Fujifilm GFX 50R Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm GFX 50R|
|Sensor size:||Medium format
(43.8mm x 32.9mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||100 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||50 - 102,400|
|Shutter:||1/16000 - 3600 sec|
6.3 x 3.8 x 2.6 in.
(161 x 97 x 66 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm GFX 50R specifications|
GFX 50R Summary
The medium-format Fuji GFX 50R shares many of its features and performance with the GFX 50S, but offers them in a slimmer, less ergonomic body at a lower price point. Importantly, the same excellent 51-megapixel image sensor continues to deliver outstanding overall imaging performance. However, the 50R's admittedly more stylish design is less enjoyable to use and in some cases even difficult. Further, aspects of the 50R's performance feel more sluggish in 2019 than they did in 2017 with the 50S. Read on to see if the Fuji GFX 50R is the right choice for you.Pros
Same superb image quality as the 50S; Slightly improved performance; Less expensive and slimmer than 50S.Cons
Lackluster ergonomics; Sluggish autofocus; Poor video features and performance.Price and availability
The Fuji GFX 50R released in October 2018 and the body currently sells for just under $4,000 USD, although its MSRP is $4,500.Imaging Resource rating
4.5 out of 5.0
Fuji GFX 50R Review
Fuji GFX 50R Hands-On Tour
The Fuji GFX 50S delivers excellent image quality thanks to its 51.4-megapixel medium-format image sensor, but the camera is fairly large and quite expensive, with a suggested retail price well north of $5,000 USD. Fujifilm has heard from customers who would like medium-format image quality in a more compact and affordable camera body. The 50R -- the second camera in the GFX mirrorless medium-format camera system -- has been designed to respond to these criticisms of the GFX 50S.
The GFX 50R offers the same 51.4-megapixel image sensor as the 50S but in a more compact and lightweight body, which is reminiscent of retro rangefinder medium-format film cameras, and it introduces Bluetooth compatibility, a wireless feature missing from the GFX 50S. Let's take a closer look at the GFX 50R, including covering which specifications and features are shared between the newer GFX 50R and the existing GFX 50S, which released in March 2017.
- Rangefinder-style GFX camera
- More compact and lighter than the GFX 50S
- Built-in electronic viewfinder
- Tilting touchscreen
- 51.4-megapixel medium-format CMOS image sensor
- 14-bit RAW recording
- Fujifilm Film Simulations
- Native ISO range of 100-12,800, expandable to 50-102,400
- 425-point contrast-detect autofocus system
- Maximum shooting speed of 3 frames per second
- Full HD video recording
- Built-in Bluetooth 4.0
Camera Body and Design
This is the primary area of differentiation between the 50R and the 50S. Where the GFX 50S is shaped more like a DSLR camera and includes a detachable electronic viewfinder on the top and a rather substantial bulge behind the rear display for the battery, the GFX 50R is shaped more like a rangefinder. The GFX 50S is a complex shape, which some have described as unattractive. The GFX 50R, on the other hand, is a generally rectangular block with a considerably simpler, more streamlined aesthetic.
Designed like a rangefinder, the electronic viewfinder is located in the top left corner of the camera rather than on top. Another difference between the GFX 50R and its 50S sibling is that the 50R does not have a battery bulge on the back. The difference in overall size with respect to depth is considerable, with the GFX 50R having a maximum depth of 2.62 inches (66.4 millimeters) versus 3.6 inches (91.4 millimeters).
Considering other dimensions, if you compare to the GFX 50S with its electronic viewfinder attached, the camera is 5.81 inches (147.5 millimeters) wide, 4.48 inches (113.8mm) tall and has the maximum depth of 3.6 inches mentioned above. The GFX 50R is wider at 6.33 inches (160.7mm) and shorter at 3.8 inches (96.5mm). If you remove the electronic viewfinder of the GFX 50S, it's 3.71 inches (94.2mm) tall, which is slightly shorter than the GFX 50R -- which has a built-in electronic viewfinder. With the EVF attached, the GFX 50S weighs 32.5 ounces (920 grams) and the GFX 50R weighs 27.3 ounces (775 grams).
Returning to the electronic viewfinder, the GFX 50R has a 0.5-inch OLED panel which offers 100% frame coverage and 0.77x magnification (35mm equivalent). This is lower magnification than the GFX 50S, which offers 0.85x magnification. Both cameras' EVFs have 3.69 million dots, so the primary difference appears to be in terms of the optics within the viewfinder rather than the underlying technology. The GFX 50R also offers two degrees less angle of view (38 versus 40). Finally, unlike the GFX 50S's electronic viewfinder, the GFX 50R cannot be used with Fujifilm's optional tilting viewfinder.
