Eric L. Woods

Preface: May be immediately contradicting a recent blog post, but that has never stopped me before and it will not now either. Meant as less of this brand is better than that and more of a self intervention to fight off a favorite brand and a desirable sensor format.

A fine camera. Honestly this should have been it. The “Trade everything!” camera for me. Why? Well I am fixing to tell you.

Subjectively

  • Medium format.
  • Fuji. I really rather like Fuji.
Fuji La Part 2
Family photo on a Fuji jag years ago.

I thought I would have been shouting “Take my money!”, but no. Why? First the long-winded objective reasons and then the short version.

Long Winded Objective

  • New body is cool, but that sensor is ooooooooooooold. The same sensor that has been used in countless cameras up to now with the limitations that brings.
  • Contrast only AF. Though usable by all accounts I expect more at this price point.
  • Old video specs. Admittedly not why I would buy a camera like this, but that is a lot of spend for specs that could be matched or outdone by nearly any other camera on the market in the last few years. No better than a Pentax K-1 that came out in 2016.
  • An affordable kit zoom is nice, but I am not buying into medium format for a 27.65mm f/3.56 to 55.3mm f/4.42 (per mmcalc.com) full frame equivalent lens.
  • Lastly the item that stopped me from purchasing a GFX 50R a couple of years ago. The price of the two lenses I would require to get the medium format image quality I am looking for are eye-wateringly expensive. Worth it, but more than I am willing or able to spend after dropping $4,000 on a camera body.

But make no mistake. If I had the disposable loot required to loosen my wallet I would buy this camera or one of the other GFX cameras in a minute.

But there is a simpler reason that I will pass that is short and sweet.

I do not need it.

In the time Fujifilm has spent developing this camera I have realized that what I am looking for in a medium format camera can be found elsewhere.

Thin Depth of Field

  • A major driving force behind my obsession with medium format. But when I step back and look at the specs of the GFX lens I was most interested in, the 110mm f/2, it works out to 86.9mm f/1.58. There are plenty of full frame lenses on the market for many brands that either match that spec, better it, or approximate the look I am going for.
GORDON PARKS PHOTOGRAPHERS COLLECTIVE HARLEM AND SOHO-VILLAGE PHOTO WALK
Rokinon/Samyang 75mm f/1.8

7artisans 50mm f/1.1

Detail

  • This was a big one, but once again there are plenty of full frame cameras that now match and even surpass 50MP. I will grant you that the more expensive 100MP options have no full frame rivals, but I admit that I do not need 100MP or even 50MP to get the detail I am looking for. An odd duck 29MP provides more detail than I need. Case in point.

Sigma dp2 Quattro

Crop - Sigma dp2 Quattro
Detail Crop 1 of Above
Crop - Sigma dp2 Quattro
Detail Crop 2 of Above
Sigma dp2 Quattro
Original Uncropped
Crop - Sigma dp2 Quattro
Detail Crop of Above

Tones

  • Ability to captures tones that especially become apparent for me with black and white images. Again, there are plenty of cameras on the market provide the detail I am looking for. And once again a 29MP odd ball came through again.
Sigma dp2 Quattro
Sigma dp2 Quattro

The Look of The Lenses

  • A medium format lens adapter did the trick for me, but there are plenty of full frame lenses that could approximate the look also.
Hasselblad 80mm f/2.8 - Kipon Baveyes - A7c
Kipon Baveyes 0.7x Adapter
A7c/7Artisans 75mm f/1.25 MF
7Artisans 75mm f/1.25

Cinder Block Build

  • Welp.
Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
The IBIS and phase detect AF having, 36MP having, melee weapon grade K-1.

So what would have convinced me to go all trade-a-palooza? Well…

  • A lower price. $3,200 at most. Why less than the A7IV? Simple. It is less capable in every measurable criteria other than having a larger sensor. That alone is not enough to move the needle for me.
  • Phase detect AF. A must for any camera released nowadays for me.
  • 4K video. A must for any camera released nowadays for me.
  • This last one is not likely to change any time soon. Less expensive fast lenses.

Would I understand someone buying this camera? Certainly. This is would be a great option:

  • If you must have a medium format camera here you go. It is your lucky day. Would not fault anyone at all.
  • If you already have a higher priced GFX body and would like to have a second body here you go.

Like I said earlier, if I had the disposable loot required to loosen my wallet I would buy this camera or one of the other GFX cameras in a minute myself.

Who knows. I may change my mind. Would not be the first time. But for now I am good.

Marking myself safe from yet another new camera release and barrage of blog posts and Youtube videos.

Happy shooting.

-ELW

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