Who Should Buy the Fujifilm X-H2S? Long-Term Camera Review

Let's cover tech specs, real-world testing, and honest thoughts. Who is this camera for, and is it as good as it's cracked up to be?

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In the last five years, Fujifilm has moved from a niche brand to a genuine contender in the imaging space. Top cameras like the X-T3, GFX 50s, and X100VI have granted the company significant respect. With the X-H2S's rise in sales and popularity, Fujifilm is betting on this camera to carry them to second-generation products. After nearly seven months with this camera, I strive to answer two simple questions — how good is this camera really, and who's its primary audience?

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An Overview

Photography on the X-H2S feels like a familiar experience. It sports a comfortable body that's noticeably larger than the X-T4 or X-S10. When shooting, it feels like you're behind the wheel of a supercar. The 5.76M dot viewfinder makes it feel like you're catching your subject in hyper-reality. With a rate of 120 frames per second, it's one of the best viewing experiences with a camera that genuinely brings you closer to your imagery.

There's one significant improvement everyone will gawk over — it's unbelievably fast. I've spoken about this in previous reviews, and I'll repeat it — the X-H2S competes with the best imaging tools for speed and delivers consistent results.

Once you place the time to tune the preferred capture settings, you can expect a camera that fires with the best of them. Unlike some challenges with the X-Pro3, I never felt that this camera was hitting speed bumps over extended use.

Some people carried hiccups with their pre-production units, but that's why they're called pre-production units. Concerning autofocus, this camera competes with the best of them. It now sits in the same class as cameras like the Sony A7 IV and Canon R5, something I could not say before. If you're forcing me to rank it, the autofocus system here is slightly behind the Sony and outpaces the Canon in several environments. This difference is negligible, though; I wouldn't recommend making your buying decision on this feature alone.

One more minor improvement is the photo quality itself. From my work, this sensor has more clarity than the X-T3 and X-T4, but only by a marginal amount. While I expected a more significant improvement, the X-H2S holds a comparable position to the previously mentioned cameras for dynamic range and video.

As a photography tool, this thing brings a lot to the table. Up to 40FPS continuous shooting, excellent noise response through 6400 ISO, seven stops of image stabilization, and dual card slots; these all come together for a unique photography experience.

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The Specifics

These reviews are not a rundown of features and specs; I pitch those in my first impression recaps. With these pieces, I aim to tell you what I believe after extended use in high-stakes environments.

My initial opinions on the video features of this camera might sound conflicting. The 6.2K open-gate recording is a prominent feature, and its operable dynamic range feels like witchcraft. The noise response is easy to manage, but it has this natural film-like feeling when you leave it as is. These blended features create an absolute killer cinematography tool.

The ceiling for this camera starts to feel short, and it can be plenty good for a YouTube channel and lower-end commercial work; anything beyond this will require the creator to work around some of the gaps.

Nevertheless, the ingredients you get from this camera are stunning. While the experience will require extra polishing, the quality of the footage is a giant leap forward for Fujifilm. I spend a lot of time capturing subjects with all colors in their skin, and this is one of the few mirrorless cameras that respects that and gives you that tonality to play and mold.

However, it remains critical for Fujifilm to address some of the gaps to make the experience of capturing video more uncomplicated.

Hot Tip: You can pair this camera with vintage or specialty lenses like the SIRUI 24mm Anamorphic and start to capture more visually rich and unique footage. It's that good.

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The Improvements

With the X-H2S, several issues are mendable in future updates. However, seeing as though this camera didn't dispatch with the ability for shutter angle, false color, dual zebras, or waveform feels disrespectful. Marketing this camera as a significant shift in the independent filmmaking space without these notable features makes it challenging for me to give them a pass.

Because ultimately — critical video-centric features are necessary for this camera to work around for higher-end video work.

