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Fujifilm X-H2S First Impressions

Fujifilm X-H2S First Impressions


Fujifilm X-H2S

Now that it has been a couple months since its release date, it’s time to review Fujifilm’s new flagship full frame mirrorless APC-C camera, the X-H2S.

 

Design

At first glance of Fujifilm’s new X-Series mirrorless camera, you will notice the eloquently crafted design made from durable weather resistant materials with a grained finish that wrap around the entire camera, including the back of the electronic viewfinder.  Call me silly for caring about such detail, but similar grade cameras grained finish does not include the viewfinder.  I find it to look more of a complete and finished product, while also protecting the surface from scratches which a flat finish is more prone to.

The X-H2S’s large grip makes it easy to hold and function and with the new layout of buttons and customizable dial let’s you have easy access to all your favorite settings and controls.  The larger handle also increases stability and balance to the camera when using larger lenses.  Included in these changes are a new AF on button vs XT4 AF switch that Fujifilm has been using.  There is a new shutter button with technology that increases the accuracy of manually controlling the exposure when half pressed.  And because Fujifilm created this camera with professionals in mind, the shutter durability during testing survived 500,000 actuations which adds to the durability and reliability of the camera and its mechanics.

Another Feature you will notice in the design is the cameras’ ability to customize with add on accessories like a dust and moisture repellent vertical battery grip that can function in as low as 14 degrees temperature and a detachable cooling fan to extend battery life and not shut down due to overheating which happens in many other cameras when shooting video for a long period of time.

Next Generation Imaging Sensor and Processor

One very cool thing about the X-H2C is that it’s Fujifilm’s first APS-C camera to include their latest in optic and AI technology with their next generation 26.16MP X-TransTM CMOS 5 Image sensor and X-Processor 5.

The stacked, back side illuminating X-TransTM CMOS 5 sensor is powerful and fast with signal speeds up to four times faster vs XT4’s X-TransTM CMOS 4 sensor.  This is especially helpful when shooting in 40fps creating stunningly sharp and focused images even when using burst mode during action sequences.

Fujifilm’s new X-Processor 5 also gives us huge improvements over the X-Processor 4 with twice the processing power for better reliability at low ISO setting and less noise when photographing at a high ISO which is more sensitive to light and can create noise in your pictures.  AI integration in the new processor enables the X-H2S’s subject detection autofocus to be blistering fast and provide accurate tracking and focusing.

Enhanced Features

Burst Mode

With a new processor delivering twice the amount of power and a new CMOS sensor that provides 4x faster signal speeds, the X-H2S allows burst mode to use the camera’s AF/AE tracking features in blackout-free continuous shooting up to 40fps.  Or shoot over 1,000 frames continuously up to 30fps for JPEG and 20fps for RAW.  Utilizing triple the number of calculations vs X-T4, the X-H2S uses phase detection pixels individually from image display while in burst mode.  Meaning the camera will focus at a very rapid speed even during fast continuous shooting.

AutoFocus

The X-H2S’s improved AF performance can be credited to the new AI integrated X-Processor 5 making a significant number of calculations per second with increased accuracy and precision.  Subject detection AF uses Deep Learning technology to execute advanced prediction algorithms to enhance performance of Zone AF which makes the camera’s ability to track moving subjects in low contrast a breeze.

Subject tracking AF have expanded tracking human faces and eyes to include options for animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, and trains.  The increased efficiency of the AF tracking system allows you to keep your attention on your frame and environment instead of constantly trying to achieve focus. 

Video Recording



Using the X-H2S for still photography will get your stunning bright images, and the improved video recording performance and added function button makes the X-H2S one of the most versatile cameras on the market. 

With a juiced up new processor, the X-H2S records video in 10-bit 4:2:2. It supports resolutions up to 6.2K/30P with very fast frame rates up to 4K/120P and Full HD/240P.  With professionals in mind, the X-H2S also supports codecs, such as Apple ProRes HQ, ProRes 42, and ProRes LT, opening a world of possibilities during postproduction. 

The X-H2S produces super-fast readout speeds from the sensor at 1/180 seconds when recording which reduces rolling shutter effects if the camera is moving when handheld, or when the subject is moving.  To overcome recording video that drains batteries and overheats the systems, the X-H2S has a heat dissipating design feature that keeps the camera cool, allowing for 4K/60P nonstop video recording for up to 240 minutes.  And you can even take it a step further and add an accessory option like an attachable cooling fan, which will keep your camera even cooler. Stay cool amigo!

  • Side note about the cooling fan – It connects to slots behind the vari-angle viewfinder with weather sealant protectors that pop out to expose the rivets the cooling fan connects to, maintaining the integrity of the camera’s dust and moisture repellency.

Additional Specification

  • Added Dynamic Range of up to 14+ stops for External Recording – The X-H2S is the first X-Series camera to contain F-Log2, allowing for more stops opening a vast array of creative possibilities during your video recording and mor flexibility while in post-production.
  • High Resolution Electronic Viewfinder – X-H2S’s 5.76 million dot panel with a magnification of 0.8x and frame rates of 120fps provides tremendous visibility due to the system’s ability to suppress parallax and distortion while providing precise subject tracking. This can sometimes happen when the eye position becomes displaced and is a strong feature found only in the best cameras.
  • New 5 axis in body image stabilization gets up to 7.0 stops of image stabilization which helps when shooting handheld in active settings such as sports or “nightscape” mode for low light environments.
  • A new Video Recording button has been added for convenience and enhanced experience with the 1.62 million dot vari-angle LCD display.
  • Dual memory card slots, one for SD cards, and one which supports high speed data processing CFexpress Type B cards.
  • File Transmitter (FT-XH) – An add-on accessory wired LAN and high-speed wireless connectivity for in studio workflows and can also be used as a vertical grip.
    • Supports: FTP transfer and tethered shooting by wired LAN, wireless LAN, and USB tethering. Remote recording function can operate up to 4 X-H2S cameras from a browser at the same time.

Final Impressions

Reliable, powerful, and versatile would best describe Fujifilm’s new X-H2S flagship camera.  The new processor and sensor upgrades take the cameras feature abilities to the max offering lightning speeds and reaction times in every aspect.  When you factor in all these enhanced specs and price, you see clear value you will never get in another camera under $2,500.  Other top cameras in this price bracket will produce a great finished product, but Fujifilm really did a great job with the X-H2S.  The new sensor and processor give the X-H2S a clear edge vs Sony A17IV, or vs Canon R7, with a stacked sensor, greater frames per second abilities and more stabilization with more stops of compensation.  These features make the X-H2S a much better option for shooting action, sports, wildlife, or any rapidly moving type of photography.  Additionally, if you’re a content creator you’re going to love recording video for up to 240 minutes without overheating, and there’s an extra video record button that has also been added for convenience and efficiency.  This camera is built like a tank and can withstand tons of professional abuse, feels great in your hands, and produces amazing quality images and video.

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