Equipment

First Impressions of the FujiFilm X-H1

Published May 25, 2018

Since the introduction of the FujiFilm X100 in 2011, FujiFilm has made an incredible resurgence, going from a film era brand standing on the edge of bankruptcy, to one of the most innovative and beloved camera systems in today’s era. Their unique approach has gotten many to switch from their boring Canon and Nikon systems to the X-series line of Fuji systems. And with the announcement of the FujiFilm X-H1, a camera touted as the ‘new flagship’ from many, how does FujiFilm perform with its competitors?

Before the criticism of “The FujiFilm X-H1 was released back in March, why are you just now doing coverage of it?”, Let me let you in on a little secret; we can’t keep them in stock. One of our mission guidelines is customers first, so we’re only able to pull cameras off of the shelf to take home at the end of the day for testing and reviews if there are any remaining on the shelf when the work day is done…and more often than not, there isn’t. Still, one member of our team who has had a lot of time with the FujiFilm X-H1 has been Greg, who helps from LensProToGo, and he’s done some extensive testing of the FujiFilm X-H1 on our YouTube Channel, where he has mainly focused on the video functionalities. So let’s go over what Greg has found in his time with the FujiFilm X-H1.

Key Specifications

  • 24MP X-Trans APS-C sensor
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization (rated at 5EV)*
  • 3.69M-dot OLED viewfinder
  • Touch sensitive rear LCD with two-axis tilt
  • DCI and UHD 4K capture at up to 200 Mbps
  • Slow motion 1080 (from 120 and 100 fps)
  • Internal F-Log capture
  • 24-bit audio capture
  • Eterna/Cinema Film Simulation mode
  • Timecode
  • Reduced blackout in continuous shooting
  • Twin UHS-II-compatible card slots
  • Anti-flicker shooting mode
  • Wi-Fi with Bluetooth for constant connection

Design Changes to the FujiFilm X-H1

Perhaps the first thing you may notice when you pick up the new FujiFilm X-H1 is that it feels much nicer in your hand compared to previous FujiFilm cameras. As someone with relatively large hands, the Fujifilm systems have always seemed to have offputting ergonomics, with a small grip that doesn’t offer much to grasp and felt designed by a graphic designer rather than an engineer. The new design provides a larger grip, making the system much easier to hold.

FujiFilm X-H1 Comparisons

FujiFilm X-H1 (left) vs FujiFilm X-T2 (right)

Along with the changes to the grip, the X-H1 has also changed its dial set up. As Greg mentions in the video above, the Fujifilm X-H1 swaps out the exposure compensation dial on the top for a digital screen, showing you all your necessary settings, similar to what is found on most DSLRs.

As you come along the back of the camera, you’ll find that the electronic viewfinder has improved significantly over the previous models such as the X-T2. Offering 3.69 million dot resolution (over the 2.36M dots on the Fujifilm X-T2), the OVF change is a welcomed, and noticeable improvement. Additionally, the screen has touchscreen support added. While touchscreen has been a feature I’ve been admittingly skeptical about in the past, the touch to focus system works great, especially if you’re shooting video.

And perhaps the most significant change to the FujiFilm X-H1 over its predecessors is the 5-axis in camera stabilization. Obviously, with your focal length changes, the effectiveness of the stabilization can change, but tests are showing improvements from around 3-5 stops, depending on your lens selection.

ISO Video Testing

Fuji didn’t add much to the photo side of the Fuji X-H1, when compared to the Fujifilm X-T2, however, they made some big changes in the video department. Offering 200Mbps transfer rates, the FujiFilm X-H1 allows for 4K recording up to 30fps and Cinema 4K / DCI recording at 24fps. It also shows off 120fps at 1080 resolution. But with video, ISO performance is the name of the game, so Greg was able to run it through some testing to see if grain would be an issue at higher ISOs. We’ll let you be the judge, and you’re welcome to download both graded and ungraded examples in higher resolution by clicking here.

Exposure Recovery Tests

To test the capabilities of the sensor found on the FujiFilm X-H1, Greg decided to do an exposure test with the new system, going from 4-stops underexposed, all the way up to 4-stops overexposed, and recovering the image to the correct exposure in post. In the video above, Greg goes through the tests, showing his example through each change. While I could display the photos below, it’s probably easier to just download the higher res examples by clicking here.

