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Fuji GFX Medium Format - Why I am so disappointed


I attended the press conference of Fujifilm on Monday at the Photokina. Everybody was excited because rumors told us already months ago that there is something in the pipeline of Fuji regarding Medium Format.

I personally am a big fan of the Fuji X-system with its APS-C sized sensor. I do think that this is a great system, both in terms of performance and regarding its design. The Fuji X-system is looking just "sexy" for me. X-T1/2, X-Pro1/2, X-E1/2, X-100/s/T and so on. All are well designed and looking really nice (I cannot say this from any modern DSLR-System unfortunately...)

So my expectations on a Fuji Medium Format system have been very high. I hoped for a MF System with a design and usability the same way as my X-System.

Since Hasselblad showed already a few months ago with the X1D 50c, how sexy Medium Format can look and feel like, I thought Fuji will go the same route.

But then the Fujfilm GFX 50s was announced and my vision/hopes busted like air bubbles in seconds.


What a disappointment!


Fuji, what have you done here?


Where is the Fuji DNA in that GFX 50s body? Where is the well designed, aesthetic body?

This looks more like „just another MF body“, a hybrid of Pentax MF and Hasselblad H4 MF. But even worse, it looks like Fuji attached later on parts like the tilting screen etc. It just looks a little bit like they put parts together as in a Lego kit.

This design has nothing in common with the beautiful X-T2, which has the same kind of tilting screen as the GFX 50s and is beautiful integrated into the X-T2 body.

The GFX 50s is also very thick. Is this really necessary? If Hasselblad is able to do this with its X1D significantly thinner with the same sensor, why Fuji is not able to apply its Fuji DNA from the X-System also into the GFX system?

The Hasselblad X1D design is sexy, very much like an “oversized Leica M6 body”. It is small and very thin, a pleasure to carry around the whole day, weights (725g) not more than the Fuji GFX 50s (n/a, but at least 800g) and the X1D still feels solid as a rock.

The Fuji GFX 50s looks more like a studio camera or a camera you need a car for. For me, this is a contradiction to the DNA of the Fuji XT/XPro/XE cameras.

I just do not get it why Fuji made it this way with the GFX 50s. It is a discontinuity in the Fuji DNA.

So I am disappointed by the „look” of hat GFX 50s. I am not talking yet about technical specifications. Although I do think that the Hasselblad X1D has some advantages here too.

I do think if you pay 10.000 Euro for a camera, you have to feel comfortable also with the look. Image quality is nowadays so good with so many cameras, that other areas like design, handling and usability are playing bigger roles than a few years ago. This is why Fuji was so successfull with the X-System (APS-C sensor). You can see this now with the Hasselblad X1D 50c for Medium Format.

Kudos to Hasselblad. The design-cup for 2016 just went from Fujifilm to Hasselblad.


Concentration on the basic essentials required for photography.


Call me aesthetic...


This is what you want to carry around...


Call me thin...

Feel free to post your views in this thread…


Just another note regarding technical specifications. The Fuji GFX 50s has some advantages for those, who need absolutely specific features. Like a tilting screen or detachable viewfinder. Fuji has it, Hasselblad with the X1D 50c not. But of course you could buy also other Hasselblad Medium Format bodies to get these options (i.e. Hasselblad H6)

But there are downsides too. The Fuji GFX 50s has only a flash sync of 1/125. For some users this is a "no-go" for medium format cameras. The X1D 50c has flash sync up to 1/2000 because of its leaf shutter. Fuji GFX does not have a leaf shutter, but goes up to 1/4000s, in case this important to you. But I doubt you will do action shots with the GFX :)

The X1D 50c has a Nikon hot shoe. I find this really smart. You just have tons of options thanks to this from the beginning, without beeing forced to pay a fortune for propriatory flashes. With The Fuji GFX, you are dependent on Fuji for flashes.

If for someone it is important to have a reliable professional service around the world, then the Hasselblad X1D is the only option anyway.

For me the X1D 50c wins hands down just because of the design factor. I love my Fuji X-Pro1 and might upgtrade to a X-Pro2, but I would not be interested to carry a beast like the GFX 50s around.

The Hasselblad X1D 50c could be a competitor to my Fuji X-Pro1 when deciding which one to take with me for a walk. That says a lot I think....


New Member
Am I missing something? In photography I would think that the appearance of one's photographs is more important than the appearance of the camera that you shoot with. I think to write-off a new system based on how it looks is perhaps missing the point. Let's wait and see how the Fuji performs and (importantly) what price point it comes in at.


Well Dirk regarding your first post.I believe your dissapointment was due to the expectations of a piece of male jewelerry that would finally make you stand out from the crowd? "this is what you want to carry around" should read "This is what I want to be seen carrying around" So while you are considering the pro and cons of male jewelery and adjusting your tie and looking in the mirror , I like many other photographers will be busy making Images. Yes of course we all like a good looking machine but I would rather want the best tool for the job. Most top end cameras are designed by design houses , I believe Nikon collaborated with an Italian designer but at the end of the day I don't really care.If the best camera for me looks like the back end of a bus then so be it.
Your second post on the other hand was much more informative, shutter sync etc, thats what sells a camera at the end of the day.No one buys a Phase one camera for it looks they buy it for the images it produces and photography is about making Images.End of.Nothing personal by the way I have a full length mirror at home ;)
Tally ho!


