Fujifilm GFX 100S and X-E4

Fujifilm has announced two new cameras: the GFX 100S medium format mirrorless camera, and the X-E4 an X series mirrorless APS-C sensor camera body. Both have an impressive specification seen in flagship models, squeezed into a smaller build. The full feature set of the GFX100 has been re-engineered to fit within the smaller, lighter body of the new GFX 100S. In a similar fashion the X-E4 has the same sensor and processor as the flagship X-Pro3, again in a more compact design.

Both camera bodies are more affordable then their flagship counterparts making them lighter on the wallet as well as lighter in your camera bag.

New Fujifilm camera bodies: GFX100S (left), X-E4 (right)

Fujifilm GFX100S Features

The GFX100S has at its heart a 102 megapixel medium format sensor. The sensors in the Fujifilm GFX series are 1.7x larger than the full-frame 35mm sensor seen in Canon, Sony and Nikon flagship bodies. Medium format digital sensors offer a different quality of image closer to that achieved with medium format analogue camera bodies such as the film cameras from Hasselblad, Mamiya and Fujifilm in the past. A large lens mount is needed for such a large sensor and the GFX100S has a reinforced chassis which is 1mm thicker around the mount while the camera is overall 500g lighter than the GFX100. The increased density at the lens mount gives greater support for larger GF lenses.

X-Processor 4 is the engine behind the impressive 102 megapixel sensor. It powers the on-sensor phase detection auto-focus making this camera versatile, accurate and very fast. The shutter unit has been re-designed and the in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) unit is a new design which is 20% smaller and 10% lighter than the IBIS in the GFX100 while delivering 6 stops of image stabilisation.

The large sensor is also capable of recording 4k30p video at 16:9 or 17:9 aspect ratios, and can record 10 bit F-Log to an internal SD card or output 12bit ProRes RAW via the HDMI port to an external recorder. 12 bit RAW footage can be output via HDMI to an Atomos Ninja V recorder to eliminate in-camera image processing and offer you freedom to make decision in post.

Fujifilm X-E4 Features

The Fujifilm X-E4 is a lightweight, rangefinder-styled camera built around the latest X-Trans 26.1MP CMOS 4 sensor and the X-Processor 4. With Fujifilm’s latest sensor and processor combined the X-E4 inherits features from the most recent Fujifilm cameras, including an updated AF system, 4K video recording and fast burst shooting rates. If you shoot to JPEG, there are now eighteen of Fujifilm’s film simulation modes to choose from.

The X-E4 has a tilting LCD screen which can be flipped to 180 degrees for forward facing monitoring. The AF system can achieve focus in 0.02 seconds and uses an advanced tracking algorithm to hold focus on moving subjects.

When recording video the X-E4 oversamples 6k footage to record 4k30p 4:2:0 8-bit in camera, or to output 4k30p 4:2:2 10-bit via HDMI.


The complete guide to Fujifilm X lenses

What’s the best thing about being a Fujifilm photographer? Well, there’s the retro styling of all the chic mirrorless cameras, there’s the tactile control system that makes photography fun again, there’s the film simulation modes that harken back to the photography of yesteryear. But if we were pushed, we’d have to say it’s the lenses.

Fujifilm has a fantastic range of lenses in its X series. Pin-sharp and fast-focusing, its lenses cover a comprehensive range of focal lengths, ensuring all photographers and videographers are catered for. Fuji has done a terrific job of filling out both its high-quality professional end and its affordable entry-level end, so there really is something for everyone.

This does mean, of course, that there are quite a few lenses, and it can be tricky to know where to start. We’ve put together this guide to pick out the best optics at every focal length so you can easily find the lens that’s right for you. We’ve picked out our absolute favourites from the current crop, and where appropriate, we’ve identified alternatives you can also look at if the lens we’ve picked isn’t quite right for you.

XF or XC?

You may have seen that Fujifilm lenses mostly come with the designation XF, however there are a few that are denoted “XC”. What’s the difference? XF lenses are the flagships of the range, and almost certainly the ones that professional and enthusiast photographers will mostly be concerning themselves with. XC lenses are the smaller, lighter and more affordable lenses in the system, providing slimmed-down and cheaper alternatives for popular focal lengths. The XC range is still relatively young, and there are only a few optics in the series so far. We’ve dealt with XF lenses first in this guide, and included the XC lenses at the end for those who are looking for a budget option.


