Hands on with the X-H1, Fujifilm's new flagship mirrorless camera
With a thicker magnesium alloy body, in-body image stabilization and expanded video capabilities, Fujifilm's new X-H1 will be worthy of consideration for those looking for a mirrorless camera. New Atlas had some hands-on time with the shiny new X Series flagship, and we've got a few early impressions to share.
The X-H1 comes with a lot of the performance boosts you might expect from an upgrade of this type, building on 2016's impressive X-T2. For a full rundown of the differences check out our coverage from last week, but at the launch event in Sydney there were certain upgrades in particular that Fujifilm was really keen to highlight.
One is the beefed up autofocus. The various autofocus modes are easily navigable through the menu and are the same as those on the X-T2, with the ability to cycle through options for multipurpose AF, ignore obstacles, objects fast approaching, objects suddenly appearing, and custom. It even uses the same processor as the X-T2, but thanks to a new algorithm and "parallel processing" it is able to crunch data more efficiently, better track moving subjects and offer better autofocus during zooming.
The company bills the X-H1 as a new category for mirrorless cameras and its ticket into the professional sports-action photography arena, but advanced autofocus isn't the only reason. The X-H1 is the first X Series model to feature in-body image stabilization. This means making 10,000 calculations per second and using dual motors, three accelerometers and three gyros to shift the sensor along five axes.
We didn't get a chance to point the X-H1 at any fast-moving objects, though the venue was dimly lit enough to give us some idea of its image stabilization chops. Here is an unedited sample JPEG, taken with a one-second long exposure at an aperture of f/1.4 and ISO of 200.
While no masterpiece, the image quality is relatively sharp considering the very long exposure. Here is another unedited JPEG, taken with a faster, but still tripod-worthy shutter speed of 1/60. Aperture still at f/1.4 and ISO at 200.
The subject looks relatively sharp. Here is another interior shot taken under much more natural light, at a shutter speed of 1/125, aperture at f/1.4 and ISO 200.
Fujifilm has designed a new spring mechanism for the mechanical shutter, something it calls Feather-touch and which it claims is near silent. We can confirm this is very discreet. So much so that we had to double check the album to make sure we were actually taking photos.
We did notice that the live view offered by the electronic viewfinder could get a little jerky at times and lag behind the real action. This seemed to happen when moving the camera in high contrast lighting. Fujifilm's Warwick Williams told us that it was something he had noticed and that the company was aware of. Whether it is common in the production models, and will be solved by a firmware update is unclear.
Our time with the X-H1 was not long enough to comment on its AF abilities, and we didn't get a chance to try out the video mode either. But we can say that it felt nice and solid in hand, was intuitive to use for a non-Fujifilm devotee and although the magnesium alloy body is 25 percent thicker than the X-T2's, it was far from cumbersome. We have little doubt that this US$1,900 (body only) shooter has some epic photographs in it.
Product page: Fujilfilm