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Videos show glimpse of Fujifilm medium format — here’s what we know so far

GFX challenges with Piet Van den Eynde / FUJIFILM
Fujifilm’s first mirrorless medium format camera is expected out in early 2017 — and the company is building up already high expectations with a series of teaser videos. While the teasers began in September after the official announcement, the company has now released five new glimpses of the camera. The five teaser videos slowly reveal details about the camera, from the body design to the autofocus points.

Fujifilm confirmed in September that the medium format camera, dubbed the GFX, would be coming out in early 2017. And while the camera hasn’t yet made an official debut, quite a few details on the camera have become known, including new aspects released with the YouTube series shared earlier this week. So what do we know about the camera so far?

The GFX is a modular camera system. The electronic viewfinder can be removed completely. A battery grip that adds a vertical shutter can also be used or left off the camera. And of course the biggest reason the camera is creating so much hype is the medium format sensor, boasting a 50 megapixel resolution. Anything between full frame and large format is considered medium format, and the GFX’s sensor is expected to measure 43.8 x 32.9 mm. That’s smaller then Phase One’s medium format, but about 1.2 times larger than full frame. Essentially, the step up from full frame to Fujifilm’s medium format is about as big of a step as going from APS-C to full frame.

The YouTube series, GFX Challenges, sheds additional light on the camera’s details, from the body style to the beta photographer’s thoughts on the model.

Piet Van den Eynde

Piet Van den Eynde says that photographers who have used the Fujifilm XT2 will feel right at home with the GFX, sharing that the two cameras have a similar control scheme design. The GFX has similar lockable ISO and shutter speed dials, as well as a similar joystick for selecting focal points. DSLR users will also appreciate being able to adjust aperture with the control dial, he says. The photographer tested the camera in India and said it captured a wide dynamic range that allowed him to recover highlights and shadow details without creating artifacts in post processing.

Serkan Günes

GFX challenges with Serkan Günes / FUJIFILM

Serkan Günes, a photographer who grew up in Istanbul, Turkey, shot with the GFX in Sweden’s Lapland during the middle of winter, when the sun never actually rises because of the area’s location. The video shows the landscape photographer using the camera with the battery grip and using front control dials to capture the blues and purples caused from the sun never actually getting above the horizon.

Natan Sans

GFX challenges with Natan Sans / FUJIFILM

Wedding photographer Natan Sans shares his thoughts on the benefits of having access to a medium format as well as Fujifilm’s APS-C line. While the larger sensor of course brings with it a larger camera, Sans says he was surprised at the camera’s feel in his hands. “It ends up staying in your hands a long time, it’s really a natural,” he says. The video also shows glimpses of the camera’s tilting touchscreen as well as a second top LCD screen. While Sans didn’t say how many autofocus points the GFX has, he did confirm that while most medium format cameras focus only toward the center of the image, the GFX has a number of focus points, even toward the corners.

Yinghui Wu

GFX challenges with Yinghui Wu / FUJIFILM

In this music-only video, Yinghui Wu is shown shooting landscapes with the camera — and the video indicates that temperatures dropped down to minus 6 degrees Celsius, or about 21 degrees Fahrenheit. The video also shows that the tilting screen is designed on a hinge system.

Itaru Hirama

GFX challenges with Itaru Hirama (平間 至) / FUJIFILM

As Itaru Hirama photographed a dancer in studio, he shared his opinion that the camera is easy to use.

“Surprisingly, this camera is smaller and more versatile than I could have imagined,” he says. “It’s compact enough to shoot without a tripod, so I can use it both in studio and outside. True to Fujifilm’s commitment to design and functionality, GF lenses are beautifully compact.”

Each GFX Challenge video ends by saying the camera will be available in early 2017.

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