Fujifilm X-H1 is the H for hype or does this camera live up to its billing? We trawl the reviews and forums to try and get a balanced view on the Fujifilm X-H1 as a stills camera.
Already a fracas has broken out. If you dare to criticise a Fujifilm camera then be prepared for a kickback. Their users are the most loyal in the world. However, YouTube photography supremo, Tony Northrop challenged the Fuji orthodoxy by claiming that the full frame sensor on the Sony a7III had two times the image quality of the Fujifilm X-H1 sensor. We know what he meant but……
However, Northrop hit back:
So what is the point? Well, it reflects a disappointment that this camera was probably not the camera Fuji enthusiasts were dreaming of. Why? Let’s look at the camera in more detail.
Fujifilm X-H1 Specification
- 24.3-million-pixel X-Trans APS-C CMOS III sensor
- 5 axis in-body image stabilization: IBIS
- 3in, 1.04m-dot tilt screen
- Tiltable touch sensitive LCD
- ISO 200-12,800 (expandable to ISO 100-51,200)
- Continuous shooting up to 14fps
- Two card slots
- 673g body only, including battery and memory card. 166g heavier than the XT2
- 310 shot NP-W126S Li-ion battery
- Wi-Fi with Bluetooth
- Optional VPB-XH1 battery grip
- 139.8×97.3×85.5mm (WxHxD)
- 25% tougher weather-resistant body
- Silent electronic shutter with a maximum speed of 1/32,000 sec,
- 91 auto-focus points (expandable to 325)
- A sub LCD monitor on the top plate
- 4K capture at up to 200 Mbps
Fujifilm X-H1: DPReview Review
The DPReview review awards the camera a sliver award, because the camera although worthy does not excel in any respect:
- The size and weight of the camera has been increased over the XT2 because of the addition of IBIS and the thermal cooling required for long bursts of 4K video
- The settings for stills and video can remain separate, enabling easy swapping between modes.
- There is a dynamic range priority setting which can assist in drawing detail out of shadows.
- The magnesium alloy body is 25% thicker and the surface hardness has been increased to improve durability.
- The top plate LCD panel stays on even when the camera is switched off and can be configured to only show vital information.
- The weather sealing has been improved and the camera can function at -10C.
- The 310 shot battery should last half a day of dedicated photography
- Need to fine tune the AF behaviour to get sharp results
- Face detection performance is good but variable depending on the lens.
- Low light AF is said to be improved
- AF works best in the phase detection area at the centre of the sensor
- The 5x IBIS is not consistent across all lenses. Expect about 2x with wide angle lenses and 3,3 with telephoto.
- An excellent JPEG engine with excellent creative colour modes
- Slight ‘glitching’ in fine colour detail in RAW but overall low noise levels are low and detail acceptable.
- The touchscreen can be slow to respond
I’m not sure the number and style of control points necessarily reflects the needs of the user interface, now it’s trying to accommodate both stills and video
the X-H1 [is] up against some pretty fierce competition: Sony, for example, offers the broadly comparable a6500 for less money or the impressive-looking full-frame a7 III for only a little more.
Fujifilm X-H1: Cameralabs
Cameralabs provide one of the most detailed reviews available, here are the bits I found interesting:
- Could be described as an XT2 with IBIS, a touchscreen, bigger grip, better video and Bluetooth
- One of the heftiest mirrorless cameras
- It is stronger mare scratch resistant and has 94 points of weather sealing
- The display remains active when the camera is switched off, indicating at a glance the shots and battery life remaining.
- Some glasses wearers prefer the viewfinder to the XT2
- It is possible to record stills to both cards but not video
- The X-Trans III sensor is the same as in the XT2 and is now two years old.
- Vertical Power Booster (VPB X-H1) makes room for three batteries but adds to cost and bulk.
- Unstabilised lenses become usable due to the IBIS. Plus the IBIS make in camera composition easier with telescopic and other lenses.
- The phase detect and contrast based autofocus systems are the same as the XT2 and therefore perform similarly. However, it has been tweaked to work better in low light.
- Face detection and eye detection can be erratic
I say it in every Fujifilm review, but still believe they have the best colour science in the industry.
I understand Fujifilm’s eagerness to launch their first body with built-in stabilisation, but feel the X-H1’s size, price and position would have been more comfortable with a new sensor and battery.
Fujifilm X-H1: Kai W
If you want to see the weather sealing qualities check this out:
Fujifilm X-H1: Fstoppers
Usman Daywood in the Fstoppers review calls this a disappointing release from Fujifilm.
- Comments online wonder where this product fits and when there will be a replacement for the XT2
- Major changes over XT2 re stills photography are an information top plate, IBIS and touchscreen
The Fujifilm X-H1 is a disappointing and confusing release from the company which is very unlike them. This feels rushed and completely unnecessary, and it would have been much better to simply wait and release a proper update the X-T2.
Fujifilm X-H1: Digital Camera Weekly
A very positive review from Digital Camera Weekly
- The light trigger shutter takes getting used to. Very little pressure is needed.
- The shutter is very quiet due to a clever shock damping on the mechanical focal plane shutter
- The deep grip makes the camera easy to hold especially with larger lenses
- The IBIS enables sharp images to be taken handheld at 1/8 sec at 55mm.
- The expanded dynamic range feature lifts the base ISO level by 1-2EV.
- Fujifilm includes lens corrections into the RAW files as well as JPEG processing.
the X-H1 makes a lot of sense, especially for those who have already invested in the X-mount system or are swayed by its design, image quality and lenses.
Fujifilm X-H1: Photography Blog
Another positive review from Photography Blog
- The lens mount is reinforced to be more damage resistant.
- It is very convenient to be able to check the camera’s key settings with a quick glance at the top LCD
- It is possible to change the focus point whilst holding the camera up to your eye by dragging your thumb across the touchscreen.
While the new Fujifilm X-H1 is the best-specced, best-performing X-series camera to date, curiously we feel that it doesn’t quite have the widest appeal, both within the Fujifilm eco-system and the camera market as a whole.
So what Fujifilm have mostly added, they’ve perhaps also taken a little away, with the addition of IBIS, bigger handgrip and top LCD screen making the X-H1 the largest X-series APS-C camera to date.
it’s not the only camera that’s being directly challenged by the aggressive pricing of the A7 III, but when the APS-C sensor X-H1 is physically bigger than the full-frame sensor A7 III at the same price-point (if you factor in the VPB-XH1), Sony seem to have the edge, at the very least in marketing terms.
Fujifilm X-H1: Conclusion
When I first handled the X-H1 I was surprised at how bulky it was. I was disappointed that the retro feel of Fujifilm cameras had been jettisoned. However, it may just be a function of progress as mirrorless cameras take on more features and technology. However, I wonder whether Fujifilm had an inkling that Sony was about to release a ball buster in the Sony A7III, and rushed to release the X-H1 without properly resolving battery and other issues.
Where to Buy
I buy my equipment from Wex because I have found they offer great customer service.