Similarly, the rear touchscreen LCD has basically the same technology. The GFX 50R has a 3.2-inch 4:3 display with approximately 2,360K dots and full 100 percent frame coverage. However, unlike the GFX 50S, the GFX 50R's display tilts in two directions rather than three (up and down versus up, down and to the side). Further, the GFX 50R does not have a top display like the GFX 50S, which offers a customizable 1.28-inch monochrome LCD status screen near the shutter release.
As for the ruggedness of the GFX 50R, it is weather-sealed in 64 locations. It is designed to be weather- and dust-resistant, plus it can be operated in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). The camera is built using a magnesium alloy body and its two top dials are constructed of milled aluminum.
The primary takeaway is that the GFX 50R is smaller and lighter than the GFX 50S. In some ways, particularly with respect to depth, it is considerably smaller. That said, the GFX 50S has an ample front grip, something the GFX 50R lacks.
The GFX 50R includes the same Fujifilm G Format 51.4-megapixel medium-format image sensor. The sensor is not a "full-size" medium format sensor, but is instead 43.8 x 32.9 millimeters, which while a fair bit larger than a full-frame image sensor is not as large as the medium-format sensor found in cameras like the Phase One IQ4 150MP, for example. With that said, the image quality from the GFX 50S has proven to be very impressive in our laboratory and real-world testing, and as expected, the 50R's IQ is much the same. The GFX 50R offers an ISO range of 100 to 12,800 and can be expanded to ISO 50-102,4000.
Like the GFX 50S, the sensor in the GFX 50R is paired with Fujifilm's X-Processor Pro image processing engine, which is designed to offer high-quality color and tone reproduction. To that end, we find the same Fujifilm Film Simulation modes: Provia, Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome, Pro Neg. Hi, Pro Neg. Std, Black and White (standard, yellow, red and green filters), Sepia and Acros (standard, yellow, red and green filters). Similarly, you will also find identical crop modes on the GFX 50R, including: 4:3 (51.1 megapixels), 5:4 (48.0MP), 3:2 (45.4MP), 16:9 (38.3MP), 1:1 (38.3MP) and numerous smaller sizes, including a 12-megapixel 4:3 file. The GFX 50R records RAW images at 14 bits in uncompressed or lossless compressed format and can produce 24-bit TIFF files via in-camera RAW conversion.
Digging further into the nitty-gritty details of the image sensor, it offers a pixel pitch of about 5.31 microns and does not include an anti-aliasing filter just like the 50S'. Further, compared to a full-frame sensor, the GFX 50R's sensor has a ~0.79x focal length multiplier. In practical terms, this results in a lens such as the GF 32-64mm f/4 offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length of about 25-51mm. The sensor is also self-cleaning via ultrasonic vibration.
Autofocus and Performance
The GFX 50R has the same autofocus system as the GFX 50S, which includes contrast-detect autofocus and 425 autofocus points. The autofocus area covers a large portion of the image frame and can be utilized via single point (six sizes), Zone AF and Wide/Tracking AF area modes. The camera offers face and eye-detect autofocus, including left versus right eye priority and has subject tracking continuous autofocus. The GFX 50R supports touch AF as well.
The GFX 50S is not a fast camera, nor is the 50R. The camera can shoot images at up to 3 frames per second and has a claimed uncompressed raw file buffer depth of 8 frames (or 13 frames if you are using lossless compressed raw file quality). In the lab, the 50R met Fuji's 8 frame spec for uncompressed raw files, but managed significantly more (25) lossless compressed raw frames before slowing. See our Performance page for full details.
The GFX 50R has a focal plane shutter system which offers shutter speeds ranging from 60 minutes to 1/4000s. There is an electronic shutter as well, which offers shutter speeds as fast as 1/16,000s. Regarding flash sync, unlike camera systems which utilize leaf shutters in their lenses, the GFX has a flash sync of 1/125s, which is considerably slower than something like the Hasselblad X1D but also a bit slower than modern full-frame cameras.
With respect to shooting functionality, the camera offers bracketing up to 9 frames (with up to +/- 3 EV), +/- 5 EV worth of exposure compensation, Auto ISO functionality and TTL 256-zone metering. The available metering modes include Multi, Spot, Average and Center-weighted, with the spot metering mode being tied to the active autofocus point.
Video features were not particularly good on the GFX 50S and the story remains the same with the GFX 50R. The GFX 50R can record Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) video at up to 29.97p with a bit rate of up to 36Mbps for 30 minutes. The camera can also record 720p video which also tops out at 29.97p.
Connectivity, Storage and Power
The addition of Bluetooth connectivity is one of the primary differences between the GFX 50S and GFX 50R. The GFX 50R has Bluetooth version 4.0 low energy technology and this Bluetooth connectivity allows for geotagging of images, image transfer, image viewing, printing to an Instax printer, auto image transfer and remote control functionality.
