Fujifilm X-H1 Review
|Full model name:||Fujifilm X-H1|
(23.6mm x 15.6mm)
|Viewfinder:||EVF / LCD|
|Native ISO:||200 - 12,800|
|Extended ISO:||100 - 51,200|
|Shutter:||1/32000 - 900 sec|
5.5 x 3.8 x 3.4 in.
(140 x 97 x 86 mm)
|Full specs:||Fujifilm X-H1 specifications|
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Fuji X-H1 Review -- Now Shooting!
by Jeremy Gray
Preview posted: 02/15/2018
02/22/2018: Hands-On Preview posted
03/01/2018: First Shots posted
04/04/2018: Field Test Part I posted
04/10/2018: Field Test Part II posted
05/02/2018: Field Test Part III posted
05/15/2018: Image Quality Comparison and Print Quality posted
Fuji X-H1 Field Test Part III
The X-H1 has new video features, but is it a great video camera?
by Jeremy Gray | Posted 05/02/2018
In the previous Field Tests, I discussed the Fuji X-H1 mostly in terms of a stills camera. While my discussions of design and usability apply to using the X-H1 for video in addition to stills shooting, my discussion of autofocus, performance and image quality was, so far, solely relative to shooting photographs. In this final X-H1 Field Test, I will be exclusively discussing its video features, performance and overall video quality.
More so than any previous Fujifilm cameras, the X-H1 is designed to be a true multimedia camera. Fujifilm blends together high-end photo capabilities and video performance into a single camera. Does the X-H1 succeed with this lofty goal?
The Fujifilm X-H1 has a dedicated movie setting menu, which is nice, because it allows you to alter various shooting settings independently for stills and video recording. While I won't list the full assortment of settings you can adjust in the movie mode, a few of them are particularly notable, such as being able to choose separate Film Simulation, dynamic range, white balance and other image quality parameters for movie recording. Further, you can also select different focus area and autofocus settings for movies.
Generally speaking, the X-H1's suite of video features and performance is quite similar to the X-T2. However, the X-H1 includes additional video features and performance that offers a handful of minor improvements, some of which may prove very important for certain users.
Fuji X-H1 4K Test Video
Fujifilm 10-24mm, 3840 x 2160 (4K) at 24 fps, Eterna Film Simulation, ISO 200, DR100.
Download Original (808 MB .MP4 File)
Like the X-T2, the X-H1 records 4K video, but unlike the X-T2, the X-H1 can record 4K for 15 minutes at a time, an improvement of the measly five-minute 4K record time of the X-T2. Further, the X-H1 has built-in image stabilization, which makes recording handheld video much easier and generally works quite well. The X-H1 also adds internal F-Log recording, a new Eterna Film Simulation and separate dynamic range settings for video.
Fuji X-H1 IBIS Test Video
Fujifilm 10-24mm, 1920 x 1080 at 24fps, DR400, ISO 800, Eterna Film Simulation
Download Original (184 MB .MP4 File)
Some weaknesses of prior Fujifilm cameras have not been addressed with the X-H1, however, including the lack of a headphone jack in the camera body itself -- although one is available via the vertical power grip -- and poor battery life when recording video. In fact, the battery is rated for only 35 minutes of video recording. And while I cannot speak to the X-T2 with respect to video autofocus, I can say that the X-H1 comes up a little short.
Expanding further upon autofocus, I found the AF system to be sluggish and indecisive when recording video. The camera makes many small adjustments even when focus appears fine, which can lead to a distracting look to the video and in some cases, a lot of focusing sounds. On the other hand, I do find that the touchscreen works fairly well for moving the focus point because it is quiet and responsive. In fact, you can use the touchscreen for many controls with the X-H1, including shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO, microphone settings, volume and more. Arguably less user-friendly is that video recording is started and stopped using the shutter release as there is no dedicated movie record button, which means you cannot simply shoot a still while recording video using the shutter button as you can with some other cameras.
