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Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos

We've been capturing images with the Fujifilm X-H2S and Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR lens so we can give our first impressions of this new APS-C mirrorless camera.

| Fujifilm X-HS2 in Mirrorless Cameras

Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010085 | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 13.0 mm | ISO 250

Fujifilm's popular X-series range of cameras has had an update today with the introduction of the Fujifilm X-H2S - a next-generation APS-C mirrorless camera that's designed for creatives who 'photograph anything that moves'. What we mean by this is that Fujifilm is hoping to attract high-speed shooters such as sport and wildlife photographers who may not have looked in the direction of the X-series before. 

As well as the Fujifilm X-H2S, there's also a new Fujifilm XF 150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR and XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR being added to Fujifilm's lens line-up and we were given the opportunity to get hands-on with the Fujifilm X-H2S and lenses to give our first impressions on the new kit line-up. We were also able to capture sample photos, too, so you can see for yourself how the camera and lenses perform.

We teamed the Fujifilm X-H2S with the XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR for our photo walk and you can see a few more images captured with the 18-120mm lens over in the  XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR hands-on preview. We also have a hands-on preview with the huge Fujifilm XF 150-600mm f/5.6-8 R LM OIS WR lens, too. 


Fujifilm X-H2S Features

Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010106 | 1/80 sec | f/2.8 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200

The Fujifilm X-H2S has a new 26MP APS-C stacked Xtrans CMOS 5HS sensor which, when combined with the other technology featured in the mirrorless camera, offers better overall performance, image quality and speed with the X-H2S offering a quicker sensor (36x faster) and processor (33x quicker) than the X-Pro 1. You also get lower power consumption, 20% improvement on the battery when compared with the X-T4, improved video ([email protected] and [email protected]), 40fps high-speed burst with 120fps Live View and more accurate Auto Focus. 

The X-Processor 5 features 'deep learning' so it can recognise a huge library of subjects and the HEIF format is now supported (a first for the X-series) which produces better colours and richer tonal imagery. Not all PCs can read this file format still but if you have Photoshop, you'll be able to open them with no problems and you can also convert the files to JPEG in-camera if needed. 

Fujifilm describes the X-H2S as the 'best value hybrid camera available' with features that will attract video shooters as well as stills fans and to support this, there are plenty of improvements to the video functions found on the X-H2S along with a new menu dedicated to the Movie mode and the firmware has been adjusted so that the camera can more easily differentiate from deliberate and non-deliberate movement which means video will be less jerky. You also get 7-stop in-body Image Stabilisation which will also help keep panning footage smooth. 


Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: X-HS2

The battery which, as mentioned, sees a 20% improvement will easily provide a comfortable day's shooting with a rough shot estimate of 610 when using the EVF and 720 shots if using the LCD in economy mode. While talking about the EVF and monitor, the EVF has been upgraded when compared with the X-T4 and the rear screen features the same versatile vari-angle screen. 

Auto Focus also sees improvements with quicker reads from the sensor as it's continuously refreshing which means information is passed more regularly and the AF algorithm has been worked on so it doesn't get confused and track the closest subject. In fact, the time it took on the X-T4 to capture an image, on the X-H2S you can take a photo, check it and then capture another image (we'll find out how accurate this statement is when we put the X-H2S through a full review). 

Other features include a smaller/lighter design and changes to its overall appearance - something we'll look more at in the Handling section. There's also an option to purchase a battery grip or network grip for tethered shooting and direct uploading to an STP server.  


Fujifilm X-H2S Key Features:

  • 26MP APS-C stacked Xtrans CMOS 5HS sensor
  • X-Processor 5
  • Fujifilm X mount lenses
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF)
  • 3.2inch vari-angle screen
  • Top LCD screen
  • Simplified design
  • PSAM dial 
  • Improved AF


Fujifilm X-H2S Handling

Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010084 | 1/60 sec | f/2.8 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200

As you would expect from a Fujifilm X-Series camera, the X-H2S is built to last feeling well-made and solid in the hand without feeling bulky. In fact, it's actually smaller and lighter than previous models even though it features a larger battery. You can get an excellent hold of the deep grip when capturing images or simply carrying the camera around. We spent an hour or so with the X-H2S in London and not once did we feel like we needed to pop a strap on the camera as the grip and overall design make it feel ergonomically lovely in the hand. The rubberised texture wrapping around the camera also ensures your hands/fingers don't slip.  

