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Fujifilm X-H2s Review – Preview Images



News

Fujifilm have just unleashed the X-H2S, their brand new flagship mirrorless camera for 2022. Billed as a truly professional APS-C hybrid camera, the XH2S is all about hi-speed photography.

With the very latest X-trans CMOS 5 HS stacked sensor and X-Processor 5, this camera can shoot black-out free 26.1 megapixel images at 40fps with continuous phase-detect AF and AE metering when using its electronic shutter and 15fps using the mechanical shutter.

The combination of new sensor and processor also provides 6K/30p and up to 4K/120p video recording, 120fps live view and 1/151th sec rolling shutter, which is similar to many dedicated cinema cameras.

Auto-focusing

The X-Processor 5 introduces AI deep learning to the Fuji X-series for the first time, with the X-H2s able to automatically detect animals, birds, cars, bikes, planes and trains, bringing it back up to date for 2022.

Fujifilm claim that the sensor is 3.5x quicker and the processor 1.5x quicker than the popular X-T4, while the AF system with its improved algorithm, better eye/face detection and the addition of AI learning is 3x faster.

CFexpress Memory Cards

To enable all of that speed, Fuji have implemented dual CFexpress Type B / UHS-II slots, another first for the system, while the HEIF file format also makes its debut in addition to the usual JPEG and RAW.

Body and Design

Measuring 135.5 x 92.9 x 86.9mm and weighing 660g, the new XH2S is actually smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the X-H1.

Fuji have decided to remove some dials and controls and replace them with more Function buttons, while the ISO and Shutter Speed dials on the XH1 have made way for a PASM dial on this new model.

The LCD screen and EVF have both been significantly upgraded, with the former being a 1.62m 3-inch vari-angle LCD and the latter a 5.76M EVF with 0.8x magnification and 120fps refresh rate.

6K/30p / 4K/120p Video

Turning to video, the XH2S supports Apple ProRes RAW and BlackMagic RAW for the first time on a Fuji camera and also offers the new F-Log 2 with up to 14+ stops of dynamic range.

Longer recording times of up to 240min at an ambient temperature and 17min at 40 Celsius are supported, with a fan accessory available which screws into the back of the camera and improves the maximum time to 51 mins at 40 Celsius.

6.2K/30p and 4K/120p recording are the headline rates, with no crop in the former and a 1.29x crop for the latter. There’s also 4K/60p (no crop), FHD 240/200p (1.38x crop) and FHD 120p (no crop).

Battery Life

The XH2S uses exactly the same battery as the X-T4, with battery life rated at 720 shots according to the very stringent CIPA standard and 1850 shots with the optional VG-VH grip fitted. Shutter life for this camera is 500K shots when using the mechanical shutter.

New Lenses and Accessories

Also officially announced alongside the XH2S are two lenses that have previously only appeared on the lens roadmap, the XF 18-120mm F4 R LM PZ WR power zoom and the XF 150-600mm F5.6-8 R LM OIS WR, and three new accessories.

The literally named FAN-001 is the aforementioned fan accessory for reducing overheating during video recording in hot climates, while the VG-XH is a dual-battery vertical grip.

Fuji are also introducing an interesting new FT-XH file transmitter grip which will wirelessly add a slew of networking capabilities to the core camera, including 600Mbps Ethernet, 5G phone tethering and multi-cam support.

So the new X-H2S has a very clear focus on speed and video, thanks to its new stacked sensor and processor.

X-Trans CMOS 5 HR

Fujifilm seemingly haven’t forgotten out-and-out stills shooters, though, as they’ve also just unveiled the new X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor, with HR standing for High Resolution. This HR sensor will have 40 megapixels and use a Backside Illuminated (BSI) design to help keep noise to a minimum.

With the next Fuji X-Summit scheduled for September 2022, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out which new camera body the X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor will debut in – almost certainly the X-H2…

Pricing and Availability

The new Fujifilm X-H2S is priced at £2499 / $2499 body only in the UK and USA respectively and will be available in early July 2022.

The VG-VH vertical grip will cost £399 / $399, the FT-XH file transmitter grip £949 / $999, and the FAN-001 fan £169 / $199.

Fujifilm Press Release

Introducing the FUJIFILM X-H2S

Fujifilm announce flagship model which boasts the highest burst-mode, AF and video performance in the history of the X Series.