A note on sensor size

Remember, Fujifilm X cameras come with APS-C sensors. This means that the focal lengths printed on the box of each lens aren’t precisely what you get – there’s a crop factor involved. While we’ve detailed many of the equivalent focal lengths throughout the guide, a handy thing to remember is the “1.5 Rule” – when mounted on a Fujifilm X camera, every one of these lenses will provide an effective focal length roughly 1.5x larger than its official designation.

So, a 50mm lens mounted on, say, the X-T30, will behave like 75mm. A 23mm lens will  behave like a 35mm, and a 100-400mm zoom will act like a 152-600mm lens. It’s pretty easy to get used to – just worth remembering when you’re calculating what kind of lens you need.

Right, let’s get to the lenses!


XF prime lenses


XF 16mm F1.4 R WR

Fujifilm’s professional wide-angle prime, the XF 16mm F1.4 R WR is a rugged and versatile lens designed to provide a wide field of view in all situations. It’s weather-resistant and light, weighing just 375g, and also sports a 15cm close-focusing distance. This means it’s as useful for getting close-up images as it is for wide-expansive views.

The maximum aperture of f/1.4 makes it easy to produce images in low light, or with a shallow depth of field and vivid bokeh. Constructed of 13 elements in 11 groups, the XF 16mm F1.4 R WR also uses elements with Nano GI Coatings for faultless light transmission and superior edge-to-edge performance.

Also consider: For the same wide-angle prime on a tighter budget, try the XF 16mm F2.8 R WR, which has a smaller maximum aperture but retains the weather-resistant build. Alternatively, for a wider perspective, there’s the XF 14mm F2.8 R, which comes at a similar price point to the f/1.4. 


XF 23mm F1.4 R

Another of the type of fast and wide prime that Fujifilm makes so well, the XF 23mm F1.4 R bears an equivalent focal length of 35mm (remember the 1.5 rule), which makes it an ideal choice for general-purpose documentary shooting. It’s designed to make it easier to compose sublime images on the fly, with a camera-to-subject distance indicator and depth-of-field scale on its barrel.

Great for shooting stills and movies alike, the XF 23mm F1.4 R focuses quickly and is great for low light thanks to its large f/1.4 aperture. The metal fittings and finish give it a real premium feel and improve the torque, making this a perfect lens for the kind of shooting where you never know what to expect next.

Also consider: Fujifilm makes some high-quality and affordable f/2 primes in similar focal lengths – the XF 18mm F2 R and XF 23mm F2 R WR. Both are a great choice for the more budget-conscious photographer.


XF 35mm F1.4 R

The APS-C factor puts this 35mm lens into equivalent territory of about 53mm, making it a great all-around lens for those who want to produce a naturalistic perspective. Fast with an f/1.4 maximum aperture, this lens is just about long enough to be used for portraiture as well as other types of shooting. It’s an ideal choice for weddings and events, where you sometimes want to get wide and at other times want to get close and personal, all without sacrificing the quality of a prime.

Durably built, the XF 35mm F1.4 R is immensely satisfying to handle and use. It produces sharp images with beautiful bokeh – the perfect choice for ultimate artistic expression. 

Also consider: The XF 35mm F2 R WR provides the same focal length in a cheaper package, with the trade-off being a narrower maximum aperture. Or, for a slightly wider perspective, try the XF 27mm F2.8, a pancake lens that weighs an unbelievably slender 78g! 


XF 50mm F1.0 R WR

Also known as “the one” due to its shallower-than-ever maximum aperture of f/1.0, the XF 50mm F1.0 R WR is an astounding feat of optical engineering. Providing an equivalent focal length of about 75mm, it’s a perfect lens for portraits, able to produce beautifully striking images with delicious bokeh.

