Will we get a new Fujifilm X-H2 in 2022? Fujifilm hasn't said as much, but with new 5th-generation cameras promised for the X-Summit in May 2022, most pundits are convinced they will include a new, professional-level Fujifilm X-H2. But what will it offer? So far we have only rumors, leaked specs and predictions to go on for what could be one of the biggest camera launches of 2022.
The original Fujifilm X-H1 was launched back in February 2018 as a rugged, powerful 'pro' flagship camera a notch above the Fujifilm X-T2. Even then, the X-H1's advantages seemed relatively modest and centered around its chunky, weatherproof design and in-body stabilization – a first for Fujifilm.
But then later that year, Fujifilm launched the X-T3 with a higher resolution sensor, faster processing, better autofocus and better video. The X-H1 still had physically advantages, but technologically the X-T3 put it in the shade.
And then in 2020 the Fujifilm X-T4 arrived with in-body stabilization, a vari-angle screen and specs and performance that finished off the X-H1 for good. Would there ever be another X-H2? We hoped so, but Fujifilm stayed quiet. Throughout 2021, though, speculation was growing that an X-H2 was coming, and with Fujifilm's hints about the May 2022 X-Summit, many are now convinced that the announcements will include this new flagship camera.
So we think it's a matter of when, not if, there's a new Fujifilm X-H2… and this is what we predict its specifications and features will based on. As ever, we are indebted to Fuji Rumors and other eagle-eyed rumor sites, but there have been heavy hints from Fujifilm itself.
"Like always, we have one last topic at the very end to share with you," said Fujifilm senior manager, Shinichiro Udono, at the conclusion of the September 2021 Fujifilm X-Summit Prime 2021.
"In 2022, which is the tenth anniversary of X-System, not only are we preparing new lenses, but we will introduce the next generation devices and a flagship camera," added Ryosuki Nagami.
"What is the new device?" teased Udono. "A bit of a hint would be stacked BSI CMOS sensor with X-Trans filter array. We can’t wait to share more information about the exciting cameras for next year."
Fujifilm X-H2 sensor
• Rumor: 40MP resolution
• Official: Stacked BSI sensor design
The original Fujifilm X-H1 used a third generation 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor, but since then Fujifilm has introduced its 4th-generation 26.1MP X-Trans sensor across pretty much its whole range. With the arrival of new 5th-generation cameras in May, there could hardly be a better time to launch a new, re-imagined X-H2.
We don't now anything about Fujifilm's new 5th generation sensor tech, but rumors abound that there will be not one Fujifilm X-H2 camera but two. One might have a 26MP sensor, like the current models, but the other will have a new 40MP sensor. That's a high resolution for APS-C, but let's not forget that Canon already makes a 32.5MP APS-C sensor for the EOS M6 II and EOS 90D, so it's not inconceivable.
It's become common for camera makers to produce two different-resolution variants in the full frame camera market, so it's not as if there's no precedent for this.
5-axis in-body stabilisation
• Best guess: hybrid IBIS/lens IS stabilization up to 7 stops compensation
The X-H1 was Fujifilm's first X-mount camera to get in-body stabilisation (IBIS), but it's now been taken up by the X-T4 and the enthusiast-orientated X-S10, so any new X-H2 is unlikely to have any specific advantage here – although Fujifilm may refine and tweak the system to squeeze out a 0.5EV or 1EV compensation gain, or it may make larger strides with hybrid lens/body stabilization systems.
• Rumor: 8K video (supported by rumored 40MP resolution)
The original X-H1 was strong on video until being upstaged by the X-T3, so any new X-H2 might follow in the same vein – and one of the wilder rumors we've heard is that it will be able to shoot 8K video.
That's actually not as wild as it sounds. Canon's done it with the EOS R5, Nikon's doing it with the Z9 and Sony did it with the A-1. All have full frame sensors and, traditionally, smaller sensors are easier to push hard than larger ones. For this to be true, of course, the X-H2 (or one of them) really will have to have a 40MP sensor.
Let's take 4K video for granted at any rate (or even 6K with the current 26MP sensor?). The X-T4 already offer stellar 4K video capture, so could we maybe hope for internal raw video capture?
X-H2 continuous shooting and buffer capacity
• Official: Stacked BSI sensor design – ultra-fast readout and processing.
The X-H1 was pitched as a camera for professionals and continuous shooting speed is a key factor here. The X-T3 and X-T4's blistering speed has put the old X-H1 in the shade, so the X-H2 will have to do something pretty spectacular.
