A few years ago, Fujifilm shocked the photography world with its announcement to introduce mirrorless medium format to the masses. The original GFX 50S was the first model in that range that proved the power and versatility of a consumer-friendly medium format system. Today, the fifth entry in that applauded range has been revealed - the Fujifilm GFX 50S II. The Fujifilm GFX 50S II is the latest Medium Format camera from Fujifilm and joins the ranks alongside the original GFX 50S, GFX 50R, GFX100 and GFX 100S.
With a growing range of Fujifilm GF lenses already available, Fuji could have stopped at the camera launch and be done with it. However, true to Fuji's ability to shock and awe, they have also announced the impressive Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR zoom lens. What's more, it's positioned as the 'kit' lens to pair up with the new GFX 50S II. The lightweight and weather sealed (WR) lens is the ideal companion for the new medium format camera and demonstrates Fuji's commitment to enthusiast photographers.
Fujifilm GFX 50S II & 35-70mm on Georges Cameras TV
In our latest video on Georges Cameras TV, Nathan reveals the latest and greatest entry in the Fujifilm medium format GFX mirrorless camera range. The Fujifilm GFX 50S II takes everything great about the original 50S and takes it up a notch or two. The all-new GFX 50S II is a weather-sealed medium format powerhouse with a staggering 51.4MP image sensor and Fuji's X-Processor Pro 4 to drive performance. In addition to an all new Fuji camera, Nathan takes the lid off the accompanying GFX 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR kit lens. It's a highly flexible standard zoom lens that elevates the standard of kit lenses. It's also the lightest and smallest GFX zoom lens making the whole kit more compact and easy to use than ever before.
Sensor and Processing Power
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II features a whopping 51.4MP CMOS Bayer image sensor to capture glorious image detail and resolution. With an 8256 x 6192 resolution and a 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor size, it makes full-frame look tiny in comparison. That giant medium-format sensor is at the mercy of the mechanical and electrical front curtains shutter that delivers super-quiet performance. Regardless of the lighting conditions, the GFX 50S II features an extended ISO range of 50-102400. What's more, it supports up to 14 stops of dynamic range for ultimate exposure management in any situation.
The performance of the Fujifilm GFX 50S II is driven by the Fujifilm X-Processor 4. Aside from managing optimal autofocus performance, the processor supports the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot capture mode to build giant 205MP composite images for pure pixel mayhem! True to the Fujifilm X and GFX range, it features no less than 19 Fujifilm film simulations to add a range of film stock filters to your JPEG images or in the post-processing of RAW files.
While the Fujifilm GFX medium format camera range doesn't target serious videography, we still expect excellent video performance. In a surprise move, the Fujifilm GFX 50S II only delivers Full HD 1080p video recording at 30 fps with 4:2:0 8-bit colour. We say surprising as it's the same standard as the original GFX 50S - we would have thought that 4K is the new standard. However, it's fair to say that most photographers investing in the GFX series of cameras and lenses are in it for the video output.
While the medium format GFX range suits the pace and tranquillity of a studio environment, there's no reason it cannot keep up with the action. The 50S II features a super fast and responsive autofocus system that includes multiple tracking modes. The system also utilises the Contrast Detection Autofocus for improved low light performance. Portrait photographers will love the fast and accurate face and eye-detect focusing performance to nail that eye sharpness every time. You'll also make the most of the rear LCD touchscreen to quickly select autofocus points on the fly.
Fujifilm GFX 50S II Specifications
- 51.4MP 43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS Bayer Sensor
- X-Processor Pro 4 Image Processor
- 5-axis In-Body Image Stabilisation
- 0.5“ Approx. 3.69 millions dots OLED colour viewfinder
- 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- Extended ISO 50-102400
- 3 fps Shooting
- Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
- 19 Film Simulation Modes
- Weather-Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
Fujifilm GFX 50S II Build and Design
The GFX 50S II is an incredibly well made medium format camera sticking to Fujifilm's exceptional build quality and engineering. It's a compact and lightweight body with all the necessary bells and whistles for stunning, high-resolution image capture. Much like the original GFX 50S, it features a large and deep handgrip to provide comfortable support to the camera body. It has the same look and feel like an oversized Fujifilm X-T4 or X-S10 and includes full weather-sealing for all climates.
Fuji has wholly streamlined the top plate of the 50S II with a single-mode dial that's lockable. It also features a large top LCD to display shooting information and exposure compensation settings for video or stills mode. As found with all Fujifilm X and GFX flagship camera bodies, the range of function buttons and control dials are customisable to suit the user.