Manual focus on this lens has been improved compared to previous similar primes, making it ideal for getting your images sharper than sharp. Though, of course, there’s also the DC autofocus motor for those who like their focusing fast and automated, Weather-sealed in 11 places, the XF 50mm F1.0 R WR is a great choice for outdoor work even in difficult conditions. Experience the ultimate in depth of field control.

Also consider: Fujifilm makes other lenses around this focal length, including the seriously impressive XF 56mm F1.2 R and XF 56mm F1.2 R APD – two virtually identical lenses whose key difference is that the latter includes an apodisation filter, which smooths out lines in out-of-focus areas for incredibly smooth bokeh. As a budget option, there’s also the XF 50mm F2 R WR, which as well as being cheaper is also much lighter than its large-aperture cousin.


XF 80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro

Fujifilm has catered well to those who enjoy close-up shooting, and one of its finest optics is the XF 80mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro. With a 1:1 reproduction ratio, this is a “true” macro lens, and it also has a built-in optical stabiliser that provides up to five stops of effective compensation. This means that, unlike many macro lenses, it can be taken out and used hand-held in the field with ease! No need for a complex tripod setup – just search and shoot.

With an equivalent focal length of about 120mm, this is also a solid general-purpose telephoto, producing pin-sharp images thanks to its sophisticated optical construction of nine elements in six groups. The lens is also weatherr-resistant – perfect for roaming outdoors to look for macro subjects!

Also consider: The XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro, a more affordable telephoto macro with a 1:2 image reproduction ratio. 


XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR

The pro-level telephoto of the Fujifilm stable, the XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR provides the kind of image quality demanded by professional photographers. With a focal length equivalent to about 305mm in full-frame equivalent terms, it’s the best lens to choose if you plan to shoot sports or wildlife with Fujifilm X-series cameras.

The magnesium-alloy barrel of the lens is resistant to dust and moisture, making it solidly suited for outdoor work, and it also sports an Arca-Swiss tripod mount for added stability. The five-stop image stabiliser also improves the latitude for handheld shooting, and the autofocusing is fast, smooth and highly accurate. This is a seriously capable lens designed for those who want to get the utmost out of flagship Fujifilm cameras like the X-T4. 


XF Zoom lenses


XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR Lens

The widest lens in Fujifilm’s stable, the XF 8-16mm f2.8 R LM WR Lens is perfect for getting out there and producing some amazing, unforgettable landscapes. That constant f/2.8 aperture also puts nightscapes in play, and thanks to its sophisticated construction, the lens produces images that are pin-sharp right the way across the frame. Aspherical elements control for distortion and spherical aberration, while the ED and Super ED elements take care of chromatic aberration. There’s also a double Nano-GI coating to eliminate ghosting and flare, and while you may not be chasing too many speedy subjects with this optic, having linear motors for the focusing system is no bad thing


XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR

One of the newer lenses in the Fujifilm stable, the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR provides a useful wide focal range that’s great for landscapes, architecture and street shooting. The weather-resistance of this lens has been improved compared to previous Fujifilm optics, allowing you to have greater confidence when out and about even in difficult conditions. The optical image stabilisation is a 3.5-stop version; however, when it’s paired with certain sophisticated Fujifilm bodies like the X-T4, this gets bumped up to 6.5 stops.

Constructed from 14 glass lens elements in 10 groups, the XF 10-24mm F4 R OIS WR features a number of aspherical and low-dispersion glass elements to help improve sharpness and remove distortion.


XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR

Kit lens, but make it fancy. The XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR is a premium version of the do-it-all focal range that everyone gets with their first camera. As such, it’s a great choice for general-purpose, documentary-style shooting, with a constant aperture of f/2.8 that makes it super-versatile. The nine-bladed aperture gives you the option to create smooth bokeh, putting portraiture in play, and images are sharp from edge to edge, right the way through the zoom range. 

Also consider: The XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS is a more affordable version of this lens, sacrificing the constant aperture. Alternatively, if you need a similar range with more latitude at the telephoto end, try the XF 16-80mm F4 R OIS WR.


XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR

With incredible versatility, the XF 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR is a high-performance telephoto zoom designed for action photographers. Its inner focusing system allows for high-speed autofocus that keeps up with fast subjects, using a Triple Linear Motor for speed, silence and precision. 

