Fuji announces its new Medium Format addition!

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by donbright, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Fuji upping the ante!
    http://fujifilm-x.com/gfx/
     
  2. It seems nice and all, but I fail to see the point of a crop MF sensor. There's not enough of a difference in geometry, in terms of depth of field to stand head and shoulders above FF cameras. I understand they want to keep the costs down, but if they were to make a true 645 or a 6x6 for around $8k then I would certainly be excited
     
  3. Maybe, but I'll wait until it comes out, do some test shots before deciding that it isn't for me
     
  4. I meant it in a more general sense that the cropped MF sensor isn't big enough to do the things that a FF sensor can't.
     
  5. I agree with Alexander on this one. If you lay the frame lines over full frame 35mm you do not gain much, but the proportions do look more to my liking and closer to the ratio of 8X10. I look at cameras like Sony's A7RII and say to myself, "How much more do we really need"? Plus, those cameras in the Sony A7 class are very small and nice to carry around. Still, this Fuji looks like the wave of the future, but I think I'll stay just a little in the past for now. Besides, I thought my Canon 5D was the wave of the future not that long ago and now I'd almost have to give it away. I swore after that purchase I would never buy another new digital camera again. I'll let somebody else buy it new and then when they think they have to have the next latest and greatest I'll buy their old clunker. Oh, my 5D still makes me smile when it does its job right or I do mine right that is.
     
  6. Fuji had a blank slate. They weren't married to any mount, to any format, nothing. They could have done whatever they wanted. As it turned out, they went the crop way, which sucks because now they're stuck with it. The lenses are made for the crop sensor, so if they decided to go the full 645 route, they would have to introduce a whole new set of lenses. This means that chances are that Fuji won't introduce a full 645 camera.
    Had they designed a 645 body, those lenses could have been used on a crop sensor as well (although I don't get the whole idea of a crop MF sensor other than lowering costs and marketing)
    So, I understand that they wanted to come in with a new mirrorless camera for under $10k, but doing so with a 645 system would have been REALLY something.
     
  7. I think that Fuji made the right call. The sensor has a 4:3 ratio, and the pixel density is low enough to be almost noise free. Anything much bigger means interminable download times and very large files to store. There is a lot of difference between 4.4x3.3cm (effectively) and 3.6x2.4cm (full frame). Slapping 50 megapixels on the latter sensor size (as Canon has done) generates more noise than one really wants.
    The new Fuji sensor is approaching twice the surface area of full-frame. That really ought to be big enough to drive noise way down without being too big to want to carry around.
    At some point one wants to say "Enough!" Fuji picked their target market quite well. Much bigger cameras and lenses and that market shrinks fast.
    --Lannie
     
  8. Alexander,
    Actually we are talking apples and oranges when talking formats or comparing formats in digital and film cameras. Fuji didn't have to go full frame (645, 6x6 or 6x7) for exactly the reason you stated. They weren't married to any lens line and didn't have to match the sensor to a line of lenses in their camera line up. Like I said earlier, just how big do we have to go anyway? Canon went full frame 35mm to make many folks feel better that had a ton of EOS lenses that they had bought for their film EOS bodies. Plus, at the time there were real advantages to a full frame sensor like less noise and just plain cleaner shots. Now, with new technology are old nemesis Mr. Noise isn't the problem it used to be so smaller sensors with matching lenses are the in thing and do a really great job. Still, I'm with you and prefer as big as I can afford as long as I don't have to buy a mule to lug the thing around.
     
  9. "...prefer as big as I can afford as long as I don't have to buy a mule to lug the thing around." I think is why Fuji went with this size. I wish they didn't call it medium format because that label is causing the controversy. If they called it something like Double FF (stupid name, I know) then people wouldn't be all upset. It isn't much larger than the GA645, similar weight (although the lens does add more weight to the GFX). For long studio sessions and going on long hikes, this combination is ideal. As a landscape only camera, an alternative is the Alpa/Phase One. But, it does have some advantages over the Alpa/Phase One system in that it is more flexible (the Alpa/P1 isn't a studio camera, much more expensive, not easily hand held). I use the Phase One/Mamiya 645 camera and it is very tiring to hold it for a long studio session and carrying it on hikes truly sucks. The Hasselblad is an option that isn't too much more expensive. While a lot of people are making a big deal over the leaf shutter/focal plane shutter differences, I just use ND filters for key shifting. I like the reduced cost and weight of FP lenses
     
  10. The Fuji sensor is virtually identical in size to that of the Pentax 645D--which was never 6cm x 4.5cm but 44mm x 33mm.
    The 39MP Hasselblad H3D-II literally did have two 36x24 sensors on top of each other: 48mm x 36mm. That is barely larger along both dimensions than the Fuj at effectively 44x33.
    Again, that was with 39mp for the Hassy. At about 50mp, the Fuji sounds pretty good to me, especially considering how far cameras have come in noise reduction and low-light, high ISO technology over the last few years.
    --Lannie
     
