Fujifilm XH2 Review - Specs, Images, Video, and Ergonomics

Fujifilm XH2 Review - Specs, Images, Video, and Ergonomics

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- This is Fujifilm's new 40 megapixel X-H2 camera. I got to test it out for about an hour and a half. I'm gonna tell you what I think. (upbeat music) Hi everyone, welcome to pal2tech.

Normally when I do a camera review, I have the camera right here in the studio, and I will spend a minimum of at least three to four weeks testing out all aspects of the camera's ergonomics, features, image quality, handling, and how it performs with various lenses. Now, in the case of the new X-H2, I paid for my own airline ticket and I traveled all the way to New York City to the Fujifilm event this past week, so that I could test the camera out. Now, one thing I do want you to keep in mind, the X-H2 units that I examined and tested were all pre-production units.

Any images that you see in this video were all shot using a pre-production version of that camera. I already made a part one video last week that goes into many of the specs of the camera. So I'm not gonna repeat all of those here. But for those of you that did not see it, this X-H2 includes the new X-Trans CMOS 5 HR 40 megapixel sensor that will give you a 7,728 by 5,152 resolution image. It has some significant features like 7-Stop IBIS, and the ability to shoot in shutter speeds of 1/180000 of a second in electronic shutter. It's also packed with some very powerful video specs, such as the ability to record in 8K, 30 frames per second video in 4:2:2 10-bit color.

And it offers a variety of codecs, such as Apple ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW, not to mention the new F-Log2 that offers a 13 plus stop dynamic range. Many of the features are identical to the X-H2S that was announced this past May such as the optional cooling fan, the CFexpress Card slot, and the battery grip options. And it also shares the same AI based auto focus system, and its priced about $500 less than the X-H2S coming in at about a total of $2,000 for this new camera. Let's now talk about the major difference it has with prior Fujifilm APS-C cameras, and that would be the 40 megapixel sensor.

Now this larger sensor is obviously going to give you larger file sizes. An uncompressed raw file will average around 85 megabytes, while a lossless compressed RAW will be about 40 megabytes each. High quality JPEGs will be around 19 megabytes each. And the camera also allows recording in the HEIF container that can output a 10-bit image in a file size about 30%, less than a JPEG. Now, in my testing, I found you get an average of about eight megabytes per image if you shoot in HEIF. The format uses the HIF extension, but even with the file size savings, it's not something that I would ever really use, RAW and JPEG have far more support across platforms and devices.

So thank you very much, but I'll stick with them. (upbeat music) Okay, so let's now see what you can get up to with 40 megapixels on an APS-C camera. I walked right outside of the Fujifilm summit event with the camera and I started shooting. As you can see, with a 40 megapixel sensor, I am getting an image dimension of 5,152 by 7,728. Here it is at 100% and check it out at 200%.

Look at that, you can read the license plate so easily, even though look at how far back you are. It is only possible to see that level of detail that far away with the new sensor size. Here's a shot of the famous Flatiron Building in New York City, holding the X-H2 with the 50 millimeter f/1.0 lens. Watch what happens when I zoom in to 200%. Look at that, you can see the indentations, you can see detail of the windows, really nice.

As I turn down my highlights, you can even start to see what's inside the windows. Look at that, again, this is how far back I was standing. So the first thing I'll tell you right off the bat is that it is very nicely paired with a 50 millimeter f/1.0 lens. But let's look at photos of people now. Here I am at f/2.2 in a park and zooming into 100%.

Look at that, look at how nice that background isolation is. And the auto focus was working wonderfully with this camera. What a great combination of subject isolation and background bokeh. If I zoom in 200%, look at the detail.

And again, this was how far away I was. Here's another shot with the same lens, zoomed in to 200%. And I'm shooting at f/2. Here it is at 100%. This is a straight out of camera JPEG with zero edits to the photo. Overall, I found the straight out of camera JPEGs, which was mostly what I shot, 'cause I only had one SD card, it didn't have a lot of space on it and I found them absolutely stunning.

The colors were beautiful. Now this camera has no new film simulations. So I mostly shot in Provia/Standard.

Let's take a look at some dynamic range. Here's a raw file that I shot with the 18 to 120 millimeter zoom. And as you can see from the histogram, the dynamic ranges on the extreme edges. Watch what happens when I drop the highlights. Look at that. I'll bring up some shadows. Here's a shot about three stops underexposed at ISO 800.