FUJIFILM Corporation (President and CEO, Representative Director: Teiichi Goto) is pleased to announce the launch of the mirrorless digital camera FUJIFILM X-H2S in July 2022. The camera joins the lineup of the X Series of mirrorless digital cameras, which are renowned for their outstanding image quality in both stills and videos, delivered with Fujifilm’s proprietary colour reproduction technology.

The X-H2S is a new flagship model boasting the highest performance in both stills and videos in the history of the X Series. This has been made possible by the use of the new stacked-layer back-illuminated 26.16MP “X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS”*2 sensor capable of reading signals 4 times faster than the previous model*1, and the high-speed “X-Processor 5” boasting double the processing speed of the previous model*3.

The X-H2S features an evolved AF system capable of shooting up to 40 frames per second and offering newly developed subject-recognition AF technology and can even film 6.2K/30P and 4K/120P video.

Other features include the five-axis in-body image stabilisation that offers up to 7.0-stop advantage*4, highly robust magnesium body, hardware that incorporates operability improved from the previous model, as well as extensive interface options including the new slot for a CFexpressTMType B card*5 and an optional file transmitter (sold separately).

The new camera caters to the diverse photographic needs of professional photographers and videographers in both stills and videos in categories including sports photography, bird photography and single-person on-location work.

FIFTH GENERATION OF DEVICES

In 2012, Fujifilm released the FUJIFILM X-Pro1, featuring an image sensor and a processor developed in-house. Since then, the company has evolved the X Series, releasing four generations of the devices over the last decade in pursuit of advanced image quality and portability. With the launch of the latest X-H2S, the X Series heralds the arrival of the fifth generation of devices, X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS and X-Processor 5.

  1. X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HS: This 26.16MP image sensor inherits the previous model’s back-illumination style but also adopts the stack-layer structure to become the first stacked APS-C sensor capable of quadrupling the speed to read signals compared to the current model. It has dramatically improved performance, including up-to-40fps blackout-free burst mode*6 and significantly-better AF rate during continuous shooting. As for video performance, the sensor can record 4K/60P video without cropping with substantially reduced rolling-shutter effect.
  1. X-Processor 5: The all-new processor has double the processing speed of the current model. It has improved image resolution at low ISO sensitivity and reduced noise at high ISO sensitivity in stills, while delivering significantly improved AF accuracy and speed. The use of the AI processor enables subject-detection AF, tracking a targeted subject with increased accuracy. In video, the processer enables filming 4:2:2 10bit video at 6.2K/30P and 4K/120P and supports a variety of codecs including Apple ProRes 422 HQ*7. It also has lower power consumption, thus extending the maximum video-recording time, and supports a CFexpressTM Type B memory card.

The X-H2S makes full use of the capability of the fifth-generation devices to achieve a substantial performance improvement.

  • Major boost to the burst mode capability: The camera can apply AF / AE tracking in blackout-free continuous shooting of up to 40 frames per second and can shoot over 1,000 frames continuously when setting the high-speed burst shooting mode to 30 frames per second (JPEG) or 20 frames per second (RAW). *8
  • Dramatically evolved AF performance: The increased number of AF calculations performed per second has improved AF accuracy, provides a subject-recognition AF function, and improves prediction algorithm to dramatically improve Zone AF and the capability to track a moving subject under low-contrast environment.
  • Improved video performance: The camera supports recording 4:2:2 10bit video at 6.2K/30P and 4K/120P internally. The sensor’s readout speed during video recording has been improved to 1/180 seconds, suppressing the rolling shutter effect. It supports three Apple ProRes codecs; ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. When recording ProRes, X-H2S also supports proxy recording such as ProRes 422 Proxy. Another new feature is F-Log2 capability with dynamic range expanded up to 14+ stops, which enables much smoother tonal expression.

*1 In comparison with the X-TransTM CMOS4, carried in the current camera models

*2 X-TransTM is a trademark or registered trademark of FUJIFILM Corporation.

*3 In comparison with the X-Professor 4, carried in the current camera models

*4 When mounted with the FUJINON Lens XF35mmF1.4 R

*5 CFexpress™ is a trademark or registered trademark of the CompactFlash Association.