The shutter button falls nicely under the thumb and with just a couple of buttons along with a small LCD screen and PSAM control dial sitting on top, the overall look of the camera is slick and simple. 


Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: X-HS2

The PSAM control dial has 7 different custom modes on the mode dial so you can set up the camera exactly how you want it for different shooting scenarios while buttons give you quick access to ISO, White Balance and the video mode. The small top LCD shows you all of the expected camera settings, such as ISO, aperture, shutter speed, film mode, battery life and mode.

Also on top is the on/off switch surrounding the shutter button which sits nicely on top of the well-made grip and a flash hotshoe (ours was missing as the unit we were using was a prototype but the camera definitely does come with one!).

Those who are fans of the X-series from Fujifilm may notice some design changes on the X-H2S which includes larger, more durable buttons that are easier to operate and fewer dials/switches as Fujifilm has given the user more customisation options via the menu system (which has plenty of depth) and buttons. 


Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010080 | 1/80 sec | f/3.2 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200

The viewfinder has been massively upgraded when compared with the X-T4 with a clear, crisp view when in use and the 3.2inch vari-angle display can be pulled out and turned to make low-angle photography easier and we also found it really useful for street photography where putting a camera up to your eye can make it obvious to people you're capturing images when you want to photograph a more natural scene. 

Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010108 | 1/80 sec | f/2.8 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200

The EVF features a large rubber eye cup to help make the camera more comfortable to use when you hold it up to your eye, and it also helps avoid getting nose prints on the screen as it puts some distance between the camera and your face. The rear of the camera also has a raised area for your thumb to hold on to, increasing grip and trust in that you can carry the X-H2S around in just one hand. 


Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010082 | 1/80 sec | f/3.2 | 13.0 mm | ISO 200

Other functions on the back include a few buttons with various functions, a command wheel, a small Q button you can use to access additional settings and a joystick control that's rather tactile. Ports and the SD card slot can be found on the side along with space for a CF memory card. 

Overall, the X-H2S is retro yet modern, combining good looks with practicality and new technology that improves overall image quality and the speed at which you can capture photos.


Fujifilm X-H2S Performance

We didn't have too long with the X-H2S but we can safely say that it's capable of producing exceptional JPEG images straight from the camera. Colour reproduction is excellent and there is plenty of detail in photos. 

The Auto Focus was very accurate when tracking subjects which is partly down to technology improvements as the X-H2S can now keep up with subjects previous cameras may not have been able to. Burst shooting is also quiet and quick in action. 

We have to mention that the camera and lenses used were prototypes and not final production so please keep this in mind when viewing images. We will, of course, bring you a full review of a fully working unit as soon as we can. 


Fujifilm X-H2S Other sample images


Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR

Fujifilm X-H2S Hands-On Review With Sample Photos: P1010103 | 1/80 sec | f/3.2 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200

We paired the Fujifilm X-H2S with the new compact and lightweight Fujifilm XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR zoom lens. The lens covers a wide range of focal lengths and we found it to be a great walkaround lens when shooting handheld with quick and quiet AF. 

You can find more images of the XF 18-120mm f/4 LM PZ WR zoom lens over in our hands-on.


Value For Money

The X-H2S is priced at £2499 body only making it good value for money when you compare it to cameras from the likes of Sony and other competitors where you can spend twice as much to get similar specs 


Early Verdict

We won't comment too much on our final thoughts until we've put the X-H2S through our full review process but so far, we're impressed with the image quality straight from the camera and also how it feels in use with it being comfortable to hold and easy to use, feeling rather intuitive actually. 

We look forward to putting the camera through its paces in a full review very soon.  

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Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X-HS2

"Tulip""Another Stick for the Nest"King's college, Cambridge"Who's been here?"Old and youngLevitation No 201PinaAngel roofJust being "Arty"Ely cathedral, Lady Chapel"Blue Tit on Hawthorn"Levitation No 111Levitation No 113Torture candleScotney Castle

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