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Compact, Enjoyable Medium Format that Might Surprise and Delight — Fujifilm GFX-50R just $2999

re: The Camera Market is Down to Two 35mm Format Contestants: Sony A1 and Canon TBD
re: Sony A7R IV: Which High-Speed and High-Capacity SDXC Cards Are Best?

Fujifilm GFX-50R

The high-demand for the Fujifilm GFX100S has finally gotten in balance and it is now in stock, and yes it’s $6000 price is worth it. Yet the price is a hurdle for many, including me.

So why not ease into Fujifilm medium format at a 35mm price?

The Fujifilm GFX-50R is now $2999 (discounted $1500). See items below. That’s less than the Sony A7R IV sold for most of its tenure.

Add one discounted lens to start, either the Fujifilm GF 50/3.5, or the Fujifilm GF 30/3.5 or Fujifilm GF 63mm f/2.8. I advise the 50mm because the combination is wonderful for an everyday carry, and widely-applicable for people to landscape to all-around snappage to stitching and focus stacking.

50mm ~= 40mm in 35mm-format terms

You will find enjoy and delight in the combination 50R + 50/3.5! It is a very different feel from carrying the larger lenses, or even the 30/3.5. So I emphasize that the 50mm is the way to go for highest 'carry' enjoyment. And it’s just an ideal focal length too.

For those used to a 50mm on the 35mm format, you will find a qualitatively different feel to the images that result on the 44 X 33mm sensor. If you’re looking for something new and refreshing, this might be your ticket. Of course I’d rather have the Fujifilm GFX100S, but it is twice the price. And the Fujifilm GFX 50S II is also a fine choice (and with IBIS), but another $1000 (which buys you the 50mm). If you like the system, you can alway buy the next generation 100 megapixel body in a year or two, and maybe down into the $4000 range by then.

Hopefully the $500 discounts that have been seen repeatedly in 2021 will crop up again, but demand for Fujifilm lenses has been very strong with the arrival of the GFX100S, so it might be a good long time before that happens. Bookmark the Fujifilm medium format wishlist page and glance at it periodically (prices updated every day).

Use the B&H Payboo card to save the sales tax in most states.

Forrest G writes:

Thank you for commenting on the GFX 50R. While its price with 50mm lens is close to $4,000, I am curious why not recommend the GFX 50S II at $4,500 with 35-70 lens? It has IBIS which I would think is essential with medium format photography. Plus other features that would seem to make it a more desirable option.

Would these cameras be good for black and white photography? Also, in your professional opinion is the larger sensor that much better than a Sony A7R4 sensor?

Thank you for your great website! If I decide to go with GFX, I will purchase through your website.

DIGLLOYD: I’d see any of the 50MP camera as transition models. And main thrust here is the cost. The GFX50R with 50mm is $3798 after the $200 mail-in rebate. So it’s an 18% higher cost to go with the GFX50R II with the 35-70 zoom, which I have not tested and therefore am not eager to recommend sight unseen—and I really like that 50/3.5. And the form factor issue—I really like the 50/3.5 as a carry-around—it just changes the whole feel vs a bulkier lens.

But in general, the GFX50R II is a better camera and with IBIS and I’d favor it. OTOH, getting the base model with the idea of getting the GFX100S later is where I think you would go to advance within the system. While IBIS has played little role in my usage for landscape, it might be essential for the walk-n-shoot photographer.

OTOOH, if you’re already at the $4K range for the camera, just go straight to the GFX100S if you can and skip all this.

The per-pixel image quality of the GFX50R is marginally better than the A7R IV. But another thing is the 4:3 aspect ratio. I keep finding I make better compositions at 4:3 for landscape. But I don’t see the Sony A7R IVa as the same kind of camera—it’s much more flexible and faster. Serious shooters would want both systems, sorry to say!

As for monochrome conversions, the Fujfilm 50MP sensors lack PDAF, and should therefore produce outstanding monochrome conversions free of horizontal striping issues. The 100MP Fujifilms and the Sony mirrorless offerings all have PDAF and are subject to such artifacts when pushed aggressively for monochrome processing.

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