*6 High-speed continuous shooting free from the viewfinder blacking out, preventing users from seeing the subject; This is only available when using the electronic shutter.

*7 Apple ProRes is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.

*8 This is only available when using the electronic shutter.

MAIN FEATURES

Best capability to track a moving subject in the history of the X Series to capture decisive photo opportunities

The camera is equipped with a back-illuminated stacked-layer 26.16MP “X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS” sensor, the 5th generation of X Series’ image sensors. It has signal readout speed about 4 times faster than the current model to achieve blackout-free continuous shooting of up to 40 frames per second. The camera controls phase-detection pixels independently from image display during the burst mode. This triples the number of calculations in phase detection information from the current model*9, and enables high-speed focusing even during high-speed continuous shooting of 40 frames per second, thereby significantly improving AF accuracy in the burst mode.

The use of the new sensor and the processor is coupled with an increased built-in memory capacity to dramatically increase the number of frames that can be continuously recorded in the burst mode. When using the electronic shutter, the camera can shoot over 1,000 frames continuously*10 at up to 30fps in JPEG and 20fps in RAW.

The EVF uses a high-resolution 5.76-million-dot panel with the magnification of 0.8x. The smooth viewfinder with the frame rate of approx. 120fps also offers improved visibility thanks to strong suppression of parallax and distortion that occur when an eye position becomes displaced while using the viewfinder, thereby enabling accurate tracking of subject movements.

Substantially-evolved AF performance with the use of new devices and enhanced algorithm

The use of the new devices and improved prediction algorithm for AF have led to a major boost in the camera’s capability to track a moving subject and autofocus accurately in Zone AF or in low-contrast conditions. This means a subject that keeps on moving can be accurately tracked, such as athletes and wild animals.

The new image processor features a subject-detection AF function, developed with Deep Learning technology. It detects and automatically tracks not only the human face / eyes but also animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes and trains to maintain autofocus. Users can concentrate on shutter opportunities and framing, as the camera can keep a targeted subject in focus constantly.

Evolved video performance to cater to diverse needs

The use of the new sensor / new processor has enabled saving 4:2:2 10bit video at 6.2K/30P internally, recording high-definition video while retaining extensive color information. The camera also supports filming high-speed 4K/120P video so that a momentary action of a fast-moving subject can be presented in smooth slow-motion with fine details.

The sensor`s readout speed during video recording has been reduced to as fast as 1/180 seconds. The rolling-shutter effect is well-controlled to present a moving subject naturally.

X-H2S supports three Apple ProRes codecs; ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, and ProRes 422 LT. When recording ProRes, X-H2S also supports proxy recording such as ProRes 422 Proxy, streamlining the overall workflow from filming to post-production.

AF performance for video recording has been enhanced. The camera supports the AF+MF function in the video mode, and offers the subject-detection AF function also during video filming, tracking a fast-moving subject in both stills and videos.

Another new feature is F-Log2 capability with dynamic range expanded up to 14+ stops. The greater dynamic range than the current F-log broadens post-production potential.

To cater to the needs of professional photographers, the camera has a new heat-dissipating structure to substantially increase the maximum video-recording time and enable recording 240 minutes of 4K/60P video*11. Attach the optional cooling fan “FAN-001” to enable extended video recording even in high-temperature conditions.

*11 When recording video at 25℃ in a cold start, with the auto power-off temperature set at “High,” bit rate of 100Mbps, a vertical battery grip VG-XH mounted and using three batteries. The recording duration depends on remaining battery charge and the type and capacity of a memory card used. When the main unit heats up, filming may automatically be terminated.

4. Hardware / design / operability to assist users’ shooting experience

The camera features an all-new five-axis in-body image stabilization mechanism, which offers up to 7.0-stop advantage thanks to the new processor and a new sensing control function. Users can comfortably choose to hand-hold the camera to shoot active situations such as sports or in low light conditions such as nightscape.

The new camera inherits the popular design features of the X-H1, such as a large grip that works well with large lenses, an LCD display on the top panel for users to check settings any time, and highly robust camera body that withstands heavy professional use. Furthermore, user feedback has been reflected to bring more improvement in operability:

OPERABILITY ENHANCEMENTS

The shutter button’s operational feel has been adjusted to improve its operability when it is half-pressed, helping users release the shutter exactly as they intend.

