The camera with a rightful place in the hearts of Fujifilm fans and a cemented place in medium format history has been allegedly discontinued. While it's understandable given recent announcements, many of us are sad all the same.
I was in Tokyo for Fujikina for the official announcement of the highly anticipated Fujifilm GFX 100. While I'd asked for a pre-production version to take with me on the trip to review, I knew that wasn't going to be possible. I mentioned to Fuji that I'm typically a Sony shooter and it seems a bit odd to turn up with only Sony equipment. They offered me a loan of the Fujifilm GFX 50R and a couple of lenses, which I gratefully accepted.
When it arrived, a few days before my trip, I opened it and genuinely belly laughed. I put it on the table next to my Sony and took a picture and sent it to my fellow editor here, Alex. I asked him if he'd ever held the 50R before because it was the biggest, heaviest, most uncouth modern camera I'd ever seen. I couldn't believe it. With a lens on the front, it was a workout. Then I used it. It won me over almost instantly and I loved it so much I ended up buying one the year after. It was generally well-received as an affordable portal to medium format, so why might it have been discontinued?
I believe the primary motivator would have been the announcement of the GFX 50S II. For $500 less than the 50R's RRP, you are getting a medium format Fujifilm body that is an upgrade in, for all intents and purposes, every conceivable way. Still, a pang of sadness ran through me when I saw this rumor. Not because I have a 50R, but because it's a camera that reignited a slightly waning love for photography.