FUJIFILM X-H2 OVERVIEW
Designed from previous experiences, the familiarly looking X-H2 camera from Fujifilm promises to capture Life in Detail. Coped with fifth-generation imaging technology, this camera takes high resolution and speed to the next step in the evolving roadmap of the legendary X Series. Rigged with a new 40.2-megapixel sensor, the X-H2 offers superior image quality for both stills and video. Unlock a world of creative possibilities far beyond what any previous APS-C format camera has ever done before.
Under the promise of offering us "Unmatched Image Quality", Fujifilm developed a pretty powerful camera for those in need of reliable high-resolution. Built with a 5th generation high-resolution 40MP X-Trans CMOS 5HR sensor and X-Processor 5, this now classic design offers visual content creators, photographers, and filmmakers alike, all the needed tools for elevating their craft to the realms of the unknown.
Unparalleled User Experience
Let’s start by reviewing the six core elements signaled by Fujifilm which make this camera usability so interesting to all content creators alike. First, the improved Subject-Detection Autofocus for precise subject tracking in almost any lighting situation. Powered by the X-Processor 5’s prediction algorithm, subject tracking and autofocus accuracy on moving objects is reliable even in low-contrast conditions. Founded on Deep Learning technology, the imaging processor features a subject-detection autofocus electronic mechanism for instantly detecting and tracking a wide range of subjects like bikes, birds, cars, mammals, planes, and trains. Although, such tracking performance for moving subjects is slightly better on the X-H2S than on this camera. So if your income depends on that extra performance, you should check out this other camera from Fujifilm.
Next is Digital Zoom, a feature we recall seeing on sadly developed bridged cameras from a while ago, but still interesting to see in a camera like this; especially if we consider that large pixel count. Fuji's X-H2 features a digital zoom function that uses the camera's 40.2MP sensor to provide up to 2x of digital zoom with virtually no loss in image resolution when recording video in 4K; even when using a prime lens to film with. This digital zoom feature is available in three modes: 4K HQ, 4K DCI HQ, and FHD. And by using the XF 18-120mm F4 LM PZ WR lens, one gets twice the reach and seamlessly transitions to the digital zoom function when the optic reaches its max focal length.
Then we have in-body image stabilization, which reaches up to 7 stops of compensation when using the FUJINON XF 35mm F1.4 R. A 5-axis IBIS system offers us the freedom of hand holding our camera in circumstances that previously would have required some support. Additionally, this stabilizing function enables the image sensor to be precisely shifted, for the camera’s Pixel Shift Multi Shot function. In theory, this means that when shooting with the XF 35mm F1.4 R lens, we could only rely on our hands for slow shots up to 2 seconds long. That is a huge empowerment! And is all made possible due to the 5-axis IBIS system powered by the new X-Trans CMOS 5 HR.
Upcoming, the Electronic Viewfinder. Contemporary EVFs have evolved into achieving a seamlessly natural feeling when looking through the lens, and Fuji's X-H2 is no exception to this rule. With a 5.76 million dot high-resolution electronic viewfinder, we are certain that what we are looking at through the lens, is virtually the same as if looking with our bare eyes. This high-resolution EVF comes with a 0.8x factor magnification and employs all those millions of dots for remarkable detail. A refreshing rate of approximately 120 fps suppresses the typical visual artifacts caused by looking through the finder at odd or extreme angles, making it quite comfortable for accurately tracking subjects on the move.
A tough, Weather-Resistant Body is the fifth matter in this stage of our review. With 79 weather-sealed points offering secure levels of dust and moisture resistance, the X-H2 camera is made to resist the brutal severities of pro usage on the field; including operations under freezing temperatures as low as -10°C (14°F). The top panel LCD screen, adjustable AF-ON button sensitivity, 1.62-million dot vari-angle LCD monitor, and independent movie recording button all deliver intuitive, comfortable handling. The X-H2 is a reliable and resistant camera for use in all weather conditions for sure, and its shutter durability withstood 500,000 actuations in internal testing from Fujifilm.
Next in line is Remote Rec Function for up to four X-H2S/X-H2 cameras connected and simultaneously operated via wired/wireless LAN via the optional FT-XH File Transmitter. This allows checking and adjusting camera settings for each body on the rig, start/stop video recording for all cameras, and save/load/copy camera settings as well. And finally, some nice operations and controls. Fujifilm improved X-H2 from the X-H1 highly cherished handgrip for a more secure feel; something useful when using longer or large-aperture lenses. The shutter button’s responsiveness has been upgraded to make it handle more naturally so it can be precisely released at the right moment of the shot. It features two card slots, one CFexpress™ Type B and one UHS-II SD. CFexpress™ Type B cards should be used to make the most of X-H2’s incredible video performance. A full-sized HDMI Type A port is also provided and video operation is even easier thanks to the standalone video-recording button and 1.62 million dot vari-angle LCD monitor, which can be fully rotated even when HDMI and microphone cables are plugged in.
Unmatched Image Quality
The main reason this camera delivers such astonishing image quality is due to the BSI High-resolution 40MP sensor capable of recording every detail on the scene. Compared to the previous X-H1 generation, the pixel count has been increased by approximately x1.5, allowing its sensor to capture 8K video images and 40.2MP still images as well. Unlike Fuji's X-H2S, this camera has no stacked layer sensor, which could mean some advantages in resolution by sacrificing some speed on the side. This translates into a larger 7728 x 5152 pixels of uncompromised image quality.
