Fujifilm’s X-series of cameras have met astounding success since the debut of the Fujifilm Finepix X100 at Photokina 2010. With its iconic retro aesthetic, intuitive control dials, and revolutionary X-Trans APS-C CMOS sensor, the X100 set the tone for Fujifilm’s rather large family of X-series mirrorless cameras. The X-T Series had been the de-facto flagship thus far, with its DSLR-like aesthetic with ‘pentaprism bump’. In terms of frames per second (fps), control surfaces and durability, X-T cameras have been the undisputed Fujifilm mirrorless flagship. Enter the X-H1.
Despite the equivocal praise for the ergonomics, superior image quality and general user-friendliness of Fujifilm’s X-Series devices, they lacked in-body image stabilisation (IBIS), as opposed to image stabilisation in lenses : optical image stabilisation (OIS) which Fujifilm has on several of its lens offerings. This has led some videographers and still photographers to gravitate toward mirrorless offerings by the likes of Sony and Olympus that have this convenient feature. Videography and photography, especially with adapted manual lenses, is made significantly easier with stabilisation in the body.
Fujifilm’s X-H1 5-axis IBIS offers up to 5.5 stops of stabilisation, and promises to be extremely responsive, with 10,000 calculations per second with a specially-designed dual-processor and an array of three axial gyro sensors and accelerometers. Fujifilm’s inaugural implementation of in-body stabilisation in the X-H1 is compatible with all existing XC and XF lenses.
Along with IBIS, the X-H1 also features a new spring mechanism that counteracts vibrations that are caused by its mechanical shutter. Being a mirrorless camera, it also offers the possibility of an electronic shutter to eliminate virtually all shake when taking an image.
The X-H1 has an 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III at its core, which is has been seen on the X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras. Fujifilm’s legendary X-Trans technology features a non-periodic filter array to reduce the occurrence of moire and false colours without an optical low-pass filter – which is known to reduce the fidelity of the imaging.
Durability features strongly on Fujifilm’s new X-series flagship. In addition to its dust-resistance and water resistance, its operating temperatures extend up to -10 degrees Celcius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). Its magnesium-alloy chassis is also 25% thicker than the X-T2, and re-designing of the mount attachment has led to a lighter and more compact design. The X-H1 has been designed specially to resist impact torsion and other sources of chassis deformation. A special coating with larger particle size also resists scratches with a surface hardness of 8H, which is harder than most glass screen protectors. The camera also features dual SD card slots, a must-have feature on any professional-grade workhorse.
It features an electronic viewfinder (EVF) with 0.75x magnification and 3.69 million dot resolution, leading the class for mirrorless cameras in that category. Its 3-inch 1.04 million dot LCD screen is also articulating, featuring a 3-directional tilt. On the top, the X-H1 also features a 1.28-inch sub-LCD display, which features prominently on Fujifilm’s digital medium format GFX 50S, allowing for instant confirmation of shooting information.
With the X-H1, Fujifilm reaffirmed its emphasis on a user-centric design it had demonstrated with its earlier X-series cameras. With 19 modifications made based on feedback from professional photographers, the X-H1 is more ergonomic than ever. It sports a large grip with a leaf-sprung shutter release, making it easier to tote about, even with Fujifilm’s larger X-mount lenses attached. An extra-quiet mechanical shutter makes the X-H1 an ideal tool for wildlife, macro and street shooters. A dedicated AF-ON button on the rear makes back-button focusing with the thumb more intuitive. Flicker reduction makes it ideal for indoor sports photography by eliminating uneven exposures which are obvious during burst shots.
Video features are at the heart of the flagship X-H1, starting with IBIS. A new film simulation has been included, which emulates Fujifilm Eterna, an emulsion predominantly used in filmmaking. Eterna has been used on iconic titles like The King’s Speech (2010), Black Swan (2010), Hurt Locker (2010).
The X-H1 is also able to record at a high bitrate of 200 Mbps, and includes a 1080p/120p high-speed mode, allowing for spectacular slow-motion footage. It also supports F-log recording, allowing for efficient videography workflow. The X-H1 also supports recording at 400% dynamic range, while supporting a high-quality internal microphone with verbal time codes. It is also compatible with upcoming MKX18-55mmT2.9 and MKX50-135mm T2.9 professional cinema lenses, promising to be an ultra-compact capture solution for videographers of a wide range.
Availability of the X-H1 in Singapore is still to be confirmed, but sticker price has been announced to be about SGD400 higher than the X-T2.
Using the X-T2? FujiRumours has compiled a comparison here.
Summary of features:
- 24.3 MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor
- X-Processor PRO
- ISO 200-12800, extendable to 100-51200
- 5-axis in-body stabilization of 5.5 stops
- Mechanical front curtain shutter, electronic shutter
- Rugged magnesium alloy body
- EVF with 3.69M dots, 100 fps, and 0.005s response time
- 3-inch 1.04M-dot tilting touchscreen LCD
- ETERNA Film Simulation
- 4K at 24fps and 30fps
- 120fps slow motion in 1080p
- F-log (can be recorded on F-Log directly to SD card at 4K)
- Video bitrate up to 200 Mbps
- Built-in high-performance microphone
- Improvement of AF algorithm
- Dual memory card slots
- Wi-fi and Bluetooth
- 623g (dry), 673g (with battery)