 

In these preliminary tests, it looks like the FujiFilm X-H1 is the camera to get if you’re looking to move to the Fuji systems. If you’re currently a Fuji shooter working with the FujiFilm X-T2, the decision to upgrade may be a personal one. With the added video functionalities of the FujiFilm X-H1 and the much-needed design additions, the FujiFilm X-H1 looks to be a great addition to the Fuji X-Series lineup of systems.

Be sure to follow the work Greg is doing over at the LensProToGo YouTube channel, and let us know in the comments below of your thoughts of the FujiFilm X-H1, and if you’d like to see a full review and testing of the system.

Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.

Posted in Equipment
  • amaas

    That’s because there’s a zillion companies named Fuji something or other out there, all named after Mt Fuji, the best known of Japan’s 3 Holy mountains. The other major international one is Fuji Heavy Industries (whose trade name in most countries is Subaru)

  • taildraggin

    It’s the D300 killer we’ve all been waiting for.

  • j.a.

    Fujifilm is the short form of Fuji Photo Film Co. that is the name of the company, unless you prefer the Japanese name Fujifuirumu Kabushiki-kaisha

  • tresemes

    About the exposure recovery tests, as I wrote on the video comments either I’m missing something or the test was done wrong.

    “You don’t judge shadow recovery by keeping the ISO fixed and changing the aperture. You shoot at a given ISO and then change it to a lower/higher ISO without changing the other settings, then recover that image in post and compare that to the correct exposure. An image shot at ISO 800 underexposed 4 stops and then recovered is like shooting at ISO 12800, of course it’s going to be unusable!”

    That’s how they do it everywhere, including dpreview (the video shows it in video but I don’t see how the method would be different for stills).

    https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/image-comparison/fullscreen?attr134_0=fujifilm_xh1&attr134_1=fujifilm_xh1&attr134_2=fujifilm_xh1&attr134_3=fujifilm_xh1&attr134_4=fujifilm_xh1&attr134_5=fujifilm_xh1&attr136_0=18&attr136_1=13&attr136_2=14&attr136_3=15&attr136_4=16&attr136_5=13&normalization=compare&widget=197&x=0.07546845452982638&y=0.501407249466951

  • efilho

    Well, that throws a curve ball at the “Isoless” theory, IMHO…

  • TurtleCat

    It is about trademark usage and copyrights.

  • Athanasius Kirchner

    Reliable and dependable as in “the mirror falls off” (5D), “the shutter splats oil and bits of itself all over” (D600), “the camera has had five recalls over its lifetime” (D750) or “some samples have a bad AF module that the manufacturer refuses to acknowledge and fix” (7DII)?
    All camera brands have problems, and both Canon and Nikon have introduced faulty models plenty of times. It’s just the nature of consumer electronics.
    I’ve shot old cameras (from 2012) with OLED displays recently and they looked fine – any degradation present was very minor. So I don’t think this is as great a factor as you claim.

  • Chris

    Hello,
    I would be very interested in your detailed review. I am especially interested in how the new camera plays with different primes including 3rd party Rokinon/Zeiss. Thanks!

  • Paul Trantow

    Cracks me up. The fact that they insist on using the FujiFilm name instead of just Fuji, I’m sure, puts some people off. Yes, the badge is important. Anyone else think this is funny?

  • Greg Dunn

    Apparently ‘boring’ = reliable, versatile, dependable, proven. Let’s see how many pros jump to the (APS-C) Fuji system over the next year or two.

    Also, the choice of OLED for the viewfinder is a big negative. OLED technology is still not mature, and the displays rarely last more than a couple of years before severely degrading. In addition, a drop of water inside the display will destroy it.

  • Phil Aynsley

    Hmmm… boring Canon and Nikon (Canon in my case). When Fuji (or Sony for that matter) have a range of lenses that include T/S, 11/14mm and 600mm (equivalent) lenses, plus real professional support, then I might start to consider ‘not boring’.

    PS. I do use the full range indicated above, regularly.

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