Reviews |Fujifilm X-H2: hands-on

Fujifilm X-H2: hands-on Review

Fujifilm's new 'dual flagship' camera splits the X-H series into two lines. Find out how the company's new high-resolution APS-C camera fares in our Fujifilm X-H2 review

Fujifilm X-H2 review
Review

Price when reviewed

£1899

$1999 / €2199

Our Verdict

Our Fujifilm X-H2 review is still ongoing, but so far the new 40-megapixel sensor seems very impressive in terms of the colours it renders and its ability to capture finer textures and details, particularly at lower ISO settings. Paired with the X-Processor 5, the camera’s AF has shown to be lightning fast and accurate. We have more tests to do, but so far the X-H2 is looking like one of the most complete cameras we’ve seen in some time, offering solutions for both photographers and filmmakers.

Is Fujifilm’s new high-resolution X-H series camera the ideal solution for landscape, product and commercial photographers? Find out as we put it through its paces in our Fujifilm X-H2 review.

What is the Fujifilm X-H2?

The Fujifilm X-H2 is the company’s co-flagship APS-C mirrorless camera designed for capturing high-resolution images. While its recently launched sibling, the Fujifilm X-H2S, is built for speed, the X-H2 packs a 40.2-megapixel backside-illuminated X-Trans CMOS 5 HR imaging sensor for photographers who want to capture fine details and rich colours.

As well as exceptional image quality, the Fujifilm X-H2 can record 8K video at up to 30p, as well as 4K video at 60fps. It can also record 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW when used with the Atoms Ninja V+.

Fujifilm is pitching the X-H2 as a complete workflow solution photographers and videographers owing to its multiple options for transferring image and video data. The camera is aimed at commercial, portrait, product and landscape photographers.

Fujifilm X-H2 Price & Availability

The Fujifilm X-H2 price tag is £1,899 / $1,999 for the body alone, with the cost rising to £2,299 / $2,499 for the X-H2 and XF 16-80mmF4 R OIS WR lens kit. The euro price tag will be €2,199 for the body only.

A Fujifilm X-H2 release date is set for late September, while the camera is available for pre-order from today.

Specification

  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Announced: September 8, 2022
  • Price: $1,999 body-only
  • Lens Mount: Fujifilm X
  • Sensor: 40-megapixel X-Trans5 BSI APS-C Imaging Sensor
  • Processing Engine: X-Processor 5
  • Video: 8K at 30p, 6.2K at up to 30p, DCI4K at up to 60p, HD at 240p Apple ProRes internally in 10-bit at 4:2:2
  • Sensitivity: ISO 125 to 12,800 (expandable to ISO 64 to 51,200)
  • IBIS: Up to 7 stops of Internal Body Image Stabilization
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/180,000 Max Shutter speed with electronic shutter
  • Continuous Shooting: 15fps with mechanical shutter, 20fps with electronic shutter
  • Viewfinder: 5.76-million-dot EVF with 0.8x magnification
  • Rear Screen: 1.62 million-dot vari-angle LCD
  • Memory: One CFexpress Type B memory card slot and one UHS-II SD memory card slot

Features

The Fujifilm X-H2 packs an impressive list of specifications and marks the split of the company’s flagship X-H series into two lineups. While the X-H2S is aimed at those who capture moving subjects, the X-H2 is Fujifilm’s high-resolution flagship model. Naturally, at the heart of the X-H2 is a newly designed sensor.

Sensor

Fujifilm’s new X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor offers 40.2-million-pixel resolution, and its backside-illuminated design promises optimum image quality. The new design improves pixel structure to allow for more light. Fujifilm says this enables sensitivity settings of ISO 125 to be a standard setting, rather than an extended option. What’s more, Fujifilm says it has enhanced its image-processing algorithm so that it can enhance resolution.

The X-H2’s sensor is paired with Fujifilm’s latest X-Processor 5, which Fujifilm says is more efficient and boosts battery performance by 10%. X-Processor 5 also employs Deep Learning technology the enables the camera to automatically detect certain subjects, including human faces and eyes, animals, birds cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes and trains.

