With yesterday’s announcement of the new X-H2 mirrorless camera, Fujifilm is attempting to fill a gap in its lineup between its APS-C choices and its medium format GFX line by placing a 40.2-megapixel sensor in its newest X-series physique. This could seem to be a bit of a compromise since Fujifilm doesn’t have a full-frame system, however one profit of sticking with its smaller sensors and simply including decision is having a digicam that’s nonetheless pretty compact. I obtained to briefly check out a preproduction model of the new X-H2 and the recently released X-H2S at Fujifilm’s X-Summit NYC occasion, and there could also be rather a lot to love right here in case you’re a loyal Fujifilm consumer. Here are some preliminary ideas and finer particulars discovered from the brief time with these cameras.
For $1,999.95, the X-H2 looks as if a good worth for a semi-pro digicam with a high-resolution sensor. The all-metal construct of the X-H2 and X-H2S may be very rugged and feels properly outfitted for being thrust right into a state of affairs the place your digicam could take a small beating. The buttons and dials really feel clicky and strong, nearly leaning a tad on the stiff facet. The tilting rear LCD is sturdy, with some good weight and resistance as you flip it. It’s not the overengineered multitilt rear display of the Nikon Z9, nevertheless it doesn’t really feel like a obvious structural weak level.
While the rubberized grips on the X-H2 and X-H2S really feel as inflexible as small tanks, the peak of the grips could go away the tip of your pinky finger hanging in the air. I’m used to this ergonomic flaw with my very own full-frame Sony mirrorless cameras, and if it’s a deal-breaker for you on our bodies like these, it could be a deal-breaker right here. Yes, you may all the time connect a vertical grip, however these add-ons are cumbersome and make mirrorless cameras really feel extra like outdated DSLR clunkers.
A high LCD and EVF that’s simple on the eyes
Above the grip is the high LCD, which is a big unfavourable show that brightly illuminates (switching to a optimistic distinction show) with a press of the button on the facet of the digital viewfinder. It actually pops in low gentle and stays seen even in shiny gentle, although it drains the battery quicker, so it robotically occasions out after half-hour or as soon as the digicam is turned off.
Speaking of the EVF, the 5.76 million-dot viewfinder is crisp and has a snug eye aid. When utilizing the eye sensor auto-switching dwell view mode, you do see momentary blackness earlier than the EVF activates, although it’s according to how different cameras on this worth zone work. Just like the tilt display, I’ve skilled different cameras that do it higher (Sony A1, Nikon Z9, Canon R3), however they price rather more than the X-H2 and X-H2S.
Fujifilm additionally builds in myriad energy optimization modes that change the habits of the EVF. I counted six efficiency modes: regular; financial system; low gentle precedence; decision precedence; EVF body price precedence (120p); and EVF body price precedence (240p). You can decide in accordance with your desire and capturing eventualities, and I did discover some modifications in the EVF’s habits after I swapped modes — like buttery smoothness for shiny gentle conditions or extra jittery responsiveness with higher visibility in the darkish, all at the potential expense of battery life. Fujifilm loves giving customers a borderline extreme quantity of management with little issues like these, and the fact could also be that most individuals will go away it on regular, by no means change it, and be completely nice.
The want for pace (and barely clunky AF controls)
While the X-H2S is the pace demon variant, the high-resolution X-H2 isn’t any slouch. They each assist the similar eye, face, and object detection autofocus smarts. Both cameras simply grabbed deal with the eye of a static or transferring topic after I briefly used them. You have every kind of autofocus choices to select from — even telling the digicam to want the proper or left eye — however these settings could require rather a lot of familiarity earlier than you’re simply as quick as the digicam.
For instance, eye, face, and object monitoring are remoted from one another in the settings. So whereas these focusing programs are superior, in case you’re switching amongst them, it requires extra dialing in and futzing than I initially anticipated. I do know most fashionable cameras are a small nightmare of menu programs to be taught and adapt to, however I hope for the sake of you Fujifilm followers that you could alter to this with out auditing a category on digicam menu logic.
Maybe simply don’t use the digital shutter on the X-H2?
One of the issues I did my greatest to torture take a look at in my brief time with the new Fujifilm cameras was the digital shutters of the X-H2 and X-H2S. As somebody who makes use of a digicam with a stacked sensor, I’m spoiled by the potential to shoot at excessive speeds with out viewfinder blackout. Unsurprisingly, the X-H2S and its quicker stacked sensor appeared to deal with fast, jarring pans simply nice with its e-shutter. The straight strains in the body nonetheless seemed straight and didn’t succumb to a lot rolling shutter jello impact.
It was a special story with the X-H2 and its extra conventional BSI (non-stacked) sensor. I might simply take an image with motion in it the place vertical strains seemed crooked and a little bit flexible. This is the draw back of the increased decision X-H2 sensor and its slower readout speeds. While on paper it sounds good that the X-H2 can shoot 20fps blackout-free with its digital shutter, it’s going to most definitely be restricted to conditions with little to no topic or digicam motion — a limitation you don’t have to fret about on the X-H2S.
It’s simple to assume this dichotomy between the siblings might have been remedied if Fujifilm opted for one digicam that had each a excessive megapixel depend and a stacked sensor, however in accordance with Yuji Igarashi of Fujifilm, that one-camera answer would have simply price an excessive amount of. However, the excellent news is that these cameras have excellently dampened mechanical shutters which are quiet and don’t trigger an excessive amount of vibration (shutter shock) inside the physique.
New Fujinon lenses
As for the new XF 56mm f/1.2 lens and GF 20–35mm f/4 lenses introduced alongside the X-H2, each felt properly constructed with quick autofocusing. The new 56mm stays pretty small and compact like its predecessor, although Fujifilm is claiming it’s higher than the outdated design it replaces in each means (extra technical sharpness and high quality bokeh, much less “character” and flaws like chromatic aberrations and coma). The GF 20–35mm and its rubberized focus and zoom rings felt very sturdy when mounted to the GFX100S. Even although Fujifilm’s medium format choices are on the funds finish of the spectrum in that world, each time I decide one up, I get that “this thing means business” feeling.
Last on the lens entrance, Fujifilm introduced two tilt-shift lenses at the tail finish of its X-Summit keynote — as a tongue-in-cheek “two more things” second. They are a 30mm f/5.6 and a 110mm f/5.6. The presenters gave no additional particulars about these lenses apart from a really transient onstage tease to anticipate extra at a later time.
Overall, I left the demo space of the X-H2 and X-H2S feeling reasonably impressed by what Fujifilm has put collectively. I feel X-series holdouts who’ve lengthy awaited a high-resolution digicam may have rather a lot to love. Though in case your coronary heart is with larger sensors, Fujifilm’s solely reply stays the massive bounce as much as medium format.
Photography by Antonio G. Di Benedetto / The Verge