I’m Jumping Over Full Frame

MacBook Pro and Glasses - Austin, Texas

MacBook Pro and Glasses – Austin, Texas

I’ve played a lot with the Fujifilm cameras lately, ever since I bought an old and used X-T10 nearly a year ago. I also continue to use my Olympus cameras and various point and shoots. But what’s next?

Logically, there are full-frame cameras, which are all the rage today. And, there are many worthy ones from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Sony. Not to mention the luxury branded Leica. But, for various reasons, none have really compelled me.

Also, when you consider that the Fuji X system uses an APS-C sensor, the full-frame sensors, while better, are not a huge step up in capability. I wanted to go bigger. I’m jumping into medium format.

It’s a big step and the most expensive camera I’ve ever bought. I first talked about my move to medium format in my February Newsletter and I’m finally announcing in on the blog. I bought the Fujifilm GFX 50R, a digital medium format rangefinder-style camera. I’m starting with a single lens, the 63mm f2.8, which gives a 50mm equivalent framing in the 35mm format. Yes, with Fuji medium format, you get sort of a reverse crop factor of 0.79x compared to full-frame.

The sensor is 70% larger than full-frame and is technically a cropped medium format. It’s not as large as the 645 medium format film. Even so, the 51MP sensor and the sharp lens creates astounding image quality and resolution. I never quite realized all that I was missing on my 5K Retina iMac. My previous cameras simply didn’t have enough resolution to take advantage of the iMac’s high-resolution screen.

Today’s snapshot is a rather silly example that I made on my first day with the Fuji GFX 50R. It was a quick capture to make sure all was working properly. The subject certainly didn’t require 51MP of resolution and an equally stout 116MB RAW file.

I’ll be showing more significant photographs in the coming weeks, along with my impressions of the camera. My biggest worry? While technically capable, there’s no guarantee I’ll make better pictures. Is the Fujifilm GFX 50R really going to improve me as a photographer, or is it just an exercise in equipment vanity?

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