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Fujifilm X-H1 review

Does Fujifilm's newest X-series deserves its flagship status?

Our Verdict

Some might be disappointed that the X-H1 appears as little more than a modest upgrade over the X-T2, but Fujifilm's changes are aimed squarely at professionals, and these revisions tick the few remaining boxes that the X-T2 left unchecked. It's tougher and more substantial than the X-T2, while the optional grip makes it a true sports camera. The new in-body stabilisation alone is enough to justify the modest premium over the X-T2.

For

  • In-body stabilisation
  • 11fps with optional grip
  • Chunky body gives great handling

Against

  • A couple of fiddly controls
  • High-end pricing for APS-C
  • Same sensor as cheaper models

It's been some time since we've had a fresh line of cameras from Fujifilm, whether it's a standalone range or a sub-series within an existing stable. The last one was 2016's medium-format G system, which still only contains one member, the GFX 50S. This makes the arrival of the X-H1, a camera that will sit above the current co-flagship X-T2 and X-Pro2 models in the X range, particularly noteworthy.

Fujifilm X-H1: Features

  • 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor
  • X-Processor Pro
  • Fujifilm X mount
  • 5-axis, 5.5-stop in-body Image Stabilisation system
  • ISO 200-12,800 (exp to ISO 100 and 51,200 equivalents)
  • DCI 4K to 24p (up to approx. 15min) 
  • UHD 4K to 30p (up to approx. 15min)  
  • Full HD to 60p (up to approx. 20min)
  • 0.5in OLED viewfinder, approx. 100% coverage, 3.69m dots
  • 3in tilting LCD touchscreen, 1.04million dots
  • 1.28in top-plate LCD screen
  • 8fps (14fps with electronic shutter)
  • Eterna Film Simulation feature
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Flicker reduction mode
  • 310-shot battery life
  • 139.8 × 97.3 × 85.5mm 
  • Approx. 673g (including battery and memory card) 

The model is "the highest performance camera in the X Series range of mirrorless cameras," according to the firm. Key features include Fujifilm's 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and X-Processor Pro engine, both of which we've seen already in the X-T2, X-T20 and X-Pro2, although this time it's teamed up with a new 5-axis in-body stabilisation system. This is a first for Fujifilm, who has traditionally incorporated the feature into its optics, although the two work together to provide up to 5.5EV stops of compensation.

The X-H1's sensor-based image stabilisation system

The X-H1's sensor-based image stabilisation system

This system makes use of three axial accelerometers, three axial gyro sensors and a specially developed dual-processor, and they work together to perform approximately 10,000 calculations per second. The system is effective with all of Fujifilm's XF and XC lenses.

Fujifilm has fitted the new camera with a 3.69million-dot EVF that has a 0.75x magnification (in 35mm terms) and a 100fps refresh rate, while the 3in tilting LCD screen has a 1.04million-dot panel and is touch-sensitive. Like the X-T2 it also has a sideways tilt-action, which goes to an angle of around 60 degrees. So, unlike regular tilting screens, this one can also work with the camera held vertically.

There's a new feature on this camera that you won't find on the X-T2: a 1.28million-dot LCD panel on the top plate that displays key shooting and exposure information. This echoes the styling of the GFX 50S, although it's the first time such a panel has been incorporated on an X-series camera.

At first glance, the X-H1 doesn't seem to be any more sports-orientated than the X-T2. It shares the same advanced hybrid AF system and the same 8fps continuous shooting speed. This goes up to 14fps with the electronic shutter, but this is really designed for bright light rather than fast-moving subjects, since the sensor scans the frame progressively rather than capture the whole scene instantaneously. 

Those intending to use the camera for action, however, will be interested to learn that the X-H1 is compatible with a new VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster. In addition to boosting battery life and making portrait-orientation-shooting easier, this also increases the maximum burst rate of the mechanical shutter to 11fps, and also features a headphone port for audio monitoring while recording video. 

The new VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster, which has been designed specifically for the X-H1

The new VPB-XH1 Vertical Power Booster, which has been designed specifically for the X-H1