Fujifilm is no stranger to medium format, and for years the idea of a digital model had been floating around, but few of us expected it to announce the development of a camera like the GFX 50S. Being lightweight and very reasonably sized, but simultaneously imbued with much of the charm of the company’s X-series interchangeable-lens models, the reaction suggests that Fujifilm has pushed all the right buttons – and pushed them real good.
Yet, as compelling as it is, it’s not without its competition. Hasselblad’s also-recent X1D-50c is perhaps its closest rival, given that both cameras eschew the traditional mirror and manage a more handsome, portable form than the norm, together with a similar sensor. If you’re seriously considering one you may well be drawn to the other, so we’ve pit the two together aginst each other to see how their spec sheets compare.
Bear in mind that Fujifilm has only announced a handful of the camera’s specs and also stated that some of these may change before the model’s launch. So, if you trade in all your kit and it rocks up with multi-coloured panelling, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Sensor Both the Hasselblad X1D-50c and Fujifilm GFX 50S employ a 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor. The sensor inside the X1D-50c offers 50MP, with a pixel pitch of 5.3µm and images output at 8272×6200 pixels as standard, while the G-format sensor inside the GFX 50S offers a slightly higher 51.4MP.
Although each sensor has a 4:3 aspect ratio as standard, one thing Fujifilm pointed out at the launch of the GFX 50S was the various additional aspect ratios in which you could use the camera (at the expense of pixel count). These are 3:2, 1:1, 4:5, 6:7 and 6:17. The X1D-50c, meanwhile, can shoot in a 1:1 ratio in addition to its default option.
Lenses Fujifilm has stated it will launch a fresh GF line of optics alongside its new camera, with the GF 63mm f/2.8 WR, GF 32-64mm f/4 LM WR and GF 120mm f/4 Macro arriving first and the GF 23mm f/4 R LM WR, GF 45mm f/2.8 R WR and GF 110mm f/2 surfacing later on in the year.
The X1D-50c was also announced alongside a new XCD lens range, with the XCD 45mm f/3.5 and XCD 90mm f/3.2 being its first members. Hasselblad has also confirmed details of a further XCD 30mm f/3.5 lens, although there’s no word yet on when it will arrive. You can, however, use the 12 lenses designed for Hasselblad’s H system on the X1D-50c via an adapter.
One crucial difference between the XCD and GF lenses is that the former employ leaf shutters while the latter do not, and instead rely on the focal-plane shutter inside the GFX 50S body. This is likely to make the lenses cheaper to produce, and therefore to purchase too, although it may raise some concerns about fast sync speeds (but then with a High Speed Sync setting, this may not be as big a deal).
Viewfinder and displays The X1D-50c has an integrated electronic viewfinder with a 2.36million-dot resolution. The GFX 50S doesnt have one built into the body itself, but it’s set to work with an external EVF that slots into the camera’s hotshoe and has the advantage of being adjustable to range of angles.
The rear display on the X1D-50c measures three inches in size, and we believe this will be the case with the GFX 50S too, although the screen on the back of the X1D-50c is fixed in place while the GFX 50S’s dual-hinge design means it can move in much the same way as the Fujifilm X-T2’s display. The X1D-50c’s screen has a 920k-dot resolution and touch functionality built into it, and while resolution hasn’t yet been confirmed for the GFX 50S’s screen, we also believe it’s design will allow for touch control.
Both cameras equal each other in also sporting a well-sized display on their respective top plates, and this shows key exposure and shooting information.
Video There’s no word yet from Fujifilm about the GFX 50S’s video capabilities. The X1D-50c, meanwhile, records at a maximum Full HD (1920×1080) resolution.
Size and weight Fujifilm hasn’t officially confirmed any dimensions or a weight for its new camera, although handling it suggests it’s only a little larger than the company’s X-T2. Placing it side-by-side with the company’s X-Pro2 also allowed us to appreciate how slight the difference is from something many will be familiar with.
The X1D-50c is also very compact for a medium-format model, measuring 150x98x71 mm and weighing just 725g with a battery (but not lens) in place. While it has a beefy grip, the main body depth is surprisingly shallow.
Weather-resistance Both bodies have been primed to work in inclement conditions, with dust and weather sealing and protection against freezing temperatures.
Card slots Both the X1D-50c and the GFX 50S are furnished with dual card slots, and each swallows SD-format media.
Price and availability According to Fujifilm, a kit option together with the GF 63mm f/2.8 WR should be available at “well under $10,000”. And at $8995 for its body only, the X1D-50c makes the GXF 50S appear as a steal.
The GFX 50S is set to arrive in the first half of 2017. The X1D-50c was meant to have been with us already, although delays have pushed its arrival back until the end of September (although the camera is available to pre-order now).