A dig­i­tal work­horse through and through

Fu­ji­film X-H1

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - By Mar­cus Wong

Fujilm’s X-series lineup seems to be quite well dened now, with the X-Pro and X-E cam­eras be­ing rangender-style op­tions for pro­fes­sion­als and en­thu­si­asts, and the X-T series be­ing more typ­i­cal SLR-style op­tions. Of course, there were the large-sen­sor com­pact cam­era op­tions in the X70 and the X100F, as well as the en­try level X-A series which doesn’t use an X-Trans sen­sor.

Then came the medium for­mat GFX-50S, and we thought the X-series was truly com­plete, but now we’ve got yet an­other series in the fam­ily – the X-H series. “H” stands for “High Per­for­mance”, and you could say it’s Fujilm’s at­tempt to max­i­mize their APS-C sized sen­sor as far as it can go for both stills and video.

The video por­tion is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant, as that’s one as­pect that Fujilm has ad­mit­ted to lag­ging be­hind the com­pe­ti­tion in. The X-H1 gets sep­a­rate menu op­tions for video mode, as well as a new Eterna Film sim­u­la­tion, which sim­u­lates cin­e­matic lm with rich shadow tones and un­der­stated col­ors so your grad­ing process will be kept down to a min­i­mum. The X-H1 is slightly larger than the X-T2, with a more pro­nounced grip and a slightly thicker body over­all. The ex­tra girth al­lows for a top dis­play panel and a much deeper hand grip for bet­ter bal­ance with larger lenses. This makes the cam­era feel more solid over­all, while mak­ing for bet­ter han­dling when longer lenses are mounted.

As with the GFX50X, there’s now a top dis­play panel so you can get a clear in­di­ca­tion of your cam­era set­tings with just a glance. It works well in bright light, and re­verses from white-on-dark to a dark-on-white dis­play for bet­ter view­ing in dim light.

Mean­while, the rear LCD fol­lows that found on the X-T2, with three-way tilt ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Touch is also in­tro­duced to the Q menu for the very rst time, so you can more eas­ily change set­tings with­out hav­ing to reach for the but­tons or di­als. Hav­ing the op­tion of touch also means set­tings can be changed dur­ing video record­ing with­out the risk of shift­ing the cam­era in the process, or dial sounds be­ing picked up.

A new Movie Silent Con­trol ac­tu­ally dis­ables the aper­ture ring, shut­ter speed dial, and ISO dial, so all con­trols are via the rear. The X-H1 also pro­vides shut­ter speeds equiv­a­lent to the shut­ter an­gles for 24,

30 and 60p video cap­ture, so you can se­lect op­tions like 1/24th, 1/48th, 1/96th, and 1/240th.

The X-H1 also comes with a new feather-touch shut­ter but­ton which is highly damped so to fur­ther re­duce cam­era shake when you trig­ger the shut­ter. This new shut­ter but­ton is very nicely damped, so you hardly feel the shut­ter be­ing trig­gered. Su ce to say, it’s very easy to re o a burst of shots in con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing mode, as just a touch will set the cam­era o .

Per­haps to ac­com­mo­date for the new touch fea­tures on the rear LCD panel, the EVF on the X-H1 has been moved back 3mm so your nose won’t come in con­tact with the screen. This has a higher res­o­lu­tion than the one we saw on the X-T2 (3.69 mil­lion dots com­pared to 2.36 mil­lion), and is brighter too (800cd/m2 to 500cd/ m2). The re­fresh rate also cer­tainly seems fast enough, as we didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence viewnder black­out through­out our test­ing. We’d say that while it’s not as good as the one found on the Sony A9, it’s close, and that’s say­ing a lot.

Chief in the im­prove­ments for both videos and stills cap­ture is un­doubt­edly the in­tro­duc­tion of Fujilm’s rst in-body im­age sta­bi­liza­tion (IBIS) sys­tem for an X-series cam­era. And this uses three ax­ial ac­cel­er­a­tors, three ax­ial gyro sen­sors, and a dual pro­ces­sor for cal­cu­la­tions. It works with all XC and XF lenses, with both me­chan­i­cal and elec­tronic shut­ter mode, and ac­tu­ally in­tel­li­gently splits the sta­bi­liza­tion over both body and lens to achieve the best e ect.

As tends to be the case with cam­eras from Fujilm, images straight-out-of cam­era have nice vi­brant col­ors, and the cam­era’s ex­po­sure sys­tem is quite ac­cu­rate too, giv­ing you true to life ex­po­sures. Matched with Fuji’s ex­cel­lent lenses, the com­bi­na­tion is well ca­pa­ble of giv­ing you us­able out-of-cam­era JPEGs. Aut­o­fo­cus is denitely faster than the X-T2 (based on rmware ver­sion 3.0), and it proved quite a per­former with birds and in­sects.

The new feather-touch shut­ter but­ton means the cam­era can re­spond to you al­most in­stan­ta­neously. Paired with the elec­tronic shut­ter on the X-H1, we re­ally were able to get much closer to our sub­jects with­out star­tling them.

That said, it does seem like images from the X-H1 have a bit more noise than what we ex­pe­ri­enced with the X-T2.

Our stu­dio tests seem to conrm this, as images taken at ISO 12,800 show signicant ev­i­dence of de­tail loss due to noise re­duc­tion, so this is the limit we’d rec­om­mend stick­ing to.

All in, the X-H1 per­forms much like the X-T2 on stills - which is to say very well - while giv­ing more op­tions with bet­ter han­dling with videos.

An im­pres­sive cam­era for both stills and video.

The speed of the X-H1 means you can even cap­ture the ick of a dragony’s eye­ball.

At ISO 12800, the writ­ing on the bot­tle is clearly smudged.

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