The lens also employs an optical stabilisation system, giving you more latitude when shooting handheld, and the internal optical construction is highly sophisticated. Twenty-three glass elements in 16 groups combine to deliver corner-to-corner sharpness, with five ED lens elements and one Super ED lens element to effectively minimise aberration and distortion. Dependable quality in a tough, weather-resistant body – this is a lens you can rely on.

Also consider: The XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR, which gives you more wide-angle to play with, and is available at a lower price. If you can do without that constant f/2.8 aperture, this is a bargain. Alternatively, if you want more telephoto to play with, there’s the XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, which packs a reasonable amount of tech into a lens with a low price tag.


XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

We love a 100-400mm, and the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR (well, all right, it’s a 152-600mm lens in equivalent terms) is one of the finer examples of the genre. Able to cope in harsh shooting conditions, it features 13 weather seals at 12 points, and sports a fluorine coating on its front element that repels dust and water. It’s also equipped with a five-stop image stabiliser for easier handheld shooting; if this stabiliser detects that the user is panning, it’ll switch to correcting on the vertical plane only.

The optical construction consists of 21 elements in 14 groups, with five ED lenses and one Super ED lens. This, according to Fujifilm, delivers results comparable to a fluorite lens, and reduces axial chromatic aberration to produce vivid images that are sharp across the frame. Despite all this, the weight of the lens is just 1.4kg, which is lighter than many lenses of comparable focal length.


XC lenses


XC 35mm F2

A no-fuss prime that delivers an equivalent focal length of 52mm for less than £200. This is a fantastic budget addition to a kit bag, that’s also light to carry and highly portable. 


XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II

Surprisingly sophisticated for a lens at this price point, the XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS II boasts a construction of 12 all-glass elements in 10 groups. Images look fantastic, and having 1/3-step exposure control enables you to get pleasingly precise.


XC 15-45mm F3.5-5.6 OIS PZ

At 135g, this is the lightest zoom lens across the entire X series. The zoom mechanism is electric, producing a smoother action that’s great for video as well as stills. Light on the back and light on the wallet.


XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II

Though the maximum aperture drops off pretty sharply towards the tele end, this is still a very impressive lens for its price. Giving you enormous zoom latitude, the XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7 OIS II also incorporates a stepping motor and optical image stabilisation.


Fujifilm X-T4 mirrorless digital camera

The Fujifilm X-T4 is a compact mirrorless camera body with a 26.1 megapixel, APS-C sensor. New materials and new technology are employed to make the X-T4 an amazing camera with in body image stabilisation and longer battery life.

Fujifilm state that the X-T4 is the pinnacle of the X series. The 26.1 megapixel APS-C sensor will reproduce excellent details while maintaining high continuous shooting speeds and high definition 4K video recording. The Fujifilm X-T4 has launched at £1,549 in black or silver. See it for yourself in our showroom on Friday. For more information or to place an order call the sales team on 0207 582 3294 or email us at sales@fixationuk.com

New developments in detail:

New developments have been made to the: Shutter unit, AF Algorithm, image stabilisation (new to the X-T series), film simulation modes, camera battery.

IBIS – In Body Image Stabilisation

Highly anticipated, an IBIS system has been on the Fujifilm photographers’ wish list for a long time. The Fujifilm X-H1 had the first version of the technology for Fujifilm, but it required a larger chassis. The X-T4 is the first X-T series body to feature the technology and the newly designed sensor stabilisation is 8x more sensitive, 30% smaller and 20% lighter than the unit found in the X-H1.

The world’s fastest shutter

The new shutter in the Fujifilm X-T4 can shoot up to 15 frames per second, faster at the time of writing, than any other mirrorless APS-C or larger-sensor mirrorless camera. In normal use, when shooting with live-view, the fastest speed is 8 frames per second. The shutter’s shock-absorbing structure has been re-designed to aid the IBIS system’s stabilisation. The new shutter is 30% quieter than the X-T3, and it is more durable. The X-T4 shutter is rated up to 300,000 actuations.

