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Fuji GFX vs SL

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Well we have had the SL v Hasselblad X1D topic, but I don't see one to compare with the Fuji GFX system (which uses the same Sony sensor).

There was a 50R in the shop window, so I went in to have a play.  Subjectively, it's lighter than you'd expect, for such a brick and, with lenses, comparable to the SL.  That is partly explained by the extensive use of plastic.  I am not a build quality aficionado, but there is an obvious difference between the SL (or M) and th GFX body and lenses.  That may be a superficial judgement and the absence of weight premium over the SL may be a more important factor for you.

I didn't take the system out for a run, but the one or two indoor snaps that I took looked as good as they say (and probably better than the SL at high ISO).

If I was getting into a "medium" format system I'd go for the Fuji over the Hasselblad simply because Fuji seems to have more engineering resource and Hasselblad is owned by a large Chinese manufacturer known for its drones (which means more competition for extra investment in building new models).

The other thing that made me cross the shop threshold was that the price of a Fuji 50R body + lens is, at present, comparable to a Leica SL lens alone.  The Fuji lenses also seem to play in the same league as Leica S/SL lenses.

The temptation is there: Fuji is clearly price-squeezing the competition and has a roadmap with a 100Mpx sensor, the current GFX sensor is superior to the SL's, the medium-format look is attractive and the Fuji has more native prime lenses than the SL, but I suspect in a year's time, the picture will have changed, with Panasonic coming on stream, with OIS (which the Fuji doesn't have) and some more native SL lenses.

Has anyone crossed the line?

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I have the 50S which has the same sensor and processor, it's a beast, IQ, DR etc all excellent. Prints look gorgeous. It is however a system that you need to take on planned shoots, I don't think it is small enough to just have as a "travel camera". The R body is lighter but that is only part of the system, when you add in the lenses and filters etc it is quite a big load. Wouldn't be without my GFX but I don't take it everywhere, that is what my M9s are for.

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You raise an interesting point.  The main reason that I changed to Leica from Nikon was for the M9 and the lighter load.  I didn't get on with the rangefinder (I wear (eye)glasses) and have enjoyed the SL.  The quality of the glass has meant that my load has, once more, increased.  The M lenses are fantastic for their size, but the aberations / curvature of field mean that they are more of a compromise than I am prepared to accept (eg, when shooting at night or in high contrast situations when CA / purple bloom comes to the fore).

The metal SL lenses seem to me to be of comparable heft to the plastic Fuji ones, so the system advantage is not clear.

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Hello,

As a longtime Leica M owner/user, I took advantage of the recent Leica upgrade program and traded my GFX and a few lenses for the SL.  I found that the GFX's images were excellent, but  I did not find the GFX fun, or even enjoyable to shoot with.  While the SL is indeed heavy, the GFX was by no means light, and its rear LCD protrusion was an annoyance, while its shutter lag—perhaps a non issue for some— drove me nuts.  I have maintained a large sensor camera (Sony a7rIII) for those situations that might demand it, but to this date I have not encountered any scenarios that would be hobbled by the SL's sensor, and its images are wonderful.  In summary, I do not miss the GFX.

 

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3 minutes ago, ron777 said:

Hello,

As a longtime Leica M owner/user, I took advantage of the recent Leica upgrade program and traded my GFX and a few lenses for the SL.  I found that the GFX's images were excellent, but  I did not find the GFX fun, or even enjoyable to shoot with.  While the SL is indeed heavy, the GFX was by no means light, and its rear LCD protrusion was an annoyance, while its shutter lag—perhaps a non issue for some— drove me nuts.  I have maintained a large sensor camera (Sony a7rIII) for those situations that might demand it, but to this date I have not encountered any scenarios that would be hobbled by the SL's sensor, and its images are wonderful.  In summary, I do not miss the GFX.

 

I treat my GFX like I used to treat my Bronica SQAi in the film days, it is a tool to get results, fun doesn't enter into it for those scenarios. I do however find the working process with the GFX relaxing and more deliberate than with my M9s. Horses for courses I think, I haven't tried the SL but for me the tilt swivel adapter for the EVF is indispensable in my workflow, something you don't get with the SL I think? FWIW I take my M9s everywhere with me but only take my GFX on planned shoots, much the same as in the film days my Canon F1ns were go everywhere and the Bronica for specific shoots.

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Thanks, Topsy & Ron. Helpful perspectives. I assume that you go for the GFX only when you need large prints.  The 16Mpx M9 is fine for the internet,  but even for that use it is not a low light king. 

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1 hour ago, jrp said:

Thanks, Topsy & Ron. Helpful perspectives. I assume that you go for the GFX only when you need large prints.  The 16Mpx M9 is fine for the internet,  but even for that use it is not a low light king. 

