Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos

We've been capturing images with the Fujifilm GFX 50S II and Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR so we can give our first impressions of this new medium format mirrorless camera and kit lens.

| Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II in Mirrorless Cameras

Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II

It's been 5-years since Fujifilm first introduced the Fujifilm GFX 50S at Photokina 2016 and today, Fujifilm has announced that the popular medium format mirrorless camera system has had an update that modernises the range and also makes it more affordable.

The new Fujifilm GFX 50S II arrived after Fujifilm tasked its designers with the challenge of making a GFX camera that still offers high-quality shooting but at a price that's accessible to more people. In fact, the designers were asked to make a medium format mirrorless camera, with lens, for under £4000 and with the kit lens combo coming in at £3899, it looks like the team definitely succeeded. For those wanting to spend a little less, you can also pick up the GFX 50S II body-only for £3,499.

We were given the opportunity to get hands-on with the new Fujifilm GFX 50S II as well as the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR to give our first impressions on the new kit line-up and we were also able to capture sample photos, too, so you can see for yourself how the camera and lens performs.  

As well as the Fujifilm GFX 50S II and the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR, Fujifilm has also announced an update to the X-T30 camera (Fujifilm X-T30 II) and two new lenses: Fujifilm XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR and the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R LM WR.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Features

Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: GFX 50S Mark II

The GFX 50S II features a 51.4MP large-format sensor and uses the X-Processor 4 so the sensor might be older but as it's coupled with the newer processor, Fujifilm says overall performance is given a boost.

5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) is built-in offering up to 6.5-stops of vibration reduction which is the highest seen on a camera from the GFX series. We also see improvements in the AF system as the X-Processor 4 and some clever algorithms mean that Face/Eye Detection are more accurate.

There's a 'Pixel Shift Multi-Shot' function that can be used to capture 200MP images and it's a mode that was first introduced on the GFX100. If you want to learn more about this function, have a read of our GFX 100s review.

19 Film Simulations are built-in including 'Nostalgic Neg.' which was launched on the GFX100S and all of the options can be selected from the menu where you'll find advice on what subjects they're best used with. You can also check how the image will look with a particular Film Simulation applied in Live View.

There's no 4K video available but you can capture Full HD video for up to 2-hours.

In total, there are 79 upgraded functions/features available on the GFX 50S II of which are not currently available as a firmware update for the GFX 50S.

As for lens compatibility, the camera uses the GF lens mount, and there are a good number of GF mount lenses from Fujifilm (with some third party support) currently available. The range also continues to grow, too, with the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR been announced alongside the camera and the Fujifilm lens road map showing three new GF lenses arriving between 2022 and 2023. 


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Key Features:

  • 51.4-megapixel sensor
  • X-Processor 4
  • Fujifilm GF lens mount
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • 3.2inch screen
  • 19 types of Film Simulation
  • Weather and dust resistant system
  • Top LCD screen
  • Simplified design with PSAM dial 
  • Improved AF
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) 


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Handling

Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II

The Fujifilm GFX 50S II is aimed at those who enjoy shooting landscapes as well as portrait photography or those with small studios. Fujifilm is also hoping students will consider purchasing the new camera but it'll be a considerable investment for them with prices above £3000. That said, it is less expensive than the GFX 50S, GFX 50R, GFX100 and GFX100S.

The first thing you'll notice when you pick up the Fujifilm GFX 50S II is the simpler controls (when compared with the GFX 50S) which Fujifilm are hoping will make the camera feel more familiar to those switching from DSLRs. We actually like the simplified layout with the PSAM control dial doing its job of making the design feel a little more traditional. It also makes the camera easier to use as the controls are straightforward. In fact, the mode dial makes it easy to pick up and start using the camera without having to study a manual (too much), and just start shooting.

In terms of shape and design, it actually looks pretty much identical to the GFX100S but the body is a bit slimmer. In the hand, it feels very ergonomic with a deep grip that gives you the confidence to carry it in just one hand while walking around capturing photos. The rear of the camera also has a raised area for your thumb to hold on to and there's ample rubber grip on the camera, with a good texture, and plenty of space for your fingers to grip on to. If you want to, you can purchase an optional metal handgrip which could be useful for when teaming the GFX 50S II with longer lenses but with the kit lens, the camera handled well.

Size-wise, it measures 104.2mm by 87.2mm and weighs 900g which makes it a compact medium format camera when compared with the GFX100 but some other medium format mirrorless cameras are lighter/more compact.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II


As you'd expect from a Fujifilm medium format mirrorless camera, the GFX 50S II is constructed from a magnesium alloy and shouts quality. It's also weather-sealed so won't have any problems with the good old British weather.

On top of the GFX 50S II, you find the PSAM control dial that also has 6 different custom modes on the mode dial, so you can set up the camera exactly how you want it for different shooting scenarios, and you'll also find a Movie / Still switch so you can quickly switch between stills and video recording.

The small top LCD can be illuminated with a small button on the side of the EVF housing. On default settings, it shows you all the expected camera settings, such as ISO, aperture, shutter speed, film mode, battery life and mode, but it can also be changed to show a live histogram, or virtual ISO and Shutter speed dials.

Also on top are a couple of buttons, on/off switch, shutter button and flash hotshoe.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II

Turn our attention to the rear of the GFX 50S II and we find a three-way tilting 3.2inch screen that offers good colour reproduction. The viewfinder is the same EVF we've seen previously (3.69 million dots and 0.77x magnification) but it's not removable as it was on the 50S and there's a large rubber eye-cup to help make the camera more comfortable to use when you hold it up to your eye, and it also helps avoid getting nose prints on the screen as it puts some distance between the camera and your face.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II

Other functions on the back include a variety of buttons, a command wheel, a small Q button you can use to access additional settings and a joystick control which is slightly bigger and more tactile. Ports and the dual SD card slot remain the same.

Battery life is rated at 455 frames and it's a 2200MaH battery. The GFX 50s captured around 400 frames on a full battery so when using the GFX 50S II, you'll be able to capture a few more shots.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Performance

Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: Fujifilm GFX 50S Mark II

We didn't have too long with the GFX 50S II but we can safely say that it's capable of producing exceptional JPEG images straight from the camera. Colour reproduction is excellent and there is plenty of detail in photos. AF performance is generally good, too.

As mentioned, 19 film simulations are available, all producing different effects. The black and white filters are a favourite but all of them open up more creative doors.


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Sample Photos


Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR

Fujifilm GFX 50S II Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010043 | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200

We paired the Fujifilm GFX 50S II with the new compact and lightweight Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR zoom lens. The lens covers the popular focal length ranges of 28mm-55mm in the 35mm film format and we found it to be a great walkaround lens when shooting handheld with quick and quiet AF. It's dust- and moisture-resistant and comes equipped with a deep hood to protect the front element from flare. 

You can find more images of the Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR zoom lens over in news.  


Value For Money

The GFX 50S II is priced at £3499 body only or £3899 with the 35-70mm kit lens. It's less expensive than the GFX100S and GFX100 and overall, it's definitely a more affordable medium format mirrorless camera option.


Early Verdict

We won't comment too much on our final thoughts until we've put the GFX 50S II through our full review process but so far, we're impressed with the image quality straight from the camera and also with the price as these two things combined mean that Fujifilm has created a more affordable medium format mirrorless camera that anyone can, literally, pick up and start taking photos with.

We look forward to putting the camera through its paces in a full review very soon.  

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