With so much going on, artifacts might be something worth considering of course. About moiré, it gets entirely controlled by a low-periodic color filter array capable of emulating photosensitive silver particles in a highly random arrangement from surrounding pixels to reduce this artifact to a virtually non-existent status. Just like those used in analog films for efficient color interpolation!
The result here? High-resolution images without optical low-pass filters. But how exactly did they achieve such a resolution? Well, by rearranging RGB pixels differently. Imagine the sensor as a matrix filled with Red, Green, and Blue pixels. Traditional sensors follow the Bayer filter array which combines 2 pixels per column or row, resulting in a limited color configuration of Red and Green, and Green and Blue like this:
- Red, Green, Red, Green, Red …
- Green, Blue, Green, Blue, Green …
- Red, Green, Red, Green, Red ...
and so on…
X-Trans CMOS sensors work under the following array:
- Green, Red, Green, Green, Blue, Green, Red …
- Blue, Green, Blue, Red, Green, Red, Blue …
- Green, Red, Green, Green, Blue, Green, Red ...
and so on…
So every row and column is built with the whole RGB spectrum, reducing the nasty Moiré effect present in the Bayer filter array present in conventional cameras. So, the Bayer filter array has only two colors per line and the design does not allow pixels to exist diagonally. This causes unwanted image quality degradation better known as moiré in which some textures get rendered with that psychedelic look we want away from our shots.
ISO 125 could sound odd to those only familiar with digital photography, but back in the days of film, this was a pretty popular ISO(ASA) sensitivity to go with. Fuji's X-Trans CMOS 5 HR has an improved pixel structure, allowing light to be received in a more efficient way. ISO 125, which was previously an extended sensitivity, is now present as a standard sensitivity value. This means we get a slightly higher sensitivity without compromising image quality in any way. Another splendid feature of this camera is the 1/180,000 sec shutter speed. That's right, 1/180,000 sec shutter speed. Although electronic, the X-H2 has a maximum shutter speed of 1/180,000, which is an increase of about 2.5 stops if compared to other X Series cameras. Use it with wide apertures in extremely bright environments for more creative options, or just freeze action at the perfect moment as well.
160MP Pixel Shift Multi Shot means the following. According to Fujifilm, this is the first X Series camera to feature Pixel Shift Multi-Shot, X-H2, with the aid of the Pixel Shift Combiner software, enables it to produce a single, ultra-high-resolution 160MP image with a single touch of the shutter button. Using its IBIS system to shift the sensor by a half pixel between each frame, X-H2 precisely makes 20 frames to ensure that every red, green, and blue pixel has the same information. The result is an image with almost no false visible colors in it.
Also, the X-H2 supports the efficient HEIF image format, which delivers 10-bit image quality in files up to 30% smaller than standard JPEGs. HEIF is rapidly turning into an interesting standard, so the next level of high-quality results is delivered straight out of the camera thanks to Fujifilm.
What about Video?
For the X-H2, Fujifilm announced 8K Oversampled 4K HQ Mode. The new 4K HQ mode creates 4K 4:2:2 10-Bit video with 8K oversampling, resulting in a high-quality image that takes full advantage of the camera’s large 40.2MP X-Trans CMOS sensor. It uses the same heat-dissipating structure as X-H2S and records 8K/30P for approximately up to 160 minutes.
This is when recording footage at 25℃ from a cool start, with the auto power-off temperature set on High, H.265 4:2:0, a bitrate of 200Mbps, and the $399 VG-XH battery grip with all three fully charged batteries attached. The recording time depends on overall battery life and the type and capacity of the memory card used. When the main unit heats up, filming may automatically stop.
Although, using the optional cooling fan FAN-001 extends the X-H2's video recording capabilities in high temperatures. This low-noise, multi-speed cooling fan has a price tag of $199, and it brings added versatility to the X-H2 camera in warmer environments, or when sustained recording performance is needed on the field. Powered and controlled entirely through the camera body, the fan's metal construction naturally channels heat away from the camera body and attaches without any need for tools or separate screws.
The new X-H2 features a focus meter that can be used for manually assisting while movie recording to enable more precise focus adjustments. And as a cool feature, it can also be used in combination with focus peaking. In addition to F-Log, it supports F-Log2, which records an expanded dynamic range of 13+ stops. Which means broader post-production capabilities due to the wider F-Log range. And integrated with a compatible HDMI recording device from Atomos or Blackmagic Design, 12-bit RAW video output from X-H2 can be recorded as Apple ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW at resolutions and frame rates of up to 8K and 29.97 frames per second.
Our Final Thought
Here we highlighted the most important features made public by Fujifilm after the release of the X-H2 camera. If you are considering that this piece of equipment might be perfect for your professional needs and workflow, we highly encourage you to take a deeper dive into this camera's specs. The main reason why is that they also have the X-H2S camera (which made us wonder why this wasn't called X-H2R instead), another outstanding piece of machinery offered by Fujifilm too.
The image quality in this camera is a blast and every shooting opportunity offers unparalleled image quality for sure. The overall user experience makes it an absolute delight both for the hands and the eyes and working with this camera promises to be a wonderfully creative experience as well. Both the sensor and image processor are state-of-the-art pieces of electronics and are the ones taking full credit for this wonderful mirrorless camera system.