  11. Here is a link to another article:
    [LINK]
    --Lannie
     
  12. It is also the same size as the Phase One IQ3 50 back and 20mm smaller than the IQ3 100 back. Still, since people are so hung up on the label "medium format" it might have been better to come up with a new name
     
  13. Phase One seems to be the only company making 645 cameras/backs. This means that the industry is settling on the crop MF. It's not a question of nomenclature as to whether this constitutes med format or not. It's a matter of geometry. A sensor this small, doesn't bring much to the table over FF to justify the extra cost. Granted, prices are beginning to come down, but even so, you're looking at a $7k delta over some of the best FF cameras, yet there's not really an advantage, at least a readily seen and uncontroversial advantage.
    A bigger sensor would have a much more pronounced look to it of having a shallower depth of field and less wide angle curvature.
    So, whereas the Fuji seems like a really nice camera with some great features, to me, it's just another camera, competing against all other cameras and I don't see it as having an inherent advantage of a truly larger format.
     
  14. I'll concede every point you make, Alexander, but I do think that this "new" format ("intermediate format"?) is somewhat promising for those of us who feel that we have come up against the limits of resolution where FF is concerned--but who are not interested in (or any longer capable of) carrying around the heavy gear that is required for true medium format.
    In any case, I will be interested in seeing if the market settles down to something that more people can afford. At a time when so many cameras are moving toward smaller formats (MFT, 1", camera phones, etc.), I am just glad to see anything pushing back in the opposite direction.
    --Lannie
     
  15. oh the good old film days ... you bought a roll of film and used it in the size you wanted/needed ... 645, 6x6, 6x7 etc. now you have to buy a whole new camera to change the format with different rendering characteristics and all ...

    but generally I like what Fuji is doing ... at least they are widening the choice of camera ...
     
  16. To me it seems logical for a crop company to offer crop systems; i.e. if Fuji manage to impress or please somebody in APS C with their AF, color rendering high ISO performance, that person would most likely look for a Fuji system that "stands head and shoulders above" APS C. - FF is done by others and does it belong here at all, especially from a Fuji perspective? - I doubt! - That some folks like me are content with FF and shoot Fuji APS on the side is an entirely different issue.
     
  17. Yes, labeling it medium format was the slight sticking point for some of us old film users. The younger whipper snappers could care less that Fuji labeled it medium format. Also, let's not forget Fuji Optical makes some of the very best "digital" lenses in the world. When sensors were smaller and less packed with pixels you could use your older 35mm film camera lenses on the newer digital cameras via adapters and it worked fine. Now that's just not the case. Lenses designed specifically for digital are the way to go now. Not that you can't use old glass on new digital, you can, but you won't get the most from your equipment that way. In fact the Chinese will probably bring out adapters to use Pentax 645 & 6x7, Hasselblad, and Mamiya lenses on this beast in just a few months.
     
  18. Maybe Alexander O can expand on whatever led those poor delusional folks at Fuji to even bother with this supposedly so-so model? Just askin'...
     
  19. although I don't get the whole idea of a crop MF sensor other than lowering costs and marketing​
    Lowering costs is almost the only reason. The size and weight of the lenses to cover the larger sensor (for a starting-from-scratch system) might also be a factor.
    Phase One seems to be the only company making 645 cameras/backs.​
    Hasselblad are still doing it too.
    I wish they didn't call it medium format because that label is causing the controversy.​
    There have been several backs and cameras with this 44 x 33 mm size of sensor since 2004. All have been called medium format, and nobody really complained. I don't know what the fuss is now.
     
  20. Anyway, for me, this is excellent news. I got excited about the Hasselblad X1D mirrorless 50MP model a few months ago, before realising that it needed native Hasselblad leaf shutter lenses. So that's useless for someone like me with a lot of nice M645 glass.
    This Fuji has a focal plane shutter, so it's open to using any lens one pleases on it.
     
  21. I agree with Alexander. I just can't get excited about digital medium format. I am not a professional, and this does not offer anything that excites me that I could not get with a Canon 50MP 35mm format. All I would be doing is paying (usually a lot of) extra money for a larger system with slower lenses, more bulk and less lens choice for what seems to me to be purely additional kudos. The Fuji looks very nice, but I cannot imagine me getting any worthwhile benefit from these cameras. It is nicer than the recent 'blad though. Clearly I am just not the right profile for this kind of camera.
     
