The Fujifilm X-H2S is an incredibly powerful mirrorless camera for sports and action photographers who shoot a lot of video. Its new stacked sensor unlocks much-needed autofocus improvements as well as impressive burst shooting speed, though the X-H2S loses some traditional Fujifilm charm in the process. Still, that’s good news for fans of the X-series hoping some of its upgrades trickle down to more affordable Fujifilm cameras.
Performance of Fujifilm X-H2
The X-H2S is the most powerful Fujifilm camera ever and one of the best hybrid photo/video cameras you can buy. It may not offer the dynamic range or low-light performance of full-frame rivals like the Sony A7 IV, but its stacked sensor more than makes up for it with unlocked burst shooting, autofocus and video capabilities.
OM System Like the OM-1, the X-H2S focuses primarily on speed for sports and wildlife shooters (hence the ‘S’ in its name). You can shoot still images at 40 fps (raw or JPEG), with full AF/AE tracking and no blackout in the viewfinder when using the electronic shutter. But how effective is this burst shooting in practice?
We did some burst shooting tests with a CFexpress card and an SD card to find out. You can see our results below. The bottom line is that you’ll definitely want to use a CFexpress card to unlock the true potential of the X-H2S.
This allows you to hit a top speed of 40fps for just three seconds until the buffer slows down, or for over five seconds while shooting at 30fps. While the 20fps mode isn’t unlimited, we found it could run at this speed for at least 15 seconds, which is enough for most situations.
Design of Fujifilm X-H2
The Fujifilm X-H2S looks and feels like a professional camera It may disappoint fans of Fujifilm’s retro dials, but its pronounced grip, top-plate LCD and overall weight help balance things you’ll probably want to associate with it. The X-H2S has one of the best EVFs we’ve ever used on any camera
Weighing in at 660g, the X-H2S is slightly smaller and lighter than the X-H1. But it also borrows many of its design cues from Fujifilm’s medium format GFX series. For example, its top plate is quite similar to that of the Fujifilm GFX50S II.
All this means that the X-H2S does away with Fujifilm’s signature set of manual dials, instead adopting the PASM (Program, Aperture, Shutter Speed, Manual) approach favored by its rivals. You’ll drastically change the shutter speed or ISO using the front and rear dials, which will be a comfortable and familiar experience for most non-Fuji fans.
While some may miss the X-T series’ dedicated dials, this approach makes sense on a camera like the X-H2S, where settings like shutter speed will change drastically when looking through the viewfinder at fast-moving subjects. Fuji has previously said that many photographers have refused to switch to the X series because they find its dials too confusing.
This PASM dial, with its seven custom modes, sits to the left of the viewfinder, though it’s a shame there’s no handy “drive mode” switch below it to quickly switch between them. Still, to the right of the top plate you’ll find that handy LCD screen right next to buttons for ISO, white balance, and video recording (for checking quick settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO).
Unlike cameras such as the Canon EOS R7 and Sony A7 IV, the X-H2S has a standard hot shoe rather than just an ‘all-in-one’ that can power or transfer data to external accessories. If you regularly use an external flash or microphone, you may find the setup a bit simpler and cleaner on those rival cameras due to the lack of cables.
From the back, the Fujifilm X-H2S is very similar to the X-H1. There is a fully articulating touchscreen for moving around the front for video recording. One of the main changes is a new AF joystick, which is larger than before and moved alongside the viewfinder. Although we initially found this AF lever a bit stiff for our thumbs, we soon got used to it and found the X-H2S very comfortable to shoot with.
A major upgrade of the X-H2S over the rest of the X series is the impressive 5.76 million-dot OLED viewfinder. Because of its size (it has 0.8x equivalent magnification), resolution and 120fps refresh rate, we consider it one of the best scopes we’ve ever used. Resolution remains high regardless of the focusing method you’re using, and the electronic viewfinder on the rest of the X series and even rivals like the Sony A7 IV looks dated.
Overall, the X-H2S has excellent handling and is a lot of fun to use. The lack of a drive mode switch below the main dial is a bit annoying, as is the absence of a focus mode switch on the front. We wish the front and rear dials were clickable like other Fuji cameras. But otherwise, the X-H2S offers a highly polished and customizable shooting experience for photographers and photographers alike.
Value of Fujifilm X-H2
The Fujifilm X-H2S is available to buy now for $2,499 / £2,499 / AU$4,449 (only). Some new accessories are also now available for the X-H2S, including the VG-XH Vertical Battery Grip ($399 / £399 / AU$749) and, for video shooters, a FAN-001 cooling fan ($199). / AU$369).
That price makes the X-H2S one of the most expensive APS-C cameras around, and a big step up from the Fujifilm X-H1, which came in at £1,699 / $1,899 / AU$3,399 in 2018. But the X-H2S adds a new 26.1MP stacked sensor to the X-Processor 5, allowing it to improve across the board for autofocus, video, burst shooting and more.
- Stacked sensor unlocks serious speed
- Glorious viewfinder
- Impressive autofocus tracking skills
- Video powerhouse with Apple ProRes support
- Pricier than many full-frame cameras
- Lacks charm of Fuji’s retro cameras
- AF still just behind class-leaders