The design of the large grip, one of X-H1’s popular features, has been brushed up to make it even easier to hold when using a longer or large-aperture lens.

A standalone video-recording button has been added for enhanced video operability in combination with the 1.62-million-dot vari-angle LCD monitor.

Compared to previous models, the new camera offers improved operability with its buttons and dials, e.g. improved button materials and load adjustment to the AF ON button, so that users can handle the camera exactly as they intend.

Shutter durability has been further improved, withstanding 500,000 actuations in the company’s test.

The camera features dual memory card slots supporting CFexpressTM Type B and SD cards. Use the CFexpressTM Type B card with high-speed data processing performance to draw out the full potential of X-H2S’s fast continuous shooting and video performance and achieve comfortable shooting*12.

*12 See the Fujifilm website for a list of verified compatible cards.

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

Vertical battery grip “VG-XH” (for the X-H2S)

The vertical battery grip is dust and moisture resistant and operates at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius. It fits two of the high capacity battery “NP-W235.”

The grip features various buttons in convenient locations for vertical shooting to provide the same level of operability with horizontal shooting.

File transmitter “FT-XH” (for the X-H2S / due to be released in Sep 2022)

This file transmitter features wired LAN connectivity and high-speed wireless communications capability, essential for in-studio tethered shooting or sports / media shooting. It can be also used as a vertical grip. It fits two of the high capacity battery “NP-W235.”

It can be combined with the X-H2S to support the following communication specifications:

 1 FTP transfer by wired LAN / wireless LAN / USB smartphone tethering

2 Tethered shooting by wired LAN / wireless LAN

3 Remote Rec function by wired LAN / wireless LAN; Capable of controlling up to 4 X-H2S cameras from a browser at the same time

Cooling fan “FAN-001” (for the X-H2S)

This is a cooling fan, specifically designed for the X-H2S to facilitate extended shooting and video recording in high temperature.

The fan can be fitted to the rear of the camera body without a cable and supplies power, extending continuous video recording time at high temperature, and eliminating concerns of heat-related camera shutdown.

Cover kit “CVR-XH” (for the X-H2S)

This is a cover kit for protecting various terminals on the camera

・1 x Sync terminal cover

・1 x Hot shoe cover

・1 x File transmitter / vertical battery grip terminal cover

・1 x Cooling fan terminal cover

・1 x Memory card slot cover

Image Gallery

Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

First Impressions

The Fujifilm X-H2S is the most powerful APS-C camera ever released, but it’s also the most expensive too. We got hands-on with the XH2s recently, so find out what we think of this new speed-demon by reading our first impressions…

The X-H2S is Fujifilm’s most ambitious APS-C sensor camera to date, both in terms of what it offers and how much it costs.

It also marks a radical departure from the “traditional” handling that fans have come to know and love, something that is bound to cause ripples if not waves on Fuji forums everywhere.

So to recap – for £$2500, you get 26 megapixels, 40fps burst shooting, 6.2K video, AI-driven auto-focusing and 7-stops of IBIS, all housed in a similar body to the original X-H1, albeit one with no shutter speed, ISO or exposure compensation dials.

The XHS2 still has a handy top-panel LCD screen on the right-hand-side which allows you to see the key camera settings at a glance, but it now has a PASM shooting mode dial over on the left.

This features no fewer than 7 Custom modes, by far the most we’ve seen on any camera, alongside the usual PASM modes, a Filter setting and the dedicated Movie mode.

So you can essentially configure the X-H2S with up to seven different combinations of key settings and quickly access them with a simple turn of the Shooting Mode Dial.

Adding to this customisability are the plethora of unmarked Function buttons that adorn the camera, which all have default settings but which can all be changed to suit your way of working.

Controversially, one of these Fn buttons has replaced the much-loved MSC focus switch on the front panel – instead you now have to press the Function button that’s in its place and use the command dial to change this setting.

There is now room on the top panel for dedicated movie recording, ISO, White Balance and yet another custom Function buttons, alongside the top-panel LCD, while the joystick on the back is inherited from the GFX100S and is larger and easier to use than before.

While the LCD screen is the same as on the X-T4, the electronic viewfinder is an impressive 5.76 million dot panel with a 0.8x magnification and 60 or 120fps refresh rate, much better than on both the X-H1 and the X-T4.