  22. I'll be taking a serious look at this camera for the future. To me its a little too early to wrestle with what to call this camera, Medium format or not. I'm content with its Medium Format badge. It's not often I have ever had the chance to see an image in print from one of these large sensors. I had the opportunity at a Art festival to see a print, and I'm sorry to not know what camera or, back this image came out of, so I apologize, but the person manning the booth did say it was from a Medium format D-cam. Anyway the point is and at least take it from one like all of you that sees a lot of imagery, this print of a simple rendition of Central Park bridges was so amazingly stunning! These large sensors deliver a PUNCH when you see it in person. Quite the sight. So features, ergonomics, weight? Style? All kind of take on varied priorities when you consider the result in a print. That print is etched in my mind I'll never forget it, mind blown!
     
  23. I'm also comfortable calling this "medium format"... this term covers a lot of territory. Is 127 film a "medium format" format? Remember the cute little Rollei and Yashica TLRs in this 4x4 size...

    If "full frame" is enough of a benefit over APS-C to bother with the larger bodies and lenses, then consider that 33x44 is a similar jump in size over 24x36. For several years I've been using a dSLR with 30x45mm format sensor, about the same size as this new Fuji and the Pentax 645Z, and I'm impressed anew each time I "process" a batch in Lightroom.

    The only disappointing characteristic of this new Fuji is the lack of an optical viewfinder.
     
  24. For several years I've been using a dSLR with 30x45mm format sensor. . . .
    --Doug Miles​
    The Leica S2! Doug, I have never even held a Leica in my hands and have in fact been skeptical of claims made about brand superiority. I certainly will never be able to afford any of the Leicas.
    I have looked at your portfolio, however, and I have to say that tlose are among the clearest and most contrasty photos I have seen. Why did Leica discontinue such a magnificent instrument?
    --Lannie
     
  25. Thanks, Lannie... My portfolio in Photo.net has not been updated for a while, and represents a wide variety of gear.

    Leica improved the S2 slightly and renamed it S (typ006). Then they replaced it with a new version with CMOS sensor called S (typ007). This is the current main model, not discontinued, and the previous model was reissued with a different finish color, reduced price, and named S-E (typ006). So there's still a new option for those who prefer a CCD sensor.

    The new Fuji and Hasselblad digital medium format "mirrorless" cameras look like a attractive options at more modest pricing than has been the case with the larger sensor cameras. Interesting to see how they fare in the market.
     
  26. It gets better! Video from Photokina shows that the new Fuij's prism-shaped EVF viewfinder is articulated - it can be swivelled horizontally and vertically, enabling WLF-type vertical viewing in both landscape and portrait camera orientations. It can also be detached altogether. Kudos to Fuji!
     
  27. I think another issue is that the difference between APS-C and "full frame" has been going away. Since Fuji is committed to APS-C it seems logical to stake out a position which improves quality but doesn't cost the price of a sports car. This "medium format" will be capable of very good results in a very compact package. On top of that you'll be able to use the high res center of all that vintage Zeiss, Mamiya and Pentax glass if you want to. With a short sensor to flange measurement, there is also the possibility of some real wide angles rather than retro-focus wide angles (if the sensor can handle the oblique light).
    I think it's a winner
     
  28. There have been several backs and cameras with this 44 x 33 mm size of sensor since 2004. All have been called medium format, and nobody really complained. I don't know what the fuss is now.​
    Well, some of the Pentax guys weren't too happy, but perhaps they have more of a case, since Pentax were still calling the system '645':
    http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53637293
     
  29. when i spoke to the CEO of Pentax USA at a show last year, he stated that full frame true 645 digital sensors are at least a few more years away. this is all due to yield. just to costly at this point to make a full frame MF sensor. this was the same thing that happened when digital cameras first came out. we had crop sensors for many years before a full frame 35mm sensor came to market. so maybe 2020 we could see a full 645 sensor. who knows.....
     
  30. John,
    That's exactly what I would expect a CEO to say. I don't really buy that "far to costly or years away thing" since they have the capability to do it right now. Would it cost more? Yup, but shouldn't cost a lot more. I think these companies regulate their own advancement of products buy how many people will buy it at the highest price they can sell it for. So, instead of just popping out with a big 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 sensor camera they take baby steps and at every step they sell a ton of cameras most, not all, but most of us can afford. That way they have sold a ton of cameras all the way up to the introduction of the Full Frame medium format sensor. Now, if one of the other manufactures decides to "jump the gun" and bring out what we are talking about then the whole story changes. Automobile manufactures operate the same way.
     
  31. when i spoke to the CEO of Pentax USA at a show last year, he stated that full frame true 645 digital sensors are at least a few more years away. this is all due to yield. just to costly at this point to make a full frame MF sensor.​
    His response was surprising, because full-frame 645 CCD backs have been on the market since 2008 - he must have known this, as it's his business to know -, and CMOS ones have been on the market since January of this year - he must have known this was coming as his two main competitors (PhaseOne/Leaf, and Hasselblad) were developing backs for this "big brother" to the sensor used in his Pentax 645Z.
    These are 53.7 x 40.3 [or 40.4] mm sensors; the film gate in the Pentax and Mamiya 645 cameras is 56.0 x 41.5 mm; so pedantically, yes, the digital sensors are very marginally smaller - but remember that a mounted 645 slide or a 645 negative in an enlarger loses about 1mm of real estate around the perimeter in any case, so the usable image area is basically identical between film and digital 645.
    I suspect that the Pentax CEO knew all this, but was just tired of people asking why Pentax 645 digital models don't use the larger sensors, so he fobbed you off with the yield excuse.
     
