Recently, I was able to attend a FujiFilm demonstration of their new GFX line. The GFX is based around the medium format range of cameras. It is a different, but not necessarily better, than cropped, full frame or mirrorless cameras.
The last time I used a Medium Format Camera (M.F.C that makes me think of fried chicken), was the Phase One. I wasn’t impressed at all. But when I picked up the GFX, what surprised me wasn’t the fact it felt new, but it felt familiar.
The dials were intuitive, the top screen layout was too small in my opinion but was able to understand it relatively quickly. The best part was the ergonomics, I’ve used most modern DSLRs at some point so I know how fast I should be able to use a camera from the first touch (Hasselblad and Sony have hateful User Interfaces).
The weight is nice, but perhaps a little unbalanced when shooting in portrait; that is a minor quibble.
One cannot use this like a D5 or 1DX; this is a camera where a shot has to be far more “considered” (I love that word in this context). You won’t be machine gunning, and I don’t care what people say, but this is not a wedding photographer’s workhorse.
That being said, I tried to use it as a run and gun camera just for my curiosity. The focusing is slow and naturally the shutter delay is worrying if you need that INSTANT reaction to a moment. But it wasn’t too bad. Like I said, if you compose your shot in a considered way, it can be used for “considered” moments.
I put the GFX on manual mode, much to the Fuji rep’s surprise, but I found it easier when I can predict the camera, rather than AUTO everything. I got far better results this way.
When I uploaded the photos to Lightroom, I immediately noticed the clarity. But when I zoomed to 1:1 the detail was jaw dropping! The shot of a potato sack was incredible; I could see the weave, the stray strands and the ink blemishes!! Bear in mind, I was holding the camera freehand, I must have been 2-3 metres away and the lighting was poor to say the least. JUST COLOUR ME O.M.G.
Overall, I loved this camera. But I couldn’t recommend it unless your needs were very specific. For moments where your subject doesn’t move, or when fps doesn’t matter or you need HOLY SMOKES resolution, then you might justify the £6000 body price tag. But for everybody else this will frustrate you.