B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of May 12, 2024

B&H Photo News Roundup: Week of May 12, 2024

What a week! Fujifilm announced a ton of new equipment for both the GFX and X Series. The GFX 100S II and GF 500mm look like great additions to Fujifilm's medium-format line, while the X-T50 and XF 16-50mm should make the everyday APS-C camera even better. Sigma also jumped in the news this week with the release of the 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art Lens, a lighter, smaller, and optically superior version of its standard zoom.

Canon tried to steal the limelight by announcing the EOS R1, the legendary camera maker's first flagship mirrorless camera. There aren't many details yet, but supposedly it's coming later this year.

Fujifilm makes medium format for everyone with GFX 100S II

Among the biggest successes of Fujifilm's GFX Series is that it made medium format a real option for many professional photographers. The GFX 100S II continues to make ultra-high-resolution, medium-format imaging more accessible by taking the stellar tech of the GFX 100 II and bringing it to a smaller, more-affordable body. Alongside that camera, Fujifilm is also expanding its lens offerings with the GF 500mm f/5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens. This is now the longest medium-format lens available for current systems.

Using the latest 102MP medium-format sensor, the GFX 100S II delivers some of the best image quality available in modern digital systems. The depth and color of a medium-format frame is unmatched. The smaller design and more-affordable price point also make this a viable option for enthusiasts as well as professionals.

The camera itself is nicely designed and feels even better with an updated grip pattern, but the smaller size is still the big selling point for medium-format mirrorless. It's now just as reasonable to bring around a medium-format camera as it is to carry full frame. The 8-stop image stabilization system makes it even better for handheld shooting.

FUJIFILM GFX 100S II Medium Format Mirrorless Camera
FUJIFILM GFX 100S II Medium Format Mirrorless Camera

Video is yet another powerful function of the GFX 100S II. It isn't at the same level of performance as the top-of-the-line GFX 100 II, but it still achieves 4K 30p recording with F-Log2 for high-quality capture. This is a well-rounded camera and a compelling one for many more photographers.

That big GF 500mm opens the door for many more shooting opportunities with GFX Series cameras. It is the longest medium-format lens (with AF) currently available for modern mirrorless systems. It provides about a 400mm equivalent in full-frame terms, which is long, and while the GFX system may not quite be a sports lens, it is definitely opening the door for capturing wildlife and other limited-action applications that wasn't possible for medium format in the past.


This lens is surprisingly lightweight as well and it isn't a huge problem to carry around on your expeditions. It also works with the 1.4x teleconverter to get a boost to 700mm (or a 545mm equivalent). Use the various crop modes and you can get an even farther range.

With so many Fujifilm releases we decided to go live on launch day with some first-hand experiences. Check those out here:

Fujifilm X-T50 puts Film Simulations at your fingertips

X Series shooters got their own exciting news with the launch of the X-T50 and the XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens. The X-T50 sits in a new place in the X Series lineup, between the outstanding X-T5 and the everyday X-T30 II, both of which remain available. The X-T50 takes some of the latest tech from the X-T5 and shrinks it down into a smaller body that gives creators direct access to one of Fujifilm's biggest successes: Film Simulations.

The camera itself is slightly larger than the X-T30 II, but the rounded shape should make it feel just as small in the hands. It also brings a Film Simulation dial to the world for the first time, so creators can instantly dial in the look they want for their shoot.

Giving the X-T50 a real boost in performance is its new 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor, along with the X-Processor 5 featured in both the X-T5 and X100 VI. This imaging pipeline is spectacular and results in class-leading image quality. Tack on the 7-stop IS system and all the usual Fuji goodness and you have a compelling midrange option that is great for everyday photography.

FUJIFILM X-T50 Mirrorless Camera
FUJIFILM X-T50 Mirrorless Camera with FUJIFILM XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8 R LM WR Lens

Also in this release is the XF 16-50mm f/2.8-4.8, the new "kit" lens. I hesitate to call this a true kit lens since it isn't that cheap relative to usual kit offerings, but it is a much higher quality than you would get from those options. It provides a 24-76mm equivalent field of view and a decent aperture range. You can't go wrong if you are looking for a do-it-all lens that won't break the bank.

Sigma makes lighter, smaller, and better 24-70mm f/2.8 Art lens

Sigma has been killing it with phenomenal glass and some unique developments at price points that are oftentimes more affordable than the competition. Now, the company is taking one of its top-rated optics and making it even better with the 24-70mm f/2.8 DG DN II Art Lens for Sony E and L-Mount cameras.

The optical design is brand new in this 24-70mm for even better sharpness and color rendering even at the edges of the frame. The lens can even focus as close as 6.7", which should increase the versatility of an already versatile lens.

The bigger news is actually in how much smaller and lighter the II is from the original. It is 7% smaller and 10% lighter, which may not sound like much but it is a big difference when you actually pick up the lens. Add on to that even better control options with dual AFL buttons, an enhanced AF motor, and a de-clickable aperture ring, and you have a complete package.

Canon unveils EOS R1 mirrorless flagship is in development

There isn't much to know about the Canon EOS R1 yet. All we know is that it is the long-awaited mirrorless flagship we have all been expecting for years. It is a true 1 Series offering with a full-size body design and, we are assuming, all the latest technology Canon has been working on for the past 5+ years since the release of the last 1D-series DSLR.

What Canon did reveal shouldn't be too surprising for those in the know:

  • New CMOS sensor

  • Upgraded processing with DIGIC X and new DIGIC Accelerator

  • Improved autofocus system

  • Deep learning technology for improved performance and quality

It will be exciting to see what Canon dreamed up and while we aren't going to do any speculation on potential features you are all more than welcome to put in your two cents down below.

In other news…

  • Hobolite continues to expand their line of stylish LED lights. This time, they went for an ultra-compact design with the Iris. It even works with some fun accessories for getting different color and lighting effects.

  • Thypoch is a lesser-known lens manufacturer who up til now has only had a couple rangefinder lenses to offer. They just took those lenses and made them in native mirrorless mounts.

  • Arturia is getting in on the fun of Superbooth with the PolyBrute 12 MPE Analog Synthesizer with 12 voices, multidimensional analog expressivity, and morphing capabilities.

  • BenQ is upgrading its home cinema projector line with the W5800, a 2600-lumen 4K laser system with 100% coverage of DCI-P3 and the ability to project an image up to 200".

Hopefully this exciting spring is leading us into an even busier summer. Check back next week for the latest news!