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19.03.2017 Kara Mercer

GFX 50S: Surpassing All Expectations by Kara Mercer

Kara Mercer

Kara Mercer is a commercial and editorial photographer and art director based on the West Coast. She specializes in developing content for fashion, travel, and lifestyle brands from around the globe.  Known for her use of light and her eye for creative direction, Kara believes every image should stand strongly on its own while also contributing a unique yet complementary voice when serving as part of a collection. Her work is influenced as much by minimalism and thought-provoking conversations as it is by contemporary studies in human psychology and the emotive, sometimes ethereal feel of romanticism. With these influences, she seamlessly combines playful narratives with a timeless aesthetic for commercial media campaigns (print and digital) and editorial work. Some publications/clients include: Fujfiilm, Huffpost, Conde Nast, Adobe, Ona Bags, Tour Alaska, Visit Jordan, Ebay, Lands End, Larsson & Jennings, J. Crew, Madewell, Zappos, Iams & Filson.

Ever since I heard about the GFX 50S, I was intrigued and super excited to get my hands on one. I knew this camera would be a game changer not only for me and my business, but for the commercial world of photography in general. However, it surpassed my every expectation and literally blew me away. As a commercial photographer, the majority of my work is focused on portrait, fashion, and travel work. This type of work requires gear with capabilities to produce beautiful high resolution files, while also preserving dynamic range and details. In order to give my clients the very best work I can create, I have a lot of requirements regarding the capabilities a system offers. A few of those are: tactile experience & ease of use, file resolution, and tonality.

Upon receiving the GFX 50S, my first thought was “Oh my goodness, it is so light compared to my clunky DSLR”. As I began to shoot with it, the camera felt like a glove perfectly made for my hands. It even allowed me the option to use the LCD screen or the lever to select my focal point. I was already familiar with using the lever to focus, since the X Series system has this control as well. The menu system itself is the same as other Fujifilm cameras that I am already familiar with.  Therefore, it made the integration into my workflow seamless. I loved the ability to playback images by just a simple scroll on the touch screen. When not tethered, it is an excellent way to display a few frames to a client on location. For those difficult angles, I used the screens ability to articulate in three directions just like the X-T2. The camera’s speed and accuracy were right on par with Fujifilm’s X Series cameras. Overall, the capabilities of this camera left me more than impressed.

Resolution is another significant requirement for me in a choosing a camera system.  I found the sharpness of the GFX 50S to be insanely incredible, as it contains a 51.4-million-pixel count. This larger sensor size allows for greater resolution, dynamic range, and focus. Within the camera, I was also able to crop in many aspect ratios without losing resolution. Most medium format cameras offer a variety of capabilities, but tip the scale in weight by packing all the capabilities they can fit into it. Fujifilm made their mark in the digital realm of medium format by packing all the best capabilities into a light weight compact system, while also focusing more on the technology and the future of the system.

The GFX changed my workflow by enhancing what I was already doing.  It is appealing in so many aspects. I couldn’t get over the output quality and the film like tones it emulates with skin. This alone cut my processing time in half, as I wasn’t spending as much time behind my computer retouching skin.  If I can use the GFX 50S to achieve that kind of quality, my choice in gear becomes a no brainer. By shooting with Fujifilm’s GFX 50S, I know I am utilizing gear from a company dedicated to innovation. This in turn allows me to deliver better service and quality within my own business.