One possible area of improvement is in the electronic shutter. The existing models can already hit 30fps in 1.25x crop mode, but what if Fujifilm's 5th-generation sensor could bring faster data readouts? That might potentially increase the electronic burst rate still further and remove the 1.25x crop ratio. We would also like to see a big increase in the buffer capacity to make any high-speed continuous shooting mode more useful. Sony has achieved a minor miracle with the Sony A7 IV, achieving practically unlimited raw shooting, so it would be a real feather in Fujifilm's cap to achieve something similar.
We do know that Fujifilm's new flagship camera will have a stacked BSI sensor – and Sony has demonstrated that stacked sensors bring a step-change in data readout and processing speeds.
Fujifilm X-H2 autofocus
Fujifilm's on-sensor phase-detect autofocus system is already pretty spectacular, so is there really any room for improvement? Not much, perhaps – unless Fujifilm can exploit the AI subject recognition technologies uses by its rivals to automatically identify and track specific subject types.
X-H2 body design
• Best guess: similar to X-H2 design but with a vari-angle screen
We wouldn't necessarily expect any significant changes to the exterior design of the X-H2, since the X-H1's layout is very successful. One of the less obvious areas where Fujifilm established the X-H1's status over the X-T series is its design and construction, and we would expect to see this carried through into the X-H2, with a magnesium alloy construction 25% thicker than lesser models, dust, moisture and low temperature resistance down to -10 degrees, and the same scratch-resistant surface. The X-H1 has no EV compensation dial on the top plate since that had to make room for the top LCD sub-monitor, but that's a worthwhile sacrifice to get the extra information display and an important feature we expect to see retained on the X-H2.
One change we would like to see, though, is a swap from the X-H1's tilting rear screen design to a full vari-angle screen as used on the X-T4 and X-S10. Otherwise, the existing design is a good one – especially the white-on-black LCD status display on the top plate, now used by Fujifilm's GFX line.
Soft-touch shutter mechanism
There were important physical differences between the Fujifilm X-H and X-T designs which didn't appear in regular specs comparisons. One of these is the super-quiet 'suspension' system for the shutter mechanism and its 'feather-touch' action. It's easy to get caught unawares by the lightness of the shutter action in the X-H1, so we hope Fujifilm will tweak this slightly in the X-H2 without completely taking away its responsiveness. We definitely want to see the super-quiet shutter retained for the X-H2. In fact, 'quiet' hardly describes it. It's so quiet you may not actually need the silent electronic shutter mode.
Twin SD UHS II card slots
• Best guess: Twin UHS-II slots or one/two CFexpress slots
Fujifilm uses twin-card storage for the X-H1 and X-T series cameras, so it seems inevitable the X-H2 will have twin card slots too. But what format? We don't suppose Fujifilm is ready yet to take the plunge with the super-fast CFexpress format just yet, but you never quite know. If Fujifilm sticks to 4K (or 6K) video, twin UHS II compatible SD card slots will probably do the job but if, as rumored, a new 8K-capable X-H2 arrives, it may need one or both slots to be swapped to the CFexpress format. CFexpress Type B cards are the most popular but are physically larger. Sony is now using the smaller CFexpress Type A format, which can share a slot with regular SD cards, but isn't as fast.
Fujifilm X-H2 ISO range
• Best guess: Small gain in maximum ISO or no change (if it's a 40MP sensor)
We're not expecting any stratospheric ISO numbers from Fujifilm, a company which is generally pretty conservative/realistic about what sensors can do. If any new X-H2 uses a 5th-generation variant of the existing 26MP sensor, it seems reasonable to hope for a modest ISO gain from refinements to the sensor design and processor – perhaps a maximum ISO of 25,600 expandable to 104,400.
If the new camera has a 40MP sensor, however, we might get the same ISO 12,800 maximum (expandable to ISO 51,200) as current cameras.
Fujifilm X-H2 launch date and price
• Rumor/official hints: To be announced at the May 2022 X-Summit
• Rumor: Price $2,500 or under
We orginally hoped we might see a new X-H1 back in 2019, either at The Photography Show or the now-defunct Photokina, but that didn't happen. Two years later, however, and with the promise of new 5th-generation technologies, the X-H2 rumors are back on, and the key date will be the Fujifilm X-Summit 2022, due to take place in May, at a date yet too be set.
As for price, the current rumor is that Fujifilm X-H2 will sell for under $2,500. That's higher than any other APS-C camera (except for Leica), but still well below flagship full frame cameras – and if the X-H2 delivers on even half of what we're hoping for, it could shake up the professional market quite considerably.
We're probably going to have to wait until the Fujifilm X-Summit to find out for sure, but in the meantime we will bring you any more X-H2 news just as soon as we get it!