With respect to ports, there are some differences between the GFX 50R and GFX 50S. The GFX 50R opts for a combined 2.5mm mic/remote jack in lieu of separate 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks and a 2.5mm remote jack. Further, the GFX 50R uses USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) port whereas the GFX 50S used a Micro USB 3.0 (Micro-B) terminal. It's located on the bottom of the camera this time, next to the 15V DC IN connector and no longer supports Fuji's Remote Release RR-90. The 50R still includes a Micro Type-D HDMI port, a PC sync terminal and of course, a hot shoe.
Like the GFX 50S, the GFX 50R writes to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards -- UHS-II is recommended -- and features two card slots. The GFX 50R also uses the same NP-T125 lithium-ion battery pack which is CIPA-rated at up to 400 shots per charge, identical to the 50S.
Fuji 50R Pricing and Availability
The Fujifilm GFX 50R started shipping in late November for a suggested retail price of $4,499.95 USD and $5,699.99 CAD, but the price has since dropped to just under $4,000 in the US at the time of writing.
The GFX 50R includes a Li-ion NP-T125 battery, battery charger (BC-T125), plug adapter, body cap, 2 strap clips, 2 protective covers, clip attaching tool, shoulder strap, cable protector, hot shoe cover, sync terminal cover and owner's manual. The GFX 50R does not include support for an optional vertical battery grip like the GFX 50S.
GFX 50R versus 50S
When you consider the imaging pipeline of the GFX 50R, it is identical to the GFX 50S. This is a common theme with the GFX 50R as a lot of its shooting features are shared with the GFX 50S. Where the two cameras differ the most is in terms of their design and appearance. The GFX 50R, as we've seen, opts for a rangefinder-like design which is ultimately simpler than the design of the GFX 50S. Some people may prefer the look of the 50S, but we suspect most will consider the 50R a more attractive-looking camera.
Looks are only part of the equation. The 50R has lower viewfinder magnification, doesn't have as many physical controls as the 50S, lacks a top status display and its rear touchscreen tilts in two directions rather than the three directions offered by the 50S's rear display. Further, the 50S can take a vertical battery grip to improve ergonomics for portrait orientation shooting and greatly improve the battery life, an option the 50R does not offer.
In terms of buttons and controls, the GFX 50S has a dedicated ISO dial whereas the 50R opts for a dedicated exposure compensation dial but no dedicated ISO dial. The GFX 50S also has directional navigation buttons, which can be assigned to be different function buttons. The GFX 50R uses the sub-selector focus point joystick for menu navigation and also moves the menu and playback buttons from the top of the display to the right side.
The 50R opts for USB-C instead of Micro USB 3.0 but loses 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks, offering instead a combined 2.5mm mic/remote input but no headphone jack. For both cameras, video functionality is not particularly impressive, topping out at 1080/30p recording.
Perhaps most notably, the GFX 50R is also considerably less expensive than the GFX 50S. At current prices as of this writing, the 50R is about $1,500 less than 50S in the United States.
Fuji GFX 50R First Impressions
Gallery and hands-on time with a new instant classic
I went to fields with flowers, fields with insect life, even to a soccer field. I searched and waited for the rising moon, and for any dramatic skies I could find to bring you examples of what a sensor this powerful could convey. And, while only a prototype sample, I did let the ISO climb on occasion as well. After all, Fuji bodies have historically shined brightly in higher-ISO competitions, with the GFX 50S itself setting a new record for maximum print size while dialed to ISO 51,200!
Fuji GFX 50R Field Test
Fujifilm's medium-format camera system receives a sleek and stylish addition
Fuji GFX 50R Image Quality Comparison
See how IQ compares to its bigger brother, and to other high-res cameras
NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved: click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...
Fuji GFX 50R Print Quality Analysis
But how does it look on paper?
Fuji GFX 50R Conclusion
Same great image quality in a lesser body
There are a lot of similarities between the GFX 50R and the GFX 50S, although you may not expect it when you first look at the cameras. The 50R looks very different when compared to the 50S, opting for a slimmer, more brick-like design (rather like a supersized X-Pro2). This change in design leads to not only a reduced price, but also results in a different kind of user experience when shooting with the GFX 50R when compared to the 50S.
In the Box
The GFX 50R body-only retail kit (as reviewed) contains the following items:
- Fujifilm GFX 50R (Body Only)
- NP-T125 Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Pack
- BC-T125 Battery Charger
- Plug Adapter
- Body Cap
- Shoulder Strap
- 2 Strap Clips and Protective Covers
- Clip Attaching Tool
- Cable Protector
- Hot Shoe Cover
- Sync Terminal Cover
- Owner's Manual
- Limited 1-Year Warranty
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