Thanks to the X-Processor 5, the X-H2 can support the HEIF image format

It’s the speed of the processing engine that help the X-H2 deliver new video capabilities not seen before on a Fujifilm camera.

8K Video

Perhaps the biggest headline specification of the Fujifilm X-H2 is that it can record internal Apple ProRes 10-bit 4:2:2 video in 8K at up to 30p. This gives users not only incredible high-resolution footage but also the ability to down-sample for higher quality 4K.

Along with that you can also shoot 6.2K video at up to 30p, DCI4K at 60p, 4K at 30p and Full HD at 240fps for slow-motion video.

With an Atomos Ninja V+ or Blackmagic Design Video Assist Monitor, it’s possible to record Apple ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW footage using the X-H2’s HDMI Type A port.

The Fujifilm X-H2 can record continuously for up to 160 minutes in temperatures up to 25C, and you can extend this time to 240 minutes with the optional X-H2 clip-on fast.

There’s also F-Log and F-Log2 colour profiles for those who want to grade their footage. The latter extends the camera’s dynamic range to more than 13 stops.

Autofocus

Along with expanded subject-detection capabilities, the Fujifilm X-H2 adds a number of other enhancements to its autofocus system. Fujifilm has added a new focus meter to serve as MF assist while filming video. This can also be used with the camera’s focus peaking.

The X-H2 boasts more phase detection AF pixels than the X-H2S (3.33 million compared to 2.16 million). This 50% increase improves its focus accuracy for fine textures, making it easier to capture detail in subjects such as animal fur, grass and trees.

What’s more, Fujifilm has enhanced the camera’s video AF algorithm to improve accuracy. The X-H2’s AF can also lock focus in just 0.02sec, the same as the X-H2S.

Pixel Shift Multi-Shot Mode

Not only does the X-H2 offer 40MP resolution, but you can also create 160-megapixel images using the camera’s Pixel Shift Multi-shot Mode. The X-H2 is the first X Series camera from Fujifilm to offer this capability and is inherited from the mirrorless medium format GFX System.

In Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode, the camera records 20 frames, shifting the sensor by 0.5 pixels with each frame. When all 20 frames are captured, the images are combined into one DNG Raw file at 160MP.

Continuous Shooting

While the X-H2S impressed with 40fps (electronic shutter) and 15fps (mechanical shutter) capability, the X-H2 also has something to say. The camera can also shoot 15fps when using its mechanical shutter for up to 1,000+ JPEGs or 400 raw files. Or when switching to the electronic shutter in the 1.29x crop factor option it can shoot at up to 20fps for 1,000+ JPEGs or 202 raw files.

Impressively, for those who want to shoot high-speed photography, the Fujifilm X-H2 can reach top shutter speed of 1/180,000sec with the electronic shutter.

Connectivity

Fujifilm is billing the X-H2 as a complete workflow solution, owing to its connectivity options and ability to transfer images and video data. The camera supports wireless image transfer via Fujifilm’s Remote Camera App, and wireless transmission can be expanded further with the VFT-XH Wireless File Transmitter Battery Grip.

The optional grip adds tethering connections and supports FTP file transfer through WiFi, ethernet and smartphone connections. Users can connect up to four camera bodies and control them via a computer or smart device, provided they have the VFT-XH grip attached.

The X-H2 camera body also boasts an HDMI port, WiFi and Bluetooth functionality.

Memory

The Fujifilm X-H2 has one memory card slot that supports CFexpress Type B cards and a second memory card slot that uses UHS-II SD cards.

Screen and Viewfinder

On the back of the X-H2 is a 3-inch, 1.62-million-dot vari-angle LCD. This should please vloggers and content creators who want to self-shoot, or anyone who wants to compose images or video from low or unusual angles.

There’s also a top-panel LCD screen that displays your exposure settings when in use and how many images / minutes recording time you have left on your card when turned off.

