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Fujifilm GFX 50s: Battery is on the LEFT side of Camera — Potential Problem for L Brackets

See my Fujifilm GFX wish list

Fujifilm GFX: battery is on left side of camera.

Barton T writes:

Super excited by this camera and it ticks all of the boxes so far for me: but I just noticed that maddeningly the battery door is on the left side of the camera (B&H first look promo video — they describe it a as a good feature!).

Sorry not a good placement in the case of using an L bracket. I loathe idea of using a tripod without an L bracket and ca

n’t understand anyone that doesn’t use one. So in the middle of a bracketed shot, or multiple exposures for a composite (done regularly for my architecture/interior work where one shot can involve quite a lot of time in setup and waiting between shots — for people to come into frame etc.) and the battery goes flat, there will be no way to change batteries without moving the camera position unless someone releases an L bracket that is offset from the head somehow, and that would be quite cumbersome.

Making sure the battery is not nearly flat before setting up a shot is obviously a new step i’ll have to add in my process I guess …

That doesn’t take into account commercial composite work where the camera might be set up for hours/days on the same shot, what then? Maybe the AC adapter port will be readily accessible?

Fujifilm GFX annotated

DIGLLOYD: Sigh... it seems that every camera vendor has to do at least one really confounding design mistake.

The annotated product view of the Fujifilm GFX confirms a left-side battery chamber placement. To make an L-bracket (does anyone at Fujifilm understand what an L-bracket is?), it’s going to have to be awkwardly large and thick (for strength) to fit around that battery door. Also, the rear LCD is going to get in the way, so it will probably have to be an extremely awkward forward-position offset “L”. This is really an inelegant design choice. Battery doors and SD cards at lower right work great—why invent a square wheel? And for those of us with more than one camera, muscle memory is now all wrong, and most of use are right handed as well.

Really Right Stuff says:

We’re well aware of the limitations of the new GFX camera design. We share your frustrations and are searching for a solution that will be as unobtrusive and minimalist as possible, while maintaining the quality and rigidity you’d expect from Really Right Stuff.

Right now we do not have access to the camera so until then, we will not be able to make a final determination on the design. Rest assured, we have our best brains together finding the optimal solution. As frustrating as it is, we know we cannot ignore this camera. Most likely, this plate will be a departure from our usual design aesthetic.

DIGLLOYD: really Right Stuff L-plates are excellent. I use them on all the cameras I shoot.

I’m thinking that I would rather just have a really sturdy L bracket that blocks off the battery door, one that builds in a slot for the necessary allen wrench as does the Canon 5Ds R L bracket—problem solved for me at least. And if the Fujifilm GFX can accept USB recharging, I could also (when stowed in my pack) run a USB battery-based charger to it while hiking, like an Anker PowerCore.

Another option is the about $599 Fujifilm VG-GFX1 Vertical Battery Grip (with a suitable L bracket), but that is costly and adds a lot of weight and bulk making it a non-starter for my strenuous hikes—and an unpleasant 'hang' on the neck even on shorter hikes.

Really Right Stuff L-plate

At right, see the custom plate for the Sony A7R, which has a cutout area of the battery compartment. The L portion is in the same plane as the bottom plate, and is removable. That simple arrangement will be difficult if not impossible on the Fujifilm GFX; the L will have to be offset somehow, or with a large gap which would require thicker and stronger metal.

Louis F writes:

Agree battery positioning could be better thought out. However, my Smart Flex L Bracket will work just fine with the GFX when in portrait position as the battery door appears to be well back of the L bracket and easily accessible. Plus it is an extremely fast way of switching camera between landscape and portrait modes. Keep in mind the SD card door is also on the left side. I used the Smart Flex L Bracket on a Hasselblad SWC and 503CW with P45+, Pentax 645Z and Phase XF with CF card door on left. The CF door on the P45+ was also on the left side of camera. A specific GFX bracket for the Smart Flex L Bracket would be most welcome. If I end up with a GFX I will follow up on these comments if there is interest. As matter of record I am in no way associated with Smart Flex nor do I benefit from any sales related to Smart Flex nor am I associated with any dealers selling Smart Flex.

DIGLLOYD: as per the picture, that battery door is exactly where the L bracket ought to go, as far as I can tell just from looking: the centering of the film plane is ideally the same for landscape vs portrait. The L part would have to go in front of the battery compartment door while allowing enough room for it to open, or behind it. I can’t see any physical way around that.

Also, the door is wide enough that it looks like at least 30mm or so of clearance is required for the door to swing open, which is not acceptable (that is, for the 'L' to be offset by an inch or more—awkward and ungainly). The camera is already bulky, and having to work around this quirky battery door design fart means a larger and heavier bracket so that it can maintain structural rigidity. I’ll bet that means 300 grams or more, instead of 220g or so.

The last camera I used with such an left-side boneheaded design was a Canon DSLR some years ago—that was the suckiest L bracket I have used, though Really Right Stuff did as good a job as could be done with it given the left-side issues.

Fujifilm GFX: battery chamber is on left side of camera.

CLICK TO VIEW: Fujifilm GFX System

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