The responsiveness of an electronic viewfinder and its quality is always important to me and the GFX50s does not disappoint. The 3.69m dot EVF has 100% coverage and as we would expect, we can see a live histogram, flashing highlight / over-exposure warning, virtual horizon and just about everything else we need. We can also bring up menu systems and review images via the viewfinder, ideal when working in bright ambient light.
The spread of autofocus points cover the whole frame so there is rarely a need to focus and recompose. Tracking is also available with a variety of zone size options to use depending on the size and movement of the subject. Autofocus speed is slow compared to the X-H1 but this is entirely expected so I felt no disappointment. That said, it didn’t completely rule out moving subjects and I was very pleasantly surprised when a run of ostrich photographs were all in sharp focus.
An area I found rather challenging was the shutter lag and frames per second rate. My view on the advantage of high rate of frames per second like that of the X-H1 is that it is not about taking 20-30 shots over 2 or 3 seconds. Instead, it is about using fieldcraft knowledge and having the ability to deploy 5-6 frames over half a second or so to increase our chances of capturing the key moment.
The GFX50s has a shutter lag of around a third of a second and at 3 frames per second. A bit of forward planning and thought was needed to capture the two male lion photographs above as their jaws reached their widest points.
Earlier in 2019, Fujifilm announced the 102 million MP GFX100, describing it as a “game changer in digital camera technology and capability”. It joins the X-H1 to boast 5.5 stops of in-body stabilisation, includes phase-detect AF reported to be a vast improvement on the GFX50s, a built-in vertical grip, 5 frames per second and a much more manageable shutter lag at tenth of a second.
It’s certainly a specification which improves upon the GFX50s as a camera for wildlife photography, especially with the introduction of a 100-200mm f/5.6 lens which would offer increased versatility.