Fujifilm GFX 50s
This is Fujifilm's now “ancient” flagship camera for professional use. Its a 44x33mm sensor based system with a sensor 70% larger than that of a full frame sensor camera such as those from Nikon, Sony or Canon. It's a 51 mp design providing more than enough resolution and detail. I refer to it as a fuller frame camera since its much larger than a full frame 35mm format yet not quite medium format. It makes use of Fuji's excellent color science born from their experience manufacturing their award winning films and they transfer that expertise wonderfully to their sensor arrays. The pictures from this sensor show deep colors, subtle shades and a wide range of tones. Larger format cameras have been the province of professional advertising, product and portrait photographers for years. There is a huge difference in quality and look of an image over full frame sensors. Fujifilm's GFX 50s is an affordable larger format camera and part of Fujifilm’s push to capture the pro large format market, while skipping full frame entirely. With their X system and their G system, they don’t need full frame…
This is Fujifilm’s top X system camera. At least to me. Based on the smaller than full frame APS-C sensor size. Fujifilm adds their own micro-lens design, the X-Trans filter, which is a non-traditional design developed from their studies of color science. Fuji’s X-Trans 24 MP sensor design, they feel, gives better color rendition and detail for this sensor size over the traditional Bayer designs and in their research, the resulting imagery stands equal to that of a 30 mp full frame Bayer sensor in detail and sharpness. This allowed Fuji to skip full frame circus of camera manufacture and build a smaller, lighter camera system. This means less weight to a photographer without losing any performance. When I left Nikon and adopted the Fuji systems, my bag went from 50 to 60 lbs. per gig to just over 25 lbs for the same lens coverages and performance. The X-H1 is a bit larger than their other pro X cameras, the X-T2 and new X-T3. Its more heavily constructed, more weatherproof and sports a much more robust lens mount. Its larger body also accommodates Fuji's first generation in-body internal stabilization system which allows for up to 5+ stops of stabilization when used with a stabilized lens. Its built as well as any Nikon or Canon pro level camera I have ever used.
This is the new kid on the block. It sports a new back lit 26.4 MP sensor, a new 10x more powerful Quad processor and newer optimized firmware to take advantage of all the technology crammed into this camera. Early use shows very good detail and even better color science, courtesy of it’s being able to process millions more instructions now plus process more precise color and image information. Its currently one of the fastest auto focusing cameras available due to the processing power and yet they managed to keep the battery drain at bay. Oddly, it’s priced lower at availability than its older, lesser brother the X-T2. I think thats due in part to it being made in China versus Japan but the build quality is every bit as good. Its smaller than the X-H1, being the same size as the X-T2 but it is a video beast! It outperforms standalone video cameras and offers 4k 60fps recording. It uses the same sized battery grip with 2 batteries, providing 3 batteries total, the same as the X-H1. Mine is in a cool retro silver and black old school scheme. I'll have more to say as I work with it over time.
This is Fuji's top of the line rangefinder styled camera and a camera I love to use for street and walk around photography. I grew up shooting with 35mm film rangefinders so this one holds a special place for me. I have unleashed it for model sessions in the studio though and it performs perfectly. It has the older 3rd gen Fuji X system sensor (same as the X-T2) so the IQ is outstanding, and the rangefinder build makes handling really nice and it feels very old school - but its got all the latest tech you could want.
Easily my favorite Fuji camera. I use it more for personal shots posted to social media. Its also the lowest X system tech sporting the 2nd gen X-Trans sensor so its only 16.6 mp but its still X-Trans technology and capable of outstanding quality. Its a fixed lens camera but more rangefinder and retro looking than any other. Smaller and almost pocketable. People regularly ask me what kind of film camera it is. The handling is stellar. The size is perfect and you can just sling it around your neck and go. I will some day perhaps get the upgraded model, the X100F but its not a priority.
I do have the original X-Pro1 and X100 cameras too. They rarely get used but the used market for them is small, the tech dated yet the X-Pro1 still produces what I think are the best black and white images by a digital camera. So I keep it around.
All the GFX lenses are incredibly sharp being designed for use with camera sensors up to around 100 mega pixels. They are larger given the format of the camera and heavier, again due to the camera and sensor size. I use the GF 110/f2, the GF 23/f4, the GF 32-64/f4 and the GF 63/F2.8. This gives me a range equal to full frame lens coverage from 18mm angle of view to that of an 87mm angle of view.
I have a full compliment of lenses to cover anything that I could be hired to shoot! My lens stable goes from extremely wide zooms and prime lenses to longer telephotos. All are XF Fujifilm lenses except for a 8mm/f2.8 Fisheye which is a Samyang lens. Fuji does not make a Fisheye and I wanted the effect for a shoot. I currently shoot with: XF 10-24/f4, XF 14/f2.8, XF 16-55/f2.8, XF 18-55/f4-5.6, XF 16/f1.4, XF 23/F1.4, XF 27/F2.8, XF35/F1.4, XF 56/f1.2, XF 50-140/f2.8, XF 80/f2.8 Macro, XF 90/F2, and XF 100-400/f4-5.6. I also use Fuji extension tubes for close up work, and tele converters for additional reach when using my telephoto lenses.
After using Profoto lighting for several years, I made the switch to all Godox last year. Profoto is a well known brand, its a standard among many professionals. When I became serious about lighting, it seemed the right direction. I mean glowing reviews, tops among pros, and a huge price point meant it had to be good. I used their battery packs, and their monolights plus their battery powered monolights for 7 or so years and I can say I was never really satisfied. They did not live up to the hype. I didn’t get the shot to shot color consistency nor the consistent operations. The build wasn’t very robust because my lights were as fragile as any other brand. And parts and repair were expensive! Profoto supported the big camera brand names with radio triggers but not smaller manufacturers. When I went with Fujifilm, Profoto offered no support (nor would they commit at the time) for my camera’s flash system but Godox did. In spades! I’m now all Godox using their V1 and V860II speed lights, the AD600M, AD600Pro, AD400Pro and AD200 pocket flashes. A complete mix of off camera large strobes and smaller speed light like strobes offering a huge range of performance at about a third of the Profoto’s cost. All battery powered and cordless. It was a great decision and one I feel very good about.
I use a spread of soft boxes, a few umbrellas and maybe a dozen hard reflectors with my lights. I did have an inventory of Profoto modifiers, but again the expense and performance just didn’t justify them. Once I tried my first Godox Bowens mount, I used Cheetahstand products. I was sold. The Cheetahstand brand sources from China but they design their products, and they provide quality control no one equals. At a low cost thats really hard to believe. You would expect cheap but you would be wrong. Edward Tang the owner is a photographer so when he designs and has something built its based on experience and it works. I use Cheetahstand’s quick open and fold products now plus a half dozen hard reflectors with everything from an AD200 or speed light with a Bowens S bracket to larger studio 150 cm soft boxes - same modifiers used now regardless of light used. Perfect!