AF Algorithm

Tracking AF has been dramatically enhanced with double the AF tracking success rate of the X-T3. The Face / Eye AF performance has also been improved in the X-T4. This enhanced tracking makes focussing and shooting portraits easier than ever before.

ETERNA bleach bypass

This new film simulation mode emulates an alternative colour film processing technique. The result is low saturation and high contrast images straight from the camera. The technique it is based on skips a bleaching stage in traditional colour film processing which would removes the silver (black and white) particles in the film adding more grain. Fujifilm digital cameras feature a wide range of film simulation options.

Battery Life

The FujiFilm X-T4 uses a new battery, the NP-W235 has 1.5x the capacity of the NP-W126s, which powered the X-T3. In Fujifilm tests the new battery will power the X-T4 for 500 frames per charge. The optional VG-XT4 battery-grip holds two additional batteries. This can increase the battery live to 1,700 frames.

For more information, to request a quote or to place an order call the sales team on 0207 582 3294 or email us at sales@fixationuk.com


Shooting Weddings with the Fuji GFX 50S

North West-based photographer David Stanbury reckons he has the best job in the world. For the last 20+ years, alongside his wife Jane, he has run an award-winning wedding & portrait photography business that grew out of a simple passion for photography & creating images that he loved.


In 2013 David was given the highest honour of being awarded a fellowship in the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) and the Society of Wedding & Portrait Photographers (SWPP) – the highest qualification a photographer can receive and to date has received over 200 International, national & regional awards for his photography.

Earlier this year, David was approached by Fuji, who were looking for professional photographers to test their GFX 50S. A longtime Hasselblad user, David already knew the benefits of medium format for his work and jumped at the chance to road test the then unreleased camera.

We recently caught up with David to talk photography and to hear his views on Fuji’s latest medium format camera.

David-Stanbury-Fujifilm-GFX50s-Profile-001-compressor© David Stanbury

This must be a busy time of year for you, so thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into photography?

I think it’s more a case that photography found me. My parents bought me a camera for my birthday and my Dad said “now go to college & learn how to use it” at the time my reply was why? But that push really sowed the seeds for a passion that is still as strong nearly 25 years later. My break into wedding photography was just as chaotic. Whilst at college I had really fallen in love with the darkroom and hand printing B & W images. A friend of a friend was looking for a wedding photographer but at the time the Pros would only shoot colour and the couple wanted B & W only, so we were introduced and my first wedding I shot, processed and printed the images. As no ‘pro’ photographers seemed to be shooting in B & W I received a steady infux of enquiries and bookings; it seems crazy now but my USP was that I shot B & W photographs. My move into Professional photography was again just as chaotic. I worked for a company and they went bust overnight and with a new home and young family, I found myself out of work. So with £500 of my redundancy money we struck a deal with a local landlord giving me 3 months free rent on a studio, bought a couch, a desk and with 4 16 x 20 prints, opened our first studio…. Yes I still have the couch 😉

David-Stanbury-Fujifilm-GFX50s-Profile-004-compressor© David Stanbury

[gdlr_quote align=”center” ]We both are the luckiest people in the world, not only do we have the best job in the world travelling all over the world photographing gorgeous people happy & in love, but also being at the beginning of their new journey & documenting with our images two peoples lives change forever.[/gdlr_quote]

What equipment do you use?

In my bag at the moment is my Hasselblad H3D-31 II and a Canon 5D Mk III. Lens-wise I have an 80mm ƒ/2.8 & 28mm ƒ/4 for my Hasselblad (I love the 28mm and use this the most). On the Canon it’s a 16-35mm ƒ/2.8, 24-70mm ƒ/2.8 & 70-200mm ƒ/2.8.  I use the 70-200mm the most as I shoot my main images on the Hasselblad and candid on the Canon.

STANBURY-002-compressor© David Stanbury

Did you always want to be a wedding photographer?

I have always been the sort of person that if I did something I had to do it ‘properly’, so from the start I wanted to pay for new kit and pretty much from day one, was shooting portraits and then asked to shoot weddings and this then grew. I pretty much fell in love with weddings from my first one – I just loved the adrenalin rush that you get from working under the most intense pressure and then seeing the couples faces when you showed them their images. I’m also very much a people person, I love to socialise and as a wedding photographer you get to meet so many people who are always happy and its just such an addictive career.

