A week with a Fuji GFX 50s

» Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Featured, location, San Francisco, short trip, weekend

Recently I rented a Fuji GFX 50s for one week. During that week, I had scheduled a photoshoot with one model and spent a couple days camping near the Golden Gate Bridge.

My goal was to evaluate if the Fuji was a possible replacement for my Canon 5D MK IV. I have heard great things about the Sony Alpha 7 R II but when I used it, I did not like the view finder and the ergonomics. In contrast, Fuji came with a lot of expectations about the natural ergonomics and ease of use. Plus a 50 megapixels camera was very interesting to me. 

It is true, I was able to use the Fuji within a couple minutes without even opening the manual. Everything is right where you expect it,  it’s like putting on an old favorite jacket (including finding loose change at the bottom of one pocket, you know the feeling). Everything seems right where you would look for it.

First the image quality, I’m not an expert in evaluating the quality of the image but I have seen enough cameras to get a good sense if the quality is on par with what I have or not.

I went to the Sacramento Grilled Cheese Festival, I brought the camera with me. The size is slightly smaller than my Canon 5D and slightly lighter (a lot lighter if you want a battery pack and a RRS L-bracket on your 5D). It was a good test to see if I could walk around with the camera all day. Not a problem at all. Of course, having a fixed lens makes it more challenging to get shots but nothing you can solve by zooming with your feet.

The next day, I had planned to have a model in San Francisco to really test the camera in real-life conditions. First I was testing the 63mm lens, as you can see in those images, the depth of field is very shallow, the autofocus is sharp and precise but not fast.

The color rendering is really precise and very pleasant. I had to do minor color enhancement on this image and the background colors are really popping.

Skin tones are also rendered in a natural shade. Disclaimer: it was sunset time and the golden tint is absolutely normal.

Finally another image of the shoes and handbags at longer focal and therefore even shorter field of view.

Finally I spent a couple days camping at Kirby Cove. Once there I had several sunrises and sunsets to test the Fuji. I’m not going to mention that we got rained on (in April in SF!!!). 

Kirby Cove is very close to the Golden Gate Bridge, you need a 24mm (FF-equivalent) to get the entire bridge. I did not have a lens that would work so I did a panorama, thinking I could stitch those images later. The top image is one of these panoramas. Quality-wise it’s a great idea to stich 3 50 mega pixels images. Practically your computer will hate you for it. 

Lastly I did some very long exposure image, to see how the noise would affect the image. I was not able to see any difference from my Canon.

Overall I like the camera a lot. Would I buy it? probably not. The cost of upgrading all my lenses and the limited number of lenses available makes it hard for me. I like the versatility I have now. Ergonomically, this camera is awesome, I also never had to look for a function in the manual, I was able to do just about everything by guessing where the controls would be. It worked really well, I was really impressed. The image quality, the bokeh, the autofocus are completely fine too.
If I could function with one or two fixed lenses, this camera would be the one.

Don’t take my word for it, go rent it and try it for yourself.