Not just for large prints but for the deliberate landscape shoots. I am slowed down and more considered when I get the GFX out and it always goes on a tripod. I don't find a lack of quality with the M9 files it's just a different way of working, obviously the GFX files are much more detailed but the M9 files are good enough for most things including printing.

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Thanks to all those that have responded to this thread, and particularly those that have found the siren song of 50 Mpx and medium format lenses to be suboptimal, if I can mix my metaphors.

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After testing I switched out of the Hasselblad XID system into the GFXS and put together a 3 lens kit in preparation for the 100MP version coming out in 2019. The quick snap below illustrates the fact that there is little difference in size between the SL and the GFX. I use the 50 megapixels when I need the resolution and enjoy using the XPan crop mode looking through the viewfinder- providing me with .a compositional perspective and a file of approximately 25 megapixels in size.

The SL is a faster camera to use as a walk around system because on native SL lenses autofocus is faster - but the Fuji is not far behind. When the 100MP version comes out I will switch the S into an R body as a backup body to the 100MP - I consider the 100MP body as specified to be one of those rare 'game changing' camera systems -IBIS+OIS +100Mp combined with Fuji outstanding image quality via its lens system and colour tech.

The Fuji offers tethered shooting that works via the Capture One software and excellent Capture One support - something that cant be said for LR. There are many factors which demarcate the SL system from the Fuji - but if I were forced to choose between the two - I think the megapixel advantage to Fuji is something I could not ignore for my uses - when the 100MP version comes out - these differences will only be greater.

 

 

Edited by PeterGA

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I just don't get it.

The closest I can view a whole A2 print is 30cm and still see the whole image ...... and at that distance (and closer) 24mpx produces an image with resolution that exceeds the capability of the human eye. 

100mpx doubles the linear resolution so you can print twice as big for the same dpi ...... but to view the whole print you would have to be twice as far away, so you see just the same.

Whilst the anally retentive view prints at 10cm or pixel peep at 100%, the vast majority of normal people are not so obsessed. 

I can see some very specialised uses for high resolution images and dramatic cropping, but quite what the rest of us normal photographers need 100mpx for beats me.

I also have some worries about the potential TIFF and PSD file sizes after processing and the processing power required to manipulate them ..... 

No doubt my heart will overrule my head and I will be on the megapixel escalator with everyone else ..... but sometimes I do question my sanity over all this......  :wacko:

Edited by thighslapper

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1 hour ago, thighslapper said:

I just don't get it.

The closest I can view a whole A2 print is 30cm and still see the whole image ...... and at that distance (and closer) 24mpx produces an image with resolution that exceeds the capability of the human eye. 

100mpx doubles the linear resolution so you can print twice as big for the same dpi ...... but to view the whole print you would have to be twice as far away, so you see just the same.

Whilst the anally retentive view prints at 10cm or pixel peep at 100%, the vast majority of normal people are not so obsessed. 

I can see some very specialised uses for high resolution images and dramatic cropping, but quite what the rest of us normal photographers need 100mpx for beats me.

I also have some worries about the potential TIFF and PSD file sizes after processing and the processing power required to manipulate them ..... 

No doubt my heart will overrule my head and I will be on the megapixel escalator with everyone else ..... but sometimes I do question my sanity over all this......  :wacko:

 

In a perfect world one could use an SL/M  and get all the data required to deliver the IQ for any print one cared to make- as you say that world would be described by a print size 'limit' around 40 inches at the long end - assuming that very little if any cropping was involved - of course that assumes no technical camera requirements for movement ....

However, as soon as one wishes (as I do)  to shoot a lot of panoramic aspect  ( XPan |Technorama | Widelux ) - 24 megapixels becomes 12 megapixels or less in quick time and the quality of print ( depending on subject matter of course) declines significantly. Similarly, 100 megapixels becomes 50 megapixels or less in those aspect ratios. 50 megapixels might sound a lot but when some prints are measured in meters in both dimensions - my experience suggests that less upressing the better.

I don't think the traditional differences seen between 35mm and MF as far as dynamic range/ tonality and 'draw' go is as obvious as once was - still there depending on the glass one uses - but less obvious until (again) print sizes get large as opposed to 'normal'.

To put things in a cost perspective - the Fuji 100MP SLR style camera will be no larger than an SL and battery grip with lenses of similar if not smaller dimensions/weight  than those made for the SL - with camera costing about the same as an SL lens or a Rodenstock 23mm as another example.

My panorama kit is now reduced to a camera and a 23mm Fuji - the only thing I miss are the movements my Sinar Artec used to provide - Alpa will soon enough be making a Fuji adaptor as they have already done for the XID and I can dust of the Rodenstocks and Schneiders that have been sitting idle for a few years.

The question of what is required to manage the workflow of larger files is a serious consideration - but easily solved for these days.