  32. Rico Pfirstinger posted a worth reading detailed analysis on the GFX-50s https://fuji-x-secrets.net/2016/09/21/inside-the-fujifilm-gfx-50s/ It is a report that has been confirmed after talking with the Fuji people that are directly involved with the project in Photokina.
    The Key points:
    1. The camera will be available in Spring 2017
    2. There will be HD video 30fps with the introduction.
    3. ISO will be 51200 or higher with the introduction.
    4. The camera will be compatible with leaf shutter lenses (particularly with HC/HCD lenses) and with other makers too with longer flange distance via adapters.
    5. Price "well bellow" 10K USD....

    Other than the above and the rest impressive that Rico informs on the report, I can ensure everybody that: the camera's mount size diameter and sensor depth (26.4mm), as well as the sensor's minimum distance of 1.67mm from the rear element, suggest for sure that the camera will be compatible with a full frame 54x40mm sensor ! ...and the "special" shape of the micro lenses suggest that it will work well with existing dedicated to view camera lenses...
    More, the name "50s" next to GFX, suggests that there will be other versions of different sensor size and resolution (confirmed by Kevin Raben of LuLa too & on Rico's report) following the first introduction...
    All in all, the most promising platform ever for medium format digital photography.... If a "multishot" version will be in the future and given the proven tradition of Fuji for lenses and overall image quality I can't see any other out of the existing proposals being able to compete (at least at their current state/pricing of offerings).
     
  33. I like the, "Real Estate," Analogy regarding the issue of how much is enough. Are we quibbling over real estate within sensor size? Because we can do that all day until we get to to a sensor size of 8X10. I feel a certain confidence that Fuji has reasons to do what their doing. I'm not as well versed as some here are on all of the technical issues regarding electronic dynamics of digital sensors, but if in the way images are presented from a camera like the XT-1 are any indication and then a Medium format version of that, the resulting images should be beyond, or at a level more than we have known. When a Fuji Rep at Photokina says that, I'm not so quick to doubt the guy. Also at Photokina, when the Fuji presenter was questioned as to the price of his new camera, he didn't commit to a price, but he did suggest it would, or should in that context be around $10,000 Body, Lens and EVF.
     
  34. It seems nice and all, but I fail to see the point of a crop MF sensor.​
    From the numbers, the area is about 1.67 times full frame (24x36mm).

    Is there a dividing line between small and medium format?

    I suppose going to a full 2X the area of full-frame might have been a good next step, but 1.67 doesn't seem so bad.
     
  35. Ask yourself the following question: What does a crop MF bring to the table? How is it any better than FF? At 1.7x of FF, it doesn't look any different than FF. In other words, had this been a true 645 size sensor, the DOF at a given aperture and magnification would be SUBSTANTIALLY smaller, thereby giving you certain creative freedom. Additionally, the bigger the sensor, the less curvature you see within wide angle lenses, so wide angle shots look more natural. The crop MF sensor doesn't really do any of that to a great enough extent to be worth while. The geometry of the crop MF will make your photos look very much like those from a FF camera.
    As far as cameras go, Fuji seems to have hit all the right buttons. I think it's designed just right. Had it been a true 645 camera, I would have been giddy beyond words.
     
  36. Alexander:
    How is it any better than FF? At 1.7x of FF​
    You've just answered your own question: It is 1.7x better. You can make a print 37 x 27 inch print that looks as good up-close as a 30 x 20 inch print from a 35mm-sized sensor, and has a bigger "wow" factor from a moderate distance.
    it doesn't look any different than FF​
    Don't forget, near-identical 50MP 44x33 mm CMOS sensors are already in use in 5 other cameras or backs from Pentax, Phase One, Leaf, and Hasselblad. Check the images that are out there...in many cases they are obviously different to FF outputs.
    Additionally, the bigger the sensor, the less curvature you see within wide angle lenses, so wide angle shots look more natural.​
    I don't understand what optical principle you're referring to here. Curvature, in what sense?
     