The rear of the Fujifilm GFX 50S II is likewise minimal, with only a few function buttons. What's most pleasing is the amount of thumb real estate available to pair with that meaty front grip. Two additional features stand out, the first being the toggle/joystick for navigating menus or selecting focus points. Aside from the big bright LCD, the 50S II features a touch screen for complete menu control and live-view shooting. What's more, it folds down and up for varying shooting angles and up for portrait mode.
In terms of inputs and outputs, the Fujifilm GFX 50S II features dual SD card slots and a remote port on the grip side. The other side is all about video with a mic jack, headphone jack, HDMI mini and USB-C port. There's also a Flash-Sync port for external direct flash connection. The 50S II can be charged via USB-C and crank out 440 shots per charge when it comes to power management.
Key Differences Between the GFX 50S and GFX 50S II
The original GFX 50S featured a removable 3.69m-Dot OLED EVF (viewfinder) connected via the camera hot shoe. As it was promoted as a medium format studio camera, many photographers would avoid using the EVF. Instead, they would opt for tethered shooting to a laptop or external monitor/recorder. The GFX 50S II has done away with the removable EVF and opted for a fixed one similar to Fuji's XT and XS cameras. The EVF is big and bright with a 0.5“ Approx. 3.69 millions dots OLED colour viewfinder.
The size and weight of the two generations are also worlds apart, with the original GFX 50S being bulkier at 147.5 x 94.2 x 91.4 mm. It was chunky to look at and chunky to hold too. The new Fujifilm GFX 50S II is much slimmer in comparison. However, the new 50S II weighs 900g compared to the older generation's considerable weight of 920g. The viewfinder alone was 100g.
One of the best new additions to the Fujifilm GFX 50S II is the inclusion of image stabilisation. The Image sensor shift mechanism with 5-axis compensation enables slower shutter speeds in low-light conditions and an anticipated 6.5-stops of light with a compatible lens. That's half a stop higher than the big GFX 100S with 6.0 stops. The original 50S didn't feature any form of stabilisation and, as a result, was limited to higher shutter speeds or the need for additional lighting equipment to optimise exposure.
Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR
As part of the Fujifilm GFX 50S II launch, Fuji has also announced the release of their accompanying kit lens with the GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR. Traditionally, kit lenses have been branded as the cheap 'throw-away' lenses to help sell the camera. The GF 35-70mm smashes tradition to demonstrate its versatility as a premium medium-format lens option. Being a weather-sealed lens, it pairs seamlessly with the GFX 50S II to form a winning, weather-sealed combo to capture high-resolution images in any conditions.
Fujifilm GF 35-70mm Specifications
- 35-70mm zoom (28-50mm full frame equivalent)
- F/4.5-56 aperture
- 11 elements in 9 groups
- 1 aspherical and 2 ED elements
- Minimum focus distance of 35cm
- 0.28x magnification
- Dimensions 84.9mm x 73.9mm
- Filter 62mm
- Weight 390g
The GF 35-70mm delivers excellent image quality across the range with little to no detected aberration. While it's the lightest and smallest autofocus driven Fujifilm GF lens, it's built to last a lifetime. It's a Fujifilm thing! What's more, it's super-compact, and the external zoom lock prevents any unwanted slippage while out exploring the world. Any photographer working with Fuji's GFX system should consider investing in the GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR as the very best everyday standard zoom. Remember that the medium format 35-70mm equates to 28-50mm on a 35mm full-frame equivalent lens.
Inside, where all the magic happens, the GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6 WR features a lens assembly of eleven elements in nine groups with a single aspherical and a pair of ED lenses. The lens enables a minimum focus distance of 35cm for close up work. For a GF lens, it’s surprisingly light at 390g and measures 73.9mm with a 84.9mm diameter. It supports a 62mm thread for filters when shooting landscapes.
Final Thoughts On The GFX 50S II
At the start of 2017, Fujifilm rocked the photography world by launching their first medium format mirrorless camera. The original Fujifilm GFX 50S took the best technology from the Fuji X Series and cranked up the juice. What's more, Fujifilm pushed medium format photography into the hands of enthusiasts and professional photographers. They made medium format photography more accessible and affordable than ever before.
Today, we can enjoy the development, engineering and technology advances of the GFX range in the all new Fujifilm GFX 50S II. And, with the launch of the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm F/4.5-5.6, medium format photography has never been easier. Here at Georges Cameras, we love Fujifilm products and cannot wait to showcase all that the GFX 50S II offers. Head in-store or online now to pre-order your copy.