Here is a short post about why I bought Fujifilm GFX 50S II and why I quickly sold it again.
I got my first Fujifilm X camera back in late 2014, and even though I have tried all the other camera systems I always end up coming back to Fujifilm X cameras. But what about the Fujifilm GFX digital medium format cameras? I have been having my eyes on them for some time now, waiting for prices to go down a bit. And the Fujifilm GFX 50S II seem to be a good option for me. It has IBIS, 50 megapixels is more than enough and is relatively cheap now on the used marked.
So I bought one and 1½ month later I sold it again. Here is why.
Image quality and colors
The size of your image sensor does matter, Fulll Frame is better than APS-C, and medium format is a step up. But I got disappointed with my photos from this camera. Yes they where sharp, you could zoom in and see much more detail. But I still preferred the photos from my Fujifilm X cameras.
The colors from the sensor is different from the Fujifilm X sensors. Is it because it’s not X-Trans? Maybe? Or just because it’s a more common sensor reused in Fujifilm cameras (it is also used by other brands in their digital medium format cameras)? Not sure, but the colors was not the colors I love from Fujifilm normally. I ended up spending more time editing them, and didn’t really get the results I wanted.
And don’t get me wrong here. Of cause the Fujifilm GFX 50S II can produce great images, as we all know the most important thing in photography is the lighting and the subject. But my opinion here is when compared to other cameras, like the Fujifilm X system (with it’s great colors and small size) or the Sony E system (with it’s amazing lenses that both are pixel sharp and has micro contrast).
I bought the Fujifilm GF 63mm f2.8 R WR, and I also borrowed the Fujifilm GF 45mm F2.8 WR + Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR, and in the end I also ended up getting the third party Mitakon Speedmaster 65mm f1.4. So a lot of the lenses I didn’t try, just so you know.
But the ones I did test, was very disappointing to me. The look of the lenses was very clinical photos, very sharp zooming in but not with any kind of character, “micro contrast” or “3D pop”. With all the photos I took, I ended up applying a lot of clarity in Lightroom, to get some pop to the photos, something I normally never add to my photos. After testing the Fujifilm lenses, I bought the Mitakon 65mm lens to try and get a lens with some more character, which it does have, but I was still too bothered by the poor colors from the sensor.
I often hear people complaining about the auto focus of the Fujifilm GF lenses, that didn’t really bother me though.
The last downside of the system is how big it is. I do have bigger systems, like the Phase One DF+ camera, but for the Fujifilm GFX the size was too big to what I got out of it. And size is not only about the camera but also the lenses. The bigger sensor, the bigger lenses. But those big lenses don’t really give you much benefit, lower light gathering (slow aperture) or much bokeh effect.
Raw File Samples
Normally I add a lot of photos I have shoot in these camera review posts, but I didn’t take any photos I really liked. Partly because I quickly got disappointed by the results, and didn’t bring it much out. But I still want you to see the photos, so you can see what I experienced. So here I share some zip files full of raw files you can download and look at.
» Download raw files that compares the Fujifilm GFX 50S II vs. Fujifilm X-H1 – notice that this is not a scientific test, I made the comparison for myself and decided to upload it here later. The images are not 100% comparable but try to convert the raw files to jpg with basic adjustments, to me the Fujifilm X-H1 photos looks a lot nicer, and remember the price of the GFX is 4-5x more.
So this camera is not for me, and if you are a pro hobbyist photographer like me that do things like street, cityscape, documentary photography etc., then this camera system is probably not for you either.
So who is this for? I think this camera is for the high end professional photographers, that do product or fashion photography, they need all the megapixels and pixels sharpness they can get, they mostly work in a studio, and don’t care about the colors the sensor delivers because the clients can’t see any difference. Another group that the Fujifilm GFX could be for is the photographers that add a heavy editing to your photos, i.e. the “HDR” landscape photographer or these days I see a lot of analog film photographers that use GFX together with analog film Lightroom presets.
Even though I sold the camera again short time after buying it, I lost a lot of money on this experiment. I hope this can be a warning to other photographers that are thinking about doing the same. Download the raw files I have uploaded and see for yourself.