  37. How is it any better than FF? At 1.7x of FF​
    You've just answered your own question: It is 1.7x better. You can make a print 37 x 27 inch print that looks as good up-close as a 30 x 20 inch print from a 35mm-sized sensor, and has a bigger "wow" factor from a moderate distance.​
    It doesn't work like that. A 50mp print is a 50mp print provided the pixels are big enough that the noise level isn't overwhelming. All of the current modern cameras have low enough noise (at base ISO) that you wouldn't be able to tell one print from another. The ONLY advantage of the bigger sensor is the geometry of the lens to the sensor, meaning shallower dof at a given aperture, a greater angle of view at a given focal length, etc.
    Don't forget, near-identical 50MP 44x33 mm CMOS sensors are already in use in 5 other cameras or backs from Pentax, Phase One, Leaf, and Hasselblad. Check the images that are out there...in many cases they are obviously different to FF outputs.​
    I've gone over a number of RAW files and compared them to one another and they all look pretty much the same. Sometimes, there's better corner sharpness in crop MF, but that's about it.
    Additionally, the bigger the sensor, the less curvature you see within wide angle lenses, so wide angle shots look more natural.​
    I don't understand what optical principle you're referring to here. Curvature, in what sense?​
    In a sense that the smaller the sensor, the more "stretched" the wide angle images look, whereas the bigger the sensor (or film format), the less stretched and the more natural wide angle images look.
     
  38. Here is a video interview, https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/7988407692/interview-fujifilm-explains-the-gfx-50s-medium-format-mirrorless
    IMO, Fuji's choice to enter the MF market with a cropped MF sensor is the right one... They can always come up with a larger sensor later on, after they've penetrated the market. Having a mount that can work with sensors up to 54x40mm in size is of major importance, but surely one can't expect the market penetration to be at the same level with a considerably more expensive camera... No other MF maker entered the market with the top offering, it is wrong marketing to do so...
     
  39. The video interview nice to see as its good to continue to see the camera itself. The use of a bayer sensor the news here for me, I didn't know that and I don't understand why the abandonment of the X-Trans sensor in this case, although there is certain to be a good reason for that. I'm impressed with the size differential compared to the Nikon D-800 or 810 in that shot, the fuji looks a little weightier in size, but Fuji seems dead set to keep portability as a high priority. We're entering a new phase in Photography and it seems Fuji is taking us there.
     
  40. "A 50mp print is a 50mp print provided the pixels are big enough that the noise level isn't overwhelming."​

    In your experience, do 24 MP APS-C sensors match the image quality of 24 MP full frame? Do 12 MP cell phones compete head to head with the Nikon D3?

    Have you worked with files from the Pentax 645Z or the Phase One and Hasselblad cameras that use 50 MP sensors? Can you confirm first hand that these cameras offer no image quality gain over the Canon 5DS R? Perhaps you can post some 100 percent crops showing your test results.
     
  41. In your experience, do 24 MP APS-C sensors match the image quality of 24 MP full frame?​
    For the most part, yes. You have to stretch them pretty far to start to see the break down. However, the FF 24mp sensors win out in terms of geometry, which I described earlier.
    .
    .
    .
    Do 12 MP cell phones compete head to head with the Nikon D3?​
    No. Read the qualifier I wrote. The pixels have to be big enough in order to control the noise level. Secondly, you can't compare the lens quality of a cell phone with the Nikon lens quality. So, the cell phone would not be able to compete even if it had a FF sensor.
    .
    .
    .
    Have you worked with files from the Pentax 645Z or the Phase One and Hasselblad cameras that use 50 MP sensors? Can you confirm first hand that these cameras offer no image quality gain over the Canon 5DS R?​
    Yes and yes. I've downloaded a number of RAW files from various 50mp cameras and I went over them with a fine tooth comb. I can honestly say that I don't find the Canon 50DSR files to be substantially different from Pentax, or Phase One crop sensor 50mp files.
     
  42. I think the strength of Alexander's argument is the value proposition when you consider the cost of the new Fuji system will be 2 or 3 times the cost of a similar full frame system. That is an excellent point.
    However, setting aside the cost, I have to say that overall I find the new Fuji system beautifully designed and much more appealing to me than any currently available full frame system. For one thing, personally I prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio for most of my photography; with 3:2, I often end up cropping out part of the length anyway. So for me, that increases the resolution gain over full frame from 1.7X to closer to 2X. Secondly, the side-by-side comparison showing that the GFX 50S is very similar to a Nikon D810 is really compelling, especially when you look at the lens mount view showing the sensors: The Fuji just looks obviously so much more efficient (toward the end of this video). The absence of an optical viewfinder does not bother me; I prefer the advantages of a high quality EVF and the swiveling/tilting design looks great. Finally, for a long time, I have been interested in the best wide angle landscape lenses for full frame or APS-C systems. I want the highest quality possible with low distortion, sharp into the corners, less field curvature, and the ability to use the Lee filter system. Of course we will have to wait to see how the Fuji lenses test out, but I really like the look of the 32-64mm and 23mm lenses, both of which would take filters very nicely (77mm & 82mm respectively). What Alexander says about the larger formats handling wide angle distortion better simply makes me even more attracted to the new Fuji format compared to full frame.
    Dave
     
