Fujifilm caused a great deal of excitement this week by announcing its first medium format mirrorless camera, the 51MP GFX 50S. But “medium format” is a a relative term rather than a specific sensor size, so how does the new 50S’s sensor stack up against other digital cameras on the market?
“Medium format” is generally used to refer to film frames or sensor sizes that are larger than 35mm full frame (24x36mm) but smaller than large format (4x5in). So, the 43.8×32.9mm sensor in Fuji’s 50S is medium format, but so is the larger 53.7×40.4mm sensor found in Phase One’s 100MP XF camera.
To give you a better idea of how big these sensors are relative to one another, we’ve created a graphic that shows relative sensor sizes. It includes the iPhone 7 (~6.25×5.16mm), Olympus PEN (Four Thirds, ~18×13.5mm), Nikon D500 (APS-C, 23.5×15.7mm), Canon 5D S (full frame, 36x24mm), Fujifilm GFX 50S (43.8×32.9mm), and Phase One XF (53.7×40.4mm).
As you can see, Fuji’s new sensor is noticeably larger than 35mm full frame, but noticeably smaller than Phase One XF medium format cameras. It’s something to keep in mind when you hear the phrase “medium format digital camera.”