STANBURY-003-compressor© David Stanbury

You’ve used Hasselblad alongside your Canon gear for many years. How did you find the GFX compared to the Hasselblad?

For me its unfair to compare the two as I’m shooting with an H3D and the jump from that to the GFX is immense. What I can say is that I’ve always wanted a medium format camera that has high ISO, low noise and is light enough so I can carry all day and the GFX certainly ticks these boxes. The GFX has so many features that I feel makes it the perfect medium format camera for wedding photographers, the touch screen is sharp, fast and the ability to tilt makes it easy to get those high and low angles. I really fell in love with the EVF and the lenses I found fast & incredibly sharp. I’ve pretty much used them all but the GF32-64mm ƒ/4 & GF110mm ƒ/2 are my favourites and could pretty much shoot a full wedding with just these 2 lenses.

David-Stanbury-Fujifilm-GFX50s-Profile-003-compressor© David Stanbury

Do you get involved in video with your wedding work?

I’ve just recently resurrected my YouTube channel (David Stanbury) to show Behind the Scenes footage from our personal shoots, weddings & workshops and am just as excited about getting ‘moving images’ into my workflow and think this is going to become a much bigger part of our shooting style.

STANBURY-001-compressor© David Stanbury

Do you shoot any personal projects or do the weddings keep you busy?

We are always busy with weddings, but I’m very much an advocate of ‘practice makes perfect’ and personal shoots are a perfect way to keep my brain ticking and my photography creative – It’s my testing ground for new ideas, styles and approaches to our photography. One thing I’m very mindful of is I NEVER want photography to become a job, so stepping out of my comfort zone, trying different things and creating new images is my hobby and what I do to relax.

David-Stanbury-Fujifilm-GFX50s-Profile-002-compressor© David Stanbury

You offer 1-2-1 training for wedding photographers. Is it rewarding to give something back to a business you obviously enjoy?

Yes,YES,YES!!!! I have seriously the best job in the world, people pay me to be part of the biggest day of their life, they pay me to travel the world to photograph their day, photography companies have asked me to be a part of their future plans and new products, photography has given me so many amazing memories but mostly amazing friends and I feel its my duty to give back to an industry that has given me so much. One thing I’m most proud of is that I hope people now see wedding photographers with the respect they deserve. We have the hardest job in photography, we have only one chance to get it right whilst working in the most demanding of situations, we don’t have the luxury of reshoots or 8 hours for 1 image, we HAVE to deliver the goods fast and consistently week in week out, and this is what I want to get across to new photographers on our workshops who come to learn how to create their signature images in this demanding world.

David was speaking to Tim Stavrinou

David Stanbury FSWPP, FBIPP


About David

David Stanbury FBIPP, FSWPP is a Multi Award Winning Wedding Photographer based in the North West of England with a career spanning over 20 years & shooting weddings in the UK & Worldwide.

David’s accolades include over 200 National & Regional awards including UK Wedding Photographer of the Year, UK Wedding Album of the Year and a Finalist in the Prestigious Hasselblad Masters. David is proud to have received a Fellowship in Wedding Photography from the SWPP & the BIPP.

David has presented sell out workshops & seminars on all aspects of wedding photography throughout the UK, Europe and America. David is a photography consultant, mentor & Judge and has judged national & International photography competitions.

David’s style is described as stylish & timeless and is very much in demand by couples who require the very best in wedding photography. He has a passion for photography and creating the perfect image combining all the aspects of the Wedding but also understands that being a people person is just as important.


The Fuji GFX 50S is available to hire from our rental department, or for demonstration in our South London store. Call us on 020 7582 3294 or email admin@www.fixationuk.com for more info

Fuji GFX 50S | A Working Day With A New Camera System images

Fuji GFX 50S | A Working Day With A New Camera System

Paul Stewart, Night Picture Editor at the Daily Express and documentary photojournalist,  has worked in the imaging industry for over 45 years, both as a photographer and an editor. As soon as the first GFX’s arrived in our rental department, we were keen to see what working professional photographers really thought of the camera, and Paul was only too happy to oblige..

