2022-Just what is an X-H, and what does Fujifilm’s new flagship tell us about an X-T5?: Digital Photography Review

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Fujifilm X H2S vs X H1 front
After a four-year break, Fujifilm has an X-H mannequin in its lineup once more. However the X-H2S (left) shouldn’t be fairly a like-for-like substitute: that is anticipated in September.

Once we have been briefed on the X-H1, again in 2018, Fujifilm put emphasis on the thought it was supposed as a stills/video hybrid. It had probably the most superior video specs then seen on an X-series digital camera, gained the in-body stabilization that is so helpful for video shooters and inside Log seize, all of which urged Fujifilm was taking video very significantly.

It was additionally the primary X-series digital camera to characteristic a top-plate LCD as an alternative of a devoted publicity compensation dial. And it was additionally the primary X-series mannequin to characteristic a big handgrip, which turned one other factor that some customers grabbed onto. So to talk.

What was clear is that it sat on the prime of the corporate’s lineup. Fujifilm referred to as the X-H1 its ‘flagship’ and it was, till this week, the costliest X-series digital camera to be launched*.

However there was no quick follow-up to the X-H1, and plenty of of its options, together with in-body stabilization have been added to the X-T4, which bettered the X-H by way of each photograph and video capabilities. Which raised the query: simply what does the X-H line stand for?

With a single knowledge level to work from, completely different folks have centered on completely different points of the X-H1 to reply that query. Now that the X-H2S has arrived and we know a little more about its 40MP sister model, the place does that depart us, and what does it imply for the X-T line?

What’s the X-H2S?

As a way to make sense of what an X-H is likely to be, it is sensible to grasp what the X-H2S is and, simply as importantly, what it is not.

It ought to go with out saying, however the X-H2S shouldn’t be an X-T4 substitute: it is much more costly and there isn’t any ‘T’ within the title. The promise of an X-H2 in September suggests it is not a direct X-H1 successor, both. As a substitute each the characteristic set and value point out that it is a new, higher-end X-series digital camera than we have ever seen earlier than.

X Trans CMOS 5HS
The Stacked CMOS chip that permits the X-H2S’s excessive efficiency for each stills and video can also be a part of why the digital camera is a lot costlier than earlier X-series fashions.

Stacked CMOS sensors are usually way more costly to make, however they make potential the high-speed capturing, fast-refreshing viewfinders, superior AF and high-end video capabilities that the X-H2S gives. This implies the X-H2S appears to be like costly in contrast with its BSI sister fashions and predecessor (and, frankly, a bit expensive in contrast with mid-level full-frame cameras), however guarantees a degree of efficiency we have solely seen from different Stacked CMOS cameras.

The X-H2S would not essentially sign what future X cameras are going to price any more

The least costly Micro 4 Thirds digital camera with a Stacked chip prices $2200. The bottom launch value of a full-frame digital camera with a Stacked CMOS sensor was the $4500 Sony a9. In comparison with rivals with useably quick digital shutters and tremendous high-speed capturing, the X-H2S immediately would not appear as costly.

The proof of that efficiency will come after we take a look at it, in fact, nevertheless it’s value making clear that this can be a high-performance mannequin of the sort that hasn’t existed within the X-series earlier than: which in flip means it would not essentially sign what future X cameras are going to price any more.

Is that this the video mannequin?

The Stacked CMOS’s velocity clearly has advantages for video. And, just like the X-H1 did, again in 2018, the X-H2S units a significantly greater bar for the video capabilities of the X-series.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the array of resolutions, bitrates and codecs, however the X-H2S gives a spec that is not simply excessive for the model, however excessive for any stills/video digital camera we have but seen. It would not have video assist instruments as polished because the Panasonic GH6, and I am positive there will be zoom flicker movies being linked within the feedback the second I hit publish, however the X-H2S appears to be like like a really, very promising digital camera for capturing video.

Fujifilm X H2S with fan
If the X-H2S have been supposed as a video-focused mannequin, why would the fan unit be an elective additional?

However that is not the identical as saying it’s a video digital camera. Fujifilm’s presentation could have made reference to the ‘H’ within the title denoting ‘heavy responsibility’ however its stills specs counsel that ‘hybrid’ is simply as related because it was with the X-H1. Simply take a look at the choice to make the cooling fan elective: it is an added price for customers who want additional dependability when capturing video in heat environments that Fujifilm did not wish to be borne by the X-H2S’s stills shooters. It is laborious to think about a extra tangible indication that the X-H2S is for each stills and video shooters.