  43. The advantage with the GFX with respect to hi(gher) End DSLRs, other than it having 1.7x larger pixels than equivalent resolution DSLRs (which means considerably less noise on the sensor and therefore increased DR and tonality), can be with the costs too.... The body maybe more expensive to purchase, but there is a ton of superb MF lenses that can be bought "for peanuts" these days, all compatible with the GFX it being a mirrorless...
    Other than that, MF users (especially pros) used to have two (or more) systems up to now, with the GFX they now don't need a second... Add to this the compatibility with bellows cameras and the focal plane shutter it adds on them... and you end up with a clear winner... I believe this camera system (reports say that there more GFX cameras to follow) will attract far more many people to the MF market than ever before happened up until now with digital MF cameras.... One should also expect the bellows camera market to also expand significantly as to be used with the GFX.
     
  44. In your experience, do 24 MP APS-C sensors match the image quality of 24 MP full frame? --Dan South
    For the most part, yes. You have to stretch them pretty far to start to see the break down. --Alexander O​
    Absolutely not! At anything over ISO 1600 you will see a LOT of difference in noise levels--not that I am recommending shooting at such high ISOs.
    The new Fuji will show considerably cleaner files as the ISO increases. Resolution? Well, admittedly the resolution increase will not exactly be overwhelming, but the difference in noise will be very, very noticeable.
    On the other hand, consider what David McMullen has just said: "I prefer the 4:3 aspect ratio for most of my photography; with 3:2, I often end up cropping out part of the length anyway. So for me, that increases the resolution gain over full frame from 1.7X to closer to 2X."
    I have to agree with that whole-heartedly. We are talking pixel density here where noise is concerned, and that would be based on surface area--virtually a two to one advantage. As for resolution, the increase will not be 2x but closer to 1.414x (square root of 2)--still approximately a 40% increase in resolution, which would be quite noticeable.
    Would the improvement be worth the money? No one can answer that for anyone else.
    --Lannie
     
  45. (I ran out of time while trying to make corrections.)
    Correction: I said that I agree whole-heartedly, and I do agree with the spirit of what David said. Technically, though, the resolution gain would not be twice as great. Resolution is a linear function--line pairs per millimeter. As for noise, though, we are talking pixel density where noise is concerned, and that would be based on surface area--virtually a two to one advantage. As for resolution, the increase will not be 2x but closer to 1.414x (based, that is, on the square root of 2)--still approximately a 40% increase in resolution, which would be quite noticeable.
    Would the improvement be worth the money? No one can answer that for anyone else. If I had the money, I would get it. Right now, for resolution, my best FF sensor is on my D800E at 36mp. For low noise, my best sensor is on my D3s at 12 mp. The new Fuji would be a substantial improvement over the Nikon D800E where resolution is concerned--and it would also be cleaner, but I am not going to do the math right now to see by how much. I will say that I don't like to shoot the D800E at ISO 3200, but I have done it. It is not terrible except, of course, in the shadows in low light. Surely the new Fuji would be noticeably better where noise is concerned at ISO 3200.
    Of course, even in very low light, there is always the tripod with time exposure. So. . . I am not sure that some of the things that we do to make FF hand-holdable would make much sense with medium format. I am not even sure that it makes much sense for FF most of the time. When I want to get in and out fast in low light, I go with the D3s hand-held, even though I take quite a hit in terms of resolution. Horses for courses, etc.
    --Lannie
    .
     
  46. Resolution is a lens property, not a sensor property.... The GFX will show more detail than a DSLR based on FF sensor if the lens used on both is the same, despite the pixel count of the sensor.
    Noise (to which DR & tonality is directly relevant) will be less with a larger sensor providing that the sensors (of different size) compared are of the same technology.

    A poor lens used on an MF sensor, may be the reason why many may think that FF sensors resolve similar to MF sensors, if good quality glass is used on the FF sensor in return, but DR and tonality will always be with the larger (same technology) sensor due to less noise.
     
  47. In your experience, do 24 MP APS-C sensors match the image quality of 24 MP full frame? --Dan South
    For the most part, yes. You have to stretch them pretty far to start to see the break down. --Alexander O​
    Absolutely not! At anything over ISO 1600 you will see a LOT of difference in noise levels--not that I am recommending shooting at such high ISOs.
    The new Fuji will show considerably cleaner files as the ISO increases. Resolution? Well, admittedly the resolution increase will not exactly be overwhelming, but the difference in noise will be very, very noticeable.​
    Yeah, sorry. I should have qualified that all of my observations are made at base ISO.
     
