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Fujifilm GFX: My Thoughts vs 35mm Format, Particularly the Nikon D850 and Sony A7R II

See my Nikon wish list and Fujifilm medium format wish list. Get Nikon D850 at B&H Photo.

See my in-depth review of the Fujifilm GFX and my growing review of the Nikon D850 as well as Sony mirrorless.

The Nikon D850 improves the DSLR argument significantly and I consider it a shoe-in for the best image quality on the market for the 35mm format. Accordingly, about ten days ago, I wrote a D850-centric essay in diglloyd Advanced DSLR, oriented towards Nikon D850 users who might be pondering medium format:

Nikon D850: My Thoughts vs Medium Format, particularly the Fujifilm GF

Fujifilm GFX, a medium format perspective

With the Fujifilm GFX + lens now $1000 off, the time seemed ripe to re-orient that essay towards towards the Fujifilm GFX system with this essay in Medium Format:

Fujifilm GFX: Thoughts vs 35mm Format, Particularly the Nikon D850 and Sony A7R II

The Sony A7R II is the best mirrorless 35mm camera on the market and the Nikon D850 will become my new workhorse camera, supplanting the D810. So with that said, I think the above essay should be interesting to potential buyers of these three systems.

Fujifilm GFX and Nikon D850

Peter H writes:

I know you're a busy guy and probably don't get time to read all the blogs and other websites out there, so, in case you missed it, Sony announced some time ago that they would be releasing a 100Mpix version of the 44 x 33 sensor next year.

I don't subscribe to your medium format section, so I'm not sure what you are recommending to people re 35mm vis a vis medium format, but it would seem to me the prudent option would be to wait and buy the 100Mpix version of the Fuji GFX/Hassy X1D next year: a much better long term investment...

DIGLLOYD: Fujifilm GFX uses a custom sensor, so if Sony releases a 100 megapixel sensor, it might or might not apply. Hasselblad does not use a custom sensor as far as I know.

Quality is going to drop in some way: 100 megapixels instead of 50 megapixels cuts the light gathering power per pixel by 1/2 (a full stop). Signal/noise ratio per pixel is thus greatly reduced. Should be interesting. On the other hand, doubling the pixel count would go a long way to addressing the severe aliasing issues with the GFX.

Pricing might be another obstacle; a 100 megapixel sensor almost certainly will have far lower yields than a 50 megapixel sensor, raising the chip cost considerably.

Dr S writes:

Thank you for answering the question I have had on my brain since you started your D850 review—Nikon D850 vs. Fuji GFX in Those considering Medium Format.

You have demonstrated a brand-neutral, objective approach to evaluating the products and have come up with conclusions that are rational, well-supported by example, and very useful to those who subscribe to your website.

Though I am not going to go out and spend mucho $$$$ changing systems or even adding to what I already have (yet) , the information you provide helps expand the knowledge-base of these products.

Thanks again.

DIGLLOYD: always my goal to be brand neutral and to hit 'em hard when they deserve it and to praise where praise is due—justice.

As I will be buying the D850 for long term use, I will be able to do some kind of shootout vs the GFX when it arrives with that new 45mm lens.

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