However what concerning the dials?

The X-H1 was the primary X-series digital camera to regulate publicity compensation with a button press, quite than a devoted dial. The house normally occupied by an Publicity Comp dial was as an alternative given over to an LCD standing panel. It is a decisive determination: I discover the previous extra helpful than the latter, however I do know loads of individuals who choose a standing display screen, so it is good to have the selection.

This design had no influence in any respect on subsequent X-T fashions, with the X-T3 and 4 nonetheless providing the devoted dials that so many customers love about Fujifilm. As a substitute, the subsequent time we noticed an X-H-like management structure was on the corporate’s first medium format physique: the GFX 50S.

Fujifilm GFX 50SII top down
The management structure and philosophy of the X-H2S comes instantly from cameras just like the GFX 50S II: not precisely Fujifilm’s most video-focused mannequin.

There is a logical development of this management structure that begins on the X-H1 and leads, by way of the GFX 50S, 100, 100S and 50S II, to the design of the X-H2S. Anybody who thinks the shutter velocity dial has been sacrificed to appease the video-shooting vandals hasn’t been watching the event of the GFX sequence.

The X-H2S’s management logic is not from a video digital camera or copied from different producers, it is borrowed from the GFX 50S II, which I am unable to think about has made many ripples within the video world.

What does this imply for the X-T sequence?

Fujifilm X H2S vs X T4
The X-T4 introduced a bigger grip, picture stabilization and superior video capabilities to the X-T vary. If each X-H2 fashions find yourself providing all these issues, it takes the stress off a hypothetical X-T5 to play a hybrid position.

To know what the X-H2S tells us concerning the X-T sequence, it is value contemplating what we all know concerning the promised X-H2 mannequin. It’s going to be a 40MP digital camera with a BSI sensor at its coronary heart and, it appears honest to imagine, it will share a physique with the X-H2S (why share the X-H title in any other case?).

So which means there will be a 40MP, large-gripped ‘flagship’ mannequin that, with out the price of a Stacked CMOS chip, I would prefer to suppose will sit nearer the X-H1’s authentic $1900 price ticket. I am speculating, in fact, however once more it would not look like an amazing leap to counsel the X-H2 may even be appropriate with the VG-XH and the FT-XH equipment (why make a file transmitter with ‘XH’ within the title similtaneously you announce an X-H mannequin, if they will not work collectively?).

We’re instructed devoted dials are ‘extra of an X-T characteristic’

That leaves room for a hypothertical ‘X-T5’ to sit down alongside (or barely beneath, if if loses-out on choices like FT-XH compatibility). We’re instructed that devoted dials are ‘extra of an X-T characteristic,’ which suggests I can think about it going considered one of two methods:

The primary is likely to be that the primary distinction shall be that the X-T has a barely smaller grip and full conventional dials: basically a 40MP X-H2 with a distinct management structure.

This strategy would even, in principle, depart room for an X-T5S with the Stacked sensor, although I doubt Fujifilm fancies its probabilities of promoting two $2000+ APS-C fashions.

Fujifilm X Pro3
If each X-H fashions deal with the stills/video ‘hybrid’ position, there’s scope for an X-T5 to turn out to be extra pictures centered. However Fujifilm most likely will not need it to tread too closely on the toes of the X-Professional sequence.

The opposite chance is that, with two X-H fashions taking part in the hybrid position, the X-T can turn out to be an much more conventional photographers digital camera: shedding ProRes assist and the CFexpress slot maybe, retaining its dials and possibly even regaining the beautiful two-way tilt LCD, quite than a totally articulated display screen. We are able to however dream.

One other flagship on the horizon

The X-T4 was launched because the X-series flagship and thru the addition of a bigger grip, flip-out display screen, in-body stabilization and spectacular video specs, arguably helped the X-T and X-H traces turn out to be entangled. However with two ‘X-H’ cameras within the lineup, a putative X-T5 now not has to fly the flag for all of Fujifilm’s stills and video ambitions.

With the high-performance X-H2S underway, and information that its high-res sister ship shall be subsequent down the slipway, the X-T sequence is free to plot its personal course. However we will not but make certain what path the winds will take it: Fujifilm’s newest flagship leaves us all as armchair admirals, making an attempt to interpret the imprecise shapes within the offing.


* The black model of the X-Pro3 was launched for $100 extra, however you possibly can purchase the silver model for $100 lower than the X-H1, so I will think about the hardened coating as extra of an elective additional than a part of the inherent price of the digital camera.

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