After months of rumour and speculation, Fujifilm has announced the X-H1, a new APS-C format camera that uses the company’s 24.3Mp X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro. This is the same sensor and processor combination that is in the popular Fuji X-Pro2 and X-T2. It has proved a winning combination with its low-pass filterless design enabling high levels of image detail.
Unlike in other Fujifilm X-series cameras, the X-H1’s sensor can move as it’s the first X-Series model to have 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS). Three axial accelerometers, three axial Gyro sensors, and a dual-processor work together to bring a claimed shutter speed compensation of up to 5.5 stops.
Fuji has used a new spring mechanism in the mechanical shutter to reduce micro-vibrations caused by its movement, helping to make it the quietest shutter mechanism of all X-Series cameras.
It’s also possible to shoot using the electronic front curtain shutter or the electronic shutter, minimising vibration.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is dust-resistant, water-resistant and freeze-resistant down to -10°C.
In comparison to the Fuji X-T2, the X-H1’s magnesium alloy body is 25% thicker, which makes it more durable. Fujifilm has also altered the lens mount attachment to enable the X-H1 to be made more compact and lighter, while still being strong and better able to withstand impact.
In addition, we’re told that the surface of the X-H1 has a larger particle size in comparison to the X-T2’s to make it more scratch-resistant, with a surface hardness equivalent to 8H.
Design changes in comparison with the X-T2 include a larger grip and a leaf-spring switch for the shutter-release button.
The back of the camera has an AF-ON button to enable back-button focusing. Fuji has also made some of the rear buttons larger than on previous X-Series camera to make the X-H1 easier to operate.
Like the X-T2, X-Pro2 and X-E3, the X-H1 has the focus lever or mini-joystick control that speeds AF point selection.
The X-H1 has an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a class-leading 3.60 million dots. Its display runs at 100fps (frames per second) with a lag of just 0.005 seconds and magnification of 0.75x.
On the back of the camera there’s a 3-inch 1.04 million-dot touch-panel mounted on a 3-direction tilt mechanism.
As on the Fuji GFX 50S, there’s also a 1.28-inch LCD on the X-H1’s top-plate that can show current settings.
Fuji has bolstered the X-H1’s video capability with C4K shooting (4096×2160) and in-camera F-log recording. There’s also 200Mbps recording, a 400% dynamic range setting, an external mic port and Time Code.
Slow motion shooters will also appreciate the ability to shoot Full-HD video at up to 120p.
The X-H1 debuts a new Film Simulation mode called Eterna that is specifically designed for movies. According to Fuji, this replicates the look of cinematic film, with understated colours and better shadow tone.
Speed and low light
Fuji has been working on its phase detection autofocus (AF) algorithm, pushing the low-light capability for the X-H1’s phase detection system by around 1.5EV and taking it down to -1EV.
It can function down to f/11 which means it will operate when the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is used with the XF2X TC WR teleconverter.
The AF-C system is also said to be significantly improved, making the X-H1 a better choice for shooting sport and wildlife than other X-Series cameras.
In addition to the X-H1, Fujifilm has announced the vertical power boost grip VPB-XH1 that is specifically designed for use with the new camera. This grip matches the camera body for dust, water and freeze resistance.
As the grip can accommodate two batteries, with a third inside the camera, the maximum number of shots possible in ‘Normal’ mode can be pushed to around 900. And in ‘Boost’ mode, using the grip reduces shutter lag, the delay between shots and the blackout time.
Most significantly for videographers, the grip enables 4K video to be shot for up to 30minutes and has a headphone socket for audio monitoring.
As it has the Fujifilm X mount, the X-H1 is compatible with all existing XF and XC lenses as well as the MKX18-55mmT2.9 and MKX50-135mm T2.9 professional cinema lenses that have been announced at the same time.
We can also look forward to the XF200mmF2 R LM OIS WR, and XF8-16mmF 2.8 R WR lenses that are set to arrive by the end of the year.
Price and Availability
The price of the Fujifilm X-H1 will be £1,699 body only and £1,949 for the body with the new battery grip. It will go on sale in March 2018.