Fujifilm GFX 50r camera review

The Fujifilm GFX50R is quite simply Fujifilm’s best legacy camera available today. It’s now only available as a used camera since Fujifilm discontinued it in 2021 when they released the GFX 50sii. Even though the new model has all the new tech and specifications, the thing we need to remember is that the 50R has the same sensor. So, the final image from the 50R is exactly the same as the newer Fujifilm 50sii camera, that costs around two thousand dollars more.

Fujifilm GFX 50R with GF 45-100 lens

The Fujifilm GFX50R is a rangefinder style, medium format camera with a large 43.8 x 32.9 millimeter 51.4 megapixel Bayer CMOS sensor. I’ve been using this camera for a while as my main professional camera, and it’s incredible. It feels like shooting with a large Fujifilm X-E2, but instead of the tiny APSC sensor in the X-E2, we have a large sensor capable of drawing in 28% more light than a 35mm full frame sensor.

This medium format camera produces unbelievably incredible detail, so that you can print large prints, or alternatively crop into the image to incredible levels, and still have a quality image.

One of the main advantages to a 51.4 megapixel medium format sensor is the ability to capture true colour tones. The ability to draw in so much light enables the camera to produce amazingly accurate colours and a shallow depth of field that you can’t reproduce in 35mm or APSC sensors.

The Fujifilm GFX50R is designed for those who love the old fashioned, retro styling of film old fashioned cameras, with beautifully machined dials and exceptionally high quality build quality. It’s weather sealed too, as are the GF lenses so you can shoot in wet, dusty conditions and still come away with great shots. It’s also really lightweight for a camera of this size.

The body of this medium format camera has to be quite big, because it’s housing a large sensor, and when you change lenses you can really see how large the sensor is. It’s a big space!

The 50R may not have IBIS (image stabilization), like the newer 50sii which replaced it, or the upgraded processor and auto focus, but I don’t miss those things. This camera has all the ability needed for my style of photography. Medium format was never about high speed AF, but about taking things slowly, composing your shot properly and only pressing the shutter button when you’re absolutely ready to to the image. Modern day cameras with smaller sensors have made us lazy, as they can do everything for us, and shoot so many frames per second so that we never miss a moment. That’s not how medium format cameras work, they’re for more thoughtful photographers. At least, this camera falls into that wonderful category.

When Fujifilm discontinued the 50R, it entered into the category of their legacy cameras. I love to buy Fujifilm’s legacy cameras, from the early X-trans 1 sensor cameras such as the Fujifilm X-E1 and Fujifilm X-Pro 1, as in my opinion they still have so much to offer today’s photographers. The great thing is that these cameras are often reasonably priced on the used market, saving a huge amount of money compared to the newer, upgraded models.

The output of the legacy cameras is often identical to the newer models, with the same sensors, and this is the same with the 50R. It has the same sensor as the latest model, making the image the same quality. So, you have to decide why are you buying the new model. When we buy a camera, we need to think through the actual use we have for it, and quite possibly an older, legacy camera will be just what we need.

If you’re going to need IBIS, then the new 50sii will be a great option. If you need another 50 megapixels, the GFX 100 is what you’ll need – but you should think through what you need it for, and maybe an older model will be sufficient to your needs.

photo captured with the GFX50R

Even though the new 50sii has an upgraded processor and AF, I have found the 50r has managed to keep up with everything I‘ve used it for. I’ve shot events, landscapes, food, portraits and interiors – both handheld and on a tripod, and it’s performed outstandingly.

The 50r has all the film simulations that Fujifilm is so well known for. It was the Fujifilm colours that first attracted me to the brand, and this camera captures the world beautifully through the eyes of this huge sensor.

In my opinion, the Fujifilm 50r is a professional grade camera in every respect, wrapped up in an old retro body that will make you feel like you’re shooting with film. The output is fully professional, in fact the sensor in this camera is the same as the Hasselblad X1D. This sensor is 1.7x the size of a 35mm sensor, which makes all the difference.

photo captured with the GFX 50R

The design of the 50r is slimmer than the other GFX cameras, losing the grip that was on the 50s. It’s thinner in design, with less dials, opting for a more minimalistic styling. This adds to the retro feel and make it well designed for street photography. It’s the kind of camera that is just as comfortable as a street photography camera as it is in a professional studio, attached to remote lighting set ups. 

I’m using this camera as my main pro camera, and I love it.  

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