I'll bring it up three stops in Lightroom. Look at the blue awning in the background as I bring down the highlights. If I zoom in 100% to the darker areas of the image, obviously you can see there is some noise when I'm bringing it up three stops from an already ISO 800. Here's another image where I should have paid more attention to my histogram. I ended up blowing some of my highlights and having it extremely over to the right side. Nevertheless, let's see what we can do.

I'm gonna go ahead and drop the highlight slider as far as I can go. And because this was shot at ISO 200, I can zoom into the darker areas and look at that, almost no noise. Look at how the color detail comes back.

Now here's a JPEG that I overexposed. I don't have a raw version of this. Let's see if we can fix it in Lightroom. You see the histogram with the clipping, I'm gonna go ahead and turn my highlights down. Have a look at the background. You see it goes from here to there, and I can make a few more adjustments, have a look at that.

I am working with a JPEG and not a RAW file in this example. And what I seem to be finding is when I'm trying to recover highlights in a straight out of camera JPEG, it has better performance with an X-H2 JPEG than it does with my current X-T4. However, it doesn't come close to what you can get from RAW file. So once again, shoot in RAW.

(upbeat music) Now I was not able to test out the X-H2S that was released this past May, but in comparison to the X-T4, the new X-H2's continuous auto focus, I think is about one and a half to two times better. I also tested it with face/eye auto detect where I set face/eye to auto. I gotta tell you, this was the part of the test that I enjoyed the most. I put the camera in face/eye auto detect and Fujifilm had actually arranged to have some models come with us so we could have portraits and shoot people in a park worked out perfectly. So I walked over with one of the models there and I was so focused on the camera, the ergonomics, the handling, all of that, the settings, I just wasn't really paying attention, and I thought, great, let's do a test like that.

So I put the camera in full automatic auto focus mode, with eye priority. And I had the screen flipped out and I kind of just held it like this in one hand, I'm gonna take a few shots, here we go. And I was paying so little attention to what I was doing. I wasn't even really looking through the view finder. I was more or less just looking at the camera, trying to hold my iPhone to get some B-roll of the camera, kind of leaving it up completely to face/eye auto detect. Would it capture it? And yes, it did, it nailed just about every shot with regard to focus.

Obviously I could have framed these shots better had I taken more time. I wasn't testing that. I was testing solely whether or not, if you didn't think about it, you didn't do anything else you just put it on face/eye auto detect, and went out there and just went like that. Would it capture a bunch of shots correctly or not? Have a look at this, you see all the shot, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, it nailed every single one. You see that even with the eyes closed. And of course with that 40 megapixel sensor here we are zoomed in at 100% and here's 200%.

In addition to face/eye auto detect, its auto focus algorithm seems to me, at least to be much more accurate. I noticed that it's subject detection for a non-moving subject also did very, very well. Even quickly panning the camera around in low light settings, I was able to quickly and accurately focus right on this white van, and the camera was nailing the shot. And look here, I was using the 50 millimeter f/1.0 lens

set at f/5 and it nailed the face perfectly, even though he was off center and holding a phone, right, over part of it. By the way Big Head Taco is an awesome YouTube channel. Go check it out. I will leave a link down in the description below.

(upbeat music) Now when I did my testing, I only had a single 32 gigabyte SD card that was provided by Fujifilm for us to use during the photo walk. We didn't have any CFexpress Cards. So I was limited to a video bit rate and codec that would allow saving to a regular SD card. But here's the thing, it was not such a big deal because I was able to record full 8K video directly to the SD card.

So speaking of 8K, as you can see here in the editor, I am working with footage now that's 7,680 by 4,320. And what is so great about shooting an 8K is the fact that I can crop in so far and still get such great quality. I loved 4K when it came out, and that's all I shoot with now, 8K yes, please. I love 8K. The level of detail that you can get is incredible.

Now, one thing I would've very much liked to have tested out is the difference between the X-H2S's 6.2K and the X-H2's 8K in post production. Is there a massive difference in cutting into 6.2K versus 8K? Of course, that all depends on what you're doing with your footage. Overall, I found the video quality that I was able to capture outstanding, and I love the variety of codecs and options that this camera gave you. The only problem I had, I didn't have enough time to play around with all of them, there were so many.

In terms of video stabilization, I found that the X-H2 to be pretty much identical to the X-T4 when you're out and about shooting. Fujifilm does indicate that it has up to 7-stop of IBIS, which is about half a stop, better than the X-T4. Unfortunately, there just simply wasn't time for me to carefully test that out in a more controlled environment, which downtown New York City is not a controlled environment. I did however, run a few tests on video stabilization in both regular IBIS, as well as IS MODE BOOST.