This is the most capable Fujifilm camera to date for video, with 6K/30p and in particular up to 4K/120p with 240min recording limit sure to please videographers. While the 26 megapixel sensor doesn’t allow for 8K (maybe something that the upcoming 40 megapixel XH2 will offer?), the XH2s still represents a big step forward in this aspect for the X-series.

We tried out the XH2S’ brand new AF system in conjunction with the 18-120mm power zoom lens, which with a maximum F4 aperture aperture isn’t the brightest but does offer a useful focal range and 183mm equivalent reach.

The camera was noticeably quicker to lock-on to the main subject than previous Fuji cameras that we’ve tested. We didn’t get the opportunity to try the new AI modes for animals, birds, cars and other motor vehicles, but the improved face and eye detection did seem to be quicker and more reliable.

To take full advantage of the XH2S’ fast 40fps burst shooting speed and for recording internal ProRes, you’ll need to invest in some CF Express Type B memory cards, another brand new feature for the Fuji camera range. Don’t buy the X-H2S without also budgeting for them.

Similarly, if you’re shooting in hot climates, you’ll need to add on the cost of the dinky little Fan accessory, which screws into the back panel when the LCD screen is flipped to the side and significantly boosts recording times.

Finally, if you want to use the XH2S in a professional capacity as a journalist or similar, you’ll need the £$999 file transmitter grip, which adds ethernet connectivity, improved Wifi and more advanced wireless options, as well as two extra batteries.

Which brings us to the price – the stacked sensor, high resolution viewfinder and CF Express slot may well have made the Fujifilm XH2S the best ever APS-C sensor camera on the market (on paper at least), but it’s also by far the most expensive.

All of that cutting edge technology doesn’t come cheap, as other stacked sensor cameras like the Olympus O-M1, Sony A9 series, Sony A1, Canon EOS R3 and Nikon Z9 all demonstrate.

We’re surmising that Fujifilm looked at the Olympus O-M1 in particular, positioning their APS-C sensor offering just above the Micro Four Thirds competition, and I guess the pricing makes some kind of sense from that perspective.

What’s true about all of these cameras is that you really need to be sure if you really need the headline-grabbing speeds that they offer – after all, it’s no easy task to integrate 1000’s of high burst rate shots into your daily workflow.

If you do need 40fps shooting, though, Fujfilm now have your back with the launch of the XH2S, which coupled with the equally new 150-600mm optic would make a fantastic bird and motorsports combination.

And if resolution and stills photography are more your thing, the 40 megapixel X-H2 that will be announced in September 2022 is definitely something to look forward to…

Hands On

Ahead of our full review, do you want to see exactly what the new Fujifilm X-H2S APS-C sensor mirrorless camera looks like in the flesh?

We were given a sneak peek of the XH2S at an exclusive briefing with Fujifilm UK earlier this month.

Check out our extensive hands-on gallery of photos of this exciting new flagship camera, including the new FAN-001 and VG-XH vertical grip accessories.

A gallery of hands-on photos of the Fujifilm X-H2S mirrorless camera.

Image Gallery

Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

Preview Images

Ahead of our full review, here are some full-size sample JPEG and RAW photos and videos taken with the Fujifilm X-H2S mirrorless camera.

The Fujifilm X-H2S is a mirrorless camera with a 26.1 megapixel APS-C stacked sensor, 40fps continuous burst shooting, and 4K/120p video recording.

Please note that we were using a pre-production version of this product and therefore the image quality is not fully indicative of the final shipping version.

Fujifilm X-H2S Sample Images

Sample RAW Images

The Fujifilm X-H2s enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We’ve provided some Fujifilm RAW (RAF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movies & Video

This is a sample 6K movie at the quality setting of 6240×4160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 190Mb in size.

This is a sample 4K movie at the quality setting of 3840×2160 pixels at 60 frames per second. Please note that this 15 second movie is 192Mb in size.

This is a sample 4K movie at the quality setting of 3840×2160 pixels at 60 frames per second. Please note that this 16 second movie is 204Mb in size.

This is a sample slow-motion 4K movie at the quality setting of 3840×2160 pixels at 120 frames per second. Please note that this 72 second movie is 442Mb in size.

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