Hi Ian & Fotobone,

you missed the point. I think we can expect that both cameras will have superb image quality. The Hasselblad X1D has the exact same sensor as in the H6 which is already out. So I do not expect surprises here. And I trust Fuji, that they do not screw up the same sensor in their GFX ;)

Fuji will be for sure cheaper. They have to be. Why should a professional risk a totally new system instead of a well established proven track record over decades for professional service if the pricve would be the same?

In the Fuji press conference, they said that price is not yet determined but the Fuji kit will cost below 10.000 USD/Euro. I guess without taxes.

But let's be honest. The two biggest drivers of Fuji's succes with its X-system was the retro design and compact size. We can not neglect that. And as a Fuji user, I expect the same also for Medium Format. This is for me the Fuji DNA (The GFX will NOT have an X-Trans sensor).

I simply do not see these two factors in the GFX.

Best wishes

P.S.: This has nothing to do with jewelery. If that would be important to me, I would buy only Leica ;)


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Come on Fdotbone, what is your problem if others like also to use cameras that look good and handle well?

I am not the typical Medium Format shooter, who uses alsways a tripod and wait for 2 hours for the correct light. I have a family and not that much time. So I shoot different things, which do not need a tripod and 15 minutes preperation.

If I like a camera and how it looks and handles, I will take it more often with me. Simple as that. This is very common among photographers and I do not see anything bad with this. Fuji knoss this. This is why they designed the X-system the way it is.

For 10.000 Euro, every camera should better look good (besides the mandatory image quality)



While I am happy to concede that the 'Blad has the edge on ergonomics and design, I have no issue with the appearance of the Fuji - it's a work tool and looks as if (perhaps excepting the flash sync speed) it would fulfil all my needs. As someone who uses a Fuji GX680III and Hasselblad digital gear, I have a foot in both camps. I also use the X-T1 and have loved Fujinon glass - which also applies to my Hasselblad H-series lenses - for decades, almost as much as my beloved Zeiss for the Contax 645 and 35mm systems. If the Fuji performs correctly both in a studio environment as well as outdoors, I can live without the elegance of the X1D. I am just delighted to see Fuji continuing its illustrious history in medium format. Now if only it would keep offering its FP100C...


New Member
Dirk, I find your reaction to the Fuji to be reallly...bizarre.

First, how it looks is irrelevant. Medium format cameras have never been particularly pretty. They have always been designed with function in mind. Performance, features and user handling are what matter to those who actually use them.

Second, you contradict yourself when you say that "The two biggest drivers of Fuji's succes with its X-system was the retro design and compact size. We can not neglect that. And as a Fuji user, I expect the same also for Medium Format". The new Fuji has a FAR more retro design than the swanky new Hasselblad X1D. You cannot simultaneously hold opposing views that you want something even more retro than the Fuji - and yet prefer the utterly non-retro new Hasselblad!

Third, you are wrong to dismiss the combination of features on the new Fuji: "The Fuji GFX 50s has some advantages for those, who need absolutely specific features. Like a tilting screen or detachable viewfinder. Fuji has it, Hasselblad with the X1D 50c not. But of course you could buy also other Hasselblad Medium Format bodies to get these options (i.e. Hasselblad H6)". The H6 does NOT have a tilting screen. Nor is it anywhere near as compact and light.

There is no Hasselblad which has all of this wishlist: (1) compact (2) articulating, detachable viewfinder (3) tilting screen

Now add: (4) focal plane shutter & minimal flange distance, enabling ALL lenses to be adapted on it. The Hasselblad X1 is stillborn for most people, because it will only work with Hasselblad's own leaf-shutter lenses.

Mark my words, there is now going to be a whole new direction in photography where people take their Nikon etc. lenses and mount them on the Fuji to stretch the field of view (many of these lenses have the image circle to spare for this purpose), get a different aspect ratio, and get image quality beyond what they can get with the same lenses on their FFDSLRs.

The Fuji is a game changer in a way that the Hasselblad X1D can never be.

Then add: (5) Traditional dedicated dial-driven user interface. I really dislike systems like the Hasselblad X1D which are screen menu-driven.

I think the new Fuji is a fantastic achievement. It's everything I would have hoped for. I'd slap my M645 glass on it in a heartbeat, if I could afford one!


New Member
thanks Dirk, you may be right in several topics mentioned, as i'm a friend of fruitfull critics:

Where is the benefit for studio work to buy GFX?
Where for handheld outdoor use (OIS? Compact as X1D ...)

No that I'm a humble follower of Mr Northrup, but his critic about X1D does somehow apply to GFX too. Ever compared a traditional Viewfinder (M6, TX-1) to a GW690 - same here, upsizing wount work so well ...


Hi DeusExMamiya,

there will never be a camera, which will please all the same way. I only expressed my personal opinion. I do think that both cameras will find their customers. IMHO Hasselblad is enlarging its customer base by offering now at a low price and smaller body a medium format camera that suits the "needs" of a new target group. which was not addressed with ist current H-line. Portability and design are two very important criteria IMHO for that target group.

