price the GFX to be above 6K, they would blow an opportunity to create a revolution. If they keep the price low, Hasselblad, be worried, be very worried, the GFX is coming.

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  46. David Shepherd

    I totally disagree. I think the Fujifilm GFX will blow the Hassy Mirrorless MF out of the water with sales. The reason being is reaching more photographers with the cost to quality ratio.

    I personally believe that the GFX looks better than most current MF cameras out now for size and design. I believe that the function over approach is the best decision with this system.

    Also with a sensor this size, the difference between Bayer and XTrans is marginal. Once we see the sample files next year, we can evaluate then.

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  47. robert raymer

    I have to agree. Having used some of their older medium format cameras, and having heard great things about the x series, not to mention loving the look of the x trans sensor, I had very high expectations when the announced that they were releasing a Digital MF camera. I personally could care less about the size, but I was underwhelmed in almost every other way by the specs. Being what it is I hope the price point is amazing, otherwise I do not see sales being very good.

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    • Silvestro Crino

      Part of what made XTRANS special was the removal of the low pass filter without moire .and the wonderful fuji colors …. but the colors have nothing to do with the Xtrans… and nearly every new Bayer filter camera with more than 20Mpix now comes without a low pass filter…..so, especially with a 50 Mpix sensor there is NO NEED for XTRANS … it gives you no advantages…and too many disadvantages of processing complexity…. Fuji made the right decision….. sales will be as good as the price Fujifilm chooses for the camera… they will be at least as good as the Hasselblad… but if Fuji brings the body in at between $5000-$6000… I think it will be a huge seller …. mark my words and we can come back in a couple of years to see which of us is right.

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