Review Of The Fujifilm X-H2: A Flawless Balancing Of Video Power, Resolution And Speed
The X-H2S from Fujifilm is the best and most expensive APS-C camera to date. But it was not finished. Today, we’re examining the 40-megapixel X-H2, its stablemate. It has the highest APS-C resolution ever released and impressive video capabilities.
It is the first APS-C mirrorless camera to support 8K video, and it can shoot 15 frames per second in RAW at full resolution. Additionally, it offers upgraded autofocus with new AI subject recognition, improved in-body stabilization, and more.
Photos: Fujifilm X-H2 review photos
I’ve never been a big fan of the traditional Fujifilm layout because it’s not good for video, but I know that many Fuji fans don’t.
I also adore the 3-inch, 1.5 million dot fully articulating display because it makes taking low- and high-angle pictures and selfies much simpler. The display on the new X-T5, which has the same 40-megapixel sensor, can only be tilted. The 5.76-million dot, 120Hz EVF, on the other hand, provides blackout-free shooting in silent electronic shutter mode and is nicely sharp.
The X-H2 has a high-speed USB-C port with power delivery, as well as microphone and headphone ports, just like its namesake. A full-sized HDMI port is also included, which should be more reliable than the clumsy micro-HDMI inputs found on competing cameras. That was a wise move on Fujifilm’s part because external RAW video is a crucial component of this camera.
Given the higher resolution, the battery life is slightly worse than the X-H2S, with 680 shots per charge as opposed to 720. Additionally, it has slots for both high-speed CFexpress and UHS-II memory cards. The latter is necessary for shooting high-resolution ProRes video and to lessen buffering when taking bursts of 15 frames per second at 40 megapixels.
High-resolution cameras are typically among the priciest models. The 26.2-megapixel X-H2S, however, is actually more expensive than the 40-megapixel X-H2. This is due to the sensor’s stacked design, which increases speeds and decreases rolling shutter when shooting silently.
However, the X-rolling H2’s shutter doesn’t significantly affect picture quality. With full-resolution RAW bursts up to 15 fps as opposed to 13 fps, it is actually quicker in mechanical shutter mode than electronic shutter mode. Given that it is more focused on speed than on detail, that is impressive.
Furthermore, the mechanical shutter is among the quietest I’ve ever heard, so you won’t need silent mode very often. Additionally, a rolling shutter is available for fast-moving subjects if you really need it, but it’s surprisingly well-controlled. It performs significantly better than other APS-C cameras like the Canon EOS R7 and Sony’s A6600.
The autofocus system is also able to keep up with burst speeds. It adheres tenaciously to targets, providing a respectable hit rate even when they move quickly. However, it’s not quite as accurate as Sony’s AF, especially when the light level is low.
Although the 40-megapixel X-Trans backside-illuminated sensor on the X-H2 is not stackable, it is a brand-new, cutting-edge sensor. And in terms of image quality, it really performs well.
The additional pixels firstly give you more detail, which is advantageous if you need to crop in or create large prints. In spite of this, higher ISO settings in low light do not degrade image quality. If the exposure is set properly, images can be used up to ISO 12800 because noise is well-controlled at ISO 6400.
JPEG and 10-bit HEIF files processed in-camera are of the highest quality, with pleasing, accurate colors and a nice balance of noise reduction and detail. Often, I didn’t need to process photos if I wanted to share them right away.
The X-H2 can capture 14 bits of color in RAW images that are uncompressed, lossless, or compressed. That provides lots of flexibility for fine-tuning, whether in light or dark environments. Noise, however, can become out of control if you underexpose images while attempting to boost levels. Of course, this is one of the main disadvantages of APS-C sensors in comparison to full-frame sensors.
The extra speed and lessened rolling shutter of the X-H2S make it the best APS-C camera for video. But there are a few areas where the X-H2 excels. Along with supersampled 6.2K 16:9 (no 3:2) and supersampled 4K HQ at up to 30 fps, it offers you a higher resolution of up to 8K at up to 30 frames per second. With some detail loss, subsampled 4K can also be captured at up to 60 frames per second, while 1080p supports super slow-mo at 240 frames per second.
Three 10-bit ProRes codecs—HQ, standard, and LT—can be used to save files in all of these resolutions. In comparison to the 8-bit and 10-bit H.264 and H.265 codecs, these provide higher quality and are simpler to edit. Additionally, users have a choice between high quality and more manageable, smaller file sizes thanks to the three options. However, because they require high data rates, with a peak of enormous 3,520 MBps, you must record them to fast CFexpress cards.
Although processing is done at 12-bit rather than 14-bit as with the X-H2S, the latter offers a little bit more dynamic range. F-Log and F-Log2 picture modes are also available. Additionally, for more durable files that are simpler to edit later, you can save either ProRes or Blackmagic RAW video to Atomos or Blackmagic external recorders at up to 8K.
I had plenty of room for imaginative color correction and shot adjustments even with regular ProRes or H.265. On the X-H2, color reproduction favors accuracy with pleasing and true skin tones. Noise becomes an issue after ISO 6400, but shooting at ISOs lower than that is still possible.
Similar to the S model, other Fujifilm cameras now have much better autofocus, but it still lags behind Canon and Sony. Although it typically maintained focus, it occasionally lost it. Eye and face tracking was accurate, but bird and animal tracking was frequently unpredictable.
Due to the X-lack H2’s of a stacked sensor, rolling shutter is a bigger problem than it is with the X-H2s when shooting video. With full shutter readouts at 8K, 6.2K, and 4K HQ, it is especially noticeable. Shooting objects that move quickly across the frame will cause a fair amount of skew, so you’ll want to be careful to avoid fast pans. Even so, it’s much better than on Sony’s A6600 and other APS-C cameras, and not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.
With the X-H2, overheating can be a problem when shooting in 8K, though Fujifilm hasn’t specified exactly how long you can do so. However, if you intend to do that, you can purchase a tiny fan that screws to the back to enable 8K filming for an extended period of time.
The in-body stabilization is really only useful for handheld, stationary video, as is the case with most cameras. Even with the electronic assist turned on, watching videos while vlogging or performing other quick movements can cause jolts.
After testing both of Fujifilm’s most recent cameras, I believe that the X-H2 is a better choice for the majority of people due to its superior value. It provides the perfect compromise between image quality and speed, despite not being as quick as the X-H2S. Additionally, if you need the sharpest and highest resolution video possible, that is better for video.
However, $2,000 is a lot to pay for a crop-sensor camera. You could spend $500 less on the EOS R7 APS-C camera from Canon or choose a full-frame camera like the $2,100 Canon EOS R6. It’s also difficult to compete with Fujifilm’s own $1,700 X-T5, which has manual dials that many brand devotees prefer and uses the same 40-megapixel sensor.
Even so, the 8K, RAW output, fully articulating screen, and other features make it a better video camera than the A7 IV, EOS R6, and X-T5. The X-H2 will probably cost you less over time than any full-frame camera thanks to Fujifilm’s extensive lineup of lenses, which are significantly less expensive than full-frame glass.