Fuji GFX 50R Field Test: Fujifilm’s medium-format camera system receives a sleek and stylish addition
posted Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 1:30 PM EDT
Click here to read our Fuji GFX 50R Field Test
When Fujifilm launched their GFX medium-format camera system with the GFX 50S, it marked a new chapter for the storied company. The GFX system promised incredible image quality and high-quality Fujinon lenses at a relatively affordable price. The 50S certainly delivered on these promises, although the launch price of $6,500 USD for the body was still quite steep. Further, the 50S is a chunky and odd-looking camera. Doubling down on the goals of the 50S, the new Fuji GFX 50R is decidedly sleeker and even more affordable, having launched at a price of $4,500 in the United States. What do you give up by opting for the 50R instead of the 50S, and does the 51.4-megapixel medium-format image sensor still deliver great performance in 2019?
To find out, I Field Tested the GFX 50R here in Maine alongside Fujifilm's most compact lenses, the GF 45mm f/2.8 and GF 63mm f/2.8, and my own GF 32-64mm f/4 zoom lens. Having used the GFX 50S extensively since its launch, I was curious to find out if I preferred the 50R's rangefinder-inspired design. Generally speaking, I found the 50R enjoyable to use and easier to carry.
The Fuji GFX 50R shares its imaging pipeline with the 50S, which results in fantastic image quality and files with a lot of detail and flexibility. The user interface is good as well, proving quite similar to Fujifilm X Series cameras. Alongside the positives, the Fuji 50R also retains many of the 50S's negative qualities, including sluggish autofocus and poor video features and performance. While the autofocus is a bit slow and can struggle in low light (when shooting stills; it's plain awful in video mode), I do appreciate its great frame coverage and the good touch focus functionality on the camera's large 3.2-inch tilting rear display.
The Fujifilm GFX 50R is not a perfect camera nor is it well-suited for every type of photography. However, it delivers superb image quality and makes medium-format photography more approachable and attainable than it ever has been before. The GFX 50R pushes many of the strengths of the GFX 50S even further while unfortunately still including many of its sibling's weaknesses. To learn more about the Fuji GFX 50R, head over to my Field Test.