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Canon 5D Mark IV versus Fujifilm GFX 50S

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and the Fujifilm GFX 50S are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2016 and September 2016. The 5D Mark IV is a DSLR, while the GFX is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (5D Mark IV) and a medium format (GFX) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 30.1 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 51.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Fujifilm GFX 50S

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 5D Mark IV and the Fujifilm GFX 50S. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 5D Mark IV – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Canon 5D Mark IV vs Fujifilm GFX 50S
Compare 5D Mark IV versus GFX top
Compare 5D Mark IV and GFX rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm GFX 50S is notably smaller (21 percent) than the Canon 5D Mark IV. Moreover, the GFX is markedly lighter (17 percent) than the 5D Mark IV. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the 5D Mark IV gets 900 shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the GFX can take 400 images on a single charge of its NP-T125 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 5D Mark IV» 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i
Fujifilm GFX 50S« 148 mm 94 mm 91 mm 740 g 400 Y Sep 2016 6,499 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 144 mm 111 mm 75 mm 765 g 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon 5DS R« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5D Mark III« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 950 g 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i
Canon 5D Mark II« » 152 mm 114 mm 75 mm 850 g 850 Y Sep 2008 3,499- i
Canon 5D« » 152 mm 113 mm 75 mm 895 g 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 141 mm 83 mm 46 mm 495 g 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« » 133 mm 92 mm 49 mm 507 g 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Nikon D850« » 146 mm 124 mm 79 mm 1005 g 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Nikon D800« » 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« » 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 5D Mark IV was launched at a markedly lower price (by 46 percent) than the GFX, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Fujifilm GFX 50S

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 5D Mark IV features a full frame sensor and the Fujifilm GFX 50S a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the GFX is 68 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 0.79. The sensor in the 5D Mark IV has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the GFX offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 5D Mark IV and Fujifilm GFX 50S sensor measures

With 51.1MP, the GFX offers a higher resolution than the 5D Mark IV (30.1MP), but the GFX has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.33μm versus 5.36μm for the 5D Mark IV). It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the GFX has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

5D Mark IV versus GFX MP

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 5D Mark IV» Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591
Fujifilm GFX 50S« MF 51.1 8256 61921080/30p----
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381
Canon 5D Mark II« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 37441080/30p23.711.9181579
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the 5D Mark IV provides a higher video resolution than the GFX. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Fujifilm GFX 50S

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 5D Mark IV has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GFX relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 5D Mark IV and Fujifilm GFX 50S in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 5D Mark IV»optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 7.0 n n
Fujifilm GFX 50S«- Y 3.2 2360 tilting Y 4000 3.0 n n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 6.0 n n
Canon 5D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 3.9 n n
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n n
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n

Both the 5D Mark IV and the GFX are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The 5D Mark IV replaced the earlier Canon 5D Mark III, while the GFX does not have a direct predecessor.

Review summary: Canon 5D Mark IV vs Fujifilm GFX 50S

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 5D Mark IV or the Fujifilm GFX 50S – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (900 versus 400) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).

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Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm GFX 50S:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 30.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 28%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2360k vs 1620k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More compact: Is smaller (148x94mm vs 151x116mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 150g or 17 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (7 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

5D Mark IV 07:07 GFX

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 5D Mark IV or the GFX handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Canon 5D Mark IV»HiRec87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i
Fujifilm GFX 50S«-85/1005/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 6,499 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5D Mark III« »HiRec82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i
Canon 5D Mark II« »91/10079/1004/55/5- Sep 2008 3,499- i
Canon 5D« »88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« »HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Nikon D850« »HiRec89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please contact me, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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