Fujifilm GFX 50S II Announced | The Photography News Show #17

by alessandro_carpentiero

Fujifilm has announced the Fujifilm GFX 50S II, which is now the cheapest digital medium format camera on the market. Besides that, we have new Fujifilm lenses, an update on Google’s AI technology, and much more.
Here’s the best news I’ve selected for “The Photography News Show”!


Fujifilm GFX 50S II Announced | Cheapest Digital Medium Format Camera

Fujifilm has officially announced the GFX 50S II, which now has the title of cheapest digital medium format camera on the market.

It has a 51.4 Megapixel sensor with specially shaped microlenses, that leave space between the sensor’s pixels and increase sharpness.

A big sensor doesn’t necessarily mean a massive camera, in fact, the GFX 50S II weighs 900g (a bit less than 2 lb), so that you can use it also outside a studio, for example, for landscape photography or outdoor portraits.

Usability is improved by the 6.5 stops of in-body image stabilization, which gives you the freedom to shoot handheld when needed. It’s also dust and moisture resistant, and it can work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, or -10 Celcius.

Since their launch, I’ve always been interested in digital medium format cameras, and it’s nice to see that Fujifilm has kept investing in their development, which has helped to make this technology cheaper. In fact, you can pre-order this camera for $3,999, a price that would have been a dream for this technology just a decade ago.

It’s fair to say full-frame cameras have now achieved a very high megapixel count, a wide dynamic range, they can handle noise well and have fast autofocus together with great video quality, which makes them great all-rounders.

So the question is, why should you consider this camera?

In general, the biggest advantage is more sharpness, better tonal quality, and greater dynamic range. But you would have to sacrifice speed of operation, as the burst rate is just 3 frames per second, and the autofocus can’t be compared to the one we have on the latest full-frame cameras.

So, I’d say this can be the right camera for photographers that want to approach the medium-format world and don’t need the additional features the GFX 100S has. Basically, if you want super high detail, top color representation, and are willing to sacrifice some versatility, this can be the right camera for you.

Sony a7R Mark II Discontinued

the one I fell in love with back in 2015, the Sony a7R Mark II, seems to have been discontinued, as it’s unavailable from many retailers.

I still remember how excited I was when it was first announced, as it was a massive step forward for the industry.

I‘ve taken this camera with me all around the world, and I still use it to this day.

The latest a7R models (a7RIII & a7RIV) have improved its weak points, but it still is the camera I recommended to those that wanted a powerful full-frame camera and were willing to sacrifice a bit of speed while taking a ton of batteries with them. So, dear a7R Mark 2, R.I.P., and if you want to get it from now on, you’ll probably have to look in the second-hand market.

Canon EOS Ra Discontinued

Another camera that has been discontinued this week is the Canon EOS Ra, a super-niche camera specifically designed for astrophotography.

It basically is the EOS R, with an infrared filter placed in front of the sensor, which enables four times as much Hydrogen Alpha light to be transmitted. Basically, you get more colors when capturing deep sky objects.


New Fujifilm Lenses

The biggest news of the week surely is the GFX 50S II launch, and Fujifilm took the opportunity to share an updated lens roadmap, both for medium format and APS-C lenses.

The most interesting ones for the GFX system I would say are the 20-35mm, which will be equivalent to a 16-28mm on a full-frame camera, and an undisclosed tilt-shift lens for 2023.


Google Zoom Enhance Technology AI (SR3)

If you’ve ever watched CSI, you might remember its zoom enhance technology, thanks to which agents were able to zoom into photos at a crazy level. That was pretty ridiculous, but it looks like we’re getting close to achieving something similar. A couple of weeks ago, Google published a new blogpost on its AI Blog, where it showed the latest improvements of its photo upscaling technology called SR3, which takes as input a low-resolution image, in this case, 64×64 pixels, and builds a corresponding high-resolution image from pure noise.

The results are pretty mindblowing, and I guess we won’t have to wait for long to really be able to zoom into a suspect’s iris reflection.


Bird Photographer of the Year 2021

This week we have the winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year 2021.

The winning shot shows a roadrunner in front of the U.S. Border Wall. Roadrunners can technically fly, but it surely is a powerful image.

‘Blocked’ by Alejandro Prieto. Overall Winner and Bird Photographer of the Year 2021

While these are some of the images I liked the most, where you can see birds in a variety of scenarios. This is a genre that has always fascinated me, as it requires a lot of patience, some luck, as well as a massive lens.

Talking of which, I’ve just received the Tamron 150-500mm, so stay tuned for its review in the next few weeks!


U.S. Parks Create “Selfie Stations” to Avoid Overcrowded Areas

The imaging world can be at times, weird!

Some Natural Parks in the U.S. were tired of having people overcrowding certain areas for taking selfies, so they’ve come up with “Selfie Stations” that will help visitors find new spots where to snap a selfie.

That’s an interesting initiative to help promote less-known areas of parks, but how about we ban selfie sticks?


Sony 100mm F1.4 GM & Sony 85mm F1.2 GM Scheduled for 2021 & 2023

Sony keeps on working on new lenses, and there are rumors about two upcoming ones. They are the 100mm f/1.4 GM, rumored to be released in 2021, and the 85mm f/1.2 GM that should come in early 2023.

As usual, I’ll keep you posted as soon as I have more news about them, so, let’s wait and see!

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