Fuji X-H1 Autofocus Video
On the plus side, the video quality itself is quite good. The 4K UHD video and DCI 4K (a new and differentiating feature to the X-H1) look very good. You can record 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) video at up to 30 frames per second and DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) at up to 24 fps. Granted, there is some moiré here and there with fine details, but by and large, video quality is detailed and pleasing to look at. The video quality is also good through much of the ISO range. At ISO 200, there is good fine detail, contrast, color and dynamic range. In the test video below, pay close attention to the backlit petal sticking up from the front-facing purple tulip. The details in this petal are very fine and are a good reference point as ISO increases, thereby requiring additional noise reduction. You can also note how the contrast changes with increases in ISO and how the highlight details become more washed out.
At ISO 1600, we see more visible noise starting to appear, particularly in smoother areas of the frame and in the shadows. Further, the finer details in the petal are no longer visible. At ISO 3200, the noise is visible throughout the entire frame and fine details are further reduced. At ISO 6400, 12,800 and 25,600, the video becomes noisier and more washed out. By 25,600, the video quality is simply not good.
Fujifilm X-H1 ISO Test Video
Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 APD, 3840 x 2160 (4K) at 30fps, DR100, Provia Film Simulation
Download Original (1.6 GB .MP4 File)
Video certainly looks pleasing at ISO 800, which is the minimum ISO speed for DR 400% video recording, which you can see samples of below. With DR 400% enabled for video, Fujifilm states that you can record with up to 12 stops of dynamic range.
New to the X-H1 is the Eterna Film Simulation. This preset generally flattens the look of video, reducing overall saturation and contrast. It's not simply reducing vibrancy, however, it also changes how the camera renders certain memory colors such as blue and green, making them appear more natural and less like what you get from most cameras, which tend to oversaturate these colors. I like Eterna for video, and it certainly has a "cinematic" look in my opinion, although that's obviously subjective.
In addition to 4K resolution, you can record in the X-H1's 2K (2048 x 1080) or Full HD (1920 x 1080) options at up to 60 fps or in a new high-speed recording mode, which allows for 120 fps shooting and slow-motion playback as slow as 1/5 speed.
Fuji X-H1 High-Speed Video
Fujifilm 10-24mm, 1920 x 1080 at 120fps, 1/5x playback, ISO 200, Velvia Film Simulation
Download Original (535 MB .MOV File)
The X-H1 offers numerous other interesting features, including clean HDMI out with 4:2:2 8-bit video (compared to the 4:2:0 internal recording), 200Mbps bitrate for high-quality video and a higher-quality built-in microphone (24-bit, 48 kHz).
The X-H1's video features and improvements may not justify selling your X-T2 to get an X-H1, but you can easily make the case that it's a notably better video camera than the X-T2. However, when compared to its competition, the X-H1 is not an obvious choice for filmmakers as it still doesn't pack the same punch as similarly-priced offerings from Sony and Panasonic, in particular. However, if your focus is split between stills and video, the X-H1 should fit the bill. The video quality is quite good, and it offers a lot of very nice features.
Field Test Part III Summary
Good 4K video quality and numerous new features
What I liked:
- Good 4K video quality
- High-speed mode works well
- Numerous ways to capture video with good dynamic range
- Internal F-Log recording
What I disliked:
- Video battery life is not very good
- No built-in headphone jack
- No dedicated movie record button
For videographers, the Fujifilm X-H1 may not be a perfect choice due to poor battery life and mediocre autofocus. However, its video quality is good and it offers a wide assortment of features, making it a great choice for someone who needs both good stills and video performance.
Overall Field Test Summary
The X-H1 is Fujifilm's best X Series camera
What I like best:
- Great ergonomics and overall user experience
- Very good image quality
- Film Simulations are as good as ever
- Fast continuous shooting speeds
- In-body image stabilization
- Good autofocus for stills
- Many video features including 4K recording
What I like least:
- Occasionally excessive in-camera image processing
- Eye AF and Face Detect AF are underwhelming
- Buffer depths are fairly shallow for a fast, pro-oriented camera
- Video recording limits are frustrating
- Poor battery life, especially for video
Overall, the Fujifilm X-H1 is a very good camera. Compared to the X-T2, the X-H1 includes many similar features and specs, but it improves upon the X-T2 in a lot of small ways that add up to a superior overall camera. There are still weaknesses, however, but they are limited. There are competing cameras at similar price points which do a lot of what the X-H1 does and in some areas better. Personally, I am a big fan of the overall user experience of Fujifilm cameras and love the JPEG images the camera produces, while also producing very good and flexible RAW files, to boot. Ultimately, the X-H1 is the best X Series camera Fujifilm has released and while it is not groundbreaking, it is very well-rounded and versatile.
