My first hands-on experience with the GFX50S was 5 years ago. That was at 2016 Photokina in Cologne. After the press conference, I was previlage enough to view this camera with the Fujifilm engineers and designers. As a medium format user since the film days, I know this camera is a game changer. Why? Size, price point and AF speed. Not that is anything to boast. The truth is, the AF speed of GFX50S in the world of medium format at that point is fast. Plus it has so many AF point. Which is unheard of.
I believe many would ask how is the new GFX50S MK ll compare with GFX100S. My answer is this;there is no comparison. GFX100S is better in every aspect. Period. Rather the question should focus on the improvements from GFX50s MK l to MK ll. The GFX50s MK ll have come a full circle. It’s a much able camera than its predecessor. My first question is why would an existing GFX50S MK 1 user upgrade to the MK ll? I have used the GFX50S MK l extensively for the past few years. What I love is the simple fact that the IQ is amazing, stunning and outstanding. Many would say that it’s still a 50MP medium format camera. And some Full Frame camera is already at 60MP.
It’s like saying a Micro 4/3 is better than an APS-C, or an APS-C sensor is just as good as Full Frame. And a 60MP Full Frame is as good as a 50MP Medium format. I wouldn’t even dare to say a GFX100S sensor is as good as the 100MP Phase One. You get my point. Sensor size does matter. If not, the winner will be a 108 Megapixel smart phone. All sensor categories represented have their own place to reign. One doesn’t reign over another. The other consideration are lenses. GF lenses are one of the finest in its class. Lest we forget Fujifilm is one of the best lens manufacturers in world. Anything from a good value USD$199 XC35mm F2 lens to some 6 figure price tag broadcast lenses.
If you are using a MK 1 and don’t need that extra mega pixel, certainly the MK ll is a natural progression and update. One could even keep the GFX50S MK l as a backup. Auto focus is certainly faster vs the MK l. And of course a tad slower than GFX100S. Another reminder; these are medium format cameras. I could boast that Fujifilm medium format camera are the fastest in this category. But they are not meant for super fast wildlife or sport photography. Of course it can take amazing sport portraits. LOL.
The new GFX50S MK ll have the same identical body as GFX100S. Which is very good thing. One of the major improvement has to be IBIS. This is indeed an important feature in any modern camera.
There is also a new kit lens option. I don’t have the price at this point of writing.I understand it around USD$499 as a kit with GFX50S MK ll. The GF35-70mm F4.5-5.6 WR, a rather compact lens vs it closest rival, the stellar GF32-64mm F4. This lens is rather light in weight as it’s body is made of plastic. Not in a bad way. I actually have reservation about the glass quality. After using it and testing it against some other GF lenses, I would say this is lens worth more than the price tag of USD$499. I would buy it. The IQ is relatively good. Its weakest link would be at the far end; 70mm at close up. It’s soft. I would get this lensif I have the opportunity to buy it at USD$499. It’s could be the best walk about lens for GFX.
Let me put this into some perspective. Everything is relative. I pick up my X-Pro3 which is mated with a XF50mm F1.0, decided to weight it and see how much lighter it it against the GFX50S MK ll with the kit lens. To my surprise the X-Pro3 set up is actually heavier!
The serious question about GFX50S MK ll is, who is this camera targeted at? At the price point of USD$3999, it’s certainly targeting at upper range of Full Frame user. A very specific group. Travel and landscape, studio portraits and even documentary photographer. I am sure a big group of commercial photographers too. From architecture photography, food, fashion, products and automobile; just to name a few.
The big question; for $2000 more one get to upgrade to GFX100S. It’s certainly worth the upgrade. But one needs toask; do you need it? The GFX100S will require more powerful computer for one to work well and of course more storage space. And all these are extra cost on top of the $2000. So I feel the GFX50S MK ll strike a perfect balance for all that is thinking of coming into the world Medium format. Its price and performance is second to none.