The Fujifilm X-H2 First Impressions - Example Images & Footage

Fujifilm's X-H2 is perfect for users wanting resolution over speed; offering features more compatible with outdoor hobbyists and studio commercial creators.

Captured on the Fujifilm X-H2 by Gajan Balan -  Hands holding a camera in a white studio space.

Hot on the heels of the X-H2s release, we have another significant departure from Fujifilm that reshapes their product lineup. I had one spicy week to test drive this camera, so this is not a review; this is a look into what this camera can do and how it differs from the X-H2s.

While the X-H2s camera is all about speed, the X-H2 is all about resolution. The sensor here is a 40MP BSI X-Trans sensor that is not stacked. You have this clear tradeoff for size over speed. The result will appeal to hybrid creators who favor photography more than video. More specifically — those in the portrait, landscape, and architecture photography space have a Fujifilm solution that offers a ton of versatility in a relatively small package.

Moment Fujifilm 16757045 X H2 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body Only thumbnail

Fujifilm

X-H2 Mirrorless Digital Camera - Body Only

Eyeing an exceptional mirrorless camera? The Fuji X-H2 is the world's first with a 40-megapixel APS-C sensor and 8k video recording

Buy for $1,999.95

The Photography Aspects

The sensor's resolution also allows for a 160MP pixel-shift mode that is unique to this camera and will be a welcome benefit to those primarily capturing still life work or scanning their film shots. We don't know if this will come to the X-H2s later, but it is definitely something that would appeal more to those who would choose this camera for their line of work. Having access to an unreleased camera means we can't dive into the RAW files just yet but we do have some information on how this sensor differs from the X-H2s.

The base ISO drops down to 125, which should make for even cleaner results when you have plenty of light on your side. The rolling shutter measures about half as fast as the X-H2s, meaning that while it doesn't perform as well as the X-H2s, it's still noticeably better than the fourth-generation sensors from Fujifilm. Continuous shooting clocks in at 20FPS at the max setting, half of what you can expect on the X-H2s, but you have to remember that this is still fast for a sensor with this kind of resolution. Now, there will obviously be questions about autofocus and AF speed. Fujifilm did confirm that the AF calculation speed was slower here than it would be on the X-H2s, and in our early tests, it seemed to keep up really well. Even with the new 56mm F1.2 lens, which uses a DCM instead of a linear motor, the autofocus was accurate and would only hunt in tricky, wide-open situations. When I moved to a lens like the XF18mm F1.4, I saw a noticeable jump in precision.

Obviously, I'll have to spend more time with the sensor to see where the breaking points are. Still, I can safely say this is a much better and more reliable AF system than in the previous generation of Fujifilm cameras. You can expect solid results when you take a few minutes to customize your settings to what you're capturing.

Let’s Talk Video

Now let's talk about a video because there are some key differences here. You can record footage up to 8K30P in a 16:9 format. There is no option for 3:2 open gate recording. You can also drop this down to 6.2K at 30P for an additional recording option, and if you only need a 4K, you can choose an oversampled 4K30P mode or a slightly-lesser quality 4K60P method, which comes with a 1.14x crop. I'm sure there's gonna be people across the internet with a hot-as-mayonnaise hot take on why these options aren't enough. Still, the reality is that these options are formidable for the hybrid creator and video enthusiast. When you layer this with internal ProRes recording, multiple bitrate settings, more than a dozen film simulations, and two F-Log options, you just have this robust creative tool that's primarily limited by your creativity. Oh, and speaking of F-Log, the base ISO for the log formats on this camera are 500 and 1000 respectively. I don't believe this changes the color reproduction, more so the noise, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the video files differ from an X-H2s in comparable environments. More of a nerdy detail but worth mentioning.

Fujifilm also mentioned that this camera delivers 13+ stops of dynamic range in video depending on the settings. That is the case where this only has a 1-stop gap between its flagship sibling. I believe users will be thrilled with the results you can capture. Even with the samples we shot, I had a lot of fun grading the footage and pulling it in the direction I wanted. It felt like working with a much richer file and something I'd like to use with premium cinema lenses. On the off chance you may have ignored the previous Fujifilm announcement, or just need a reminder, there are a ton of new upgrades that this X-H2 inherits to make it a more professional creative tool.

Just like the X-H2s before it, you have a slightly beefier body with a comfortable grip.The top of the camera has that traditional PSAM mode dial with 7 customer modes that can be customized to your liking. You can assign these as a photo or video mode for an even easier operation in the field. To the right, you also have a sub-LCD to give you your settings at a glance, though this is not something I found myself looking at often.

Do you know what I look at often? That new viewfinder with 5.76M dots and up to 120FPS refresh rate. I've said it before, and I'll repeat it, it's an absolute pleasure to use this viewfinder for photography where it feels like a premium experience. Users will also get a 3" vari-angle LCD that is reinforced, so it doesn't wobble around like a cheaper camera. And for those operating handheld, you get up to 7-stops of in-body image stabilization. And look, kids, the fun doesn't stop there! Throw in dual card slots with one being CF Express type B, full-size HDMI, improved USB-C, microphone and headphone ports, easier-to-operate port doors, animal detection, subject detection, high-efficiency stills, a shutter rated for over 500,000 shots, and priced at USD 2,000... well how else can I say it, this is now one of the most competitive mirrorless cameras on the market.

In Conclusion

As I mentioned earlier, this is not a review of the camera, but we can start to ideate what kind of person would appreciate a camera like this. If you're primarily focused on portrait, wedding, landscape; still-life, architecture, or travel stills, and you create regularly, this is a camera worth considering. The leap in sensor resolution and imaging features make for a robust tool that, if I'm being honest, is only really limited by the user. This camera can also be an excellent B cam for GFX users that want something more nimble where you'd stick your favorite prime or zoom lens on and use it for cover shots. If you're invested in Fujifilm and primarily capturing video, I'd still look at the X-H2s first, but if you're someone who moves between photo and video well, I think the decision will be tough. If I had to boil it down to a straightforward question, I'd ask which of the two is more valuable to you: 40-megapixel stills or 4K120P motion. Sure, there's more nuance to be unpacked with the conversation, but that sums up most people's priorities.

The Fujifilm X-H2 goes on sale later this month for $2000 US, and at that price, it sits comfortably below many competitive flagship cameras while carrying as good or better features. That's not to say it's the obvious choice for people. If anything, it just means that consumers have more options and can find the best tool for their creative work.

I've been using Fujifilm cameras for over five years. What I appreciate most about the brand is how they give users a wide array of features and unique color science in a relatively compact solution that repeatedly works, even in the most demanding situations. If you're that type of creator, where you're going to be capturing a lot of work and want to raise the ceiling for your creative tools, I think this Fujifilm X-H2 is a camera you should keep on your shortlist going into the holiday season.