Well I didn't think I would be writing my own little reviews on gear, but this is something I have been waiting for and turns out the excitement was worth it. I've been an avid fan of my Canon's over the past 6 years and through my work I have been leaning towards Medium Format, slowly but surely . Going to the Photography show and looking in on the Phase one stands on a yearly basis has intrigued me as to why and can I? Don't get me wrong I'm not your usual photographer nerd or someone which peruses the shows for many hours pestering the staff, then not to buy anything. I usually ignore the main stands go straight to Eizo monitors then a quick blast past Broncolor and Phase one. Then I'm home within 3 hrs tops. Its more of a trip away from carrying a camera so I can just be a bit nosey. To be honest unless your buying something then most stands don't interest me, watching people look at glass they have seen in a magazine or online does not fill me full of excitement. Saying all this brings me to the FUJI GFX50s, first time I have actually been excited in a while, well since I bought my first Canon60D.
Now in the past I have looked at Phase one, but out of my price range plus the sheer size just would not suit my needs as a street photographer. Taking time over the Pentax, cough I lied i just didn't like the look and just not my cup of tea plus the specs were somewhat based on a tiresome chip. It felt like they pushed it out there just to have bragging rights in some shape or form, but heh I don't think they were quite there with the reality of what could be achieved. So at this point I wasn't fussed I thought I'll leave it and see what mega pixel race carry's on with Sony's offerings and company's boasting over ISO ratings (yawn).
Step in Fuji, or should I say smashed the door open. They released the FUJI GFX50s, well I saw the rumours and with in a matter of months it was here. No gimmicks and also not much screaming or shouting. I quite liked this a company back to it does what it says on the tin. Now I'm not promoting FUJI as I've never looked at their equipment before because I'd bought Canon and was invested. It could of been another brand, at the time before I knew nothing about cameras and glass I just purchased what I was told to get. So I am not biased either way. First couple of shots of the body and I was enjoying the whole design and could see the follow on from the X series. The dials on the top of the body I have come to really enjoy and was something I have never had the use of so it made my life easier. We like dials we seriously (insert swear word here) do. Everything else is well laid out, shutter and aperture dials are where they should be, joystick is a thumb stretch across ideal. Finally the screen is great and the menu is sensible and not over complicated and you can work it out if you have used a DSLR before, plus I'm a man and don't read instructions.
You have read this far and you probably think or assume I will be putting up charts and ISO ratings and crops of images. No sorry we don't do that in this camp what so ever. For me like any camera I want it to work and capture what I need, I'm interested in an all round camera (not sports) that gives me scope for cropping if needed and colour rendition. I wan to see the back of the screen and see it translate on to the computer with out worrying I have over exposed something. Yes I do want big files with plenty of pixels to peep at, most hate this in some shape or form. More the better to me in some ways considering the work I mainly do more detail the better. I do not like rebuilding texture on skin and so on so having more resolution works for me in this situation. I shoot a wide variety of work from Models and products to Family and Wedding work. Yes I will be using this camera for all of the above. I wont bore you with stats and questions as to how you cope with Weddings with only a 3fps shutter speed. You work with what you have and make it work, end of story. For the record I have done some landscape, portrait and a family shoot so far with the camera. No problems at all even in bright sun light the focus has been on point, yes it does struggle in glaring sun but what camera doesn't? you just hide the sun behind the object then recompose. Lets also cover off is it a great landscape Medium Format camera, can you please stop harping on about this. If you have a camera it can take landscape photos I'm pretty certain the sensor is already in the right position. Ive read many reviews about this would be great for landscape photographers and it actually annoys me. This camera covers any aspect and has the glass to back it up.
I just thought I better put some photos up that is what all generic reviews do to prove we can take photos.
above FUJI GFX50s 63mm f4 iso400
Model Elizabeth Jones
Agency Profile London
First serious work I did with the camera on a recent shoot in London (Camden). It was an overcast day but we still had great colours from the last of the Autumn leaves. i pretty much shot the whole shoot with the FUJI and fill in with my Canon 5D MK4 for some final images. My way of shooting is quite quick as I normally don't have great lengths of time to shoot due to work loads. I want to be able to get what I need and move on to the next concept or outfit. This camera does it, shot after shot was rendered beautifully and the colour was faultless. What I saw was on the screen matched up on the computer at home. Only a few images were soft or OOF which I expect with any body. I really can't stress enough how great the files are form this camera. Yes they are big but so is Big Ben and that just tells the time! These are like a recipe book full of flavours and ideas waiting for you to realise them. The 63mm glass depending on who you speak to has had mixed reviews about focusing and minor distortion. They might be right but last time I checked when I work I focus on getting the image and completing clients work on time and not faffing around pixel peeping and reading up DXO reports boring me with numbers which do not correlate into payments. It focuses well for a MF and is quick enough , even I had no issues using single point focus with a family shoot again skill over complaining.
FUJI GFX50s 63mm iso200 f3.2
Model Hayley Dalton
Another snap and again colour rendition crisp and on point. With this part of the shoot I was moving round quite a bit and moving in and out taking full body shots then close up candid portraits. The whole system was a pleasure to work with and just felt right , plus its lighter than my other gear. Its causing some issues though as to what i buy next for the camera, I'm pretty sure it will be 45mm glass as it works well with my style. But I can wait I'm in no rush and besides I pretty much having the best time with what I have.
So what do I think about the system? Well I'm pretty bored with other reviews banging on about resolution , tether support, lens, menu functions and so on. When do you have time to take a photo if your faffing about with that? Last time I looked shutter, aperture and ISO pretty much covered what I was doing , and taking the lens cap off. To enjoy the camera its like a firework, you don't take it apart and analyse the internals? what makes it is the final result the bang. The FUJI has plenty of bang believe me it just gives and gives. Relentless performance , built to last output is flawless and not compromised in any shape. It really does lack nothing from what i can see and I demand it be usable for every aspect of my life and work.
Its about the Journey not the finality