  48. Alexander, there is noise at base ISO too and it will be significantly less with the larger sensor, as a result, the DR & tonality advantage of the larger sensor will show even at base ISO.
    I think the mistake you are doing is comparing by viewing on your monitor, where the screen's noise and DR ability "hides" much of the difference (even more so to the contrast extremes). If you try comparing prints of the same size -and then by using the maker's own software for RAW conversion as to extract the best out of the processing- I'm sure, the differences will become more obvious... Lets not forget that a "photo-graph" is what is recorded on the paper sheet and that only... There is no photo-graph (yet) for what one sees on his screen. Screen is only a media as for one to decide what and how to print... One has to develop a "sense" on the differences between what he sees on his monitor and what will be printed.
     
  49. I disagree with the notion of judging a sensor by the print. A RAW file is essentially the digital equivalent of a negative. So, if you want to judge the sensor, you have to judge it by the first generation output. A print is at least two generations removed from that. When you're looking at the print, there are too many variables that have gone into making it. You're looking at the paper, you're looking at the post processing, you're looking at the driver, on and on and on.
    From what I have seen, the tonality advantage of a larger format is a myth. What is that tonality a function of? If it's a function of pixel size, then my Canon 5d2 should have better tonality than any of the 50mp cropped MF cameras because it's got bigger pixels. You would also see a drop in tonality as the resolution increases.
    The tonality difference is the way that the manufacturers choose to render the scenes. The FF manufacturers go for the pop, a higher contrast look to give it a more "wow" effect, while the MF manufacturers go for a lower contrast to give it the sense of greater tonality. You can see that with the introduction of Canon 5D4, where Canon has started moving towards the "greater tonality" rendering, rather than the "pop"
    The same goes for noise. It's a choice of rendering. The FF cameras sacrifice some of the base ISO noise in order to boost low light sensitivity. Whereas the MF manufacturers sacrifice low light sensitivity for great S/N ratio at base ISO. Again, that's a choice of rendering, not a function of sensor size.
    MF digital allows us two very distinct and uncontroversial advantages that are the function of the sensor size:
    1. Greater resolution at a given pixel density
    2. The lens/camera geometry that results in shallower DOF, greater focal length at a given angle of view.
    That's where the advantages end. Therefore, in order to maximize and readily see the advantages of the MF digital cameras, you have to go to a MINIMUM 645 FF sensor. Otherwise, these advantages become a lot less apparent and you'd be hard pressed to tell an image made with a FF camera from the one made with a crop MF.
     
  50. I give up... Do you really think that looking at a screen you see "Raw material"? ...Yes, after 35 year in the profession and having shot thousands of "true color" 16x multishots (which will make an 100mp Cmos back "pale" for any aspect of image quality one may consider) with my two (multishot) backs, I give up in trying to convince you how things work!

    P.S: You should have wondered... "How did this guy guessed that I don't print but judge things on screens? ...I never said so!"
     
  51. Perhaps a little early, since no one has actually seen an image from the new GFX, but a have a large sense of confidence that a 30X40 print from the new Medium format GFX on Fuji Crystal Archive paper- Super Gloss, from a light jet printer, will leave an image from a Full Frame DSLR in the dust. Or simply, a great deal of discernibility and since there are many pixel peepers here, and that's OK, the 4:3 aspect ratio makes it so much easier to achieve corner clarity and sharpness.
     
  52. The FF manufacturers go for the pop, a higher contrast look to give it a more "wow" effect, while the MF manufacturers go for a lower contrast to give it the sense of greater tonality.​
    But sensors have no contrast differences; they measure light linearly, and proper RAW frames preserve that measurement.
    Anyone can tweak contrast in post processing - it's not a manufacturer property.
    Tonality depends more the on the signal to noise curve than on anything else. That is a function of the sensor.
    MF digital allows us two very distinct and uncontroversial advantages that are the function of the sensor size:
    1. Greater resolution at a given pixel density
    2. The lens/camera geometry that results in shallower DOF, greater focal length at a given angle of view.
    You're forgetting this one:
    3. Greater MTF at a given pixel count.
    That was the one I was alluding to when I talked about 1.7x larger print sizes being better - I didn't mention the pixel density, nor pixel count, because 1. and 3. together mean better image quality regardless.
    Curvature, in what sense?
    In a sense that the smaller the sensor, the more "stretched" the wide angle images look, whereas the bigger the sensor (or film format), the less stretched and the more natural wide angle images look.​
    Thanks for clarifying that. However, there is nothing in image formation theory which backs up this idea of more "stretched" wide angle images being a property of using smaller formats. I don't know where you're getting that from.
    It could be that the cheaper lenses made for smaller format cameras & camera-phones tend to have designs with worse geometrical distortion; but that is not to say that equally distortion-free lenses cannot be made for both small and large formats.
    Or it could be that people often shoot their fixed-wideangle-lens small-sensor cameras (especially in phones & tablets) too close to their subjects, in order to get a decent headshot closeup or selfie. But again, that is not a property of the format itself. It's a usage issue.
     