 

 

 

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The GFX has very limited zoom choice ...    That makes the big difference for me with the SL: Perfect zoom choice and additionally fantastic primes if I want to. And more resolution is only a matter of time ...  ✌️

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21 hours ago, thighslapper said:

I just don't get it.

The closest I can view a whole A2 print is 30cm and still see the whole image ...... and at that distance (and closer) 24mpx produces an image with resolution that exceeds the capability of the human eye. 

100mpx doubles the linear resolution so you can print twice as big for the same dpi ...... but to view the whole print you would have to be twice as far away, so you see just the same.

Whilst the anally retentive view prints at 10cm or pixel peep at 100%, the vast majority of normal people are not so obsessed. 

I can see some very specialised uses for high resolution images and dramatic cropping, but quite what the rest of us normal photographers need 100mpx for beats me.

I also have some worries about the potential TIFF and PSD file sizes after processing and the processing power required to manipulate them ..... 

No doubt my heart will overrule my head and I will be on the megapixel escalator with everyone else ..... but sometimes I do question my sanity over all this......  :wacko:

As you know, I agree with you generally on this. However, there are situations where more resolution is of help:

1. Using image ratios other than the native 3:2. To better show you what I mean, I prepared this little table to compare "existing" cameras (leaving the Fuji 100 Mp aside for now):

SL, 24Mp, 6000x4000px:
3:2, 24Mp - 4:3, 21,33 Mp - 5:4, 20 Mp - 16:9, 20,25 Mp - 2:1, 18 Mp - 3:1, 12 Mp

X1D or GFX, 50Mp, 8272x6200 (X1D):
3:2, 45,62 Mp - 4:3, 51,29 Mp - 5:4, 48,05 Mp - 16:9, 38,49 Mp - 2:1, 34,21 - 3:1, 22,81 Mp

With the 50 Mp, 4:3 native sensor, you can use any format ratio you wish, and still have enough resolution for a large print. With the 24 Mp, much less so: even with the 4:3 disadvantage in panoramic ratios, as Peter said, the more you go panoramic the more the SL's 24 Mp start to become a little too few for large prints, while the 50 Mp 4:3 sensor still holds up pretty well: in 3:1, you still have the same resolution you'd have with a 3:2 SL's image.

2. When cropping is needed to make up for something, i.e. lack of longer focal lenses in the bag. Say you only have the 24-90mm with you, but you'd need a 135mm for a particular image. Cropping will save the composition, but to still get a large print you'll need more than 24 Mp. Not often needed, perhaps, but having more Mp allows for a little more flexibility (and lets you leave that long lens home).

About computing power, I used 80 Mp digital backs back in the day, when computers were much less powerful than they are today. I had a top of the line (back then) Mac, without any problems. If you use a laptop computer, this might be an issue (not with the last generation Mac Book Pros, but these are expensive), but with a desktop computer I don't see the problem.

Same goes for HDD storage space: since you don't need SSD drives for storage (in fact, I wouldn't recommend them for reliability), and since you can buy 6 TB HDD for a bit more than 100 US (in the 5400 RPM flavour) or little less than 200 US (in the 7200 RPM flavour) that is a non-issue for me as well.

So, I think it boils down to this:

Do you print large?

If you do, there is a point in going 50 Mp, not sure about 100 Mp though. See here: https://www.scantips.com/calc.html for a size / resolution calculator. I think that the 300 Dpi is not a necessity (plus it really depends on the native resolution of each printer), and IMHO 200 Dpi is good enough for large prints: so, if you need to print 1 mt x 75 cm, which I do often, at 200 Dpi you'd need 46 Mp. I print my SL files that big, and they look great, but it takes some care in the post-processing and print preparation - more Mp would definitely make that easier.

If you don't, and just display your images on screens, then 24 Mp is not just enough - is more than enough for now, if you consider that 5K resolution is 14 Mp, 8K resolution is 33 Mp and is currently the highest available.

Best regards,

Vieri

Edited by Vieri

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Hi Vieri ....

I was more concerned with 100mpx ...... which to me does seem to be well beyond the needs of most photographers.

It looks like we will all end up with 50mpx by default within the next few years .... unless we specifically choose to sacrifice resolution for extended high ISO performance or enhanced video. 

That extra headroom in processing with more pixels would be useful at times as long as it comes with no penalties. To be honest I'd prefer extended dynamic range and better noise performance over more pixels, but if both come together I wouldn't grumble. 

