Fujifilm “X-H2S” pre-launch review! High-end mirrorless with the highest performance in the history of “X series”

Fujifilm’s new mirrorless camera “X-H2S” is the latest model of the “X series” that uses an APS-C size image sensor. It is a flagship model that uses a new 5th generation image sensor and image processing engine to achieve the highest performance in the history of the “X Series” for both still image and video recording. Before the release on July 14, 2022, I was able to try the prototype as soon as possible, so let’s review the main features and usability.

* In this article, we are using a prototype that has no functional difference from the product version.

Equipped with a new subject detection AF with excellent followability. Improved AF performance in dark places
The “X-H2S” achieves a back-illuminated laminated type effective approximately 26.16 million pixel “X-Trans CMOS 5 HS” sensor that achieves signal readout approximately four times that of conventional models, and a processing speed that is approximately double that of conventional models. By adopting the 5th generation device called “X-Processor 5”, which is an image processing engine, all points have been greatly improved.

Of the many performance improvements, AF is the one that I would like to pay particular attention to. The software has been revamped along with the hardware, and Fujifilm is appealing that it has improved performance such as tracking of moving subjects and capture of small subjects. Even when I actually used it, I was able to realize that both the speed and accuracy of AF have been greatly raised.

Subject detection AF, which will be installed for the first time in the “X series”, supports a variety of subjects such as “animals,” “birds,” “cars,” “motorcycles & bicycles,” “airplanes,” and “trains.” When you select a subject to be detected on the setting screen, the subject within the set focus area is preferentially detected, and the once captured subject is tracked over the entire screen. When the subject is small, the focus sometimes shifts slightly back and forth, but it detects and follows moving subjects with good response. I felt that it had achieved sufficient performance as a function installed for the first time.
In addition to the high followability of moving objects, I would like to tell you about the improvement of AF performance in dark places and under low contrast. With the conventional model, even in a dark situation where I thought that “this darkness would not be in focus”, it was often comfortable to focus, which left an impression on me.

Ultra-high-speed blackout-free continuous shooting of about 40 frames / sec is possible. Sustainability is also high enough
It is the continuous shooting performance that feels the power of the 5th generation device most. The “X-H2S” achieves ultra-high-speed continuous shooting (AF / AE tracking, blackout-free) at approximately 40 frames / sec with an electronic shutter. High-speed AF / AE calculation at 120 times / sec enables highly accurate AF / AE tracking continuous shooting even at a speed of about 40 frames / sec. Even pre-shooting, which allows you to record before the shutter button is fully pressed, supports continuous shooting at approximately 40 frames / sec.

In addition, the buffer memory has been strengthened, and it cannot be overlooked that sufficient continuous shooting sustainability has been achieved. The number of continuous shots that can be taken at approximately 40 frames / sec is 184 for JPEG, 175 for compressed RAW, 170 for lossless compressed RAW, and 140 for uncompressed RAW. I tried it with a CFexpress Type B card (ProGrade Digital COBALT 1700R 325GB), but it is almost the same as this spec. With RAW, I was able to continue shooting for about 4 seconds. With RAW + JPEG (lossless compressed RAW), it takes about 3 seconds (about 130 sheets) as far as I tried. At about 40 frames / sec continuous shooting in JPEG, continuous shooting continues at about 20 frames / sec even when the buffer is full, so I want to continue continuous shooting for a longer time without slowing down so much. In that case, JPEG should be selected.

If you want to continue shooting continuously for a long time even in RAW, you can set the continuous shooting speed to about 20 frames per second for even more satisfactory shooting. The number of shots that can be taken continuously at about 20 frames per second is 1000 or more for JPEG / compressed RAW / lossless compressed RAW and 1000 for uncompressed RAW, which is a spec that allows continuous shooting almost endlessly. With RAW + JPEG (uncompressed RAW), when I tried it, continuous shooting lasted for about 9 seconds. It can be said that it is sufficiently sustainable.
High-quality operation feeling like a high-end machine, such as a high-performance EVF that is particular about the optical system
The body size of the “X-H2S” is 136.3 (width) x 92.9 (height) x 84.6 (depth, thinnest part 42.8 mm) mm, and the weight is 660 g (including battery and memory card). Compared to the conventional model “X-H1”, the width is about 3.5mm, the height is about 4.4mm, the depth is about 0.9mm smaller, and the weight is about 13g lighter.

The operation system has specifications similar to those of a general high-end mirrorless camera, such as adopting a shooting mode dial on the top surface. Some Fujifilm fans may be disappointed that they don’t have a shutter speed dial, sensitivity dial, or exposure compensation dial, but the operation feels very good.
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) left a strong impression on me when I used it. In addition to the high specs of 0.8x magnification (35mm format equivalent), approximately 5.76 million dots, and 120fps support, a new optical system for all aspherical lenses has been adopted to achieve a very clear “look” from the center to the periphery.

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