  53. Personally, instead of trying to convince one that insists on "self made" theories, I would rather concentrate to that magnificent product (the Fuji GFX system) which achieves to compete with the best of ultra expensive backs out there, yet offering more features, at an affordable price, that makes it accessible to everyone that needs the extra quality.
    Lets face it, it is the first time that one can have one series of lenses & perform all tasks that a photographer may need with it....
    - MF photography can now be portable... no need for one to retain a DSLR system next to it.
    - Mounting distance allows for older MF lenses to be resurrected
    - The camera can be used for image area on bellows cameras with larger image circle MF lenses and provides a shutter too.
    - Adapters for leaf shutter lenses are promised.
    - Interchangeable finders and LV provide great modularity/adaptability to tasks.
    If I miss something, is the multishot/true color captures. But given that "true color" is expected to become a "standard" feature for offerings from Japan (after Olympus and Ricoh/Pentax made the start), as all new specification does, it shouldn't be long before there would be such a camera in the line with Fuji either...
    Other than the above, it's a ....Fuji!!! ...the most traditional MF maker out of all in this planet and Fuji means superb lenses, robust design and innovation second to none!
     
  54. Can someone explain this phrase in bold within a quote from Thom Hogan today regarding some difference between the implementation of a medium format sensor vs. smaller formats?
    The low volume of medium format sensor production, coupled with the need to stitch the sensor in place on the fab, coupled with the extra wasted space on the expensive silicon wafer, all means that medium format sensors are just not going to be big sellers in the casual photography world any time that I can imagine.​
    The quote appeared in this blog post. Thank you.
    Dave
     
  55. I would say, that the sensor in the GFX fits just fine!
     
  56. Ray Butler:
    ... there is nothing in image formation theory which backs up this idea of more "stretched" wide angle images being a property of using smaller formats. ... It could be that the cheaper lenses made for smaller format cameras & camera-phones tend to have designs with worse geometrical distortion; but that is not to say that equally distortion-free lenses cannot be made for both small and large formats.​
    Thanks Ray for chiming in on this. Intuitively what you say makes sense to me. I don't see why a distortion-free optical design could not be scaled to a small sensor. I think it is simply expensive and therefore less likely the smaller the sensor is. On the other hand, I could imagine that the geometry differences related to the shorter flange distance of a mirrorless camera design might affect the difficulty of optically correcting for distortion...
    Dave
     
  57. Can someone explain this phrase in bold within a quote from Thom Hogan today regarding some difference between the implementation of a medium format sensor vs. smaller formats?
    The low volume of medium format sensor production, coupled with the need to stitch the sensor in place on the fab, coupled with the extra wasted space on the expensive silicon wafer, all means that medium format sensors are just not going to be big sellers in the casual photography world any time that I can imagine.​
    David, I'll offer an explanation.
    CMOS and CCD sensors are constructed from essentially the same silicon semiconductor wafers as computer processors and memory chips. "The fab" means the facility where the silicon wafer is being fabricated: specific areas and layers of the wafer are selectively "doped" with charge carriers, or populated with silicon dioxide insulation or metal contacts. This constructs a grid of pixels and their associated input power lines and readout electronics. The process for laying down these structures is called photolithography. Each photolithography manufacturing unit can only make structures down to a certain minimum width (measured in nanometers) and a certain maximum width (measured in mm).
    "Stitching the sensor in place" is a reference to the medium format sensors being larger than the maximum width of the largest photolithography units. So the sensor has to be "stitched" by moving the photolithography head at least once, to start a new part of the sensor right beside one that has just been laid down, so that there are no gaps.
    "The extra wasted space on the expensive silicon wafer" is another reference to the size of the medium format sensor. Wafers are circular disks, so when you cut out a large rectangle from a circle, there is a lot of wastage around the edges. A 645 medium format sensor is about 6 times bigger than an APS-C sensor, but if you wanted to cut out as many APS-C sensors as possible from the same circle, you could arrange the smaller rectangles to make better use of this space - so you might fit in 8 rather than 6. These numbers are just to explain the concept...an actual wafer is much bigger than that and could produce a number of medium format sensors (and a load of APS-C ones).
    There is also the concept of "yield" - not mentioned in your quote from Thom Hogan, but very relevant to this question. This means the percentage of sensors produced per wafer which pass quality control. Impurities or defects in the wafer can render a sensor junk. Staying with our putative small wafer, a single defect on that wafer might junk the only large medium format sensor it produced; a 100% loss or 0% yield. The same defect might junk just 1 of the 8 APS-C sensors it produced; a 13% loss or 87% yield. Therefore, the lower average yield adds further cost to the production of medium format sensors.
     
  58. I shall be holding on to a couple of Bronica GS-1 lenses: PG 65mm F/4 and PG 110mm F/4. Maybe there will be an adapter for the Fujifilm GFX 50.
     

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