The Dragon Pushes the Fuji GFX 50R

Dancing with the Dragon, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

Dancing with the Dragon, Chinese New Year 2020 – Austin, Texas

Even more than the lion dance, I prefer the dragon dance with its elegantly flowing form. It’s a lot faster, too, with the participants running with considerable speed. This made it especially challenging to use the Fujifilm GFX 50R, a rather slow medium format camera optimized for landscapes and methodical portraits. But, I gave it a shot. Going into this, I knew this was not the ideal camera for this situation.

The results were better than expected, nailing focus on many images. I set it to the maximum burst speed, a rather lackadaisical three frames per second. Ironically, this was the same speed as my first serious camera, the 2005 vintage Canon Rebel XT DSLR. I’m pretty sure that Canon was faster at focusing, however.

All of this exceeded my expectations. Medium format cameras are not designed for speed. Certainly, it’s not equipped to be chasing dragons. Also, pushing this camera made me more familiar with its limits. But, all was not rosy. I experienced an issue that I never read in any Fujifilm GFX 50R review.

Dancing with the Dragon, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

After several sustained three-frames-per-second bursts. I got a high-temperature warning. The camera never shut down, but that concerned me, and I let off the gas. It was probably a high 70s to low 80s kind of day, in sunlight. Nothing by Texas standards when it often exceeds 100 degrees in the summer.

The camera was pumping a lot of data through the system. I shot RAW + JPEG which created about 500MB per second of data.

I don’t plan to use the GFX 50R for sports or fast action, so I’m not overly worried. But, I’m still slightly concerned that I can easily overheat the camera.

Dancing with the Dragon, Chinese New Year 2020 - Austin, Texas

Despite the high-temperature warning, I’m happy with the way the camera performed. Photographically, I prefer the image I created last year, but its good to know what the Fujifilm GFX 50R can do.

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