Following the exciting announcement of the Fuji GFX 50s medium format camera, Rob Sanderson caught up with Andreas Georghiades, Marketing Manager, Electronic Imaging to ask him a few questions about it.
Andreas, you’ve just returned from Photokina 2016, how was the show for Fujifilm?
The show was such a buzz for so many different reasons. Photokina is the biggest photographic show in the world and only happens every two years so it was important to us to save some real WOW announcements. We think we stole the show with the GFX50S announcement, no one was really expecting that. The thing is we had quite a number of other new products on display at the show for the first time, the XF 23mm f2 R WR and 24 megapixel X-A3 announced in August, the XF 50mm f2 R WR lens due out in March 2017, the new Instax Mini Monochrome Film, the exciting new Instax Square format, the Frontier DE Drylab printer, and the Velvet Type S, Leather and Linen RA4 papers just to mention a few.
How would you explain the difference in image quality to photographers who’ve never experienced medium format before?
The sensor in the GFX50S measures 42.8mm x 32.9mm. It is 1.7 times larger than a full frame camera and almost 4 times larger than an APS-C camera. The amount of light and detail a sensor of that size can capture is phenomenal. The depth of field results the camera produces will be outstanding. It’s the ultimate image quality possible in modern, digital photography. It’s the next generation for sure.
Who are your target markets for the GFX 50s?
The GFX50S is targeted at Professional photographers and photo enthusiasts who are looking for the ultimate image quality at an affordable price and useable size. Photographers who demand the best image quality, colour and tone reproduction with a higher resolution. Commercial, Fashion, Studio, Landscape are the main styles of photographer we feel is best suited to using this camera. Basically, anyone looking at high-resolution full frame cameras has another option. Once upon a time medium format cameras were not very affordable, this will change.
The GFX 50s is remarkably compact for a medium format camera, how important were the size and weight when developing this camera?
When we decided to use the larger sensor, the challenge was set to our engineering team was to make the camera smaller and lighter than a full frame DSLR but just as usable on a day to day basis. With the X series, the philosophy has always been to create small, reliable, high-quality cameras. This hasn’t changed with the GFX50S
How important is and what are the benefits of the multi-aspect ratio sensor?
We feel this is very important to both differentiate us from other large sensor cameras but as well to acknowledge our long history of making various ratio cameras. The GFX50S will support, 4:3, 16:9, 1:1, 65:24, 3:2, 4:5, 6:7 aspect ratios
The focal plane shutter is a unique feature of this digital medium format camera, what are the benefits?
The main benefit of having a focal plane shutter is the ability to use any lens old or new – providing you have the right adaptor. Also, each lens for the camera will be slightly less than the equivalent leaf shutter lens as you don’t need to include expensive leaf shutter components in every lens. Overall, reliability is also improved although shutter life has yet to be confirmed.
The GFX 50s adheres to the proven X system feel and controls, does that mean this camera will handle like a big XT-2?
The X of GFX stands for X DNA which means menus, buttons, dials are all similar to the existing X-T2 and X-Pro2. Customers will be able to switch seamlessly from one system to another depending on what they need. Ultimate convenience with great image quality or Ultimate image quality with great convenience.
Well under £10k for this much camera – seriously?
Yep, that’s the target. We can’t release exact pricing yet as exchange rates are fluctuating and production hasn’t started. BTW we said well under $10k for the camera and a lens. At current exchange rate that’s about £7500!
A big thank you from the Fujiholics team Andreas for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us about Photokina and the exciting new Fujifilm GSX 50s. This looks like yet another game changing camera for Fujifilm, I can’t wait to get my hands on one!