Fujifilm's GFX 50S pairs a huge sensor with a DSLR-like body

The new medium-format mirrorless camera shows a lot of promise.

Fujifilm is kicking off 2017 with the launch of its first medium-format mirrorless camera, the GFX 50S. As we reported yesterday, the new shooter comes with a giant 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor (43.8 x 32.9mm), the same image processor as the X-Pro2 and X-T2, as well as a 117-point autofocus system. You won't find any 4K video features here, however; the device is limited to 1080p recording at up to 30fps. Still, people are probably more interested in the GFX 50S' still photography capabilities anyway.

At $6,500 (body-only), this medium-format mirrorless is much cheaper than similar cameras such as Hasselblad's X1D, which costs about $9,000 without a lens. That's a notable price difference, so it will be interesting to see how they fare against each other. Since the GF system is completely new, Fujifilm designed three lenses for it to start, including the GF63mm f/2.8, GF32-54mm f/4 and GF120mm f/4. Like the camera itself, these will also be available in February for $1,500, $2,300 and $2,700, respectively.

And if you have any CM-W and Super EBC HC Fujinon lenses, there will be adapters sold separately, according to Fujifilm.

Compared to when we first saw it last year, we now know a lot more about the GFX 50S, including the resolution of its medium-format sensor -- which looks insane when you put it next to a Micro Four Thirds. Fujifilm says the camera I checked out at its event in NYC is the final production model, but the software is still being worked on. Having said that, I didn't notice any issues as I was taking shots or browsing the menus.

I was surprised by how light the GFX 50S felt the first time I picked it up, especially since it has the shape of a DSLR. Of course that changes as soon as you use it with the hefty 120mm lens, but overall I was expecting to be much heavier than it actually is (800 grams). If you've ever used a Fujifilm camera before, you won't be surprised to find the company's classic manual dials, which let you adjust settings like exposure compensation and select different shooting modes with ease.

Fujifilm says the GFX 50S can take 400 shots with a full battery, or 800 if you buy the vertical battery grip, though no word on how much that's going to cost yet. While the GFX 50S is likely going to be at the top of many medium-format camera buyers' lists, we'll have to wait to put it through its paces before slapping any conclusive labels on it. The camera arrives in February, so you have time to start saving up for it if you like what you see.