The 18-120 millimeter lens on the Fujifilm X-H2, let's check the stabilization, not too bad, not too bad at all. And I used the new 18-120 millimeter zoom lens that I found it did a better job than what I'm used to dealing with with the X-T4. And with that lens, I noticed less warping in the background when the camera was switched on to IS MODE BOOST than I saw when I used the X-T4 with the same stabilization settings, but with the 16-80 millimeter lens. Let me just say this about that new lens from Fujifilm. The power zoom on that new 18-120 millimeter lens is really good.

Look at how you don't have any exposure shifting or changes like you would if you were using say the 16-55 to zoom in and zoom out. And look at how good IS MODE BOOST is for stabilization. Here I'm hand holding the camera and it's so stable that it's almost like it's locked down on a tripod.

And something else I wanna say about that lens. As you know, the lens has three adjustable rings on it. One for focus, one for zoom, and a power ring that you can use this button right here to toggle either focusing or zooming. But what's kind of interesting about this lens, and this is a request for Fujifilm here for a firmware update, is that the power zoom and using that to zoom in and out is so good, you will almost never use the regular zoom ring right here. So most of the time I see people walking around having it set so that it powers zooms, okay.

And you're using the main middle ring to do your focusing, which leaves the third ring, the former manual zoom ring right here as almost kind of a waste. So my request to Fuji film for a firmware update for a lens I don't even own would be the ability to assign a custom function to that front manual zoom ring as an option, that would be awesome. (upbeat music) Now of all the items that I tested on the X-H2 ergonomics was the one that I paid the most attention to. And two be clear, I am coming from using an X-T2, X-T3 and X-T4, where you have all the dials as your main option for controlling exposure.

That was in fact what led me to fall in love with using Fujifilm cameras in the first place. So coming from that world, when I picked up an X-H2, which has a PASM dial and a very different ergonomic setup, I wasn't sure what to think. The grip on the X-H2 is much better than the grip on the X-T3 or the X-T4. Having both of those cameras with me together in New York, I was able to quickly switch 'em from hand to hand while I was out and about. And I will tell you without doubt, if you are coming from an X-T system, you are going to absolutely love the increased depth of the grip on the X-H2 camera.

So next, let's talk about the articulating flip around screen. This was introduced in the X-T4, and you either love it or you hate it. I happen to love it, but in the X-T4, it does suffer from having the ports right here, too close to where the screen opens. This causes the plugged in cables, such as the HDMI to get in the way when you're trying to flip and move the screen around. Now, the X-H2 does improve upon the X-T4. In that it relocated the HDMI port further away from where the screen flips around.

You see that right there. The mic, headphone, and USB ports are still too close, but having the HDMI further away is great for those of us that often use an external monitor and wanna have a minimum of hassle when flipping around the LCD screen. I do like the ability to switch the main top dial into the various custom modes, C1 through C7 and have all of my settings ready to go. And those custom C1 through C7 settings can apply to both video and stills.

You can mix and match 'em. And even though there is a movie switch setting on the main custom dial, if I have it set to say something else, say I'm out and about shooting stills in A aperture priority, and I wanna quickly get some video, the dedicated video button that's right near the shutter button is a nice touch. And this actually happened as I was taking shots of some people in a New York park, and they started blowing bubbles. And right at that moment, I decided I wanted to get some video of that.

And bam, I just pressed the red movie button and immediately started capturing the video. And didn't miss a second of that moment of having to go and switch and fiddle around going from still to video. I also like the joystick controller more on the X-H2 than I do on the X-T4, because it has a more tactile feeling, and it's easier to find with your thumb when you're going from pushing it in to moving it around. Overall, the camera feels solid, substantial, and frankly just good out and about shooting.

The weight and the balance of it just feel right to me. (upbeat music) Now, with that being said, there are a few things I need to point out. Fuji did remove the focus mode selector switch. That's the little switch right here on the X-T cameras that allows you to go from single to continuous to manual.

I didn't like it when they did it with the X-S10, and I'm not crazy about it here. It is better on the X-H2, because at least now there's a button that you can assign to cycle through your focus modes or any other function you want. But I really do prefer having a focus mode switch.

And here's why when you have a button, right, and you have it set to change your focus mode, you're pressing it in, once for continuous, once for single once for manual, right? You're kind of togging it back and forth. You're not really knowing where you are, okay. 'Cause if you're just pressing it in, you've gotta look at the screen.

