Why the Fuji GFX 50R is NOT a street camera

This is of course a bold statement and as always it is bound for controversy. But before you get whatever kind of emotional reaction, please stay with me and try to understand my point.

When the Fuji GFX 50R was announced – with the “R” that stands for Rangefinder – everybody got excited and saw it as a medium format street camera, such is the association of rangefinder-esque cameras to this type of photography.

However, if you ask me… It’s not that the Fuji GFX 50R can’t be used as a street camera. It’s that you don’t have to, and you don’t need to, because of the inherent nature of street photography.

A street photo that tells some sort of story does not really benefit from the added image quality medium format offers. 

I’ve been carrying the Fuji GFX 50R around the streets of Paris for almost a week and I can tell you how much I’m missing my Sony RX1Rii or my Fuji X-E3. Both are cameras I travelled with in the past, they are small and light, easy to carry around and offer superb image quality. Both have quicker auto focus as well and are more discreet.

So my 42 year-old body is asking why I’m carrying around this medium format beast which combined with the GF 63mm f/2.8 lens weights a hefty 1.2 kilos and takes up half the area of the table every time I stop at a Parisian café.

Not to take away any merit from the Fuji GFX 50R though. For a medium format camera, it’s still relatively small and portable.

But, again, I don’t see why one should use it as a street camera when there are other cameras in the market that are simply more suitable for the job – and fairly cheaper as well.

So don’t get fooled by the “R” in its name – it’s nothing but a marketing trap from Fujifilm.

*  All photos above taken with the Fuji GFX 50R and GF 63mm f/2.8 lens. In-camera processed JPEGs from out of camera RAWs. Click for full size and EXIF data.




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