The X-H2 also features a high-definition, blackout-free 5.76-million-dot electronic viewfinder that offers 0.8x magnification.

IBIS

The Fujifilm X-H2 has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation, which provides up to 7 stops of shutter speed compensation. This should free photographers and videographers to shoot handheld in a number of situations where it might not normally be possible.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: build quality

Build & Handling

The Fujifilm X-H2 body design is the same as its sibling, the X-H2S. It’s weather-sealed at 79 points to protect the camera from dust and moisture ingress, and can be used in temperatures as low as -10C.

At 660g with the battery and memory card inside, the X-H2 has some weight to it, but it feels like a real premium product. On the left side of the camera’s top plate is a metal mode dial with the usual PASM settings, Filter and video settings and seven Custom setting options.

On the right side of the top plate is the LCD that displays your exposure settings and memory capacity. You’ll also find the shutter button, one-touch video recording, ISO and White Balance direct controls. And underneath the WB control is a Face / Eye Detection button. At your index finger on the handgrip is the shutter speed dial, and at your thumb is a dial for exposure compensation.

On the rear of the camera is the AF joystick that has become a staple of Fujifilm cameras, along with AF/ON, AEL and Q Menu buttons, the Menu button and four-way controller, Display / Back button and, of course, the vari-angle LCD, which you can open via a notch in the lower right.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: ports

On the left side of the camera are ports for microphone and headphones, an HDMI port and a USB C port that allows you to charge the battery. Sometimes when so many ports are located in one, small space it can be difficult to open the doors, or they dangle from flimsy rubber tethers. Not the case here. The doors are all solid plastic and have conveniently located notches that allow you to open them quickly. They also open away from each other so that you can have all ports open at one time.

On the front of the camera to the lower left of the lens mount is a focus button that lets you quickly choose between manual focus, single AF and continuous AF.

As we said with the Fujifilm X-H2S, the camera’s design marks a break from Fujifilm’s traditional exposure controls. I cut my teeth on mode dials in the days of film and loved that element of cameras like the X-Pro series, but the X-H2’s buttons and controls feel really intuitive. In my time so far shooting street photography with the camera, I’ve never had to break my flow to stop and figure out how to make an adjustment. Everything has felt instinctive and right at my fingertips.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: EVF

The EVF has also been a joy to use. It’s big and bright, and because I can see the visual effects of my exposure settings, I know how my image is going to look and I can work quicker. Shooting street photography, this is a real advantage. This might be the best EVF that I’ve used on any camera.

Earlier on I mentioned the camera’s weight. This has been an advantage while I’ve been shooting with some heavier zoom lenses. There’s a better balance between the camera and lens, and it feels natural in my hand. Sometimes when a camera is very small and lightweight and I’m using it with a heavier lens, it’s a little more cumbersome to manoeuvre.

The hand and thumb grips also naturally fit my hand. It’s very comfortable to hold and has a nice texture.

Like the X-H2S, Fujifilm has re-positioned the AF joystick. In use, it’s easy to reach and adjust the AF point, as well as the size of the AF area using the thumb wheel.

Performance

It’s still very early days with our test, but so far the Fujifilm X-H2 looks like it really delivers. The autofocus is quick and very accurate, even in low light. Its Face and Eye Detection have been very accurate in all of my challenges so far. It locks on quickly and follows my subjects even as they move throughout the frame.

In the image below you can see the X-H2’s Bird subject detection picking up the pigeon sitting in the tree. It locked focus almost instantly, even from some distance. As you can see in the grab below, it was able to pick out the pigeon’s eye even under the shade of the canopy.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: AF

Because of this, I was able to get this quick shot below before the bird flew away.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: subject detection

Zooming in to 100%, you can see the image is clearly sharp. What’s more, it’s also picked up nice textures in the tree bark. I think you could probably even zoom in more than 100% and the image would still be sharp.

