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Just when it seemed like Pentax had a stronghold on the affordable medium format digital camera market, Fujifilm made its own digital camera to steal the spotlight. The GFX 50S, a Fujifilm digital camera, makes high-end medium format photography an absolute joy. Loaded with features to make the camera extremely user-friendly, the GFX 50S is the best medium format digital camera and perhaps the best digital camera at this price point.
Up until the GFX, the cameras Fujifilm produced couldn’t capture the stellar image quality of the medium format. The GFX 50S is capable of capturing insanely great photos at a fraction of the price of competitors like any Hasselblad digital camera. Landscape and portrait photographers that haven’t made the leap to the medium format are sure to be happy with the incredible image quality from the Fujifilm GFX 50S.
Image quality is key when it comes to shooting medium format, and this Fujifilm digital camera more than delivers. Because of the 51MP CMOS sensor, images are crisp and clean, even in low light. Noise reduction is great up to ISO 6400, as you’ll see on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. But, anything beyond is subpar compared to something like a Hasselblad digital camera. The sharpness and color are fantastic on this mirrorless digital camera, but that quality is reserved for still and slow-moving targets. Some reviewers noticed a substantial moire effect—which the Fujifilm x series aims to fix via their proprietary x trans sensor—but the issue didn’t come up in most other reviews.
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With the inclusion of a tiltable LCD touchscreen and removable EVF, photographers can manage to easily capture their subject without struggling to frame their shot. The body is smaller than competitors like the Pentax 645z thanks to the mirrorless camera design, resembling something more like a standard full-frame SLR. For most, the controls and menu interface are highly intuitive to use. One major downside is the position of the micro-USB port; placing this port on the bottom makes tethering while shooting very difficult. Fortunately, the GFX 50S is equipped with wifi capabilities for wireless tethering. For two other models by this brand, check out the Fujifilm X T10 and the Fujifilm X-T100.
Battery life on the GFX 50S is, in one word, decent. With a 400-shot battery life, this camera lasts longer than most of Fujifilm’s x series cameras, but not by much. How much battery life you need is very much dependent on shooting style; the use of features like the LCD screen, AF system, etc., will all play a factor in whether or not the battery life here is substantial enough for your needs. Fortunately, spare batteries aren’t exorbitantly expensive, so photographers that opt for this mirrorless digital camera would be wise to have one or two on hand.
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This Fujifilm digital camera is definitely built to last both in the studio and in the field. With a weather-sealed magnesium-alloy body, the GFX 50S can withstand normal wear and tear like dust and moisture with ease. Some users do report difficulty with the locking mechanism meant to keep the strap attached to the body, but fairly few tend to bring this up as a serious gripe. Unlike several other digital cameras we’ve reviewed, the GFX 50S does not have reinforced glass over the LCD touchscreen, so buyers should be aware of the heightened potential for chips and scratches.
As far as value is concerned, this Fujifilm digital camera can’t be beaten. Of course, it is still far more expensive than smaller digital cameras that utilize an APS C lens, but the camera you choose should depend on your needs as a photographer. The medium format renders capturing beautiful, artistic photos a joy, and the price can’t be understated. Compared to competitors like a Mamiya digital camera, the GFX 50S has the quality and features one would expect from digital cameras in the six-figure range. Photographers that want to try medium format without breaking the bank may have found their answer in this mirrorless digital camera.
Not only is this Fujifilm digital camera easy to use and carry around just about anywhere, but it also takes fantastic, professional-quality photos at a fraction of the price of high-end competitors. The slower FPS rate and AF system mean this camera isn’t meant to catch quick motion, but it is an excellent option for photographers that want to slow down and focus on shot composition.