I was really interested to hear early rumours of the GFX 50S, as the idea of a mirrorless medium format camera was an exciting new development.  Having swapped my full frame DSLR kit for the Fuji X Series and specifically the wonderful X-Pro2s, I knew that FujiFilm’s evolution of digital photography was well up there with their previous take on the medium and always considered FujiFilm to be people who develop their sensors with an eye to their great history as a film manufacturer.  In fact, only Kodak, to my mind, produced high end pro digital kit with a similar quality of colour and detailed reproduction.  Having seen the GFX 50S at Fixation’s FujiFilm Open Day I was delighted when they asked me to try the camera out.

When I was the editor of HotShoe International and indeed when I reviewed equipment for the British Journal of Photography, I had a strict policy of not doing or commissioning a review unless an actual photographer went out and shot a real job with the equipment (after all if you can’t earn a living with it, it’s not a lot of good to a pro).

The first thing I noticed about the GFX was the ergonomics which are superb.  In comparison to my Phase One Mamiya 645AFD, it’s lighter (when used without the battery grip) and handles far more like a high end DSLR, making location use far easier, though it’s happy to sit rock solid on a tripod in the studio.  The next thing I noticed was that the firmware, menus and ergonomics all take a big lead from the X Series cameras that I am already used to, which meant that integrating myself into the camera system was a doddle.


This is a really well thought out camera.  The tri-axis tilt screen on the back means that you can shoot from almost any angle and still see what you are framing, making a “Hail Mary” more a matter of framing than prayer.

Likewise, the tilting view finder, which I originally thought was not going to be that interesting, turned out to be a godsend when shooting in bright light when wanting to shoot from a lower angle.

So what job did I decide to use it on?   I was asked to be the host photographer for a Royal Visit by the Duke of Gloucester, who, of all things, was meeting three Virginia Indian Chiefs of the Powhatan People, all of whom were of the descendant tribes of Pocahontas and who were celebrating the 400th Anniversary of her leaving Brentford, where she lived, to return to America.

PS-GXX50_Review_0003-compressor© 2017 Paul Stewart

Sadly, she only got as far as Gravesend, where she died.  The ceremonials were being held in Syon House, so I arrived a bit early to check out the light, which, although soft, was very low outside the venue.  Inside, especially in the private green drawing room, it was abysmal but plunging on, I shot this job jpeg only to see just how good the dynamic range of this camera was.  I expected it to be good.  It was, in fact, exceptional.  I shot some portraits of the various Chiefs and dignitaries with extreme highlights and shadow within them and the detail recovery was beyond that I expected.

PS-GXX50_Review_0004-compressor© 2017 Paul Stewart

The camera behaved faultlessly throughout the shoot.  I never had to go onto the second battery that I had as a back up and was incredibly pleased with the results.  Everything you see, including the grip and grin type PR shot of the Chiefs with Lord Watson of Richmond, were shot in a low level of available light.  In fact the very first shot I shot with the camera in anger was the one of the marble statue in Syon’s Great Hall.

PS-GXX50_Review_0001-compressor© 2017 Paul Stewart

Looking at this just on the back of the screen made me realise just what a great camera this is.  Although, like all medium format cameras it is expensive, when compared to Phase 1s and other makes, it’s well priced.  The only down side to the camera that I have seen so far, is that FujiFilm went back to a Bayer Pattern rather than adopting their fabulous X-Trans sensor design as used in the X Series, which I find to be the best sensor I have ever used.  It would have been nice to see a larger format version of this.  However, in terms of colour rendition etc I find it hard to fault the GFX 50S.

PS-GXX50_Review_0002-compressor© 2017 Paul Stewart

I don’t feel that the Mamiya would have allowed me to do the location shooting that the Fuji allowed and the only downside is that I now have to try and sell my Mamiya 645 AFD/Phase One System so I can get a GFX!

You can see more of Paul’s work here

To get your hands on the Fuji GFX 50S, pop into our showroom for a demo, or contact our rental department and try one for yourself.

Hi, how can we help?