Fujifilm GFX50R Discontinued‽

Digitalcameraworld is reporting that the Fujifilm GFX50R is officially discontinued, but that doesn’t sound quite right to me unless the GFX50R is being refreshed soon. To the best of my knowledge, the GFX50R sold a lot better than the GFX50S, and when the GFX100 was announced the GFX50S sales lagged even more, but the GFX50R sales remained strong. I doubt Fujifilm would pull the GFX50R without a replacement unless this is tied to the chip shortage or they have a replacement GFX50R II coming soon.

Further, the GFX100S styled GFX50SII is not liked by most that loved the GFX50S/GFX50R. The original GFX50S was almost a perfect camera and all Fujifilm needed to do was remove the bulge from the back to make photographers more interested in the camera. Fujifilm proved they could fix the bulge with the GFX50R and Fujifilm even had a better price point that helped the GFX50R cut deeply into GFX50S sales from what I have seen and it is the kind of update Fujifilm should have made with the GFX50S II instead of copying the GFX100S body. Yes using one body can cut costs for Fujifilm, but those savings do not appear to have been passed along to the consumer at the GFX50S II launch price point.

I have been shooting GFX since day one and I loved the GFX50S but I probably would have bought a GFX50R if they were announced at the same time due to the lack of bulge and lower price point. Still today I would pick the GFX50S or GFX50R over the GFX100S or GFX50S II simply because I like the bodies Fujifilm launched with most. I would also pick a GFX100 over GFX100S because even though the GFX100S is more compact than GFX100 the GFX100 is an all-around better camera in my experience and the quality of the camera has helped to keep the price point and resale quite high. That being said GFX50S had a superior layout to the GFX100 too.

GFX isn’t for everyone and I know Fujifilm is trying to expand the appeal with its new design philosophy, but at the same time, I think they are turning off a pretty big portion of their base with the latest announcements. I haven’t considered going back to shooting Leica as my primary camera since the GFX100 came out, but if they continue down this path Fujifilm will become a secondary camera for me like Sony did because Leica will be the only company left making cameras that operate the way I like them too.

Fujifilm needs to be careful not to lose its base in pursuit of Sony/Canon/Nikon, because most of us are picking Fujifilm over the competition due to its traditionally superior shooting experience that is absent from the GFX100S/GFX50S II/X-S10 and other low-end X mount cameras. Similarly, most photographers would love to own and shoot Leica cameras due to their superior shooting experience, but Leica’s exorbitant price point puts them out of reach for most, while many Fujifilm cameras provide 99% of the Leica experience for a fraction of the price.

If Fujifilm continues chasing Sony/Canon/Nikon instead of doing its own thing I’m afraid they might end up on the scrap heap like other brands that tried to do the same. Fujifilm needs to pursue its strengths and go back to ignoring the inferior products that Sony/Canon/Nikon are making if they want to lock in an audience.

Fujifilm GFX50R:
B&H Photo / Adorama / Amazon
Fujifilm GFX50SII:
B&H Photo / Amazon  / Moment / Adorama

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via DigitalCameraWorld

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