Additionally, I'd love to see the option for proxy recording in better video formats, not merely massive ProRes files. I'd also like a more straightforward video selection mode, like the RED Komodo, which allows you to choose a better option after selecting your frame rate and aspect ratio.

However, there are some things you can't fix with software. The rear command dial doesn't push in, there's no SCM focus selector, the battery door seems to need closer to dummy batteries, and the back LCD quality could be more suitable.

My last plea for Fujifilm would be to improve the transparency around their video solutions. Follow the blueprint of companies like ARRI, RED, Panasonic, and even the Sony Venice team; share more about the technical information for your products and how to get the best results. The initiative should include the following:

  • Be more communicative around the ISO response and how to maximize it, manage it, and use it correctly.
  • Create a series of videos discussing an ideal color management pipeline and how you envision these files.
  • Make a page of preferred accessory partners that people can safely invest in.

These things don't improve your bottom line directly, but adopting such steps brings authenticity to the space and intentionally supports creatives.

What We Rate

  • Skill Level
    • Just getting started
    • Understands manual settings
    • Shoots regularly
    • Professional

  • Photo Quality
    • Passable
    • Pretty Good
    • Really good
    • Best Out There

  • Video Quality
    • Passable
    • Pretty Good
    • Really good
    • Best Out There

  • Auto Focus
    • Always hunting
    • It Works
    • It Works Quickly
    • Quick and Locked In

  • Low Light
    • Very noisy.
    • Average
    • Clean
    • Crisp And Clean

  • Battery Life -
    • Sucks
    • Not bad
    • Good
    • All Day

  • Rugged Ability
    • Leave it in the studio
    • Daily Carry
    • Traveler
    • Mountain Goat

  • Build Quality
    • Cheap
    • What You'd Expect
    • Solid
    • Top Of The Line

  • Size
    • Fits In Pocket
    • One Hand
    • Two Hands
    • Big Boy

  • Weight
    • Ultra-Light
    • Light
    • Average
    • Hefty
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The Market

How good is this camera? I think the short answer is f*cking good.

The 26MP BSI stacked sensor allows you to capture photos faster and more accurately than ever. It feels like a professional tool without the bulk of a DSLR camera. The feature set is robust. With seven custom modes, the film simulations would make for a near-infinite setup to make this camera work for you. Something that many cameras struggle at.

Fujifilm has gotten the hard part right regarding the video, where you get high-quality footage and many formats and options. There's just some polishing required to make it a more compelling choice. If you're capturing in rapidly changing, unpredictable environments, I don't think this camera is the best investment for a new user; however, if you have control over what you capture, whether it's commercial or narrative, this camera can dunk on some of the best solutions on the market.

The X-H2S is a stunning hybrid that Fujifilm has assembled, and I'm hopeful it will only improve in the coming months.

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The Conclusion

So, who's this camera for? It's mainly for existing Fujifilm enthusiasts and professionals looking to step up from their older solution.

There are numerous advancements that a seasoned Fuji user will appreciate the upgrade. I ensure plenty of creators would feel enticed to switch from Nikon, Canon, or even Sony, who aren't married to their workflow, and dig Fujifilm's differentiators (film simulations, a rich suite of native lenses, etc.)

At $2,499, this camera can compete with some of the top-tier full-frame solutions, and it does that — it competes.

It matches in certain areas, slips in others, and excels in a surprising few. The X-H2S makes for a compelling solution that makes buying decisions more about preference than performance.

If you're asking me, that's a damn big win for Fujifilm.

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X-H2S Cooling Fan


Cooling fan accessory for X-H2S This low noise, multi-speed cooling fan brings added versatility to X-H2S in warmer climates, or when sustained video performance is desired. Powered and controlled ent...

Add for $199.99
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X-H2S Vertical Battery Grip


Vertical battery grip for X-H2S This vertical battery grip for the FUJIFILM X-H2S accepts two additional NP-W235 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to provide additional functionality in vertical orie...

Add for $398
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