At long last, a medium-format camera that can produce sublime high-resolution photos, for the price of a full-frame. It's hard to believe that you can now purchase the 50MP Fujifilm GFX50S II for $3,199 / £2,799.
When this camera launched in 2021 it attracted a £3,499/$3,999 price tag. While those prices were not what we’d call ‘cheap’, the camera was still remarkably affordable for a medium-format model, and was much cheaper at launch compared to the GFX 50S at $6,500 / £6,199, back in early 2017. If you take into account the other 50MP medium format cameras like the Hasselblad's, you’ll be shelling out something like $6,500 / £6000 / AU$11,500 for the 907X 50C or X1D II 50C.
The reduced price tag might make photographers question whether it has the spec to deliver but our Fujifilm GFX50S II review says that it has "impeccable photo quality". Its reduced price will no doubt tempt many enthusiasts and pro photographers across to medium-format.
Fujifilm’s upgrade to its relatively affordable 50MP GFX camera doesn’t look very impressive on paper – no 4K video, only 3fps continuous shooting speed – but some significant changes both inside and out have made this the first 50MP from Fujifilm equipped with in-body image stabilization, and the cheapest price tag for a medium-format camera. Along with its impeccable image quality that includes Fujifilm's infamous Film Simulation color profiles, it’s easy to fall in love with this camera, especially if you're a studio or landscape photographer. However, its relatively sluggish autofocus (as compared to other mirrorless cameras), meager 3fps burst rate and lack of 4K video could deter some users.
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The Fujifilm GFX50S II might look very different from its predecessor, but it inherits that same large sensor that made us fall in love with the original GFX 50S. Like the older model, the GFX50S II hasn’t been designed for speed junkies or video, instead it harnesses the power of a medium format sensor, and combines it with some very steady in-body image stabilization (IBIS) to produce some stupendous stills.
That IBIS, for the first time in a GFX body, is rated for a very impressive 6.5 stops of compensation for camera shake. That’s a half stop more than the GFX100S that was announced only in March 2021. It’s a very beneficial upgrade for anyone shooting handheld, particularly in low-light situations with a camera that can get heavy with a proper GF lenses whacked on front.
The reduced price alone – particularly if you opt for the single-lens kit – makes it a compelling alternative to high-resolution full-frame cameras for photographers who don’t need the blitzing-fast performance the smaller sensor formats offer. It fully deserves its place in our guide to the best cameras for photography and photographers will do well to consider whether this is the time really discover what medium-format photography is all about.
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Paul has 20+ years experience working in creative industries including photography, videography and 3D visualisation. You'll also find his writing at Creative Bloq, Digital Camera World, and in 3D World Magazine.