Fujifilm X-H2 reivew: actual pixels

Fujifilm says improvements to the X-Processor 5 in separating signal from noise allow the X-H2 to capture cleaner images with finer details. I’ve found this to be true in my tests so far. On top of a viewing deck in New York City, this man proposed to his partner unexpectedly. I managed to grab this shot as he picked her up and twirled her around.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: detail

Shot at the X-H2’s base native sensitivity value of ISO 125.

Zooming in all the way to 200%, you can see that the image is still spectacularly sharp. Look at the detail in their hair and eyelashes. You can even see texture in their skin.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: detail at 200%

The colour and detail have also been impressive so far. With the low native sensitivity setting of ISO 125, I’m finding lots of nice textures and details in some of my images so far. And this is down to the new sensor. With 40 million pixels you would expect to see more detail in images shot at low ISO values than you would from cameras with 26 million pixels, and this has been the case so far.

As you increase the ISO value, noise is pretty well controlled. At ISO 800 and 1,600 I was seeing lots of nice detail and minimal smearing of colours. Even at the top end of the range, images are sharp, natural and perfectly usable. Take this image, below, shot at ISO 12,800.

 

Shot at ISO 12,800.

We were underneath a forest canopy on a dark day, and I had no tripod with me. In order to capture this shot handheld, I had to push the ISO all the way up to 12,800 to get a fast enough shutter speed. Looking at the image zoomed in at 100%, you can definitely see noise and some smudging of fine details, but it’s not too bad all things considered.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: noise

Shot at ISO 12,800

You could safely make prints at the standard sizes and be happy to hang these in your home.

Pixel Shift

Fujifilm X-H2 review: Pixel Shift

Above: Shot with Fujifilm’s Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode and rendered in Fujifilm’s Pixel Shift Combiner software.

We’ve seen the Pixel Shift mode in Fujifilm’s GFX series, and this marks its debut in an X-series camera. While it doesn’t produce the final image in-camera, the process is incredibly straightforward. In the camera’s Drive mode menu, select the Pixel Shift option at the bottom, and you’ll then be prompted to choose your interval: 1, 2, 5 or 15 seconds, or Short, for the shortest time possible. I selected Short in most instances to avoid any changes within my scene.

The X-H2 will then shoot 20 raw files, numbered in succession on your memory card. Load these into Fujifilm’s beta Pixel Shift Combiner software and it’s a simple process of two clicks to render your image. The software will produce a 160MP DNG file from your 20 raw files. The DNG files are large – mine averages 600-800MB – and the richness of detail is quite something.

For those wanting to render scenes in ultra-high-resolution, Fujifilm’s Pixel Shift mode gives you that extra reach and is incredibly quick and simple to use. On occasion, I did forget to exit this mode before moving on to shoot other subjects, which left me with a string of 40-60 raw files to sort through at times, so just something to watch out for.

Fujifilm X-H2 Sample Images

Below is a selection of sample images shot so far with the Fujifilm X-H2. These were taken with a full-production sample of the camera ahead of its announcement.

Fujifilm X-H2 review: sample images
Shot at night with the new XF 56mm F1.2 R WR lens at ISO 6400
Fujifilm X-H2 review: film effects
Shot with the new 56mm lens using the X-H2’s Chrome Film Simulation filter.
Fujifilm X-H2 review: mixed lighting
Even in mixed lighting, the X-H2 produces vibrant, accurate colours.
Fujifilm X-H2 review: low light
In fading light, the Fujifilm X-H2 can still pick out textures and fine details.
Fujifilm X-H2 review: Subject tracking
The X-H2’s subject tracking and Eye AF stayed locked on the man in the middle as he crossed the road, mugging for the camera.
Fujifilm X-H2 review: Eye AF
The camera’s Eye AF also accurately picked out this man’s eye underneath the shadow of his ball cap and even with a mask covering his mouth.
Fujifilm X-H2 review: sample images
Fujifilm X-H2 review: sample images
Fujifilm X-H2 review: bright skies
Fujifilm X-H2 review: sample images
Fujifilm X-H2 review: sample images
Fujifilm X-H2 review: sample images

Fujifilm X-H2

Summary
Review Date
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments