GFX : The game has changed. Medium-format re-invented.

I still remembered the scary day that I sold my Canon 1DX DSLR
and walk into the Fujifilm X-series. Today is another milestone for
me. But its not as scary as the former. Having started my first
medium format camera with a Mamiya RB. Followed by RZ, Pro
645 and later to Hasselblad HD series and finally to a Phase One
with a Leaf digital Back.

In term of size nothing much has change for Medium Format system
until now. Size is important. I am not just referring everything getting
smaller. When I first heard X-T2 will be bigger than X-T1; I was rather
disappointment. Its like a step back in design form for me. Only to
realized that its not about getting smaller is better. Even though X-T2
has put on some weight, but when I held the camera; everything fits
and feel so much better. That equals to better handling. Size is
important but not paramount.

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GFX + GX63mm F2.8 lens WR and X100F

Moving to this relatively small GFX is a natural progression as a
commmercial photographer. I am extremely excited. It feels very
comfortable handheld. I could certainly shoot street photography with
it too. Weighting no more than a Canon 5D. In fact with just the body
alone without battery, GFX is 50 gram lighter than 5D MK 4. (800g)
This is no simple feat for the Fujifilm engineers and d

GFX house a 50MP 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor, 1/4000 shutter speed,
dual SD slot, WR for both camera and lens, tilt screen and 6 lenses
in the initial line up.. With this information I am convince that this is
indeed a game changer. Or what the GFX slogan says it best : The
game has changed. Medium-format re-invented.

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GFX

A promised price point of below USD$10,000 with a lens; this is a
bargain in the world of medium format. I am certain Fujifilm wanna
bring MF to a wider audience with this new GFX. Its not cheap but
those who are using high end DSLR may have another option.
Especially in the IQ department. This fits into photographers in the
genre of commercial, fashion, bridal, fine art and landscape. Of
course you could use it to shoot almost anything you fancy.

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GFX +GX 63mm F2.8

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GFX + GX32mm-64mm F4 WR

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GFX + GX32mm-64mm F4 WR

When I was using DSLR, I hardly brings my camera out except for
work or important events. With the switch to X-series, its mandatory
for me. Can’t leave home without a X-series camera. Without it I would
feel something is amiss. The fact that I have a camera with me all the
time; that has indeed rekindle my love for photography. GFX may not
be that small but its for sure lighter and smaller than many high end
DSLR.

Now what makes the new Fujifilm GFX special to me. Here are some
reasons to help fellow photographers to justify this important buy.
(before our wives/GF strangle us.)

Auto Focus
The auto focus speed is really fast. Feels like a X-T1 AF speed. This
is really fast for a Medium Format camera. To sweeten the deal;
GFX has 117 AF points. This is expendable to 425 points on a 17 x 25
point grid. There is nothing more I could ask for. The set-up doesn’t
feel like one is using a MF camera. Feels more like I am using a bigger
X-T2. Its really as easy as ABC. Continous shooting is at 3.0 fps. Buffer
is at 13 frame for lossless raw and certainly endless for jpeg.

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GFX +GX 120mm F4 WR

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GFX AF point

Shutter Speed.
The maximum shutter speed is at a very respectable 1/4000 sec. The
X-sync is at 1/125 sec. This is GFX weakest link. I would expect it to
be at least 1/250. To make things worse, there are not a single leaf
shutter lens on the line-up. This kept me thinking, why? Here are my
personal take. With the advancement of HSS; I believed the expensive
Leaf Shutter lenses are a dying trend. With a right transmitter and
strobe, one is able to shoot at GFX fastest shutter speed with any
Fujinon 6 G lenses. If you do own one or two Hasselblad LS lenses;
there is some good news. Fujifilm did mention that there will be a H
adaptor for Hasselblad lens. I think this is just a beginning of many
more adaptors to come for the GFX.

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GFX + GX32mm-64mm F4 WR

View Finder with Tilt adaptor.
GFX comes with a standard detachable 3.69M-dot electronic viewfinder.
Which can be remove when using an external monitor or just wanna
make GFX lighter and just work with the back tilt LCD . In addition,
with an optional tilt adaptor, the angle can be changed to a maximum
angle of 90° when shooting horizontal landscapes and ±45° when
shooting in the portrait position. I should say mandatory instead of
optional. This Tilt Adaptor is a must have.

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Tilt Screen
Now even GFX has a three-directional tilting, 3.2-inch, 2.36M-dot
touch panel LCD screen! This will certainly annoy some X100F
and X-Pro2 user. Simple feature as a tilt screen does help heaps at
certain angle. This is definitely essential and I am glad GFX has it.

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IQ
This is GFX strongest link. Almost 4 times larger than X-T2 APS-C
sensor. I will let the pictures do the talking. All the pictures are taken
in Jpeg setting with a pre-production GFX. Another plus point is the
ISO ranges from 100 to 12800. Here are some actual files.

Tethering
For professional work, Capture One has always been a gold standard.
Currently for X-T2 I have to shoot via LL and open my files in Capture
One. I am glad Fujifilm always listen and now the hard working
engineers has develop a bridge software where I could tether and
open my pictures with Capture One. Woohoo!

Jpegs
There are 3 file formats for Jpegs. Normal, Fine and Super Fine.
All GFX pictures taken in this blog article are set to Fine Jpeg.

Color Chrome Effect
In addition, a new Color Chrome Effect feature has been added to the GFX. This feature can be used to reproduce the tones and deep colors more than ever before in highly saturated subjects, in situations often said to be difficult.

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Battery
The GFX uses a larger battery.(NP-T125) Each battery last approximately
400 shots.(with Auto Power Save ON) 800 shots when attached with the
Vertical Grip; which also holds another battery.

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Buiild quality.
GFX is indeed a heavyweight when it comes to feature but yet its
light weight for a MF camera. Both camera body and lenses are dust
and weather resistant. Its can withstand temperatures as low as minus
10 degrees celsius. Perfect for any professional use in challenging
conditions.

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GFX +GX 120mm F4 WR

Price.
With all the benefits and advance features plus according to Fujirumors;
if the price tag of USD$8000 is correct, I think we have a winner.
Not forgetting this price includes a lens and the cool detachable
EVF finder!

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Another beauty of GFX, its the menu. It will be familiar for any
X-shooters. This is indeed a plus point. I would have a X-T2 and
GFX as a pro set-up. Even though its a different format their work
flow is the same. Learning curve for GFX will not be a uphill task
rather it will be a walk in the park.

Do check out my GFX video.

IG@ivanjoshualoh

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There are 5 comments

  1. Zvonimir

    Extraordinary, but…I would challenge the above gizmo to produce markedly better photos than my 1954 Zeiss Ikonta. Assumptions: B/W film, bright sunlight, yellow filter; product is 16×20 enlargement. My camera cost $200. Yours?

    Like

  2. Billyboy

    What’s your point? Surely no one is dumb enough to suggest that, as a photographic “gizmo”, a 1954 Zeiss Ikonta is in the same universe as the GFX. Congratulations on saving all that money, though.

    Like

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