Comparing Out of Camera Images from the Fuji GFX 50S vs the Leica SL, Leica M10, and Leica Q

I was visiting one of my "regular" stores in Shanghai a couple of days ago when their first shipment of the new medium-format Fuji cameras arrived on their doorstep. Oddly enough I had actually been at the store trying out Leica's medium-format model, the S. The store owner persuaded me to try the Fuji instead, assuring me that she'd take it back if I didn't want it...

Unfortunately the weather here has been awful these past two days, and I was also inundated with work, so I haven't had the opportunity to try the Fuji outdoors.

However, last night I decided to do a simple comparison between it and my current Leica workhorses, with an indoor shot at home.

The following are three sets of photos from the four cameras.  All were taken using each camera's aperture-priority automatic exposure settings, at ISO 100, auto white balance, and at f/8, approximately at 28mm focal length (Summilux-M 28mm on the M10, the respective kit zoom lenses on the SL and GFX). No adustments whatsoever were made.

  1. Compressed to 2mb JPEGs (done simply with OSX's built-in Preview application)
  2. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs (screenshots from Preview zooms)
  3. Compressed to 2.5mb JPEGs from RAWs converted in Adobe Lightroom (NEW)
  4. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs from RAWs (NEW)
  5. Out of camera JPEGs (as downloadable files - will upload this weekend)

1. Out of Camera JPEGs Equally Compressed to 2MB JPEGs

The original JPEG files were all different in sizes (probably due to the different types of in-camera processing being done).

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

2. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

3. Compressed to 2.5mb JPEGs from RAWs converted in Adobe Lightroom (NEW)

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

4. Enlarged samples of each of the above JPEGs from RAWs Converted in Lightroom (NEW)

Leica Q

Leica M10

Leica SL

Fuji GFX 50S

Comments

So I used the GFX over the past weekend, and have now decided to return it, along with the zoom lens and 50mm equivalent lens I got at the same time. It's certainly a great camera from a technical standpoint - great resolution and dynamic range, but very very difficult for me to use for my style of street/documentary photography.

Why you ask. The following is why:

  1. It is just too heavy, even with the 50mm-equivalent prime lens.
  2. The autofocus is too slow for quick shots on the street.
  3. Very difficult to zone-focus - there is no distance markings on the lens (I typically set my M lenses to a certain distance and adjust by feel depending on where the lens tab is at the bottom).
  4. The flip-out screen is great for indoor/studio/tripod use, but on the street if you have it pulled out the camera gets even bigger, and starts to look like a BFG from Quake.
  5. It is just too big - specifically, to get close to my subjects with it.

I was thinking about keeping it for special purposes, but somehow I think it would become a white elephant. At least for me.

Here's to hoping Leica come out with an improved SL or S camera later this year!

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