Anyone who knows me knew this post was coming. I’m a massive Fujifilm fan since switching to them in 2017, from Canon. Funnily enough my first ever digital camera was a Fujifilm S5000. A 3.1MP camera which at the time, I loved and knew little to nothing about cameras.
So I switched from a Canon 5DMKII to Fujifilm GFX50s in 2017, which is a huge upgrade.
So why Fujifilm? Well I’ve always wanted a medium format camera and came very close to buying a Leaf Credo 50 back in 2015 for my Mamiya RZ67II. Thankfully I opted to buy a bicycle and cycle a thousand miles across Japan over 8 weeks.
I brought a Fujifilm X100T when before I started Mochimono, just to have a point & shoot camera. I didn’t use the camera that much during the early stages of the project. I think it was the 35mm format I couldn’t quite get to grips with. Later on I learned to love the camera, handling, quality and layout of the camera.
DSLR’s have never felt like a proper camera to me, the looks & handling have always just been so boring. I know it’s about the sensor and what the camera can achieve, but I never felt any enjoyment went using the camera. It just felt clunky & ugly.
When Fujifilm announced the GFX50s I was instantly interested, a medium format sensor for a third of the price of a Phase one/Leaf 50MP back! I first handled the camera in Yodabashi Camera, Tokyo, when I was on a job for San Miguel. I remember trying the 110mm F2, taking pictures of shoppers and was blown away by the fall off of this lens, it looked like my RZ67II film camera.
As soon as the camera was ready I pre-ordered it & within a week of its arrival I was shooting a 5 day job across England & Scotland.
Aside from the fact that you get the same sensor that’s in the Phase One IQ250 for about £15,000 less [at least] I have stated why I love this camera so much. So I’ll run it down in bullet points.
The dials, having physical dials on the camera for things like shutter speed, ISO etc… feels so much more intuitive.
Large Sensor, offering more quality than you’d ever need and that fall off, it’s just buttery smooth & makes the subject pop.
Fujifilm Firmware, constantly updating their cameras with fixes & improvements.
I’m able to adapt various legacy & new lens, from Canon, Mamiya, Contax, Nikon to name a few.
The feel of the camera, it’s big, but it feels great in the hand & is still as heavy if not lighter than most DSLR’s.
Side loading battery door.
Detail, latitude & quality of the files, it’s unreal.
And to be fair, a few things I don’t like so much.
1/125s of a shutters peed, this isn’t a deal breaker for me as thankfully Broncolor lighting is supported via HSS, though it may mean some extra costs in updating equipment in the near future.
The cooling brick at the back, that’s the only thing that makes this camera a bit ugly, but hey the 50R is the prettier model.
With the recently released 50R version, which again I tried in Tokyo late last year [in MAP Cameras]. I feel that the GF system gives me the perfect workflow for what I need. I’ve been thinking about the 50R recently, it would be handy to have a second body of the same format. Personally I see the R as more or a replacement for the Mamiya 7 I had, lighter weight, for more project based work whilst travelling & everyday life. I’m sure I’ll be the owner of one of these by the end of the year.
Also another reason I enjoy Fujifilm, I feel like they actually care. They decided to release a really niche camera [format] with GF system, using their legacy & knowledge of medium format to produce a camera to rival Phase One & Hassleblad.
Thumbnail image taken by Jonas Rasks.