Idle impressions on the Fujifilm GFX50S

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll have seen this already. This one’s on the blog for posterity.

Day 2 with the GFX: A couple of quick impressions from walking around and doing my usual kind of shooting, in my usual manner. I will say first that I have never used any kind of medium format camera. The GFX50S is my first experience with medium format.

So. Everything said here is in context of the X-Pro or X-T series cameras that I’ve been using for the past few years. If you’re an X-Pro / X-T user thinking about the GFX, you might be idly interested. Everyone else, have a chuckle (but be kind, please).

1. It didn’t take long to get comfortable using this camera. It feels and works like a big X-T. It was a no-brainer to set up, with identical menus and the same logic in layout. Ditto operation. It’s surprisingly responsive, given all of the things that people tell me about digital medium format cameras – namely, that they’re slow and clunky. It’s pretty damn quick – very similar to the X-T1.

2. Boy this thing produces $%#&$%#^$%& NICE JPEGs. For the first time ever, I’m grabbing JPEGs out of the camera and finding myself perfectly happy with them. That was unexpected.

3. It’s light enough with the 63mm F2.8, somewhat heavier with the lovely 32-64mm F4, and I haven’t used that bazooka of a 120mm macro yet. At the end of this week-long loan, I might be flexing some muscles.

4. I missed my EV dial, but the GFX manner of controlling the EV was easy enough to get accustomed to – hold down the allocated button next to the shutter release and wind the command dial.

5. Focus barrels on the 3 lenses are so incredibly smooth, such a pleasure to use.

6. Am I going to do anything other more exciting with it? Nope! I’m having way too much fun mucking around with it doing the same old shit. This camera isn’t built for sling-over-shoulder and carry-everywhere usage. However, contrary to expectations, I am finding it really enjoyable to use in sling-over-shoulder and carry-everywhere fashion. That is also unexpected.

Do I want to own one? Heck, no. It’s really expensive and would be unbelievably stressful to walk around with anywhere but Singapore. Also, I often think my X-Pro is way more camera than I have any business owning. This thing is definitely right up there on the “too much” scale. But it’s fun to have a go, and very lovely of Fuji to give me the opportunity.


  1. Roger C says:

    A good read and great photos. So no ‘chuckles’ needed :)

    1. Charlene says:

      Roger, I have to say, i chuckled while writing it, but thank you, you’re very kind :)

    2. Nice initial review, Charlene. I handled and “shot” with the GFX at Samy’s Camera in San Francisco yesterday, but was not able to capture any images as it was a pre-production model and the Fuji rep wouldn’t let me capture any images to my own card. Regardless, I wrote some first impressions on my blog from shooting around with the camera at the store. Interestingly, my observations parallel your own:


      1. Charlene says:

        Stephen, it’s worth borrowing / renting one day to do a proper test. It’s good fun to use.

  2. Charlene, yes indeed, I plan on renting one for two weeks as soon as it’s available.

  3. Sean Hansen says:

    Great pictures and a fun read. I love how the picture combine the “medium format look” and the “Winfred look.” The second one with the advertisement man reading over the lady’s shoulder (or watching her wistfully?) especially made me smile.

    1. Charlene says:

      Heh, the Winfred look. Yeah I’m having some fun with this thing :)

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