Fujifilm Wants to Make Its Medium Format GFX Cameras Even Cheaper

In a very open and broad-ranging interview, Fujifilm’s General Manager, Toshi Iida, has revealed exciting plans for the company's medium format GFX range of cameras.

Among camera manufacturers, Fujifilm occupies something of a niche, producing APS-C and medium format digital cameras, while happily ignoring the world of full-frame. Opher Behiri from cinema5D sat down to interview Iida, and Fuji fans will be delighted by many of the details.

One of the most exciting aspects to be revealed is Fujifilm’s intention to make the GFX series of cameras smaller and even more affordable. As medium format digital cameras go, customers are not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to affordable options, and Fujifilm has been pushing the boundaries incredibly hard in recent years. The 51.4-megapixel GFX 50R costs a mere $4,499, and it seems that Fujifilm plans to make more medium format cameras that are less expensive than certain flagship full-frame cameras. “It’s always our mission to make the GFX a mainstream product,” Iida explains, promising reductions in both price and weight.

Along with the news about the plans for the GFX range, the interview discusses the impact of coronavirus and delves into why the X-T4 followed so closely behind the X-T3. As is often the case with Fujifilm, there’s a sense that the company pays very close attention to what its customers want and responds rapidly to feedback.

Does the prospect of even more affordable GFX options get you excited? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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31 Comments

Yes. Caveats about where they cut corners, of course.

Matt Williams's picture

That would be nice obviously but more affordable lenses like the 50/3.5 would be needed, though even that lens is $1k. Something like Hasselblad's tiny 45/4 (which is $1100 but Hasselblad lenses in general are more expensive) and an affordable mid-range zoom. The cheapest GFX zoom is the 100-200/5.6 which oddly is less expensive than the 32-64/4 and 45-100/4. Give us a smaller mid-range variable aperture zoom for $1k.

Hard to get excited about a cheaper body when the cheapest lens is still a hefty percentage of the body's cost.

I‘d be more excited by native shift lenses. Although they do adapt well with shift adapters and Pentax/Hasselblad lenses ...

Alex Yakimov's picture

I would rather go for a better quality, more solid ergonomically existing versions of 50s and 50r for the same price... They definitely could be a bit better.

No problem in that area. You sound like a scared Phase One salesman. 😂

Ted Nghiem's picture

I agree with Alex. My power switch on my GFX, is so flimsy that even the slightest shift of my finger while shooting will turn my camera off. So either make it with more tensile strength or move the power switch from the where the shutter button is. Let alone the 63, while being a lens that makes some beautiful images, its build quality is quite crap. Good thing their other lens is actually really amazing in both the images and build quality.

I can't tell you how many times I have gone to grab my xt2 or xt1 only to find the battery is drained because the switch got bumped when i was putting them in my bag. it's so annoying. It's bad enough the battery life is garbage.

Weird ... you don‘t sound like someone who use Fuji‘s a lot. Camera‘s switch themselves off after a minute or so of not being used..

Yep you guessed right. I'm primarily a Nikon shooter. Yeah I dunno though. I thought I had the auto turn off on. There was one incident with my XT2 where I put it in my bag and I made sure it was off when putting in my bag. I then did whatever i was doing for about 5 minutes then went to get my XT2 out of my bag to test some settings and the battery was SUPER hot. It made the whole camera really hot. I checked the switch and it was indeed in the off position. Dunno why that happened. The camera still seems to work fine though.

Must be your Parkinson. I don’t see how you‘d even touch the switch it’s flush too so even when moving up ... impossibly hard to achieve what you’re describing.

Ted Nghiem's picture

Wow. Seriously? Parkinsons? Even the slightest, accidental, movement/touch, moves the power switch. I love the camera, but really, thinking fuji and/or the GFX as something that can't have any build issue is BS.

Is it the 50r ? Because on my 50s impossible to turn off the switch unless I want to...

Ted Nghiem's picture

50s. It's annoying, cause especially when I am on tripod, I am both setting up my shot, pouring, and pressing the trigger. So it's a delicate movement on all parts. So it just takes a slight movement on the shutter and power switch for the power to change. Happens every now and then when I am just shooting on my walkabouts too. If they moved the power to the back, kinda like Canon, there would be no accidental power turn off.

I have my finger on the dial and there’s like a meter between it and the switch .... you sure you own a fuji?

Make the sensor bigger!

Matt Williams's picture

I'm not sure how much coverage their lenses give....

Stuart Carver's picture

If they roll out that modular GFX I’ll be straight on it with a couple of select lenses.. I don’t want any of the add ons, don’t need a viewfinder either so just the ‘back’, the 23mm and 32-64 would do me.

Matt Williams's picture

Is there actually a plan or hint at a modular GFX? What is modular on it?

I totally forgot they had that 23mm. As usual, I wish it wasn't $2500 (or if it was faster for that price), but that would be a great lens to have. And the 50/3.5. I'd love to see a sub-1k mid-range variable aperture zoom too. For us poors.

Stuart Carver's picture

If you google it you can see photos of a concept.. it’s going to be a bit bigger in reality due to the shutter mech (or global shutter tech becomes a thing and they use that) but it looks similar to a hassy digital back and would be perfect for my needs, simple design with the 3 main controls on the body and lens.

Matt Williams's picture

Oh wow, they've actually made a prototype. That instills confidence that it might get made.

It looks absolutely awesome. I love the Hassy digital backs (I'd love that new 907x which has the CFV back but can also use the mirrorless XCD lenses as well). This looks really cool and you wouldn't have to invest in everything at once or not at all if you didn't need some things. Heck, on a real budget you could just get the core body and use adapted manual focus MF glass, a lot of which is quite good and cheaply available. I have a number of Mamiya 645 and Pentax 67 lenses.

I love it.

Stuart Carver's picture

I’m keeping fingers crossed, I have sharesave schemes maturing next year so hopefully we will see it sometime soon.

Cheaper - or less expensive? There is a difference.

Rashad Hurani's picture

Affordable lenses are what we need, we have lots of bodies ;)

Deleted Account's picture

Of course a less expensive body would be nice. I'm not looking for bells and whistles and not expecting that in a less expensive body but IBS would be nice. If they can slightly downsize the 50R that would score big in my book too. It's the size and expense of the lenses that is really holding me back from going the medium format route. I've rented the 50R and enjoyed it but the 32-64 was big. Admittedly I'm coming from and X E-1... laugh. But I'm looking for that high quality and I'm willing to compromise. I like the rangefinder style very much and would hate to be driven to the Z-7 if I can't get into the 50R type camera. So maybe I'm looking at a 50R successor, the 23, 45-100, and later the 100-200.

I wish they'd pair their GFX system with lenses actually fast enough to be on par with full frame 1.2 DOF. So far they have zero.

Ryan Luna's picture

Dosn't the GF 110 F/2 have nearly the same perspective and DoF of a FF 85mm F/1.2? Maybe 1.4. Im not sure about the math.

Silly argument... The only reason you need f1.2 is to have better image quality at say f2. But Fuji lenses have incredible quality... only other reason is if you’re after the amateur « nose tip fuzzy, but razor sharp eyes » look.

You are right in that F2 in Medium format is all you need. Indeed larger Medium Formats will have smaller apertures f2.8 etc.

Everything else is just to be able to wank over it like the Noct lenses..

barry cash's picture

A Iconic camera design or should I say a design that could have a chance of becoming ICONIC.

Hire a designer that’s not from Asia but Europe, someone who can make a smooth, soft , minimalistic Great feeling and looking design without trying, one who is born with that talent.

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