• • •
Fuji X-H1 Review -- Overview
by Jeremy Gray
Preview posted: 02/15/2018
There's a new leader in Fuji X series performance. Fujifilm's announced the brand-new X-H series of cameras with the X-H1, and it combines high performance, in-body image stabilization, improved video capabilities and more in the most durable X-series camera body yet.
The X-H1 includes a number of firsts for Fujifilm X series cameras, including being the first with in-body image stabilization and DCI 4K video recording. There are many smaller changes and even more familiar aspects, so let's take a closer look at the X-H1.
Fuji X-H1 Key Features
- Redesigned camera body with more durability and improved ergonomics
- 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III image sensor
- X-Processor Pro image processor
- In-body image stabilization
- New high-resolution OLED EVF
- 3-inch tilting touchscreen display
- Top "sub display"
- Up to 14 fps continuous shooting
- DCI 4K recording at 24 fps
- 4K UHD video at 30 fps
- High-speed video recording
- Internal F-log recording
- New ETERNA Film Simulation
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Camera Body and Design
The Fuji X-H1 follows the same general design language as other high-end X Series cameras, but it also borrows elements from the medium format GFX and definitely looks a bit different from the X-T2, for example, when you look closer. We'll look at some of the design changes in the next section, but if you're a fan of Fujifilm ergonomics, don't worry, it's still very much a Fuji camera.
If you've ever wondered if companies listen to feedback on things such as ergonomics, Fujifilm certainly has been. The X-H1 incorporates many improvements based on feedback from professional photographers, including a larger grip design, a redesigned leaf-spring switch for the shutter release, a quieter shutter mechanism, a new focus level, a new AF-On button -- which should prove very useful for photographers preferring back-button autofocus -- and larger buttons on the rear of the camera.
Looking at the rear of the camera, we find a relatively sparse, no-nonsense assortment of buttons. There are playback and delete buttons to the left of the viewfinder and AE-L and AF-ON buttons to the right. There's a rear command dial, a small Q button to the right of the thumb grip, AF joystick, directional buttons and DISP/BACK button to the right of the 3-inch tilting touchscreen display. Gone is the AF-L button of the X-T2, although presumably the AF-ON button can be set to serve the same functionality, and the command dial is now all the way to the right of the rear buttons.
We see the biggest differences when we look at the top deck of the X-H1. First, there's now a top-deck status display, discussed below, and the exposure compensation dial is now gone, replaced with a dedicated button. The new grip is particularly obvious from above, as it is much larger than that found on the X-T2. The new shutter release is immediately evident as well. We are looking forward to getting our hands on the Fujifilm X-H1 later today, so stay tuned for more impressions of how the camera feels.
Displays: New EVF and new top display
The Fuji X-H1 has an all-new OLED electronic viewfinder, which has a higher resolution than previous Fujifilm X Series EVFs. In fact, the new viewfinder has a very high dot count of 3.69 million. This is right up there with the Sony A9 in terms of dot count and even matches Fujifilm's medium format camera, the GFX 50S.
Despite being higher resolution (3.69M versus 2.36M dots), the X-H1's EVF does however have a bit lower magnification than the X-T2 (0.75x versus 0.77x in 35mm equivalent terms). With that said, the X-H1's electronic viewfinder remains impressive on paper. The claimed display time lag is a mere 0.005 seconds, and the viewfinder panel has a frame rate of 100fps. Further, the EVF offers a 100% field of view.
