The original GFX 50S was arguably a groundbreaking camera as it provided users with a medium format look in a compact-sized body.
The new model builds on its predecessor with a revised design, faster performance, and the inclusion of in-body image stabilization (IBIS). It is also smaller, lighter, and more affordable.
What I can’t quite fathom is that FUJIFILM didn’t improve the video capabilities of the GFX 50S II. It features the exact same capabilities as its four-year-old predecessor. Yes, it is primarily a stills camera and I am sure it will be a great stills camera, but there is no reason why a hybrid mirrorless camera shouldn’t be able to record at least UHD in 2021.
Again, this comes back to a point that I always make. If you want a video camera, buy a video camera. If you buy a mirrorless hybrid for video use then you are going to have to work around the compromises.
- 51.4MP 43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS Sensor
- X-Processor 4 Image Processor
- 3.69m-Dot OLED EVF
- 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- 117-Point Contrast-Detection AF System
- Extended ISO 50-102400, 3 fps Shooting
- Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps
- Multi Aspect Ratio Shooting
- Film Simulation Modes
- Weather-Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
Size & Weight
The GFX 50S II tips the scales at just 1.8 lb / 821 g (Body Only). As a reference, the original GFX 50S weighs 2 lb / 920 g (Body with Viewfinder).
The GFX 50S II features the same 51.4MP 43.8 x 32.9 mm CMOS sensor as its predecessor, however, it does come with an updated X-Processor Pro 4 image processor that is claimed to provide faster readout speeds and better AF performance.
FUJIFILM is using an updated autofocus algorithm that they claim has been optimized for use with the latest G-mount lenses. Face and Eye-detection AF performance is also said to be improved.
Here is a big missed opportunity. With most hybrid cameras capable of shooting video in UHD, FUJIFILM has stuck with the same Full HD 30p video recording that they had in the original GFX 50S. While this may be a limitation of the sensor, it is still disappointing.
To make matters worse, you can still only record in H.264/MPEG-4
at 23.976p/24.00p/25p/29.97p (36 Mb/s).
The only good news when it comes to video is that the GFX 50S II can now record for up to 120min continually. The GFX 50S was limited to 29min 59sec.
The camera has 19 Film Simulation modes and there is a built-In Microphone and a 3.5mm stereo input. The camera has no onboard live streaming or webcam functionality capabilities.
There is a Micro HDMI and a USB Type-C (USB 3.0).
Yes, this is primarily a stills camera, but almost every device on the market that can record video is now capable of doing so in UHD. Sticking to FULL HD at up to 30p in 2021 makes absolutely no sense. The only reason why the GFX 50S II doesn’t have better video features and functionality is that FUJIFILM doesn’t want to take sales away from the GFX 100S. They just want to recycle old technology, including an old sensor to keep the price down.
Other New Additions
The biggest physical design change from the original version is that the GFX 50S II now features an in-built 0.77x 3.69m-dot OLED EVF. This is the exact same EVF that is found on the GFX 100S.
The biggest change is the inclusion of IBIS. FUJIFILM claims that this can compensate for up to 6.5 stops of camera shake. The original GVX 50S didn’t have IBIS and it had to rely on lens-based stabilization
GF 35-70mm f4.5-5.6 WR
FUJIFILM has also announced a new kit zoom lens, the GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR. This can be purchased separately or in a kit with the camera body. FUJIFILM claims that the lens has minimal amounts of focus breathing.
The lens also has an STM stepping motor, and there is no aperture ring or physical switches on the lens barrel.
The 35-70mm is quite a bit lighter than the GF 32-64mm f/4 R LM WR.
Above you can watch the whole FUJIFILM X Summit if you want to.
Price & Availability
The FUJIFILM GFX 50S II is now available to pre-order for $3,999 USD. Yes, this is pretty affordable for a camera like this, but you are getting outdated technology. There are honestly a lot better options out there and a lot of the new full-frame mirrorless options would be a much better buy in my opinion.
Look, I applaud FUJIFILM for making an affordable medium format style camera, but it seems like a missed opportunity to attract more video shooters. FUJIFILM doesn’t make any full-frame cameras, nor do they make any video cameras. The GFX 50S II could have been the perfect platform to integrate some half-decent video recording capabilities. Even if they had have just added the ability to shoot UHD in 4:2:2 10-bit that probably would have been enough for a lot of shooters interested in hybrid mirrorless cameras to take a long hard look at it.
Yes, this is primarily a stills camera first and foremost, but just about every mirrorless camera released over the last years has been able to shoot in resolutions above HD and in frame rates above 30p. I am sure this is still a pretty impressive stills camera and the price is certainly groundbreaking for medium format, but my point is, FUJIFILM had an opportunity here to do something special and they didn’t.
What are your thoughts about the GFX 50S II? Is this a missed opportunity for FUJIFILM to have attracted more hybrid video shooters? Let us know in the comments section below.