News & New Products
The mirrorless camera advance continues with Fujifilm announcing an all-new hybrid stills/video X mount flagship, Sony unveiling the third generation version of its original A7 and Panasonic launching a RF-style Lumix GX series model. And the choice of lenses for Sony’s FE mount continues to expand with Sigma announcing all of its high-performance Art line primes will soon be available with the fitting and Tamron promising a 28-75mm f2.8 zoom by mid-2018. Leica has a couple of limited editions to tempt you, including an exclusive Australia Edition of the popular Q. Canon has come up with a world first, devising an on-camera flash unit with automatic bounce flash control (it needs to be seen to be believed) while Samyang has added a third lens to its XP line of high-performance primes for the Canon EF mount. For the latest news from the imaging industry visit www. prophotomagazine.com.au
Fujifilm is targeting film-makers as well as photographers with its new X-H1 X mount ‘APS-C’ mirrorless camera, which it’s describing as “the highest performing model in the X Series range”. The ‘H’ stands for hybrid.
Similar in styling to the X-T2, the X-H1 has an all-new ruggedised and weather-sealed bodyshell that’s slightly larger and is made from magnesium alloy that’s 25 percent thicker and has a durable scratch-resistant costing. In ergonomic terms, the control layout is actually quite similar to the medium format GFX 50s, including a top panel readout screen and big lockable dials for setting shutter speeds and exposure compensation. The eVF has a resolution of 3.69 megadots and the 7.62 cm monitor screen features the same three-way tilting arrangement as on both the X-T2 and GFX 50S. It also provides touchscreen controls, including AF touchpad functionality when you’re using the eVF.
The X-H1 is the first X mount body with sensor-based image stabilisation which operates over five axes and gives up to five stops of correction for camera shake. The stabilisation system employs three axial accelerometers, three axial gyro sensors and a newly-developed dual-processor which performs approximately 10,000 calculations per second. In-body stabilisation is part of a whole suite of features aimed at videographers and starting with 4K recording in the Cinema 4K resolution of 4096x2160 pixels at 25 or 24 fps, giving a bit rate of 200 mbps. Full HD footage can be recorded at 120 fps for slow-motion effect and there’s a new dedicated ‘Film Simulation’ profile for video called eterna which optimises the dynamic range and flattens colours for easier grading in post-production. F-log recording to the memory card is also available and an additional dynamic range setting of 400% which represents approximately 12 stops. The quality of the sound recording via the built-in stereo microphones is increased to 24-bit/48 kHz. A stereo audio input is provided on the camera body, but as with the X-T2 the stereo audio output is on a separate vertical grip – called the VBPXH1 – which also serves as a booster for the continuous shooting speed (up to 11 fps with the focal plane shutter) and the maximum 4K recording time (which is extended to 30 minutes). The grip houses two batteries, extending the shooting range to 900 shots. However, the good news is that the grip is now bundled with the camera and not an additional purchase. The X-H1 shares a number of key features with the X-T2 including the 24.3 megapixels ‘X-Trans CmoS III’ sensor and ‘X-Processor Pro’ imaging engine, the 325-points hybrid contrast/phase-detection AF system, the full set of photo-based ‘Film Simulation’ presets, including ACRoS B&W, and continuous shooting at up to 14 fps with the sensor-based shutter. This also gives a fastest shutter speed of 1/32,000 second. Another first for an X mount camera is the provision of flicker detection and reduction for more stable exposure control when shooting under gas-ignition light sources. Additionally, the AF sensitivity in low light is increased by 1.5 stops and both these features are clearly aimed at sports photographers. The camera’s sensitivity range is equivalent to ISo 200 to 12,800 with extensions to ISo 100 and 51,200. When using the sensor shutter, the buffer memory allows for up to 40 best-quality JPeGs in a burst, 27 RAW files with lossless compression or 23 uncompressed RAWs. With the FP shutter, these burst depths increase to 80, 31 and 26 frames respectively. The X-H1 has dual memory card slots for the SD format, both with uHS-II speed support.
The new camera’s launch coincides with the availability of Fujifilm’s first mK Series cinema lenses in the X mount (they’ve previously only been available in Sony’s e mount). The Fujinon mKX 18-55mm T2.9 and 50-135mm T2.9 zooms are optimised for video recording in that they minimise focus shift and optical axis shift when zooming, and reduce lens ‘breathing’ during focusing (i.e. a slight shift in the angle-of-view). Additionally, the aperture collar can be set to seamless adjustment for quieter and smoother exposure control.
The Fujifilm X-H1 is priced at $3399 (including the VPB-XH1 battery grip) and will be available in early March. The X mount MK cinema lenses will go on sale in June priced at $6149 for the 18-55mm and $6449 for the 50-135mm.