The X-H1 includes a tilting touchscreen display. Like the X-T2, the LCD can tilt in three directions and has 1.04-million dots. This is the same rear display as the X-T2, but what makes the X-H1 different is its new, secondary top-deck display, which Fujifilm dubs the "sub-LCD." The 1.28-inch e-ink display is much like the one found on the GFX. It has light lettering on a dark background by default but can but this is reversed when the display is illuminated via its dedicated light-up button, presenting dark text on a light background.
While the somewhat larger and heavier X-H1 may look generally similar to the X-T2, there are numerous changes to the body's construction. In addition to its dust & water resistance, and ability to operate in temperatures as low as 14° F (-10° C), the X-H1 has 25% thicker magnesium alloy than the X-T2. To help keep the X-H1 looking good even after extensive use, the body is coated with a new scratch-resistant material.
In-Body Image Stabilization
As mentioned, the X-H1 is the first X Series camera to include in-body image stabilization. The system works via three axial accelerometers and three gyro sensors, and includes a specially-developed dual processor that performs around 10,000 calculations per second. Fujifilm claims the 5-axis image stabilization system will deliver up to 5.5 stops of image stabilization when paired with certain XF and XC lenses, although the image stabilization system in general is compatible with all Fujinon XF and XC optics.
To help further combat blurry images, the X-H1 includes a new spring mechanism to reduce tiny vibrations created by the movement of the mechanical shutter. If you want to virtually eliminate all vibrations caused by normal operation of the camera, you can utilize the new electronic front curtain shutter option or the camera's fully electronic shutter.
Sensor and Image Quality
The imaging pipeline is familiar. Like the X-T2 and X-Pro2, the X-H1 features a 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor and Fujifilm's X-Processor Pro image processor. The native ISO range is 200 to 12,800, which can be extended as low as ISO 100 and as high as ISO 51,200.
Fujifilm cameras are well-known for their Film Simulations and the X-H1 is no different in that respect, as it offers the standard suite of Film Simulations including the recently-added ACROS. However, it has a new trick up its sleeve, the new ETERNA film simulation mode. This mode is said to be ideal for movies but can be used for stills as well. The mode simulates cinematic film by producing subdued colors and rich shadow tones, which Fujifilm says allows for more flexibility during post-processing.
To help ensure better images in a variety of shooting conditions, the X-H1 is the first Fujifilm camera with flicker reduction. This allows you to capture stable exposures during burst shooting under fluorescent and mercury lights.
Performance and Autofocus
Speaking of performance, the X-H1 is quite quick. It can shoot at up to 14 frames per second with its electronic shutter and 8 frames per second when using the mechanical shutter, which are the same burst speed specs as the X-T2. The electronic shutter can shoot at up to 1/32,000s, while the mechanical shutter tops out at 1/8,000s. We will need to test the camera in our lab, of course, but Fujifilm states that you can expect a buffer depth of around 40 JPEG frames, 27 lossless compressed RAW images and 23 uncompressed RAW images when using the electronic shutter at maximum speed, and 80, 31 and 26 frames respectively when using the mechanical shutter for the same file qualities. These figures are however one to three frames lower than Fujifilm's X-T2 buffer specs, which are 42 JPEG, 28 lossless compressed RAW and 25 uncompressed RAW frames at 14 fps, and 83 JPEG, 33 lossless compressed RAW and 27 uncompressed RAW frames at 8 fps.
While the hybrid phase/contrast detect AF system is the same at its core as the X-T2's, with 325 total AF points and 91 Zone Focusing areas, Fujifilm has tinkered with the system's sensitivity and performance. The low-light limit for phase detection autofocus has been improved by about 1.5 stops, from +0.5 EV down to -1.0 EV. Further, the minimum usable aperture for lenses has gone from f/8 to f/11, meaning that you can use the Fujifilm 100-400mm lens with a 2x teleconverter and still have full autofocus on the X-H1. Fujifilm claims that major improvements have been made to the autofocus algorithms, particularly with respect to continually focusing while zooming the lens.
