Fujifilm just announced its cheapest medium format camera yet
Today is Fujifilm’s September X Summit event, and the company has announced a slew of new hardware including several cameras and lenses for both the GFX and X systems. Leading the way is the new GFX 50S II, the company’s latest medium format camera. More importantly, at $3,999 body-only, it’s Fujifilm’s cheapest way into the GFX system yet. For comparison, the GFX 100S costs $5,999 and the GFX 50S still goes for $5,499. So dropping under $4,000 could mean big things for the lineup.
The GFX 50S II has a 51.4-megapixel sensor that’s 1.7x larger than what you’d get in a full-frame camera, 5-axis in-body image stabilization good for 6.5 stops, improved autofocus (compared to the 50S), and a body that’s the same size as the GFX 100S. At 1.98 pounds, that’s rather compact for all the advanced photography power it wields.
With the inclusion of IBIS, Fujifilm says the GFX 50S II “presents new opportunities in the way conventional medium format digital cameras are used” since you’ve got more leeway to shoot with it handheld instead of mostly keeping it mounted to a tripod. However, one tradeoff with this sensor is that it depends on contrast-detection autofocus instead of the more capable phase-detect approach on the GFX 100S and many other Fujifilm cameras.
Since the body style closely matches the GFX 100S, the same is true of the camera’s dials and controls, which are basically identical between the two. Carried over is the DSLR-style PASM dial, as well as a 1.8-inch monochrome display on the top plate that can be used for other settings and to display your chosen parameters. The main 3.2-inch LCD tilts in three directions for high- and low-angle shooting.
The GFX 50S II offers 19 of Fujifilm’s film simulations, including the “nostalgic neg” that debuted on the GFX 100S, and a “Pixel Shift Multi Shot” mode that combines 16 RAW images into an ultra-high-res 200MP DNG file. Fujifilm will also sell the camera as a kit with the GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR lens for $4,499. It’s expected to be available in late October.
Fujifilm is also introducing the new X-T30 II, which is a very modest update over the original that mostly brings the benefit of updated firmware and software features. It also gains additional memory (for improved performance) and a higher-resolution 1.68-million-dot LCD compared to the 1.04M-dot X-T30. It still uses the same 26.4-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor — and no, it doesn’t toss in IBIS or anything unexpected. Again, the most important upgrade is that the X-T30 II will be brought up to speed on firmware and film simulations. Fujifilm didn’t even bother issuing a standalone press release for this camera. The X-T30 II will be sold sans battery charger for $899 body-only.
As for the company’s latest glass, the new lenses include the aforementioned GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR, which Fujifilm describes as “the perfect gateway” into the detail, depth of field, and other benefits of its medium format cameras. It’s coming in November for $999.95.
But the X Series also has some exciting lens additions: Fujifilm has announced two new f/1.4 primes. The XF33mm R LM WR has a weather-resistant build, and the company says it “ushers in a new era of optical brilliance and performance for X Series cameras and lenses.” Since it’s equivalent to 50mm in the 35mm film format, Fujifilm thinks this is a perfect all-around lens. The 15-element lens measures 2.89 inches and weighs 13 ounches. It’s coming in October for $799.95.
Not to be left out is the XF23mm R LM WR: this weather-resistant lens is being positioned as “suited to discerning street, wedding, editorial, and documentary photographers.” It has now has a closer minimum focus distance of 19 centimeters, as well. Curiously, Fujifilm says this one is “designed to support anticipated future camera sensors that offer further enhanced resolution.” Specifically, it can resolve sensors up to 40 megapixels. It’ll be available in November for $899.