At the same time it offers the same features as in the H-line (leaf shutter with sync speed up to 1/2000s) and adds usability. Touch screen AND dials at the same time. You pick what you prefer ;)

For me, Fuji is offering from the design perspective nothing new to other offerings i.e. Pentax. The Fuji X-system gave us something, that did not exist anymore (thats why I called it retro design).

I am not sure whether Nikon lenses on a 50MP Medium Format sensor will give satisfying results. And I do not think that Fuji wants that. They rather sell their own new G lenses ;)

best wishes


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So why not participate in a constructive discussion about pros and cons?
I posted already why I like the X1D more than the GFX. So how about you? Why do you prefer the Fuji?


New Member
Do you want to use the camera, or make love to it??? Don't get me wrong, a sexy looking camera is great to have. It's definitely low on the totem poll compared to functionality though.

I too was disappointed, but primarily with the horrible flash sync speed!
Dirk, thanks for getting this conversation started. It certainly takes tough skin to do so. I own an older Hassy 50 and also a Nikon D800. I was eager to hear from Nikon about a significant upgrade (bummer!) and was excited to hear about the Fuji announcement since they design great lenses. I am disappointed in what I see from this latest Fuji offering and hoped for something much more like the Hassy X1D. I used to own a Hassy Xpan which was essentially built by Fuji and the wonderful lenses were Fuji design too. So, I am undecided which way to proceed too. It is not a perfect world. Thanks again.


New Member
I think the point is well taken why break out with a non apple-mac design in today's world and buck the mass approval of design when it's would have been not only simpler but award winning to go the other way with the design.
Sorry but I have to agree Fuji or the Fuji board making the final decisions about design and product development needs to be removed from the process. It's the same stubborn decisions like no locking dials ot our cameras don't need artificial light compatibility or 16 MP is enough.
The older conservative Fuji guard would politely bow out and make way for the young talented workers with in the company who are being help back because of traditional belifs.

WOW how can anyone argue that in 2017 the GFX doesn't SCREAM FUGULY?
On another note where are the specific camera facts, sensor,FPS, metering, ISO and the reports from hundreds about shooting, shutter noise touching and everything that goes along with being able to put a new camera through the paces during its initial release?


New Member
You want disappointment? I had been using (professionally) Leicaflex SL2 mot's in the 1970's, Leica had contacted me about whether I could see the the 'auto exposure feature' as an advantage. "Of course," it had potential in faster moving situations. BUT, when Leica presented the next camera, it was the R3mot? What the ???? Yes, it had AE, but there was NO comparison or 'camera genealogy' to the vastly superior ergonomics of the SL2. Talk about disappointment! YIKES!!!
Well, the R3mot was a 'step-down' but the metering was better - though that was about it. I grew to accept it - but for Leica, well they were basically on a 'flat slope'to no-where. It was the beginning of Leica's frustrating 'steady-state'.
So, the Fuji GFX, I like it, I also like the Hasselblad XD1. But I have to admit, you're design comment comes across as a little weak. Visual appearance aside - yes, it's a 'bit hefty in the middle' but overall, the design 'usability' seems reasonable. Certainly I don't see any cost-cutting in the design, but the yes, the Hasselblad is 'cleaner'. So is the cost.
My old favorite 35mm camera design of old, the SL2 mot was a costly beast to build, and it seems likely that the XD1 is also. As to the most important issue; ultimately, how do they record images? I'm just going to guess that the Fuji will do an excellent job, as good as the XD1.
By the way, I do prefer a 'clean design' and the XD1 reminds me of my 2nd favorite camera from the past, my SWC. Oh, by the way, the Leica M6ttl was my least favorite M model, the M4 and the superior usability of the M5 were better. But I'll be leaning towards the Fuji GFX over the XD1, it won't be about the money as much as the trust I place in the company - Hasselblad is still in 'recovery mode'.


New Member
I'm a little confused by this camera. Fuji has an established track record of making great Medium Format cameras, but obviously that design team was not involved with this camera. I don't see the point of a removable EVF, seems like needless added cost for the sake of sudo-modularity. The tilt screen is a nice feature though. The short flange distance and focal plane shutter are nice for adapted lenses, but we already have that option out there with the Leica S, which is a fantastic camera that can also use leaf shutter lenses. Which brings me to the point that kills this camera for me me, no leaf shutter lenses. A flash sync of 1/125 just doesn't cut it for strobe work unless there's no ambient light at all.
The lenses will be good, I have no doubts about that, but this camera seems truly aimed at landscape shooters and we already have a similarly priced and specced option from Pentax, though admittedly this is a much smaller body.
If this camera existed in a vacuum, I would be very excited about it but as it is, to my mind there are better options from the other camera manufacturers. Of course, my opinion is based completely off of published specs and photos, not from actually using it.
As a result, I'm much more interested in the Hasselblad XD1 but that's largely because I already have a substantial investment in HC glass which can be adapted with full leaf shutter support. I would either do that or the Leica S, which will also autofocus and use the leaf shutter from my HC lenses.