However, the resolving power of the human eye will not change and 24mpx is still adequate for printing at any size if the image is viewed at a distance that allows you to see the whole print. Anyone that spends all their time 10cm from a 1m print looking at the detail has missed the point of most photographs.... It may be nice to print 1m wide at 300dpi and get 1:1 detail from the original file, but from a practical point of view it is frequently not necessary...... unless you are selling prints to other photographers, that is ...... :rolleyes:

We are heading the same way with TV's ...... 4K at normal domestic viewing distances is about the limit as far as required resolution ..... anything more would only be visible if you sit so close that it would be uncomfortable. They will no doubt push 8K when it appears in the mainstream ..... but it will be mostly hype from the point of watching TV and films. It may be excellent for viewing landscape shots though ....:D

As for data ..... it is just as well we don't do video as well ..... the last youtube vlogger I talked to said he had accumulated 20 Tb of footage and stills in the last year alone .....

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Already with the SL using the 10 MPx super 35 part of the sensor for 4K video with Leica's current codecs, I see about 1 GB of file produced every two minutes, and that is with 8 bit recording to an SD card.  If you record to some external device at 10 bits per color, I am told the data rate is about 5X higher, and the quality jump is very apparent.  At the slower rate, I recently shot a 40 minute production, using two cameras, and one camera for a second performance to cover some technical problems.  Editing the whole thing I had to clear most of the storage on my laptop, as the working files expand during editing from the compressed format that you shoot into something in which every frame is rendered.  I think it expanded to about 0.5 TB.

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I own 2 SL bodies and all SL lenses, except for the 90-280 mm.  I also shoot with some specialized adapted lenses (tilt-shift), but primarily, I am a beauty and fashion photographer and prefer to shoot extensively with portrait length lenses and Profoto strobes.  I love the SL, its build quality, handling, and organic image quality from the files.  It's my favorite camera in terms of design and build.  However, the SL (like all Leicas) has one signficant drawback to me, which is that there is no high sync capabilities with my Profoto strobes.  The creative lighting options with Leicas are very limited, compared with other brands, primarily I think, because Leica photographers are "natural light" photographers.  Therefore, I greatly under-utilize my SL system.

When Profoto started supporting the Fuji GFX 50S with high speed sync, I bought into that system.  I was completely blown away by the image files.  Combined with GF 110 mm, the image files I get from the GFX is the best image quality of any file I've ever seen.  (And it's a very easy system to use to extract that quality, as well.  I also have a Phase One XF IQ3 100 mp, but that system requires extreme locked-down tripod use to extract maximum quality).  I was so blown away by the image quality of the GFX as well as the comfortable ergonomics that I ordered a 2nd GFX 50S body and haven't looked back.  I use one of the bodies for my beauty and fashion shoots and the other for personal work.  I still have my SL system, but without hesitation, I would go with the GFX hands down.  I am awaiting delivery of the GFX 50R.  

www.hhnstudios.com/

 

 

Edited by hhn360

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Sadly Leica seem to make a habit of this ...... very minor and usually easily remedied Firmware omissions or glitches that turn out to be deal breakers for a significant percentage of potential customers. :(

Leica are superb with lenses, have caught up and are now excellent with digital camera bodies ...... but Firmware implementation and updates are still their achilles heel. 

The interface on the SL is so good that with a few suitable profiles set you rarely have to delve into the menus. A few more menu options for some common but rarely used functions would not make any difference to current simplicity of use. Leaving things out purely because Leica think they are superfluous does not attract professional users. 

With Canon, Nikon and soon Panasonic in the FF mirrorless market and two excellent MF alternatives the SL2 really needs to be a quantum leap forward rather than a modest incremental upgrade .....

I'm heavily invested in Leica lenses, so for me the back compatibility and cost of replacing the lenses with suitable alternatives precludes me from jumping ship to another system, but for others the array of other choices has never been more tempting.  

Edited by thighslapper

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6 hours ago, hhn360 said:

I love the SL, its build quality, handling, and organic image quality from the files.  It's my favorite camera in terms of design and build.  However, the SL (like all Leicas) has one signficant drawback to me, which is that there is no high sync capabilities with my Profoto strobes.  The creative lighting options with Leicas are very limited, compared with other brands, primarily I think, because Leica photographers are "natural light" photographers.  Therefore, I greatly under-utilize my SL system.

Leica wants to present its SL as a professional solution. I doubt that it’s a pro system if there is no High Sync/HSS option with the professional strobe system. As far as I know, professionals use ProFoto and Broncolor very often and younger people tend to get Godox. At least those three systems are available for rent in my parts. 

Two of my friends who are pros and Leica Users, recently bought a  Fuji GFX or Pentax,  because those cameras are now supported by the Strobe manufacturers (Godox). By the way, Broncolor orders their HS triggers at Godox  

Listen Leica, there is demand for a HS/HSS strobe solution. The HSS look is very popular with the younger crowd. 

I have a Sony because of the HSS and my ND filters for my Leicas, and I am seriously thinking of selling a couple of my Leica lenses, and it will finance a Fujifilm MF camera  with a portrait lens or two. I am not sure that the new S008 will have the ISO 50 and even with the central shutters it would not allow us to shoot wide open in the sun with strobes.

 

 

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