If you add the optional Vertical Power Booster Grip (VPB-XH1), which will be available in a kit with the X-H1, it can not only increase battery life to 900 shots (and 4K video recording to 30 minutes), but also boosts continuous shooting to 11 frames per second with the mechanical shutter. (Claimed buffer depths at 11 fps are 70 JPEG, 28 lossless compressed RAW and 24 uncompressed RAW frames.) What about battery life without the grip? Well, it's not that good. The X-H1 uses Fujifilm's existing NP-W126S lithium-ion battery pack, and the camera's battery life is only rated for about 310 frames on a charge.
The VPB-XHI Vertical Power Booster Grip, in addition to increasing battery life considerably, has a few tricks up its sleeve. The grip is weather-resistant, like the body, and provides space for two additional NP-W126S batteries. It includes an array of buttons: shutter release, focus lever, AE-L, AF-ON, command dial, Q button and Fn buttons. It also includes a headphone socket so that sound can be monitored while recording video. Further, the grip includes a socket for direct recharging.
There is also a new Wide Eyecup EC-XH W accessory. This eyecup covers a broader area around the eyepiece which blocks out additional light, and the eyecup can be rotated in 90-degree increments, allowing it to be used with either eye, and for shooting vertically or horizontally.
Video: DCI 4K has come to the Fujifilm X Series
The X-H1 is the first Fujifilm camera to offer DCI 4K (4096 x 2160) video recording, and it includes internal F-log recording, making it the most pro-oriented video camera of any X Series camera to date. Further, it offers dynamic range recording settings up to 400%, which Fujifilm states offers approximately 12 stops of dynamic range. For the highest quality video, you can record video at a maximum bit rate of 200 Mbps. Further, audio has not been ignored, the X-H1 includes a new high-quality internal microphone (24 bit/48 kHz).
Looking more at the video recording options, the camera offers DCI 4K and 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) recording at up to 24 and 30 frames per second, respectively, with clip durations limited to about 15 minutes. If you want a higher frame rate, you need to reduce your recording quality to 1920 x 1080 (Full HD), which allows for 60 fps recording via normal modes and 120 fps via the special high-speed recording mode, with clip limits of about 20 and 6 minutes respectively. The high-speed mode allows for slow-motion videos with 1/2, 1/4 and 1/5 speed playback. There's also a 2K (2048 x 1080) mode at up to 60 fps with a 20 minute limit, as well as HD (1280 x 720) at up to 60 fps with a 30 minute limit. Video file format is MOV (MPEG-4 AVC / H.264) with LPCM stereo audio.
Ports and Connectivity
There are numerous ports on the X-H1, including a hot shoe on the top of the camera, a PC sync socket on the front, a USB 3.0 Micro-B port, a Micro (Type-D) HDMI port, a 2.5mm remote release jack, and a 3.5mm external mic jack.
The X-H1 also has dual SD card slots, both offering UHS-II compatibility.
For wireless connectivity, the X-H1 offers built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth is Ver 4.0 (Bluetooth Low Energy).
Fuji X-H1 Price and Availability
The Fujifilm X-H1 will be available starting March 1. The camera will sell body-only for US$1,899.95 and CAD $2,449.99. Accessories included are: NP-W126S battery pack, BC-W126 battery charger, EF-X8s hoe-mount flash unit, shoulder strap, body cap, strap clip, protective cover, clip attaching tool, hot shoe cover, grip connector cover, sync terminal cover, cable protector, and an Owner's manual. The X-H1 will also be available in a kit with the Vertical Power Booster Grip, which will sell for $2,199.95 and $2,799.99 in the US and Canada, respectively.
• • •
Fuji X-H1 Field Test Part I
Is the X-H1 the best-designed X Series camera yet?
The Fujifilm X-H1 is the company's newest flagship X Series camera. The "H" stands for "high performance," per Fujifilm, and the specifications and overall design of the camera backs up their claim. With a revised design, improved video specs and bumps to performance in numerous areas, the X-H1 certainly looks to be the most capable and versatile X Series camera to date.
