Arcade Color and Pushing the Fujifim GFX 50R

Arcade Color, 6th Street - Austin, Texas

Arcade Color, 6th Street – Austin, Texas

I’ve only talked in passing about using the chunky Fuji GFX 50R handheld. Most of the GFX photos so far have been made on a tripod at f16 to get everything in tack-sharp focus. But, I have moved it off the tripod on occasion. Can the GFX 50R with the 50mm f3.5 lens be a street photography camera? Yes, though, I’ll need more hands-on time to explore its limits.

Photography in lower light is one such limit. However, even though the f3.5 lens is not particularly bright, the GFX, with its large sensor, does have outstanding high ISO capabilities. I made this image at ISO 3200 at 1/80th of a second. More than adequate for hand-holding, and the image quality is outstanding. Even when viewed at 100%, the noise is barely visible. And, that’s after lifting the shadows.

I’ve posted pictures from this 6th Street arcade a number of times (here and here). The GFX 50R handled the scene well, and its high dynamic range capabilities are outstanding. Notice how all the details are retained on the TV and video game monitors. The colors, too, are super punchy without much coaxing. I could have easily brightened this further without effort but decided to retain the shadows for a more true to life representation.

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4 thoughts on “Arcade Color and Pushing the Fujifim GFX 50R

  1. Fuji medium format cameras are outstanding (during the film era I used to have a Fuji 645GS, a truly excellent camera), and perform well handheld, provided that the shutter speed is adequate. However, under the conditions you describe, the GFX is at a loss with respect to a full frame by any brand, the reason being that the latter has f:1.4 or 1.8 lenses that the GFX has not. This is not to say that your picture has anything wrong, just that medium format has its own limitations.

    1. Andrea, I agree with you. The GFX is not the best camera out there for hand-held low light. Yes, full frame cameras with fast lenses and image stabilization can easily out perform the GFX.

      On a tripod, I think it’s a different story, though not with a huge difference. From what I’ve read, the GFX has slightly better dynamic range, details, and low noise at ISO 100. The differences are going to be small, however.

  2. I guess that under optimal conditions and on a tripod, the sensor of a Sony a7iv may outresolve its lenses (except perhaps some top quality Zeiss ones), whereas a GFX with a good Fuji lens is a better equilibrate package. Ultimately sensor size wins, and this is the reason why some professionals still use large format film cameras. But, as usual, some compromises may work better than others under specific conditions!

    1. Yes, agreed. There are a lot of compromises with medium format, such as the Fuji GFX. For most people, full frame will be better. Faster cameras, faster lenses, smaller size.

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