You've gotta be in a position where you're seeing the screen. And for myself personally, it is so much faster when I know I can change it into the exact focus mode I need, if I'm holding the camera and not looking at it. Like right now it's in continuous, look perfect continuous. Right now I'm gonna put it in manual. You see that because it's a switch, you get to know, left middle and write so well.

It's so hardwired into your brain. It's faster and it's more tactile and it's easier. And I far prefer it than having a button, but what do you think about a button versus a focus mode dial? I'd be interested to hear, let us know in the comments. Now, the second issue that I had was purely my past experience with X-T cameras being hardwired into my brain, okay. Going from dedicated dials to a PASM system. Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with PASM in and of itself.

However, if you come from say using an X-T4, you are not going to be able to pick up an X-H2 and start using it perfectly immediately. You need to give yourself at least a solid week or two to get used to PASM on a Fujifilm camera. Now I am not saying that PASM can't or shouldn't be used.

What I am saying is that even when I did a photo shoot for an hour, the first 30 minutes I spent trying to get used to PASM, and everything being relocated. For example, I am so used to the exposure compensation dial being located right here. In fact, it took me more than a few minutes to figure out how to dial in my exposure compensation when I was out and about with the X-H2 testing straight out of the camera JPEG. My first round of shots were actually overexposed because of this. I finally figured out and my brain connected to using the rear command dial on the X-H2 for exposure compensation.

And lastly, speaking of the command dial, as an X-T user going to the X-H2, I definitely noticed not being able to press in on the command dial, I kind of missed that. I do think that after two to three weeks of constant shooting, any former X-T user will have PASM down perfectly. But you certainly don't want to pick up an X-H2 for the first time in the morning, and then go on a professional photo shoot that afternoon. Give yourself a few weeks to get up to speed if you're coming from years of using an X-T3 or an X-T4.

(upbeat music) I am in a very difficult position to tell you my conclusion on this camera. I wasn't ever able to test the X-H2S, and for the X-H2, I only had it for a short amount of time. Now regarding image quality auto focus, IBIS, and general performance, I would say that this camera absolutely knocks it out of the park. A 40 megapixel sensor gives you way more options to crop in and reframe.

And the video options, Codecs, and file formats on this camera are the best you're gonna get for an APS-C camera, specifically regarding auto focus. I can't say how it compares with the X-H2S, but in comparison to the X-T3 or the X-T4, definitely noticeable, and you will get a lot more keeper images with the camera if you're shooting an auto focus. I love the size, most of the ergonomics, and the fact that they finally have a full sized HDMI port. And if you're a video shooter, there is so much to love about this camera. One thing that I wish that they had included was the ability to shoot 4K at 120 frames per second. You could do that on the X-H2S, but you cannot do it on the X-H2.

However, on the X-H2, you can shoot 8K. So you sort of have to pick what's more important to you. If you are looking to move into more mega pixels in a smaller body, that's not a full blown medium format system, then this is a no brainer. And I definitely recommend this camera, combine that with up to 20 frames per second burst rate, 1/180000 of a second shutter, and a seven stop IBIs.

You can see where this is going, but you probably already knew that. Go forward, get this camera, and you will not be disappointed. But I wanna talk to the rest of you now. Those of you who use and love the X-T3 or the X-T4 for stills, and perhaps don't care as much about professional K video or some of these higher end specs. If you are frequently frustrated by your XT camera's auto focus, you will be pleasantly surprised with the X-H2.

However, and this is the heart of my conclusion here, you will be moving to a PASM system, and it's just a different experience altogether. Now, for many people, that's just fine. And quite a few photographers actually prefer it than using dedicated dials on top of the current X-T cameras. Three times now I have gone to B&H Photo, and I went there once in person, and I almost pulled the trigger and got an X-H2, but then I started thinking about this and imagining an X-T5 coming out on the horizon. I mean, think of it, an X-T5 with all the same dedicated dials and Fujifilm look and feel as their other cameras, but with the incredible auto focus, sensor performance, and some of the improved video specs as the X-H2.

If there were ever the definition of a perfect camera, that would be it. I would sell a kidney to buy that camera. So will I get an X-H2 now, maybe I really love that camera. You know, the jury is still out on that one, but last I checked, I am still paying double for gas and groceries. So as excited as I was this past week about that amazing new camera, I cannot help, but wonder what lies ahead in the form of an X-T5.

There has never been a more exciting time to be shooting with Fujifilm. I think I'll leave it at that. Well, thank you so much for watching, and I really hope you found the video helpful or at least entertaining.

And if you did be sure to give it the like and subscribe. I will see you again in a new video very soon, take care. (soft music)

2022-09-18 17:05

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