However, beneath the surface, how many changes are there? Let's take a look at the Fujifilm X-H1 and how it performs in the real world across three Field Tests. This first Field Test will look at the design of the camera, the new optional battery grip, the image sensor as well as image quality and the flexibility of the RAW files. The second Field Test will explore shooting modes, metering, wireless connectivity, film simulations, autofocus and performance. The third Field Test will be all about video, including the enhanced 4K video functionality of the X-H1.
Fuji X-H1 Field Test Part II
Putting the X-H1's improved autofocus and performance to the test
The Fujifilm X-H1 offers a pleasing overall shooting experience, thanks in part to the redesigned and very nice, ergonomic body, but I am also a big fan of the overall user experience with the camera. If you are unfamiliar with Fujifilm X Series cameras, they typically rely upon a combination of camera dials and dials on the lenses for setting the shooting mode rather than using a simple PASM mode dial. For example, to shoot in manual mode on the X-H1, you can set the shutter speed dial to a specific exposure time or you can set it to "T" and dial in a manual shutter speed using a command dial. You then set aperture using a dedicated dial on the lens itself or by using a separate command dial. This method of working with a specific shutter speed dial and then an aperture ring on a lens is distinct in this day and age, and I find it to be an enjoyable way to shoot.
Moving on to metering, the X-H1 does a pretty good job in many lighting conditions, although I have found it -- and other Fujifilm cameras -- to come up a bit short with its low-light metering, particularly with respect to auto white balance. The X-H1 tends to underexpose and produce cooler images in dim light. Fortunately, it's quite consistent, so you can predictably rely upon exposure compensation, which is accessed by a dedicated exposure compensation button on the top of the camera, right near the shutter release.
Fuji X-H1 Hands-On
Deep dive into the new features at an exclusive Fujifilm event in Los Angeles
The event kicked off with a meeting with Jun Watanabe, who is part of Fujifilm's Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products department. Watanabe was the product planner for the X-H1, so there is no better source for the inside scoop on the new flagship camera. Speaking of "flagship," the presentation was started by conveying that the "H" in the X-H1 model name stands for "high performance" and that the camera is aimed at professional still and video shooters.
The first section of the presentation was focused on the new camera body, which has been designed to be more reliable and durable. The camera has a 25% thicker magnesium alloy than the X-T2, and Watanabe pointed out that the camera is twice as strong as the X-T2. Further, the X-H1 is handmade in Japan, something which is becoming rarer as companies work to keep manufacturing costs down. Regarding weather sealing, the body itself has 68 points of weather sealing, and the optional power grip has 26 itself.
Fuji X-H1 Image Quality Comparison
See how the X-H1's IQ compares to rivals
NOTE: These images are from best quality JPEGs straight out of the camera, at default settings including noise reduction and using the camera's actual base ISO (not extended ISO settings). All cameras in this comparison were shot with our very sharp reference lenses. Clicking any crop will take you to a carrier page where you can click once again to access the full resolution image as delivered straight from the camera. For those interested in working with the RAW files involved, click these links to visit each camera's respective sample image thumbnail page...
Fuji X-H1 Print Quality Analysis
But how does it look on paper?
As we saw with the earlier Fuji X-T2, the Fujifilm X-H1 does a remarkably great job at print-making. Fuji's latest 24-megapixel APS-C X-Trans sensor and X Processor Pro really work well together for capturing images with lots of detail, while also controlling noise at higher ISOs. And despite having the same imaging hardware as the X-T2, the new flagship X-H1 manages to surpass the earlier camera in some notable print quality sizes. The X-H1 manages wonderfully large 30 x 40-inch prints all the way to ISO 800, instead of ISO 400 like the X-T2. Further, ISO 1600 sees a print size jump, going up to 24 x 36 inches, instead of 16 x 20. Past this, print quality sizes match the X-T2 pretty closely; an 11 x 14 at ISO 6400, a nice 8 x 10 at ISO 12,800 and a usable 5 x 7 at ISO 25,600. At the maximum extended high ISO of 51,200, however, the X-H1 offers a slight improvement, with a nice 5 x 7-inch print, too.
Buy the Fujifilm X-H1
$699.00 (136% less)
19.61 MP (24% less)
Also has viewfinder